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Ed's note... AUGUST 2019 Edition 130 5 Industry Update 9 Bush Pilot - Hugh Pryor 11 Biz- Jets Feature 14 Cirrus Vision Jet 19 Flight Test - Citation Longitude 23 Defence - The Helwan HA-300 39 OR TAMBO International Feature 42 Air France Opposes Eco-Tax 54 Airline Ops - 100 Years of BA 55 Ejection Seats in Warbirds 59 Back Pages 63 Letters to the Editor

O

NE of the most challenging tasks African aviation faces is getting its importance recognised by the governments of all 54 states in Africa.

The recent remarks by Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional VP for Africa and the Middle East are essential reading for policymakers. Discussing the contribution of air transport, Albakri said that aviation has an extremely important strategic role in supporting Africa’s socio-economic development. This is implicit in the African Union’s ‘Agenda 2063’ which anticipates intra-Africa trade will grow from less than 12% in 2013 to approaching 50% by 2045, and global trade will rise from 2% to 12%. Albakri noted that air transport currently supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8 billion of GDP in Africa. Over the next 20 years demand for air transport is expected to double, with a 4.6% annual growth – the second fastest of all IATA regions globally. This translates to an extra 199 million passengers per year in 2037 for a total market of 334 million passengers. Cargo volumes are also expected to double over the next 20 years. The IATA conference was hosted in Ghana and it was thus appropriate that Ghana has explicitly included aviation as part of its National Development Plan under its UNSDG Action Plan, one of the few countries on the continent to do so. This is an enormous step forward to the goal every state should have – that of a ‘Whole of State Aviation Policy’. It is worth reiterating those factors that are considered the key challenges faced by air transport in Africa: Weak and costly infrastructure, high ticket prices, poor intraAfrica connectivity, and a proliferation of taxes and charges.

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These need to be dealt with by the individual African states as well as regionally. Reinforcing the IATA campaign for better collaboration between states, it was argued that there needs to be a strong dialogue and partnership between governments and the aviation industry if the African air transport industry is to deliver the economic and social benefits expected by the much hoped for African renaissance. IATA’s Albakri emphasised that “no state or airline can deliver the full benefits that aviation offers by operating alone; competition is part of our business, but collaboration and cooperation must be the common denominator upon which we all operate.” Thus, governments need to foster greater collaboration and execute joint actions plans to maximise aviation’s benefits. Collaboration between airlines is essential to improve connectivity and enable African enterprises to take their rightful place by exploiting their competitive advantage in the all-important global value chains. Specifically needed is an improvement in connectivity provided by African airlines in moving traffic within Africa. Significantly in this regard, South African Airways and Ghana’s Africa World Airlines have signed a cooperation agreement which should improve African connectivity. The key regional priorities for the provision of improved connectivity by the African air transport industry must be: safety, infrastructure and capacity-building, financial sustainability, high industry costs, and smarter regulation. These must be addressed on a regional basis and not merely on a country-by-country basis.

Guy Leitch

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR ARMS DEAL SLUSH FUND

the affordability study that the arms deal

I learnt in 1998 that BAE was bribing ANC

was a reckless proposition that would lead

members of parliament ahead of the 1999

South Africa into mounting fiscal, economic

As the author of Eye on the Money,

elections. Through contacts in London, I

and financial difficulties, a prediction that

it is astonishing to read Darren Olivier’s

asked the British government to investigate,

has proved tragically accurate. As a direct

article “How SAAF Acquisitions Work,” and

and Scotland Yard was detailed to that

result of the arms deal and the corruption

his unsubstantiated assertions that the

task.

I learnt to my astonishment that it

that it unleashed, our economy is stagnant

arms deal acquisitions were squeaky clean

was [then] not illegal in English law to bribe

and, as predicted, there has been a huge

because of provisions incorporated during

foreigners, and therefore there was no crime

increase in unemployment and social

apartheid era sanctions’ busting operations.

for Scotland Yard to investigate. And in

unrest. The affordability study specifically

Olivier confirms that the notoriously corrupt

Germany in respect of the warship contracts,

recommended that the BAE/Saab Gripen

and unaccountable apartheid era Special

the bribes were [then] even tax-deductible

acquisitions should be cancelled, or at least

Defence [slush] Fund finally, albeit belatedly,

as “useful business expenses!”

deferred. Instead, the Cabinet irrationally

is to be abolished in 2021/22 – i.e. after the

Roll on to 2010 and 2011, when BAE

overruled that advice with absurd insistence

20 year Barclays Bank loans for BAE/Saab

was fined US$400 million and a further

that massive economic opportunities derived

fighter aircraft are paid.

US$79 million by the US government for

from offset benefits would outweigh the risks

He has seemingly not read my book,

Saab’s violation of US export regulations

involved, including not least the foreign

though his article without any attempted

in respect of the BAE/Saab Gripen fighter

exchange risks. The arms deal contracts

explanation describes it as “weak”, and

aircraft contracts with South Africa. Roll on

were, of course, denominated in Euros and

declares that “it took a lot to subvert the

to 2012 when the man who in 1998/1999

US dollars, and not rand.

arms deal”. Accordingly, I demand right-of-

had facilitated payment of some of the

Affidavits by the British Serious Fraud

reply.

bribes to the ANC ahead of that election

Office and the “Scorpions” led to the seizure

Your readers will recall that the arms deal

became prime minister of Sweden. BAE in

in 2008 by the Scorpions of 460 boxes and

was predicated on the ludicrous rationale

particular – in which the British government

4.7 million computer pages of evidence

that R30 billion spent on armaments would

holds the controlling “golden share”

– is

against BAE/Saab. Those 160 pages of

magically generate R110 billion in offsets

organised crime on a scale that makes the

affidavits in my possession detail how and

and thus create 65 000 jobs to stimulate

Mafia look like saints.

why BAE paid bribes of £115 million (R2

South Africa’s economic development.

The South African Air Force (SAAF)

billion) to secure its South African contracts,

Offsets are internationally disreputable as a

as early as 1997 informed our government

to whom those bribes were paid, and which

scam promoted by the armaments industry

that

both

bank accounts in South Africa and overseas

in collusion with corrupt politicians to fleece

“unsuited and too expensive for South

were credited. The British have centuries

the taxpayers of both recipient and supplier

Africa’s requirements.”

SAAF during the

of experience of bribing foreigners to “do

countries. The very purpose of offsets is

1990s was still taking delivery of Israeli

the dirty work,” and then to walk away from

arms proliferation when countries such as

reconditioned Cheetah aircraft. Contrary to

the consequences. BAE’s collusion with the

South Africa have higher priorities than

Olivier’s arguments, the BAE/Saab aircraft

current Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen

squandering public resources on weapons.

were bought for the bribes rather than

is just one illustration.

The promised offset “benefits” rarely, if ever,

any rational defence requirement. When

That massive volume of evidence

materialize. They are simply instruments to

BAE repeatedly failed the tendering criteria,

against BAE was the reason for the

pay bribes.

the

BAE

proposals

were

the then Minister of Defence, Joe Modise,

appointment of the Seriti Commission of

In violation of the European Union’s

removed cost from consideration in what he

Inquiry simply because President Jacob

Code of Conduct on Arms Exports, the

described as a “visionary approach.” The

Zuma could not rebut its existence. As

British, Swedish and German governments

then Secretary for Defence, Pierre Steyn

he admitted before the ANC’s National

exerted

South

honourably resigned in 1998 rather than

Executive Committee, he was about to lose

Africa to buy armaments our country did

take accounting responsibility for such a

the case that I brought against him in

not need, and could not afford. As the

debacle.

the Constitutional Court. Nonetheless, the

massive

pressures

on

Anglican Church representative during the

5

1996-1998 parliamentary Defence Review,

FlightCom Magazine

The Cabinet was warned in 1999 by

Seriti Commission left all that evidence


Tell us what's on your mind: guy@saflyermag.co.za

un-investigated in two shipping containers, and its totally discredited report declared that there was no evidence of corruption in the arms deal. The present hierarchy in SAAF disgracefully accused Steyn of lying, and pathetically but glowingly testified before Judge Seriti how the Gripens had protected the 2010 World Cup. In return for purchase of BAE Hawks and BAE/Saab Gripen fighter aircraft at a cost of US$2.5 billion, BAE/Saab were obligated to deliver offset benefits worth US$8.7 billion – of which US$7.2 billion were in National Industrial Participations (NIPs) and US$1.5 billion in Defence Industrial Participations (DIPs). In fact, as then Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies apologetically confessed to Parliament in 2012, BAE/Saab met only 2.8 percent of the NIP obligation. Davies pleaded that his department lacked the managerial capacity to audit and manage the offsets. In fact, when parliamentarians and even the Auditor General demanded sight of the offset contracts and explanations of how this “economic miracle” worked, they were blocked by DTI officials with spurious excuses that the offsets were “commercially confidential.” The reality is that the British government specifically instructs BAE to insert “commercial confidentiality” clauses into its contracts in attempts to cover the corruption inherent in the arms trade.  Similarly, when the then CEO of Denel, Victor Moche told Parliament in 2004 that the DIP programme had been foisted onto Denel by Armscor and that Denel was losing money on 80 percent of the DIP contracts, he was fired by Alec Erwin for his indiscrete honesty. Of interest, the German Frigate and Submarine Consortia met only 2.4 percent of their obligations. The consequences, however, are still with us in 2019 with Denel’s bankruptcy.

still not fully paid for the aircraft, but the rand/dollar exchange rate has meanwhile collapsed from R6.25:US$1 to R14:US$1 currently, thus more than doubling the cost of the arms deal’s most expensive boondoggle. Those loan agreements signed by Trevor Manuel as then Minister of Finance are also in my possession. They are a textbook example of “third world” debt entrapment and, in the words of Manuel’s own legal counsel back in 2003, their default clauses are “potentially catastrophic for South Africa.” A case currently being brought by the Cape Town Peace Centre (formerly the Quaker Peace Centre) seeks to have the BAE/ Saab contracts and the Barclays Bank loan agreements cancelled. The arms deal was clearly unconstitutional in that offsets fail the provisions of section 217 (1) of the Constitution, but was also fraudulent. In the famous words of a former Chief Justice of England, Lord Denning: “fraud unravels everything”. There is no prescription on fraud, and the internationally accepted remedy for fraud is to cancel the contracts, to return the goods to England and Sweden, and to recover the money.  A luta continua!

I am presently

completing Eye on the Gold as a sequel to Eye on the Money that was published back in 2007, and intend now to expose even more detail of the disgraceful arms deal saga that betrayed South Africa’s hard-won struggle against apartheid. Olivier and other militarists repeatedly whinge about cutbacks in military spending. The answer is simple: if the admirals and generals had not blown the budget with their arms deal toys-for-boys, South Africa would not now be afflicted by its present financial, economic and political crises. Terry Crawford-Browne

DARREN OLIVIER RESPONDS: Mr

Crawford-Browne’s

response

to

my article on modern South African arms acquisition policy is uncivil and based on a fundamental misreading of the article itself. It also represents a copying and pasting of his standard claims against the Arms Deal, without any attempt to address the points I made. First, it is a standard principle when critiquing articles to focus on the content separately from headlines and captions. They are usually written by different people. The only reference to the Arms Deal in my article, which is an exploration of current arms acquisitions policy, was “Even the Arms Deal, with its controversy over selections, at least delivered good prices and was run on time and on budget because despite there being a custom (and flawed) initiation process, Armscor and the DOD used the then VB1000 to guide the negotiation and contract stage, and kept each contract to its cost ceiling.“ In other words specifying that, while the selection and initiation process was a custom deviation from standard procedure, the contracting phase followed VB 1000. I won’t attempt to debate once again the Arms Deal’s purpose, as it is too broad a subject to address in the space I have here. Suffice to say though that the Arms Deal’s acquisitions were based on long-standing defence force requirements that predated the process itself. The South African Air Force, for instance, initiated Project KAMBRO in 1993 to replace the Cheetah Cs and Ds with a modern 4th generation aircraft, and in fact envisioned much more costly and capable twin-engined fighters like the Rafale.

Even a former Minister of Defence

Project UKHOZI, under which the Gripens

acknowledged that most of those BAE/

were acquired, represented a downscaling of

Saab aircraft are in storage simply because SAAF has neither the pilots to fly them nor the mechanics to maintain them, nor even

GUY LEITCH RESPONDS:

SANDF ambitions in order to keep budgets lower. To those who have studied the Arms Deal and arms acquisitions in general over

the money to fuel them. Compounding the

Terry, we thank you for taking the time

the years, it’s clear that it was the use of a

reckless conduct of the Mbeki cabinet and

and trouble to pen such an in-depth critique

custom and untested initiation process that

without requisite authority from Parliament,

of our article in last month’s issue. We

resulted in less transparency. Indeed, the

the BAE/Saab acquisitions were financed for

feel that such input deserved a response

ability to carry out such a custom initiation

20 years by Barclays Bank. In turn, the loans

from the author directly and for our readers

process is one of the loopholes that has

are guaranteed by the British government’s

information, we have accordingly asked

been closed by the successors to VB 1000,

Export Credit Guarantee Department (now

Darren Olivier to respond.

like DAP 1000 and the present DAHB 1000.

known as UK Finance).

South Africa has

Crawford-Browne’s

description

FlightCom Magazine

of

6


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR the Special Defence Account as being

Therefore, when, or if, the Special

increasing defence spending and having

‘notoriously corrupt and unaccountable’

Defence Account is closed, there will be no

more acquisitions for their own sake. I am

is based on outdated information and

change to the level of transparency over

arguing that while we continue to have a

assumptions on the one hand, and a lack of

defence acquisitions. What will be lost is

defence force and the need to re-equip

research on the other. In reality, only a tiny

the ability to fund them by accumulating

it from time to time, that we do so in the

proportion of the Special Defence Account’s

funds from year to year and thus avoid

most transparent, logical, accountable, and

spending — less than 5% on average — falls

using external financing. In other words, the

controlled way possible to avoid corruption.

under ‘sensitive projects’ and is blocked from

very mechanism by which the SANDF is

He has done admirable work to force the

public scrutiny in terms of the Public Audit

supposed to avoid the use of loans for arms

creation of investigative commissions, but

Act. The rest of the account’s details, in

acquisitions, and the reason why none of its

he’s ignoring the fact that it’s as important to

terms of inflows, outflows, holdings, sources

post-1999 acquisitions have required such

improve the process of future acquisitions as

of funding, and so forth, are fully audited by

financing, is what he opposes.

it is to understand past ones.

the Auditor-General and made public in the DoD’s Annual Report.

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FlightCom Magazine

Contrary to his claims and personal attacks, I am not interested in merely

Darren Olivier


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Industry Update R eport : O wen H eckrath

A ROLLS HYBRID Rolls-Royce is concentrating on three areas to make future aviation more sustainable, these are: developing advances in the gas turbine engine; collaborating on the use of sustainable alternative fuel; and exploring radical alternatives such as electrification. Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Siemens proposed E-Fan X Hybrid-electric aircraft.

