Author Archives: Flippie Van Emmenis

A wet and cold PTAR 2022

A wet and cold PTAR 2022 at New Tempe Bloemfontein – By Rob Jonkers

This year’s Presidents Trophy Air Race was held at New Tempe Bloemfontein, and traditionally held on the last weekend of May, but with the advent of the Botswana Air Show also taking place on the same weekend it was decided to move it a week earlier, which if we all had the perfect hindsight, with that event not happening, we could have held it on its traditional date, and subsequently avoiding this last few days of most unseasonal weather that befell the race weekend.

This year for sure has had many of the planned aviation events disrupted by wet, cold, windy weather systems, the most bandied about term of “cut-off low” being used to describe the weather situation. This weekend no less had a very large cold front coupled with an intense low-pressure system over the centre of the country affect the plans to race.

I arrived on Wednesday in excellent weather conditions and started setting up for the race, mostly the race control room and preparing for test flights, some of the early competitors also started to arrive at the field. Thursday saw all the aircraft arrive, some of the Cape based teams first had to wait for the front to pass before setting off, arriving just before dark. Most of the day was taken up by flight tests and registration and watching what the weather would be doing for the next day as the front was approaching.

During the first extensive Thursday afternoon briefing which also included the SA weather services team being on hand to give us the best outlook it appeared that there may be an early morning flyable gap, thus the day was planned with an early 7h30 start. As Friday dawned, it looked promising, cloud base was at a reasonable 1000 ft, and we proceeding briefing and sent the turnpoint marshals to their locations, this being particularly important to get weather condition updates from them at the furthest corners of the route.

As the morning progressed with a planned 10 am first take-off, the news from the turnpoints were not good, and then light rain started, it was then decided to scrub Day 1 with a debrief at 11 am to plan for the next day. The prediction for Saturday would be that the weather would improve from midday onwards. Everybody dispersed for some rest for the rest of the day.

Saturday dawned with flyable conditions, and in fact the window opened up from 11 onwards, thus at briefing the first take-off was planned for 11. The turnpoint marshals were sent out, who from the previous day’s rain had challenges of negotiating almost impassable roads to get to their intersections, fortunately they all sent in confirmation of being in position prior the first take-off.

This year’s field attracted 37 entries, which is very low by PTAR standards, which would normally have 60+ competitors, this year for sure the cost impact would have been affecting most would be competitors, given the fuel price virtually double that of last year at the same time. Three competitors had to withdraw mostly due to not being able to get to the event on time, thus we had 34 starters.

With the airfield being water logged, we decided not to move the aircraft from where they were parked, and carried out scrutineering in-situ and changed the papers time with a few additional minutes for the crews to collect their maps and route envelopes, which worked out well. The ground marshals were also very efficient in getting the start order taxying out at their allocated time. With the race under way, and having a cross over route, we could all watch how the order of the aircraft would be coming back over the field which was at around one third race distance.

Although the traditional race finish would be at 1PM, and given the weather window having a later than normal start, the finish was planned at 13h45, and as the time got closer to finish, the weather was threatening to deteriorate, with sudden cold and dark clouds forming just east of the field, which fortunately stayed away. The line finishers were close between Race 2 Bosbok, Race 14 Piper Commanche, Race 45 Harvard. With spacing between aircraft at the start being required to keep a safe distance, the finish order became Race 45 Harvard ZS-WSE, Race 9 RV-7 ZU-VZJ, Race 14 Piper Commanche ZS-NXG, who were the handicap winners.

Prize-giving was held at the Windmill Casino, which had laid out an excellent banquet hall for all the teams, club members and officials to enjoy. The evening started with a short debrief of the race, some of the best and “interesting” tracks being shown. Race 19 had a “long” day having lost their way at turnpoint 1 continuing northwest for 20 nm, before realising their error, they had the presence of mind to return to that first turnpoint, and continue from there to fly a good race further, only picking up one penalty, but of course adding almost 40 minutes to their time.

After the main meal, David le Roux the Race Master started the proceedings for the rest of the evening, first up Franz Smit who introduced and thanked all the sponsors supporting the race, Pilot Insure, Holborn Assets, Aircraft Finance Corporation, DJA Aviation, Century Avionics, and all the local Bloemfontein sponsors, Leon Bouttell was up next as the SAPFA Chairman, and at this point announced that Rob Jonkers would be standing down as Race Director, the baton being handed over to Iaan Myburgh.

