Tag Archives: Avgeek

Gauteng Regional Aerobatic Competition 2020-01-18

Saturday January 18th saw one of the first flying events in South Africa for 2020 as the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa held their first Aerobatic competition at Vereeniging Airfield in the south of Johannesburg.

RV

Arriving in the morning we got to see some of the participants arriving from various airfields around the Gauteng region, with some aircraft not being able to get through to the competition due to the weekends predicted rain forecast.

Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. The flying takes place in a invisible box in the sky, where as said above, judges rate the skill on a point system!

Slick 360

Some of the participants included father and son team Barrie Eeles and Tristan Eeles who flew his Extra 200,locally based Giles 202 flown by Pierre du Plooy was a rare sight as its the only type of its make in South Africa. Gregory Clegg flew a Pitts S2E while Glen Warden joined in his Slick 360, both aircraft are hangered at Kitty Hawk Aerodrome in Pretoria East.

Extra 200
Giles 202
Gregory Clegg Pitts S2E
Glen Warden Slick 360

By 1pm the weather gods finally through buckets of rain down and the flying was suspended for the day, as some aircraft could be badly beaten while flying hi-G Aerobatics during the afternoon showers.

Nashua Exra 300L Pilot Andrew Blackwood-Murray

Results for the days flying!

Yak 55
Yak 52

Some rare treats seeing flying on the day

a rare sight Jeff Earle’s Harvard “7637” gets airborne
Former Bloemfontein based Chipmunk now based at Vereeniging

We look forward to another Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa event soon!

15 Squadron Choppers conduct another successful sea rescue off Durban coast!

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 09h30, Tuesday, 07th January, NSRI Durban, Netcare 911 ambulance services and the SA Air Force (SAAF), were tasked by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to prepare to respond to rendezvous with a Heavy Lift Vessel, that was approaching Durban, to assist 5 adult Brazilian male crewmen suffering injuries sustained in an accident onboard.

A Brazilian adult male crewman suffered fatal injuries in the accident and on the ship’s Captain’s request the body of the deceased man would remain onboard the ship.

MRCC had arranged a Western Cape Government Health EMS duty doctor to provide medical advice to the ship’s medics while the ship diverted from deep-sea and headed towards Durban.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications.

A SAAF BK-117, 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, helicopter was tasked to respond to Durban from Port Elizabeth and a 2nd SAAF helicopter, a SAAF Oryx, 15 Squadron, helicopter, was made ready at Durban while the ship came closer to Durban.

15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117

At 16h42 the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie launched from our Durban Sea Rescue station, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and an IPSS rescue paramedic, to respond towards the ship to stand-by on the scene.

At 17h30 the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and an NSRI medic and the SAAF 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, BK-117 helicopter, accompanied by two NSRI rescue swimmers, responded from Durban.

Oryx Helicopter

On arrival on the scene, 28 nautical miles off-shore East of Durban, the SAAF Oryx helicopter landed on the ship’s helicopter pad.

The SAAF BK-117 helicopter and the sea rescue craft stood-by on the scene while Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and the NSRI medic took over care of the 5 patients from the ships medical crew and the patients were transferred into the Oryx helicopter.

Medical treatment continued in the helicopter and the 5 patients, 1 in a critical condition and 4 in stable conditions, were airlifted to a hospital in Durban.

On behalf of all services involved Condolences are conveyed to family, friends and colleagues of the deceased man.

It has been confirmed that all 5 patients are in stable conditions and they are recovering in hospital.

Former Royal Navy Harriers to take to the skies again!

The Harrier, informally referred to as the Harrier Jump Jet, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations. Named after a bird of prey, it was originally developed by British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s.

A right front view of a British Royal Navy FRS Mk. 2 Sea Harrier on display during an air show.

