Category Archives: Airshow News World

“Incorrect formation” caused fatal Surya Kiran crash at Aero India

Pilot error has been identified as the probable cause of a fatal crash at Aero India in February, according to the Hindustan Times.

One pilot was killed and two were injured when a pair of Hawk Mk.132 jet trainers of the Surya Kiran Aerobatic Team made contact during a display rehearsal on the 19th February.

The aircraft were performing a mirror pass – a manoeuvre which sees one jet fly inverted above a second jet flying erect. To minimise the risk of a collision, there should be both lateral and vertical separation between the two aircraft. However, an anonymous official quoted by the Times said that the two aircraft were flying in an “incorrect formation”, with one jet directly below the other.

Wing Commander Sahil Gandhi, who was flying the inverted jet, was killed when his aircraft descended into the second jet and broke apart. The two pilots in the second jet were able to eject safely.

The official investigation is still going, with the Indian Air Force warning that there could be “serious implications for the erring pilot”.

Surya Kiran flew a 7-ship display as a tribute to their fallen colleague at Aero India, but have not displayed since.

Blue Impulse cancels all shows until July due to aircraft fault

MATSUSHIMA | The aerobatic team of the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force have cancelled several shows due to a fault with the Kawasaki T-4 aircraft they fly.

The JASDF announced that four shows have been cancelled due to unspecified problems with the T-4’s engine. This includes performances at Kanoya Air Base on the 28th April, the Iwakuni Friendship Day on the 5th May, the Kurofune Festival in Shimoda on the 18th May and the Miho Air Festival on the 2nd June.

The team will resume their schedule in Matsushima on the 21st July, followed by a further nine scheduled events across Japan.

Blue Impulse are Japan’s sole formation aerobatic team, flying six blue and white Kawasaki T-4s. Their display is best known for its bomb burst and star figure. The team have only once performed outside of Japan, when they visited Nellis AFB in the United States in 1997.

Royal Jordanian Falcons release 2019 European Tour schedule

AQABA | The national aerobatic team of Jordan today posted the schedule for their annual European tour.

UK and France make up the bulk of the schedule, including an appearence for the first time at Old Warden. The team will also perform in Belgium, Greece and the Republic of Ireland.

Date Show
Jun 29-30 Meeting de l’Air de Cazaux, BA120 Cazaux, France
Jul 7 Shuttleworth Military Airshow, Old Warden, UK
Jul 13 Royal Navy International Air Day, RNAS Yeovilton, UK
Jul 20-21 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK
Jul 27-28 Bray Air Display, Dublin, Ireland
Aug 17-18 Biggin Hill Festival of Flight, London, UK
Aug 24-25 Meeting International de la Somme, Albert – Picardie, France
Sep 7-8 Fête de l’Air Lens, Lens – Benifontaine, France
Sep 15 Sanicole International Airshow, Hechtel, Belgium
Sep 21-22 Athens Flying Week, Tanagra AB, Athens, Greece

Magnificent Muroya takes double Abu Dhabi victory

ABU DHABI | Yoshi Muroya won the opening round of the Red Bull Air Race in Abu Dhabi today by the narrowest of margins, taking the win by just 0.003 seconds.

Photo: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

The 2017 world champion performed spectacularly all week, excelling in Free Practice, flying fastest in Qualifying and taking the victory on Race Day. Under the new format, this earned him the maximum 28 points available over the weekend.

Martin Sonka, the reigning world champion, showed his credentials by coming second, finishing a split second behind his Japanese rival. Michael Goulian finished third both in the race and in Qualifying, meaning he now sits just one point behind Sonka.

Photo: Naim Chidiac / Red Bull Content Pool

Nicolas Ivanoff was both the luckiest and unluckiest pilot of the day. After posting the slowest time of the field in Qualifying, he lost his Round of 14 heat against Yoshi Muroya, but made it through to the next round as the fastest loser. He then beat Kirby Chambliss in the Round of 8, but could not race in the Final 4 as his plane’s engine refused to start. The Frenchman, who won in Abu Dhabi in 2016, had to settle for fourth place.

The pilots battled challenging winds on race day which made gates 7 and 14 much harder than in the Free Practice and Qualifying sessions. Half of pilots picked up penalties in the Round of 8, including Kirby Chambliss, who was caught for climbing in gate 10 and ended with the slowest time of the round. Mika Brageot, who finished in seventh, incurred two penalties; one for insufficient smoke and one for exceeding 11G.

Photo: Joerg Mitter / Red Bull Content Pool

Almost two-thirds of the field picked up penalties in the Round of 14, including Cristian Bolton, who opted for a Safety Climb-Out when he exceeded 12G after gate 6 and was then unable to get his wings level for gate 7. As a result, the Chilean finished in 14th place.

Later, Matt Hall picked up a two-second Incorrect Level penalty at gate 7, which should have given Britain’s Ben Murphy a clear passage to the Round of 8. Instead, the British pilot exceeded 11G and then hit the outside pylon at gate 7. The combined four seconds of penalty knocked Murphy out of the round; he finished in 13th overall. He later said that an alternator failure had distracted him from what should have been an easy run.

