FlightCm African Commercial Aviation
Edition 308 September 2021 Cover: TEXTRON
DENALI: CAN IT EVER BEAT THE PC-12? GE’S CATALYST ENGINE
THE MOST IMPORTANT NEW ENGINE IN 50 YEARS?
SCHNEIDER TROPHY– THE NEED FOR SPEED
DON’T TRADE-IN YOUR PLANE – REFURBISH IT!
SAA’S IMPOSSIBLE PLAN 1
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POSITION REPORT A FEW MONTHS AGO I wrote about how there is an enduring perception in Africa that general aviation (GA) is the plaything of rich whites, and in terms of places, Plettenberg Bay is the epitome of the playground for rich whites. Despite being a sleepy coastal holiday resort, it supports regular airline flights, thanks to profitable private sector airlines like CemAir, which provide essential air connectivity to smaller towns. The value of this air connectivity cannot be overstated, yet it is seldom appreciated by the bureaucrats who run these local authorities. An excellent case study is down the road at George Airport, where the entire region has enjoyed phenomenal growth thanks to the low-cost carriers connecting George to Gauteng. But in South Africa, most local authorities just don’t get the importance of air connectivity. So we continue to lose airports to administrative neglect and incompetence.
I cannot understand why our government is unable to operate airports, as they are a cosy monopoly. How useless must you be to lose money in a monopolistic business? Plettenberg Bay Airport lost its Grade 4 licence for small compliance standards that even half-
And typically, in an echo of the Wonderboom debacle – the all-important fuel supply has failed. Unfortunately the under-investment by the local authority has meant that BP owns the tanks and pumps and a dispute with the current fuel supplier has meant that the airport has experienced 'dryouts'. This discouraged airline operators and general aviation from using the airport – and further limits investment in the town.
AIRPORTS NEED TO BE The point the politicians just PROTECTED don’t seem to get is that small planes bring investors. A FROM LOCAL business may want to invest millions in opening a new GOVERNMENT branch – but if the CEO can’t
The CAA has downgraded Plettenberg Bay airport from a Grade 4 to a Grade 2, so CemAir can no longer fly there. And in Pretoria, Wonderboom is once again struggling under the yoke of incompetence, cronyism and empty promises as its bloated costs swell to three times its total revenue.
competent management could solve: keep a record of runway inspections, have the right sized fire extinguishers, keep the alternate access road driveable. Easy stuff. Yet the Bitou Town Council blames CemAir – which is the largest victim of their incompetence.
fly there to check it out, it won’t happen.
Small towns require airports that work. And these airports need aircraft operators and pilots, who need training. The aircraft require maintenance, which needs AMOs with skilled people. The point is that GA is not the spoiled stepchild of the airlines and military. It constitutes a significant part of the economy and is a key component of transport infrastructure, without which many other parts will be constrained – or just not be possible. GA is skills and capital intensive – yet both skills and capital are notoriously fickle and transportable. GA needs government care and protection, yet airports are all too often left to incompetent officials with self-serving political agendas. This has a multiplier effect of damage to the economy.
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CONTENTS COLUMNISTS SA FLYER
Bush Pilot - HUGH PRYOR Airlines Ops - MIKE GOUGH
16 Guy Leitch - ATTITUDE FOR ALTITUDE 22 George Tonking - HELI OPS 26 Peter Garrison - PRETTY FACE 30 Jim Davis - PLANE TALK 36 Johan Walden - MIDNIGHT PHANTOM 58 Jim Davis - ACCIDENT REPORT 64 Ray Watts - REGISTER REVIEW
FLIGHT PREVIEW: DENALI VS PC-12NGX 8 September 2021
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CONTENTS FEATURES SA FLYER
44 FLIGHT PREVIEW: Denali vs PC-12NGX 48 CATALYST ENGINE 50 AEROBATICS: SA National Champs 55 ATLAS AVIATION LUBRICANTS 56 BOOK REVIEWS 74 REFURBISHMENT: Cessna 182RG 83 TRAINING GUIDE 106 GADGET OF THE MONTH: Ceramic Coating 107 MEET CEO'S OF AVIATION FLIGHTCOM
13 SAA Letter 14 Defence - Darren Olivier 18 The Need for Speed 26 New Steyn City Helistop
REGULARS 14 Opening Shot 70 AFS Register Review 72 SV Aviation Fuel Table 80 Aviation Direct Events Calender
17 AME Directory 28 Starlite Flight School Listing 29 Atlas Oils Charter Directory 30 AEP AMO Listing 32 Aviation Directory
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BEING THERE: Tom Podolec makes a point of being at the airport when there is drama. He heard about a Dash 8 coming in with an engine shut down, so he got himself to the approach and used a 15th second shutter speed to create a perfect prop disc in the evening light to capture the contrast with the feathered engine.
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ATTITUDE FOR ALTITUDE: GUY LEITCH
I have just read Cynthia Stimpel’s book, Hijackers on Board – about her having blown the whistle about Dudu Myeni and her cronies. It makes depressing reading, but what is clear is that 2015 was the year it really all went down the drain. As the SAA Group Treasurer Stimpel sheds new light on two infamous episodes on the airline’s history. THE APPALLING DUDU MYENI had become Chairperson in 2012 and by 2015 had deployed her cronies into key positions of power. From the Zondo Commission and Stimpel’s book, it’s evident that the Acting Chief Financial Officer Phumeza Nhantsi was complicit in two big attempts to loot the airline – to hijack the R15 billion Airbus deal and the plan to use consultants to consolidate SAA’s R15 billion debt while sucking off R300m in fees, despite SAA having a more than capable treasury function to do the job.
honest and competent management it was able to limit its losses to around about one billion rand per year.
dazed and confused in the corridors of Air ways Pa r k
As a South African state-owned airline, SAA was never going to be profitable as it carries a development burden – to provide job opportunities and to fly South Africa’s flag on uneconomic routes. Yet, with a modicum of
One of Myeni’s key objectives was the complete racial transformation of the airline’s management. It soon became clear that the experienced and skilled white managers were no longer welcome, and there was a rush of scarce skills for the exits.
The problems of skill loss and the promotion of incompetents has already been thoroughly covered. It is sufficient to say that the enforcement of the policy created a vast cadre of ignorant and toxic management. As I wrote as far back as 2008, the new appointees ‘wandered dazed and confused in the corridors of Airways Park’. Because the newly empowered could not do their jobs, they resorted to political turf
wars, empire building and appointing cronies to protect their backs. As noted, 2015 was the year the wings came off, with the losses ballooning from around R1 billion to R6 billion per year. One of the prime reasons for this jump was the now infamous view Myeni had the hubris to announce to her board and senior managers; “It’s our turn to eat now.” Her strategy relied on a procurement policy which government had expressed as an ideal, but knew better than to try force on struggling state owned enterprises. However, Myeni made it open season for the rape of SAA procurement. Suddenly there was a rash of middlemen with BBEEE credentials inserted into the airline’s procurement process. And these middlemen were free to inflate prices to obscene levels. In the words of Vuyani Jarana, the first CEO to be permanently appointed since Monwabisi Kalawe in 2013, this opened the door to, “a culture of malfeasance” – without consequences. It was open season to torpedo SAA's already badly holed bottom line and thus sign the airline's death warrant when Covid hit. It is an old truism that a fish rots from the head and I would go so far as to say that if you were an SAA manager who did not follow the lead of Myeni, (and ultimately Jacob Zuma), to loot your employer, you were considered stupid by your peers. An investigation by Ernst & Young found that 60% of all procurement by the SAA group was suspect. A forensic examination was conducted on 48 corrupt contracts and when Myeni was subsequently grilled about this, she deflected the blame onto management, with not even a rueful acknowledgement that it had been her procurement policy which had allowed it in the first place. Myeni went out of her way to sabotage deals, perhaps purely out of spite to those managers who had the courage to resist her. The final straw was her sinking of the Emirates partnership deal.
Dudu Myeni stood up Sheikh Al-Maktoum three times - an unforgivable insult to one of the world's most powerful men.
In January 2015 Emirates approached SAA with a proposal for a much-enhanced partnership agreement that went far beyond the existing codeshare. The then acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, reckoned that this would have guaranteed and extra U$100 million revenue for SAA each year, using mainly Emirates ‘metal’ (i.e. planes). SAA would save millions in not actually having to operate unprofitable flights. At the then rate of R1 billion losses per year the deal could probably have achieved the rare feat of making SAA genuinely profitable. Emirates already had a successful track record with these partnership agreements. A case in point is Qantas, which like SAA, had a codeshare with Emirates. To more fully understand how this would have enormously benefitted SAA, replace ‘Qantas’ with ‘SAA’ in the quote below from the original press release. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said, “The first five years of the Qantas-Emirates alliance has been a great success. Emirates has given Qantas customers an unbeatable network into Europe September 2021
that is still growing. We want to keep leveraging this strength and offer additional travel options on Qantas, particularly through Asia. “Our partnership has evolved to a point where Qantas no longer needs to fly its own aircraft through Dubai, and that means we can redirect some of our A380 flying into Singapore and meet the strong demand we’re seeing in Asia. “Improvements in aircraft technology mean the Qantas network will eventually feature a handful of direct routes between Australia and Europe, but this will never overtake the sheer number of destinations served by Emirates and that’s why Dubai will remain an important hub for our customers.” Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: “The Emirates-Qantas partnership has been, and continues to be, a success story. Together we deliver choice and value to consumers, mutual benefit to both businesses, and expanded tourism and trade opportunities for the markets served by both airlines. We remain committed to the partnership. Emirates has worked with Qantas on these network changes. We see an opportunity to offer customers an even stronger product proposition for travel to Dubai, and onward connectivity to our extensive network in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Customers of both airlines will continue to benefit from the power of our joint network, from our respective products, and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits.”
for example, SAA would be able to cancel the loss-making Abu Dhabi sector that it was forced to operate to maintain its relationship with Etihad. He also pointed out that the Emirates deal would have been great for SAA’s pilots as it would to have enabled them to fly for Emirates when there was not enough demand from SAA. Plus they would have shared knowledge and training facilities with the huge Middle East airline. Cynthia Stimple’s book shows that there were no less than three different signing opportunities with Emirates that could have given fantastic publicity to SAA: However, all three had to be cancelled because of Myeni's failure to just sign the deal’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) off.
The benefits to SAA of such a deal were truly inestimable. The financial benefit was expected to be R1.5 billion, but it would have taken SAA to the next level and made it an international player of real weight – and not just a struggling end of the line carrier on the end of a spoke from the Dubai hub. Beyond the R1.5 billion revenue improvement, Nico Bezuidenhout told me that the heightened codeshare relationship would have many other benefits for SAA:
Cynthia Stimpel's book provides fresh new insights into SAA's culture of malfeasance.
The first attempt was on 5 May 2015 at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai where Myeni was to meet Sir Tim Clark, the CEO of Emirates and Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the airline. Yet at the last minute she called in sick and then sent a letter to Al Maktoum stating that pressing commitments and unforeseen circumstances prevented her from attending the signing.
before the signing and threatened that Nico and his wife Glynnis (who also worked for SAA) should not return to South Africa if the MoU was signed. In his long history in the Middle East, with its common practice of political meddling in business, Tim Clarke had seen this movie before and expressed his sympathy to Bezuidenhout. But after three attempts, Tim Clark told Bezuidenhout that the deal was off the table.
T i m Cl a r k e had s een this movie before
Then, a week later, on 12 May, Sir Tim Clark visited Cape Town and personally invited Myeni to a meeting to sign the MoU. But once again she stood him up. The third occasion was at the Paris Air Show where Nico Bezuidenhout tells me she phoned him at midnight on the night
It is hard to understand why Myeni was so intent on sabotaging this lifesaving deal for SAA. In the absence of any other reason, I can only assume it was pure childish spite on Myeni’s part, as she didn’t want Bezuidenhout to succeed and was prepared to sacrifice the entire airline to that poisonous end.
SA Flyer 2021|09
It is just not acceptable to stand-up the chairperson and CEO of the largest airline in the Middle East. SAA had egg all over its face.
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HELICOPTER OPS: GEORGE TONKING
This month, I’m giving you all a break from reading about my flying for the security industry. I won’t, however, be giving you a break from reading about one of my tried-and-true Robinson R44s. Being the workhorse that she is, she deserves yet another starring role in my column, especially when punching above her weight. A MONTH OR SO BACK I flew a newly liveried red R44 from the Highveld down to Cape Town. I assume helicopter rental in the Western Cape is nearly double compared to anywhere else in South Africa because of the tourism industry. Whatever the reason though, this forced me to ferry an R44 down to serve as a dedicated security helicopter in the Mother City and environs.
at that) she is not light in terms of performance. I’ve found that she packs a punch even in comparison with her only real competitors, the light single turbine market. The place where she makes up for the shortfall of turbine linear power is in her fuel usage. On a fair day, the littlehelicopter-that-can, sips away at her usable fuel load of 175 litres at a modest rate of 60 litres per hour, giving her a useful endurance of two-and-a-half hours, with a 30-minute (or so) safety margin. This translates to about a 300nm range.
a flea on a marauding e l e p h a nt ’ s rump
When planning a longerthan-you-are-used-to trip in a helicopter, it’s wise to spend a moment or three planning your route. Helicopters were always short-range aircraft compared to their fixed-wing cousins. However, more recently, modern helicopters have developed impressive ranges over their predecessors because of technological design wizardry, including more powerful and less fuelthirsty engines.
Although the Robinson R44 is categorised as a light single-engine machine (and a very light one
For our trip down to Cape Town, I planned three stops, with New Tempe, just outside Bloemfontein, the first. Having consulted the wind predictions on Windy, I planned the route well within the range that the R44 could afford us. Also, I packed in two extra 20 litre jerry cans - the peace of mind I needed in anticipation of headwinds that could consume up to 40% more fuel than normal. I also invited Albert Venter, a good friend who needed some
ABOVE: Albert Venter building hours over the vast open spaces past Bloemfontein. BELOW: Vanderkloof Dam and the mighty Orange River.
extra PIC time to complete his com, to co-pilot with me. This would be an excellent exercise for him to hone his cross-country skills over many mundane, flat miles and for me to brush up on mine. We discussed the planning carefully before the time and enthusiastically during the trip, changing our trip calculations as conditions changed. And did they!
They looked on in astonishment as our lonely little red chopper made for the tarmac at a 90-degree slip along the runway, the two nervous pilots acting as if hovering in 30 kts was a piece of old takkie. Once we were safely sweating on the ground, fuel and an equally necessary toilet break were arranged. After all the excitement, I also thought it prudent to check the rest of my route plan with a local senior pilot.
had no concept of f lying in t h e Ca p e o f Stor ms
The second planned stop, some two hours and forty minutes on from New Tempe, was Beaufort West. Approximately 40nm out from the airfield, we both felt an uneasy swaying in our Robbie. Swaying is good in a dance partner; not in a light helicopter, buffeted by an up-draft from the Molteno pass below. Upon first contact with the manned tower, they read the wind back at 6 kts gusting 36 kts! That was way above my 15 kt gust-spread semi-happy-place. Naturally, we were given a runway to land on as few, if any, helicopters frequent Beaufort West, home to a band of Chinese pupils learning to fly 172s and Seminoles on a cadet programme.
“Gert! George. How the hell do you get through Hex (River Pass) with 30kts?” I asked. “You don’t,” was his succinct answer. “Rather head south and skirt it, avoiding the mountains if possible. What are you flying, by the way?” When he heard it was a Robbie, all he could offer was, “Good luck.” Next up was a 90° take-off and some ridge ducking as we headed south-west out of town, both learning lessons in the silence of The Hex River pass looms.
In Gauteng, the R44 being a light machine is not an issue, but in the foothills of the Hex River Mountains, she became a flea on a marauding elephant’s rump. You cannot imagine how hard it is to wrestle the slight R44 insect in 30kt winds, funnelling between, through and over the ridges of the towering cloud-topped Cape-fold behemoths. I was born, bred and trained to fly in Gauteng. I had no concept of flying in the Cape of Storms – even on a relatively clear day.
Picturesque fruit and wine farms passed below us. I ignored them. My wife called. I ignored her. All I could hear were Gert’s instructions burning my ears as I tried to wrestle and punch my way past mountain after mountain after bigger mountain. Fortunately, not too late, I was able to reroute down towards Villiersdorp and Grabouw, and skirted in via Gordon’s Bay, with the windpummelled Helderberg in our wake, and the deep blue sea to our port. Honestly, I think I aged around five years in one flight. And all because I didn’t take timely advice from an old pro with local knowledge. That was one of the lessons I learned. The other was that the Robinson R44 might be more flea than wild steed, but that her performance and reliability never cease to surprise me.
SA Flyer 2021|09
white-knuckle windy stick-flying. Following Gert’s advice, we reassessed our routing, while keeping our eyes on the local winds. This saw us making our way carefully around the windward crests while avoiding any leeward flying. At Klein Geelbek airfield outside Laingsburg, we topped off the tanks with our contingency jerries, after deciding to stick to our original route along the Hex. Good plan about the jerries. Not heeding a local’s route advice? Not so shrewd.
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Fixed is the new retractable. "Landing gears are made retractable in all modern high-speed airplanes. The drag of fixed 'undercarriages' used in old-type, and still in small and slow airplanes, is avoided in this manner." Thus wrote Sighard Hoerner, the great compiler of drag data, in 1951. ONE OF THE ODDITIES of the present moment is that, of the three swiftest singleengine aeroplanes manufactured in this country, only one has retractable landing gear. A few decades ago, this would have seemed an unimaginable situation. Without exception, retractable aeroplanes outperformed ones with fixed gear. It was simply understood, without dispute, that an aeroplane with fixed landing gear was aerodynamically handicapped.
Retractable models often came with slightly larger engines and constant-speed props that made it impossible to assess how much difference retractable gear really made. Results, such as they were, were mixed. If POH numbers could be believed – and manufacturers had every reason to exaggerate the gains – the Piper Arrow was 11 knots faster than its stifflegged counterpart; the Piper Lance 9; the Beech Sierra 15; the Cessna Cardinal RG 8; the Skylane RG 14; the Cutlass more than 20. (I have adjusted some of these figures when the retractable version had more horsepower than the other; the effect of a constant-speed rather than a fixed-pitch prop is more difficult to guess, and I didn’t try. Very large unexpected disparities, for instance between the speed gains for the Cardinal RG and the Cutlass, may be due to wheel pants (spats) being taken into account in one case and not the other.)
it is simpler to add power than to subtract drag
Perhaps the barrier separating retractables from non-retractables began to crack in the late 1960s when several manufacturers, beginning with Piper, brought out retractable versions of traditionally fixed-gear models, I suppose to colonise a perceived niche halfway between fast aeroplanes and slow ones and to capitalize upon the perception that real pilots fly retractables.
The prestige of retractable gear may also have taken a hit from homebuilts. Horsepower is seldom a fair criterion when comparing homebuilts with factory products because homebuilts are almost always much smaller, but it is impossible not to notice that many fixed-gear homebuilts are much faster than many factory retractables of similar or greater power. Perhaps the stage was set far earlier, when builder and race pilot Steve Wittman decided that a steel leaf spring, similar to those in the rear suspensions of cars, would make a satisfactory landing gear. Even without a fairing, the thin steel leg, though heavy, produces relatively little drag; a tubular one inside an aerofoil-shaped fairing even less. That leaves the exposed tyre. A good pant, fully enclosing the brakes and making a clean intersection with a thin gear leg, does away with at least half of a wheel and tyre's drag, provided that most of the tyre is inside it. Manufacturers leave more of the tyre in the airstream than homebuilders, who are willing to patch their pants if they taxi over a rock. Landing gears have two tasks to perform. First, they cushion the shock of touchdown – 3 G is a typical design load – by smearing it out over time and distance; second, they dissipate energy. Most landings are pretty good, and spring gear is fine for
Of the 3 fastest piston singles in production in 2015 only Mooney had retractable gear.
any pretty good landing. It's prone to bounce, though, and therefore worse for really bad landings. If landing gear springs were made of some almost perfectly elastic material like silly putty, an aeroplane stalling a few feet above the ground would bounce back almost to the height from which it fell. Pure spring gears – solid steel or composite legs, Mooney-style rubber donuts, coil springs a la Beech Staggerwing or bungees like
those on a J-3 Cub – dissipate some energy by the friction of the tyres scrubbing the runway if the gear splays outward under load and some by the internal damping of the spring material itself. Ideally, however, a landing gear should absorb the shock of a rude arrival and not bounce back at all. Pure spring gears fall short of that ideal. The virtue of the oleo strut, in which compressed gas is the spring, is that it absorbs the energy that would otherwise
Cirrus was the first of the 3 to decide it was not worth the weight, cost and complexity of retracting the gear.
become a bounce. It does so mostly by forcing oil through a small hole. A well-designed strut is squishy on first impact, re-extends slowly, and is capable of absorbing several successive impacts despite the heating and foaming of the damping oil. The damping rate is often regulated by a tapered needle that passes through the hole; as the gear compresses the part of the needle in the hole becomes bigger and bigger, increasing the resistance to oil flow. When there are multiple orifices, a poppet valve can be used to close some of them on the spring-back, so that the piston encounters more resistance when extending than when compressing. We tend to think of the loads on landing gear as vertical ones, but there can be a large horizontal component as well. Part of it, which becomes more significant with larger wheels and tyres, is the so-called spin-up load that occurs when contact with the ground starts the wheels spinning – an event heralded, when any large aeroplane lands, by a puff of smoke. Foreand-aft loads also occur whenever the gear encounters a bump or dip. These are particularly severe for nosewheels, because any backward
drag on the gear pitches the aeroplane nosedown, adding a vertical load on the nose strut. Hence the preference for tailwheel gear at unimproved strips: A tailwheel is lightly loaded and jumps away from a bump. A simple oleo strut, in which the strut itself contains the air spring and oil damper, does nothing to soften fore-and-aft shocks. A different type of design, called a trailing link or trailing arm strut, does. A trailing-link leg resembles a human thigh and calf with an oleopneumatic shock absorber added between them. The reputation of trailing link gears for making all landings good ones is due in part to the way it smooths out fore-and-aft shocks – though some aeroplanes, such as the Ryan PT-22, have put the wheel ahead of the hinge, sacrificing that benefit. Oleo struts are comparatively difficult to streamline. The outer cylinder can be no more costly, aerodynamically, than a steel spring, because although it is thicker it is much shorter. But six or eight inches of exposed piston are a different story. One of the more striking illustrations in the aforementioned
The 15cm of unfaired strut on the Cessna TTX nosegear creates nine times more drag than the faired part of the strut.
Peter Garrison admits that the main reason he put retracts on his designs was for the appearance.
Hoerner's compendium of drag data compares a streamlined fairing with a cylinder: In terms of frontal area, the cylinder's drag is nine times that of the airfoil-shaped fairing of the same thickness. I would venture a guess that the exposed oleo piston on the nose gear of a Cessna TTX produces more drag than the much larger, but better-streamlined, wheel pant does. As aeroplanes like the TTX demonstrate, however, it is simpler to add power than to subtract drag. Turbocharging helps too, at least on paper; the higher you fly, the smaller the portion of the total drag that parasite items, like exposed landing gear, represent, because as indicated airspeed diminishes a larger and larger fraction of the total drag is of the induced variety.
I have enough arithmetic to see that the cost of manufacturing, maintaining and insuring retractable landing gear is comparable to, and can be greater than, that of the extra power to make the fixed gear go fast. Nevertheless, I cannot reconcile myself to fixed gear. No doubt this is just a stupid prejudice that became ingrained in me at the time when Hoerner could state flatly that all high-performance aircraft had retractable landing gear. But looks have to count for something, and fixed gear just looks as bad to me as dangling legs would on a bird. I admit, however, that it looks even worse when appearing from behind and receding into the distance ahead. j
PLANE TALK - JIM DAVIS
FAILURES I think I am a reasonably tech sort of guy, but every now and then something strange happens. And it’s always when a clunky Bill Gates adding machine infests its electronic tentacles into my smooth and orderly world of Apple Mac. I WAS TYPING CONTENTEDLY on my MacBook Air when the phone rang. No, silly, I don’t have to pick it up – I just dispatch the cursor to the top of the screen and click the little green phone icon and what happens? The screen fills with a lady in bed. It’s my long-time friend, Karen, and she is very happy to chat with me. She doesn’t seem to be in the least surprised by my sudden intrusion into her boudoir. She happily admits she doesn’t understand most of the buttons on her phone. “Good morning, Karen, shouldn’t you be up by now?”
