SA Flyer Magazine March 2023

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FlightCm Afr ican Commercial Aviation  Edition 324
Bruce Perkins


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LOOKING AT THE ADVERTISEMENTS for planes for sale is worrying. It’s not just the usual crop of aircraft from people wanting to trade up. There is a far greater proportion of pilots selling everything: their planes, headsets and hangars. In other words, they are done with flying.

The problem is simple. South Africans have been made steadily poorer by incompetent government, the state of disaster from Eskom’s failure, and now Grey Listing. As the country gets poorer the Rand weakens and new planes become prohibitively expensive. Fuel and maintenance also become unaffordable and thus too many pilots are just hanging up their headsets.

Aviation is a capital-intensive industry that is typically very competitive and thus has low margins. To grow, the industry needs to have confidence in the economy –and in government. On top of the damage to the industry caused by the failure South Africa’s government, there are the ongoing debilitating attacks on the industry by misguided bureaucrats at the CAA.

There are currently at least four such attacks: The conflict between the designated flight examiners and the CAA’s testing officers has once again come to a head. (I deal with this in my Attitude for Altitude column this

function which used to be free – notably the addition of a new aircraft type to the pilots’ ratings. Then too there is the arbitrary changing of standards for the restricted radio licence examiners. And lurking in the background, the inability to the CAA to deal decisively with airworthiness problems that should require an Airworthiness Directive.

Reports from banks, and in particular aviation lenders, shows that the industry is taking a waitand-see approach to expenditure. Flight schools report that there are very few people wanting to learn to fly for fun. The only flying schools that are thriving are those training foreign students for airline careers.

The sale of recreational aviation aircraft is at an all-time low. Sling Aircraft now sells the bulk of its production internationally, as locally very few pilots can afford to pay more than two million Rand for a basic two-seater recreational plane. The sales of type certified piston aircraft have dried up almost entirely.

There is a sense that almost everyone is just holding their breath – or perhaps sitting on their hands. It was hoped that with the end of Covid there would be a collective sense of the unburdening of the economy as though a huge weight of depression has been lifted from its shoulders.

Other worrying problems are the R380 charges now being levied for a simple administrative

It may seem hard to imagine now – but everything is cyclical – and this too shall end. Then the pendulum will swing back from the extreme depression it is in now, to the other extreme of optimism, and we will once again be flying in the best country in the world.


Guy Leitch

The problem is simple.

No great story ever started inside the comfort zone.

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UAVIONIX DEVELOPS, manufactures, and delivers the world’s smallest, lightest, and most innovative avionics and connectivity solutions for safe, mission critical crewed and uncrewed flight operations. Servicing customers globally, uAvionix’s crossdisciplinary team of experts is shaping the future of aviation communication, awareness, navigation, and display for commercial, civil and defence customers.

uAvionix now distributes the revolutionary tailBeaconX 1090 MHz ADS-B transponder worldwide. tailBeaconX is a highly integrated transponder that replaces a rear navigation light by combining an ADS-B OUT / Mode S transponder, SBAS GPS, antennas, and a rear LED position light. tailBeaconX is uniquely designed to meet the challenge of worldwide adoption of both ground and space-based ADS-B for Air Traffic Surveillance.

The uAvionix tailBeaconX and companion AV-30 panel display is approved and currently shipping to South Africa, US, Canada, Europe, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, and more.


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EASA Approved and Now Shipping tailBeaconX combined with the AV-30 or supported third-party EFIS elevates your cockpit functionality while future-proofing your ADS-B transponder to meet South Africa, US, Canadian, and future ADS-B requirements. tailBeaconX replaces your existing transponder while upgrading your rear position light. tailBeaconX CONTROLLED WITH AV30 tailBeaconX
March 2023 10 12 Opening Shot 70 M & N Acoustic Register Review 78 SV Aviation Fuel Table 92 Executive Aircraft Refurbishment Events Calender FLIGHTCOM 08 AME Directory 34 ALPI Flight School Listing 35 Merchant West Charter Directory 36 Skysource AMO Listing 40 Aviation Directory CONTENTS Edition 324 REGULARS FEATURES SA FLYER 36 QUOTE OF THE MONTH 38 FLIGHT TEST: THE TIGER MOTH 81 NEWS - SANDF DISASTER UNIT 86 NEWS - PT6 CLOCKS UP A BILLION HOURS 91 NEWS - STARSHIP LAUNCH IN MARCH? FLIGHTCOM 14 News- FlySafair Spreads its Wings 23 News- Airlink - BA Codeshare 24 Photo Essay Armed Forces - Trevor Cohen 26 FACE to FACE - Hadi Akoum


ESTABLISHED IN 2007, 208 Aviation is a South African privately-owned company that strives to provide a broad range of aircraft maintenance and inspection services. With 15 years of operation, we have become a key player in aviation operations on the African continent.

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Website: j

March 2023 11
T A K E T O T H E S K I E S H A N G A R 4 9 , W O N D E R B O O M A I R P O R T P R E T O R I A , S O U T H A F R I C A AMO 1148 + 2 7 8 3 7 4 4 3 4 1 2 w w w . 2 0 8 a v i a t i o n . c o m W e a r e a n a p p r o v e d B l a c k h a w k D e a l e r a n d I n s t a l l a t i o n F a c i l i t y
March 2023 12

Nic Southon is a sport pilot based at Morningstar in Cape Town. A few years ago we featured his Christen Eagle biplane – now he has a single-seat DR107, One Design aircraft which he regularly uses for aerobatic thrills.

Nic mounted a Gopro 360 camera on his left wingtip and captured this dynamic wide-angle image over Bloubergstrand with the iconic Table Mountain behind.

March 2023 13 Send your submissions to

Who Guards the Guards?

The development of general aviation in South Africa faces three large hurdles: 1) The high price of fuel. 2) The weak Rand and associated high price of new planes and parts. 3) The CAA – which, despite its mandate to develop aviation, has all too often become the ‘Commission Against Aviation’ with its endless ‘tea time’ rulemaking that slowly strangles the industry.

THERE IS NOT MUCH GA can do about the first two hurdles, but having the SACAA strangle the industry is hard to swallow.

As the regulator, or ‘traffic cop,’ of civil aviation, the SACAA comes in for more than its fair share of flak. However, at times it falls down properly – and at the moment it has at least three big stumbling blocks, (plus many smaller ones) which quietly fester:

differences system which has worked okay for the past twenty years.

victimisation and authoritarianism

In an equally incomprehensible move, the SACAA seems determined to make life impossible for what few restricted radio licence examiners are left – which will make it stupidly difficult and expensive for new pilots to get a radio licence.

The Designated Flight Examiners (DFEs) are at war with the SACAA’s testing officers (TOs) who oversee them.

In one of its sporadic eruptions of idiocy the SACAA is shooting itself in the foot by demanding to be paid for what should be a free service – and in the process completely screwing up the entire type ratings and

I don’t have the space in this column to review all these issues, so this month I will focus on the DFE vs TO conflict.

DFEs vs TOs

Contrary to what many seem to want to believe, the stumbling blocks to SACAA competence and

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quality service delivery are not inexperienced affirmative appointees, but the writhing snake pit of race relations and internal politics which makes it difficult for the regulator to attract and retain quality people – particularly experienced inspectors.

South Africa is increasingly beset by toxic race relations. Non-whites are frustrated by the entrenched prejudice that comes from the endless concessions made to compensate for substandard education. And white males are threatened by those who consider themselves entitled to their jobs. This inherent racial tension aggravates the empire building and back-stabbing that characterises any bureaucratic organisation. The net result is that, like the American presidency, all too often the best people for the job simply don’t make themselves available.

DFEs report feeling humiliated

people available is the Testing Officers (TOs) who conduct Designated Flight Examiner (DFE) oversights. The SACAA may be the custodian of aviation standards in South Africa, but it is the designated flight test examiners who really set and keep the standards of flying. They represent the SACAA and are the uberinstructors – the best of the best. Although the DFEs are the highest of all instructor levels, they are still subject to oversight inspections by the Testing Officer; the ‘examiners of the examiners’. Thus are the guards of flying guarded.

As the ‘examiners of the examiners’, the TOs must be drawn from the ranks of senior pilots with tens of thousands of hours of experience, usually as Training Captains on the airlines. They should have in-depth experience from having seen and done it all.

In aviation, the function where the SACAA, as the regulator, particularly needs to have the best

Usually enough retired airline Training Captains can be persuaded to continue contributing their lifetime’s worth of accumulated knowledge by

March 2023 15
The SACAA has a regular ICAO finding about the quality of its Testing Officers.

taking these TO posts so that they may mentor others. But many claim the politics and toxic working environment at the SACAA just does not make it attractive enough.

ICAO is well aware of this problem. ICAO Doc 8335 specifies that, “Ideally an inspector should be at least as qualified as the personnel to be inspected or supervised. …… Persons seeking a position as a flight inspector should have held previous appointments, either in operational management, as an airline pilot and designated examiner, or training instructor, or as a military pilot, where equivalent experience in air transport operations would have been acquired.”

The problem that threatens to tear apart the top levels of testing standards is that the DFEs say, “As far as the DFE’s can ascertain, the SACAA AOs neither hold valid flying licences, Instrument Ratings, nor Instructors ratings.” And so we have the situation where a lapsed Grade 2 instructor is supposed to be able to test a DFE.

So what can be done?

The DFEs write; “It is easy to find fault, but far more difficult to find solutions. DFEs are dedicated members of the aviation industry and as such have a number of suggestions to overcome the problems:

Suggestion 1:

Considering that DFEs are appointed by the SACAA, treat DFEs as part of the team and solution, and not as the opposition.

Suggestion 2:

In the interest of transparency, the SACAA should publish the credentials of AOs so that, within the flying industry, their credibility will be accepted.

SA aircraft could be black-listed

Describing how the lack of TO experience has become toxic, the DFEs say, “The oversights conducted by the SACAA AOs are perceived, by a number of the DFEs as a punitive process brought on by the perceived victimisation and authoritarianism by the AOs. Some DFEs report feeling humiliated by the AOs. We feel that the current manner of conducting oversights does not foster sound interaction and communication between DFEs and AOs, which will have a long term detrimental effect on flight safety in South Africa.”

Simply put – if the DFEs get gatvol of the ‘victimisation, authoritarianism and punitive testing’ they will take their clipboards and headsets and leave the industry, creating a chronic skills shortage that will have a large impact on the standards and thus safety of the South African aviation industry.

Suggestion 3: Check AO oversight pass/fail statistics to ensure standardisation and as such, establish if AOs are possibly undermining the oversight process and generating a problem in this regard.

Suggestion 4:

Don’t work in isolation. Look at world best practices and appoint a group of DFEs to assist in developing workable and implementable solutions. Refer to the helicopter DFE standardisation group that has been formed.

Suggestion 5:

Treat these issues as urgent within the aviation industry as the safety implications cannot be ignored.

To these I can add three more suggestions that have been proposed at various times.

Suggestion 6:

This problem of DFEs vs TOs is not unique to

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South Africa. It has happened elsewhere in the world, so there are lessons to be learned. In Europe there was also excessive emphasis on the ground evaluation during the TO oversight process of DFE. This was mainly due to the fact the TOs were inexperienced and focused mostly on what they were good at, that is, the regulatory side. This process created enough frustration for the examiners to conduct an anonymous, independent survey amongst the examiners to determine the extent and nature of the problem. Based on the outcome of this survey, they then contracted an independent aviation consultant to act on behalf of the examiners, negotiating with EASA for a workable solution.

The agreed solution was to move the assessment/examiners process back into the industry. To do this, EASA appointed suitably experienced and talented Senior Examiners (SE) from within the industry. As a safety check, EASA still maintained a small group of Flight Inspectors that had the right to, from time to time, monitor tests being conducted by a senior examiner.

While knowledge of rules and regulations is essential, what is most important is the SE creating a healthy environment in which a pilot can prove his skills. The emphasis therefore when selecting SEs rests heavily on human factors, interpersonal relationship and communications skills to eliminate any possibility of perceived victimisation and authoritarianism leading to the humiliation of candidates. SEs must not be appointed if they are not able to demonstrate these human factor skills.

Suggestion 7:

Since there are no checks and balances for the TOs, to defuse the adversarial relationship between DFEs and TOs, all complaints should be heard by an oversight committee comprising SACAA senior officers and two outside nonexecutive people of sufficient standing in the

aviation community. This should not just be for DFEs but, if it was available across the industry, it would save the SACAA much time and money.

Suggestion 8:

As recently introduced in the USA, South Africa needs a ‘Pilot’s Bill of Rights’. We need an Ombudsman for Aviation to counterbalance the unchecked and too often destructive behaviour by the SACAA.


The DFEs write, “High training standards, the suitable climate and good training facilities have made South Africa a ‘go to’ destination for flying training. Additionally, the South African aviation industry plays a vital role in underpinning the tourist industry.

“If the safety situation deteriorates, it is conceivable that South African aircraft could be black-listed from flying into other countries’ airspaces or regulators prohibiting their aircraft from landing in South Africa. South Africa cannot afford to let this happen and we owe it to future generations to uphold the standards.” j

March 2023 17
Lifetime careers can be ended by a bad checkride.



South Africa is blessed to have a vast reservoir of specialist aviation Maintenance Repair and Overhaul skills. Wonderboom based AviSys is one of South Africa’s leading lights in the provision of such specialist skills. Having survived Covid, the company is now proudly celebrating its twelfth birthday.

AviSys is best known for the maintenance and repair of landing gear systems. These high stress components can only be effectively maintained by a specialist with both experience and sophisticated equipment.

AviSys Aviation Systems is licenced as AMO 1089 to perform component maintenance and overhaul under its Category B rating. The company is based at Hangar 17 Wonderboom Airport.

AviSys provides quality advice and service to cater for client’s needs on the following types: B727 and B737, Douglas DC-8 and DC-9, PC12, Douglas MD80, Beechcraft B200 and 1900 and Hawker, and more recently, Embraer 110, 120 and ERJ135 series. AviSys represents the following key landing gear component makers: ABSC, Honeywell / Bendix, Goodrich and Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems.

CEO Dewald Krynauw says that in the light of the current logistical and supply chain challenges faced by specialist companies it is proving increasingly difficult to source parts for overhaul.

AviSys has three divisions: the brake shop, the wheel shop and the landing gear repair and overhaul facility. In addition, AviSys is able to perform helicopter servo actuator repair and overhaul, flexible hose build-up and engine fire bottles HPT and service.

AviSys Aviation Systems’ 12 years of steady growth in capability and experience is based on its dedicated staff members who are committed to deliver service excellence and quality workmanship at market related prices.

Contact AviSys on: +27 83 442 5884 or phone 012 567 0046. Email: or or visit: j

March 2023 18

Recently accredited to perform EMB145 Landing Gear Overhaul and Repair.

AviSys Aviation Systems is an established Maintenance Organization AMO 1089 with SA-CAA, and other African CAA accreditation to perform component maintenance and overhaul capabilities under its Category B rating. Currently, AviSys is equipped to cater for our Clients needs as per the SA-CAA Approved Capability List and Operational Specifications on the following:

• Aircraft Braking Systems repair and full overhaul capability with SA-CAA Component Release to Service (Authorised Release Certificate) on the following OEM Makes; ABSC, Honeywell / Bendix, Goodrich and Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems.

• Aircraft main and nose wheel assemblies for the above makes, to repair and overhaul.

• Landing Gear Repair and Overhaul

• Helicopter Servo Actuator Repair and Overhaul

• Flexible Hose Build-up

• Engine Fire Bottles HPT, Service, Fill and Re-charge

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ALPI AVIATION IS HEADED by avid aviation enthusiast, Dale de Klerk, an accomplished hang glider, microlight, glider and fixed-wing pilot. Dale has won several regional and national competitions, becoming world Rally Flying Champion in 2003 and earning Springbok Flying colours in Rally and Precision flying from 1995 through to 2004.

ALPI Aviation SA is an accredited Flight School, certified to CAA standards, using experienced instructors with an ethos of respect toward all their students. At Alpi Aviation, we value the individuality of each student, and we will do our utmost to hone their capabilities and enhance

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March 2023 20
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DYNAMIC PROPELLERS, AMO No. 1150, specialises in the overhaul, repair and maintenance of propellers for commercial and privately-owned aircraft. Dynamic Propellers is an authorised service centre, approved to overhaul and maintain all Hartzell, McCauley, MT-propeller, Hoffmann, Dowty, Sensenich, Whirlwind and Hamilton standard propellers, including metal and composite blades.

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At Dynamic Propellers cc we overhaul and maintain all Hartzell, McCauley, MTPropeller, Hoffmann, Dowty, Sensenich, Whirl Wind and Hamilton standard propellers to include metal and composite blades. We do all maintenance procedures related to aircraft propeller overhauls as called for by the various propeller manufacturers including cadmium plating.

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We carry a large stock holding of fast moving propellers, hubs, parts, de-icing parts, overhaul kits etc. in our inventory to cater for Hartzell, McCauley, MT – Propeller, Hoffman, Dowty, Sensenich, Whirl Wind and Hamilton standard propellers. We do a huge amount of travelling to local, domestic and neighbouring countries as well as abroad to cater for customer’s propeller requirements.

propeller blades, as well as dynamic balancing of propellers in the field.

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Andries Visser - Tel: +27 82 445 4496

Email: j

March 2023 21 • Tel: +27 11 824 5057 • Fax2mail: 086 548 2651 E-mail: • Andries: 082 445 4496 SA Flyer 2023|03


I’M NOT SURE WHAT she believed an air pocket consisted of, but I suppose it was something like the nonsensical “region of low pressure causing an aircraft to lose altitude suddenly” that you still find if you Google the phrase today.

You would not suppose that awareness of air pockets could much precede the Wrights, but in fact the earliest reference I have encountered is in a biography of the Roman general and statesman Titus Quinctius Flamininus, who in 197 BCE liberated a number of Greek citystates from Macedonian control. Writing some 250 years after the event, the Greek author, Plutarch, describes how a large gathering of Greeks gave out such a shout of joy at the announcement of their emancipation that passing crows fell from the sky.

is possible, too, that there may be a circular agitation of the air, which, like marine whirlpools, may have a violent direction of this sort given to it ...”

