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    This Mi-17 has been employed in Southern Sudan amidst the fighting which has recently been taking place. (Photo: Reuters)

  • #2
    Dramatic South African Police Chase

    Cape Town - A suspect trying to evade arrest in Bellville crashed a stolen BMW into another vehicle and then a bus, in a chase that saw a police helicopter land in the middle of a road.


    The action centred around Durban Road and Bloemhof Street on Monday and resulted in traffic congestion in the area as some lanes were closed.

    While witnesses to the chase took to social media to describe what was happening and to try to find out more, the police remained tight-lipped, divulging only a few details. Police spokesman Andre Traut said a man had been arrested for being in the possession of a stolen vehicle.

    “Circumstances of the matter are under investigation. The chopper assisted with the apprehension,” he said.

    City traffic spokesman Richard Coleman told the Cape Times that the police had been chasing a BMW and during this chase the BMW had crashed into a Honda sedan and then a bus.

    It appeared no one had been seriously injured.

    Traut confirmed the collisions were linked to the police chase, but he did not provide further details.

    It was understood the BMW had crashed into an Intercape bus.

    An Intercape employee declined to comment.

    On Twitter a user said: “Helicopter just landed in the middle of Durban road right in front of our car – police chase!”

    She went on to tweet: “So crazy there was gunshots going off and sniffer dogs. The police were running in the road with guns.” (sic)

    Another Twitter user said “an army of police” had been on the scene.

    On the Facebook forum, Traffic fines, cameras & updates in Western Cape, a user said the BMW had crashed into the bus that was loaded with passengers.

    Another user said it appeared suspects trying to evade the police had driven into oncoming traffic causing a collision involving multiple vehicles. This user said a suspect had been caught by dogs and described what was happening as “crazy action”.


    • #3
      Helicopter community across Middle East and Africa gets a single voice

      The helicopter community in the Middle East and Africa is to get a single voice followinng the launch of MEAHA, the Middle East and Africa Helicopter Association.

      MEAHA will provide the platform for the representation of the interests of all professionals associated with the helicopter sector in the region.

      The Middle East and Africa Helicopter Association is a new organization aiming to support the helicopter operators, manufacturers and all professionals with an interest in the development of all helicopter activities in the region.

      Panagiotis Panagopoulos, is the first chairman of MEAHA. He said: "The helicopter community is invited to join MEAHA in its efforts to support the industry throughout the Middle East and Africa. MEAHA will become the ideal network for all professionals in this sector and its members will be able to explore new business opportunities and challenges".

      The Vision of MEAHA is to create the foundations for the further development of the helicopter industry in the Middle East and Africa in close cooperation with the regulatory authorities as well as operators, manufacturers, maintenance professionals, VIP transportation providers, law enforcement agencies, governments, oil & gas companies as well as regional airports.

      MEAHA’s Mission is to promote and protect the business interests of helicopter operators, manufacturers and other professionals who contribute to the growth of the industry in the region, provide the link between businesses and new business opportunities, encourage the exchange of information and knowledge, establish a platform for debate and networking, support helicopter avtivities and institutions in the region, identify new business opportunities for its members as well as enhance local knowledge and understanding.

      For more information about the new group, go to


      • #4
        Kenya Police Air Wing Helicopters Grounded

        The police is failing to effectively respond to emergency situations since all its eight helicopters are grounded.

        The service, however, has two fixed-wing aircraft which can only carry nine officers each, and also land only on locations with runways.

        A Kenya Police Air Wing AS350 helicopter

        Four Mi-17 helicopters are grounded at the Kenya Police Airwing hangar. Three of them require total overhaul while the other one has not been repaired since it was involved in an accident in Kapsabet where former assistant minister Orwa Ojode and then Commissioner of Police Hussein Ali escaped.

        Mr Ojode later died in another helicopter crash.

        Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo, however, said on Sunday that they had advertised for a tender for the supply of one new helicopter and the overhaul of the four Mi-17 helicopters.

        Another helicopter, a Bell 206 L4, has a problem in the turbine, suggesting that it might have been operated by an officer who does not have full knowledge about it, according to a senior pilot who sought anonymity.

        “In case of evacuation, the victims have to be taken to the nearest airstrip. Besides, officers cannot be taken to the exact areas of conflict unless there are airstrips,” he said.

        Even the emergency helicopter for the Kenyatta National Hospital kept by the police cannot function after the engine sucked in some particles while it was on official duty in Mandera early last year. It was taken there for standby duties and medical evacuation.

        Several other aircraft, including the Administration Police Service Bell 407, which crashed at Ukunda, are grounded. Three other Cesna 310 Caravans will be sold. A Bell 47 crash-landed at the Wilson airport while a Bell 206 L1 is undergoing repair at the Kenya Wildlife Services.

