Tag Archives: Aviation Central

SANParks Celebrates South Africa’s First Black Game Capture Pilot

South African National Parks (SANParks) today celebrates Captain David Simelane, South Africa’s first black game capture rated pilot. Nicknamed “Blackhawk”, Simelane completed his game capture rating, which is an endorsement on his pilot license, with flying colours on 2 December 2020.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said, “we are extremely proud of Simelane and his achievement. He is an inspiration to many young black aspiring pilots and we hope that his passion will inspire more people to choose this industry as their careers.”

Game capture rating is a very complex pilot endorsement rating where a helicopter pilot needs to take into consideration the environment, animals and the crew all while managing the actual helicopter itself.

Simelane has been a helicopter pilot for 16 years and has flown all over the world including Madagascar and South Sudan. “I have a passion for flying and now I get to combine that with my love for wildlife and nature. I wake up in the morning knowing that every flight I do is to make a difference in nature conservation and in people’s lives.”

Simelane, who started working for SANParks earlier this year, is KNP’s first black helicopter pilot working under SANParks Air Services which provide aerial support for many of the departments within SANParks. He said “working as a pilot for SANParks is a calling, it is tough but I am in a blessed position to say that this is not a job for me, it’s a passion. Couple that with the fact that I am doing it in the same park I first fell in love with wildlife 25 years ago, is just a dream come true for me”

Mketeni emphasised that Simelane’s achievement is a reflection of SANParks’ action to improve employees’ expertise to address inequalities and disparities in staff profiles. SANParks is committed towards the development and implementation of access, equity, and equal employment opportunities within the organisation.

“As a world society has started to realise how important both our natural and cultural heritage is and with a passionate and educated person like Simelane at SANParks we can continue to conserve and leave future generations with the natural beauty and heritage of South Africa. Today is a proud day for SANParks and the SANParks Air Services, we salute David Simelane and wish him well as he goes onwards and upwards” concluded Mketeni.

Boeing Responds to FAA Approval to Resume 737 MAX Operations

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today rescinded the order that halted commercial operations of Boeing (NYSE: BA) 737-8s and 737-9s. The move will allow airlines that are under

“We will never forget the lives lost in the two tragic accidents that led to the decision to suspend operations,” said David Calhoun, chief executive officer of The Boeing Company. “These events and the lessons we have learned as a result have reshaped our company and further focused our attention on our core values of safety, quality and integrity.”

Throughout the past 20 months, Boeing has worked closely with airlines, providing them with detailed recommendations regarding long-term storage and ensuring their input was part of the effort to safely return the airplanes to service.

An Airworthiness Directive issued by the FAA spells out the requirements that must be met before U.S. carriers can resume service, including installing software enhancements, completing wire separation modifications, conducting pilot training and accomplishing thorough de-preservation activities that will ensure the airplanes are ready for service.

“The FAA’s directive is an important milestone,” said Stan Deal, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We will continue to work with regulators around the world and our customers to return the airplane back into service worldwide.”

In addition to changes made to the airplane and pilot training, Boeing has taken three important steps to strengthen its focus on safety and quality.

  1. Organizational Alignment: More than 50,000 engineers have been brought together in a single organization that includes a new Product & Services Safety unit, unifying safety responsibilities across the company.
  2. Cultural Focus: Engineers have been further empowered to improve safety and quality. The company is identifying, diagnosing and resolving issues with a higher level of transparency and immediacy.
  3. Process Enhancements: By adopting next-generation design processes, the company is enabling greater levels of first-time quality.

Rolls-Royce to test 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel in next-generation engine demonstrator

The Rolls-Royce Trent engine, housing ALECSys technology, that will be used for the Sustainable Aviation Fuel tests Ground tests with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to demonstrate Rolls-Royce engines can unlock SAF’s potential to reduce emissions As part of its ongoing decarbonisation strategy, Rolls-Royce is to use 100% sustainable aviation fuel for the first time in engine ground tests on next-generation engine technology.

The tests will aim to confirm that unblended SAF makes a significant contribution to improving the environmental performance of gas turbine engines.