Well as I could see her, I guessed that she could see me and see what I was doing, but I kept it civil, “I’m writing Karen – that’s what I do.” I must break off for a moment to explain that, to one’s friends, family and acquaintances the term September 2021
“What on earth do find to write about?” So I explain that a pilot’s logbook is like a diary that records what we have done with every day of our flying life. In it we inscribe what sort of aeroplanes we flew, how long we flew them, and where we flew them to. Many of us also include the names of the pupil or passengers who accompanied us aloft, as well as any interesting things that might have happened. Thus, when paging through one’s logbook one is reminded of all manner of things to write about.
an ae r obatic s e que nce hur le d hot oil ove r us
“It’s too bloody cold to get up. And what are you doing?”
being a writer means nothing. It vaguely implies some sort of activity that doesn’t impinge on one’s day to day life.
I finish my chat with Karen and then page through two years’ worth of logged flights which contain absolutely nothing noteworthy. This, from some perspectives, is about the best thing that can happen to a pilot.
ZS-BOJ was 'a dreadful little Ercoupe' and behind it ZS-CXC a Piper Colt.
But, when one is flying a lot, a run of more than 700 days in which nothing particularly interesting or remarkable occurs has to come to an end, and this it did, with a sudden vengeance. Over a period of about a week the gods rained misfortune upon me. The front engine oil seal on my Tiger shat itself during an aerobatic sequence and hurled hot oil over us. The windscreens only partially protect you from such an event. The draught that continually batters you simply loses its transparency – it becomes black like smoke and works as a spray painting machine so that when you take your goggles off you look like Tazio Nuvalari or Stirling Moss at the end of the thousand mile, Mille Miglia road race. The next day I have a rather puzzling entry about flying a 140 Cherokee ZS-EVO, which belonged to a pupil of mine, Vernon Brito. Vernon later became well known for his graceful aerobatics in a very pretty, orange coloured SIAI Marchetti SF260. The entry says it was a test flight and that the engine failed – and mysteriously restarted again. Sorry I can’t think what that was all about, but being the live coward that I am, my test flights were always over an airfield so engine failures are more disappointing than dangerous. The day after that I was doing a test-flight in a
dreadful little Ercoupe, ZS-BOJ. It says I had an engine failure after takeoff due to water in the header tank. I can’t remember if there is a drain on the header-tank – if there is, then it was my fault. It also says there was no damage. I suspect that was the one belonging to Schalk van der Merwe, just ‘Van’ to everyone. He was a lovely character who knew about electricity and spent much of his time repairing aircraft radios for us. I particularly remember his son, Eric, who was a gangling, but good natured kid, and way too young to come into the pub – he had to confine his activities to drinking Coke and looking through flying magazines in the clubhouse while we made merry at the bar. I mention young Eric because he is a terrifying testament to anno domini. I last saw Eric four or five years ago – he had recently retired from a lifetime flying for SAA. I tell you things like this in direct defiance of the Gleitch who insists that nobody is interested in anything that happened pre-2020. I expect he will cut off my beer money. Anyhow two days later I have an entry that I was converting Don Levy on to a Baron he had just bought called EKX. Don was a high flying architect who burst into the PE aviation scene with a barrel of money and a lot of back
slapping. He went from being a student pilot to a swaggering, Baron owning, Chairman of the Flying Club in the blink of an eye. Don was a bright guy with a magnetic personality but was always in a hurry and vastly overconfident around aeroplanes.
preflight. He makes a dive for the pitot, then slowly comes up, all red in the face. He’s holding the matchstick in front of him.
The secret book that tells us how to be good instructors has a special section on how to deal with this sort of personality. Basically you set them difficult targets, and when they fail to meet these goals you use criticism as a pin to pop their ego bubbles. However, Don’s outer covering was one that many rhinos would have envied. Even a well-honed sword had difficulty getting through.
“But that’s bloody dangerous.”
In a desperate bid to get him to slow down and do things properly, I did something very naughty – I shoved a match into the Baron’s pitot head before we flew, and awaited developments. As expected he didn’t spot it on the preflight. Even worse, he didn’t spot the lack of indicated airspeed during takeoff until the wheels left the ground. Suddenly he yelped, “Christ, we’ve got no airspeed.”
“Jim, did you do this?” “Yes, I did, Don.”
“You are quite right – so you had better make sure it never happens to you again.” Later, he had the good sense to tell the story, against himself, in the pub. As I said, Don was a bright guy and this event wasn’t wasted. It slowed him right down and he immediately became a far safer pilot.
a dr eadf ul litt le Er coupe , ZS-BOJ
“We have plenty of airspeed, Don, we just don’t know what it is.” Don was one of these big, swarthy guys who is almost bald but makes up for it by having hairy hands and a young forest billowing out of his shirt front, which always had a couple of buttons undone to reveal a heavy gold chain nestling amongst the vegetation. Such people are inclined to sweat for almost no reason. It’s disgusting, it runs down their faces, gets in their eyes and drips off their chins. Don excels in this activity as I bully him round the circuit. Once we are back on the ground he is bursting with righteous outrage. He blames the aeroplane, the maintenance guys and the insects that had the gall to block his pipe. I ask why he didn’t spot the problem during the
That weekend we had a flyin at the old abandoned Port Alfred airfield. And this planted the seed in my turnip for the start of 43, but that’s another story.
It was a wonderful event – people turned up from miles around in all sorts of splendid aeroplanes – many of which would fetch a lot of money today, but were seen as poor man’s puddle jumpers in those days. There was a Fairchild and the Ercoupe and a Stinson Voyager, a couple of Chippies and Tigers and Cubs as well as a flock of 150s, 172s and Cherokees. We had the normal spot landing and forced landing competitions, as well as some flour bombing fun, but by far the most entertaining was the streamer cutting competition. For those who haven’t tried it, here’s how it works. You arm yourself with three bog-rolls and carefully insert paper clips on either side to hold the inner layer to the cardboard tube. This will act as a weight to keep the paper descending vertically. If you don’t do this the roll just becomes a nasty squiggly mess – like a kitten amongst the knitting. Don’t try to economize with single-ply paper – it turns into confetti the moment you eject it into the slipstream, or worse September 2021
Stirling Moss with his face covered in oil spray.
still, it doesn’t unroll at all, and the whole thing simply plummets. Select a passenger with a strong stomach and a sharp eye to be your streamer dropper and finder. Now climb to 2000’ AGL. Your pax unwinds a yard of paper and bunches it up against the side of the roll – this acts as a streamer to start the unravelling process. When you are ready you slow down to almost stall speed and they bung it over the edge. The object being to cut the stream of paper as many times as you can before it gets down to 500’ AGL.
very foolish and more determined than ever to get it right with your two remaining rolls. You won’t, unless someone tells you the secret. Here it is, before dropping your streamer,you need to get above a line feature – a railway line or a road or coastline. Next, pick a distant point over your right wing. At the moment of “bombs away” you take full power, shove the nose down and do a max rate turn towards your point. When you get there you zap equally violently to the left and keep going until you are facing the opposite way along your line feature. This is a bloodthirsty procedure turn. If you get it right, the target will be dead ahead as you roll out. It may be a bit above, or below you, depending on how much height you lost in the turns.
I s hove d a match into t he Bar on’s pitot head
If you haven’t tried this before you will never see the streamer again after you fling it out. It will disappear into an empty sky, circle, dive and turn as you might, it simply vanishes. The audience will watch it wafting down and scream pointlessly at you to turn left or look up or whatever they consider your best course of action. Losing the streamer naturally makes one feel
Attack the paper fiercely – not with the prop – that will just be a waste of paper, but with a wing. The idea is to slice a small bit off the top, so you have plenty left for future cuts. Of course once you have zapped it you do another procedure turn and continue as above until you have cut it as often as possible.
The match in the pitot tube stunt.
I’m sure I don’t need to warn you about stalling in the turns, but I will in any case. Be careful not to stall in the turns. Actually, for those equipped with the skill, there is a better way. You do a series of incipient spins – each bringing you out in the opposite direction. But this is not for the unskilled or faint-hearted. Don’t try it in your own living room. There is one other warning for aircraft which are capable of swallowing the paper into the carb-air intake – don’t let it happen, I did, and it caused a monstrous nonsense. Does this count as an engine failure? Certainly the engine failed, but it was my fault for hitting the quarry on the nose – rather than the wingtip. And that was not the last of my run of “interesting” flights. They seemed to pile upon each other for the next little while – so I will tell you about some more next month. j
Use paper clips to keep the paper attached to the core.
Sometimes it’s the most straightforward flights that throw a curve-ball when all you wanted was an easy trip from A to B. I mean, how hard can a 25nm hop be? IT WAS ABOUT SIX AM and still dark on a chilly winter’s morning as I shuffled towards the Cessna 172 parked at Cape Town International Airport. The 172 was a gloomy sight on the deserted GA apron and my mood this morning was somewhat less enthusiastic than it had been last night. I had taken the 172 for a night cross-country to build the requisite 5 night PIC hours for the CPL. Departing Morningstar just before official day ended (15 minutes after sunset), I had flown to Saldanha for a touch-and-go, before heading home again – well, almost home: Since Morningstar had no runway lights, the next best place to set down for the night was Cape Town. Which brought me here the next morning to fly the plane back to Morningstar where it lived. About 20 minutes’ flying.
On a tight budget, I had made a point of making each hour count. And until I reached 5 night hours, I decided to make use of these repositioning flights and do them at night also. After a cross-country, I would arrive at Cape Town early the next morning to take-off in the dark. Through careful timing, I aimed to arrive overhead Morningstar just after official night ended. Of the three times I attempted this, it went to plan once as there was often some delay in taking off.
I N T HE DA R K ME TA L F R I DGE F OR AT L E A S T A NOT HER HOUR
It also meant an early start with a preflight outside in the coldest hour of the morning. So, after last night’s excitement, a bleary-eyed me emerged from between the dark hangars and headed towards the plane for what I hoped would be a calm and easy flight home. After the preflight I jumped in, shut the door, and manipulated my frozen fingers into dialling the met office for a weather update. I was already
The morning gloom put a damper on my previously upbeat mood.
aware that a cold front was on a collision-course with the Cape and was scheduled to hit later that day. For the next few days Cape Town would be lashed with enough rain to wash the paint off the 172 if it was left out here on the apron. So getting it home in a timely manner was high on the to-do list. The initial forecast for this morning had been relatively clear, but even now, as I waited for the met office to pick up, I could see clouds scurrying low overhead.
The news wasn’t good. My vision of a pictureperfect flight slowly vanished as I listened to the diagnosis. Cloud bases at 1200ft, forecast to start lifting only once the sunrise warmed things up. That left me here in the dark metal fridge for at least another hour to hurry up and wait. One boring hour dragged by and finally Cape Town and the surrounding areas turned VMC. But with temperatures still dawdling in the single digits, the plane’s windows were glittering with
2021after 37 There were some ups toSeptember being delayed all.
Everything was bathed in purple light, but 'the moment' was short lived.
condensation and I couldn’t see out. That meant another venture into the cold to clean them off before I could light the fires. Now with a wet sleeve, I jumped back in and turned the key. The prop heaved over a few times before struggling to life. It seemed this plane also didn’t like being woken up early. With official night officially gone, I lined up on Runway 01 and took off.
'The moment' died shortly after reaching Bloubergstrand and turning inland towards Morningstar. I spotted the airfield ahead, and on
I aimed the nose directly at Morningstar and opened the throttle a little more. Two minutes later as I got closer, so did the blanket. An easterly wind was blowing it towards the airfield. I weighed my options: Most of the airfields to the east would also be covered, except for Stellenbosch. Cape Town was definitely in the clear, so if Morningstar got socked in, that’s where I’d go.
A S HEE T OF CLOUD S WA L LOWED T HE R UNWAY
I turned left-out to the west, climbing to 1500ft, and exited the CTR. Sure enough, the cloud base had lifted more than enough and I turned north towards Bloubergstrand to follow the coast. Already one half of the sky was orange, and as I trundled along the coast, I found myself flying through a sky of constantly transitioning colours. Overcoming my ‘morning grumpiness’, I felt almost lucky to have been delayed to see this.
the other side of it, by a few miles, a puffy duvet of low cloud spreading out to the east.
But I needed to get to Morningstar – and it was still open. A few minutes later I felt the reassuring thump of the wheels against Morningstar’s runway and taxied over to the hangars where the 172 lived. After I packed the plane away, a sheet of cloud drifted over the tops of the hangars and swallowed up the runway. The irony was that I had taken off from Cape Town an hour late, yet landed just in time. With the knowledge that the plane was asleep, snug in its hangar, I listened to the rain
After an hour's delay, I landed 10 minutes before the weather arrived.
drumming on the roof at home that afternoon. I realised that even though these repositioning flights were just ‘on the side’ when compared to the night-navs, it didn’t matter at all how short they were: Every flight is made up of thousands
of variables that produce innumerable combinations of factors that affect both pilot and aircraft. And so I could never afford to be ‘familiar’ – especially when every flight carries the same potential for the unplanned. j
The cold front finally hit, but the 172 was snug at home.
The Beechcraft Denali has still not flown.
VS PC-12NGX WHY THE BEECHCRAFT DENALI WILL NEVER BEAT THE PILATUS PC-12 Text by Guy Leitch
The Beechcraft Denali is said to be a 103% photocopy of the PC-12—a comment Pilatus finds flattering. And it is, after all, an old truism that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. 40
Has the Pilatus PC-12NGX moved the goal posts beyond the Denali's reach?
IT IS REMARKABLE that it has taken 30 years for the mighty Textron/Cessna/Beechcraft to seriously challenge the Pilatus PC12. And after seven years of development, they still have not got it right. This despite the PC-12 regularly selling almost twice as many aircraft every year as Cessna does C208 Caravans. The other manufacturers look enviously at Pilatus and its ownership of the market. Every so often a challenger rises up to try carve out a share of Pilatus’s success.
wide maintenance repair and overhaul support structure, there would be few buyers. Meanwhile Pilatus just ploughed ahead with stoical Swiss thoroughness and has now sold more than 1750 PC-12s. With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, the success of the PC-12 would seem to be obvious. When it was launched thirty years ago, back in 1991, most thought the PC-12 would never compete against the King Air 200 which had the then unassailable advantage of two engines. However, after Pilatus won worldwide orders from organisations such as the Canadian Mounties and the Flying Doctor service, the twin engine safety argument began to look a bit thin. And, thanks to its low stall speed and strong cabin, the Pilatus safety record went on to vindicate it. (See Box on the Kelner Airways crash)
I can’ t s e e Tex t r on s har e holde r s be ing happy
One of the most promising was the Czech Aero Ae270 Spirit developed by famed plane maker Aero Vodochody (think L-39 jet trainer). Another was the Russian Myasishchev M-101T which first flew in 1995 – and was prominently displayed at air shows in South Africa.
The Aero270 first flew in 2000, and most impressively Aero obtained European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Type Certification in 2005 and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification in 2006. And then, after this truly colossal effort and cost, they gave up and didn’t put it into production. What killed it was probably the belated recognition that no matter how good the basic aircraft, without a world-
The big breakthrough came in 1998 when the FAA approved the PC-12 for Part 135 Night and IMC air taxi operations. This silenced the few remaining critics of the single engine PT-6 operations and opened up a massive new market. But this approval is not going to be easy for the Denali to get. The PC-12’s success must have been intolerable for all those hapless Beechcraft salesgirls who were losing three out of four September 2021
possible King Air B200 sales to the PC-12. Something had to be done, so with Textron having taken over Cessna and Beech, in 2015 the huge corporation announced it would build a competitor to the PC-12. It reveals some measure of the challenge that, even with all their resources, six years later Textron have still not got a Denali into the air. And the date keeps slipping – from first flight in 2019, then to end 2021, and now – no one is saying. The Denali has more than Mt Pilatus to climb to earn its place in this market. The challenges are massive: one of the biggest questions is whether the Denali can ever be financially viable, let alone profitable for Textron. And if not, what with the pressures on the bottom line from the long drawn out Covid-19 pandemic, will Textron bring the project to market? Thirty years ago it cost Pilatus U$700 million to develop and certify the PC-12. Allowing for inflation, a realistic cost for the Denali would now be at least U$1.5 billion. From GAMA’s uncontested numbers, the total market for high performance single engine turboprops is around 100 aircraft per year. Given the Pilatus dominance, Textron will be lucky to sell 25 Denalis per year. If we generously assume that they can recover U$1m from each new aircraft sale towards the development costs it will take them 60 years just to pay back the present value of the R&D and certification costs. I can’t see Textron shareholders being happy with that.
The Czech Ibis Aerospace Ae270 came closest to challenging the PC-12's market dominance.
stranglehold on the market? The signs are not good. As the Denali steps into the ring, let’s try find some positives: The tale of the tape measure and scales is a good place to start. Cessna/ Beechcraft slavishly copied the PC-12 to the extent that the planes are hard to tell apart. Beech have added a smidgeon of size – or fat – here and there. The external dimensions are almost identical. The length is just 3 inches longer, the cabin height is the same, but usefully, the cabin width is 3 inches wider. The Denali’s square-oval-shaped fuselage uses all-metal construction to create a flat-floor cabin 4 feet 10 inches tall and 5 feet 3 inches wide.
And given the imperative of competition for the Denali to be better and cheaper than the Pilatus – there will be much pressure on the profit margin, so a contribution of U$1m (almost 20% of the sale price) per plane sold is probably out of reach for Textron. So the big question is – is the Johnny come-lately Denali going to be able to make any inroads at all into the PC-12’s
The Russian M-101T was one of a number of PC-12 challengers that didn't make it.
The Denali will use a few composite components, including the winglets, weather radar housing and a number of fairings. The wing is a new design of primarily aluminium construction with a few titanium components. The wing features four large, electrically driven Fowler-type flaps for good low-speed handling during short takeoff and landing operations. Carrying four passengers, the Denali will fly 1,600 nm at a max cruise speed of 285 knots. At the aircraft’s 31,000-foot service ceiling, the Denali’s 7.55 psi cabin differential will be the equivalent of an aircraft flying at 6,130 feet. It will maintain a sea-level cabin up to 18,500 feet.
management easier, but it presented enormous redundancy challenges for an aircraft designed to be a single-engine air taxi. The Catalyst has had a long gestation. So far it has completed over 2,300 hours on a test bed. But it still has not flown – even on its King Air 350 test bed. Given its provenance from GE, eventually through, it should be worth the wait. In the meanwhile, Pilatus leaned on Pratt & Whitney hard enough to get them to finally make their PT-6A the PT-6E – with FADEC, single lever power control and an optional auto throttle. So the big FADEC advantage of the Catalyst was gazumped by Pratt & Whitney.
s tick w it h a t r ie d and t r us te d e ngine
It has always seemed to me that the PC-12’s vertical tail is a bit short – but then there is no asymmetric thrust. Still, the Denali’s tail is 14 inches higher – but will that mean a more expensive hangar? As the Denali is fractionally larger it means that, to make up for the extra size and weight, it has a more powerful engine, which uses more fuel – which adds yet more weight and cost. Textron made their biggest mistake with the engine choice. Despite what must have been copper bottom assurances from General Electric, the Denali’s Catalyst engine is responsible for much of the delays – and the headaches that will come from getting it into service. There’s a lesson here: if you design an all new airframe – stick with a tried and trusted engine, as the airframe is then the main part to get right. When the Denali was announced in 2016 the GE Catalyst engine was a huge and much needed leap forward. Unlike the clunky mechanically controlled PT-6, the Catalyst has full FADEC. That makes engine
Textron makes the all-important claim that the Denali will have 15% better direct operating costs,l thanks to a longer TBO and reduced regular maintenance. But now that advantage has also been lost as Pilatus and Pratt & Whitney have increased its time between maintenance by between 40 – 100%. The Textron spin doctors also claim that the Catalyst is more environmentally friendly than the PT-6 as it is more fuel efficient than the older mechanical turboprops. That may give some Tesla driving Denali owners a warm fuzzy feeling.
The Chinese CAIGA Primus 150 may yet be a contender.
Perhaps because Cessna wanted to distance their brand from all this traumatic birth pain, it has been rebranded by the Textron parent from the Cessna Denali to the Beechcraft Denali. This means that it competes head to head with the King Air 260.
The TBM series is significantly smaller and faster - and so not directly compareable.
Other than a fractionally small increase in size and specifications over the Pilatus, the only thing that the Denali has going for it is Beechcraft’s large sales and support distribution network around the world. However, the challenge set by Pilatus is again high, with the Swiss maker having been awarded first prize for market support for the past 19 years. The regulatory challenge facing Textron in getting the Denali to compete with the PC-12 is also huge. For a new engine and new airframe, the FAA will probably require at least 2000 hours of operational history to approve it for night and IFR Part 135 air taxi operations. This will take a few years and it is unlikely that commercial air taxi operators will be prepared to wait that long, taking even longer for the required operational history to be built-up.
In the meanwhile, Pilatus has not been resting on the laurels of its overwhelming market dominance. With the release of the PC-12NGX two years ago, the design has been updated and has made the NGX a worthy competitor to the Denali’s new bells and whistles. Apart from the optional, but very popular FADEC single lever engine control and autothrottle, the PC-12NGX, features Honeywell Epic-based EFIS but with enhancements that they call the Advance Cockpit Environment (ACE). For the boss in the back there are also new interiors from BMW Designworks.
The Denali production line represents a huge investment by Textron - and the return on investment is questionable.
ABOVE: The Denali's Garmin G3000 based cockpit. BELOW: The Denali's cabin is 3 inches wider than the PC-12's.
Each side tries to claim small or non-existent advantages. Textron claims that the Denali’s flat floor cabin is the largest in its class and offers the versatility to easily convert between passenger and cargo configurations. It goes without saying that Textron copied Pilatus in the use of their innovative huge cargo loading door cut out from the side of the cabin. The Denali has individual adjustable climate controls for each seat and larger windows than even the Pilatus NGX upgrade. And it has a forward refreshment cabinet. I wonder which one will have more cup holders. Like the PC-12 it has an optional belted potty for an air hostie. With all this hype and expectation – when will the Denali finally be available? Best guess is that certification is still two or three years away. And given its terrible return on investment – there must be a good chance that Textron will just cut their losses by cancelling the whole misbegotten project.j ABOVE LEFT: Denali features a forward catering console. BELOW LEFT: Denali's higher tail may look better but will be harder to hangar.
IS A SINGLE-ENGINE TURBINE SAFE? Guy Leitch
The worst possible scenario for a single engine aircraft is an engine failure at night or over solid cloud. The Eastern corner of Canada is a wild and rugged country, often covered with the infamous Newfoundland fog banks. It is not a friendly place to fly, particularly with a single engine. Yet it was the Canadian Civil Aviation Authority which led the way with the certification of singleengine aircraft for IFR charter operations. It was a bold move and their decision was tested sooner than anyone would have liked. A Pilatus PC-12 flying a scheduled service between St. John's Newfoundland and Goose Bay Labrador was over solid cloud and at top of climb at 22,000 feet when the engine oil pressure started falling. To save the engine the pilots reduced power and decided to try return to St. John's. But at 16,000 feet the engine quit altogether. They contacted ATC at St. Johns for vectors to the nearest airport, a remote strip about twenty miles away. The "go to nearest" function on the GPS confirmed the lack of alternatives. Soon they were in the cold, clammy grey clouds, heading inexorably towards the unseen earth below. The crew briefed the passengers to brace for the trees to start crashing through the windscreen. And then, almost imperceptibly, the cloud turned to wisps and they saw the landscape flashing by less than 300 feet below the wings. Without no time left, they slowed to just above the stall and aimed for a tree-filled marsh. The engine and most of the left wing were ripped off the airframe by the trees. At just 60 knots the crash was benign. In the cabin the only injury was a broken collar bone from a seat belt and the co-pilot broke his leg. And so the question arises: was this accident a vindication or a condemnation of the approval of FAR part 135 IFR and night single engine air taxi operations?
The Kelner Airways Pilatus PC-12 crash that proved that the PC-12 was safe enough for IFR Part 135 operations.
