Category Archives: Pilots and Aircraft

SAAF & SAPS Airwing in KZN Flood Relief Efforts

15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” based at Airforce Station Port Elizabeth are assisting in the flood relief efforts in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The PE based helicopters as well as an A109 and Oryx made their way to Durban Virginia Airport during the week as KwaZulu-Natal province has seen some serious rain resulting in flooding.

The Durban Airforce Station of 15 Squadron, which is located in the Southern side of Durban at the old Durban airport, was heavily impacted by the floods, leaving them displaced and unable to effectively assist in the relief operations. Thus “Charlie Flight” from Port Elizabeth was tasked with assisting in the relief operations.

The two Bk117’s and Oryx helicopters, are joined by an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit. They are assisting two SAPS Eurocopter AS350 now the Airbus H125 Écureuil (Squirrel) helicopters, SAPS Pilatus Porter aircraft, SAPS Search and Rescue ground units and eThekwini Metro Search and Rescue ground units, in various relief operations around the flood damaged areas.

Search and Rescue ground units had K-9 units as well that flew in some of the rotary assets.
The ground units all deployed from Virginia as well after a briefing with the aircrews.

Using Durban’s Virginia airport, which is ideally situated for the efforts, as the base of operations, they have already been flying on many missions and will continue to do so over the coming days. This is also the reason Virginia Airport must stay and not be demolished for a housing development when it is the main hub in the middle of search and rescue operational area. The airport was opened in 1959 and was home to the annual Durban Airshow .

South African Airforce SAAF has always come to the rescue in times of natural disasters and provide a welcome sight to the people needing help.

Oryx Helicopter “1212”

SANDF at the Rand Easter Show 2022

After a two year absence it was the return of the Rand Easter show at Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec.

One of the big attractions of course would be the South African National Defence Force which has been taking part in the demonstrations or static exhibit since 2011.

This year unfortunately there was no capability demonstration as previously reported on. We found our self’s in the static exhibits and just thanking that we can attend these outdoor shows once again.

We found ourselfs at 16 Squadrons exhibit with a Rooivalk Attack helicopter and found our good friend and former Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team leader Lt Col Omphile “Biggy” Matloane. Biggy as he is known is now part of the big guns at 16 Squadron flying the Denel Rooivalk.

Was good to see a 15 Squadron Agusta A109 also in the static park. We hope next year we will see the return of a capability demo as it was a crowd favorite. Until next year!

Sixteen candles for SA’s only Mushshak

The PAC MFI-17 Mushshak is a license-built fixed-gear basic trainer aircraft used by the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force. An improved version of the Saab Safari, the MFI-17 is manufactured in Kamra, Pakistan by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

Hilton Wolff the owner of the only Mushshak in South Africa,came into SA as a demonstration model for the South African Airforce (SAAF) who then were in the market for a basic trainer.

In 2016 aviation enthusiasts got to see the Super Mushshak being put through its paces at Africa Aerospace and Defence at AFB Waterkloof in Pretoria from the Pakistan Airforce.This Maybe another time for the SAAF to purchase this type of trainer. But it didn’t fold out.

Initially twelve were ordered but then things went wrong and the order was eventually cancelled and the demonstration aircraft , that was delivered, stayed in South Africa for good.

The aircraft was then sold to a couple of owners where she landed up in Cape Town at a flight school and eventually in the hands of Hilton where the aircraft was based still at Wonderboom Airport and now as we speak Brakpan in the East Rand of Johannesburg.

One of Hilton’s biggest concerns about owning this former military trainer was parts availability, a concern that was quickly resolved when he contacted the factory in Pakistan and they assured him that anything he needed they were willing to supply.

The aircraft is built under licence from SAAB who originally released the military version as the SAAB MFI-17 Supporter. Hilton also made contact with SAAB and they too assured him parts would not be a challenge.

On Thursday 7th March 2022 we were invited to join the celebration of both Hiltons and the Mushshak birthday at Brakpan Airfield. We were treated to a couple of flypasts of the aircraft flown by veteran airshow display pilot Scully Levin.

The 6th of April is esteemed Hilton Wolff ‘s Birthday and the 7th of April is the Mushshak’s Birthday.
This making the Mushshak 16 years old.