The SAF being used in the tests was produced by low-carbon fuel specialist World Energy in Paramount, California, sourced by Shell Aviation and delivered by SkyNRG. This unblended fuel has the potential to significantly reduce net CO2 lifecycle emissions by more than 75 per cent compared to conventional jet fuel, with the possibility of further reductions in years to come.

These tests aim to demonstrate that our current engines can operate with 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” option, laying the groundwork for moving such fuels towards certification. At present, SAF is certified for blends of up to 50% with conventional jet fuel and can be used on all current Rolls-Royce engines.

Starting in the coming weeks in Derby, UK, the ground tests will involve a Trent engine which also incorporates ALECSys (Advanced Low Emissions Combustion System) lean-burn technology.

ALECSys is part of the UltraFan® next generation engine demonstrator programme, which offers a 25% fuel saving over the first generation of Trent engines.

Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce Chief Technology Officer, said: “Aviation is a tremendous force for good, keeping the world connected, but we have to do that sustainably. These tests aim to show that we can deliver real emissions reductions. If SAF production can be scaled up – and aviation needs 500 million tonnes a year by 2050 – we can make a huge contribution for our planet.”

Gene Gebolys, Chief Executive Officer and founder, World Energy, said: “World Energy exists to empower leaders to innovate by providing the world’s most advanced low carbon fuels. Rolls-Royce is putting their technological prowess to work to understand how to maximise their potential in engines and we are proud to support them.”

Theye Veen, Managing Director, SkyNRG, added: “This programme is a great example of what can be achieved when companies from across the aviation value chain that share an ambition of reducing emissions work together. As a pioneer in SAF, SkyNRG encourages innovative tests like this run by Rolls-Royce.”

In addition to supplying the SAF with SkyNRG, Shell Aviation is also providing Rolls-Royce with AeroShell lubricants for the ALECSys engine test programme.

Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation, commented: “For over 100 years, Rolls-Royce and Shell have worked together to drive aviation’s progress. This collaboration brings us one step closer to decarbonising Aviation. As well as the SAF, Shell Aviation will provide offsets using nature-based solutions to make the test net zero emissions, reinforcing how multiple measures are essential if aviation is to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions.”

The ALECSys programme is supported by the European Union via Clean Sky and in the UK by the Aerospace Technology Institute and Innovate UK; the 100% SAF testing programme is additionally supported by ATI, iUK and Gulf Aviation.

Aerospace and Defence Trade Show 2021 to be showcased at Lanseria International Airport

Aerospace and Defence Trade Show 2021 to be showcased at Lanseria International Airport from 24th to 26th March
AAD2021

The organisers of the AAD Expo are excited to announce a new event on their calendar, Aerospace and Defence Trade Show 2021 which will be hosted on 24 to 26 March 2021 at Lanseria International Airport (Lanseria). Leading up to Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2022, AAD continues to create platforms that will promote innovation and capabilities within the defence and aviation industry.

The Aerospace and Defence Tradeshow 2021 (ADTS 2021) is about exploring new paths, sharing solutions and showcasing innovation beyond Covid-19. Accessible to trade visitors only, the event will be industry focused and aptly emphasise industry capabilities and technologies that emanated from the challenges posed by the Covid pandemic.  ADTS 2021 will include business to business meetings, onsite capability demonstrations for aircraft and UAVs and a conference. Parallel to the Lanseria event program, traders can  also expect a fully-fledged display of Land forces innovation and capability demonstrations  at the Gerotek Testing Facility. Located in the  West area  of Pretoria, Gerotek offers a variety of testing and capability demonstration set to marvel participants.

ADTS 2021 is set to bring together approximately 150 exhibitors consisting of 80% local industry and 20% international industry including the Defence and General Aviation industry, Airports, UAV/Drone operators, Security System Operators (Cybersecurity, Crowd Control, etc), Medical Supply Companies , Support and Logistic services to name but a few. This experience gives the South African and International defence and general aviation industries an opportunity to showcase their products and services, while also engaging in dialogue and discourse on what is pertinent to their industries.