Not surprisingly Pilatus claims a resounding victory in that, thanks no doubt to the low stall speed of just 61 knots and, in part, because of the high crash worthiness of the seats, which are designed to withstand a 23G impact, injuries were minimised. From the operator's point of view their faith was undiminished. Kelner Airways replaced the destroyed PC-12 with another and, by way of endorsement, one of the passengers involved in the accident was on the next PC-12 to Goose Bay the following day. This accident remains the litmus test for single engine IFR charter. The only mitigating factor was that it did not occur at night but, due to the cloud cover, it would not have made much difference whether it was day or night anyway. The crew and passengers were helpless victims to the inevitable failures that will occur in anything mechanical, even in that paragon of dependability, a PT-6. This engine has a mean time between in flight shutdowns of over a hundred thousand hours, so the chances of an engine failure are slim. In single-engine installations as in the PC-12, TBM and Caravan, this chance must be even lower due to the manual overrides of the fuel control unit and the unlikelihood of a pilot shutting the engine down as a precautionary measure.j September 2021
THE CATALYST ENGINE Guy Leitch
Beechcraft and Cessna have a long history building successful turboprops planes, but for the Denali they decided they needed an all-new engine – and that’s been their big problem. The new Catalyst engine builds on GEs acquisition of Czech engine maker Walter. In 2008, GE Aviation acquired Walter Engines, the builder of the very successful and widely used M601 turboprop series. But by 2008 Walter had seen better days. Of the 37,000 M601s delivered since 1975, only about 1,500 were still flying. Although the company continued to overhaul M601s it delivered fewer than ten new engines each year from its World War II-vintage factory in Prague. With the 2008 sale of Walter to General Electric, GE built a new factory and introduced an improved M601 derivative, called the H Series, using the latest GE big jet technology. The H Series, with three variants ranging from 750 hp to 850 hp, incorporated new advanced material and a blisk design in the compressor that significantly improved fuel burn, power and durability. The H Series turboprop was well accepted by the market as original equipment for new aircraft such as the Thrush 510G, Let 410 NG and the Nextant G90XT. Despite its success with the Walter derived engines, GE faced a whole new set of challenges with the larger Catalyst which could have made the project too much for any company smaller than the massive GE. Reassuringly though for the Beech Denali, AW&ST guru William Garvey reckons that, “There is little doubt that the 1,300-shp engine—which promises excellent fuel burn, power output, weight reduction, time between overhauls (TBO), decreased complexity and features a full-authority digital engine control— will earn its certification.”
The Catalyst engine is yet to fly on its King Air test bed.
Work on the Catalyst began in 2016 and the result has been an engine with 800 fewer parts than traditional turboprops, partly thanks to 3D printing. GE still hopes to have the Catalyst certified before the end of 2021. A bi-lateral agreement with European authorities means the FAA and EASA will recognize each region’s certification of the engine. Progress has been frustratingly slow. GE finally delivered a ‘flightworthy’ engine to Beechcraft in December 2020. It had been hoped to begin flights in Berlin in early 2021 using a King Air 350 whose left-wing Pratt & Whitney PT-6 had been replaced with a Catalyst. But the first flight is yet to happen although GE says it “will be coming soon.” The Catalyst borrows many technologies from GE’s big engine business to create a full-authority digital engine control (FADEC) turboprop that—if it lives up to expectations—is certain to give Pratt & Whitney’s venerable PT6 a run for its money. j
SPECIFICATIONS AND PERFORMANCE AIRCRAFT
48 ft 9 in
47 ft 3 in
15 ft 2 in
54 ft 3 in
53 ft 4 in
16 ft 9 in
16 ft 11 in
Max Cruise Speed
Max Operating Alt
WEIGHT Full Fuel Payload PERFORMANCE
PORTABLE VHF LONG RANGE LARGE BATTERY VERY RUGGED www.pjaviation.co.za
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Text and Pics: Guy Leitch & Garth Calitz
CHAMPIONSHIPS – PHALABORWA
Aerobatic contests are the most demanding and extreme form of FAI competition flying. It is therefore heartening to see the high standard engendered by the national Aerobatic Championships. THANKS TO SPONSORSHIP from Ingmar Bezuidenhout, the 2021 National Aerobatics Championships were held in his hometown of Phalaborwa, in the beautifully situated but depressingly underused Phalaborwa Airport. Phalaborwa is normally sunny and hot, but the weather turned out to be a major limitation. Some competitors arrived a few days early to practice in the new aerobatic box but the weekend weather limited flying. The first day of the competition was Wednesday 18 August and the fortunately the cloud base had lifted to the 2600 ft limit for the Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited classes to fly their sequences.
When the clouds lifted on Friday afternoon the Advanced Class took to the skies for their third sequence, ensuring they had sufficient results to have a valid competition. Cliff Lotter, the current SAC chairman, was first up in his Yak 55, followed by Glen Warden in his Slick 360. Elton Bondi in his Extra 300 was next up followed by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300, Jason Beamish in his Absolute Aviation Extra 330LX, Pierre du Plooy in his Ultimate Aviation Giles 202 and Kayle Wooll in his Extra 330LX completed the field.
A QUI CK S A FA R I T O K R UGER PA R K
Day 2 saw temperatures in the high 30 degrees which had the competitors sweating, but all the classes were able to fly. Then as a precursor to the weekend, low cloud returned on Friday and the start was delayed, giving some the opportunity of a quick safari to the adjacent Kruger Park.
The Unlimited class still needed to fly a third sequence to validate their competition and unfortunately, daylight waned before they could get airborne. The weather forecast didn’t look much better for the final day of the competition on the Saturday And indeed, on Saturday morning there was again a low and solid cloud base. But by lunch the clouds started lifting. Ingmar Bezuidenhout and Competition Director Mark Hensman took
Patrick Davidson taxies out in his unlimited GameBird at picturesque Phalaborwa.
off in Ingmar’s Bosbok but found the cloud base still too low and then Ian Beaton took off in his RV-7 and reported that the cloud base had lifted well above the 2600ft minimum. The judges quickly set up their gazebos and as it was after midday they were placed next to the beautiful terminal building to face east. In the morning they were located inside the Kruger Park boundary to face west.
in his RV-7 was next to take to the air followed by Ingmar Bezuidenhout in his purple Yak 52. Dicky Maritz in his Decathlon was next up and the class was completed by Warren Eva in his Yak 52. With the perfect conditions it was decided to give the RV Class another bite at the cherry, Dave Thomas in an RV-7 led the field out, followed by Thys Khun in his RV-8 and Martyn Redelinghuys in an RV-7.
‘ YOU WER E I N T HE ZONE ’
Barrie Eeles was the first of the Unlimited class to take to the now almost blue sky in his Ecko Unltd Extra 330SC. Gary Glasson in his tiny Pitts Falcon followed shortly after. Red Bull sponsored Patrick Davidson in his Game Bird GB1 was next and finally Nigel Hopkins in his Ecko Unltd Extra 330SC.
After landing from his Unlimited winning performance, Patrick Davidson said, “I'm super chuffed! It's difficult to explain, when you land and you don't remember what has just happened in the flight. That generally means you had a good one, that you were in the zone - I was just very, very lucky that it was my weekend and I got to win it.” The Sportsman Class were able to enjoy the now perfect conditions, led by relative newcomer Quentin Taylor in his Extra 200. Johan van Zyl
The Intermediate Class then took to the sky for their Unknown sequence, Dustin Hughes was first up in the monster Yak 55 followed by the young Tristan Eeles in his Ecko Unltd sponsored Extra 330SC. Trevor Warner in an Extra 200 completed the Intermediate field. There was unfortunately insufficient time left for the Advanced Competitors and with the shadows lengthening, the Freestyle Competitors took off. Patrick Davidson was followed by Nigel Hopkins and Barrie Eeles. When Barrie landed it was almost dark. But the competition had been a success with all classes managing to get in a result. With stalwart Elton Bondi as Master of Ceremonies, the sponsors were roundly September 2021
applauded and the prizes awarded. Special recognition was given to Ingmar Bezuidenhout and his wife Monika and Angelene Latskey were to thank them for putting together a competition under extremely difficult conditions under Covid regulations. A total of 37 pilots took part in the Nationals, which were presided over by 7 judges, 4 of which were international judges. Aerobatics requires a large team of volunteers, notably: Contest Director Mark Hensman, Chief Judge John Gaillard, Scoring Director Natalie Stark and judges Quintin Hawthorne, Laszlo Liszkay, Helm Ludwig, Mike Stark, Johnie Smith and Cindy Weber.
LEFT TOP: The diminutive Pitts Special in the bushveld with the Kruger Park behind. LEFT: The man who made it possible Ingmar Bezuidenhout - gets airborne in his Yak 52. BELOW: Sponsorship is vital to enable the teams to compete in this expensive sport.
Veteran Judge John Gaillard was presented a SAC Lifetime Award for his 31 years of service as Chief Judge and his unwavering support of the Sports Aerobatic Club, both locally and internationally. The RV Class were the first to be called. Martyn Redelinghuys managed to keep Thys Khun and Dave Thomas at bay to take the honours. Martyn became the first recipient of the new RV Class Aerobatic Champions Trophy donated by Flightline Weekly. Quentin Taylor took top honours in the Sportsman Class with an excellent 82,496%. In second place was Warren Eva and third place belonged to Dicky Maritz with a very respectable 79.658% in his portly Decathlon. The Intermediate Class was a closely fought battle. Dustin Hughes managed to come out tops with Tristan Eeles in second and Trevor Warner in third. Only 2% separated the first and third places, proving that the class was very competitive.
ABOVE TOP: After each flight the judges come together to confer which makes the competition a slow process. ABOVE MIDDLE: Ingmar Bezuidenhout and family. ABOVE BOTTOM: Patrick Davidson, Nigel Hopkins and Barry Eeles with their Freestlye awards. LEFT: Patrick Davidson runs through the aerial ballet before his flight.
As Master of Ceremonies Elton Bondi awarded himself the trophy for his win in the Advanced Class, which was by far the largest class at the Nationals this year. Unlimited was once again an epic battle of the giants - between Patrick Davidson and Nigel Hopkins. Patrick triumphed this year. The fight for the third place did not disappoint either with Gary Glasson just managing to get the upper hand on Barrie Eeles. Gary impresses with his consistent performances in the tiny and underpowered Pitts Falcon. The 4-minute Freestyle competition is the most spectator-friendly event at any competition, thanks to the air show feel with smoke and
extreme manoeuvres. By late afternoon spectators had arrived from across the region and they were treated to spectacular flying. Nigel Hopkins showed his air show experience by winning the Freestyle for the seventh year in a row, this year by almost 10% ahead of Red Bull Air Racer Patrick Davidson, with Barrie Eeles in third. After the pressure of competition, most of the pilots made it an early night, especially as the weather was threatening their journey home with a small window at 7:00 am to clear the escarpment. It was ten years to the day since the nearby tragic Tzaneen Albatross crash and it was a relief everyone made it safely home. j Unlimited class final results.
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CYNTHI A STI MPEL’ S
HI JACK ERS
ON BOARD CYNTHIA STIMPEL IS A HERO. She is one of the very people with a strong enough moral compass to blow the whistle on the rampant looting that killed SAA. But it was too little to late – and as a whistle-blower she has had to survive attacks that would have felled lesser women – and face down her corrupt accusers at the Zondo Commission.
Gor dhan be came much r ev ile d by many SAA s t aff e r s Stimpel was the head of treasury at SAA when under her watch the then chairperson Dudu Myeni attempted to hijack the R15 billion deal to acquire 10 Airbus A320s and then again, when Myeni tried to bypass her own treasury department to roll up R15 billion of loans to SAA - with an initially attempted R450 million plus VAT in fees for her cronies - although under pressure this was eventually reduced to R225m plus VAT. Hijackers on Board is written with an easy flowing style and Cynthia shares wonderful personal insights into her background and life choices – all of which inform her otherwise impossible decision to become a whistle-blower. Even though it is written with commendable reserve, it is still a horrifying story. What comes
out particular strongly is the spinelessness of some of her colleagues – especially the CFO, who ultimately suspended her for blowing the whistle. Unfortunately the publishers used an endorsement by Pravin Gordhan prominently on the cover. This is unfortunate as Minister of Public Enterprises, Gordhan became much reviled by many SAA staffers for duplicity in selling the airline out. His endorsement will put off many former SAA buyers of the book, which is a pity because Stimpel’s story is essential reading, not just for SAA’s thousands of victims, but also as a shining light for all those principled enough to stand up to corrupt government. Hijackers on Board is available for R320.00 from all good booksellers and online from Kindle from Amazon. j
QUI NTI N HAWTHORNE’ S
AEROB ATI CS:
THE SOUTH AFRI CAN STORY. SOUTH AFRICA HAS A WONDERFULLY rich history of aerobatics, and many of our greatest pilots first showed what they are capable of in aerobatic competitions. For anyone with even a passing interest in the aerial ballet that is competition aerobatics Quintin Hawthorne’s book is a must-have collectors’ item. It is also an ideal coffee table book as it is beautifully presented with large images of the competitors in full flight.
a pains t ak ingl y curate d colle c tion of photographs
A particular treasure is the painstakingly curated collection of photographs over the years. It is not only the aerobatics aficionado who will gain much from this book as it is at pains to explain the nature of aerobatic competitions and the various formats and levels of competition. This book is a labour of love. I am continually astounded by how many immensely knowledgeable people spend thousands of hours writing and assembling specialist books on aviation – with little hope of even recovering their costs, let alone actually earning anything for their huge toil. As such it is worth every cent of its R450.00 cover price. Aerobatics – The South African Story is available from the Aero Club of South Africa. Call Sandra Strydom on (011) 082-1100 or 087 702 5270 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org j
This book covers the history of aerobatic competition in South Africa, from the first competition in 1963 to today. It is a treasure trove of pictures of the early competitors with names such as Nick Turvey, Mike van Ginkel, Jock Geldenhuys and those who have departed, such as Glen Dell. The first edition was published in 1997 and this second edition is published to celebrate the Aero Club of SA’s centenary. The book is also an invaluable reference work in that it lists competition results for the past years plus the honours rolls and trophy awards.
j September 2021
AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT • This report is to promote aviation safety and not to establish legal liability. • The CAA’s report contains padding, repetition, poor English and incompetence. So, in the interest of clarity and readability, I have had to correct and paraphrase extensively Synopsis A flight instructor accompanied by a student, who held a private pilot license, departed from Wonderboom on a training flight to Aeropark. The intention of the flight was to conduct circuit work as part of the student’s conversion onto the Cessna 210 type aircraft. Once they arrived at Aeropark they continued with the exercises as planned. They had completed three uneventful circuits (touch-and-
Aircraft Registration: ZS-ETH Time of Incident: 0740Z Type of Aircraft: Cessna 210G Type of Operation: Training Part 141 Pilot-in-command Licence Type: Commercial Pilot Age: 40 License Valid: Yes Pilot-in-command Flying Experience: Total Flying Hours: 2 204,8 Hours on Type: 19,7 Last point of departure: Aeropark Zynkraal Aerodrome, Gauteng Province Next point of intended landing: Aeropark Location of the incident site: Aeropark, elevation 4 982 ft Meteorological Information: Surface wind: 180°/5kts, Temperature: 30°C, Visibility: CAVOK Number of people on board: 2 + 0 No. of people injured: 0 No. of people killed: 0
goes). The flight instructor manipulated the flight controls during the fourth circuit in order to demonstrate a short field landing to the student. He opted to fly a low level circuit. According to a statement by him, he had completed the downwind vital actions and selected the landing gear down, but he did not confirm that the landing gear was down and locked, nor had he confirmed that he had a green gear down light prior to landing.
Before touchdown the instructor reported the correct attitude for landing, closed the throttle and flared. On touchdown both pilots realised that the landing gear was not down and locked, and a wheels-up landing followed. The aircraft skidded off to the right of the active runway where it came to rest on the gravel surface. It was secured and the two occupants evacuated. Nobody was injured in the incident Probable Cause The crew failed to confirm that the landing gear was in the down and locked position prior to landing.
serious than that. In fact I wouldn’t bother with this accident if it was just another case of; “I forgot”. First, I want to put to bed the old apophthegm (just checking if you are awake): “There are only two types of pilot: those who have done a wheels-up, and those who are still going to.”
He s pe nt t he r es t of t he war pay ing f or t he damage
Jim’s Comments Yawn – another pilot forgets to lower the gear. Well yes and no – he certainly forgot to lower the gear, but actually his crime was far more
So how come there are tens of thousands of pilots who have flown for a lifetime without doing it? I’ll tell you how come – it’s because these are careful, sensible pilots who have kept their fingers out of their bums during that crucial stage of every flight when they are expected to put the machinery gently back on the terrestrial orb. Simple.
But we use the saying as a get out-of-jail-free card. The unwritten rule is that I won’t criticise you for landing gear up, and you be nice to me when I do it – because it’s going to happen to everyone sooner or later. This is crap – at two levels. First, we know
ZS-ETH is an early model C210 - seen here in better days.
that the vast majority of pilots never do it. And second, as soon as we think that ‘things happen’ to pilots there is an implication that ‘things’ are an inevitable act of God, so we are not really responsible. Yep, that happened to me - I also ran out of fuel in a 210. Or, I also got lost over the Kalahari. Getting lost, running out of fuel, or doing a wheels-up landing – are not the sort of things that just ‘happen’ to aeroplanes – pilots make them happen. If I land with the gear retracted, then – barring a mechanical failure – I deserve every lump of reproof and censure that can be thrown at me. I have stuffed up, endangered lives, put insurance premiums up, and brought GA into disrepute. People land aircraft on their bellies because they are distracted by some non-standard event, usually in the circuit. A change of runway is perhaps the most common diversion, but there are plenty of others. However, an interruption of standard routines should be exactly the thing that alerts us to the possibility of forgetting the gear. We all know that a change of procedure is a red flag. So, if you have a passenger or co-pilot, just ask them to remind you about the undercarriage. Or do something unusual to remind yourself. I learned this trick from an airline pilot in the good old days when, as a passenger on a commercial flight, one could generally find a way into the cockpit. Before takeoff the captain pulled a red clothes peg out of his top pocket and clipped it onto a switch in the roof. As far as I remember he was doing something non-standard with the APU and the clothes peg was to remind him to undo it after takeoff.
A red peg in a prominent place is a great tool to remember things.
you need reminding just unclip it and put it on the throttle, or flap lever, or the frequency selector if it’s to do with avionics. Talking of reminders, it’s also a great idea to set the alarm on your phone for when it’s time to change tanks, or make an ‘ops normal’ call.
Have I eve r done a w he e ls -up? Near l y.
Okay – that pretty will covers the standard gear-up accidents, now let me tell you why I find this particular one so outrageous. The pilot was doing something that is always dangerous, be it in an aircraft, a car, a motorbike, a skateboard, or a wing-suit – the silly bugger was
I have since learned that a number of airline pilots use this trick with great success.
I think it’s an excellent idea is to have a clothes peg permanently clipped to the sun-visor. When
None of my safety measures would have helped this guy. The trouble started with his instructor,
The wheels-up remained on his record albeit in a less damming way.
or perhaps his instructor’s instructor. He was not trying to teach his pupil how to do a short field landing, as he claims, he was hell bent on peacockery. And that’s doubly stupid and unnecessary because his pupil already thinks he can walk on water – so it’s really stupid to prove that he can’t. If your instructor says, “Don’t do as I do, do as I tell you”, it’s time to find another instructor. My first instructor Dirty Bossie, in a Piper Cub, occasionally used to taxi with the tail up while issuing the order that I should never attempt it myself. So you know what happened the first time he was out of sight – of course – it was a cool thing to do. My first boss in aviation, Zingi Harrison, was training on a Miles Master when his instructor did a really cool thing on takeoff. He simply held the aircraft down until he had more than enough flying speed, and then smoothly retracted the gear and continued down the runway at the same height. He naturally gave Zingi harsh warnings about not trying to do it, and almost as naturally, Zingi did try it, got it wrong and scooted along the runway on his
belly while the prop threw lumps of turf into the air. He spent the rest of the war paying for the damage – half a crown a week off his salary. While looking for a picture of a Miles Master to go with this article I came across this very event and found that someone had kindly tried to cover it up by claiming he retracted the gear while taxying. Nice try, but the squat switches wouldn’t permit that. Much more recently I employed an excellent instructor at 43; I will call him Mannie, because that’s his name. Mannie is a caring, dedicated and intelligent instructor, and a hell of a nice guy, but I had to castigate him about once a month for doing cowboy circuits. “Don’t worry,” Mannie would say, “I tell my pupes never to do it.” Even years after Mannie left and was flying for an eastern airline, I would spot one of my aircraft doing a cowboy circuit. I would get the tower to call the instructor to my office. “Who was your instructor,” I’d ask. “Mike Smith.” September 2021
“And who was his instructor?”
A Miles Master like that pranged by Zingy Harrison being a cowboy.
“Peter Wilson.” “And who was Peter’s instructor? Let me guess … was it Mannie?” In every other respect Mannie was an excellent role model, and his pupes all loved him and turned into responsible pilots – but they all had this one bad habit. So now you know why I am bitching about this guy who landed the 210 on its tummy. He was showing off and, by example, encouraging others to do the same. Perhaps this taught them both that showing off in aircraft is immature and unprofessional. Good instructors know that they are more than teachers – they are role-models and mentors, and whatever they do will be reflected in their pupes’ lives for the rest of time. Have I ever done a wheels-up? Nearly. And that was caused by allowing really slack procedures in the cockpit. I was flying Major Buck Buchanan back to PE in a Twin Comanche. We had been on a SAAF Commando training camp for a week somewhere in the bush. It was a beautiful day, the military stuff was all over and we were in a relaxed going-home mood. Halfway along a left hand downwind leg for 26 Buck asked if he could land the aircraft. “Sure thing, help yourself Buck,” I said, handing over control. Soon after we turned final, Red Tomkins, in the tower called, “Foxtrot Alpha Whisky – do you have all the vegies?” A very kind way of asking if we had three greens. Of course we didn’t. Each of us assumed that the other had done the landing checks. Blush. Would you like your daughter, your mom or your sister to be trained by a cowboy? I rest my case, your washup.
Take Home Points: Here, in no particular order, are the most common reasons for doing a wheels-up landing. • A distraction in the cockpit. • Having spent many hours in a fixed-gear aircraft saying, “Undercarriage – not applicable.” • A chatty passenger. • A dropped mike, cellphone or GPS. • A change of runway. • Divided responsibility – instructing, or having Buck as a passenger. • A go-around. • Being in a hurry with a sick passenger or needing a pee. • Showing off, doing cowboy circuits. • Grovelling in crappy weather. • Changing to an unfamiliar aircraft. • Arriving at an unfamiliar airfield. • An animal in the cockpit – a bee, spider, or snake And I have a cure for ALL of the above – well maybe not the snake. Make it your lifetime habit, in every aircraft, as you approach the fence confirm the gear is down and locked. It has to be a habit – the two things are inseparable – the fence and the undercarriage. j
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Using partial power and raising the flaps during an overshoot. Both are potentially dangerous, and will cause your instructor to raise her voice to a shriek. She may even cut you out of her will
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Final approach (finals)
© Jim Davis
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REGISTER REVIEW: RAY WATTS Embraer 190 EI-GHJ ex Stobart-Air of Ireland. Now imported for Airlink as ZS-YAR.
J ULY 2 0 2 1
FOR THE FIRST TIME in a very long time a brand new Cessna 206 has been imported into this country. She arrived here on the first of July 2021 and thanks to Bo Burger at Lanseria we have photographs of her in her original packaging. She has become ZS-TRP. Another new Air Tractor has arrived. This one was ferried from the USA – that must be quite a trip. She was photographed here on 6 July 2021.
On the NTCA side of things there is a very exciting restoration. On 12 August 1972 Tiger Moth ZS-CDJ crashed during an air show at the old Baragwanath airfield, west of Johannesburg, and was written off. Thankfully there were no serious injuries. This aircraft was owned by Noel Otten, and the wreck was slowly rebuilt at his factory in Wynberg and later at his hangar at the new Baragwanath (Syferfontein). Regretfully Noel never got to finish the rebuild and his two daughters took over the aircraft and got the rebuild completed. She is now registered ZU-IUV and as soon as she’s finished her proving flight hours will be exported to the UK. A pity to lose such a historic aircraft but I guess that’s the way things go. She started off life in the UK as RAF serial number T6457 and was exported to the then Rhodesia where she served with the Empire Training Scheme before coming south and joining the SAAF as 4684 in 1944. She was sold by the SAAF in May 1956 and became ZS-CDJ.
his t wo daughter s got the rebuild completed
Other new type certified registrations are for a Cessna 182 and a Cessna 208B Caravan, both from Tanzania, although the 208 was registered here before. And there is another Embraer E190 for Airlink, registered ZS-YAR. This one was ferried from Ireland where she was operated by Stobart Air before they ceased operations. This aircraft also operated for Virgin Australia. I mentioned last month that Airlink had obtained another E190, this time from Cobham Aviation in Australia which arrived here in June, and which became ZS-YAT.
