SA Flyer Magazine June 2024

Page 1

FlightCm Afr ican Commercial Aviation  Edition 339 June 2024 Cover: Pipistrel Jim: More Fuelish Mistakes FLIGHT TEST: Peter Garrison: The Staggerwing Guy: The Aim of Bombing The HUGE Mi-26 Heli Jims Prang –VFR into IMC PIPISTREL’S AMAZING PANTHERA - FINALLY HERE!! PTAR race –full report! Okavango –Romantic exploits!

p 2,000 PC-12S – 1 PROVEN LEADER! What makes the PC-12 the most popular single-engine business aircraft? Experience. With a rapidly growing global fleet of more than 2,000 aircraft, the “World’s Greatest Single” has solidified its reputation for superior value retention, low operating costs and safe operation. With an aircraft this proven, the numbers really do speak for themselves.
Contact Pilatus PC-12 Centre Southern Africa, your nearest Authorised Pilatus PC-12 NGX Sales Centre for further information on Tel: +27 11 383 0800, Cell +27 82 511 7312 or Email:


The fracas over FlySafair’s offshore ownership is becoming increasingly heated. Competitors Airlink and Lift have laid a complaint to both the Domestic and International Air Services Licencing Councils. At time of writing the Councils have not yet ruled - or in the Domestic Council’s case –even considered the matter.

THE IMBROGLIO has been fought out in the general media with sensational headlines. In my comments to the general media, I have tried hard to assure FlySafair passengers that flights are not likely to be cancelled, or the airline grounded.

Both Airlink’s Rodger Foster and Lift’s Gidon Novick have denied that they in fact ever called for FlySafair’s actual grounding, despite headlines to that effect.

The detailed financial submissions by the FlySafair holding company ASL, (which is based in Ireland) do not make pretty reading. Despite its protestations, FlySafair does, once again, seem to be on the wrong side of the law.

The question that engages many analysts is whether the law is reasonable. Many countries do not have restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines – or if they do, it’s around a 50% limit, and not South Africa’s very restrictive 25%.

I support the view that in a properly liberalised airline environment there should not be restrictions on non-resident ownership, provided the airline is properly registered in South Africa.

The free-marketers chief complaint against the 25% maximum limit is that it makes it harder for the airlines to raise capital, especially given the hefty political discount that erodes the SA Rand’s value.

But the rules are the rules – and FlySafair seems to have a long-running cavalier attitude to them. In the 2012 judgement against FlySafair for its non-resident shareholding, the judge was scathing, accusing it of evasion of the law (in fraudem legis) and misleading the Licencing Councils.

And now here we are again. Kirby Gordon, Safair’s Chief Marketing Officer, has been reported as saying, “instead of trying to ground the airline … their rivals should ‘stop whinging and up their game.”

However, what is equally hard to comprehend is why Safair appears to be so doggedly clinging to its evidently out of bounds ownership. After the fight 12 years ago, FlySafair established the Safair Investment Trust, registered in South Africa, to hold almost 50% of Safair’s shares. It also created a 25% employee share ownership scheme, which reduced ASL to the required 25% share.

So again, it should be simple enough to transfer a 75% shareholding to a trust with South African resident control. Safair’s reluctance seems to add weight to their competitors’ claims that it does indeed give them an illegal advantage.

The complainants argue that the current laws are not clear, especially the International Council’s requirement for an undefined ‘substantial’ local ownership. If nothing else, it is hoped that the resolution of this unseemly spat over arcane laws will bring much needed clarity to both Licensing Councils’ requirements.


Guy Leitch Divisions in the Group are licensed and authorized FSPs FREE YOUR FUNDS, FUEL YOUR FUTURE, OPTIMIZE YOUR AVIATION ASSETS.


Howard Long 076 499 6358


Howard Long


Angelique Joubert


Guy Leitch


Guy Leitch


Patrick Tillman


Jim Davis

Peter Garrison

Hugh Pryor


John Bassi

Morne Booij-Liewes

Laura McDermid

Darren Olivier

Jeffrey Kempston


Darren Edward O'Neil

Joe Pieterse


Emily Kinnear © SA FLYER 2023. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronically, mechanically, photocopied, recorded or otherwise without the express permission of the copyright holders.


June 2024 8 10 Opening Shot 58 M & N Acoustic Register Review 62 Aero Engineering and Powerplant Aviation Fuel Table 86 Executive Aircraft Refurbishment Events Calender FLIGHTCOM 31 AME Directory 42 Superior Pilot Services: Flight School Directory 43 Merchant West Charter Directory 44 Skysource AMO Listing 46 Aviation Directory CONTENTS Edition 339 REGULARS FEATURES SA FLYER 22 QUOTE OF THE MONTH 34 FLIGHT TEST: PIPISTREL PANTHERA 60 HELICOPTER SERVICES DIRECTORY 64 AFRICAN AEROSPACE AND DEFENCE EXPO 68 THE ABSA LOWVELD AIRSHOW 2024 76 PRESIDENT’S TROPHY AIR RACE 2024 82 CIRRUS G7 LAUNCHED IN AFRICA FLIGHTCOM 07 News - SAA – SAAF Retires its Daks 12 News - Denali In Certification Flight Testing 14 Jeffery Kempson - Okavango Dreaming Pt2 20 John Bassi - When Things Fall Apart Pt2 24 MIL’s Amazing Helicopters - Steve Trichard 30 News - Cessna SkyCourier combi 32 The SAAF Museum 2024 Airshow
June 2024 9 Greatest Aviation Event! Oshkosh Neil +27 84 674 5674 Catered Camping on the Airfield, Tents and Bedding provided MORE INFO Flights from Cape Town & Johannesburg This Year! Canadian Snowbirds & Italian Tricolori Formation Teams


To get a striking air to air image such as this, many different skills have to come together. The key is good formation pilots. In this instance well-known pilot Derek Hopkins was a passenger to Pierre Gouws in an RV-8 and Daan Conradie was formatting his RV-8 on Pierre’s lead. Derek is a big guy, and just using a clunky SLR camera in the tight space under the canopy of an inverted RV-8 is a challenge.

The image was taken by Derek using his Canon 700D with exposure of f6.3 at 1/160th second at ISO 100. Noteworthy is that the lens is a wide angle 29mm, which shows how tight the formation was as it went over the top of the loop.

June 2024 10
June 2024 11 Send your submissions to

The Aim of Bombing

In modern warfare it’s not the soldiers who die – it’s the civilians. One of the best examples of this is carpet bombing.

IN THE BAD OLD DAYS, soldiers used to line up and face the enemy, expecting to be attacked man to man, on foot, or with horses, and later, to mow each other down with machine guns. The soldiers were maimed, bled and died by their thousands on behalf of civilians.

World War 2 changed that as it was the first major war where more civilians died than soldiers. This continues today – at risk of stirring up a hornets’ nest – I reckon that the Israel-Hamas war is primarily a massive public relations stunt by Hamas to make their citizens unwilling martyrs and make Israel a pariah. At time of writing (8 April 2024), wiki says that over 34,000 civilians (33,091 Palestinian and 1,410 Israelis) have been killed. In stark contrast, Hamas claims to have lost 6,000 ‘fighters’ while the IDF claims up to 12,000 Hamas combatants killed. The point is, civilian casualties are three to six times higher than soldiers.

crews who, contrary to claims, indulged in area, and not precision, bombing. Only the leader aimed his bombs, the others released theirs when they saw the leader’s bombs drop.

The Oppenheimer movie is about Dr Robert Oppenheimer, who headed the Manhattan project, whose two atomic bombs killed 129,000 – 200,000 civilians – and ‘just’ 10,000 soldiers. The atomic bombs had the desired effect because the cost in human life was just too much, even for the Japanese Emperor.

is not just tactical – its moral

Which raises the question of whether bombing with conventional high explosive bombs was ever really a useful strategy in the WW2. Hundreds of thousands of civilians died on the ground in horrors such as the RAF’s Dreden firestorm and the USAAF’s Operation Meetinghouse Tokyo raid.

Morale Bombing

The reason I venture into this minefield is that I recently watched the Oppenheimer movie, and am sporadically watching the Netflix series, Masters of the Air, which is a semi-serious attempt to dramatize USAAF B-17 bomber

At the start of World War II, aerial bombing meant total destruction. The Luftwaffe’s London Blitz was designed to demoralise the British into submission. England’s response was Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris, who many consider a

June 2024 12

Gaza strip ruins were not caused by a nucear bomb.

psychopath, and who would probably have been executed as a war criminal if the Germans had won. Harris was one of the chief architects of the British tactic of what he called ‘morale bombing’. Despite the heroics of Londoners during the Blitz, Harris also believed that reducing German cities to rubble and incinerating civilians would force surrender.

In contrast, the Americans tried precision bombing under General Haywood Hansell, who believed their much-vaunted Norden bombsight really could drop a bomb down a ‘pickle barrel’. Hansell’s argument was that civilian casualties could be minimised if, instead of carpet bombing cities, you could surgically take out key infrastructure such as ball bearing and aircraft factories.

A few years ago our columnist Darren Olivier wrote, “In World War II there was a debate between the advocates of precision bombing and area bombing. Some, especially the ‘Bomber Mafia’ of the US Army Air Force, believed that, with the introduction of the Norden bombsight, it was finally possible for bombers to hit targets such as factories, rail yards, bridges, and other strategic infrastructure with pinpoint accuracy, therefore avoiding unnecessary

civilian deaths and, as they claimed, shortening the war by picking out and destroying Germany and Japan’s key infrastructure.

“Their opponents, mostly in the Royal Air Force, believed that precision bombing was not yet possible with the technology available at the time and that less discriminate area bombing would have a greater effect, both by destroying large amounts of industry at a time, and demoralising German and Japanese civilians.

“Ultimately neither was entirely correct. The advocates of area bombing were right about precision bombing being unfeasible: The Norden bombsight was overrated, and USAAF aircraft never achieved anything close to the level of accuracy needed to make the approach effective. As a result, even the USAAF switched to area bombing later in the war. But the British were wrong about area bombing working to demoralise civilians, proving conclusively that wars could not be won by terrorising populations from the air.”

Malcolm Gladwell has written a book about ‘The Bomber Mafia’. He keeps the readers attention by presenting two protagonists: General Haywood Hansell and Curtis LeMay.

June 2024 13

As a strong proponent of precision bombing, Hansell justified it, both in terms of effectiveness and morality. In contrast, LeMay was the ‘get it done at any cost’ action man who did what had to be done to accomplish the larger mission.

In Gladwell’s somewhat romantic view, the story is about innovators and disrupters. His heroes are versions of Elon Musk or Steve Jobs — disruptors who brought a unique perspective and, through determination and insight, pursued a dream.

For Gladwell, the difference in leadership and operational approach is not just tactical – it’s moral. The precision bombing proponents were the good guys, trying to avoid the mass slaughter of earlier wars.

In World War 1, which was the ‘war to end all wars,’ the British, French and Russians lost more than five million troops and the Germans lost over four million. What mortality statistics fail to tell us is the 21 million who were wounded: many of whom would never make a full recovery, having lost limbs or been blinded. Compared to the soldiers deaths, it is estimated that there were barely one million civilian deaths,

perhaps the last time more soldiers than civilians died in a war.

For those with a conscience, for World War 2 there had to be a better way. Hansell was the panacea, with his belief that precision bombing from 40,000 feet really can take out key ‘choke points’ and win wars.

However, precision bombing was never as accurate as was hoped. Many bombers missed their targets completely, either because it was clouded over, or in Japan, because jet streams blew the bombs off target.

Gladwell considers the morality of carpet bombing and compares, not just the tactics of area vs precision bombing, but also the morality of the leaders, particularly Haywood Hansell to Bomber Harris and Curtis LeMay. Gladwell quotes Tami Biddle, a professor at the U.S. Army War College, who says, “I think there’s a strong moral component to all this, a desire to find a way to fight a war that is clean and that is not going to tarnish the American reputation as a moral nation, a nation of ideas and ideology and commitment to individual rights and respect for human beings.”

June 2024 14
Charred remains of Japanese civilians after the Tokyo raid.

Not precision bombing - B-17s release their bomb loads during a daylight raid over Betzdorf, Germany, in 1945.

And so the argument is not just one of which is more effective: carpet bombing or precision bombing. Like the Israel-Hamas war, it is about the moral high ground. It is not about technology, whether it be the Norden bombsight or the Manhattan Project’s atomic bombs. Rather, it is a story about the ways in which the governments justified the wholesale killing of civilians.

As Darren Olivier says, it turns out Norden’s bombsight couldn’t provide the precision he said it would, and thus Hansell had very limited success carrying out precision bombing over Japan. Which is why he was replaced by Curtis LeMay, who used napalm bombs to burn 100,000 civilians to death in Tokyo in just one raid. Even by American estimates, more people were burned to death in a single attack, than at any other time in history.

Although he practised indiscriminate carpet bombing, LeMay’s use of area and incendiary bombing is now justified as having avoided the wholesale slaughter of military personnel and civilians that would have happened if it had been necessary to invade Japan. Estimations of the casualties that would have been incurred

if America had invaded Japan vary widely, but based on the Battle for Okinawa, it’s reckoned that if the war had continued, it would have cost America another million troops.

Supporters of area bombing therefore claim that it is the lesser of two evils, and it was not as terrible as the trenches and starvation of World War 1, or the bloody conflict of Guadalcanal and the retaking of the Pacific islands.

I reluctantly have to agree. My callous view is that the atomic bombs and firestorms from carpet bombing were indeed a military success. The ‘genocide’ created by these weapons of mass destruction have made the stakes so high that we have had ‘Pax Americana’ where no nuclear nation has dared attack another for the past 75 years.

The final analysis is bleak – if you strip away the rationalisations, air war is about the destruction of cities and the murder of civilians. It may accomplish other military goals in the process, but the wanton destruction of innocent life is its primary purpose. j

June 2024 15
June 2024 16 WE NOW OFFER TAILWHEEL TRAINING Dale de Klerk Cell: +27825563592 Fax: 0866058948 Skype: dale_de_klerk Email: FROM NPL THROUGH TO CPL LEARN TO FLY WITH US Bill Harrop’s ‘Original’ Balloon Safaris +27 83 457 3402 or +27 83 443 2661 / 2 • email: • Learn to Fly with Us • Magalies River Valley Scenic Balloon Safaris • Game viewing Balloon Safaris at Mabula Private Game Reserve • Private Balloons and Groups Rates • Team Building and Product Launches • We fly from the beautiful Magalies River Valley just west of Hartbeespoort Do it in style!
June 2024 17 THE UPDATE YOU NEED FOR THE AIRPLANE YOU LOVE GTN™ Xi NAVIGATORS TO LEARN MORE, VISIT GARMIN.COM/GTNXI 1See for Smart Glide system requirements and limitations • 2Additional hardware required. Sold separately. • 3With select makes/models. Visit for more details. • 4Active PlaneSync and database subscriptions required for automatic database updates. Features are available on-ground only and require GDL® 60 to have active LTE or Wi-Fi® connectivity; signal strength and other factors may apply. See for LTE coverage details. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of the Wi-Fi Alliance. © Garmin Ltd. or its subsidiaries. EFB FLIGHT PLAN SYNC2 ALL-IN-ONE GPS/NAV/COMM/MFD INTERFACES WITH POPULAR NEW AND EXISTING AVIONICS SMART GLIDE ENGINE OUT ASSIST1 PLANESYNC™ AUTOMATIC DATABASE UPDATES4 COUPLED VNAV WITH GFC™ SERIES AUTOPILOTS3


The Staggerwing was the climax, and the end, of an era.

LATE IN 1932, the newly formed Beech Aircraft Company flew its first product, a five-seat biplane with a 420-hp radial engine and fixed landing gear enclosed in huge fairings. Walter Beech gave it model number 17, since the last model built by the Travel Air company, which he had founded in 1925 with an all-star cast of Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman and sold in 1929 to Curtiss-Wright, had been its 16th.

The United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, and buyers for the big biplane were hard to find. In a reckless moment Walter Beech decided to advertise that it was also available with a 690-hp Wright Cyclone engine. In fact, none had been built and flown with that engine, and the factory was actually heading in the opposite direction, developing a tamer retractable-gear version powered by a 225-hp Jacobs. But as luck would have it the offer came to the attention of Robert Fogg, the company pilot of the Goodall Worsted Company of Sanford, Maine, creators – somewhat ironically, given the geography – of the popular “Palm Beach Suit”. Goodall ordered one.

narrow-geared A-17F was claimed, somewhat implausibly, to be capable of 217 knots, but it turned out to be quite a handful to fly, and in due course Goodall sold it. It flew in a couple of transcontinental Bendix Trophy races, but with disappointing results.

In 1936 the landing gear collapsed under a heavy fuel load before the plane got into the air. On the next try, the engine quit a little short of the finish.

the squashed face of a pug dog

The definitive early production Staggerwing was the 1934 B model. It had retractable landing gear and the Jacobs engine, and achieved the sedate cruising speed of 140 knots, which was really not bad for such a big aeroplane with such a small engine. Later models got twice the power, in the form of a 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985. In principle doubling power should add 26 percent to speed, and indeed this version cruised near 180 knots, a gratifying instance of aviation reality conforming to theory.

Beech reinforced the empennage and stuffed the big heavy Cyclone as close to the firewall as it could go, giving the aeroplane the squashed face of a pug dog. The short-coupled,

During World War II, hundreds of Stags served as both the quaintest and the most charismatic personnel transports in the military fleet.

In 1948, having replaced the charismatic Staggerwing with the entirely different, but

June 2024 18

equally iconic, V-tail Bonanza, Beech ceased production of its glorious but anachronistic biplane.

The Staggerwing got its nickname from the arrangement of its wings, with the lower wing 25 inches ahead of the upper. The term “stagger” refers to any difference in the longitudinal locations of a biplane’s wings.

The prevalent arrangement has always been “positive” stagger, with the upper wing farther forward, probably because during the First World War pilots found it more useful to be able to see downward than upward. (Nevertheless, the negative-stagger De Havilland DH.5 of 1916 was praised for its “first class view forward and upwards.”)

The principal requirement of a biplane, from a stability standpoint, is that the more forward of its wings stall first, so that the aeroplane naturally pitches down when stalled; this can be accomplished, regardless of the type of stagger, by adjusting either the aerofoils of the two wings or their angles of attack, or both.

reality conforming to theory

The reasons for the negative stagger of the Model 17 were, I suspect, two. The one more often cited in published accounts of the aeroplane is to provide better visibility for the pilot, who would naturally be seated ahead of the CG. (In many multi-seat biplanes of the Twenties, including several Travel Air models, the pilot occupied a rear cockpit, separate from the passenger cabin, for reasons of balance.)

There is no compelling aerodynamic reason to prefer one over the other, as is apparent from the fact that the few negative-stagger biplanes that exist are not notably defective performers.

But the fact that work began on a retractablegear version so soon after the fixed-gear one went on the market hints at a different and more plausible reason. The position of the lower wing

June 2024 19
ZS-OIX is South Africa's last remaining Staggerwing - Image Ray Barbour.

gave the main wheels, which had to be placed well forward in a tailwheel-gear aeroplane, a place to hide. I think it pretty certain that Beech’s chief designer, Princeton-educated Ted Wells, had this requirement in mind from the start.

Wells had previously designed several biplanes for Travel Air, but nothing quite like this. The basic idea was to combine a reasonable landing speed – easily accomplished with a huge wing area of 300 square feet – and a high cruising speed, which would require a powerful engine and exceptionally low drag.

a nostalgic and inimitable jewel

their professional involvement with bicycles influenced the Wright brothers’ approach to stability and control, Wells’ skill at streamlining owed something to his familiarity with flowing water. Wells was an avid and skilled competitive sailor; in fact he later resigned from Beech aircraft after a tiff with Walter’s wife, Olive Ann, over Wells’ frequent absences at sailing meets. It is not difficult to persuade oneself that there is some kinship between the graceful lines of the Staggerwing and those of a racing yacht.

The shape Wells produced is one of beautiful fluidity: you can visualize the air parting at the nose and coming together toward the tail in an effortlessly natural way. Perhaps, just as

The low drag of the Stag was due in part to wind tunnel research performed at NACA’s Langley Memorial Laboratory under Fred Weick, who would later design the Ercoupe, and at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at Caltech (GALCIT).