“The hosting of AAD events, for the past 21 years, has made a significant contribution to the growing  South African economy and that of its neighbouring countries through leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts.   We will continue to create an enabling environment for dialogue in our sector. As one of our key mandates pronounces, it will remain our goal to bring together subject matter experts in thought leadership dialogues such as ADTS2021.” Said Sandile Ndlovu – Executive Chairman of AAD Expo.

The AAD Expo traditionally brings together a plethora of local and key international guests to explore and discuss opportunities on the African Continent. Through ADTS2021, AAD will entrench its position as an economic catalyst for the Defence and Aerospace industry.

About AAD

The Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) is Africa’s only aerospace and defence expo that combines both a trade exhibition and an air show. Held biennially in the City of Tshwane – South Africa’s administrative capital, the AAD Expo is one of South Africa’s largest contributors to the country’s GDP in show years, and is regarded as a national asset.

About Lanseria International Airport

Privatized in 1991 the airport is a secondary base for local carriers and services the general and commercial aviation business. Approximately 2.3 million passengers travel through the airport annually. Lanseria International has established itself as a niche-market boutique airport operating scheduled daily domestic routes between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

Picture by Niel Swart,Aviation Central
Picture by Niel Swart,Aviation Central

The airport is also the chosen international port of entry for overseas corporate and government aircraft visiting South Africa. The airport is conveniently located close to the northern suburbs of Johannesburg and Sandton business district with only 25 minutes of travel in either direction it also provides access to tourism hubs such as The Cradle of humankind, Sun City and the Hartbeespoort.

Picture by Niel Swart,Aviation Central

American Flying Classic’s Cherokee 235

One of many light aircraft come to mind that teaches a student to fly, but Piper itself brought out one of the many of its aircraft types, that being the  Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger. The first flight for this type of Cherokee was 14 January 1960 and over 32,778+ built.

For some years the aircraft was hangered at Rand Airport for some some years and eventually was brought back to live and put into the right hands of having this aircraft gracing South African skies once again!

The only Cherokee 235 based at Brakpan airfield East of Johannesburg, owned by the American Flying Classics Van der Schaar Family. The van der Schaar’s who are well known in the airshow circuit flying the Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman. They also have a Pitts Special S2A and a couple of other flying toys in their inventory.

Ivan today is flying with Comair Limited as Captain on the Boeing 737-400 and 800 series aircraft, operating local British Airways and Kulula routes.

Ivan van der Schaar
Jeandre van der Schaar
Sonica van der Schaar
Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger
Brakpan Airfield

 In 1963, the company introduced the even more powerful Cherokee 235 (PA-28-235), which competed favorably with the Cessna C182 for load-carrying capability. The Cherokee 235 featured a Lycoming O-540 engine de-rated to 235 horsepower (175 kW) and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks of 17-gallon capacity each, bringing the total fuel capacity of the Cherokee 235 to 84 gallons. The aircraft had its fuselage stretched in 1973, giving much more leg room in the rear.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger

The stabilator area was increased, as well. In 1973, the marketing name was changed from “235” to “Charger”. In 1974, it was changed again to “Pathfinder”. Production of the Pathfinder continued until 1977. No 1978 models were built. In 1979, the aircraft was given the Piper tapered wing and the name was changed again, this time to Dakota.

The Cherokee featured a Lycoming O-540 engine de-rated to 235 horsepower (175 kW) and a longer wing which would eventually be used for the Cherokee Six. It included tip tanks of 17-gallon capacity each, bringing the total fuel capacity of the Cherokee 235 to 84 gallons.

Piper PA-28-235 Cherokee Charger
O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo
Boeing Stearman during a display in Maputo Mozambique Airshow in 2019
O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo
Boeing Stearman ZU-IES

For more information contact: Ivan van der Schaar: 082 375 9180 or Sonica van der Schaar: 082 682 2825

Children’s Flight 2020

On the 6th of November 2020 an army of aviators descended upon Orient
Airfield just outside of Magaliesburg. Their mission was to give 30 children,
from different charities, a Willy Wonka like experience through aviation.

