Good day and a very Happy New Year to you all.
Most of South Africa started the year on a very wet note with continuous rain, which seems to finally be clearing today. Although we desperately need the rain it has been a frustrating time for pilots that would love nothing more than to get out and fly in 2019.
Flightline Weekly will be covering all the major aviation events this year and as we are heading towards the Aero Club of South Africa’s Centenary this year promises to be a bumper year for aviation. We are looking forward to bringing you all the news, reports and of course photographs on a weekly basis.
We will be publishing our first edition for 2019 (Edition 1 Vol 3) on Tuesday 8 January.
SA paraplegic pilot Mike Lomberg dies in plane crash in Thailand
“Dear friends, we have the sadness to inform you of the death of our friend Mike Lomberg following the accident that occurred shortly before landing at Bang Phra Airport in Thailand. This tragic accident is now inexplicable. The investigation is in progress,” Handiflight Around the World said on its Facebook page on December 30 2018.
Mike, 60, a former South African Air Force pilot who became disabled after a spinal cord injury sustained in a car crash. He joined Handiflight, a Switzerland-based non-profit and disability rights-advocacy group, after he was disabled in 28 years ago. The trip was part of a round-the-world adventure which began on 18 November 2018 in Geneva, Switzerland. It was expected to end in September 2019.
Lomberg said on his Facebook page on 28 December 2018 that it was his first trip to Thailand. Those involved in the trip were flying from Chittagong, Bangladesh, to Chiang Rai in the north of Thailand.
Mike you will be missed by all in the aviation community in South Africa and the world, RIP
A Leonardo AW139 crashed after clipping a zip-line
A SAR-configured Leonardo AW139 operated by the UAE’s National Search and Rescue Centre crashed Saturday after clipping the world’s longest zip-line on Jebel Jais Mountain in the United Arab Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. All four crew aboard were killed. Photos of the crash show the helicopter hitting the zip-line and bursting into flame on impact. The accident occurred at 5:50 p.m. local time while the helicopter was en route to pick up an injured patient on Jebel Jais.
Jebel Jais is the highest peak in the UAE, the zipline is 2,80 km long and positioned at an altitude of 5,512 feet near the summit of the mountain which is at 6,345 feet. The mountain is a popular destination for tourist and locals looking to escape the UAE’s extreme heat and is a frequent destination for first responders dealing with hiking injuries and auto accidents.
The country's National Search and Rescue Centre said four people had died they were Pilots Saqr Saeed Mohamed Abdullah al-Yamahi and Hameed Mohamed Obaid al-Zaabi, Navigator Jasim Abdullah Ali Tunaiji and South African Paramedic Mark Roxburgh.
Bombardier Global 6000 new orders
While Bombardier is continuing development of its new Global 6500 program, the in-production Global 6000 confirmed new orders with the most recent announcement of the sale of four to an undisclosed customer. Bombardier valued the transaction at $310 million based on list prices and an accompanying contract for services.
Bombardier did not detail the delivery plans but has maintained that the 6,000-nm Global 6000 and its Global 5000 (5,200-nm) sibling would remain in production depending on market demand. The company late next year plans to begin delivery of the next generation of the Global models, the 6500 and 5500, which will sport new Rolls-Royce Pearl engines, a re-profiled wing, and new flight deck and interior features including a Collins combined vision system head-up display. Initial plans call for all four models—including the 5000 and 6000—to be built simultaneously.
The Global 5000/6000 family has remained a solid seller for Bombardier, with approximately fifty of the aircraft handed over in most years, peaking at eighty in 2014. Twenty-nine of the aircraft have been handed over through the first three quarters of this year.
The 6000, which can reach speeds of Mach 0.89, can link Moscow to Los Angeles nonstop with eight passengers and four crew. The aircraft is offered with Bombardier’s Premier cabin, which incorporates features based on the flagship Global 7500 interior.
Aviation Safety Network releases 2018 airliner accident statistics
The Aviation Safety Network released the 2018 airliner accident statistics showing a total of 15 fatal airliner accidents, resulting in 556 fatalities.
Despite several high-profile accidents, the year 2018 was one of the safest years ever for commercial aviation, Aviation Safety Network data show. Yet, last year was worse than the five-year average.
Over the year 2018, the Aviation Safety Network recorded a total of 15 fatal airliner accidents , resulting in 556 fatalities. This makes 2018 the third safest year ever by the number of fatal accidents and the ninth safest in terms of fatalities. The safest year in aviation history was 2017 with 10 accidents and 44 lives lost.
Looking at that five-year average of 14 accidents and 480 fatalities, last year was worse on both accounts.
Twelve accidents involved passenger flights, three were cargo flights. Three out of 15 accident airplanes were operated by airlines on the E.U. “blacklist”, up by two compared to 2017.
Given the estimated worldwide air traffic of about 37,800,000 flights, the accident rate is one fatal accident per 2,540,000 flights.
Reflecting on this accident rate, Aviation Safety Network’s CEO Harro Ranter stated that the level of safety has increased significantly: “If the accident rate had remained the same as ten years ago, there would have been 39 fatal accidents last year. At the accident rate of the year 2000, there would have been even 64 fatal accidents. This shows the enormous progress in terms of safety in the past two decades.”
Looking back at the past five years, one thing is clear: Loss of Control accidents are a major safety concern as this type of accident was responsible for at least ten of the 25 worst accidents. Most of those accidents were not survivable.
 Statistics are based on all worldwide fatal commercial aircraft accidents (passenger and cargo flights) involving civil aircraft of which the basic model has been certified for carrying 14 or more passengers.
Consequently, the April 11 accident involving an Algerian Air Force IL-76 transport plane that killed 257 is not included. When including military transport aircraft the total number fatalities would be 917 in 25 fatal accidents.
The Aviation Safety Network is an independent organisation located in the Netherlands, Founded in 1996. It has the aim to provide everyone with a (professional) interest in aviation with up-to-date, complete and reliable authoritative information on airliner accidents and safety issues. ASN is an exclusive service of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF). The figures have been compiled using the airliner accident database of the Aviation Safety Network, the Internet leader in aviation safety information. The Aviation Safety Network uses information from authoritative and official sources.