Established in 2014, The Fly Harrier Trust is dedicated to bringing the BAE Harrier back once more to British skies. Founded by two longterm enthusiasts and pilots, Mark Fitzgerald and Sir Peter Rigby, the Trust aims to honour the aircraft’s long and distinguished service, its extraordinary engineering ingenuity, and the pilots that flew it by restoring two rare Harriers to flight-ready condition. A great plane is made to fly: let’s fly it.

The task of readying the Harriers for flight has seen them relocated from Cornwall to their current refurbishment hangar in St Athan. A former RAF and Navy Harrier maintenance hangar, it has proved the perfect location , and it is here that the restoration process has been overseen by two of the UK’s best practitioners, John Sparks and Pete Walker. Their efforts aided by hugely generous supply of parts, we are excellently placed to realise our dream. It’s time for a modern British icon to grace our skies once again.

The task of returning our Harriers to flight has required the support, care, and expertise of a community of the most wonderful enthusiasts. A plane much loved by those who knew it in its prime, we have been able to build a highly skilled team of experts, many of which worked with the Harrier from the 1960s onwards. Together with the backing of Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Aviation Minister, the Trust must now persuade the CAA of the seriousness of its cause. Let’s get the Harrier back up in the air.

Please, join us. Follow our story. Watch the process of restoring our Harriers. Help persuade the powers that be of the necessity of our cause. Your enthusiasm, your support, and the strength of your voice will help the Fly Harrier Trust achieve the most fantastic of dreams: to see this most iconic of British fighter jets flying British skies once again.

More information on the project can be seen on the fly harrier website https://www.flyharriers.com/

United Airlines-Touches down in Cape Town for the first time!

The 16th of December for us as South Africans is the Day of Reconciliation. The day where differences are set aside and we all look towards building a better future together.

Today being the 16th of December 2019, a special event that is proof of this building together and looking to the future, took place at Cape Town International Airport. United Airlines landed for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa. This was indeed a special event as it indicates the tourism market is alive and in fact growing. The welcoming of the United B787-9 was attended by the officiating dignitaries that included United Airlines, ACSA and Wesgro executives, the US Ambassador to South Africa, the Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Dan Plato and the Western Cape MEC for Finance & Economic Opportunity, the Mr David Maynier.

With the new planned expansions that is to kick off soon, United Airlines is one of a few airlines that is looking at Cape Town International as a destination and the potential it has to offer to leisure travellers. Although Johannesburg is the economical hub for South Africa, Cape Town is by far the most popular by tourists. United Airlines use to fly to Africa, Houston to Lagos, but this service was terminated a few years back. The only other options that were left to United Airlines customers wanting to travel from the USA to Cape Town, were to have one stop flights with either South African Airways or Ethiopian Airlines (both being United Airlines partners) or fly with another airline, Delta being the only other USA airline offering direct flights to South Africa. In mid-April this year, United Airlines announced it will offer a season direct service between New York and Cape Town 3 times a week starting on the 15th of December 2019 and ending on 25 March 2020. This will result in a better customer as many direct flights have proven in the past.

These flights will be operated by using the Boeing B787-9 with 252 seats, 48 for business class and 204 economy class. The flights will operate to the following schedule:

UA1122 New York to Cape Town departing 8:30PM arriving 6:00PM (+1 day) [Wed, Fri, Sun]
UA1123 Cape Town to New York departing 8:50PM arriving 5:45AM (+1 day) [Mon, Thu, Sat]

The flight will be covering a total distance of 12 580km making it one of United Airline’s longest flights.

Cape Town International Facts:

IATA: CPT
ICAO: FACT
WMO: 68816

Elevation AMSL: 151 ft / 46 meters

Opened: 1954

Runway 01/19:

Dimensions: 10502 x 200 feet / 3201 x 61 meters
Surface: Hard
Runway 01 Coordinates: S33°59.26′ / E18°36.53′
Runway 19 Coordinates: S33°57.59′ / E18°36.00′
Runway 01 Elevation: 144 ft / 44 meters
Runway 19 Elevation: 147 ft / 45 meters
Runway 01 Heading: 009°
Runway 19 Heading: 189°

Runway 16/34:

