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2/26/2018 African Pilot Aviation News 06 2017 - African Pilot Magazine


African Pilot Aviation News 06 2017 - Monday 6 February 2017

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties” Erich Fromm 

African Pilot’s February 2017 edition

The February edition of African Pilot has been fully distributed to all national stores as well as to pilot shops at
major airports. This edition contains a feature on Rand Airport as well as Business Jets as well as the amazing
Crete to Cape Vintage Rally that ended at Stellenbosch airfield on 16 December. I have also decided to introduce
a further ‘chapter’ in the magazine to be known as ‘Drone Pilot’, since this is an area of considerable growth
within aviation, whilst at the same time it is important for pilots to understand the regulations. In addition, it is
good to see what the rest of the world is doing regarding the regulating of drones for commercial use.

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Now you can get your favourite aviation magazine online
The cost of a single download is R16 (US$2) or R160 (US$20) for a 12 month subscription. 
If you happened to miss out on a particular article or edition, back editions will also be archived:
www.mysubs.co.za/African-Pilot (http://www.mysubs.co.za/African-Pilot)

African Pilot’s March 2017 edition

The March edition will feature Grand Central Airport as well as Piston Engine aircraft types. The closing date
for submissions is Friday 10 February. I will be devoting considerable time to the Grand Central Airport feature
by personally visiting most of the businesses at the airport this coming week.

For all information on the March edition please contact me at editor@africanpilot.co.za

For advertising positions within this edition please contact African Pilot’s newly appointed marketing and media
sales coordinator; Gisela Kirsten e-mail: marketing@africanpilot.co.za (mailto:marketing@africanpilot.co.za) or
call 0861 001130 (local) or +27 11 466 8524 (international). Thank you.


Video of the week

Did you ever wonder how Boeing produces over forty 737 airplanes a month? The train arrives with the main
body in the morning.  This three-and-a-half-minute video is fascinating:www.youtube.com/embed/SE71NJl-
naY?autoplay=1 (http://www.youtube.com/embed/SE71NJl-naY?autoplay=1)

South African Aviation News

Aero Club of South Africa vacancy
The Aero Club of South Africa has a position for a General Manager, who will be responsible for the day to day
management of this vital aviation body that represents mainly Sport and Recreational Aviation in South Africa.
Please send your CV to the Chairman of the Aero Club, Jeff Earle: jeff@erbec.co.za (mailto:jeff@erbec.co.za) or to
accounts@aeroclub.org.za (mailto:accounts@aeroclub.org.za). Thank you

Arthur Piercy Oshkosh fund appeal

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Arthur Piercy and Gerda Brondfield

EAA Chapter 322 has started a fund to make enable Arthur Piercy (a former Captain in the SAAF) and his fiancée
Gerda Brondfield to go to Oshkosh and attend AirVenture 2017. This is a cause that African Pilot fully supports
and as a gesture, I have already donated towards the fund on behalf of Christine and me. Arthur was severely
injured in the crash of his Mirage F1 CZ in 1987 during the Angolan War, having sustained a hit from a missile
fired by his Cuban adversary flying a MiG 23. His injuries have left him a paraplegic and Arthur has been
wheelchair dependent these past 30 years.
Some years ago, Arthur started building a SeaWind amphibian, hoping to be able to complete this and fly it
himself to Oshkosh, but that dream has not been fulfilled. He then expressed a desire to go to Cuba to meet in
person his duelling partner who fired the missile that resulted in his accident, having corresponded with him by
e-mail. Sadly, this dream has also not come to fruition, despite fundraising activities involving amongst others,
our own EAA Chapter 322.
The plan now is to enable Arthur and Gerda to travel to Oshkosh in 2017, as part of Neil Bowden’s annual
Oshkosh pilgrimage - a highly do-able activity and very worthwhile for a person of Arthur’s stature who has
experienced considerable personal hardship consequent upon his accident. Calls have been made for members
of the aviation community to contribute to this fund no matter how large or small, any contribution is welcome.
EAA members and former SAAF pilots have already contributed just over R50,000 to the fund, against a budget
of approximately R65,000. Let’s show Arthur how much we appreciate his efforts all those years ago, by making
this dream a reality in 2017.

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Banking account details, for those wishing to contribute to the fund:
Account Name: EAA Projects
Bank: ABSA Bank
Account Number: 931 387 1565
Branch: Greenstone
Reference: Arthur/your name

What happened in aviation over the past week?

