Category Archives: General News and Airshow Reviews

Public Welcome at Prestige Day 2020

Breaking News-Public welcome at Prestige Day Parade 31 January 2020

Some exciting news for the public of South Africa to join at this year’s Prestige Day Airforce Day at AFB Swartkop in Pretoria on 31 January 2020.This special occasion will be celebrating 100 years of South African Airforce Airpower through 25 years of Democracy!

A wide variety of current and ex South African Airforce aircraft will be flying during the day. Please take note this is not an Airshow and their will not be any vendors available also during the course of the day. Members of the public are welcome to bring their own food but no alcohol will be allowed on the base.

Gates open at 7H45am and Close at 9H30am for the duration of the prestige day proceedings. The public will need to enter from the northern gate at Airforce Base Swartkop and parking will be available at the northern gate until such time parking gets full, the puplic will have to park outside the base.Also take note Bays Hill will be closed on the day.There will be no movement during the parade!

We look forward to this event. More information will follow days leading to Prestige day!

Note not an Airshow, but flypasts!

Gauteng Regional Aerobatic Competition 2020-01-18

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

RV

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

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

Slick 360

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

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

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

Nashua Exra 300L Pilot Andrew Blackwood-Murray

Results for the days flying!

Yak 55
Yak 52

Some rare treats seeing flying on the day

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

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

SAPFA Rally Training Camp

SAPFA Rally Training Camp – Aerosud Premises 18 January 2020 –
by Rob Jonkers – Photos by Flippie van Emmenis

SAPFA held a very successful training event on Rally Navigation on Saturday 18th January as the first SAPFA event of the year. Building on the successful event held last year at the same time, we decided to hold another one, particularly that this year is the year where SAPFA hosts the World Rally Flying Championships in November in Stellenbosch. There were 30 participants for the day, including many of the current SAPFA Protea team members who were assisting the trainees and our media friends. The Aerosud canteen was again the venue of choice lending itself well to this size of training camp.

It is great to see the sport being supported so enthusiastically, and the willingness to learn these basic skills of map reading and planning. The Chairman of SAPFA opened the camp with a brief outline of the plans of SAPFA in terms of events for the year, that the Aero Club also holds its Centenary year resulting in a packed calendar for the year, and from that look at developing and exposing particularly the youth to recreational aviation.

The Participants – 30 in total

With that Mary de Klerk took charge and laid out the objectives of the day, by initially going through the theory of plotting, and then to practice on an actual plot. With this year of 2020 having a full event calendar, and the Nationals coming up in April in Stellenbosch, this training event would serve as an excellent platform to entice new members to the sport and to start training for the Internationals and obtain Protea Colours.

Mary first started off with having everybody introduce themselves, and what they each had as objectives for training, some were there as newbies interested in taking part in the sport, some having taken part previously indicated they needed some formal and expert training, and some others indicated they just wanted to delve more in depth than what a ppl course would give on the art of paper based navigation.

From there Mary outlined the theory on plotting procedures and described the tools of the trade. Then it was off to plotting an example course which had to be done from basic plotting principles of co-ordinates, bearings (which could be in either true or magnetic) and distances (either in nm of km). Each turning point then had to be found and identified and linked into legs, some of which could be arcs or follow map features.

The goal in getting to National level standard is to be able to plot in the aircraft with a papers time of around 30-40 minutes prior take-off, which means speed is of the essence in doing the plot, so that the navigator can assist with finding and identifying the ground photos.

The morning’s training ended off at around 10h30 am, and after a short break, everybody got organized on plotting the example route provided which was the 2019 Rand Airport Challenge, got the laminated transparent tool, which they had to cut out, and proceeded to plot each of the turn points making up the route up until Turn Point 4, and after lunch at around 12, continued to finish the plot to the Finish Point.

After the plot was done, Mary opened up Google Earth, and “flew” the route along the plot lines to show where the photos were, and what they would look like against the photo sheets that are provided. This then effectively ended the day’s training at around 2 PM.

Everybody left with some knowledge gained on plotting and techniques of planning & flying a rally, and it is hoped that many will come to the Rand Challenge on the 25th January and Nationals in April.

The Rally Plotting Class of 2019 – with Teacher Mary de Klerk

Look into Armed Forces Day 2020

As Armed Forces Day 2020 approaches us, we can look forward to another action packed week of events being hosted in Polokwane in the Limpopo Province as this will be the first Armed Forces day to be hosted in the province.

