Midweek Updates 14 February 2024

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

This week in Midweek Updates

Aero Club Communique Feb 2024 #1 - Airweek.
Milkor showcases South Africa defence technology on the global stage at WDS 2024.
Dynon Skyview HDX + Autopilot now FAA approved for Beech Baron Be58 and Be58a.
Archer receives Part 145 Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration.
Cirrus Aircraft redefines personal aviation with SR Series G7.
Piper announces the M700 Fury.
Embry-Riddle to fly Tecnam aircraft at upcoming flight competition.
Nigerian Air Force inducts T-129 attack helicopters into service.
Archer announces three conforming, piloted aircraft are now under construction; aircraft will be used in FAA "for credit" testing.
This week in history - Lady Mary Hearth leaves Cape Town in an Avro Avian
Worldwide Incidents and Accidents.
Bonus video - Micro Aviation's Bathawk at Sue's Place

17 EAA Chapter 322 fly-in breakfast to Kitty Hawk. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail:

24 Tedderfield Breakfast Fly In. Free Boerie Rolls. 07H00 to 11H00 Contact Alan 3680083 702

2 EAA Chapter 322 monthly gathering at EAA Auditorium. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail: airadventuresa@gmail.com

2 SAA Museum Society Specialised Tour limited to nine adults. Contact E-mail: events@saamuseum.co.za Cell: 076 879 5044

8 DCA Industry Roadshow Stellenbosch, Cape Town. Contact Ms Charmaine Shibambo E-mail: shibamboc@caa.co.za

8 to 10 Aero Club Airweek venue Mideelburg Airfield. Contact Sandra Strydom E-mail: sandra@aeroclub.org.za Tel: 011 082 1100

9 ANR at Aeroclub Airweek - Middelburg Airfield.
Contact Iaan Myburgh email iaanmyburgh@gmail.com cell: 082 449 2531

15 DCA Industry Roadshow Mangaung, Free State. Contact Ms Charmaine Shibambo E-mail: shibamboc@caa.co.za

16 EAA Chapter 322 fly-in breakfast to Brits airfield. Contact Neil Bowden E-mail:

23 Stellenbosch Airshow - Fashkosh. Contact Sam Cell: 082 828 4553 or Anton Cell: 079 873 4567

6 EAA Chapter 322 monthly gathering at the EAA Auditorium
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail:

17 to 20 AERO Friedrichshafen 30th anniversary
Contact E-mail: info@fairnamic.com Website:

20 EAA Chapter 322 fly-in breakfast to Eagle's Creek airfield
Contact Neil Bowden E-mail:


Planning for this year's Airweek is now well underway, with exactly one month to go. Essentially the outline theme will follow the successful Airweek held in 2023, which is an event for all our recreational aviators.

The dates are 8 - 10 March 2024, with early arrivals on the 7th for those who wish to have an extended stay. Various Sections of the Aero Club will be participating in their various disciplines - the EAA will be hosting their annual Convention, the SAC plan to provide aerobatic demonstrations, SAMAA also plan to provide model flying demonstrations, SAPFA will hold a rally for anybody to try their hand at navigation, there will be early morning balloon and paraglider flights, as well as gliders and parachutists. Please visit the website for more details. https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek/

Registration is also open for attending - and those who plan to attend if you can register at this link https://forms.gle/WW75gTci6dMoyRXx6

Those who wish to camp and hire tents, the booking link is here https://forms.gle/KcnommnT4GMUuMVB7

For Exhibitors wishing to book exhibition space, visit the website https://www.aeroclub.org.za/airweek-the-2024-edition-exhibitor-information/ for details and Exhibitor forms.

If you have any queries or require information, please email rsvp@aeroclub.org.za - as well as to be contact for sponsorship / Donations which would be welcome.