CAASA’s marketing committee annual ‘bosparade’

CAASA's marketing committee

I spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning this past week with the Commercial Aviation Association of
Southern Africa’s marketing team at a delightful bush lodge ‘bosparade’ in the Dinokeng game reserve. The
theme for CAASA’s 2017 year will be ‘growing together’ as the marketing committee sets the pace for this
important aviation body that represents commercial aviation in South Africa. Planning for AAD2018 is
scheduled to start early this year since CAASA will be the lead partner for the next AAD exhibition in September
2018. Should you wish to find out more about how CAASA can represent your aviation business, please call the
office +27 (0)11 659 2345 or e-mail: admin@caasa.co.za (mailto:admin@caasa.co.za) or marketing@caasa.co.za
(mailto:marketing@caasa.co.za). Thank you.  

Grand Central airport seeks industry opinions on building new hangars

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Grand Central Airport

Grand Central Airport in Midrand, Johannesburg, is looking at developing additional hangarage and
infrastructure. In order to proceed they need to determine if there is demand for this development from the
aviation industry and what specific infrastructure would be best supported. The airport is asking all aviation
stakeholders to assist by completing a quick survey to verify if it’s a good idea for Grand Central Airport to build
more hangars and what specifically would work for the stakeholders / their organisations. Suggested models of
the potential new developments are available to view at 
The survey can be completed by following this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YJG3M9F

Feedback must be received by no later than 10 March 2017 to be considered. For more information about Grand
Central Airport contact Lindi Spezialetti on 011 805 3166 or e-mail: grandcentral@grandcentral.co.za
(mailto:grandcentral@grandcentral.co.za) or visit the website: www.grandcentral.co.za
Office space at Grand Central Airport
Grand Central Airport also has 104m2 office / retail space available to let on the ground floor of the terminal
building and a further 440m2 of assorted sized office space available on the first floor.  Preference will be given

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to businesses in the aviation industry. Anyone interested in finding out more about the rental space can contact
Lindi on 011 805 3166 or gcaadmin@grandcentral.co.za (mailto:gcaadmin@grandcentral.co.za).

Fly Blue Crane stops flights to reach deal with business partners

Fly Blue Crane

South Africa’s first majority black-and women-owned low-cost airline entered business rescue in November
2016, just over one year of the launching of the airline. This past week Fly Blue Crane announced that it would
interrupt its services to finalise a business rescue plan in the next few weeks.

On Friday business rescue practitioner Etienne Naude said services would be halted to restructure operations
and to reach agreement with its business partners. Fly Blue Crane competes on secondary routes, flying mainly
between Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kimberley and Bloemfontein. The airline competed with existing carriers,
including South African Express and Airlink, while pursuing a ‘hybrid’ model of offering full service at budget
airline fares. It secured a R30m bridging loan from the Industrial Development Corporation and was in talks
with a Middle Eastern carrier over a possible equity sale, but this deal did not materialise. On Friday, Naude said
he remained confident about the airline’s future prospects.

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What is scheduled for the next few weeks?
EAA Talk Show: Thursday 16 February 2017
Guest: Major Alan Brand (SAAF retired) is now a Captain on the SAA Boeing 738 fleet who is great uncle was Sir
Quentin Brand. We feel this sort of ‘seals his aviation pedigree’. He has a BCom in Economics and a Certificate of
Military Leadership obtained during his years in the SAAF. He also has the obligatory ATPL required by the
Commercial Airlines that he has served.
Alan has over 900 hours on Mirage F1s and Cheetah Ds and over 1900 hours on all military fighter jets flown in
by him in the SAAF up to 1995. Since then he has been flying B 747s, B744s, B738s and previously A300s and
A340s accumulating in excess of 16 000 hours. He comes highly recommended by his ‘Vlamgat’ pal, Mark Clulow
– one of EAA 322’s own war heroes and our Treasurer. By Mark’s account, Alan has some very interesting stories
to tell so we are all looking forward to next Thursday evening’s Show.
Host: Our Talk Show host is once again the irrepressible Doctor Mike Brown who, although still wheelchair
bound (he says he was pushing the hangar door open?) will coax every bit of entertainment out of our esteemed
Date: Thursday 16 February 2017.
Time: 18h30 for19h30 time to order your drinks and boerie or steak roll
19h25: Talk show kicks off
Venue: EAA Auditorium adjacent to the old TAC and the Holding point of Runway 29,
              Rand Airport, Germiston.  
Cost: R50.00 each (R30.00 for card carrying EAA members)
Food: Our famous Boerewors and Steak Rolls will fresh off the flames @ R30.00
Bar: The new EAA Auditorium Pub will be open with bar service and coffee for sale
Bookings are open and can be made by:
1) Registering by SIGNING UP here (it’s quick and easy and we get all your info on submission)
2) SMS your details to 0832597691
3) E-mail us at auditorium@eaa.org.za (mailto:auditorium@eaa.org.za)  
Best wishes
Jeremy ‘Moose’ Woods
EAA Auditorium