Dimensions: 5581 x 151 feet / 1701 x 46 meters
Runway 16 Coordinates: S33°57.68′ / E18°35.85′
Runway 34 Coordinates: S33°58.34′ / E18°36.63′
Runway 16 Elevation: 143 ft / 44 meters
Runway 34 Elevation: 151 ft / 46 meters
Runway 16 Heading: 159°
Runway 34 Heading: 339°

General B787-9 specifications:

Cruise Speed: 560 mph (901 kph)
Propulsion: Two General Electric GEnx engines (GEnx being General Electric Next-generation)
Wingspan: 197 feet, 4 inches (60,14 m)
First Flight: 15 December 2009

N24973 specifications:

B787-9

Serial Number (MSN): 40941 LN: 661
Age: 1 year (February 2018)
First Flight: 6 February 2018

Welcome United Airlines! May we see many more flights gracing our skies!

South African Airforce Airlifts Citizens Trapped by Flash Floods in Pretoria

  On Monday, 09 December 2019 at approximately 12:30, the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) activated two (2) South African Air Force (SAAF) helicopters to assist citizens stranded in Centurion and Mamelodi following flash floods as a result of the continuing torrential downpour currently experienced in the Gauteng Province.


A SAAF Atlas Oryx helicopter and an Agusta A-109 Light Utility (A-109 LUH) Helicopter were able to airlift 79 stranded people at the Centurion Lake Hotel to safety. A total of three (3) people airlifted from the hotel were taken to Unitas Medical Centre for medical assistance. 

The two (2) helicopters proceeded to Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, and successfully airlifted five (5) people who were trapped by flash floods to safety. No injuries were reported in Mamelodi. The two (2) helicopters completed the two (2) air rescues at approximately 17:00. There were no fatalities reported during both rescues.   

Denel Cheetah B “Bandit” Flies again!

What was a very common sight over the skies of the Limpopo Province at Airforce Base Makhado was the Denel Cheetah variant’s from both the C model which was the single- seat interceptor and the dual version with pilot and instructor or pilot and strike navigator.

Denel Cheetah B on final approach

After the retirement of the Cheetah from South African Airforce service a lot of examples were sent back to denel and some sold to Equador and now recently a North American company by the name of Draken,which uses ex military fighter aircraft as aggressors to US Airforce fighter types.

Famous dogtooth on the nose of Cheetah b 861

The 3rd December saw “Bandit” Cheetah B 861 take to the skies over OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton parking routing out towards Airforce Base Waterkloof for two tests flights and more to come as we get to the end of year 2019.

The aircraft has not flown for some months now,but it is great to see an ex SAAF Aircraft back in the skies again.We hope to see her at airshows as we near the 2020 airshow season and SAAF 100th Birthday Celebrations!

Cheetah B Former 2 Squadron Aircraft

The aircraft was flown by Denel Chief Test Pilot, Ivan “Viking’ Pentz, Ivan is no stranger to flying fighters as he has flown the Impala MK1,Impala MKII,HawkMK120,Cheetah C, Cheetah D,Mirage F1,AHRLAC,C130 and many more!

This particular Cheetahs Colour Scheme was unveiled and displayed at the SAAF Museum Airshow in 2003.Bandit was also used during the 2V1 Dogfight demo between two Cheetah Cs.

Pilot Insure 7th Speed Rally-Season 2 Springs 23 November 2019

Season 2 of the Pilots Insure Speed Rally in already upon us for the second edition of the growing flying sport which is becoming an exciting aviation event around South Africa, with 2020 close it was decided for the first of the speed rally proceedings to start earlier then usual.

The last Speed Rally held at Secunda on the 10th August was the finale of the 2018/19 season, and the 6th in the series, where it had returned to the birth of the Speed Rally concept in 2018. This new Season as Season 2 should prove to elevate this event to the next level, and since the completion of the 1st Season an extensive Season debrief was held with the officials and a number of competitors to review the rules and workings of the Speed Rally concept to look at improvements and changes, a number of which have been brought into the competition. One of the major changes was to extend the overall distance from 125 nm to 150 nm, to make the legs a little longer to accommodate the faster aircraft, most of the other
changes facilitating the crew with better cockpit paperwork.

