A Colombian Air Force CASA (Airbus) CN235-200M crashed in Las Palomas in Cesar, Colombia, on 31 July 2015, with the loss of 11 people on board.
The military transport aircraft flew in the country since 1998. Although the official cause of the crash is still unknown, reports say that the crew reported engine failure before the accident while eye-witnesses saw lightning strike the plane.
The modified aircraft was part of the very mixed transport fleet of the Fuerza Aérea Colombiana (FAC), that includes four CASA C212 Aviocars, nine C295s, seven Lockheed C-130B/Hs, eight Beechcraft King Airs, a pair of Embraer EMB-110s, ten Cessna 208s and for VIP duties two Boeing 737s and two 727s. Colombia is also one of the nations buying Embraer’s biggest and promising KC-390 tanker/transport aircraft, with 12 on order.
With the arrival of the first Airbus (CASA) CN235-300 at 50 Transport Squadron (l’escadron de transport (ET) 50) at La Réunion on 4 June 2015, the end of the C.160 Transall as France’s key air asset in the southern Indian Ocean has started.
Coming in from BA110 Creil the first Armée de l’Air (AdlA) to serve at the island about 500 miles (800 km) east of Madagaskar made stop overs in Algeria, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania before arriving on its new home base. A second CN235-300 will follow by mid-July.
The first of the two C.160 that currently form the Transall detachment that has been active at La Réunion since 1973 will leave after the second CN235 arrives. The second C.160 is planned to fly back to France in early August, according to a statement by the French Ministry of Defence.
The AdlA CN235s to operate from La Réunion are part of a batch of eight received in 2013.
Big decisions are made in New Delhi these days. Apart from a giant deal with Russian Helicopters, the Defence Acquisition Council said “yes” on Wednesday 13 May to the Airbus-TATA offer to replace the Hawker Siddeley 748 aircraft with the Airbus C295 medium airlifter.
A total of 56 Avro aircraft – licence-produced in the sixties by Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) – are to be replaced. Sixteen of the aircraft will be bought directly from the former CASA – now Airbus – plant in Spain, while TATA Advanced Systems and the Indian Production Agency (IPA) will locally produce the other 40 twin-propeller aircraft under license.
Czech, Hungarian and Swedish Saab JAS 39 Gripens fighters show themselves from every angle during exercise Lion Effort 2015 in the Czech Republic these days. In-flight pictures are a top priority for many. However, not all are aware of the effort and preparations that goes into air-to-air footage.
See here and here for more recent air-to-air footage on Airheadsfly.com.
The actual release of the camera shutter is the culmination of a complex process which eventually makes the day for some of the photographers who get the chance to zoom in on the Gripen flying over Čáslav airbase, where over two dozen Saab Gripens operate alongside each other for two weeks.
This photo shoot was attended by a total of five Gripen jets – one Czech and two Hungarian and Swedish each – as well as one Czech Air Force L-159 ALCA and a CASA C-295.
Preparations begin long before the aircraft are launched. It takes a lot of coordination for the fighter pilots to join up with a Czech Air Force CASA C-295 transport aircraft from Prague-Kbely airbase, carrying the photographers and their equipment – on a space available basis.
Planning the mission involves a pilot briefing to decide which jets will be chosen for the photo session. Subsequently the choreography of the birds is coordinated with the photographers. Together with the pilots they arrange formations that allow unique and visually interesting aspects.
When everything is sorted out and agreed, the participants – jet and transport aircraft crews, the photographers – have to wait for their take off times and hope that the weather will hold.
The top priority is always on the safety of all involved. Various other factors need to be taken into account such as the speed, positioning and altitude of the fighters and the photo platform. Therefore pilots have designed each passing manoeuvre and brought it to perfection – all pilots exactly know their role in the photo shoot.
Once airborne the CASA and Gripen pilots maintain radio contact permanently to handle any challenges that may occur. Everyone involved – the jet pilots and the transport aircraft crews as well as ground controllers and ground handling crews – did an excellent professional job. And as you can see for yourself, the results show.
Lion Effort continues until 23 May, when an airshow at Čáslav celebrates the end of the exercise as well as ten years of flying the Gripen in the Czech Republic.
The Philippines Air Force has taken delivery of the first of three Airbus C295 medium transport aircraft ordered from Airbus Defence & Space. The aircraft was formally handed over in Seville, Spain, where the final assembly line is located. The aircraft has been ferried to the Philippines.
In Philippines Air Force service the C295 will play a key role in the modernization of the force´s transport fleet and will undertake a wide variety of military and humanitarian missions.