June 2024 20
ZS-PWD. Image Ray Watts.

ZS-BBC. Image Ray Watts.

The NACA contribution was the round cowling, fully enclosing the engine, that would eventually be used on practically every radial-engine aeroplane except cropdusters, which don’t care about drag. Behind the circular outlet slot at the rear edge of the cowling, the Stag’s firewall blended with a smooth curve into a windscreen so steeply raked as to be nearly flat, and from there seamlessly into the leading edge of the wing.

Although the feasibility of cantilever biplanes had been demonstrated by Fokker during World War I, Wells chose to accept the drag penalty of interplane bracing. But he made use of the thickness of the plywood-skinned Clark and, later, NACA 23000-series aerofoil to carry torsional loads, and replaced the customary N struts and multiple sets of bracing wires with a single streamlined interplane strut and a single pair of wires.

From GALCIT came the wing root fairing, which had been developed for the Northrop Alpha, a very clean all-metal low-wing cantilever monoplane of 1930 similar to the Stag in weight,

power and wing loading. The Alpha’s problem, which it shared with most low-wing aeroplanes, was flow separation, particularly in climb, in the diverging channel between the downwardsloping upper surface of the wing and the upward-sloping underside of the fuselage.

GALCIT studies produced the concave wing root fillet, extending behind the wing and blending gradually into the fuselage, that would thereafter grace many low-wing aeroplanes. The Stag’s big fillet swept upward in a gentle S-curve, extending more than halfway to the empennage and giving the aft fuselage the graceful cusped shape of a modern composite single.

Though it was stylish and fast and came at the climax of the biplane era, the Staggerwing was obsolete when it was new. Its contemporaries, like the Alpha and the Douglas DC-1, were metal cantilever monoplanes of the type that would dominate aviation for the next 70 years, leaving the Staggerwing – a nostalgic and inimitable jewel – behind. j

June 2024 21



At the Air Finance Africa conference in Sandton held in May, Boeing’s Regional Director for Africa, Henok Teferra Shawl said;

“Boeing wants to work with Africa to enhance safety in the region.” (via journo Linden Birns).


The SAAF is not the only air force dealing with cutbacks

June 2024 22
The first offical photo of a B-21 Raider in flight.



Yep, we are still thinking about engine food. When we started down this road, I had no idea it was going to take five times longer than any other part of the stuff instructors should bestow upon their congregations.

LET’S START WITH the story behind Joe’s cartoon – it has two serious morals. First your pupes need to know that a good earth is crucial before they touch the nozzle to the tank. The second is that if you happen to have set fire to a drum of fuel, you can either wave your arms

around and run for the hills, or you can just put your hand, or a lappie, over the hole, or put the lid on.

I always imagined it would explode until Peter’s unintentional demo showed me how wrong I was.

Jim tunes the chicks at Price Charles.

Jim's very nifty schematic of a carburettor fuel system.

June 2024 26

Anyhow, here’s what happened.

I was between marriages and had a girlfriend, the fair Yvonne, in Salisbury, which now identifies as Harare.

My mate and student, Arthur Westworth, agreed that a dual cross-country to Salisbury and Vic Falls sounded like a brilliant way of spending a few days over the Christmas hols. We took my almost new 180 Cherokee ZS-ELK and collected Arthur’s girlfriend, Hazel, in Durban. We cleared customs at Virginia and set sail on the long leg that took us past the magnificent Drakensburg mountains, across the Limpopo and into Beit Bridge to clear customs and immigration into Rhodesia.

The officials, in their white uniforms, enjoyed the diversion from form stamping and paper signing in the office. They would spring into a Series 1 Landy, drive out to the airfield, and take their time anointing our paperwork. It was a peaceful and relaxed procedure – they were never in a hurry to get back to headquarters.

Peter Dahl, owner of Staggerwing ZS-PWD, also heard us. He flang an armful of cold Cokes into his WW2 Chev truck and clattered out to the airfield.

My worst fears had come true

In those days you didn’t need to tell the guardians of the border that you were planning to drop anchor – you just beat up their shed a couple of times, and landed at Peter Dahl’s strip, just north of the river.

Peter was always fascinated by machinery and gadgets and loved fiddling with such things, He was usually very good at it, however, I viewed his latest refuelling contraption with some suspicion. He had rigged up an electric pump to transfer the fuel from the drum to the aircraft.

I didn’t like it and tried to point out that we could happily syphon the fuel since the drums were nice and high, but Peter was determined to

You need to understand what happens to the revs when you use carb heat.

June 2024 27

demonstrate his apparatus. It sprouted red and black leads, that Peter clipped to the Chev’s battery.

At that moment, something else took my attention, and I only looked back when I heard Peter bellow “Oh f##k” from the back of his truck. My worst fears had come true. A surprisingly small fire was coming from the open mouth of the drum, and a considerably larger one enveloped the pump which I observed in mid-flight as he hurled it away.

Fortunately, we hadn’t put the nozzle in the aircraft’s tank when the conflagration broke out. So the pump and rubber pipe burned happily in the hot Messina sand, while Peter put his big leathery hand over the flaming hole in the drum.

All too soon the fun was over. Peter was unharmed and unconcerned by the near disaster. We all drank our Cokes while he muttered darkly about earthing.

The rest of the Christmas holiday was as good as it gets – 30 hours with pretty girls, blue skies and the wonders of Africa to explore.

the mixture varies between cylinders

Some may remember that Arthur was a big noise in ballooning circles and later became the boss of the Aero Club of SA. He was also a hell of a good guy. Sadly, in February 2005, Arthur was shot and killed by intruders in his home in Kyalami, while Hazel, who was then his wife was forced to look on.

June 2024 28
The actual carb is about the size of half a loaf of bread.

Okay you lot, enough chatter – time to turn our safety focus on understanding the rest of the fuel system:

16. Electric fuel pump.

If you have a look at the beautiful diagram you will see that the electric and mechanical fuel pumps are connected in parallel. That means that if one fails or gets blocked the other can do the job just fine, thank you.

So the electric fuel pump is little more than a backup for the mechanical one that automatically pumps fuel as long as the engine is turning.

Many high-wing aircraft don’t even have an electric pump – they rely on comrade Newton’s gravity to shove the fuel from the tanks to the engine.

But of course low-wingers don’t have that going for them. This means that they need an electric pump to get the fuel to the engine before it can start.

Fuel injection engines may call for you to study the POH on how to use the electric pump during hot and cold starts. Be extremely careful with Continental fuel injected engines that have Hi and Lo positions for the electric pumps. Get this wrong on takeoff and you are likely to lose power and crash. I have reported on a number of fatal accidents with C210s and Bonanzas where the pilots used the Hi position during takeoff. Study the POH – you have been warned.

17. The mechanical fuel pump

The mechanical fuel pump moves the fuel to the carburettor, or fuel injection system, so long as it’s not broken and the engine is turning.

his big hand over the flaming hole

You should test the electric pump before start to make sure it brings the pressure into the green. And once the engine is running you need to test the mechanical pump by turning the electric pump off and noting that the pressure remains in the green.

You should also use the electric pump during takeoff, landing and low flying, and any other time when a mechanical pump failure would be troublesome.

The electric pump will speed up an engine restart in flight if you run a tank dry. It normally takes between 10 and twenty seconds for the engine to come back to life – but if feels like about a week.

This statement is usually true –but not always.

Let’s have a pop-quiz to see if you have been paying attention to the diagram and the previous 500 pages on the fuel system. Ready?

List everything you can think of that could cause the engine to stop even if both pumps are in perfect working order.

Give it some thought before you look at my 20 point list, it will help to have the diagram in front of you. I’ll get you started by telling you the pipe to the pumps is either empty or it contains water, because of something you have done, or failed to do:

• The selected tank is empty because you ran it dry.

• You didn’t allow for contingencies like headwinds, incorrect leaning, getting lost and bad weather diversions.

• The fuel was stolen overnight and you didn’t do a thorough preflight.

June 2024 29

• You trusted the fuel gauges.

• You didn’t use a dip stick.

• One of the tanks is leaking.

• A fuel drain was leaking or left open.

• The fuel was sucked out because a cap was loose, or left off.

• The ball is out of the middle, causing uneven left/right consumption figures.

• A sideslip or rolling takeoff caused unporting.

• The tank filter is blocked. Not your fault.

• The low-point filter bowl is blocked. Not your fault.

• The low point filter bowl contains water or gunk. Your fault – you should have checked.

• The tank breather is blocked.

• The cap breather is blocked.

• You selected an empty tank.

• The selector is faulty.

• The selector’s markings are missing or incorrect.

• The tanks contain water or something else.

• You are using the wrong fuel.

June 2024 30
How the carb heat feeds in hot air from the exhaust on the left to the carb.

Now, once the fuel arrives at the engine, we have three controls – the throttle, the mixture and the carb-heat – to handle its final journey before it gets burned.

A quick reminder that the carburettor is a device, about the size of half a loaf of bread, and its job is to vaporise the fuel (mix it with air) in the ratio of about 1:15. That’s one part of fuel to fifteen parts of air, by weight.

The Throttle

This controls a butterfly valve which allows more or less of the fuel/air mixture to reach the cylinders. So it controls the power.

On most aircraft the throttle also operates a tiny little pump that squirts in a bit of extra fuel as you open the throttle. This is called an accelerator pump and its job is to make sure that ham-handed pilots who bang the throttle open suddenly, don’t cause the mixture to temporarily become so lean that the engine splutters, or even dies during throttle opening.

It allows us to adjust the fuel/air ratio of the mixture entering the cylinders. Remember we said earlier that this is ideally around 1:15. The reason we need to fiddle with it is because as we climb to higher altitudes the air gets ‘thinner’. And this messes with the ratio, so the 15 parts of air may become say 12 which would mean that the engine would be eating a mixture of 1:12. The same amount of fuel but less air. In other words the mixture would be too rich.

A rich mixture means the engine is less efficient – it produces less power, and it is prone to foul the spark plugs, and possibly make the engine run too cold.

you picked up ice while taxying

On the other hand, if we make the mixture too lean – meaning insufficient fuel for the amount of air, the engine will lose power dramatically and will tend to overheat to a dangerous level, causing burned valves and detonation. Detonation is a condition in the cylinders where the fuel explodes violently instead of burning in the normal way. It can physically damage the pistons and may cause them to break, with dramatic results.

Got that?

But you wouldn’t do that would you? Or allow your pupils to, because we all know that smooth engine handling is the hallmark of a good pilot.


Perhaps the mixture control is the most abused engine control in the cockpit. Those pupils and pilots who have no mechanical aptitude will never really understand it. But everyone can learn general rules that will make sure they operate it safely.

First, what does a mixture control do? And why do we need it?

• Too rich – a loss of power.

• Too lean – a major loss of power and possible engine damage.

So here are some general rules – which are just that – they are no substitute for the POH.

1. On the ground, while idling or taxying, lean out aggressively to avoid plug fouling.

2. For max power during takeoff at altitude, lean for max revs but be on the rich side.

3. In the climb don’t lean out below 5000.

4. In the cruise only lean out if you are using 75% power or less.

June 2024 31

5. During your descent the mixture becomes leaner and leaner as you enter denser air. Ideally you should richen it a bit every thousand feet or so, but you are likely to forget, which could mean that, when you need power, you will have none because the mixture has sneakily become too lean. If you think this can happen, then richen the mixture at the top of decent, when you reduce power, and then you have one less thing to think about.

6. If you change the power setting, even a little bit – you need to lean out again.

7. You may hear of all sorts of fancy ways of leaning out for best power or best economy or lean-of-peak. Generally they only apply to fuel injected engines fitted with special EGTs – one for each cylinder. For us ordinary people the rule is to lean out slowly until the engine just starts to run a bit rough – then richen for smooth running and then a minute amount more to be on the safe side.


Now we have yet another thoroughly misunderstood control.

What is it, why do we need it, and how does it work? Instructors, remember the What Why How rule for training?

What is it? It’s a pilot-controlled device for diverting hot air into the mouth of the carburettor.

Why would you need to do this? Because, under certain conditions, ice can form inside the carb and this will reduce or even cut off the airflow causing a reduction in power or a complete loss of power.

How do you use it? Okay here are some more general rules.

it’s almost certainly a fuel


8. I don’t trust an EGT because you never know whether it’s fitted to a rich or a lean cylinder. Yep, the mixture does vary slightly between cylinders.

9. When you have the mixture fully rich, at sea level, the engine is slightly richer than ideal, typically about 1:12. This reduces the possibility of pre-ignition or detonation, and helps with cylinder cooling

10. It’s normal to stop the engine by bringing the mixture fully aft into the ‘idle-cutoff’ position. This prevents the engine from erratic behaviour during shutdown. It also prevents fuel from diluting the oil on the cylinder walls.

11. The POH is always king.

1. If you have a fuel injected engine there’s no carburettor to ice up, so there’s no carbheat. Lucky you.

2. Never use carb-heat with full power. (a) you won’t get full power because you are using hot – less dense – air. And (b) the less dense air makes the mixture too rich. And (c) you can damage the engine because if may cause detonation.

3. Always clear any possibility of ice before leaning out. If you lean the mixture while there is ice in the carburettor then the mixture will be too lean when the ice melts.

4. Generally the POHs for small Cessnas call for carb-heat whenever you throttle fully back as when gliding or practicing stalls and spins.

5. Generally the small Pipers POH’s will tell you to only use carb-heat if you have an indication of icing.

6. Almost all small aircraft engines will gather ice when taxying over wet grass –particularly on cool mornings.

June 2024 32

7. If, when you throttle fully back to stop at the holding point, the engine tries to die – that’s a sure sign you have picked up ice while taxying.

8. Always clear any chance of carb-icing before you do your engine runup and mag-check.

9. The temperature in the carburettor can drop by as much as 38°C (100°F).

10. Beware of high humidity, particularly when cruising just below cloud.

11. When you apply carb-heat you must expect the revs to drop about 150 RPM.

12. If ice is present the revs will drop more and if there is a lot of ice you may get a major drop in revs, perhaps 500 or more, and the engine will run extremely rough. Don’t get a fright and slam the carb-heat off. That

has caused many 150s and 152s to do unnecessary forced landings. Be brave –keep the carb-heat applied and life will return to normal.

13. RTFM (Read The Factory Manual).

Final tip:

If the engine stops, without expensive noises, it’s almost certainly a fuel problem:

• Close the throttle – you don’t want the engine surging when the new fuel comes through.

• Change tanks

• Switch the pump on

• Richen the mixture

The mixture control knob is ignored at your peril. j

June 2024 33


Text: Guy Leitch. Images: Pipistrel.
June 2024 35
Pipistrel's Panthera was built for speed, and looks fast with its low cockpit height.
One of the world’s most eagerly awaited piston single engine aircraft designs has finally arrived in South Africa. ZU-KTR is a long awaited Panthera, proudly owned by Bertus Kritzinger, a Free State trucker, and based at New Tempe in Bloemfontein, where the well-known Ferriera Aviation has assembled it.

WITH ITS INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE claims, the Pipistrel Panthera captured pilots’ imaginations when it was launched – but it has had a long gestation.

Pipistrel have won many prizes for efficient planes and so the Panthera generated much excitement when it was announced at Aero Friedrichshafen. If it had been any other company, the claims would have been laughable.

The key claim was that the Panthera was going to manage, “four seats, 200 knots and 1,000 nm.” These were the magic numbers Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol set as a challenge for his engineers in 2007. This was taken to mean a

200 knot cruise – on just 210 hp. Considering that the sleek Piper Comanche 400 cannot do that on 400 hp, many observers just quietly shook their heads and adopted a wait and see approach to the Slovenian plane builder’s aims.

Time passed and it seemed that Pipistrel were indeed having problems making their numbers come true when Panthera development was moved to a back burner. Then it was quietly announced that the engine had been increased from the original’s 210 hp to 260hp.

So the big question is – has Pipistrel managed to nonetheless create a 200 knot speedster that can comfortably seat 4 for 1000 nm?

Pipistrel elected not to use a turbocharger for high altitude speed.

June 2024 36


Founded in Slovenia by the charismatic and brilliant Ivo Boscarol in 1989, Pipistrel has always been committed to efficient aircraft. Significantly he has now certified the first electric trainer, the Velis Electro, built on the nuttily named Pipistrel Virus base.

After the Panthera’s launch in 2012 things went quiet. “The main reason it was held up was because Pipistrel was contracted by several governments, including the U.S. government, to convert their two-seat airplanes into unmanned aerial systems for surveillance use by the military,” the company said in a later announcement.

incredible performance claims

engine options: an all-electric version, an electric hybrid and a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) from Lycoming. Unsurprisingly so far only the ICE version has made it to market. However, in 2016 a Panthera mock-up received a hybrid-electric engine, being powered by either a 200-kW electric motor driven by batteries only, and by a 100-kW generator-only, and by both combined. In October 2021 Pipistrel announced that the hybrid version had completed the first phase of its flight test programme.

In the years since the 2012 launch, the big change was that the fossil-fuel burning engine was upgraded from the 210 hp IO-390 to the 260 hp IO-540. The extra 50 hp no doubt helped with the elusive top speed goals.

The Panthera was designed from the outset to have not just one – but three, radically different

Pipistrel had originally specified the IO-390 because of its good power-to-weight ratio and

June 2024 37
Panel features full Garmin G3X PFD and MFD.

Both front seats get their own gull-wing doors.

June 2024 38

because it could burn Mogas (car petrol) . Except, in the end it couldn’t, as Lycoming said that the IO-390’s 8.9:1 compression ratio was too high for Mogas. So Pipistrel switched to the 260-HP IO-540-A5V4, which does allow Mogas.

The IO-540 weighs about 100 pounds more and is longer. Pipistrel addressed the centre of gravity by adding additional length to the rear airframe. The extra power also helped with high density altitude operations. The max all up weight was increased by 210 lb to make up for the extra weight of the engine.

aspirated six for maintenance and operational simplicity,’ he said.

On the ground

The Panthera is the low-slung sportscar of the air. Its commitment to a low profile is reminiscent of the iconic Ford GT40, which was only 40 inches high. To get this low, sleek look, the canopy is not far from horizontal and, like a glider, needs to be kept spotlessly clean if it is to be properly transparent, with minimal distortion.

the lowslung sportscar of the air

At the time of the engine change, Tine Tomažič, the Director of Engineering, said, “A lot of this decision was made because customers want good hot and high performance. We have lots of people coming from South Africa, from Argentina, from Mexico, from Colorado, places that would otherwise demand a turbocharger solution. But instead of going to a turbocharged four-cylinder, we decided to go for a normally

Composite construction may be sleek, but it’s not necessarily lightweight. The 260 hp Panthera is now a 2900 lb AUW plane with a useful load of about 1100 lbs. That makes it comparable with the Mooney Acclaim and 240 pounds lighter than recent Cirrus models – and even about 130 pounds lighter than the big Diamond DA50.

June 2024 39
Sturdy trailing-link gear designed for rough grass fields

Interestingly Tomazic said, “Fuel capacity remains the same, 220 litres (58 USG) because for the given mission, the airplane will not consume more fuel. We are targeting the same cruise speed of 200 knots true and the same 10.5 gph.”

Dimesionally, the Panthera is the smallest. It’s the same length as the Cirrus SR22, but the wingspan is almost three feet shorter. And even with its tall T-tail, the Panthera is nearly a foot shorter than the Cirrus. Notably, the cockpit is low and wide, but at 47 inches still narrower than the Cirrus’s 49 inch width. Once seated, the lack of headroom makes it feel tighter than an SR22.

problems making their numbers come true

Gullwing doors are not popular because they let the rain in, and if the plane is inverted, may be impossible to open. Yet accident reports suggest that occupants being trapped after a crash doesn’t appear to be a real problem. Either planes don’t flip much or, if they do, survivors manage to get out okay. Further, the Panthera’s rear hatch is supposed to be an emergency exit – and so a glass-cutting hammer is provided. Gullwing doors opening in flight is another concern, because the door is likely to hit the tail. Pipistrel has addressed that with a robust closing mechanism that uses an over centre lock.