Air is not a fruitcake

That mixture of credulity and careful analysis is characteristic of ancient authors; we moderns, or at least the irreligious among us, simply dismiss implausible stories of longpast events as mere fables. But it is interesting to see that a firstcentury Greek, who was a new-born babe as far as the mechanisms of flight and the behaviour of air are concerned, nevertheless came pretty close to describing what today we would call “loss of lift” and “turbulence.”

He pauses in his narrative to ponder this remarkable event. “The disruption of the air must be the cause of it. For the voices, being numerous, and the acclamation violent, the air breaks with it, and can no longer give support to the birds; but lets them tumble, like one that should attempt to walk upon a vacuum ... It

Despite the passage of 2,000 years, Google’s “region of low pressure” is actually worse than Plutarch’s “disruption of the air.” Air is not a fruitcake, with thicker lumps scattered around here and there for aeroplanes to bump into. There are, indeed, regions of low pressure in the atmosphere, and regions of high pressure, and of all sorts of pressures in between, but they are hundreds or thousands of miles wide and in no sense “pockets.” Besides, pressure has nothing to do with it; if it were actually a deficit of

March 2023 22
My mother, who would fortify herself for any aerial voyage with either Miltown or Chivas Regal, would later revisit with perverse relish each “air pocket” the plane had encountered.

something that caused an aeroplane or a crow to drop, it would be density, not pressure.

In fact, what causes an aeroplane to drop or to surge upward is not a change in the quality of the air. It is a change in its motion – indeed, a sort of “agitation.” You see how air swirls and eddies when a beam of sunlight illuminates airborne dust particles or shower steam. What you perceive in an aeroplane as bumps are differences in the direction and velocity of air movement as you pass rapidly from one region of the air mass to another. The aeroplane cannot instantly re-trim itself for each swirl and eddy through which it passes, and so the wing experiences transitory changes in angle of attack and airspeed. The lift force therefore changes, and the aeroplane rises or sinks accordingly. Bumps feel more sharpedged and percussive in a fast aeroplane than in a slow one, because the transition from one region to another is quicker.

There is a connection between weight, speed and turbulence that pilots are taught, but do

not necessarily understand. We are taught that the safe speed for turbulence penetration gets lower as an aeroplane gets lighter. This seems counterintuitive; why would a lightly loaded aeroplane not be better rather than worse equipped to sustain a given gust loading?

The reason has to do with angle of attack and lift coefficient – and this may be why it is not more easily understood.

When an aeroplane encounters a gust, the change in angle of attack is the result of combining the speed of the plane with the relative direction and speed of the gust. For example, if a plane traveling at 100 metres per second (about 195 Ktas) encounters a vertical gust of 20 feet per second, its angle of attack changes by nearly four degrees (that is, a 15-to-one slope). That is a significant change, considering that the entire range of usable angles of attack, between zero lift and the stall, is only around 15 degrees.

How the aeroplane responds to that change has to do with both its speed and its wing loading.

March 2023 23
Turbulence is not caused by low pressure but by vertical air movements.
don’t fly over any rock concerts

The higher an aeroplane’s wing loading, the higher its lift coefficient at a given speed. The lower its speed, the higher its lift coefficient at a given weight.

Now we come to the bumpy part of the trip.

Lift coefficient is a measure of how much of a wing’s lifting capacity is being used, relative to the air pressure generated by the plane’s forward speed. Its range in normal flight is from 0.1 to about 1.5 with flaps up. A value of 1.5 means that the average pressure over the entire wing is one and a half times the pressure registered by the pitot tube and presented to the pilot as indicated airspeed.

The lift coefficient of a wing at an angle of attack of zero depends on the camber of its aerofoils; but each change of one degree of angle of attack results in a change of about one-tenth of a unit of lift coefficient. (Actually, it’s slightly less than a tenth, but let’s use one tenth for convenience.) This linear relationship has the

following result. If the lift coefficient is 0.2 at an angle of attack of one degree, it will be 0.4 at an angle of attack of three degrees – two tenths increase for two degrees increase. But, by the same token, if it is 0.4 at one degree – that is, the wing loading is higher or the aeroplane is moving more slowly – it will be 0.6 at three degrees.

Notice the difference. The change in lift coefficient is 0.2 in both cases, but the relation to the starting value is different. In the first case the lift force increases by 100 percent, and the aeroplane experiences an acceleration of 2G; in the second, although the change in angle of attack is the same, it increases by only 50 percent, and the acceleration is 1.5G.

If you ponder this relationship, you will see that it has two important consequences. One is that aeroplanes with higher cruising lift coefficients – generally, ones with higher wing loadings or flying at higher altitudes, or heavy aeroplanes flying at lower indicated airspeeds –

March 2023 24
This Cessna 210 broke up in flight when it hit turbulence because it was lightly loaded. Pic G. D. Martel

experience lower accelerations in a given level of turbulence.

The other, which is the more consequential, is that by slowing down, and therefore increasing your angle of attack and lift coefficient, you reduce the effects of turbulence. This is true in spite of the fact that as you slow down, the change in angle of attack for a given gust gets larger.

Pilots sometimes ask why, if an aeroplane is lightly loaded, its allowable G loading doesn’t go up. Surely an empty cabin puts less strain on the wing than a full one. The reason is that the entire structure of the aeroplane – not just the wing spar, but the engine mounts and battery box and gear uplocks and fuel tanks and what have you – are designed for the required limit load – 3.8 G for most “normal category” aeroplanes – and so parts other than the wing

are still vulnerable to overstress. That’s why it is always wise to slow down for turbulence – even if it is merely anticipated turbulence, and even if your plane is lightly loaded.

Slowing down has a second advantage as well. As the lift coefficient gets closer to the stall, a sufficiently powerful upward gust will push it beyond the stalling angle of attack and the lift of the wing will diminish rather than increase. This is the basic idea of manoeuvring speed and turbulence penetration speed: to use the wing’s inherent inability to continue lifting beyond a certain angle of attack to protect the wing’s structure against excessive lift.

But just to be super-safe – heed old Plutarch and don’t fly over any rock concerts or football games. Those people can really yell. j


Blackhawk Aerospace (“The Company”) is adding the PC-12 to their roster of aircraft for aftermarket engine upgrade Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs). With baseline testing complete, they have now installed and are flying the higher horsepower PT6A-67P, which is expected to receive FAA certification in Q2 of 2023 with EASA approval following shortly thereafter.

Blackhawk’s STC, branded as the XP67P Engine+ Upgrade, will include a factory-new Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) PT6A-67P engine and will be approved with the existing Hartzell four-blade aluminum propeller to minimize the retail cost.

Thermodynamic horsepower produced by the -67P engine enables operators to utilize full torque to more efficient cruising altitudes. Where the stock -67B starts losing power at 13,000

feet, the XP67P can maintain full power to 23,000 feet.

“Building upon the success of our existing Caravan engine upgrades, adding the Pilatus PC-12 platform to our growing list of STCs was a natural evolution for the aftermarket engine upgrade business that Blackhawk was built on,” said Jim Allmon, Blackhawk’s President and CEO. “Our foundation of innovation continues to carry us to new and exciting heights, and we look forward to welcoming PC-12 owners and operators into the Blackhawk family.”


Cisca de Lange

+27 83 514 8532 j

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AEROCOLOUR CC, based at Lanseria Airport, was founded in 2005.

We are a privately owned aircraft refurbishment facility in Southern Africa and have the confidence of a wide variety of aviation customers both local and abroad.

We pride ourselves on our hard-won reputation that is built on excellent workmanship, extreme attention to detail, after sales service and product support as well as personal customer relations, through which have earned the trust and confidence of both suppliers and customers alike.

Our core business is made up of private and corporate general aviation aircraft owners as

well as aviation service providers and sales companies.

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I’M GOING TO LET YOU INTO THE SECRET, and it’s so simple you will forget it by the time you get to the end of this article. Here it is:


Remember where you were, and what you were doing, when you first heard the news of the World Trade Centre disasters? Of course you do. But do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you first saw a Jamie Oliver cookbook?

The difference between the two memories is simply EMOTION.

I can nag a pupe all day about landing on the centreline and it doesn’t make much difference. However, if I say to him on downwind, “I’ll bet you a beer you can’t straddle the centreline on the next landing,” suddenly you become an excellent instructor. He will straddle the centreline – and you will lose a beer.

youth and inexperience on our side

So now let me tell you about an event that happened to me that was so emotionally charged I still get shivers. It was all to do with a hammerhead. I detect an uneasy shifting of bums in pews as members of my congregation look at each other with raised eyebrows and mutter, “What the hell is a hammerhead?”

I used to get caned regularly at school – the memories are extremely clear. I must also have gone into the school library from time to time, yet I have no memories of that at all.

At the risk of sounding sexist – why do women remember our shortcomings so clearly? You have got it – they are emotional events.

This all means that to be a great instructor you have to make stuff memorable, which means that you must find ways of making it emotional.

It’s one of the differences between SAAF and civil training. In the SAAF, if you overshoot the centreline when turning final your instructor will make your life a living hell to the point that you will remember it for ever more. You will never do it again.

Civvies just shrug and ask, “What the hell is a hammerhead?”

March 2023 28 PLANE TALK - JIM DAVIS
We all know an instructor who just seems to have the knack of making things memorable. We probably think of him as being a good, or even a great, instructor. Ever wondered how he does it?

I learned this lesson through raw terror a couple of years before the SAAF got hold of me. (Twin instructors – let’s see if you can identify the moment when you suck in your breath and say, “This is going to be nasty.”)

I was converting a guy on to a Twin Comanche at Port Elizabeth. We had done a few hours of upper air work including shutting down engines and feathering props. The pupe was sharp and he handled the aircraft, and the engine shutdowns, extremely well.

I was more than satisfied with his flying. We had done circuits and bumps before, and it was time to combine circuit work with asymmetric flight. Those were the days when single engine work in the circuit was a DCA (CAA) requirement. I was very happy with it – we had a newish aircraft that was light and we had sea level performance, combined with youth and inexperience on our side.

We were on the coast to the west of the airfield and the tower told us to join left hand downwind for 26. There was a wonderful 20 knot crosswind from about 190 to spice things up a bit.

On the way back to the field I gave him a simulated engine failure on the left engine and told him to shut it down, feather and tell the tower what we were doing and that it would be a full stop landing.

Instructors, if you are brave, or foolish, enough to feather an engine in the circuit, be very sure to tell ATC what you are doing. The word asymmetric possibly doesn’t mean a lot to some controllers, so it’s important to state clearly that you do not have the option of a go-around.

I’m still talking to instructors. Guys and girls, I don’t give a damn what the POH says, or what your mate says, or what your instructor told you, or what the CAA says – please listen to me: NEVER ATTEMPT AN ASYMMETRIC GO AROUND.

I have told this story before, but it’s so important; here it is again:

When I was doing my initial multi conversion at Wonderboom, my instructor was the great Barry Radley, ex RAF Farnborough test pilot, and by far the most competent pilot the DCA had ever

March 2023 30
Too high and too close on a left base for 26 at PE.

employed. Early in my conversion Barry put this question to me: “You are on final approach in a light twin on one engine, when a flock of sheep drift on to the runway. What will you do?”

“I will take full power, maintain airspeed and direction, retract…”

“No, Davis, the answer is, ‘Sir, I’m going to start killing sheep.’”

Do you see what happened there? Two very important things:

• First, his message was very clear – don’t try to go around on one engine – it’s bloody dangerous.

• Second, he made it emotional, and therefore memorable, by introducing the sheep and the imaginary bloody mess.

Barry was an exceptional instructor, and his sheep story was later to save my life, and the lives of five fat Germans. I found myself in that situation in an asymmetric Aztec and the tower was shouting at me to GO AROUND.

It’s a scary moment when you realise that what you do with your hands and feet in the next few seconds is going to determine whether you will live or die in the next few minutes.

Barry’s memorable sheep example won the day – I continued the approach and we landed safely.

Having drifted way off topic in my attempt to show how to make things memorable, let’s return to my pupe and I in the Twin Comanche on an asymmetric downwind at PE.

Those who were looking for my really dangerous decision should have it by now. Let me remind you of the relevant points:

• We have feathered the left engine.

• We are on a left hand downwind leg for runway 26, which has a strongish crosswind from the left.

• When we extended the flaps and undercarriage, we slammed our back door shut, as there’s no single-engine go-around with everything hanging out.

Okay, well here’s what happened – and I should have seen it coming, but didn’t.

When you join a circuit from elsewhere, there is a tendency to make it tighter than if you are doing circuits and bumps. There are two reasons for this. First there’s a psychological tendency to stay close to the safety of an airfield. And second, you don’t conform to the normal crosswind leg procedures that largely dictate the width of standard training circuits.

So we start off a with a downwind leg that’s a bit tight. Now the crosswind is drifting us closer to the field, however the pupil is smart enough to allow for that by heading a bit into wind. But unfortunately, not nearly enough. We need to not only correct for the drift – we actually need to track away from the field, because the base leg is going to be very short and fast.

But we are distracted by landing checks and radio calls and watching out for other traffic etc, so we don’t really plan for what the wind is going to do to us. We forget that this wind will even work on us during the turn on to base, further shortening the base leg and lengthening the final approach.

So what happens? The dreaded hammerhead is suddenly upon us as we overshoot the centreline in the turn on to final approach.

Halfway through the turn we realise we are deep in that odorous brown commodity that’s renowned for its ability to stick to army blankets. Turning into the dead engine used to be an absolute no no, but it’s now considered

March 2023 31
This is going to be nasty.

acceptable as long as you maintain airspeed and keep the turn gentle.

But the hammerhead has taken us further from the runway than we were planning for. It is also calling for us to tighten the turn, which is an extremely bad move. In addition, it calls for us to add power because we are a bit low and far from the runway. And this is the condition every twin pilot wants to avoid at all costs.

Ideally, we should be a bit on the high side, so that the approach only requires a dribble of power, and we should be doing a gentle 20 degree banked turn. But we are low, needing more power, and having to tighten the turn.

There is no back door, you can’t do a go around and you are sinking into the aforementioned commodity.

As the instructor I have let this predicament develop, and there is absolutely nothing I can do except hope that we don’t flick into the ground a couple of hundred yards short of the runway.

The point is, I hope that we have now reached a stage where the story is not just a technical one about asymmetrical ops in a light twin, but it is so emotional, so scary, and therefore so memorable, that instructors and pupes will learn to tiptoe around feathering engines in the circuit.

into an unforgettable near death experience. Some things are routine – but we still need to make them memorable. Let me tell you about flow charts.


For things which are just not as likely as a good scare in a light twin to give us the same searing emotional imprint, we use charts, or flow patterns.

If you don’t know what a flow pattern is – I reckon you already use at least one every time you fly. It’s during your preflight inspection. You don’t think – ‘how the hell can I remember everything to check on a preflight?’ You simply follow your nose around the aeroplane in an orderly manner, and you inspect each thing as you come to it. That’s a flow pattern.

Then you climb in, fasten your seat belt and think, ‘What should I do next?’

Well why not continue your round-the-aircraftinspection by doing a round-the-cockpitinspection? That’s what airline pilots do, and it makes a hell of a lot of sense to me. I have never understood why preflights always cover the outside of the aircraft but not the inside.

So here’s a pop-quiz:

1. How do you make stuff memorable? Make it emotional.

1. What must you do in the circuit, or anytime, to avoid crap? Plan.

1. Should you plan a go-around in an asymmetric twin? I’d rather kill sheep.

Of course, not everything will suddenly develop

Does only doing a pre-flight on the outside make sense to you? Of course not – everything inside the cockpit needs to be inspected before you start the engine. And the simplest way to do that is to make up your own panel-by-panel flow pattern. That way you don’t miss anything and you finish with the comfortable feeling that everything both inside and out is serviceable.

Because you, and the majority of pilots, have got by without doing this internal inspection, you may think it unnecessary. Think again. If you don’t inspect every instrument that should be showing zero, how can you trust them when they do show something. If the oil pressure

March 2023 32
hope that we don’t flick in

shows 20psi while the engine is not running –that gauge is not trustworthy. If the OAT shows +7ºC on a hot day, are you really going to use it in flight to work out your TAS? If someone has left the radio master on are you going to hit the starter button and risk damaging the avionics with a current surge? How about the manifold pressure – if it shows 27” before startup when you are at Rand Airport, is the gauge to be trusted? Nope – it should show roughly 5.5” below roughly 30” = 24.5”. And if the artificial horizon has a cracked glass, would you trust it in IMC? Again nope – it’s a vacuum driven instrument which means that a damaged glass could break the vacuum by letting air into the instrument through the crack.

Be like an airline pilot. Make yourself a flow chart that covers absolutely everything. That’s the only way you can be sure you haven’t missed anything crucial. And you should follow this flow pattern before you start the engine. Even to checking that the controls have full and free movement in the correct sense. If there’s anything scraping or squeaking or binding you will pick this up a lot more easily without engine noise and vibration.

Now go to your normal start-up routine, check the oil pressure and get the revs settled on 1000 rpm, then guess what?

You must do a complete round-the-cockpit check again.

This time check that all the instruments are reading what you expect, and you switch on the lights and select the radios you need and switch off the fuel pump and make sure the pressure doesn’t drop out of the green. And so on - all round the cockpit using exactly the same flow pattern.

Sound complicated? It couldn’t be easier, and it does the job properly every time. Flow patterns mean you can’t forget anything, and that gives you peace of mind. There is no nagging little voice saying; What have I forgotten?

And, of course they are ideal if you routinely fly

several types.

If you are flying a Twin Comanche, or a Baron, or a Partenavia, or a DC3, and you’ve shut down an engine and feathered the prop, you don’t need to work yourself up into a froth wondering what to do next – you have an elegant solution.

Use your old familiar round-the-cockpit flow pattern.

Design your own. I use top-to-bottom, then lower panels left-to-right, and upper panels rightto-left. That covers the whole cockpit.

I have been in aviation for a hell of a long time, in fact Wilber and Orville used to come to me for advice, but I still haven’t found a flying school that uses this simple tool. As I said, if you do a round the aircraft check before flying, why not do the same inside the aircraft?

I think this might be becoming a rant, so I’ll stop and gently suggest you try this next time you fly, or introduce a new pupil to flight:

• Preflight – round-the-aircraft checks

• Once strapped in – round-the-cockpit checks

• Start up

• Round-the-cockpit checks again.