H

ARD on the heels of last month’s proposed acquisition of Siemens’s electric and hybrid-electric aerospace propulsion “eAircraft” business, Rolls-Royce entered an agreement with the state of Brandenburg to create a so-called ecosystem for hybrid-electric drive systems for aircraft in the German region. The arrangement, which still needs

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FlightCom Magazine

to be formalised, marks another step in the UK engine manufacturer’s electrification strategy and its ambition to play a major role in what it describes as the “third era” of aviation. The initiative aims to pioneer the development of hybrid-electric 400 to 1,000 kW propulsion systems and builds on Rolls-Royce’s existing cooperation with the Brandenburg Technical University (BTU)

in Cottbus-Senftenberg, one of the four Rolls-Royce technology university centres in Germany. The OEM maintains a global network of 24 technology university centres and seven research centres, each addressing a key technology. The state of Brandenburg and RollsRoyce committed to co-fund the initiative over the next six years, though they did not disclose the terms of the proposed investment and cooperation. The formal launch of a program is subject to appropriate approvals and regulatory clearances. The partners said they will agree on the program details before the end of 2019. “Developing world-class hybrid electric power and propulsion systems represents a significant opportunity for Rolls-Royce, which we are pursuing globally with vigour and focus,” said Dirk Geisinger, director of business aviation and chairman of RollsRoyce Deutschland. 


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BUSH PILOT HUGH PRYOR

L AN D MIN ES Yei is a good, long, compacted earth airstrip to the south of Juba in South Sudan. It’s not far from the northern border of Uganda.

S

OUTH Sudan is the stomping ground of a notorious warlord called Joseph Kony, whose private gang of drug crazed conscripts raises mayhem wherever they go. They call themselves the Lord’s Resistance Army and are paid in booty so they maraud widely in the forests on the remote hills and mountains of eastern Central African Republic, Uganda and South Sudan. They are mindlessly brutal and they ‘recruit’ young children by force and then train them as child soldiers, through fear and drugs. Failure in any respect means death without trial. In fact, the only release from service is death. Joseph Kony’s mission in life is to destabilise and rule, rather like his predecessor, Idi Amin. To many people he is the embodiment of true evil. Many governments have targeted him, including the United States, but without success, because, after each raid, the gang just fades away into the forest, leaving a pile of corpses and a burnt-out village. News of the massacre only comes out when the next trader comes across the horrific scene. Weapons are no problem. Civil war rages in Eastern Congo and the country is alive (or maybe ‘dead’ would be more appropriate) with firearms and other munitions, which leads me to where we came into the story. Kony attacked Yei one night. He hit the UN compound which was being guarded by a company of Bangladeshi soldiers who were taken completely by surprise and suffered heavy casualties as a result and lost most of their weapons. Then the LRA disappeared back into the night. The following morning at daybreak, Per, my young Norwegian co-pilot and I took off

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FlightCom Magazine

from Rumbek with ten armed replacement troops and landed at Yei as the first light was creeping over the eastern horizon. The scheduled De Havilland Dash-8 was still a good forty minutes behind us, so there was no conflict. The landing was smooth and uneventful and we stopped, cleaned up the flaps and turned off the radar, before taxing off the runway. That’s when the fun started. As we rolled into the parking area, there was a loud explosion and the aircraft seemed to stagger and lurch over, as though it’s right main wheel had fallen into a hole, which it would have done, if there had been a right main wheel there... but there wasn’t... it had disappeared, leaving the stub axle in a small crater. There followed a stunned silence which gave me just enough time to shout for everybody to sit down. Then the Bangladeshi sergeant gave his men orders, in their own language and restored order from the panic, before shrugging his shoulders at me for advice. “That was a land mine,” I said, “It means that we may be in the middle of a mine field, so you must wait here until I can find a way out.” “How you doing that?” asked the sergeant. “Very carefully!” I grinned as I opened the airstair door and sat on the top step to examine our exit route. It looked pretty clean and the marks of the grader looked fairly fresh. There was only one small area where the surface looked as though it been disturbed, so I grabbed a ball of string from my bag, tied one end to the stair line and chucked it in the direction of the passenger shelter. Then I grabbed some pebbles and threw them at the line of the string, before setting off with intense concentration, following the string, until I reached the ball, when I repeated the exercise. Eventually,

with immense relief, I reached the shed and called the sergeant. “Okay, sergeant, send your men over, one at a time and tell them that they must ONLY step on my footmarks. You understand? One at a time!” The men obeyed their sergeant to the letter and Per brought up the rear...job done...now the problem was how to get the airstrip clean enough for the rescue aircraft to get in. The answer lay with the herd of cattle which was grazing at the threshold of the runway. I told the young herdsman that he must take his cattle down to the far end of the airstrip, because the military were carrying out a mine disposal exercise and we did not want his cows to be in the way. The young lad did as he was told and drove his twenty head of cattle right down the middle of the runway and there were no more bangs. So I followed them and when I had satisfied myself that the strip was safe, I got on my hand-held transceiver and called up the Dash-8. “Hello there John. Listen, you should make this the smoothest landing you have ever dreamed of, due to the possible presence of mines. In fact, maybe you should let the co-pilot do this one! We hit one, so there is one less for you to hit.” “You are joking!” said John. “No, I’m not. Come and have a look if you don’t believe me.” So he did. After he had landed an old boy came out of the bush from the other side of the strip and presented me with half our main wheel rim. Apparently he had been enjoying a quiet moment, ridding himself of waste products, when he heard a big bang and this bit of metal came flying through the trees and nearly hit him on the head. So he was probably the luckiest of all of us! 


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BIZJETS FEATURE

FlightCom Magazine

14


BIZ-JETS INTRODUCTION Business-jets are increasingly important to open up African business.

JET AVIATION IN AFRICA Over the past fifty years jet aircraft have revolutionised air transport links in Africa. They have enabled previously inaccessible areas to be within easy reach of business investors – particularly mining companies - and as a middle class emerges, the low cost carrier airlines are making jet flying accessible to all. At the same time business jets are fulfilling an essential niche in providing access to remote destinations with a seamless quick and low hassle service.

B

UT there is still enormous scope for improvement. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is campaigning for African governments to maximize the positive social and economic power of aviation by working together to promote safe, sustainable and efficient air connectivity. AIRLINE OPERATIONS Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, speaking in 2018, noted that: “African aviation supports $55.8 billion of economic activity and 6.2 million jobs. To enable aviation to be an even bigger driver of prosperity across the continent, we must work closely with governments.”

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FlightCom Magazine

IATA wants governments and airlines to work together to improve competitiveness, developing effective infrastructure, modernizing the regulatory framework focusing on global standards and connectivity; and ensuring a welltrained and diverse workforce. Also, IATA expresses strong support for the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative. IATA’s de Juniac says: “The low density of the African intracontinental network makes it impossible to realise the potential benefits of a connected African economy. SAATM—if implemented—gives Africa the potential for economic transformation. History has shown that opening markets leads to rapid advances in connectivity.”

“Africa is an expensive place for airlines to do business. There is no shortage of examples illustrating the heavy burden that governments extract from aviation. Jet fuel costs are 35% higher than the rest of the world. User charges, as a percentage of airlines’ operating costs, are double the industry average. And taxes and charges are among the highest in the world. On top of that, $670 million of airline funds are blocked. Too many African governments view aviation as a luxury rather than a necessity. We must change that perception,” adds de Juniac. He adds: “In Africa we have [aviation] infrastructure problems in two extremes. In some cases it is overbuilt and expensive. In other cases, it is deficient and cannot meet


demand. Dialogue between industry and government is critical to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to meet demand, that airline technical and commercial quality standards are met and that the infrastructure is affordable. Achieving that will create the platform on which aviation’s economic and social benefits can be maximized.” BUSINESS JETS AND CHARTER Filling the gap created by the challenges faced by the airline industry, business jets are fulfilling an increasingly important role. Lanseria based ExecuJet Aviation Group Flight Operations GM: Philip du Preez reports that, “There are significant growth opportunities for business and charter aviation in Africa. Already, there are 481 registered private jets in Africa and the continent’s year-on-year business aviation growth is 44%. Engineering News reports Du Preez as saying that “This is despite current constraints on the sector across the continent. Thus, not all African aviation authorities work on a 24/7/365 basis, which can delay approval of overflight rights for chartered aircraft. And, currently, 50% of African citizens need a visa to visit their African neighbours. At the moment, only 27 African countries have signed the African Union’s Protocol of Free Movement of People. Hence the importance of the recently agreed Single African Air Transport Market. “I think this is going to be key,” Du Preez said. “We hope that all the countries will eventually sign up. It will create seamless air traffic across the continent, improve air service connectivity, improved continental integration, increase convenience for air passengers, save time, create jobs (especially for the young) and boost tourism. “Very important for the African business aviation sector has been the emergence of the ‘Affluent African’ demographic. “They are significantly younger than their European counterparts,” Du Preez said. Their average age is about 40 years; they are 66% men and 34% women; and nine out of ten have English as their first or second language. They make extensive use of their smart phones to access information and make purchases; in Africa, 51% of smartphone users employ their phones for travel information, while 37% of affluent Africans have bought products and services through their phones during the past year. “CNN is their number one channel of

news information gathering,” noted du Preez. Social responsibility and being environmentally friendly were top priorities for Africa’s most wealthy.” These facts have implications for the marketing of business aviation to this demographic. Rebecca Campbell of Engineering News notes that, “as far as business aviation was concerned, another important African demographic that was now emerging, especially in South Africa, is the HENRYs (High Earner, Not Rich Yet). People in this category included those likely to make their first private flights, perhaps paid for by their employers. For every ultra-affluent household, there were ten HENRY households. HENRYs were also socially influential and very brand-loyal: if a company wins their loyalty, it will keep it. This applies to air charter companies as well. Meanwhile, new business opportunities are emerging for business aviation across the continent. Du Preez cited Benin as an example. “That West African country was moving to establish itself as a rival to Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania for safari holidays. However, its national parks are at the northern end of its territory, very far from its international airport at Cotonou

on the south coast, and only one other airport in Benin, Parakou, has scheduled commercial airline services, and Parakou, although much closer to the national parks, is still a significant distance from them. “Consequently, affluent tourists (not just Europeans) are now chartering business jets in Europe and flying to Benin.” Why not, queried Du Preez, out of South Africa and other African countries? “There are clear opportunities both to fly people to and from Benin and to fly them within Benin (even with single-engined turboprop types). He urged partnerships between African operators to exploit these and equivalent opportunities in other African countries. He also urged that, in moving into new African markets, operators source as much as possible from local suppliers, employ and upskill as many locals as possible, and generally engage the local business sectors and communities.” The bottom line for airline and business jet operators in Africa is that the market is strong and growing. There are enormous opportunities, from both the natural growth of the market and from the challenges generated by the various African governments and their state-owned airlines. 

IATA's Alexandre de Juniac urges better cooperation between government and the aviation industry.

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COMMENTARY GUY LEITCH

CIR RUS VISION JET Worth the wait? The normally choleric Piet van Blerk is a happy man. In late June the first of the long-awaited Cirrus SF50 Vision Jets was flown from the USA by its proud new owners. And there are 19 more still to be delivered in South Africa. Cirrus Vision Jet - The world's first personal jet.

C

IRRUS’S SF50 Vision Jet has had a long and painful gestation. Like many bold new aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, it almost bankrupted its

maker. Cirrus was doing famously well with its piston engine range, regularly claiming the top slot for piston single-engine sales with its SR22, ahead of stalwart Cessna. So the company decided to broaden its range, and what better way than to use the SR22 as a platform for a Very Light Jet (VLJ). In October 2006 Cirrus started taking U$100,000 deposits for a jet priced below $1 million, with certification promised for 2010. Performance goals were modest: a 300 knot cruise at 25,000 ft and Cirrus’s whole-plane parachute system. Cirrus described it as the “slowest, lowest, and cheapest jet available.” At that time Very Light Jets were the flavour of the month. There was much hype about air taxis – much like the current

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electric VTOL air taxi hype. There was increasing talk of a bubble. Billions of dollars were sucked into the hype of VLJs. A bouquet of startups fronted by brash CEOs made grand predictions but did not have the staying power or know-how to go the distance. Within a few years most of them had closed factories and each failure represented the loss of millions of investors’ deposits and the end of a grand dream, albeit one which has enduring appeal. The dream of light jets goes back over 60 years – to the first days of jets. The earliest light jet was the two-seat French SIPA 200 Minijet, which first flew in 1952. But it took more than 50 years, to 2006, for the first mainstream VLJ to fly; Cessna’s Mustang. Vern Raburn’s much vaunted Eclipse followed shortly thereafter. Raburn was one of the infamous ‘accidental billionaires’ created by the ‘dot-con’ boon and he boasted of selling the twin engine Eclipse for less than U$1 million each. The

serious aviation analysts just quietly sucked their teeth in disbelief, especially at the claimed 2,800 orders, many of which were going to an ‘airtaxi’ operator, DayJet, which had yet to open its doors. As the VLJ bubble began bursting the VLJ moniker became as popular as a pig in Palestine. Cessna quickly switched to calling their U$ 2.7m Mustang an ‘entrylevel jet’. Meanwhile Cirrus kept doggedly on with its own VLJ – which was pitched at a far more basic market with just one engine and an airframe parachute to appeal to the pilots who wanted to step up from their SR22. And unlike Raburn – Cirrus reckoned that having just one engine would enable them to genuinely keep the price around U$1 million. In early 2007, Cirrus showed deposit holders a jigsaw puzzle of the Vision Jet – one piece at a time. Perhaps in recognition of its modest performance, they described it as a “personal jet” But building planes is hard, and reality slowly set in. Timelines were extended again and again. Some buyers felt they had been conned and got angry – particularly with Eclipse, which had made the most brash claims about price, delivery dates and performance – on all of which it was failing badly. An internet blog was so vociferous and unrelenting that Eclipse initiated legal action to discover the identity of the bloggers. Eclipse was on the ropes, until it received a substantial cash infusion from a new investor at the beginning of 2008 and announced plans for the construction of an assembly facility in Russia. Cirrus was not immune. Gradually the


pressure and costs of developing a VLJ wore even Cirrus down as well. By 2007 the first Vision Jet had flown, but the company was in trouble. Founder and CEO Alan Klapmeier offered to leave – and take the troubled jet project with him. And the 2008 recession was around the corner. By 2011 it had become necessary to sell the entire Cirrus company to China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Co. (CAIGA). At that stage Cirrus admitted that it would still require at least three years and more than $100 million to certify its jet. Meanwhile the serious plane makers with deeper pockets continued to push ahead with their VLJs. Cessna delivered a couple of hundred Mustangs and Embraer likewise with its Phenom 100. But these were proper small jets, not the single engine ‘personal jet’ that Cirrus was still trying to get certified and delver to its patient deposit payers. The biggest problem was the unrealistic sales price. Any idea of selling a personal jet for U$1 million was shown to be pie in the sky. But the Cirrus position holders were a surprisingly patient bunch, even as the price went up to U$1.39M for deposit holders and US$1.72M for new buyers. The certification date was pushed out again - to mid-2013, to develop the fullaircraft parachute system. In February 2013 the aircraft was repriced at US$1.96M and in April certification flight testing was pushed out to 2014. Yet still orders came in and the waiting list grew to 500 with deposits paid. To mollify the long waiting list Cirrus said they intended to produce as many as 125 aircraft per year. More money was needed to ramp up production and they persuaded their hometown, Duluth, to commit U$6 million and the state of Minnesota to contribute U$4 million to build a factory to produce the jet. In April 2015, confident the certification would be on schedule and no modifications needed, Cirrus started production of the first of its more than 500 orders. More delay was caused when certification was shifted from 2015 to the first half of 2016 due to the ballistic parachute testing, until the FAA was persuaded to waive its requirement after the four flight test aircraft had flown more than 1,700 hours. Remarkably, and as testimony to the deposit placeholders’ faith in the company, and the inherent attributes of the Vision Jet, the orderbook continued to grow, and by

July 2016 it had swelled to over 600, despite certification having been delayed to the fourth quarter of the year. Eventually, on 28 October 2016, after a fraught ten-year development process marked with myriad technical and financial challenges, the Cirrus SF50 earned its type certificate from the FAA and in so doing became the first civilian single-engine jet to be type certified. Deliveries started on 19 December 2016. By July 2017 production

The full-aircraft parachute system caused many certification delays.

had been ramped up to one per week, leaving a 10 year production backlog - but still a long way from the 125 aircraft a year Cirrus had promised. Then just when things were beginning to settle down, Cirrus carried on its tradition of built-in obsolescence. There must have been a collective intake of breath when Cirrus announced its G2 version in January 2019. Like car makers bringing out a new model every few years, Cirrus has done that with its piston range and had now done it to its jet buyers – who hadn’t even taken delivery of their long awaited planes.

