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Portuguese F-16AM Fighting Falcons, C-295 VIMAR Among The Highlights Of Lajes Spotters Day 2021

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Lajes Spotter Day
The F-16AM Special Tail that celebrates the 60th anniversary of Esq. 201. (All images: APS-Associação Portugal Spotters).

Here are the most interesting aircraft taking part in Lajes Spotters Day, in the Azores.

On Jun. 12, 2021, Portuguese Air Force Base Aérea N º4 at Lajes, Azores, hosted the Lajes Spotters Day 2021 to celebrate the anniversary date of the base and to showcase the most recent Portuguese Air Force (Força Aérea Portuguesa) F-16AM deployment.

Five PoAF F-16AM Fighting Falcon jets, belonging to Esq. 201, from Monte Real airbase deployed to Lajes via Porto Santo: the aircraft took part in the celebration of Portugal’s National Day, on June 10th, whose celebrations were hosted at Funchal, in Madeira archipelago. The Portuguese fighters performed overhead Funchal, before leaving for the strategic base, located midway between North America and Europe, in the north Atlantic Ocean, some 1,600 km west of mainland Portugal.

The 5x F-16AM involved in the deployment and Lajes Spotters Day were Peace Atlantis I and II FMS (Foreign Military Sales) jets: #15103, the Esq. 201 “Falcões” flagship a/c, featuring a special tail “hawk head” colour scheme over the tail, introduced in 2018, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Squadron.; #15108 and #15114 and Peace Atlantis II FMS: #15131 and #15142.

Lajes Spotter Day
One of the F-16s of the Portuguese Air Force taking off from Lajes AB.

With deliveries beginning in 1994, Portugal procured a total of 45 F-16A/B Block 15 jets. Under Peace Atlantis I, an agreement signed in 1990, partly in return for the use of Lajes Air Base by the U.S. forces, Portugal received the first 20 Block 15OCU aircraft (17 single seaters and 3 two-seaters) with engines and initial logistic support to equip a squadron (Esq. 201 at Monte Real). The subsequent 25 ex-USAF Block 15 were procured under Peace Atlantis II in 1999.

Portuguese Viper taxiing.

During the Lajes Spotters Day, 4x F-16AM took off to carry out some exercises inside the restricted airspace to the northwest of Lajes while some other interesting traffic could be observed by the photographers. In particular, a PoAF C-295 #16708 in VIMAR (maritime surveillance) configuration; a CC-295 Kingfisher #295507, purchased under the FWSAR – Fixed Wing Search and Rescue programme and on delivery to the Royal Canadian Air Force; and a Spanish Air Force T.18-5 Dassault Falcon 900B arrived from the Dominican Republic for a short refuelling before setting off bound for Madrid. This a/c is noteworthy in that, besides sporting the latest “Reino de Espana” titles, now displays a new not before seen squadron code as “45-05”, whereas it was before “45-44”.

Lajes Spotter Day
The Portuguese C-295 16708 in VIMAR configuration.
Lajes Spotter Day
The RCAF CC-295W Kingfisher on delivery via St. John’s International Airport, in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
Lajes Spotter Day
Spanish Air Force T.18-5 Dassault Falcon 900B with the new code 45-05.

David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/06/22/lajes-spotters-day/

Aviation

Legendary F-14 Pilot Dale ‘Snort’ Snodgrass Dies In A Tragic Plane Crash

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Snodgrass
The famous knife-edge low pass over the USS America. In the box: Capt. (Ret) Dale “Snort” Snodgrass. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Snodgrass was the sole occupant of a SIAI-Marchetti SM.1019 that crashed at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

The legendary F-14 Tomcat pilot Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, the type’s most experienced pilot, tragically lost his life on July 24, 2021 in a plane crash at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, Idaho. Snodgrass was the only person onboard a SIAI Marchetti SM.1019, a small Italian-made STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) aircraft built in the 1970s off the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog’s design, that crashed at midday shortly after takeoff and caught fire.

While initially it was only rumored, the presence of Snodgrass on the aircraft was confirmed by airport manager Michael Isaacs, as reported by the Lewiston Tribune website. The Lewiston Fire Department stated that the aircraft came down in a field and caught fire just off the airport’s taxiway Charlie, with the rescue services responding to the emergency call at 12:11 pm and bringing the fire under control in fewer than five minutes.

The causes of the incident are unknown at this time and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) officials are on scene to begin the investigation. According to the Aviation Safety Network website, the mishap aircraft was the SM.1019B registered as N28U and belonging to Snodgrass’ company 717 Aviation Inc.