Your pupils will love you for making life simple and safe.

March 2023 33
301 1 1 2 2 8 8 4 4 00 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 6 6 KNOTS L R 2 MIN 0 0 1 1 2 5 15 15 0 0 OAT 3 12 15 S 21 24 W 30 33 6 OBS 123.4 :00 FRQ 123.45 123.45 123.45 123.45 3 12 15 21 24 30 33 3 12 15 S 21 24 30 33 6 EGT EGT ALT AIR PULL ALT AIR PULL O F O RA R BO 0 8 9 7 6 5 1 2 3 4 ALT 15 30 UP DN FLAP 30 20 20 10 10 0 0 L R 20 20 10 10 0 0 FUEL FLOW L R ELEVATOR UP DN RUDDER L R FUEL RIGHT MAIN 40 FUEL LEFT MAIN 40 UP U/C DN OFF ON CROSSFEED OFF ON GILLS OPEN CLOSED You need to make a system for checking everything in the cockpit. Something like top-to-bottom-then-left-to-right-&-right-toleft-across-the-panels. You will use it several times on each flight. It lets you relax because you can’t forget anything. 0 9 6 3 2 4 6 L
Figure 4
Jim's flow-pattern pre-flight check for a twin instrument panel.


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of the


March 2023 36
Toma is the immediate past President
South Africa. He is an engineer who holds an ALTP and an instructors rating. Commenting on a battle he is having with the CAA to get an important safety change made, David says:
“What this situation has showed me is that all the “safety systems” that are in place within this industry are just for show. They are purely there so that when an audit occurs the boxes are ticked that such a system in place.”


Guy Leitch writes: The Tiger Moth is one of the greatest trainers of all time. It’s easy to fly, yet really hard to fly well, and this is what made it a great trainer.

Story - Guy Leitch and Jim Davis. Pictures - Guy Leitch and Bruce Perkins.

A Tiger Moth flying across a sunset is a thing of timeless beauty and joy. Image Bruce Perkins.

March 2023 39

MY FIRST EXPERIENCE of the Tiger Moth was courtesy of my great friend and instructor Larry Beamish deciding that I needed to learn to fly tailwheel planes. For someone brought up on docile Cessnas and Cherokees, the Tiger is –well – a tiger. It assaults your senses.

The wind blasts you; the engine and prop noise hammers you like a rock concert, and the handling is well…. different. This is an aeroplane that demands fancy footwork. The prop turns the ‘wrong’ way so it yaws to the right when you open the power on takeoff.

You have to get the tail up smartly on takeoff to see where you’re going but overdo it and you will grind the prop into the ground and it may flip onto its back. That’s a lot worse than a dreaded ground loop, especially as the fuel tank is in the top wing.

Oh – and did I mention it has no starter – and no brakes. You have to be determined to fly a Tiger.

For my Christmas holiday we took our buckets and spades to Kenton on Sea. And there, hold and below! - a beautiful yellow Tiger came chuntering along the coast. Better still, I knew the owner, Clifford Reynolds, from way back.

Cliff learned to fly in the SAAF, captained Boeing 737-200s for SAA and then moved all the way across to Korean Air where he flew 747-400s and 747-8s . He is proud to have never flown an Airbus. His family moved home to Kenton-on-Sea and he surely must hold the world record for one of the longest commutes to work ever. Covid ended his employment with Korean and so he retired back to his beautiful home on the Bushman’s River in Kenton. With

March 2023 40
it was underpowered and rickety.
The inverted 4 cylinder 130hp Gipsy II engine.
March 2023 41
Refuelling requires mountaineering up to the top wing, as done here by Clifford Reynolds and Mario at Port Alfred.

the help of his hangar keeper Mario, he keeps his immaculate Tiger and a Mooney Executive at Port Alfred aerodrome’s Albany Air Park, just 25 km up the road from Kenton.

Port Alfred Aerodrome is an ideal base for Tiger operations as it has miles of wide grass runways, which suit the Tiger’s big soft tyres and lack of brakes.

Cliff has more than 900 hours on his Tiger, ZS-ATO, and is happy to share the pleasure of this classic with friends. I was thrilled when he asked me if I would like to come along for a fly-past for the huge Seagull regatta, Kenton-on-Sea’s world record race for having the largest number of the quaint old British Seagull outboard engines.

Flying the Tiger again – even as a passenger, was a wonderful treat. We puttered over the vast Eastern Cape beaches and then past the boat race on the Kariega River before crossing inland to the Bushman’s River. Then it was on to the Diaz Cross before heading back – slowly catching up to a powered paraglider and then having an impromptu formation with a GA8 Airvan.

The Tiger’s handling was as sweet and yet demanding as I remember. The ball does not naturally centre – adverse aileron yaw is real.

There was a stiff cross wind for Runway 10, but it was routine for Cliff. The taxi back to the hangar over the bumpy grass ended with an elegant swing to line the bright yellow plane up for his next flip.

– ZS-CNT for around 50 years. There’s no one better equipped to share the Tiger’s secrets and the many unforgettable experiences it gave him.

Jim writes:

A Tiger was the first aeroplane I ever flew in. It is the only dual I have ever had in one. I was nine years old. The flight was my reward for good attendance at the airfield fence, and cleaning oil off hangar floors.

JIM DAVIS is not only one of the world’s greatest instructors – he owned his own Tiger

Dennis strapped me into the front seat and fitted me with a leather helmet. He bent the Gosport tube down so it was in front of my mouth. He confirmed we had comms by speaking into his tube so his voice slid down the pipes into my ears.

March 2023 42
The Tiger is flown from the rear cockpit - identifiable by this anachronistic radio and transponder.

Front cockpit of ZS-ATO has an almost complete set of instrumentsincluding the large round compass.

During takeoff I remember the tail coming up and then the wheels stopped rumbling and the earth gently receded.

It was the most magic moment of my life – I knew I would keep doing it for ever.

Soon our village and the roads and fields were a miniature playground. Then somehow Donald Duck was speaking in my earphones. I couldn’t understand a word but was eager to please so I replied, “Yes sir,” to everything he said.

snapped back to straight and level. That was the total of all the dual I have ever had in a Tiger in my life.

My first solo on a Tiger came 15 years later. No dual was needed – DCA had recklessly given me an “Open Rating”, which allowed me to fly anything up to 12,500 lbs.

A Tiger is viceless

I took off from Vryburg and the engine went dead silent at 500’. The Gleitch says I am not allowed to tell war stories today – so we will keep that for another time.

Then we were banked and doing lazy swoops and sideslips which I took to be a form of aerobatics. Every now and then he would say “Quack mutter quack quack”. And I would respond with another, “Yes sir”.

After a while the duck disappeared, and my pilot said quite clearly. “OK, I’ve got her now”. We

The Joys of Tiger Flying

So what is a Tiger like to fly? Well, it depends who you ask. Jimmy Campbell, who bought my Tiger, didn’t like it – he said it was underpowered

March 2023 43

and rickety. He sold it almost immediately to a 747 captain who loves it more than he loves his children.

Of course I agree with the 747 captain, and think Jimmy has brain damage from too much helicopter flying. Actually, I can’t believe that anyone could not love flying a Tiger. But then I am astonished to meet citizens who love the most extraordinary things, like riding bicycles up vertical scenery, or jumping into cold water, or being a dentist.

In fact, it’s possible that only a small percentage of personkind (gawdelpus – what are they doing to our language?) really enjoys sitting on a hard parachute while being buffeted by a freezing gale and splattered with hot oil.

You would think that motorcyclists and vintage car enthusiasts would lead the queue to go Tigering. Hmm… not really.

So I am going to tell you exactly what it’s like to fly a Tiger Moth and you can decide for yourself whether you are an aviator, or just a pilot.

The first thing you need to know is that you must pick your weather and your clothing. Never underestimate how cold you can be in an open cockpit. Just because it’s a pleasant day on the ground it doesn’t mean you will be comfortable at 5000’ with a sub-zero, 90 mph wind up your chuff. Man, you can have your bone marrow frozen up there.

And now; the biggest problem every Tiger owner has to face – comms. Comms between cockpits, and air-to-ground comms. Let me explain.

When Mr de Havilland built the first Tigers over 90 years ago, Comrade Marconi had just made a talking-type wireless – one that could fit in a ship – but not in a biplane. For many years Tigers did not have talking wirelesses – although

March 2023 44
The original intercom used this stethoscope contraption as the intercom.

a few had morse keys for sending pips and peapods to interested parties.

Communication between the cockpits couldn’t have been easier – you simply spoke into a rubber cup on the end of a pipe, called a Gosport tube. The other end went to shallow cones in the ear-pieces of the other guy’s helmet. So your words would slide down the pipe straight into the recipient’s earholes. And vice-versa.

This all worked splendidly for many years until some idiot said, “Tigers must have wirelesses. We are not sure why – but they must.” That was a terrible idea for two reasons. First, you had to chuck out the Gosport tubes to fit electric earphones into the helmets. Second, you stood a good chance of bumping into things if you had your head in the cockpit while fiddling with squelch, tuning knobs

and transistors, instead of keeping your eyes outside, scanning for nearby aeroplanes.

And I’m not finished bitching about wirelesses. The talker in each cockpit has to decide whether he wants his electronic words to flow to his fellow adventurer, or to ATC. So he needs to push a button, or switch a switch, that directs his speech along the red and green wires instead of the purple and white ones. And of course, if pilot A is chatting to pilot B, as in giving him instruction, or answering a question like, ‘what does a flashing red light mean?’ – they have to be careful about who pushes which button, so that ATC can, or cannot, join the chatathon.

I flew in one Tiger recently where the owner hadn’t got this sorted out. Basically the pupe had no ability to ask questions because he had to let go of either the stick or the throttle to direct his

March 2023 45
the greatest humbler of all time
Magneto switches clearly visible outside the rear cockpit.

voice to the correct beneficiary. And, of course, each traveller needs a mic that is out of the wind – otherwise it makes a terrible noise. That means disgusting full-face helmets with mics touching gobby mouths. Yuck.

So the faithful Gosport has been replaced by a bunch of wires that get snagged in your parachute straps and the throttle friction nut. You also need battery switches, intercom switches and PTT buttons all over the place. They look terrible and are probably illegal.

Tigers are sociable aeroplanes - those aboard like to chat and discuss the flight. They want to share experiences, teach and learn, and take turns at working the levers, so clear comms are more than desirable – they are essential.

Tigers, Cubs, Aeroncas and such were designed to fly without wires and batteries and switches – in fact the only electricity was confined to the

two magnetos and their attendant spark plugs. Having aeroplanes without wires is like having kids without cell phones. Heaven.

That’s the whole point of a Tiger – it’s to get away from the clutter of the modern world and to play gently amongst cottonwool clouds. Or to take an early potter over peaceful scenery that smells of milking sheds. Or to go a little higher than strictly necessary, and try your hand at a smooth slow roll, or a lazy loop. You will even learn to love the Tiger’s gentle spins and solid recoveries.


But I am leaping ahead of myself – before all these wonderful things can happen, we first need to go through a pretty disciplined preflight

March 2023 46
A drag inducing mix of cables and flying wires and struts.

and start-up routine. Getting this right is the only way to transport this magnificent aeroplane from the hangar to the heavens.

I will start by telling you what happens when you turn up at the hangar an hour before sunset.

Your friend, the guy who is taking you flying – let’s call him Ed, or Eddie, will get you to help opening the hangar doors. These are always massively heavy and tend to stick. They trundle on iron rails and make screeching noises which attract the attention of that crowd of onlookers who always congregate wherever a taildragger is being prepared for flight.

One of these enthusiasts invariably wants to help by pushing or pulling on whichever part of the aeroplane he thinks is appropriate. He means well, but he will cause monstrous grief.

Tailwheel aeroplanes, when handled by the uninitiated, will pivot, and something expensive, on the far side from where the pusher is operating, will get broken. Eddie will wisely use a horsewhip to beat off all helpers except Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, and only then if Sir Geoffrey is accompanied by his grandmother.

Once you have the aeroplane out on the grass, facing into wind, with chocks under the main wheels, you start a pretty intense preflight inspection. Much of the stuff that’s hidden on other aircraft is there to be inspected and twiddled and poked at.

There are more split pins, per square inch, around a Tiger, than at any other point of the planet. There are control cables to be viewed with suspicion; flying wires and landing wires to be pinged to test for tensions. There are acres of fabric to be inspected for wrinkles and dozens of wooden ribs just below the surface to be pressed to see if glue failure has occurred. A guy in the crowd is bound to explain loudly to his spotty girlfriend, that you are alerting all the wood-borers to hold hands.

All this may sound a little frightening, but when you think of how much abuse nearly 9000 Tiger Moths have been subjected to, over the best part of a century, it’s amazing how incredibly few have suffered airframe failures in flight. Even when old and tatty, they are immensely strong.

March 2023 47
Suprisingly large baggage bay (boot) for a trainer.
the best training aeroplane ever built.

Starting the Tiger

Engine start up is what the crowd are waiting for. If Eddie really trusts you he will strap you into the rear seat (the pilot’s seat) and instruct you on the use of the fuel cock, the mag switches (on the outside of the fuselage) and the control column, which basically has to be held firmly back, regardless of all else.

The throttle needs special attention, particularly if you are from agricultural ancestry. The designers of tractors, and early cars fitted with hand-throttles, decreed that one should pull the throttle rearward for more power. The makers of all but the very best flying films, believe this to be true of aeroplanes. The really annoying thing is that they are occasionally right – some Italian fighters do indeed deliver full power with the throttle at the rear of its quadrant. What were they thinking? But the Tiger at least follows the convention of throttle forward for more power.

Pay very close attention to Ed’s briefing. Get the throttle, or mag switches wrong in your head, and you can lose a good friend, and squish the aeroplane.

March 2023 48
Tigers have no brakes - which makes taxiing an art. Airborne from 43 Air School Port Alfred.

ABOVE: Beautiful simplicity - the air speed indicator vane on the wing strut. BELOW: Flying low and slow along the coastline on a perfect day.

March 2023 49

Ed then opens the front right-hand cowl and calls to you that he wants the fuel switched on. You have to grope around on the side wall next to your left leg until you find the fuel cock and move it forward. He then depresses the ‘tickler’, a little brass knob on the carburettor’s float chamber, until fuel spills out on to the ground.

Then he closes the cowl and takes command of the operation. The swinger is always in charge, regardless of his, or your, piloting experience.

He bellows at you the things that he wants doing – you do what he requires, and then bellow back that you have done it. So it goes something like this:

SWINGER – ‘Stick back.’

YOU – holding the stick back: ‘Stick back.’

SWINGER – ‘Throttle set.’

YOU – setting the throttle ¼ inch forward: ‘Throttle set.’

SWINGER – ‘Contact front mag.’

YOU – switching on the front mag: ‘Contact front mag.’

Ed then swings the prop gently through compression and she will start on one of the first three swings. You throttle back to a gentle 800 rpm idle, and switch on the other mag.

There are many variations to this operation, they mostly depend on the temperature and ancient, unfounded traditions and beliefs.

Taxiing the Tiger

If you are invited to taxi, decline firmly.

You will make an idiot of yourself and almost certainly damage something. Tigers were designed to be taxied by skilful operators across smooth grass paddocks – this does not include you. You have no skills, no brakes, very strange steering, and forward visibility that is limited to a small arc of ground in front of

March 2023 50
A youger Jim Davis with his Tiger, the "non-U" ZS-CNT.

each wingtip. If you combine these properties with the presence of other aircraft, airfield lighting systems, other peoples’ tie-downs, and bystanders’ children – then tears are inevitable. Let someone else taxi.


Pre-take-off formalities are accomplished on the trot because there are no brakes. The magcheck was done against the chocks, before taxiing.

You line up so that the runway is invisible – if you can see it to either side then you are not straight. As you take full power you need serious left rudder – because the prop turns the ‘other’ way. You move the stick well forward. The tail comes up smartly and for a moment you can see where you are going. Then you are airborne and the ground drifts away.

All pilots go through periods of overconfidence. The standard one-hundred hour and thousand hour predictions for this stupidity are unreliable. But the condition comes with certainty to every pilot. It stays until terminated either by an accident, or the realisation that one is imminent, or by an encounter with a humbling aeroplane.

And the greatest humbler of all time is Mr de Havilland’s magnificent DH82A. It quickly dispels bouts of self-admiration and reduces the haughty to humble, safe, and pleasant human beings.

It is an honest aeroplane. Perhaps this is why it is so intolerant of pride. It’s basic – it has no frills. Its components are nothing more than those things needed for the simple business of training pilots.

A Tiger is viceless, yet it ruthlessly exaggerates any inaccuracy or sloppiness by the pilot. The

slightest error is magnified and its consequences laid before you with a demand for immediate restitution. It is this quality that made it the best training aeroplane ever built.

Forget Bill Piper’s gentle Cub, and his easypeasy Cherokeasy. The same goes for Clyde Cessna’s forgiving little 150 series. They are all wonderful aeroplanes, but none has that dedicated soul of a teacher that demands perfection.

A Tiger is not difficult to fly, it is just different. But you must fly it firmly and accurately. You must be wide awake, keep your airspeed where the manoeuvre demands, and above all, be skilful with the rudder.

Sound boring? You couldn’t have more fun if you tried. Consult your local sage to find out where you can hire a Tiger together with an instructor whose reputation you will be proud to have in your log-book. Approach this guru with gold coins and humility. Let him know that despite the hours –or lies – in your log-book, you would like to learn to fly from the beginning.

Your introduction to the Tiger will take you back to the magic of your first flying lesson. Every time you return for more – and be sure that you will return – you’ll come away with a grin on your face, and the knowledge that you are a better and safer pilot in any aeroplane.

Your first solo in a Tiger will make your proper first solo seem like a non-event. You will learn to do whisper-soft three-point landings, and perhaps graceful aerobatics. But there is a drawback – all other aeroplanes will seem a little pedestrian after you have sampled the real thing. j

March 2023 51
an encounter with a humbling aeroplane

Specifications and Performance

De Havilland Tiger Moth DH.82


Crew: 2

Length: 23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)

Wingspan: 29 ft 4 in (8.94 m)

Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)

Wing area: 239 sq ft (22.2 m2)

Empty weight: 1,115 lb (506 kg)

Gross weight: 1,825 lb (828 kg)

Fuel capacity: 19 imp gal (23 US gal; 86 l)

Powerplant: 1 Gipsy Major 130 hp (97 kW)

Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed: 109 mph (175 km/h, 95 kn)

Cruise speed: 67 mph (108 km/h, 58 kn)

Range: 302 mi (486 km, 262 nmi)

Service ceiling: 13,600 ft (4,100 m)

Rate of climb: 673 ft/min (3.42 m/s)

Armament: 8× 20 lb (9.1 kg) bombs

Low and slow. Image Bruce Perkins.

