Yearly Archives: 2019

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How do I become aircraft maintenance engineer?

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What is an aircraft maintenance engineer and How do I become one?

Firstly, we need to tell you what an aircraft maintenance engineer is and some of the duties required to be performed.

The job of an aircraft mechanic is to keep aircraft operating safely and efficiently. People’s lives are at stake which makes this job extremely important. Aircraft mechanics service aircraft, overhaul engines and parts and test the every-day smooth running of aeroplanes or helicopters.

What does an aircraft mechanic do?
• Conduct safety inspections
• Service aircraft
• Troubleshoot and solve problems
• Overhaul engines and parts
• Repairs parts/ install new ones
• Tests various aircraft systems and engines
• Order parts
• Keeps strict records
• Commits to lifelong learning 

Secondly, it is important to understand the different types of trades available:

  1. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionician):

An aircraft maintenance engineer (avionician) overhauls, repairs, modifies and tests a range of electrical, electronic, instrument and radio communications and navigation system components in a workshop environment, after they have been removed from the aircraft. Examples of these types of systems would be: generator and power distribution systems, protection systems, autopilot and integrated flight systems, environmental control systems, and radar and communication systems.

  1. Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)

An aircraft maintenance engineer (mechanical) maintains, services, inspects, tests and undertakes fault diagnosis of airframe, engine (including propellers and rotors) and electrical systems, components and accessories on aircraft. Examples of such components are: landing gears; wheels and brakes; skids; pneumatic and hydraulic systems; fuel systems; flight control systems; environmental control and pressurisation systems; fire detection and prevention systems; oxygen systems; containerised cargo handling systems; doors and windows; lighting systems; and ice and rain protection systems.

Thirdly, what is the minimum admission requirements?

18 years and older.
Grade 12/N3 or Equivalent
Mathematics 50% of higher
English 50% or higher

Maths Literacy 50% + will be considered subject to the below​ Applicants that do not meet the course acceptance criteria but do possess a Grade 12/N3 or equivalent certificate will be subject to an aptitude test prior to acceptance and admission to MATA.

What is the Duration of the course?

One (1) Year Basic Training (42 weeks) at the MATA Training Academy (Theory and Practical Training)

What Happens after the first year of training?

Once you have completed your first year:

1. You will have fulfilled the TETA requirement.

2. You will be issued with a certificate

3. You will have practical and theoretical knowledge of the field of study you have chosen.

Thereafter MATA liaison officers will assist with placing you as an apprentice with an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO)

Unemployed learners placed at an AMO are NOT guaranteed that such AMO will employ you! No tertiary education institution can guarantee job placement!

4. You will then be required to obtain a total of 2 880 hours and a minimum of 18 months of practical experience as an apprentice at an AMO.

These hours must be logged in your logbook (downloadable from the TETA Website) as proof of aircraft maintenance experience, in order to qualify to apply for your Trade Test.

5. After you have applied to TETA and the DHET for your trade test (MATA will guide you through the process and help you to apply)

MATA will conduct a Trade Test Preparation Phase with you prior to your Trade Test Examination Days to ensure that you are adequately prepared for the most important exam in your aviation career. MATA is a certified Trade Test Centre.

Mata Apprentice technical training has been recognized to be the best. Not only by providing top quality instructors and training, but by providing the industry with top quality engineers. Not only has MATA had a 98.8 % pass rate but with our newly approved trade test center, MATA students can be proud to be furthering their careers with a trusted brand. MATA is also a European aviation approved training facility.

Contact MATA:
eMail : info@matasa.co.za

Phone: 011-395-4144

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The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

Many house-hold-name festivals and events started small and are now annual calendar entries in people’s diaries. We have identified a specific need to small aircraft pilots and aim to provide them with an annual event to exceed all expectation and which is positioned to be uniquely different. Our dream is to grow the Big 5 Fly-in to a national event reaching pilots and enthusiasts across South Africa.

We did not have any money when we set out to host this event in lieu of raising funds, and all marketing was done through social media and word-of-mouth only.

On Saturday 15 June 2019, 19 small aircraft touched down on the airstrip at Legend Golf and Safari Resort, 17 more than our first attempt when bad weather in August 2017 prohibited planes from flying.

Our venue sponsor Legend Golf and Safari Resort went out of their way in helping with the day’s logistics and we couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic team.

The skydiving and tandem jumps were a huge draw card for both participants and spectators – thank you so much Johannesburg Skydiving Club. You came as a club but left as very good friends!

Altus Theart’s unplugged concert ended off the day on a high note as the sun set behind the Waterberg escarpment. Both Nadia and Altus were great sports, and their support in our effort is greatly appreciated…. Thank you both for your love, enthusiasm and great ideas for 2020!