But there was no need for alarm. Rather like Oprah’s famous “everyone gets a car!” stunt, Cirrus magnanimously said that all those who had not yet received their G1 version of the jet could automatically get G2 for just a small extra cost. Few declined the upgrade, because it was a really big improvement. Sceptics had looked at the diminutive jet somewhat disparagingly – pointing out that it couldn’t reliably fly Joburg - Cape Town with a diversion to George and that it was short of payload and speed - and wasn’t even RVSM approved. The G2 version has addressed all these concerns and has also added many really useful improvements, such as auto throttles, improved avionics and interiors, a quieter cabin and of course the much desired improvements in performance. Cirrus marketing material claims, “An expanded flight envelope to Flight Level 310 raises the performance and capabilities of the all-new aircraft. This new access to Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) flight levels now increases the Vision Jet’s range to over 1,200nm. On a typical mission, G2 now provides increased flexibility to carry an additional 150 lb on an 800 NM mission and pushes top cruise speed even further above 300kts.” The only drawback is the price, which has escalated from the original dreamed of U$1m to U$2.75 million. Piet van Blerk argues that the single engine Vision Jet has no competitors, as it is still a lot cheaper than the roughly comparable TBM940 single turboprop which costs US4.25 million and its direct equivalent, the now discontinued Eclipse 550 which cost U$2.5m – but does have two engines. If I had the money I would make sure I owned one! 

Side-stick control gives a fighter jet feel, but better sense of control for first-timers.

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FLIGHT TEST REPORT: GUY LEITCH | IMAGES: COURTESY OF TEXTRON

Trevor Cohen

CESSNA CITATION LONGITUDE

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Cessna's Longitude sets new standards for mid-size biz-jets.

THE MID-SIZE JET TO BEAT Cessna’s much awaited Longitude ‘super-midsize’ bizjet has just completed an African tour. It is a seriously impressive aircraft that raises the bar for almost all biz-jet standards.

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FLIGHT TEST

A big vote of confidence for the Citation Longitude comes from bulk buyer NetJets.

I

N 2016 Cessna brought the Longitude’s smaller sibling, the Latitude, to South Africa on a sales tour. We covered the Latitude extensively in our October 2016 issue and it’s fascinating to see how the latest and greatest of Cessna’s midsize jet family sets new standards. There are three new jets in Cessna’s mid-size range, the Latitude is the smallest, the Longitude fits in the middle and the still to be flown Horizon is the largest. The Longitude is a perfect example of Textron’s design philosophy of evolutionary product development. They have taken the best bits of their existing business jets, added the latest technology such as a new ‘moderate super-critical’ wing with a 27-degree sweep, and produced an aircraft that impresses all who have experienced it. The aircraft that toured Africa in June was operating on a provisional type certification, which limited it to demonstration flights flown by Cessna’s pilots. But we nonetheless were able to get all the key experiences of what it’s like, especially for the ‘grand fromage’ in the cabin who pays the bills. ON THE GROUND The most obvious difference between the Latitude and Longitude is the latter’s high and proud T-tail vs the Latitude’s more Hawkerlike cruciform tail. The other major difference is the fuselage length which makes the Longitude look like a far sleeker and faster aircraft than the Latitude – and perhaps closer to the super-fast Citation X, albeit without the X’s monster engines. Unlike many other mid-size bizjets which can appear to be portly thanks to a short fat fuselage, the proportions of the Longitude seem right. On the nose the Longitude has dual angle of attack vanes for the stick pusher and, in a first for a Citation, ice-detection probes. The long nose houses Garmin’s latest and greatest GWX 80 Doppler digital weather radar. For ETOPS operations, dual oxygen tanks are mounted in the nose bay. The wing is a thing of beauty – long and thin, and with a slippery smoothness despite its aluminium construction. It is rounded off by elegantly proportioned upswept winglets. Beneath the wings the reassuringly sturdy looking trailing link undercarriage is short so there’s no need for a ladder to access the aft baggage compartment from the outside.

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As in most modern biz-jets, all lights are LEDs. All access panels have courtesy lights that switch on when the panel is opened. These lights are powered by one of two big lithium batteries, leaving the other battery for starting the APU. There is single point refuelling with a fuel computer in the fuel access panel, which allows controlled refuelling without having to have someone monitor the tank levels from the flight deck. The vacuum lavatory is externally serviced. An interesting aspect of the fuel tank design is that it uses an airline type transfer system to move fuel, instead of a slower crossfeed-type system. Cessna had a fraught conflict with the FAA late in the certification programme when the FAA decided the portion of the tanks inside the wing root fairings constituted a “centre fuel tank.” Because of that the FAA decided the Longitude had to meet the fuel tank flammability requirements demanded by the certification changes that occurred after the TWA Flight 800 accident, where the centre fuel tank exploded. Finally, Textron was granted partial exemption until January 2020, allowing the company to complete limited certification and do demo tours. The engines are the Honeywell’s HTF7700L, each delivering 7,600 pounds of thrust. The Honeywell 36-150 APU can be run up to 35,000 feet. In terms of Cessna’s mix-n-match parts strategy, the Latitude created a new stand-up fuselage and put it on the CE-680 Sovereign’s wings. I fondly believed that the Longitude simply used the Latitude’s fuselage on a new pair of wings and engines. But aviation is never simple and there is a world of difference between the Latitudes cabin and the Longitude’s. INSIDE Access to the cabin is via a reassuringly sturdy and comfortably wide airstair door with a fold-out handrail that is stiffer than it looks. At the top of the stairs is a well-equipped six-foot galley with wet sink and hot water. The Longitude cabin has the same flat floor, six foot height, and 77 inch width as the Latitude, but the Longitude’s cabin is 41 inches longer, providing an extra two seats. Two seating configuration options are available: the standard layout with four club seats forward and four in the aft area, or an optional three-place divan in


the rear opposite two club seats. With more than 30 inches of knee room between the club seats, the Longitude claims to have the best legroom in its class. The side facing divan can be used for takeoff and landing. You could squeeze in 10 pax if you include the optional jump seat, which can face forward or aft and can be removed when not needed, freeing up space in the cockpit. Strangely, the vacuum potty is not belted, so cannot be used as a passenger or cabin attendant seat. The Longitude’s final certification will be for a somewhat cosy 12 passengers. You can access the baggage compartment through the toilet cubicle or from a hatch behind the left wing. The baggage compartment is heated and pressurised, is fully accessible and holds up to 1,000 pounds. Total baggage capacity is 112 cu ft and 1,115 pounds. The optional side facing divan can be converted into a bed. And the forward-facing club seats can rotate 180 degrees to make flat beds. Unlike some so-called lie-flats, the Longitude’s are genuinely flat because, as you recline the backs, the seat squab rises.

In all, four can sleep comfortably on the Longitude. Given its seven-hour endurance this is probably a necessity. A switch on the window frames lowers the shades. They can also be used as blackouts, creating a dark sleeping compartment. If buttons are a challenge for a luddite CEO there’s an app compatible with Apple and Android, to control almost everything in the cabin— window shade position, temperature, lighting, entertainment choices and volume, and much more. You can play music through the sound system from onboard choices or pull it from your favourite device. Same with video to the onboard monitors. For in flight movies there’s an HDMI cable to connect to the monitors. And, naturally a plethora of cup holders, foldable tables, drawers, and cabinets for storage. Bizjet cabins have to have great internet connectivity. The Longitude features Gogo Business Aviation’s air-to-ground system, which will soon be switched to the latest Avance L5 version. A Garmin GSR 56 Iridium satcom is also included as standard. One telephone handset is located at the VIP seat and another in the flight deck. A second

GSR 56 is installed to provide datalink for FANS and ATN-B1 services, which means that Longitude pilots can take advantage of ground and airborne air traffic control digital clearance delivery and messaging in the U.S. and Europe. For weather information, the GSR 56 can download weather via Iridium satellites. IN THE AIR Everyone who sampled the Longitude enthused about how quiet the cabin was. Our usual biz-jet tester (and Challenger loyalist) Larry Beamish, was particularly impressed that passengers could converse quietly across the width of the cabin. This recognises the large effort Cessna put in to create a quiet cabin. Cessna built a laboratory to detect the volume and frequency of every sound in the cabin, and its source. From there they set out to find ways to quiet each one. The noise of air flow, both outside the cabin and inside the pressure hull, were key concerns. For example, they discovered that the airconditioned air entering the cabin was roaring. A few baffles in the ducting slowed the air down, reducing noise.

Longitude cockpit dominated by three G1000 PFDs.

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FLIGHT TEST

The pressurisation outflow valve was located as far as possible from the passenger compartment. Any openings to the outside, such as air scoops, doors, and access panels were evaluated for noise contribution. The curtain used to blank off the noise from the airstair door is particularly substantial. For flights of five hours or more the pressurisation differential is important. The Longitude manages a cabin altitude of 6000 feet at its 45,000-foot maximum operating altitude. The Longitude’s flight control system is similar to the Latitude’s, with mechanically controlled ailerons and elevator (with trimmable stabiliser) and fly-by-wire rudder and spoilers. The yaw damper is operational all the time. In a one-engine-inoperative situation the rudder automatically adjusts for the inop engine, although the pilot still has to step on the rudder and thus remains in the loop during single-engine operations. For extra performance in Africa’s hot-and-high operations, with one-engine out the remaining engine is capable of delivering a ‘through the gate’ power boost for up to 10 minutes, or with both engines running, for five minutes, which is helpful during windshear or

Displays (PFDs) and a Multi-Function Display (MFD) in the middle. The three 14-inch displays plus four touch screen controllers allow access to all major systems, including synoptics for fuel, electrical, hydraulics, pressurisation, anti-icing, and more. Although the marketing material boasts a head up display (HUD), Garmin’s new GHD 2100 head-up display with enhanced vision system (Garmin’s first HUD) will not be available on the Longitude until sometime after certification. Rough cost of the optional HUD/EVS is an eye watering $500,000 to $600,000, and plans are to seek approval for lower approach minimums when using the HUD/EVS. Like the Latitude, the Longitude’s flight deck is designed for simplicity and ease of use, with minimal clutter. Much of this is due to the Garmin GTC 570 touchscreen controllers, which consolidate many functions that used to be managed with knobs, switches, and buttons. There are four touchscreen controllers, two in the centre console and one each on the left and right side. The controllers are the infrared touch type, and thus can be manipulated while wearing gloves or with the end of a pen or pencil.

Runway requirement aided by emergency power mode.

terrain avoidance. Following a power boost event, a maintenance log entry is required. Icing protection is bleed air for wing leading edges and engine inlets, and an electro-mechanical system de-ices the empennage. The dual hydraulic carbon brakes are brakeby-wire, and all brakes are available for emergency braking. Nosewheel steering is via tiller and allows for steering up 80 degrees. The nose can steer up to 9 degrees using the rudder pedals. The cockpit is dominated by the three big EFIS displays for the Garmin G5000 – two Primary Flight

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The remarkable feature of the latest generation Garmin ‘glass’ panels is the extent to which they have simplified checklists. Larry Beamish reports that the Longitude had no less than 36 fewer checklist items than the Challenger 300 he regularly flies. Many of the tests that take a lot of time and knob manipulation in older bizjets are automated by the G5000 and this speeds up the time to get the Longitude ready to fly. Some tests by the pilot are however still required such as the stick pusher, engine and baggage fire loops, overspeed, and annunciators. Cessna have worked hard to build a simpler flight


The standard cabin layout has four club seats forward and four in the aft area.

deck. Thus, the electrical system displays percentage of amps rather than number of amps being used. Electrical system load shedding is automatic, taking less important systems offline when there’s a power problem, including shutting off electricity to less important windshield panes. Dual hydraulic systems actuate the rudder and a standby electric motor provides triple redundancy. Like other modern Part 25 designs, the flight controls can be split, allowing control even if one or more flight controls becomes inoperative. The fuel system is simple: two wing tanks, each feeding an engine. The transfer setting pumps fuel to the other tank should an imbalance occur. A single-point refuelling system at the right wing root allows the pilot to enter the number of pounds of fuel needed, simplifying the calculation from pounds to litres from the fuel truck. For the demo flight out of Lanseria the cabin was five up with two pilots, giving a total weight of around 32,000 pounds. That’s 7500 pounds below the 39,500-pound MTOW. The full-fuel payload is a still very useful 1,600 pounds, not far from full tanks and full cabin. In his flight assessment AIN Online writer Matt Thurber comments that “The older Latitude’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PW306D1 engines, at 5,900 pounds of thrust each, are about the largest out there that can be battery started. The Honeywell HTF7700L Longitude engines at 7,550 lbs require an air start, which means a ground cart or the auxiliary power unit. Like the start sequence, system tests are mostly automatic. Watching the Crew Alerting System, I could see it running down a long list of checks, including actuating the

spoilers, for example. Had I had the flight control synoptics page up, I could have seen a representation of the movement there as well.” Thurber notes that “the Longitude’s tiller steering is firm and precise, and although this jet has a fairly long fuselage, I didn’t feel any jerkiness in the tiller. The carbon brakes actuated smoothly with no grabbiness. Mid-weight takeoff numbers were a V1 of 112 knots and VR of 120 knots. “The Honeywell engines gave us a snappy acceleration during takeoff, and I lifted the Longitude off smoothly, with very little pull on the yoke needed to escape the runway. Pitch forces are lighter at low speed but get heavier as the jet speeds up; a bit of trim keeps everything well under control.

The Longitude has an element of inbuilt flight envelope protection. Thurber notes that “During the descent, I pulled the power to idle and pushed the nose down, then watched the airspeed climb rapidly toward the red on the PFD. At that point, the Garmin flight control system pulled the nose up to reduce the speed. I actuated the speedbrakes to help us slow down, and they came out with nary a rumble nor any aerodynamic bump, thanks to the fly-by-wire control. The speed-brakes can be set at any intermediate setting and the pilot can move the control quickly, without causing the boss’s drink to spill. “The Garmin G5000 is remarkably advanced. The autothrottle system is a marvel to watch. Had a pressurisation problem occurred and we had passed out, the G5000 would have automatically turned the airplane 90 degrees to exit an airway and would have descended us rapidly to 15,000 feet. A vertical profile presentation across the bottom of the multifunction display shows winds aloft during the descent. “Back at 12,000 feet, I started with steep turns, with a 360 to the right at 45-50 degrees, then a 180-degree turn to the left. The Garmin autothrottles easily maintained the necessary added power for the selected speed during the steep turns, but I did need to pull the yoke aft firmly to keep the nose up. This is all made easier by the flight path marker (FPM) on the G5000 PFD, like having a HUD but on a head-down display; just keep the FPM on the zero pitch line, and

Optional divan is berthable.

