Starlite Aviation Training Academy has launched the new Robinson R44 Cadet helicopter, the first of its kind in South Africa and boasting the 4th chassis in the world. Starlite purchased the Cadet in October and the aircraft is ready to join the Academy’s impressive fleet of Robinson training aircraft. Suitable for a wide variety of utilitarian applications, the two seater R44 was developed specifically for the training market.
The Cadet retains the same basic airframe, rotor system and Lycoming O-540-F1B5 engine as the R44 Raven I, however, the rear seats have been removed and the aft compartment reconfigured for cargo. The maximum gross weight is 2200 lb/998kgs, 200 lb/98kgs less than the Raven I. The engine power is reduced to 210 HP take off/185 HP continuous, down from 225/205 HP in the Raven I. The lower weight and reduced power provide increased performance margins at high altitudes. In addition to a newly designed muffler, the Cadet’s flyover noise signature is more than three decibels lower than the current R44 Raven I. A variety of optional equipment is available, including air conditioning, auto pilot and avionic packages optimized for VFR or IFR training.
Starlite Aero Sales, one of the primary dealers in Robinson aircraft in South Africa, purchased the new Cadet. Company Director, Klara Fouché endorsed the aircraft’s capabilities as the new number one training aircraft and anticipates a keen interest from private and corporate business.
Having assembled and completed the testing of the new helicopter, Starlite Maintenance Durban’s Chief Engineer, Emmanuel Mhungu is satisfied that the Cadet is airworthy and ready to join the training fleet.
Starlite staff celebrated the 5000 hour flying mark of the 10 helicopter Guimbal Cabri G2 fleet. This stylish machine is extremely popular amongst flying instructors and students.
Starlite’s Fixed Wing CFI, André Middel celebrated 24 000 flying hours, which includes 18 000 hours of instruction. He is rated on 70 aircraft types.
André began his career in aviation in 1976. In 1986, he opened Springbok Aviation Academy on the Mossel Bay airfield operating a small but successful Fixed Wing Training School.
In 2014, Andre joined Starlite Aviation Training Academy as the Fixed Wing CFI.
Well-respected in aviation circles, André has built an excellent reputation both on the African continent and abroad.