March 2023 52


AS PILOTS RISE through the ranks and through aircraft of ever-increasing sophistication, one question remains constant: What is next? And one answer will always resonate: More. More speed. More capability. More power. More capacity. The Sling TSi encompasses all of these qualities and has become an aircraft with an uncompromising mission: To offer unrivalled performance, safety, comfort and reliability to any pilot, no matter the mission. The Sling TSi is not simply more aircraft. It is more of all the reasons you fly.

Following on from the legacy of the Sling 2 and Sling 4, the Sling TSi has the same great handling characteristics that made its predecessors legendary. The Sling TSi has been critically acclaimed for its all-round capabilities, superb handling and functionality. The Sling TSi offers the same perfectly coordinated flight characteristics, with controls that are highly responsive yet not overly sensitive. It comfortably seats four, with baggage, and cruises effortlessly at altitudes up to 18,000 ft, making it the ultimate long-distance crosscountry machine. j

March 2023 53
What’s an eight letter word for “off the beaten track? ” #TakingYouPlaces +27 (0) 11 948 9898 | | | AMO 1264 | Manufacturing Organisation M677 Photo credit - Abhilasha Ashok @fly_home_or_away


GUARDIAN AIR HAS, since its inception in 2009, become a key provider of non-scheduled Part 135 air charter operations and support services, and in particular, aeromedical flights.

Guardian Air provides 24-hour air ambulance services throughout Africa.

The company has the operational expertise and resources to manage the unique challenges of medical emergencies. Their dedicated fleet of ICU air ambulance jets is capable of transporting multiple patients with the highest standard of medical attention.

Guardian Air was the first NAAMTA accredited air ambulance operator in Africa. Reflecting their capability, the company has also been nominated as the official aeromedical service provider to the island of St Helena.

To ensure quality and cost-effective maintenance, Guardian Air has a dedicated maintenance division, Guardian Air Maintenance (AMO1401). Their maintenance and support services are available 24 hours a day to minimise downtime.

Guardian Air began as an aviation asset management company in 2009. The company’s asset management division provides comprehensive solutions for aircraft owners and it prides itself on creating tailor-made solutions. The full process from sourcing, purchasing, ferry, import, and maintenance is managed in-house.

The company provides a wide range of support services including: ground handling, personnel management, administration, maintenance, planning, budgets and cost containment. The company has excellent hangarage facilities for its clients.

Guardian Air’s operating certificate (AOC) is endorsed for worldwide operations. Aircraft types on its AOC include: Falcon 20, Falcon 50EX, Falcon 900EX, Hawker 125 700/800 and King Air 200. The company is the largest Dassault operator in Africa, taking delivery of their latest Falcon 20.

Guardian Air continuously strives to improve on services offered. Two of the leading private emergency medical care companies have partnered with Guardian Air. They occupy office space at Guardian Air’s operational base at Lanseria, ensuring speedy resolutions of any aeromedical and medical evacuation needs.

March 2023 54
The recent delivery of their latest Falcon 20 makes Guardian Air the largest operator of Dassault Falcons in Africa.
Tel: +27 (0)11 701 3011 24/7: +27 (0)82 521 2394 / +27 (0)72 849 1342 Email: Gate 5, Hangar 7, Lanseria International Airport YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER IN AVIATION Aircraft Management Charter Services Maintenance Organization Aeromedical Solutions



F. Gomes Upholsters is a family based upholstery company. Established in 1979, the company specialises in aircraft, as well as motor vehicle, boat and furniture upholstery.

F. Gomes Upholsters will refurbish your aircraft interior to look like new, giving it the class it deserves. They use only the best quality materials, and their craftsmanship is outstanding. Mr Gomes, the founder of F. Gomes Upholsters, has been in the upholstery business for close on 40 years and as such brings many years of experience and professionalism to the company.

F. Gomes Upholsters provides an expert re-upholstery and upholstery service that caters to any upholstery need. No job is ever too small or too large.

F. Gomes Upholsters is based in Johannesburg. For exceptional craftsmanship at the best prices, contact F. Gomes Upholsters on:

Tel: (011) 614 2471

Fax: (011) 614 9806

Email: j

Landline: 011 614 2471

Mr. Gomes: 082 412 6669

Carla: 083 602 5658

A Dynamic team to meet all your requirements. Refurbish your aircraft and / or helicopter. Best prices guaranteed

March 2023 56


AEROSPACE ELECTROPLATING has been based at Rand Airport, Germiston since its launch in 1980 and for the past 43 years has served the aircraft industry with distinction in the supply of high quality surface finished products.

From 2012 the company is now a subsidiary of Mistral Aviation Services and run by Oliver Trollope with a highly experienced and qualified team of electroplaters.

Aerospace Electroplating is fully approved as SACAA AMO 506. Its processes are approved by Denel, Airbus Europe, Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and Allison Doil. The company offers a wide range of services for aircraft owners and

general industry, and through their partnership with Mistral Aircraft Services they can also offer engineering and non-destructive testing services.

Aerospace Electroplating’s highly qualified team are available to advise prospective clients on the perfect solution to all electroplating solutions to perfectly re-finish aircraft components to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Aerospace Electroplating can be contacted on Tel: 011 827 7535 or email: j

AMO  506

For  all  your  SACAA  approved  plating


AMO  506

For  all  your  SACAA  approved  plating  requirements

For all your SACAA approved plating requirements

AMO  506

Cadmium Plate in Gold, Silver or Clear Passivation Hard Chrome Hard Silver Plate Electroless Nickel Hard Copper Plate Anodising in Grey, Red or Black Black Phosphating

We  are  situated  at  30B,  Building  98,  Rand  Airport.  Next  to  Fields  Airmotive. Call  Des  on  011 827  7535  or  063 or  Peter  on  081 775  2434  or  083

For  all your  Aircraft  and  Allied  Electroplating  and  queries.

Cadmium Plate in Clear Passivation

Hard Chrome

We  are  situated  at  30B,  Building

Hard Silver Plate

We are situated at 30B, Building 98, Rand Airport. Next to Fields Airmotive. Call Oliver on 011 827 7535 or Peter on 081 755 2534 or 083 208 7249


Cadmium Plate in Gold or Silver Passivation

Call  Des  on  011 827  7535  or  063 or  Peter  on  081 775  2434  or  083

Electroless Nickel

For  all your  Aircraft  and  Allied  Electroplating

Hard Copper Plate

Hard Chrome

Hard Silver Plate

Electroless Nickel

Hard Copper Plate

Anodising in Grey, Black Phosphating

Anodising in Grey, Red or Black

Black Phosphating


For  all  your  SACAA  approved  plating  requirements   We  are  situated

For all your Aircraft and Allied Electroplating requirements. SA Flyer


March 2023 57
30B,  Building  98,  Rand  Airport.  Next  to  Fields
Call  Des  on  011 827  7535  or  063 150  1533 or  Peter  on  081 775  2434  or  083 208  7244


Aircraft registration: ZS-EIV

Date and time of accident: 3 May 1999 0445Z

Type of aircraft: PA28-180

Type of operation: Private

PIC license type: PPL

License valid: Yes

PIC age: 34

PIC total hours: 253.25

PIC hours on type: 160.20

• This discussion is to promote safety and not to establish liability.

• CAA’s report contains padding and repetition, so in the interest of clarity, I have paraphrased extensively.


Last point of departure: Grand Central Airport

Next point of intended landing: Saso lburg

Location of accident site: Apron at Grand Central Airport

Meteorological information: Wx fine

POB: 1+0

People injured: 0

People killed: 0

Probable cause:

The pilot prepared to fly, but when he attempted to start the engine, the starter motor was unserviceable.

He reverted to starting the engine by hand swinging the propeller. The aircraft park brake was not applied and no chocks were used.

When the engine started the aircraft began to roll. The pilot attempted to board the aircraft but slipped and fell. The aircraft ran for about 100m and collided with a parked aircraft.

The pilot neither used chocks nor did he apply the parking brake when he hand-started the engine.

March 2023 58
Wrong - do not curl your fingers over the trailing edge.


It keeps happening, doesn’t it?

A guy of 34 with 253 hours – most of which were on type, could not have got this far in his flying career without knowing that for prop-swinging you need a ‘responsible person’ at the controls, and the brakes should be on (or chocks in position).

Even if he didn’t know it, it’s just common sense, isn’t it?

This was a 60 year old aeroplane and the report says; ‘the starter motor was unserviceable’. Really, who diagnosed the problem? It’s much more likely to have been a flat battery caused by leaving the master switch on overnight. Or by battling to start on a cold winter morning.

familiarity breeding contempt

I’m going to stick my neck out and say this guy was very familiar with the procedure –and that he had probably done it many times. If he had never done it before surely he would have been super cautious.

This accident has all the signs of familiarity breeding contempt.

It happened to a very good friend of mine recently. Actually ‘happened to’ is the wrong expression – he ‘made it happen.’

And what’s my friend’s experience? He is not only a commercial pilot – he is a Grade ll instructor. Not only that, but he owns several vintage tailwheel aircraft that need to have their props swung every time he flies them. This means

March 2023 59
How to grip a prop blade to swing it.

that not only does he know how to do it properly – he actually teaches prop-swinging.

I can feel his cheeks burning with embarrassment from here and he lives a thousand miles away!

He tells me, in mitigation that (a) he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink that morning, and (b) someone had bent the throttle slightly so that it didn’t close properly unless you gave it a good tug.

So, three lessons:

• It’s important to keep well hydrated.

• There’s a reason why air forces insist you eat before flying in the morning.

• Always, give the throttle a firm tug when you think it’s closed. Throttles are inclined to be sticky at the beginning of their travel because they are seldom there – they normally operate much further forward.

So, what has this got to do with you, dear parishioner? Well, it depends who you are. If you are a bold, confident member of the congregation, it may teach you not to bugger around with things you don’t understand. And to the meek and timid, I beseech you to embrace the faith and, with due counselling, to move forward until you can be proud to say ‘I am a prop-swinger.’ It’s a step towards being a more proficient pilot – like flying a taildragger.

Let me tell you a story.

Twenty years ago I had a little flying business based at Jandakot airport at Perth. I was granted office space at a well-run flying school in exchange for me keeping a fatherly eye on half a dozen young instructors. I would help them with their briefings and lectures and offer a word or two on how to deal with problem pupes.

It was a happy and informal arrangement. I got on well with Chuck, the all-American boss of the place. The only blot on the landscape was the 35 year old CFI. He was friendly enough, but he could see his young instructors regarded me as a mentor and this detracted somewhat from his previous top-ofthe-dung-heap status.

One day I decided to teach the instructors how to swing a prop.

Most of them were young, and all were enthusiastic. And they were soon thrilled to find that they could indeed hand start the company’s Cardinal – which was the aircraft we were practicing on. We were doing this on the apron in front of the school’s massive glass windows. So the CFI was able to witness our activity. Chuck wasn’t around.

Anyhow when he returned, he had a yabber with the CFI and then told me that they didn’t approve because it was dangerous. I had to desist forthwith. Fair enough.

Fast forward two weeks and the CFI takes the company’s Seneca on an overnight charter a thousand miles north to some gawd-awful dump in the desert. Perhaps it was Kevin Bloody Wilson’s home town of Kickacoonalong.

Unfortunately, the next day, when the flight was due to return, the aircraft had a flat battery, and the CFI was the only company pilot who did not know how to swing a prop.

Chuck spent the next week bitching about how much it cost to fly an AME up there with a new, fully charged battery.

I’m sure you get the drift of this sad story.

I could teach you to swing a prop on the internet – but I am not going to try. What I will do is give you the ground rules so that when you find a competent instructor the whole

March 2023 60
I am a propswinger

thing is pretty clear in your mind.

Okay, so here’s the low-down on how to swing a prop for starting the engine. Don’t try it until an experienced swinger has given you some dual.

Dress properly. Take off ties, caps, rings, watches, jackets and sunnies. Then roll up your sleeves and take your phone, or anything else out of your shirt pocket. We don’t want anything to drop out and distract you.

Stand on firm, dry ground, with shoes that are not slippery. Also make sure there is nothing behind you, like chocks, that you could fall over when you step back. Obviously do not chock a wheel that is immediately behind the prop.

You put your hand flat on the blade (see photo). Curling your fingers round (see other photo) can cause much pain and swearing if she kicks back.

The swinger is in charge of the operation. Here’s what happens:

Swinger says Pilot’s Action Pilot replies Brakes on. Checks that the brakes are on. Brakes on. Engine primed. Checks the fuel is ON, the mixture is rich, and the engine is primed. Engine primed.

Throttle set. Sets the throttle.

Throttle set. Left mag, contact. Switches on the left mag. Left mag, contact. Swinger pulls prop through compression and steps back in one smooth motion. If the engine doesn’t start: Mags off. Switches the mags off. Mags off.

The swinger re-positions the prop, then goes through the above sequence again. When the engine starts, the pilot must remember to switch to both mags.

March 2023 61
A pilot very nearly loses his arms when a Saratoga starts unexpectedly.

Take Home Stuff:

Seven Golden Rules for Turning a prop at ANY time:

1. Always expect a prop to be live. Turning it, even a fraction, may kill you. It happened recently at Windhoek.

2. Have the mixture lean, the throttle closed and the brakes on. It might still start, but it will only run for a couple of seconds.

3. Make sure the mags are OFF. This doesn’t guarantee safety, but it stacks the odds in your favour. Even with the key out the mags can still be live. You can sometimes remove the key in one of the ON positions. There have been several ADs (Airworthiness Directives) about this.

4. Don’t curl your fingers round the prop. If it backfires it will pull them off.


Pilatus Service Centre Southern Africa

As one of a global network of Pilatus authorised independent sales and service centres, Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa (PCSA) is official distributor for Pilatus aircraft in the region and the only such centre in Africa. Officially opened in 2007, PCSA has celebrated a decade of providing unmatched servicing and sales support to the Pilatus brand from its base at hangars 41 and 42 at Rand Airport. With a team of dedicated, highly qualified and competent staff members whose focus is to provide an allround holistic sales and maintenance support experience for its customers. Nobody knows Pilatus aircraft like PCSA and at the same time the company strives to know its customers just as well.

Maintenance support

PCSA supports an ever-growing fleet of more than 85 Pilatus PC-6, PC-12 and PC-24 aircraft

5. Don’t turn a prop backwards. This can damage the vacuum pump.

6. Don’t try prop swinging without dual instruction.

7. Dead-cut checks are critical. Do these after start-up, and before shutdown. j

in the southern African region. The company strives to maintain Pilatus’ intense focus on postsale maintenance support, where customers are served locally through strong personal relationships and backed by knowledge and technical support from the Pilatus factory. It is this philosophy, which has seen operators, in an independent survey, conducted by Professional Pilot magazine, vote Pilatus number one in turboprop customer service for the past 19 consecutive years. PCSA continues to uphold its commitment to Pilatus and its customers. The Pilatus PC-12 NGX and PC-24 are supported by the industry leading CrystalCare programme, which provides owners/operators with maintenance piece of mind and predictable operating costs.

Tel: 011 383 0800


Website: j

March 2023 62


THE ULTIMATE HIGH IN ELEGANT STYLE. Bill Harrop’s ‘Original’ Balloon Safaris has been operating for more than 40 years and have flown over 200 000 delighted passengers. Our 4 pilots have more than 12 000 hours of combined local and international experience.

Join us for unforgettable early morning balloon ride in the ancient Magaliesburg Mountain Valley. Sip coffee, as experienced crew inflate the balloons, then ascend into the sky as our veteran pilots explain the views beneath you. Enjoy a glass of bubbly on landing, followed by a full English breakfast at our Clubhouse Pavilion. A once-in-a-lifetime experience.


+27 83457 3402 or +27 83 4432661/2

email: j

Bill Harrop’s ‘Original’ Balloon Safaris


• Magalies River Valley Scenic Balloon Safari

• Game viewing at Mabula Private Game Reserve

• Groups

• Team Building

• We fly from the beautiful Magalies River Valley in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site.

Balloon Pilot Training Facility

March 2023 63
+27 83 457 3402 or +27 83 443 2661 / 2 • email: •
it in style!


AVIATION REBUILDERS SACAA approved Category B and X5, AMO 188, based in the Showroom, Rand Airport, Germiston. Established in 1997, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary this year. We hope to continue to support and service the general aviation industry for many more years to come. Our team is a family that have worked together to build and establish the reputation of our AMO over many years, each one invaluable for their contribution to the organisation.

We are proud to offer the services of our well established and equipped sheet metal workshop, approved aircraft welding facility, as well as our flight control cable assembly section.

We look forward to welcoming you and your beloved aircraft to our family.

Contact Aviation Rebuilders on:

Tel: +27 (0)11 827-2491

Cell: +27 (0)82 872-4117

Email: j

827 2491

March 2023 64
SA CAA AMO 188 082
872 4117



Bona Bona Game Lodge has become the hospitality centre for large events – especially those with an aviation base – in the North West province.

Bona Bona Game Lodge opened in 1991 and, from 2020, has continuously upgraded its infrastructure and facilities. Of great value to the aviation industry, in 2020 a new 1.3 km tar runway and hangars were opened.

Bona Bona Game Lodge can sleep 88 guests which makes the Game Lodge the ideal venue for large functions. Its popularity is evident in that the annual Bona Bona Fly-in on 7 May was soon sold out. Other significant events are the


Owner Pieter Ernst’s (snr) vision and commitment drives the development of this lodge. This is a family run lodge with the personal touch and it is hard work and perseverance which underlies their success.

March 2023 65
Ankole Breeders Association annual auction which is expected to be a big success.


FLYSAFAIR HAS REGISTERED two Boeing 737-800s this month. One Airbus A320 has been returned to SAA from storage in Ljubljana and another Boeing 737-800 is coming back onto the register. This one is strange in that, nowhere in my records can I see where ZS-ZWX, an ex-Comair aircraft, was actually deleted from the register; however, it’s back again.