ABOVE: The first new C206 in a long time. ZS-TRP, a Cessna T206H was imported to SA in July 2021. ex N2057D. Photo Bo Burger. BELOW MIDDLE: ZS-DEH Piper PA18A fitted with experimental 4 wheel undercarraige for rough field operations. Converted to standard undercarraige. Photo Dave Becker. ELOW BOTTOM: Well known ZS-CKA Challenger 350 of Fireblade Aviation now exported to the B USA as N626CL. Photo Ray Watts.
The wreck of DH82A Tiger Moth ZS-CDJ in 1972 near Baragwanath.
ZU-IUV Tiger Moth is the crashed ex ZS-CDJ. Its first flight in 42 years was at Rand on 15 July 2021. Photo Lyndal Jeffery.
ABOVE: ZS-BJC Air Tractor 502A ex N8517Q was flown from the USA. BELOW MIDDLE: ZS-GMO is a Ventus A glider now exported to Australia. BELOW BOTTOM: ZU-IUT Axella Havoc. A rebuilt Stemme S6. Photo by Jean Du Plessis.
There are five other NTCA aircraft added as well. The drones just keep droning on with another 55 added this month and sixteen deleted. We have lost another eleven TCA aircraft to the export market. They have gone to countries all over the world. One interesting one is the Piper PA18A Super Cub ZS-DEH which has gone to the USA. As you can see in the picture, she was at one stage fitted with a fourwheel undercarriage. This was supposed to help with rough field landings, but I guess it wasn’t too successful. She reverted to the standard undercarriage. I see that two gliders and two Robinson R22 helicopters have been exported to Australia.
Sometimes it’s interesting to see old South African aircraft in their new colour schemes and registrations. I’ve managed to track down two. The first one is the ex SAA A320 ZS-SZG which is now EI-GTO operating with Israir which is an Israeli airline based in Tel Aviv. The other one, a Fairchild Ranger ZS-BAY / ZS-UJZ that used to be based at Grand Central in the 1970s is now living on the UK as G-RGUS and is painted in a pseudo RAF colour scheme. I say this because the serial number on the side of the aircraft should read KK527 not K527.
painte d in a ps eudo RAF colour scheme
by Pete r Gar r is on
Two NTCA aircraft were also exported – one to New Zealand and one to the USA.
Tail piece I must take my hat off to all the people who flew emergency supplies to KZN during the unrest there. They did a marvellous job and really helped a lot of people. Well done folks. j
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September 2021 FlightCom Magazine
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SCHEMPP-HIRTH FLUGZEUGBUG GMBH
SCHEMPP-HIRTH FLUGZEUGBUG GMBH
ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
UNITED KINGDOM as G-CMEA
AS 350 B3
CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY
CESSNA AIRCRAFT COMPANY
ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY
Aircraft Deleted ZUZU-EOF
VAN'S AIRCRAFT INC
NEW ZEALAND as ZK-JPT
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA as N755TX
African Fuel Services is based at Groutville Airﬁeld just North of Ballito. AFS has Avgas and Jet-A1 available as well as oﬀering a range of services.
For any information please call Willie Erasmus on 084 623 4879 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
African Fuel Services AFS is based at Groutville Airfield just North of Ballito.
AFS has Avgas and Jet-A1 available as well as offering a range of services.
Services: • • • • •
Night Flying operations Radio Work Sling operations Hoist operations Berg flying operations and training • Fly in • Hot refueling
Deliveries areas: • Passenger handling and briefings for (hoisting, slinging, off shore and many more) • Cleaning of aircraft • Topping up lubricants and preflight’s on a number of aircraft • Any other assistance you need.
• • • • • • • • •
Margate Airport Ulundi Airport Hluhluwe Airport Vryheid Airport Ladysmith Airport Newcastle Airport Bergville Area Umtata Airport Port St Johns
For any information please call Willie Erasmus on 084 623 4879 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
VAN HORN AVIATION Life without corrosion Safe composite construction Noise Reduction
Bell 206 B/L Main Rotor Blades - Better ride, better quality UH-1H Tail Rotor Blades – A stronger, more efficient choice Bell 206 B/L Tail Rotor Blades – 40% noise reduction AS350 Tail Rotor Blades – Coming Soon! Leading Edge Aviation Nelspruit Airfield
Disco facto unted ry pr ices for
all blade s
Tel: +27 13 741 3654 / 082 450 2097
FUEL TABLE www.sv1.co.za
SA Flyer 2021|09
Fuel Prices Fuel as at Prices 01/07/2021 as at 01/07/2021 Pri ces i nclude Pri cesVAT i nclude but exclude VAT butany exclude servi ce any fees servi ce fees Ai rfi eld Ai rfi eld Avgas Avgas Jet A1 Baragwanath Baragwanath R21,50 R21,50 Beaufort West Beaufort West R22,00 R22,00 R15,00 Bethlehem Bethlehem R 22,97 R 22,97 R 15,62 Bloemfontei Bloemfontei n n R18,43 R18,43 R11,27 Brakpan Brakpan R20,80 R20,80 Brits Brits R19,10 R19,10 Cape Town Cape Town R23,67 R23,67 R18,24 Eagles Creek Eagles Creek R19,90 R19,90 East London East London R19,46 R19,46 R10,29 Ermelo Ermelo R19,55 R19,55 Fi santekraal Fi santekraal R21,51 R21,51 Fly-In Fly-In R19,50 R19,50 Gari ep Dam Gari ep Dam R21,50 R21,50 R14,50 George George R20,04 R20,04 R11,42 Grand Central Grand Central R20,24 R20,24 R13,63 Hei delberg Hei delberg R21,50 R21,50 Hoedspruit Hoedspruit R14,31 Ki mberleyKi mberley R18,45 R18,45 R11,28 Kitty Hawk Kitty Hawk R22,00 R22,00 Klerksdorp Klerksdorp R20,54 R20,54 R13,05 KroonstadKroonstad R19,09 R19,09 R12,08 Kruger IntlKruger Nelspruit Intl Nelspruit R20,00 R20,00 R13,35 Krugersdorp Krugersdorp R19.80 R19.80 Lanseri a Lanseri a R20,70 R20,70 R13,66 Margate Margate R23.13 R23.13 R14.80 Middelburg Middelburg R20,70 R20,70 R13,80 Morningstar Morningstar R20,50 R20,50 MosselbayMosselbay R22,90 R22,90 R11,65 Nelspruit Nelspruit R20,24 R20,24 R11,25 Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn R19.05 R19.05 R12.50 Parys Parys R20,54 R20,54 R13,05 Pietermaritzburg Pietermaritzburg R21,20 R21,20 R14,10 Pi etersburg Pi etersburg Ci vi l Ci vi l R19,80 R19,80 R12,65 Port Alfred Port Alfred R21,40 R21,40 Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth R21,39 R21,39 R13,40 Potchefstroom Potchefstroom R20,54 R20,54 R13,05 Rand Rand R20,25 R20,25 R13,63 RobertsonRobertson R19,85 R19,85 Rustenberg Rustenberg R19.50 R19.50 R14.10 Secunda Secunda R18,98 R18,98 R12,19 Skeerpoort Skeerpoort *** Customer *** Customer to collectto collect R18,30 R18,30 R10,81 SpringbokSpringbok R21,50 R21,50 R13,15 Springs Springs R21,50 R21,50 R11,80 Stellenbosch Stellenbosch R20,70 R20,70 Swellendam Swellendam R20,50 R20,50 R12,50 Tempe Tempe R19.73 R19.73 R11.90 Thabazimbe Thabazimbe R21,94 R21,94 R13,55 UpingtonUpington R19,14 R19,14 R11,97 Vereeni gi ng Vereeni gi ng R19,70 R19,70 R12,00 Vi rgi ni a Vi rgi ni a R22,86 R22,86 R13,40 Vryburg Vryburg R21,75 R21,75 R13,81 Welkom Welkom R19,09 R19,09 R12,08 Wi ngs Park WiEL ngs Park EL R21,25 R21,25 Witbank Witbank R19,80 R19,80 R18,45 R18,45 R10,81 Wonderboom Wonderboom WorcesterWorcester R21,70 R21,70 *** Heli copters *** Helionly copters only
Tel: +27 10 446 9666 Danielle: +27 82 553 9611 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Marina: +27 82 924 3015 Co-ordinates: S25°50’37 E27°41’28 72 GPS September 2021 Import/Export no. 21343829
Fuel Prices Fuel as at Prices 02/08/2021 as at 02/08/2021 Jet A1 R15,00 R 15,62 R11,27 R18,24 R10,29
R14,50 R11,42 R13,63 R14,31 R11,28 R13,05 R12,08 R13,35 R13,66 R14.80 R13,80 R11,65 R11,25 R12.50 R13,05 R14,10 R12,65 R13,40 R13,05 R13,63 R14.10 R12,19 R10,81 R13,15 R11,80 R12,50 R11.90 R13,55 R11,97 R12,00 R13,40 R13,81 New R12,08 R10,81
Pri ces i nclude Pri cesVAT i nclude but exclude VAT butany exclude servi ce any fees servi ce fees Ai rfi eld Ai rfi eld Avgas Avgas Jet A1 Jet A1 Baragwanath Baragwanath R21,50 R21,50 Beaufort West Beaufort West R22,65 R22,65 R15,00 R15,00 Bethlehem Bethlehem R 23,99 R 23,99 R 15,96 R 15,96 Bloemfontei Bloemfontei n n R19,40 R19,40 R11,60 R11,60 Brakpan Brakpan R22,40 R22,40 Brits Brits R20,00 R20,00 Cape Town Cape Town R23,67 R23,67 R10,42 R10,42 Eagles Creek Eagles Creek R20,95 R20,95 East London East London R19,46 R19,46 R11,30 R11,30 Ermelo Ermelo R21,33 R21,33 Fi santekraal Fi santekraal R23,49 R23,49 Fly-In Fly-In R20,20 R20,20 Gari ep Dam Gari ep Dam R21,50 R21,50 R14,85 R14,85 George George R20,26 R20,26 R12,02 R12,02 Grand Central Grand Central R20,24 R20,24 R14,03 R14,03 Hei delberg Hei delberg R22,00 R22,00 Hoedspruit Hoedspruit R14,31 R14,31 Ki mberleyKi mberley R19,62 R19,62 R11,83 R11,83 Kitty Hawk Kitty Hawk R22,00 R22,00 Klerksdorp Klerksdorp R21,50 R21,50 R13,43 R13,43 KroonstadKroonstad R19,55 R19,55 R12,08 R12,08 Kruger IntlKruger Nelspruit Intl Nelspruit R20,00 R20,00 R13,35 R13,35 Krugersdorp Krugersdorp R20,90 R20,90 Lanseri a Lanseri a R21,05 R21,05 R14,03 R14,03 Margate Margate R23,13 R23,13 R13,74 R13,74 Middelburg Middelburg R21,85 R21,85 R14,95 R14,95 Morningstar Morningstar R21,95 R21,95 MosselbayMosselbay R23,70 R23,70 R11,65 R11,65 Nelspruit Nelspruit R20,24 R20,24 R11,71 R11,71 Oudtshoorn Oudtshoorn R19,61 R19,61 R11,82 R11,82 Parys Parys R21,50 R21,50 R13,43 R13,43 Pietermaritzburg Pietermaritzburg R22,00 R22,00 R14,60 R14,60 Pi etersburg Pi etersburg Ci vi l Ci vi l R21,05 R21,05 R13,35 R13,35 Port Alfred Port Alfred R21,40 R21,40 Port Elizabeth Port Elizabeth R22,86 R22,86 R13,40 R13,40 Potchefstroom Potchefstroom R21,50 R21,50 R13,43 R13,43 Rand Rand R20,31 R20,31 R14,33 R14,33 RobertsonRobertson R21,85 R21,85 Rustenberg Rustenberg R20,85 R20,85 R14,10 R14,10 Secunda Secunda R19,55 R19,55 R12,19 R12,19 Skeerpoort Skeerpoort *** Customer *** Customer to collectto collect R19,25 R19,25 R11,19 R11,19 SpringbokSpringbok R21,50 R21,50 R13,60 R13,60 Springs Springs R21,50 R21,50 Not avbl Not avbl Stellenbosch Stellenbosch R22,50 R22,50 Swellendam Swellendam R20,50 R20,50 R12,50 R12,50 Tempe Tempe R20,13 R20,13 R12,50 R12,50 Thabazimbe Thabazimbe R22,00 R22,00 R13,93 R13,93 UpingtonUpington R20,31 R20,31 R12,52 R12,52 Vereeni gi ng Vereeni gi ng R20,98 R20,98 R12,00 R12,00 Vi rgi ni a Vi rgi ni a R23,44 R23,44 R13,69 R13,69 New Vryburg Vryburg R22,70 R22,70 R14,19 R14,19 Welkom Welkom R19,55 R19,55 R12,08 R12,08 Wi ngs Park WiEL ngs Park EL R21,25 R21,25 Witbank Witbank R20,80 R20,80 R19,75 R19,75 R11,19 R11,19 Wonderboom Wonderboom WorcesterWorcester R23,04 R23,04 *** Heli copters *** Helionly copters only
SA Flyer 2016|11
• HOEDSPRUIT • KLERKSDORP • PARYS AIRFIELD • POTCHEFSTROOM AIRPORT • SKEERPOORT • THABAZIMBI
Tel: +27 10 446 9666 Danielle: +27 82 553 9611 Email: email@example.com Marina: +27 82 924 3015
WE ALSO HAVE AN ON-SITE HELI-PAD FOR CONVENIENT REFUELING. CALL US FOR A QUOTE OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
SEALED 200L AVGAS DRUMS • SEALED 200L JET A1 DRUMS • AVGAS 100LL • JET A1 • PETROL • ILLUMINATING PARAFFIN • DIESEL • LUBRICANTS
REFURBISHMENT - SAVAS NICOLAIDES
Having done my CPL in a 182RG at Wonderboom’s Loutzavia Flying School, I knew that this is the aircraft that I would want to eventually own, as it suited my needs perfectly. Good Cessna 182RGs are hard to find, particularly with a newish factory engine and mine was nearly forty years old. Maybe it was time for a serious make-over?
ZS-MGP begins its mid-life makeover at Skytrim.
THE GOOD NEWS is that the American FAA is gradually allowing supplementary type certificates (STCs) for non-type certified avionics to be used in type certified aircraft. This is a major step in the right direction as legacy aircraft are becoming difficult to maintain with ‘steam-gauge’ instruments. This prompted me to embark on a major panel upgrade together with a refurbishment of the paint and interior. I began exploring the many STCs for the C182RG that the FAA were now approving. After much internet research I decided the only sensible way to spend the small fortune a panel upgrade would cost, would be to see, feel and touch the various options available. This led me to Germany’s Aero Expo at Friedrichshafen in April 2019. I managed to speak to every supplier and compare products. I left Germany with a clear idea of what I wanted and how to put it all together: I wanted a simple, modern panel, yet I wanted to keep some of the old big round steam gauges. I obviously had a budget, as avionics are not cheap, and it’s easy to overcapitalise a plane. A key requirement was that the avionics all needed to talk to each other. As Garmin had released the acclaimed GFC500 autopilot I chose the Garmin route. The GFC500 is not only a groundbreaking autopilot, but its safety features such as Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and the blue ‘’LVL’’ button made the choice clear, even though the STC for the C182RG was still pending.
to do it once only, it would be worth doing it all. With the right people I was confident it would take a maximum of three months downtime – still a long time to be without your bird. The work to be done was: • Paint : A new design was a difficult decision as there are so many options so I decided to stick to a previous C182 factory design. • A new full leather interior. • New blue tint windows all round. • Garmin avionics: a GTN650 Nav/Comm, 2 x Garmin G5s, a GMA345 AUDIO PANEL, the GFC500 AP with auto trim requiring three servos. • A JPI EDM900 engine monitor. Although Garmin has an engine monitor, I feel that is not their expertise. • The instrument panel: A completely new metal panel, including the circuit breaker panel. This required a knowledgeable metal fabricator to work in conjunction with the avionics technician. It is essential to shop around. I received three different quotes, for the exact same products and installation, yet one supplier was six figures more expensive. And I am still waiting for a quote from another well-known AMO.
a s paghe tt i bowl of wiring
I visited various AMOs to decide who to use for the paint, interior and panel upgrade. It wasn’t easy to find an AMO with the correct attitude and pricing at ideally, one location. Spending a fortune on your prized plane and taking a perfectly working instrument panel apart is no easy decision. And the existing external paint was not bad, so many said I was crazy to re-paint, as only the interior was in dire need of renewal. However, I reckoned that if I was going
One AMO that was asked to quote was so arrogant and had less than zero business etiquette, so I wondered how they survive in business. Yet he seems to be thriving. I guess there’s not enough competition. My final choice was Skytrim, at Rand Airport for the paint and interior, with everything in-house managed by owner Rico and son. For the mammoth panel and avionics task, Amka, was chosen, also located at Rand, under the watchful eyes of the extremely knowledgeable and approachable Bob Amey. Finally, after many months of research and planning, on 15 July 2019, ZS-MGP was ferried September 2021
The old instrument panel is gutted.
to Rand for its make-over. A few days later I went to see the progress and was horrified yet excited to see the panel completely dismantled with a spaghetti bowl of wiring. Being told that a new wiring harness is made was reassuring. At that point I felt comfortable that Amka was indeed the right choice. What was clear too was that the cooperation between Skytrim and Amka was excellent, as they had to coordinate their work schedules. In my planning I had not even considered the need for co-operation.
Control surfaces removed and paint stripped.
Under the watchful eye of Rico, Skytrim stripped the control surfaces and removed all the old paint. They had hundreds of colour samples for paint, leather swatches and carpet samples, making choice difficult. I visited Rand twice a week and documented the progress with photos. Switching on my G5 at Amka’s office was a thrill. The still-pending STC for the auto-pilot was worrying, but Bob Amey said we should we go ahead and install the components. The STC arrived in time, so all turned out well.
All windows removed for replacement.
It gave me great comfort that my panel would have a new wiring harness as the old one must have been a fire hazard. Once the airframe had its new base coat of white paint, ZS-MGP began to look like the vision I had in mind. The jigsaw puzzle was taking shape. Skytrim went the extra mile by installing sound proofing material around the entire cabin, as well as below the cockpit glare shield. The day the Master was switched on was a moment of truth, as I had heard horror stories. I was impressed that there were just two minor snags. The over voltage regulator light did not illuminate when the battery side
The new metal instrument panel is cut and fitted.
The glistening new paint scheme.
of master was switched on. But Bob knew exactly what was wrong and changed the polarity of the positive and negative terminals in five minutes. Skytrim’s work was complete and MGP was looking better than new with that wonderful new smell of leather and glossy paint. Four months after starting, Amka arranged a test pilot to do the first flight on 15 November. Bob Amey went along, which gave me much confidence. The takeoff from Rand, was emotional, as my ultimate aircraft was now flying after years of planning and months of downtime.
The aroma of fresh new leather all round.
the old one must have been a fire hazard For the flight back to home base at Brakpan Benoni airfield I had to check the EDM engine monitoring unit, to see if I had maximum rpm for takeoff, as the new sound proofing was much quieter than I was used to. It felt like I was in a different machine. It was a new experience and one that was well worth the cost and effort.
Plastic panels were refurbished.
Having flown the new ZS-MGP for a while now, I can say that this aircraft is a lot safer and compares to modern aircraft that cost millions far more. My situational awareness has improved ten-fold with the GFC500 autopilot, and the combination of this, together with the GTN650 makes Instrument Flying easier, in that one has a secondary pilot on board. As general aviation evolves it makes little sense not to consider the many opportunities that are now available. Flying will be safer from embracing upgrades. As a simple example: on the EDM900 I had an amber September 2021
Roll out from Amka Aviation's Instument shop.
The new instrument panel and autopilot at work.
Savas Nicolaides - a very happy owner.
Before (below) - and after.
flash when leaning in the cruise. The manual said it could be due to a plug fouling. This turned out to be the case so there was an immediate fault-find and fix, which would not have been possible with a legacy EGT.
There is a place for the classics in cars and boats, but your plane deserves the best and most modern equipment. j
Events by STEADY CLIMB FLY-IN (RHINO PARK)
SAPFA SECUNDA SPEED RALLY
Rhino Park Airﬁeld, Bronkhorstspruit Contact: David Le Roux firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 073 338 5200
Secunda Airﬁeld Contact: Jonty Esser E-mail: jonty@promptrooﬁng.co.za Cell: 082 855 9435
EAA SILVER CREEK GORGE FLY-IN
SPORTS AEROBATIC CLUB
17 to 18 September Contact: Neil Bowden / Jeremy Woods Cell: 084 674 5674 / 082 883 0436
(JUNIOR COETZEE MEMORIAL TROPHY)
RV DAY FLY-IN 11 September Kitty Hawk Contact: Dawie Pretorius: 082 804 6979
MRO ASIA PACIFIC VIRTUAL EVENT 20 - 24 September
Baragwanath Airﬁeld Contact: Annie Boon Email: email@example.com
https://mroasia.aviationweek.com Contact: Jennifer Roberts +1.917.699.6231 Jennifer.firstname.lastname@example.org
THE HEIDELBERG “GREAT TRAIN RACE”
DE HAVILLAND 90TH ANNIVERSARY (TIGER
24 – 25 September
FAHG Heidelberg Airﬁeld Contact Van Zyl Schultz Tel. 082 560 2275 Email: email@example.com
MOTHS GATHERING) Queenstown Airﬁeld Contact: Giel / Mark 082 555 4418 / 082 921 2872 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flying in Africa – that’s what we love
Flying in Africa that’s what we love!
Comprehensive airfield information, up-to-date aeronautical data, friendly and efficient customer support, easy Flight Planning, electronic logbook, Inflight Navigation with EasyCockpit, real-time Weather overlays, Weather cams, Events notification, location link to Maps ... you have it all. www.aviationdirect.co.za • email@example.com • +27 11 465 2669September • 072 340 9943 81 2021
EAGLES CREEK HANGARS FOR SALE TWO HANGARS FOR SALE AT
PHASE THREE STARTING SOON
RESERVE YOUR HANGAR NOW Contact Armand on 082 490 1659 82www.eaglescreek.net September 2021
– ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES
T R A I NI NG GUI DE
– ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES If you’re looking to build a career in aviation, a slow browse through the following pages with a pencil and pad will open up many opportunities for you. The years immediately following Covid-19 are going to show tremendous industry growth with the attendant opportunities for a productive and rewarding career in aviation. BEFORE THE ARRIVAL of the Covid pandemic the aviation industry was awash with predictions of a massive impending skills shortage. The Covid pandemic has pressed the pause button on the pending pilot shortage but as the airline industry returns to previous levels of flying the shortage will become more acute than ever. The only way the industry is going to be able to address this pending shortage is by
From the front to the rear of an aircraft, and from the ground up to its cruise altitude, there are people, skills and jobs that are the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of the industry. These are the maintenance technicians, ground-
“ there has never been a be tt e r t i me than now ”
dramatically ramping up training to ensure an ongoing flow of new professionals into the industry.
When you hear the words ‘aviation industry’, the first reaction is to think ‘pilot’. But aviation is an enormous industry and accordingly has a requirement for an imposing spread of skills.
handlers, loadmasters, despatchers, meteorologists, check-in, passenger handling, cabin crew, pilots, traffic controllers,
Pre-Covid, in 2018, Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook projected a demand for 790,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. In five years’ time this demand will become critical as those who left the industry, either due to retirement or for greener pastures, will need to be replaced. Boeing’s number of 790,000 new pilots is double the current workforce and the most significant demand in the Outlook's
labour supply. The forecast also excludes general aviation (GA) requirements which swells the numbers significantly as not every pilot is employed by a carrier, some fly (and own) aircraft purely for small business reasons or the joy of flight. But the support system for GA is as intensive as for commercial carriers with an ever-growing number of aircraft needing pilots, maintenance, traffic control, administration and supply, as well as airfields to land, and on which to be based.
administration, caterers – the list is a long one and includes such a wide range of skills that almost anyone can find a suitable aviation career in which to get qualified.