The cabin has two large gullwing doors on either side, and, for the rear occupants, an even larger gullwing hatch, similar to Diamond’s DA40. It’s surprisingly easy to step down into both the front and back seats.

Unlike the Cirrus, which has a long single-piece wing and thus has to be flown from the factory to South Africa, the Panthera has removable wings. The whole aircraft fits into a standard shipping container. Like composite gliders, the wings have overlapping spars that are mounted to the fuselage and each other with hefty steel pins. Also like a glider, the controls use push rods for the ailerons and elevator.

June 2024 40
The ICE engine was originally 210 hp, but now upgraded to 260 hp for the hoped for
200 KTAS cruise.

Beautifully smooth composite wing worthy of a competition glider.

Getting aboard requires stepping onto the wing. The flaps are about two-thirds of the span so the section over the wing walk area on both sides is protected with a solid surface. Technically, that makes that section a split rather than semiFowler flaps.

The flaps are electric and the gear is similarly electric, driven by rods and tubes. The backup system is a crank located in the centre console between the two front seats. It’s a pity they could not make a gravity free-fall system.

The Panthera has a whole-airframe parachute as standard, but unlike the Cirrus, it is not required as a condition of certification, and so may not need expensive 10-year servicing.

Getting in is easy. You can step straight onto the cockpit floor and use a handgrip to lower yourself into the seat. But getting out requires considerable upper body strength to pull yourself up with one hand.

ZU-KTR has a dual Garmin G3X Touch, driven by a GTN 650 and GTN 750 with GFC500 autopilot. While this provides plenty of capability, some buyers may view it as a step down from the G1000 NXi found in new Cirrus and Diamond models. Because of the Panthera’s smaller panel, the G1000NXi may not fit.

ZU-KTR does not have Garmin’s ESP envelope protection, even though it is available for the autopilot and is a planned addition. And while the NXi/GFC 700 in the Cirrus and Diamond

June 2024 41
The Cockpit

may eventually get Garmin’s Autoland option, it’s not contemplated for the Panthera. ADS-B is via the GTX 345 transponder.

There is a secondary battery to power an essential bus that includes the primary flight display and one of the two ADAHRS units. Additional backup is provided by a Mid-Continent SAM MD302, plus the Touch display has reversionary capability for primary attitude.

There’s plenty of space for maps, engine monitoring and the primary flight display. There is a clever sub-panel that shows the cabin air status. Push the test button and it shows the status of gear, flaps and fuel remaining as a percentage.

In the Air

comfortable to use and the Beringer toe brakes effective.

The view forward through that long sloping windscreen isn’t great. The instrument panel glareshield is higher than a C210's and the seating position is laid back. A sloping centre column partially obscures the forward view. This means you can’t easily see beyond the right side of the nose when taxiing. And when turning from crosswind onto downwind in the circuit you won’t easily see traffic straight in to the downwind leg.

more efficient than anything else

Having plenty of glass makes the cabin hot on a sunny day. The gullwing doors make it possible to taxi with doors fully open and this provides more than enough cooling from the prop.

Taxi is smooth, thanks to the trailing link gear. The bottom-hinged rudder pedals are

Unlike the Americans, the latest European designs have control sticks, which provide a more precise, uncompromised feedback. On takeoff this is immediately noticeable. Thanks to

June 2024 42
Rear-seaters also get own door - cockpit may appear tight but has good legroom.

a steerable nosewheel, taxiing is easy and accurate.

Given that it was designed for speed – the question is how much faster is it – if at all – to its competitors?

Its natural competitor is the similarly built-for-speed Mooney Ovation, the sleek Diamond DA50 RG, and the 315 hp Cirrus SR22.

Pipistrel elected to avoid the weight and complexity of a turbocharger, yet the Panthera is faster than the turbo Cirrus SR22T all the way to 18,000 feet. The Panthera is about 5-knots faster than the normally aspirated SR22 G6. However the 310 hp turbo Mooney Acclaim Ultra is still the fastest.

Pipistrel is not just about speed – it’s about efficiency. For this, the specific range is a measure of how far a plane flies on a pound of fuel. Here the Panthera easily beats both Mooney models but with its

Fit and finish are good enough for high end

turbocharged diesel, the Diamond DA50 RG is the efficiency champion.

The Panthera has about 1100 pounds of useful load and the CofG range is a generous 9 inches, so loading it out of limits takes effort. As a sample weight and balance, with 375 lbs in the front seats and 350 lbs of pax in the back, and 100 lbs of bags, the plane is 50 pounds over gross but still within CofG.

The Panthera gets airborne at about 65 knots with moderate, but not over light pitch force.

During initial climb, the restricted forward visibility is no worse than over the long nose of our Saratoga. The Panthera climbs well, with, at Vy,1600 fpm available initially. However, a cruise climb at 130 knots still yields a 600 to 800 fpm climb.

It’s all about the cruise numbers. And impressively the Pipistrel beats its book figures. On a hot ISA +30 day, at 8000 feet, it delivered 184 knots true on 13 GPH at 65 percent power. At 55 percent, it cruised at 174 knots on about a gallon less.

June 2024 43

A reviewer went so far as to call the Panthera’s handling ‘fighter like, but the only fighter I’ve flown is the P-51 and the Panthera is way better in ease of control and lack of bad habits.’ However, the stall isn’t as benign as say a Diamond DA40. If held deep into the stall, it will drop a wing hard and fast.

Pitch stability is lower than its competitors. If the nose is high and the stick released, the plane takes its time damping the phugoid. In the dive it almost reached Vne before heading back up.

Despite its super-slippery design, Pipistrel have not given it speed brakes. So it takes careful speed management and planning to get slowed to the relatively low 106-knot gear extension limit. (The Mooney Ovation is 140 knots.) Max flap speed is also a low 106 knots.

Seventy-five knots is the recommended across the fence Vref. The trailing link main gear makes bad landings smooth. Although the Panthera was never designed to be a STOL plane, a proficient pilot should easily manage a 2500-foot runway at light weights.


If you want responsive handling, efficiency and head turning styling, the Panthera is for you.

It carries a little more than a Mooney, but less than a Cirrus, and it’s a little faster than both, including the SR22T at lower altitudes. It’s more efficient than both, but at the expense of a less spacious cabin than the Cirrus.

The Panthera promised a 200-knot plane that would be more efficient than anything else – and greener too, since it would eventually be offered in both pure electric and hybrid-electric versions. What it has, at least for now, is a not-quite200-knot top speed plane with better efficiency than modern Mooneys, an adequate albeit not capacious cabin, and sporty, well-harmonized handling.

Where it fits in a market dominated by Cirrus, or even if it fits, is difficult to predict.

June 2024 44
Emergency gear extension hand crank, located in a compartment in the center console.

Specifications and Performance

Pipistrel Panthera


Price (as tested): about $900,000

Engine: Lycoming IO-540V-V4A5

Horsepower: 260 hp

Propeller: MT three-blade constant-speed composite

Seats: 4

Length: 26 ft. 6 in.

Cabin Width: 3 ft. 11 in. Height: 7 ft. 2 in.


opt long-range tanks


Rate of Climb: 1,300 fpm at max gross weight

Maneuvering Speed: 143 kias

Fuel Burn: 13.6 gph at 75% power at 7,500 ft.

Stall Speed, Flaps Up: 60 kias

Takeoff Over 50 Ft. (ISA, sea level) 2,155 ft.

Max Operating Altitude: 25,000 ft.

Cruise Speed at 65% Power: 185 knots at 7,500 ft.

Never-Exceed Speed: 220 knots

Fuel Burn: 10.8 gph at 55% power at 7,500 ft.

Stall Speed, Full Flaps: 55 kias

Landing Over 50 Ft. Obs: (ISA, sea level) 1,130 ft

Power Loading: 11.15
Useful Load: 1,100
Wingspan: 35 ft.
in. Max Ramp Weight: 2,900 lb.
Fuel Payload:
lb. as equipped
lb. as equipped Max Usable Fuel: 54 gal. plus 40 gal.


Aircraft registration: ZS-DED

Date and time of accident: Soon

Type of aircraft: Cessna 172

Pilot’s name: Joe Doe

Type of operation: Private

PIC license type: PPL

License valid: Yes

PIC age: 56

PIC total hours: 120

• 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.

History of Flight:

PIC hours on type: 20

Last point of departure: Rand Airport

Point of intended landing: Private strip in Natal

Location of accident site: Mountainous terrain

Meteorological info: IMC

POB: 1+2

People injured: 0

People killed: 1+2

THE PILOT PLUS HIS WIFE and teenage daughter took off from Rand Airport for a flight to a private strip 20 miles south of Ladysmith in the Natal midlands. They intended to spend a long weekend at a family reunion.

The pilot obtained a weather forecast which indicated extensive mid to low level cloud with occasional embedded thunderstorms in large parts of Natal.

According to two witnesses who spoke to the pilot before takeoff at Rand Airport, they had both

advised him to postpone the flight until the next day when the forecasts were for fine weather all the way. He told another witness that he had to be there that day for his father’s 80th birthday.

At about 16h30 local time, a farm worker in the Ladysmith area said he heard an aircraft overhead but couldn’t see it because the clouds were very low and covered the hilltops in the area. The witness said that it sounded as if the aircraft was circling overhead. Then the engine noise increased steadily until the aircraft appeared out of the cloud in a steep nose-down and banked attitude. It impacted

June 2024 46

The aircraft caught fire on impact.

the terrain in a small wooded area. He said there was a loud noise and a bright light as the aircraft exploded in flames.

The witness ran to a farm house about a kilometre away. He notified the farmer and then accompanied him plus two farm workers in a pickup truck to the scene of the accident.

The aircraft was completely destroyed by the impact and fire. The engine was buried in the soft earth following recent heavy rain. There were no survivors.


OH DEAR, oh dear, when will they ever learn? Well, that was my first thought. However, I must confess that, through a friend, I happen to have inside knowledge of some of the events leading up to this accident. There are three things that stood out for me.

1. He was a particularly conscientious pilot who made a point of doing everything correctly and legally.

2. He was heard to be bragging about a previous extended flight into cloud during which he eventually descended into a broad valley when the GPS told him he had passed the mountain tops.

Additional Information

The aircraft was correctly licensed and maintained. The pilot was correctly licensed and current. He did not hold an Instrument Rating or Night Rating.

During the pilot’s recent PPL training and type conversion he had a total of six different instructors.

Probable cause

The pilot lost control of the aircraft while on a VFR flight when he entered IMC. It is possible that he encountered thunderstorm activity in the area. The aircraft was not equipped with weather radar.

3. He did not have one instructor who was overall responsible for his training.

Points 1 and 2 above simply don’t gel. It makes no sense that a law-abiding pilot would brag about an illegal operation. The only conclusion I can come to is that he saw nothing wrong with what he did because the dangers of VFR into IMC had never been sufficiently explained or demonstrated to him.

Unbelievably, it seems this was the case: The pilot had no idea of the dangers of VFR into IMC. Not one of his instructors had sat him down and explained the problems of flying without a visible horizon. Ideally, one of them should have put him under the hood, or taken him into cloud and let him experience loss of control first hand.

June 2024 47

I believe this should be part of every pilot’s training. No amount of explanation is a substitute for the experience of losing control in cloud. It’s almost impossible to believe that the senses you have trusted all your life can suddenly abandon you.

Now his story takes another twist. I was chatting to a friend of mine - a retired airline pilot, who we will call Captain Mac. Now, Mac had been acting as a sort of mentor to Joe Doe. It seems that the pilot had previously flown through a small amount of cloud using his autopilot. Captain Mac had gently reprimanded him and gone to a lot of trouble explaining the dangers of going into IMC without a current instrument rating.

So the accident pilot did receive wise guidance to not do it again. He simply hadn’t taken Captain Mac’s warning to heart. He was a confident and successful man who basically didn’t believe that he wouldn’t be able to tell up from down.

In summary, he had ventured into a bit of cloud, on the autopilot, and taken some mild flak from Mac. He ignored this and again flew into cloud, on autopilot, for a lengthy instrument flight and GPS letdown. This is when Mac told me what was going on. He was incensed about his fledgling acting like a Darwin Award contestant.

Now many of us older pelicans have regretted not crapping on youngsters who were going off the rails. We later hear that the newbies

have turned their unsuspecting families into strawberry jam against a cliff. We naturally feel guilty for not speaking up.

Sound familiar? The doctor in a Bonanza syndrome.

Captain Mac did speak up – pretty forcefully. Here’s part of an email he sent to the accident pilot:

I am compelled to comment, this I do as somebody with 40 years of flying experience on many, many types, both small and very large, specifically with more than 30 years as an ALTP, now ATP, with Instructors Rating Grade 1, IR Testing Officer and DE.


It’s highly dangerous as the likelihood of suffering Spatial Disorientation with catastrophic results is almost 100% guaranteed.

There are some who think they can do it but mark my word they can’t. Spatial Disorientation can strike any pilot, even a 20,000 hour Airline pilot.

Joe’s reply was extremely brief and basically gave Captain Mac the middle finger.

At this stage Captain Mac and I gave up on the man and quietly entered his name in our LBBs. These are the Little Black Books in

June 2024 48
The pilot was warned not to take off that day.

which many experienced pilots record the names of those most likely to kill themselves.

When the inevitable happens we draw a red line through the name, and enter the date. And perhaps shed a tear for the young family whose lives were crushed by one man’s ego.

The Reason Behind the Probable Cause

The official probable cause is simply – VFR into IMC. But why would a well-trained pilot do that? Would an Air Force pilot do it? Or one who trained at a top professional pilot academy? I think not, and I’ll tell you why.

It’s because professional schools are disciplined. They plan each step of a pilot’s training, and they do their best to pair instructors and pupils appropriately. More mature pupils don’t want to be continually corrected by instructors younger than their kids. Female pupils often prefer female instructors. There are a hundred considerations when matching instructors to pupils.

So when you phone to make a booking, a good school doesn’t cast around to see if they can find an instructor who is not doing anything. They tell you when your instructor will be available. It doesn’t sound like a big deal does it? Well, it’s a huge deal – from the instructor’s point of view, and yours.

No instructor can put heart and soul into every pupil who passes his way. He doesn’t know what your strong and weak points are. He can spend the whole lesson finding these out, without teaching you anything new. Also, how can he really care about your future if he is never going to see you again?

Strangely, your instructor is human – his reward is in being creative. He takes pride in turning a fledgling into a good, safe pilot.

So if you have one instructor who is responsible for all your training, then he

Every pilot should have to watch this video and then have IMC demonstrated with an instructor.

rejoices in your successes and supports you through your difficult patches.

The single-instructor system ensures that each exercise has been covered thoroughly and tested – usually by the CFI.

Take-home stuff:

1. If your school can’t give you your own instructor who will conduct at least 80% of your training, find another school.

2. The syllabus doesn’t call for a loss-ofcontrol-in-IMC demonstration. Ask your school to include it. It’s going to happen to you at least once in your life. Make sure that when it does, it’s a planned exercise with your instructor at your side to rescue you.

This story is true except that the accident hasn’t happened – yet. If you know the pilot – or others like him – perhaps you can show him this story. j

June 2024 49

FOR SALE Piper Comanche PA-24

Price: R950K excluding VAT


Tucano Replica

R2 million (replacement kit would cost over R2.8 million before building)

PA-24 – 180 hp: 1962. ZS-CXH.

Fantastic cruiser and hour builder.

Airframe: 2440. Lycoming O-360-A1D

Prop:Hartzell HC-C2YR-1BF

Avionics: Standard six pack

Viewing: Worcester FAWC


Bearhawk Patrol 2022

R3.5 million

Airframe: 25 hours. ZU-TUC.

Engine: Flygas Supercharged Rotax 912 uls

141 hp. 300 hours since new

Propeller: Elitest carbon fibre electric variable pitch propellor – 25 hours

Instruments: Mostly MGL but too many to list

2022 ZU-IWY. A Super Cub on steroids. A bigger, more powerful and faster bush plane

Airframe: 45 hours. Engine: Titan IO-360 180 hp

Prop: Hartzell HC-C2YR-INX

Avionics:Dynon Skyview with autopilot and Aera 600 GPS Viewing: Worcester

June 2024 50
Contact Nick Wilkinson: +27 (0)82 688 0578. Email:


At Helideck Certification-Africa, we’re dedicated to providing a local solution for a global necessity – the certification of offshore helidecks.


Regular helideck certification is crucial for the safety of helicopter crew and passengers, ensuring the protection of your valuable assets.

ISO9001:2015 APPROVED: Helideck Certification-Africa adheres to international quality standards.


We base our inspections on this recognized global standard, assuring the highest level of safety for offshore helicopter operations.


We employ the Findlay Irvine Microgrip friction tester, the only friction tester approved by UKCAA CAP 437.


• Helideck markings and obstacle-free sectors

• Identification of operational Helideck limitations

• Competence of Helideck Crew

• Communication procedures

• Firefighting and rescue equipment

• Emergency Response Planning

• Helicopter operational procedures


June 2024 51
For Further Information or to Book an Inspection, contact us today: Email: Phone: +27(0) 83 263 4439 Website:

ZS-ABB, an Embraer ERJ135, seen here in Finland, has been exported to Turkey.


APRIL 2023

has been a very quiet month on the local aviation marketplace with only nine new registration allocations and three deletions, according to the officially-supplied register review.

REGULAR READERS of this column will by now be familiar with quite a few corporate jets that I have recently mentioned that are either registered in South Africa and operated in Russia or that are briefly registered on the ZS- register to “sanitise” their onward sale to Russian owners under western sanctions.

it is now on the Russian registry

So this month I would like to start with a topical deletion from the South African register of a Embraer Legacy 650 corporate jet, ZS-ABB (14501210), as this also ties in with a newly-registered Bombardier Global Express 6000, ZS-BLA (9718) that my attention was drawn to by one of my contacts in the industry. This particular Legacy 650 was the subject of an article in the local press by the well-known aviation and defence investigative

journalist, Erika Gibson, that traced its journey from Basel to Moscow on 27 August 2022, where it has been resident ever since. The jet’s ZS- registration was finally cancelled on 28 March as “sold to Turkey”. I am prepared to bet it is now on the Russian registry if it follows the pattern of the recent registerhopping by some corporate jets.

Also on this subject, a Bombardier Global Express ZS-BLA (9718) was noted flying to Moscow on 21 April. This former Portuguese-owned jet (where it flew as CS-DHZ) does not yet feature in the updates supplied by the SACAA. This aircraft has also not been anywhere near SA since its registration, so it seems to follow the same pattern as the preceding corporate jets that ended up in Russia.

52 June 2024

ABOVE Boeing 737-400, VH-TJK is now ZS-TEY in South Africa.

BELOW: Bombardier Global Express ZS-BLA as VP-BZN - now in Russia?

53 June 2024

ABOVE: ZS-HSG, an MBB BO-105, has been exported to Kazakstan. Image Fanie Kleynhans.

BELOW: FlySafair's ZS-FGB has been exported back to Safair parent ASL.

54 June 2024

The only other fixed wing type deleted from the register is a Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, ZS-JAX that has been exported to Namibia.

Closing the register deletions is another former SAPS Airwing Bo-105, ZS-HSG (S-747) which departs SA on export to Kazakhstan. This is one of the several Bo-105s sold on auction by the SAPS Airwing following their withdraw from service.

first Pipistrel Panthera

540 has been registered

Turning to the new registrations, a Boeing 737-476(SF) ZS-TEY (24436) was delivered to OR Tambo International Airport on 17 February with the Gambian registration C5-TEY, so an easy one for the paint shop to change. The aircraft is the first of three cargo-configured Boeing 737-400SFs to join

Africa Charter Airline’s fleet. This particular Boeing was delivered new off the production line to Australian Airlines in February 1991. The carrier was an all-economy, full-service international leisure carrier, and was a wholly owned subsidiary of Qantas. This airline brand was discontinued in 1993, but the jet continued operating for Qantas until being withdrawn from use in April 2013. It was then acquired by Iceland’s Bluebird Cargo (later rebranded Bluebird Nordic) in March 2015 until being withdrawn from the fleet in March 2023. It was then acquired by Africa Charter Airline in December 2023.

