Saturday, August 1, 2015

Colombian AF CN-235 crashes near Codazzi

A Casa CN-235 transport plane (FAC1261) operated by the Colombian Air Force was destroyed when it impacted terrain near Codazzi, Colombia. All 11 persons on board sustained fatal injuries. The aircraft departed Palanquero Air Base on a flight to Barranquilla via Valledupar. The Air Force stated that the pilot reported an engine failure prior to the accident. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were said to have been poor. (Source:, 31-Jul-2015)

Friday, July 31, 2015

Royal Navy HMS Enterprise calls at Valletta

The Royal Navy Echo-class survery vessel HMS Enterprise (H 88) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

HMS Enterprise is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of European Union's Joint-Operation Triton run by Frontex.

The British survey vessel is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on August 6th. (31-Jul-2014)

Tunisian Syphax Airlines suspends operations

Syphax Airlines has announced the grounding of its A319 fleet effective Thursday evening. According to an AFP report, a company lawyer said the airline was experiencing "financial difficulties" and that flights had been "temporarily" suspended "until solutions are found." IATA instructed airlines and travel agencies to stop doing business with Syphax on Wednesday after the Tunisian carrier was unable to settle its dues with the industry association. (Source:, 31-Jul-2015)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Swedish Coast Guard Poseidon calls at Valletta Port

The Swedish Coast Guard Poseidon-class multi-purpose vessel Poseidon (KBV 001) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit. This is her seventh visit in Valletta Port this year.

KBV 001 is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of European Union's Joint-Operation Triton run by Frontex.

The Swedish Coast Guard is presently berthing alongside in Valletta Port and she's expected to sail from Malta after a short stay (30-Jul-2015)

Bulgarian AF PC12 lands on its belly at Graf Ignatievo airfield after its landing gear failed

A Bulgarian Air Force Pilatus PC-12 transport aircraft has landed on its belly at Graf Ignatievo airfield after its landing gear failed, the Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. The crew has suffered no injuries, the ministry said in a statement.

Flights at Graf Ignatievo have been temporarily suspended following the incident which occurred when the turboprop single-engine aircraft was preparing to touch down at the airfield near Plovdiv, in southern Bulgaria. The reasons for the incident were not immediately known. (Source:, 29-Jul-2015)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Insitu Inc. receives contract for six RQ-21A Blackjacks

Insitu Inc. is s being awarded a US$78 million modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-15-C-0033) for the procurement of six low-rate initial production Lot IV RQ-21A Blackjack unmanned aircraft systems. This award provides for the procurement of the air vehicles, ground control stations, launch and recovery equipment, spares, and system engineering and program management. Work is expected to be completed in September 2016. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 24-Jul-2015)

Russia's Black Sea Fleet takes delivery of submarine Stary Oskol

A day before the celebration of the Navy Day, the Black Sea Fleet has received a new diesel-electric submarine Stary Oskol.  It was laid down at the Admiralty Shipyard in Saint Petersburg in 2012 and was floated out in 2014.  This is the third diesel submarine, which made part of the Black Sea Fleet. The Novorossiysk and Rostov-on-Don subs are being tested at the Northern Fleet. (Source: Russian Ministry of Defense via, 24-Jul-2015)

Russian Navy commissions third Project 20380 corvette, RFS Aldar Tsydenzhapov

The Russian Navy’s newest ship has been commissioned at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant. The new ship has been named in honor of Aldar Tsydenzhapov, a hero of Russia who gave his life to prevent the spread of fire on the Bystry destroyer in 2010 and save its crew. This ship is the third Project 20380 corvette to be built at the Amur Shipbuilding Plant for the Pacific Fleet. (Source: KRET via, 23-Jul-2015)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Air Bagan ATR 72 veers off the runway after landing at Yangon-Mingaladon

Air Bagan ATR 72-212 (XY-AIH), operating flight W9-424 from Madalay-Annisaton (Myanmar) to Yangon-Mingaladon (Myanmar), was damaged in a runway excursion accident at Yangon-Mingaladon airport. It was raining as the flight approached Yangon with cumulonimbus clouds at 1500-ft over the airport. It's unclear what exactly happened but the aircraft came to rest in the grass with the left hand main gear dug in soft soil. (Source:, 24-Jul-2015)