Boeing’s numbers are in line with industry projections from other bodies given to crystal ball gazing, and they all agree on one inescapable fact – we will have to train millions of new people to fill the slots of a skills-hungry industry. And therein lies our biggest challenge – and our biggest problem.
“ we will have to train millions of new people to fill the slots of a s k i l l s -h u n g r y industr y ”
nine-year history. And it’s not only the ‘pointy end’ that will need more people. Maintenance engineer demand is projected at 622,000, and commercial cabin crew a staggering 858,000 people, mostly due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalised service.
NOT JUST PILOTS Collectively, the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors will also demand an additional 155,000 pilots, 132,000 technicians and 32,000 new cabin crew to support business aviation. The demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial airplane fleet, a record-high air travel demand and a tightening
To remain viable in facing the challenge, training organisations are dependant on two main resources: an ongoing flow of dedicated new students and a stable supply of qualified trainers. But most of the potential students are unaware of the career opportunities in aviation. And the qualified trainers are constantly being head-hunted by the industry to fill the jobs for which they’re training the students. This creates a revolving door of instructors and gives training organisation management sleepless nights. And there is no “quick fix’ solution to either of these challenges. Some enterprising organisations have addressed the problem by elevating successful September 2021
student graduates to instructor positions. This, to some measure ‘insulates’ them from the head-hunters as they are often invisible to the industry workplace and can also be contracted to their employer with ‘golden handcuffs’ such as scholarships and student loans.
be applied to skills training under administration by approved Aviation Training Organisations (ATOs).
Amongst all of these is the person who is the jewel in the crown of a training organisation – a dedicated trainer. These are people who derive their personal and career satisfaction, not from doing the job, but from enabling and empowering others to do the job. To a large extent, the success of the training component of
Another huge break for the aviation industry is that there is no special type or basic personality needed for an individual to find a suitable career. The spread of skills demands is so wide that there is likely to be a job for anyone irrespective of their ‘type’. An aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) and a cabin crew member have vastly differing job requirements and accordingly, to be successful, will needs have very differing basic personas and skills.
the aviation industry will rest on the shoulders of the ‘dedicated’ trainers.
‘ Some enter pr is ing organis ations have elevated successful student graduates to inst r uctor pos itions ”
Africa also has a massive opportunity in its extensive smart and eager but relatively unskilled population, and it is here that we should look to bridging the skills gap in the aviation industry. Many Africans are unaware that they could be aviation professionals and those that are, often do not have access to the funds needed for the qualifications. This creates opportunities for a spread of sub-industries to increase awareness that their dream is in fact possible and then supply the funding and support mechanisms while the student qualifies.
There is also scope for public private partnerships (PPP) where governments could unlock some of their higher education budget to
ARE YOU THE RIGHT PERSONALITY TYPE?
The organisations who have participated in this supplement are professional, dedicated entities that offer a wide spread of education opportunities, not only for new incumbents into the aviation industry, but also for those wanting to ‘upskill’ to better and more career fulfilling positions. Many young people (and a few older ones), dream about a career in aviation, and there has never been a better time than now, to take the action to turn those dreams into reality. j
PILOT TRAINING Aeronav Academy is committed to providing top-level flight training utilising the most modern equipment available. This not only gives our clients an enjoyable training experience but also provides Aeronav the ability to conduct flight training in a manner that ensures that student pilots will be ready and well equipped to enter the aviation industry of the future. Aeronav Academy is proud to offer a dynamic fleet of aircraft, including Diamond DA20s, Cessna 182s and the Diamond DA42 Twinstar Multi-engine trainer. The Academy’s latest acquisition is the impressive Alsim ALX-65 flight simulator. The amazingly realistic graphics feel
of the controls and response make training in this flight simulator a truly first class experience.
AERONAV ACADEMY The school is based at Lanseria Airport. A controlled airspace provides students with an excellent grounding in procedures and gives them the experience needed to cope with operating in a busy airline orientated environment. Whether you choose to fly for pleasure or wish to make aviation your career, Aeronav can provide you with an approved course tailored to your needs. Tel No: + 27 11 701 3862 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.aeronav.co.za
P P L T O AT P L T R A I N I N G A N D E V E RY T H I N G I N B E T W E E N SA Flyer 2021|09
T R A I N O N T H E M O ST M O D E R N F L I G HT S I M U L AT O R AVA I L A B L E I N S O UT H A F R I C A • Now certified for TCAS training . • R N AV a n d G N S S Certified on all flight models from single engine to turbine.
W IT H N E W V F R - L E V E L
CONTACT US OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION: Tel: 011 701 3862 E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.aeronav.co.za SACAA ATO No: SACAA/1110/ATO
HELICOPTER, AEROPLANE AND DRONE
PILOT TRAINING BOOK AN INTRO FLIGHT TODAY!
Durban: +27 31 571 6600 Mossel Bay: +27 44 692 0006 firstname.lastname@example.org 88
www.starliteaviation.com September 2021
Starlite Aviation Training Academy
TRAINING HELICOPTER, AEROPLANE AND DRONE PILOTS FOR TOMORROW! With the onset of Covid-19 and the toll it has taken on the airline industry, it appears that a career in aviation is not a viable option. Nothing can be further than the truth! It is predicted that post Covid-19, shall see a dramatic global demand for young, qualified pilots in both the commercial and corporate sectors. What does it take to become a pilot? Besides the basic requirements of being physically fit and proficient in English, your passion for flying and attributes such as selfdiscipline, being a team player and the love of learning everything aviation, will see you succeed at your goal of becoming a pilot. What subjects should I take at school to ensure and when can I begin training? Whilst not a pre-requite for entry into a student pilot training programme, Mathematics, Physical Science and Geography, play a significant role in the study of Aerodynamics, Flight Planning and Meteorology. Students can begin ground school at aged 15 and achieve their first solo flight at 16.
Why Starlite? Starlite’s global footprint of operating on 5 continents in over 30 countries and proven track record makes for a stellar reputation. https://www.starliteaviation.com/ Starlite Aviation Training Academy offers helicopter, aeroplane and drone pilot training at campuses in Durban and Mossel Bay, South Africa, offering cost-effective, student specific tailored courses, with the added advantage of perfect flying conditions all year round, most appealing to international and local students. Employing only the highest calibre of ground school and flight instructors, most of whom have been through the Academy, Starlite is committed to delivering superior technology transfer, utilising an extensive fleet of aircraft and state of the art simulators. A student’s association with Starlite’s will undoubtably make them more marketable and open many doors in the aviation sector. Helicopter or Aeroplane? Not sure? Book an Introductory Flight, take control and experience flying first-hand!
FOR AN APPOINTMENT TO DISCUSS YOUR STUDY PROGRAMME: Call: +27 31 5716600
Want to know more? https://www.starliteaviation.com/training/
ALPI AVIATION PILOT TRAINING
Not ‘just another’ flying academy
A childhood dream and a great passion for all things aviation led to the founding of this company. Alpi Aviation is headed by avid
organisation to cater for those who don’t want to be, ‘just another pilot’. The intention was to build an accredited Flight School, certified to CAA standards, using experienced instructors with an ethos of respect toward all their students.
aviation enthusiast, Dale de Klerk, who is an accomplished hangglider, microlight, glider and fixed-wing pilot.
At Alpi Aviation, we value the individuality of each student, and we will do our utmost to hone their capabilities and enhance their passion.
Dale has won several regional and national competitions, becoming world Rally Flying Champion in 2003. Dale also earned his Springbok Flying colours in Rally and Precision flying from 1995 through to 2004, and continues to challenge his considerable aviation capabilities in a wide range of aviation techniques, styles and aircraft.
No one is ‘just another student pilot’. It is with this credo in mind that we invite you to personally experience how our broad background of solid aviation experience and expertise can take your flying career to new heights.
ALPI Aviation SA was established after the demand arose for an accredited training
Contact Alpi Aviation on: Tel: +27 82 556 3592 Email: email@example.com Website: www.alpiaviation.co.za j
AVCON JET AFRICA AVCON JET AFRICA was established at Grand Central Airport in 2013, focusing on our extreme professionalism and corporate culture. We are proud to be part of the Avcon Jet Group, allowing us to serve not only the national markets, but beyond; bringing in an even higher and more diverse level of expertise. Avcon Jet Africa is at its core - a specialist Aviation Consulting Company. We offer Air Charters, In-House Simulators, Glass Cockpit Aircraft, Aircraft Sales and Accounts Management, including a wide variety of flight training solutions to suit your aviation career needs. Curious about our Hire & Fly packages? Fly in one of the most well-maintained fleets in South Africa. Join us on a few of our more exciting adventures - like our monthly fly-away’s where all kinds of aviators are welcome, or walk on the wild side with one of our exclusive Self Fly Safari’s - which is guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping. Our Self Fly Safari’s are truly one of a kind, priceless experiences. Our main goal is
showcasing the best that Southern Africa has to offer - from our stunning landscapes, our diverse range of fascinating cultures, to our unique and equally beautiful wildlife; embark on an adventure touring our countryside with a birdseye-view, in a way only aviators can. See the world like never before, by booking your introductory flight. We strive to offer you the best of the best with our modern facilities, passionate, experienced experienced instructors and our well-maintained private fleet. Adventure is at your fingertips! Jump start your aviation career today with Avcon Jet Africa by your side. Find us at: Avcon Jet Africa, Main Terminal, Grand Central Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa. Web: www.avconjet.training Tel: 011 312 5676 Facebook: @avconjetafrica Instagram: @avconjet_africa LinkedIn: @avconjet-africa Whatsapp: +27 79 026 5250 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale de Klerk Cell: +27825563592 Fax: 0866058948 Skype: dale_de_klerk Email: email@example.com
General Aircraft Straight Cord
MP3 Player Interface
Features: • GA use dual plugs • Active noise reduction rating(NRR):29 dB. • Passive noise reduction rating(NRR):23 dB. • Small AA battery box with belt clip. (Battery not included) • Comfortable half gel half foam earpad • Clear hear performance audio speakers
FOR MORE INFOMATION: DALE: +27 82 556 3592
R 8400.00 • Noise-Canceling electret microphone, dynamic microphone can be replaced • Fully adjustable spring steel headband • Low profile volume control knob • Earphone Plug: PJ-055(.25” F6,3 phone plug) • Microphone Plug: PJ-068(.206” F5.2 phone plug) • Straight cord from headset to molded plugs, 150 cm
MP3 Player Interface
Features: • • • • • •
GA use dual plugs Active noise reduction rating(NRR):29 dB. Passive noise reduction rating(NRR):23 dB. Small AA battery box with belt clip. (Battery not included) Comfortable half gel half foam earpad Clear hear performance audio speakers
FOR MORE INFOMATION: DALE: +27 82 556 3592
• • • • • •
Noise-Canceling electret microphone, dynamic microphone can be replaced Fully adjustable spring steel headband Low profile volume control knob Earphone Plug: PJ-055(.25” F6,3 phone plug) Microphone Plug: PJ-068(.206” F5.2 phone plug) Straight cord from headset to molded plugs, 150 cm
PH-100AC R 8 400.00
MP3 Player Interface
Features: • • • • • •
GA use dual plugs Active noise reduction rating(NRR):29 dB. Passive noise reduction rating(NRR):23 dB. Small AA battery box with belt clip. (Battery not included) Comfortable half gel half foam earpad Clear hear performance audio speakers
FOR MORE INFOMATION: DALE: +27 82 556 3592
• • • • • •
Noise-Canceling electret microphone, dynamic microphone can be replaced Fully adjustable spring steel headband Low profile volume control knob Earphone Plug: PJ-055(.25” F6,3 phone plug) Microphone Plug: PJ-068(.206” F5.2 phone plug) Straight cord from headset to molded plugs, 150 cm
PH-100AC-BT R 11 500.00
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PH-100A R 3 250.00
w w w. a l p i a v i a t i o n . c o . z a
Dale de Klerk Cell: +27825563592 Fax: 0866058948 Skype: dale_de_klerk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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WE NOW OFFER TA I L W H E E L TRAINING & A E R O B AT IC TRAINING
w w w. a l p i a v i a t i o n . c o . z a
WE PROVIDE ALL FORMS of flying training and self-fly hire with the specific goal of making flying accessible to as many people as possible, within a friendly environment where members, students and their guests can relax after their flights. The Algoa Flying Club, a not for profit organisation of flying enthusiasts with the aims and objects of promoting flying and flying training in all its facets and to the highest
We boast a fleet of Cessna 152’s, Cessna 172’s, a Cessna 172Rg, a Sling 2, a Piper Comanche, a Piper Seminole and an Airvan GA8 and a SACAA Accredited Elite Evolution S812 (FNPT 11) Simulator, which offers Multi Engine Piston based on the Beech Baron B58 and a Single Engine Piston based on the Cessna 172RG.
ALGOA FLYING CLUB
Contact: Telephone +27 41 581 3274 Email email@example.com j
standards. It’s the shared experience that helps to make the Algoa Flying Club the right place to earn your wings.
Give your career in aviation a great start!
ALGOA FLYING CLUB TRAINING PILOTS FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS PPL, CPL & ATPL Night Rating Instrument Rating Multi Engine Rating Instructor Rating Airvan Conversions Revalidations
• 5 Year SACAA ATO Certificate • Elite S812 FNPT II Simulator • PPL Exam Test Centre • English Language Proficiency
• Radio Telephony Proficiency • Pilot Shop • Club Facilities • Friendly & Professional
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• • • • • • •
SA Flyer 2021 | 09
PREPARE FOR POST COVID IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NOW IS THE TIME TO LEARN:
• PRIVATE PILOT TO AIRLINE TRANSPORT PILOT • NIGHT RATING • INSTRUMENT RATING • MULTI ENGINE CLASS RATING • TURBINE RATING • INSTRUCTORS RATING • ENGLISH PROFICIENCY • PPL & CPL GROUND SCHOOL LECTURES. FLEET SIZE IS: 19 X C172, 12 X WARRIOR, 7 X SEMINOLE, 3 X KING AIR C90
CONTACT US: Tel: +27 (44) 272 5547 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.aifa.co.za Instagram: AVIC int Flight Academy www.facebook.com/AIFASA Linkedin: AVIC – International Flight Training Academy
• ALL GARMIN EQUIPPED FLEET • TRAIN AS YOU GOING TO FLY ALL GLASS COCKPIT • AIFA HAS QUALIFIED 1000 CPL PILOTS IN ONLY 10 YEARS OF OPERATIONS 94
AT BLUE CHIP FLIGHT SCHOOL we don’t just love aviation, we live, breathe, sleep and even dream aviation. Until you have seen the view from 1000 feet, you have no idea what you are missing! Blue Chip Flight School provides flight training from the Private Pilot’s Licence to Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence for the last 25 years. We have an accredited in house examination centre; a superb fleet of aircraft that caters for all training needs. We boast with a state of the art simulator that meets the SACAA FNPT II requirements for Night, Instrument and Instructor’s rating and simulator ATPL renewals. We have a paperless electronic booking, authorisation sheet and student filing system.
We strive to recognise and nourish the passion within each student pilot; we consciously develop a disciplined, but harmonious relationship between instructor and student.
BLUE CHIP FLIGHT SCHOOL
Former Blue Chip Students are everywhere in sought after positions in the aviation industry internationally. When you become a pilot, you join an instant family.
Email: email@example.com Tel: 012 543 3050 www.bluechipflightschool.co.za
TRAINING PILOTS TO BECOME CAPTAINS FOR THE LAST 25 YEARS!
FROM PPL TO ATPL ONE ON ONE TRAINING DEDICATED GROUND SCHOOLS STATE OF THE ART SIMULATOR 012 543 3050 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bluechipflightschool.co.za @bluechipflightschool.co.za WATO CAA 0056 PART 61 (A)ur d i t lit !
BORDER AVIATION CLUB & FLIGHT SCHOOL FLIGHT TRAINING AND HIRE & FLY Border Aviation offers diverse training. We carry out Ab-Initio Training (PPL & NPL) ,Commercial Pilot Training, Conversion to type training, Hour building for Commercial Students, Renewals, Instrument Flight Training and Helicopter Training – PPL to CPL. What makes us unique is that our dedicated team of instructors work with each student on a one-on-one basis, offering them tailored training specific to their needs.
We also offer our Training out of three bases; Our East London Airport base allows for Instrument Flight Training (IF Training). Our Wings Park base is situated just outside East London and allows for Short field training. Our third base is at Queenstown Airfield which gives our students an opportunity to do Mountain flying. We welcome any aviation enthusiast from Ab-initio students to the casual weekend flyer to pursue their aviation passion. If you would like to find out more, please feel free to contact us on: Tel: +27 43 736 6181 Email: email@example.com j
LEARN TO FLY WITH
043 736 6181 I TRAINING FROM: EAST LONDON I WINGS PARK AIRFIELD I QUEENSTOWN
HENLEY AERONAUTICAL INSTITUTE OF LEARNING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC has exposed a glaring inadequacy in pilot training. Highly specialised, high-time crew members suddenly find themselves without work…but more importantly: without a backup qualification to revert to.
One year option: PPL(H) and Higher Certificate in Aviation Management
Henley Aeronautical Institute of Learning in partnership with STADIO Higher Education has recognised the need for high quality, simultaneous dual qualifications within the aviation industry. Our vision is to equip learners at every stage of their aviation career with concurrent, carefully tailored business skills, ensuring that graduates are well-rounded and multi-skilled. Successful STADIO candidates leave the program with dual qualifications:
Initially focused on helicopter pilot training, the goal is to eventually encapsulate a wide variety of aviation training options through unique partnerships with institutions at various junctions of the aeronautical spectrum.
Three year option: CPL(H)/IFR and Diploma in Aviation Management Four year option: Frozen ATPL(H) and Advanced Diploma in Aviation Management
Contact Henley Aeronautical Institute of Learning on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.h-a-i-l.co.za for more information. j
Are you a helicopter pilot? Has Covid-19 rendered you redundant or revealed the need for a backup qualification, or "Plan B"? Are you a parent looking to fund a helicopter licence for your matriculant in 2022? Has Covid-19 made you nervous about spending so much money only for your child's skill to become virtually useless overnight?
(without the need to give up on your flying dream!)
in partnership with
STADIO will shortly be accepting applications for the 2022 academic year:
Higher Certificate in Aviation Management (includes concurrent SACAA PPL(H))
The 2023 academic year will see the launch of:
Diploma in Aviation Management
Henley Aeronautical Institute of Learning is a proud member of the
(includes concurrent SACAA CPL/IF(H))
Advanced Diploma in Aviation Management (includes concurrent SACAA ATPL(H))
group of companies
Be ahead of the pack when it comes to equipping yourself for the future! email@example.com | www.h-a-i-l.co.za | Hangar 6, Rand Airport, 1419
FLIGHT TRAINING SERVICES FLIGHT TRAINING SERVICES (FTS) is a longestablished flight school conveniently based at Grand Central Airport. Being based at Grand Central gives FTS the ability to provide costeffective training which does not require lengthy holds on the ground, as is the case at large and busy airports – and yet Grand Central is still busy enough to make sure that the students learn to cope with a pressurised and demanding air space environment which lays for the foundation for the move up to commercial flying at busy airports. As a measure of the school’s excellence, it has attracted students from all over the world, from places as diverse as Nepal and Egypt. To accommodate international students, FTS has arranged excellent accommodation with full support services, including a bus to transport
students to and from the airport – which is just 10 minutes away. The school’s fleet consists of the universally popular Cessna C172, with fixed and retractable undercarriage, Piper Cherokees and a Twin Comanche for multi-engine training. All these aircraft are excellently maintained, as is evidenced by their high availability rate for training. The school’s owner and manager has established a solid reputation for excellent client service to her students – and this has meant that word of mouth and the power of personal recommendation have been the biggest drivers for the school’s steady growth. Contact the school at: 011 805-9015/6. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.fts.co.za j
INVERSION FLIGHT ACADEMY SINCE 2016, IFA has grown to walk beside you all the way up to your Airline Transport Pilots Licence. We cater for all the ratings required along the way, however we haven’t forgotten the ground from which we grew, “Simplicity and Clarity”. Here at IFA we keep things simple and safe. What you see in day 1 is what you will see on day 273 and beyond. With a dedicated team of 16 our operational efficiency is of a different level, come aboard and experience it for yourself. Our Accommodation of over 45 rooms can host up to 90 students at present, along with our ever-expanding fleet of quality training aircraft.
The first thing you realize as a pilot in the modern aircraft cockpit like the 737 NG is your lack of knowledge on automation. At IFA our flight training enables you to be confident with the different levels of automation and autopilot functions that the aircraft offers, but at the same time the training teaches you when it’s time to press the “A/P disconnect” and fly the 172 manually with confidence. Contact: +27 68 152 98 99 +27 65 889 87 08 Email : email@example.com Website : www.inversionflight.co.za
THE NEXT GENERATION OF PILOT & FLIGHT CREW TRAINING
FLIGHT TRAINING ACCELERATED FLIGHT TRAINING SIMPLIFIED
IFA the home ground for Indian pilots is now welcoming all our budding pilots from SA to experience our professional environment. IFA offers a full range of training from ab-initio Private Pilots Licence and Commercial Pilots Licence to Airline Transport Pilots Licence. IFA can also instruct for Class, Night, Instructors, and Type ratings as well as Radio Telephony Courses and License Renewals.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact: +27 68 152 98 99 or +27 65 889 87 08 100
JOHANNESBURG FLYING ACADEMY established in 1984, are an SACAA approved Flight Training Facility situated South of Johannesburg. Due to our unique location at Panorama airfield, no time is wasted flying to and from the general flying area or on the ground waiting for flight clearances. Johannesburg is an ideal location for flight training, owing to our year-round favourable flying conditions. JFA offer professional training by dedicated and qualified instructors for National Pilot Licence (NPL) Private Pilot Licence (PPL), Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Instructors rating, Night rating, Renewals, Conversions, Endorsements, in a relaxed, professional environment.
Training is carried out,7 days a week, on our modern fleet of 2-seater, Sling Aircraft and is tailored to your individual needs. The course includes all required lectures, briefings and course materials.
JOHANNESBURG FLYING ACADEMY
Our accredited Exam centre ensures that exams can be written to suit your schedule. Contact us for more information. Office: (+27) 064 756 6356 Email: email@example.com www.jhbflying.co.za Address: Panorama Airfield, Kromvlei road, Alberton, 1448 j
A d SAC A e it d e r c Ac ntre ation Ce in m a x E
EXPERIENCE THE THRILL OF FLIGHT LEARN TO FLY
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PILOT TRAINING • • • • • • • • • •
National Pilot License Private Pilot License Commercial Pilot License Night Rating Instructor Rating Conversion to Type Tailwheel Endorsement Renewals Hour Building Introductory Flights
TRAINING FLEET: 4 x Sling 2 1 x Sling Turbo BushCat Tailwheel
Alan Stewart 083 702 3680 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.jhbflying.co.za Panorama Airfield CAA 0055
LITSON & ASSOCIATES AVIATION TRAINING LITSON & ASSOCIATES AGREES that ‘There is no time like the present’. With many people in the aviation industry still working from home/not working at full capacity, now could be the perfect time to take advantage of this quieter period and undertake some training to obtain a qualification which previously they may not have had time to do. L&A’s SA CAA approved ATOs scope of training courses includes from the mandatory 5-day Safety Management System and a 5-day Quality Management System and Auditing course to a one-day ERP and Dangerous Goods workshop. NB: Safety Managers working for an RPAS company will need to provide an SMS certificate, and this will form a part of the SA CAA application procedure for an RPAS remote operating certificate (ROC). All L&A open courses (except for SEPT) are currently presented in a ‘virtual’ classroom with
the facilitator on-line at all times. These on-line training classes require a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 16 delegates, enabling everyone to receive the best individual instruction. On-line training course material is emailed to delegates in advance of their course and certificates emailed directly to them once they have successfully completed their course. In-house corporate training courses receive printed manuals and printed certificates at the end of their course. Virtual training allows easy global access to courses at beneficial rates, without the added cost of travel and accommodation. Corporate courses remain L&A’s speciality, and where a classroom can keep to within strict COVID-19 regulatory guidelines, we have resumed in-class corporate training within South Africa and to countries where flights are permitted. Contact L&A on: email@example.com Phone: +27 21 8517187 Web: www.litson.co.za j
A SA CAA APPROVED TRAINING PROVIDER
Aviation Training Courses * SA CAA ATO 1119 approved courses
• * Safety Management System (5 days) • * Safety Management System Refresher (2 days) • * Dangerous Goods (3 days or 1-day workshop) • * Crew Resource Management (2 days) • Aviation Lead Auditor (3 days) • Occurrence Investigation (5 days) • Emergency Response Planning (ERP) (1 or 3 days)
• Quality Management System and Auditing (5 days)
• Co-ordinator Occupational Health & Safety (COHS) (3 days)
FROM PLANNING TO LANDING
ALL COURSES AVAILABLE ON-LINE (excl SEPT) (live learning in a virtual classroom)
call us on: +27 (0) 21 851 7187
LANSERIA FLIGHT CENTRE
LFC is the first choice among aspiring pilots for professional flight training; we cater for domestic & international students, and offer full-time or part-time training.