The flying program commenced at 08:30 with a paradrop from the Atlas Angel. This was followed by the children getting individual flips in fixed wing aircraft. These aircraft included many Van’s RV variants, a Cessna 140, FK9, Sling 4, Navion, Mushshak and more.

The fixed wing flips took a pause at 11:00 as the rumble of Pratt and Whitney radials was heard. Soon the 4-ship Puma Energy Flying Lions came roaring overhead. The children were treated to a fantastic display by Scully Levin, Ellis Levin, Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwray.

After the last children had enjoyed their fixed wing flights, the rotary wing flips begun. The 2 Alouettes flown by Charles Fuller and Rob Osner made light work of the Orient Circuit.

Whilst the flips were being flown, the children also competed in a color in competition and a balsa wood glider building competition. The two winners got a flip in a glider after the fixed wing and rotary wing flips. This means that two of the children experienced fixed wing powered flight, rotary wing flight and glider flight all in their first ever day of flying!

The two lucky children that won a glider flight were: Romy Dekoker – color in competition and Bontle Ipeleng – balsa glider competition.

This year has changed aviation as we know it. Events like the Children’s Flight especially have been forced to adapt. Although only 30 children got to experience the magic of flight this year, the success of the event is undoubted.


This success however could not have been possible without each and every sponsor that opened their hearts and wallets towards the event. This ranges from all the companies that helped with donations, the private individuals that all donated as well as everyone that took part in the raffle to fly with some of South Africa’s top pilots.

The pilots that made up the huge Children’s Flight Squadron were:

Nigel Hopkins – RV8
Patrick Davidson – RV7
Trevor Warner – RV7
Elton Bondi – C140
Derek Hopkins – RV7
Johan van Solms – RV7
Grant Timms – Mushak
Charles Fuller – Alouette II
Rob Osner Alouette III
Daniel Ralefeta – FK9
Goitse Diale – Sling 4
Ryan Beeton – RV7
Scully Levin – Flying Lions
Arnie Meneghelli – Flying Lions
Ellis Levin – Flying LionsSean Thackwray – Flying Lions
Karl van Seyldlitz – SF25
Arjan Schaap – Navion
Tokkie Botes – Bell 206
Riaan Denner – SF25
Clyde Strachan – Beechcraft Baron

And lastly, the group that brought it all together, Felix Gosher and his
organizing team. Felix is an incredible person that does wonders through his different aviation initiatives like the Children’s Flight, Elders Flight and more recently, the COVID Flight and Repat Flight.

We get so used to thinking of aviation as a means of transport or form of entertainment. It is events like these that truly makes one realize what aviation really is. Aviation is magic and the joy it can bring people is priceless. No photos or videos can suffice in capturing the joy aviation has brought these
children.

Browse our event gallery:

The Day The Lions Roared Over Heidelberg!

Photographs and text by Jessica Bezuidenhout

f you are any kind of an aviation lover you will immediately recognize the powerful sound of a Harvard’s radial engine in the skies. And when the early morning skies are filled with that sound you rush out and to find the flying lions above your house and on your doorstep, well you make a plan pretty quick to get to the airfield. Along with a Pitts special and two extras, the rumbles that trembles the earth when close by.

Heidelberg airfield in Gauteng was unexpectedly blessed with appearance of the living legends of the flying lions for two days in a row. From the air whizzing by and from up close it was worthy of more than a few goose bumps. Both days the weather was clear and hot making for some sizzling pics.

With only a few spectators around and clear air space ,the Flying Lions ,along with aviation photographer Justin de Reuck, could focus on their moves with ease and made my day by filling it with their sounds and giving me the chance for some exclusive photos. Up close and majestic ,the Harvard’s carry a presence bringing immediate respect. The pilots all legends in themselves.

Friendly and willing to share and just enjoy flying. The pilots – in no specific order- Scully Levin -Harvard-ZU-AYS Ellis Levin-Extra 300L-ZS-PWL Sean Thackwray and Grant Timms -Harvard-ZU-BMC Rodney Chinn and Justin de Reuck-ZU-BEU Arnie Meneghelli-Extra 300-ZS-EOE.

The purpose of the photoshoot was to capture the new sequence between the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s and two Extra 300s for the upcoming airshow season in 2021.