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11 February  SAPFA Rand Airport Challenge
Contact Frank Eckard Cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
11 February SAPFA Annual General Meeting at Rand Airport
Contact Frank Eckard Cell: 083 269 1516 e-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
11 to 12 February SAC regional championships at Swellengrebel Flying Club
Contact Pieter Venter E-mail: pventer@vgv.co.za (mailto:pventer@vgv.co.za)
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za (mailto:chunge@mweb.co.za)
15 to 21 February SANDF Armed Forces week - Durban
South African Air Force
22 & 23 February Aviation Africa 2017 Kigali International Convention Centre, Rwanda
Contact Mark Brown E-mail: mark.brown@africanaerospace.aero (mailto:mark.brown@africanaerospace.aero)

25 February SkyClass scenic vintage airliner flights Rand Airport

Contact e-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com (mailto:enquiries@flyskyclass.com) Tel: 011 541 9913 / 082 496 4081
4 March SAPFA Durban Wings Club Fun Rally – Virginia Airport
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
6 to 9 March HAI HELI-EXPO in Dallas, Texas, USA
Contact: Karen Gebhart E-mail: karen.gebhart@rotor.org (mailto:karen.gebhart@rotor.org)

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10 to 12 March The Aero Club Air Week Parys Website: www.aeroclub.org.za (http://www.aeroclub.org.za/)
Contact Sandra Strydom Tel: 011 082 1100 E-mail: office@aeroclub.org.za (mailto:office@aeroclub.org.za)

(mailto:o ce@aeroclub.org.za)
17 to 19 March SA Navy Festival
Contact Doreen Oosthuizen E-mail: navyfest.stalls@sanavy.co.za (mailto:navyfest.stalls@sanavy.co.za)
25 March SkyClass scenic vintage airliner flights Rand Airport
Contact e-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com (mailto:enquiries@flyskyclass.com) Tel: 011 541 9913 / 082 496 4081
30 March to 1 April SAPFA National Precision Flying Championships – Brits Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
31 March To 1 April Wings and Wheels Festival Uitenhage airfield
Contact Lourens Kruger E-mail: lmk@telkomsa.net (mailto:lmk@telkomsa.net) Cell: 082 320 2615
30 March to 9 April Stars of Sandstone Festival - Spectacular steam and vintage heritage
Contact Leigh Sanders Cell: +27 79 327 7649 E-mail leighs@sandstone.co.za (mailto:leighs@sandstone.co.za)
Website: www.sandstone-estates.com (http://www.sandstone-estates.com/)

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1 & 2 April SAC North West regionals Klerksdorp
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za (mailto:chunge@mweb.co.za)
6 April Aero Club of South Africa Annual General meeting
Annual General meeting 6 April 2017
Contact Sandra Strydom Tel: 011 082 1100 E-mail: office@aeroclub.org.za (mailto:office@aeroclub.org.za)

6 & 7 April 7th China Aviation Training & Education Summit Shanghai Honggiao Airport
Contact Josephine Zhu (marketing) E-mail: Josephine_Z@opplandcorp.com

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5 to 8 April AERO Friedrichshafen - Germany
Contact website: www.aero-expo.com (http://www.aero-expo.com/) 
AERO dedicates itself to offering a significant collection of aviation related products and accessories. Exhibitors
will be showing engines, modern ultra-lights, powered aircraft,  avionics and related products and services. Over
the years, this show has gained a huge reputation from all over the world and the positive reaction from the
attendees has motivated the exhibitors to improve the existing range and manufacture more such effective
spare parts and products.

