Makgadikgadi Epic 2019-Skydiving Boogie

The Magadikgadi Epic once again took place with some of Africa’s finest scenery along the salt pans of Sowa,which lies in the Central District of Botswana. The event consisted of a number of skydivers from across the world sharing their knowledge with one another and using jumping platforms from both the Botswana Defence force and a lonely South African based Atlas Angel.

Sua Pan

Kampsite

Casa 235 & C130B

Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe

Skydivers from around the world

Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130

Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130B#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan.

Sowa Town

A lot of our questions we get is what is skydiving, another word for skydiving known as Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. If you enjoy skydiving the Sua pan is the best place to view from the sky.

We had a early start, leaving Pretoria in the premature hours of Thursday 11 July 2019. Arriving back at the pans after visiting last year, we were greeted by members of the Botswana Parachute Association and old friends from Botswana. The evening we were briefed for the upcoming days activities. Before going to bed, one could admire the beautiful galaxy the pans bring out with the absence of city lights and other concerning noises one would hear while trying to get some sleep.

Entrance onto the pans

Our accommodation

Our accommodation was made up tents with comfortable beds, added with warm blankets and pillows for the chilly nights. With the wildlife in Botswana we were spoiled to see many types around the area, including Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and many more!

Blue Wildebeest

Zebra

The following morning saw the first jump with a quick briefing at manifest (meeting area) before making our way with the shuttles to Sowa airport, just a few kilometers away from the pans. The first two days the jump ship was the Botswana Defence Force Casa 235, while the next two days saw the welcome return of the Lockheed Martin C130B. The Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe took tandems (first time skydivers) during the course of the epic.

Evening Briefings

Turnoff to Sua Airport

BDF Casa 235

Casa 235 cargo hold

Wingsuit

C130B Sunset Flypast

C130 cargo Hold

Atlas Angel

Ready for the jump in the Atlas Angel

The Saturday was open to the people of Botswana to come enjoy a day out on the pans, in addition as listen to some local musicians while skydiving doings took place. This saw mass jumps from the C130B, as said this could accommodate more skydivers in the large cargo hold the aircraft has. One of the jumps saw the aircraft climb to 19 000ft with oxygen fitted to the aircraft for the skydivers use. Helicopter flips were also available with one of the Delta Rescue Bell Jetrangers.

Oxygen at 19 000ft

Wingsuiters ready for the jump from the C130

Bell Jetranger giving flips over the pans.

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019 Highlights#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Botswana current president Mokgweetsi Masisi also visited the event on Saturday afternoon. Great to see world leaders visiting top notch events that bring exposure from around the world. The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van), just this time on sand and stone.

Cyril Nfila and a happy new skydiver

The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van) and a Taxi, just this time on sand and stone.

A big thank you to the Botswana Parachute Association, Colonel Majama, Botswana Tourism and many others who got us to the event. A big Congratulations to another successful boogie and a safe event.Individually next year is again on our lists to attend without a doubt.

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Krugersdorp Flying Club-Spot Landing and Airfield Festival 2019

By Dian Townsend

The Krugersdorp Flying Club (KFC) hosted their annual Spot Landing and Airfield Festival. It was an overall great day with the weather playing along very nicely. Many pilots competed in the spot landing competition and there were many classic cars forming the static display.

Flying started at about 10h00 with a couple of Cessna’s, which were then followed by some Beechcraft and other interesting aircraft. Part of the static aircraft was an Antonov AN-2 ‘Daizy’ and four Robinson helicopters. Many of the pilots that competed in the spot landing competition also parked their aircraft on the static display area.

The motor show was also a big success with no less than 20 cars on display.
There was plenty to do for the whole family. Vendors sold toys for the kids, Karel Zaayman from the Aviation Shop also was present with many of aviation finest collection up for purchase as well as lunch and many other interesting crafts and memorabilia. An Alouette III helicopter gave flips to visitors, showing them the beautiful scenery around the airfield.

All things considered, it was a brilliant day. There was a very good turnout of aircraft and cars, offering something for the aviation fan as well as the petrolhead. There was something to do for everybody and it was near impossible to be bored while looking at all the aviation spectacles. Well done to Henco Van Niekerk on winning the spot landing competition. We look forward to next year’s edition!

Spot Landing Participants

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Aero South Africa 2019

The General Aviation Global show of the world which has been taking place in Lake Constance in Germany for the last 40 years and now the show has made its way to South Africa. This is due to the close partnership between Messe Friedrichshafen and Messe Frankfurt.

The much anticipated Aero South Africa finally arrived on South African shores at the Wonderboom National Airport in the city of Tshwane. This was the first of its kind in South Africa to introduce this type of expo to the General Aviation Industry. The purpose of the event was to see an interactive trade show with demonstration flights of the different aircraft, aviation exhibitors, flight schools and other products in the industry that were showcased, a fly-inn was also part of the proceedings during the entire duration of the event.

4000 square meters of space was provided for exhibition space, consisting of indoor, outdoor, park and sell plus and aircraft display area. This included general aviation most of all types seen in South Africa, a couple of warbird aircraft that also flew in for the event, such as the P51D Mustang, De Havilland Tiger Moth and also part of the De Havilland family the Wonderboom based De Havilland T55 Vampire, a number of helicopters were on static display and in the park and sell area.