Saab strengthens ties to Quebec and Canada through CRIAQ partnership

This collaborative relationship aims to leverage Quebec’s R&D ecosystem’s strengths to encourage the development of collaborative research projects between Saab and Canadian industry, as well as universities and research organizations.

This collaboration has been formed to support Saab’s future Industrial and Technological Benefit (ITB) commitments, if the Gripen fighter is selected for Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP).

Flight test with the first Brazilian Gripen E fighter aircraft.

“The quality and breadth of aerospace research and innovation in Canada is globally recognised, with the Quebec region home to many excellent companies and institutions. Therefore, it was natural to reach this agreement with an important organisation like CRIAQ. We look forward to working together to benefit research and the fostering of talent in Quebec,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Saab’s Head of business area Aeronautics.

“During such unsure times within the industry, this partnership demonstrates that the aerospace industry in Quebec and Canada remains attractive and world class. We are very pleased with this signing as we continue to develop our aerospace industry, adding a new global player to our ecosystem. I am convinced that CRIAQ’s academic, industrial and SME community, and the Quebec economy as well, will clearly benefit from this international collaboration,” said Alain Aubertin, CEO of CRIAQ.

Swedish Air force Gripen E

The ITB Policy is the government’s main tool for leveraging procurement to create jobs and economic growth in Canada. Saab has submitted an offer of 88 Gripen E fighters for the Canadian FFCP, and a core element of the Gripen industrial offering includes CAE in Montreal, Quebec who will supply training and mission systems solutions.

C-390 Millennium receives Aviation Week Grand Laureate in the Defense Segment

São Paulo, Brazil, October 19, 2020 – The Embraer C-390 Millennium multi-mission aircraft, manufactured by Embraer, today received the Grand Laureate in the Defense Segment and the Laureate Award for the “Best New Product” in Defense from Aviation Week Network. The citation for the award reads, “The first C-390 tanker/transport, the largest and most sophisticated aircraft yet developed by Embraer, was delivered to the Brazilian Air Force in 2019.”

“To receive an award with as much prestige as the Laureate is a very significant acknowledgement of the exceptional work of all Embraer employees. This is a substantial recognition of the merits of our engineers and the ability of our workforce to execute the development of such an advanced product with excellence,” said Francisco Gomes Neto, Embraer S.A. President and CEO. “Embraer’s new business strategy seeks to increase revenue and profitability, and the C-390 Millennium plays an important role in solidifying the Company as a serious entrant in a new market segment.”

“We are honored to receive this award, which recognizes the excellence of our programs and of this aircraft, which was developed to set new standards in its class, bringing exceptional performance complemented by the lowest life-cycle cost in the market,” said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security. “The C-390 Millennium offers greater flexibility and value to operators performing air transport and air mobility missions, among others.”

The Aviation Week Laureates Awards recognize the extraordinary achievements and innovative personalities that represent the values and vision of the global aerospace community. Programs honored with Laureates Awards have changed the way people work and move around the world. Aviation Week continues to recognize the very best accomplishments in the four pillars of our industry: Defense, Commercial Aviation, Space, and Business Aviation.

In 2009, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) contracted Embraer to design, develop, and manufacture the C-390 Millennium aircraft as a replacement for its aging C-130 fleet. Deliveries to FAB started in September 2019. The C-390, which was recently ordered by the Portuguese Government, is a new generation multi-mission transport aircraft that offers unrivaled mobility, fast reconfiguration, high availability, and enhanced flight safety, all on a single, exclusive platform.

The aircraft can perform a variety of missions, such as cargo and troop transport, cargo and paratrooper airdrop, aerial refueling, search and rescue, aerial firefighting, medical evacuation, and humanitarian missions.

Flying faster and delivering more value, the Millennium is the right sized platform for major airlift deployment scenarios. Minimized intervals and on condition maintenance, combined with highly reliable systems and components, reduce downtime and costs, contributing to outstanding availability levels and low life cycle costs.

