News Letter 26 September 2019

Good day all The weather in Gauteng seems to be a bit confused this week, its supposed to be summer but it feels like winter has returned for one last cold spell. Nevertheless, the weekend seems to be returning to the temperatures we expect from this time of the year, so we can expect good flying weather. Witbank will be hosting a Spring Bash Fly-in on Saturday 28 September which promises to be a great event. If you are in the Cape and feel like landing at a SAAF Base to share your passion with some young people then Overberg is the place to be, you will however need clearance documents completed before you can fly to AFB Overberg. If you are keen to join please e-mail events@morningstarflyi

Rhino Park Fly-in – Puma Energy supporting General Aviation

On Heritage Day, 24 September, the highly anticipated Rhino Park went ahead despite the terrible weather that everyone woke up to on the lazy holiday morning. Puma Energy, the sponsors of the event, had requested that pilots flying in registered online for catering and control purposes, unfortunately of the sixty registered aircraft only fourteen manged to make it on the day. The majority of the visitors came from Krugersdorp’s Jack Taylor airfield. Please subscribe to Lets Go Aviate here Some of the locals had their aircraft on static display for all to see and we were even treated to a ground run by the proud owner of a immaculately restored 1933 Pietenpol Sky Scout, hopefully we will get

Square Kilometre Array and Aviation – More Questions than Answers

Many South Africans are very excited about the radio astronomy, Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. SKA marketing strategies and the SKA website present a convincing and impressive picture of SKA South Africa. But, and it’s a big but, how will it effect aviation in the area? The current SKA site in the Karoo consists of two farms (Losberg and Meysdam) and covers 13,406 ha. A number of pathfinder and precursor radio telescope dishes have been already been erected anyone that has flown from Johannesburg to Cape Town is bound to have noticed them right on the flightpath. The Kat-7 project, a test bed of seven dishes, was completed years ago. The MeerKAT project will eventually comprise of 64

Heidelberg Fly-In – Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines

In 1930, a Bentley Sportsman Coupe beat France's Famous Blue Train in a race from Cannes to Calais. This great feat was the inspiration behind organising a Historic Aircraft and Motor Vehicle day at Heidelberg Airfield on Heritage Day. The event was originally planned as a Plane, Train and Car Race but was later changed to a Fly and Drive In event, the weather tossed the organizers a massive curve ball on the morning of 24 September. Many of the pilots that planned to attend were stranded at their home bases due to the nasty low cloud and threatening rain, its never fun flying in an open cockpit in the rain. There were however some Magnificent Men and Ladies who took to the sky to make the e

Emergency landings – Good Choices are Key to Survival

In recent years we have heard of many forced landings that went wrong sadly too often claiming the lives of the occupants. So, what happens if you've determined your engine isn't coming back to life, and you're not within glide range of an airport? You need to pick the next-best landing site. Fortunately, you usually have quite a few options. Most importantly you need to keep the cockpit and cabin as intact as possible by using dispensable parts of the plane, like the wings, landing gear and bottom of the fuselage to slow you down during landing. And second, you need to prevent your body from hitting the inside of the cockpit during touchdown, by making sure your seat belt is tight. Like th

Antonov AN-225 Mriya – Rebirth of a Giant

The Antonov AN-225 Mriya, codenamed "Cossack" by NATO, is a super heavy strategic airlift cargo aircraft. Designed and built by then Soviet Union, Antonov State Company in the 1980's, she is powered by six turbofan engines. The AN-225 is the world's longest and heaviest airplane ever to take to the air. This incredible piece of engineering has a maximum take-off weight of around 710 tons and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft currently in active service, the only aircraft to have a larger wingspan is the now defunct Stratoluancher. The Antonov AN-225 was first developed to transport the Buran spaceplane and Energia rocket boosters for the Soviet space program. She was designed and buil

Vans RV Fly-in -Kitty Hawk Aerodrome

Photos by Andre Venter Kitty Hawk Aerodrome East of Pretoria was abuzz on Saturday with ninety three aircraft flying in for the 10th Annual RV Fly-in, every year the RV fly-in grows from strength to strength. The first arrivals started as early as 6:30 and there was a steady stream of aircraft for the rest of the morning. Mr Dawie Pretorius, the manager of Kitty Hawk was extremely pleased with the turn-out. Approximately ⅔ of the visiting aircraft were from the Vans RV stable, it was great to see so many RV pilots gathering together, many of them coming a long way to join their likeminded friends. Andrew Evans flew all the way from Paradise Beach to visit his old home base and Peter Lea, ano