The first Pipistrel Panthera 540 has been registered in South Africa. This sexy fourseat retract-gear T-tail plane is powered

C-FFLA, a Boeing 737-800, is now ZS-FGN with FlySafair.

55 June 2024

ZS-JAX has been exported to Namibia - image ORTIA Planespotter.

by a 260 hp Lycoming IO-540 engine that gives a claimed 198kt cruise speed and 1000nm range. Absolute Aviation was appointed the agents for the manufacturer in May 2023 and has been marketing this manufacturer’s product range in the local market.

SAPS Airwing following their withdraw from service

Other new additions include one each of the popular Sling TSI, Kitplane Safari and Orion Cub. A single Kallithea 915IS Gyroplane and an unknown type, a Janus Brookfield with registration ZU-RJO, closes this month’s NTC register additions.

In closing, Safair recently said farewell to two B737-800s ZS-FGA (27977) and ZS-FGB (27978) which left Safair’s fleet and were ferried to Liege in Belgium. Both will apparently be converted to freighter configuration for operation by the airline’s owner ASL. The carrier has meanwhile taken delivery of a newer B737-86N N105TS (36548) on 7 May that will reportedly become ZS-FGN. But more on this next month. j

56 June 2024

Hangar to Rent

Hangar available in White River area:

T-hangar available for rent at a secure private farm airstrip near White River. No landing fees. Power available. R2200/m. Contact Jeremy (064 931 1642).

REGISTER REVIEW APRIL 2024 Tel: 012 689 2008 I Cell: 076 920 3070 We perform SANAS certifications on all your: Electrical DC/LF Equipment – inhouse or on site (eg. Fluke Multimeters, Insulation Testers) SANAS Accredited Laboratory REG MANUFACTURER TYPE NAME SERIAL NUMBER PREVIOUS IDENTITY / EXPORT COUNTRY New Registrations ZSZS-TEY BOEING 737-476 24436 ZS-PMR CIRRUS DESIGN CORPORATION SR22 0052 ZS-SER RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY G36 E-3674 New Registrations ZUZU-KTR Pipistrel Vertical Solutions D.O.O Panthera 540 PX 1520025 ZU-JAO Van Strijpt Jacob Jacobus Kitplane Safari 057-09-20 SAF3
Henricus de Klerk Kruger Sling TSI 451SK ZU-LAR Nicholas Thomas Wilkinson Orion Cub 22-03 ZU-HAT Niki Rotor Aviation Kallithea 915IS Gyroplane K0030 ZU-RJO Elzebe Sonja Oosthuizen Janus Brookfield 650509 Aircraft deleted ZSZS-ABB Embraer EMB-135BJ 14501210 Turkey
Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm GmbH BO105 CBS-4 S 747 Kazakhstan ZS-JAX Cessna Aircraft Company 208B 208B-0893 Namibia
M & N Acoustic Services (Pty) Ltd

M & N Acoustic Services (Pty) Ltd

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 2008 I Cell: 076 920 3070 Email: SANAS Accredited Laboratory 1302 & 148

HELICOPTER SERVICES SA Flyer Magazine Helicopter Services Directory COMPANY NAME TEL NO WEBSITE Airbus Bell Robinson Leonardo Sikorsky Enstrom Other Sales Maintenance Training Charter FBO HEMS Offshore Wildlife Tourism Other CAPE TOWN NAC (021) 425-3868 a Cape Town Helicopters (021) 418-9462 a a GEORGE Titan (044) 878-0453 a a a a a LANSERIA NAC (011) 267-5000 a a a a a a a a NELSPRUIT Leading Edge (013) 741-3654 a a a a a a RAND NAC (011) 345-2500 a a a a a a a VIRGINIA BAC (031) 569-1531 a a a a a a a a a a a NAC (031) 944-1678 a a a a a a a AGENCIES SERVICES


When armed forces are scrambled, they put their lives on the line, so they need a helicopter they can trust to get the job done, whatever the weather, whatever the situation. Versatile, multi-purpose, and equipped with a renowned automatic flight control system and upgraded avionics, the H225M is the long-range helicopter they can rely on. There will always be risk and danger, but wherever the call comes from, the H225M will help to keep our world beautiful and safe.
63 June 2024 Overhaul / Shockload / Repair of Continental and Lycoming Aircraft engines Overhaul Engine Components Overhaul and supply of Hartzell / McCauley and Fix pitch Propellers FLIGHT SAFETY THROUGH MAINTENANCE Hangar no 4, Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria PO Box 17699, Pretoria North, 0116 Tel: (012) 543 0948/51, Fax: (012) 543 9447, email: AMO 227


Guy Leitch finds out from AAD Exhibition Director, Ms Nakedi Phasha, how the buildup to this year’s biennial expo is going, and what visitors and exhibitors can expect.

64 June 2024
Ms Nakedi Phasha.

THE 12TH AAD TRADE EXHIBITION and air show has the theme ‘Exploring New Paths, Sharing Solutions, Showcasing Innovation and Capability.’ It takes place at Waterkloof Air Force Base from 18 to 22 September 2024 and is considered to be one of the top six events of its kind in the world. It is the only aerospace and defence exhibition and air show on the continent.

The AAD expo is a partnership between South Africa’s Aerospace, Maritime and Defence Association (AMD), the Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor), and the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), in collaboration with the South African Department of Defence and Military Veterans (DOD).

AAD organisers report that as at May 2024, more than half of the exhibition space has been booked and confirmed. The event will see exhibitors coming from several countries, including the United States, Belgium, and China. The exhibitors include Sweden’s SAAB, Airbus, Turkish Aerospace Industries, and L3Harris Technologies.

topical issues that directly impact the industry. Furthermore, we project at least 60,000 visitors will attend the public air show days to witness the exhilarating aerobatics spectacle,” says Ms Nakedi Phasha.

A unique initiative of the AAD is its youth development programme (YDP). This sees youth from disadvantaged and marginalised communities being exposed to science and technology disciplines and related career opportunities. In 2022, AAD hosted over 9,000 learners through its YDP initiative. For this year’s event, 12,000 learners from across all nine provinces are expected to descend on the base to benefit from this impactful programme.

we project at least

60,000 visitors

Being a biennial expo, the show was hard hit by the Covid pandemic. Ms Phasha said that the recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic has varied across sectors and regions, with the aerospace and defence industry being no exception. She points out that they observed a slight decline in attendance during AAD 2022. “However, recognising the importance of AAD 2024 as a catalyst for growth and collaboration, our primary objective is to reverse this trend and make the upcoming expo the biggest and best yet.”

The event has been designed to provide the perfect platform to strengthen existing and establish new partnerships within the defence and related industries.

AAD 2024 will introduce several ‘hubs’ that showcase the latest innovations. For instance, there are Energy and General Aviation hubs, as well as a third hub that features drone and antidrone technologies.

“As organisers, we want to position South Africa as the global pinnacle of innovation, excellence, and a preferred investment destination. We anticipate that more than 30,000 trade visitors will engage with over 300 exhibitors. Visitors can also attend our maiden conference edition to hear thought leaders in the industry, academia, and the defence sector provide insights into

“Central to achieving this goal is our focus on increasing attendance from African countries. Africa represents a significant market with immense potential for growth and collaboration within the aerospace and defence sectors. By actively engaging with stakeholders across the continent and implementing targeted strategies to attract attendees, we aim to foster a vibrant environment for knowledge exchange, networking, and partnership development.”

The big question is which of the big original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be participating this year. Ms Phasha said “We are pleased to confirm the participation of several prominent OEMs. Amongst them are Airbus, Embraer, Leonardo and Russian Helicopters.”

65 June 2024

When asked which of the major countries will be exhibiting, she replied, “We have secured extensive global participation for the event, with attendees from countries such as Turkey, India, Russia, China, Italy, UAE and the United States. This diverse representation underscores the international significance of AAD and promises an enriching and globally connected experience for all participants.”

As this is the African Aerospace and Defence Expo, African participation is key. When asked who the key African participants are, Ms Phasha said, “We are currently in discussions with major African countries, including Nigeria, Namibia, and Zambia.”

The Ukrainian and Israel-Hamas conflicts have had a large impact on the global defence industry. When asked if this has boosted or reduced interest in AAD 2024, she replied, “The conflict between Israel and Hamas has presented both new risks and opportunities for many countries. However, in the context of AAD 2024, we haven’t observed any direct negative impact on the interest in the expo. On the contrary, we have witnessed a notable increase in interest from various countries indicating a strong momentum towards making AAD 2024 the biggest and best Aerospace and Defence Expo yet.”

discussions about extending the Hub due to the significant interest it has generated.”

AAD combines and expo and an airshow for the public. When asked who the key air show participants are for 2024, she said, “At this point, we are unable to disclose the confirmed key participants. Announcements will be made in collaboration with the Air Force as our planning progresses.”

A long standing complaint is that exhibition stand costs are expensive. Ms Phasha observed that “Stand costs are influenced by various factors, and we carefully consider each aspect for every show. It’s worth noting that there was no increase in stand costs for AAD 2022, the last increase was in 2018. This year, we have implemented a slight increase in stand costs, taking into account the rising prices of essential inputs. Our goal is to ensure that AAD 2024 is the biggest and best, and this adjustment allows us to maintain the quality and scale of the event.”

Airbus, Embraer, Leonardo and Russian Helicopters

Feedback from the general aviation community is that it has long felt like a poor relation to defence at the AAD expo. When asked what the level of general aviation support is compared to previous years, Ms Phasha said, “We have a significant increase in General Aviation support compared to previous years. We have introduced several new hubs designed to showcase the latest innovations. The GA community embraced the Hub upon its introduction, and it’s now operating at full capacity. As a result, there are ongoing

Ms Phasha points out that the economic impact that the AAD has on South Africa’s economy is significant. International visitors to AAD 2022 contributed over R135 million to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) while public and trade visitors generated a R150 million in revenue. R65 million of taxation revenue was raised and more than 1,350 jobs created, which bodes well for the importance of this notable showing on the Southern African landscape.”

“Looking to the future, our focus will be on further increasing international participation, fostering collaborations, and exploring new sponsorship and partnership opportunities to grow the event’s footprint into Africa. We want to provide our partners with a premier event that contributes to the global aerospace and defence market,” concludes Ms Phasha

66 June 2024


“Is that the Matterhorn then, love?”

winter, where will your Sling take you?

FlightCom: June 2024 67
+27 (0) 11 948 9898 | www slingaircraft com | sales@slingaircraft com | AMO 1264 | Manufacturing Organisation M677


This year marked the thirtieth edition of the Lowveld airshow – and it was widely acclaimed as the best ever.

FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS the Lowveld show has been organised by the Nelspruit based Kishugu aerial work and firefighting operation. They have built up a knowledge base of exactly what works best – including only starting the show at the surprisingly late 3.00 pm.

One of the advantages of this late start is that the air show pilots can do their display validation flights in the morning. Another is that the evening light makes for ideal viewing for the crowd and photographers.

The pyrtotechnics display was unforgettable.

68 June 2024

ABOVE: The 5200 strong crowd enjoyed the evening light. BELOW: Spectacular 15-ship opening formation.

69 June 2024

ABOVE: Chief Organiser Johan Heine (L) with airshow Director Koos Keick and a non-working ATC. BELOW: It was hot and there was something for everyone in the crowds.

70 June 2024

The only SAAF presence was this AW109 from 17 Squadron.

The show’s chief organiser was Kishugu’s Johan Heine and his assistant Willemien Hodgkinson, with Koos Kieck as the Safety Director. The flying display was managed with precision timing by Koos Kieck, who had to double-up as an advisory ATC as there is a dispute between the CAA and ATNS over air show ATC services.

The Capital Sounds Team of Brian Emmenis and Leon du Plessis did their usual world class commentary and music accompaniment.

After the validation flights the local radio control flyers club did a fantastic job entertaining the already assembled crowd with their very impressive model aircraft, including an immaculate BAe Hawk in Saudi colours and 300 km/h pylon racers. A large scale JS-4 glider, complete with working jet engine, was almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

Mpumalanga Emergency Medical Services Bell 407 air ambulance overhead.

SAAF participation came in the form of a single Agusta A-109, flown by 15 Squadron’s Lt Col Darryl Sloan.

many a damp eye gazing up

The flying display opened with the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials followed by the Puma Energy Harvards, then the Marksmen team, who leader Mark Hensman had flown his MX2 all the way from Cape Town.

A highlight was the 15-ship fly past of Pitts Specials, followed by the Harvards, Extras and MX2 and then the RVs. In honour of Mother’s Day, a massive smoke heart of was painted across the big sky.

The show was opened by the customary parade of emergency response vehicles with the

The Jacksons of Leading Edge Aviation then flew their powerful Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk.

71 June 2024
72 June 2024
ABOVE: Mpumalanga province flew this Bell 407 rescue chopper. BELOW: Mark Hensman brought his MX2 all the way from Cape Town.
73 June 2024
ABOVE: Juba Joubert races against a car. BELOW: Scully Levin gets airborne in a Flying Lions Harvard.

ABOVE: The Blackhawk always impresses with noise and raw power.

BELOW: The Air Tractor drops its load - some thought this was a gender reveal.

74 June 2024

Airlink's E-195 wowed the crowd with is low passes and climb-out.

A great crowd pleaser is the car vs plane race – this year the car won – but it was being raced against a 60 year old Alouette III, flown by the very accomplished Juba Joubert. Chased by the Alouette, the Audi R8 raced up and down the runway, complete with a hair-raising drift through grass and dust. The disparate Marksmen team were up next and can be relied on for a high energy precision flying display.

the Ukraine flag, so it was caboshed. While the Hueys hovered in front of the crowd, a spectacular fireworks display made the scene unforgettable.

hair-raising drift through grass and dust

The light was fading into gloaming as the Kishugu firefighting team swung into action with two Air Tractor 802 firebombers and two Bell 205 Hueys with Bambi buckets. One of the Air Tractors was filled with blue water, which made some wonder if there was not a surreptitious gender reveal on the go. Turns out there was also supposed to be yellow dye dropped by the other Air Tractor – but that would make

To the accompaniment of the Rolling Stones’ Paint it Black, Airlink’s Skybucks black liveried Embraer E195, captained by Jaco Henning, made a number of very impressive low passes. The airline cleverly managed to fit the display in with its scheduled Kruger Mpumalanga flights, which required precision timing.

The Puma Flying Lions closed the show to the accompaniment of the trumpet solo Il Silenzio, followed by closing fireworks. This was airshow spectacle at its best and there was many a damp eye gazing up into the evening sky.


75 June 2024

by Charles and Fiona Hugo. Text Guy Leitch.


The annual Presidents Trophy Air Race (PTAR) is

the highlight of the year for many competitive

general aviation pilots.

THIS CALENDAR HIGHLIGHT has been hosted from one end of South Africa to the other by enthusiastic flying clubs. In 2023 it was hosted by Middleburg in Mpumalanga and in 2022 by the Saldanha Flying Club in the south western Cape. This year it moved all the way

the other extreme end of the country – to Louis Trichardt in the far north of Limpopo.

Floris and Bianca Prinsloo of the Soutpansberg Vliegklub rolled out the red carpet for the race competitors and organisers.

2024 Presidents Trophy winners Johan van Zyl and Eric Addison in their RV-7.

76 June 2024
77 June 2024
ABOVE: Second placed Sling 2 of Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek. BELOW: Third place - C172XP of Edri Vorster and Johann Pieterse.

The opportunity was taken to give the civil airport a full makeover and competitors and the race organisers and marshals were welcomed with wonderful hospitality. Interestingly, the entrants were limited to just 40 – a long way down from the races of around ten years ago, which attracted over 100 entries. On the day, of the 39 aircraft that entered, three did not arrive, leaving 36 participants.

The most fun was had

The excitement generated by the race was evident in the number of entries from the region – where many farmers have their own aircraft. Three flying clubs – the Tzaneen based Letaba Club, Soutpansberg and even Sandton’s Eagles Creek Flying Club contributed newbie entrants. Newbies Edri Vorster and Johan Pieterse from Tzaneen's Letaba Club took third place in their Cessna 172.

GPS use is still strictly outlawed by the race, so it requires dead reckoning navigation skills and accurate flying. Useful landmarks were sparse –both on the charts and on the actual ground.

The PTAR is evolving, both in terms of the rules and the contentious handicapping system. The good news is that it has attracted a significant number of new entrants. Notable too, there were almost as many ‘experimental’ non type certified aircraft as the type certified aircraft in the race. This posed a challenge for handicapper and Competition Director Iaan Myburgh, as many aircraft had to be test flown on the Thursday before the Day 1 race day on Friday to establish handicap speeds.

Some competitors, who feared that their engines would not like full throttle flying, opted to have a throttle stop, which gave the aircraft unnaturally slow speeds. Notable was the Bosbok and an RV-10 which was handicapped at just 129 knots. The most fun was had by Jabiru ZU-DUU of Piet Meyer and Adrienne Visser which had a throttle stop, but then took it off, just so they could cross the finish line first!

There were two technical withdrawals: Coert and Duan Erasmus had manifold pressure problems in their very pretty C210 and John Sayers had undercarriage problem in his Comanche 400.

78 June 2024
First placed lady - Tarryn Myburgh with pilot Kevin Moore.

ABOVE: ZU-DUU had a throttle stop - but took it off so they could cross the line first! BELOW: Winners - LtoR, Overall winner - pilot and navigator. Middle second place. Right Third place crew, Letaba Flying Club novice entrants.

79 June 2024

ABOVE: The PTAR Day 1 route.

BELOW: The PTAR Day 2 route.

80 June 2024

2024 Combined
































3324ZS-IAGCessna182NMaxKane-BERMANJacoBotma 0:14:47.41

0:14:46.97 3438ZU-DCBLancairLegacyDieterBockDrNicholasClark

DNF17ZS-CCDCessna210NCoertErasmusDuanErasmus -0:00:00.33 164.52166.161.00%


The race was held over two days, Friday 24 and Saturday 25 May. The Day 1 route took competitors south to the Soutpansberg Mountains, then north as far as Musina, and back to Louis Trichardt.

On Day 2 the route adopted the customary figure of 8 pattern to have an exciting cross over. Unfortunately the terrain around the airport did not make it possible for the crossover to be above the spectators at Louis Trichardt Airfield.

Handicapper Iaan Myburgh had done his work well and the finish was commendably tight. In the race to the finish line winners Johan van Zyl and Eric Addison in their RV7 overtook Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek in a Sling 2. The RV-7 crossed the line just five seconds ahead of the Sling.

The race traditionally ends with a formal dinner and the spirit of the race and the commitment to excellence is evident in the number of entrants who honoured the formal dress code with proper dinner suits.

Competitors and organisers had a great cameraderie.

