Monthly Archives: October 2019

Ladysmith Aviation Career Expo & Airshow 2019

Kwa-Zulu Natal got to see their second airshow in the province this year after Newcastle Airshow during the early period of the South African Airshow calendar . Ladysmith was the chosen airport to host the Aviation Career expo and airshow on the 25th and 26th October 2019,with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) supporting the whole event.

The Ladysmith Airfield goes back many years and with the Ladysmith Hotel in close proximity, the actual hotel was the airfields old terminal building which was opened by Brigadier C.G Ross,C.BE.,D.F.C on the 26th October 1950. The airfield is home to a small flight school and hangers other small aircraft for private use.

Friday 25th October youth from surrounding school in Ladysmith and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province got to know more about the aviation industry through the help of Civil Aviation Authority providing an Awareness drive to the children with talks by pilots, engineers and getting to network with display pilots in preparation for the following days airshow.

Free to the public was this years Ladysmith airshow, with the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team 83 in formation with Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper in a JAS39D Gripen. Major Omphile Matloane possibly completing his last airshow display as Falcon one as he will be moving on to instruct on helicopters at 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein next year.

The Silver Falcons completed their display with two training livery aircraft from, Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.Falcon 8 Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis produced the commentary for their show and all other display acts of the day.

The three jet display were part of the exciting program with the roar of the might 2 Squadron Gripen in which we saw two different gripens during the course of the day. In the morning we had ‘3905’ JAS39D dual seater and in the afternoon the solo display with ‘3916’ which was again put through its paces by Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper. The Gripen operated out of Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria as made it to Ladysmith within 20 minutes of flight time!

Glen Warden flew the L29 Delphin, an ex eastern block jet trainer and Airlink displayed one of their Embraer E190s which made brilliant photo opportunities as one doesn’t see a airliner fly in Ladysmith everyday .

The Goodyear Eagles Pitts display team flew their four ship display, Team Extreme was present with 3 aircraft and once again showed off their famous knife edge passes before heading back to Rand Airport as large thunder storms closed the show off.

The South African Airforce also had a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display. A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flew some of the lucky youth on Saturday morning before the show by Major Nick Green, Major Ashley Naxhe and Flight Saregent Jaques De Kock.

“Little Annie” an Antonov An2 flown by Jon-Marc Hill and Ryan Smith were the jump ship for this show and dropped some of the Adventure Skydiving members, with Ralph Ridge flying South Africa’s biggest flag.

André van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter display and most probably the best Gyrocopter display. André has now displayed both in South Africa,Botswana and recently Mozambique!

Flying Display Director from Airshow South Africa “ASSA” Rickus Erasmus,Safety director Colonel Francois “Hose” Hanekom, Ramp Controller Cliff Lotter and Louise Hofmeyr as airshow programme director.

Well done to Ms Poppy Khoza and her team at the South African Civil Aviation Authority on providing a great variety of aircraft for a CAA Airshow. We look forward to the last show of the year at Polokwane as part of International Civil Aviation Day ‘ICAD’,which will also form part of an airshow.

Do you want the Russians to return?

During the past week those in Gauteng were treated to some special visitors… the Russians, an African first for the landing of The Tupolev Tu-160 in Africa, and that in our very own South Africa.
The General that headed the team that visited South Africa mentioned the they might return soon during the farewell function held Friday evening.
One of the crew also dropped that they could be returning in 2020 during the time spend at O.R Tambo international Airport.
2020 We see the next Addition of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2020) and also be celebrating SAAF100. Just maybe they will return!

Would you like to see the Russians return with the TU-160's?

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Below is and video of the Tupolev Tu-160’s departing ORTIA in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Ladysmith Airshow 2019 What to expect

2nd last Airshow for South African Airshow season for 2019

The Ladysmith Airshow is set to take place this Saturday 26th October at the Ladysmith airfield in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

This year KZN only saw one Airshow in the province in Newcastle. Some Airshow favorites are to take to the skies including the mighty 2 Squadron Gripen, Silver Falcons Team 83, Little Annie and the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s and many more!

This will be the Silver Falcons and Gripen second appearance at a airshow in KZN this year. Ladysmith visitors be prepared for a good rumble which will echo far into the Drakensberg mountains.

Team Extreme Extra 330s

The Airshow is free to the public and a youth awareness day will be held on 25th October.