If you are not a member and wish to join the Aero Club and any of its Sections feel free to do so member-renewals-and-new-memberships

Our Centenary Yearbook is now still available to purchase (see advert below) from our webshop



Milkor has once again showcased cutting edge South African aerospace and defence technology to the world, displaying its Milkor 380 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) alongside a tactical ground control station at the World Defence Show (WDS) in Saudi Arabia.

"The significance of Milkor's presence at WDS goes beyond mere exhibition. With a subsidiary in Saudi Arabia, Milkor is committed to delivering robust and quality solutions to meet the Kingdom's growing defence needs in alignment with Vision2030," said Marthinus de Beer, CEO of Milkor's Saudi subsidiary, Milkor Industries LLC.

He emphasised the importance of this participation, stating, "Our presence at WDS illustrates our advanced capabilities as a company and signifies that South Africa's defence technology continues to evolve and thrive."

Milkor recently received a Saudi Arabia manufacturing permit that allows the company to assemble and produce aircraft in country, in the event an acquisition goes ahead - it is in talks with Saudi Arabian officials regarding UAV procurement.

At WDS 2024 this week, the Milkor 380 on display featured a varied weapons load, including an Al Tariq-X guided bomb and Desert Sting 25 glide weapons. Payload is up to 400 kg under the fuselage and 230 kg under each wing. Powered by a turbocharged piston engine, the aircraft has a maximum endurance of 35 hours and a range of more than 2 000 km. The Milkor 380 is the largest UAV to be produced in Africa.

During WDS 2024, Milkor organised a ceremonial shield-giving event for the South African delegation, symbolising the company's steadfast presence both locally and internationally. Reflecting on this gesture, de Beer explained, "The shield ceremony represents Milkor's commitment to being a reliable presence in the defence sector, which contributes significantly to both countries' economies. We are dedicated to playing a vital role in this ecosystem."

Armand Bodenstein, Business Development Director of Milkor, underscored the significance of the growing trade and cooperation between South Africa and Saudi Arabia, particularly in the defence industry.

"The evolving partnership between South Africa and Saudi Arabia holds immense potential for the defence sector," Bodenstein remarked. "The mutual support and exchange of technologies between the two nations not only enhance capabilities but also generate a substantial number of job opportunities, contributing to the long-term economic growth of both countries."

Milkor said its dedication to supporting the South African defence industry is further underscored by its role as the diamond sponsor for the upcoming Africa Aerospace & Defence exhibition, the largest defence event in Africa. "This sponsorship not only highlights Milkor's commitment to promoting South African defence technology but also showcases its leadership within the industry," the company said of the September event to be held in Pretoria.

"Milkor's proactive participation in global defence exhibitions and its commitment to showcasing South African defence technology highlight the company's position as a key player in the international defence arena. As it continues to innovate and collaborate on a global scale, Milkor remains at the forefront of representing South Africa's technological prowess in defence," the company concluded.

Building on its reputation as the original manufacturer of the now widely popular 40 mm multiple grenade launcher, Milkor has become a specialist in the fields of UAVs, armoured land vehicles, and naval vessels. Its diverse product portfolio now ranges from single shot and six-shot grenade launchers to armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicles, the Milkor IPC (Inshore Patrol Craft) and Milkor 4×4 Armoured Personnel Carrier.


Dynon Avionics are excited to announce that they have just received FAA approval for SkyView HDX systems in Beechcraft Baron 58 and 58A models. Dynon's autopilot is also available as an option with this approval. When equipped, Dynon-equipped Barons gain a full-featured three-axis autopilot system that is approach capable when paired with a compatible third-party IFR navigation device.

When added to a SkyView HDX system, pricing for a three-axis Autopilot starts at a list price of $11,192 for Baron aircraft, including all required brackets, hardware, and servo harnesses. Frequently chosen options include the SkyView Autopilot Control Panel ($664), which provides dedicated Autopilot controls for the pilot, and the Knob Control Panel ($335), which has dedicated knobs to adjust the values that pilots modify the most when they fly under Autopilot (altitude, heading/track, and altimeter setting).

