Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Egyptian AF confirms a K-8E for static display at 2014 Malta International Airshow

For the first time ever in the history of the Malta International Airshow, Egypt will be participating with a K-8E trainer in the static display. 

The K-8E Karakorum is a two-seat intermediate jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed in the People's Republic of China by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The primary contractor for this plane is the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation.

The K-8 variant was developed for export to Egypt in 1999, featuring 33 modifications to the airframe and avionics. Built in Egypt from Chinese-supplied kits, production of 80 Egyptian-built Chinese kits was completed in 2005, with license production of an additional 40 K-8Es undertaken thereafter. (Source: maltairshow.com, 2-Sep-2014)

USMC CH-53E crashes in the Gulf of Aden

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) crashed at 1200 GMT, today, at sea in the Gulf of Aden as it attempted to land aboard USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19). All 25 persons aboard the helicopter; 17 Marines and eight Navy Sailors, were safely recovered and are aboard USS Mesa Verde. Personnel who sustained minor injuries in the crash were treated aboard USS Mesa Verde. The crash was not a result of hostile activity. The aircraft was transferring the Marines and Sailors back to USS Mesa Verde from training ashore in nearby Djibouti. (Source: U.S. Navy, 1-Sep-2014)

Safari Express Cargo F27 crashes in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

A Safari Express Cargo Fokker 27-500 Friendship (5Y-SXP) performing a cargo flight (Aug. 31st) from Mwanza (Tanzania) to Nairobi (Kenya) with three crew, had just reached cruising level 140 following departure at 1926lt (1626z) when radio contact with the aircraft was lost and a search for the aircraft was being initiated. Authorities ruled out the aircraft could have crossed into Kenyan Airspace. The following noon the aircraft was located near waypoint PANGI crashed and burned out in Serengeti National Park at approximate coordinates S1.89 E34.90 about 20nm short of the Tanzanian/Kenyan border, all occupants perished in the crash. (Source: avherald.com, 1-Sep-2014)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hellenic AF cancels its participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

The Hellenic Air Force has informed us that the F-4E Phantom II from the Hellenic Air Force has cancelled its participation for the static display in this year's edition of the airX Malta International Airshow. The Malta Aviation Society continues to work on other possible participants as we approach the event, now with less than 25 days from the 2014 airX Malta International Airshow. (Source: maltairshow.com, 1-Sep-2014)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ukraine Air Alliance AN12 crashes near the village/resort of Tagrembait, Algeria

An Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov AN-12 (UR-DWF), performing cargo flight UKL-4061 from Prestwick (U.K.) to Malabo (Equatorial Guinea) via an intermediate stop at Tamanrasset (Algeria) with seven crew, was climbing out of Tamanrasset about 15km south of the aerodrome when radio contact was lost with the aircraft at 0244lt (0144z). 

The aircraft was later found crashed in mountaineous terrain about 15km south of Tamanrasset Aerodrome near the village/resort of Tagrembait. No survivors have been found. The aircraft was carrying oil drilling equipment from Scotland to Equatorial Guinea. (Source: avherald.com, 30-Aug-2014)

USN takes delivery of the 11th Virginia-class submarine, PCU North Dakota

The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of PCU North Dakota (SSN 784), the 11th ship of the Virginia Class, on Aug. 29th, two days prior to its contract delivery date. North Dakota is the first of eight Virginia Class Block III ships. 

 Approximately 20% of North Dakota was redesigned as part of the Virginia Cost Reduction work done to lower acquisition cost and increase operational flexibility. The changes include a ship's bow redesign, replacing 12 individual launch tubes with two large-diameter Virginia Payload Tubes, each capable of launching six Tomahawk Cruise Missiles. (Source: U.S. Navy, 30-Aug-2014)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Xiamen Airlines takes delivery of its first 787-8 Dreamliner

Boeing and Xiamen Airlines today celebrated the delivery of the airline's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner. With today's delivery of its first 787-8, Xiamen Airlines becomes the third Chinese airline to operate the 787. The airline will use the 787 on long-haul routes from its Fujian province base to Europe, North America and Australia. (Source: Boeing, 29-Aug-2014)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

HMS Illustrious takes final bow

After a 32-year career, HMS Illustrious (R 06), the last of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers, has been decommissioned at a ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base today. The ship’s white ensign was lowered for the final time in front of hundreds of guests, ending an era which began with the launch of her sister ship HMS Invincible in 1977. Lady S. Chatto, whose mother Princess Margaret launched HMS Illustrious in 1978, was joined by 15 of the ship’s 17 former commanding officers at the decommissioning ceremony. (Source: U.K. Ministry of Defence, 28-Aug-2014)

2014 Malta International Airshow - participation changes


The Organising Team of the AirX Malta International Airshow has been informed by various units of a number of additions and cancellations in the static display line-up.

The German Navy Do-228, a NATO E-3 AWACS and a Czech AF C-295 will not feature in this year's edition of the airshow. The change will however include the addition of a further German Air Force Tornado and a Czech AF L-159 ALCA accompanying the one in the flying display programme. 

