An Embraer ERJ-190-100 jet aircraft, operated by Embraer Commercial Aviation as a non-commercial trial and demonstration flight, visited St Helena Airport between Wednesday 30 November and Friday 2 December 2016. The flight, carrying 11 crew, including two SA Airlink pilots, arrived from Recife, Brazil, and made a smooth landing on Runway 02 (from the south). This aircraft type is one of a number of potential solutions to operating regular flights to St Helena.
As planned, the Embraer aircraft completed a variety of landings, take-offs and circuits at St Helena Airport. This flight generated considerable real time data which, together with a pilot’s report, will help St Helena Airport build a more comprehensive picture of the conditions under which we will be asking a scheduled air service to operate. Embraer will be submitting a full report shortly.
The Embraer aircraft completed a number of successful landings and take-offs from the north (Runway 20) – together with a number of planned ‘touch and goes’, where the aircraft briefly touches down before powering up for take-off. The touch and go manoeuvre allows the pilot to assess a landing without the time taken for a conventional landing and back-track to take off again.
Fly-bys and approaches at different angles were carried out to check the wind conditions and approach paths. The aircraft also conducted climbs from the Airport at various angles. Air Traffic Control actively assisted these trials by giving the necessary weather data and other information to the aircraft.
Over the two days at the Airport, the Embraer team experienced a variety of wind conditions, including turbulence on Runway 20. Work is continuing to understand and mitigate the turbulence and wind shear experienced on Runway 20.
St Helena Airport thanks Embraer Commercial Aviation for this trial flight and looks forward to receiving its report.