Despite a few things we will do differently, our activity and participating sponsors congratulated the Big 5 Fly-in team for a day well organised and we already started planning the 2020 Fly-in around a cosy fire on Saturday night.

Without the financial and product contributions from our sponsors we could not have hosted the Big 5 Fly-in:

Airport Refueling Services, Altus Theart, (NvR Management), Air Traffic Control, Authentic African Adventures, CdP Auctioneers, Chillersonwheels, ER24, Johannesburg Skydiving Club, KH – all things creative, Lanzerac, Legend Golf & Safari Resort, Lex and Christo Erasmus, Nkwe Security Services, The Pallet Kraft, Postnet, Restonic, Sanlam, Rhino Beetle Gin, Televonic, Vleis Sentraal, Wappoint and Working on Fire.

“Opportunity favours the bold – this is a lesson that I learned early on, and have used to guide the Virgin story. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Sir Richard Branson

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019Many house-hold-name festivals and events started small and are now annual calendar entries in people’s diaries. We have identified a specific need to small aircraft pilots and aim to provide them with an annual event to exceed all expectation and which is positioned to be uniquely different. Our dream is to grow the Big 5 Fly-in to a national event reaching pilots and enthusiasts across South Africa.We did not have any money when we set out to host this event in lieu of raising funds, and all marketing was done through social media and word-of-mouth only. On Saturday 15 June 2019, 19 small aircraft touched down on the airstrip at Legend Golf and Safari Resort, 17 more than our first attempt when bad weather in August 2017 prohibited planes from flying. Our venue sponsor Legend Golf and Safari Resort went out of their way in helping with the day’s logistics and we couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic team. The skydiving and tandem jumps were a huge draw card for both participants and spectators – thank you so much Johannesburg Skydiving Club. You came as a club but left as very good friends!Altus Theart’s unplugged concert ended off the day on a high note as the sun set behind the Waterberg escarpment. Both Nadia and Altus were great sports, and their support in our effort is greatly appreciated…. Thank you both for your love, enthusiasm and great ideas for 2020!Despite a few things we will do differently, our activity and participating sponsors congratulated the Big 5 Fly-in team for a day well organised and we already started planning the 2020 Fly-in around a cosy fire on Saturday night.Without the financial and product contributions from our sponsors we could not have hosted the Big 5 Fly-in: Airport Refueling Services, Altus Theart, (NvR Management)Air Traffic ControlAuthentic African Adventures,CdP Auctioneers Chillersonwheels,ER24, Johannesburg Skydiving Club, KH – all things creative, Lanzerac, Legend Golf & Safari Resort, Lex and Christo ErasmusNkwe Security Services, The Pallet Kraft, Postnet, Restonic, Sanlam, Rhino Beetle Gin, Televonic, Vleis Sentraal, Wappoint and Working on Fire.With many thanks and much appreciation.The Koedoesrand Big-5 Fly-in team. “Opportunity favours the bold – this is a lesson that I learned early on, and have used to guide the Virgin story. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Richard Branson

Posted by Koedoesrand Akademie on Saturday, 22 June 2019

Click to enlarge photos

Klerksdorp Airshow 2019

Country Airshows in South Africa definitely make you hungry as you arrive at the smaller airports such as Klerksdorp to the smell of boerie Wors rolls and pannekoek among the crowds. This show was quite different to others shows in the country as the SA National Aerobatic Championships had been taking place days before the show and ending on show day. Airshow followers were able to see the competition side of aerobatics plus an airshow to top it off. Read more on the aerobatics competition here

Airshow Crowd Line

The morning of the 22 June 2019,the final day for some of the competitors taking part in the national aerobatic champs was underway. By mid afternoon the airshow was underway by Team Extreme under the leadership of Nigel Hopkins, who also won the national aerobatic champs in the unlimited category. The Western Transvaal Classic Car club were also present with a number of classic cars on display. Lt Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom and Klerksdorp aerobatic pilot local Cliff Lotter kept a good eye on Proceedings of the show. Capital Sounds provided sound and commentary for the large crowds and kept them entertained with information on pilots and aircraft. An RC Sbach was also put through its paces, that showing how it could hover centimetres off the ground.

Team Extreme
. The Western Transvaal Classic Car Club
Cliff Lotter climbing into his YAK55
RC Sbach 342

The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan Van Der Schaar flew next on the program,while the freestyle aerobatics coloum continued with Barrie Eles,Nigel Hopkins,Patrick Davidson,Mark Hensman and Mark Sampson.

