Author Archives: Jarryd Sinovich

Public Welcome at Prestige Day 2020

Breaking News-Public welcome at Prestige Day Parade 31 January 2020

Some exciting news for the public of South Africa to join at this year’s Prestige Day Airforce Day at AFB Swartkop in Pretoria on 31 January 2020.This special occasion will be celebrating 100 years of South African Airforce Airpower through 25 years of Democracy!

A wide variety of current and ex South African Airforce aircraft will be flying during the day. Please take note this is not an Airshow and their will not be any vendors available also during the course of the day. Members of the public are welcome to bring their own food but no alcohol will be allowed on the base.

Gates open at 7H45am and Close at 9H30am for the duration of the prestige day proceedings. The public will need to enter from the northern gate at Airforce Base Swartkop and parking will be available at the northern gate until such time parking gets full, the puplic will have to park outside the base.Also take note Bays Hill will be closed on the day.There will be no movement during the parade!

We look forward to this event. More information will follow days leading to Prestige day!

Note not an Airshow, but flypasts!

Gauteng Regional Aerobatic Competition 2020-01-18

Saturday January 18th saw one of the first flying events in South Africa for 2020 as the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa held their first Aerobatic competition at Vereeniging Airfield in the south of Johannesburg.

RV

Arriving in the morning we got to see some of the participants arriving from various airfields around the Gauteng region, with some aircraft not being able to get through to the competition due to the weekends predicted rain forecast.

Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. The flying takes place in a invisible box in the sky, where as said above, judges rate the skill on a point system!

Slick 360

Some of the participants included father and son team Barrie Eeles and Tristan Eeles who flew his Extra 200,locally based Giles 202 flown by Pierre du Plooy was a rare sight as its the only type of its make in South Africa. Gregory Clegg flew a Pitts S2E while Glen Warden joined in his Slick 360, both aircraft are hangered at Kitty Hawk Aerodrome in Pretoria East.

Extra 200
Giles 202
Gregory Clegg Pitts S2E
Glen Warden Slick 360

By 1pm the weather gods finally through buckets of rain down and the flying was suspended for the day, as some aircraft could be badly beaten while flying hi-G Aerobatics during the afternoon showers.

Nashua Exra 300L Pilot Andrew Blackwood-Murray

Results for the days flying!

Yak 55
Yak 52

Some rare treats seeing flying on the day

a rare sight Jeff Earle’s Harvard “7637” gets airborne
Former Bloemfontein based Chipmunk now based at Vereeniging

We look forward to another Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa event soon!

15 Squadron Choppers conduct another successful sea rescue off Durban coast!

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 09h30, Tuesday, 07th January, NSRI Durban, Netcare 911 ambulance services and the SA Air Force (SAAF), were tasked by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to prepare to respond to rendezvous with a Heavy Lift Vessel, that was approaching Durban, to assist 5 adult Brazilian male crewmen suffering injuries sustained in an accident onboard.

A Brazilian adult male crewman suffered fatal injuries in the accident and on the ship’s Captain’s request the body of the deceased man would remain onboard the ship.

MRCC had arranged a Western Cape Government Health EMS duty doctor to provide medical advice to the ship’s medics while the ship diverted from deep-sea and headed towards Durban.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications.

A SAAF BK-117, 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, helicopter was tasked to respond to Durban from Port Elizabeth and a 2nd SAAF helicopter, a SAAF Oryx, 15 Squadron, helicopter, was made ready at Durban while the ship came closer to Durban.

15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117

At 16h42 the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie launched from our Durban Sea Rescue station, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and an IPSS rescue paramedic, to respond towards the ship to stand-by on the scene.

At 17h30 the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and an NSRI medic and the SAAF 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, BK-117 helicopter, accompanied by two NSRI rescue swimmers, responded from Durban.

Oryx Helicopter

On arrival on the scene, 28 nautical miles off-shore East of Durban, the SAAF Oryx helicopter landed on the ship’s helicopter pad.

The SAAF BK-117 helicopter and the sea rescue craft stood-by on the scene while Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and the NSRI medic took over care of the 5 patients from the ships medical crew and the patients were transferred into the Oryx helicopter.

Medical treatment continued in the helicopter and the 5 patients, 1 in a critical condition and 4 in stable conditions, were airlifted to a hospital in Durban.

On behalf of all services involved Condolences are conveyed to family, friends and colleagues of the deceased man.

It has been confirmed that all 5 patients are in stable conditions and they are recovering in hospital.

Former Royal Navy Harriers to take to the skies again!

The Harrier, informally referred to as the Harrier Jump Jet, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations. Named after a bird of prey, it was originally developed by British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s.

A right front view of a British Royal Navy FRS Mk. 2 Sea Harrier on display during an air show.