AFD2019 Parade
AFD 2019 Cape Town

The South African National Defence force will once again wow the crowds with both a capability demonstration at Roodewal Bombing range, fan park activities and much more!

The main event of the Armed Forces Day celebrations will be held at Thabo Mbeki Street in Polokwane, All Arms-of-Service of the SANDF will take salute from the Commander-in-Chief of
the Armed Forces. As part of the day`s programme, there will be a national and SANDF flags fly-past, various landward, air and sea elements on display during the parade.

Armed Forces Day is hosted by the SANDF annually on a rotation basis-at one of the nine provinces in the Republic of South Africa on the 21 February to honour South African soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty, serving their country and as well as the current men and women in uniform who continue to put their lives in danger-in pursuit of stability that would ensure that our country and the entire African continent is at peace with herself. 

AFD2019
AFD Demo 2019 Cape Town

More information will be available after the Media Briefing on 29 January.  as Aviation Central will attend the AFD2020

SAA SELLS NINE AIRCRAFT TO ACCOMMODATE NEW FLEET

By Niel Swart

South African Airways (SAA) has put some of its aircraft up for sale to accommodate the new Airbus A350-900s the airline recently added to its fleet.
Please see our previous article on the A350 here: http://www.aviationcentral.co.za/saa-a350/


A350-900 (ZS-SDC) Landing at Cape Town International for the first time on 22 December 2019

In a tender on the airline’s website, SAA said it was selling nine wide-body aircraft – – five Airbus A340-300s and four Airbus A340-600s – – and 15 spare engines and four Auxiliary Power Units, a device used to provide energy.

“After we received the four new Airbus A350-900, it has become necessary for us to sell our older models to accommodate the new models with superior features such as the quieter cabin, relaxing in-flight environment and more extra-legroom seats in economy class and lie-flat beds in business Class,” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA’s Acting CEO.

“The decision to sell the aircraft has nothing to do with the business rescue process. For some time we had planned to replace our four-engine aircraft with the two engine ones,” said Ramasia.

“When we received five A330-300s in late 2017- early 2018 we had already planned to retire five A340s at that time, but due to the operational fleet undergoing maintenance, the retirement of the aircraft was postponed. Now is the time to sell the aircraft,” she said.

Ramasia said with the new A350s which will start operating on its international route network next week, replacing the A340s has become possible, hence the national carrier advertised the sale of the nine aircraft on 10 January. The closing date for the tender is 30 January at 11.00am SA time.

The aircraft on sale used to operate on regional and international routes, which will now be flown by the A330s and A350-900s.

The aircraft that is up for sale are:


A340-600 (ZS-SNF) landing at OR Tambo International on 13 January 2018

Registration: ZS-SNC
Serial number: 426
Type: 340-642
First flight date: 30/01/2003
Test registration: F-WWCH
Plane age: 17 years
Seat configuration: J/C=42 Y/C=275 Total=317
Engines: 4 x RR Trent 556-61


Registration: ZS-SND
Serial number: 531
Type: 340-642
First flight date: 13/10/2003
Test registration: F-WWCX
Plane age: 16.3 years
Seat configuration: J/C=42 Y/C=275 Total=317
Engines: 4 x RR Trent 556-61


Registration: ZS-SNF
Serial number: 547
Type: 340-642
First flight date: 03/12/2003
Test registration: F-WWCI
Plane age: 16.1 years
Seat configuration: J/C=42 Y/C=275 Total=317
Engines: 4 x RR Trent 556-61


Registration: ZS-SNG
Serial number: 557
Type: 340-642
First flight date: 16/12/2003
Plane age: 16.1 years
Seat configuration: J/C=42 Y/C=275 Total=317
Engines: 4 x RR Trent 556-61


A340-300 (ZS-SXD) landing at OR Tambo International on 15 October 2017

Registration: ZS-SXD
Serial number: 643
Type: 340-313E
First flight date: 25/11/2004
Test registration: F-WWJZ
Plane age: 15.1 years
Seat configuration: J/C=38 Y/C=215 Total=253
Engines: 4 x CFMI CFM56-5C4/P


Registration: ZS-SXE
Serial number: 646
Type: 340-313E
First flight date: 08/12/2004
Test registration: F-WWJB
Plane age: 15.1 years
Seat configuration: J/C=38 Y/C=215 Total=253
Engines: 4 x CFMI CFM56-5C4/P