        Airwing Commandant Rogers Mbithi said the unit was understaffed. He said there has been a high turnover of experienced pilots and engineers who were lured by better salaries and benefits elsewhere.


        • #5
          Eurocopter To Establish Kenyan Base

          Eurocopter Southern Africa Ltd. (ESAL) says it plans to establish a permanent base in Kenya to conduct maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) on all Airbus helicopters in Africa and parts of the Middle East, as the company anticipates growing force modernization requirements in sub-Saharan Africa.

          The company, formerly Eurocopter, has recorded 35 percent growth in business in southern Africa since 2010, as countries in the region have increased investments in military aircraft, airborne law enforcement and civil emergency response capabilities.

          In recent years, the company has supplied the EC145 helicopter to the Namibian Police Service, the EC135 to the Lesotho Defense Force’s Air Wing and a number of older Eurocopter models to the Botswana Defense Force, which are reportedly due for systems upgrades or replacement.

          Arnaud Montalvo, CEO of ESAL, said the company’s move to Kenya is a response to a boom in the country’s civil aviation sector and the government’s drive to strengthen its military, law enforcement and conservation agencies, offering numerous sales opportunities.

          “Originally, our activities were mostly in South Africa. In the past seven to eight years, we have expanded outside South Africa, mainly for law enforcement,” Montalvo said. “But in Kenya, [our market] is not only law enforcement, it is also other government agencies: Kenya Wildlife, Kenya Forestry, Kenya Pipeline, plus many civilian operators who are mostly in the utility sector. ... The Kenya police have growing needs and have issued a tender for a twin-engined helicopter.”

          The base, to be located at Nairobi Wilson Airport, will be the company’s second in Africa. The existing base in South Africa includes an MRO center for Airbus Helicopter models in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and a training academy at Lanseria Airport in Johannesburg. It also includes Africa’s first full-motion flight simulator, for training pilots and flight engineers operating the Super Puma helicopter, at the Sim-Aero training center at the O.R. Tambo International Airport, also in Johannesburg.

          “Kenya and the surrounding region is a growth market for Airbus Helicopters, and Nairobi is perfectly located for the establishment of a base for sales and support to customers and operators in East Africa,” said ESL spokesman Linden Birns.

          The timeframe for the move to Kenya is still being developed, he said.

          Eurocopter’s move to Kenya follows market analysts Frost & Sullivan’s prediction that the value of the combined military and civilian helicopter market in the developing world, including the Middle East and Africa, will rise to $146.8 billion between 2014 and 2022.

          A heavy slump in demand is expected in the European and North American markets, whose combined market value is estimated to rise to $9.7 billion in the same period.

          In a report, “Global Helicopter & Systems Market: Capturing Growth Opportunities across the Rotorcraft Industry,” Frost & Sullivan said demand will be driven mostly by the ongoing platform renewal cycle that indicates more countries favor retrofitting platforms than buying new ones. It also will be driven by a growing demand for maintenance, upgrade services and the adoption of new mission and avionics systems.

          “Emerging markets comprise significant opportunities among new helicopter procurements, with a forecast market size of $146.84 billion between 2014 and 2022 for military and civil new platform deliveries, and a related market size of $46.33 billion for service support during the same period,” according to the analysis.

          Eurocopter’s growing business relationship saw Kenyan customers take delivery of five of the seven Eurocopter helicopters delivered to Africa last year. Kenya also accounted for four of the seven pipeline business orders won by ESAL last year.

          Despite the shrinking base of the aviation sector in South Africa following the 2007-10 financial crisis, Montalvo said, ESAL has capitalized on increased activity by law enforcement in other southern African countries. Further regional sales are anticipated for new aircraft.

          “We have introduced ... the EC145, with one delivered to the Namibian Police, and the EC135 to the Lesotho Defense Force. We expect to sell more helicopters to the Lesotho [Defense Force] in the medium term. They have aging aircraft to replace. They are still using an EC135 to replace a BO 105,” an older, German-built light utility helicopter, he said.

          Montalvo said ESAL also hopes to build on its presence in the Angolan offshore oil and natural gas market by aggressively marketing its larger helicopters in the oil and gas support sectors on the east coast of Africa, from Mozambique to Kenya. It also seeks to expand its product support capabilities and introduce new products to Indian Ocean nations Mauritius, Mada*gascar and the Seychelles, as well as to Reunion, a French island territory.


          • #6
            Middle East & Africa Helicopter Association:


            • #7
              South Africa's Protea Coin Security Group install FLIR on R44


              • #8
                Getting One's 'Government House' and 'State House' in a Twist in Nigeria!