With his team and over 35 years’ experience, Ian Dyson looks forward to continuing a rich tradition of professional pilot training and flight services to the aviation industry. We have successfully trained both domestic and international airline pilots, hobby aviators, hour-building programs and supported advanced pilot training. Many of our students now fly for the world’s top airlines including British Airways, Qantas and Emirates. Contact: Grand Central Airport, Midrand +27 11 312 5166 www.flylfc.com j
• PROFESSIONAL TRAINING • PPL, CPL • AIRLINE PILOT’S LICENCE • JET RATING • SIMULATOR
Com Grou mercial nd S Indiv chool idu subje al c welco ts me.
Froz e A AT n P avai L now lable
• GLASS COCKPIT • SUPERB FLEET
EAS A vers ions
SA Flyer 2013|02
LANSERIA FLIGHT CENTRE, established in 1989 offers professional flight training now located at Grand Central Airport. Our aim is to provide our clients with the highest standard of comprehensive training available and experience that you can draw on to plan your training and future in aviation. LFC is internationally recognised as a first-class flight school and aviation training organisation. We specialise in providing professional pilot training and private pilot training for domestic and international aviation students.
LANSERIA FLIGHT CENTRE PILOT TRAINING • AIR CHARTER firstname.lastname@example.org www.flylfc.com GRAND CENTRAL AIRPORT TEL: 011 3125166; 011 6592810 CAA0040 September 2021
SKYHAWK AVIATION SKYHAWK AVIATION was established by Mike Gough (Airbus Training Captain and SA Flyer columnist) in 2008. Well established as the dominant operation in the flight training environment at Lanseria International Airport, Skyhawk Aviation offers all the resources required for the successful completion of all CAA licences and ratings. We are approved to conduct the full type rating for the Airbus 320, as well as proficiency checks and ATP revalidations. Aimed specifically at developing the professional pilot, we specialise in both the full turn-key contract clients as well as individuals starting out on the road to flying for a living. Part of our
services include accommodation, transport and visa services. Skyhawk is associated with the Sakhikamva Foundation, and offers programs to high school learners to expose the kids to aviation. Come and see our Boeing 737 nose section kitted out as a classroom! If you need a reality check about the sometimes hard truth about becoming a career pilot, then you can’t go far wrong by dropping in at Hanger 30, Gate 5 at Lanseria. Tel: 011 701 2622 Email: email@example.com Website: www.skyhawk.co.za j
Skyhawk Aviation Launching Careers Find out if you have it in you to join the elite few that are entrusted with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of aircraft, along with a couple of hundred of precious lives. If you do, and are utterly determined to succeed, we will get you from zero to employability with airlines and commercial air operators. We cover every aspect of pilot training as well as that all-important career development that will deﬁne your future ﬂight path. Learn with an Airline Captain who’s done the hard yards. Your track record starts here.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.skyhawk.co.za SACAA 0339
VIRGINIA FLIGHT SCHOOL, is the oldest flight school at Virginia airfield, having been founded in 1989 by Clyde Walker. The school was taken over by the Fraser family in 2013, and they have worked tirelessly to ensure continuous growth and success. Our dedicated staff and instructors- operating under the watchful eye of Mr. Dewald Potgieter (Chief Flight Instructor) - work hard daily to ensure a high level of instruction and service delivery. Our approach is a one-onone relationship and therefore we ensure a professional yet personal relationship with each student, thereby helping them achieve their goals be it a PPL, CPL or ATPL. Our range of aircraft include Cessna 152/172/172R, as well
as Cherokee 140 and a FNPT11 simulator.
VIRGINIA FLIGHT SCHOOL We are also extremely fortunate to have a team of dedicated Members who manage our Safety Management and Quality Assurance to the highest level. Flight training is our passion! We will do whatever it takes to help you achieve your goals. Virginia Flight School – Reaching New Heights. Tel: +27 31 563 2080 Mobile: +27 82 826 6413 www.vfs.co.za j
Reaching new heights
OUR FLEET OF AIRCRAFT: Virginia Flight School currently has a wide range of aircraft that a person may choose to fly, these include: Cessna 152 (C152), Cessna 172 (C172), Cessna 172 Retractable (C72R), Piper Cherokee 140 (P28A), Simulator (FNPT11)
Tel: +27 31 563 2080 Mobile: +27 82 826 6413 Website: www.vfs.co.za
GADGET OF THE MONTH
AIRCRAFT COATINGS WELL OKAY MAYBE an aircraft coating is not strictly a gadget – but we are getting reports of how good the latest aircraft coating is. Barend de Toit is the local agent for Feynlabs range of coatings, and he has expanded his market to include a ceramic aircraft coating. He launched this ceramic coating on a particularly challenging aircraft – Dennis Jankelow’s personal V-tail Bonanza which, while still pristine, had been painted 20 years ago and whose paint job was therefore dull and heavily oxidised.
and, as can be seen from the pictures, the result is astoundingly impressive. There are many benefits: The ceramic coating reduces surface friction (the boundary layer) and makes the aircraft more slippery and thus either faster or more fuel efficient. Best of all, the ceramic coating will preserve its gloss look for years longer than all other clear coatings. And the plane is far easier to keep clean.
the result is astoundingly impressive
Barend du Toit says that the key for aircraft coatings is 80% preparation and just 20% in the application. For aviation use there is a four-part coating process. Barend and his team spent almost a week polishing the old oxide coating off the V-tail. They then applied the ceramic coating
This Bonanza's 20 year old paint scheme glossed up to better than new.
A typical cost for a single engine piston varies from R20,000 to R30,000 depending on the age of the paint scheme. It is best to have the ceramic coating applied shortly after a new paint job. For more information contact Barend on 083-721-9355. j
The old and new on the wing surface. It's easy to see how surface friction would be reduced.
CEO'S OF AVIATION MEET
Meet the CEO The Covid-19 need for social distancing has forced most of us to cut down our face to face contact. For business leaders this is particularly undesirable as many customers like to have a real person to relate to as the face of the company. For this reason, SA Flyer and FlightCom brings you an innovative ‘Meet the CEO’ opportunity – so that you can refresh your knowledge of the CEOs you deal with, and at the same time contribute to a worthy cause. WE HAVE ALL FELT the devastation of COVID-19, and as Africa’s leading monthly aviation publication we want to make a small difference in the lives of those less fortunate, by pledging a portion of the proceeds from this CEO Guide to a good cause. SA Flyer is giving 10% of the total income received from this Guide to the CEO’s preferred charity or foundation. We work on a full disclosure basis, whereby, as we receive payments, we will furnish each individual company with our proof of payment to their requested charity or foundation. Once all payments have been received, we will also disclose in an upcoming issue of SA Flyer exactly how much money was raised and donated, with mention of all the companies who made this possible, including your logo. Not only is this an excellent opportunity for CEO, company and brand recognition and marketing
exposure, but it is also for a good cause – let’s help the less fortunate together! The message that the avaiation community cares will be spread wide. The CEO Guide will be promoted on all of the following digital marketing platforms – available to read and share with the world for free: * It will be uploaded onto our information-rich website news feed www.saflyer.com * Our industry leading Facebook page. * An Email blast to thousands of our key contacts & decision makers – this includes the local aviation community. * And to link directly to the CEOs customers, the CEO profiles will include a hyperlink to the company website address. While the temptation not to blow your own trumpet is always there – Guy Leitch, as Editor and Publisher of SA Flyer was persuaded to kick off the profiles with one of his own. j
FLYER & AVIATION PUBLICATIONS GUY LEITCH CEO – FLYER & AVIATION PUBLICATIONS (SA FLYER) Dr Guy Leitch was born in England and grew up in South Africa. Educated in Johannesburg, at St John’s College and Wits, he has a MSc in Development Finance and a PhD on African airlines. Guy has had several different careers over the years, and he brings this diverse knowledge and business acumen to the aviation industry. In the early 1990s he was the CEO of a large low-income housing company. He was then appointed as the Managing Director of a division of a major bank to manage their large book of repossessed properties. At the same time, he started writing and contributing to aviation and financial publications. In 2005, he combined his two passions of aviation and writing by purchasing SA Flyer Magazine, which is by far the largest selling and
FlightCm African Commercial Aviation
widely read African aviation publication. Guy used the SA Flyer platform to launch FlightCom magazine, which covers the aviation industry in Africa. He also published Intercom magazine for SAA Flight Operations. He is a Private Pilot with Night and Multi-engine ratings and a glider pilot. Guy has become an aviation analyst in demand by several prominent local and international TV, radio and print publications, with regular contributions to respected media outlets. He has been married to Nicola for thirty-two years and they have three children and a neurotic Dachshund. Nicola owns highly rated guest houses in Simon’s Town and now Hoedspruit, where they live. j
Henley Air BOETA DIPPENAAR is the new CEO of Henley Air, which also includes the intensive care medical service, Rocket HEMS. He took over the role as CEO of this fastgrowing aeronautical company in South Africa on 1 July this year. The company lives by the values of excellence, reliability, safety, care and sustainability. “We focus on human interaction. It is such an important part of our work. Life is precious and your health is your biggest asset.” Staying calm in stressful situations, studying hard, perseverance and a belief in a bigger purpose, are just some of the attributes which catapulted him from the cricket field into an executive role.
Dippenaar was the first pilot to fly the Rocket helicopter a year ago and says one of the ingredients for success is the company’s commitment to support their staff and crew. "To take ownership of their talents and unlock their full potential for the benefit of the country, the company, their families and themselves.” That is also the mission statement of Henley Air. j September 2021
SKYHAWK MIKE AND TRACEY GOUGH, CEO and Accountable Manager respectively of Skyhawk Aviation (Pty) Ltd. Situated in Hangar 30, Skyhawk has grown over the last thirteen years to a fleet of 16 aircraft, averaging over a thousand ours of flight instruction per month. Skyhawk has the capability of training from zero experience right through to Airbus A320 Type Rating. Mike also runs aviation awareness programs for the youth in conjunction with the Sakhikamva Foundation and Lanseria Airport Management. j
DJA Aviation GROUP CEO: LANCE WILLIAMS Lance is the Group Chief Executive Officer of i capital and managing director of DJA Aviation. He is one of the original founders of i capital and serves as a director, and is actively involved in the day to day management, of all of the various group’s short-term insurance intermediary companies. He graduated from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1994 with a B.Comm BAcc (with distinction) and placed in the top ten in the board exam (QE) in 1995. Lance holds a number of non-executive directorships, including serving on the board of the Reach for a Dream Foundation. Prior to his co-founding i capital in 1998, Lance was an associate within the Corporate Finance division of the Union Bank of Switzerland. Lance served his accounting articles at Price
Waterhouse and was also employed in its corporate finance department. Lance is married to Roanna and is the proud father of four girls. j
ALPI AVIATION FROM THE TIME I was an eight year old boy peering wide-eyed over the fence at Springs Airfield to the adrenaline-fueled sorties at the controls of several high performance aircraft; aviation has been the essence of my being. Now 45 years and over 140 aircraft ratings (motorised and non-motorised) later, the passion is far from waning. Passion is, after all, at the foundation of Alpi Aviation. I’ve been privileged to win several regional and national competitions, becoming world Rally Flying Champion together with
my friend, Nigel Hopkins in 2003. I earned Springbok Flying colours in Rally and Precision flying from 1995 through to 2004, and competing twice in the World Air Games. A defining moment in my aviation career was being interviewed by the iconic Neil Armstrong. My favourite aircraft is my 1940 Piper J3 Cub (wryly named Mrs de Klerk) – personally, it embodies the feel and the freedom of aviation in its simplest form. j
ASCEND AVIATION ‘Trustworthy Sales, Airworthy Excellence’
MAARTIN STEENKAMP STARTED flying when he was knee-high, he graduated with a background in law and has logged 25 years of experience in aircraft sales, during which time he also held a commercial pilot’s license. Maartin Steenkamp established Ascend Aviation in early 2014. Ascend Aviation and its team of specialists now boast a combined 90 years of experience in the Aviation sales industry and are one of the leading export and import sales companies of Turbine and Jet aircraft in Africa. Ascend is proud to be the preferred “go to” company for Leaders of State, Fortune 500 companies and Leaders of all business sectors throughout the world. Maartin is especially known for the relationships he has built with his clients over the decades.
Maartin and his team’s market knowledge and track record is greatly respected in the industry and Ascend Aviation’s customers can be assured that they are getting the most honest, independent, objective solutions to their present and future requirements. Contact Ascend Aviation on: Tel: +27 (0)11 064 5624 Email: email@example.com Website: www.ascendaviation.co.za
AIFA CEO – FRANCOIS (PIKKIE) SIEBRITS Pikkie started his flying career in the South African Air Force in 1969. He received his wings in 1971 and 1974 he commenced the obligatory and dreaded Air Force Pilot instructors course. Pikkie quickly became hooked on instruction and the satisfaction of seeing a young person master flying. His passion for instruction grew further in his role as a Pilot Attack Instructor at AFB Pietersburg, where young pilots tested the aircraft to maximum limitations in air combat. He flew Commercial B747 Classic’s from 2001 to 2015 for Hydro Cargo and Air Atlanta Icelandic where he qualified as a Line Instructor and Check Captain. In 2017 he was appointed CEO at Avic International Flight Training Academy.
Pikkie understands the challenges of flight training today where there is a fine balance between using advancements in aviation technology and flying by the seat of your pants. “Every successful student is a triumph, every unsuccessful student is a disappointment because they will never experience the joy of flight as I did.” j
Robinson Helicopter Company KURT ROBINSON – PRESIDENT, ROBINSON HELICOPTER COMPANY Kurt Robinson is the president and CEO of Robinson Helicopter Company, a privately held company located in the Torrance, California, USA. An economist and businessman by training, Kurt holds many qualifications including a Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of California at San Diego. Kurt is a rated pilot in various types and a
commercial pilot as well with nearly 1100 hours as pilot in command. During his more than 35 years at Robinson Helicopter, Kurt learned the ropes from the ground up, working in a multitude of positions from expediting to support management before graduating to president and leading the company in 2010. Kurt also served on the Board of the International Helicopter Safety Team (IHST) from 2012-2020. j
AviSys DEWALD KRYNAUW is the CEO/ Accountable Manager and Founder of AviSys Aviation Systems. He founded the Company in April 2011 after seeing the dire need in the Aviation Sector for local expertise to cater specifically for customers’ requirements. Avisys specialize in the overhaul and repair of aircraft and helicopter components. With over 32 years of dedicated maintenance experience including military aircrew experience, Dewald is also a licensed Class I AME. He remains the driving force behind AviSys and they currently cater for the overhaul on numerous manufacturers’ wheels, brakes, landing gear compliments, engine fire bottles, helicopter servo controls and various hydraulic actuating components. This is all performed under their current AMO Ops Spec’s and Capability List.
Dewald Krynauw and the AviSys Team remain determined to uphold their good reputation and keep serving their loyal customer base and all new customers with the same dedication and dependability that their clients have grown to trust. Hangar 17 Wonderboom Airport Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +27 (0) 83 442 5884 Fax: +27 (0) 86 618 6996 Website: www.avisys.co.za j
For all your SACAA approved
Mistral Aviation PETER JOINED SAA as an apprentice aircraft mechanic in January 1970. After qualifying in 1973, he worked in Major and Line maintenance, doing a licence on the 707, then trained as a flight engineer in 1975 on B727s and later B747s & the JU52 He also worked as an instructor on 727, 737 and 747s He worked for Air Mauritius for three years and then Phoenix Airways, as their Chief Flight Engineer. The owners of the Phoenix aircraft, Chatterjee and Soros, approached him to be their technical representative in South Africa and he provided technical representation on the first conversion of a B727 passenger aircraft to a freighter at Safair. CS Aviation then transferred him to New York
We are situated at 30B, AEROSPACE ELECTROPLATING Buildin Call Des on 011 827 7535 or 06
or Peter on 081 775 2434 or 08 as Vice President For all your Aircraft and Allied E AMO 5 06 Technical where he oversaw maintenance For all your SACAA approved plating requirements of their fleet of 50 + aircraft worldwide. This included an A300 passenger to freighter conversion project undertaken at Filton in the UK. When the project came We are situated at 30B, Building 98, Rand Airport. Nex to an end Peter headed home to start and build Des on Services. 011 827 7535 or 063 150 1533 MistralCall Aviation or Peter on 081 775 2434 or 083 208 7244 For all your Aircraft and Allied Electroplating and queri E-Mail: Peter@mistral.co.za Website: www. mistral.co.za j
Executive Aircraft Refurbishment CEO – FRANCOIS DENTON Francois Denton has been refurbishing aircraft since 1999. Starting out, he worked late nights on refurbishment projects and studied after hours. He realized at a young age that he enjoys working with his hands, and in school realized his love for art, including oil paintings, sketching and building objects from scratch. Francois has been passionate about aircraft as long as he can remember. His dream was to combine art and aviation; and live out his passion by refurbishing aircraft.
Today Executive Aircraft Refurbishment consists of 38 staff members working in various departments.
He enjoys everything from designing and Francois has a loyal customer base of local TO BECOME development of aircraft interiors to doing and international clients. His motto has always CAPTAINS FOR the actual physical work. This includes foam THEbeen to stay humble, work hard, pray hard and building, stitching the seats, manufacturing LAST 25 YEARS! love hard. and installation of floor carpets, refurbishing headliners and side panels, refurbishing Francois Denton interior wood work and cabinets, repairs C: +27 82 547 8379 and spray painting of interior and exterior T: 010 900 4149 FROM PPL TOsafety ATPL email@example.com components, re-web and re-certify belts ONEsurvival ON ONE TRAINING Website: www.earefurbishment.com j as well as servicing all equipment. DEDICATED GROUND SCHOOLS STATE OF THE ART SIMULATOR
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BLUECHIP CEO - HENK KRAAIJ
In 2003 Henk obtained his Micro light Pilot’s License at the age of 17. He completed his micro light instructor’s license in 2006 and enrolled with Tukkies to obtain his degree in Financial Management. The same year, he enrolled at Blue Chip Flight School to obtain his Private Pilot License, which he completed in 3 months. After completing his degree, he joined FlyJetstream Aviation, a charter company based at Wonderboom Airport. He managed the fleet of aircraft, scheduled aircraft services, towing aircraft, loading cargo and dispatch aircraft on time. He was responsible for legislative compliance, safety, quality management and attended various relative courses; Henk acquired shares and became a director of the company.
WATO CAA 0056 PART 61 (A)ur d i t lit !
When the opportunity presented itself to secure shares in Blue Chip Flight School, he grasped at the opportunity and became a director and shareholder. “My passion is to grow the school to be one of the most sought after aviation training schools, where safety will never be compromised. I am a team player and work closely with the Exco team to ensure that every team member focus on their particular area. We believe in commitment towards our clients, professionalism and ethical standards in everything we do, and a deep intellectual honesty to tell it like it is in direct straight forward language and to deliver what we promise.” - “I believe in an open door policy and you may contact me at:” 082 828 1406, email@example.com j
Cirrus Aircraft: CSA Aviation Pty Ltd CIRRUS AIRCRAFT is the recognized global leader in personal aviation, the SR 22 has been the number 1 selling single piston in the world for the last 20 years, and the SF50 Vision Jet is the first ever Owner / pilot single jet engine aircraft produced. Cirrus Aircraft recently appointed a new global CEO Zean Nielson, the former CEO of Tesla motor vehicles. Locally in Southern Africa, Tony Forbes and his company CSA Aviation Pty Ltd, have been appointed the new agents for Cirrus Aircraft, taking over all aspects of the Cirrus Aircraft Brand. Including the sales agency, a newly appointed ATO and maintenance facility. In the 9 months since taking over the agency, CSA has been authorized by Cirrus Aircraft as a Certified training center and service facility with all the relevant personal being approved directly by the Cirrus factory. Tony Forbes has been involved with Cirrus aircraft for the last 5 years, having previously invested in the brand. His passion for aviation is long lived having first completed his PPL in Zimbabwe as a youngster. After a career in electrical engineering, Tony found his way back into aviation, owning and flying various aircraft over the last few years, including Cessna 206, Conquest 441 and his most recent project a 1950’s Stinson taildragger. Undoubtedly as a general aviation enthusiast Tony was led to Cirrus, and now a confessed Cirrus convert, Tony’s passion for general aviation, business and
innovation has led him to take the helm of this brand. Having completed his grade II instructors’ course through Cirrus and active in Cirrus Instruction Tony is a hands-on CEO, getting involved with basic ab initio PPL training, advanced training, ferry flying and Vision jet mentor flying. Tony will be seen around the flight school daily, always available for a coffee and a conversation around his next Cirrus Life adventure. “Cirrus aircraft offer an unrivalled product in the personal aviation sector; I am excited to now have the opportunity to uplift the brand locally and create the environment for Cirrus to really flourish in the regional African market.” j
Titan Helicopter Group CEO MARTIN MICHEAL STEYNBERG Martin Steynberg has been the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Titan Helicopters since 2000, which grew to become the Titan Helicopter Group with a worldwide footprint 20 years later and consists of more than 24 companies in various Countries Worldwide. Building a Helicopter company from the ashes of an accident by its predecessor Heyns Helicopters was no easy feat and staying ahead of the game is hard work. It does not come without sacrifices and many sleepless nights. With Vertical integration as the business model THG has established its place in the helicopter world today After completing his school career Martin joined the SA Airforce in 1980 and Studied Partime at Unisa towards his accounting qualification. Adding to his profile Martin spent 4 years in France dealing with contracts and International Banks. Later he became a partner in a group of accounting practices in the Southern Cape in South Africa. Martin’s expertise and specialties include but are not limited to new business development, mergers and acquisitions, and all areas of management and accounting. His next great achievement was when he became the Managing Director of Heyns Helicopters and eventually put together a group of Companies to become the Chairman and CEO of the Titan Helicopter Group (THG)
Advancing through his financial career with a Master of Commerce degree,and various business ventures, he has meticulously applied solid business practices to increase revenue and overall business performance on all fronts. His Commitment is the key to success commitment to the industry, his staff and a policy of continuous improvement that ensures growth. Leading from the front is what eventually inspires and motivate upward movement of the Group He leads a cross disciplinary, strategic focused management team that has vast experience in both onshore and offshore helicopter services by providing a fleet of helicopters ranging from Leonardo, Bell and Airbus helicopter types. His first passion is Aviation , Gholfing with his Son, followed by farming, which occupies most of his spare time. j
Vision without action is a daydream. 116
AIRLINK RODGER FOSTER, CEO & MANAGING DIRECTOR, AIRLINK Rodger graduated from WITS University in 1978 with a BSc in Building. After working as a project manager for Metro Cash & Carry in 1981 and 1982 he partnered with Barrie Webb to establish Foster-Webb as a civil engineering and construction company, which branched out into aviation to service its own needs. Following the deregulation of South Africa’s domestic airline market, in 1992 they grasped the opportunity to enter the sector by purchasing what remained of Link Airways, re-equipping it with state-of-the-art regional commuter aircraft and completely overhauling its business model and systems and re-launching it as “Airlink”. Nearly three decades on, Rodger remains at the helm and has piloted Airlink through several storms. On his watch Airlink has flourished to become the foremost independent Southern African regional airline with the most comprehensive network of destinations. In 2019 Airlink operated over 63,000 flights and carried more than two million customers across a route network serving over 30 destinations in 10 African countries and St Helena Island. COVID-19 and the associated restrictions on travel changed the South African and regional landscape. With an agile and robust business, Rodger and his team were able to take advantage of the opportunities that presented and successfully launched
Airlink’s foray into South Africa’s main domestic markets by introducing services on the trunk routes connecting Johannesburg with Cape Town and Durban. Airlink was the first airline in the region to resume scheduled cross-border services and also launched several new routes, including Johannesburg – Windhoek, Johannesburg – Maputo, Cape Town-Harare, Cape Town – Walvis Bay, Johannesburg-Dar es Salaam and Johannesburg – Lubumbashi. Airlink was South Africa’s most punctual airline in 2020*. In June 2021, 97.29% of Airlink flights departed on-time, reflecting Rodger’s laser-focus on detail and providing customers with excellent and reliable service. j *measured by the Airports Company South Africa.
