News Letter 31 January 2019

Good day all The South African Airforce (SAAF) will be hosting their Prestige Award Evening tonight at Airforce Base Swartkops, the aim of the Prestige Evening is to showcase service excellence by bestowing honours and eminence to the sterling work done by different SAAF entities and individuals in their varied stations. The following day, Friday 1 February 2019, there will be an impressive exhibition of SAA military finesse during the Air Force Day Parade, where the Chief of the Air Force provides a strategic plan of action for the year ahead. The Silver Falcons, Hawks and a Gripen have made their way to Pretoria for the two events so they Promise to be something spectacular, unfortunately

Helicopters - A Brief History

Helicopters were developed and built during the first half-century of flight, with the Focke-Wulf Fw 61 being the first operational helicopter in 1936. Some helicopters reached limited production, but it was not until 1942 that the R-4 helicopter designed by Igor Sikorsky reached full-scale production, with 131 aircraft built. Focke-Wulf Fw 61 Though earlier designs used more than one main rotor, it is the single main rotor with anti-torque tail rotor configuration that has become the most common helicopter configuration. Tandem rotor helicopters are also in widespread use due to their greater payload capacity. Coaxial helicopters, tiltrotor aircraft, and compound helicopters are all flying

SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge

Rand Airport became a hive of activity on Saturday 26 January with the running of the fifteenth annual Rand Airport Challenge, Frank and Cally Eckard once again organised a very impressive Rally. The increase of Intermediate entries was especially notable and seemed to be a direct result of the training camp that was organised the week before by Mary de Klerk and Rob Jonkers. The SAPFA Committee are really attempting to grow the sport and judging by the turnout at Rand their labours are definitely bearing fruit. The early morning weather threatened to disrupt the Rally but fortunately the clouds lifted and the Rand Airport Challenge was a “GO”. By 9:00 all the teams had made it to Rand and w

SANDF Armed Forces Day – What to Expect

Armed Forces Day commemorates the sinking of the SS Mendi in the English Channel on February 21 1917, it resulted in the deaths of 600 soldiers from the South African Native Labour Corps, as well as commemorating all South African soldiers that paid the “ultimate price” to defend freedom‚ peace and justice. Over the years Armed Forces day has been extended to a week of activities hosted by one of the four branches of the SANDF, manly the SA Airforce, SA Navy, SA Army and the Military Medical Health Services. In 2019 the SA Navy will be the hosts of all the activities connected to Armed Forces Day, Cape Town was chosen as the host city. On Monday 28 January members of the media were invited

Fuel Contamination - Real Problem

South Africa has recently experienced a spate of incidents due to contaminated fuel, high compression engines are being affected in growing numbers. The problem has reached such a level that the SACAA have issued a warning and asked pilots to please supply samples of fuel that they deem to be suspect. It is of critical importance that the fuel taken onboard at uplift is not contaminated in any way since the effects of any such contamination are likely to affect all engines and this may not be evident until after an aircraft has become airborne. In common with one other subject also critical to aircraft operational safety, aircraft ground de/anti icing, the quality of fuel ‘into-plane’ has be

News Letter 24 January 2019

Good day all 2019 is now in full swing and the aviation world is starting to get more and more active. SAPFA will be hosting a navigation rally at Rand Airport on Saturday 26 January, the results of this rally will be taken into consideration when the National (Protea) team is chosen to represent South Africa in the World Championships in 2020. THE 15th RAND AIRPORT CHALLENGE NAV RALLY Entry Fee: R400 per a/c ENTRY FORM HERE Programme of the Day: 08:00 Breakfast available at the Harvard Cafe 09:00 Compulsory Briefing Prize Giving after the event - time to be advised. CemAir fail to overturn the SACAA Grounding Is this the end for CemAir? Yesterday an urgent application to have its Part 121 a

SAC Gauteng Regionals -Vereeniging

The Sports Aerobatic Club of South Africa started off the 2019 Aerobatic competition with the Gauteng Regionals at Vereeniging on Sunday 20 January. Unfortunately the field was a bit smaller than expected, mainly due to the weather. After a week of wonderful flying weather the weather gods decided to throw a curve ball at the SAC on Sunday morning. It was icy cold and very misty competitors making their way from Kitty Hawk made it as far as Springs and were forced to turn back severely shrinking the field. As they say in the classics “The show must go on” and as soon as the cloud lifted the competition got underway. Safety Briefing Quintin Hawthorne got things rolling with a briefing under t