81 June 2024
PTAR 2024 Combined Results.
Pos Race No A/C Reg. Aircraft Pilot Navigator Gain/Loss Starting 3D Speed Actual 3D Speed % Speed Variation: Gain/Loss Starting 3D Speed Actual 3D Speed % Speed Variation: Gain/Loss 19ZU-VZJVansRV7JohanVanZylEricAddison -0:02:28.20 171.90173.520.94% -0:03:39.61 171.90175.021.82% -0:06:07.81
-0:03:30.89 113.00114.811.61% -0:02:31.88 114.81115.370.49% -0:06:02.77
-0:01:59.18 125.81126.160.28% -0:03:33.67 125.81127.451.30% -0:05:32.85
-0:01:07.29 112.84112.46-0.34% -0:04:15.63 112.84114.691.64% -0:05:22.92
-0:03:09.60 138.06140.161.52% -0:01:53.47 140.16139.90-0.19% -0:05:03.07
-0:00:12.76 115.23113.79-1.25% -0:04:21.81 114.95117.071.84% -0:04:34.57
-0:02:29.90 159.24161.441.39% -0:01:54.37 161.44161.480.02% -0:04:24.28
-0:01:31.72 173.77174.700.54% -0:01:27.09 173.77175.100.77% -0:02:58.81
-0:01:06.22 134.17135.551.03% -0:01:40.54 135.55136.941.03% -0:02:46.77
-0:02:27.85 154.19156.821.71% 0:00:00.00 156.82162.563.66% -0:02:27.85
-0:00:28.88 167.92167.08-0.50% -0:01:41.97 167.92167.58-0.20% -0:02:10.85
-0:02:07.33 143.01144.070.74% 0:00:00.00 143.01149.274.37% -0:02:07.33
0:00:00.00 121.50125.573.35% -0:02:07.25 125.57125.760.15% -0:02:07.25
-0:00:36.76 115.76114.90-0.74% -0:01:05.13 115.76115.16-0.52% -0:01:41.89
-0:00:09.53 161.01160.40-0.38% -0:01:10.39 161.01161.820.50% -0:01:19.91
-0:01:18.50 159.87160.910.65% 0:00:00.00 159.87168.865.63% -0:01:18.50
-0:00:03.32 144.01143.07-0.65% -0:00:55.86 144.01144.320.22% -0:00:59.18
0:00:28.88 119.45117.25-1.84% -0:00:56.65 118.43117.98-0.38% -0:00:27.77
-0:00:09.55 117.00115.59-1.20% 0:00:00.00 116.00124.637.44% -0:00:09.55
-0:00:23.09 159.70157.79-1.20% 0:00:36.86 159.35156.94-1.51% 0:00:13.77
0:01:42.50 141.32136.83-3.18% -0:01:16.73 138.25137.75-0.36% 0:00:25.77
0:01:24.93 126.45124.69-1.39% 0:00:04.53 125.95126.540.47% 0:01:29.46
0:02:24.36 165.65159.38-3.78% -0:00:52.95 160.99161.110.07% 0:01:31.41
0:05:50.31 129.00127.17-1.42% -0:04:15.81 129.00132.222.50% 0:01:34.50
-0:01:10.13 132.87134.371.13% 0:02:50.88 134.37136.401.51% 0:01:40.75
0:04:15.67 147.08145.88-0.81% -0:01:27.86 147.08146.86-0.15% 0:02:47.81
0:03:08.17 175.02170.79-2.42% 0:00:25.72 172.50170.70-1.04% 0:03:33.89
0:01:03.95 179.67181.110.80% 0:03:08.54 179.67182.431.53% 0:04:12.48
0:04:27.70 136.00135.36-0.47% -0:00:15.19 136.00135.36-0.47% 0:04:12.51
0:04:06.25 146.76143.03-2.54% 0:01:24.26 144.48140.54-2.73% 0:05:30.51
0:05:42.01 145.78146.000.15% 0:00:50.96 145.78145.52-0.18% 0:06:32.98
0:07:19.16 164.06166.631.57% 0:00:08.40 166.63167.090.28% 0:07:27.56
135.46127.62-5.79% -0:00:00.44 135.46136.120.49%
0:13:27.58 221.84221.71-0.06% 0:18:29.52 221.84210.36-5.17%

Text and Images - Trevor Cohen


What makes one aircraft better than another?

Range, Speed, or carrying capacity, short field performance, operating costs, high wing, low wing, side stick, traditional

ALL OF THESE DIFFERENT combinations in an aircraft appeal in different measures to different pilots because of their wants and needs.

control yoke?

The new much anticipated Cirrus SR22 G7, which was launched on 24 May 2024 in South Africa, ticks almost all the boxes, with its excellent balance of range, speed and load.

82 June 2024
The Cirrus team with the new Cirrus SR22 G7 recently flown to South Africa by Alex Smith.

ABOVE: The SR22 G7 features the same avionics layout as the Vision jet making the step-up much easier. BELOW: Also prominent at the launch was the Cirrus Vision jet.

83 June 2024

With the ability to haul 1326 lbs of payload at more than 170 Knots for 1169 nautical miles at just 55% power, the normally aspirated version is more than capable of finding the best balance of these performance parameters. However, Sales Director Eugene Prenzler points out that most normally aspirated SR22 pilots fly at around 60-65% power at FL100 and will see a 180 KTAS cruise.

A popular option in South Africa is air conditioning and the very effective system weighs just 25 lbs.

Where sector lengths are typically more than 2 hours, Prenzler recommends the turbo version and 200 KTAS cruises are not uncommon from FL140 – FL160. All turbo versions come with standard oxygen – and many buyers are specifying flight into known icing (FIKI) equipment.

Compared to the G6 model, the G7 has no new external changes, nor changes to the engine. The upgrades are to the avionics and systems. The G7 now uses the Cirrus Perspective Touch+ by Garmin.

The cockpit is now very similar to the Vision Jet and so it is now possible to convert from a G7 to an SF50 Vision Jet a lot quicker. This is a saving for pilot and operators with training etc.

Cirrus analysed the accidents their aircraft have been in and have used technology to reduce problems going forward. For example, they have removed the need to manually change a fuel selector from one tank to another. The system automatically switches tanks every 5 gallons. This helps with trim and reduces the risk that you may run a tank dry by mistake.

As expected, the new avionics suite gives the pilot better situational awareness and ease of use. Also, the engine now has a push button start.

The interior feels solid and seating is very comfortable, especially on longer routes.

Overall, the G7 is a part of the ongoing Cirrus Evolution, making the aircraft more safe, efficient and comfortable.

The glamorous launch function was a partnership with BMW and Cirrus Regional Sales Director, Cedric Dupont, was a welcome guest.

Cirrus South Africa is growing from strength to strength, Director Tony Forbes says they have negotiated a new ground lease at Lanseria and will be building new hangars. He says the airport is working hard to make the airside gates operative and reduce the hassle of security at the notorious Gate 5.


84 June 2024
Tony Forbes (centre) with his Cirrus SA team.
To learn more, contact: Cirrus South Africa +27.011.701.3835 EVERYTHING IN REACH ©Copyright 2024 Cirrus Design Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

6 - 10 June


E-mail: Website:

28 -30 June

Richard Nicholson

Cell: 082 490 6227

27 July

Virginia or Shirley Gainsford:





Bianca Prinsloo E-mail:

David Le Roux E-mail: Cell: 073 338 5200 SMOKE ON

27 July

Wonderboom or Shirley Gainsford:


31 August

Contact Felix Gosher E-mail: Cell: 066 1919 4603

18 - 24 September

AFB Waterkloof

Nakedi Phasha E-mail:

86 June 2024 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.
EAA SOUTH AFRICA YOUNG EAGLES DAY 8 June Lanseria International Airport Neil Bowden E-mail: MAPUTO AIRSHOW 15 June Maputo Gavin Neil E-mail: EAA TAILDRAGGERS FLY-IN
Warmbaths Airfield
July Wonderboom National Airport
28 July Wisconsin, USA
camping contact Neil Bowden SMOKE ON GO!
3 -5
17 August Wisconsin, USA
FlightCm Afr ican Commercial Aviation  Edition 185 | June 2024 John Bassi –Things Fall Apart Okavango –Romantic exploits! The HUGE Mi-26 Heli Iris –Early Sudan days The SAAF Museum 2024 Airshow

News - SAA – SAAF Retires its Daks

Laura McDermid - Iris flies across Sudan Pt2

John Bassi - When Things Fall Apart Pt2 News - Denali In Certification Flight Testing

Jeffery Kempson - Okavango Dreaming Pt2

MIL’s Amazing Helicopters - Steve Trichard

News - Cessna SkyCourier combi

Hugh Pryor - Ugly is Pretty The SAAF Museum 2024 Airshow

Superior Pilot Services: Flight School Directory

JUNE 2024 EDITION 185 TABLE OF CONTENTS +27 (0)83 607 2335 +27 (0)81 039 0595 +27
793 0708 ACCOUNTS: ADMIN: TRAFFIC: Publisher Flyer and Aviation Publications cc Managing Editor Guy Leitch Advertising Sales Howard Long 076 499 6358
& Design
Tillman: Imagenuity cc
McDermid Darren Olivier
Kempson AME Directory 04 07 08 12 14 20 24 30 31 32 42 43 44 46
Contributors John
Merchant West Charter Directory Skysource AMO Listing


After lagging the world’s post-Covid recovery, the African airline industry is finally catching up.

ALMOST UNIVERSALLY across the continent, with the exception of South Africa, airline operations have exceeded pre-Covid levels, both in terms of demand and revenue.

Africa has long laboured under the burden of poor air connectivity. The good news is that the supply of seats increased by 12.6%, from 14.3 million in March 2019 to 16.1 million in March 2024, thanks to new routes and frequencies. Over the same period, Available Seat Kilometres (ASKs) also exceeded March 2019 by 7.7%.

African carriers accounted for 49.5% of the international seat capacity and 35.9% of the intercontinental capacity. The African Airlines Association, (AFRAA), estimates that about 98 million passengers will be carried by African airlines in 2024.

Making it hard to plan, the price of Jet A1 continues to be volatile, and to hold above the $100/barrel level. As fuel is the biggest input into a well-run airline, this high fuel price is a significant constraint to African airline growth. The challenge is to make air travel more affordable – especially for the emergent middle class.

This return to pre-Covid levels translates into demand for new airliners. According to Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook for 2021-2040, Africa will require more than 1,100 aircraft, with an estimated value of $160 billion by 2040.

fuel is the biggest input

In terms of the capacity split between African and nonAfrican operators, on both regional and intercontinental routes, AFRAA estimates a 50.7% and 49.3% split respectively. However, a further analysis of capacity on only the intercontinental routes reveals a much lower share of 35.7% for African airlines, as against 64.3% for non-African operators. Thus are African airlines continuing to have their lunch eaten by foreign operators. This despite government protection, the lack of ‘Open Skies’ liberalisation, and the iniquity of blocked funds.

The increased demand has increased revenue. AFRAA’s estimated revenue for January 2024 was US$ 1.83 billion compared to US$1.56 billion in November 2023, – a revenue growth of 14.75%.

The challenge then is for African carriers to secure competitive financing. At the air finance conference held in Johannesburg in May, Mauritian lawyer Vijay Poonoosamy expressed the view that, “Our continent’s national leaders must …. allow government-owned African airlines to be effectively and efficiently run by professionals.”

“Countries that can create such a conducive environment for their airlines will allow them to have better chances of securing fair and reasonable terms for aircraft and financing, both of which are crucial for providing the intra- and inter-continental air connectivity Africa desperately needs.”

“Financial institutions and investors play a crucial role by providing the necessary funding and support to those airlines demonstrating good governance and leadership. This, in turn, will drive the socio-economic development that is essential for the continent’s overall progress,” he said. 


When you go to a party where you don’t know anybody, you should always go for the ‘Ugly’ girl, because she will be happy that you chose to spend time with her.

MORE THAN LIKELY , you will enjoy a splendid evening full of laughter and genuine friendship, and you will meet her at later venues, where you will enjoy each other’s company. There is none of the hassle which you get if you are escorting a racy blonde bombshell.

Similarly, the Pilatus Porter PC-6 is ugly, but fun and a great friend in difficult circumstances.

In comparison, Lear Jets and in particular the Lear 25, looks racy and sexy, but like many beauties, she can be cantankerous and occasionally extremely dangerous.

Based on a failed Swiss jet fighter, the Lear Jet was born in the days before supersonic flight became the norm for fighter aircraft.

Wikipedia describes how Mack Tuck affected even the piston powered fighters of WW2, noting that “The fastest World War II fighters were the first aircraft to experience Mach Tuck. Their wings were not designed to counter Mach Tuck because research on supersonic aerofoils was just beginning; areas of supersonic flow, together with shock waves and flow separation, were present on the wing. This condition was known at the time as compressibility burble and was known to exist on propeller tips at high aircraft speeds.

seven Lear 25s fell out of the sky

Aeronautical engineers then did not really understand the problems of compressibility in trans-sonic flight. Notably, pilots did not appreciate that, as the wings approach the speed of sound, a shock wave builds up, rather like the bow-wave of a ship, above and below the wing, more above than below. As the speed increases, the shock wave moves back across the chord of the wing.

The P-38 Lightning was one of the first 400 mph fighters, and it suffered more than the usual teething troubles. It had a thick, high-lift wing, distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament. It quickly accelerated to terminal velocity in a dive. The short stubby fuselage had a detrimental effect in reducing the critical Mach number of the 15% thick wing centre section with high velocities over the canopy adding to those on the upper surface of the wing.

Mach tuck occurred at speeds above Mach 0.65; the air flow over the wing centre section became transonic, causing a loss of lift. The resultant change in downwash at the tail caused a nose-down pitching moment and the dive to steepen (Mach Tuck). The aircraft was very

4 FlightCom: June 2024

stable in this condition, making recovery from the dive very difficult.

The lift in the sub-sonic air behind the shock-wave is much greater than the lift in front of it and eventually, for the early Lears, at precisely .87 of the speed of sound, (Mach 1,) the horizontal stabiliser ran out of authority to keep the nose up.

When the wing stalls, it does it so viciously that the subsequent nose-over imposes negative Gs on the airframe, powerful enough to eject the passengers and crew through the roof with their seats and to cause the wings to fail downwards.

To prevent this, they installed a ‘Mach Limiter’ to pull the nose up at .84 Mach in order to prevent the plane from nosing over into ‘Mach Tuck’.

During the year when I was a co-pilot on the aircraft, seven Lear 25s fell out of the sky in similar circumstances. The violence of the destruction spread the remains over such a wide area that it was difficult to identify the primary reason for the disintegration and it was not until investigators recovered two of the primary circuit breaker boards that they discovered the probable cause of the disasters... on each of the circuit breaker boards, the Mach limiter circuit breakers had been pulled.

If you saw a Lear 25 crew walking down the street, how would you know which one was the Captain and which was the First Officer? The Captain will have his head resting on his right shoulder and the co-pilot’s head will be on his left shoulder, because that is how they have to sit on the small cramped round flight deck.

The fuel tanks were installed like torpedoes on the tips of the wings and if you were refuelling an empty aircraft, it was necessary to half fill one tank and then fill the other one, before topping off the first one, because if you filled one tank with the other one empty, the plane would fall over.

Then there were the leading-edge de-icing strips on the wings. In order to work efficiently, they had to be spotlessly clean. There was a joke among the engineers; What has more finger prints than the FBI? The answer was the Learjet de-icing strips.

if they pulled the circuit breaker

And did I mention the windscreen? It was made out of Perspex, more than an inch thick and it was difficult to polish without introducing distortions and scratches, so it was tempting just leave it until it was virtually opaque and then cleaning and polishing it would take an age.

On further investigation, after talking to other Lear 25 crews, it turned out that there was an ongoing competition among Lear 25 crews to see who could get from San Francisco to Las Vegas quickest, and if they pulled the circuit breaker, they could operate at .86 with literally a couple of knots between ‘winning’ and losing everything.

There were several other details which I found vaguely annoying about the Lear 25. The type-rating involved a course in gymnastics in order for the flight crew to gain access to the cockpit, without breaking any switches or bones.

Okay, the Lear may turn heads with its sleek lines and sexy figure, but give me the good old Porter any day! We go back a long while together and she gave me more than six thousand hours of trouble-free friendship.

Maybe I am just an old Bush Bumkin, but I prefer to fly aeroplanes which can take me to places where there are no officials trying to justify their existence by giving me a lot of ‘up-hill’, through airspace unmolested by unintelligible controllers and air-trafficjams of enormous flying hotels, flown by pilots who spend their lives being told what to do by computers.

6 FlightCom: June 2024


AFTER 81 YEARS OF MILITARY SERVICE in South Africa, the DC-3 Dakota and C-47TP Turbo Dakota is being taken out of SAAF service.

The C-47 Dakota entered SAAF service in 1943. In the 1980’s, the SAAF operated the largest fleet of Dakotas in the world. In the early 1990s, nine airframes were upgraded to turboprops, by replacing the piston engines and adding a fuselage extension.

The grounding of all eight remaining C-47TPs in the SAAF’s inventory was confirmed by Armscor. The primary challenge has been securing a maintenance provider, a task made difficult by the absence of support from the OEM.

The Dakotas’ service extended beyond transport as they were pivotal during the Angolan War, performing troop transport, resupply, medical evacuation, paratrooping, and other ancillary activities.

Post-war, the fleet size was reduced, and in the early 1990s, several Dakotas were converted into ‘TurboDaks’ under Project Felstone, enhancing their capabilities with modern turboprops and avionics.

35 Squadron, based at AFB Ysterplaat, has been home to the Dakota since 1985. Despite the retirement of the piston-engined Dakotas in 1994, the squadron continued to operate the C-47-TP Dakota in various roles, including maritime surveillance, transport, electronic intelligence gathering, and training.

Currently, only five C-47TPs remain in service, with three configured for maritime surveillance and two for transport. The future of 35 Squadron remains uncertain, but it is expected to continue operations with another SAAF platform to maintain pilot proficiency.

FlightCom: June 2024 7
A SAAF Piston Dak in maintenance - Image Dhiav Naidoo.
Iris – her early years:


Laura McDermid continues her stories about Iris McCallum’s early years in East Africa and the Sudan. In part 1 of this story she recounts how she had to fly a bunch of Belgian Missionaries to Aweil, a city in northwestern South Sudan, from Wilson in Nairobi in her old mate ‘ARN’, the Piper Aztec 5Y-ARN.




AS , in order to clear customs and refuel, we had to fly to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, a distance of 489 nm, and then a further 343 nm to Aweil.

We departed Juba at 13h30 local time for Bor. The soft, superheated air rising from the runway offered so little body for the wings that we ascended reluctantly, seeming actually to sag when the wheels broke ground and sometimes barely surmounting the oncoming trees.

The Nile held an excitement and allure when viewed from the air. This river had so much history that, regardless of how many times I laid eyes on it, it was like seeing it for the first time.

I landed at Bor and offloaded the supplies that I’d bought with from Nairobi for the local mission, and topped ARN up with avgas.

grass sharp enough to slice though a person’s skin

As expected, the flight was rough. I heard one of my passengers vomit noisily into an air-sick bag.

This part of the trip was still easy, I just followed the White Nile North for about 40 minutes to find Bor airstrip.

We spent 40 minutes on the ground and got airborne at 16h00 for Aweil via Wau.

Thinking of my old instructor’s briefing for this flight I said out loud to nobody in particular, ‘Here we go Dicky Bird.’

My heading was NW and I climbed to FL105, high enough to have reasonable visibility and to cool off.

8 FlightCom: June 2024

My love of history paid off, as within no time at all, I was on the west bank of the Nile.

It was flat and there was nothing but elephant grass, which I knew from reading old hunting books, could be anything from 12 to 15 feet high and was sharp enough to slice though a person’s skin as if it were wet tissue paper.

This was the start of the dreaded Sudd. From my bird’s eye view it looked like a mosaic of floating islands, water lilies and tangled reeds occasionally interspersed with pools of water. No wonder it took explorers until the late 19th and early 20th centuries to navigate.

I estimated that I would reach the railway line in about 1 hour and 50 minutes with a further 15 minutes to Aweil based on the line Dicky Bird had drawn on the ONC map back in the board room.

This was the part of the route that I had been anxious about. The map on my knee pad read “Relief Data Incomplete” and was just white.

I found myself getting annoyed at my anxiety; I’m like a two year old clutching their blankie for comfort.

As the sun slid lower and lower to the horizon, my pulse rate rose higher and higher.

I looked around, my passengers were all soundly asleep, Mr Chunder still gripping his packet as though it were something of great value.

Wonderful, I shall have to be scared all on my own.

I looked ahead, something glinted. My hopes rose in anticipation of seeing a railway line. As I drew nearer I realised it was just another pool of water reflecting the last of the sun’s rays.

My heart sank and I tried to swallow, but the back of my throat was really dry. Both my hands were welded to the yoke, my knuckles white with the strain.

I’m sitting ram-rod straight in my seat, straining forward as though I could will the ground features into the cockpit. I look at my watch.

My time is up.

I had no idea what effect the wind had had, whether I was left or right of track, but I knew for sure that the railway line was up ahead…unless of course the wind had blown me so off course that I had passed to the north of Wau where there is no railway line.

Doubt was no longer creeping its way into my mind but clawing wildly – like a honey badger trapped in a box.

‘Keep the faith Iris’ I hear Dicky Bird’s voice echoing in my head.

FlightCom: June 2024 9
My hand drawn map of the runway at Bor.

I keep going for another ten minutes and it crosses my mind that if I don’t find the railway line before the sun sets, I may have to execute a precautionary, but no doubt crash land, in the swamp.

I didn’t fancy that at all.

I see another shining river ahead… it’s not water, this time it IS the railway line.