The 2nd FAI World ANR Championships - Santa Cruz

The 2nd FAI World ANR Championships took place in Santa Cruz Portugal from 9 – 14 September 2019 with 17 nations with a total of 43 crews taking part in the competition. South Africa sent a Team of 5 crews and 2 International Judges, with Mary de Klerk as the manager of the team. Three new Proteas, Tony Russell, Pam Russel and the youngest Jonathan Esser at the age of 16, received their national colours and now join the elite group of aviators in South Africa. SAPFA, once again brings a new and exciting discipline to South Africa called the ANR (Air Navigation Race). This discipline comprises of two components, namely Navigation and Landings. Navigation is map reading with the aid of DI and

Vans RV Aerobatics – How to get Started

So, you’ve built or bought an RV and are interested in getting into Aerobatics but you not quite sure how. The Sport Aerobatics Club of South Africa (SAC) can help you on the right track, I know contacting these guys may seem a bit daunting but one must remember they all started out with no experience and bucket loads of enthusiasm, just like you. The SAC has embarked on a series of training camps for newbies to this amazing sport, Helm Ludwig will be handling things in the Western Cape, Mike Stark in Natal, Conrad Botha in the Free State, Barrie Eeles in the Johannesburg area and Gary Glasson will take care of the Pretorian’s. The next Training Camp will be an International one and will ta

Grand Central Fun Rally – Superior Pilots Services

The 2019 edition of the SPS Grand Central Navigation Rally was almost a non-starter this year due to other aviation events clashing with both the date and the venue. Originally planned for 7 September, the Rally was moved to 14 September as Grand Central expected to have an apron full of aircraft form the Children’s Flight the previous day. Departure times, which are very important in Navigation Rally’s, may not have been adhered to due to the extra departing traffic. In addition to these challenges their may have been airspace restrictions imposed due to the annual SAAF Museum Airshow taking place a Swartkops Airforce Base on the same day. The new date unfortunately clashed with other event

TAF Breakfast Fly-In 2019 - Tedderfield Airpark

It’s an entertaining kind of breakfast when you get to experience aircraft in action just meters from your bacon and eggs. From as early as 07h00 am on Saturday, September 14th, aircraft began arriving for the 2019 TAF Breakfast Fly-In at Tedderfield Airpark in the South of Johannesburg where guests were treated to a delightful breakfast that consisted of egg, bacon, sausages, hash browns, tomatoes, toast, tea, coffee, and fruit juice. Freshly back from their most successful Oshkosh yet, factory tours and Sling TSi demo flights, a head-turner wherever it goes, were the name of the game. The newest offering from TAF, the Sling TSi High Wing making for some interesting conversation, The TSi Hi

News Letter 13 September 2019

Good day all After a very busy weekend at Swartkops Airshow we are poised for another busy one, with three events taking place in the Gauteng region alone. The Annual RV Fly-in is set to take place at Kitty Hawk aerodrome on Saturday 14 September, the popularity of this event has been climbing year on year. If you are an avid Vans RV fan there is no other place to be this weekend. The Airplane Factory will be hosting their annual fly-in breakfast at their home base Tedderfield Airpark. Slings are expected from all over the country. A Spot Landing competition will be held on for everyone arriving between 8:00 and 9:00. SAPFA will be hosting the Superior Pilots Service Grand Central Fun Rally

SAAF Museum Airshow 2019 – Collective Heritage

Photos by the Flightline Weekly Team Swartkops Airforce Base in Centurion, the oldest operational Airforce Base in the World, came alive on Saturday 7 September with the annual rendition of the SAAF Museum Airshow. This Airshow will go down in the record books as one of the best and considering all the challenges the team faced, I believe they did an exemplary job. The Airshow was planned for its customary date in May but unfortunately it had to be postponed due to a clash with the National Elections, the final approval only came through a few weeks the spectacle was set to take place. Col Trish Schoeman, LtCol Melvin Bruintjies, Maj Ntokozo Ntshangase and your entire team deserve all the ac