Rob took to the stage thanking all for their support since 2018 when the Race was handed to him, at the same time an evolution of the format having been developed to today’s standard of a 10 turnpoint race limited to 300 nm, with an accuracy component added as well. There is still much discussion about this race format and its merits compared to the traditional 4 corner race, and this will be for the next Race team to work together with the racers for their input. Just as Formula 1 evolves with technology improvements, so must the PTAR evolve to take into consideration changes in technologies utilised, such as GPS based heading reference devices, different engine types that have variable power settings, these all affect the handicap speeds and course accuracy.

Rob went on to thank all those involved in the race organisation, particularly the Bloemfontein Flying Club under the key organiser Andre Grobler and experienced PTAR event coordinator, who had provided the ground marshals, turn-point marshals, and all the catering at the airfield. Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer with the ATNS team of Ricardo Afonso, SA Weather Services, ARCC, Bloemfontein Emergency Services team of Braam van Zyl, the CAA Special Air Events team, the local Municipality & SAPS.

After this the long awaited Prize Giving was held, with 24 trophy categories being handed out, up until the top 3 places, with third place going to Race 9 RV-7 ZU-VZJ with crew of Johan van Zyl & Eric Addison, second place going to Race 45 Harvard ZS-WSE with a crew of John Sayers & Dion Raath, and the PTAR trophy going to Race 14 Piper Commanche ZS-NXG crewed by Stefan Lombard and Martiens Marais.

After this the PTAR flag was handed over from BFC Chair Deon Loots to Jock Nel the Chairman of the Middelburg Aero Club as the 2023 PTAR event location. Thanks go to everybody who makes this event a success, especially the volunteers who take time out to assist, also the media who are key to promoting the PTAR.

 

Click on the photos below (By Rob Jonkers)

Meet Elizabeth Mapatle –  Flight attendant to Pilot training

Meet Elizabeth Mapatle- who went from Lift Airlines flight attendant to pilot in training

Elizabeth Mapatle’s love for aviation started as a little girl when her father would take her and her siblings to the then Jan Smuts Airport to watch planes take off and land. “It was amazing to watch these magnificent machines take to the sky and what was even more mind-blowing and exciting was knowing that there were real people flying them. That’s where the seed was planted for me,” recalls Mapatle. Now at age 39, Elizabeth has completed her private pilot license and is well on the way to becoming a commercial pilot. 

According to 2020 figures published by A3 Flight School in South Africa, only 5% of airline pilots and 3% of airline CEOs are female. “Flight decks are still dominated by males, even with private pilot license acquisitions – women are few and far between,” adds Mapatle. With 11 years in the aviation industry, Mapatle believes there is a lot more room for women and girls to get excited about flying. 

As a flight attendant at LIFT airline, Mapatle balances getting in her flight hours with working as a cabin crew on LIFT’s domestic flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town. 

Asked how the experience has been, Mapatle is clear that flying planes requires dedication. “Since I work, I need to create time, I currently have 100 hours left until I complete my commercial license.” Another consideration is the costs that go with it. However, if you can manage the costs and time needed then not even the sky’s the limit says Mapatle. 

“Flying offers me an escape. When I am up there, I forget about all my problems – it’s really therapeutic,” she says. After completing her commercial license qualification, Mapatle would like to study further and pursue her Airline transport license so that she can one day become a captain.” There are several opportunities when looking to enter the aviation industry and unlike previous misconceptions, you don’t have to have Maths and Science if you are able to pay for your lessons without a scholarship,” she adds.  

Mapatle studied travel and tourism and when she completed this qualification, she became a flight attendant and did her research to find a reputable flight school to pursue her dream. “I went to Rand Airport in Germiston. Finding the finances was challenging but I decided never to take no for an answer, and pursued my dream to fly.” Mapatle encourages other young girls and women who have the flight bug – to go for it. Her advice is to disregard some of the negative comments you’re likely to hear from some who don’t think women are capable of flying. “Don’t take it personally or seriously, just go for what you want,” she says. Finding support from other female pilot students and colleagues has been very beneficial to her too. “I have a group of women who offer me that support. These are mothers and other working women who are pursuing similar goals and I too am always open to offer advice to other women looking to enter the aviation sector,“ she says. 

Her dreams for the future include flying commercially – whether airlines or private jets and freelancing as a drone pilot too. That’s not all, Mapatle also plans to pursue her LLB since law is another passion and possibly merge the two by pursuing an aviation law degree. 

The Witbank Speed Navigation Rally

 26 March 2022 by Rob Jonkers

This first of the 4th Season Speed Rallies for 2022 has been held at Witbank, organised by SAPFA and hosted by the Witbank Aeronautical Association. This is the 3rd event held at Witbank in the series, which also had to be postponed due to weather issues on the original date of 5th March, the weather forecasting being fickle at best, but looked eventually flyable on the 5th, and as Competition Director you are damned for making those weather related calls…. one way or the other, especially up here on the reef where weather changeability is so prevalent within hours.

