Johan turned onto heading 330 at three Nm after take-off from Cape Town International to intercept the CTV 354 radial adhering to the OKTED1A Standard Instrument Departure (SID).
After this interception, at 8 Nm, he turned on a heading of 060 to intercept RIV outbound on a radial of 090 degrees.
Everything has gone according to plan so far and although he is slightly tense, as concentration levels are high, I notice that his shoulders are drooping slightly as he starts to relax, as he was clearly flying on the numbers.
At first, he does not notice the left alternator annunciator light lighting up as his attention is fully on the instrument scan. The autopilot is not selected. After approximately thirty seconds he notices the light and immediately scans the Ammeter just to confirm that it is not charging. At that exact moment the left engine fails without warning.
The pronounced left yaw was a tell-tale sign and immediately his attention shifts from the alternator problem to the much more complex problem of the engine cut. Johan sorts it out in no time and contacts Cape Town informing them of the emergency and requests vectors back to CTV, planning for a procedure turn onto the ILS runway 01.
He can now see the front coming in and he elects to select the help of the auto-pilot. He then asks Cape Town for vectors onto the ILS onto runway 01. This is granted and as he enters the frontal system, the visibility quickly becomes zero. He is informed that the visibility on the ground has deteriorated to around 500 meters and that the cloud base is 500 feet AGL.
The autopilot cooperates, but mysteriously disengages just as he is intercepting the localiser. His knuckles become slightly whiter and I can see that his concentration levels have now peaked. With a single engine, very poor weather and no autopilot to help, the situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.
Maintaining the localiser and glide slope proves to be extremely hard work and finally the lead-in lights become visible just to the left of the aircraft nose. As he intercepts the centre line of runway 01, there is a very loud bang as massive birds pound the cockpit, cracking the glass and the remaining engine fails.
With a multi-engine reduced to a super brick glider, Johan struggles to regain control and negotiate the landing. There is no first prize for the landing, but we are safely on the ground. As we come to a stop, he turns to me and says, “sh*t”.
The new FNPT II simulator as built by Simu Flight has performed yet another CPL annual Instrument and General Flying licence revalidation test. This simulation of reality was quite extreme, but then again I was not merely testing the candidate’s ability to fly. Nearly all pilots can fly, but the procedures and emergency decision-making is tested for realities that could not be simulated in real flight, let alone safely.
Westline Aviation, with its fourteen aircraft and three helicopters, does a lot of training. However, my work as DFE has suddenly become more fruitful as testing under IF conditions and Instructor Rating renewals are elevated to the next level.
Westline has expanded over the last eight years to accommodate local as well as international students. With accommodation, housing (same thing??) and personal attention for students struggling with ground subjects, Westline has built a reputation for going that extra mile.
The flying school offers PPL to ATPL, Single to Multi-Engine as well as Basic to Advanced helicopter flying. We also offer specialised training such as: Mountain Flying, Game Ratings, operational command and control, vehicle following, tactical navigations, formation flying as well as helicopter and aircraft turbine ratings.
I regularly lecture on Flight Safety and perform testing as a DFE Aeroplane and Helicopter. Normally in January of each year I also present the fully fledged Aircraft Accident Investigation Course over a four week period in Pretoria for the SAAF.
Fuel supply, fuel distribution and fuel placing are to name but a few of the extra services rendered at Westline. When you visit Tempe Airport, you will meet the friendly staff of Westline, with coffee and burgers on order. And with landing fees at half the normal rate, competitively priced fuel and no passenger tax, where else would you choose to stop on your way across South Africa?
Westline Aviation, where we help your flight dreams become a reality!
What should have been a routine flight to reposition a relatively new Cessna 206, from Krugersdorp airfield to Wonderboom airport for the purposes of a 50 hour oil change, resulted in tragedy when the aircraft flying in IMC conditions impacted the Magaliesberg Mountains close to the red and white radio masts east of Hartebeespoort Dam.
On 3 February 2010, the pilot accompanied by an instructor pilot departed from Krugersdorp airfield (FAKR) on a private flight to Wonderboom Airport (FAWB) when the aircraft collided with the Magaliesberg Mountains and the post-accident fire destroyed the aircraft. The weather conditions reported in the area were instrument metrological conditions (IMC) and from the information provided by witnesses, it appears that the aircraft was flying in adverse weather conditions at the time of the accident. According to another witness the mountain was covered in mist and fog. The mist reached down to the tree line of the mountain. Both occupants were fatally injured.
Owner/operator: Marshall Fowler (South Africa)(Pty) Ltd
Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company Cessna T206H ZS PNM
Weather conditions at the departure airport were reported as acceptable for VFR flights. However, en route to FAWB, the aircraft flew into Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Clearly the pilots were flying far too low as they impacted terrain in the Magaliesberg Mountain range three nautical miles east of the red and white radio mast, at an elevation of 5 169 feet AMSL. A post-impact fire erupted that destroyed the aircraft and both occupants were fatally injured. The aircraft impacted the mountainside at an angle with a left wing tip impacting first, then the nose section and right wing. The maximum elevation of the Magaliesberg Mountains in the area of the accident is 5 319 feet and the aircraft should have been at least 1 000 feet higher to clear all obstacles including the very tall radio beacons close to the impact site.
Information received from the witness’s statement at the time of the accident suggest that the aircraft was flying in adverse IMC conditions prior to the accident. According a witnesses (who is also a pilot) who lives in the area, the mountain was covered in mist and fog and the mist reached down to the tree line of the mountain. The witness said he heard an aircraft passing over his house around 06h20 local time. He stated that he heard an aircraft with a constant RPM engine sound but about two seconds later heard an increase in RPM followed by the sound of an impact. He stated that prior to the increase in RPM sound, the engine sounded perfectly normal and it did not sound as if there were any problems. He called FAWB ATC, but there was no contact as the station is only manned from 07h00. He then called Johannesburg ATC to report the accident.
Maybe CFS Dunnottar needs a little more details revealed. The first few weeks at Dunnies, as we called the place, things were tuff. We were pupes, short for pupil pilot and there were very few rules, well, if there were actually any the instructors were to follow, we certainly did not know of them. We on the other hand was young, stupid, invulnerable and brave. We obviously had many rules and normal screaming, shouting and physical punishment sorted the rules out quickly. Soon we learned that when the instructor shouted AGABAKEN, we had to run like hell to the beacon about 500 meters away from the crew rooms and training cubicles. When tuned to this frequency a ladies voice would tell you the direction to steer to get back to the facility. This omni-directional voice assistant was commonly referred to as the “whore in the box”, and she needed to see us regularly for any good or invalid or even no reason at all.
It is not every day that one has to give account of who you really are. Like many of us, I also do not necessarily think that my experiences are that special that everyone needs to know about them. On the contrary, I find it a bit intimidating to talk about what I have done and where I have been. On the other hand, some are of the opinion that it might be interesting or even inspiring.
So my kids and their spouses convinced me that my own Blog, (what the hell is that?!), is what I must have. To be honest at the possibility of being classified as technologically challenged, I still confess that the new generation communication skills and methods are quite “cool”. OK, so still not knowing what it is, here is where my story begins.
Born and bred in the little town Piketberg in the Cape Province, I matriculated at Paul Roos Gymnasium, Stellenbosch. We lived there, and I must confess that I had no idea what a beautiful and history rich environment this was and still is, until I left. When I joined the SAAF directly after school, and the train pulled into the Pretoria train station, my first time there, the realisation of where I came from hit home hard and with absolute clarity. Then I knew that I would never stay in Stellenbosch again, my destiny would take me other places and all I would have is the memory of my formative years.