Star Air Cargo CEO - PETER ANNEAR
Peter started his career in aviation after he completed his PPL however had always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In the early 80’s, Lanseria Flight Centre was failing, and Peter was offered the opportunity to run the business with no salary but was offered a 10% commission on all business that he brought through the door. Peter turned the business around in a short period of time. Peter realized quickly that he much preferred hands-on to the routines of office hours and administration. An opportunity arose for him to move onto the DC-3 which he duly did and flew as a First Officer in Mozambique. He later joined Comair on the DC-3 and F27 types. The entrepreneurial spirit continued to grow which saw Peter leave Comair to fly as a free-lance pilot. A Cherokee 6 was acquired with operated scenic flights over Victoria Falls followed by an Aztech, and Cessna 402 which operated on the DHL AOC. Peter saw that he required his own AOC and in 2000, purchased an existing one. The new business, Star Air Cargo, had multiple types in the fleet, and it became evident due to costs and operational complexity that a single aircraft fleet would be beneficial. Star Air Cargo rationalized and moved to a Boeing 737 operation. Work was found for two additional 737s that were placed with Air Tanzania. As the company developed, the B737-200 aircraft were replaced with the more fuel efficient B737300 variant offering greater fuel economy
and greater capacity to clients. A decision was also made to enter the cargo business. Two dedicated B737-300 freighters fitted with freight doors joined the fleet and the company expanded its operation. Today Star Air Cargo operates a fleet of both passenger and cargo aircraft and is in the process of introducing the B737-800 variant. Peter enjoys a hands-on approach to business where all employees are well treated and welcome to pull up a chair and have a chat. Away from work Peter enjoys good red wine, makes a superb margarita, and can be found smoking the occasional cigar. j
Gemair ANDRIES VENTER is a South African Air Force trained engineer with over twelve years of aviation maintenance experience. Gemair was started in 2007 and was driven by his love of aviation. Andries himself holds a South African PPL license. He also owns Out of the Blue Air Safaris a South African AOC. Gemair is a recognised CAA Approved Maintenance Organisation, AMO number 1003, and has a team of nine full time engineers who together have a combined total of over 50 years of aviation experience. Backed up by the full time administrative staff, Gemair is able to perform all your aviation maintenance requirements.
Through the guidance of Andries, Gemair has built a loyal customer base over the years and is synonymous with quality and reliability. Contact Andries Venter: Cell: 082 905 5760 Email: Andries@gemair.co.za
BidAir Cargo WHEN THE RECENT RIOTS disrupted the Republic's surface transport, a fleet of Boeing B737/300F freighters ferried essential and mercy cargo between Johannesburg and Durban. BidAir Cargo CEO, Garry Marshall, said this was a continuation of the cargo airline's contribution since the Covid-19 pandemic locked down the nation. With commercial flights disrupted, the carrier provided a secure, reliable national aviation lifeline meeting the needs of business, commerce, agriculture and government. During his 50 years commercial aviation experience, Garry has tackled varied logistics challenges, managing projects in Europe, Asia and Africa. He was a founder of XPS in 1984, pioneering courier services in an economy desperate for modern logistics options.
Garry says the task of BidAir Cargo CEO is rewarding as he is backed by a team of capable aviation professionals, a supportive holding company and an express logistics industry dedicated to meeting the supply chain needs of South Africa, come what may. j September 2021
208 AVIATION CC www.208aviation.com
BEN ESTERHUIZEN, the CEO of 208 Aviation, has been part of the South African aviation industry since 1994. After completing his apprenticeship at Atlas Aviation, he spent a few years in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo) as flight engineer on DC 6 and DC 4 aircraft. After years of experience at various aviation companies and working all over the world, Ben became extremely skilful at his craft and is an expert at troubleshooting snags. He is a dedicated and very hard-working individual and will not hesitate to walk the extra mile for his customers. Ben’s work in remote locations where support, tools and parts were not readily available moulded him to be able to be resourceful and inventive. When stationed in Indonesia after the devastating 2004 tsunami hit, he once had to perform an engine change with only one helper on a beach where a Cessna Caravan performed an emergency landing after engine failure.
Ben is the founder of 208 Aviation which he established in 2007. The name of the company was born out of his love and expertise for the Cessna 208 Caravan. Ben is the only aircraft maintenance engineer in South Africa with the TBM, Eclipse and Kodiak licences. 208 Aviation is an authorised TBM and Kodiak service centre. The company was also the first AMO in Africa to install a Blackhawk conversion on the Cessna 208 Caravan. Ben is an authorised Blackhawk installation engineer and attended training at the Blackhawk Aerospace facility in Waco, Texas in the United States. 208 Aviation is a proud Blackhawk dealer and installation facility.
208 Aviation specialises in the maintenance of Pratt & Whitney PT6 engine powered aircraft. Their maintenance fleet includes Cessna 208 Caravans, Beechcraft King Airs, Kodiak, TBM and Eclipse. Over the years 208 Aviation has expanded beyond the borders of South Africa and holds CAA approvals for Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Malawi.
Website address: www.208aviation.com Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact number: +27 83 744 3412 j
Avtech RIEKERT STRÖH SNR is the founder and CEO of Avtech Aircraft Services, bringing more than 30 years of executive experience. Riekert began working as an aircraft engineer with Comair in 1972 where he worked for 10 years before moving to Transvaal Aircraft Maintenance where he worked for a further 8 years. He started his own company in 1990 and was later joined by his son Riekert (Jnr) in 1999 to begin Avtech Aircraft Services. As a maintenance provider of airframe services and component services within the industry, Riekert is well known. Through his wealth of knowledge within the engineering trade and as CEO, he has tapped into the potential of the aviation industry and transformed the business into a successful multi-faceted AMO. Avtech maintains Beechcraft, Piper, Cessna, Bellanca, SMA, Scout, Mushshak, Partenavia and Aerostar aircraft.
Riekert is also a co-founder of, Avtech Aviation Components which specialises in the overhaul and repairs of continental and Bendix fuel systems, carburettors and constant speed units which include Woodward, McCauley, Hartzell & PCU5000. j
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FlightCom: September 2021
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A NOTE FROM
THE EDITOR: SAA is like one of the old pioneers of flight, charging ever faster downhill towards a cliff edge, frantically flapping wings that cannot fly. Yet the airline has announced a return to flight on 23 September. In July, SAA announced that it would start cargo flights in early September. That made sense as the reduction in passenger flying and thus associated belly cargo capacity has pushed up demand for cargo flights enormously. But now SAA has instead said it will launch passenger flights – to many destinations that are already well served by Airlink and the low cost carriers.
Less than a month before it is due to resume flying, it is advertising to find a Chief Pilot. The announced Chief Pilot, Captain Themba McClain, seems to have resigned – or disappeared back to eSwatini, where he was moonlighting by flying the king’s Airbus A340. If key appointments are already jumping ship, then the airline’s prospects are even more bleak than first thought. In this issue we have published a letter by a well-informed reader, ‘HJK’ who has done some basic number crunching. His projections for SAA’s return to flying are horrifying. The airline expects to average just 43 passengers per flight – a load factor of 15-25%, yet globally, airlines cannot expect to break even with load factors less than 70%. It is hard to believe that the Takatso consortium’s committed R3 billion will be remotely enough to keep the airline flying. ‘HJK’ expresses the fear that the consortium is a front which will be used to mobilise funds from the hitherto largely sacrosanct state pension funds to keep SAA alive.
under immense political pressure
The unpleasant reality is that SAA is no position to restart. That it is pushing ahead with a restart must indicate that it is under immense political pressure to start ‘flying the flag’ again. Perhaps too, SAA’s Star Alliance and codesharing partners are putting it under pressure to start feeding and de-feeding its hubs so the partners can improve passenger numbers.
The airline has had the remnants of its fleet in storage and will be incurring tolerable losses. However, once it starts flying and burning fuel, the costs multiply exponentially. And with Covid continuing, the revenue from passenger ticket sales will just not support even the operational costs. The implications are beyond frightening. The airline’s business plan allows an unconscionable cash burn of R60 billion in the first five years of operations. Compounding the financial impossibility of its return to flight, at time of writing, SAA is still struggling to meet the basic requirements for legal operations.
Whichever way you look at the proposed numbers, they are horrifying. In the first year of operations the airline expects to carry 270,000 passengers – yet make a R3.2 billion loss. That means that the poor, who desperately need basic services, will be subsidising every SAA passenger by R11,000. And in the light of Covid dragging on, those are optimistic assumptions. I cannot believe the public is not out on the street protesting this massive abuse of its taxes for a vanity project.
BUSH PILOT HUGH PRYOR
PART 1 Libya was a particularly nice place to go on leave...from. After a month of no booze and limited conversation, it was always exciting to get on the great aluminium bird and fly to freedom...particularly during the Gibli season.
IBLI WINDS COME out of the south and scare the hell out of pilots because they have the raw power to strip the paint off cars, sand-blast glass and smash aeroplanes. They occur during the months of March, April and May and to a lesser extent during September and October. The Giblis are vicious little off-shoots from the ITCZ. During the northern summer the northern hemisphere gets warmer. The warm air is thinner than the cold air in the southern hemisphere and the thicker cold air, in the south, pushes the ITCZ northwards...which brings the Giblis to Libya.
These can last three hours, three days or three weeks. The basic Standard Operating Procedure for pilots is, if you wake up in the morning and a Gibli is forecast, go back to bed again. You'll still get covered in sand because there has not been a house built yet that can keep a Gibli out. But at least you won't crash and burn as many people have done in the past. It was in April that I first experienced one of these times when Mother Nature lost her temper. I was on contract to a seismic survey company and our camp was situated in the Murzuq Desert which shows up on satellite photos as a large red circular area in the south west of Libya. On closer inspection the Murzuq looks rather like a great big waffle with a grid pattern of massive red dunes which reach up twelve hundred feet above what used to be the floor of an ancient lake.
hardly anyone knew how to operate it
The first indications of the approach of a Gibli are some very high, fast-moving skeins of cirrus cloud coming flying in from the south. Once these clouds are in place, Giblis can strike at any time without further warning. Sometimes their approach is announced by an enormous rolling wall of blowing sand which comes crashing in from the south, sandblasting everything and anything in its path. Wind speeds commonly exceed 85 knots, but normally these sudden furies only last about three hours. There are, however, other types of Gibli which start more gradually, building up over half an hour or so.
FlightCom: September 2021
Fifteen thousand years ago primitive people had flourished here, hunting for fish and game with stone-tipped arrows beautifully and intricately carved from local flint. The remnants of their tiny civilization still formed scattered groups upon the old lake-bed. Shards of decorated biscuit-fired pottery lay on the hard flat sand together with round grinding stones, complete with pestles and the blackened stones of their hearths.
FlightCom: September 2021
Arrow production sites were generally to be found on the gypsum-encrusted shores of little islands which had become mainland as the waters were chased away by the encroaching deserts. These people were the progenitors of the race which the Lost Roman Legion were looking for in their quest for slaves and conscripts. Some say they were the Barbars, a race of possibly Celtic origin, who were forced out of the desert into the Atlas Mountains to the North, where they survive to this day as the Berber people. Whatever the truth, the legion which went to hunt them and the gold it was carrying to buy slaves disappeared without trace and I have to admit, we did keep an eye out for them as we went about our work on the survey, just on the off chance, as you might say. The Barbars left because the water left. Our water had to be trucked in from a well 245 km to the east at an oasis called Qatrun. So, as you can see, the area wasn't exactly crowded.
Seismic survey lines have to be extremely accurately surveyed and mapped and you can't do that unless you know exactly where you are to begin with. In the old days this meant that you had to start the survey from some known point and go from there. If you wanted to make a survey in the middle of the Murzuq Desert, for example, the nearest accurately surveyed point could well have been several hundred miles away. So you and your surveyors would have had to trapse across miles and miles of desert, plotting trig points, before you could even start work on the real job.
FlightCom: September 2021
The Magnavox Receiver was a large box, about two-and-a-half feet cubed, with a few knobs and a little liquid crystal display on the top and if you set it up with its small tripod antenna and a couple of car batteries with a solar panel to keep them topped up, switched it on and left it for five days to commune with the satellites, it would tell you exactly where it was on the world's surface to within a few centimetres. It'd even tell you how high it was above mean sea level. Pretty clever stuff really. Of course now they put the whole thing into something smaller than a cigarette packet (sorry, are we still allowed to use those words?) and you can stick it in your pocket.
the great dune had grown a plume of sand
The camp was laid out in the form of a laager, with the trailers set up around a central square, in the middle of which was the main electrical distribution box for the lighting and air-conditioning. Each sleeping trailer was rather like a three-compartment third class railway sleeper carriage, two bunks up and two down in each compartment. Living conditions were, to put it mildly, severely constricted and uncomfortable by today's standards, but it was home.
Surveying in the remoter parts of the world could be a bit of a tedious and expensive pain in the backside in those days, Which is why Mr. Magnavox came up with the first satellite-based Land Navigator. It was a bit crude compared with the modern Global Positioning System or GPS that everybody and his dog uses nowadays to find home after a night on the tiles.
Anyway, back then this technology was so revolutionary that hardly anyone knew how to operate it. So the company had to call on the services of an old surveyor from Belgium who had been involved in the original research to set the whole thing up. His name was Paul de Fresne. He was small, bald, shy, frail and introverted. Paul hated flying and the thought of going with me in a little single-engined ten-seater Pilatus Porter, up to the Ubar Hills, which define the northern boundary of the Murzuq, filled him with dread. The fact that there was no airstrip to land on when we got there confirmed his worst suspicions. We must all surely be mad and this whole thing must have been set up by his wife who had taken out an enormous life insurance policy on him and gone to live with her daughter by a previous marriage, since Paul had retired. With the look of a condemned man, he reluctantly helped me load the Magnavox aboard the aircraft and we took off with Paul hanging on for dear life, eyes
firmly screwed shut, and flew northwards towards the Braspetro oil rig. They had erected the rig at the bottom of a majestic red dune which rose up from the old lake floor, the first one in a chain of dunes which stretched away towards the Algerian border in the West. As we passed the rig I noticed that the great dune had grown a plume of sand which was blowing northwards from its summit. I looked up into the sky above us and there, sure enough, were the tell-tale streamers of high cirrus cloud. We were in for a Gibli, sure as eggs was eggs. We couldn't go back now, surely, I thought to myself. Another fifteen minutes and we’d be in the Ubar Hills. No, we’d keep going. We could always go to Sebha if it really started to blow. They had good facilities at Sebha. We found a convenient little plateau almost exactly where we needed to set up the Magnavox and having checked at very low level for rocks we came in, with Paul once again almost comatose with fear, and plonked down, light as a feather, right in the middle of it. It took Paul some time to realise that we were actually on the ground and that he had survived the landing. He even perked up a bit. But, of course he didn't then know what Mother nature had in store for us.
A Magnavox MX 1502 set up in a green field and not the Libyan desert.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
n August the South African National Aerobatic Championships were held in Phalaborwa. After landing from his Unlimited Class winning performance, Patrick Davidson said:
“I'm super chuffed! It's difficult to explain, when you land and you don't remember what has just happened in the flight. That generally means you had a good one, that you were in the zone - I was just very, very lucky that it was my weekend and I got to win it.”
FlightCom: September 2021
AIRLINE OPS MIKE GOUGH
I have recently demonstrated to myself that the likes of Zoom are not king in the communications world. Nothing beats traveling for an in-person meeting where required for business.
HINGS STARTED OUT a little gloomy. Boarding the Airbus A350 in Johannesburg, bound for Doha, it appeared that the prophets of doom about international airline travel may have a point – business class was essentially empty, and economy around a third full. As a very recent retiree from what used to be my career position of airline pilot, due to the truly bizarre (and universally unique) process of creating eight con-current seniority lists based on skin colour and the dangly bits (or lack thereof) between one’s legs, I had to stump up for this trip as ID (Industry Discount) tickets are a thing of the past.
Once ‘processed’ through to the bustling transit departures area, my lack of recent overseas travelling showed, as I walked around like a stunned mullet staring at the hospitality and shopping on offer. Everything from Lamborghinis to exotic food and drink were readily available, and just for fun I engaged with the vehicle salesman, bantering about a car that my entire pension fund would only suffice as a deposit.
I headed meekly toward the rear of the aircraft
After playing the Covid regulation game of pretending to social distance before cramming into an aircraft, I created space after take-off by claiming my own row in economy.
After eight hours of a somewhat bumpy trip up at Flight Level 430, the contrast of entering Doha’s Hamad International Airport could not have been more marked in comparison to the gloomy, abandoned and closed-up atmosphere of Johannesburg’s ORT. There is a reason as to why this modern wonder has taken first place in Skytrax’s World Airport Awards. 10
FlightCom: September 2021
My fears of my checked through luggage going astray (it always seems to happen to me) were somewhat allayed when the virtues of the systems in service were repeatedly displayed in several languages, while I waited for my connecting flight.
Right on time, another A350 was waiting for us at the designated gate, and this time there was a crowd of people descending with me through the airbridge. Knowing my new-found place in life, I headed meekly toward the rear of the aircraft and took up my seat in the 5th row from the back. Somehow, I ended up with a row to myself again, much to my surprise, as it was pretty full in all classes. One gent took up a seat next to me momentarily and then went elsewhere. I checked if I needed to re-apply deodorant, but all seemed well in that department.
The halting of airline cadet schemes has grown the market for privately funded training even more.
This sector was only two-and-a-half hours, but not having anyone in my immediate space was welcome. A noticeable change of pace and condition of the airport building was immediately apparent as I stepped out into Cairo’s International Airport. I was back in Africa, that was no doubt. After the somewhat chaotic health ‘screening’, I rapidly passed through immigration, and thankfully retrieved my baggage from the carousel. The operation that represents my flight school in the Middle East sent a delegation of three to fetch and escort me past the throng of taxi offers with appropriate Arab brusqueness. Luckily, being dark, my companion in the back seat could not see me holding on with white knuckles as we entered eleven PM traffic madness to the hotel. Our driving etiquette and the behaviour of our taxis in Johannesburg are positively saintly by comparison. Lane markings on the highways are merely a suggestion, and the deft use of hooters – reminiscent of Mumbai – ensured our safe passage.
I was to be entertained the next day with all things tourist, which, through the local knowledge of my hosts proved fascinating although somewhat exhausting, which was to be expected while cramming the entire Ancient Egyptian history into a single day. The following day saw me enroute by car to the city of Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast. This was conducted at high speed on a surprisingly smooth sixlane (each way) highway. I had resigned myself to possible death at this point and relaxed to observe the relatively uninteresting desert landscape pass by. Alexandria reminded me instantly of Durban, but on steroids. Chaotic traffic aside on the beach front roads, the mix of old and modern hotels and apartment blocks that towered massively next to the coastline was a stark reminder of how we have absolutely missed the boat in terms of developing our tourist infrastructure over the last three decades of decay in South Africa. The enormous Tolip Hotel was to be my home for the next two days. The vast conferencing facilities made
FlightCom: September 2021
very little attempt to comply with the much vaunted Covid regulations, published around the hotel. Our area was lavishly set up for around 140 delegates, and I set about preparing to expound upon the virtues of becoming an airline pilot. Somewhat rich coming from a relatively youthful forced retiree of the same industry, but I was to give it my best shot.
than the entire training industry globally will be able to cope with. There is a distinct shift in the market. Most traditional airline cadet schemes are on hold or cancelled indefinitely. This has, without doubt, shifted emphasis to the privately funded market, which is huge.
There is more business in the Middle East and India
The attendance and enthusiasm absolutely blew me away. My pretty lady translator was kept busy with whispering the various presentations in my ear, and then doing a live translation of my speech as I elaborated on the virtues of the South African aviation training industry, specifically with reference to my operation, Skyhawk at Lanseria.
Finishing close to midnight, I am still somewhat overwhelmed at the energy and inertia in the ab initio training market as I sit and write this in my hotel room. There is more business in the Middle East and India
As I have always concentrated on this particular area, the realisation that a significant expansion and establishment of an additional base of operations in the Johannesburg area, is now a certainty.
As South Africans, we decisively placed ourselves on the travel Red List, through sheer government ineptitude. Now as the vaccination programme falters, we need solid communication to get the ball rolling again and get ourselves back into the real world. It’s booming out there, people. And I get to do it all again tonight. Nice.
There is already a huge deamand in the Middle East and Asia for new pilots.
FlightCom: September 2021
THE FANTASY OF FLIGHT FOR SAA V2?
N THE FINALISATION of the business rescue plan for South African Airways the Business Rescue Practitioners presented a business plan for the next 5 years. This business plan was the stepping stone to a new – viable and, in the long term profitable airline – or so they claimed. Creditors of the “old” airline had to swallow their losses – staff lost their jobs and assets had been returned to their owners or lessors – but it was all done to save the airline, with the new promise of a bright future was it not? The airline has proudly announced it is taking off again on the 23rd September. So the question must be asked, how viable is this newly created business – and will it fly?
This week the new business presented their long awaited re-start flight schedule: They are going to fly to 6 destinations with 8 aircraft (5 narrow body / 3 wide body aircraft). Counting the frequency of the flights gives a total of 4,888 flights per annum. If we divide the same expected revenue: R1.43 Billion / 4,888 flights = we need R293,211 per flight average yield. If we divide the same passenger load 270,543 over the 4,888 flights – we have an average of 55 passengers per flight. That would lead to an average revenue per flight of R293,211 / 55 pax = 5.331 Rand per paying passenger per one way required on average! If we take into account that the labour cost (wages bill) for SAA in the first year with 1212 Employees is estimated at R1.475 Billion, (that is over R1.2 million per employee average) - you do not need a lot of insight to realize that everything else – Fuel – Maintenance – and all other Operational costs will lead to an accumulation of the losses. Even an anticipated (yet unrealistic) revenue of R600 million in freight will not make much difference. It would seem the R3 Billion losses in the first year is optimistic.
A revenue of R1.43 Billion against a loss of R3.2 Billion
Let's have a look at some of the presented figures and hold them against the light of reality: In the Business Rescue plan the collective loss in the first 3 years of operations is estimated at R6.3 Billion – and there were some fancifully optimistic assumptions made.
On revenue of R1.4 Billion the projected loss is R3.2 Billion in the first year, then a loss of R2.2 Billion in the second year and a final loss of almost R1 Billion in the third year. How realistic is this? The original plan states that 6,204 flights will be made in the first year transporting 270,543 passengers, resulting in a total passenger revenue of R1.43 Billion. Let's take a closer look at this flight of fancy: The total of 270,543 passengers on 6,204 flights is an average of 43 passengers per flight. The total amount of flights would have a revenue of 1.43 Billion / 6,204 flights = R231,015 average revenue per flight required. And that revenue of R1.43 Billion / 270,543 passengers equals R5,297 average per passenger per single flight. So it would appear they are expecting passengers to pay over R5000 average per one way flight on SAA aircraft that have over 70% empty seats? A revenue of R1.43 Billion against a loss of R3.2 Billion implies that for every R1000 of revenue - more than double that amount would be lost. How did anyone ever approve the plan for a business going forward and receiving financing (taxpayers funds) again?
We can look at the second and third year – but the improbability only gets worse. It does not take much imagination to realise what has happened here. SAA was to be kept alive and the figures were massaged and manipulated until an “acceptable” solution (on paper that is) was found. The reality of the market in South Africa is somewhat different though and we are bound to see SAA needing cash inputs or bail-outs again within a short time frame. Who will pay the bill next time? You as the tax-payer? Or a creative investment club “managing” your pension funds in the name of “infrastructure investments?” One wonders how much money will be syphoned into SAA again – and how long it will take before the realisation that it is a pipe dream with a political motivation will come to the surface. When will they finally realize that the airline should have been liquidated a long time ago? HJK
FlightCom: September 2021
DEFENCE DARREN OLIVIER
For almost as long as there have been military aircraft, there have been simulators to assist with the training of pilots, gunners, bombardiers, and other aircrew.