With the change of date also saw some competitors having to withdraw and at least others could join. Similarly we had officials planned that also had to drop out, but the WAA stepped up with an additional ground support team to help out, with the end result we had a fun & safe event.

There were 20 entries, but with the early morning weather situation on the highveld, many attempted to get to Witbank, but had to turn back or could not take-off, reducing the field to 15. Only two competitors had arrived on Friday before significant thundershowers made their appearance.

The traditional Friday evening briefing was cancelled, so the full briefing was then planned for Saturday morning, where after the club provided a nice Friday dinner spread and for the teams, officials and club members, before retiring for the evening.

Saturday morning dawned with more promising weather, the predicted low cloud did not materialise, and by 9 am the cloud base had risen to around 6000 ft, with light and variable wind. The briefing was delayed to 9h30 am and was concluded at around 10 am, where everybody dispersed first for a group photo and then to park their aircraft and prepare for the scrutineers. The route for the day was one with a cross over to the east of the field, with the first series of legs to the north-west, and the 2nd series of legs to the north-east.

1st take-off was planned at 11h20, and arrivals at 12h45. With all the competitors off towards the northwest, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints, especially TP6 which required good navigating skills to find the dust road intersection from amongst the same colour surroundings, from the results this turn point seems to have been difficult to home onto. There were two groups coming over the line, those that were a bit early as they had got waylaid along the course and a group that were accurate with their navigating skills getting over the line close to their handicap times.

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, three had got significantly lost. As everybody essentially left for home, it was left to the scoring team to complete their work off line, and hold a virtual prize giving as done at previous events, which was done at 8 PM.

For the Navigation Accuracy category, third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS, and in 1st place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK.

For the Handicap/Speed category, third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK and in 1st place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS.

Overall Winners in third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS, and in 1st place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK.

 

Many thanks to the Witbank Aeronautical Association for hosting this fantastic event, supporting with logistics and great meals available throughout the day, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan Myburgh doing the scoring, as well as taking up the Deputy Event Director role, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Martin Meyer & Hans Schwebel for doing Starting. Thanks also extended to ATNS for supporting ATC for this event..

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Also thanks to our sponsors, who sponsored our sponsored teams, Prompt Roofing, Beagle Tracking, Gem Air and Aviation Direct.

Our next Speed Rally event will be in Kroonstad on the 25th June 2022

 

 

Nice perfect Track

Oops – Turned a bit early on most of the turnpoints

Click on photo below to enlarge

AERO South Africa confirmed to take place from the 7-9 July 2022, at Wonderboom National Airport, Tshwane

Messe Frankfurt South Africa is excited to announce that the second edition of AERO South Africa, Africa’s premier event for the General Aviation Industry, will take place from the 7-9 July 2022, at Wonderboom National Airport in Tshwane. The first edition was an overwhelming success and welcomed over 4200 visitors, with over 100 exhibiting companies showcasing the industry’s latest innovations from 14 aviation sectors, across 4000sqm. The three-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt South Africa in partnership with fairnamic GmbH – the new joint venture of Messe Frankfurt and Messe Friedrichshafen who organise Europe’s largest General Aviation Show – AERO Friedrichshafen.

“The feedback from the inaugural edition of AERO South Africa was extremely positive. We have already seen an unprecedented level of interest from companies wanting to exhibit at the event. To date we are proud to announce that we have confirmed Bose, Bell Helicopters, Concorde Battery, Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa, Pooley’s, Spidertracks, Avcon Jet, Wings n Things, DJA Aviation, Aviation Direct together with SA Weather Service, Aeronautical, Blue Chip Flight School, Sling Aircraft, Get-Wings International, Vektor International, Readiness Squared, Flyfofa and Vitalmed,” says Annelie Reynolds, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt South Africa.

“We are also honoured to have the support of the City of Tshwane as the host city. Wonderboom Airport is the ideal location for our event as it is one of the only venues in South Africa that can accommodate aircraft fly-ins for visitors and demo flights for aircraft OEMs and distributors, allowing for a first-hand experience to a prospective buyer during the purchase process. This not only allows our exhibitors to demonstrate their products, but also makes it more convenient for people to attend the event from around the country. In 2019, AERO South Africa welcomed over 250 fly-ins“‘ Says Reynolds.