AERO Friedrichshafen

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13 April SAPFA Sheila Taylor Navigation Rally – Krugersdorp Airfield

Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
27 to 30 April EAA National Convention - Bethlehem Airport EAA Chapter 1500
Contact Francois Marais E-mail: info@stanfra.co.za (mailto:info@stanfra.co.za) Cell 082 726 8550
28 to 30 April Thaba ‘N chu airshow Thaba ‘n chu airport
Contact Christiaan Moriaana Tel 012 543 1736
29 April SkyClass scenic vintage airliner flights Rand Airport
Contact e-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com (mailto:enquiries@flyskyclass.com) Tel: 011 541 9913 / 082 496 4081
6 May SAAF Museum airshow at AFB Swartkops
Contact the Museum Tel 012 351 2290
05 & 06 May Battlefields’ Sports Resorts’ annual fly in Dundee KZN
Contact Dave O’ Halloran e-mail gm@battlefieldslodge.co.za (mailto:gm@battlefieldslodge.co.za)
9 to 11 May Airport show in Dubai - United Arab Emirates
Contact Reed Exhibitions Middle East e-mail: ria.andaya@reedexpo.ae (mailto:ria.andaya@reedexpo.ae)
12 & 13 May Lowveld airshow at the Nelspruit airfield Tel: 013 741 6412
Contact Willemien Hodgkinson e-mail: willemien.hodgkinson@kishugu.com
20 & 21 May SAC KZN regionals Ladysmith
Contact Annie Boon e-mail: chunge@mweb.co.za (mailto:chunge@mweb.co.za)
26 to 28 May SAPFA President’s Trophy Air Race hosted by the Springs Aero Club
Website: www.sapfa.org.za (http://www.sapfa.org.za/) E-mail: Race@sapfa.org.za (mailto:Race@sapfa.org.za)
Race director Robin Spencer-Scarr: robin@stylegroup.com.au (mailto:robin@stylegroup.com.au) 
Contact Robbie Myburgh e-mail: roblena@mweb.co.za (mailto:roblena@mweb.co.za) Cell: 083 377 0925
27 & 28 May Airfest at Wingspark East London
Contact Rob Williamson Cell: 082 574 9034 E-mail: rwhw@iafrica.com (mailto:rwhw@iafrica.com)
27 May Botswana International airshow Matsieng Airfield (FBMA)
Contact Guillaume Knipe E-mail: Gknipe@work.co.bw (mailto:Gknipe@work.co.bw) Cell +267 71300646
27 May SkyClass scenic vintage airliner flights Rand Airport
Contact e-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com (mailto:enquiries@flyskyclass.com) Tel: 011 541 9913 / 082 496 4081
29 to 31 May European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland.  
Contact Bianca Dorneanu E-mail: bdorneanu@ebaa.org (mailto:bdorneanu@ebaa.org) Tel: +32 2 766 00 72

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2 & 3 June Newcastle Airshow on the Saturday 3 June
Contact Johan Pieters 082 923 0078 e-mail: johan@champ.co.za (mailto:johan@champ.co.za) Or Christo van der
Vyver 083 375 5883
10 & 11 June Wonderboom Adrenaline Show
Contact Jan-Paul Nel Cell: 082 511 6501 E-mail: jp@adrenalinshow.co.za (mailto:jp@adrenalinshow.co.za)
13 & 14 June Aviation Festival – Sandton Convention Centre Terrapinn Ltd
Contact Roschan van der Haar Tel: +2711 516 4045
E-mail:  Roschan.vanderHaar@terrapinn.com (mailto:Roschan.vanderHaar@terrapinn.com)

15 to 18 June NAC fly-away 2017
Contact Deneys Potgieter Cell: 082 891 4354 e-mail: deneys.potgieter@nac.co.za
24 June Middleburg Aero Club airshow
Contact Richard Lovett e-mail: mail@pegasusi.co.za (mailto:mail@pegasusi.co.za) Cell: 082 771 8775
24 June SkyClass scenic vintage airliner flights Rand Airport
Contact e-mail: enquiries@flyskyclass.com (mailto:enquiries@flyskyclass.com) Tel: 011 541 9913 / 082 496 4081
19 to 25 June Paris International Airshow – 52nd edition at Le Bourget over 7 days
Contact www.paris-air-show.com (http://www.paris-air-show.com/)
28 & 29 June Drones conference 2017 Emperor’s Palace Convention Centre
Contact Vukani Communications Tel: 011 791 6330 E-mail: info@vukanicomms.co.za
30 June To 1 July SAPFA Landing Championships training and competition at Brits Airfield
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: frank.eckard@mweb.co.za (mailto:frank.eckard@mweb.co.za)
29 June to 02 July Race for Rhinos – Kubu Island Botswana
Contact Chris Briers E-mail: chris@briersgroup.com (mailto:chris@briersgroup.com) Cell: 082 568 7988