Safair also have another B737800 N890SM (c/n 39877 ex PK-LPQ) which arrived here on 21 December 2022, but this one hasn’t been registered yet.

As noted in the news in the February edition, Airlink have wet leased a Boeing 737-300, ZS-VDB from Star Air, and painted her up in their livery. A quick search for photos of this Boeing shows that since it was imported from China in 2011, it has led an amazingly varied and interesting existence in South Africa. It has sported Velvet Air colours, as well as flown for Mango, with just an orange tail. It has also flown for SA Express and the aborted

Fly Blue Crane. There is talk that Airlink are after some of the ex-Comair B737-800s as well.

Altogether there were eight Type Certified TCA aircraft registered in January 2023 which include two helicopters, a Cirrus SR22 and a Beechcraft King Air 350i. One of the helicopters is a Bell 429 Global Ranger and is the first one registered in South Africa.

The NTCA register continues to grow, although slower this month, with only five new registrations being recorded. There are three KFA Safaris, a Piper Replica (which I assume is a Cub replica) and a Carbon Cub. Remarkably, there are no RVs or Slings.

Late last year Guy pointed out to me that there were three JS-MD 3 Rapture Gliders imported from Germany, which is strange, as they’re manufactured here, in Potchefstroom, by Jonker Brothers. I haven’t, as yet been able to get an answer for this but will pursue this one.

66 March 2023
Ex Ethiopian B737-800, ET-ANZ is now ZS-FGX for FlySafair.
The amendments for January 2023 are exciting for our airline industry.
Airlink have wet leased a Boeing 737-300

ABOVE: ZS-AKF Bombardier BD100-1A10 has been exported to the USA as N923JL.

BELOW: ZS-DDT is a lonely Beechcraft Hawker 4000 - now exported to Australia. Photo Michael Combrink.

BELOW BOTTOM: The remains of the SAA fleet - ZS-SXE has been exported to Germany as D-AUSC. Photo Ray Watts.

67 March 2023

ABOVE: Surprise - ZS-ZWX has been re-instated to the register. Photo Ray Watts.

BELOW: ZT-RCK is a Bell 430 exported to Zimbabwe. Photo Omer Mees.

68 March 2023

The number of drones registered in January was down to twenty-one, with five being scrapped.

On the deletions side, things for January have also been a bit slow, with four aircraft being deleted, being three fixed wing and one helicopter. Amongst the fixed wing aircraft

ZS-SXE is an ex-SAA A340-312 which has been sold in Germany, to Universal Sky Carriers. They’ve also bought a second one ZS-SNG, an A340-600 which will become D-AUSZ.

Tail Piece

I hope that everybody returned from their yearend breaks safely. This month has been marred by horrible accidents at Bass Lake and the twin piston one near Nasrec. Folks, please let’s stay safe. j

69 March 2023
The helicopter deleted is a Bell 430 which has gone to Zimbabwe. ZS-VDB is Airlink's first Boeing - albeit wet leased. Another addition for Flysafair - PK-LPR B737-800 is now ZS-FGS.
M & N Acoustic Services (Pty) Ltd REGISTER REVIEW JANUARY 2022 Contact: Marianka Naude Tel: 012 689 2007 I Cell: 076 920 3070 Email: We perform SANAS certifications on all your: Vibration ( eg. Rion VA -11) Human Vibration ( eg. Quest Hav Pro) Electrical DC/LF Equipment – inhouse or on site (eg. Fluke Multimeters, Insulation Testers) SANAS Accredited Laboratory 1302 & 148 REG MANUFACTURER TYPE NAME SERIAL NUMBER PREVIOUS IDENTITY / EXPORT COUNTRY New Registrations ZSZS-BUY CIRRUS DESIGN CORPORATION SR22 8895 N895WP ZS-FGS THE BOEING COMPANY 737-800 39881 N889SM, PK-LPR ZS-FGX THE BOEING COMPANY 737-800 37933 ET-ANZ ZS-SZB AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A320-232 5680 OE-IPH, ZS-SZB, F-WWDF ZS-TLP TEXTRON AVIATION INC Be350I FL-1222 N350HB ZS-ZWX THE BOEING COMPANY 737-800 39887 ZS-ZWX, B5858 New Registrations ZT-T ZT-HJM BELL HELICOPTER TEXTRON CANADA INC 429 Global Ranger 57467 ZT-RFU AIRBUS HELICOPTERS AS 350 B3E 9352 F-WWPP New Registrations ZUZU-IXP STEPHANUS JOHANNESCHOEMAN KFA SAFARI 062-01-21 SAF3 ZU-IXS NEAL ALFRED STEPHENSON PIPER REPLICA 2013-061 ZU-KFA EDWARD ALEXANDER VAN HEERDEN KFA SAFARI 073-03-22 SAF3 ZU-LLM MICHAEL JAMES HANCOCK KFA SAFARI 069-10-21 SAF3 ZU-MSH STEPHEN ALEXANDER NEWTON CARBON CUB CCK-2000-0088 Aircraft deleted ZSZS-AKF BOMBADIER INC BD-100-1A10 20870 UNITED SATES OF AMERICA as N923JL ZS-DDT HAWKER BEECHCRAFT CORPORATION 4000 RC-56 AUSTRALIA ZS-SXE AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A340-313 646 GERMANY as D-AUSC Aircraft deleted ZTZT-RCK BELL HELICOPTER COMPANY 430 49020 ZIMBABWE
M & N Acoustic Services (Pty) Ltd QUOTATIONS ON REQUEST We perform SANAS certifications on all your: Acoustics ( eg. CEL 350 ) Vibration ( eg. Rion VA -11) Human Vibration ( eg. Quest Hav Pro) Electrical DC/LF Equipment – inhouse or on site (eg. Fluke Multimeters, Insulation Testers) Contact: Marianka Naude Tel: 012 689 2007 I Cell: 076 920 3070 Email: SANAS Accredited Laboratory 1302 & 148


JOHANNESBURG FLYING ACADEMY established in 1984, is a SACAA approved Flight Training Facility situated South of Johannesburg. Due to our unique location at Panorama airfield, no time is wasted flying to and from the general flying area or on the ground waiting for flight clearances.

JFA offer professional training by dedicated and qualified instructors for National Pilot Licence (NPL) Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Instructors rating, Night rating, Renewals, Conversions, Endorsements, Tailwheel ratings in a relaxed, professional environment.

Training is carried out,7 days a week, on our modern fleet of 2-seater, Sling Aircraft and is tailored to your individual needs.


Office: (+27) 083 702 3680


Panorama Airfield, Alberton j



• National Pilot License

• Private Pilot License

• Commercial Pilot License

• Night Rating

• Instructors Rating

• Tailwheel Rating

• Conversion / Renewal

• Hour Building

• Owner Training

• Foreign Validations

72 March 2023
TRAINING FLEET: 1 x Sling 4 6 x Sling 2 (PPL , LSA) 1 x Bushcat Tailwheel SA Flyer 2023|03
CONTACT: Alan Stewart 083 702 3680 Email: Website: Panorama Airfield CAA 0055 SACAAACCREDITED CENTREEXAM






An Inexpensive Software Safety Management System including: JOURNEY






Risk Management Services (Pty) Ltd



Litson & Associates Risk Management Services (RMS) is a co-located Litson & Associates sister company, based in Somerset West, Cape Province, South Africa.

RMS provides aviation safety management supporting software programmes including eSMS-S™ Premium/ Lite /Plus and other safety-related ‘e-tools’, primarily to the aviation industry. These tools are used by a wide selection of aviation operators, from RPAS and hot air balloon companies to charter operators and airlines.

eSMS-S™ is a secure, web-based Safety Management System that fulfils both ICAO and SA CAA requirements regarding SMS implementation. This competitively priced and easy-to-use system offers numerous features including both active and passive tools accessible via laptops, tablets and smartphones.

• eSMS-S™ Premium is ideal for established medium-sized aircraft operators, to aid conformance with their SMS requirements

• eSMS-S™ Lite is a starter package for small operators with 1 - maximum 100 users. This option can have additional eSMS-S™ tools if a client finds that their business is expanding and requires a more comprehensive system. Should the company grow to exceed the maximum user capacity for eSMS-S™ Lite they would then move to eSMS-S™ Premium

• eSMS-S™ Plus tools are additional, stand-alone tools, which can be added to a system when the operator requires a more powerful auditing, accident research, tendering or operations management application.

Every eSMS-S™ client receives complimentary introductory and thereafter periodic refresher training and assistance for the duration of their contract.

For an introduction to eSMS-S™, please contact Natashia Pentz via email:

phone: +27(0)21 8517187

website: j

73 March 2023
eSMS-S™ eSMS-S™ LITSON & ASSOCIATES +27 (0)21 851 7187


COMET AVIATION SUPPLIES is conveniently located near Rand Airport at Knightsgate Industrial Park in Germiston just off the N3 and M2 freeways. We are the Authorised Distributors for Rotax Aircraft Engines in Southern Africa, but also sell a wide range of aircraft parts and pilot accessories for the Iight aircraft market .

We stock the widest range of headsets in South Africa popular brands ranging from Pilot Communications USA to David Clark and Flightcom and class leading ANR models from Lightspeed Aviation. Our shop stocks a selection of pilot supplies from maps, logbooks, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and portable oxygen systems.

Other supplies include aircraft tyres from Speciality Tires of America, Ceconite and Poly-Fiber covering materials, AN hardware antennas., wheel chocks, radios, instruments, and much much more.

Our on line shop shop@cometaviationsupplies. features a full service from click-click to your door delivery anywhere in South Africa and abroad with secure credit card payment options.

Our knowledgeable and friendly staff are available to assist with any enquiries.

Contact Comet Aviation Supplies on:

Tel: 011 825 0048


74 March 2023
Spitfire for sale for 4000 GB pounds in 1965.


Litson and Associates is an SA CAA-approved Aviation training organisation that strives to provide excellence in training, be it undertaken in the classroom or virtually.

Our ‘open’ training courses are currently presented virtually in real-time with the course facilitator present at all times. Virtual training courses are supported by eTRAINING, L&A’s bespoke eLearning software.

L&A’s training courses are tailored specifically to the aviation industry personnel, with training course facilitators having spent their careers in aviation either as senior aircrew, engineers and/or aviation accident investigators.

Our training classes require a minimum of 5 to a maximum of 16 delegates to enable everyone to receive the best individual instruction.

Litson’s speciality in-house corporate training can enable the chosen course to focus on a company’s specific operations and we can undertake training anywhere in the world that it is safe to travel to. Core training courses include:

• 5-day Safety Management System (SMS) including RPAS,

• 5-day Quality Management System & Auditing (QMSA),

• 3-day Lead Auditor (LA) and

• 5-day Occurrence Investigation course.

Online training course material is emailed to delegates in advance of their course with certificates emailed directly to delegates once they have successfully completed their course. In-house corporate training course delegates receive printed manuals and printed hard-copy certificates at the end of their course.

Please consult our website to view the 2023 training schedule, course overviews and course registration forms.

Contact L&A: Email:

Phone: +27 21 8517187

Web: j

75 March 2023 +27 (0)21 851 7187 Professional Aviation Safety, Quality and Occurrence Investigation Training LITSON & ASSOCIATES eTRAINING eTRAINING FROM PLANNING TO LANDING L&A is a SA CAA-registered and approved ATO Experienced and qualified Instructors Our open and corporate in-house training courses are presented on-site or virtually Supported by eTRAIN-S - L&A’s bespoke e LEARNING software SAFETY & QUALITY TRAINING L&A SA CAA-APPROVED COURSES: · Safety Management System (SMS) Including RPAS – 5 days Crew Resource Management (CRM) - 2 days Safety & Emergency Procedure traininig (SEPT) - 1 day L&A'S CORE COURSES INCLUDE: Quality Management System & Auditing (QMSA) – 5 days · Lead Auditor – 3 days Occurrence Investigation – 5 days FOR THE RESOURCES SECTOR: AvCo - Aviation Coordinator - for personnel working around aircraft on the grounds · APACO – Aviation Supervisor level - for Managers and Supervisors who oversee aircraft operations on the ground eTRAIN-S


WHEN THEY SAY that aviation is in your blood, it really is.

Throughout my 7 years of experience within the maintenance and sales side of aviation, I noticed a clear need to protect these valuable assets against the sun and harsh weather conditions.

From galley/entrance covers for the protection of the veneer whilst your red carpet awaits the arrival of your guests, to side ledge covers for your aircraft whilst on charter. Cockpit/ passenger window covers to keep heat/light out, plugs to keep bugs out and everything in between. If there’s a need, there’s a solution

I manufacture ‘Everything Covers’. Customized to suit your interior/exterior, personalized with registration and company logo as an option.

To find out more, please get in touch.

Tel: +27 83 463 8136

Facebook: Custom Sun Shields

Instagram: customsunshields

Email: j

76 March 2023


TQ-AVIATION, a division of the TQ-Systems Group, Germany, has made the road towards ADS-B an easier transition for South African aircraft owners with their compact Mode-S transponder KTX2-Basic.

With Mode-S requirements already upon us, the KTX2 Basic is just that – a Class 1 Mode-S transponder certified to 30,000 feet and 250 knots, at an affordable price, in compact 57mm or 160mm stack mount. You are not paying for anything more than what you need at present.

But, the KTX2 is future proof, so that when ADS-B becomes a requirement, the owner simply enters a purchased code and has fully compliant ADS-B Out capabilities when adding a GPS source.

Just one module to mount, and two wires to connect, TQ’s KTX2 could not be easier to install and compliments its class leading KRT2 VHF-COM, featuring Dual Watch, RSA data base and VOX intercom.

For more information visit j

77 March 2023
78 March 2023 FUEL TABLE Tel: +27 10 446 9666 Danielle: +27 82 553 9611 Email: Marina: +27 82 924 3015 GPS Co-ordinates: S25°50’37 E27°41’28 Import/Export no. 21343829 SA Flyer 2023|03 Airfield Avgas Jet A1 Airfield Avgas Jet A1 Beaufort West R33,40 R26,30 Beaufort West R31,30 R26,30 Bethlehem NO CONTACT Bethlehem NO CONTACT Bloemfontein R29,11 R19,16 Bloemfontein R29,93 R20,01 Brakpan R34,00 Brakpan R31,50 Brits R27,95 Brits R28,15 Cape Town R35,48 R19,99 Cape Town R35,48 R19,87 Cape Winelands R29,00 Cape Winelands R31,00 Eagles Creek R28,50 Eagles Creek R29,50 East London R28,19 R17,58 East London R28,19 R17,58 Ermelo R27,49 R24,73 Ermelo R29,44 R24,73 Gariep Dam R32,50 R24,00 Gariep Dam R33,00 R23,00 George R33,07 R21,08 George R32,88 R20,69 Grand Central R32,26 R24,67 Grand Central R32,26 R24,67 Heidelberg R27,50 Heidelberg R29,00 Hoedspruit POA Hoedspruit POA Kimberley R29,18 R19,23 Kimberley R30,00 R20,08 Kitty Hawk R32,00 Kitty Hawk R32,70 Klerksdorp R29,90 R24,15 Klerksdorp R29,90 R24,15 Kroonstad R29,13 Kroonstad R29,01 Kruger Intl Nelspruit R28,81 R23,95 Kruger Intl Nelspruit R28,81 R24,35 Krugersdorp R27,50 Krugersdorp R29,00 Lanseria R31,28 R22,43 Lanseria R31,86 R22,66 Margate No Fuel Margate No Fuel Middelburg R29,90 R24,15 Middelburg R29,90 R24,15 Morningstar R28,90 Morningstar R29,95 Mosselbay R35,50 R22,00 Mosselbay R36,50 R24,50 Nelspruit R33,50 R27,03 Nelspruit R30,82 R23,98 Oudtshoorn R33,16 R23,10 Oudtshoorn R33,16 R23,10 Parys POA POA Parys POA POA Pietermaritzburg R32,70 R24,80 Pietermaritzburg R31,10 R25,40 Pietersburg Civil R30,60 R23,85 Pietersburg Civil R29,45 R23,25 Plettenberg Bay R34,00 R25,50 Plettenberg Bay R34,00 R25,50 Port Alfred R33,50 Port Alfred R33,50 Port Elizabeth R31,97 R20,47 Port Elizabeth R31,97 R20,47 Potchefstroom POA POA Potchefstroom POA POA Rand R31,67 R20,47 Rand R27,20 R23,98 Robertson R30,50 Robertson R30,50 Rustenberg R31,50 R23,95 Rustenberg R29,50 R22,50 Secunda R28,18 R23,57 Secunda R31,63 R23,58 Skeerpoort *** Customer to collect POA POA Skeerpoort *** Customer to collect POA POA Springbok POA POA Springbok POA POA Springs R32,30 Springs R32,50 Stellenbosch R31,00 Stellenbosch R34,00 Swellendam R31,80 R22,60 Swellendam R31,50 R22,30 Tempe R29,13 Tempe R29,01 R24,68 Thabazimbe POA POA Thabazimbe POA POA Upington R30,05 R20,10 Upington R30,68 R20,95 Virginia R33,58 R23,93 Virginia R33,58 R23,93 Vryburg POA POA Vryburg POA POA Warmbaths R30,00 Warmbaths R30,00 Welkom R29,13 Welkom R29,01 R24,68 Wings Park EL R29,75 Wings Park EL R29,75 Witbank R32,20 Witbank R30,40 Wonderboom POA POA Wonderboom POA POA Worcester R34,69 Worcester R34,69 Fuel Prices as at 30/01/2023 Prices include VAT but exclude any service fees Fuel Prices as at 28/02/2023 Prices include VAT but exclude any service fees Airfield Avgas Jet A1 Airfield Avgas Jet A1 Beaufort West R33,40 R26,30 Beaufort West R31,30 R26,30 Bethlehem NO CONTACT Bethlehem NO CONTACT Bloemfontein R29,11 R19,16 Bloemfontein R29,93 R20,01 Brakpan R34,00 Brakpan R31,50 Brits R27,95 Brits R28,15 Cape Town R35,48 R19,99 Cape Town R35,48 R19,87 Cape Winelands R29,00 Cape Winelands R31,00 Eagles Creek R28,50 Eagles Creek R29,50 East London R28,19 R17,58 East London R28,19 R17,58 Ermelo R27,49 R24,73 Ermelo R29,44 R24,73 Gariep Dam R32,50 R24,00 Gariep Dam R33,00 R23,00 George R33,07 R21,08 George R32,88 R20,69 Grand Central R32,26 R24,67 Grand Central R32,26 R24,67 Heidelberg R27,50 Heidelberg R29,00 Hoedspruit POA Hoedspruit POA Kimberley R29,18 R19,23 Kimberley R30,00 R20,08 Kitty Hawk R32,00 Kitty Hawk R32,70 Klerksdorp R29,90 R24,15 Klerksdorp R29,90 R24,15 Kroonstad R29,13 Kroonstad R29,01 Kruger Intl Nelspruit R28,81 R23,95 Kruger Intl Nelspruit R28,81 R24,35 Krugersdorp R27,50 Krugersdorp R29,00 Lanseria R31,28 R22,43 Lanseria R31,86 R22,66 Margate No Fuel Margate No Fuel Middelburg R29,90 R24,15 Middelburg R29,90 R24,15 Morningstar R28,90 Morningstar R29,95 Mosselbay R35,50 R22,00 Mosselbay R36,50 R24,50 Nelspruit R33,50 R27,03 Nelspruit R30,82 R23,98 Oudtshoorn R33,16 R23,10 Oudtshoorn R33,16 R23,10 Parys POA POA Parys POA POA Pietermaritzburg R32,70 R24,80 Pietermaritzburg R31,10 R25,40 Pietersburg Civil R30,60 R23,85 Pietersburg Civil R29,45 R23,25 Plettenberg Bay R34,00 R25,50 Plettenberg Bay R34,00 R25,50 Port Alfred R33,50 Port Alfred R33,50 Port Elizabeth R31,97 R20,47 Port Elizabeth R31,97 R20,47 Potchefstroom POA POA Potchefstroom POA POA Rand R31,67 R20,47 Rand R27,20 R23,98 Robertson R30,50 Robertson R30,50 Rustenberg R31,50 R23,95 Rustenberg R29,50 R22,50 Secunda R28,18 R23,57 Secunda R31,63 R23,58 Skeerpoort *** Customer to collect POA POA Skeerpoort *** Customer to collect POA POA Springbok POA POA Springbok POA POA Springs R32,30 Springs R32,50 Stellenbosch R31,00 Stellenbosch R34,00 Swellendam R31,80 R22,60 Swellendam R31,50 R22,30 Tempe R29,13 Tempe R29,01 R24,68 Thabazimbe POA POA Thabazimbe POA POA Upington R30,05 R20,10 Upington R30,68 R20,95 Virginia R33,58 R23,93 Virginia R33,58 R23,93 Vryburg POA POA Vryburg POA POA Warmbaths R30,00 Warmbaths R30,00 Welkom R29,13 Welkom R29,01 R24,68 Wings Park EL R29,75 Wings Park EL R29,75 Witbank R32,20 Witbank R30,40 Wonderboom POA POA Wonderboom POA POA Worcester R34,69 Worcester R34,69 Fuel Prices as at 30/01/2023 Prices include VAT but exclude any service fees Fuel Prices as at 28/02/2023 Prices include VAT but exclude any service fees