“At FL430 cabin altitude was 5,400 feet and with power set at max cruise and fuel flow 860 and 880 pph. The Longitude settled at Mach 0.83 and 473 KTAS. Maximum operating speed is Mach 0.84.”

there is no change in altitude. “We then set up for some approaches to stall, with autothrottles off, but avoided activating the stick pusher because the rapid nose-down push might cause fluid in

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Vacuum toilet - but not belted.

Large baggage bay can take 1000 pounds.

the vacuum lavatory to spill. For the first manoeuvre, I slowed straight-and-level and in clean configuration all the way to stick shaker, then reduced the angle-of-attack (AOA) and added power, with a minor loss in altitude. I did another approach to stall in clean configuration but in a 30-degree turn, then recovered at the shaker by reducing AOA, levelling the wing, and adding power. The engines responded fairly quickly to the application of power. At lower speeds, lateral control is much lighter and more pleasant, harmoniously matching the lighter pitch control feel. With gear and flap down the approach to stall was gentle with zero wing rock as the shaker shook the controls and I recovered back to straight-and-level flight.” Thurber hand-flew the approach, descending onto the glidepath with full flaps. He reports, “I was easily able to descend the Longitude onto the proper glidepath, which indeed did look shallow. [The Cessna demo pilot] advised that near touchdown I would need just a tiny bit of nose-up pitch to arrest the descent, but I should be careful not to flare too high, otherwise the Longitude will float. At 50 feet, the autothrottles automatically retarded to idle. While covering the throttles with my right hand, I kept flying down at the runway. Moments after I barely checked the pitchdown attitude with a tiny aft movement on the yoke, the main wheels touched smoothly, followed by the nosegear. The Longitude lands flat, the dual trailing link main gear making you look good and keeping the boss’s drink in the cup. Thrust reversers,

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spoilers, and anti-skid brakes make landing distances of about 3,400 feet.” WRAP UP With a base price of U$25m and a typical, but non-discounted, price of about U$27 million, the Longitude brings to market the largest cabin ever to carry the Cessna name and it does so just three years

Hot and cold galley opposite door.

after the certification of its smaller cousin, the Latitude. It really does set a new standard for mid-sized and super mid-sized business jets. Perhaps the ultimate recognition of how good an aircraft it is comes from NetJets having placed a huge order for 176 Longitudes. 


The Longitude and later the Hemisphere join the Latitude to complete a new, large-cabin, three-aircraft Citation family.

CE SSNA CITATION LONG ITU DE

SPECI FICATIONS & PE R FOR MANCE

BAS E P R I C E : $26 . 9 m i l l i o n

S P EC I F I CAT I O NS Powe rp l a nt : 2 x H T F770 0 L Th ru s t : 75 5 0 l bs t each L e ng t h: 73 f t 2 i n H e i g ht : 19 f t 5 i n W i ng s p a n: 6 8 f t 11 i n W i ng a r ea: 5 37 sq f t W i ng l oa d i ng: 73 . 9 l b/sq f t Seat s: 2+9 -10 C a b i n l e ng t h: 25 f t 2 i n C a b i n wi d t h: 77 i n C a b i n h e i g ht : 72 i n M a x t a keof f we i g ht : 3 9, 5 0 0 l b Payl oa d w/fu l l fu e l: 1, 6 0 0 l b M a x l a nd i ng we i g ht : 3 3 , 5 0 0 l b Fu e l ca p aci t y, s t d: 2 ,13 4 g a l (14 , 511 l b) B a g g a g e ca p aci t y: 1,115 l b , 112 cu f t

P E R FO R M AN C E Ta keof f @ M AU W: 4 , 9 0 0 f t M a x cru i se s p e e d: 476 k t R a ng e , 4 p a x @ 0. 8 0 M: 3 , 5 0 0 n m M a x op e rat i ng a l t i t u d e: 4 5 ,0 0 0 f t L a nd i ng d i s t a nce , g rou nd ro l l: 3 , 4 0 0 f t M a x o p e rat i ng l i m i t s p e e d: M 0. 8 4


COMPANY PROFILES

ASCEND AVIATION ‘Trustworthy Sales, Airworthy Excellence’ With 20 years of experience in aircraft sales Maartin Steenkamp established Ascend Aviation in early 2014. Aviation sales specialists must not only possess an exceptional understanding of their field and products, but also of the customers’ needs and experience in aviation. Acquiring an aircraft is an emotive as well as a practical decision. Maartin’s market knowledge and track record is greatly respected in the industry and Ascend Aviation’s customers can be assured that they are getting the most honest, independent, objective solutions to their present and future requirements. Ascend Aviation has assembled a team with the experience and abilities to streamline the entire process for buyers, from selection, budgeting and finance, through long-term performance and cost expectations, to ongoing advice and support, thereby making aircraft acquisition and ownership a rewarding and pleasing experience. Ascend Aviation believes personal attention, relationship-building and integrity is key to service excellence, and provides a comprehensive range of services to the aviation industry: • Aircraft Sales • Acquisition mandates • Aircraft Valuations • Aircraft Management • Aircraft Finance • Aircraft Insurance • Aircraft Ferry including Importation and Exportation Contact Ascend Aviation on: Tel: +27 (0)11 064 5624 Email: sales@ascendaviation.co.za Website: www.ascendaviation.co.za

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DASSAULT AVIATION: Expanding Customer Support Network Dassault Aviation has recently expanded its customer support network through the acquisition of several aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies. Dassault Aviation most recently acquired RUAG MRO International’s business aviation MRO facilities and fixed-based operations (FBO) in Switzerland, namely Geneva and Lugano. This acquisition was announced soon after Dassault Aviation acquired TAG Aviation’s MRO businesses in Europe, which are concentrated in the Swiss cities of Geneva and Sion. Dassault Aviation also recently acquired ExecuJet’s MRO businesses. This acquisition is significant because it expands Dassault’s MRO network into Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. ExecuJet was founded in Johannesburg in 1991. It has MRO facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as: Dubai, New Delhi, Tianjin (China), Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Wellington. In addition, ExecuJet has two MROs in Belgium – Brussels and Kortrijk. “ExecuJet MRO Services has been growing and performing well, thanks to its strong leadership team and employees. We have no interest in changing this recipe. We hope that by being shareholders in this MRO network, current and future Falcon customers - some of which have aircraft from different aircraft manufacturers - will feel confident that we continue to have their service experience needs well taken care of for years to come,” says Dassault Aviation senior VP Worldwide Falcon Customer Service and Network, Jean Kayanakis. “Expanding our customer worldwide support network allows us to be closer to customers and differentiate ourselves in the market by providing a great ‘Falcon experience’ post purchase,” he adds.  

PILATUS Pilatus PC-24 ‘Super Versatile Jet’ The PC-24 as the world’s first ‘Super Versatile Jet’ has been engineered to be ‘off-road’ compatible from its inception. Its outstanding short-field performance, even on unpaved runways opens up an incredible level of mobility. With the PC-24, one will have access to almost 100% more airports worldwide than offered by comparable business jets. That means you can fly closer to your final destination, using smaller airports and reducing ground transfer time to an absolute minimum. The Pilatus PC-24 combines the practicality of a turboprop with the cabin size of a Medium Light Jet and the performance of a Light Jet. Features include its flexible spacious interior, comprising continuous flat floor, and unique cargo door to enable quick and easy loading. The PC-24 is designed to operate from short, paved and even unpaved surfaces. As with all Pilatus aircraft, the PC-24 is certified for singlepilot operation. Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa, the Authorised Sales and Service Centre for Southern Africa, has delivered three PC24s into the region since the middle of 2018, with another two units to be delivered over the next 12 months. The PC-24 order book has been reopened by Pilatus, with next delivery slots available from 2021. Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa (PTY) Ltd Hangar 41 and 42, Rand Airport, Germiston South Africa Tel: +27 (0) 11 383 0800 www.pilatuscentre.co.za


JET & TURBINE SALES EXPERT Led by Maartin Steenkamp and his experienced team, the company has over 60 years of experience in providing the best advice and solutions to companies and individuals looking to operate corporate jets. From single engine turboprops to long range corporate jets and airliners, Ascend Aviation is able to provide the right solution for every need. For our list of available aircraft head over to our website www.ascendaviation.co.za.

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Contact Maartin Steenkamp: C +27 (0)82 807 6701 Pierre Kieser C +27 (0)82 577 7815 T +27 (0)11 064 5624 F +27 (0)86 673 9129 E sales@ascendaviation.co.za

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COMPANY PROFILES

G

UARDIAN AIR is a trusted air charter and aviation management company, providing a suite of specialised services to meet the discerning needs of business travellers, tourists and adventurers in Africa. From their base at Lanseria International Airport in Gauteng, South Africa, they offer comprehensive aircraft management and Final.pdf 1 2018/02/12 14:58

maintenance solutions to aircraft owners and organisations alike, as well as air ambulance services to two major, private emergency medical care companies. Guardian Air (PTY) Ltd started as an aviation asset management company in 2009. Today through their subsidiary company, Guardian Air Asset Management, they have international and domestic operating licences issued by the Department of Transport in South Africa as well as a

loc Lanseria International Airport tel +27 11 701 3011 24/7 +27 82 521 2394 web www.guardianair.co.za

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lic CAA/I/N283, AMO1401

non-schedule AOC (CAA/I-N283) which is endorsed for aeromedical transfers. As aircraft owners themselves, they can identify with their customers’ needs. Guardian Air is serviced by a dedicated maintenance division, Guardian Air Maintenance (PTY) Ltd (AMO:1401). Tel: +27 (0) 11 701 3011 24/7: +27 (0) 082 521 2394 Email: ops@guardianair.co.za www.guardianair.co.za 

Global VIP Charter Global Air Ambulance Aircraft Management Aircraft Maintenance


COMPANY PROFILES

THE AVCON JET GROUP

ADLER INTERNATIONAL – AVCON YACHT – PRINCESS YACHTS AUSTRIA – HMS – CAA – AVCON JET AFRICA - IDEFIX.

O

UR success story began in 2007 – with only one aircraft and 16 employees. Only 12 years later, 2019 we are one of the strongest private jet operators in Europe with more than 60 jets and over 300 employees.

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In 2012 we expanded our business into the marine sector to provide an excellent service to our customers, not only in the air, but also on water. Investments into a shipyard in Italy, maritime technology and yacht charter were only the beginning of a great journey.

No matter if you require excellent travel management or unforgettable memories around the globe, the whole Avcon Jet Group has one common goal: to not only satisfy our customer’s demands, but to exceed their expectations, no matter how challenging they may be. That’s what we call ‘unimpossible’. 


MAINTENANCE Star Air Maintenance Pty Ltd (SAM) is a subsidiary company of Star Air Cargo Pty Ltd, that provides all the AOC’s maintenance requirements up to C check. We are based at O R Tambo International Airport and our team of highly qualified engineers offer line maintenance to third parties. Boeing 737-200 Boeing 737 Classics Based at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg South Africa. Contact: lieb@starcargo.co.za or peter@starcargo.co.za Tel: 011 395 3756 and 011 973 5512


COMPANY PROFILES

STAR AIR Star Air holds SACAA Part 121 Domestic and International Aircraft Operating Certificates (AOC), and specialises in the wet, dry or damp leasing on short to medium term leases to airlines in Africa. Under the leadership of CEO Peter Annear, the company has evolved from operating a Piper Cherokee in 1992, to operating a fleet of Boeing 737-300s. Today, we present our fleet of seven 737-300s with pride. Each aircraft can be tailored to the needs of our client by configuring the seating to all economy or a combination of economy and business class. The aircraft are equipped with steps. We also offer a complete aircraft branding solution to customers who would like to achieve consistency between their fleet and leased aircraft Star Air’s services include: • Wet leasing of aircraft • Dry leasing of aircraft • Aircraft chartering services • Qualified cockpit and cabin crew • Operations support • Aircraft Maintenance (up to C-Check) Contact Star Air on: Tel: +27 11 234 7038 Email: yvonne@starcargo.co.za Website: www.starair.co.za

STAR AIR MAINTENANCE Based on the Denel Campus at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Star Air Maintenance was established in 2009 to provide maintenance up to C-Check for Star Air’s fleet of 737s and third-party aircraft. Providing our clients with a world class service has always been central to our vision for the company. Through Star Air Maintenance, we offer a ‘best in

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international standards’ service in terms of quality, turnover times and cost efficiency, allowing airlines to focus their efforts on marketing and ticketing their routes. Our vision has ensured Star Air Maintenance has kept pace with the recognised international standards in terms of safety, best practice and service to our clients. Through extensive improvement

programmes, we have ensured our staff compliment of over 40 trained professionals are able to deliver one of the best airline support services on the continent. For more information, contact Star Air Maintenance on: Tel: +27 11 973 5512 Email: marzanne@starcargo.co.za Website: www.starair.co.za


Defence D arren O livier

THE HELWAN HA-300

It’s a testament to the odd alliances and unlikely partnerships of the early Cold War that the final aircraft designed by the legendary Willy Messerschmitt — indeed his only supersonic design — was manufactured not in Europe but in the industrial city of Helwan, just outside Cairo.

Q

UITE remarkably, in the 1960s Egypt was on the cusp of self-sufficiency in fighter aircraft, about to ride the wave of rapid development in an era where it was still possible for light-weight interceptors to be competitive. While promising, however, the project never progressed beyond the prototype stage before being cancelled. A victim of changing economic and geopolitical circumstances on the one hand, and pure bad luck on the other, it offers an intriguing ‘what if’ question as to what might have

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been, had Egypt’s leaders been more prudent. The story of the HA-300 began not in Egypt, but in Spain, where Willy Messerschmitt had relocated after the end of the Second World War. Fresh from prison for his use of slave labour during the war and, like other German designers banned from engaging in any defence work in West Germany, Messerschmitt was invited by General Franco in the early 1950s to work on projects at Hispano Aviación. There he began work on a basic trainer and an ultralight jet fighter aircraft, which would become the HA-200 and HA-300

respectively. While development of the HA-200 was eventually successful, via the abortive HA-100, the HA-300 project suffered from a lack of funding and aerodynamic problems with a glider mockup meant to test the aircraft’s basic design. Faced with unknown development costs and a long timeframe, Spain cancelled the project in 1960. Egypt, meanwhile, had begun an industrialisation phase under Nasser and was looking for opportunities to build its indigenous defence industry. As part of that process it had acquired the rights to build 90 HA-200s at a new aircraft manufacturing


OPPOSITE PAGE: Willy Messerschmitt's final design.

facility in the city of Helwan, near Cairo, to be run by the Egyptian General Aero Organisation (EGAO). While at Hispano, the Egyptians had been interested in the HA-300 programme and sought to join it as a development partner. Once it became clear that Spain would no longer back the project, Egypt bought the entire thing and shipped the whole design team, including Messerschmitt, to Helwan. The initial plans were to equip the HA-300 with a single BristolSiddeley Orpheus Mk 703-S-10 turbojet engine, as used in the Folland Gnat and Fiat G.91, but it was clear that a more potent power plant would be required to meet the performance figures that the Egyptian Air Force desired. So Egypt recruited Ferdinand Brandner, the engine designer for Junkers during WWII, to design a brand-new turbojet engine under Project ‘135’. The engine would later come to be known as the E-300.