Dynon Certified products, including this autopilot approval, can be purchased and installed through us as an approved Dynon Certified Installation Centre. Contact our Sales Team on sales@aeronautical.co.za for more information.

Kitplanes for Africa


Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a leader in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced today that it received its Part 145 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Under FAA regulations, Archer is now authorized to perform specialized aircraft repair services while maintaining the highest levels of safety and compliance, a key requirement for operating a commercial aviation business.

Today's certification reinforced Archer's close collaboration with the FAA and reinforced its progress on the path toward commercial flight operations.

"This is a major vote of confidence from the FAA on Archer's promise and potential for operating a full-scale urban air mobility service in cities across the country," said Adam Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Archer. "As we continue to rapidly advance towards commercial operations, we will be working closely with the FAA and regulators around the world to ensure Archer's aircraft are safe and ready to transform mobility, providing a sustainable, low noise, and cost competitive alternative to decongest our biggest cities."

The FAA's Part 145 certification is essential for commercial aviation operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), authorizing them to conduct specific maintenance and repair tasks on crucial aircraft components such as airframes. This certification represents a commitment to stringent safety and operational standards, including the meticulous handling and shipment of hazardous materials. It further demonstrates that Archer is prepared to operate repair stations that meet the FAA's rigorous safety and quality benchmarks. As a mark of trust and reliability, it guarantees that maintenance and repairs are executed by authorized experts, ensuring that operations like Archer's adhere strictly to federal regulations, thus enhancing the safety and security of airline operations and passenger travel.

Archer's goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60-90-minute commutes by car with estimated 10-20-minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation. Archer's Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time between flights.


Cirrus Aircraft, the company that brought you the aircraft with the parachute and the Vision Jet that lands itself with the touch of a button, today announced the newest generation of the world's best-selling, high-performance, single-engine piston aircraft - the SR Series G7.

The SR Series G7 aircraft features touchscreen interfaces, large high-resolution displays, advanced safety systems, improved visibility, increased legroom, enhanced convenience features, and the Cirrus IQ mobile app that provides remote access to real-time health and readiness indications for your aircraft so you can travel faster, safer and smarter wherever you go.

The G7 integrates an intuitive touchscreen-controlled flight deck with a comfortable and stylish cabin to create an approachable personal aviation experience. This simplified yet incredibly powerful flight deck reduces pilot workload while offering enhanced situational awareness for both pilot and passenger. Cirrus Aircraft has defined the personal aviation category with both the SR Series and the Vision Jet, and has aligned the flight deck, cabin experience and training programs, including our Private Pilot Program, to provide a clear progression from learning to fly and owning a SR Series aircraft, all the way through piloting your own Vision Jet.

"Our mission is to increase participation in aviation so more people can benefit from the freedom, productivity and joy it provides," said Zean Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Cirrus Aircraft. "We have also developed a comprehensive ecosystem providing global sales, flight training, maintenance and support to ensure our owners have a seamless ownership experience. Our aircraft are truly designed with people in mind and the new SR Series G7 is a testament to that philosophy. Our team and our aircraft provide a clear path to enter and advance within the personal aviation community by learning to fly and eventually transition to the Vision Jet with ease."

Now with nearly 10,000 aircraft delivered, the SR Series product line - TRAC20/22/22T, SR20, SR22, SR22T - continues to lead the high-performance, single-engine piston market with a rich history of industry-first advancements inspiring generations to come.

"Over the years, Cirrus Aircraft has continuously advanced its product lines while ensuring quality, performance and safety are paramount," said Pat Waddick, President of Innovation and Operations of Cirrus Aircraft. "The SR Series G7 adds new avionics and autonomous interfaces coupled with all-new styling and comfort. It is the culmination of seamless collaboration between customer, innovation and operations to develop an aircraft with technological and generational advancements that make flying truly exceptional for all."