AERO ENGINEERING AND POWERPLANT have, since their inception in 1997, earned a reputation synonymous with unwavering quality. Andre Labuschagne, who took over the leadership of the company in 2006, along with the late Derek van der Walt, maintains a handson approach which ensures consistent quality at every stage of service.

Situated in Hangar 4, just off the main apron at Wonderboom National Airport, makes for easy access for customers, even those not familiar with the Wonderboom Airport layout.

The Aero Engineering and Powerplant facility is world-class and the team specialise in the maintenance of both commercial and private aircraft engines, propellers and any other components forward of the firewall.

Aero Engineering and Powerplant is divided into four main operating segments: The Engine Shop, Component Shop, Propeller Shop and Non-destructive testing area.

The ultra-modern Engine Shop caters for complete engine overhauls of both Lycoming and Continental engines to the highest standards. Fully equipped with an advanced engine test bench, they will carry out shock-load testing, reboring and honing of cylinders and repairing damaged starter clutch assemblies.

The component shop specialises in the overhaul of constant speed units, including McCauley, Hartzell, PCU 5000 and Woodward. They also overhaul and repair fuel systems, carburettors and turbo-controllers as well as complete overhauls of magnetos.

The propeller shop supplies and overhauls Hartzell, McCauley and all fixed-pitch propellers. In addition, they are experts in dynamic propeller balancing.

The Non-destructive testing shop offers many forms of testing, including: eddy current, ultrasonic, magnetic particle, fluorescent penetrant and borescope/visual methods for complete peace of mind. It also finishes off with cadmium plating.

Aero Engineering and Powerplant have built up a comprehensive client base which includes many clients from beyond South Africa’s borders: including operators from Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and as far as the DRC, all of which have come to trust their excellent service. These clients either ferry their aircraft or ship engines and propellers to Aero Engineering and Powerplant for the required maintenance work.

Many of the local insurers also rely on the professional workmanship and competitive pricing delivered by the relatively small Aero Engineering and Powerplant team of twenty-one well-trained and dedicated personnel.

Aero Engineering and Powerplant strive to be a pace-setter in aviation, delivering a high-quality service on time and at the best possible price, keeping honest open communication with the client at every stage of the process.

Find them at Hangar No. 4, Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria. Call: 082 334 6153 or 012 543 0948. j

80 March 2023


THE SOUTH AFRICAN National Defence Force (SANDF) is looking to establish a dedicated disaster response unit, as it is regularly called on to assist with floods, fires and other events.

The Chief of the SANDF, General Rudzani Maphwanya, said that the military is looking towards establishing a disaster management unit. This would have dedicated resources, as the SANDF cannot keep using collateral assets for disaster management. He explained that in the past few years the SANDF has been responding to disasters and using military equipment that should be dedicated to warfighting, but with a dedicated disaster response unit, the SANDF will not have to decide whether to allocate assets to war or disaster relief.

The SANDF Chief added that the defence force is contributing to the state of disaster declared over the electricity crisis by safeguarding power stations to prevent pilfering and subversion. Maphwanya also said the SANDF is placing engineers at some power stations to rehabilitate them.

81 March 2023
General Rudzani Maphwanya.
82 March 2023 SA Flyer 2023 | 03 ALL YOUR ELECTRICAL INSTRUMENTS, AVIONICS & IGNITION NEEDS OVERHAUL AND REPAIR OF THE FOLLOWING AIRCRAFT COMPONENTS: • Electrical • Ignition • Instrument & Avionics • Installation, Wiring and repair of installation & Avionics SACAA License Capabilities: • Electrical X • Ignition X • Instruments X • Avionics W • Compass X CONTACT DETAILS: Cell: +27 83 488 4535 Tel: +27 87 802 1347 Email: or PHYSICAL ADDRESS: Hangar 11B, Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria, South Africa ELT’s Artex 345 ELT ELT INCLUDING INSTALLATION, MODS, SHEET METAL
Install Garmin GTX 335 ADS-B Out Transponder with GPS & GAE 12 Altitude Encoder SACAA Mod approval estimation +/- 3 months. Quote excludes shipping & duties & any snags found. CALL US FOR MORE INFORMATION ON 2020 AD. AIRCRAFT INSTRUMENT PANEL REFURB & PRINTING IN HOUSE


AERONAV ACADEMY is committed to providing top-level flight training utilising the most modern equipment available. This not only gives our clients an enjoyable training experience but also provides Aeronav the ability to conduct flight training in a manner that ensures that student pilots will be ready and well equipped to enter the aviation industry of the future.

Aeronav Academy is proud to offer a dynamic fleet of aircraft, including Diamond DA20s, Cessna 182s and the Diamond DA42 Twinstar Multi-engine trainer. The Academy’s latest acquisition is the impressive Alsim ALX-65 flight simulator. The amazingly realistic graphics feel of the controls and response make training in this flight simulator a truly first class experience.

The school is based at Lanseria Airport. A controlled airspace provides students with an excellent grounding in procedures and gives them the experience needed to cope with operating in a busy airline orientated environment.

Tel No: + 27 11 701 3862


Website: j





83 March 2023
011 701 3862

Flying in Africa ! ... it’s what we love.

Who we are and W hat we do

No matter if you are a PPL or a CPL, fly as a hobby or a full time employed pilot, pre-flight planning is imperative. Pre-flight planning is not only limited to the paperwork the night before your flight, but it also includes route and destination knowledge, runway conditions, fuel availability, en route weather, change of frequencies at airspace boundaries and so on. The more informed you are, the easier it is to make decisions during flight that could ultimately impact on the safety of the flight. And, of course, the more relaxed you are as a pilot.

This is why many pilots in Southern Africa use EasyPlan for pre-flight planning, which takes the work out of preparing the paperwork for your flight. EasyPlan boasts the most extensive airfield database for Southern Africa and provides the user with regular aeronautical updates.

Aviation Direct scrutinise NOTAMs, check AICs, AIPs and Supplements and make sure that you have the latest information available to keep you on top of all aeronautical changes. The Aircraft Weight & Balance section provides you with an invaluable tool that calculates your aircraft gross weight and shows whether your intended flight is within safe limits. EasyPlan also includes a free Electronic Logbook to keep track of your flying hours.

Send your flight plan to EasyCockpit, the GPS moving map software for Apple iOS or Android mobile devices,

and you really shouldn’t get lost. EasyCockpit gives you peace of mind, improves your situational awareness, and at the same time provides the latest aeronautical data.

Add a weather subscription to these products for a good overall picture of conditions. EasyWeather can be downloaded onto EasyPlan at pre-flight stage and into EasyCockpit before and during flight. The satellite and radar overlays in real time provide a clear overall depiction of the weather situation. Wind forecasts are available on a grid showing wind speed and direction as well as humidity, dew point and cloud coverage at different flight levels. There you can possibly find those elusive tail winds.

Click on the weather camera symbol at the airfields and you should get an instant view of local conditions. And by the way, AviationDirect together with, are assisting airfield owners to set up aviation weather cams. This is a very useful feature for all airfield owners to improve safety and decisionmaking options for pilots.

A valuable source of comprehensive airfield information and useful tips on flying in Africa, have always been our Airfields directories. Because, for the past 26 years, we really have been passionate about gathering and revising airfields information.

84 March 2023 Tel. +27 11 465 2669 • 072 340 9943
©Shaun Barron over Harties


A WELL STOCKED AVIATION related retail outlet specialising in Pilot Training Equipment, Aircraft Owner and Aviation Enthusiast products.

Being one of the largest retail outlets of its kind in South Africa we are based at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria and Rand Airport, Gauteng.

Merchandise on offer include some of the Worlds leading Aviation Brands :-

• Aviation headsets (BOSE, David Clark, Avcomm)

• ASA and Jeppesen Products

• Sunglasses (Rayban,Bondiblu, Waves, Oakley)

• Study material and equipment

• Wide range of Aviation related gifts

• Pilot uniforms and apparel

Wonderboom Airport

Tel: +27 12 567-6775

Trading Hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 5pm Saturdays 9am-2pm


Rand Airport Open every first and last Saturday of every month : 9am-1pm Tel: +2711 824-3339


For any online orders visit our website : or


Mobile: +27 82 889 2719 j

85 March 2023 PLACE YOUR ORDERS ONLINE NOW AT OR EMAIL ORDERS TO SA Flyer 2023 | 03 Pilots Planes nPlanes
Contact: +27 12 567 6775, E-Mail: Contact: +27 11 824 3339, E-Mail:
The ProFlight Series 2 The ProFlight Series 2 takes audio features Bose is known for – like active noise cancellation and clarity – and fits them into the lightest, most compact aviation headset Bose has ever produced. And even though it’s at a compact 128 grams (4.5 ounce), the ProFlight Series 2 is designed to be durable.


Pratt & Whitney Canada is celebrating the accumulation of a billion hours on its PT6A engine in the 60th year of the engine’s production.

THE COMPANY SAYS, more than 64,000 PT6s have been produced since 1963, accumulating more than half the hours flown by all the P&WC engines. The total number of P&WC engines made over the past 100 years is 110,000, of which 66,000 remain in service. According to P&WC, more than 155 different aviation applications are powered by PT6 engines.

The PT6 design was started in 1958 and first ran in February 1960, first flew on 30 May 1961, entered service in 1964 and has been continuously updated since. It consists of two basic sections: a gas generator with accessory gearbox and a free power turbine with reduction gearbox.

It is mounted backwards in an aircraft in so far as the intake is at the rear and the exhaust at the front.

Many variants of the PT6 have been produced, not only as turboprops but also as turboshaft engines for helicopters, land vehicles, hovercraft, and boats; as auxiliary power units; and for industrial uses.

“Today’s PT6 is up to four times more powerful, has a 50 percent better power-to-weight ratio and up to 20 percent better specific fuel consumption compared to the original engine,” said P&WC president Maria Della Posta.

“Aviation has the power to change the world. Our engines power aircraft that benefit millions of people every day. Every second, a P&WCpowered aircraft takes off or lands somewhere on the planet, whether they are driving commerce, reuniting families, or powering humanitarian missions, emergency medical services, or search and rescue missions.”

86 March 2023
The original PT6A is in a museum in Canada.
87 March 2023




The Garmin Avionics Upgrade options for retrofit are STC approved for a large number of airframes and includes the complete avionics requirement with Autopilot, Radar, Engine Instrument system, Radar altimeter, Traffic Collision Avoidance system, ADS-B In/Out, WAAS GPS, COMM, NAV and Connectivity.

Apart from the consideration of the investment on the Avionics suite for the airframe type the certification approval thereof is equally important.

How does one accomplish the best functionality solution available for your aircraft type?

Here are a number to Avionics upgrade options to consider -

• Garmin Dual G600 TXi 10.6” Touchscreen Primary Flight Display with HSI map overlays/Multifuntion Display with Charts, TAWS, Radar and Traffic overlay

• Garmin EIS 7” Touchscreen Engine Instrument System

• Garmin Dual GTN-750 Xi Touchscreen NAV/COMM/GPS Moving Map with Charts, TAWS, Radar and Traffic overlay

• Garmin FS-510 database concierge for wireless interface to Pilot App device

• Garmin GFC-600 Three axis Digital Autopilot to fly fully coupled approaches.

• Garmin GTX-345 Remote mounted ADS-B in/Out Transponder

• Garmin GWX-75 Solid State Weather Radar (or existing 3rd party Radar with Enablement)

• Garmin GMA-35C Audio panel/Intercom with interfaced Bose Lemo harnesses

• Garmin GSB-15 Dual USB Charging ports (or TA-360 Dual Highpower charging ports)

• Garmin GRA-55 or GRA-5500 Digital Radar Altimeter (option)

• Garmin GRS-56 Flight Connectivity Satellite Link (option)

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88 March 2023

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Century Avionics specialises in Flightdeck- and Avionics upgrades for general aviation fixedand rotary-wing aircraft. Careful evaluation and planning of every project is essential –from the placing/positioning of glass displays and other avionics in the panel to enhance ergonomics and aesthetics to the final set-up and configuration of the installed equipment.

Century Avionics excel in Avionics Upgrades/ Installations, Repairs/Maintenance, Support and Certification making us a convenient, knowledge based avionic retrofit facility. Anticipating a continuous steady growth in an increasingly exciting and rapidly growing Aviation industry we strive to provide the most efficient service to our customers and the industry.

We are an in- and out of warranty service centre for Bose, David Clark and Lightspeed headsets as well as Garmin, McMurdo (Orolia/Kannad) ELT’s, and many other avionics manufacturers. We manage the Honeywell SPEX pool in country for the contracted MSP HAPP Pilatus PC12 fleet amongst others ensuring minimum Avionics Maintenance related down-time, keeping you in the air.

We are approved dealers for a host of avionics manufacturers (Garmin, Honeywell, Bendix King, Avidyne, McMurdo ELT, Genesys

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89 March 2023



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90 March 2023



test-firing of the Raptor rocket

ON 9 FEBRUARY A TEST-FIRING saw 31 of the Super Heavy booster’s 33 rocket engines ignite and throttle-up for the full test period.

Speaking at Orlando’s Space Mobility Conference on 21 February, SpaceX senior advisor for national security space solutions Gary Henry called the test-firing “the last box to check.”

“The vehicle’s in good shape,” Henry said. “The pad’s in good shape, pretty much all of the prerequisites that come to supporting an orbital demonstration attempt here in the next month or so look good.”

Should Starship perform to SpaceX’s expectations, the vehicle, upon reaching Earth orbit, will earn the distinction of being the most powerful rocket ever to do so, improving on the 8.8-million-thrust-pounds of NASA’s Saturn V by 200%.

NASA’s calendar has the launch of Starship and its Super Heavy Booster on 11 March 2023. Henry said, “There is an FAA launch licence required and we hope to secure that licence in the near future.”

After lift-off from SpaceX’s Boca Chica, Texas Starbase, the profile for the flight looks to have the primary Starship vessel separate from the Super Heavy booster over the Gulf of Mexico and continue to orbit. Returning to Earth via a

controlled descent, the Super Heavy booster will land on an oceanic barge as the primary Starship completes its ascent and commences orbiting the Earth.

Upon completing a number of orbits, Starship will re-enter the planet’s atmosphere and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

The Starship is part of NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to return humans to the moon by 2025.

SpaceX was awarded the Human Landing System contract for both the Artemis III and IV missions, the former of which will attempt the first human lunar-landing since Apollo 17 in 1972. Upon reaching lunar orbit, two of NASA’s four Artemis III astronauts will leave the Orion spacecraft and embark a docked version of Starship, which will carry them to a landing near the lunar south pole.

91 March 2023
engines by which its Super Heavy booster is powered, SpaceX is nearly ready to fly its huge Starship.
The huge Starship assmebled on the launch pad.