The Team continues to work on other possible participants as we approach the event, now with less than a month from the arrival of the first participants. (Source: maltairshow.com, 28-Aug-2014)

JAL signs firm order for 15 E-Jets, plus 12 options

Japan Airlines (JAL) signed a firm order with Embraer S.A. for a total of 15 E-Jets comprising the E170 and the E190 jets models, as well as for an additional twelve E-Jets family options. The value of the firm order is estimated at US$677 million, based on 2014 list prices. The order will be included in Embraer's 2014 third-quarter backlog. All aircraft will be operated by Japan Airlines' wholly owned subsidiary J-Air. New deliveries of E-Jets are scheduled from 2015. (Source: Embraer, 28-Aug-2014)

JAL signs LOI to order 32 MRJs

Japan Airlines (JAL) signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation to order 32 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft, as the next-generation regional jet for the JAL Group. JAL plans to deploy the MRJ on domestic routes from 2021, operated by J-AIR, the group's 100% owned regional airline subsidiary. (Source: Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, 28-Aug-2014)

Aegean Airlines signs firm contract for two additional A320ceo aircraft

Aegean Airlines, Greece's largest airline, has signed a firm contract with Airbus for two additional A320ceo aircraft, adding to a previous order for five A320s aircraft placed in September 2007.(Source: Airbus, 28-Aug-2014)

Bombardier delivers its first 86-seat Q400 NextGen aircraft to Nok Air

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft and Nok Air of Bangkok, Thailand announced today the delivery of the carrier’s first Q400 NextGen turboprop at Bombardier’s facility in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the aircraft is manufactured. The milestone aircraft, the first Q400 NextGen airliner to be delivered in the new extra capacity seating configuration, is part of Nok Air’s purchase agreement for up to eight Q400 NextGen airliners that was announced on Nov. 19th, 2013. Following the exercise of options and purchase rights, Nok Air has firm orders for six Q400 NextGen aircraft and retains two purchase rights from the original contract. (Source: Bombardier, 27-Aug-2014)

Royal Jordanian take delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner through lessor AerCap

Boeing and Royal Jordanian today celebrated the delivery of the airline's first 787 Dreamliner (JY-BAA). The airplane will play a central role in the Amman-based airline's strategic plan for fleet modernization. Royal Jordanian acquired this airplane through leasing company AerCap. With this delivery, Royal Jordanian becomes only the second airline in the Middle East to operate the 787 Dreamliner. (Source: Boeing, 27-Aug-2014)

USAF F-15C Eagle crashes near Deerfield, Virginia

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle aircraft crashed near Deerfield, Virginia, at approximately 09:05 a.m. today during a routine mission, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters. National Guard Bureau officials released a statement saying the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts, lost radio contact with the aircraft during a cross-country mission over Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

According to the release, the F-15C pilot made a report of an in-flight emergency prior to losing radio contact. Subsequently there were reports of dark smoke being seen around the aircraft’s last known whereabouts. Local law enforcement arrived on the scene and confirmed the aircraft crashed. 

"Information on this incident is developing rapidly and we are not going to speculate on what occurred or the status of the pilot." said Air Force Col. J. Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing commander.  The released also stated that the F-15C aircraft was enroute to receive a system upgrade and there were no munitions on the aircraft. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 27-Aug-2014)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Royal Netherlands Navy HNLMS De Zeven Provincien in Valletta Port

The Royal Netherlands Navy De Zeven Provincien-class frigate HNLMS De Zeven Provincien (F 802) has sailed into Valletta Port (for the second time in 2015) this morning on a courtesy visit and to disembark the Armed Forces of Malta's Special Duties Enhanced Boarding Team (SDEBT), consisting of three officers and 19 other ranks, picked up during her visit on May 11th. The Dutch frigate has just completed a three-month assignment with the E.U. Naval Force Somalia - Operation Atalanta. 

The Dutch frigate is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf. She's has on board an NH-90 NFH helicopter, serial N-233. HNLMS De Zeven Provincien is expected to sail from Malta on Saturday, August 30th. (27-Aug-2014)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hellenic AF A-7 Corsair crashes near the city of Komotini in Northern Greece


A Hellenic Air Force A-7 Corsair fighter jet crashed near the city of Komotini in Northern Greece this morning. The Greek pilot who was flying the old A-7 Corsair managed to use the ejection seat mechanism and survive the crash. The incident occurred at around 1000lt according to a witness.