                Just a few months after a group of men believed to be members of MASSOB tried to invade Government House at Enugu before being overpowered by security forces, a helicopter belonging to Aerocontractors caused a security alert by mistakenly landing at Government House causing pandemonium among the Government House security personnel who were concerned that the unscheduled landing could be an act of terrorism.

                An Aerocontrctors helicopter

                Sources indicate that Government House security personnel had taken up strategic positions and were ready to engage the helicopter however it turned out that the two pilots and an engineer had mistaken Government House for the State House of Assembly where they were supposed to collect the corpse of a deceased member of the Old Anambra State House, Sir Andrew Okonkwo Umeoji, to be flown to his Aguata country home after a valedictory session held in his honour by the state lawmakers Tuesday morning.

                The pilots were arrested, interrogated and detained for the security breach before being handed to the state commissioner for police.


                • #9
                  Airbus Helicopters partners with IAS for the first maintenance centre in Western and Central Africa to be certified by a helicopter manufacturer

                  A partnership agreement for the certification of the region’s first Airbus Helicopters- maintenance center was signed on 5th May 2014 with the Abidjan-based company International Aircraft Services (IAS) at the ShieldAfrica 2014 exhibition.

                  Firmly committed to the development of services situated in proximity to its operators, Airbus Helicopters today announced that it has certified the Abidjan maintenance center operated by International Aircraft Services (IAS), the largest civil helicopter operator in Western and Central Africa. Equipped with all the necessary operational resources, the center will service the AS365 and AS350 models from the famous Dauphin and Ecureuil families.

                  An IAS AS365N Dauphin

                  With more than 670 helicopters in service in Africa, and nearly 130 of them in Western and Central Africa, Airbus Helicopters is pursuing its international development, becoming the first helicopter manufacturer in this vast region to make available to its customers an entire maintenance and support center certified “Operational & Intermediate” (O&I) level.

                  “We welcome this new partnership with IAS, which underscores our commitment to providing localized support for our customers operating in the region,” said Loïc Porcheron, Airbus Helicopters’ Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. “This maintenance center will increase the availability of their fleet of helicopters, while guaranteeing affordable maintenance costs.”

                  “We are very happy with this agreement, which brings a genuine international dimension to our organization and which will also allow us to create more opportunities with the region’s countries,” commented IAS CEO Hugues Moreau. “This partnership will see Airbus Helicopters’ customers being offered a complete range of services that will encompass technical and operational support as well as the maintenance of their aircraft.”

                  Airbus Helicopters has a network of more than 90 approved maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centers on the five continents. This new maintenance center will provide the region’s operators with a service bearing all the quality hallmarks of Airbus Helicopters.


                  • #10
                    Bristow's Nigerian Investment

                    An estimated $15 million (about N2.3 billion) might have been invested by Bristow Helicopters to boost infrastructure and manpower training in Nigeria’s aviation sector. The investments by the helicopter firm has been spread through the construction of a new hanger and maintenance facilities in Port Harcourt and Lagos, the acquisition of latest aircraft to ply Nigerian routes, investments in infrastructure and manpower for the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, and the sponsorship of fresh Nigerian pilots for training in Florida, USA.

                    Managing Director of the helicopter firm, Captain Akin Oni, who briefed journalists in Lagos recently said the invesments became necessary not just to boost infrastructure but to stem the capital flights associated with carrying out helicopter maintenance abroad, as well as end the regime of relying massively on hiring foreign helicopter pilots in the country in line with the local content policy of government in the oil and gas industry. He said an estimated $6 million was spent in the construction and expansion of facilities in Port Harcourt, while infrastructure in Lagos could have gulped an estimated $5 million. According to Oni, the infrastructure built by the company had ensured that 100 per cent of helicopter repairs and maintenance is done in Nigeria but decried the low generation and supply of electricity to consumers, which, he said, had a negative impact on the operations of the company in Nigeria.

                    “We have committed considerable funds into building the requisite infrastructure and manpower that will grow the helicopter business in Nigeria,” said Oni. “Our focus is to develop Nigeria and Nigerians; we have invested in the acquisition of the most modern helicopters, built the best hanger in Nigeria for the repair and maintenance of helicopters so much that we do 100 per cent of these aircraft maintenance now in Nigeria, and because helicopter pilot training is not available in Nigeria, we have continued to sponsor the training of many Nigerian pilots and even their trainers in Zaria to Florida, USA. “We have also funded the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology to ensure that the country has capacity to train aeronautical engineers. The manpower capacity we have built has enabled us to cut down or replace the expatriate pi-lots, engineers and even management staff that we have with Nigerians,” he added.