3-5 March

Middelburg Airfield, Mpumalanga


Strydom - 011 082 1100

4 March

Middelburg Airfield, Mpumalanga

Contact: Neil Bowden

10-11 March

Kitty Hawk Aerodrome, Pretoria


Annie Boon - 082 902 8614 E-mail:

10 – 11 March

Stellenbosch Airfield Western Cape


Leon Bouttell 076 294 1363


18 March


Contact: Clarissa 074 113 2911


5 March

Contact: Clarissa - 074 113 2911

Contact: Neil Bowden

92 March 2023 Tel: +27 (0)10 900 4149 | Mobile: +27 (0)82 547 8379 | Hangar 24 (Interior Shop) and Hangar 31 (Paint Shop). Lanseria International Airport, South Africa, Gate 5 North Side. EVENTS CALENDAR
18 March
Krugersdorp Aerodrome


Afr ican Commercial Aviation

Edition 170 | March 2023


Airbus’s Hadi Akoum

Why bother with Africa?

SANDF Armed Forces

Day: photo essay

IRIS – goes to Khartoum

– Rhino

Dehorning Rules

John Bassi
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CALL US NOW FOR ALL OF YOUR AVIATION NEEDS! AIRCRAFT MAINTAINENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT QUALITY IS OUR PASSION Skysource International SA, Hangar 203, Lanseria International Airport South Africa SOUTH AFRICA Aircraft Maintenance based at Lanseria International Airport South Africa. FAA USA Worldwide Aviation Resources Aircraft Sales, Purchasing, Maintenance and Consulting. AMO 1427 +27 10 900 4300 • +27 72 036 3433 WE SPECIALIZE IN: Beechcraft 90 Series Beechcraft 200 Series Beechcraft 350 Series Beechcraft 1900D Series Cessna Caravan C208 Series Aircraft With Full Aircraft Maintenance and Refurbishment, Paint, Upholstery, Defect rectification, Pre-purchase Inspection Capabilities. Decades of experience! Sheet Metal + Avionics Maintenance + Installation SA Flyer 2023|03 PTY

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MARCH 2023

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AT THE MOST RECENT Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) annual general meeting I interviewed Hadi Akoum, the Airbus Vice President for Sales in Sub-Sahara Africa. (See the key points of this interview in this issue and the whole interview on our website

In a heartening show of commitment, Akoum emphasises that, even though Africa’s share of the world aviation market has fallen below 2%, Africa remains an important market for Airbus.

As a defender of the faith, Akoum was necessarily upbeat about the recovery and growth prospects for the African airline industry. He has a good case: With 1.2 billion people, Africa has roughly the same populations as India and China –and it has a middle class rapidly growing off a lower base than the other two mega-countries.

However, the usual problems persist: high taxes, fees and airport charges, and inadequate or inappropriate infrastructure. This is because many African governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in status symbol ‘white elephant’ airports. This is money they need to pay back, so they impose high airport user charges, which makes air transport too expensive for the still emergent middle class.

It is broadly accepted in the rest of the world that lowering taxes and charges will reduce the cost of travel, stimulate demand and result in more passengers, while still generating the required revenues to fund those investments in infrastructure and services.

Africa remains an important market for Airbus

Of course, Africa remains hopelessly divided, but that doesn’t mean that there are not pockets of growth, often in unexpected places. Thus, Akoum points out with pride how Airbus has developed airlines in places like Senegal, Uganda and Rwanda that have grown to become firm Airbus customers for new aircraft.

Earlier, Akoum said that Airbus has added 29 new African operators since 2010. Ethiopian Airlines ended its long allegiance to Boeing by ordering no less than 24 A350s. In the often delinquent West Africa, Air Cote d’Ivoire received its first of two A320ceos last year and Air Senegal recently took delivery of its first A330neo wide bodies, and has orders for the A220.

In addition to high costs, poor flight connectivity by expensive, state owned poor service airlines have restricted access to air travel.

African passenger volumes have not been as hoped so we have seen gauge downsizing. With around 75 small airlines in Africa, it now seems that the market cannot really support widebodies.

For the long-term, Akoum says he is optimistic. Given the low economic levels Africa has been hammered down to by Covid, when Africa finally gets its act together, the growth opportunities should have been worth the wait.


WE KEEP IN TOUCH on a regular basis and normally see each other at least once a year. Tom’s heroism in Northern Ireland earned him the award of a Military Cross when he carried out a helicopter rescue of a wounded sergeant, under concentrated sniper fire.

The helicopter was hit several times, but Tom managed to get the sergeant to hospital, where the surgeons were able to save his life. If you talk to Tom about the incident, he will tell you that the most scary thing about the whole trip was trying to avoid the numerous power lines which crisscrossed his approach to the place where the wounded sergeant lay.

The Air Wing was like that. We tended to form lasting friendships and those friendships have survived the changing circumstances of our lives.

Tom has one particularly endearing characteristic. He stutters. “M’s” and “B’s” can actually cause him to block up completely, if they catch him at the wrong moment. He sometimes even had trouble on the radio.

“Seeb Tower, this is Alpha Four Oscar M-m-m.......Bb-baaaaa......”

“Morning Tom,” would come back from the controller, who knew Tom well and appreciated his problem. It seemed unfair but inevitable that the helicopter which Tom normally flew should be registered Alpha Four Oscar Mike Bravo!

One day it wasn’t so much the stutter which caused the problem, it was the radio itself. I was flying back from Fahud to Seeb when I heard it. A long hissing sound came over the air followed by a pause and then another long hissing sound. This was repeated several times and it became obvious that someone was trying to get through to Air Traffic Control, but they were only transmitting a carrier wave. There was no modulation and therefore no words could be heard. I decided to see if I could help.

“Aircraft transmitting on 119.7 you have no modulation. You are transmitting carrier wave only.”

6 FlightCom: March 2023
I have a long-standing and highly respected friend called Tom. Our friendship goes back over twenty years. We served together in the Air Wing in Oman. Tom’s son Charlie is my Godson.
I decided to see if I could help.


“Still nothing.”

So, if I can’t hear what he’s saying, but I can hear that he’s trying to transmit, how can we communicate?..... Morse Code?

“Is that an Alpha?”


“Great, So you are Alpha Four Oscar something. Correct?”


My Morse was never very good even at the best of times and that was years ago, but there seemed to be no other alternative so I supposed we had better give it a try.

“Listen,” I said.” If you are reading my transmissions clearly, can you give me a couple of “Daa’s”? Just press your transmit button for a couple of seconds, twice.”

“Shhhh.....Shhhh” came back over the ether.

“O.K.” I replied, “This is obviously going to take some time, so let’s try changing frequency to 123.45. I’ll give you a call and if you read me, give me two “Daas”.

And so it went on, my creaking command of the Morse code eventually establishing the fact that the other guy was in an Air Wing helicopter going to Muscat with a Medical Evacuation. I finally got the message through to Air Traffic Control about ten minutes before he landed!

Over drinks that evening I couldn’t resist the temptation of suggesting to Tom that he could try Morse Code in the mornings when he first contacted the controller.

“I don’t need to,” he replied, laughing. “The controllers know m-m-m-my voice even better than the call-sign!” 

“Shhh.....Shhh” came back on the new frequency.

“Right!” I said, “Let’s play Morse code. If I get the right letter, you give me two “Daas”. If I get the wrong one, you give me a series of “Dits.”


“What’s your registration?”


8 FlightCom: March 2023
about ten minutes before he landed!
FlightCom: March 2023 9 Regular Class 2, 3, 4 Senior Class 1, 2, 3, 4 On site Specialist tests Off-site Specialist tests FAA registered EASA registered Other countries SURNAME FIRST NAME LOCATION TEL NO E-MAIL Britz Rudi Wonderboom Airport 083 422 9882 ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ Church Belinda Valhalla 079 636 9860 ✗ ✗ Du Plessis Alexander Athlone Park 031 904 7460 ✗ ✗ ✗ Erasmus Philip Benoni 011 849 6512 ✗ ✗ Govender Deena Umhlanga Rocks 031 566 2066/7 ✗ ✗ Ingham Kenneth Midrand 011 315 5817 ✗ ✗ ✗ ✗ Marais Eugene Mossel Bay 044 693 1470 ✗ ✗ Opperman Chris Pretoria Lynnwood 012 368 8800 ✗ ✗ ✗ Tenzer Stan Rand Airport & JHB CBD 083 679 0777 ✗ ✗ ✗ Toerien Hendrik White River, Nelspruit 013 751 3848 ✗ ✗ ✗ Van Der Merwe Johann Stellenbosch 021 887 0305 ✗ ✗
Doctors Listing
How a Great Circle route
This Mooney 201
on board survived.
is shorter than
straight line on a Mercator projection.
impaled itself
a pylon - both


Laura McDermid continues her stories of Iris McCallum’s flying exploits.

IGAVE KEN AN EXHAUSTED, but happy smile. I must’ve looked a right mess, my bush-pig curls sticking up in every direction as though I’d stuck my finger in an electric socket, and my clothes dishevelled from an all-night vigil in the cockpit.

I’d just returned to the office at SafariAir at Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, after having spent 25 hours flying at night in a Cessna 340 over four days with my co-pilot Richard Palmer-Wilson.

The motoring World Rally Championships (WRC), affectionately dubbed The Safari, originated in 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It is regarded as one of the toughest, most exhausting races over a distance of 5,000km.

the exhilaration of adventure

The East African Safari car rally’s Team Lancia had approached SafariAir looking for a plane to hire to be their ‘aerial antenna’ from the 24th to the 27th of March 1989.

We would have to fly at around 20,000 ft, and I did not fancy sitting with an oxygen mask on my face for seven continuous hours. SafariAir did not own any pressurised aircraft, so it was up to me to pull strings with my contacts at architectural firm Sir Alexander Gibb, who owned the C340.

Racing in such remote areas, that range from farm tracks to very rough roads up and down the Great Rift Valley, makes it very difficult to guarantee communication, especially for support vehicles (chase cars) that need to be able to provide immediate assistance to racing cars when necessary.

It was simple enough during the day, as the crew in the aircraft were able to view the event from the air. The biggest challenge was at night when the inky blackness made it impossible to see anything on the ground.

It rained most evenings and there was a real risk of icing at Flight Level 200, the height we had to be for

10 FlightCom: March 2023
“How was your grand adventure Cuddles?” asked Chief Pilot Ken Metcalf, an ex-Military Attaché with the British High Commission, and ex Squadron Leader with the RAF.

the HF and VHF radio signals to reach the cars on the ground.

Furthermore, we couldn’t fly at the normal cruising speed of 230KT. We hovered around the stall speed of 80KT, flying triangles and orbits. The only good thing about flying at such a slow speed is that it extended our endurance from 6 to 10 hours.

It was no walk in the park, we both had to always have our wits about us.

Team Lancia won that year and Richard and I goodnaturedly teased them, saying they won because of us. The truth is that team Lancia went on to win the WRC another three years in a row after that.

Ken Metcalf said, ‘I have a new adventure for you when you’ve stopped being a zombie’.

I peered at Ken through bloodshot eyes, resembling the undead entity more than I’d have liked.

‘How would you, Heather, and Dave like to fly to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to collect a group of Americans led by Congressman Mickey Leland, and then fly them to Khartoum in Sudan?’ he asked. ‘They are holding a peace conference in Khartoum for three days, after which you’ll return them to Addis’.

‘Peace conference? Do these poor sods know what they are dealing with?’ I chuckled.

Ken needn’t have asked; we all loved doing things that were different from the routine of our daily charter flights to the Maasai Mara and Amboseli.

On the 31st of March, I lifted the Cessna 402A 5Y-ZAR, from Wilson Airport. After perhaps a thousand flights on the 402 I have never felt her wheels glide from the earth into the air without knowing the uncertainty and the exhilaration of firstborn adventure.

We were a three-plane operation. Heather Stewart flew the Navajo Chieftain 5Y-NJM and Dave Diamond was flying the Cessna 404 5Y-AAA.

I looked at my wristwatch which showed 12h25 Kenya time. We opted to fly VFR out of Wilson as the weather was good, but I knew it would not last as the seasonal rains were imminent.

We were expecting rain on Arrival in Addis, but we chose to wait until closer to the time to decide whether to approach IFR or visually.

5Y-ZAR and 5Y-NJM both had extra fuel tanks in the nacelles, providing enough fuel for approximately 7 hours endurance.

I dialled into 118.25, our own private frequency, to keep tabs on my friends’ positions.

The sky was a deep indigo blue against which corridors of puffy little white clouds lined up above the Great Rift Valley, guiding us up north to Addis. I glanced at my instruments, the altimeter showed 13,500’, high enough to keep clear of the mountains.

FlightCom: March 2023 11
Iris McCallum aka "Cuddles".

The water in Lake Turkana glittered and shimmered in the distance like a giant emerald. As I got closer, I marvelled at the extra-terrestrial landscape, which seemed completely devoid of life. The long body of the lake drops down from the Ethiopian border, extending 249 km from north to south, and 44 km at its widest point. Gazing into its green depths, I understood why it was called the Jade Sea.

Next, we flew over Lake Chew Bahir which in Arabic means ‘salty lake’ which looked more like a swamp than a lake. In 1960 it covered 2000 km2 but had shrunk remarkably in the past three decades. It was marked on my map as ‘Lake Stefanie’, apparently a tribute to Princess Stephanie of Belgium; I wondered

if she’d be happy knowing that the once glorious lake that she had lent her name to was now a shrivelled-up marsh.

Such are the ruminations of a pilot’s mind on a long flight.

We were still following the Great Rift Valley and I kept thinking about what a privilege it is to fly in this part of the world.

The further north we flew, the cloudier it became until we were dodging squalls of rain.

12 FlightCom: March 2023
Wilson Airport Nairobi.

Having been behind the yoke for 3.8 hours, we were tired and landed VFR at Addis Ababa’s Bole Airport amidst lots of rain and cloud.

We refuelled and prepared a flight plan from Addis to Khartoum for the following morning and left for the Sheraton Hotel.

The American Embassy had sent a message to let us know that we would meet our passengers at the VIP Terminal at 07h00.

We enjoyed a lazy dinner together; Dave was entertaining as always. Born in Australia, he came to Kenya as a young survey pilot, flying for a company called Geo Survey. He met his future wife Mahdu in Kenya and stayed.

I couldn’t ask for two better companions than Heather and Dave.

The following day was the first of April, and I wondered what mischief Dave would get up to. I knew that he could not let an opportunity like this pass.

We met Congressman Mickey Leland and his party at the VIP Lounge as arranged. Having lived in the United States for years, I knew of Texan-born Mickey. He was a passionate advocate on hunger and public health issues and had established the congressional select committee on Hunger in 1984 and initiated several programmes designed to assuage the famine crises that plagued Sudan and Ethiopia through much of the 1980s.

Mickey cut a striking figure in a navy-blue suit. His piercing blue eyes and caramel skin caused a stir wherever he went. We ushered him and his entourage of 19 along the red carpet that led to the planes. We opted to let Dave fly the VIPs, whilst Heather and I took most of the luggage and remaining passengers. The entire group were young, lively and intelligent. We knew we were going to have a fun trip.

The weather was perfect that morning so we opted to depart VFR and stick close to one another. The route from Addis to Khartoum is emblazoned on my memory forever.

FlightCom: March 2023 13
Congressman Mickey Leland.

Seeing Lake Tana, the biggest lake in Ethiopia and the source of the Blue Nile from the air, was akin to a spiritual experience for me. From that height the Blue Nile looked like a vein that branched off from the heart. A fitting analogy considering that it was the lifeblood of North Africa.

I meandered 2000 ft above the snaking canyon from the lake towards Sudan, allowing the passengers to soak up the magnificent views.

The sheerness of the canyon was incredible. I estimated that it must’ve been at least 2000 ft from top to bottom, the walls so vertical that I suspect not many animals would’ve been able to scale them. There was no way for a human to access the river, which meant we were flying over many hundreds of miles of pristine land, untainted by human avarice.

When we were roughly halfway between Addis and Khartoum, I checked in with Dave.

‘Alpha-Alpha-Alpha do you copy?’

The radio crackled into life to a backdrop of hysterical laughter.

‘Zulu-Alpha-Romeo go ahead…hey…. stop it now’.

More hysterical laughter.


‘Sorry Cuddles, the bloody passengers are pelting me with balls of paper,’ he replied in his distinctive Aussie twang through snorts of laughter.

14 FlightCom: March 2023
The Blue Nile is the lifeblood of North Africa.

He told his passengers that he’d just been advised by Khartoum Tower that there was a coup taking place and that they were not allowed to land.

This sent his passengers into a state of panic.

He let them stew for a bit until he shouted, ‘April Fool, mate.’

Our flight time to Khartoum was 3.2 hours, which meant that we arrived around mid-day. Visible waves of heat rose off the ground and sucked every bit of moisture from my skin the minute I opened the cabin door.

I saw my passengers off and then we taxied to the fuel bay. Being lunchtime, or possibly prayer time, there was no one to be seen. Eventually, Mohammed arrived with a scowl on his face, leaving no doubt that our intrusion was unwelcome.

We supervised the refuelling of our aircraft, which took 2 hours. My eyeballs were so scorched from the heat that it physically hurt every time I blinked.

We secured the planes and made sure to put the protective sun covers on.

We took a taxi to the Hilton Hotel. It was the first time I was staying in Khartoum and being a fan of MajorGeneral Charles George Gordon, I was fascinated by its history.

In early 1884 Gordon was sent by the British government to Khartoum with instructions to secure the evacuation of loyal soldiers and civilians and to depart with them. He defied them and ended up staying in Sudan and spent many years attempting to end slavery and carried out a series of reforms such as abolishing torture and public floggings.

All the way to the Hilton in the sweltering taxi I was fantasizing about an ice-cold beer. However, I knew that being a strict Islamic country, there’d be little

chance of fulfilling that dream.

We checked in and agreed to meet in the restaurant after we’d showered and cleaned up. As I entered the dining room, I saw masses of silver and gold buckets filled with ice in which nestled sweating green bottles of what looked like beer.

I rubbed my sore eyes, blinking furiously, and looked again, expecting the image to have been a product of my fevered imagination. But they will still there, beckoning me closer.

‘Hey Dave, are you seeing what I’m seeing?’

Dave was right behind me and by the look of naked longing on his face I knew he’d seen it too.

We joined Heather at the table and asked the waiter to bring us a bucket of beer. As the Carlsberg’s hit the table, Dave and I pounced on them and quaffed down three bottles each before we came up for air.

Following the furnace of the past few hours, we were in heaven and getting wonderfully pissed.