Boeing Stearman
Extra 330SC Barrie Eles
Extra 330SC Nigel Hopkins
Patrick Davidson in his Gamebird
MX2 Mark Hensman
ZU-XAX
Sbach 341 Mark Sampson

Master Power Technologies Menno Parsons brought both his Swiss Pilatus PC12 and P51D ‘Mustang Sally’. This was the first display for the Mustang at Klerksdorp. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs gave their polished high energy display led by Glen Warden who also flew his Slick 360 in the aerobatic competition.

Pilatus PC12
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’
Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard’s put on a three ship display, led by Scully Levin,Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwary. Followed on by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300LP.The Raptors RVs flew a four ship display also led by Nigel Hopkins. A jet powered glider was put through its paces, not something you see at airshows in South Africa that often.

Puma Flying Lions Harvard
Nashua Extra 300LP
Raptors RVs

Henley Air provided helicopter flights at the show in one of their Bell 206 Jet Rangers. A solo RV7 display by Trevor Warner before one of the best displays of the day was the three ship Yak 55 display with tight formation aerobatics flown by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish and Mark Hensman.

Henley Air Bell 206
RV7
Yak 55 Formation

Klerksdorp Airshow, an Airshow arranged and ran by Pilots and what a good show this was!
Well done to the pilots and organisers for putting a show together in limited time, a big thanks to Werner Kruger from DJA Aviation Insurance for your hospitality during the show. Hope to see a show next year in the North West Province once again.

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SA National Aerobatic Championships- Klerksdorp 2019

The South African National Aerobatic Championships took place at the P.C Pelser Airport in Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province. The event started on the 19 June to the 22nd June 2019. The familiar duck dances seen by pilots before strapping themselves into their aircraft as they went through their sequences before entering the imaginary box in the sky.
Read more on the Klerksdorp Airshow 2019 here…

Barrie Eeles before his slot

Klerksdorp Airport provides a number of convenient runways both tar and gravel, for most aerobatic taildragger aircraft, which made it easy access for aircraft flying in and out during the course of the week from Gauteng Airfields and other neighboring provinces.

South African Weather reports did say a nasty cold front was to make landfall over the weekend of the end of the nationals and airshow, but luckily enough we were blessed with all days of the championships having clear skies, hot temperatures and cold nights, while overnighting aircraft were tucked away in hangers and not having to clear frost off canopy’s.

Slick 360

Sportsman

 1Chris JoubertZlin 50ZS-OKZ1113.591120.121231.201552.285017.2083.620
 2Johan Van SolmsPittsZS-MZY1028.301065.541189.221433.684716.7478.612
 3Machiel Du PleesRV 7ZU-WMW1033.731070.341155.831427.094686.9978.116
 4Jonty EsserYak 52ZU-DSI995.201036.501147.411427.744606.8576.781
 5Alex CaigeZlin 50ZS-OKZ995.201010.361103.461389.244498.2674.971
 6Tobie KockYak 52ZU-DSI973.01735.711064.03727.983500.7358.346
Yak 52

Intermediate

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Steve BrownSlick 360ZU-DXX1906.761831.431934.912362.588035.6981.663
 2Glen WardenSlick 360ZU-MDA1825.711657.922089.262353.457926.3480.552
 3Jason BeamishExtra 330LXZS-EXT1795.331716.881988.352271.837772.4078.988
 4Dustin HughesZlin 50ZS-OKZ1801.031796.321874.032273.377744.7578.707
 5Andrew Blackwood-MurrayExtra 300ZS-AEC1725.191635.071889.842233.107483.2076.049
 6Trevor WarnerPittsZU-WIZ1640.641536.591902.541994.807074.5771.896
 7Roger DeareExtra 300ZS-OLR1706.58633.801751.491145.765237.6453.228
Pitts S2E

Advanced

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Eugene Du PreezExtra 330SCZS-THS2853.902673.313026.413248.5111802.1382.590
 2Gary GlassonPitts FalconZU-FTP2875.322653.212992.353194.4411715.3281.983
 3Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2763.752620.262541.233186.8011112.0577.761
 4Pierre Du PlooyGiles 202ZU-ZOZ2771.102239.032827.113131.0910968.3276.755
 5Adam PucjlowskiZlin 50ZS-OKZ2511.372049.562775.482976.0810312.4972.166
 6Cliff LotterYak 55ZU-EHZ2612.531852.622767.892571.769804.8068.613
 7Kayle WoollExtra 300ZS-BDE2542.002131.352809.852249.579732.7668.109
 8Andrew FletcherZlin 50ZU-ZLN2509.931577.462361.062479.338927.7862.476
Giles 202