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African Aviation News (/)

Egyptian Ka-52s ready to be delivered

Ka-52 helicopter

On 31 January, Russian Helicopters said one of its subsidiaries; Progress Arsenyev Aviation Company, which is
part of State Corporation Rostec, has produced this year’s first Ka-52 Alligator. The helicopter built at Progress
has already successfully and fully completed all ground and flight tests required by the technical terms and
conditions of the government contract. Several more rotorcraft bodies of the new helicopters are at their final
assembly point at Arsenyev. In February, another batch of Ka-52 helicopters will be transferred to their
operators,” Russian helicopters said.
The first batch of Alligators scheduled for delivery in 2017 per government contract terms was transferred to
the Russian Ministry of Défense ahead of schedule in December last year. In 2017, production of these
helicopters will be more than doubled as some will be headed overseas, Russian Helicopters said. The first
experimental unit for a foreign customer has already been assembled and is successfully passing all tests as
planned. While not specifically mentioning Egypt, the Ka-52 has no other known foreign orders except for the
North African country.

World Aviation News

ATR and Sweden’s BRA perform first ATR biofuel flight

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ATR 72-600

Last week an ATR 72-600 of the Swedish carrier BRA (former Braathens Regional) took off from Stockholm-
Bromma to Umeå fueled at 45% with fossil-free used cooking oil, marking the first biofuel-powered flight of an
ATR aircraft. BRA provides an essential air service to link their main hub of Stockholm-Bromma to twelve
Swedish regions. The ATRs of BRA provide an unrivalled performance advantage in months with adverse
weather conditions. The airline is particularly committed to environmental preservation and has already
started replacing their Saab 2000s with modern ATR 72-600s, recognized as the most fuel-efficient aircraft on
the regional market. Several research and development initiatives are currently underway in Sweden to
produce biofuels from different types of wood. In Sweden, forests cover more than 50% of the country and grow
at a rate of 120 million cubic meters annually. Making domestic air traffic in Sweden completely fossil-free
would require less than 2% of the total annual forest growth.

American Airlines workers find cocaine in airplane nose gear wheel well

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American Airlines cocaine

Workers at American Airlines’ maintenance base in Tulsa received a surprise while working on the nose gear of
one of the carriers’ jets. Authorities say that 31 pounds of cocaine worth about $434,000 was discovered in the
nose gear well of the aircraft. Fox News reports that the airplane had flown from Bogota, Colombia to Miami,
Florida on Sunday. But apparently before the drugs could be retrieved, the plane was flagged for maintenance
and flown to the maintenance base in Tulsa. There, a worker noticed something that looked like chunks of
insulation or a brick in the wheel well. The employee called the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office and they came out
to inspect the aircraft. What they found were seven bricks of cocaine worth about $14,000 per pound. Tulsa
County Sheriff's Office spokesman Justin Green said that the case has been handed over to the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Agency in Miami.

Patria orders Diamond trainer aircraft

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Diamond DA42-VI

Diamond DA40NG

Patria has purchased five training aircraft and two flight training simulators from the Austrian manufacturer
Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH. The purchase consists of four single engine DA40 NG aircraft and one DA42-
VI multi-engine training aircraft. Two Flight Navigation and Procedures Trainers (FNPT II) for DA42-VI aircraft
are also included in the purchase. The fleet of single engine aircraft will be used for basic and instrument
training, while the twin-engine DA42 will be used for multi-engine training.
“The new Diamond fleet will increase Patria´s training capacity considerably and will allow us to train our
students faster in the very competitive training market. Diamond is well-known for its high-quality aircraft and
we are pleased to extend our cooperation with the company”, states Lassi Matikainen, President, Patria
Aviation. “Diamond Aircraft is proud to be part of the history of Patria Pilot Training. We are glad to see that
Patria is introducing the DA40 NG as their new single engine trainer. Together with the new DA42-VI and the
two FNPTII’s, Patria will be able to benefit from the standardisation of the fleet as well as from the fuel efficient
and low maintenance airplanes”, says Christian Dries, CEO and Owner, Diamond Aircraft Industries GmbH.
The first flight training device will be delivered in April and the first DA40 NG aircraft in June 2017. The
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remaining fleet and the second simulator will be delivered before the end of August 2017 to Patria’s new
training centre in Tampere-Pirkkala. The contract includes an option to order more DA40 NG aircraft before the
end of 2018. Presently, Patria operates two DA42 NG aircraft. With the new purchase, Patria´s Diamond fleet will
include seven training aircraft and two flight training simulators.