Heather, who wasn’t a big drinker, was sipping on Perrier and was watching us, a small smile playing on her lips.

‘What?’ I asked.

‘You don’t know, do you’? She looked at me then at Dave then picked up one of the empty green bottles and pointed at the words ‘alcohol-free’ on the label.

Nothing can sober one up quicker than those two words (Dave still maintains ‘I’m pregnant’ is more sobering). Nevertheless, we were in heaven for a short while.

FlightCom: March 2023 15
getting wonderfully pissed.


IN FEBRUARY FLYSAFAIR announced that plans are well underway to further expand its network after being awarded the rights to operate three additional regional routes, as well as additional frequency on existing regional routes.

awarded five additional frequencies

After applying in June 2022, the International Air Services Council has awarded FlySafair the rights to operate routes between Johannesburg and Windhoek, Harare and Zanzibar. On top of these new routes, FlySafair was also awarded five additional frequencies on its recently launched Mauritius route, meaning that the airline could potentially offer daily flights.

“We are thrilled to have received this news,” says Kirby Gordon, Chief Marketing Officer at FlySafair. “We have already begun laying the groundwork in several of our target countries and are in discussions with various parties including civil aviation authorities to get these new routes up and running as soon as possible.”

Once all permissions and logistical considerations have been resolved, FlySafair will be able to offer daily flights from Johannesburg to Windhoek and Harare from Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

16 FlightCom: March 2023 NEWS
FlySafair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kirby Gordon.


SOUTH AFRICAN OPERATORS have aircraft based all over the world. Mistral Aviation was founded in 2002 to address the high cost of operating aircraft thousands of miles from the original equipment manufacturers. The company specialises in brake and landing gear assemblies.

Mistral believes that by utilising the favourable labour rate and local expertise within South Africa, the cost of importing the components can be offset whilst producing a product comparable to that of the European and US facilities. In addition to its wide range of older types such as the B737 and B727 classics, Beechcraft

1900 and 350, and FokkerF27, Mistral is now approved for the Embraer EMB 135 series.

Mistral Aviation reminds prospective clients that it is an independently owned company and has always traded as Mistral Aviation Services. It is in no way linked with Mistral Aviation, based in the DRC, or any other companies with similar names.

Contact Mistral Aviation at: Telephone: 081 755 2534 or 081 250 5429. Email: or visit Mistral can be found at Safair campus on the east side of OR Tambo airport. j

FlightCom: March 2023 17
SA Flyer 2023|03
Safair North Perimeter Road, OR Tambo International Airport, Bonaero Park, 1619 Tel:
755 2534 or 081 250


Last month John shared the anticipation and preparation for Rhino de-horning flights. This month he continues the story with some unwelcome mechanical drama.

ICOME DOWN LOW ENOUGH and do a single pass, during which time we assess the age, sex, size and condition of the two adult rhino, necessary for the correct drug dosage in the dart, then, satisfied, climb to 1000 feet agl and move away so as to not cause the rhino to run.

Flying a slow orbit, I try to keep the rhino on my side and never take eyes off, not even for a second, unless I am certain another crew member has visual. You cannot imagine how quickly you can lose a rhino in the bushes and gullies.

“Ok John, I’m ready. Checking harness secure,” the vet calls out.

I start my decent and set up for a smooth approach into wind, aiming to reach the rear rhino at a ground speed exactly equal to the galloping rhino.

“Going in now, for the back animal,” I call out while stabilising slightly to the left and a few metres above and behind the animal.

The moment the dart hits, I glance to make sure it has detonated fully and make a mental note of the position and quality of the dart. 90 degrees angle of penetration into good muscle means the rhino will be sedated in 4 to 5 minutes. Simultaneously I reposition behind the leading rhino. Dart in, I pull away, climbing above 500 feet agl to monitor the drug absorption and progress, ensuring there are no dangers such as a deep gulley or pool of water ahead of the rhino.

Once a rhino starts moving in a set direction, not much will change its mind. This gets worse as the drug takes effect, therefore it is vital to make the animals change direction immediately if you predict danger ahead.

When the drug has taken full effect, we assess the third animal, the big bull, and either chase him away or he will decide to move off unharassed. The Foxbat spotter plane will stay eyes on, making it possible for us to fly straight in on him once we are done.

18 FlightCom: March 2023
a ground speed exactly equal to the galloping rhino

By getting both darts in as quickly as possible, we ensure that both animals will go down close to each other, making our groundwork much easier since the animals are together.

Selecting a landing zone (LZ) is always fun in the bush but must be done fast, preferably as close to the rhino as possible. This is when trust and team work count.

With my crew telling me where to position the tail rotor, I can focus on the main rotor blades in very confined areas. While I stabilise the helicopter, the vet and tech leap out the right side, the ranger is in charge of the equipment and the security of the helicopter: doors and belts secure, and no lose items. He then

joins the team to begin the dehorning process. Each of us has a job to do to complete the operation efficiently.

By the time I have shut down, the first rhino has been pushed over and is lying flat on her side, her blood pressure and breathing have been stabilised, a blindfold has been positioned to protect her eyes, the sampling kit has been placed on her back and the guys are already doing the same to the second animal.

Poking about in the bush I find a small log to place under the rhino’s front horn, effectively raising the horn off the ground to give space for the chainsaw. Between us we share duties: recording the data and completing the dehorning tasks, collecting a few ticks

FlightCom: March 2023 19
The Foxbat spotter plane passes low overhead the rhino operation.

into a sealed vial, take some hair samples for DNA from the tail, insert micro-chips, remove the dart and disinfect the wound.

We measure approximately four fingers from where the hard horn meets skin and mark off a line with a marker pen. Doing this ensures that the cut will safely miss the horn’s growth point. Both horns are measured in length as well as base circumference, then, with the grinder, we grind off dry mud from the area where we intend to use the chainsaw; this avoids blunting the chain saw.

DNA. The horns are micro chipped and numbered, photographs taken of the rhino before and after the process and all of this takes us fifteen minutes from when the animal initially goes down.

The same procedure is followed with the second rhino, all the while breathing is monitored on both animals. Once completed, efficiently getting everyone securely back in the helicopter, along with all the samples, horns and de-horning equipment, doors and hatches safe, is the delegated safety persons job.

something sinister in the donkey

Blood samples are taken, and the ears are notched, giving the animal a unique identification number. Cutting the horn is a gentle process, a sharp chain removes the horn swiftly and cleanly, the grinder is then used to round off the square cut. Horn shavings are enveloped, along with the chips off the ear from the notching, also for

This allows me to start the machine and be ready for lift, since the vet is waiting for me to give him my signal to inject the antidote into the rhino. The antidote works fast, from deep sleep to awake takes just over a minute and the plan is to have everything ready for immediate takeoff as soon as the vet is secure.

20 FlightCom: March 2023
Positioning the helicopter to get behind an unhappy rhino who does not agree with being darted.

Everything is going to plan –that is until I depress the start button.

The familiar whine of the compressor is interspersed with a grinding sound that lasts two to three seconds. Before 15% and before I introduce fuel everything feels, looks and sounds normal again.

I closely monitor the turbine instruments, everything is normal. I start doubting myself, maybe the sound was my imagination? But in my heart I know it was real. The rhino are ten metres from the helicopter.

I continue with the start-up, telling myself that if by 100% rpm and ready for lift, if there is no indication of trouble, I must at least move the helicopter to safety.

Do I tell my crew or just focus and lift?

Every nerve in my body is sharp, with a knot in my gut, I gently lift, ever so slowly loading the blades until in ground effect hover. The rhino are waking up.

I consider staying in ground effect above the LZ, but it’s tight, with inches to spare. Not a great place to be.

I look ahead at the green trees that I must pass over, feeling sick as my instinct knows something sinister is happening somewhere

in the donkey. With no warning lights flashing and everything reading normally, I decide to transition and head immediately to the first open safe LZ.

“HFD, SAM, I have the F bull visual, and I have another two animals for you, just fly south west and you will see me, about five miles”.

“UH, SAM, thanks, we just got airborne, please stand by”.

FlightCom: March 2023 21
Dehorning a rhino using a chainsaw, cutting above the growth point.
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In February British Airways announced a codeshare partnership with Airlink.

THIS CODESHARE is a huge step forward for the South African regional carrier, and for passengers it improves connectivity between the UK, Europe, North America and more than 15 destinations in Southern Africa.

With bases in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban in South Africa, Airlink is a regional airline with a network of destinations in fourteen countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia.

The agreement means British Airways’ and Airlink customers travelling, for example, from Cape Town or Johannesburg to, or transiting through, London (or vice versa) will be able to connect to their final destination on a single ticket. This will offer more choice and flexibility for those travelling from one of 18 towns and cities, such as Windhoek in Namibia and Durban in South Africa.

British Airways currently flies twice daily between

Johannesburg and London Heathrow with A380 aircraft, twice daily between Cape Town and London Heathrow with B777 and A350 aircraft and three times per week between Cape Town and London Gatwick with B777 aircraft.

Members of British Airways’ loyalty programme, the Executive Club, can earn Avios when flying on Airlink flights on a British Airways’ codeshare journey. Avios is the programme’s currency, which can be used as part-payment towards Reward Flights or upgrades, as well as hotel stays, car hire and more.

Airlink’s CEO, Rodger Foster, said: “This is an important next step in our partnership with British Airways, which has a phenomenal global reach into the most important markets for our region. The marriage of our two networks will benefit both British Airways’ and Airlink’s customers, giving them even more choice with a wide range of itinerary options and connectivity possibilities.”

FlightCom: March 2023 23 NEWS
Airlink has signed an historic codeshare agreement with BA.



On 21 February the South African combined armed forces held their annual parade at Richards Bay in Kwa-Zulu Natal. SA Flyer’s Trevor Cohen was there to capture the images for this photo essay.

24 FlightCom: March 2023
For the Armed Forces day in Richards Bay, SAAF AW109s fly the flags of the SANDF's 4 services.
FlightCom: March 2023 25
The SAAF surprised by flying two Gripens with its 3 Hawk display. The heads of the armed services parade past the crowd.
FlightCom: March 2023
State President Cyril Ramaphosa presents Special Forces troops with the Nkwe Ya Gautra or Golden Leopard medal, which replaces the Honoris Crux Gold. A mixed services march past.
FlightCom: March 2023 27
The SAAF parades their squadron colours. The SAAF parades their colours.
28 FlightCom: March 2023
The Silver Falcons fly past. A SAAF BK117 shows its intervention capability.


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FlightCom: March 2023 29
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Guy Leitch (GL) asks Airbus Africa head Hadi Akoum (HA) about how his company assists African airlines and thus the demand for Airbus airliners.

GL: The African airline industry has shrunk to less than 2% of the global airline industry. And it is particularly difficult to sell aircraft into Africa. Is Africa worth the effort for Airbus?

HA: We cannot afford not to take care of Africa. Africa has a bright future in terms of population and thus passenger growth and especially from the growing middle class. Its taking a bit more time than other continents, but we are seeing constant development. Africa needs to gain expertise in aviation and we are seeing this expertise growing. This shows that there will be more and more opportunities in Africa.

GL: The African market needs help from the OEMs in terms of putting the key components of an airline together. Airbus provides that help so the new airline becomes loyal to you. Has this been a particularly useful strategy?

Absolutely. This is the strategy we adopted when I was appointed to take care of Airbus in Africa. We knew we were not going to make thousands of sales like we do in America or Asia, however we need to build up a presence and so we decided that we needed to support the airlines to help them to grow and introduce Airbus technology. The sales may not be direct sales, but as a lease. Once they have seen the benefits in performance, safety, comfort and operating costs – which leads to profitability, they become loyal to Airbus. And as the airline develops they will be able to purchase directly from Airbus.

30 FlightCom: March 2023
people do not travel with only 23 kg packages

GL: Can you give examples?

In West Africa we have helped airlines such as Air Senegal and Air Côte d’Ivoire start with leased second hand aircraft until they were able to purchase brand new aircraft. Namibia started with a leased A340 and then moved to a leased A330. Our strategy is to increase our presence in terms of the number of operators, to help them appreciate the benefits of operating our aircraft and then help them to grow.

GL: The C series is particularly well-suited for African airlines having to grow thin route networks. Have you found a strong take-up for the C series in Africa?

HA: Absolutely. In fact it’s been an amazing takeup. We now have five customers for the A220. I have not seen this before for a brand new aeroplane. Because this aircraft has been designed for the regional market and Africa has a specific need in aircraft size and range to serve the relatively low number of passengers. So a size between 100 and 140 seats is perfect and Africa needs an aircraft that can fly over five hours with passenger comfort. The A220 provides comfort equivalent to the A320 family, but it can fly long range and has a very good cargo

FlightCom: March 2023 31
Airbus's Hadi Akoum believes the African growth story.

capability. In Africa people do not travel with only 23 kg packages. This is the difference between the A220 and the other regional jets which are limited in terms of freight and excess baggage handling capability.

we delivered all the aircraft we produced

GL: What about the freighter business?

HA: Cargo is becoming increasingly important and freight prices today are still relatively high. This is why Airbus was able to launch the A350F, which is by far the most advanced freighter. We hope that this aircraft will gain traction in Africa.

GL: What has Airbus coming down the pipeline?

HA: The A350 is still the most advanced aircraft today. And compared to what we are seeing in the next five to ten years, it will still be the most advanced aircraft. The A330neo has also been a success, especially in Africa. The size of the aircraft; from 250 – 300 seats, is an excellent size for connecting Africa to Europe, Asia or the Unites States. We have the A330neo operating in Senegal, Uganda and Mauritius.

GL: And the narrowbody market?

The A320 family has been modernised and the A321XLR will enter service in the coming years. So our aircraft are still ahead in terms of comfort and technology. Airbus invests over U$2 – 3 billion a year in modernising our aircraft and we have seen the results. Despite all the struggles we had in 2020 with Covid, we delivered all the aircraft we produced.

32 FlightCom: March 2023
Air Sengal has leased Airbus A330-900s
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Loutzavia Aircraft Sales

Henry Miles 082 966 0911

Loutzavia Flight Training

Gerhardt Botha 012 567 6775

Loutzavia-Pilots and Planes

Maria Loutzis 012 567 6775

Loutzavia Rand Frans Pretorius 011 824 3804

Lowveld Aero Club Pugs Steyn 013 741 3636

Marshall Eagle Les Lebenon 011 958 1567

Maverick Air Charters

Lourens Human 082 570 2743

MCC Aviation Pty Ltd

Claude Oberholzer 011 701 2332

MH Aviation Services (Pty) Ltd

Marc Pienaar 011 609 0123 / 082 940 5437

M and N Acoustic Services cc Martin de Beer 012 689 2007/8

Metropolitan Aviation (Pty) Ltd

Gert Mouton 082 458 3736

Money Aviation

Angus Money 083 263 2934

MS Aviation Gary Templeton 082 563 9639

North East Avionics

Keith Robertson +27 13 741 2986

Orsmond Aviation 058 303 5261

Owenair (Pty) Ltd

Clive Skinner 082 923 9580

Pacair Wayne Bond 033 386 6027

PFERD-South Africa (Pty) Ltd Hannes Nortman 011 230 4000

Pipistrel Kobus Nel 083 231 4296

Plane Maintenance Facility Johan 083 300 3619

Precision Aviation Services

Marnix Hulleman 012 543 0371

PSG Aviation Reon Wiese 0861 284 284 www.psg

Rainbow SkyReach (Pty) Ltd

Mike Gill 011 817 2298

Rand Airport

Stuart Coetzee 011 827 8884

Robin Coss Aviation Robin Coss 021 934 7498

SAA Technical (SOC) Ltd

SAAT Marketing 011 978 9993

SABRE Aircraft Richard Stubbs 083 655 0355

SA Mooney Patrick Hanly 082 565 8864

Savannah Helicopters De 082Jager 444 1138 / 044 873 3288

Scenic Air Christa van Wyk +264 612 492 68

Sheltam Aviation Durban

Susan Ryan 083 505 4882

Sheltam Aviation PE Brendan Booker 082 497 6565

Sky-Tech Heinz Van Staden 082 720 5210

Sling Aircraft Kim Bell-Cross 011 948 9898

Solenta Aviation (Pty Ltd)

Paul Hurst 011 707 4000

Southern Energy Company (Pty) Ltd

Elke Bertram +264 8114 29958

Southern Rotorcraft cc Mr Reg Denysschen Tel no: 0219350980

Starlite Aero Sales

Klara Fouché +27 83 324 8530 / +27 31 571 6600

Starlite Aviation Operations

Trisha Andhee +27 82 660 3018/ +27 31 571 6600

Starlite Aviation Training Academy

Durban: +27 31 571 6600 Mossel Bay: +27 44 692 0006

Status Aviation (Pty) Ltd

Richard Donian 074 587 5978 / 086 673 5266

Superior Pilot Services

Liana Jansen van 0118050605/2247Rensburg

The Copter Shop Bill Olmsted 082 454 8555

Titan Helicopter Group 044 878 0453


Dennis Byrne 011 701 3210

Trio Helicopters & Aviation cc CR Botha or FJ Grobbelaar 011 659 1022

Tshukudu Trailers

Pieter Visser 083 512 2342

U Fly Training Academy

Nikola Puhaca 011 824 0680

United Charter cc Jonathan Wolpe 083 270 8886

United Flight Support Clinton Moodley/Jonathan Wolpe 076 813 7754 / 011 788 0813

Unique Air Charter Nico Pienaar 082 444 7994

Unique Flight Academy

Nico Pienaar 082 444 7994

Van Zyl Aviation Services Colette van Zyl 012 997 6714

Vector Aerospace

Jeff Poirier +902 888 1808

Velocity Aviation Collin Pearson 011 659 2306 / 011 659 2334

Villa San Giovanni Luca Maiorana 012 111 8888

Vortx Aviation Bredell Roux 072 480 0359

Wanafly Adrian Barry 082 493 9101

Windhoek Flight Training Centre Thinus Dreyer 0026 40 811284 180

Wings n Things Wendy Thatcher 011 701 3209

Witbank Flight School Andre De Villiers 083 604 1718

Wonderboom Airport Peet van Rensburg 012 567 1188/9

Zandspruit Bush & Aero Estate Martin Den Dunnen 082 449 8895

Zebula Golf Estate & SPA Reservations 014 734 7700

FlightCom: March 2023 39