Unlimited

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3906.924266.464116.864404.6216694.8682.281
 2Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC3892.814215.823995.544480.3716584.5481.737
 3Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3856.053785.783962.484271.0615875.3678.242
Patrick Davidson in his brand new Redbull Gamebird

Freestyle

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration 4m Free Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3409.973409.9785.249
 2Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3118.773118.7777.969
 3Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC2990.312990.3174.758
 4Mark HensmanMX2N540MX2950.142950.1473.754
 5Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2712.862712.8667.822
Nigel Hopkins in his Extra 330SC

Judges for the SAC 2019 National Championships. Note far backward position on chairs as not to strain the judge’s necks while looking up at the acrobatic box – Cellphone photos by Jonty Esser

A big congratulations goes to the Klerksdorp Airport, Competitors and Annie Boon, Contest Chief Judge John Gaillard, Scoring Director Natalie Stark. Judges John Gaillard, Quintin Hawthorne, Mike Stark, Johnnie Smith and Cindy Weber.

Cliff Lotter and Annie Boon

Also a huge thank you to Annie Boon and Cliff Lotter for Keeping Aviation Central up to date during the Champs, Jonty Esser for sending us Photos and videos to share on our Facebook page.

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Klerksdorp Ready for Aerobatics and Airshow this weekend

Some of South Africa’s local aerobatic Nationals are currently taking place at Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province of South Africa. The P.C. Pelser Aerodrome will be abuzz with many aerobatic aircraft for the next couple of days. Local Radio presenter Alex Caige from 94.7 also graduated and will be flying in the Sportsman’s class in a Zlin50LS.

94.7 Highveld radio presenter Alex Caige flying the Zlin 50
Zlin 50

Airshow 22 June 2019

Saturday after the finishing of the national Aerobatic Champs, Klerksdorp will have a an Airshow, with many of the favourite airshow regulars such as the Flying,Lions,Team Extreme and many more. Capital Sounds will be the Broadcaster of the event and bringing you all you need to know during the course of the 22 June 2019.

Show starts at 11am, BUT gates open a 7 as Saturday morning will see the final rounds of the South African Sport Aerobatic Club National Championships. The Camps starts on Wednesday 19th, so if you can get to Klerksdorp please go and support our great aerobatic guys, Not only the pro’s but the young and upcoming guys as well.

Team Extreme
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Flying Lions

All the Big names will be competing over 3 days. +/- 30 Competitors had entered the SAC National Champs

19-21 June – Free to go and support our Aerobatic pilots
22 June – R50 per Adults and R20 per Kid to see the Final rounds and a Full Airshow from 11am to 4pm

Get your tickets at any Pick n Pay or online at #Webtickets
Ticket link https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1492090715

List known of Competitors at time of article

Some of the aircraft that will fly in the Nationals

Pitts S2B
Extra 330SC
Slick 360
Yak52
Extra 300LP
Extra 330SC
Extra 330 LC & Extra 330LX
Vans RV8
Zlin 50
Yak 55

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O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo – The Amazing Maputo Airshow

It has become abundantly clear that if you have enough willingness, passion and eagerness then all things are possible.  This was the attitude of not only the organizing committee of the 2019 Maputo airshow hosted by the Aeroclub of Mozambique for its 90th anniversary celebrations but also from all the relevant authorities that made the show work.  It was a perfect example of a conducive synergy between the Mozambique Municipality, the Mozambique  Civil Aviation Authority, the Airforce, the Police, the Harbor Authorities, as well as Air Traffic and Navigational services are the reasons why it was a resounding success and can be ranked as one of the best airshows in Africa.

The Aeroclub of Mozambique (ACM) has had an illustrious history and is the oldest Mozambican aeronautical institution and has been instrumental in pioneering the way for aviation on the African continent as wells been the forefather of commercial and military aviation in Mozambique.

Unlike other aeroclubs, whose main activity is limited to sports and recreational aviation, the history of ACM is marked by the training of aeronautical technicians by the support of public causes and by the contribution that it has given to the development of aviation in Mozambique.


Since its foundation the genesis of the Aero Clube de Moçambique has been defined by the voluntarism of its members, a principle that remains alive to this day.  The purchase of its first aircraft in 1928, a Gipsy Moth, was a result of a large monetary donation and the auction of a car, a luxurious Minerva, by the man who presided over its Constituent Assembly on 6 August of that year.