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Avianca Brasil joins Star Alliance

Avianca Brasil has formally acceded to Star Alliance following a ceremony held at São Paulo Guarulhos on Wednesday, Jul. 22nd. The move marks the return of Brazil to the alliance following TAM Linhas Aéreas's decision to join Oneworld in March last year. (Source:, 22-Jul-2015)

HHI starts construction of furture destroyer USS Delbert D. Black

Huntington Ingalls Industries' (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division today marked the start of fabrication for the Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) guided missile destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119). The start of fabrication signifies that 100-tons of steel have been cut.  The ship is named in honour of Delbert D. Black, who served as a gunner's mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Black served in three wars and was the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy. (Source: Huntington Ingalls Industries, 21-Jul-2015)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

German Navy FGS S80 Hyaene calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Gepard-class fast-patrol boat FGS S80 Hyaene (P 6130) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this evening on a courtesy visit. 

The German fast-patrol boat is presently berthed alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from the Grand Harbour in the coming days after a short stay. (21-Jul-2015)

EVA Air finalizes order for five 777 Freighters

Boeing and EVA Air have finalized an order for five 777 Freighters. The order, valued at more than US$1.5 billion at list prices, will represent the first 777 Freighters to join EVA Air's fleet, and the first to be delivered to a Taiwanese airline. Boeing first announced EVA Air's intent to order the five 777 Freighters at the 2015 Paris Air Show last month. (Source: Boeing, 21-Jul-2015)

MMC launches future LCS USS Little Rock

US Navy’s future USS Little Rock was officially launched into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC) shipyard on Jul. 18th. The Lockheed Martin-led industry team launched the nation’s ninth littoral combat ship (LCS). The ship's sponsor, Mrs. J. Bonner, christened Little Rock (LCS 9) with the traditional smashing of a champagne bottle across the ship's bow just prior to the launch. Following christening and launch, Little Rock will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy later this year. (Source:, 21-Jul-2015)

Egypt takes delivery of its first Rafales

Egypt on Monday took delivery of three Rafale fighter jets from France, the first of 24 warplanes sold in a €5.2 billion deal earlier this year. Egyptian authorities took charge of the planes at an air base in southern France, and they will be flown to Cairo by specially trained pilots on Tuesday. (Source: Agence France-Presse, 20-Jul-2015) 

AVIC Joy Air Holdings orders 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX amphibian aircraft

Cessna Aircraft today announced an agreement with Zhoushan AVIC Joy Air General Air Co. Ltd. for 20 Cessna Grand Caravan EX amphibian aircraft. The aircraft are expected to start being delivered later this year out of the company’s joint venture facility, Cessna-AVIC Aircraft (Shijiazhuang) Co., Ltd. The joint venture between Cessna and China Aviation Industry General Aircraft Company (CAIGA) assembles and delivers Caravan utility turboprop aircraft for the Chinese market. (Source: Textron Aviation, 20-Jul-2015)

Monday, July 20, 2015

U.K. Border Force HMC Protector calls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this evening on a courtesy visit. This is her fourth visit in Valletta Port this year.

HMC Protector is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of European Union's Joint-Operation Triton run by Frontex.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days after a short stay. (20-Jul-2015)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Russian AF AN12 makes emergency landing at Chelyabinsk

A Russian Defense Ministry commission will establish what caused an An-12 (RF-94291) incident in the Chelyabinsk Oblast, the Ural Mountains region of Russia, earlier on Friday, the ministry’s press service said.

"The An-12 military transport plane was on its way from Omsk (Siberia) to Moscow when its engine failure alarm system came into action. The crew was forced to make an emergency landing at a reserve airfield in the Chelyabinsk region. The plane landed short of the runway but caused no destruction on the airfield. No servicemen onboard were hurt," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

According to previous reports, the An-12 plane made an emergency landing after three of its engines had failed. "The An-12 plane was on its way from Omsk to Moscow. Three of its four engines failed on the route. The crew decided to make an emergency landing at Chelyabinsk airport. The aircraft landed safely with seven crewmen and seven passengers onboard. None of them was hurt," the defense ministry’s source told TASS. (Source: &, 17-Jul-2015)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Irish Naval Service LE Niamh calls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Roisin-class patrol vessel LE Niamh (P 52) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

LE Niamh is currently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea as part of European Union's Joint-Operation Triton overseen by Frontex.