                    Bristow Helicopters Managing Director for Nigeria Captain Akin Oni has said that the company will spend the sum of $5.m, about N800m, on the training of 20 student pilots in the United States of America, USA, in 2014.

                    This is as he revealed that no fewer than 15 students are currently undergoing training in Bristow Academy, Florida, USA for the same aviation training.

                    Also, no fewer than 40 students of the company is undergoing helicopter engineering training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria, which he said is aimed at developing the capacities of Nigerians.

                    Oni told aviation correspondents at the helicopter’s office at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, Lagos that at least; the sum of $250,000 would be expended on each pilot during the training.

                    He noted that the training of pilots, engineers and other technical personnel in the sector was a yearly exercise, which has been the policy of the company in the last 30 years.

                    Oni said that the candidates were picked after a rigorous process by the company, maintaining that the essence of the training was to improve the technical know-how of Nigerians in the aviation industry while also reducing expatriates in the sector.

                    He however decried that helicopter pilot training does not exist in Nigeria, hoping that with the current exercise by the Air Force, the amount of money expended on training of helicopter pilots would reduce.

                    He said, “We have done something for over 30 years, which is the identification of Nigerians, provide them with helicopter pilot training. The Air Force has set up a school in the country and we are looking at them. We will continue to provide the training as we have been doing in the last 30 years.

                    “At the moment, we have 15 Nigerians in the Bristow Academy in Florida, we are also in the selection process for another 20. That is not a cheap process, it takes a huge chunk of our revenue. We are doing the necessary things to make sure that we give Nigerians the opportunity not just in the aircraft engineering area, but we are also changing and removing expatriates in our management structure and they are being generally replaced by Nigerians’’.


                    • #11
                      Flight of the Rhino!

                      Rhino capture and relocation in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

                      Rhino Iroquois

                      Iroquois rhino lift



                      • #12
                        Madagascar Battles Locust Swarms

                        A helicopter of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) flies through millions of Locusts as spreads pesticide to fight against a swarm of locusts threatening Amparihibe village in Tsiroanomandidy, Madagascar on 7th May 2014

                        Millions of locust threaten Amparihibe village and ts surrounding fields which are used to cultivate agricultural produce

                        Members of the technical team of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) prepare a helicopter equipped for spraying pesticide in Tsiroanomandidy, Madagascar in May 2014


                        • #13
                          Air Rage in Kenya

                          A Kenyan businessman, Raj Devani, of Indian origin recently ran mad and attacked the helicopter pilot and helicopter he had chartered.

                          More information has emerged about the events before he was charged in Narok court on May 6,

                          Devani appeared before Narok Resident Magistrate Zainabu Abdul charged with maliciously damaging two wind screens, cargo compartments, right gear box cases of a helicopter and causing damage of Sh15 million. He faced another count of jeopardizing the safety of the aircraft and forcing it to crash land in the Maasai Mara.

                          He was released on the surety of his advocate Lucas Kigen. The case will be mentioned on May 19 and the hearing will be June 23.

                          On the morning of Saturday May 3, a local charter company collected Devani from his residence in Westlands in the company of two American girls aged around 19 years.

                          They were flown to Tipilikwani camp in the Maasai Mara without incident in the Eurocopter AS350.

                          At 10am on Sunday morning, he told the pilot that he would like to go for "an aerial game flight" along the Talek river and they flew for about 23 minutes.

                          After the helicopter became airborne, Devani became agitated "stating that his children had been kidnapped and were in the back of the aircraft. He embarked on tearing the back seats from the Velcro," according to a witness.

                          The pilot then asked the Tipilkwani camp manager, a Mr Thuo, to restrain him while he made an emergency landing.

                          Mr Devani damaged several parts of the helicopter including the windscreen

                          "The passenger complained of his child being kidnapped and locked in the boot of the helicopter," according to an incident report about "an unruly passenger" made to the Ministry of Transport on May 9.

                          "After landing, Devani went haywire. He forced the pilot to open the cargo door so that he could check if the children were inside. He said he was armed and would shoot the pilot if he did not cooperate," said a witness.

                          The pilot tried to calm him down but "he got even more hyper".

                          "The captain opened all the access doors and Devani grabbed a metal bar used for tie-downs that secure the rotor blades when the helicopter is parked," said the witness.

                          Indian/Kenyan businessman Rej Devani attending court

                          "He twice tried to hit the pilot with the metal bar but the pilot managed to escape with Thuo and ran away to the camp. Thuo called the local police who came to arrest him," he said.