The fighter jet was participating in a training exercise at the Evros region and had taken off together with another A7 aircraft from the 116 Combat Wing. Although initial estimates indicate that the plane experienced a mechanical failure, an experts committee has been called to look into the case. (Source: greece.greekreporter.com, 26-Aug-2014)
An A7 Corsair fighter jet crashed near the city of Komotini in Northern Greece on Tuesday morning August 26.
The Greek pilot who was flying the old A7 Corsair managed to use the ejection seat mechanism and survive the crash. The incident occurred at around 10 am local time according to a witness.
The fighter jet was participating in a training exercise at the Evros region and had taken off together with another A7 aircraft from the 116 Combat Wing.
Although initial estimates indicate that the plane experienced a mechanical failure, an experts committee has been called to look into the case.
Minister of National Defense Demetris Avramopoulos contacted the pilot in order to congratulate him for his prompt reaction and wished him a fast recovery.
- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/08/26/fighter-jet-crashes-in-northern-greece-pilot-safe/#sthash.E1XBlE2r.dpuf
An A7 Corsair fighter jet crashed near the city of Komotini in Northern Greece on Tuesday morning August 26.
The Greek pilot who was flying the old A7 Corsair managed to use the ejection seat mechanism and survive the crash. The incident occurred at around 10 am local time according to a witness.
The fighter jet was participating in a training exercise at the Evros region and had taken off together with another A7 aircraft from the 116 Combat Wing.
Although initial estimates indicate that the plane experienced a mechanical failure, an experts committee has been called to look into the case.
Minister of National Defense Demetris Avramopoulos contacted the pilot in order to congratulate him for his prompt reaction and wished him a fast recovery.
- See more at: http://greece.greekreporter.com/2014/08/26/fighter-jet-crashes-in-northern-greece-pilot-safe/#sthash.E1XBlE2r.dpuf

BOC Aviation order 82 Boeing airplanes

Boeing announced today an order by BOC Aviation for 50 737 MAX 8s, 30 Next-Generation 737-800s and two 777-300ERs (Extended Range). The order, valued at US$8.8 billion at list prices, is the largest in BOC Aviation's 20-year history and part of the Singapore-based leasing company's effort to grow its portfolio of fuel-efficient airplanes. (Source: Boeing, 25-Aug-2014)

Cambodia Bayon Airlines signs for two MA-60s, plus 18 options

Cambodia Bayon Airlines has signed a firm purchase agreement with Xian Aircraft Company for twenty MA-60 aircraft - two firm and eighteen options - valued at US$450million. The first of the type are due in country later this year. Backed by US$100million in initial capital, Cambodia Bayon Airlines is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bayon Holding Limited of which JoyAir is a shareholder.

The start-up is in the process of securing its Air Operator's Certificate from Cambodia's Secretariat of State for Civil Aviation and plans to commence scheduled domestic flights by the end of the year. Alongside its anticipated fleet of Chinese turboprops, the airline will also operate A320s while branching out into the regional aviation scene. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 25-Aug-2014)

Indian Navy commissions the first indigenously built stealth ASW corvette INS Kamorta

Breaking new grounds in the making of warships in the country, India today commissioned the first indigenously built stealth anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvette, INS Kamorta, at an impressive ceremony at Visakhapatnam naval dockyard. The Defence Minister Shri Arun Jaitley who commissioned the warship, described the development as ‘the coming of age of our ship building industry’. (Source: India Ministry of Defece, 23-Aug-2014)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Russian Navy RFS Yaroslav Mudryy in Valletta Port

The Russian Navy Neustrashimyy-class frigate RFS Yaroslav Mudryy (727) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

RFS Yaroslav Mudryy has a Kamov Ka-27 helicopter on board, serial 42 'Yellow' (RF-34177).

The Russian frigate is currently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Tuesday, August 26th. (24-Aug-2014)


Saturday, August 23, 2014

L-3 Communications Corp receives contract for two ISR King Air 350s for Saudi Arabia

L-3 Communications Corp. has been awarded a US$61 million firm-fixed-price, undefinitized contract action for the modification and integration of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities onto two King Air 350 aircraft. Work is expected to be completed by Dec. 31st, 2015. This is 100 percent foreign military sales for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defence, 22-Aug-2014)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 
  • 9H-MAK - Dassault Falcon 7X (c/n. 114), registered to Hyperion Aviation Ltd. (ex G-UMKA)
Cancellation/s: 
  • 9H-AGE - Airbus ACJ321-211 (c/n. 5538), registered to Comlux Malta Ltd.
View the complete Malta Aircraft Register

(Source: Transport Malta, 22-Aug-2014)

Friday, August 22, 2014

SAS completes sale/leaseback of four A333s with the Chinese bank Bocomm

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has secured financing of four A330-300 Enhanced through the signing of a sale and leaseback agreement with the Chinese bank Bocomm. The aircraft will be delivered during the latter part of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. The agreement means that SAS, at the time of delivery for respective aircraft, will sell the aircraft to Bocomm and then lease it back during a term of 12 years. The list price for four A330-300 Enhanced is approximately US$1bn. (Source: avitrader.com, 22-Aug-2014)

Island Air Transport DC4 nose gear collapses after hard landing at New Syra Beach airport

An Island Air Transport Douglas DC-4 (N9015Q), performing a charter freight flight (on Aug. 20th) to New Smyrna Beach (U.S.A.) with one crew, landed hard on New Syrna Beach Airport's RWY 11 at 1557lt (1957z), during roll out the nose gear collapsed causing the aircraft to slide to a stop on its nose and main gear. The aircraft came to a stop about 630m down RWY 1 blocking the intersecting runway 02/20 as well. There were no injuries, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. (Source: avherald.com, 21-Aug-2014)