The Wright Brothers by David McCullogh

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In the corner of the Club pub is a picture of the Wright flier just off the ground at Kitty Hawk. It captures an instant of the 12 seconds of December 17th 1903, that changed the world: man flew. It’s … Continue reading

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Congratulations to Rob Beach for winning the 2015 PMB Aero club Spot landing Competition on the 2nd August. He won R800 and a “brag cup” when he earned 260 points out of a possible 300 in ZS-DKG, his trusty Tripacer. … Continue reading

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“ First rise….second rise…..neutralize” John Campbell and Kate Bastard… Grizzly bears, log cabins, snow- capped mountains and glaciers extending into the sea. One hears about this – we were lucky enough to do it. After 25 hours in various commercial … Continue reading

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Flying Rates wef 01-07-2015

SOLO                     DUAL              LANDING FEE

C150            R1260.00            R1624.80            R  82.13

C172            R1650.00             R2014.80            R105.20

AVGAS        R17.70 / l              JET A1           R11.70 / l

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Instructor’s Corner: Minima’s, 200ft to go

All instrument rated pilots will be, or should be very aware of the published minimas for
any given approach and will of course know that one cannot descend below this altitude
without the prescribed visual contact with the airfield. While knowing this and sticking to it
is essential, an understanding of how and why these minima are set will definitely make one a more complete and ultimately safer instrument pilot.

Firstly we need to understand minimas are and what exactly they mean to us in the cockpit.

They are broken down into two categories, depending on the type of approach being flown.
A decision Altitude (DA) applies to a precision approach or an approach providing both
horizontal and vertical guidance(ILS) while a Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA) applies to a non-precision approach providing only horizontal course guidance. The difference between the two is that while on an ILS approach the decision to continue or go-around is made at DA meaning that the aircraft can descend through this altitude while the go-around is initiated while the MDA on a non-precision approach may not be descended below unless the required visual contact is made. Practically this means that one needs to either level off just before the missed approach point or initiate the go-around slightly above MDA to allow for inertia to be overcome and the aircraft to stop descending and then begin to climb. This difference is due to an ILS always being aligned to the runway meaning the initial part of the missed approach always takes place over a runway which is sure to be obstacle free while a non-precision approach is not necessarily aligned with the runway and consequently obstacles may be present.

The next thing to effect minima’s is the navigation aid on which the approach is based, different systems have different system minima based to the accuracy of the system as shown in the table below.

If one adds the ground system tolerance and airborne system tolerance the total allowable
tolerance or deviation from the published track is obtained and we can see this is not
insignificant and can result in a noticeable track error. These inaccuracies result in different
system minima depending on the accuracy of the system.

System Minima
Facility               Lowest MDH
ILS (CAT 1)          200ft
LLZ                        250ft
VOR DME             250ft
VOR                       300ft
NDB                       300ft
VDF                       300ft

The greater the error the higher the system minima as the risks associated with being off
track at low altitudes are obvious.

Not only are minima defined by the accuracy of the system providing guidance, they are
also affected by the terrain around the airport. This not only affects the approach but also
the go-around which must be taken into account when the minima are set. The diagram
below shows the required terrain clearance on the go-around.

If we take the NDB A approach for runway 16 at Pietermaritzburg as an example. The
minimum descent altitude is 3000ft (577ft above runway threshold elevation). This is
considerably higher than the system minima of 300ftdue to the terrain on approach as well
as the terrain on the missed approach. Looking at the above diagram we can already see
that the obstacle clearance is not large (98ft) and is based on a climb gradient of 2.5%. The
dangers of straying for example 200ft below minima is not only that the track error may
allow you to stray towards high ground but will degrade obstacle clearance on the go-around and with potentially only 98ft of clearance the dangers are real and obvious.

Add to this turbulent conditions, a high workload and worst case scenario, a single engine go-around in a twin, those few feet may well be the difference between a safe flight and

Note: the above is based on ICAO document 8168 on aircraft operations and as a signatory
to ICAO all published approaches within South Africa will be compliant. The full document is available in the ICAO website and is definitely recommended reading for all instrument and prospective instrument pilots.

