SAA Financial Woes are effecting SA Express

Over the last two months SA Express has been battling to retrieve monies owed by SAA. The national carrier failed to pay revenues owed to SA Express as a consequence of SAA’s Business Rescue status. Now that SAA has received funds, the regional airline trusts that finally paying these revenues will be prioritised. The said revenues are entitled to SA Express as SAA purely acts as an Agent for SA Express. The SA Express Board and Executive Management have been working with the SAA Business Rescue Practitioner (BRP) to resolve this matter over the last two months with no imminent way forward. The Board also took a resolution to engage with the Shareholder to resolve this pressing matter. Accor

SAAF 100 – Historic Glory and Centennial Denial

The South African Airforce (SAAF) will be reaching their 100 birthday on 1 February 2020, this major milestone unfortunately seems to have slipped the minds of the of the powers that be. In all official correspondence from the SAAF and the SANDF no mention of the Centenary has been made, they have opted for a meaningless slogan “Embracing our Collective Heritage” which in itself in implies division and not unity. If it was truly a celebration of “Collective Heritage” one would think the decision makers would jump at the opportunity to celebrate the centenary of what is widely regarded as the second oldest independent Airforce in the world. This blatant disregard of “Heritage” smacks of polit

Rand Airport Challenge 2020- Sixteen and Counting

Frank and Cally Eckard must have woken with very heavy hearts on Saturday 25 January, it was pouring with rain and seriously threatening the sixteenth SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge. Frank and Cally have been putting the Rand Airport Challenge together since its inception all those years ago. With well over 150 rallies to his credit Frank is undoubtably the most experience route plotter in the world, Cally on the other hand is closing up on Frank very quickly with a whopping 95 under her belt. SAPFA recently embarked on a massive drive to recruit “new blood” to the sport of Navigation Rally Flying in an attempt to bolster the National Team that will have home ground advantage for the World Ral

Boeing and Embraer Joint Venture receives Brazilian Approval

Boeing and Embraer gained the unconditional approval of their strategic partnership by the Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE)'s General-Superintendence (SG) in Brazil. The decision will become final within the next 15 days unless a review is requested by CADE Commissioners. The partnership has now received unconditional clearance from every regulatory jurisdiction with the exception of the European Commission, which continues to assess the deal. "This latest clearance is yet another endorsement of our partnership, which will bring greater competition to the regional jet marketplace, better value for our customers and opportunities for our employees," said Marc Allen, Boeing's

Inadvertent VFR Flight into IMC

Every human – including weather forecasters and pilots - is liable to make errors. Therefore, the pilot should identify the risks that deteriorating en-route weather could present, particularly when the route is associated with any high ground, surface obstructions or proximity to controlled airspace, and consider how to manage those risks before the flight. In pre-flight planning, the pilot should consider not only what alternate courses of action will be available if the weather were to deteriorate, but also when those courses of action should be taken. For example, what would be the minimum visibility or cloud base needed to continue on track? Once airborne, these decisions are likely to

Boeing 777X Takes To The Air for the First Time

At 8:00 local SA time this evening, Boeing’s all new 777X took to the skies at the aircraft manufacturers headquarters in Everett. The long-awaited first flight of the next-generation in the 777 family positioned at the end of the runway of Everett Paine Field on what is scheduled to be a five-hour test flight. Video: Boeing 777X first take-off Seeing the world’s largest passenger twin-engines accelerating down Runway 34 powered by its huge General Electric GE9X engines Is something that raised the blood pressure of many an aviation enthusiast around the world. At times during the live stream there were well over 50000 viewers on-line. Boeing has originally scheduled the first 777X flight to

Boeing Statement on 737 MAX Return to Service

As we have emphasised, the FAA and other global regulators will determine when the 737 MAX returns to service. However, in order to help our customers and suppliers plan their operations, we periodically provide them with our best estimate of when regulators will begin to authorise the ungrounding of the 737 MAX. We are informing our customers and suppliers that we are currently estimating that the ungrounding of the 737 MAX will begin during mid-2020. This updated estimate is informed by our experience to date with the certification process. It is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification proc