Tobias Bretzel, Show Director of AERO Friedrichshafen adds: “We are very pleased to see how AERO South Africa is evolving and I`m strongly convinced that the show will become/ be the most important platform for the General Aviation for both fixed and rotary wing but also for Business Aviation industry in the region. AERO Friedrichshafen taking place from 27 – 30 April 2022 in Friedrichshafen Germany will strongly support the 2nd edition of the South African event.”

The event will benefit the local economy, as it brings South African and international suppliers to the City of Tshwane and connects them to private airplane and fleet owners, pilots as well as potential buyers.

“We in the Economic Development Division believe the City of Tshwane is the host of choice for the biggest General Aviation Exhibition in Africa, because the City is the hub for General Aviation in Southern Africa. We are fully committed to support Messe Frankfurt in hosting the AERO 2022, 2023 and 2024 General Aviation Exhibitions at Wonderboom National Airport and believe these editions will eclipse the successful event of 2019“, said Christiaan van der Wath, Deputy Director: Aerospace Sector Support at City of Tshwane.

Both exhibitors and visitors expressed their satisfaction with this first-time business-to-business showcase, focusing solely on the niche market of General Aviation. “The show was a roaring success and certainly met our expectations and those of our exhibitors and visitors. We are confident that AERO South Africa will become the premier promotional platform for the General Aviation and we look forward to participating at the next edition,” said Guy Worthington, Executive Director at Absolute Aviation after the 2019 event.

Fanie Jansen, the GM of Hiconnex, an aftermarket parts supplier commented that “AERO South Africa connects the right people with the right industry. It is a firm platform to market your brand to a niche market.”

General Aviation businesses are booking their space at the event at a rapid pace, and it is advisable to enquire about stand availability soon! For stand bookings, contact Annelie Reynolds, Show Director on annelie.reynolds@za.messafrankfurt.com or on 083 308 1251.

Website: www.aerosouthafrica.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AEROExpoSA
Twitter: www.twitter.com/AEROExpoSA

Background information on Messe Frankfurt

The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,300* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021, the company had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic for the second consecutive year. Annual sales will be approximately €140* million after having been as high as €736 million in 2019 before the pandemic. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

For more information, please visit our website at: www.messefrankfurt.com

* Preliminary figures for 2021

RHINO POACHING IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 2021

8 FEBRUARY 2022

Not Aviation related, But something we carry close at heart and Aviation can play a BIG roll in preventing RHINO POACHING

Also see
SANParks Celebrates South Africa’s First Black Game Capture Pilot
Media Excursion to the Kruger National Park August 2018
David Simelane Promoted To Chief Pilot Of SANParks Air Services

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A total of 451 rhino were poached in South Africa in 2021, 327 within government reserves and 124 on private property.  While there is a 24 percent decrease in rhino poaching compared to the pre-Covid period in 2019, there has been an increase in poaching on private properties.

In 2021, 209 rhino were poached for their horns in South African National Parks – all in the Kruger National Park.  This was in fact a decrease in comparison to 2020 when 247 rhino were poached within the national parks. It is important to note that none of SANParks’ smaller rhino parks experienced any rhino losses from poaching in 2021, in comparison to the 2 rhino that were poached in 2020.

The steady decline in rhino poaching in Kruger Park is related to an increase in the intensity of anti-poaching activities in the Kruger National Park. A close working relationship between the police’s endangered species unit, the SANParks environmental crimes inspectorate has resulted in increased arrests and convictions.

One of the unintended consequences is that poaching syndicates are looking to other areas for easy prey and this has resulted in their targeting private reserves in Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Over the last year conservation and anti-poaching efforts have intensified countrywide as a joint effort is made by state-owned conservation areas, government and private landowners to reduce the poaching of rhino in South Africa. More targeted deployment of resources is being assisted by the roll out of a CSIR-developed situational awareness platform known as CMORE into the integrated wildlife zones. Through this single technology platform all role players are able to collaborate, making use of real-time insights and analytical capability, linking, for example, camera traps and ranger patrols while integrating a range of other systems.

Information collected and communication flows through the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre (EEFC) which continues to support the teams at both a tactical level and strategic level.  Our analysis capabilities have also improved, resulting in the increased identification of those involved in rhino poaching and trafficking and improved and expanded investigations by multi-disciplinary teams.

SANParks, provincial nature reserves and private rhino owners are dehorning rhino to deter poachers, while SANParks is investigating the feasibility of additional actions such as anti-poaching initiatives focused on apprehending poachers and establishing additional founder populations outside the Kruger National Park.

Government continues to work closely with the private sector and non-governmental organisations through the Integrated Strategic Management of Rhinoceros approach and the draft National Integrated Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking (NISCWT) to address rhino poaching.