Jason Everard

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Instructor’s Corner: Safety Meeting and other useful stuff…

We have Marched into April and the days are becoming a little cooler, not much, but a little. Winter, historically brings us wonderful flying weather, let’s hope history repeats itself this year!

The club house is under repair from the storm damage, and the parking area will get a few shaded parking spots soon, but the MOST exciting news is the NEXT SOLO PARTY! Please diarise 11 April 2014 at 6pm. Telani and Jason will attempt to live up to Dave Bond’s legendary SOLO PARTIES, so it will be worth the effort to witness the goings on. The bar will be open, and braai packs will be available for purchase. Please let us know if you want a braai pack, and how many, in good time, for planning purposes. We are pilots, not psychics.

The next SAFETY MEETING is on 16 April 2014 at 18:00 SAST. It is COMPULSORY for all student pilots, and HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for all active club pilots to attend.

The SPOT LANDING / SHORT FIELD LANDING and PRE-FLIGHT COMPETITON is scheduled for 11 May 2014. Visit (video created by club member Adam Winter – thankyou for all your work!), to see the challenge Pietermaritzburg Aero Club is sending out to other flying schools and pilots in the Province, and maybe even a bit beyond… So we need YOU to show howthe REAL PILOTS of PIETERMARITZBURG put the other nyafu-nyafu schools and pilots to shame. There will be trophies and prizes up for grabs. Due to the nature of the competition, spectators will be allowed up close and personal to the runway. Terms and Conditions will apply. The day will be a fun outing for the family, food and drinks will be for sale at the club, and braai fires will be lit for those who don’t want the fun to end.

Please let Julie know on if you will be taking part in the competition.

We may need to host visiting pilots (the 8 hour rule), so please also let Julie know if you would be willing to host out-of-town visitors.

As Aye,

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“from the desk of our President”

3 April 2014
Our President, Michele Cameron, has suffered a personal loss this week with the death of her brother, Mervyn Dreiman.

We wish her heartfelt condolences in this difficult time.

We wish Scott Sinclair a speedy recovery from his motorcycle accident. It’s safer in the skies buddy!

Attached with the e-mailed / posted Telstar this month, is a letter from our Chairman Gary Keyser explaining the idea behind the survey and then the survey sheet we would like all members to complete. We would love to get as many responses as possible so that we can try and improve the club for all of our club members. You may remain anonymous!!!

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Vapour Trail…

Not to be missed – come and join in the fun and festivities!
Solo party– Friday 11 April 2014 At 6.30pm

Spot landing Competition May 11th or 18th.                                                                                 Visit the link below to view the CHALLENGE…                                                             

New members…
Welcome and happy flyingto Taryn Forfar and Rory Tommy.

Aero Club Pub
Open every Friday from 5pm.                                                                                              Parking available behind PAC hangar – boom gate is left open.
*Closed on public holidays*

Chairperson – Gary Keyser
President – Michele Cameron
Treasurer – Martin Hellberg
Members –Clint Frost, Mark Dixon, Cameron MacKenzie & Luke Volans

Chief Flying Instructor
Anton Rousseau – 082 562 5060
Club Manager
Mark Meter – 083 454 0612

w.e.f 26/03/2014
SOLO            DUAL                   Landing fee
C150 R1230.00     R1572.00              R70.70
C172 R1600.00     R1942.00              R90.60
AVGAS:    R19.10/      lJET A1:  R15.10/l

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Storm at Oribi Mon 2014/02/24

Email from Club Treasurer Martin Helberg at 21:33

Early this evening we were hit by a major thunderstorm.  Pictured in this email are;

Wing tip of a C206.  This aircraft was tied down.  The ropes snapped and the aircraft turned through 90 degrees, in the process dropping the right wing and causing this damage.