THE AIR FORCE WAS DESTROYED BEYOND REPAIR. It must be said that the sheer ambition of Egypt’s plans at this point were impressive and bold, but ultimately naive and so contributed to its undoing in later years. Not only was it attempting to build a new combat jet aircraft virtually from scratch, but it was working on an engine to go with it alongside a host of other projects including civilian airliners. As Egypt lacked the required domestic skill sets and experience, the HA-300 and E-300 projects alone involved the recruiting of hundreds of designers, scientists, and engineers from all over Europe at substantial cost. In addition, with resources being spread so thinly, it was effectively impossible to achieve full transfer of knowledge to Egyptians shadowing the foreign teams, even though that had been the original motivation. At the time the Egyptian Air Force had no local test pilots, though it had sent Lt-Col Zoheir Shalaby and Major Sobhy El Tawil to India to learn the trade there. So it requested a test pilot from India’s HAL and the Indian Air Force, which agreed to second Group Captain Kapil Barghava, one of India’s most distinguished test pilots, to the programme. The Germans initially refused to have anything to do with Barghava, insisting he would not get anywhere near the HA-300, but their hands were forced by circumstance and a lack of suitable alternatives. As with any aircraft project, development of the HA-300 was far from smooth. The development of the E-300 was delayed by the need for thousands of hours of ground tests, so the first two prototypes

were fitted with the lower-powered Orpheus engines. Minor issues, from nose wheel shimmy to yaw problems dogged each attempt to move forward. Worse, quality control was terrible, leading to an inflection point where Group Captain Barghava faced off against Messerschmitt and his team and steadfastly refused to take the first prototype up unless a host of major problems were fixed. As he recalled it in his later memoirs: “I reminded Prof. Messerschmitt that the contract for the aircraft specified the design to conform to the British Air Publication-970 requirements, which laid down the design criteria for military aircraft. The nineteen points listed by me were all in serious breach of the AP. A few of them were so obvious that it was a wonder that the design team did not anticipate them. For example, the integral fuel tanks had leaked and flexible rubber tanks were inserted into them. Some of these had also leaked. Yet, the only indication for fuel contents was a totaliser gauge showing the fuel entering the engine. The pilot would know that all fuel had leaked out only after his engine cut. The fuel system had apparently been designed with a preoccupation for unlimited inverted flying. Firstly, there was no requirement for such a facility and, secondly, the Orpheus engine’s oil system would, in any case, have limited the maximum duration of inverted flight to about 10 seconds. The direct supply tank to the engine was the smallest in the system and any failure of air transfer pressure would produce a flameout within two minutes. The tail plane trim was operated by a single-pole switch on the stick carrying the entire current of the large motor, without any protection against a trim run away. Rudder flutter was forecast at 0.56 M. Yet, its damper was powered by a single hydraulic system. Other design deficiencies, too many to list here, were also dangerous and unacceptable to me as a qualified test pilot.” The moment was crucial. Messerschmitt had not realised the extent to which quality control had slipped, and his team came to respect Barghava’s insights and skills. It delayed the project by six months, but all of those items were fixed before the first flight. Yet it would ultimately not matter, as a variety of external events overtook the programme. The Six Day War in 1967 was the first blow, and it was absolutely disastrous for Egypt. Nearly all of the Egyptian military’s capital equipment, including much of the Air Force, was destroyed beyond repair and would need costly replacement. In return, the Soviet Union offered to re-equip the Egyptian armed forces on ‘generous’ terms, which mostly amounted to forgiving or carrying over enormous loans that Egypt owed it. Included in this package were hundreds of MiG-21s, similar in performance to the HA-300. Moreover the popular reaction to the defeat within Egypt took the leadership by surprise, as radical youth organisations demanded a stronger punishment for those seen as having caused the humiliating defeat. In a move that alarmed the top brass, this even included a protest by workers at the Helwan Aircraft Factory that was working on the HA-300. Concerns about loyalty became paramount.

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The Helwan HA 300.

As for the E-300, it was thrown into disarray when India (which had joined the programme a few years earlier as a development partner) left abruptly, apparently upset that Egypt showed no interest in adopting HAL’s own HF24 Marut fighter programme. In fact a specially-modified HF-24, the Mk.1 BX, had been the E-300’s primary flying testbed for some time. India’s exit robbed the engine programme of crucial momentum it its final phase of development and left Egypt carrying all the cost of taking it to production.

Given these circumstances, Egypt had little choice. The HA-300, or indeed any substantial investment in the Egyptian aerospace industry, no longer appeared to make any sense. Egypt had overspent badly, with the HA-300 costing the equivalent of a billion US dollars in today’s money. And it would have to accept becoming a Soviet client state, rather than the independent and industrialised world actor it had hoped to be at the beginning of the 1960s. The Helwan Aircraft Factory continues to exist, and is still around today, but it never reached the lofty heights of independent aircraft design

The basic trainer that became the successful Helwan HA 200.

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and manufacturing envisaged in the 1960s. One can’t help but wonder what might’ve been had things gone differently and Egypt succeeded in establishing a sustainable and large-scale aerospace industry in the 1960s and 1970s. What elements of history would’ve changed, what would have remained the same? What might the impact on its neighbours have been, might it have encouraged them to industrialise sooner or would they still have relied on Soviet or Western suppliers? All possible, perhaps, but impossible to know for certain. 


OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT FEATURE


SPECIAL FEATURE

OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AFRICA’S BIGGEST & BUSIEST OR Tambo International Airport is Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, accommodating almost 20 million passengers a year, which is more than half of South Africa’s total air travelling passengers. ​

B

UILT in 1952 to take over from Johannesburg’s interim international airport, Palmietfontein, which had handled European flights since 1945, OR Tambo serves as the primary airport for domestic and international travel to and from South Africa, and is the commercial aviation hub for Southern Africa.

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Although currently handling around 20 million passengers annually, the airport has the capacity to handle up to 28 million passengers each year. It is also one of the few airports in the world to host non-stop flights to all continents (except Antarctica, handled by Cape Town International). Originally named Jan Smuts Airport, after the South African statesman who went from Boer Commando to Field Marshall

and help found the League of Nations, the airport has undergone two name changes. It was renamed Johannesburg International in 1994, and then OR Tambo International Airport on 27 October, 2006, after ANC president and activist, Oliver Reginald Tambo. Seven years after the rename to OR Tambo the airport’s ICAO code was changed from FAJS to FAOR. In the 2015 World Airport Awards,


OR Tambo was named the best airport in Africa, with Cape Town second, and King Shaka in Durban finishing third. This is a tribute to ACSA – the Airport Company of South Africa, which operates these airports. In 1996, OR Tambo overtook Cairo International Airport as the busiest in Africa, and across the whole of the Middle East and Africa OR Tambo airport is the fourth-busiest after Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi Airports. Situated almost 1,700 metres (5,500 feet) above sea level and with temperatures often climbing above 30 degrees Celsius, OR Tambo, with its ‘hot and high’ conditions, is an ideal destination for airliners conducting weight and temperature (WAT) certification and proving flights. Notably, it was used as a test airport for the Concorde during the 1970s, to determine how the aircraft would perform while taking off and landing at high altitude. Similarly, on 26 November 2006, the airport became the first in Africa to host the Airbus A380. The aircraft landed in Johannesburg on its way to Sydney via the South Pole on a test flight. In 2014, Airbus returned to OR Tambo to test its next clean sheet design – the A350. As part of its certification flights for the A350, Airbus conducted hot and high performance as well as auto-landing trials on Runway 03R, as the embankment leading up to the runway may present precision approach challenges. Although the 4,4 km long Runway 03L/21R is one of the longest commercial international airport runways in the world, aircraft taking off from OR Tambo must often reduce weight by loading less fuel than they would otherwise take. In particular, second segment climb performance for twin engine jets can be a limiting factor. On some of the longer routes, such as flights from Johannesburg to North America, some aircraft types have to refuel en-route, while for the return flight, because takeoff from New York is from a lower altitude airport, they can upload enough fuel to reach Johannesburg non-stop. RUNWAYS There are two parallel north/south runways and a disused cross runway. Both runways are equipped with Instrument Landing Systems (ILS). Furthermore, all runways are equipped with Approach Lighting Systems with sequenced flashers, and touchdown zone (TDZ) lighting. The cross runway is now a taxiway.

During busy periods, outbound flights use the western runway, 03L/21R, for takeoff, while inbound flights use the eastern runway, 03R/21L, for landing. Naturally wind direction is a determining factor; however, due to the prevailing conditions, on most days flights takeoff to the north and land from the south. DEVELOPMENTS The airport’s most recent major development was done for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These included expansion of the international terminal, with the new international pier (opened in 2009) increasing capacity and accommodating the Airbus A380. A new Central Terminal building was completed on April 1, 2009. An additional multi-storey parkade was built in January 2010, at a cost of R470 million, opposite the Central Terminal

Building. Terminal A was also upgraded and the associated roadways realigned to accommodate more International Departures space. This massive upgrade has proved to be sufficient to meet the growth in passenger numbers since the World Cup. The Central Terminal Building, which cost R2 billion, boosted passenger capacity at the landside of the terminal, additional luggage carousels were added and the terminal now allows direct access for both international and domestic travellers. The new International Pier, which cost R535 million to build, increased international arrivals and departures capacity in a two-storey structure and added

nine airside contact stands, four of which are Airbus A380 compatible. To develop the key non-airside revenue, the large duty-free mall has been extended into this area, and additional lounges and passenger-holding areas have been constructed on the upper level. There was a proposal for a second ‘midfield’ terminal to be built between the two runways, but this has been cancelled. It would have contained its own domestic and international check-in facilities, shops and lounges and was projected to cost R8 billion. The terminal would have been designed for power-in, power-out operations for low cost carriers, thus reducing the costs of airport handling with air bridges and aircraft tugs for push back. To accommodate the increase in car traffic, a multi-story parkade was built and the airport now has more than 16,300

parking bays, taking into account the parking available in the parkade, shade parking, carports and open parking. ADDITIONAL SERVICES Terminals A and B host over 140 retail stores, with Duty Free stores based airside in Terminal A. The stores are open daily from 06h00 to 22h00. These extended hours include the banks, pharmacy, post office and bureau de change. There is a 24-hour travel clinic, and the airport’s police station also operates around the clock. The airport has thus been able to maintain the world class standards it achieved for the Soccer World Cup. 

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COMPANY PROFILES BIDAIR CARGO COMPANY PROFILE The Business Details BidAir Cargo is a leading cargo airline providing express airport-to-airport solutions and related services to the courier and express logistics industry. The BidAir Cargo network spans the South African domestic landscape as well as Southern and East Africa with over 120 flights daily. Overnight we operate four dedicated Boeing 737 freighter aircraft connecting all main centers in South Africa. Our closed loop system, whereby cargo is delivered to and collected from aircraft directly by BidAir Cargo employees, enhances cargo security and express service delivery and allows for short hand-in and hand-out times enabling our partners in the courier and express logistics industry to adhere to tight delivery deadlines. The Company Established in 1996 as Express Air Services, now as Bid Air Cargo, the company

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is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bidvest Group reporting into the Security and Aviation cluster of the Bidvest Services Division. Striving to maximize utilization of cargo capacity BAC foresees being the cargo airline solution of choice, making our service an extraordinary experience that delivers strong and consistent returns. Website: www.bidaircargo.com Head office: 011 230 4600

BNT INTERNATIONAL Established in 2013, BNT International is a dedicated SACAA approved AMO (AMO1288) specialising as a Category B Facility in the Overhaul and Repair of Brakes and Wheels, Non Destructive testing on Aircrafts, Aircraft Weighing, Safety Equipment and Hydro Testing of both Oxygen cylinders and Fire Extinguishers We offer complete wheel and brake overhaul and repair services for ABSC,

BF Goodrich, Honeywell and Parker wheel assemblies. All work is carried out according to the manufacturer’s CMM (Component Maintenance Manual). We have a well-equipped workshop, where we execute the job promptly together with all administration documents and certification. Our NDT testing is conducted with state of the art equipment in a facility which measures up to world quality standards. Our Inspectors have a vast technical background, broad experience levels and substantial qualification. Our aircraft weighing services can accommodate the whole range of aircraft, from small aeroplanes and helicopters up to B737, A320, L-382 and above. We also assist our clients with cost efficiency calculations. For more information contact BNT International on: Tel: +27 11 395 1677 Email: info@bnt-int.co.za Website: www.bnt-int.co.za


CARGO

Boeing 737-300 Cargo Aircraft available for wet (ACMI) lease.

SA Flyer 2019|08

Based at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg South Africa.

Contact: yvonne@starcargo.co.za or peter@starcargo.co.za Tel: +27 11 234 7038 www.starair.co.za


COMPANY PROFILES FEDERAL AIRLINES With over 20 years of safari transfer experience, Federal Airlines is known for its premium point to point shuttles that fly guests to the country’s most luxurious and sought after game lodges. Operating since the ‘90s, they were the pioneers. Their core service provides daily shuttle departures from OR Tambo International Airport and KrugerMpumalanga International Airport to various luxury safari lodges throughout the country. They have since partnered with world leaders in luxury safari experiences as part of their commitment to raise the bar in bespoke aviation. In addition to their shuttle flights, Federal Airlines can provide bespoke, private charter flights to any destination within southern Africa. For more information contact Federal Airlines on: Tel: +27 (0) 11 395 9000 Email: shuttle@fedair.com Website: www.fedair.com

FIREBLADE AVIATION TERMINAL ATTRACTION Suite dreams with Fireblade’s luxe new spot at OR Tambo Fireblade Aviation is a full-service Fixed Base Operation (FBO) located at OR Tambo International Airport. It offers South Africa’s first globally recognised FBO facilities. The company was developed by father and son Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer. The family has a history with aviation dating back to 1936. Fireblade was designed with the intent to host a truly world-class facility for stress-free business aviation at ORT International. The company offers a full range of business terminal and charter facilities – with all the luxuries you would expect at a premium terminal anywhere in the world. Its state-of-the-art campus has primary passenger and crew facilities, along with two large hangars that can cater to the needs of just about any international trip-support company. It has a dedicated private apron, private fuelling facilities, hangarage and

tailored services that include everything from VIP catering and luxury spa services to prayer facilities. A world-class VlP terminal is on offer, with little nuances like day rooms, al fresco kitchen offerings, an exercise room, private staterooms and boardrooms. And if you find the idea of luxury for its own sake too distasteful, keep in mind the effect this facility can have on South Africa as a premier business and leisure destination. Instagram @fireblade _ aviation Web Address: www.firebladeaviation. com


AMO 1288

Your one-stop-shop for repairs and overhauls of aviation rotables and special processes. BNT International (PTY) Ltd Unit D3, Denel Industrial Park Denel North Entrance (off Atlas Road), Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa, 1619 Tel. +27 11 395 1677 Email: info@bnt-int.co.za Website: www.bnt-int.co.za

• Quality • Safety • Service Excellence • Honest Pricing

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Aviation Services • Wheel overhaul and Repair Services • Brake Overhaul and Repair Services • Non-Destructive Testing on Aircraft • Hydro Static Testing • Oxygen bottles • Fire Extinguishers • Safety Equipment • Aircraft Weighing o Small aircrafts up to larger B737, A320, L-382

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SIMPLY THE BEST DESIGNED FACILITY ON THE CONTINENT Designed with an ambition to host a world-class facility for stress-free business aviation at OR Tambo International Airport, Fireblade Aviation offers a full-range business terminal and charter facilities to cater for every flying need. The FBO offers all terminal luxuries you would expect from the best for your aircraft. With a dedicated private apron, private fueling facility, hangarage and tailored services your flying assets will be looked after. Your VIP’s can be hosted in the Terminal with small nuances like day rooms, el fresco kitchen offerings, an exercise room, private staterooms and boardrooms. Our Fireblade charter fleet has full access to the FBO service bouquet. This means that you not only get world class aircraft and crew but your journey starts when you arrive at our facility.