In 2021 there were 189 arrests in connection with poaching activities: 77 within the Kruger National Park and 109 outside the Park. This compares with 156 people arrested countrywide in 2020. In the 38 verdicts handed down by the courts, 37 cases resulted in the conviction of 61 accused rhino poachers/traffickers.

The following are among some of the successful prosecutions during 2021:

  • Project Python: Three persons were arrested and several properties seized. The 3 accused were charged with racketeering and money laundering relating to rhino horn trafficking. One of the accused Ping WU was convicted on two money laundering charges in the Tembisa regional court. The case was remanded to 9 February 2022 for sentencing. The racketeering trial against the other two accused, Huang and Chen, continues and was postponed to the 3 March 2022 for the state to lead further evidence.
  • S v Arlendo Mhlanga; Hlayisile Adam Hlongwane; Inancio Chauke were sentenced to 85 years’ imprisonment, effective sentence of 35 years imprisonment after being convicted on 10 counts in relation to the killing of three rhinos in the Pilanesberg National Park, the possession, transportation, cutting of 6 rhino horns, theft and the possession of a prohibited firearm and ammunition and trespassing. In addition, the Ford Courier vehicle which was used during the commission of the offences was forfeited to the State.
  • S v W Mhangani & and 2 others were convicted for killing 3 rhinos within the Kruger National Park, for being illegally in SA, trespassing, possession of unlicensed firearm and the possession of unlicensed ammunition. Accused 1 was sentenced to an effective 45 years imprisonment and accused 2 and 3 were sentenced to an effective 30 years imprisonment.
  • S v GV Tibane and J Matshinga Sithole were sentenced to 19 years imprisonment following a conviction in relation to trespassing in the Kruger National Park, contravention of the Immigration Act, illegal killing of a rhino, possession of firearm with obliterated serial number, possession of silencer, possession of firearm with intent to commit crime, possession of ammunition and possession of an axe.
  • S v Emmanuel Mdluli was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment after being convicted on charges of trespassing, possession of firearm with the intention to poach a rhino, possession of firearm with serial number obliterated, conspiracy to commit a crime, possession of dangerous weapon, contravening Immigration Act.

On the international front, the following are examples of the important work that is taking place between South Africa and those countries implicated in wildlife crime:

  • A Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) process was successfully finalised between SA and Poland, after receipt of a request from Poland relating to rhino horn trophy hunting in South Africa;
  • Operation Golden Strike, which relates to the cooperative work done between Southern Africa and South East Asia, has set a platform for better cooperation between these countries with the aim to combat wildlife trafficking at international levels. Several successful operations, bilateral engagements and information sharing sessions were conducted during the reporting period;
  • A controlled delivery between South Africa and Vietnam took place in July 2021, resulting from the work between the Hawks and the Vietnamese authorities on a consignment of rhino horns and suspected lion bones that was trafficked to Vietnam. The operation was successfully conducted and 138kg of rhino horns and an estimated 3 tons of suspected lion bones were seized at Da Nang Port in Vietnam. The investigation continues between the two countries;
  • Cross border investigations between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China are underway as a result of a joint integrated operation between the Hawks, assisted by DFFE and the transport sector at OR Tambo International Airport in December 2021. A total of 32 rhino horns were seized. The information obtained during this operation was shared with the People’s Republic of China authorities, which resulted in the arrest of one suspect in South Africa and two suspects in China as well as seizure of additional rhino horns.

South Africa remains committed to safeguarding the country’s rhino populations, and will continue to work tirelessly, alongside the private sector, committed NGOs as well as authorities in transit and destination countries, to combat wildlife crime.

** Members of the public can report any suspicious activities around wildlife to its environmental crime hotline which is 0800 205 005 or the SAPS number 10111.

To access a recording of Minister Creecy’s statement, click on: https://we.tl/t-rUwasWlZ7X

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The Virtual Silver Falcons

The Virtual Silver Falcons were founded in early 2020, initially using the MB-339 which was developed for the Frecce Tricolori Virtuali that was available as a free mod.  Later moving on to using the PC-MKII which was purpose made for exclusive use by the team and was spearheaded by Frank Moody from AIR.capetown.

The Virtual Silver Falcons Team are in contact with current and ex-members of the real world team in order to ensure that our displays are accurate and complimentary in displaying them in the virtual world. The team uses Digital Combat Simulator (DCS) as the platform for all display’s.

It is also worth mentioning that we will be the first official South African Virtual Display team to perform for an international Virtual airshow.