The Irish patrol vessel is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-1 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta after a brief stay. (17-Jul-2015)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Germany Navy to participate with a P-3 at 2015 Malta International Airshow

The Germany Navy has confirmed its participation in this year's edition of the Malta International Airshow, in the form of a Lockheed P-3C Orion from 3 Sqn "Graf Zeppelin"  that shall be in the static display line up. This is good news for visitors at this year's event as the German Navy aircrew have always been very accommodating with showing their aircraft to the public. Naval Air Squadron 3, based at Nordholz, and comprises of P-3C Orion and Dornier 228 aircraft. The Malta Aviation Society heartily thanks the German Embassy in Malta including the Defence Attache' staff in Rome. (Source:, 15-Jul-2015)

Russian AF Tu-95 Bear crashes in Khabarovsk region

A Russian strategic bomber crashed in the Far East of the country today, killing two of the seven crewmembers. The press office of the Russian defense ministry said the Tu-95MS bomber, which did not carry any missiles, crashed in the morning 80-kms outside the city of Khabarovsk due to an unspecified technical malfunction. All those on board bailed out, and the military spent hours combing the forest in search of them. Two died while landing, the ministry said, while five other men landed safely and were taken to a hospital for treatment. The defense ministry has suspended all flights of Tu-95MS bombers pending investigation. (Source:, 14-Jul-2015)

Bell Boeing receives FMS contract for five V-22 Ospreys for Japan

Bell Boeing, a strategic alliance between Bell Helicopter and Boeing, was awarded a U.S. Navy contract today for five Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft to be delivered to Japan, marking the first sale of the aircraft through the U.S. government’s foreign military sales program. The contract for the Block C aircraft includes support, training, and equipment. (Source: Bell Helicopter, 14-Jul-2015)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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-MRQ - Learjet 35A (c/n. 429), registered to Agrevia Holdings Ltd., Greece
  • 9H-LJE - Learjet 60 (c/n. 362), registered to Hyperion Aviation Ltd. (ex N306KR)
  • 9H-BOO - Bombardier Challenger 850 (c/n. 8051), registered to Air X Charter Ltd. (ex VP-BSD)
  • 9H-VVB - Boeing B737-400 (c/n. 24901/1854), registered to VVB Aviation Malta Ltd. (ex 9H-HER)
  • 9H-HERBoeing B737-400 (c/n. 24901/1854), registered to Aerotron Ltd., U.K. (rrg 9H-VVB) 
  • 9H-MOSBeechraft Corp C90GTi (c/n. LJ-1984), registered to Oasis Flight Malta Ltd.
(Source: Transport Malta, 10-Jul-2015)

Friday, July 10, 2015

VVB Aviation set to secure Maltese AOC

VVB Aviation is set to secure a Maltese Air Operators Certificate (AOC) as part of plans to enter the European ACMI/charter market. Earlier this week, Bruce Dickinson, the CEO of Cardiff Aviation which owns a 50% stake in VVB, met with Transport Malta officials to confirm final certification details for the airline.

“Transport Malta has played a crucial role in enabling VVB to take off in fixed-wing operations," he said. "With AOC details now confirmed and our first aircraft about to be deployed, Cardiff Aviation is now moving from maintenance and training to full aviation operations.”

VVB has already sourced a B737-400 which will commence ACMI operations upon receipt of its AOC. At least two more aircraft will be added before the end of the current quarter. (Source:, 10-Jul-2015)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Maltese trainee pilot in emergency landing in Sicily

A trainee pilot with the European Pilot Academy had to perform an emergency landing in Vizzini, Sicily, this morning at around 0915lt. The pilot, who it is understood was on his solo flight, was not injured. The academy confirmed the incident but would not say what led to it. It said arrangements were being made for the pilot and the aircraft to be brought to Malta. It would not say what damage was suffered by the aircraft. (Source:, 8-Jul-2015)