News Letter 31 October 2019

Good day all With rugby fever gripping most of the nation we are expecting a very quiet Saturday with most aviators joining the rest of the country in front of a TV somewhere there however some events taking place Stellenbosch will be hosting A Rally Training course with an eye on the World Rally Championship that will be taking place next year also at Stellenbosch for those taking part it will be a good test of your skills seeing that there will be international participation. This is the first of two events leading up to the World rally Flying Championships that will include International team participation who are coming out for training and familiarisation of the Western Cape area, ther

Tupolev TU-160 – “White Swans” Visit South Africa

South African aviation enthusiasts were treated a very rare sighting last week, two Russian Tupolev TU-160 “Blackjack” strategic nuclear bombers visited AFB Waterkloof and OR Tambo international airport. These massive machines, that hail from the height of the “Cold War”, were accompanied by an Antonov AN 124 and an Ilyushin Il-62. The friendly visit to South Africa as part of strengthening ties between the two nations had many people wondering if there was a more sinister motive behind their visit. The delegation was received by the SAAF’s deputy chief, Major General Innocent Buthelezi and Brigadier General JCJ Butler (Director Combat Systems). Gen Buthelezi said at their arrival on Wedne

Laurie Kay – The Man, The Legend

As we sit on the eve of yet another Springbok Rugby World Cup Final one can’t help but to cast your mind back 24 years to the iconic flypast at Ellis Park Stadium. Many of the Springbok players of that victorious team conceded that the flypast of the Boeing 747 over the stadium inspired them to go for gold. The man behind the yoke was Captain Laurie Kay, a humble soft spoken man, was instantly propelled to hero status alongside the team and of course our president Nelson Mandela. Laurie love for aviation was born at a very young age, possibly at conception he jokingly added when asked. At the tender age of six he joined The South African Air Boys Club in Malvern Johannesburg and often rode f

Ladysmith Aviation Career Expo & Airshow 2019

The South African Civil Aviation Authority hosted a very successful Career Expo and threw in an Airshow just for good measure. Ladysmith Airfield in Northern Natal was the venue for this amazing initiative in youth aviation awareness. I was fortunate to have been offered a ride to and from the airshow with the team from Little Annie, this beautiful Antonov AN2 has become synonymous with introducing children to the wonderful world of aviation. We were off to a very early start on Friday morning, meeting Little Annie and the rest of the Just Love Mission team at their hangar at Wonderboom National Airport. After checking the fuel and topping up the oil it was time to leave, we finally got air

Air-to-Air Refuelling – The History

Aerial refuelling, also referred to as air refuelling, in-flight refuelling, air-to-air refuelling (AAR), and tanking, is the process of transferring aviation fuel from one military aircraft (the tanker) to another (the receiver) during flight. Some of the earliest experiments in aerial refuelling took place in the 1920’s; two slow-flying aircraft flew in formation, with a hose run down from a hand-held fuel tank on one aircraft and placed into the usual fuel filler of the other. The first mid-air refuelling, based on the development of Alexander P. de Seversky, between two planes occurred on June 27, 1923, between two Airco DH-4B biplanes of the United States Army Air Service. An endurance

SAPFA Brakpan Air Navigation Rally (ANR)

Air Navigation Rally (ANR) is a fairly new sport aviation discipline recognised by the FAI, the second World ANR Championships were recently held in Portugal and our South African teams did very well considering the lack of practice they had locally, only one ANR was held before they left for the Worlds. The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) decided to not let that happen again and Brakpan was the venue chosen for the first of many ANR’s that will be held around the country. The ANR was originally going to be held with the National Landing Championships at Brits, a few days before the event it was decided to move the Landing Competition and ANR to Brakpan Airfield. The Landing

SASAR – Joining Hands So Others May Live

Search and Rescue is one of the relatively unknown services in the aviation fraternity, usually because the pilots don’t ever want to think about being a situation that they will be needed, this normally means something has gone horribly wrong. Increasing your knowledge of how the SASAR and the ARCC actually operate may one day be the difference between a happy rescue and some very sad news relayed to your grieving family. Lets start off with the range covered by SASAR, it may come as surprise to many aviators that SASAR cover not only South African airspace but in total 28 million km² of land and sea, considering the total area of the planet is only 510 million km², it is a sizable chunk of

Springs Fly-In Breakfast – East Rand Flying Club

Springs airfield and East Rand Flying Club once again invited anyone and everyone that has access to an aircraft to join in their annual Fly-in Breakfast, although the numbers were slightly down on visiting aircraft it was nevertheless a very enjoyable day for all that made it. The first visitor to arrive was Michael Crause in his Evan's VP1, Michael arrived just before 7:00 and from then there was a steady stream of arrivals from all over Gauteng. As always, the members of the East Rand Flying club went all out with wonderful breakfasts on offer all completely free of charge to visitors. One very notable aircraft, that is a springs resident, was the Teeny Two belonging to Gavin Edwards spo

Density Altitude -The Silent Killer

We have published this before but as we in the Northern Provinces of South Africa are currently experiencing heatwave conditions it is of vital importance to keep Density Altitude in mind with every flight. On Saturday Brakpan with an Elevation of 5300ft had a density altitude of well over 8500ft we all know that this will wreak havoc on the performance of your aircraft. Indicated Altitude, True Altitude, Absolute Altitude, Pressure Altitude and Density Altitude, enough to make one’s head spin, especially for someone just starting out. Let me start by defining each. Indicated Altitude is the altitude shown on the altimeter. True Altitude is height above mean sea level (MSL). Absolute Altitud

News Letter 17 October 2019

Good day all We are in for a fairly busy weekend in the Gauteng area with the National Landing Championships being held at Brakpan Airfield, the Nationals will be coupled with an ANR competition, ANR is a new discipline endorsed by the FAI and all the teams that competed in the World Championships last month will be there to give guidance if you need it. The annual Springs Breakfast Fly-In will be taking place at Springs Airfield on Saturday morning, fly in between 8:00 and 11:00 and they will supply you a free breakfast. Swedish Air Ambulance Organisation Acquires Six Pilatus PC-24s After a long period of intensive and very professionally conducted negotiations, the “Kommunalförbundet Sven

2019 South African Nationals - 15m, 2 Seater and Club Class

Potchefstroom in the North West Province once again hosted the National Glider Championships from the 4th to the 12th of October. In a break from the norm SSSA decided to split the National Gliding Championships into two separate competitions, one for the 15m, 2 Seaters and Club Class and later in the year the 18m, Open and Sports Class will compete in Welkom. Many of the top 18m pilots also enjoy competing in the 15m class but rarely get the opportunity. Friday morning, 4 October, saw all the competitors arriving and assembling their gliders ahead of the official practise planned for later that same day. The conditions for the practise flight brilliant except for quite a nasty cross wind th

Helivate Heli Olympics 2019 -Testing Precision Flying

Jack Taylor airfield based just outside Krugersdorp is the operational base of Helivate Helicopter Services, established in 2011 in response to the ever-increasing helicopter charter, helicopter training market and helicopter hire market within South Africa and its neighbouring countries. For the fourth year running Helivate have hosted the Helivate Olympics, a challenging yet fun way to hone the participating pilot’s skill in a relaxed competitive atmosphere. Safety is always a priority in these events so as always, the day started off with a safety briefing and an explanation of the challenges that can be expected. The competition consists of three tasks, devised to test the flying skill o

Chuck Yeager - Chasing the Demons for 72 Years

Charles Elwood "Chuck" Yeager stepped inside the Bell X-1,72 years ago on the 14th October 1947, when he stepped out he carried the title of the fastest man alive and the first man to break the elusive sound barrier. Chasing that particular demon was conceived to be impossible by some people, that never bothered Chuck. Chuck Yeager was born February 13, 1923, to farming parents Susie Mae and Albert Hal Yeager in Myra, West Virginia, and graduated from high school in Hamlin, West Virginia, in June 1941. His first experience with the military was as a teen at the Citizens Military Training Camp at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana, during the summers of 1939 and 1940. On February 2

Wingsuiting – Adrenaline Amplified

Wingsuiting is a relatively new discipline that falls under parachuting umbrella, or should I say canopy, the modern wingsuit, first developed in the late 1990's, creates a surface area with fabric between the legs and under the arms. Wingsuits are sometimes referred to as "birdman suits" (after the makers of the first commercial wingsuit), "squirrel suits" (from their resemblance to flying squirrels' wing membrane), and "bat suits" (due to their resemblance to the animal or perhaps the superhero). A wingsuit flight normally ends by deploying a parachute, and so a wingsuit can be flown from any point that provides sufficient altitude for flight and parachute deployment — normally a skydivin

KLM Celebrates Their Centenary - Happy Birthday Flying Dutchmen

The Flag carrier airline of the Netherlands, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines or Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij on the 7 October 2019 reached the ripe old age of 100 years . Which makes it the oldest airline still operating under its original name, it is the first airline to achieve this feat. In 1919, a young aviator lieutenant named Albert Plesman sponsored the ELTA aviation exhibition in Amsterdam. The exhibition was a great success; after it closed several Dutch commercial interests intended to establish a Dutch airline, which Plesman was nominated to head. In September 1919, a month before the official founding of the airline, Queen Wilhelmina awarded the "Royal" predicate and so being ple

SAC Western Cape Reginal Aerobatic Championships

WoW! What an incredible weekend of flying was had at the SAC Western Cape Regionals, held at Swellendam Airfield. We could not have asked for better weather on the day! Initially we had a field of twenty entries but unfortunately three pilots from Namibia had to withdraw, owing to high winds in their path to Swellendam, and a number of unfortunate pilots who own Sbachs had received news a week prior, that the aircraft were no allowed to do aerobatics until further notice from the X-Treme Air factory. That being said, we still had a great turnout, and as always, the members from the Swellendam Club pulled out all the stops to make us feel at home. While many pilots flew in from Gauteng, Easte

Flying Boats – The Giants of the Skies

This history of world traveller will by no means be accurate if the giant flying boats were not mentioned prominently, before the Second World War it was widely considered to be the only way to build large airliners. With over 70% of the planets surface covered in potential runways its easy to see why this school of thought was so popular. A Flying Boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water, that usually has no type of landing gear to allow operation on land It differs from a floatplane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections ,called

Wheels-Up Landings – Limit the Risk

We’ve all heard the old saying, “there are two kinds of pilots, the ones that have done a wheels-up and those that are still going to”. I however have met many pilots that reached a ripe old age and finally hung up their headsets without joining this embarrassing club. I personally have never had a wheels-up mainly due to the type of aircraft I once upon a time flew, they were all the “gear down and welded variety” so this was never an issue, although I have experienced some interesting approaches and landings that would have almost certainly ended in the dreaded wheels-up if the option was available. Distractions on approach is normally the culprit, whether it be other aircraft in the circu

News Letter 3 October 2019

Good day all We at Flightline Weekly are only aware of one event this weekend and that would be the Western Cape Regional Aerobatics Championship, all the top aerobatics pilots will be fighting out for top honours in their relative category. The competition will take place on Saturday and Sunday at Swellendam Airfield, so if you find yourself in the area make your way there it will be well worth it. Seven dead in Connecticut vintage B-17 WWII bomber crash Thirteen people were on board the vintage Boeing B-17 - dubbed the Flying Fortress - when it went down and burst into flames minutes after take-off outside Hartford on Wednesday. The aircraft was civilian-registered and was not being flown

Barnstormers MFC – Warbirds Airshow

I arrived at the Barnstormers Model Flying Club airfield on Sunday, with no idea what to expect as I had never been to a model aircraft airshow. To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement, the airfield is beautifully maintained and one can see this is a very well run operation. I was a bit surprised to see a que at the gate to get in, I didn’t expect this from a Model Airshow, as soon as I got in, I realised why it was so popular. Unfortunately, I was a bit late and had already missed some of the displays, the show started on time at exactly 10:00. The World War I aircraft had just landed and after a short chat to some of the enthusiastic spectators I realised I had missed