The team will be performing their debut airshow at Virtual International Air Festivals (https://virtualairfestivals.com/) on the 11th and 12th of December 2021 alongside the Virtual Blue Angels, The Virtual Red Arrows and the Virtual Swiss PC-7 team just to name a few. It is set to be the largest Virtual Airshow held to date with over 50 teams from around the world performing.

You can stream the show from the comfort of your home! (https://www.twitch.tv/virtualairfestivals)  

RYAN “TACTICAL PANDA” NELSON

Falcon 1 – Team Leader

Ryan is the Flight Leader for the Virtual Silver Falcons. In the real world he holds a PPL, currently a CPL student and is a commercial drone operator and video editor. He has 18 years of experience with RC Aircraft as well.

JONATHEN “CHAOS” STOLS

Falcon 2 – Media Officer

Jonathen is our number two, as well as our Media Manager. In the real world, he holds a Commercial Pilots License, is a former Game Ranger and currently co-owns a Flight Academy.

FRANK “PROPHET” MOODY

Falcon 3 – Team Owner

Frank is the Project Manager for AIR.CapeTown, developing the Silver Falcons PC-7MKII Module. In the real world he is a Partner and photographer for TheAIR.Tech, an aerial reconnaissance company.

CLINTON “SPEAR” TROSKIE

Falcon 4

Clint is our Number 4, in the real world he holds a PPL and is the Aircraft Engineer for Royal Horse Aviation, developing a Carbon Fibre Spitfire Replica.

THOMAS “SCORPION” LOFFELMANN

Falcon 5

Thomas is our number 5 and soloist. He holds an ATPL and has real world experience in the PC-7.  

RUGENE “FROSTY” FROST

Falcon 6

Rugene holds a PPL and has accumulated time on various different aircraft types. His love for flying started before he can remember and his first solo flight happened when he was just 17 years old in 2005. He Currently works for ExecuJet MRO Services as the Snr QA Auditor. His hobbies include flying model aircraft, drones and Photography.

We’ll sell Mango for you, offers Commerce24 founder to Mango BRP

Cape Town: Business trading platform Commerce24.co.za says that it is willing to assist business rescue practitioner Sipho Sono of Opis Advisory to market and dispose of state-owned airline Mango. The site provides business owners and bulk trading partners with a verified staging window to put anything of commercial value up for sale. Commerce24 estimates that Mango may be worth around R 300 million in total at the top end. The company has written to the business rescue practitioner, offering its assistance.

“While the aviation market is not particularly stable presently,” says Commerce24 chief executive Denny Mo, “it is expected to recover over time. But Mango’s value lies in the route rights it holds.” The airline is believed to hold rights to Mauritius amongst other African regional network points and is presently the only South African airline that can fly between Johannesburg and wildly popular beach holiday destination Zanzibar.

There are likely no other assets of value beyond its potential future revenue and goodwill. “We have not seen its balance sheet but based on public reportage a ‘clean’ Mango that emerges from business rescue, with creditors settled, can be a solid business proposition for investors. The airline’s fleet is leased.

Mo believes that a buyer for Mango should not be a challenge, and that a strategic equity partner or an outright buyer can be found. “At an estimated value of R 300m, an investment of R 150m or more plus a measure of working capital would be required to buy the majority of the business.”  Mo suggests that while the industry is crowded and the airline’s reputation is muddied after a disastrous 18-months of stop-starting, it’s got a solid brand and plenty of potential. “Mango was launched in 2006 and it grew on a sustained basis over time. I believe that a restart with the right investor is possible, and may be profitable,” says Mo. “And we will broker the right buyer to the willing seller.”

Commerce24.co.za is a site that enables business trading and leverages its vast business network to facilitate transactions. On sale items include big ticket items such as guest houses, hotels and other hospitality assets along with bulk stock items and “practically anything of value, which can be traded,” says Mo. “The Mango transaction is likely to be our largest yet. But with some offers already circling the R 50m mark, the business is no stranger to high value, long term investment opportunities.”

Commerce24 is an open source and free to use platform that harnesses the power of sharing like social media has done. With a free to use and free to share function, we can reach further and deeper into potential buyers nationwide. It lets the community find you the best buyer and the highest offer. 

Independent Aviation

Independent Aviation

IndependentAviation would like to introduce itself as a completely new concept in aviation training.

Independent Aviation is an innovative, new student-instructor-flight school relationship concept.

We’re for the training Industry:

At www.independentaviation.co.za we know that the relationship between the instructor and student is the most vital aspect of a successful flight training journey. Every person learns differently, which is why it is very important for the student to find an instructor to whom he or she can relate.