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp

In the build up to the 2020 World Rally Flying Championship, which will be held in Stellenbosch, SAPFA have embarked on an intensive programme to raise awareness for the sport and attempt to entice new members into the rally flying fraternity and if they excel in the 2019 season and National Championships they stand a very real chance of being awarded National Colours for the World Rally Championships. On 19 January the first Training Camp was held at the Aerosud training hall in the Centurion Aerospace Village on the Eastern boundary of Airforce Base Waterkloof. SAPFA originally expected approximately 30 participants; this was a far cry from the 50 that eventually turned up for this invalua

A Fitting Farewell to Mike Lomberg

Saturday the 19th January saw Mike’s family, friends and many colleagues gathered at Morningstar, to celebrate his remarkable life. Mike was tragically killed in an accident on approach at Bang Phra airport, in Thailand, whilst attempting to fly around the world in his specially adapted aircraft. Despite the sweltering heat, several hundred people turned out to listen to family and friends speak about his life. Ross Leighton, chairman of the Morningstar Flying Club,delivered a fitting eulogy and there were many tears in the audience. The event was finished with a missing man formation of 4 local aircraft, led by a fellow club member, Giovanni Human Mike was born on the 24th September 1958. F

ICAO – Safety management systems (SMS)

As aviation progressed and developed, there came a need for standardisation of safety systems. Many airlines, operators and other organisations had some sort of safety system in place, that they had developed themselves over the years. However there were many that did not have any system in place at all. These systems were both good and bad and there was no standardisation anywhere throughout the world. ICAO entered into discussions with states and various organisations and they determined that a need existed for a standard system, to be used throughout the world and also at all the various organisations and service operators. With this in mind, ICAO called a high level safety conference, in

News Letter 17 January 2019

Good day all Seems the CemAir vs SACAA sage is set to continue, as far as I have heard the case of the latest grounding has been heard in the JHB High Court and the Judge has undertaken to deliver judgment on Monday 21 January. By which time CemAir would have lost another ten days of revenue, hopefully they can weather the storm and return to safely full capacity. It is heart-breaking to hear of another large employer in the aviation sector facing closure, no matter what the reasons. I also believe that if there are valid safety reasons on the SACAA’s part to ground CemAir then it has to be done, I sincerely hope the CAA are willing to assist CemAir to formulate an action plan to rectify any

The Aérospatiale Gazelle

The Aérospatiale Gazelle originated in a French Army requirement for a lightweight observation helicopter intended to replace the Aérospatiale Alouette III; early on in the aircraft's development, the decision was taken to enlarge the helicopter to enable greater versatility and make it more attractive for the export market. In 1966, Sud Aviation began working on a light observation helicopter to replace its Alouette II with seating for five people. The first prototype SA 340 flew for the first time on 7 April 1967, it initially flew with a conventional tail rotor taken from the Alouette II. Prototype SA 340 The tail was replaced in early 1968 with the distinctive fenestron tail on the secon

The History of the Rhodesian Air Force

The Rhodesian Air Force was originally formed in 1935 under the name Southern Rhodesia Staff Corps Air Unit and served as a territorial unit; the first regular servicemen with the unit went to Britain for ground crew training in 1936. The Southern Rhodesia Staff Corps Air Unit first pilots were awarded their flying wings on 13 May 1938. The reservists were called up early August 1939 and were posted to Canada by 28 August. On 19 September 1939, two weeks after the United Kingdom declared war against Germany, the Air Unit officially became the Southern Rhodesia Air Force (SRAF), and Air Unit flights become Number 1 Squadron SRAF. In 1939, the Southern Rhodesia government amalgamated the SRAF

ELT’s (Emergency Locator Transmitter) Do You Need One?