Patria will continue to operate nine Tecnam P2002JF aircraft together with the new trainers to answer to strong
demand in pilot training markets in Finland and internationally. All trainers will be used for Finnair’s MPL
cadets’ training. Patria has recently also purchased an Airbus A320 Flight Training Device for the MPL training
Patria Pilot Training is a leading European aviation academy that has trained hundreds of commercial pilots
since being founded in 1998. Patria’s extensive training offering comprises also a Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL)
training module designed for commercial airline carriers. Patria Pilot Training uses state-of-the-art training
aircraft and flight training equipment. In total the flight school has 20 employees. Patria Pilot Training is part of
the Patria Group, which is a trusted provider of defence, security and aviation life-cycle support services and
technology solutions with 2800 professionals.

Trump causes confusion among both airlines and travellers
On 27 January, the US President Donald Trump signed the order to block all refugees from coming to the United
States for 120 days and suspended the entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen
for 90 days, while also blocking the entry for all refugees from Syria for an undefined period. Some airlines
which serve flights especially in the Gulf are reported to have turned away some passengers from boarding US-
bound flights due to the Executive Order (EO).
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced its statement on the latest EO issued by the US
government. IATA stated that it works with its 265 member airlines for safe, secure, efficient and sustainable
global air transport links. It also stated that as a matter of principle it works for the free movement of trade and
people across borders. IATA considered that the EO was issued without prior coordination or warning, causing
confusion among both airlines and travellers. It also placed additional burdens on airlines to comply with
unclear requirements, to bear implementation costs and to face potential penalties for non-compliance. IATA
also recognized that states have the right and duty to protect their citizens by enforcing their borders. Where
this has implications for air travel, it works with its member airlines to help them comply with these

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requirements efficiently and effectively. Global systems and procedures exist to support this activity. IATA’s
Timatic online solution, for example, is a global database for travel document requirements. It is updated
constantly and used by airlines and travel agents around the world. According to the organisation, these
systems can only support the efficient implementation of any government’s directives by the global air
transport industry with advance coordination as well as with detailed and consistent operational information.

Low-cost, light-attack aircraft for USAF gains momentum

Airland's Scorpion Jet

U.S. Air Force officials have expressed support for a proposal by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., Chairman of the
Senate Armed Services Committee, to acquire several hundred-low-cost light-attack and observation aircraft. As
proposed by Sen. McCain, “the Air Force should procure 300 low-cost, light-attack fighters that would require
minimal work to develop. These aircraft could conduct counterterrorism operations, perform close air support
and other missions in permissive environments, and help to season pilots to mitigate the Air Force’s fighter
pilot shortfall.”
The Air Force has been supporting CAS and COIN operations with sophisticated multirole aircraft like the F-16,
F/A-18 and F-22, which cost tens of thousands of dollars per hour to operate, fly at speeds ill-suited to low-
altitude missions and require the resources of a large airbase or aircraft carrier for sustained operation.
Excitement for low-cost, light-attack aircraft has been kindled by the ballooning unit cost of the Lockheed-
Martin F-35 (now hovering around $100 million). Aircraft proposed for evaluation by industry experts have a
unit cost on the order of $10 million and a cost per flight hour under $1,000.

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Support for the aircraft purchase hinges on availability of an off-the-shelf design, rather than funding
development of a new airframe from government coffers. Speaking at the American Enterprise Institute on the
future of American airpower, USAF Gen. David Goldfein said, “We are actually right now looking at an
experiment where we go out to industry and ask, “What do you have, commercial-off-the-shelf, low-cost, that
can perform this mission?’ We are going to do this experiment and just sort of see what is out there and I expect
many of the companies to come forward.”
Textron and Sierra Nevada Corp. are two likely competitors to build the proposed light attack aircraft and both
have off-the-shelf designs available. Textron makes the Beechcraft AT-6 (developed from the T-6 Texan II, which
is operated in large numbers by the U.S. Air Force and Navy for initial pilot training) and the Textron LandAir
Scorpion jet. The Embraer A-29 Super Tucano, while designed in Brazil is manufactured by the Sierra Nevada
Corporation in Jacksonville, Florida. According to Betsy McDonald, Communication Manager with Sierra
Nevada, “The A-29 Super Tucano is fully American compliant and is actually the only aircraft in its class with a
U.S. military type certification.” The eventual winner of the Air Force T-X competition to develop a new jet
trainer to replace the Cold War-era T-38 may be able to adapt that aircraft to perform the light attack role, but
given that project’s requirements for high speed, high-G flight, such an aircraft would likely struggle to compete
on price with the AT-6 and A-29.