Swiss Vampire T55 & Wonderboom National Airport Terminal

The Saturday saw the entire apron full of aircraft both that flew in and that of who were present from day 1.Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrews from the South African Airforce was Ramp Controller and made sure he could accommodate any type of aircraft for parking purposes for all three days of the event.

Bell 407-Dian Townsend

The Park and Sell area was pointed out as a new attraction to any aviation event in South Africa sponsored by the well know Auto Trader which made a perfect opportunity to sell previously owned aircraft. A total of 80+ exhibitor’s were present. The new Cirrus vision jet of CDC aviation was a favourite for us to see south Africa’s first of its type face to face for the first time. Absolute’s Aviation Citation XLS+ was also one of the bizjets on static display shadowed by a Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

Cessna 210-Dian Townsend

Cessna Citation XLS+

Absolute Aviation showing the youth a Cessna Grand Caravan

Team Extreme’s Jason Beamish and Nigel Hopkins in their Extra 330 Aerobatic Aircraft closed day 1 of Aero South Africa with a short aerobatic display, while day 2 and 3 were closed off with Jason in his Extra 330 and Mark Sampson in his Sbach 341.They also met up with Menno Parsons on the final day of Aero in his P51D ‘Mustang Sally’ with some formation flying before the day concluded.

Team Extreme Extra 330s

P51D ‘Mustang Sally’

Century Avionics was many of the many exhibitors of the event, their products were put to show were the static display of both Team Extremes MX2 owned and flown by Mark Hensman’s and Mark Sampson’s Sbach 341 with GPSs and other avionics the aircraft are fitted with.

MX2

Villa San Giovanni’s Restaurant made sure pure business visitors and the general public didn’t go hungry with excellent Italian cuisine during the three days of the show, as well as accommodation on the airports premises.

Little Annie the well known Airshow Antonov 2 owned by the Hill Family, was on static display and visitors were able to look and interact with. They also had a raffle for a new set of Bose Headsets with R20 000 which is available with Wings n Things from Lanseria International Airpor.Wings ‘n Things is a pilot supplies store established in 1990. We are authorised dealers of the world’s leading aviation brands such as Jeppesen, David Clark and Bose, as well as a reseller of many other aviation products.

‘Little Annie’ AN2

A huge well done to all the organisers of the event both local and overseas officials. Lets hope this becomes and annual event with the next Aero South Africa even bigger.

Saturday was the busiest day of the AERO SA trade show weekend. The morning started out quiet but picked up speed after 10h00. The fly-in was a great success. Anything and everything that flies was seen at Wonderboom. Vans RVs, Cessna, Bat hawks and many Robinson Helicopters. Absolute Aviation Group with Jason Beamish took photos with fans and they printed them on customized frames. The day played out beautifully and there was entertainment for the whole family. Definitely one for the 2020 calendar!-Dian Townsend SAAFMPC Member

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SAAF Museum Flying Day 2019-07-06

The first Saturday of July 2019 saw the annual SAAF Museum flying training day take place at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria. Known as the second oldest operational air force base in the world saw a number of museum assets take to the skies above Pretoria.

AFB Swartkop Tower

The day started with a pilots briefing, where Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies Officer commanding the SAAF Museum Lieutenant Colonel ,Trish Schoeman Officer Commanding AFB Swartkop and Major Iwan Robbertse (Oryx Helicopter Commander) briefed the pilots on movements and safety for the days flying programme.

Major Iwan Robbertse, Safety officer for the day

A walk through the hangers and some of the aircraft shelters on the bases premises bring back memories of the past aircraft that roamed the skies in South Africa and been able to see the flying exhibits such as the Museums Harvard’s and Harvard Clubs possessions, one of two Cessna C185s,Bosbok,Patchen Explorer, Alouette II, Alouette III and Aerospatiale Puma, which was also the SAAF Golden Eagles Parachute Display Team jump ship for the mornings processing’s.

T6 Harvard

Cessna C185

Alouette III

Aerospatiale Puma

Skydiver

Golden Eagles Parachuting team
Golden Eagles Parachuting team

Golden Eagles Parachuting team
Golden Eagles Parachuting team

Golden Eagles Parachuting team
Golden Eagles Parachuting team

Skydiving photos credit Wimpie Gerber

The Windsock Café fed hungry pilots and visitors with the friendly and helpful Johnathan Taylor behind the counter, The Spitfire Restoration Team also were present with the shadow of ‘Spotty’ the Cheetah hangered in one of the exhibit shelters. The Friends of the Museum also doing their part of giving back to the SAAF Museum.

Mirage F1AZ

Alouette III

Aerospatiale Puma

With the now confirmed date for the SAAF Museum Airshow on the 7th September, the anticipation for a great airshow is around the corner, keep your eyes on our website and Facebook page for the upcoming airshow for more information. Until then keep them up where they’re belong!

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Breaking News-SAAF Museum Airshow set for 7th September 2019

The South African Airforce Museum Airshow is set to take place at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria on Saturday 7th September 2019.The Officer commanding of AFB Swartkop confirmed with Aviation Central the official date has been set for the 7th September and NOT the 31 August 2019.

We look forward to working with the SAAF and the Museum as we get ready for another successful airshow that will once again take place over Pretoria skies.

Keep an eye out on our social media pages for more information on the upcoming Airshow.

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