Firstly what is an ELT? ELTs are emergency transmitters that are carried aboard most general aviation aircraft. In the event of an aircraft accident, these devices are designed to transmit a distress signal on 121.5 and 243.0 MHz frequencies, and for newer ELTs, on 406 MHz. ELTs are mounted aft in the aircraft, and designed to be triggered upon impact or may be manually activated using the remote switch and control panel indicator in the cockpit. Activation of the ELT triggers an audio alert, and 406-MHz ELTs transmit GPS position for search and rescue. ELTs were originally intended for use on the 121.5 MHz frequency to alert air traffic control and aircraft monitoring the frequency. In 198

Flying with a common cold

So your throat is sore, your nose running, and your head throbbing as if to burst. You can’t help speaking with a characteristic nasal twang causing friends and colleagues alike to comment or ask “Got a cold have we?” Between coughs and sniffles you’re forced to reply “Yip but it’s not a problem. It’s only a little cold, I should be over it in a couple of days!” This is a familiar story around most homes and workplaces and indeed a cold usually isn’t much of a problem. The situation could be very different if, however, you plan to travel in an aircraft while suffering from this usually inconsequential ailment. I’d like to tell you a little bit about colds, what they are, what they do to your

Breaking News - SACAA Ground Cemair Once Again

The Civil Aviation Authority of South Africa have released a media statement wherein they advise that they have revoked CemAir’s Part 121 and 135 Air Operator Certificates (AOCs) with immediate effect, the statement was released on the afternoon of Friday 11 January 2019. In the statement the SACAA state that “the suspension was necessitated by the SACAA’s concerns over the systemic failure of the airline’s maintenance controls. In a nutshell, the most recent annual renewal audit revealed CemAir’s inability to prove the continued airworthiness of its fleet.” The SACAA claims that in the recent audit, 21 to 24 December, eleven (11) findings of which five (5) were classified as Level 1 were r

News Letter 10 January 2019

Good day all As things are slowly getting back to normal ( whatever that is) the aviation world still seems to be very much on leave, the first aviation events will be taking place next weekend. SAPFA will be hosting a Nav Rally Training Camp at Grand Central, Harvard Café Function Room on Saturday 19 January. Contact Mary de Klerk for more detail this is the ideal opportunity for pilots new to the sport to pick up valuable pointers from our current National Champion. 0r 084 880 9000 Spots Aerobatics Club will be hosting their first competition for 2019, the Gauteng Regionals at Vereeniging airfield Many of the top Aerobatics pilots from all over South Africa wi

Sling Aircraft – 10 Years And Still Taking You Places

It’s always an emotional moment when, like birth, the physical turns to spirit and an aircraft first takes to the air. In some way it seems to capture a transition from the profane to the sacred. And in the eyes of many the Sling has, over the past 10 years, continued to fulfil the promise of her sacred roots. Within the year of her first flight the production prototype had circumnavigated the earth, within a further year she was reproducing in the new TAF facility at Tedderfield Airpark and since then she’s spread her reach across the globe. Today there are more than 350 flying Sling aircraft. Her acclaimed capabilities, effortless handling and all-round functionality have turned up the hea

Sikorsky-Boeing SB-1 Defiant- Testing to Start Soon

The Sikorsky–Boeing SB-1 Defiant is the jointly developed by Sikorsky Aircraft and Boeing for the United States Army's Future Vertical Lift program. It is a compound helicopter with rigid coaxial rotors, powered by two Honeywell T55s, and should make its first flight early in 2019. The Defiant is designed to fly at twice the speed and range of today’s conventional helicopters and offers advanced agility and manoeuvrability, according to the Sikorsky-Boeing team. The aircraft is intended to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing AH-64 Apache. Data from the Defiant will help the Army develop requirements for new utility helicopters expected to enter service in the early 2030’s. S

Rolls-Royce – Plan to Develop the World’s Fastest All-Electric Aircraft

It’s nothing new to hear that Rolls-Royce has been working on developing electric propulsion systems that it hopes will power a new generation of emissions-free aircraft that will illuminate the high cost of fossil fuel . The company has partnered with Airbus and Siemens to develop the E-Fan X hybrid plane and with Aston Martin on its Volante Vision VTOL concept. It even showed off its own VTOL concept at the Farnborough International Airshow. ACCEL (Accelerating the Electrification of Flight) Rolls-Royce recently revealed plans to build its own all-electric aircraft with financial input by the British government in partnership with YASA and Electroflight. The aircraft developed under th