Established in 2014, The Fly Harrier Trust is dedicated to bringing the BAE Harrier back once more to British skies. Founded by two longterm enthusiasts and pilots, Mark Fitzgerald and Sir Peter Rigby, the Trust aims to honour the aircraft’s long and distinguished service, its extraordinary engineering ingenuity, and the pilots that flew it by restoring two rare Harriers to flight-ready condition. A great plane is made to fly: let’s fly it.

The task of readying the Harriers for flight has seen them relocated from Cornwall to their current refurbishment hangar in St Athan. A former RAF and Navy Harrier maintenance hangar, it has proved the perfect location , and it is here that the restoration process has been overseen by two of the UK’s best practitioners, John Sparks and Pete Walker. Their efforts aided by hugely generous supply of parts, we are excellently placed to realise our dream. It’s time for a modern British icon to grace our skies once again.

The task of returning our Harriers to flight has required the support, care, and expertise of a community of the most wonderful enthusiasts. A plane much loved by those who knew it in its prime, we have been able to build a highly skilled team of experts, many of which worked with the Harrier from the 1960s onwards. Together with the backing of Sir Gerald Howarth, a former Aviation Minister, the Trust must now persuade the CAA of the seriousness of its cause. Let’s get the Harrier back up in the air.

Please, join us. Follow our story. Watch the process of restoring our Harriers. Help persuade the powers that be of the necessity of our cause. Your enthusiasm, your support, and the strength of your voice will help the Fly Harrier Trust achieve the most fantastic of dreams: to see this most iconic of British fighter jets flying British skies once again.

More information on the project can be seen on the fly harrier website https://www.flyharriers.com/

United Airlines-Touches down in Cape Town for the first time!

The 16th of December for us as South Africans is the Day of Reconciliation. The day where differences are set aside and we all look towards building a better future together.

Today being the 16th of December 2019, a special event that is proof of this building together and looking to the future, took place at Cape Town International Airport. United Airlines landed for the first time in Cape Town, South Africa. This was indeed a special event as it indicates the tourism market is alive and in fact growing. The welcoming of the United B787-9 was attended by the officiating dignitaries that included United Airlines, ACSA and Wesgro executives, the US Ambassador to South Africa, the Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Dan Plato and the Western Cape MEC for Finance & Economic Opportunity, the Mr David Maynier.

With the new planned expansions that is to kick off soon, United Airlines is one of a few airlines that is looking at Cape Town International as a destination and the potential it has to offer to leisure travellers. Although Johannesburg is the economical hub for South Africa, Cape Town is by far the most popular by tourists. United Airlines use to fly to Africa, Houston to Lagos, but this service was terminated a few years back. The only other options that were left to United Airlines customers wanting to travel from the USA to Cape Town, were to have one stop flights with either South African Airways or Ethiopian Airlines (both being United Airlines partners) or fly with another airline, Delta being the only other USA airline offering direct flights to South Africa. In mid-April this year, United Airlines announced it will offer a season direct service between New York and Cape Town 3 times a week starting on the 15th of December 2019 and ending on 25 March 2020. This will result in a better customer as many direct flights have proven in the past.

These flights will be operated by using the Boeing B787-9 with 252 seats, 48 for business class and 204 economy class. The flights will operate to the following schedule:

UA1122 New York to Cape Town departing 8:30PM arriving 6:00PM (+1 day) [Wed, Fri, Sun]
UA1123 Cape Town to New York departing 8:50PM arriving 5:45AM (+1 day) [Mon, Thu, Sat]

The flight will be covering a total distance of 12 580km making it one of United Airline’s longest flights.

Cape Town International Facts:

IATA: CPT
ICAO: FACT
WMO: 68816

Elevation AMSL: 151 ft / 46 meters

Opened: 1954

Runway 01/19:

Dimensions: 10502 x 200 feet / 3201 x 61 meters
Surface: Hard
Runway 01 Coordinates: S33°59.26′ / E18°36.53′
Runway 19 Coordinates: S33°57.59′ / E18°36.00′
Runway 01 Elevation: 144 ft / 44 meters
Runway 19 Elevation: 147 ft / 45 meters
Runway 01 Heading: 009°
Runway 19 Heading: 189°

Runway 16/34:

Dimensions: 5581 x 151 feet / 1701 x 46 meters
Runway 16 Coordinates: S33°57.68′ / E18°35.85′
Runway 34 Coordinates: S33°58.34′ / E18°36.63′
Runway 16 Elevation: 143 ft / 44 meters
Runway 34 Elevation: 151 ft / 46 meters
Runway 16 Heading: 159°
Runway 34 Heading: 339°

General B787-9 specifications:

Cruise Speed: 560 mph (901 kph)
Propulsion: Two General Electric GEnx engines (GEnx being General Electric Next-generation)
Wingspan: 197 feet, 4 inches (60,14 m)
First Flight: 15 December 2009

N24973 specifications:

B787-9

Serial Number (MSN): 40941 LN: 661
Age: 1 year (February 2018)
First Flight: 6 February 2018

Welcome United Airlines! May we see many more flights gracing our skies!