The back end of our hangar had a sheet blown out of it.  Here Prince has just replaced it with some corrugated iron that was lying around after the storm.

Signage in Pharazyn Way ripped out of the ground.

This guttering was from the front of the clubhouse at the pool.  It ripped loose, blew over the roof and wrapped itself around these wires.

The ceiling / roof in the corner of the clubhouse closest to the pool ripped out by the wind and falling masonry.  It is raining through this hole into the club as I write this.

More signage in Pharazyn Way.  What is not visible in this photo are the missing panels in the upper section of the OFSM hangar.


The roof outside the pub was ripped off, flung across the building and smashed into hundreds of pieces on the front lawn.  Some pieces are still stabbed into the roof of the clubhouse!

Area outside the pub, sans roof.


Cameron Mackenzie holding our new windsock, shredded by the wind.  It, together with the pole, were blown over onto our lawn.

Ceiling above the briefing room, holed by a sharp piece of veranda roof as it blew over the clubhouse.

Ceiling inside the pub in the process of collapsing.

Roof of the OFSM hangar blown apart.

Inside the OFSM hangar a C206 was blown backwards against that C152 with sufficient force to cause this damage.  The propeller tip of the C152 went through the rear fuselage of the C206.

While our clubhouse is extensively damaged, our aircraft are untouched.

However, many other aircraft around the airfield have been damaged to a greater or lesser extent.  The damage must run into many millions!



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“from the desk of our President”

Greeting Everyone,

Wow, the airfield was left in a state of destruction after a storm a week ago.
Briefly, the club house lost a section of the roofing resulting in water damage, guttering on the swimming pool side was ripped off and blown over the roof to the street side, the newly erected pole for our windsock was blown over with the windsock being shredded and the back of our hangar lost a panel of corrugated ironsheeting. Thank goodness none of our aircraft were damaged.

Unfortunately Oribi Flying Services were not so lucky as a lot of damage was done to their hangar resulting in a lot of aircraft being damaged.

Martin Hellberg took pictures which he kindly sent to many people, but if any one hasn’t seen them, I am sure Julie can forward them to you. It is at times like this, that one realizes how important it is to be adequately insured.

Telani Lithgow, the club’s instructor says that dueto density altitude and the extreme temperatures currently being experienced flying hours in our C150’s are down due to the aircraft not performing well under these conditions. It is great to know that Telani is keeping a watchful eye on the safety of our students and aircraft.

Flying hours for January, 2014 are:
ZS JKK – 27.7
ZS KVW – 12.7
ZS KNI – 17.0
Total 57.4

Once again we have seen an increase in the price offuel, Avgas from R18.10 to R18.50 and Jet A1 from R14.80 to R14.90. Unfortunately as long as the price of petrol continues to increase we are going to see Avgas and Jet A1 do the same.

Telani is in the process of getting approval to hold a Spot Landing Competition at the Club. Dates being applied for are either Sunday 11th or 18th May ……………. please put both these dates in your diaries. You will be able to enter flying a club aircraft or your own aircraft. This is certainly going to be an interesting funfilled day for not only the pilots but also their families who hopefully (if we get the required permission) will be allowed to watch from a safe distance from the runway.

The next solo party / achievers evening is scheduled for the 11 April. If you didn’t make the previous solo party, please try and make this one – soloists and club members too! The parties are always a lot of fun and not to be missed!

Civil Aviation are once again bringing out new regulations. Once these have been gazetted, Daryn Davis will hold a talk at the club to explain the new regs. We will keep you posted when this will take place.

We are also trying to organise a trip to King Shaka Int Airport to visit their Air Traffic Control facilities. This will be an amazing experience and all students should definitely make an effort to be there. Once again, we will keep everyone posted on this.

For those of you who know Ria Barker (Mel’s wife), it saddens me to tell you that presently she is not well and having to undergo some drastic treatment which willresult in her complete recovery. Ria and Mel we are here for you in anyway we can help.

Keep smiling

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