Snodgrass retired as a Captain from the U.S. Navy after 26 years of decorated service. His career was remarkable since the beginning, when he became the first student to be selected to fly the F-14 Tomcat straight from the flight school. Later on, he became the F-14 demonstration pilot, a role that he retained for more than a decade, during which he flew remarkable displays at the edge of the Tomcat’s flight envelope. A famous shot from this period is the knife-edge pass at flight deck level over the CV-66 USS America in 1988.

Moving on in his military career, Snodgrass rose through the ranks until he became Commander Fighter Wing Atlantic, in charge of the F-14 operation of the entire Navy and also spearheading the Tomcat’s Precision Strike effort. When he retired, he was the pilot with the highest time in the F-14, having logged more than 4,900 flight hours (including 34 combat missions over Iraq in 1991 during Desert Storm) and 1,200 arrested landings on aircraft carriers. Among his records, he was also a TOPGUN graduate and instructor.

After retirement, Snodgrass continued to fly jets and warbirds at airshows, becoming qualified to fly F-86 Sabre, P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, F4U Corsair, T-6/SNJ Texan, L-39 Albatros, MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-21 and, more recently, the F-5 Tiger, but also as Chief Pilot for Draken International. His most recent count shows more than 12,500 flight hours in countless aircraft types, both civilian and demilitarized aircraft. In the last 20 years, he flew during more than 850 airshows.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/07/25/dale-snort-snodgrass/

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Production of De Havilland turboprops key to negotiations as strike deadline nears

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From City News 1130 – link to source story

BY ROSS MAROWITS, THE CANADIAN PRESS | Jul 25, 2021

The exterior of the Bombardier Global 7500 jetline is photographed during a press conference event in Mississauga on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The union representing Bombardier and De Havilland aerospace workers in Toronto are threatening a strike this week unless negotiations can guarantee Dash 8 turboprop jobs remain in the GTA.

After a three-week cooling-off period, separate talks were set to resume Sunday ahead of a Tuesday strike deadline.

Unifor national president Jerry Dias said the negotiations are about “protecting the kind of highly skilled advanced manufacturing jobs we need now more than ever.” 

About 2,200 members of Unifor Local 112 and Local 673 at Toronto’s Downsview plant manufacture Bombardier’s Global business aircraft and until recently the Dash 8 turboprops for De Havilland Canada. 

The labour negotiations come at a time when the aviation sector is taking baby steps to recover from government-forced shutdowns of international commercial travel because of COVID-19.

With the COVID-19 pandemic taking a bite out of aircraft sales, hundreds of aerospace employees are on layoff as production winds down on the Dash 8.

The regional aircraft is used by airlines including WestJet, Porter and Jazz.

The union wants De Havilland, whose parent company is Longview Aviation Capital Corp., to commit to making the Dash 8 somewhere in Greater Toronto when production resumes.

“When they say to me we don’t have any sales on the horizon, I believe them. But the bottom line is, if they’re going to build that plane our members are building it,” said Dias, who began his career working at the Downsview plant in the 1970s.

Longview bought the turboprop program from Bombardier for $300 million in June 2019 and formed a holding company called De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. 

The company announced earlier this year that it would no longer produce new Q400 aircraft at the facility beyond currently confirmed orders. De Havilland indicated two years ago that work will end at Downsview once lease agreements for the land expire.

Dias fears De Havilland plans to move production to its facilities in Alberta.

He said the company refused to bargain any sort of scope clauses that would limit production to somewhere in the GTA, including Pearson International Airport where Bombardier has broken ground on a new facility for its Global business jets.

“Their silence on the matter is very troublesome,” he said in an interview. “The bottom line is we’ve got a lot of people have worked there for a lot of years and have worked on this program and they deserve the right to continue to build the program.”

De Havilland said it believes the Dash 8 has a future despite the challenges faced by the industry because of the pandemic. 

“However, the company cannot and will not rush to a decision on future production location, nor negotiate a site plan in public,” it said in an email.

“We are eager to work in partnership with the union as we chart a sustainable long-term future for aircraft manufacturing. But that future relies on a concerted effort to transform the business to the circumstances we are facing.”

De Havilland said the union must agree to “a fair and reasonable” collective agreement that is fundamental to the company’s future investment in the aircraft.

Unifor is negotiating separately with Bombardier, with the two sides battling over a variety of items including wages and working conditions.