We’re for the students:

www.independentaviation.co.za presents a directory of independent flight instruction professionals that you, the student, can browse. This directory of independent flight instructors, enables you make direct contact with professionals of your choice, which helps you decide for yourself whether this person is competent and able to guide the journey upon which you are about to embark.

We’re for the Instructors:

As a flight instructor registering on www.independentaviation.co.za you the have the freedom to choose whom you would like to teach. You decide which flight school you would like to use. You make the arrangements with the flight school, and you are in control of how much you get paid for your services. The idea is to put the instructor back in control of the flight training experience.

We’re for Flight Schools:

The school benefits by receiving students for whom they did not have to do any advertising. The instructor will bring in his/her own students to the flight school and train them under its ATO while maintaining industry best practice and SACAA legal requirements. Ultimately the flight school will still be responsible for ensuring the optimum standard of training that is being done under their ATO.

In this model everyone wins. The student gets to choose a professional instructor with whom they can establish a personal relationship and who can teach them according to the way that they need to learn. Instructors decide how much they would like to earn and determine their own rates. The flight school receives students and income for which it did not have to do any advertising or marketing.

Independent Aviation knows that this will have a tremendously beneficial impact on the South African and worldwide aviation training industry, positively impacting training standards, resulting in a better pilot in the cockpit.

The Website is live and if you’re an instructor you can already start signing up. We are keeping the service free to instructors until 31 March 2022 so hurry and sign up.

You can contact the Independent Aviation Team at:

Name: Carl Kieck

Email: carl@independentaviation.co.za

Website: www.independentaviation.co.za

Lookout for Social Media Channels coming soon!

New careers take flight with CRET

There is exciting fresh talent taking to the skies as five newly qualified drone pilots celebrate at a graduation ceremony hosted by The Academy of Aviation and Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET). All five students are beneficiaries of education funding from CRET.

Velile Mngoma, Amanjee Moosa, Azwindini Mugari, Braiden Kitching and Jayden Brink are part of a fully sponsored drone pilot training programme as part of development careers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These specially trained pilots are part of a growing demand worldwide. PwC estimates that commercial applications of drone technology and flight have a market value of $127 billion globally. Considering the first drone pilot license on the continent was only issued five years ago, it is remarkable that new graduates are being produced in a career path that didn’t exist until recently.

The graduates come from vastly different backgrounds, but all are looking forward to building stable careers in the aviation industry. As Amanjee Moosa reflects, “Being able to have a chance to fly fills me with motivation.”

During the small graduation ceremony, the five graduates demonstrated their pilot skills and received their official certificates of qualification. This will open doors for them to work as a precision agriculture surveyor, search and rescue drone operator, drone flight instructor or drone mechanic. These career paths are available in a wide variety of sectors from construction and conservation to mining and public safety.

Chantelle Oosthuizen, Executive Director of CRET, is proud of what the future holds for these graduates.

“As with all of our CRET graduates, it is an exciting moment to see them spread their wings and fly off into the world – this is quite literal for our aviation students. CRET isn’t just for university education. The program exists to support and develop well-grounded graduates who grow to be leaders, who are of service to their community, and who have the skills to build a prosperous future. This can be done through a variety of education pathways, be it university, technical or vocational training. What we can see from this success is that young people need more options and help to get the necessary skills for new careers in a digital era.” she said.

Just 6% of the South African population have university degrees. A further 6% have diplomas and 3.4% hold technical and vocational education and training (TVET) certificates. Because South African society typically associates success with university education, vocational or technical training doesn’t get the necessary attention or respect it deserves for yielding valuable and often sought-after skills.

CRET is committed to promoting alternative skills development routes in addition to university study. The organisation promotes technical and vocational education as well as entrepreneurship as career choices. The organisation’s partnership with The Academy of Aviation is only a year old but has also produced 10 graduates with Civil Aviation Authority licenses who have completed internships with the ExecuJet Aviation Group and Lanseria Airport. To date, CRET has assisted 213 skills development training beneficiaries through various programmes.

Remote Pilot Licence Graduates with their certifications – From Left to Right Velile Mngoma, Braiden Kitching, Amanjee Moosa, Azwindini Mugari and Jayden Brink
Remote Pilot Licence Graduate Azwindini Mugari showcasing his skills
CRET Remote Pilot Licence Graduates with representatives from The Academy of Aviation and CRET Executive Director, Chantelle Oosthuizen

Remote Pilot Lincence Graduates Showcasing their skills

The SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally

The SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally – 28 August 2021 by Rob Jonkers

This year we have returned again to the birth place of the Speed Rally, being the 4th time this event has been held here, with 2018 the start of Season 1, and from 2020 having re-aligned the Speed Rallies to calendar year seasons, with this event being the 3rd event in Season 3, with the final event for Season 3 being at Springs on 27 Nov 2021.