The SACAA Respond to the loss of their three Crew Members and Inspection Aircraft

Opening Statement by Ms Poppy Khoza - Director of Civil Aviation We called this gathering today with heavy hearts, following a tragic aircraft accident that robbed us of our three colleagues, who undoubtedly still had much to offer the aviation industry. This happened while they were conducting important work that helps uphold aviation safety standards in the country. These young and talented members of the South African Civil Aviation Authority were part of a world-class team that conducted calibration services in South Africa, Africa and the Indian Ocean. The entire SACAA is mourning the tragic loss of our esteemed colleagues in the devastating aircraft accident that took place on Thursday

SACAA's Citation Crashes near George in Western Cape

The South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) have confirmed in a statement that it has not been able to make contact with its flight inspection unit aircraft, a Cessna S550 Citation SII, that took-off from George Airport earlier today. The crew, two males and one female, took off at 10:40 (local time) from the George Airport on a flight calibration mission of navigational aids of the same airport. The George air traffic control tower could not make contact with the aircraft ten minutes after take-off. The Air Traffic and Navigation Services immediately activated search and rescue. Update on story The Aircraft was located by Search and Rescue teams and sadly all on board were declared

MOGAS – Mountain Soaring In The Western Cape

The idea of a week spent soaring in the mountains was hatched by Gary Whitecross, the chairman of MOGAS, he opened an invitation to all MOGAS members and the call was enthusiastically answered by members with vastly varying gliding experience. The week started of with Gary and I going to collect our “chariot” for the week from Brits airfield. Arjan Schaap, himself a very experienced glider pilot with many national and international competitions under his belt, graciously offered the use of his DG505M self-launch glider equipped with pop up Rotax 503 thus eliminating the need for a tug plane. Arjan quickly brought Gary up to speed with all the ins and outs of the DG before we packed it up in

SAC - Gauteng Regional Championships and Judges Trophy

We were greeted by a very overcast Vereeniging Airfield on arriving for the opening competition of the Sport Aerobatics Club’s season. The nasty weather was unfortunately quite widespread and as a result many of the competitors couldn’t leave their respective home bases. Some however did manage to get there, the first to arrive was Wim Kotze and Warren Eva in their Yak 52, followed by a Yak 55. Pierre du Plooy arrived in his beautiful Giles 202, unfortunately it was the last chance we will get to see this aircraft as she has been sold and is due to leave the country very soon. Andrew Blackwood Murray also managed to get through the clag in his Nashua sponsored Extra 300L he arrived with Glen

SAPFA - Rally Flying Training Camp

SAPFA kicked off what is going to be a very busy year with a Rally flying training camp on Saturday 18 January at the Aerosud canteen in centurion. This was the second training camp of its kind and after the camp held last year the SAPFA board decided to have a series of these events this year to promote the sport and introduce “New Blood” into the fold. South Africa will be hosting the 2020 World Rally Flying Championships in Stellenbosch in November this year and hope to enter a record number of teams from South Africa. To achieve this the sport has to be grown as there hasn’t been much growth over the last few years. Rob Jonker welcomed the thirty odd participants, comprising of some Prot

Innocent Civil Aircraft Shot Down in Conflict Zones

Korean Air Lines flight 007 Flight 007, shot down by Soviet air-to-air missiles on September 1, 1983, near Sakhalin Island, Russia, killing all 269 persons on board. It was en route to Seoul from Anchorage, Alaska, when it strayed more than 200 miles from its scheduled path and entered Soviet airspace. Soviet authorities claimed that the plane was on an intelligence-gathering mission for the United States, though no evidence supported the allegation. The incident occurred during heightened tensions during the Cold War and further degraded U.S.-Soviet relations. The flight originated in New York City and stopped in Anchorage to refuel. At approximately 4:00 AM local time on August 31, 1983, t