                          "When the police arrived, Devani had removed all his clothes and was wearing only underpants. He was arrested on sight and detained," said the witness.

                          After Devani failed to find his child in the cargo hold, he smashed up the windscreen, canopy , fuselage and doors of the helicopter with the metal bar.

                          "We noted that he was somehow out of his senses," stated the Transport ministry incident report.

                          The American girls arrived back from their morning game drive just as the helicopter landed.

                          "An argument ensued and the ladies left the place towards the camp," said the witness. The frightened girls hired a camp car and rushed back to Nairobi.

                          While Devani was detained in Narok police station for two nights, two men arrived, claiming to be from State House. However State House in Nairobi denied any knowledge of Devani and he was charged in the Narok court the next day.

                          Devani had also his wallet, cigarettes, and sunglasses in the helicopter.

                          "There were some drugs in his wallet including some capsules. The police have sent them to the Government Chemist to determine whether they are narcotics or legal medicine," said a witness.

                          The helicopter was patched up a few days later and flown slowly back to Nairobi. It is now grounded awaiting spare parts from France that will take at least a month to arrive.

                          To make matters worse for the charter company, Devani bounced his cheque of Sh234,435 for hire of the helicopter. Devani's accountants have told the charter company that they will advise when the cheque can be rebanked.

                          Devani is a director of Jade Petroleum that sells fuel to Rwanda and Congo. He also supplies electrical transformers to government bodies.

                          Devani has had a bad year. In January he was arrested by police for allegedly shooting the padlock of a five-storey building in Westlands.

                          He had formerly owned Shimmers Plaza but it was auctioned by the National Bank of Kenya over a Sh150 million debt.

                          In January he was also involved in a fracas with a politician on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Nairobi.

                          In 2012 he was involved in legal proceedings trying to deport his Russian wife Adina from Kenya.


                          • #14
                            Pilot Who Crashed And Then Buried Helicopter Now Named

                            A PILOT who crashed and buried the wreckage of a chopper at Doddieburn Ranch near West Nicholson earlier this month has been named as Frikkie Lutzkie, a South African underworld business tycoon and former apartheid soldier.

                            Lutzkie, 52, has crashed in a helicopter before - and just like the Doddieburn incident, he told no-one and simply camouflaged the wreckage in mud.

                            The former Anglo American employee is under investigation by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe following this week's discovery of a South Africa-registered helicopter buried underground.

                            Authorities say he crashed on May 5 2014 on landing at the government-owned farm, which he is leasing through his company Hunt Essentials – but authorities only learnt of the accident last Sunday.

                            Today, Chronicle can reveal that Lutzkie, whose great-grandfather moved from Russia and settled in Vereeniging near Johannesburg, is a controversial character who has been investigated by South African authorities for failing to report another helicopter crash.

                            In May 2012, Lutzkie was apparently returning from a 10-day hunting trip at Askham in the Kalahari when his R50m Augusta A119 helicopter's engine allegedly failed over the Northern Cape, forcing him to crash-land in the Severn area, about 70KM from the McCarthy Border Post near Botswana.

                            The helicopter, which was uninsured, was discovered camouflaged with branches and smeared with mud. South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority said it was informed of the crash three days after it happened – by the police and not Lutzkie himself.

                            "I've millions of rands worth of property and vehicles and nothing is insured. It's my prerogative," he told South African journalists at the time.

                            First time round: The wreckage of an Augusta A119 helicopter belonging to businessman Frikkie Lutzkie, which was found camouflaged on a Northern Cape farm in his first 'crash-and-attempt-to-hide-the-evidence' incident in 2012. Lutzkie says it crashed after its engine failed and when asked to explain why the aircraft had been covered with branches and smeared with mud he stated that this was "to prevent harm to anyone who might come across it"

                            Transport Minister Obert Mpofu said this week that Lutzkie flew into Zimbabwe illegally – and authorities will be looking into his background for evidence of any criminal activity.

                            Neighbours said after crashing his helicopter on May 5, with an unnamed female passenger on board, a second helicopter arrived at Doddieburn and whisked him away before authorities could speak to him.

                            Sources told Chronicle that Lutzkie's company, Hunt Essentials, offers safari at Deka in Victoria Falls, Gokwe, Tuli block and Doddieburn.

                            Tuli block is on the Botswana side of the border, about 100KM from Doddieburn Ranch.


                            • #15
                              Poachers Use Helicopter to Cull Elephants in DRC

                              Poachers operating in one of Africa’s oldest parks have slaughtered at least 68 elephants in the last two months, using chainsaws and armed helicopter to profit from an illegal trade that results in tens of thousands of deaths every year, conservationists warned.

                              A report released Friday by the Geneva-based Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (aka CITES) found that at least 20,000 elephants were killed in Africa in 2013 — fewer than the two previous years but still shockingly high.

                              The Johannesburg-based African Parks group, underscoring the need for greater protection for elephants, said on Thursday that some 4 percent of the population of Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) had been wiped out by poachers in a matter of weeks.

                              The group said that since mid-May, the 1,900-square-mile park, which was established in 1938, has faced an onslaught from several bands of criminals.

                              Poachers are now employing helicopters to cull elephants

                              One particularly sophisticated group is shooting the elephants with high-powered rifles from a helicopter and then severing their tusks with chainsaws. They are removing the elephants’ brains and genitals as well.

                              African Parks, which runs seven parks in six countries in cooperation with local authorities, said the poachers include renegade elements of the Congolese army, gunmen from South Sudan and members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a militant rebel group whose fugitive leader, Joseph Kony, is an alleged war criminal.

                              “The situation is extremely serious,” Garamba Park manger Jean-Marc Froment said in a statement. “The park is under attack on all fronts.” A 2012 census found just 2,000 elephants in Garamba — down from 20,000 in the 1960s.

                              In one skirmish with poachers, park guards had to protect themselves against hand grenades thrown by South Sudanese poachers, some wearing military uniforms.

                              Conservationists say a thriving ivory market in Asia is helping fuel the worst poaching epidemic of African elephants in decades.

                              Eighty percent of the African seizures were in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, three of the eight nations required to draw up plans to curb ivory smuggling, officials with CITES reported.

                              The CITES report says poaching is increasing in the Central African Republic but declining in Chad. The report also says the overall poaching numbers in 2013 dropped from the previous two years.

                              “We are seeing better law enforcement and demand-reduction efforts across multiple countries, as well as greater political and public attention to this unfolding crisis,” said John Scanlon, CITES’ secretary-general.

                              CITES, which regulates 35,000 species of plants and animals, banned ivory trade in 1989.

                              About 28 percent of Africa’s elephants are in eastern Africa, and close to 55 percent are in southern Africa. Some local elephant populations continue to face the threat of immediate extinction.

                              In recent years, the U.N. has warned that armed groups in Africa have been turning to ivory poaching to fund their struggles.


                              • #16
                                Rwandan Flight School Graduates Students

                                Kigali-based Akagera Aviation has recently graduated 11 students sponsored by the Rwandan armed forces and the Rwandan police service.

                                The company is celebrating is ten year anniversary.

                                Student pilots receive classroom sessions from an Akagera Aviation instructor

                                Robinson R44's are used for flight training. Akagera Aviation also sells Robinsons (including the R66)



                                • #17
                                  SanParks Adds New AS350B3e to Fleet

                                  South African National Parks has acquired a new AS350B3e Ecureuil helicopter bringing to three the total number of its rotary-wing assets.

                                  The new helicopter was unveiled at Kruger National Park earlier this week. SanParks spokesman Rey Thakhuli said the aircraft was “a massive acquisition” for the world famous game reserve which bears the brunt of rhino poaching efforts, mainly from Mozambicans.

                                  South African National Parks new AS350B3e ZS-HYI

                                  Specially fitted equipment allows the chopper to be used at night and provide real-time intelligence to ranger and military patrols on the ground.

                                  “The new helicopter will not only be an asset when it comes to tracking poachers but it will also carry out other tasks during night flights,” Thakhuli is reported as saying by Afrikaans daily Beeld.

                                  The newest addition to the Kruger air wing means the park now has three helicopters, one fixed wing aircraft and a pair of Bantam microlights to assist in anti- and counter-poaching operations.

                                  The air support available to SanParks special operations boss retired army general Johan Jooste, is further boosted by a Denel Seeker UAV and two aircraft – one fixed wing and the other rotary-winged, made available by the Paramount Group.

                                  In March this year American philanthropist Howard Buffet donated R225 million over a three year period to the national conservation agency to be used exclusively in efforts to stop rhino poaching and it is from the find that the new Airbus helicopter was purchased.

                                  At that time Thakhuli said at least some of the “welcome” extra funding would go to creating an intensive protection zone (IPZ) incorporating sophisticated detection and tracking equipment; infrastructure on the ground; elite canine units; highly trained ranger teams and improved intelligence gathering and observation and surveillance systems.

                                  Apart from combating rhino poaching the Buffet funding will also be used to test anti-poaching tactics that can be applied elsewhere in Africa where rhinos are also under threat.