Furthermore a GPS category was brought into play, which would allow novices to be introduced to the event without the stress of knowing or not knowing where to go, with the intent to get themselves
upgraded to Championship status after having gained sufficient experience.

Entries were already open after Season 1, and many already confirmed their entries which quickly went over 40, with an eventual count at 40 on Friday, with 3 withdrawing on the day. This event is attracting
many father & son teams, and many more of the younger generation. It was decided for this event that the Mach 1 Flight School would be the hosts on the airfield, they have as a school been involved from the first
rally and have increased their participation with their instructors, and seeing from the results over time they have become more experienced and moving up in the placings.

With a view of bringing in more excitement to this event, a shortened course of 60 nm with 3 laps in the
style of a Grand Prix circuit was also designed by Race Master Jonty Esser for a small field as a try out
event.

This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is now around 150 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. This is also
an event where no GPS aids are allowed in the Championship league, these are all sealed up, and courtesy of Century Avionics on-board devices are also covered up, although not disabled. In the GPS league, competitors can utilize any technology, although it seems that this did not help much, a number of the GPS enabled competitors also went walk about…

The route was mostly to the east of the airfield, not in the most scenic part of the country, which is mostly dotted with power stations and coal mines, but then the competitors would have been more concerned
about keeping track than looking at scenery.

The weather on Friday started out real well, the forecast giving late afternoon thundershowers which were lurking towards the west. Test flights commenced with many new entries requiring test flights and some
old entries wanting to retest to re-confirm their handicaps. The EAA came in to help with this, with Sean Cronin & Karl Jensen supporting SAPFA’s test flight designate Mark Clulow, and got through all the test
flights just after 3 PM. Mary de Klerk also breezed in to provide the newbies with some dedicated training.

Thereafter at 18h30, Jonty Esser as the Race Master introduced Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turn points,
distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system worked in terms of penalties as well as the expected weather conditions, which looked like some early cloud, then a clear day expected
with late afternoon thundershowers.

All the competitors were then treated to a briefing on Steroids with Race Master Jonty Esser having set up a show for the teams, with a real life lights, camera, action sequence, where each team were introduced
with their team theme song, handed their race numbers, thereafter everybody was treated to a buffet meal before retiring for the evening.

Saturday morning dawned with perfect flying conditions, a clear day with virtually no wind, with the briefing
starting a little earlier at 7.30 am as the intent was to finish the rally at 11.30 to be able to fit in the Grand Prix in the early afternoon.

The briefing was shorter than the previous evening, and focused on the procedures for scrutineering, the handing out of papers, starting line, and finish protocol. The aircraft were to be parked in order of slowest
to fastest, with a 15 second gap as a minimum between them, with the idea to have all the aircraft cross the finish line as close to 11h30 as possible, given that everybody needs to achieve a perfect route around
the course. There was a plan to also to live track the event under the events section of Livetrack 24, and for this purpose a number of live trackers were loaned and set up, although this proved to be very finicky,
it had marginal success, although

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Karen, Conrad, Johan and Alex were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, and also handing out papers at the allotted time, and also checking the fuel tanks were
full. To assist the teams at getting their take-off roll accurate, a starting colour panel was used, which was set up next to the start line on the runway by Chief Marshal Jacques Jacobs and Mark Clulow, who would
release them at their allotted time slot.

Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at their 20 minutes prior take-off time, and then taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of take-off time. 1st take-off was at 09h40 for the slowest aircraft
and last take-off at 10h40, with planned arrival at 11h30. This was the first time two helicopters also tookpart, one an Alouette 2 and the other a Robinson R66, the Alouette 2 being the slowest and was the first
to depart.