FIREBLADE AVIATION’S CHARTER FLEET

PC-12 NG’S

GLOBAL 6000

BOMBARDIER CHALLENGER 350

AGUSTA AW 139 HELICOPTER

AGUSTA AW 119 HELICOPTER


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COMPANY PROFILES MISTRAL AVIATION SERVICES Mistral Aviation was founded in 2002 with the aim of addressing the high cost of operating aircraft thousands of miles from the original equipment manufacturers. (OEM). At Mistral we believe that by utilising the favorable labor rate and local expertise within South Africa, the cost of importing the spares can be offset whilst producing a product comparable to that of the European and US facilities. Mistral Aviation is an independently owned company and has always traded as Mistral Aviation Services. We are in no way linked with Mistral Aviation, based in the DRC, or any other companies with similar names. Contact Details: Telephone: (27) 011 397 7 478 Fax: (27) 011 397 1143 E-Mail: Peter@mistral.co.za Website: www. mistral.co.za Address: Unit 2B, 46 Kelly Rd, Jet Park Gauteng, South Africa

NEVERGREEN AIRCRAFT INDUSTRIES Starting in 2008 based at Upington International Airport in Western Cape, Nevergreen Aircraft Industries (AMO 1165) established as a professional provider of aircraft short & long-term storage, disassembly, dismantling and recycling services. The Kalahari Semi desert climate provides very low humidity, almost ideal conditions for corrosionfree aircraft storage. It is this unique environment that inspired the company’s name: Nevergreen. In 2015 Nevergreen moved its base of operation to O. R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Considered as one of the most frequented aviation hubs on the African continent, ORTIA was the ideal environment to further grow our maintenance capabilities for the benefit of our clients. In alliance with the associated parts trading company Aircraft Instrument & Electronics, Nevergreen is the ideal partner for aircraft maintenance, disassembly, demolition,

recycling, component management and long-term aircraft storage. We are a trusted maintenance provider for Boeing 737-200/300/400/500 and the MD-80 Series as well as for CFM56-3 and Pratt & Whitney JT8D-Series engines. The ability to offer borescope inspections on the aforementioned engines completes our service portfolio. In order to meet the requirements of a full-service provider, we offer a comprehensive disassembly and dismantling package for phased-out aircraft - as the only AMO on the African continent.

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MAINTENANCE Star Air Maintenance Pty Ltd (SAM) is a subsidiary company of Star Air Cargo Pty Ltd, that provides all the AOC’s maintenance requirements up to C check. We are based at O R Tambo International Airport and our team of highly qualified engineers offer line maintenance to third parties. Boeing 737-200 Boeing 737 Classics Based at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg South Africa. Contact: lieb@starcargo.co.za or peter@starcargo.co.za Tel: 011 395 3756 and 011 973 5512

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COMPANY PROFILES • • • •

Aircraft chartering services Qualified cockpit and cabin crew Operations support Aircraft Maintenance (up to C-Check)

Contact Star Air on: Tel: +27 11 234 7038 Email: yvonne@starcargo.co.za Website: www.starair.co.za STAR AIR MAINTENANCE Based on the Denel Campus at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, Star Air Maintenance was established in 2009 to provide maintenance up to C-Check for Star Air’s fleet of 737s and third-party aircraft. Providing our clients with a world class service has always been central to our vision for the company. Through Star Air Maintenance, we offer a ‘best in international standards’ service in terms of quality, turnover times and cost efficiency,

allowing airlines to focus their efforts on marketing and ticketing their routes. Our vision has ensured Star Air Maintenance has kept pace with the recognised international standards in terms of safety, best practice and service to our clients. Through extensive improvement programmes, we have ensured our staff compliment of over 40 trained professionals are able to deliver one of the best airline support services on the continent. For more information, contact Star Air Maintenance on: Tel: +27 11 973 5512 Email: marzanne@starcargo.co.za Website: www.starair.co.za

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Specialising in the creation and delivery of bespoke meals to some of Southern Africa’s most discerning aircraft and corporate operators, Par-Avion Exclusive Catering is proud to be considered among the leaders in executive in-flight DELUXE LUNCH BOX catering and associated theisaviation industry. The Par-Avion Deluxeservices LunchtoBox served on a disposable black tray with silver disposable Contents include a trend accompanied with a Our footprints atcutlery. the international airports of Cape Town, setting OR Tambostarter and Lanseria International Airports support dedication to offeringcheese the veryselection served fitting main course, trioour of unsurpassed desserts, and an imported latest niche products services to our discerning andaswell travelled clientele. withinplump grapesand and fig preserve, as well fresh granary bread and butter. Delightful imported chocolates are included to has end allowed off the us meal. Years of building authentic client-service relationships the opportunity not only to cater to international corporates and global operators STANDARD but also extend BREAKFAST our expertise toBOX include special events and parties, cafés and restaurants, luxurycontinental coach catering, boardroombox catering and platters. The Standard Breakfast is served in a disposable grey box and

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includes a dedication plain yoghurt, tropical homemade With continued to quality of product and service,muesli, we strivefresh to givefruit, our a homemade muffin butter and preserve a luxury meat and clients the served peace of with mind and knowledge that we willand indeed go to anycontinental lengths selection. tocheese ensure their requirements are met expeditiously and with excellence. VIP LUNCH BOX

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Our VIP Lunch Box is presented in a navy and silver disposable box lined with tissue paper, and includes silver disposable cutlery. Contents include a starter, main course, dessert, imported cheese and crackers with a preserve, home baked bread roll and butter, as well as luxury imported chocolate.

SA Flyer 2018|10

STAR AIR Star Air holds SACAA Part 121 Domestic and International Aircraft Operating Certificates (AOC), and specialises in the wet, dry or damp leasing on short to medium term leases to airlines in Africa. Under the leadership of CEO Peter Annear, the company has evolved from operating a Piper Cherokee in 1992, to operating a fleet of Boeing 737-300s. Today, we present our fleet of seven 737-300s with pride. Each aircraft can be tailored to the needs of our client by configuring the seating to all economy or a combination of economy and business class. The aircraft are equipped with steps. We also offer a complete aircraft branding solution to customers who would like to achieve consistency between their fleet and leased aircraft Star Air’s services include: • Wet leasing of aircraft • Dry leasing of aircraft


Industry Update R eport : O wen H eckrath

AIR FRANCE OPPOSES

ECO-TAX

The Eco Tax will affect Air France more severely as 50 percent of its flights are operated out of France.

France recently joined a growing list of European countries to impose an environmental tax on airline tickets, a move that Air France said will represent an additional cost of more than €60 million per year.

“THIS new tax would significantly

penalize Air France’s competitiveness, at a time when the company needs to strengthen its investment capacity to more rapidly reduce its environmental footprint, notably as part of its fleet renewal policy,” said a spokesperson from France’s largest airline. Moreover, the Paris-based operator pointed out, Air France has been contributing to the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) since 2012 and will contribute to ICAO’s CORSIA scheme for international flights as from 2021. It estimates that the cost for offsetting CO2 under CORSIA and buying carbon allowances for the CO2 emitted on intraEuropean Economic Area (EEA) flights under the ETS will amount to €200 million

in 2025 for the Air France-KLM Group. Air France group — which comprises Air France, its regional subsidiary HOP! Air France and Transavia — “is committed alongside all the industry players to reducing its CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050, in accordance with the Paris climate agreement objective,” the company stressed. France’s transport minister Elisabeth Borne, however, advocated the introduction of  the eco-levy because there is a “feeling of injustice among our citizens regarding the taxation of airline transport.” France, she explained, committed to an EU-wide taxation on air transport “but there is urgency. Also, we have decided like other countries to introduce a progressive eco-

contribution.” (The Netherlands in May published a legislative proposal introducing an aviation tax on flights leaving the country). The new eco-aviation tax will raise €182 million annually and proceeds will be spent on improving infrastructure for more environmental modes of transport like rail, she said. This also did not go down well with Air France, which contended the funds should be used to support the implementation of sustainable biofuel industries or disruptive innovations in the air transport sector. The levy, which is due to come into force next year, will apply to all airlines flying out of France but it will affect Air France more severely as 50 percent of its flights are operated out of France. 

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Airline Ops O wen H eckrath

FROM WD-1 TO ONEWORLD ALLIANCE (100 Years of British Airways)

The first commercial airline flight between London and Paris took 2.5 hours.

On August 25, 1919, Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited (AT&T) launched the world’s first daily international scheduled air service between London and Paris. Through fortuitous, tenuous and often obscure mergers, links and manoeuvres over the past 100 years, the resulting airline now operates to over 180 destinations with a fleet of more than 270 aircraft.

T

HAT first two and a half hour flight 100 years ago not only established the world’s first charted airway (WD1), it also set the technology stage for the airline. The Airco DH 16 was, at the time, a leading edge aircraft for passenger comfort and in subsequent years, ‘leading edge’ technology characterised much of the airline’s mission. MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS As with many fledgling airline

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operators shortly after the great war, AT&T were always operated on very slim margins, despite adding Amsterdam and Cologne to their destinations. They were ripe for a take-over which wasn’t long in coming. In 1921, another airline, Daimler Airways International, purchased AT&T’s assets. The airline was then based out of Croydon Airfield south of London, operating six de Havilland DH.34 aircraft.  New routes opened to Brussels and Amsterdam but the various British airline companies struggled without government support while across the

Channel continental competitors received generous help from their governments. And in 1921 all British airlines ceased operations due to the subsidised European competition. Soon after the shutdown, a temporary government subsidy was granted, enabling British air services to restart and a Civil Air Transport Subsidies Committee was appointed under Sir Herbert Hambling ‘To consider the present working of crosschannel subsidies and to advise on the best method of subsidising air transport in the future.’ The government implemented the


recommendations of the Hambling Committee and Imperial Airways was incorporated in 1924 as the “chosen instrument” of the British government with the mission of developing British commercial air transport on an economic basis. The new airline was formed out of and took over the fleets of Instone Airlines Limited, Daimler Airways, Handley Page Transport Limited and British Marine Air Navigation Co in a rather rancorous hostile merger. Based at Croydon Airport, Imperial Airways would receive a government subsidy of £1m spread over ten years on the basis that they would develop routes to the British Empire – South Africa, India and ultimately Australia – particularly for the carriage of mail. The initial fleet was three Handley Page W.8bs, two Supermarine Sea Eagles, one Vickers Vimy Commercial and seven DH34s. These aircraft were used to develop the European routes to Paris, Zurich, Basle, Amsterdam, Hanover and Berlin. But the aging technology left Imperial Airways open to competition which very quickly established itself. A number of smaller UK air transport companies had started flights to various continental destinations already serviced by Imperial Airways and in 1935, they merged to form the original privately-owned British Airways Limited. This became Imperial Airways’ principal UK competitor on European routes. By the mid30s Imperial Airways had the longest route network in the world, but while the routes were the longest, passenger miles were minimal

as the airline prioritised mail carriage on its Empire routes. With increasing competition in its only lucrative area, Europe, Imperial was soon in a non-competitive situation and needing further governmental initiative. Following yet another Government review, Imperial Airways and British Airways were nationalised in 1939 to form British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). BOAC is to many, the first recognisable form of British Airways as it was also the first time when the now instantly recognisable BA ‘Speedbird’ was prominently incorporated into the livery of the aircraft. The Speedbird logo was, in fact, already part of the livery of Imperial Airways, but never reached prominence there. BOAC quickly expanded and introduced services to New York in 1946, Japan in 1948, Chicago in 1954 and the west coast of the United States in 1957. Continental European and domestic flights were flown by a new airline, British European Airways (BEA) from 1946 who developed a domestic network to various points in the United Kingdom, including Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. From 1946 until 1960, BOAC and BEA were the principal British operators of scheduled international passenger and cargo services and they preserved Britain’s pioneering role in the industry. Additional airlines began to pass into BEA’s ownership and in 1967, the Government recommended a holding board be responsible for

Imperial Airways Routes reached the Empire mainly for carrying mail.

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Peter Scharkowski

BOAC and BEA, with the establishment of a second operate the supersonic Aerospatiale-BAC airliner. force airline. This resulted in British Caledonian Simultaneously with Air France, BA inaugurated being born in 1970. the world’s first supersonic passenger service, a Two years later, the businesses of BOAC and daily service between Heathrow and New York BEA were combined under the newly formed British which became one of the airline’s hallmarks. Airways Board, with the separate airlines coming together as British Airways in 1974. In July 1979, the Government announced its A BEA Viscount, the first turboprop to enter commercial service. intention to sell shares in British Airways and in February 1987 British Airways was privatised. ‘The world’s favourite airline’ as we know it today was finally crystallised out of a series of takeovers, mergers, government intervention, and subsidisation. In September 1998, British Airways, along with American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, and Canadian Airlines, formed the Oneworld airline alliance. LEADING EDGE TECHNOLOGY The various component companies that constitute the British Airways DNA have always been leading edge, either in passenger amenities or in aircraft technology. Examples of this are that in 1922, Instone introduced uniforms for pilots and staff, believed to be the first airline service uniforms and in the same year Daimler Airways began operations from Croydon to Paris using ‘cabin boys’ on their aircraft. Also, British Airways introduced ‘Club Class,’ a separate premium cabin with numerous amenities in October 1978 as a means of distinguishing full-fare business travellers and many airlines quickly followed suit. But it is in the realm of the aircraft that British Airways and its predecessors have truly distinguished themselves as being leading edge. On 2 May 1952, BOAC became the world’s first airline to operate jet airliners; the inaugural flight with the de Havilland Comet 1 was from London to Johannesburg. This began a series of “firsts” many of which were never emulated by competitors. In 1976, British Airways commenced flying Concorde, making it one of two airlines to own and

John Krepp

The BOAC livery was the first time the Speedbird was prominent.

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Other aircraft such as the super-quiet VC10 which was so silent in its passenger cabin that white noise needed to be played through the intercom system to allow passengers to have a private conversation. Or BEA’s Viscount, the first ever turboprop-powered airliner to be entered into commercial service in 1953, the list is extensive as well as being impressive. But, ultimately, the measure for any airline has got to be its ability to sustain operations in the face of competition, economic conditions and travel adversity. And with a century-long record of being able to rise stronger from adversity, the multicompany, multi-franchise group that is currently labelled British Airways has another 100 years for which to plan. 


SA Flyer 2018|10

AIRCRAFT INTERIORS & EXTERIORS

CAA No AMO 620

Tel: (011) 659-1962 Cell: 076 810 9751 Fax: (011) 659-1964 Email: francois@aircraftcompletions.co.za Hangar 107 C and D, Gate 13, Lanseria Airport

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Feature R eport : R on W heeldon

MARTIN-BAKER EJECTION SEATS IN WARBIRDS Many of us saw the horrific images which showed a UK-based Hawker Hunter erupting into a fireball as it snuffed out the lives of 11 people who happened to be driving past Shoreham Airport in 2016. I was amazed the pilot survived.