Angle of Attack Indicator – Is it a Must Have Instrument

With all the current hype about Angle of Attack indicators, a casual observer might think the concept was just discovered. But as any pilot with even a basic knowledge of history knows, it’s been a hot topic numerous times over the years, as far back as Wolfgang Langewiesche’s classic book Stick and Rudder. Today, almost every turbine aircraft has an AOA instrument. It is definitely not a new idea. The latest push has centred on bringing this technology to all general aviation aircraft (GA), as we saw at AERO SA. It started with the FAA, who declared affordable AOA instruments one of its most-wanted safety improvements. AOPA’s Air Safety Institute has enthusiastically supported the cause, to

Lydia Litvyak – First Female Fighter Ace

Lydia Vladimirovna Litvyak, affectionately known as Lilya, was a fighter pilot in the Soviet Air Force during World War II. Historians estimates for her total victories range from five to twelve solo victories and two to four shared kills in her 66 combat sorties. In about two years of operations, she was the first female fighter pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft, the first of two female fighter pilots who have earned the title of fighter ace and the holder of the record for the greatest number of kills by a female fighter pilot. She was shot down near Orel during the Battle of Kursk as she attacked a formation of German aircraft. Lydia Litvyak was born in Moscow into a middle class Rus

Vans RV - Which One Is For You

You’ve been hiring Cessna 172 or Piper Cherokee for a while. Hire and fly is inconvenient and expensive, and the hire and fly aircraft is slow and unexciting. A RV looks like just the thing…but which one? Instead of asking “which aircraft” ask “what, exactly, do I want an aircraft to do?” There are a lot of factors that come into play here. Personality, stage of life, family, budget….it’s all part of the mission statement. The better the mission is defined, the easier and better the choice of aircarft will be. Defining the mission will require making decisions, not avoiding them. It requires (sometimes painful) introspection and honesty. An aircraft knows nothing about dreams. It does what

News Letter 6 September 2019

Good day all I come to you today from a wet but verybusy Swartkop Airforce Base, where preparations are in full swing for the annual SAAF Museum Airshow which will be taking place on tomorrow 7 September. Both Military and Civilian aircraft spent yesterday “Validating” for what seems to be shaping into a great airshow. Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital Sounds arrived yesterday and started setting up their sound system along the crowd line, a crowd line that has been extended to the South to comfortably accommodate the 45000 odd people expected on Saturday. Today the Airforce will be hosting a Youth Aviation Awareness day for school children from all over Gauteng and some from neighbour

The Silver Falcons - Pride, Passion, Precision

The Silver Falcons proud heritage dates back to 1946, at the time the team was named the “Bumbling Bees” and were flying a four ship formation in North American T6 Harvard’s. With the delivery of the first SAAF de Havilland Vampires in 1951 the team lobbied strongly to upgrade the team to the Vampire, two years later in 1953 the team did their first display effectively taking SAAF aerobatic teams into the “Jet Age”. The Bumbling Bees continued to wow South Africans until they were disbanded in 1958, this however was not the end for the team. In 1966, under the leadership of Commandant Chris Prins, the team was revived and at the time they flew the newly acquired Aermacchi MB-326 Impala Mk I.

The 2019 World Aerobatic Championships – A Judging Perspective.

The pinnacle of achievement for any sport aerobatic competitor is winning the World Aerobatic Championship at Unlimited level. Beating the worlds best is no mean feat and it obviously takes an enormous amount of practice, time and money to be able to reach that level of expertise. Sport Aerobatics is still an amateur sporting discipline and unlike golf and tennis and any major achievement is limited to the respect and admiration of your peers and somewhat devoid of major media exposure. However, the aerobatic community across the globe shows a keen interest in these major achievements, and that’s what matters. World championships are held for three levels of Power aerobatics and two levels o

The ARCC comes to Morningstar

At a recent CAA roadshow, held at the River Club, Observatory, one of the invited guests, Danie Heath, of ATNS, gave a presentation on the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC), its functions and how and where it fits into aviation. A truly professional and very informative presentation. He finished by saying that the ARCC was trying to get the word on safety to more pilots. With this in mind, Ross Leighton, Chairman of Morningstar invited the ARCC to come and address the club, at one of their monthly meetings. On the 28th August, the ARCC arrived and what an evening it was!  About 80 members of the club, and a few friends attended and were treated to a truly professional presentati