Some of the action for this weekend’s Department of Transport (South Africa) celebrating Transport month, to be hosted at Ladysmith Airport.

Ladysmith Flying Club

Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team and Gripen Flypast

Gyro flat Display

L29 Jet

Team Xtreme Airshows

Gripen

The Flying Lions

Big Flag Jump, From Little Annie

Gyro Disply

Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team

190 Fly AirlinkAirlink

Extra 300 Solo

Little Annie

Flying Lions flypast and depart

Goodyear eagles Flypast and depart

Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team

Puma Flying Lions Harvards

TU-160 Strategic Bombers Land at AFB Waterkloof

A pair of TU-150 Blackjack variable-sweep wing heavy strategic bombers landed at Airforce Base Waterkloof yesterday afternoon after a 13 hour flight from Engels Air Force Base which is strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres east of Saratov.

TU-160 Blackjack on final approach into Waterkloof Airforce Base

The aircraft were originally scheduled to arrive in South Africa on 22 October but were delayed by 24 hours due to technical issues. The aircraft finally departed for a 11 000 kilometres non-stop to journey to South Africa.

The aircraft routed down the East coast of Africa, with the help of some Aerial Refueling from a Russian Airforce IL78 Tanker over the Caspian Sea. The historical visit if the bombers landing at Waterkloof South Africa is part of developing bilateral military cooperation and work out issues of interaction between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the South African Airforce.

The Bombers were escorted from Durban with 3 Hawk Mk120s from 85 Combat Flying School while two 2 Squadron Gripens conducted a Combat Air patrol during the flight into Airforce Base Waterkloof.

85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s escorting one of two TU160s
85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen

The SAAF’s deputy chief, Major General Innocent Buthelezi, said on Wednesday it was a privilege to host the Russian aircraft especially as it was the first time such bombers have landed in Africa. He said the visit was part of military-to-military cooperation between Russia and South Africa and looked forward to strengthening relations between the two defence forces.

Siphiwe Dlamini, Department of Defence head of communications, said the Russian visit had been planned long ago and is part of the bilateral defence ties between South Africa and the Russian Federation. He added that South Africa has had exercises with the Russian Navy and competed in Russia’s Army Games, whilst South Africa has military personnel training in Russia. In late November, Russia, China and South Africa will take part in a joint naval exercise in South Africa. Dlamini said the Russian Air Force visit has been in the making for the last five to eight years.

Department of Defence head of communications, Siphiwe Dlamini

The aircraft are due to depart back to Russia on Monday 28th October 2019.Please feel free to keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates of the aircrafts movements.

Click to enlarge photos

Two Russian TU-160 Bombers to land on South African Soil for the first time

A Pair of TU-160 BlackJacks will for the first time ever be landing on South African soil on the 23rd October 2019 at Airforce Base Waterkloof in the City Of Tshwane, South Africa as part of developing bilateral military cooperation and work out issues of interaction between the Russian Aerospace Forces and the South African Airforce.

The Blackjacks were scheduled to land the morning of the 22 October, but got delayed by 24 Hours. The bombers will be escorted in by the SAAFs Hawk and Gripen fighter aircraft and in this case will give our fighter pilots interception practise.

The Tu-160 Known to NATO as the Blackjack is a supersonic military missile carrier developed in the 1970s by aerospace and defence company Tupolev. It is considered the largest and heaviest supersonic aircraft ever built and is dubbed the “White Swan” for its vast wingspan, painted with anti-flash white.

Note, the will not fly this rout, this is just an indicator.
Entry point into SA will be Durban

The aircraft will be flying a non-stop route from Engels Air Base to Waterkloof Airforce Base. Engels Air Force Base (also given as Engels-2 or Engel’s) is a strategic bomber military airbase in Russia located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east of Saratov. Engels is a major bomber operations base, and is Russia’s sole operating location for the Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber.

The base has a 3,500-metre (11,500 ft) runway and about 10 large revetments. It is named after the nearby Engels City, which in its turn is named after the Communist philosopher, Friedrich Engels.

engels-2 air base
Click to open on Google Maps http://bit.ly/35VjwF8

A Russian Antonov 124 and IL62 are already at Waterkloof.Tomorrow we will be able to see the aircraft arrive and provide more information and detailed pictures.

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