                                  • #18
                                    Mi-8's Delivered to West Africa in Response to Ebola Outbreak

                                    Volga-Dnepr Airlines have transported 3 Mi-8 helicopters, to fly for the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

                                    Three Mi-8 helicopters have recently been delivered to West Africa by Volga-Dnepr Airlines in support of the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak

                                    Each aircraft had several components removed in preparation for transportation aboard the Antonov AN-124.


                                    • #19
                                      Helicopter Crew Released by Ethiopian Government

                                      The Ethiopian government have released five helicopters with 26 foreign crew members who were being detained after entering Ethiopian air space without permission.

                                      The five Russian-made civilian helicopters belong to a leasing company based in Khartoum, Sudan. The leasing company is registered in Sudan and operates in different African countries. The helicopters were leased by the Tanzanian government. Three weeks ago the helicopters departed from Khartoum and were heading to Dar es Salaam. Sources at the Ethiopian Ministry of Defense told The Reporter that prior to their departure the pilots did not communicate with the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) to secure a fly-over permission. Sources said the pilots wanted to land in Bahir Dar town of the Amhara Regional State to refuel. Since helicopters have limited fuel-carrying capacity they make frequent landings to refuel on long flights. A helicopter consumes up to 800 liters of jet fuel an hour.

                                      It is the ECAA that grants fly-over and landing permits to local and foreign registered aircraft. The authority also allocates flight path. However, sources said the helicopter leasing company got in touch with a broker in Bahir Dar who reported that the helicopters are allowed to land and refuel in Bahri Dar. The helicopters crossed the Ethio-Sudanese border through the Amhara Regional State. The ECAA air traffic control was monitoring the helicopters with a radar. The Ethiopian Air Force and Air Defense Unit were on full alert. The helicopters were locked by the Ethiopian Air Defense Unit North Regiment.

                                      Sources said since the helicopters were civilian there was no need to intercept and escort them by fighter planes. The helicopters finally landed safely at the Bahir Dar Ginbot 20 International Airport. Immediately, The Ethiopian defense forces escorted the 26 foreign pilots (East Europeans) directly from the helicopters to a detention facility in Bahir Dar. Sources said the Sudanese embassy in Addis Ababa was lobbying for their release.

                                      The Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) was handling the case. The pilots were interrogated before they appeared before the Amhara Regional State High Court in Bahir Dar town accused of entering a sovereign state without permission. "Their intention was to refuel and cross the Ethiopian airspace and to fly to Kenya and then to Tanzania," sources said. "They made a silly mistake. After confirming their intension they were released," sources said.

                                      The court released them on bail. The Ethiopian government last week released the 26 pilots and helicopters and they all left the country. Their case is adjourned and they are expected to re-appear before court. "But the case could be solved through diplomatic negotiations," sources said. The broker who misguided the leasing company is being detained.

                                      Officials of ECAA declined to comment. Officials of the Sudanese Embassy in Addis Ababa were not available for comment by the time The Reporter went to press.

                                      In 2001, Ethiopian Defense force air defense unit shot down a cargo aircraft which entered Ethiopian air space through Tigrai Regional State without a fly-over permission. The cargo aircraft was coming from Eritrea enroute to Mozambique. At that time the cockpit crew did not communicate with the ECAA. The pilots remained mute when asked to respond by the Ethiopian air defense. The aircraft was leased by an African company from a US-based leasing company. Two European pilots died in the incident. The aircraft was hit by a Russian-made anti-aircraft missile called Volga.


                                      • #20

                                        Bristow Nigeria to Train More Mechanics

                                        As part of its contributions to the development of human resources in the aviation sector, Bristow Helicopter said it will spend over N50 million for the training of 20 cadet engineers at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology ( NCAT), in Zaria, Kaduna State.

                                        The 20 cadet engineers, according to the human resources manager of the helicopter company, Mr Femi Collins, will spend 90 weeks at the college. He said the training is part of the company’s initiative to empower Nigerians and strengthen capacity for the aviation sector.

                                        Speaking at the “Meet the Parents” ceremony held at the company’s head office in Lagos, Collins congratulated the eventual 20 cadets that emerged from the over 4000 applications received from all over Nigeria.

                                        He stated that the selection process was thorough and strictly based on merit so both parents and prospective cadets should be very proud of their achievements.

                                        Collins noted that the cadets training was one of Bristows commitment to building capacity in both the aviation and offshore helicopter support industries as these cadets would go on to work on aircraft servicing these two important aspects of the Nigerian economy.

                                        Collins revealed that an average of N2.5 million will be spent on each cadet trainee for the duration of the 90 weeks training. This cost, he stated, will include the tuition fees, accommodation and feeding. Asides this, a monthly allowance will also be made available to each of the cadets throughout the period of the training.

