News Letter 2 May 2019


Good day all

I greet you today from a very windy and sometimes misty Saldanha Bay where PTAR fever is in the air, all preparations are on track for the race which will be taking place tomorrow and Saturday. Events of this nature would never happen without the generosity of the many sponsors; they all deserve a Massive thank you form all the competitors and everyone else involved with this prestigious race.

The Minister of Sport and Cultural Affairs Anroux Marais officially opened the Race this afternoon followed by a short address by the Mayor of Vredenburg Marias Koen.

The current Rally flying National Champion, Mary de Klerk, then offered a short training talk for all the racers, her advice could help a first timer to do much better than expected. After the training the Official Race Briefing was held and then it was time for the teams to receive their race numbers. Jonty Esser put together a video on every team and each one was shown on the big screen as they made their way to the stage to receive their numbers.

With all the formalities out the way tomorrow will be the first day of serious racing the briefing will be held at 8:00 and the first take-off will be at 10:00. Check back in every day for Updates on the Race.

Brakpan Aero Club will be hosting a Mercedes Day at Brakpan Airfield on Saturday 5 May. Members of the Aero Club will be offering flips and for the photographers there will be amazing opportunities to photograph aircraft with these wonderful aircraft.

Boeing executive points at pilot error for two fatal crashes

Boeing's CEO said the pilots did not "completely" follow procedures outlined to prevent the kind of malfunction that probably caused the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet, which killed all 157 people on board. CEO Dennis Muilenberg said the safety systems on its 737 Max jets were properly designed, but he added that the airline is working to make them safer following two recent deadly crashes.

The aircrafts MCAS was a common link in both crashes. It met Boeing's design and safety criteria, and adhered to certification protocols, Muilenberg told reporters yesterday, following Boeing's annual shareholder meeting in Chicago. Boeing executives faced shareholders' tough questions about the 737 Max crisis at the meeting. Shareholders had a lot to gripe about. The company's stock has lost about 10 per cent of its value since the March 10 crash, which prompted a worldwide grounding of the 737 Max last month.

Ethiopian officials said earlier this month that pilots flying Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 repeatedly performed all of Boeing's procedures, but could not control the plane before it crashed. “It's our responsibility to eliminate this risk. We own it and we know how to do it," Muilenburg said on April 4. Yesterday, Muilenburg reiterated that Boeing can make some improvements to make the 737 Max safer to fly. “Going forward we have identified a way to improve," he said. "I am confident that again will make one of the safest airplanes in the air to fly. ...We know this is a link in both accidents that we can break."

He insisted that Boeing makes safety its top priority, and he said the company has been doing everything it can to find a solution. And he vowed the 737 Max will become the safest plane in the air once Boeing develops a fix to the automatic safety feature that is the focus of the two crash investigations. “These enduring values are at the core of everything we do," Muilenburg said in his prepared remarks. "Yet, we know we can always be better. We have a responsibility to design, build and support the safest airplanes in the sky. The recent accidents have only intensified our dedication to it."

Shareholders voted on one proposal that would have separated the positions of chairman and CEO, both of which are now held by Muilenburg. A preliminary vote on that measure was supported by only 34 per cent of the shares — better than the amount of support a similar measure received last year, but still far short of a majority.

The resolution predated the current 737 Max crisis. Two shareholder advisory firms recommended votes in favour of the resolution this time. "Shareholders would benefit from the most robust form of independent oversight to ensure that the company's management is able to regain the confidence of regulators, customers and other key stakeholders," said one of those services, ISS, in a note urging support for the measure. Muilenburg also said a preliminary vote showed that 92 per cent of the shares supported the company's executive compensation package.

A small group of protesters braved pouring rain and cold outside the annual meeting. Most held large photos of some of the people killed on the two flights. One held signs reading "Boeing's arrogance kills," and "Prosecute Boeing & execs for manslaughter."

Questions remain as to whether Boeing did everything it could to ensure the planes were as safe as possible. For example, four Boeing employees called a Federal Aviation Administration whistle-blower hotline to report damage to the wiring of sensors.

Boeing also made airlines pay extra if they wanted an alert that lets pilots know if two sensors are contradicting each other. After the crashes, the company said in congressional testimony it would make that feature standard on planes in the future. Muilenburg defended that earlier decision to include the alert as an option in his prepared remarks. "We don't make safety features optional," he said. "Every one of our airplanes includes all of the safety features necessary for safe flight."

Muilenburg said again that the company is getting close to a software fix. It has completed 146 flights of the 737 Max, totalling roughly 246 hours of air time with the updated software. He said he personally has flown on two of those test flights.

200th Citation Latitude Rolls Off Cessna Line

Textron Aviation has produced its 200th Cessna Citation Latitude midsize jet and recently marked the milestone with its employees at a special ceremony at the company’s Wichita plant, the OEM announced recently.

Fractional aircraft provider NetJets will take delivery of this milestone midsize jet later this year. The model has led Textron Aviation’s Citation jet deliveries for the past three years, and the Latitude fleet has accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours since its entry into service in third quarter 2015. It has since been certified in 43 countries.

Textron Aviation has a Citation Latitude on static display at this week at ABACE 2019. With a flat floor and cabin height of six feet, the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D1-powered twinjet has seating for up to nine passengers. With four passengers, the $17.3 million Latitude has a range of 2,700 nm at its 446-knot high-speed cruise. NetJets is among the Latitude’s largest customers, with firm orders and options for up to 200 of the type. As of 2018, Textron Aviation has delivered 80 Latitudes to NetJets.

#PTAR

1/19

1/17