Piper Aircraft, Inc. announced today a new model in its PA46 line of high-performance aircraft-the Piper M700 FURY-a single-engine, 700 shaft horsepower, cabin-class turboprop.

The Piper M700 FURY represents the first step towards a new generation of the M-Class family, outperforming past PA46 models and several competitive aircraft in performance, operational cost efficiencies, and overall value. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney PT6A-52 engine, the M700 FURY boasts a maximum cruise speed of 301 ktas with a max range of 1,149 nm / 1,849 km (at max cruise speed, 1,424 nm at normal cruise speed) while maintaining its Basic Med compliant 6,000- pound MGTOW limit.

At a 301-knot max cruise speed, the M700 FURY stands alone as the fastest single-engine aircraft in Piper's enviable 87-year, 134,000-unit production history, and it's the second fastest model of all time. Only the mighty Piper Cheyenne 400LS turbine twin is faster.

"The M700 FURY is a beautifully efficient, cross-country thoroughbred that gives our customers a performance-based flight experience with economics never seen before," said Piper President and CEO John Calcagno. "We listened, and we delivered. The M700 FURY encompasses power, performance and the most advanced safety measures available today and an overall value proposition that is extremely compelling to individuals and corporate flight departments alike."

Airframe changes to accommodate the more powerful engine include a redesigned, more efficient intake plenum that improves ram air recovery, new engine mount assemblies and an improved exhaust stack design that maximizes residual thrust.

The M700 FURY features Garmin's G3000® avionics system-a touchscreen-controlled glass flight deck. The G3000 avionics suite is the most sophisticated Garmin technology available and offers the most comprehensive, intuitive and technologically advanced package in today's market. It all comes standard in the M700 FURY along with the HALO Safety System (including Garmin's Autoland technology) that was first certified in the M600/SLS.

The new model will retain Garmin's PlaneSync™ technology, which includes a 4G LTE Cellular and Wi-Fi® datalink that enables new avionics capabilities to streamline an aircraft owner's pre-flight and post-flight activities. Piper is also first-to-market with Garmin's remote aircraft status capability enabling owners to remotely check the fuel quantity, aircraft location, oil temperature, battery voltage, the current METAR at the aircraft's location and more via the Garmin Pilot™ application. PlaneSync™ technology also automatically downloads databases wirelessly while the aircraft is powered down and the owner is away from the aircraft.

This new aircraft includes six (6) new interior schemes, featuring new leathers and aesthetically styled seats that have been thoughtfully crafted with the customer in mind.

FAA certification for the aircraft will be achieved before the end of Q1, 2024 with deliveries starting immediately thereafter. International validations for Canada, EASA, the UK, and Brazil will be achieved in the second half of 2024, with customer deliveries in those regions before the end of the year.


Chosen due to its wide variance of flight capabilities - including speeds, visibility, advanced avionics and innovative interior design, along with the low operating cost

The Eagles Flight Team competes at the annual National Intercollegiate Flying Association's (NIFA) National and Regional Safety and Flight Evaluation Conferences (SAFECON).

The aircraft will be used within the competition to perform message drops, navigation, power-off landings, short-field landings and numerous other competitive events. The Eagles Flight Team boasts a long record of success in Region IX flight competition.

According to Ken Byrnes, Embry-Riddle's assistant dean and Flight chair, "Our selection of the Tecnam P-92 at Embry-Riddle reflects a step change in the continuation of providing safe, reliable and cost-efficient platforms for our Eagle's Flight Team to remain competitive in the future."

"The P92 is a stable, solid and cost-effective platform that has proven to be the go-to aircraft for flight school programs around the world," added David Copeland, director of sales at Tecnam US. "We are excited to see the Eagles Flight Team piloting Tecnam's into the future."

The P92's short-field performance, excellent climb characteristics and efficiency are now teamed with the MkII's composite fuselage, granting improved cruise performances. The cabin volume has also been increased, allowing for wider seats, additional fore and aft adjustment and improved ergonomics. Advanced Garmin G3X touch avionics are available with synthetic view and ground proximity warning, providing additional navigation and situational awareness.