However, Dias said a strike would affect operations of both companies because of their shared driveway, entrance and exit.

“The bottom line is, if we have a strike with either of the two, the entire facilities are down,” he said, adding that there’s a lot of solidarity among members because many worked side-by-side for 25 to 30 years.

Unifor negotiated a contract with Bombardier in 2018 that expired in June. They committed not to sell the Dash 8 program and then did just that.

“So the mess we’re in now by and large they created. So if they end up being caught in the crossfire, well then too bad for them. They created a mess in the first place.” Dias said.

Bombardier said talks are progressing “constructively” after both sides agreed to a brief pause but the company declined to comment on “hypothetical scenarios.”

“Bombardier negotiations with Downsview employees have a history of positive outcomes – we’ve concluded agreements for nearly two decades,’ it said in a statement. 

“Right now, Bombardier is focused on reaching an equitable agreement that helps preserve jobs and positions Bombardier and Unifor members for success as the business aviation industry rebounds.”

Workers in Toronto have built Dash-series aircraft since 1946, including the Dash 8 series for more than 30 years. 

The federal and Quebec governments recently announced a $700-million injection into the aerospace industry, including nearly $70 million for aircraft engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to develop the first sustainable hybrid-electric prototype propulsion system with various partners, including DHC and the Dash 8. 

Bombardier sold Downsview, a 148-hectare tract of land that used to be a military airport, to Canadian pension manager Public Sector Pension Investment Board in June 2018 for US$635 million or net proceeds of US$550 million after costs.

Unifor wants the federal and Ontario governments to press De Havilland to maintain jobs in the province especially after approval of severing the land in Downsview was approved on the premise that jobs would be protected, said Dias.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 25, 2021.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/07/25/production-of-de-havilland-turboprops-key-to-negotiations-as-strike-deadline-nears/

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Israel’s El Al Airlines Starts Flying to Morocco After Diplomatic Resolution Between the Two Countries

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El Al Israel Airlines on Sunday launched nonstop flights to Marrakesh from Tel Aviv following a resumption of diplomatic ties last year between Morocco and Israel.

Flight 553 took off at 11:35 a.m. (0835 GMT) using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft for the six-hour journey.

Israel and Morocco agreed last December to resume diplomatic ties and relaunch direct flights — part of a deal brokered by the United States that also included Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

“This route will help promote tourism, trade and economic cooperation between the two countries,” said Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov.

El Al, Israel’s flag carrier which was hit hard last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said it will operate up to five flights a week to Morocco, switching to smaller Boeing 737 planes.

Morocco was home to one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East for centuries until Israel’s founding in 1948. An estimated quarter of a million left Morocco for Israel from 1948-1964.

Today only about 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis claim some Moroccan ancestry.

Moroccan officials describe their deal with Israel, including the opening of liaison offices, as a restoration of mid-level ties that Rabat cooled in 2000 in solidarity with Palestinians.

In March, Moroccan Tourism Minister Nadia Fettah Alaoui said she expected 200,000 Israeli visitors in the first year following the resumption of direct flights. That compares with about 13 million yearly total foreign tourists before the pandemic.

Tourism revenue in Morocco fell by 53.8% to 36.3 billion dirhams ($3.8 billion) in 2020.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

This article was written by Steven Scheer from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Source: https://skift.com/2021/07/25/israels-el-al-airlines-starts-flying-to-morocco-after-diplomatic-resolution-between-the-two-countries/

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MyWings starts using a Trade Air Airbus A319

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"Mother Teresa", operated by Trade Air

MyWings is a new airline based in Pristina, Kosovo.

The pictured Airbus A319 is operated by Trade Air. Flights are operated by Trade Air under the Trade Air C3 code.

The A319 was welcomed at Pristina (Prishtina) on July 22 (above).

Operations began on July 23 with 9A-BTJ.

Trade Air made this announcement:

Here is our new member of the Trade Air fleet, A319, registration 9A-BTJ, that we immediately engaged to fly to PRN from where it will operate under colors of MyWings for the rest of the summer. It’s proudly carrying the name “Nana Teresa” (“Mother Teresa”).

Previously the virtual airline used Air Mediterranean to operate its flights which began on June 28, 2020.

Top Copyright Photo: MyWings – Trade Air Airbus A319-112 9A-BTJ (msn 1808) BSL (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 954513.

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/07/25/mywings-starts-using-a-trade-air-airbus-a319/

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