Relief floods through my body. I feel as though I have been holding my breath for hours. I turn right, following the railway line to Wau. I’ve descended to FL85 and soon overfly the small village.

I identified a clearing that would serve and flew overhead, ensuring the area was clear of obstacles.

I thought I’d test what Dicky Bird said about passengers not knowing where they are. I turned to Mr Chunder, who was by now awake but still clutching his spew, and asked if this village beneath us was Aweil.

He looked out the window squinting hard and turned back to me, his brow furrowed with confusion ‘I don’t know.’

the start of the dreaded Sudd

I am back over the Sudd, but now I know where I am, and 15 minutes later I see a tendril of smoke curling in the sky and a village. This had to be Aweil.

As the sky changed from magenta, to purple and mauve, the last sliver of sun slipped below the horizon. I flew over the village looking for an area that would suffice as an airstrip.

I turned onto final approach and thanked the gods that I was in an Aztec, as I could slow ARN right down. I took the full 45 degrees of flap and landed with ease on the short field.

I taxied to a large mango tree, thinking it would make a good hangar for the evening. As is the case in these remote villages, people spilled out of every home, curious about the strange flying contraption.

A little girl peered at me shyly around her mother’s legs, her eyes wide with awe at the spectacle of this white woman with a mass of unruly hair.

10 FlightCom: June 2024
The Sudd is a huge swamp.

The flight from Bor to Aweil had taken me 2.5 hours, a little longer than planned, so a head wind it was! I closed up ARN for the night, patting him affectionately and thanking him for delivering us safely.

I looked around, noticing for the first time that the airstrip was also used as a soccer field, as evidenced by a goal post at the far end of the ‘runway’.

A driver arrived in a clapped out Toyota to drive us to the mission station where we were given a very warm welcome. I was shown to an amazing room at the back of the building that opened onto a veranda, and then I was given a grand tour of the ablutions.

Forget WC, this was a throne room. I had to climb eight steps onto a stage on top of which sat an ornate ceremonial chair carved from indigenous mahogany.

FlightCom: June 2024 11
A typical South Sudanese rondavel.

This was positioned over the toilet hole and was without a doubt, the most elaborate loo I’d ever had the pleasure of sitting on.

Following my arduous day in the cockpit, I had a comfortable night and a good rest, and even recall sharing a dumpy Tusker with Mr Chunder who, sans his bag, was quite a pleasant guy.

Following the passengers’ ordeal yesterday, we took off at 07h30 the following morning and this time no one was late.

of the bottle for ease of travel. Now that’s what I call civilized!

Another 3.5 hours flying to Wilson and soon I was home enjoying a cold frosty.

given a grand tour of the ablutions

Knowing what to expect, I headed off to Bor feeling a lot more relaxed. I still played it safe and routed back via Wau. This time we had a tailwind, and the flight was a bit quicker.

Pilots in the 1980s think fondly about Juba for one thing only. Duty free. When leaving, we would stock up on our favourite vices. It was one of the few places that actually sold duty free scotch in 5 litre glass bottles. Some even had wheels attached to the base

Looking back, having flown these trips by dead reckoning, without proper maps or any GPS aids, was hard work. Forever searching and searching and eventually finding what you were looking for played tricks on the mind and took guts.

All the East African pilots I knew at the time had strong personalities, but there was no place for pride or shame. We pioneered together, and most importantly helped one another. Paying attention to the advice which was so freely shared was invaluable, and had saved my bacon more than once and helped me thrive.

The shared experiences forged a wonderful camaraderie, one that remains indelibly etched on my heart.

12 FlightCom: June 2024
Why flying was better - the train from Wau to Khartoum.


AFTER A PROTRACTED PERIOD, Textron’s Beechcraft Denali has entered certification flight testing.

The Denali is both an all-new airframe and has an all-new engine, making the certification process more complex by a multiple.

Textron is also continually making developmental changes to the new commuter/cargo platform.

The company says it has accumulated more than 2,000 hours on three test articles of the big single-engine turboprop that will compete squarely against the Pilatus PC-12.

Designed to cruise at 285 knots with a full fuel payload of 1,100 pounds, the Denali claims a range of 1,600 nautical miles at high-speed cruise. The 1,300 horsepower engine has full FADEC and a single power and propellor control.

GE Aerospace’s Catalyst engine is claimed to provide better fuel efficiency compared to the PC-12’s PT-6 engine. Further, it claims to be able to use sustainable aviation fuel. However the engine is blamed for much of the certification delay.

Beech recently completed the first certification flight of the Garmin G3000 avionics system, which is being fitted with Garmin Autoland as a standard feature.

Standard G3000 features include a 10-inch weather radar, Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS-B), and dual transponders with automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) capabilities.

The Denali uses the new Catalyst turboprop, which Textron says is more efficient than other comparable engines.

The plane can be configured for passengers or cargo.

Final FAA certification is hoped for during 2025.

Textron's Denali is finally nearing certification in 2025.

FlightCom: June 2024 13



A trilogy of tropical airborne romances.

I flew Tim and June Liversedge in a Cessna 320 Skyknight from Johannesburg to Shakawe in northwestern Botswana and spent a comfortable night on their luxurious houseboat, the Sitatunga.

THE NEXT MORNING, I flew to Maun to clear immigration and refuel before returning empty to Rand Airport in Germiston. However, the aircraft’s left engine could not be primed for starting. I checked the fuel pump circuit breakers, but all was well. So I called the maintenance company in Joburg, who advised that they would send an aircraft with an engineer to rectify the problem on Monday. It was now Friday morning, so the weekend loomed large.

I got a lift to the convivial riverside Crocodile Camp and, preparatory to booking in for the weekend, walked into the bar area, where I noticed a local bush pilot acquaintance with his arm around the shoulders of a very attractive blonde, blueeyed girl.

climbed aboard the Cessna. After explaining some of the features I fiddled with the fuel pump circuit breaker again, then gave the breaker panel a sharp tap. To my delight the fuel pump came On, so I started the engine, then the other one. Having done a recent pre-flight, I took the girls on a game flight over the Okavango.

Back on the ground, I established sideband radio comms with the Sitatunga, and it was arranged that we could all fly to Shakawe and spend a couple of free nights on the luxury houseboat.

I was cohabiting with a highly intelligent lady

I struck up a conversation with them, and she told me that she had a private pilot’s licence, but had driven her VW Kombi from Johannesburg to Maun, accompanied by a medical student lady friend. She then expressed an interest in seeing my Cessna 320, so we got into her Kombi, drove back to the airport, and

The girls checked out of Croc Camp, I cancelled the Joburg based engineer, and flew back to Shakawe. There we spent two pleasant nights on the beautiful houseboat cruising the Okavango River.

I dropped the girls back at Maun on the Monday morning, bade them goodbye after exchanging phone numbers, and promised to call when back in town.

Hearing that the Kombi was to now travel home via the indifferent dirt road through Ghanzi and Lobatse,

14 FlightCom: June 2024

I cautioned them on this routing. The blonde gave me an innocent smile, and we embarked on our separate journeys.

I did not know then that Christine, the blonde, together with three friends, had driven her Pinetown registered Kombi, complete with ZA sticker, overland from Durban through Africa, including Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia - thence the Middle East, Iran and Pakistan to Northern France, then shipped it across the channel to her parents’ home in Kent England. This occurred during the rule of our ostracised White government. Later the Kombi was shipped back to SA.

We lived together for eight years. She acquired her Commercial Licence and instrument rating and accompanied me on the delivery flight of a Rally 180 GT from the factory in France to Lanseria. (This article was printed in SA Flyer as “A Scratch in Time.”)

Shortly after that she was offered a flight delivering a Rockwell 112TC to Northern Italy. I accompanied her as far as Nairobi, then she flew the rest of the way herself. I was very proud of her.

and adventurous spirit

I arrived home without incident, and a few days later phoned the blonde English rose to arrange a lunch. She had a job with an estate agency at that time. We got on well, and a couple of weeks later she moved in with me at my Inanda cottage. At this juncture I began to realise that I was cohabiting with a highly intelligent lady with an adventurous spirit.

We treated the initial part of the Rockwell ferry as a bit of a holiday, routing via Blantyre, then spent a couple of days at the Mombasa Beach Hotel, then on to charming Malindi. While she was wearing a brief yellow bikini, we walked along the beach until we came to a seaside Mosque. Unconcerned, Christine walked inside, innocently displaying her voluptuous charms to the congregation of disapproving worshippers. She had entered out of friendly curiosity, but a fearsome hissing sound emanated from the kneeling devotees. I can’t remember if it was a Friday or not, but we made a run for it, with

FlightCom: June 2024 15
The Cessna 320 Skyknight at Maun.

several furious worshippers in pursuit, some feigning picking up and throwing non-existent stones from the beach, doubtless to mimic a fervent stoning of the infidels. This event occurred prior to our future awareness of Islamic conservatism. Once clear, my lovely companion exclaimed; “What’s the matter with them? I was only smiling and waving to be friendly.”

We returned to our beachside hotel by an alternative route. Then we flew to Nairobi, where I left her to continue her solo flight to Italy, as I returned by airline to Johannesburg, and more mundane freelance charter flying.

A few days later she landed safely at her northern Italian destination, surprising the owner when she told him that she now had a total of only 290 flying hours.

Thereafter, she undertook several successful solo ferry flights including the delivery of several 210s from the UK to Lanseria. Later she also flew several fights to Okavango guest lodges, but was somewhat discomfited by the chauvinism of some opiniated South African male pilots passing disparaging comments about female pilots.

One day, after flying a Cessna 182 to Delareyville and spending an uneventful day sitting in a roadside café awaiting her returning passengers, she declared that the excessive ground time wasted in much charter flying was a dreary, unproductive waste of time. So we formed an aircraft sales company called Professional Aviation Services and took an upstairs office at the old Lanseria Airport terminal building.

Shortly after, I persuaded a personable pilot acquaintance to consider replacing their company Piper Cheyenne with a larger, more comfortable, Beechcraft King Air 200.

Based in Ficksburg, this prosperous Afrikaans company ran an insurance scheme for farmers in the Orange Free State. I interested them in stepping up and we liaised via telephone and telex with an enterprising Scandinavian Beechcraft franchise owner whose managing director was also an active and very proficient pilot.

In due course an almost new Danish registered King Air 200 arrived at Lanseria, which we then flew to Ficksburg and performed an impressive demonstration for their pilot Tanner Harris, and company executives while operating from the rudimentary Ficksburg grass airstrip.

Negotiations proceeded well, and a few days later the contract was signed. Their Piper Cheyenne was not traded in, but sold privately, which was a relief.

An interesting aside was that the King Air had standard gear, which in SA has mostly been supplanted by High Float Gear utilising larger main wheels to accommodate unpaved airstrips. Interestingly, Beechcraft stated that unless their aircraft were operated on unpaved airstrips more than fifty per cent of the time, the standard gear should suffice. At considerable expense the High Float gear was later installed, whereafter Captain Harris lamented the consequent decrease in cruising speed.

Anyway, we made some reasonable money on this deal, and stepped up from KFC cuisine to steak dinners. We were also invigorated at the angst exhibited by the local Lanseria Beechcraft Agents, who also refused to service this King Air. So we made a plan with the

16 FlightCom: June 2024
JEFFERY KEMPSON The Sitatunga houseboat on the Okavango Delta.

outfit that had the original Canadair Challenger agency at Lanseria and paid their licensed King Air endorsed engineer half his salary on the basis of him giving preference to servicing the Ficksburg based King Air when necessary.

These were the pre-internet days. Our office comprised of Christine, a secretary, Diane, and me, two phones and a telex machine. Sometimes the clattering telex machine was so busy, and got so hot, that I considered keeping a bucket of water handy in case it caught fire.

During this period I followed a drinking regimen that delayed imbibing until five pm. This principle was developed from operations in the Okavango tourist lodge era.

American clients had occasionally been heard to complain that should one of their number suffer a medical emergency, the pilot may not be in an airworthy condition to casevac them out to Johannesburg for first world medical attention. I made a concession to sobriety until five o clock, then added a minute for watch error, telling them after that they would be on their own. I also jokingly cautioned them not to provoke the wildlife with excessively large camera lenses during late afternoon game drives.

trying to close the passenger door, I fell out onto the floor. “I should just leave you here,” she said. I was too incoherent to answer, and opened the window in case a half digested prawn tried to surface.

Things at Professional alternated between being really good, and worryingly dire. I managed to sell a CL44, a very large, four turboprop swing tail freighter, unseen, in Miami to an operator in the Congo. Sadly, it had an engine failure during the delivery flight, and the American owner reduced our commission.

Shortly after this an attractive and affable lady pilot named Gay Russell approached us with a view to the Malawi based company, Limbe Leaf Tobacco, purchasing a Cessna Citation business jet to facilitate their African travels. Gay and Christine hit it off very well, so I left most of the negotiations to her, particularly as she had more business acumen, and a warmer smile than me.

the ex-Kenyan aviatrix, Iris McCallum

On one embarrassing occasion we had entertained prospective aircraft buyers to a seafood dinner at an expensive Sandton City restaurant but later, entering the car park, I noticed that the back right wheel of Christine’s Kombi was flat.

Being inebriated, I collapsed against the left rear wheel. A youthful gentleman who only had eyes for Christine arrived but did not notice me slumped there in the shadows. He chivalrously changed the Kombi wheel, though when replacing the flat wheel and Jack in the boot he heard my slurred mention of “seafood poisoning,” and I gave him an uncoordinated wave of thanks, to which he uttered a furious expletive, and drove away.

Christine was very embarrassed, then became downright angry. After I had seated myself and while

At this time Gay introduced us to the other lady pilot, the pleasant ex-Kenyan aviatrix, Iris McCallum, whose interesting articles appear regularly in SA Flyer.

The sale was completed, and Gay travelled to America where our associate arranged an independent inspection, and subsequently carried out her jet conversion. Gay flew the jet home with an experienced ferry pilot.

This was another feather in our cap, and irritated the then local Cessna agent, who believed that they had an exclusive monopoly on Cessna jet aircraft sales.

In due course, the Citation came to be maintained by Billy Cochrane, the highly qualified and dependable Chief Engineer of the recently opened Comair Jet Centre at Lanseria. I came to know Billy and his vivacious, multi-talented wife Mich very well, and can attest to Billy’s reputation as one of the very best general aviation, and later corporate jet engineers in Africa. His talent had initially been recognised by an earlier employer, the reputable Westair in Windhoek, who promoted Billy to the position of Chief Engineer, the youngest ever in Southern Africa at the time.

FlightCom: June 2024 17

In earlier Lanseria days, I frequented the often-rowdy Lanseria pub after arriving back from flights. I fell in with a crowd of hard drinking GA pilots who knew that the pub only closed when the last patron left. However, we mostly maintained the 8 hours between bottle and throttle dictum.

I recall one evening, having run out of ready cash, I sold my slightly defective Breitling Navitimer watch to a local aircraft engineer for R10, then I bought a round of drinks.

One unhappy post pub evening, while Christine was in the UK visiting her aging parents, I drove her recently acquired Alfa Romeo, bought from George Leach, the then Chief Pilot of Anglo American. The little green Alfa was her pride and joy. Before she flew off to the UK to visit her parents, I suggested that she leave the keys with me so that I could drive it occasionally to keep the battery charged. She reluctantly agreed, provided I drove it sober, and in daylight hours.

Sad to relate. One inebriated evening, I left the Lanseria pub and drove the Alfa away into the dark, moonless night. All went well, until I entered a long rural road in the countryside, heading for a cottage we had moved into.

article I now believed that I was under attack and accelerated to get away, but the car was performing sluggishly. I looked up, but could see no attacking aircraft.

At the next road junction, I turned ninety degrees to escape, but I was still being trailed by burning patches on the road. After a while the car cut out and would not restart. I climbed out, fell over, picked myself up and opened the bonnet, to be met by a minor inferno. I collected a few handfuls of sand from the roadside and threw them into the engine compartment, to no avail. Then the hooter came on. I managed to stop that by prising a battery connection loose. Then I extracted my flight bag from the boot, moved to sit on a fallen log nearby, lit a cigarette and watched the Alfa burn. Thereafter; it was a long walk home to a bad hangover.

Professional Aviation wouldn’t last six months

There had recently been a newspaper article alluding to a suspected terrorist shootout in the Hekpoort area. Mindful of this snippet, I was on the lookout for dubious rural criminals. However, I must briefly have been resting my eyes when I felt a shuddering movement through the car. Opening my eyes it seemed that I was in a right banking manoeuvre, so I instinctively moved the wheel to the left to bring the wings level, then realised I was not actually aloft, and over corrected to the right to exit the grassy bank I had mounted. I regained the road with a shuddering thump. After straightening out, the car began to run roughly. Added to this, a small burning patch appeared behind me in the rear-view mirror, then extinguished, only to be followed by another burning patch on the road like a small funeral pyre. Mindful of the recent newspaper

It appears that when the car had ascended the bank, one of the dual carburettor bowls had fallen off and petrol had fallen onto the hot exhaust, ignited, then dropped onto the road as a briefly burning finale.

This unhappy event took some fanciful explanation when Christine returned, and marked the deterioration in our relationship. Christine and I continued living together for a while, then started drifting apart, moved to separate bedrooms, and occasionally went out with other partners.

One New Year’s Eve I was away on a night stop, while Christine and my soon to be new lady friend attended a new year’s eve party. The next day an urbane fair haired, articulate, well-spoken gentleman came to call on Christine. Ironically they had been introduced by my pending new lady friend.

Thereafter, Robert Garbett appeared at our Lanseria office quite frequently and took an interest in our business affairs. We were going through a bad financial patch at that time, and Bob and Christine were attracted to one another, so our relationship took on a decidedly frosty aspect.

18 FlightCom: June 2024

There were some bitter recriminations. Then, taking our secretary with me, I moved out and joined the then Mooney agent, Hugh Hodgson, who also owned a maintenance outfit at Lanseria. Interestingly, he was also in the process of negotiating a franchise for the new Mitsubishi Diamond business jet.

I conceitedly reckoned Professional Aviation wouldn’t last six months without me. However, I had underestimated the rather obvious appeal of a well-educated businessman who could read an aircraft manual, wore good suits with double cuff long sleeved shirts, cufflinks, and silk ties. This made a favourable impression on potential corporate customers who, during boardroom discussions regarding the acquisition of expensive turboprop or business jet aircraft, expected the conversations to also include the comprehensive aspects regarding peripheral insurance, financial considerations, and relevant matters pursuant to corporate practice.

for cash, which I then flew on charters and made more money than flying someone else’s aircraft.

aircraft with a dubious maintenance history

Tiring of long-distance cut-rate flying in the Arrow, which seemed to attract permanent headwinds, and not being able to afford to pay cash for a 6-seater Cessna 210, I bought a Comanche 250 with tip tanks. This move up to a 155 knot, 4-seater charter machine with eight plus hour’s fuel endurance was extremely practical and affordable. Operating my own aircraft also gave me some leverage with the ‘charter queens’, and induced in me a much greater satisfaction than flying some other aircraft with a dubious maintenance history.

In time Bob married Christine, and we buried the proverbial hatchet. I subsequently both sold aircraft to Professional Aviation Services and bought several from them as well.

After a while I returned to freelance flying for several more years and gave up drinking, which saved me so much money that I was able to buy a used Piper Arrow

Little did I suspect that the Mopani tree region of Northern Botswana held a further romance for me, together with the launching of an exotic new aviation venture.

FlightCom: June 2024 19 
Christine (left) with Jeffery and assorted female companions

WHEN THINGS FALL APART a Strength-2 garbled message PART 2

John Bassi continues his enthralling account of how quickly the elaborate plans and teamwork for catching a rhino can go bad.

ONCE AIRBORNE, and still oblivious as to the disorganization on the ground, we attempt to establish communications but to no avail. In such large mountainous places communication is often our biggest challenge.

We decide to fly towards an area where we thought the rhino could be, scouting along a scrub filled riverline, hoping to get a visual of the trackers and an update. With no trackers in sight, we continued crawling along above the drainage line at around 120 feet agl and a steady 40 knots, upstream towards the mountains.

Miraculously we found the rhino.