Tradition, innovation and vision. These factors are spearheading Tecnam to wider horizons. Based on recent data and industry benchmarks, Tecnam is offering the greenest training fleet in the world. Flight schools operating Tecnam's single- and twin-engine fleet can save as much as 10 tonnes of CO2 emissions for every single student graduating with a Commercial Pilot License - a 60% reduction compared to fleet using 100LL fuel on a journey of 155 flight hours, 30h of which on twin.


Guy Martin www.defenceweb.co.za

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has taken its first T-129 ATAK helicopters into service in what it says is a major boost to the fight against terrorism, crude oil theft and kidnapping.

Vice President Kashim Shettima on 6 February attended the induction ceremony of two T-129s (NAF 500 and NAF 501) as well as a Beechcraft King Air 360ER aircraft (NAF 205) at NAF Base Makurdi, expressing confidence that the deployment of the new platforms would significantly assist the NAF address security challenges, both domestically and within the West African region.

He recalled how since it was established in 1964, the Nigerian Air Force had been playing critical roles in national security, peace-keeping and humanitarian operations globally, noting that its "contributions to the sustenance and maintenance of peace and security in places like The Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Mozambique, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Cameroon have not only been a source of pride to Nigeria but have projected the nation as a reliable regional power."

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hasan Abubakar, said the induction ceremony was testimony of the Federal Government's resolve to reequip the NAF in line with combating terrorism and other threats.

According to Turkish Aerospace Industries, the T-129 has been designed for hot and high operations. It is equipped with a 20 mm cannon and can be armed with rockets, UMTAS anti-tank missiles, CIRIT laser-guided missiles, and Stinger air-to-air missiles. The helicopter is 14.5 metres long and has a maximum takeoff weight of just over 5 tons. Two CTS800-4A engines each developing 1 373 hp give a maximum cruise speed of 280 km/h, range of 537 km and service ceiling of 4 570 metres. An Aselsan Aselflir-300T gimbal includes an infrared camera, TV camera, laser rangefinder and target designator.

The NAF is operating an increasingly diverse range of combat helicopters. In addition to its seven Mil Mi-24V/P 'Hind-E/F' and 17 Mi-35M/P 'Hind-E/F' gunships, it is getting 12 Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters for nearly $1 billion.

Abubakar said that since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu entered office in May 2023, the Nigerian Air Force has inducted five new aircraft into its fleet, including two Diamond DA 62 surveillance aircraft, two T-129 ATAK helicopters, and a King Air 360ER. The first two T-129s were delivered from Turkish Aerospace Industries in November 2023; the remainder are expected before the second quarter of 2024. They will be operated by the 115th Special Operations Group at Port Harcourt. A follow-up order for another six may be placed.

The Nigerian Air Force plans to induct 46 new aircraft of various types over the next 18 months. It is believed that these include two AW109 Trekker helicopters from Leonardo Helicopters, two King Air 360 twin turboprops, four DA 62 surveillance aircraft, six T-129 helicopters, three Wing Loong II unmanned aerial vehicles, two Airbus C295 transport aircraft, 12 AH-1Z attack helicopters, and 24 Leonardo M-346 trainer/attack aircraft. The Nigerian Army, meanwhile, is acquiring 12 MD 530F Cayuse Warrior helicopters from MD Helicopters.

The NAF received the last of its four DA 62 aircraft in October 2023, and these are fitted with Hensoltd Argos II HDT electro-optical gimbals. Since the first arrived in February 2023, they have been deployed to operating theatres in support of ongoing efforts to restore peace and stability in troubled areas within the country.

It is also understood that three Wing Loong IIs have been delivered, and that the first King Air 360ER arrived from Textron Aviation in November last year.