The example given by Sebastião Valle and Vasconcelos would be multiplied throughout the 90 years of history of the ACM.  The most symbolic and striking was perhaps the first flight that Armando Torre do Valle took between Xai-Xai and Alverca aerodrome in Portugal, in 1933.  He was the first amateur pilot to fly between South Africa and the European continent, he did it with his own funds and flying his de Havilland Puss Moth.  The navigation aids he relied on were very basic maps and a compass. Torre do Valle left Xai-Xai on 28 March, headed for Lumbo, flew to Malawi, then made stops in Tanzania, Kenyan, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, crossed the Mediterranean sea, flew over Spain and on 4 May 1933 landed in Alverca, Lisbon the capital of the Portuguese colonial empire that still had no aerodrome.


On return to Mozambique he founded the ACM and established the first commercial aviation company of the then colony, which was bought in 1935 by the Mozambique Railways (CFM), then run by Pinto Teixeira.  do Valle joined the AM with the Railways where he held the position as chairman of the board, this partnership gave a strong impetus to the creation of its flight school. This venture, in 1936 was the formation of the CFM’s Directorate for Operation of Air Transport (Direcção de Exploração do Transporte Aéreo or DETA), which in 1980 was transformed into what today is Mozambican Airlines (LAM).  In addition to the creation of the Civil Aviation Services in Mozambique in 1932, Aero Colonial in 1934, and DETA in 1936, the ACM was responsible for the construction of numerous airfields throughout the country. In part this resulted from the establishment of its subsidiaries in Lichinga, Pemba, Lumbo, Nampula, Angoche, Tete, Quelimane, Beira, Chimoio, Inhambane and Xai-Xai.


The independence of Mozambique however imposed an inevitable clash of mentalities and in particular, of political wills.  The vast majority of members left the country leading to the standstill in all branches of the ACM. Basically, all that was left were a few members a s well as its rich heritage.

It was with this that the ACM moved on to the post-independence era. Even so, it was the ACM’s pilots that played a key role in setting up the Mozambican Air Force by volunteering to train their pilots in 1976.  The ACM also was pivotal in training the army’s first parachutists, as well as played a vital role in humanitarian efforts when the country was hit by natural disasters.


Only after the signing of the General peace Agreement in 1992 did the ACM activity once again gain momentum and part of this ongoing momentum was to celebrate its 90th anniversary by hosting an airshow that has set new standards in airshow co-operation between various stakeholders.

The Maputo airshow was held over the Baía de Maputo (Bay of Maputo), under the RNVA approach into Maputo International airport and sandwiched in between serious no-fly zones, one which include the presidents palace, with over 20 commercial operations continuing as if were just another day, just goes to show that with all stakeholders committed to the ‘cause’, anything is possible, it would be a sigh of relief if the South African Civil Aviation authorities take note of this synergy, it also proves that cross-border airshows are now becoming the place to be due to the eagerness and wiliness of all authorities to make it a success, and to add to the show highlights, drones were flown, yes, drones in controlled airspace -the mind does boggle.


All kudos must go to the four dedicated and committed members of the ACM for their perseverance and tenacity in pulling off one of the best airshows in Africa; namely Gavin Neil, Bruno Homem, João Ribeiro and Bernardino Malawene, were the driving forces behind the show.  The organizing committee took cognancy of the fact that in order to pull off a show of this magnitude, help would be needed and that help came from a group of South African display pilots, Capital Sounds Broadcasting team that not only included the commentary on the day, but also played a vital role in the logistical planning of the airshow behind the scenes as well as offered critical support for the sea search and rescue operations as well as the Airshow Boss and Ramp Director from South Africa that assisted the Mozambican team in making history.


The vast crowds that filled the waterfront street of Av. 10 de Novembro (10 November avenue) were constantly entertained by non-stop action, either from the sea, air, or land as a jammed-packed airshow program kept them constantly applauding for more.


Aerial display acts included, drones, Bathawk, Boeing Stearman, Gyrocopter, skydiving, a gazelle helicopter display as well as Alo 11 helicopter display, a Yak, as well as the very famous Little Annie Antonov AN2, and some high-speed jet action in the form of the GoodYear Eagle L29 Jet.  Formation aerobatic teams kept the energy going and displays flown by the Puma Energy Flying Lions in their Harvard’s, the Tailift Cows Pitt Special aerobatic team, as well as the heart-stopping Team Extreme, and the radial formation made up of an AN2, Boeing Stearman and a Yak.

When the skies above the bay were not filled with smoke, the crowd’s attention was drawn to the action on the water that included a yacht race, jet ski races, as well as a jet ski and helicopter race.  For the land enthusiast, there plenty food and drink stalls, a children’s paly area as well as various activities including a sound stage that featured prominent local musicians kept everybody entertained for the entire day.

Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, and the penultimate display was a sunset display dedicated to the Airshow Director, Gavin Neil that saw his homebuilt Safari Z010 be flown as a tribute flight to him.  Closing the show was the very special and spectacular sunset display by the Puma Energy Flying Lions.

Thanks to Mark Mansfield for the report of the Maputo Airshow.
Photos below by Mark Mansfield – M Cubed Media

Click to enlarge

Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

By Dian Townsend

This year’s annual Warbirds Over Swartkop was held at Air Force Base Swartkop. The event span two days with Saturday being the busier of the two. On Saturday we saw Warbirds like the P40 Warhawk, Corsair, Bell UH-1, Eurofighter Typhoon, T-6 Harvard, Pilatus PC-21 and many more. The day had very little breaks in flight and continued until about 16h00. Sunday was much quieter with only about 10 aircraft flying, but the pilots made sure to impress none the less.

Saturday was certainly a good day for the spectators with the Viper Jet, Eurofighter Typhoon and Pilatus PC-21 being the biggest crowd pleasers. Later in the afternoon the two T-6 Harvards joined forces to put on a good aerobatic formation display. Sunday started with the sound of a second Viper Jet firing up it’s engine, followed by a couple  more jets and some smaller aircraft. Arguably the main event for the day, the Extra 300 display. Exhilarating knife edge flybys, inverted passes and  very low hovers.

This event made for a great family outing. The Windsock Café was open for lunch on Saturday, once again serving tasty sandwiches at a very reasonable price and there were two pavilions right on the crowd line providing a good seating spot. Spectators are also allowed onto the actual apron/ taxiway. Something you don’t normally see at airshows. It is recommended that small children are always accompanied by an adult as there were some pretty expensive aircraft in attendance and there is no barrier dividing the apron and runway.

This event was a first for me, but definitely not a last. Photographing these small aircraft is no easy feat, but serves as great practice for bigger airshows. It was awesome talking to many more of the people in our wonderful aviation community here in South Africa. The pilots are very passionate about their aircraft and love talking to the younger crowd and showing them around their aircraft.

This weekend was a great success for the organisers and pilots who attended. There was no dull moment with talented pilots flying their hearts out and even the occasional spill on landing or take off.  There was a wide spread of aircraft ranging from jets to warbirds, aerobatic planes and even a couple of helicopters. This event has once again proven to be one for the 2020 calendar and we look forward to seeing what next year’s Warbirds Over Swartkop has in store for us!

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Home of Pilatus- Silver Falcons visit Switzerland

“The idea was hatched late last year about getting the team to do an international trip . Switzerland being the home of the Pilatus was a no brainer. For us to be able get to view how and where all the current airframes were designed and built. On May the 3rd, Emirates hauled us through Dubai to Zurich, arriving in the cold that afternoon. Then a train ride from Zurich to Lucerne where we stayed for 3 days. For two days lots of walking around or busing around the sites and sounds of Lucerne.”

“It must be said the bus n train network in Switzerland was brutally efficient and effective. On Sunday May the 6th was a special treat with the visit up Mount Pilatus to be greeted by typical winter weather in Europe with tons and tons of snow. Something one would never see in Langebaanweg. The rest of the day was spent visiting the old town of Lucerne.”

Mt Pilatus at 7000ft
Cold smiles all around
Falcon snow man

“The 6th was the team received special treatment form Pilatus aircraft corporation. The company arranged everything from transport from our mini budget hotel to Stans were the factory is located. Jerome Pörtner played host and guide for and arranged what needed to be needed during our visit. Once at the factory were given two cards, which one was a security clearance and the other a Wi Fi (Switzerland neh ) card.”

“The day began with a presentation about the company and their ethos of how they operate in a niche market, Swiss chocolates were on offer . From there on a factory tour covering everything from how parts are made from scratch to the company latest flagship the pC24 floor. Everything from the paint shop to the tiniest of details.”

The Pilatus Assembly line

“What blew the teams mind away was the special design of the hangers/factory which is made of special wood not the usual mortar n brick or canvas as we are used to back home in RSA. To say one can eat of the floor would not be off the mark. What was not lost to us was how space in general when it comes to aviation is a tricky thing to solve! In all the hangers, airframe after airframe, we squizzed into every corner available (guess the work must continue non the less ) regardless wether it’s the pc24 or pc12 hanger.”

The Team in the Pilatus factory

“Then another treat was the special ‘ground instruction ‘ of the PC21 given to the team by Neil ( ot&e pilot ex RAF) & senior sales man and Pascal and Jerome Pörtner. (One can only dream hey). Then it was lunch at the newly refurbished factory canteen which can be best described as a 3-4 start hotel dining hall. It boast views of all the surroundings mountains around the factory.”