With all the competitors off towards the east, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turn points. In general the competitors found the course a little more difficult than the last one, especially around
turn point 4, where is seems the rail and road crossing was difficult to spot, attesting to the increased difficulty that there were only 13 clear round aircraft, out of 40. Just before 11h30 the first aircraft over the
line was a Cessna 172 ZS-OET, follow by a Sling 4 ZU-IOK, and closely after that the R66 ZS-HRS, and from there within the next 2 minutes or so 20 aircraft with stragglers coming up the rear. The landing
sequence was fairly easy to do with everybody joining crosswind, then downwind onto 03 with good spacing.

After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, with the tracks for a number being quite accurate, although some had wobbles, but a few got a bit
lost, the Alouette 2 flying at full speed being very thirsty in fuel consumption decided to carry out a precautionary landing in Nigel to refuel before resuming the course.

The results were completed by around 14h30, and prize giving  was schedule for 15h30, and first up on the prize giving programme was to show some of the interesting tracks, some excellent and some not so good getting the audience in fits of laughter. Jonty first handed over the GPS league competitor trophies, and then the host club trophy went to the Mach 1 Flight Training School owner Lee Petersen, and then the placings for the best handicap speed and thereafter the most accurate / shortest route flown.  Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET, in second place was Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL, and in third place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their R66 ZS-HRS.

Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET
Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL
Apie & Frederick Kotzee 3rd Handicap ZS-HRS

The most accurate / shortest route flown winners were the team of David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR, in second place was Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK, and in third place was Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR
Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK
Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

Many thanks to the Mach 1 Flight School for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Jacques Jacobs with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark
Clulow doing the scoring, Chester Chandler assisting with the handicapping on Friday, David le Roux from Pilot Insure at the registration desk, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering,
Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering with their team, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks
also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us, and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring
the race numbers, team sponsors Excel E&I – Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, The Airplane Factory –
David Ross and James Braid, Pilots Post – Nigel Hopkins and Mary De Klerk, Fast Flame Laser Cutting –Oops – We went to Nigel instead

Hendrik & Jandre Loots, Beegle Micro Trackers – Quintin Kruger and Johan Whiteman, Prompt Roofing –
Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard.
Our next Speed Rally event will be in Witbank in the 1 st of February 2020.

TU-160 Strategic Bombers Land at AFB Waterkloof

A pair of TU-150 Blackjack variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bombers landed at Airforce Base Waterkloof yesterday afternoon after a 13 hour flight from Engels Air Force Base which is strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres east of Saratov.

TU-160 Blackjack on final approach into Waterkloof Airforce Base

The aircraft were originally scheduled to arrive in South Africa on 22 October but were delayed by 24 hours due to technical issues. The aircraft finally departed for a 11 000 kilometres non-stop to journey to South Africa.

The aircraft routed down the East coast of Africa, with the help of some Aerial Refueling from a Russian Airforce IL78 Tanker over the Caspian Sea. The historical visit if the bombers landing at Waterkloof South Africa is part of developing bilateral military cooperation and work out issues of interaction between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the South African Airforce.

The Bombers were escorted from Durban with 3 Hawk Mk120s from 85 Combat Flying School while two 2 Squadron Gripens conducted a Combat Air patrol during the flight into Airforce Base Waterkloof.

85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s escorting one of two TU160s
85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen

The SAAF’s deputy chief, Major General Innocent Buthelezi, said on Wednesday it was a privilege to host the Russian aircraft especially as it was the first time such bombers have landed in Africa. He said the visit was part of military-to-military cooperation between Russia and South Africa and looked forward to strengthening relations between the two defence forces.

Siphiwe Dlamini, Department of Defence head of communications, said the Russian visit had been planned long ago and is part of the bilateral defence ties between South Africa and the Russian Federation. He added that South Africa has had exercises with the Russian Navy and competed in Russia’s Army Games, whilst South Africa has military personnel training in Russia. In late November, Russia, China and South Africa will take part in a joint naval exercise in South Africa. Dlamini said the Russian Air Force visit has been in the making for the last five to eight years.