A formal request for information from the defence industry could come as early as September 2017.

50-year Apollo reunion set for EAA AirVenture

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Apollo spacecraft

It was 50 years ago, in 1967, that NASA scheduled the first Apollo mission, with the aim to land on the Moon and
EAA will celebrate that era of exploration this summer at AirVenture, with a reunion of Apollo astronauts and a
slate of special events. The reunion is expected to be the largest gathering of Apollo astronauts at Oshkosh since
1994, when the ‘Salute to Apollo’ programme brought together 15 of them. Many of the activities will be centred
on AirVenture’s ‘Apollo Day’, on Friday 28 July, which will be highlighted by a major evening programme at the
Theatre in the Woods. Among the astronauts who will attend are Frank Borman (Apollo 8), Walt Cunningham
(Apollo 7), Fred Haise (Apollo 13), Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and Apollo 13) and Al Worden (Apollo 15).
“A number of Apollo astronauts have already committed to the event, as have other people closely involved
with America’s space programme during that era,” said EAA’s Rick Larsen. “This will be a rare, unforgettable
gathering of the people who met the challenge of flying to the moon and safely returning, representing
hundreds of thousands of individuals who contributed to its success. You may never get another opportunity to
see these people in person, up close, as you will at Oshkosh this July.” Additional astronauts are expected to
confirm their attendance in the coming weeks. Further details on events and schedules will be announced as
they are finalised. The Apollo 1 mission, in 1967, was destroyed in a launch-pad fire, in which three astronauts
died. Apollo 11 was the first mission to reach the Moon, in 1969 and in 1972, Apollo 17 visited the Moon for the
last time.

World DRONE news

Bye Aerospace, SolAero Technologies collaborate on medium-altitude UAV

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SolAero Technologies Corp. has announced an important product development and manufacturing
collaboration with Bye Aerospace to power Bye’s StratoAirNet solar-electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
with SolAero’s high-efficiency solar cells and flexible solar modules. The StratoAirNet family of UAVs will
provide persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) to support commercial and government
security requirements. The initial medium-altitude StratoAirNet 15 proof of concept prototype is undergoing
final assembly. Following the successful preliminary design review process, flight tests were conducted on a
small-scale wing powered by SolAero solar cells. Following further measurements and fit checks, additional test
flights will soon commence on the 15-meter wing span prototype.
Since 2001, SolAero products have reliably powered nearly 200 successful satellite missions. SolAero holds the
world record efficiency in space solar cells with 50+ patents and disclosures for their 33.0% efficient Inverted
Metamorphic (IMM) technology. The IMM solar cell technology offers the highest available power density of
any solar cell currently in production with more than 350 W/m2. “SolAero is one of the world’s leading
providers of advanced space solar power solutions,” said George Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace. “The superior
performance of their solar cells will make the benefits of StratoAirNet even more compelling, allowing the
airplane to fly at higher altitudes with almost unlimited flight endurance. We appreciate SolAero’s collaboration
with our team and look forward to working together to demonstrate a remarkable pseudo-satellite aircraft
capability that many have said is unachievable.”
“We are very excited about our partnership with Bye Aerospace and the future opportunities of the solar-
powered StratoAirNet family of UAVs,” said Brad Clevenger, CEO of SolAero Technologies. “The combination of
our advanced solar cell technology and integration expertise with the wide range of capabilities of the
StratoAirNet UAV family will help usher in a new era of long endurance middle and high altitude commercial
and defence UAVs.” Bye said potential commercial mission applications for StratoAirNet include
communications relay, internet service, mapping, search and rescue, firefighting command and control, anti-
poaching monitoring, damage assessment, severe weather tracking, agriculture monitoring (‘precision ag’),
mineral source surveying, spill detection and infrastructure quality assessment.