SAAF BK117s on their way to Durban

In the last couple of days Durban Kwa Zulu Natal has been hit with enormous amounts of rain bringing damage throughout the province. Unfortunately there has been a number of lives lost as well as still people missing.

15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” based at Airforce Station Port Elizabeth are on route to Durban to be tasked to help in any way the unit can in a flood relief manner. At this point of time two Bk117s are on route with a third to join later.

BK117 during sunset at East London Airport yesterday evening.

SAAF Chopper crews

Crew so far from 15 Sqn C Flight is Maj Corrie Oberholzer, Maj Jarred Oliver, Sgt Carel van Dalen and Sgt Nengo Mahlakwana

A109 with Major Simphiwe Moloi and WO2 Jason Buglass

Oryx with Lt Col Charles Tarentaal cmdr, Capt Robo Muthwa and WO2 Allister Prince.

Additional crew to arrive: Maj Aobakwe Gaelejwe, Flight Sergeant Coert Steynberg, Sergeant Lungelo Mcanyana

Ground crew on deployment is Flight Sergeant Larry Williams, Flight Sergeant Brian Reynolds, Sergeant Thanduxolo Madyo, Corporal Sara Ramlingam

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

AW109 Trekker-Rugged and Reliable

The AW109 Trekker is the new multi-role helicopter developed to provide the perfect solution for the most challenging missions in a variety of roles. Productiveness is guaranteed by outstanding performance, payload and a wide cabin space that enables quick role changes. The helicopter is ideally suited to a wide range of missions that require best-in-class lifting capability, alongside superior range and performance.

executive and private transport

MISSION READY

The AW109 Trekker combines excellent performance, the latest technology and high safety standards to provide customers an ideal combination of comfort and capabilities. The finest materials and the highest levels of craftsmanship give the helicopter a unique style and ensure passengers a pleasant journey.

OUTSTANDING TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY

The AW109 Trekker has a crash-resistant design for optimised safety and is equipped with modular state-of-the-art Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit to allow a tailored fit to different customers’ needs: single or dual pilot, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) or Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). The ergonomic cockpit design significantly reduces pilot workload.

EXCEPTIONAL CABIN FLEXIBILITY

The bright cabin boasts effective soundproofing and provides passengers with a quiet, safe and comfortable flight. Wide sliding doors on both sides guarantee easy access, whilst the extended baggage compartment has a high capacity for personal luggage.

medical and rescue services

MISSION READY

The AW109 Trekker is ideally suited to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Search and Rescue (SAR) missions and para-public applications. Excellent Category A Class 1 performance capabilities ensure the AW109 Trekker can safely take-off and land from even very small areas. Best-in-class payload and performance facilitate fast and safe response to incidents whilst a spacious cabin provides an effective environment for efficient patient care.
(Photo: courtesy of Irene McCullagh)

OUTSTANDING TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY

The helicopter is equipped with a modular state-of-the-art Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit to minimise pilot workload and ensure excellent situational awareness. High power margins and full crashworthiness provide maximum safety in all flight conditions.

EXCEPTIONAL CABIN FLEXIBILITY

The AW109 Trekker features a spacious and quickly reconfigurable cabin to accommodate 1 stretcher and 3/4 medical attendants or 2 stretchers and 2 medical attendants, with entire access to the patient. Large sliding doors ensure easy entry/egress, while the wide interior also accommodates a full suite of advanced life-support equipment.

utility

MISSION READY

The AW109 Trekker is the ideal solution for utility and aerial applications. Outstanding controllability, manoeuvrability and power margin ensure high level of safety in aerial work whilst the best-in-class sling load capacity even in ‘hot and high’ conditions maximises mission effectiveness.

OUTSTANDING TECHNOLOGY AND SAFETY

The helicopter is equipped with modular state-of-the-art Genesys Aerosystems glass cockpit to minimise pilot workload and ensure excellent situational awareness. High power margin and full crashworthiness provide maximum safety in all flight conditions.

EXCEPTIONAL CABIN FLEXIBILITY

The spacious and flexible cabin layout is rapidly reconfigurable to meet all mission requirements and can accommodate up to 7 passengers. The large cabin allows rapid reconfiguration and can be fitted with specific role equipment such as rescue hoist and cargo hook to better fulfil the mission.