And then the fun began, as we soon discovered the chaos on the ground. We were reluctant to leave the rhino for fear of losing him, but we had no choice since we could not get hold of the trucks or rangers or trackers on radio and there were no cell phone coms.

We glimpsed the recovery truck in the far distance, estimating they were an hour away from the closest place where we could dart the rhino, but still with no communication. Quickly returning to where we found the rhino, I orbited high making sure he was still

resting in shade before we left him to find the rangers and recovery team.

After 20 minutes flying around we eventually found one team of rangers, but they too did not respond to our radio calls and stared up at us blankly. I landed near to the vehicle, sending one of our crew over to them to find out what was happening and to update them, only to discover they did not have a radio.

We lifted off again to go to the recovery truck and update them, and again no response from any of them by radio.

Once again, I landed near the truck and sent a crew member to find out what was happening and to tell the driver to get going. We discovered that they did have an air to ground radio but were on the wrong frequency. We then tried to describe where the rhino was so they could move to the location, knowing this would take time since the road was barely two tracks and, in many places, could only be negotiated at a snail’s pace.

Now that we think everyone is on the same page, we are in a dilemma because we cannot risk darting the rhino until everyone is very close. But we also

20 FlightCom: June 2024

Bat Hawks have been very successfully used in wildlife operations.

don’t want to lose sight of the rhino in case he does a Houdini. But if we risk flying around the rhino to monitor him, he will start running and overheating, and head into the hills. Not only is it too hot for the animal to lie immobilized for more than 20 minutes, but the vet does not have enough drugs to keep it safely sedated if there is any delay in the vehicles arriving.

We return to the rhino and thankfully find him motionless in the shade. But he spooks, and immediately starts running. Not a good thing to happen with the heat already at 32 deg C.

From a distance of around 500 metres, I gently pressured the animal, herding him away from the rugged gullies, rocks and hills towards the track where he would be easier to load into the crate.

Descending gradually and lining up onto his path, I made my approach to level-off five metres above and behind the now galloping rhino, matching his direction and speed, holding the helicopter stable for the vet to place a perfect dart.

the Bat-Hawk

We weigh up the situation. The running rhino will soon overheat and then it will be too risky to dart him anyway. It was running towards mountains and rocks where it would be impossible to recover if we did not stop him. We estimated that the truck was still 45 minutes away. The vet was low on drugs to keep the animal down longer than 20 to 30 minutes and would need to wake him up fully by then, if the truck was not with us.

We made the decision to dart rhino, praying that the truck would reach us before the vet’s drugs ran out, or if the animal responded badly to the drugs, the vet would need to wake the rhino due to overheating and/ or a weak pulse.

The moment the dart embedded, I pulled away, climbing as high as possible so as to not stress the already terrified beast, all the while carefully monitoring his every move, to stay one step ahead of him and do everything in my power to keep him where I wanted him to be.

It is vital to keep the darted rhino in the open, close to the track, and guide him away from rocks when he goes down.

After a few minutes the rhino began to show the effects of the drug and slowed into a disorientated wobbling walk, followed by a most ungraceful stumble in a cloud of dust. I immediately descended, landing a few metres from the rhino to drop off the vet so that he could monitor, stabilise and secure him.

FlightCom: June 2024 21


My first job completed, I could then focus on looking for the truck and capture team, guiding them onto the correct roads.

Turning away and climbing towards my last known position of the truck, through my peripheral vision I suddenly see something move below me. I am relieved to see the LSA flashing past, seemingly on its way towards the rhino’s location. I immediately try to establish radio contact, but there is no response.

Ignoring the LSA, which is now safely moving away from us, flying north, I focuss on finding the capture team who I easily spot from a few kilometres away. They were on the move, with no idea where to go and were at least 2 kms ahead of the truck, racing along in a cloud of dust. I managed to get coms with them to tell them where to turn off ahead and assumed they had coms with the truck with the rhino crates and crane. We returned to check on the vet and rhino, getting a thumbs up that all was well and whilst in the hover, watched the dust of the vehicles in the distance.

We noticed the recovery team heading towards us with speed but no truck. I managed to get a strength one unreadable voice from the LSA as I attempted to ask the pilot to guide the truck, but realizing this was a problem due to bad comms, I dropped the helicopters nose and sped towards the recovery team. The quality of many LSA radios is so often problematic.

Meanwhile the LSA is buzzing around in the distance. We landed close to the Land-Cruiser to ask them if they told the truck where to turn off. The bewildered reply is no, and that they have no comms with the truck.

We tell them to turn around and show the truck where to turn off, then hurriedly, I lifted off to get back to the vet and rhino to make sure all was still well. As expected, the vet anxiously warned us that we were running out of time and that he would soon need to decide to wake up the rhino.

With extra stress in my head, I flew straight back to locate the recovery team and truck, only to find the truck going in the wrong direction. Once again, I landed to explain the route, then lifted off back to the recovery team to tell them AGAIN to drive fast back to the turn off to show the truck where to go. Looking down below, the Bat-hawk appeared under the helicopter and eventually after endless attempts to establish contact, responded with a strength 2 garbled message that was unreadable due to poor quality RT equipment as he once again flew in the direction of the rhino.

Now it was simply a waiting game as to what the final outcome would be. We returned to the rhino and I established a hover at 200ft agl, watching the vet, the rhino and the recovery team heading towards us. In the

22 FlightCom: June 2024
But there are some places they should not be landed.

distance, dust from the truck trailed off away from the wind. There was nothing more that I could do to ensure success.

While the time seemingly stood still, we watched the Bat-Hawk flying low to our right in what appeared to be a final approach. All of us in the helicopter just sat there staring mesmerized by the certain, but surreal unfolding event that had a certain outcome.

Aghast, I sat watching, the Bat-Hawk was going to land in a flat area 100m from the rhino but that had many small rocks. I wanted to scream, “Abort! Do not land!” but my voice somehow couldn’t come out my of my brain.

Like watching a movie in slowmotion the Bat-Hawk skidded about 40 m and then gracefully flipped upside down in a cloud of dust. The nose wheel had hit a rock and broken off. Thanks to the robust construction, no one was hurt. I found myself just hovering there trying to take all this in, and then as I was about to go and help, two beings crawled out of the wreckage, shaking their heads and dusting themselves off. I said nothing.

During all the commotion the truck had arrived and the recovery team were at the rhino which was alive and well, albeit a little hot.

We noticed the vet looking ruffled and dusty and ask what happened. He rolled his eyes saying, “After you left me, as I got to the rhino to put a blindfold on, he got up, horned me and threw me into the air a couple of metres away, but after all the other crap happening I decided it was a non-event”.

Once we had taken all the samples and got the rhino onto his feet ready to load, we noticed a snake had

been lying under the rhino all that time – a horned adder.

The rhino eventually got offloaded many hours later in his new home and we all returned safely back to base, except for the trashed LSA.

The poor rhino died ten days later from complications related to stress and a viral infection, as a result of not having immunity to a tick that is prevalent where he was offloaded. 

FlightCom: June 2024 23
A close-up of the surface the Bat Hawk tried to land on.


The Heavy Lift Champions: PART 1

The Soviet Union has had the most amazing history of building huge, yet very successful helicopters, that dwarf the biggest the West has ever produced.

THE MI-26 (NATO reporting name

“Halo”) is the biggest, heaviest, and most powerful helicopter ever to have gone into production. It created a new category in helicopter classification, known as super heavy-lift.

The sheer size and capabilities of the Mil Mi-26 are difficult to put into perspective. The Halo is effectively a C-130 Hercules with rotors as the cargo holds of the C-130 and Mi-26 are almost identical in size, with the Mi-26 being marginally bigger. The max payload of the Mi-26 is almost 1,000 kg more than that of the C-130.

24 FlightCom: June 2024

Mil Mi-26 next to a Boeing 737.


In 1922, with the founding of the Soviet Union, a massive country was created. It was three times the size of the USA, and with extreme climate and inhospitable terrain. The average monthly temperatures in Yakutsk in Siberia (population of 350,000), are +20°C in July and −37°C in December.

Almost 65% of the Soviet Union is covered by permafrost (frozen subsoil). The construction of roads and railways in many areas was uneconomical, impractical and, in some cases, impossible. Air travel therefore played a crucial role in linking population centres separated by huge distances.

To address this limitation of fixed wing aircraft, rotorcraft were identified as a game changer. However, the worldwide experience and expertise of developing rotorcraft were minimal.

Rolling takeoffs and landings

To develop aircraft the Soviets created Opytno Konstruktorskoye Byuros (OKBs). These “experimental design bureaus” were independent and unique, designing and constructing prototypes in a specific area of advanced technology. The OKBs were identified through a numbering system. The system followed no logical order or structure, creating intentional confusion.

To cater for air travel needs, by the end of the 1930s, Aeroflot had over 4,000 pilots and operated 3,000 aircraft. There were few airports, most with unpaved runways. This had a significant impact on the size and payload of fixed-wing aircraft that could be employed.

The rotorcraft design bureaus included OKB-3 (Bratukhin), OKB-115 (Yakovlev), OKB-329 (Mil) and OKB-938 (Kamov). It is interesting to note that there were multiple OKBs dedicated to a specific technology which led to competing teams proposing similar designs.

FlightCom: June 2024 25

Engine service doors are used as work platforms, and to access the tail rotor there is a passageway inside the tail boom.

The most successful rotorcraft design bureau was OKB-329. It was established in 1947 under the leadership of Mikhail Mil, who was also the lead designer. Informally the bureau was known as OKB Mil. Mil’s design philosophy was “make it simple, make it reliable, make it rugged, and make it work”.

OKB Mil designed the Mi-1 “Hare” helicopter which entered service in 1950. It was quickly followed by the Mi-4 “Hound” in 1953. Initially, the Soviets built most of their transport helicopters to move civilian personnel and equipment to remote areas of the Soviet Union. It provided Aeroflot with the means to assist in the exploitation of undeveloped regions.

In the early 1950s a joint civilian and military requirement was identified for a large transport helicopter. Specifications for this helicopter stated a range of 130 nm (240 km) with an 11,000 kg payload.

groundbreaking technology and products

The requirements were at the furthest end of “possibility”. The OKB Mil team had to design and then direct the development of groundbreaking technology and products to satisfy the requirement. The design work began in 1952 and in June 1957 the Mil V-6 made its maiden flight.

When the Mil Mi-6 “Hook” went into production, it was powered by two Soloviev D-25V turboshaft engines producing 4,100 kW each (designed by OKB-19) and a five-blade main rotor with a 35-meter diameter.

26 FlightCom: June 2024

The Mi-6 was the world’s first twin-turboshaft helicopter and the first to exceed 300 km/h (162 knots) in level flight, a speed that was assumed to be beyond the capability of helicopters. With a maximum payload capacity of 12,000 kg (or 70 troops) and a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 42,200 kg, the Mi-6 was the world’s first heavy-lift helicopter.

Its most notable feature was stub wings, which were mounted high on each side of the fuselage. It provided 25% of the lift required during cruise flight. But during hover the stub wings increased the vertical drag, known as rotor blockage. As a result, the negative impact on the payload was close to 800 kg. For heavy-lift operations, the wings could be removed. Rolling take-offs and landings became operational procedure during flights at high All Up Weight (AUW).

In 1957 the Mil Mi-6 was the largest helicopter in the world, far out-sizing helicopters built in the West. But for the Soviet Union, the need to build a helicopter even bigger than the Mi-6 was a matter of national security.

NATO was caught unawares

The cold war was in full swing. Nuclear weapons guaranteed a tense but stable global peace based on the concept of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). This is a “strategic situation in which both sides possess the ability to inflict unacceptable damage upon the opponent at any time during the course of a strategic nuclear exchange, even after absorbing a surprise first strike.” (

By the time the production line was closed in 1981, 924 Mi-6s had been manufactured. The Mil Mi-6 remained in operational service until 2002 when the type certificate was withdrawn.

To absorb a first attack and strike back, the missile launch sites had to be secret. The Soviet military deployed their land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) all over the country. The enormous size of the Soviet Union was ideal for hiding missiles, but the massive first-generation missiles had to be transported to launch sites by train. Railways were built with the sole purpose of transporting the missiles.

FlightCom: June 2024 27
Mil Mi-6 “Hook” Mil V-12 “Homer”

By 1960, American U-2 spy planes conducting highaltitude reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union were beginning to uncover the location of Soviet ICBM sites. It was relatively easy as the U-2 used the purpose-built railways to pinpoint the missile launch sites.

The Soviets could no longer hide their land-based nuclear weapons so they devised a plan to airlift the missiles into the Soviet wilderness. This would make it almost impossible for spy planes to track down missiles hidden in over twelve million square kilometres of forests. But to make the plan work, the Soviets needed a giant helicopter.

to a remote airfield, from which the helicopter could transport the missiles hundreds of kilometres into the vastness of Soviet territory.

make it simple, make it reliable, make it rugged

OKB Mil started design studies in 1959 for the giant helicopter, after receiving a directive to develop a helicopter that can airlift a 30,000 kg payload over 270 nm (500 km). It was specified that the height and width dimensions of the cargo bay must be similar to that of the Antonov An-22.

The concept was to use the Antonov An-22 “Cock” turboprop 80,000 kg payload transport aircraft in combination with a 30,000 kg payload helicopter. The An-22 would transport the missile over long distances

Mil’s solution was a transverse rotor design, in which the complete main gearbox, uprated engines and rotor assemblies of the Mi-6 were located at the tip of extensively braced fixed wings. The flight deck layout was split, with the pilots in the lower cockpit and the navigator in the upper cockpit.

Mil V-12 “Homer”. The flight deck was split, with the pilots in the lower cockpit and the navigator in the upper cockpit.
28 FlightCom: June 2024

The Paris Airshow 1971 static display. The C-5 Galaxy (not in the picture) is to the right of the Mil V-12.

Construction of the first prototype started in 1965, designated Mil V-12. During the first test flight in 1967, a hard landing damaged the left main landing gear. The second test flight took place a year later, having addressed the oscillation issues experienced during the first test flight.

In 1971, the Mil V-12 was displayed at the Paris Air Show, much to the surprise of the world.

Although an engineering success, acceptance by the military was not forthcoming. With the development of spy satellites and lighter ICBMs, the requirement for a 30,000 kg payload helicopter lost its relevance.

numerous world records which still stand

NATO was caught unawares. They were not sure what the Soviet Union planned to do with the massive helicopter.

The helicopter exceeded all design specifications, setting numerous world records which still stand. The Mil designers received the American Helicopter Society’s Sikorsky Prize for “outstanding achievements in helicopter technology”.

With a crew of six, the Mil V-12 “Homer” had a capacity of 196 passengers or a payload of 40,000 kg. It was huge, with a length of 37 m and a wingspan of 67 m across the rotors. It was as high as a 4-storey building.

Maximum take-off weight was 105,000 kg.

The Mil V-12, the largest helicopter ever built, never went into production, with only two prototypes constructed.


FlightCom: June 2024 29


IN MAY TEXTRON AVIATION announced the FAA has granted certification of a new Combi interior conversion option for the passenger variant of the twin-engine, Cessna SkyCourier turboprop.

The Combi option enables operators to transport nine passengers and cargo simultaneously.

Deliveries of Cessna SkyCourier passenger units with the Combi option included are slated to begin later this year.

Cessna says, “This additional option for the aircraft builds on the available gravel kit to pave the way for further use in global markets by a variety of customers, including government agencies, law enforcement and militaries, corporations and humanitarian organisations. The aircraft is highly adaptable and can easily adjust configurations to effectively complete virtually any mission, supporting a significant return on investment.”

AirInsight’s Adison Schonland notes, “The turboprop combi market has been lukewarm for some time. DHC has seen no interest in its Dash-8 combi turn into orders. ATR won EASA combi certification in 2015 and won a few orders. The Skycourier might be different, though. The main reason is its size – smaller is likely to be better.

“Operators in the combi segment need flexibility, and while the larger models offer this, the conversion probably takes too much time. Moreover, the Skycourier competes primarily with the Viking Twin Otter. Textron has an order of magnitude more resources than Viking to support their aircraft. Operators in this segment are highly risk-averse, and having Textron as the OEM lowers perceived risk.”

Cessna's Skycourier has been aprroved for mixed cargo and pax operations.

30 FlightCom: June 2024

All subjects in the South African fixed-wing and helicopter CPL/ ATPL syllabus, including the Instrument Rating. Two decades lecturing experience. Study anywhere AROUND THE GLOBE.

Some Testimonials:


• All Theory Manuals

• All Course Presentations

• All Q&A for Examination Preparation

• Theory Summaries for all Subjects.

• One-on-One Inter-active Student Support

• Jason (CPL course): “Excellent explanations, simple and easy to understand”“Would recommend it to anyone.”

• Frans (CPL): “Very entertaining, no spoon feeding here, worth it and money well spent, great tempo and passed 6 subjects in one week… ”

• Sean (ATP course): “Great pace, good discussion” - “Well informed on subject matter ”

• Martin (ATP course): “Application focused – helped me a lot.” Cell: Brand Wessels - 073 337 9154 Email:

AME Doctors Listing

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

FlightCom: June 2024 31 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
✗ ✗ ✗ ✗
✗ ✗
✗ ✗ ✗
✗ ✗
✗ ✗
✗ ✗ ✗ ✗
✗ ✗
✗ ✗ ✗
✗ ✗ ✗
✗ ✗
✗ ✗
CPL/ATPL On-line
Ground School


The SAAF Museum’s airshow at AFB Swartkop is the annual highlight for many of the country’s aviation enthusiasts, who come from all corners to see the SAAF’s old and new in action.

32 FlightCom: June 2024 AIRSHOWS THE SAAF MUSEUM 2024
Text Guy Leitch. Images Trevor Cohen. The SAAF brought a single Gripen - but it did not perform a solo display.


featured a staged race between a classic Alouette II and the Gautrain. Unsurprisingly, the winner was the SAAF museum’s Alouette II, flown by Col. Dave Keijer.

The show opened with a low-key flypast by a gaggle of paramotors before the Chief of the Air Force, Lt Gen Wiseman Mbambo gave the welcoming address with a prayer led by Chaplain Ndlala. This was followed by the now traditional cavalcade of emergency response vehicles.

An unusual mixed formation of SAAF Museum aircraft then flew past. Later another mixed formation of two Aloutte III helicopters flew in formation with a Cessna 185. Mixing rotor and fixed wing aircraft requires special planning and skills.

in the air for vapour trails to form off the wings in high-G manoeuvres.

Back from his marathon flight to display the olive green Alouette III in Stellenbosch, Juba Joubert put ZU-RFA through a very impressive display. More modern helicopter action was provided by Lt. Col. Sloan from 15 Squadron, who demonstrated the Augusta AW109.

Maj. Corrie Oberholzer beautifully displayed the BK117 with a second BK117 making a two-ship formation for intricate aerial ballet moves.

intricate aerial ballet.

At the lighter end of the rotor wing spectrum, Andre van Zyl flew his Magni Gyro through what seemed like wild gyrations.

For those hungry for jet action, Lt. Col Scott “Prowler” Logie, the OC of 85 Combat Flying School, flew the Gannet-themed Hawk Mk120. The photographers were thrilled to find that there was sufficient moisture

An airshow staple is Andrew Blackwood-Murray in his Nashua sponsored Extra 300 who is certainly giving his sponsors value for money. More Extra action was provided by the vastly experienced pair of Nigel Hopkins (who now flies for Boeing) and Jason Beamish who flew a breathtaking demonstration in their newly sponsored Master Power Extra 330s.

Part of the estimated 30,000 crowd at the SAAF Museum show.

FlightCom: June 2024 33


ABOVE: The Hawk Mk 120 flown by Lt Col Logie was a star of the show. BELOW: Bomb explosions were a feature of the show thanks to the SAAF Museum.

34 FlightCom: June 2024

ABOVE: The lone Silver Falcon. BELOW: The AeroSud Mwari made a welcome appearance.

FlightCom: June 2024 35

Tristan Eeles is another relative newcomer to the Extra airshow circuit, having earned his spurs representing South Africa at the 15th FAI World Advanced Aerobatics Championships in the USA.

Perhaps reflecting the very tight budget constraints, the Silver Falcons formation team was a formation of just one aircraft! Kind of like one-handed clapping?