NLY A YEAR SEPARATED the introduction of the first military aircraft - a modified Wright Model A in 1909 - and the first simulator in 1910: the ‘Tonneau Antoinette’ (Antoinette barrel) was a simple controls demonstrator and 2-axis motion simulator. Within two years it was followed by a wide range of motion and controls simulators, including the Wright Brothers’ ‘Kiwi Bird’ in 1911. After all, flying is still a difficult skill to master even with modern aircraft, let alone the underpowered, rickety, low-endurance, flimsy, and unforgiving contraptions of the pioneering aviation days. It didn’t take long for military forces to realise that if they were going to train up cohorts of airmen, then they needed a way to do the initial parts of it more safely and cheaply on the ground before sending any up in actual aircraft. In all the years since, that principle has remained, with simulators being a central component of all military aircrew training. By the First World War they had been extended to provide training to other roles such as aerial gunners, who used elaborate ground rigs to learn how to lead their fire onto moving aircraft. By the Second World War the primary simulator on the Allied side was
FlightCom: September 2021
the Link Trainer, able to simulate not only limited motion and controls but also the workings of flight and navigation instruments. Nowadays, military flight simulators are enormously complex and expensive digital systems with exact cockpit and avionics replicas of the aircraft being simulated, high-fidelity flight models, wrap-around dome projection displays, and the ability to simulate most types of combat. Some are capable of limited movement, but most have given up simulating motion. What’s more, whereas simulators were once used only to introduce new pilots to flying, they’re now a core part of every line all the way through to fighters. Most military pilots now spend around 10-20% of their time flying in simulators, rather than real aircraft, in order to practice certain skills and save costs. But for all the improvement in accuracy and scope, simulators have still been seen as an inferior analogue of actual flying, incapable of delivering the full experience and having value only as a way to introduce aircrew to a new type or ab initio flying and offering a cheaper way to practice skills. This is about to change. A combination of advances in networking, onboarding computing power, and both augmented and virtual reality headsets are converging
to bring about the most consequential change in military combat simulation in decades. The impact on both training and ongoing practice will be profound, as the boundaries between what’s real and what’s simulated become increasingly blurred and simulation goes from being a discrete part of training to something that’s infused through all activities. First, advances in both processing power and radio protocols and bandwidth have enabled much greater use of networking in simulation to produce more realistic scenarios. It began at a small level by locally networking multiple co-located simulators together to allow pilots to train on combined tactical scenarios.
for not only familiarisation training, but also as a tool to develop and evaluate tactics at the realistic scale of two full flights of fighters. The Swedish Air Force has made heavy use of this capability as an integrated part of mission planning and preparation. For instance, before the Swedish Air Force took part in the NATO-led coalition over Libya in 2011, its chosen aircrew first spent a few weeks at the FLSC practicing all the potential scenarios over the same simulated territory. Trainers at the mission control / AWACS stations studied and adopted NATO-style protocols and terminology to familiarise aircrew with how to work alongside NATO forces, and proposed tactics were evaluated and changed when necessary. As a result, the Swedish contribution to the operation was extremely successful with no time needed for local familiarisation, very few interoperability issues, and a high mission success rate.
military flight simulators are enormously complex and expensive
As an example, the Swedish Air Force’s Combat Simulation Centre (FLSC) has eight full cockpit simulator stations and four mission controller / AWACS simulator stations, all networked into each other. Most of the time the simulators are configured to be exact replicas of the Gripen, but it’s also possible to replace any aircraft station with an alternative cockpit and flight model to replicate other aircraft types, meaning that some could be configured to accurately simulate ‘enemy’ aircraft. What this allows for is the use of simulators
A more recent addition was the ability to network the FLSC to other simulation centres around the world, including an identical Gripen facility for the Czech Air Force and an F-16 simulation centre of the US Air Force, for up to 16 simulators networked and active
Red-6 was developed by an ex RAF fighter pilot for Augmented reality.
FlightCom: September 2021
Red-6 can simulate air to air refuelling with a much cheaper Berkut experimental aircraft.
at once. This obviously means you can test, evaluate, and train for much more complicated tactical scenarios including large numbers of enemy aircraft. The South African Air Force’s Gripen training centre at AFB Makhado unfortunately has only two simulator stations and has not been networked to other country’s simulation centres. This seriously limits the value that can be gained from simulation, although the situation is at least ameliorated by the addition of a desktopbased mission scenario simulation tool developed by the CSIR.
capability built into its Hawk Mk120 radios and avionics and implemented via the indigenous Link ZA data link. The benefit of this approach is that the Hawks can receive data from every other Link ZA-enabled platform, including Gripens and the Navy’s Valourclass frigates. Not only does this open up new training opportunities, but it makes the Hawks useful as pointdefence fighters able to receive live radar data from other platforms to vector them onto targets. This combination of real world systems and simulators all networked together is usually referred to as Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) simulation, where training exercises might involve any combination of actual aircraft and ground systems, fullblown simulators, and computergenerated forces. For many air forces LVC simulation is now the standard approach, to the point where in any given exercise no pilot or controller can be entirely certain that the aircraft or other system they’re seeing on their displays, or the people they’re speaking to, are in real platforms or in simulators. So you can have much larger and more complicated training scenarios, testing a much wider variety of skills and tactics.
data can also be virtually constructed
But networking is not only useful on the ground: aircraft data links also provide the opportunity for training and simulation, because in any place that data is transferred it can also be virtually constructed. For instance, it has now become standard for radar-less lead-in fighter trainers, like Hawks, to be fitted with data links that share aircraft positions and simulate both radars and missile firing protocols in order to let pilots train in air combat scenarios without needing to fly much more expensive fighters. In many air forces that’s implemented through Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (ACMI) pods that fit on a pylon, but in the SA Air Force it’s a
FlightCom: September 2021
However it’s the development of augmented reality solutions that open up some really intriguing options
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Off-site Specialist tests
Organisations like the South African Air Force need to rethink their simulation approach and ensure they remain up to date and take advantage of these new trends.
On site Specialist tests
Looking further ahead, the same technology can apply to all types in an air force fleet, to practice everything from close air support, to formation flying, to landing in hot LZs, to search and rescue, and to firefighting.
It’s clear that military aircraft simulation is about to enter a whole new era of both huge jumps in fidelity and realism but also new options to reduce flying costs and maintain skills with fewer resources.
Senior Class 1, 2, 3, 4
Red 6, an American company, is the current leader in augmented reality pilot training with a solution based around a headset that fits into standard fighter pilot helmets, and just recently received a $60 million contract from the US Air Force to build the system into a T-38 trainer. Their system can generate realisticlooking aircraft all the way from other fighters for realistic air combat training through to aerial tankers at ranges from many kilometres away to ones that appear to be flying right alongside, meaning even aerial refuelling could be practiced up to a point without using tankers. They’re also working on realistically projecting ground-based systems on real-world terrain, meaning that a pilot could train to avoid missile systems or attack ground targets on any random weapons range without the need for actual ground vehicles.
For now the technology is relatively new and still fairly limited, with some issues around occlusion, appearance, frame rate, and so on, but at the current rate of improvement it won’t be long before those are all resolved and it becomes difficult for a pilot on board an aircraft to tell apart a projected augmented reality aircraft or vehicle from a real one. Competing solutions from other companies are also emerging fast. This will be the next step in LVC simulation, letting pilots jump between real aircraft with augmented reality displays (when realistic physical experiences are required) and simulators (to save costs) to realistically train for and practice every kind of tactical scenario while also saving money.
Regular Class 2, 3, 4
for fully blending live and virtual training by projecting simulated imagery over the real world.
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FlightCom: September 2021
It is said that technology advances fastest under the life-or-death imperative of war. But for aviation there was a massive step change in technology in the quest for the Schneider trophy – which became a national obsession – especially for the Italians under Mussolini. Great Britain famously won the Schneider trophy three years in a row – but few appreciate the efforts of the Italians to unseat the British. Steve Trichard tells us the story of the amazing Macchi MC72. The MC72 - Beautiful. Racing Red. Fast. Sexy.
FlightCom: September 2021
N THE 1930S speed was the exclusive domain of the seaplane. On 23 October 1934 Warrant Officer Francesco Agello became the fastest man alive by setting the world speed record in the Macchi MC72 seaplane. The MC72 was the pinnacle of racing seaplanes. At 383 knots, it was the fastest aircraft in the world. A distinction held for almost five years. It is still, to this day, the world speed record for internal combustion engine seaplanes. The Schneider trophy The stage for the racing seaplane was set in 1912 when Jacques Schneider, son of a wealthy French industrialist, announced the annual Schneider Trophy competition. He intended to stimulate the development of commercial flying boats and seaplanes. However, it became a pure quest for speed.
It was the most important and prestigious international air race at the time. American and European military teams competed in the name of international prestige. National pride was at stake. The race was held twelve times during the period 1913 until 1931. The trophy was permanently awarded to Great Britain in 1931 after three consecutive wins, the last with the Supermarine S6B. It is not surprising that between 1931 and 1939 seaplanes held the world airspeed record. Until the appearance of practical variable-pitch propellers in 1932, the lengths of existing runways limited the speed of landplanes. The extreme coarse pitch of propellers for high speed flight produced poor takeoff acceleration. Runways were just not long enough.
Water became the runway of choice as on water the maximum field length is close to infinity. However, water takeoffs had challenges. The torque of the engine pushed one float into the water resulting in continuous The Schneider trophy uncontrollable yaw. As the depicted a naked winged power output of engines female flying above The Schneider trophy that made it all happen. increased the yaw became and kissing a wave. The so pronounced that it female figure represents made takeoff impossible. the spirit of flight and the Innovative and novel designs lessened the impact, trophy symbolizes speed conquering the elements of but even so, the change in heading during takeoff was sea and air. in the region of 70 degrees. Float size increased to The race took the form of time trials, with aircraft improve the buoyancy of the float that took the brunt setting off individually in 15-minute intervals, flying a of the torque effect, but by doing so the total drag was multiple-lap course covering 350 km. The winner was increased during takeoff and once airborne, top speed the aircraft that completed the distance in the fastest was compromised. The fuel tanks were installed in the time. Competitors represented their countries and a floats and one float carried up to 4 times more fuel to win resulted in an annual prize and the opportunity for compensate for the asymmetric drag in the water. their country to host the next race. Takeoff runs were over distances of three km and it The competition generated enormous interest from the took more than two minutes to get airborne. During public and attracted crowds of over 250 000 spectators. takeoff, the water spray produced by the propeller and Various sources state that 1 million spectators attended floats effectively blinded the pilot. He knew the aircraft certain races in Italy and Britain. This sounds farfetched, was yawing with no idea of the change in heading. but the sources are credible. Pilots intensely disliked the takeoff.
FlightCom: September 2021
ABOVE: The crowd attending a Schneider Trophy race makes todays Red Bull Air Races look small. BELOW: The extreme coarse pitch of the MC72 fixed pitch contra-rotating propeller.
FlightCom: September 2021
The brass coloured skin of the MC72 is surface radiators. The underside of the wing is also covered.
Takeoff technique involved the following; full rudder (to minimise the yaw), full aileron (to pick up the low wing) and full up elevator (stick fully back). These aircraft could not get airborne on glassy water, they needed choppy water. The rear end of the floats would not allow the nose to be raised. The seaplane floats were operating in an unfamiliar speed and purpose environment. A better understanding of hydrodynamics (hydrodynamics are similar to aerodynamics but totally different!) made takeoff controllable. The landings were marginally less dangerous. The ultimate goal of speed dictated a very high wing loading, resulting in touch down speeds of up to 150 knots! The increase in engine power was almost exponential. In 1927 the most powerful engine produced 746 kW. In 1931, four years later, the engine power increased to 1,890 kW. The engines were monstrous and were designed with one purpose; to produce as much power as possible. The engineers used all the tricks in the book and then some in their search for every available
kilowatt. The only limitation was that the engine had to survive for one hour in racing mode. The engines generated enormous heat by consuming exotic fuel. The Rolls-Royce V12 R engine used a mixture of 30% benzol, 60% methanol, 10% acetone and 0,1% lead. Furthermore, the engine cowlings were designed to fit like a glove around the engine, effectively stopping cooling airflow. There were legitimate fears from the pilots that these engines would melt in the air. Conventional radiators could not provide the answer, as they were extra drag. The American Curtiss R3C, the last bi-plane to win the race in 1925, pioneered surface radiators. The oil and water-cooling systems were ingenious; the surface of the seaplane is used for cooling purposes, with the oil and water pumped through the systems under extreme pressure. Most surfaces of the Schneider racers were covered with these radiators, moulded flush into the skin of the aircraft. Reginald Mitchell, the designer of the British Supermarine racers, referred to the Supermarine S6 as a flying radiator.
FlightCom: September 2021
There is a lovely story of the M39s being shipped to America. In America, prohibition was in full swing, and the Italian team decided to fill the fuel tanks of the M39s with Chianti red wine from Tuscany in Italy. Nobody knows what happened to the wine, but the M39 victory suggests serious consumption! The designs of Mitchell (Supermarine) and Castoldi (Macchi) met head-on during the races of 1927 and 1929. Both races ended in disappointment for Italy due to engine failures. Mitchell had the ace in his corner, Rolls-Royce engines.
Mussolini during his visit to the Macchi factory in 1934 after Agello’s record flight.
The Italians participated in the Schneider Trophy from the outset and won it on three occasions. During the latter part of the 1920s, engine reliability and unconventional designs hampered their success. Where Macchi followed the more traditional route in design, the Piaggio Pegna P7 raised eyebrows as it replaced floats with hydrofoils. The fuselage and wings were floating on the water while stationary. Although the hydrofoil concept had huge potential, the technical difficulties of changing from boat to aircraft could not be mastered successfully. In 1926 Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy, expressed his wish to win the Schneider Trophy. The Italian Air Force became involved with newly formed units and facilities at Lake Garda. The Italian effort became more focussed and Macchi’s Mario Castoldi designed the official Italian entry for the 1926 race in Norfolk Virginia. The M39 introduced the basic aircraft configuration and layout that were followed by all participating teams. Castoldi integrated all the lessons learnt by the different teams and refined them further. He concentrated on streamlining, with key features being a low monoplane wing, surface radiators and a minimum of external bracing. An innovation was moving the fuel tanks into the floats.
The Macchi racers were all painted racing red, the national colour of Italy’s racing teams. It was typical Italian; beautiful, red, fast, and with a question mark on reliability. Benito Mussolini was not amused after the 1929 failure. He was determined to showcase Italy’s technical expertise and became personally involved, directing state resources to fund the development of the seaplane to represent Italy at the race of 1931. An Italian win would prevent Britain from winning the trophy for the third time and thus becoming the permanent holder of the trophy.
Touchdown on water at 150 knots
The truly amazing achievement was that the M39 was conceptualised, developed, put through a short test flight programme and won the race – all within nine months! 22
FlightCom: September 2021
Macchi Aeronautica, in the person of Castoldi, was responsible for the development of the aircraft. The aircraft was designated MC72. The C referred to Castoldi. Fiat was contracted to develop the engine. Castoldi knew that engine power was crucial in designing a winning aircraft. He would not have been thrilled to be dependent on Fiat. He was a well-known critic of Fiat engines, and after the 1927 defeat said that in Fiat, "Power is measured in donkey-power". The Rolls Royce R V12 engine that powered the Supermarine S6B produced 1,890 kW so it was clear to everyone that the MC72 engine had to be something extraordinary. Castoldi specified an engine with a power output of at least 1,715 kW, which could be
The Fiat AS.6 engine is 3,4 m long. Facing to the right.
increased to 2,088 kW in racing mode. It was a huge ask for Fiat, as the most powerful engine produced by them was the V12 AS.5, with an output of only 746 kW. The AS.5 engine was built to power the Fiat C29 to compete in the 1929 Schneider race. One of the requirements set to the engineers was that the AS.5’s frontal area must be as small as possible. Three C29s were built, of which two were lost during test flights. The pilot, in both instances, was Francesco Agello. Agello was very lucky to survive. The first accident involved the aircraft flipping backwards during landing and disappearing into Lake Garda nose first. The remaining aircraft did not compete in the 1929 race.
That is exactly what Zerbi did, Fiat gave Castoldi two engines. It was a unique solution. Although referred to as a V24, it is two V12s operating independently. Effectively the MC72 is a twin-engine aircraft. The engine that Fiat produced is known as the AS.6 and is a liquid-cooled, supercharged V24 with a total displacement of 50,3 litres, producing 1,715 kW. It is fitted with contra-rotating propellers. With the engine solution finalised, Castoldi designed the aircraft. The design went smoothly with minimal challenges. Castoldi had designed the ultimate seaplane racer.
Pilots intensely disliked the takeoff.
Castoldi required an engine for the MC72 as soon as possible. The entire aircraft would be engineered around the engine. Fiat was pressured into a very short development phase. The Fiat engine team, led by Tranquillo Zerbi, realised that there was not enough time to start the engine design from scratch. The engine would have to be based upon an existing engine. A supercharger was developed for the AS.5 and other technical upgrades were incorporated. But Zerbi knew the upgraded AS.5 engine could not develop the power needed to power the MC72 to victory. So we can perhaps picture the following scenario playing out in the Zerbi team: “If Castoldi wants more power – then give him two engines.”
The basic concept of the AS.6 was to couple two upgraded AS.5 V12 engines in tandem. They are arranged nose-tonose, with the front engine turned around. They share a crankcase, induction manifold and supercharger. The engines start independently, with the rear engine starting first.
The crankshafts rotate in opposite directions with independent co-axial driveshafts, resulting in the propellers contra-rotating. The driveshaft of the front engine is hollow and the driveshaft of the rear engine passes through it. The front engine drives the rear propeller. The rear engine powers the supercharger and supplies air to both engines. The power required to drive the supercharger is 186 kW.
FlightCom: September 2021
The narrow engine and streamlining are quite evident.
The tandem engine layout resulted in the desired narrow engine (a legacy of the AS.5), which had a far smaller frontal area than other engines with similar power output. Castoldi put this to good use. The MC72 is superbly streamlined.
separate accidents, both involving the AS.6 exploding in mid-air.
The contra-rotating propeller neutralised the torque effect, allowing Castoldi to design floats that were smaller than those fitted to the other racers. The smaller floats produce less drag, resulting in shorter takeoffs and less water spray. In addition, once airborne the penalty on top speed is less. The fuel is evenly distributed between the floats.
The purpose of developing the MC72 was lost. However, Macchi, with support from the Mussolini government, continued their work. There was a new goal, to break the world speed record.
The AS.6 suffered many technical difficulties during development. The Zerbi team worked determinedly to resolve the issues. By April 1931, the engine completed a one hour run, producing 1,715 kW. The MC72 started test flights in the summer of 1931. During high speed flights, the engine suffered from severe backfires. The cause was a mystery to the engineers. The engine ran flawlessly on the test bench but not during flight. Test flights were continued in an attempt to identify the problem. Two test pilots died in
FlightCom: September 2021
With the Schneider Trophy race one month away and the cause of the backfires unknown, the MC72 was withdrawn from the race. The aircraft was grounded.
Fiat believed the backfire issue was fuel related. Rod Banks, the engineer that developed the special fuel used for the Rolls-Royce R engine, was contracted as a consultant. Banks developed an exotic fuel for the AS.6, boosting the engine output by 220 kW. He realised that fuel was not the main cause of the backfires. The Fiat engineers did not fully account for the ram effect on the engine intake during high speed flight. Banks knew how Rolls-Royce solved the ram effect issue. The Italian team constructed an enginedriven blower that, through a duct, delivered ram air to the AS.6’s intake. A modification to the AS.6 solved the backfire problem.
The sprint version of the AS.6 developed 2,312 kW. Whereas the racing engine was required to produce full power for an hour, the sprint engine’s requirement was considerably less. The speed was measured over four sprints of 3 km each. For the speed record flight, the flying time from takeoff to landing was less than 20 minutes. Francesco Agello, the last surviving pilot trained at the Scuola Alta Velocità (High Speed Flying School), set the speed record of 383 knots. The MC72 never flew again. The Schneider trophy legacy Arthur Sidgreaves, managing director of Rolls-Royce from 1929 until 1946, believed that the Schneider races forced 10 years of engine development into two years. Although engines were critical in the pursuit of speed, a better understanding of aerodynamics cannot be overemphasised.
Reginald Mitchell designed the Supermarine Spitfire and the Rolls-Royce R engine laid the foundation for the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. Mario Castoldi designed the Macchi MC.205 Veltro fighter. The Veltro is not well-known outside of Italy but Capt. Eric Brown, the legendary Royal Navy test pilot, remembered the MC.205 as “One of the finest aircraft I ever flew,…. beautiful and up to anything on the Allied programme.” James Doolittle, the winning pilot of the 1925 Schneider race, led the famous Doolittle Raid when American bombers attacked several Japanese homeland targets in April 1942. A final thought: “Air Racing may not be better than your wedding night, but it’s better than the second night.” Mickey Rupp
Designers and participants became household names in their countries and annals of world aviation.
He survived - Francesco Agello after his record-setting flight.
FlightCom: September 2021
In a welcome development for helicopter operators in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, a new “Ultimate Helistop’ has been opened. Style and quality in keeping with the exclusive estate.
FlightCom: September 2021
The Steyn City Heli stop is at the entrance to Steyn City.
TEYN CITY IS AN UPMARKET residential and commercial estate north of Johannesburg. In keeping with its exclusive nature if has now opened a heliport to enable improved connectivity with the estate, as the roads around the estate have been the subject of a prolonged upgrade and carry traffic to Diepsloot township further north. The new heliport offers shuttle services from the estate to Sandton and OR Tambo Airport.
The Steyn City Ultimate Helistop is operated by Ultimate Heli, which offers helicopter charter across the country. Ultimate Heli opened South Africa’s first privately-owned heliport at Midrand in 2018. The new helistop features a 650 sq metre hangar and three helicopter pads. It also features an office suite with meeting ‘pods’ and washroom facilities. Steyn City is a 809-hectare gated residential estate with a golf course, restaurant, school, equestrian centre, indoor heated swimming pool and business park.
The top class lounge facility for the Heliport.
FlightCom: September 2021
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FlightCom: September 2021
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Villa San Giovanni Luca Maiorana 012 111 8888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vsg.co.za
Starlite Aero Sales Klara Fouché +27 83 324 8530 / +27 31 571 6600 email@example.com www.starliteaviation.com
Vortx Aviation Bredell Roux 072 480 0359 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vortxaviation.com
Starlite Aviation Operations Trisha Andhee +27 82 660 3018/ +27 31 571 6600 email@example.com www.starliteaviation.com
Wanafly Adrian Barry 082 493 9101 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wanafly.co.za
Starlite Aviation Training Academy Durban: +27 31 571 6600 Mossel Bay: +27 44 692 0006 email@example.com www.starliteaviation.com
Windhoek Flight Training Centre Thinus Dreyer 0026 40 811284 180 firstname.lastname@example.org www.flywftc.com
Status Aviation (Pty) Ltd Richard Donian 074 587 5978 / 086 673 5266 email@example.com www.statusaviation.co.za
Wings n Things Wendy Thatcher 011 701 3209 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wingsnthings.co.za
Superior Pilot Services Liana Jansen van Rensburg 0118050605/2247 email@example.com www.superiorair.co.za
Witbank Flight School Andre De Villiers 083 604 1718 firstname.lastname@example.org www.waaflyingclub.co.za
The Copter Shop Bill Olmsted 082 454 8555 email@example.com www.execheli.wixsite.com/the-coptershop-sa Titan Helicopter Group 044 878 0453 firstname.lastname@example.org www.titanhelicopters.com TPSC Dennis Byrne 011 701 3210 email@example.com
Wonderboom Airport Peet van Rensburg 012 567 1188/9 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wonderboomairport.co.za Zandspruit Bush & Aero Estate Martin Den Dunnen 082 449 8895 email@example.com www.zandspruit.co.za Zebula Golf Estate & SPA Reservations 014 734 7700 firstname.lastname@example.org www.zebula.co.za
Trio Helicopters & Aviation cc CR Botha or FJ Grobbelaar 011 659 1022
www.trioavi.co.za Tshukudu Trailers Pieter Visser 083 512 2342 email@example.com www.tshukudutrailers.co.za U Fly Training Academy Nikola Puhaca 011 824 0680 firstname.lastname@example.org www.uflyacademy.co.za United Charter cc Jonathan Wolpe 083 270 8886 email@example.com www.unitedcharter.co.za United Flight Support Clinton Moodley/Jonathan Wolpe 076 813 7754 / 011 788 0813 firstname.lastname@example.org www.unitedflightsupport.com
FlightCom: September 2021