With lockdown still at level 3, we limited the entries to 25 teams, and 22 had entered by the time the event entries closed on Friday 27th August. Our host club with Chairman Ashvir Kallis and Vice Chairman Lourence Mathee went all out to support the event, making the club facilities available and a braai for the Friday evening. The Aviation Junction flight school made their school facilities available for the scoring and officials team.

The weather outlook was looking challenging as the weekend was approaching, many warnings of severe cold and high winds predicted from a substantial cold front, and at dawn on Friday much low cloud and rain squalls made their appearance across Gauteng, which cleared later but with increasing gusty wind conditions. Having left Kitty Hawk at 10 am, caught a 30 kt tailwind to Secunda and had to deal with a 15 kt crosswind on landing. Around half the field chose rather to arrive early on Saturday, with some test flights also delayed to Saturday morning. The test flights were ably handled by Mauritz du Plessis and Iaan Myburg, with Iaan also taking up the role of scorer for this event having developed new scoring software.

At 18h30, Jonty Esser as the MC and 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 and the expected weather conditions. This year’s route would include a cross-over, which would bring more spectator interaction as the aircraft came over the field at the half way mark.

Jonty Esser then took to the stage in his signature competing crew introductory theme song videos and race number handouts, and also including introductions to the team sponsors, which has picked up this year after a disastrous 2020, and great to see the sponsors returning to support their teams. A scrumptious braai was laid on by the club to end the evening with around the fire stories on a high note.

For Saturday the briefing started at 8h00, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather, which at least had improved wind conditions from the Friday, starting out at 10 kts with a maximum of 15 kts predicted in a westerly direction, which would at least be favourable for runway 29. Some line squalls were also in the area, with the cloud base at least more than 1000 ft, with good visibility.

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 Mark & Shane from Century Avionics were on hand to also block off / seal Aircraft GPS and autopilot systems, and also checking the fuel tanks were full.

The Pilot Insure Scrutineer Team were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, with the papers team under guidance of Lizelle handing out papers at the allotted time, Chief Marshall Adrian Cronje and Starters Mauritz & Chareen set up at the starting line adjacent the threshold of Runway 29, who would release each aircraft at their allotted time slot. Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at 20 minutes prior take-off time, taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of brake release. 1st take-off was at 10h20 for the slowest aircraft which was a Magni Gyrocopter (the first time a gyro has taken part) and last take-off at 11h10, with planned arrival at 12h00.

With all the competitors off towards the south west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints. In general the competitors found the course easy enough. At just before 12h00, the first aircraft over the line was a little early, and then followed by at least three quarters of the field within 1 minute, with tail enders after that.

After all teams having returned, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, completing the individual scores by 14h00, with prize giving planned for at 15:00. In the meantime, most of the competitors being concerned over deteriorating weather decided to return to their home bases, thus a call was made at 14h30 to rather hold a virtual prize giving, which Race Master Jonty carried out at 5 PM on the WhatsApp platform. MC Jonty Esser thanked everybody in the Speed Rally series for their contributions.

The winners in the handicap category were Deidre Batchelor & Dave Naude in their Jabiru ZU-EBU, in second place Mike Blackburn & Steve Briggs in a Sling ZU-IBM and in third place the Evans Racing team Jonty & Jonathan Esser in their C150 ZU-BLL. The first thirteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

The winners in the accuracy category were the Gem air sponsored team of Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY, in second place Fanie Scholtz & Herman Haasbroek in their Sling ZU-FZF, and in third place Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer in their Evektor Harmony ZU-FWS..

Overall Standings are in first place father and son Apie & Frederik Kotzee, in second place another father and son Johan Whiteman & Quintin Kruger in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, and in third place another father & son team of Hendrik & Jandre Loots flying their Sling ZU-IHK. This is the first time the first 3 overall placed teams are all father and sons.

Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Adrian Cronje as the Chief Marshall, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan & Tarryn Myburg doing the scoring, Mauritz du Plessis doing test flights and starting, Marc & Shane from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw as the Event Secretary, Lizelle Kruger, Clarissa Dacostaesilva, Ariana Rompel, Leonie du Plessis for handing out competition papers to the crews, the Pilot Insure team under David le Roux for Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandi for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event, and Anneke Pretorius for looking after officials lunches. Santjie & Jean Marie White were also on hand to ensure all aircraft are accounted for during and post the event.

ZS-CNY – third in the accuracy results

 

One of the tracks having gone a little pear shaped.

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