Private owners were key elements of the air show displays. Notably the Classic Flying Collection from Springs airfield brought five Tiger Moths. Springbok Classic Air brought their beautifully polished long-nose Beech 18 with its two radial engines to add to the atmosphere of the glamour of the post-WW 2 years.

The SAAF Museum still has the resources to stage a mini-war, with ear-numbing explosions from stun and smoke grenades. The crowds love it. Additional drama was created by the SAPS Airwing with Tilanie Neethling flying an Airbus H125 helicopter and Rob Siegrist flying a Pilatus PC-6 Porter to deploy and recover taskforce members.

vapour trails from the wings

Menno Parsons is another private stalwart of the airshow circuit, bringing his beautiful P-51 Mustang Sally as well as a Bell 205 Huey to the show. The music of the Mustang’s 12-cylinder Merlin and the thwacking of the Huey’s main rotor are what making memories are all about.

The newest display team on the circuit is a matching pair of North American Navions flown by Mike George and Reyno Coetser. These are based in Krugersdorp and have been fitted with crowd pleasing smoke systems.

A welcome return to air shows was the RV Raptors team led by Nigel Hopkins, with Trevor Warner, Dion Raath and Johan von Solms in tight formation.

The colourful Aero Vodochody L29 Delfin, in Austrian Eagle livery, was flown by Grant Timms as one of three displays he flew in different types.

36 FlightCom: June 2024
Menno Parsons making music in his P-51 Mustang,

ABOVE: Grant Timms was very versatile - here in the L-29 Delfin. BELOW: Menno Parsons also displayed his tiger-striped Huey.

FlightCom: June 2024 37

ABOVE: Maj. Corrie Oberholzer displays the BK117.

BELOW: The SA Police Pilatus PC-6 in action.

38 FlightCom: June 2024

ABOVE: The SAPS Airbus H125 in action.

FlightCom: June 2024 39
BELOW: Pitts Special precision crossover from the Goodyear Eagles.

ABOVE: Heliopters - old - and older, an Aloutte 2 and 3 and Oryx. BELOW: The 15 Squadron AW109 impressed.

40 FlightCom: June 2024

Big Irony - a Russian Ilyushin Il-76 flying SAAF missions to the DRC flies overhead.

A notable appearance was made by the Paramount (formerly AeroSud) Mwari patrol aircraft, flown by Mark Berg.

The two Pitts Special teams of the Goodyear Eagles and Hired Gun Coffees are airshow regulars.

The Puma Flying Lions Harvards are another pillar of South African air shows. The four-ship team of Scully Levin, Arnie Meneghelli, Ellis Levin and Sean Thackwray flew two displays, including the beautiful evening show.

There was a record crowd – estimated to be as large as 30,000. Commentary and sound logistics were provided by that great institution Brain Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team.

The verdict was that the SAAF achieved much with a small budget, even if the full Silver Falcons team could not be there, and the only Gripen was part of a formation.

- a SAAF CASA 212 Aviocar demonstrates an air drop.

FlightCom: June 2024 41
42 FlightCom: June 2024 Tel: +27(0)11 805 0605 • • TurbineGS Training Ab-Initio Training Single Engined Multi Engine Night Rating IF Rating Instructors Rating Simulator Training Conversions CPL Theory CPL Practical Helicopter Training Tail Draggers Pilot Shop Conferences Hire and Fly Charters Aerobatic Training Beginners/Advanced Gyro-Copter Training Microlights & Ferry Flights Accommodadtion Aircraft/Heli Sales Club Facilities Drones NAME OF SCHOOL CODE TEL NO FAX NO BEAUFORT WEST AIFA (044) 272 5547 j j j j j j j j j j j BRAKPAN BENONI FABB Titanium Air (011) 914-5810 083-292-0978 j j j j DURBAN Starlite Aviation Training Academy (031) 571-6600 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j EAST LONDON Border Aviation Club (043) 736-6181 086-516-8475 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j GEORGE AIRPORT AIFA (044) 272 5547 j j j j j j j j j j j Savannah Helicopter Training (044) 876-0096 j j j j j j j j j j j GRAND CENTRAL Superior Pilot Services (011) 805-0605 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j KRUGERSDORP Alpi Flight Academy (082) 556-3592 086-605-8948 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j LANSERIA AIRPORT / RANDBURG Aeronav Academy (011) 701-3862 701-3873 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j CSA Aviation (011) 701-3835 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Skyhawk Aviation (011) 701-2622 701-2623 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j MOSSEL BAY Starlite Aviation Training Academy (044) 692-0006 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j PANORAMA Johannesburg Flying Academy (064) 756 6356 j j j j j j j j j j j j j PORT ELIZABETH Algoa Flying Club (041) 581-3274 086-461-7067 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j RAND AIRPORT Johannesburg School of Flying (011) 827 9827 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j U Fly Training Academy (011) 824-0680 390-1738 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j VEREENIGING AIRPORT Bird Aviation (016) 556-1007 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j WINDHOEK - EROS AIRPORT Desert Air (PTY) LTD +264 61 228101 +264 61 254 345 j j j j j j j j j j j WONDERBOOM AIRPORT / AEROPARK / RHINO PARK - PRETORIA Blue Chip Flight School (012) 543-3050 543-1826 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Loutzavia (012) 567-6775 543-1519 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Legend Sky (083) 860-5225 086-600-7285 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Powered Flight Training (078) 460-1231 086-666-2077 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Vortx Aviation Training (072) 480-0359 086-524-0949 j j j j j j j j j j j j j
CHARTER DIRECTORY < 20 pax > 20 pax Biz-Jets V.I.P Long-Range Freight Helicopter Special Events Safari Charters Contracts Aircraft Sales Surveys Maintenance Aerial Photography Aircraft Leasing Security Based (armed) Line Inspections Lodge Transfers Export Docs & Clearing Hangarage Dangerous Goods NAME OF CHARTER CODE TEL NO FAX NO BRAKPAN FABB Titanium Air (011) 914 5810 083 292 0978 j j j j j CAPE TOWN ExecuJet South Africa (021) 934 5764 934 2087 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Streamline Air Charter (011) 395 1195/8 j j j j j j j j DURBAN KZN Aviation (031) 564 6215 564 6222 j j j j j j j j j j j GRAND CENTRAL Pambele Aviation (011) 805-0652/82 805-0649 Dreams Treasury | Working Capital | Asset Management | Wealth


South Africa

Fixed Wing Helicopter Avionics Piston Engines Turbine Engines Propellers Weight / Balance Paint Interior Sheet Metal Rebuilds Overhauls Electrics NDT Testing Refurbishments Structural Repairs Inspections NTCA Aircraft Seat Belts Instruments NAME OF AMO CODE TEL NO FAX NO CAPE TOWN Erwin Electrical Solutions t/a AES (021) 934 5373 j j j j j j j j j ExecuJet South Africa (021) 934 5764 934 2087 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Ultimax Aviation (Pty) Ltd (072) 878 8786 j j j j j j j j j j j j j DURBAN BAC Aviation (035) 797 3610 797 5341 j j j j j j j j j j GRAND CENTRAL AIRPORT Astwood Aircraft Electrical (011) 315 9605 315 0094 j Superior Rotorworx (076) 595 2120 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j
Skyworx Aviation (082) 346 0150 086 697 9096 j j j j j j j j j j j LANSERIA AIRPORT Erwin Electrical Solutions t/a AES (021) 934 5373 j j j j j j j j ExecuJet South Africa (011) 516 2300 011 659 1071 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Gem Air (082) 905 5760 011 701 2653 j j j j j j Guardian Air Maintenance (011) 701 3011 j j j j Lanseria Aircraft Interiors (011) 659 1962 j j j j j j Plane Maintenance Facility (011) 659 2204 j j j j j j j j j j j j j SkySource International SA (011) 900 4300 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j The Propeller Shop (011) 701 3114 086 543 7988 j Tynay Aviation (082) 088 6663 011 659 1157/8 j j j j j j j j CAPE WINELANDS AIRPORT Diepkloof Aircraft Maintenance (083) 454 6366 j j j j j j j j j j j j NELSPRUIT Aircraft Maintenance International (013) 741 8221 082 787 0415 j j j j j j j j j j j j j Leading Edge Helicopters cc (013) 741 5582 741 8188 j j j j j j NEW TEMPE BLOEMFONTEIN Ferreira Aviation (051) 451 1682 451 1683 j j j j j j j j j j j OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Nevergreen Aircraft Industries (010) 003 3747 j j j Star Air Maintenance (011) 395 2201 973 4761 j j j j j j j j j RAND AIRPORT1 Aerospace Electroplating (011) 827 7535 827 9896 j j j j j j j j Aviation Rebuilders CC (011) 827 2491 j j j j j Clifton Electronics (011) 383 2024 086 689 5645 j j j Dynamic Propellers (082) 445 4496 086 548 2651 j j Skytrim (011) 827 6638 j j j j
AMO 1427
PTY Skysource International SA, Hangar 203, Lanseria International Airport
NAME OF AMO CODE TEL NO FAX NO Fixed Wing Helicopter Avionics Piston Engines Turbine Engines Propellers Weight / Balance Paint Interior Sheet Metal Rebuilds Overhauls Electrics NDT Testing Refurbishments Structural Repairs Inspections NTCA Aircraft Seat Belts Instruments Composite Manufacturing RAND AIRPORT
Emperor Aviation (082) 497 1701 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j FLYONICS (Pty) Ltd (082) 686 2374 j j j Heli-Afrique cc (011) 827 8632 086 503 1870 j j j j j j j j j j SPRINGS AIRFIELD Legair Maintenance (083) 736 3969 086 508 6010 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j j WONDERBOOM AIRPORT - PRETORIA 208 Aviation 083 744 3412 j j j j j j Aerocore (012) 110 4033 082 565 2330 j j j Aircraft Maintenance @ Work Pty Ltd (012) 567 3443 j j j j j j j Aerotric (087) 802 1347 j j j j j Aero Engineering & Powerplant (012) 543 0948 543 9447 j j AviSys Aviation Systems (083) 442 5884 086 618 6996 j j j j j Avtech (082) 749 9256 j j j j j j j APCO Pty Ltd (012) 543 0775 567 3630 j j j Breytech Aviation cc (012) 567 3500 086 643 0122 j j j j j j j j j j j j j j Propeller Centre cc (012) 567 1689 j j NIGERIA - MURTALA MUHAMMED INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT ExecuJet Aviation Nigeria Ltd +2341 295 5110 j j j j j j j j j j j j JOHANNESBURG F Gomes Upholsters (011) 614 2471 614 9806 j j j j j PRETORIA M&N Acoustics Services Pty (Ltd) (012) 689 2007 086 211 469 j j j j j j j j j j j AMO LISTING AIRCRAFT MAINTAINENANCE AND REFURBISHMENT QUALITY IS OUR PASSION CALL US NOW FOR ALL OF YOUR AVIATION NEEDS! +27 10 900 4300 • +27 72 036 3433 WE SPECIALIZE IN: Pilatus PC-12 Beechcraft 90 Series Beechcraft 200 Series Beechcraft 350 Series Beechcraft 1900D Series Cessna Caravan C208 Series Aircraft +27 10 900 4300 • +27 72 036 3433


208 Aviation

Ben Esterhuizen +27 83 744 3412

A1A Flight Examiner (Loutzavia)

Jannie Loutzis 012 567 6775 / 082 416 4069

AES (Cape Town)

Erwin Erasmus 082 494 3722

AES (Johannesburg)

Danie van Wyk 011 701 3200

Aerocolour cc

Alfred Maraun 082 775 9720

Aero Engineering & PowerPlant

Andre Labuschagne 012 543 0948


Jean Crous 072 6716 240

Aeronav Academy Donald O’Connor 011 701 3862

Aeronautical Aviation

Clinton Carroll 011 659 1033 / 083 459 6279

Aerospace Electroplating

Oliver Trollope 011 827 7535

Aerotel Martin den Dunnen 087 6556 737


Richard Small 083 488 4535

Aviation Rebuilders cc

Lyn Jones 011 827 2491 / 082 872 4117

AVIC International Flight Academy (AIFA)

Theo Erasmus 082 776 8883

Air 2000 (Pty) Ltd

Anne Gaines-Burrill 011 659 2449 - AH 082 770 2480 Fax 086 460 5501

Aircraft Finance Corporation & Leasing

Jaco Pietersen +27 [0]82 672 2262

Jason Seymour +27 [0]82 326 0147

Aircraft General Spares

Eric or Hayley 084 587 6414 or 067 154 2147 or

Aircraft Maintenance International

Pine Pienaar 083 305 0605

Aircraft Maintenance International Wonderboom Thomas Nel 082 444 7996

Air Line Pilots’ Association

Sonia Ferreira 011 394 5310

Airshift Aircraft Sales

Eugene du Plessis 082 800 3094

Alclad Sheetmetal Services

Ed Knibbs 083 251 4601

Algoa Flying Club

Sharon Mugridge 041 581 3274

Alpi Aviation SA Dale De Klerk 082 556 3592

Apco (Ptyd) Ltd Tony/Henk + 27 12 543 0775

Ardent Aviation Consultants

Yolanda Vermeulen 082 784 0510

Ascend Aviation Marlo Kruyswijk 079 511 0080

Atlas Aviation Lubricants

Steve Cloete 011 917 4220 Fax: 011 917 2100

AVDEX (Pty) Ltd

Tania Botes 011 954 15364

Aviatech Flight Academy Nico Smith 082 303 1124

Aviation Direct Andrea Antel 011 465 2669


Riekert Stroh 082 749 9256

BAC Aviation AMO 115

Micky Joss 035 797 3610

Blackhawk Africa Cisca de Lange 083 514 8532

Blue Chip Flight School Henk Kraaij 012 543 3050

Border Aviation Club & Flight School

Liz Gous 043 736 6181

Bona Bona Game Lodge

MJ Ernst 082 075 3541

Breytech Aviation cc 012 567 3139 Willie Breytenbach

Celeste Sani Pak & Inflight Products Steve Harris 011 452 2456

Cape Town Flying Club

Beverley Combrink 021 934 0257 / 082 821 9013

Century Avionics cc Carin van Zyl 011 701 3244


Wayne Claassens 011 914 2500

Chem-Line Aviation & Celeste Products

Steve Harris 011 452 2456

Clifton Electronics cc CJ Clifton / Irene Clifton 079 568 7205 / 082 926 8482

Comair Flight Services (Pty) Ltd Reception +27 11 540 7640/FAX: +27 11 252 9334

Corporate-Aviators/Affordable Jet Sales

Mike Helm 082 442 6239

CSA Aviation – Cirrus South Africa Alex Smith 011 701 3835

C. W. Price & Co Kelvin L. Price 011 805 4720

Dart Aeronautical Pieter Viljoen 011 827 8204

Dart Aircraft Electrical Mathew Joubert 011 827 0371

Diepkloof Aircraft Maintenance cc Nick Kleinhans 083 454 6366

DJA Aviation Insurance 011 463 5550 0800Flying

Dynamic Propellers

Andries Visser 011 824 5057 082 445 4496

Eagle Flight Academy Mr D. J. Lubbe 082 557 6429

Execujet Africa 011 516 2300

Federal Air Rachel Muir 011 395 9000

Ferry Flights Michael (Mick) Schittenhelm 082 442 6239

F Gomes Upholsters

Carla de Lima 083 602 5658

Fireblade Aviation 010 595 3920

Flight Training College Cornell Morton 044 876 9055

Flight Training Services Amanda Pearce 011 805 9015/6

Fly Jetstream Aviation Henk Kraaij 083 279 7853

Flying Unlimited Flight School (Pty) Ltd Riaan Struwig 082 653 7504 / 086 770 8376

Flyonics (Pty) Ltd Michael Karaolis 010 109 9405


Andries Venter 011 701 2653 / 082 905 5760

GIB Aviation Insurance Brokers Richard Turner 011 483 1212

Guardian Air 011 701 3011 082 521 2394

Heli-Afrique cc Tino Conceicao 083 458 2172

Henley Air Andre Coetzee 011 827 5503

Hover Dynamics Phillip Cope 074 231 2964

Indigo Helicopters Gerhard Kleynhans 082 927 4031 / 086 528 4234

IndigoSat South Africa - Aircraft Tracking Gareth Willers 08600 22 121

International Flight Clearances Steve Wright 076 983 1089 (24 Hrs)

46 FlightCom: June 2024

Investment Aircraft

Quinton Warne 082 806 5193

Jabiru Aircraft

Len Alford 044 876 9991 / 044 876 9993

Jim Davis Books

Jim Davis 072 188 6484

Joc Air T/A The Propeller Shop

Aiden O’Mahony 011 701 3114

Johannesburg Flying Academy

Alan Stewart 083 702 3680

Kishugu Aviation +27 13 741 6400

Khubenker Energy (Pty) Ltd T/A Benveroy

Vernon Bartlett 086 484 4296

Kit Planes for Africa

Stefan Coetzee 013 793 7013

Kzn Aviation (Pty) Ltd

Melanie Jordaan 031 564 6215

Lanseria Aircraft Interiors

Francois Denton 011 659 1962 / 076 810 9751

Lanseria Flight Centre

Ian Dyson

Tel: +27 11 312 5166, F: +27 11 312 5166

Lanseria International Airport

Mike Christoph 011 367 0300

Leading Edge Aviation cc

Peter Jackson Tel 013 741 3654 Fax 013 741 1303

Legend Sky 083 860 5225 / 086 600 7285

Litson & Associates (Pty) Ltd

OGP/BARS Auditing & Advisory Services & Aviation Safety Training

Email: 27 (0) 8517187

Litson & Associates Risk Management

Services (Pty) Ltd

eSMS-S™/ eTENDER/ e-REPORT / Aviation Software Systems

Email: 27 (0) 8517187

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

Maverick Air Charters

Lourens Human 082 570 2743

MCC Aviation Pty Ltd

Claude Oberholzer 011 701 2332

Mistral Aviation Services

Peter de Beer 083 208 7249

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

North East Avionics

Keith Robertson +27 13 741 2986

Orsmond Aviation 058 303 5261

Owenair (Pty) Ltd

Clive Skinner 082 923 9580

Par-Avion Exclusive Catering

Jakkie Vorster 011 701 2600

PFERD-South Africa (Pty) Ltd

Hannes Nortman 011 230 4000

Plane Maintenance Facility

Johan 083 300 3619

Powered Flight Charters

Johanita Jacobs Tel 012 007 0244/Fax 0866 66 2077

Powered Flight Training Centre

Johanita Jacobs Tel 012 007 0244/Fax 0866 66 2077

Precision Aviation Services

Marnix Hulleman 012 543 0371

Propeller Centre

Theuns du Toit +27 12 567 1689 / +27 71 362 5152

Rainbow SkyReach (Pty) Ltd

Mike Gill 011 817 2298

Rand Airport

Kevin van Zyl +27 76 801 5639

Dr Rudi Britz Aviation Medical Clinic

Megan 066 177 7194 Wonderboom Airport

SAA Technical (SOC) Ltd

SAAT Marketing 011 978 9993

SABRE Aircraft

Richard Stubbs 083 655 0355

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

Signature Flight Support Cape Town

Alan Olivier 021 934 0350

Signco (Pty Ltd)

Archie Kemp Tel 011 452 6857 Fax 086 504 5239

Skytrim Rico Kruger +27 11 827 6638

SleepOver Michael Richardson 010 110 9900

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

Swift Flite

Linda Naidoo Tel 011 701 3298 Fax 011 701 3297 /

The Aviation Shop Karel Zaayman 010 020 1618

The Copter Shop

Bill Olmsted 082 454 8555

The Pilot Shop Helen Bosland 082 556 3729

Titan Helicopter Group 044 878 0453

Top Flight Academy Nico Smith 082 303 1124

Turbo Prop Service Centre 011 701 3210

Ultimax Aviation (Pty) Ltd Aristide Loumouamou +27 72 878 8786

United Charter cc Jonathan Wolpe 083 270 8886

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

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


Adrian Barry 082 493 9101

Windhoek Flight Training Centre Thinus Dreyer 0026 40 811284 180

Wings n Things

Colin Blanchard 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: June 2024 47

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.