South African Airforce Airlifts Citizens Trapped by Flash Floods in Pretoria

  On Monday, 09 December 2019 at approximately 12:30, the National Joint Operational Centre (NATJOC) activated two (2) South African Air Force (SAAF) helicopters to assist citizens stranded in Centurion and Mamelodi following flash floods as a result of the continuing torrential downpour currently experienced in the Gauteng Province.


A SAAF Atlas Oryx helicopter and an Agusta A-109 Light Utility (A-109 LUH) Helicopter were able to airlift 79 stranded people at the Centurion Lake Hotel to safety. A total of three (3) people airlifted from the hotel were taken to Unitas Medical Centre for medical assistance. 

The two (2) helicopters proceeded to Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, and successfully airlifted five (5) people who were trapped by flash floods to safety. No injuries were reported in Mamelodi. The two (2) helicopters completed the two (2) air rescues at approximately 17:00. There were no fatalities reported during both rescues.   

ICAD Polokwane Airshow 2019

International Civil Aviation Day was celebrated with an airshow and aviation career expedition at Polokwane’s Gateway International Airport on the 7th December 2019.

Both Friday and Saturday saw talks from both aviation community members from the civil aviation authority, South African Airforce, Flight schools and much more.

SAAF Ammunition display

Capital sounds provided commentary from both Brian Emmenis and Elvis Manene on the afternoons aircraft lineup. Rikus Erasmus, Lieutenant Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom were in charge of being airshow safety directors, while Cliff Lotter was ramp director.

Paramount Group SF260

The show opened with Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter displaying the 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120 ‘vlaggie’ Flag hawk 271,as he has become the squadrons new display pilot for next years airshow season.

Hawk MK120 flown by Kaine

The Magni Gyro Copter was up next with Andre van Zyl showing off the aircrafts great abilities . Another helicopter was displayed by the South African Police Airwings H125 Squirrel, with members of the task force reacting a tasking scene.

Little Annie An2 flown by Jon Marc Hill dropped Skydivers from adventure skydive and gave a flat display, showing the tight handling capabilities of the world’s biggest bi plane.

Unfortunately due to the bad wet weather on the weekend alot of aircraft couldnt get to Polokwane.Well done for the great effort the CAA and other stakeholders put into the event!

Paramount Group Static Display

Paramount Group Impala MKI Static
Paramount Group Mirage F1AZ Statc Display
Paramount Group Gazzelle static display

ICAD Polokwane Airshow -set for this Saturday 7th December 2019

Saturday 7th December will see the International Civil Aviation Day taking place at Polokwane International Airport in the Limpopo province. This particular event will also see an airshow taking place with both civilian and South African Airforce types.

Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2B

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula will be making a keynote address at the International Civil Aviation day Commemoration. ICAD 2019 will be attracting over 1600 learners from around the Limpopo Province to the event.

ICAD 2019

Two airshow favourites from the SAAF side, The Hawk MK120 from 85 Combat Flying School and a Gripen from 2 Squadron will be displayed at the show on Saturday, as well as other types of the likes of the Goodyear Eagles Pitts, Flying Lions, Team Extreme, Little Annie and much more!

Hawk MK120 from 85 Combat Flying School
a Gripen from 2 Squadron

The show is free to the public and the flying displays start at 10am.

Denel Cheetah B “Bandit” Flies again!

What was a very common sight over the skies of the Limpopo Province at Airforce Base Makhado was the Denel Cheetah variant’s from both the C model which was the single- seat interceptor and the dual version with pilot and instructor or pilot and strike navigator.

Denel Cheetah B on final approach

After the retirement of the Cheetah from South African Airforce service a lot of examples were sent back to denel and some sold to Equador and now recently a North American company by the name of Draken,which uses ex military fighter aircraft as aggressors to US Airforce fighter types.

Famous dogtooth on the nose of Cheetah b 861

The 3rd December saw “Bandit” Cheetah B 861 take to the skies over OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton parking routing out towards Airforce Base Waterkloof for two tests flights and more to come as we get to the end of year 2019.

The aircraft has not flown for some months now,but it is great to see an ex SAAF Aircraft back in the skies again.We hope to see her at airshows as we near the 2020 airshow season and SAAF 100th Birthday Celebrations!

Cheetah B Former 2 Squadron Aircraft

The aircraft was flown by Denel Chief Test Pilot, Ivan “Viking’ Pentz, Ivan is no stranger to flying fighters as he has flown the Impala MK1,Impala MKII,HawkMK120,Cheetah C, Cheetah D,Mirage F1,AHRLAC,C130 and many more!

This particular Cheetahs Colour Scheme was unveiled and displayed at the SAAF Museum Airshow in 2003.Bandit was also used during the 2V1 Dogfight demo between two Cheetah Cs.

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