WEIGHTS (MGW)

Internal loads
3,175 kg 7,000 lb

WEIGHTS (MGW)

External loads
3,350 kg 7,385 lb

POWERPLANT

2 x Pratt & Whitney
Canada PW207C

OVERALL LENGTH*

12.96 m 42 ft 06 in
*Rotor turning

OVERALL HEIGHT

3.60 m 11 ft 09 in

ROTOR DIAMETER

10.83 m 35 ft 06 in

CAPACITY

Crew 1-2
Passenger 7-6

MAX CRUISE SPEED
(SL, ISA, MGW, MCP)

281 km/h 152 kt

HIGE (ISA, MGW)

4,609 m 15,120 ft

HOGE (ISA, MGW)

2,926 m 9,600 ft

MAX RANGE
(5,000 FT, ISA, MGW)*

833 km 450 nm
*with 634 kg usable fuel, no reserve

MAX ENDURANCE
(5,000 FT, ISA, MGW)*

4 h 20 min
*with 634 kg usable fuel, no reserve

The Spanish Air Force Receives Its First PC-21

The Spanish Ministry of Defence, through the General Directorate of
Armament and Material (DGAM) will deliver to the Spanish Air Force, the
Ejército del Aire, based in San Javier (Murcia), its first PC-21, and will
immediately integrate the world’s most advanced training system by Pilatus
to be part of the 792 Squadron, the Basic Training School in the Spanish Air
Force Academy. Pilatus will deliver a total of 24 PC-21s to Spain by June
2022, raising air force pilot training to state-of-the-art level.


A highly efficient training aircraft to provide advanced training of Spain’s future
military pilots to protect future generations: After a lengthy and exceptionally
professional evaluation, Pilatus prevailed over all the international competition
to win the contract with the PC-21 in 2020. The first PC-21 was handed over in
San Javier on 14 September 2021.


Brigadier General of the Air Force León-Antonio Machés, DGAM (Ministerio de
Defensa de España) Deputy Director General of Programs commented at the
handover: “We are very pleased to be able to integrate such an advanced
training system. Not only will the PC-21 revolutionise our pilot training and
take it to a whole new level, it will also allow us to reduce the cost of our pilot
training.”


André Zimmermann, VP Government Aviation at Pilatus, added: “We’re
delighted that the first PC-21 in the national colours will take to the Spanish
skies as of now. Spain – a renowned and highly professional air force – is
already the third air force in Europe to have opted for the world’s most
advanced training system and we are confident that others will follow Spain’s
example.”

First PC-21 training course from 2022

The air force will launch its first pilot training course in September 2022. The
PC-21 will provide Spain with not only the most technically advanced training
system, but a cost-effective, ecological training platform as well. Experience
with existing PC-21 customers shows that the budget for training a student
military pilot can be reduced by more than 50 percent with the PC-21. These
single-engine turboprops require far less fuel than comparable jet trainers.
Besides the actual aircraft, the PC-21 training system includes state-of-the-art
simulators, computer-based training and virtual reality tools. Pilatus thus
offers the most advanced, most powerful integrated training system currently
available on the market.

David Simelane Promoted To Chief Pilot Of SANParks Air Services

South African National Parks (SANParks) is proud to announce that Ndabenhle David Simelane has become the first black Chief Pilot for SANParks Air Services. SANParks Chief Operating Officer Lize McCourt, said, “Simelane’s most recent promotion sees him moving from the rank of pilot to SANParks Chief Pilot and Person Responsible for Operations as per the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s regulations”.

“It comes as no surprise that Simelane aka “The Black-Black Hawk”, is progressing through the ranks as he is a skilled professional pilot with solid management and leadership skills with approachability and strength of character to boot”.

On arrival at the SANParks Airwing in Skukuza almost a year ago, Simelane wasted no time forging a solid relationship with the Civil Aviation Authority – an endeavour that serves SANParks well in terms of aviation compliance.