H

OW did he survive? Well it seems his Martin Baker Mk 4H seat actuated on impact: the canopy is visible departing the aircraft in the one shot and pilot and seat were deposited in trees near the crash. What is clear is that he was extremely lucky to survive, although he might not have enjoyed his subsequent prosecution (which ultimately acquitted him of manslaughter). Listening to speculation about the accident and whether or not he had ejected, I realised that ejection seats, especially the legacy systems in ‘warbirds’ are little understood. One of the sad co0nsequences is that many otherwise totally airworthy early jet fighters have been grounded because of lack of knowledge about their ejection seats. A case in point is the SAAF Museum’s beautiful F-86 Sabre. I have operated a pair of Hawker Hunters fitted with ejection seats for some 22 years. The escape systems in Hunters and similar long superseded military aircraft are first or second generation ejection seats. The new ones in combat aircraft coming off the

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production lines today are vastly superior. It is like comparing an Aston Martin DB4 with a Tesla 100S. The DB4 was groundbreaking and spectacular in its day, and still goes very nicely if well maintained – but has nothing like the performance or technical ability of the Tesla. The Tesla will be romping off into the middle distance while the Aston is still getting off the line. The piston-engine warbirds are not fitted with ‘pyrotechnic escape systems’ so exit in an emergency relies, as it did 80 years ago, on the pilot’s ability to climb out. What is clear is that the key to successfully leaving an aeroplane that has resolved to kill its pilot is a matter of practice and wearing a parachute. It can be achieved at remarkably low level by a practised pilot. South African Nigel Hopkins successfully bailed out of his MX2 aerobatic mount after it had lost a wing at 300 ft and British warbird pilot Rob Davies bailed out of a P-51 Mustang at Duxford in 2011 following a collision with a Skyraider. In his words: ‘I was shocked I’d been hit by another member of my formation – it never happens. I tried to straighten the plane and head towards open farmland, hoping I

could ‘belly land’ it, but it was going down fast. Ideally, you shouldn’t use a parachute below 1,000ft, but at around 500ft I realised I wouldn’t be able to save the plane and I had to concentrate on saving myself. I made it out at around 250ft. I was conscious not to tug the release ring on the way out – I could have become snagged on the plane and towed with it into the ground. Instead, I pushed myself out of the cockpit, colliding with the tail. As I bounced over it and cleared the plane, I pulled the cord. I felt no fear as I fell – during these crucial seconds, my training kicked in, and every part of me was concentrated on my survival.’ The arrival of jet fighters made such manual escape all but impossible and so ejection seats became a necessity. The first and second generation seats rely on ‘power cartridges’ which are essentially large calibre ‘blank shells’ similar to cartridges used to launch rifle grenades. They are made of brass, they have a primer (like rifle or pistol ammunition) and are filled with ‘gunpowder’ – or, to be more accurate, a smokeless nitro-cellulose propellant like modern small arms ammunition. These are the classic ‘bang seats’ and it was like sitting


Sunday Mirror

The Shoreham Hunter crash focused attention on aging ejection seats.

on top of a bomb going off. They almost instantaneously propel the seat (and the pilot) from zero to 60 ft/s. This was achieved with a large charge – like an artillery shell – to give the pilot a huge boot under the backside, but the limits of the acceleration a human body can withstand were quickly reached – and exceeded. The seat in the MiG-15 was reputed to a reliable means of turning a pilot into a paraplegic in a nanosecond! Martin Baker pioneered the phased acceleration seat where a series of smaller cartridges fire in a sequence to use the length of the seat rail for a more gradual acceleration. But it was still brutal with peak acceleration exceeding 20 G – up to 27 G on some seats. The mean value for the Hunter’s MB Mk 4H seat was 22 G. This accelerated the seat to 80 ft/sec which allowed for ‘0-90 ft’ seats where a successful ejection could be initiated on the ground, as long as there was at least 90 knots forward speed. The later Hawker Hunter single seaters used the Mk 3 seat from this range, as did the Vulcan, Swift, Canberra and many others. The two seat Hunters, in common with the Mirage series of aircraft, Lightnings and suchlike standardised on the Mk 4 seat which was a lighter Mk 3. The version sold to the USA was the Mk 5. A further improved version of the Mk 4, the Mk 6, found its way into MB 326 ‘Impala’ and similar aircraft. However, the higher velocity catapults on these seats resulted in an increase of vertebrae injury from 10% to 35%. But rather a compressed back than dead. The record of these seats in saving lives is remarkable – the Martin Baker Mk 4 seat had a 96% survival rate. However, for combat aircraft, cartridge operated ‘bang’ seats are now as obsolete as the aircraft to which they were fitted. Air Force of Zimbabwe pilots started refusing to fly their Hunters after one of

their colleagues was killed in a 1994 accident and – even a decade before – RAF voices had been raised about risking pilot’s lives in Hunters due to their ‘outmoded’ escape systems. So the seats have evolved – a long way. Watching the miraculous escapes of the Russian MiG-29 pilots, first at the Paris air show in 1989 and then after the collision at Fairford in 1993 (thanks to the then almost miraculous Zvezda K-36 seat) and the many more recent escapes from a range of current aircraft (such as the CF-18 in Canada, and the Thunderbirds F-16 in the USA, for example) has caused the public mind to expect the seat to extract the pilot from almost any circumstance. However, the performance of 30 year-old rocket assisted systems is no guide to the performance of the almost 60 year old Martin Baker Mk4H seat in a Hunter T Mk 7. One little understood aspect of any ejection seat, but especially a cartridge seat, is that even a moderate rate of descent of the aircraft will make a low-level ejection impossible, especially with a downward vector. An aircraft dropping at say 5000 fpm will defeat the ability of the seat to get the pilot high enough for his parachute to deploy. The pilot’s notes are cryptic on the subject, but it makes for an interesting study. Generally, the delay between the pilot firing the ejection seat and the main parachute deploying, allowing 1 second for canopy jettison, is 3.5 – 4.5 seconds. With the Martin Baker Mk4H seat as fitted to two-seat Hunters, an 80 feet per second (fps) gun is fitted. To ease the calculation I am going to optimistically assume a seat that would produce 100 fps. If the aircraft is in a 30 degree dive at 240 knots, two things happen: Firstly, the seat will exit the aircraft at an angle below the vertical, reducing the lift from 100 fps

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to around 87 fps. Secondly, the aircraft will be descending at roughly 200 fps, so the nett vector of the seat is 113 fps downward. This means that, with a 3.5 second deployment time, the parachute will open 400 feet below ejection altitude. The aircraft being in a dive also has a negative effect on the pilot’s posture, so it would be preferable (assuming the pilot still has control) to zoom the aircraft before initiating ejection. An aircraft vectored up at just a 10 degree climb, even if it lost speed to 120 knots, would result in the parachute deploying 250 feet above initiation altitude.

actuated seats are still very good, as long as their limitations are not exceeded. All of those still in use have the later 80m/s main gun and the Mk4H has two sets of booster cartridges that fire in sequence as the seat moves up the rail for a sustained acceleration which does not rely on a single big bang. Over 96% of ejections with these seats were successful. Nonetheless, the 22G acceleration makes injury a far higher risk than with modern seats with rocket systems. Still, use your Mk 4H seat within its parameters and with the proper posture and you ought to be safe. Unfortunately,

those manufacturers as coy as that girl you fancied at school (but who did not fancy you). They are forever ‘washing their hair’. Ask me, I know. Martin Baker did give support to its products through a UK company named SES Ltd, but abruptly terminated that support some two years ago. Pretoria Metal Pressings (‘PMP’) has the capability to support the seats as far as pyrotechnics are concerned, specifically cartridges for the Mk 3 and Mk 4 seats, but decline to make cartridges without specific permission from Martin Baker. I have been trying to buy a set

MBA

An early test of a Martin Baker ejection seat from a Gloster Meteor.

Later ejection seats – starting with some models of the MB Mk 6 – adopted rocket packs to sustain acceleration beyond the seat rail and allow slower acceleration with less strain on the pilot’s body. Rocket packs also allowed seats to become ‘0 – 0’ which allow an ejection from a stopped aircraft on a runway. The latest seats have computer controlled vectored thrust which senses orientation of the seat and applies thrust so as to optimise the outcome. The older Martin Baker cartridge

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these wonderful escape systems need maintenance and – every now and then – new pyrotechnics. You would think there must be hundreds of ex-military ejection seat technicians who will be happy to earn an extra crust doing maintenance. And naturally the makers of the cartridges will be delighted to have a slightly larger market given the rapidly dwindling numbers of aircraft operated by air forces. But you would be incorrect. The spectre of ‘liability’ makes

for my Mk 58 Hunter for two years now, and they no longer bother to answer me. Why not fly with the older cartridges? The problem is that the civil aviation authorities around the world stick to the manufacturer’s recommendations. MartinBaker specified, in their Mk 2, 3 & 4 seats that the cartridges have an installed life of just two years, and a shelf life of six years. Those of you who are familiar with firearms and ammunition will be aware that ‘old’ ammunition is not considered reliable and


it is therefore unwise to rely upon it if your life depends on it. By ‘old’ ammunition, most ammunition manufacturers mean ten years old, but military ammunition storage protocols can mean 20 years or even longer – up to 50 years. Modern ejector seat propellants can be single base, double base or triple base. Single base propellant, or nitrocellulose is a mature technology and modern propellants of this type, if properly stored in a cool and dry environment, can be expected to function perfectly well for around 50 years after manufacture. Double base propellant is less stable and generally last about 20 years. It’s interesting that cartridges for some US manufactured seats such as the North American seat in my Buckeye T-2, have an installed life of 18 years. This is much more realistic than the UK Martin Baker standard of two years installed, which may have been justified when Hunters and the like stood out in the sun in the Middle East at coastal locations with cockpit temperatures through the roof and high humidity. In the context of pampered warbirds parked in hangars, it is entirely different and a shelf life (or installed life since there is little difference) of 20 years would make sense. Not content to guess, a friend of mine then in charge of maintenance at Thunder City, Barry Pover, managed to persuade someone at PMP to test six old cartridges that had not been well stored and the youngest of which was 15 years’ old. It was expected that these cartridges would demonstrate seriously degraded capability when tested. Yet all of them passed the tests within the acceptable range for new cartridges. I have tried to have PMP repeat the exercise, but the company declines – instead I was met with the mantra about the

DECIDE WHETHER POSSIBLE DEATH THROUGH SEAT MALFUNCTION TRUMPS CERTAIN DEATH BY STAYING WITH THE AIRCRAFT product being time expired after six years on the shelf. This, it appears, is an arbitrary number not supported by the science. CONCLUSION. Flying old fighter aircraft is a relatively dangerous sport – it is not ridiculously dangerous - like playing Russian roulette or ‘proximity’ flying wing suits close to chunks of rock that look good in YouTube vids. The aircraft are reliable if properly serviced and flown with ordinary caution. It is probably on a par, in the danger stakes, with playing rugby or polo, or modern motor racing. If something drastic does go wrong on a jet warbird especially in a critical phase of flight – just after getting airborne for example – then having a live ejection seat

will quite probably save your life. It might also maim you or even kill you, but you are still better off – probably – than staying with the aircraft. A reasonably wellmaintained seat will work, even with 20 year old cartridges. However in today’s litigious society the manufacturers do not want to support the seats lest they get sued. It should therefore if necessary, even be legislated that the risk of using the seat is entirely that of the person electing to use it. He or she can then decide whether possible death through seat malfunction trumps certain death by staying with the aircraft. As the person most intimately affected, it seems to make more sense that the choice be in the user’s hands, rather than a bureaucrat! 

Modern ejection seats use slower burn rockets to achieve 0-0 performance rather than back-breaking explosions.

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BACKPAGE DIRECTORY A1A Flight Examiner (Loutzavia) Jannie Loutzis 012 567 6775 / 082 416 4069 jannie@loutzavia.co.za www.loutzavia.co.za Adventure Air Lande Milne 012 543 3196 / Cell: 066 4727 848 l.milne@venture-sa.co.za www.ventureglobal.biz AES (Cape Town) Erwin Erasmus 082 494 3722 erwin@aeroelectrical.co.za www.aeroelectrical.co.za AES (Johannesburg) Danie van Wyk 011 701 3200 office@aeroelectrical.co.za www.aeroelectrical.co.za

Atlas Aviation Lubricants Steve Cloete 011 917 4220 Fax: 011 917 2100 Sales.aviation@atlasoil.co.za www.atlasoil.africa

C. W. Price & Co Kelvin L. Price 011 805 4720 cwp@cwprice.co.za www.cwprice.co.za ATNS Percy Morokane Dart Aeronautical 011 607 1234 Jaco Kelly percymo@atns.co.za 011 827 8204 www.atns.com dartaero@mweb.co.za Aviation Direct Dart Aircraft Electrical Andrea Antel Mathew Joubert 011 465 2669 011 827 0371 info@aviationdirect.co.za Dartaircraftelectrical@gmail.com www.aviationdirect.co.za www.dartaero.co.za Avtech Aircraft Services Riekert Stroh 082 555 2808 / 082 749 9256 avtech1208@gmail.com BAC Aviation AMO 115 Micky Joss 035 797 3610 monicad@bacmaintenance.co.za Blackhawk Africa Cisca de Lange 083 514 8532 cisca@blackhawk.aero www.blackhawk.aero

DJA Aviation Insurance 011 464 5550 0800Flying mail@dja-aviation.co.za www.dja-aviation.co.za Dynamic Propellers Andries Visser 011 824 5057 082 445 4456 andries@dynamicpropeller.co.za www.dynamicpropellers.co.za

Flying Unlimited Flight School (Pty) Ltd Riaan Struwig 082 653 7504 / 086 770 8376 riaan@ppg.co.za www.ppg.co.za Foster Aero International Dudley Foster 011 659 2533 info@fosteraero.co.za www.fosteraero.co.za

Gemair Andries Venter 011 701 2653 / 082 905 5760 andries@gemair.co.za GIB Aviation Insurance Brokers Richard Turner 011 483 1212 aviation@gib.co.za www.gib.co.za