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First drone flights at an airport conducted in Atlanta, USA

Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport

For the first time, the FAA has granted permission for a drone to be flown on an airport in the United States and
it wasn’t just any airport. The flight took place at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the
busiest in the world. CNBC Recode reports that the seven flights were conducted by 3D Robotics on 10 January.
The Berkley, CA-based company was authorised to collect data on a pair of four-story parking garages that are

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scheduled for demolition. On its blog, 3DR sait its team ‘used the new FAA online portal to obtain the
authorisation for the flight. As part of the airspace authorisation process, 3DR and Atkins were able to
demonstrate to the FAA that an operation in such a critical location between runways could be performed safely
using Site Scan, 3DR’s autonomous aerial data capture platform. After coordinating with the ATL air traffic
control tower, the FAA granted airspace authorisation enabling this aerial data capture on Atkins’ construction
site. Part of the requirement for the authorisation was that the flight team was in radio contact with the ATL
control tower at all times during the flight and performed all operations under the control tower’s authority.
The flights went off without a hitch. CNBC reports that the permit required three spotters to observe the drone
during its flight and continuously coordinate with ATC.

Global military UAV market worth US$ 13.9 billion by 2022

Global Unmanned Aerial Vehicle UAV Market Forecast 2016-2026

The global military UAV market is projected to grow to USD 13.9 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 38,7% from 2016 to
2022. Where the MUAV/MAVs are dominant in terms of units delivered and the UCAVs in terms value. In recent
years, there has been a growing use by militaries around the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, more
popularly known as drones. More than 10,000 UAVs are now operated or coming into service with militaries
around the world. Their increased usage has mostly been driven by the operational experience of the US and
Israel, as well as recent operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria for intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) tasks with the US leading the way in terms of spending on research, procurement and
support. Other countries are gaining and developing their own platforms in part to enhance their military
intelligence capabilities, or as some exercise in national prestige to develop their own defence and aerospace
Market Forecast’s new report, the Global Military UAV Market Forecast to 2022, provides a detailed analysis of
the military UAV market from 2016-2022, focusing on the military UAV programmes, requirements and orders
in more than 50 countries worth in excess of US$36.4 billion over the entire period.

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Drone instrumental in rescue of lost hikers

Phantom 3 Professional

The Australian newspaper; The Daily Telegraph reports that the 32-year-old man and 24-year-old woman
contacted authorities on a cell phone, when they became disoriented while hiking in Ku-ring-gai Chase National
Park in eastern New South Wales in Australia. But paramedics and police found it difficult to determine their
exact location. The water police launched a Phantom 3 Pro drone at about 20h15 local time. As the aircraft flew
over the area, the couple saw its position lights and shined a flashlight at the aircraft. That allowed first
responders to locate the couple and escort them out of the bush. The water police often use the aircraft to check
to be sure local fishermen on are wearing life jackets, but this was the first time it had been used for Search and
Rescue operations.

Yuneec International expands commercial UAV offerings with all-new H520

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Yuneec Typhoon H520

Yuneec International has announced the expansion of its commercial UAV offerings with the unveiling of the
H520, an advanced six-rotor drone for commercial applications. The H520 builds off Yuneec’s proven six-rotor
platform and incorporates industry-first commercial-grade cameras and applications for high-end commercial
use. The H520 offers longer flight time, greater payload, modular design and enhanced components while
staying true to Yuneec’s standard of excellence in aviation precision and safety. The H520, engineered for
optimal use in industrial and commercial environments, features high visibility Hazard Orange fuselage and a
six-rotor design capable of emergency flight with only five rotors. A 360-degree, three-axis gimbal coupled with
retractable landing gear provides an unobstructed view from any angle. The camera and gimbal are capable of a
20 degree up-angle for upward-looking inspections.

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Aviation humour
Shortly after take-off on an outbound, evening Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to Boston, the lead flight attendant
nervously made the following painful announcement in her lovely Irish brogue:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m so very sorry, but it appears that there has been a terrible mix-up by our catering
service. I don’t know how this has happened, but we have 103 passengers on board and unfortunately, we
received only 40 dinner meals. I truly apologise for this mistake and inconvenience.”

When the muttering of the passengers had died down, she continued: “Anyone who is kind enough to give up
their meal so that someone else can eat, will receive free and unlimited drinks for the duration of our 10-hour
Her next announcement came about two hours later: “If anyone is hungry, we still have 40 dinners available.”

Weekly News from African Pilot

Should you happen to miss out on any edition of African Pilot’s weekly aviation news briefs, please visit the
website: www.africanpilot.co.za (http://www.africanpilot.co.za/) and click on the Aviation News link on the
front page. All past weekly African Pilot Aviation News briefs have been archived on the website.
Until next week, please be ‘Serious about flying’.
Athol Franz (Editor)
African Pilot ‘Serious about flying’.

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