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Good day all

Looks like we in for a busy few days with lots happening all around the country.

Blue Chip Flight school along with Eagle Air will be hosting a Safety Evening on Thursday 30 December, Karl Jensen will be giving a talk on "Aircraft Technical defects and how not to deal with it"

Starlight Aviation will be hosting an open day on Saturday 2 December please contact either the Durban or Mossel Bay offfice for more details

SAPFA invite all GA pilots to join tehm for an ANR Rally at Brits airfield on Saturday 2 December, Anyone that has taken part in an ANR before will attest to how much fun it is.

Anyone in the mood for some serious Aerobatic Action Vereeniging Airfield is the place to be on Saturday 2 December, SACSA will be hosting "The Ace of Base" meeting, most of the inland based aerobatic pilots will be competing.

With the Western Cape suffering under a crippling drought seems us here have Gauteng have returned to the daily afternoon thunderstorms know years ago as "Staatsdiens Reen". Please guys be careful when flying in the late afternoon Many dangers are associated with Thunderstorms.

The effects they have are most likely to be found in the form of turbulence, downburst, microburst, tornadoes, icing, lighting, hail, heavy rain, surface wind gusts, runway contamination, low status and bad visibility.


Severe turbulence is caused by mixing of up- and downward moving air and can be expected anywhere in and under the CB, even at distances of 25 NM ahead of and 10000 feet above the shower depending of its intensity.


A huge amount of cold air flows out of a CB causing a strong downdraught with a cross section of 2 - 5 NM in centre and horizontal wind shear and updraught around the centre and with severe horizontal wind shear outside of the CB. The total affected area may have a radius of more than 15 NM. The horizontal wind shear component may be as large as 6 kts per second over a period of 16 seconds, which exceeds the acceleration of any aircraft.


This is like a downburst but on a much smaller scale and with a cross-section of 0.5 - 2 NM. The horizontal wind may average at 45 kts with a maximum of 90 kts. It is very dangerous as the phenomena are concentrated over a small area.


Although very rear in South Africa they may develop under a shower visible by dust or moist but they can be invisible too when the air is dry under the convective condensation level. Typical horizontal dimension is several hundreds of meters and windspeeds of over 150 kts are not uncommon. Lifetime may last from several minutes to hours. Smaller types like the waterspout have a radius of 25 to 50 meters and a lifespan of about an hour.


Since the most severe icing occurs in an environment of supercooled water droplets. In a Cb this will be between levels where the temperature is around zero and minus 23° Celsius. Icing may also occur at higher level altitudes, near the top of the Cb where mixed water and ice particles may stick to the cold airframe.


Hail may be present in temperatures well above zero Celsius, the occurrence at +20° Celsius is quite normal. As hail is formed by the Bergeron Findeisen and coalescence processes, requiring supercooled water droplets, it will typically be present in the lower and medium levels of a Cb, since these droplets are scarce above the -23° Celsius level.

Heavy Rain

If rain is present in the lower parts of the CB it may cause engine flame outs and reduced visibility from the cockpit.

Gusty Winds

This may cause heavy turbulence, severe down draughts and may exceed crosswind limitation of the aircraft. Wind gusts can be present in a range of 25 NM ahead of and 15 NM around a CB.

Runway Contamination

The presence of rain or hail may result in a poor braking action. As a CB is relative short lived phenomenon braking action coefficients are hardly ever measured and actual braking action may be unexpectedly poor.


Aluminium aircraft form a Faraday cage and are relatively safe from a lightning strike. If it does happen then this will result in compass deviations, electronic failures and such. Composite aircraft, fly by wire systems, computerized navigation and the like may make an aircraft more vulnerable to a lightning strike. Lightning will occur near or in (70% of lightning occurs within the CB). An electrically charged aircraft (static electricity) can be detected by static VHF disturbances on the radio and or St Elmo's fire, at this point it is more prone to a lightning strike. Charging can also occur when flying in Cirrus clouds near CB's.

To electrically discharge an aircraft static wicks are used. They are connected to the airframe and release the electrons back to the atmosphere, thus reducing radio interference.

