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News Letter 24 January 2019

Good day all

2019 is now in full swing and the aviation world is starting to get more and more active. SAPFA will be hosting a navigation rally at Rand Airport on Saturday 26 January, the results of this rally will be taken into consideration when the National (Protea) team is chosen to represent South Africa in the World Championships in 2020.


Entry Fee: R400 per a/c

Programme of the Day:

08:00 Breakfast available at the Harvard Cafe

09:00 Compulsory Briefing

Prize Giving after the event - time to be advised.

CemAir fail to overturn the SACAA Grounding

Is this the end for CemAir?

Yesterday an urgent application to have its Part 121 and Part 135 Air Operators Certificates (AOC) reinstated was dismissed with costs in the Johannesburg High Court.

As I am not in any way a “legal expert” I am not going to comment on the merits of the judgment, I do however fell very sorry for the 300 odd employees of CemAir that now face a very uncertain future. The SACAA seemed to wield a very big stick in the CemAir case and I feel that more should have been done in assisting the airline to become fully compliant rather than affecting a complete grounding, for what appears to be administrative issues.

Photo CemAir

We will keep an eye on developments and hope that CemAir returns to the air in the near future. Coming back from a setback of this nature may be a bridge to far for the relatively small airline.

Boeing Autonomous eVTOL Makes First Flight

Boeing NeXT completed the first test flight of its electrically powered, fully autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) eVTOL prototype in Manassas, Virginia. The aircraft, designed by Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle's autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.

The PAV measures 30 feet long, 28 feet wide, and has a maximum range of 50 miles. It integrates propulsion and wing lift to achieve hover and forward flight. Power is distributed to a multi-blade propulsor in the rear of the aircraft for thrust and to eight smaller rotors positioned on beams beneath the wings to create lift during hover/low-speed operations.

"This is what revolution looks like, and it's because of autonomy," said John Langford, president and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences. "Certifiable autonomy is going to make quiet, clean, and safe urban air mobility possible." Boeing NeXt also is developing other platforms, including an unmanned fully electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) designed to transport up to 500 pounds. The CAV has been successfully flown indoors and will transition to outdoor flying later this year.

SA earns global recognition in space science capabilities

South Africa has won an extraordinary victory in space science, with the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) being selected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to become the designated regional provider of space weather information to the entire aviation sector using African airspace.

This means that every aircraft flying in the continent's airspace will rely on SANSA for the space weather information it needs to submit as part of its flight plan. Space weather, which can influence the performance and reliability of aviation and other technological systems, is caused by the sun, the nature of the Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere, and the earth’s location in the solar system.

SANSA, an entity of the Department of Science and Technology, underwent an extensive assessment to earn the distinction of becoming one of two ICAO-designated regional space weather centres – the other being a joint Russia-China centre.

SANSA will partner with one of the ICAO's three global space weather centres, PECASUS, the Pan-European Consortium for Aviation Space Weather User Services, to provide ICAO with space weather information for the African region. PECASUS is a consortium of nine European countries, and partnering with it will provide South Africa with better access to international models and expertise.


This victory comes shortly after the launch of the continent’s most advanced nanosatellite so far, the ZACube-2, in December 2018.


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