Photo: Andreas Schaad / Red Bull Content Pool

Matthias Dolderer was another big name to bow out early. Visibly furious with himself for his Incorrect Level penalty at gate 14, the 2016 world champion ended the day in 11th place. Pete McLeod also had a frustrating week; his 9th place finish (caused by yet another penalty at gate 7) belied his fantastic runner-up performace in Qualifying. However, McLeod was not given the two points usually awarded to the Qualifying runner-up because he his magnito settings accidentally exceeded the regulations.

Muroya therefore starts the season with a spectacular six point lead over his closest rival, but Goulian and Sonka have proved that they are hungry to repeat last year’s success.

RACE RESULTS

Race finish Pilot Country Race points Final time Penalties Quali finish
1 Yoshi MUROYA USA 25 0:53.780 1
2 Martin SONKA CZE 22 0:53.783 4
3 Michael GOULIAN USA 20 0:54.009 3
4 Nicolas IVANOFF FRA 18 DNS N/A 14
5 Matt HALL AUS 14 0:54.760 8
6 Juan VELARDE ESP 13 0:55.221 +2 6
7 Mika BRAGEOT FRA 12 0:56.263 +2 5
8 Kirby CHAMBLISS USA 11 0:56.341 +2 13
9 Pete MCLEOD CAN 5 0:55.196 +2 2
10 Petr KOPFSTEIN CZE 4 0:55.816 +2 12
11 Matthias DOLDERER GER 3 0:56.443 +2 10
12 Francois LE VOT FRA 2 0:58.109 +2 9
13 Ben MURPHY GBR 1 0:58.638 +4 7
14 Cristian BOLTON CHI 0 DNF +3 11

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Position Pilot Team Country Total points Change
1 Yoshi MUROYA Team Falken JPN 28 =
2 Martin SONKA Red Bull Team Sonka CZE 22 =
3 Michael GOULIAN Team Goulian USA 21 =
4 Nicolas IVANOFF Team Hamilton FRA 18 =
5 Matt HALL Matt Hall Racing AUS 14 =
6 Juan VELARDE Team Velarde ESP 13 =
7 Mika BRAGEOT #11RACING Team Eyetime FRA 12 =
8 Kirby CHAMBLISS Team Chambliss USA 11 =
9 Pete MCLEOD Cashback World Racing CAN 5 =
10 Petr KOPFSTEIN Team Spielberg CZE 4 =
11 Matthias DOLDERER Matthias Dolderer Racing GER 3 =
12 Francois LE VOT FLV Racing Team 12 FRA 2 =
13 Ben MURPHY The Blades Racing Team GBR 1 =
14 Cristian BOLTON Cristian Bolton Racing CHI 0 =

 

Red Bull Air Race 2019 tour calendar released

SALZBURG  | The Red Bull Air Race will be heading to new venues this year, with races expected across Europe, North America and Asia.

The race season will begin in Abu Dhabi in February for the traditional season opener before spending the next few months in Europe. This will be followed by two races in Asia and one in Saudi Arabia.

The location for the second date of the tour has not been decided, but an NBN news report last week said the series would feature a new venue “over the Mediterranean”.

A second unconfirmed venue is planned in Asia, however in previous years, events marked “Asia; TBC” on the Red Bull Air Race’s preliminary schedule have in fact been relocated to Europe. A number of Asian cities are known to have expressed interest in hosting the air race, including Singapore and Hong Kong, while Putrajaya in Malaysia hosted a one-off race in 2014.

Notably, the air race will not land in Budapest this year. While originally scheduled for July, the Mayor of Budapest refused to grant the organisers permission to hold the event. Instead, it will be staged at a new venue on the shore of Lake Balaton.

Some fans have criticised the air race organisers for the late release of their schedule, which was published just ten days before the first race and is still incomplete.

Dates Location Notes
Feb 8-9 The Corniche, Abu Dhabi, UAE RACE
Mar 21-23 Dammam Corniche, Dammam, Saudi Arabia DEMO
Jun 1-2 Aviatická Pouť Airshow, Pardubice, Czech Republic DEMO
Jun 15-16 Kazanka River, Kazan, Russia RACE
Jul 13-14 Zamárdi, Lake Balaton, Hungary RACE; Moved from Budapest
TBC Europe; TBC RACE; Postponed from May
Sep 7-8 Makuhari Beach, Chiba, Japan RACE
TBC Asia; TBC RACE
Oct 19-20 Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis, IN, USA RACE
Nov 8-9 Saudi Arabia RACE

Sri Lanka Air Force debuts first-ever aerobatic team

CHINA BAY | The Sri Lanka Air Force’s first ever aerobatic team, the Blue Eagles, staged their first ever performance on Friday 11th January.

The display featured five specially-painted Nanchang PT-6 training aircraft, and was piloted by Qualified Training Instructors from the No. 1 Flying Training Wing. The aircraft performed a number of formation manoeuvres, breaks and solo aerobatics.

The air arm also staged flypasts featuring the IAI Kfir, Chengdu F-7 and Hongdu JL-8, as well as a parachute display and Mil Mi-7 role demonstration.

In the past, the Sri Lanka Air Force have staged basic formation aerobatic displays with the PT-6 and Hongdu JL-8, but this is the first time they have set up a fully-fledged aerobatic team.

The Sri Lanka Air Force operates a fleet of six PT-6s, a Chinese basic trainer aircraft developed in the 1950s. The aircraft is used by other aerobatic teams including the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s ‘Sky Wing’ team and the Desert Rats, a civilian team from the United States.