Pilatus PC24s on the apron
The cold kicking in
What a view

“The a very interesting part of the factory is where Central Flying School (CFS) sends their Prat & Whitney engines for overhauling. Where they pull them apart and put them together again. Everyone swelled with pride from the feedback from the engines from the SAAF are always in good condition compared to other users which showcases how the SAAF looks after its equipment.”

Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKIIs

“Sadly the day flew by and on Wednesday May the 7th, the team repositioned to Zurich to get ready to fly back home. The evening of the 7th was spent visiting the beautiful city of Zurich with a special dinner held In town in one of the most beautiful part of the city and an age old restaurant which used to be an armory during the times (Zeughauskeller) “

One of the restaurants we visited in Zurich

“Special thanks goes out to the Coves aviation community led by JP Fourie of NAC and Luigi Rossi of Internek engineering and Obviously the SAAF for giving team 82 this opportunity.”

Left to Right
Major Sivu Tangana,Major Musa Dlamini,Major Bheki Shabungu,Major Tiaan Stander,Major Omphile Matloane,Captain Xander Albasani and Major Corne van Deventer.

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The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally

The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Navigation Speed Rally – 8 June 2019 by Rob Jonkers

The South African Power Flying Association held a very successful Speed Rally at Bethlehem on 8th June 2019, this one being the 5th in the speed rally series started in 2018. This event is going from strength to strength, attracting more and more participants, this time round the first 30 entries were snapped up within hours and when the entries were increased to 40 to accommodate the local clubs, there were another 10 entries within days, where a waiting list had to be started.

The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally 2019

Aircraft and Crew list 

Pilot Navigator Registration Aircraft
Eduard Scholtz  Johannes Streicher ZU-RVI Van’s Aircraft RV-10
Leon Joubert  Sandi Goddard ZU-LNC Lancair ES
Rhett Shillaw  Ryan Shillaw ZS-ECK Cessna 182H
Simon Abbot  Chris Shillaw ZS-ACA Cirrus SR22 G5
Quintin Kruger  Johan Whiteman ZS-FVV Piper PA-28-235C
Phil Wakeley  Mary de Klerk S-CNY Cessna 210
Eugene van Staden  Gary Whitecross ZU-IBH Airplane Factory Sling 4
Jaco Breytenbach  Neil Claassen ZS-SVW Cessna T210L
Ryan Beeton  Franz Smit ZU-EYP Van’s Aircraft RV-7
Sarel van der Merwe  Paul Potgieter ZU-ACI Piaggio P.166S
Jaco Goosen  Carel du Preez ZS-KNX Cessna R182 RG II
Mubarak Manaf  Alex Mubanzo Barichelo ZS-MMD Piper PA-34-220T
Ron Stirk  Von Hammon ZS-NBT Cessna A150M
Thys vd Merwe  Gerda Pienaar ZU-AFP Cessna 172D
Leon Bouttell  Martin Meyer ZU-FWS Evektor-Aerotechnik Harmony
Mobin Mohamed  Enock Musasizi Kazimba ZS-CBU Piper PA-28-180B
Ala Buserwil  Tintswalo Mabunda ZS-SMB Cessna 172K
Bennie du Plessis  Barry de Groot ZS-IJL Beech K35
Hendrik Loots  Jandre Loots ZU-IHK Airplane Factory Sling 2
Johan van Eeden  Cor Esterhuizen ZU-IHH Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Jonty Esser  Jonathan Esser ZU-BLL Cessna 150C
Nicholas de Wit  Philip Jacobs ZU-MRW Van’s Aircraft RV-10
David Ross  James Braid ZU-JAR Airplane Factory Sling 2
Zwelihle Zondo  Madi Duba ZS-EKI Piper PA-28-140
Bob Cohoe  Johann van Niekerk ZS-OZI American Champion 7-GCBC
Wayne van Rooyen  Almero Calitz ZS-MOI Piper PA-32R-301T
Gerrit Coetzee  Liesel Coetzee ZU-BPI KFA Bush-Baby 500
Piet Meyer  Adrienne Visser ZU-DUU Jabiru J400
Eric Addison  Antoinette Addison ZU-LAX Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Shaun Barron  Steven Watkins ZS-PLE Cirrus SR22 G2
W Uys  Franz Maeder ZU-FVA Jabiru J430
Riccardo Baruffa  Munaf Sayyed ZS-PED Cessna 172M
Adenola Daniel  Igun Nkosinathi Fanti ZS-MKZ Piper PA-28-160
Phillip Austin Shaune Fryer ZU-KGV Flight Design CTSW

The Bethlehem Club went out of their way to make the organizing an easy affair, with Club Chairman Philip Jacobs making arrangement for food on site, accommodation and providing local members to assist with officiating. Some of the officials arrived early Friday to prepare the course and finalize the entries and their handicaps, where test flights were done throughout the day. This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is around 125 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. For this event the route was mostly to the south of the airfield hugging the Drakensberg mountains in places

The weather was absolutely pristine, with hardly any wind and no clouds throughout the day, with Saturday being predicted to be the same. As an institution as part of the Speed Rally is that Mary de Klerk provides a training session in the afternoon, but with many teams already becoming well versed in this, Mary provided some dedicated training to teams.