Air Services is part of the newly formed Area Integrity Management unit (AIM), which comprises Air-Services, Firearm Management, Special Operations, Environmental Crime Investigations, and Environmental Compliance. The main objective of creating the AIM unit was to establish and better coordinate safety and security within SANParks. The objective is well underway, with AIM providing core functions such as logistical ranger support, amongst other crucial services within SANParks. McCourt has noted that the unit played an integral role in establishing the Command Centre within Table Mountain National Parks. We believe that the team will continue to excel with Simelane at the helm of Air Services.

McCourt concluded, “There is no doubt in my mind that Simelane will take SANParks Air Services to the next level and it is my sincere pleasure to see transformation in the airwing. Fly Black Hawk, fly!”

Airborne patient evacuation at sea with 15 Squadron SAAF

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 11h32, Sunday, 11 July, 2 NSRI Durban rescue swimmers, 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and a SA Air Force (SAAF) ,15 Squadron, flight crew, departed Durban Air Force Base aboard a SAAF Oryx helicopter to rendezvous with an oil tanker motor vessel approaching Durban from deep-sea to patient evacuate a 27 year old Filipino crewman suffering a medical complaint.

The crews had been placed on alert by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) on Saturday after a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor evaluated the patients condition in communications with the ships medical crew and it was deemed necessary for the patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with the VHF marine radio communications.

On arrival at the motor vessel, 50 nautical miles off-shore of Durban, in calm sea conditions, an NSRI rescue swimmer and the 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were hoisted onto the helicopters deck.

The patient, in a stable conditions, was secured into a vacuum mattress and specialised stretcher and hoisted into the helicopter with one of the rescue paramedics.

The NSRI rescue swimmer and the remaining rescue paramedic were hoisted into the helicopter.

The patient, in the care of the Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, was airlifted directly to a Durban hospital landing zone and then transported to a Durban hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance where he is receiving emergency medical care in hospital and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The patient evacuation operation completed at 13h04.

NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, NSRI Durban duty controllers, Netcare 911 duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, SA Air Force Command, Transnet National Ports Authority and Transnet National Ports Health Authority assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in operational logistics and coordination of the airborne patient evacuation operation.

Bell Delivers First Bell 505 to Ethiopia

Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, has announced the delivery of a Bell 505
helicopter to W.A. Oil Factory and Distribution PLC in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, its first corporate customer
in the country. With this latest acquisition, there are almost 30 Bell 505s in operation across six
countries in Africa and the Middle East.


“The Bell 505 is an exceptional aircraft for corporate transportation, exceeding customers’ expectations
with a large, customizable cabin and fully integrated high-tech features,” said Lynette Loosen, regional
sales manager, Africa and the Middle East, Bell.


W.A. Oil Factory and Distribution PLC was established in 2016 by CEO Worku Aytenew. The company’s
portfolio of businesses includes mining, real estate and transportation, as well as the W.A. Oil Factory
project. This oilseed crushing and crude oil refining factory, located at Debremarkos in Amhara Regional
State, East Gojjam Zone, imports and distributes ETB 5 billion (USD 200 million) worth of palm oil.
“We are proud to accept the delivery of the first Bell 505 in Ethiopia,” said Aytenew. “Given the rugged
terrain and limited road infrastructure in parts of the country, the Bell 505 will save us hours and
sometimes days of travel time.”


The Bell 505 was delivered to Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport, which has an elevation of 7,625
feet above MSL. “We’ve been operating the aircraft at 8,100 feet with no problem at all,” said Capt.
Gilbert Gitonga, pilot, W.A. Oil. “The 505 has plenty of power and is operating extremely well.”
The aircraft was delivered to one of Bell’s independent representatives for Africa, Africair’s Bell
Customer Service Facility (CSF) in Nairobi, Kenya, where it was re-assembled and hangered until its ferry
flight to Addis Ababa.


“With this latest delivery, the Bell fleet in Africa continues to grow, building on its reputation for safety,
reliability and cost-effectiveness,” said Jim Evans, CEO, Africair. “In particular, over recent years the Bell
505 has grown in popularity, with operators on the continent appreciating the flexibility and versatility
of this light helicopter. We are looking forward to building this new relationship with W.A. Oil.”
With a speed of 125 knots (232 kilometers per hour) and a useful load of 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms),
the Bell 505 is designed to be safe and easy to fly while providing unmatched value to the operator.

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