SAA Consolidates Selected Flights

South African Airways (SAA) is in the process of consolidating selected domestic flights between the airline’s main hub, Oliver Tambo International Airport Johannesburg (JNB) and Cape Town (CPT), as well as between Johannesburg (JNB) and Durban’s King Shaka (DUR) airports. SAA is working closely with its sister airline, Mango, to re-accommodate passengers on alternative services operated by both airlines to minimise disruption, and thereby ensure passengers reach their destination as quickly as possible. The following domestic flights operated by SAA have been cancelled: Johannesburg (JNB) – Cape Town (CPT) SA303 Depart 0530 Arrive 0735 Dates: 20, 21 & 24 January SA307 Depart 07

Airlink to Operate Under Own Flight Code “4Z”

Airlink, Africa’s largest privately-owned airline, will operate under its own “4Z” flight code on services operated with effect from 11 June 2020. This decision represents an important milestone in extending the commercial reach of the airline in its own right. Selling seats on flights under the “4Z” flight code will enable Airlink to develop more routes and frequencies on an independent basis, as well as extend opportunities to establish new agreements with leading international airlines. Airlink and South African Airways (SAA) have redefined their partnership by replacing their franchise agreement with a new commercial arrangement from 11 June 2020. Where in terms of the franchise, flights

News Letter 19 January 2020

Good day all Welcome back and Happy New year to everyone may this be an amazing year for everyone. The aviation calendar is slowly coming to life with a few events planned for this weekend, SAC will be hosting the joint “Judges Trophy” and Gauteng Regional aerobatics championships on Saturday and Sunday at Vereeniging Airfield (Click on Picture for more Info) SAPFA will be hosting a Rally Navigation Training Day at Aerosud in Centurion, anyone that is interested in joining the growing Rally Flying fraternity or just want to learn a bit about Rally Flying this is your opportunity to learn from the best. (Click on Picture for more Info) Man airlifted to safety by 15 Squadron Oryx A 15 Squadro

Luxury Airship Travel Due To Return - Airlander 10

The notion of floating slowly above the ground, in absolute luxury, watching the beautiful scenery pass by beneath you is about to once again become a reality. Details have just been released the a of a full production version of the Airlander 10 aimed specifically at civilian use. As compared to the current functioning prototype, the new model will have a sleeker, more aerodynamic hull. This design update is based on both wind tunnel testing and computer modelling, along with data gathered during test flights of the prototype. Its changed shape is particularly visible in the form of a rounder nose, and a new tail section. The cabin will also be more aerodynamic, plus it will be longer. The

Iran and Iraq Airspace Ban will Cost Airlines Dearly

On Saturday 11 January the EU's air safety agency (EASA) joined the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in issuing an advisory to airlines to avoid flying over Iran and Iraq, after Tehran admitted mistakenly shooting down a Ukraine International Airlines B737, killing 176 people. After days of denials, Iranian authorities finally acknowledged that air defences had brought the Ukrainian airliner down with missiles, blaming "human error." Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has ordered his armed forces to address "shortcomings" so that such a disaster does not happen again. Intense competition, a global economic slowdown, rising fuel prices and pressure from regulators to r

Engine Out? Establishing a Minimum Trim Glide

Your propeller has just stopped, and “things” just got very real! Your aircraft has been transformed from a powerful beast to a very heavy expensive glider. How you manage the next few minutes could be critical to your survival. We were all taught very early in our training how to establish best glide airspeed in the hope that we will never actually have to establish this under pressure. It is a speed that every flight instructor expects you to know instantaneously and you have probably never been on a check-ride that doesn’t include at least one question about it somewhere. The best glide speed is the airspeed at which an aircraft will travel the farthest for a given altitude, there is only

Convair F2Y Sea Dart – The First and Only Supersonic Seaplane

The Sea Dart began as Convair's entry in a 1948 U.S. Navy contest for a supersonic interceptor aircraft. During the time, there was much scepticism about the ability to operating supersonic aircraft from carrier decks. So, in order to address this issue, U.S. Navy ordered many subsonic fighters. The concerns were valid, since many supersonic designs of the time required long take-off rolls, had high approach speeds, and were not very stable or easy to control—all factors that were troublesome on a carrier. The Sea Dart was a prototype single-seat fighter designed and built by the Convair Division of General Dynamics Corporation at San Diego, California. It was equipped with retractable skis