Thereafter at 18h00, 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 turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work with expected weather conditions, which looked as if it would be good.

Then all the competitors were treated to a briefing on Steroids on Friday night with the Speed Rally 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. Jonty also introduced the teams to the Speed Rally website where a Speed Rally ranking system was created, with team profiles and their leaderboard position. The evening ended with a braai hosted by the Bethlehem Aero Club, before retiring for the night.

For Saturday the briefing started at 8h00, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags. For this event Century Avionics were on hand to also block off Aircraft GPS systems for those who volunteered.

The intent is that everybody uses the basic skills of navigation plotting and flying, and operate as a team in terms of cockpit workload, and with the course layout with short legs it for sure makes the crew resource work sharing all the more important. The idea would be that each crew would receive a pre-plotted map already complete with the route, turning points, headings, altitudes, where the map would not have any lat/long or grid references. This would be provided 20 minutes prior take-off to allow route orientation and the plotting of minute markers.

In this format, there are two objectives, fly against a pre-determined handicap speed for each aircraft, and fly the shortest route around the course which would consist of a minimum of 10 turning points, and any aircraft would be able to compete, from slower LSA aircraft to the fast turbo singles or twins. The idea would be to test the speed capability and navigation skills of each crew against each other, where the most accurate flying and turn performance management would win the rally.

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Ashleigh and Jan-Paul 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 Mauritz du Plessis, 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 10h20 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h45, with planned arrival at 11h30.

With all the competitors off towards the west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints to contend with to give competitors a chance to always be aware of where they were, but some turnpoints were a challenge find, especially if the colour of the surrounding ground features had changes since the photos were taken. In general the competitors found the course difficult this time round, and this is visible in the results with many turn point misses, there will be a few improvements that will be made with planning a route. It appears that the final chicane turnpoint remained elusive for many.

At virtually exactly 11.30 the first aircraft over the line was the Sling of ZU-JAR, but unfortunately had missed two turnpoints, thus were out of the running as a winner. They were closely followed by the rest of the pack, all of the teams having arrived within 7 minutes.

After all teams having returned, bar a Sportcruiser that lost its propeller and had to do a forced landing, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, and with the new loggers were able to complete the scores by 2 pm, given that there was an increase in the number of competitors, whereby everybody were given their score sheets. After this there was prize giving, which first started off with showing some tracks of how many got lost around the course.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Eduard Scholtz and Johannes Streicher ina RV10 ZU-RVI, in second place was Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard in a Lancair ZU-LNC, and in third place Rhett and Ryan Shillaw in a Cessna 182 ZS-ECK. The first fourteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

The winners in the accuracy category were the team of Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer in a Evektor Harmony ZU-FWS, in second place was Quinton Kruger and Johan Whiteman in a PA28-235 ZS-FVV, and in third place Simon Abbot and Chris Shillaw in a Cirrus SR22 ZS-ACA.

Click to enlarge


Many thanks to the Bethlehem Aero Club 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 Mauritz du Plessis doing the scoring with our handicapping guru Chester Chandler, Marc Robinson from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks also extended to Danie Heath of the ARCC who was our first port of call on the force landing of the Sportscruiser to get the Search and Rescue function activated and the link into the CAA, for sure at these types of events we need our guardian angels.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, also to Pilot’s Post for sponsoring the team of Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk, and provided three key reasons for this, the first one being that the Speed Rally as a brand is seen as the future of competitive flying, second being that the Speed Rally brand will add value to our brand, third being that they believe that Phil and Mary are the perfect ambassadors for Pilot’s Post and they will carry our flag high.

ZU-LAX – taking the scenic route along the Drakensberg

One of the better tracks of the day – ZU-IBH

Final Overall Handicap Results Bethlehem 2019

Final-Overall-Accuracy-Results Bethlehem 2019

Final Overall Accuracy Results Bethlehem 2019

Final Overall Handicap Results Bethlehem 2019

Click to enlarge