                                        On his part, the Managing Director, Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, Captain Akin Oni, enjoined the cadet engineers to exhibit good behaviour during the period of their training as character and good conduct constitutes one of the assessment elements. Oni noted that though these young Nigerians were being trained in Nigeria, they would later form part of a global pool of engineering talent that could be required and deployed anywhere in the world.

                                        Parents at the signing ceremony expressed their gratitude to Bristow Helicopters for the initiative. Enjoining their children and wards to do them proud, the parents who took turns to speak, noted that the gesture from Bristow was a rare opportunity and a privilege.


                                        • #21
                                          Botswana Police Planning to Replace Ecureuil

                                          The Botswana Police Service plans to replace the Ecureuil is lost earlier this year and to restart regular patrols over Gaborone.

                                          Yesterday, the director of the Air Support Branch, Arthur Johnson said that the only obstacle to their goal was a lack of funds, but that they were hopeful that they will secure a replacement helicopters in the near future. Prior to the crash – which claimed the lives of three officers – the police service had three helicopters performing patrols around the country. “The most urgent task right now is to replace the helicopter which was lost during the accident,” Johnson said.

                                          The Botswana Police Service are making do with a single AS350 to cover their capital city and out-lying operations

                                          “We had plans to increase our fleet even before the crash. There was even a tender notice that we issued before the accident. “But right now we are under pressure to replace the lost helicopter so that we can at least go back to our normal routine,” said Johnson. He said two officers are currently being trained as pilots in South Africa. The service had 11 trained pilots and lost two during the crash. “Now we have nine. We have four based in Francistown, while three are operational here in Gaborone.

                                          There are also two instructor pilots who do fly sometimes. But most of the time they are training the operational ones,” he said. Funds permitting, Johnson would want to send two more students to South Africa in the next financial year.

                                          Meanwhile, Johnson said that ever since the helicopter crash the police air patrols have not been as frequent as they used to be. This is because they had to slash their air patrol operations by half, operating with one aircraft in the north and one here in Gaborone and surrounding areas.

                                          “We are still operational. Before the accident, we had two helicopters based here in Gaborone. One was dedicated to Gaborone while the other one was assisting in areas like Lobatse, Kang, and Gantsi. But now we are trying to make ends meet with just one in all these areas,” he said.


                                          • #22
                                            New B3e's for Botawana Police

                                            Botswana’s Police Service today signed a contract for three new AS350 B3e's for its Police Air Support Branch.

                                            The new helicopters will be customised to the Botswana Police Service’s specification, including the installation of night vision equipment for night-time operations and other law enforcement equipment. The start of delivery of the new aircraft is scheduled for later in 2015.

                                            The Botswana Police have ordered the new AS350 B3e's from Airbus

                                            The additional helicopters with their enhanced capability will fulfil Botswana’s requirement for an expanded airborne law enforcement and crime prevention force.

                                            Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa General Manager, Arnaud Montalvo said: “We are proud to continue our relationship with the Botswana Police Air Support Unit and that it has selected the AS350 B3e, which has a proven pedigree in police missions – especially in hot and high conditions typical of the much of Botswana. We are confident these aircraft will make an enormous contribution to safeguarding the citizens of Botswana and their property”.

                                            In addition to the helicopters, Airbus Helicopters will also train Botswana Police Air Support Branch pilots and mechanics.


                                            • #23
                                              Man Injured in Kenya After Dangling from EC130

                                              This is the terrifying moment a man hangs treacherously onto a helicopter flying the dead body of a prominent businessman, whose murder has sparked an outcry in Kenya.

                                              The crazed man, named as Saleh Wanjala alias Sambaka, defies death as he grips tightly to the landing skis during a public viewing ceremony for the body, because he was desperate to catch a glimpse.

                                              In a moment of madness 28-year-old Saleh refuses to let go even when the helicopter drops to the ground, reports Kenyan news site Standard Digital News.

                                              The pilot, also transporting the bereaved family, does not notice his unwelcome passenger until the public's noise attracts his attention.

                                              The body inside is Jacob Juma, a prominent and controversial figure who was murdered in obscure circumstances last week.

                                              After the video cuts out the pilot had to navigate through powerlines to save Saleh.

                                              He was finally dropped on the Bungoma airstrip, two kilometres away, where he sustained serious injuries on his forehead and legs.

                                              Bungoma County Commissioner Mohamed Maalim said Saleh had been admitted to Bungoma County Referral Hospital.

                                              He said: 'He is under police watch. He will be charged in court once he recuperates for endangering his life and that of the pilot.'

                                              Locals at the scene, on Friday May 13, expressed their shock at what they had seen.