The start of the new year has seen four fixed wing and two helicopters and three NTCA types join the South African civil aircraft register, while eight have been removed.

Cirrus continues to be a popular choice for many local buyers, with two new Cirrus SR22s – a GTS model, ZS-CHD, and ZS-SES, a smart Platinum Edition G6 with a “custom lava colour scheme” according to Cirrus Aircraft South Africa – being handed over to their proud new owners.  

ZS-CHD is particularly notable as it is a trade-in on ZS-TTD, a Cirrus with a history. ZS-TTD was bought a few years ago by the now 87 year old Denise Hellman, but it turned out that Piet van Blerk, the previous local Cirrus agent, had done a dirty and sold the same plane to two other buyers and pocketed the loot! The plane became the subject of a long and complex court battle, but was eventually returned to the Hellmans. Cirrus South Africa offered a good trade in on ZS-TTD. It has low hours and has been top overhauled and pro-actively treated for any corrosion. The first G7 model is expected to arrive in South Africa end March.

Yet another Cessna Caravan has been imported, while a single Bell 407 and Robinson R44 Raven II round off the helicopter fleet additions.

Airlink has registered its first Embraer 175 ZS-YBG. This is one of four of the type acquired by the carrier to replace their older Embraer 170 model jets. The aircraft arrived at OR Tambo on 18 November and is expected to enter service in the second quarter of this year. It was delivered new to Alitalia in August 2012 and operated with this carrier until withdrawn from use at the beginning of Covid, in early 2020, and stored at Maastricht Aachen Airport in the Netherlands until its delivery to Airlink in the last quarter of 2023.

On the NTC front we have a new type: the DSJ Bushmaster 17, for which I can’t find any further details. Perhaps our readers can contact me with more information about this new aircraft type?

Other locally-manufactured types include a single Savanna S from Savannah Aircraft Africa, and a Kitplanes for Africa Bushbaby Explorer.

Turning our attention to the deletions, we see that another corporate jet leaves the ZS registry, this time an early-model Global Express, ZS-KDR (9023), being cancelled to the Isle of Man registry as M-KDRI. It is thought that the ownership remains unchanged as the registration remains almost unchanged and is therefore perhaps just a change of registration for the owner who is now believed to reside in the United Kingdom.

Other deletions include a second Cessna 172 being cancelled to Somalia; a Cessna 210 moving to the Isle of Man (M-) register, while a second Cessna 210L, ZS-MIA has moved to Guinea Bissau as J5-BAA. Two planes have also been exported to the USA – an Air Tractor AT401 and a Cessna T206H. A Cessna Caravan moves to Kenya and will no doubt join the throngs of the type engaged in tourism operations or operating for the myriad of humanitarian service providers in South Sudan and Somalia. A single Yak-52 aerobatic plane also leaves our shores for New Zealand.

A bit of an aside and one that will soon feature in the registration cancellations is the curious case of the Bombardier Global Express 6500 ZS-BPG (60014) that has taken up the Russian registration RA-73575 following some very short-lived and rapid registration changes. It was test flown with the Canadian registration C-GKAO before being delivered new as VP-CFG to an Asian client. It was subsequently sold and reregistered as ZS-BPG in the latter half of 2023. While it spent a short time at Biggin Hill Aerodrome in the UK before departing to Dubai World Central International Airport in September; but it has never visited its country of registration, nor have I seen any photos of it with its ZS registration.

It was first tracked with its new Russian registration on 26 November, routing from Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport to Abu Dhabi. Industry sources claim the jet may also have been allocated a San Marino registration before becoming ZS and then may also have had a Turkish registration before becoming RA. Clearly an attempt to mask its true country of ownership. This would not be the first time, as there are also at least three Embraer Legacy 600/650 corporate jets flying in Russia with ZS registrations, and none of these have ever been near our shores!

In closing this month, I would like to point out that a few questions have been raised by our readers about the completeness of the monthly register review with specific reference to an Airlink Embraer 190, ZS-YZA (19000651), and a recently imported Citation IISP ZS-IZB (551-0360).

The Citation was noted on flight tracking apps flying from Wonderboom Airport to Lanseria as ZS-IZB on 11 January and I can confirm seeing this jet wearing this registration at Lanseria ten days later, but this registration has not featured in the January updates.

The E190 has also been in service for some time now, but has not, to date, featured on this page. We receive this information by kind co-operation from the South African Civil Aviation Authority and perhaps these were just an omission from the records, but we strive to keep this page as accurate as possible.

————————————————  

NEW REGISTRATIONS                                           

ZS-Registrations                                                                        

Registration                     Registration Date            Aircraft Manufacturer      Aircraft Model                  Serial Number

ZS-YBG                           2024/01/24                      Embraer                           ERJ 170-200 STD            17000346

ZS-SES                            2023/12/22                      Cessna Aircraft Company  SR22                               9515

ZS-CHD                            2024/01/15                      Cessna Aircraft Company  SR22                               9547

ZS-DBY                            2024/01/16                      Textron Aviation Inc.         208 (Caravan)                  20800702

ZT-Registrations                                                                         

Registration                    Registration Date            Aircraft Manufacturer                          Aircraft Model                  Serial Number

ZT-RFD                            2024/01/15                      Robinson Helicopter Company              R44 II                               14690

ZT-REI                             2024/01/25                      Bell Helicopter                                      Bell 407                           56362                                                                                                                                                     

ZU-Registrations                                                                        

Registration                    Registration Date            Aircraft Manufacturer      Aircraft Model                                      Serial Number

ZU-IZJ                              2023/12/19                      Joseph Engels                 DSJ Bushmaster 17                              DSJ 001

ZU-IZT                              2023/12/20                      Savannah Aircraft Africa   Savannah S                                         22-10-54-0910

ZU-IZU                             2024/01/15                      Kitplanes for Africa            Bushbaby Explorer                               025-D-23 EXUL

EXPORTED                                                                                

ZS-Registrations                                                                                            

Registration Deregistration Date         Aircraft Manufacturer      Aircraft Model                  Serial Number                 Country of Export

ZS-OFT        2024/01/19                      Cessna Aircraft Company  FR172J        0442                                Somalia

ZS-NUY        2024/01/17                      Cessna Aircraft Company  C210M         210-62491                       Isle of Man

ZS-OZO       2024/01/09                      Air Tractor Inc.                                      AT 401401-0916              USA

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