Gryphon Flight Academy Aerocore Jeffrey Von Holdt Jacques Podde 011 701 2600 082 565 2330 info@gryphonflight.co.za jacques@aerocore.co.za www.gryphonflight.co.za www.aerocore.co.za Eagle Aviation Helicopter Division Guardian Air Tamryn van Staden Aero Engineering & PowerPlant 011 701 3011 082 657 6414 Andre Labuschagne 082 521 2394 Blue Chip Flight School tamryn@eaglehelicopter.co.za 012 543 0948 ops@guardianair.co.za Henk Kraaij www.eaglehelicopter.co.za aeroeng@iafrica.com www.guardianair.co.za 012 543 3050 bluechip@bluechip-avia.co.za Eagle Flight Academy Aero Services (Pty) Ltd Heli-Afrique cc www.bluechipflightschool.co.za Mr D. J. Lubbe Chris Scott Tino Conceicao 082 557 6429 011 395 3587 083 458 2172 Border Aviation Club & Flight School training@eagleflight.co.za chris@aeroservices.co.za tino.conceicao@heli-afrique.co.za Liz Gous www.eagleflight.co.za www.aeroservices.co.za 043 736 6181 Henley Air admin@borderaviation.co.za Elite Aviation Academy Aeronav Academy www.borderaviation.co.za Andre Coetzee Jacques Podde Donald O’Connor 011 827 5503 082 565 2330 011 701 3862 andre@henleyair.co.za Breytech Aviation cc info@eliteaa.co.za info@aeronav.co.za www.henleyair.co.za 012 567 3139 www.eliteaa.co.za www.aeronav.co.za Willie Breytenbach Hover Dynamics admin@breytech.co.za Emperor Aviation Aerotric (Pty) Ltd Phillip Cope Paul Sankey Richard Small 074 231 2964 Bundu Aviation 082 497 1701 / 011 824 5683 083 488 4535 info@hover.co.za Phillip Cronje paul@emperoraviation.co.za aerotric@aol.com www.hover.co.za 083 485 2427 www.emperoraviation.co.za info@bunduaviation.co.za Aircraft Assembly and Upholstery Centre Indigo Helicopters www.bunduaviation.co.za Enstrom/MD Helicopters Tony/Siggi Bailes Gerhard Kleynhans Andrew Widdall 082 552 6467 082 927 4031 / 086 528 4234 Celeste Sani Pak & Inflight Products 011 397 6260 anthony@rvaircraft.co.za veroeschka@indigohelicopters.co.za Steve Harris aerosa@safomar.co.za www.rvaircraft.co.za www.indigohelicopters.co.za 011 452 2456 www.safomar.co.za admin@chemline.co.za Aircraft Finance Corporation IndigoSat South Africa - Aircraft Tracking www.chemline.co.za Era Flug Flight Training Jaco Pietersen Gareth Willers Pierre Le Riche +27 [0]82 672 2262 08600 22 121 Cape Aircraft Interiors 021 934 7431 jaco@airfincorp.co.za sales@indigosat.co.za Sarel Schutte info@era-flug.com www.airfincorp.co.za www.indigosat.co.za 021 934 9499 www.era-flug.com michael@wcaeromarine.co.za Aircraft Maintenance International Integrated Avionic Solutions www.zscai.co.za Execujet Africa Pine Pienaar Gert van Niekerk 011 516 2300 083 305 0605 082 831 5032 Cape Town Flying Club enquiries@execujet.co.za gm@aminternational.co.za gert@iasafrica.co.za Beverley Combrink www.execujet.com www.iasafrica.co.za 021 934 0257 / 082 821 9013 Aircraft Maintenance International info@capetownflyingclub.co.za Federal Air Wonderboom International Flight Clearances www.@capetownflyingclub.co.za Nick Lloyd-Roberts Thomas Nel Steve Wright 011 395 9000 082 444 7996 076 983 1089 (24 Hrs) Cape Town Flight Training Centre shuttle@fedair.com admin@aminternational.co.za flightops@flyifc.co.za Oraya Laemkaew www.fedair.com www.flyifc.co.za 021 976 7053/084 440 7922 Air Line Pilots’ Association admin@cape-town-flying.co.za Ferry Flights int.inc. Sonia Ferreira Investment Aircraft www.cape-town-flying.co.za Michael (Mick) Schittenhelm 011 394 5310 Quinton Warne 082 442 6239 alpagm@iafrica.com 082 806 5193 Capital Air ferryflights@ferry-flights.com www.alpa.co.za aviation@lantic.net Micaella Vinagre www.ferry-flights.com www.investmentaircraft.com 011 827 0335 Airshift Aircraft Sales micaella@capitalairsa.com Fireblade Aviation Eugene du Plessis Jabiru Aircraft www.capitalairsa.com 010 595 3920 082 800 3094 Len Alford info@firebladeaviation.com eugene@airshift.co.za 044 876 9991 / 044 876 9993 Century Avionics cc www.firebladeaviation.com www.airshift.co.za info@jabiru.co.za Carin van Zyl www.jabiru.co.za 011 701 3244 Flight Training College Airvan Africa sales@centuryavionics.co.za Cornell Morton Patrick Hanly Jim Davis Books www.centuryavionics.co.za 044 876 9055 082 565 8864 Jim Davis ftc@flighttrainning.co.za airvan@border.co.za 072 188 6484 Chemetall www.flighttraining.co.za www.airvan.co.za jim@border.co.za Wayne Claassens www.jimdavis.co.za 011 914 2500 Flight Training Services Algoa Flying Club wayne.claassens@basf.com Amanda Pearce Sharon Mugridge Joc Air T/A The Propeller Shop www.chemetall.com 011 805 9015/6 041 581 3274 Aiden O’Mahony amanda@fts.co.za info@algoafc.co.za 011 701 3114 Chem-Line Aviation & Celeste Products www.fts.co.za www.algoafc.co.za jocprop@iafrica.com Steve Harris 011 452 2456 Flightsure Aviation Brokers Alpi Aviation SA Kishugu Aviation sales@chemline.co.za Mandy Coetzer Dale De Klerk +27 13 741 6400 www.chemline.co.za 011 805 1884 082 556 3592 comms@kishugu.com mandy@flightsure.co.za dale@alpiaviation.co.za www.kishugu.com/kishugu-aviation Comporob Composite Repair & www.flightsure.co.za www.alpiaviation.co.za Manufacture Kit Planes for Africa Felix Robertson Fly Jetstream Aviation Apco (Ptyd) Ltd Stefan Coetzee 072 940 4447 Henk Kraaij Tony/Henk 013 793 7013 083 265 3602 083 279 7853 012 5213 0775 info@saplanes.co.za comporob@lantic.net charter@flyjetstream.co.za support@apcosa.co.za www.saplanes.co.za www.comporob.co.za www.flyjetstream.co.za www.apcosa.co.za Kzn Aviation (Pty) Ltd Corporate-Aviators/Affordable Jet Sales Flying Frontiers Aref Avionics Melanie Jordaan Mike Helm Craig Lang Hannes Roodt 031 564 6215 082 442 6239 082 459 0760 082 462 2724 mel@kznaviation.co.za corporate-aviators@iafrica.com CraigL@fairfield.co.za arefavionics@border.co.za www.kznaviation.co.za www.corporate-aviators.com www.flyingfrontiers.com

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North East Avionics Keith Robertson +27 13 741 2986 keith@northeastavionics.co.za deborah@northeastavionics.co.za www.northeastavionics.co.za Landing Eyes Gavin Brown Orsmond Aviation 031 202 5703 058 303 5261 info@landingeyes.co.za info@orsmondaviation.co.za www.landingeyes.com www.orsmondaviation.co.za Lanseria Aircraft Interiors Owenair (Pty) Ltd Francois Denton Clive Skinner 011 659 1962 / 076 810 9751 082 923 9580 francois@aircraftcompletions.co.za clive.skinner@owenair.co.za www.owenwair.co.za Lanseria International Airport Mike Christoph Pacair 011 367 0300 Wayne Bond mikec@lanseria.co.za 033 386 6027 www.lanseria.co.za pacair@telkomsa.net

Skyworx Aviation Kevin Hopper kevin@skyworx.co.za www.skyworxaviation.co.za

U Fly Training Academy Nikola Puhaca 011 824 0680 ufly@telkomsa.net www.uflyacademy.co.za United Charter cc Jonathan Wolpe 083 270 8886 jonathan.wolpe@unitedcharter.co.za www.unitedcharter.co.za

Sky-Tech Heinz Van Staden 082 720 5210 sky-tech@telkomsa.net www.sky-tech.za.com

United Flight Support Clinton Moodley/Jonathan Wolpe 076 813 7754 / 011 788 0813 ops@unitedflightsupported.com www.unitedflightsupport.com

Plane Maintenance Facility Johan 083 300 3619 pmf@myconnection.co.za

Sling Aircraft Kim Bell-Cross 011 948 9898 sales@airplanefactory.co.za www.airplanefactory.co.za Solenta Aviation (Pty Ltd) Paul Hurst 011 707 4000 info@solenta.com www.solenta.com

Precision Aviation Services Pieter Hulleman 012 543 0371 riks@pasaviation.co.za www.pasaviation.co.za

Southern Energy Company (Pty) Ltd Elke Bertram +264 8114 29958 johnnym@sec.com.na www.sec.com.na

Precision Aviation Training Academy Johan Odendaal 012 543 0372 / 082 553 4413 johan@pasaviation.co.za www.patahelicopters.co.za PSG Aviation Reon Wiese 0861 284 284 reon.wiese@psg.co.za www.psg aviation.co.za

Southern Rotorcraft cc Mr Reg Denysschen Tel no: 0219350980 sasales@rotors-r-us.com www.rotors-r-us.com

Unique Air Charter Nico Pienaar 082 444 7994 nico@uniqueair.co.za www.uniqueair.co.za Unique Flight Academy Nico Pienaar 082 444 7994 nico@uniqueair.co.za www.uniqueair.co.za Van Zyl Aviation Services Colette van Zyl 012 997 6714 admin@vanzylaviationco.za www.vanzylaviation.co.za Vector Aerospace Jeff Poirier +902 888 1808 jeff.poirier@vectoraerospace.com www.vectoraerospace.com

Legend Sky 083 860 5225 / 086 600 7285 info@legendssky.co.za www.legendsky.co.za

PFERD-South Africa (Pty) Ltd Hannes Nortman 011 230 4000 hannes.nortman@pferd.co.za www.pferd.com

Litson & Associates (Pty) Ltd OGP, BARS, Resources Auditing & Aviation Training karen.litson@litson.co.za Phone: 27 (0) 21 8517187 www.litson.co.za

Pipistrel Kobus Nel 083 231 4296 kobus@pipistrelsa.co.za www.pipistrelsa.co.za

Litson & Associates Risk Management Services (Pty) Ltd. eSMS-S/eTENDER/ eREPORT/Advisory Services karen.litson@litson.co.za Phone: 27 (0) 8517187 www.litson.co.za Loutzavia Aircraft Sales Henry Miles 082 966 0911 henry@loutzavia.co.za www.loutzavia.co.za Loutzavia Charters Henry Miles 012 567 3873 charters@loutzavia.co.za www.loutzavia.co.za Loutzavia Flight Training Gerhardt Botha 012 567 6775 ops@loutzavia.co.za www.loutzavia.co.za Loutzavia-Pilots and Planes Maria Loutzis 012 567 6775 maria@loutzavia.co.za www.pilotsnplanes.co.za Loutzavia Rand Frans Pretorius 011 824 3804 rand@loutzavia.co.za www@loutzavia.co.za Lowveld Aero Club Pugs Steyn 013 741 3636 Flynow@lac.co.za Marshall Eagle Les Lebenon 011 958 1567 les@marshalleagle.co.za www.marshalleagle.co.za MCC Aviation Pty Ltd Claude Oberholzer 011 701 2332 info@flymcc.co.za www.flymcc.co.za MH Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd Marc Pienaar 011 609 0123 / 082 940 5437 customerrelations@mhaviation.co.za www.mhaviation.co.za M and N Acoustic Services cc Martin de Beer 012 689 2007/8 calservice@mweb.co.za Metropolitan Aviation (Pty) Ltd Gert Mouton 082 458 3736 herenbus@gmail.com

SIM Aerotraining (Pty) Ltd 011 395 1326 Keith Roseveare keithr@simaero.co.za www.sim.aero

Rainbow SkyReach (Pty) Ltd Mike Gill 011 817 2298 Mike@fly-skyreach.com www.fly-skyreach.com Rand Airport Stuart Coetzee 011 827 8884 stuart@randairport.co.za www.randairport.co.za Robin Coss Aviation Robin Coss 021 934 7498 info@cossaviation.com www.cossaviation.co.za

Skyhorse Aviation Tamarin Bond 012 809 3571 info@skyhorse.co.za www.skyhorse.co.za

Velocity Aviation Collin Pearson 011 659 2306 / 011 659 2334 collin@velocityaviation.co.za www.velocityaviation.co.za

Sport Plane Builders Pierre Van Der Walt 083 361 3181 pmvdwalt@mweb.co.za Starlite Aero Sales Klara Fouché +27 83 324 8530 / +27 31 571 6600 klaraf@starliteaviation.com www.starliteaviation.com

Villa San Giovanni Luca Maiorana 012 111 8888 info@vsg.co.za www.vsg.co.za

Starlite Aviation Operations Trisha Andhee +27 82 660 3018/ +27 31 571 6600 trishaa@starliteaviation.com www.starliteaviation.com

Vortx Aviation Bredell Roux 072 480 0359 info@vortx.co.za www.vortxaviation.com

Starlite Aviation Training Academy Enquiries Durban: +27 31 571 6600  Mossel Bay:  +27 44 692 0006 train@starliteaviation.com www.starliteaviation.com

Wagtail Aviation Johan van Ludwig 082 452 8194 acrochem@mweb.co.za www.wagtail.co.za

SAA Technical (SOC) Ltd SAAT Marketing 011 978 9993 satmarketing@flysaa.com www.flysaa.com/technical

Status Aviation (Pty) Ltd Richard Donian 074 587 5978 / 086 673 5266 info@statusaviation.co.za www.statusaviation.co.za

Wanafly Adrian Barry 082 493 9101 adrian@wanafly.net www.wanafly.co.za

SABRE Aircraft Richard Stubbs 083 655 0355 richardstubbs@mweb.co.za www.aircraftafrica.co.za

Superior Pilot Services Liana Jansen van Rensburg 0118050605/2247 info@superiorair.co.za www.superiorair.co.za

Windhoek Flight Training Centre Thinus Dreyer 0026 40 811284 180 pilots@flywftc.com www.flywftc.com

SA Mooney Patrick Hanly 082 565 8864 samooney@border.co.za www.samooney.co.za Savannah Helicopters De Jager 082 444 1138 / 044 873 3288 dejager@savannahhelicopters.co.za www.savannahhelicopters.co.za Scenic Air Christa van Wyk +264 612 492 68 windhoek@scenic-air.com www.scenic-air.com

Money Aviation Angus Money 083 263 2934 angus@moneyaviation.co.za www.moneyaviation.co.za

Sheltam Aviation Durban Susan Ryan 083 505 4882 susanryan@sheltam.com www.sheltamaviation.com

MS Aviation Gary Templeton 082 563 9639 gary.templeton@msaviation.co.za www.msaviation.co.za

Sheltam Aviation PE Brendan Booker 082 497 6565 brendanb@sheltam.com www.sheltamaviation.com

The Copter Shop Bill Olmsted 082 454 8555 execheli@iafrica.com www.execheli.wixsite.com/the-copter-shopsa Titan Helicopter Group 044 878 0453 info@titanhelicopters.com www.titanhelicopters.com TPSC Dennis Byrne 011 701 3210 turboprop@wol.co.za Trio Helicopters & Aviation cc CR Botha or FJ Grobbelaar 011 659 1022

stoffel@trioavi.co.za/frans@trioavi.co.za

www.trioavi.co.za Tshukudu Trailers Pieter Visser 083 512 2342 deb@tshukudutrailers.co.za www.tshukudutrailers.co.za

Wings n Things Wendy Thatcher 011 701 3209 wendy@wingsnthings.co.za www.wingsnthings.co.za Witbank Flight School Andre De Villiers 083 604 1718 andredv@lantic.net www.waaflyingclub.co.za Wonderboom Airport Peet van Rensburg 012 567 1188/9 peet@wonderboomairport.co.za www.wonderboomairport.co.za Zandspruit Bush & Aero Estate Martin Den Dunnen 082 449 8895 martin@zandspruit.co.za www.zandspruit.co.za Zebula Golf Estate & SPA Reservations 014 734 7700 reception@zebula.co.za www.zebula.co.za

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Industry Update R eport : O wen H eckrath

GATWICK FLIGHTS SUSPENDED Gatwick(LGW), the second busiest airport in the U.K. after London-Heathrow (LHR) has recently been experiencing “traffic technology” woes. First was the delays and flight cancellations caused by unauthorised drones operating over the airfield last December and now it’s the traffic control systems that are causing the delays.

A

LL flights at London Gatwick Airport were suspended after problems arose with the airport’s air traffic control systems recently. It has been reported that the issue stemmed from tower computer systems. A total of 26 flights were diverted during the two-hour outage, with an estimated 95 flights cancelled and 298 delayed. The system failure occurred at

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approximately 17h00 local time. “Due to an air traffic control systems issue in Gatwick’s control tower, flights are currently suspended,” airport authorities said in a statement during the outage. “We are working with ANS, our air traffic control provider, to rectify this issue as quickly as possible.” After the airport reopened, authorities cautioned passengers to expect delays and further cancellations

throughout the evening. While the airport said it was planning to operate a full flight schedule the following day, delays were still being reported. 

BELOW: Gatwick is the UK's second busiest airport.


Profile for SA Flyer Magazine

August 2019  

August 2019