Department of Defence head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini

The aircraft are due to depart back to Russia on Monday 28th October 2019.Please feel free to keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates of the aircrafts movements.

Click to enlarge photos

Pegasus Universal Aerospace Signs MoU With Callen-Lenz Group

Pegasus Universal Aerospace signs MoU with Callen-Lenz Group as partner for flight control systems development.

Veteran aviator Captain Andrew Dietrich appointed as Chief Pilot

South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace, pioneer of the Vertical Business Jet (VBJ®) Pegasus One, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UK-based, technical aviation consultancy, Callen-Lenz Group. The agreement brings the two companies together to exclusively collaborate on the design and development of the flight control systems for the Pegasus One aircraft.

The flight control systems are integral to supporting the aircraft operations in all phases of flight, including transition from vertical take-off and hover, to forward horizontal flight. The merging of these functions, into one unique system, will be a key technology, enabling Pegasus One to deliver its powerful performance capabilities. Pegasus selected Callen-Lenz as its development partner owing to the team’s reputation for creating innovative solutions, required core competencies and experience, in realising complex technologies in the aerospace sector.

Dr Reza Mia, Pegasus founder and Chairman said, “We believe that Callen-Lenz is the ideal partner for Pegasus. Their inventive approach to aerospace challenges, their expertise, and their willingness to embark on this exciting journey with us to deliver a unique proposition determined our selection process. We are excited to be working on this game changing project with them.”  

“We have been invited to work with a number of new aircraft programmes, but were extremely impressed by the ambition, vision and quality of the Pegasus VBJ project. As the race hots up to deliver new aircraft technologies, we are pleased to join forces with one of the most exciting airframes in development,” said Jonathan Webber, CEO, Callen-Lenz.

The Pegasus team has already made great strides over the past year in developing multiple scale models, completing comprehensive studies into the drivetrain and thrust fan systems to support a true hybrid-electric propulsion power source. Pegasus is in ongoing discussions with two leading powerplant OEM’s to ensure the best performance capability is achieved.

The signing of the MOU with Callen-Lenz Group ushers in the next significant phase in the programme. Under the terms of the MOU the Callen-Lenz team will work closely with the Pegasus executive team, engineers and newly appointed chief pilot Captain Andrew Dietrich, whose appointment was also confirmed in August. Captain Dietrich joins the expanding Pegasus team with some 16,000 hours flying time spanning a 26-year career operating ultra-long-range commercial airliners and corporate jets. Familiar with numerous flight-decks, working with a variety of avionics systems and aircraft simulators, Captain Dietrich brings valuable knowledge to Pegasus. Reporting directly to the executive team, his hands-on experience will deliver vital input to the aircraft operational capability, performance and safety requirements.

As an integral part of the Pegasus technical team he will work alongside Callen-Lenz and Pegasus Chief Engineer Matthew Buttle and be responsible for overseeing compliance, safety procedures and the co-ordination of test pilots during the official test flight phase.

“We want to build an aircraft that pilots know is responsive, safe, reliable, efficient and above all fun and straight forward to fly. Captain Dietrich will help us achieve these goals and more. We are excited to add his extensive skills and enthusiasm to our team,” commented Dr Reza Mia.  

“I’m aware there are many eVTOL projects in development, but I wanted to work with the dynamic Pegasus team. The concept is brilliant, the team is solid, and I believe it will make a dramatic difference to the way executives and high-net-worth individuals think about flight in the future. There is also huge potential in the oil and gas platform, (OGP) sector. Being involved with the Pegasus project allows me to use all my accumulated experience on one of the most exciting new and innovative aircraft programmes on the market, it’s a superb opportunity,” added Captain Dietrich.

Construction of a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020 has already begun and a series of investor evenings in South Africa starts this month.

The MoU with the Callen-Lenz Group and the appointment of Captain Dietrich will ensure Pegasus development continues on the right trajectory.

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