Low Stratus

Often seen near a shower in moist areas and affects the ceiling limits. Results in sudden visibility reduction in mountainous terrain making flight below MOCA (Minimum Obstacle Clearance Altitude) impossible without ground violations.

Poor Visibility

This will occur in heavy precipitation fog or stratus over high ground.

SA Airlink and FlySafair plan to unite under a common umberlla

Johannesburg - Airlink and Safair, two independent South African aviation groups, applied to South Africa’s Competition Commission for approval to unite under the common umbrella of the Airlink group of companies.

The proposal sees the Airlink and low-cost FlySafair airlines and Safair’s other businesses, including humanitarian aid flights, continuing to operate separately under their unique brands.

The airlines will retain their respective products, aircraft fleets, management and leadership teams. Employees will be secure with no job losses because of the consolidation.

“Airlink’s acquisition of Safair, which is financially robust and profitable, makes good business sense. It presents opportunities to reduce our combined costs, position ourselves for growth while at the same time increasing connectivity and choice while making air travel accessible and affordable for our customers across Southern Africa,” explained Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

“Our combined networks will enable us to connect 37 destinations in nine Southern African & Indian Ocean countries and St. Helena. This will stimulate and enable trade, tourism, economic growth and social development in those markets we serve,” added Foster

“Coming under a single umbrella will create economies of scale that will enable both airlines to share costs, optimise assets and remove systems duplications. This will position the new Airlink Group for future growth,” said Elmar Conradie, who will remain as Safair CEO.

In addition, the proposed new ownership structure will see Airlink continue to meet - and in future exceed - South Africa’s Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment targets.

The Safair purchase will not affect Airlink’s existing SAA franchise partnership, which continues to deliver traffic and business to SAA and Airlink while their customers benefit from the value, convenience and connectivity the arrangement provides.

As part of its continued commitment to the aviation industry within South Africa, Safair shareholder ASL Aviation Holdings will become a minority shareholder of the Airlink Group of companies. ASL Aviation Holdings is a global aviation group with 6 European and 2 Asian airlines in addition to its South African interests.

More details will be provided when the Competition Commission has made its determination, which we anticipate will be during Q1 2018.

About Airlink

Airlink was established in 1992 and is the leading regional airline in Southern Africa. It has a route network of 37 destinations in nine countries and St. Helena island.

About Safair

Safair Operations was established in 1965 and has been a leader in the provision of specialised aviation services for the past 52 years. In 2014 the company launched FlySafair, a low-cost carrier competing in South Africa’s domestic market.

Textron Aviation Inc announced the Cessna SkyCourier 408

Textron Aviation Inc announced its new twin-engine, high-wing, large-utility turboprop – the Cessna SkyCourier 408. FedEx Express,the world’s largest express transportation company and longtime Textron Aviation customer, has signed on as the launch customer for up to 100 aircraft, with an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more. Entry into service for the clean-sheet design Cessna SkyCourier is planned for 2020.

“With our depth of expertise and proven success in new product development, we were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Textron Aviation. “The aircraft will fulfill a gap in this market segment with its superior performance and low operating costs in combination with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency only a clean-sheet design can offer.”

About the Cessna SkyCourier

Built for high utilization operations, the Cessna SkyCourier 408 will be offered in cargo and passenger variants. The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with an impressive 6,000 pounds of maximum payload capability. The aircraft will also afford a maximum cruise speed of up to 200 ktas and a 900 nautical-mile maximum range.

The efficient 19-passenger variant will include crew and passenger doors for smooth boarding, as well as large cabin windows for great natural light and views. Both configurations will offer single-point pressure refueling to enable faster turnarounds.

The Cessna Caravan platform has set the standard in the single-engine utility category for decades. The Cessna SkyCourier will build on that proven success in the large-utility category, offering even greater capability and mission flexibility.

FedEx Express order

Textron Aviation has built a strong relationship with FedEx Express, which has utilized the Cessna Caravan platform in its feeder aircraft fleet for over 30 years.

“FedEx Express has had a great relationship with Textron Aviation over the years, and this new, advanced aircraft will play a key role in our feeder aircraft modernization strategy,” said David L. Cunningham, president and CEO of FedEx Express. “The Cessna SkyCourier 408 offers a number of significant features that will enhance our long-term feeder strategy.”

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