The C-390 benefits from a modern fly-by-wire flight control system with integrated technology that lowers the workload of the crew and increases the safety of its operation. Furthermore, the aircraft can refuel other aircraft in flight, with the installation of removable internal fuel tanks. The aircraft can also be refueled in flight, thus providing greater flexibility for longer missions. An advanced self-defense system increases the aircraft’s survival capability in hostile environments.

Equipped with two International Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines, the latest avionics, a rear ramp, and an advanced cargo handling system, the C-390 is capable of carrying up to 26 metric tons of cargo at a maximum speed of 470 knots (870 km/h), with ability to operate in austere environments, including unpaved or damaged runways. The aircraft can carry troops, pallets, armored wheeled vehicles, and helicopters.

Aero Engines V2500 turbofan engines

Aviation industry tests a key solution to fly seamlessly and with more efficiency in Europe

  • The COVID crisis underpins the urgency for Europe’s aviation industry to push ahead with delivering the future Digital European Sky, and building a smarter, more sustainable and resilient system in the long term.
  • An essential component of the future system is ground-to-ground interoperability, a solution designed to enable the swift and seamless exchange of flight trajectory information in real time between Europe’s network of 63 air traffic control centres.

Europe’s aviation industry has completed the final test of a new SESAR Solution on ground-to-ground interoperability, which is designed to allow the network of 63 European en-route control centres to exchange information on the flight trajectories in real time, thus supporting seamless operations and improving flight efficiency.

This milestone has been reached at a time of unprecedented crisis, due to the COVID pandemic, which is compelling the industry to push ahead with delivering the future Digital European Sky, in support of a smarter and more sustainable recovery in the long term.
Air navigation service providers in Germany (DFS), France (DSNA), Spain (ENAIRE), Italy (ENAV) and EUROCONTROL’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (MUAC), together with the technology provider manufacturing industries Indra, Leonardo and Thales, have worked together on its development, within the context of the SESAR Joint Undertaking research and innovation programme (SESAR 2020).

This solution addresses a frequent problem that affects Europe’s air traffic, whereby flights crossing borders or different airspace sectors have to adjust their trajectory or speed to avoid conflicts with other aircraft. The problem is caused largely by en-route control centres sharing information in a sequential way and updating the trajectory information.
To address this situation the SESAR JU ‘4DTM’ ground-to-ground interoperability (IOP) project, coordinated by Indra, has developed a solution that allows the sharing of information in real time.

With this solution, control centres involved in the management of a flight can share reliable, complete and updated flight trajectory information from take-off to landing, taking into account any existing and shared internal restrictions in the airspaces that the flight will cross.
Final tests of this solution – following the first trials successfully held in April 2019 – took place last June during two weeks in an environment simulating the operations of the Maastricht UAC, Reims UAC, Karlsruhe UAC, Geneva and Zurich UACs, Padua and Milan UACs.

Thanks to the IOP solution, all actions carried out in one centre are immediately visible in all other centres, removing any uncertainty over the conditions under which a flight would enter another airspace.
The end goal is to attain a smoother control process, which will improve the efficiency of air traffic control in Europe and make it possible to manage more flights with greater precision and punctuality, offering cost savings to airlines, reductions in CO2 emissions and ultimately providing a better service for passengers.

The solution will also help carry out the ATC process “quietly”, without the need for the air traffic controller to coordinate with his/her counterparts in adjacent centres by phone. For this purpose, and implementing the “flight object” concept, all control centres share the same information and have the possibility to request changes to flight trajectories in real time.
Some use cases on which the solution was tested:

  • Changes in flight level requested by the aircraft in order to avoid storms Route changes requested by the aircraft in order to shorten route
  • Real-time updates on the information regarding a particular flight trajectory by using the Flight Object data
  • Flexible flight transfer procedures between control centres
  • Flight management coordination between centres
  • What-if mechanism to preview and negotiate changes

IOP is the enabling ground-ground communication technology and protocols for seamless flight operation across regions and national boundaries, and underpins the 4D flight trajectory with the real-time sharing of the trajectory among all the ATM actors
The results of these tests will be released at the end of this year, and will be used to update the ED133 standard developed by the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (EUROCAE), which will support subsequent industrialisation and implementation.

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