NAF deliveries from 2015 include ten Super Mushshak trainer aircraft, five Mi-35M attack helicopters, two Bell 412 transport helicopters, four A109 Power utility helicopters, two Mi-171E transport helicopters, three JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighters, 12 A-29 Super Tucano combat/trainer aircraft and numerous unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).

12 FEBRUARY 1928

Lady Mary Hearth leaves Cape Town in an Avro Avian in an attempt to make the first solo flight by a woman from South Africa to England. She will arrive in Croydon on May 17.

Born on 17 November 1896 Mary, Lady Heath was an Irish aviator and sportswoman. She was one of the best-known women in the world for a five-year period from the mid-1920s.

Before becoming a pilot, Lady Heath had already made her mark. During the First World War, she spent two years as a despatch rider. The following year, Lady Heath became the first woman to hold a commercial flying licence in Britain and along the way, set records for altitude in a small plane and later a Shorts seaplane, was the first woman to parachute from an aeroplane (landing in the middle of a football match).

She became the first female pilot to fly from Cape Town to London Feb-May 1928. After her great flight from the Cape, she took a mechanic's qualification in the US, the first woman to do so.

On 9 May 1939, aged 42, she died in St Leonard's Hospital, Shoreditch, London following a fall inside a double-decker tram.

Algeria, near El-Menia Airport: An Algerian Air Force Mil Mi-171 helicopter crashed under unknown circumstances during a night training exercise. Three crew members died in the crash.

USA, near Halloran Springs, CA: The Eurocopter EC 130B4 helicopter, N130CZ, crashed near Halloran Springs, California, at an elevation of c 3,000 ft AMSL, killing all the 2 pilots and 4 passengers. The flight had departed Palm Springs International Airport, CA (PSP) 20:45 hours local time, bound for Boulder City, Nevada. The helicopter followed the I-15 Mojave Freeway until it crashed at about 22:00. Witnesses reported that it was raining with a "wintry mix" at the time of the crash, according to NTSB. The CEO of one of Nigeria 's largest banks died along with his wife and son.

USA, near Spanish Fork Municipal Airport/Woodhouse Field (SPK/KSPK), Spanis: The aircraft, a Piper PA-32R-301T Saratoga II TC, registration N989SR, sustained substantial damage subsequent to the forced landing to open field rural residential terrain following an inflight loss of engine power south of its intended destination of Spanish Fork Municipal Airport/Woodhouse Field (SPK/KSPK), Spanish Fork, Utah. The two occupants onboard the single engine airplane was not injured.

Israel, Megiddo Airfield: A Savannah ultralight crashed in a field near Megiddo Airfield following a bird strike (eagle). The pilot sustained serious injuries and later died in hospital.

USA, S of Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA: An American Champion 7GCAA Citabria Adventure was stolen from Palo Alto Airport (PAO/KPAO), California, and experienced an emergency landing incident to beach terrain south of Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay, California. The sole pilot (thief) was not injured during the incident and was arrested and the aircraft came to rest on the nose and received minor damage. The aircraft was not tracked as the transponder, required for flight in controlled airspace, was not turned on during the flight.

France, over Montmélian, Savoie: A Eurocopter EC 155 B1 helicopter (F-HEGT) and a Nord 1203 III (F-AYVV) collided in flight over Montmélian, Savoie. The EC 155 force landed in a field and the Nord 1203 landed back at Albertville-Tournon Airfield (LFKA) with damage to the wing.

Georgia, Asureti, Tetritskaro: A Cameron Balloons Z-315 hot air balloon, flying from Poti to Vashlovani National Park, hit a high-voltage power line in Asureti village of Tetritskaro municipality. Three people died and the balloon was destroyed.

Chile, Lago Ranco, Ranco Province, Los Ríos Region: A Robinson R44 Raven II crashed into Lago (lake) Ranco, Ranco Province, Los Ríos Region. The pilot, former president of Chile Sebastián Piñera, perished and three occupants were rescued.

Micro Aviation's Bathawk at Sue's Place

Midweek Update
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