Registration: ZS-SXF
Serial number: 651
Type: 340-313E
First flight date: 09/02/2005
Test registration: F-WWJC
Plane age: 14.9 years
Seat configuration: J/C=38 Y/C=215 Total=253
Engines: 4 x CFMI CFM56-5C4/P


Registration: ZS-SXG
Serial number: 378
Type: 340-313X
First flight date: 15/12/2000
Test registration: F-WWJI
Plane age: 19.1 years
Seat configuration: J/C=36 Y/C=215 Total=251
Engines: 4 x CFMI CFM56-5C4


Registration: ZS-SXH
Serial number: 197
Type: 340-313X
First flight date: 22/10/1997
Test registration: F-WWJL
Engines: 4 x CFMI CFM56-5C4


Spare engines and APU’s:

3x CFM56-5C4/P
12x Trent 556
4x GTCP331-350

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

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

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

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

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

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications.

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

15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117

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

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

Oryx Helicopter

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

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

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

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

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

Former Royal Navy Harriers to take to the skies again!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAA NAMED AS ONE OF THE TOP ON-TIME-PERFORMING AIRLINES

JOHANNESBURG, 7 January 2020 – South African Airways has been named as one of the top performing airlines globally for on-time performance (OTP) by travel data and analytics company, Cirium.

SAA was ranked fourth in the category for Middle East and Africa mainline carriers, ahead of some of its major competitors, making SAA the leading African carrier on OTP.

“According to the International Airlines Transport Association’s benchmark of OTP, an airline is on-time when it arrives within 15 minutes of the scheduled time of arrival or departs within 15 minutes of the scheduled departure time.  We are excited that most of the time we adhere to these deadlines,” said Zuks Ramasia, SAA Acting CEO.

SAA’s overall on-time performance across its route network is 85.69%.

“We are encouraged by this latest announcement about our performance.  It is an endorsement and occasion to celebrate great achievement, especially when judged against our own peers, globally. Customers always have a choice and those who elect to fly with us recognise that we are a dependable airline. The results speak volumes about consistency and reliability of our operations – a key feature underlying our customer value proposition.  This is an important attribute of our business,” said Ramasia.

SAA A350 Landing at Cape Town International Airport

SAA A350 Landing at Cape Town International Airport

As a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance, SAA serves 57 destinations within South Africa and across the continent in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low-cost carrier, Mango.   SAA also flies to eight intercontinental destinations from its Johannesburg hub.

“We place a high premium on punctuality as measured through OTP. It is one of our most important customer impact performance indicators.  The more punctual we are, the happier the customers we keep. Any flight delays could lead to costs for the airline and inconvenience to the customer.  Delays could snowball into more delays, requiring more re-planning to recover the schedule for the rest of the day and bring inefficiencies,” concluded Ramasia.

Cirium works with over 90 per cent of the world’s top 50 airlines. The company, which has published its annual On-time Performance (OTP) Review for the past 11 years, provides a definitive list of the world’s best performing airlines and airports for on-time flight operations.

Jeremy Bowen, Cirium CEO, said:  “Achieving world-class customer satisfaction and industry-leading product differentiation is about more than just competitively priced tickets and flight availability. When choosing whom to fly with, savvy travellers also now consider airline punctuality and operational reliability.

“We believe Cirium’s On-Time Performance Review 2019 will inspire airlines and airports to continue innovating to improve their performance. By embracing digital transformation and leveraging data to its full potential, Cirium can help the aviation industry harness its power to improve on-time performance and enhance the passenger experience,” Bowen said.  

ISSUED BY SAA 

About South African Airways:

South African Airways (SAA) is the leading carrier in Africa, serving 57 destinations, in partnership with SA Express, Airlink, and its low-cost carrier, Mango, within South Africa and across the continent, and eight intercontinental routes from its Johannesburg hub. It is a member of the largest international airline network, Star Alliance. SAA’s core business is the provision of passenger airline and cargo transport services together with related services, which are provided through SAA and its wholly owned subsidiaries: SAA Technical; Mango its low-cost carrier; and Air Chefs, the catering entity of SAA. SAA is the winner of the Best Airline Staff Service award in the Africa category; this shows that our customer-facing employees are our true brand ambassadors who made a difference to millions of travelling customers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cape Town International Facts:

IATA: CPT
ICAO: FACT
WMO: 68816

Elevation AMSL: 151 ft / 46 meters

Opened: 1954

Runway 01/19:

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

Runway 16/34:

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

General B787-9 specifications:

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

N24973 specifications:

B787-9

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

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

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial