Category Archives: General News and Airshow Reviews

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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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The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019

Many house-hold-name festivals and events started small and are now annual calendar entries in people’s diaries. We have identified a specific need to small aircraft pilots and aim to provide them with an annual event to exceed all expectation and which is positioned to be uniquely different. Our dream is to grow the Big 5 Fly-in to a national event reaching pilots and enthusiasts across South Africa.

We did not have any money when we set out to host this event in lieu of raising funds, and all marketing was done through social media and word-of-mouth only.

On Saturday 15 June 2019, 19 small aircraft touched down on the airstrip at Legend Golf and Safari Resort, 17 more than our first attempt when bad weather in August 2017 prohibited planes from flying.

Our venue sponsor Legend Golf and Safari Resort went out of their way in helping with the day’s logistics and we couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic team.

The skydiving and tandem jumps were a huge draw card for both participants and spectators – thank you so much Johannesburg Skydiving Club. You came as a club but left as very good friends!

Altus Theart’s unplugged concert ended off the day on a high note as the sun set behind the Waterberg escarpment. Both Nadia and Altus were great sports, and their support in our effort is greatly appreciated…. Thank you both for your love, enthusiasm and great ideas for 2020!

Despite a few things we will do differently, our activity and participating sponsors congratulated the Big 5 Fly-in team for a day well organised and we already started planning the 2020 Fly-in around a cosy fire on Saturday night.

Without the financial and product contributions from our sponsors we could not have hosted the Big 5 Fly-in:

Airport Refueling Services, Altus Theart, (NvR Management), Air Traffic Control, Authentic African Adventures, CdP Auctioneers, Chillersonwheels, ER24, Johannesburg Skydiving Club, KH – all things creative, Lanzerac, Legend Golf & Safari Resort, Lex and Christo Erasmus, Nkwe Security Services, The Pallet Kraft, Postnet, Restonic, Sanlam, Rhino Beetle Gin, Televonic, Vleis Sentraal, Wappoint and Working on Fire.

“Opportunity favours the bold – this is a lesson that I learned early on, and have used to guide the Virgin story. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Sir Richard Branson

The Big 5 Fly-in 2019Many house-hold-name festivals and events started small and are now annual calendar entries in people’s diaries. We have identified a specific need to small aircraft pilots and aim to provide them with an annual event to exceed all expectation and which is positioned to be uniquely different. Our dream is to grow the Big 5 Fly-in to a national event reaching pilots and enthusiasts across South Africa.We did not have any money when we set out to host this event in lieu of raising funds, and all marketing was done through social media and word-of-mouth only. On Saturday 15 June 2019, 19 small aircraft touched down on the airstrip at Legend Golf and Safari Resort, 17 more than our first attempt when bad weather in August 2017 prohibited planes from flying. Our venue sponsor Legend Golf and Safari Resort went out of their way in helping with the day’s logistics and we couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic team. The skydiving and tandem jumps were a huge draw card for both participants and spectators – thank you so much Johannesburg Skydiving Club. You came as a club but left as very good friends!Altus Theart’s unplugged concert ended off the day on a high note as the sun set behind the Waterberg escarpment. Both Nadia and Altus were great sports, and their support in our effort is greatly appreciated…. Thank you both for your love, enthusiasm and great ideas for 2020!Despite a few things we will do differently, our activity and participating sponsors congratulated the Big 5 Fly-in team for a day well organised and we already started planning the 2020 Fly-in around a cosy fire on Saturday night.Without the financial and product contributions from our sponsors we could not have hosted the Big 5 Fly-in: Airport Refueling Services, Altus Theart, (NvR Management)Air Traffic ControlAuthentic African Adventures,CdP Auctioneers Chillersonwheels,ER24, Johannesburg Skydiving Club, KH – all things creative, Lanzerac, Legend Golf & Safari Resort, Lex and Christo ErasmusNkwe Security Services, The Pallet Kraft, Postnet, Restonic, Sanlam, Rhino Beetle Gin, Televonic, Vleis Sentraal, Wappoint and Working on Fire.With many thanks and much appreciation.The Koedoesrand Big-5 Fly-in team. “Opportunity favours the bold – this is a lesson that I learned early on, and have used to guide the Virgin story. If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!” – Richard Branson

Posted by Koedoesrand Akademie on Saturday, 22 June 2019

Click to enlarge photos

Klerksdorp Airshow 2019

Country Airshows in South Africa definitely make you hungry as you arrive at the smaller airports such as Klerksdorp to the smell of boerie Wors rolls and pannekoek among the crowds. This show was quite different to others shows in the country as the SA National Aerobatic Championships had been taking place days before the show and ending on show day. Airshow followers were able to see the competition side of aerobatics plus an airshow to top it off. Read more on the aerobatics competition here

Airshow Crowd Line

The morning of the 22 June 2019,the final day for some of the competitors taking part in the national aerobatic champs was underway. By mid afternoon the airshow was underway by Team Extreme under the leadership of Nigel Hopkins, who also won the national aerobatic champs in the unlimited category. The Western Transvaal Classic Car club were also present with a number of classic cars on display. Lt Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom and Klerksdorp aerobatic pilot local Cliff Lotter kept a good eye on Proceedings of the show. Capital Sounds provided sound and commentary for the large crowds and kept them entertained with information on pilots and aircraft. An RC Sbach was also put through its paces, that showing how it could hover centimetres off the ground.

Team Extreme
. The Western Transvaal Classic Car Club
Cliff Lotter climbing into his YAK55
RC Sbach 342

The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan Van Der Schaar flew next on the program,while the freestyle aerobatics coloum continued with Barrie Eles,Nigel Hopkins,Patrick Davidson,Mark Hensman and Mark Sampson.

Boeing Stearman
Extra 330SC Barrie Eles
Extra 330SC Nigel Hopkins
Patrick Davidson in his Gamebird
MX2 Mark Hensman
ZU-XAX
Sbach 341 Mark Sampson

Master Power Technologies Menno Parsons brought both his Swiss Pilatus PC12 and P51D ‘Mustang Sally’. This was the first display for the Mustang at Klerksdorp. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs gave their polished high energy display led by Glen Warden who also flew his Slick 360 in the aerobatic competition.

Pilatus PC12
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’
Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard’s put on a three ship display, led by Scully Levin,Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwary. Followed on by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300LP.The Raptors RVs flew a four ship display also led by Nigel Hopkins. A jet powered glider was put through its paces, not something you see at airshows in South Africa that often.

Puma Flying Lions Harvard
Nashua Extra 300LP
Raptors RVs

Henley Air provided helicopter flights at the show in one of their Bell 206 Jet Rangers. A solo RV7 display by Trevor Warner before one of the best displays of the day was the three ship Yak 55 display with tight formation aerobatics flown by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish and Mark Hensman.

Henley Air Bell 206
RV7
Yak 55 Formation

Klerksdorp Airshow, an Airshow arranged and ran by Pilots and what a good show this was!
Well done to the pilots and organisers for putting a show together in limited time, a big thanks to Werner Kruger from DJA Aviation Insurance for your hospitality during the show. Hope to see a show next year in the North West Province once again.

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SA National Aerobatic Championships- Klerksdorp 2019

The South African National Aerobatic Championships took place at the P.C Pelser Airport in Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province. The event started on the 19 June to the 22nd June 2019. The familiar duck dances seen by pilots before strapping themselves into their aircraft as they went through their sequences before entering the imaginary box in the sky.
Read more on the Klerksdorp Airshow 2019 here…

Barrie Eeles before his slot

Klerksdorp Airport provides a number of convenient runways both tar and gravel, for most aerobatic taildragger aircraft, which made it easy access for aircraft flying in and out during the course of the week from Gauteng Airfields and other neighboring provinces.

South African Weather reports did say a nasty cold front was to make landfall over the weekend of the end of the nationals and airshow, but luckily enough we were blessed with all days of the championships having clear skies, hot temperatures and cold nights, while overnighting aircraft were tucked away in hangers and not having to clear frost off canopy’s.

Slick 360

Sportsman

 1Chris JoubertZlin 50ZS-OKZ1113.591120.121231.201552.285017.2083.620
 2Johan Van SolmsPittsZS-MZY1028.301065.541189.221433.684716.7478.612
 3Machiel Du PleesRV 7ZU-WMW1033.731070.341155.831427.094686.9978.116
 4Jonty EsserYak 52ZU-DSI995.201036.501147.411427.744606.8576.781
 5Alex CaigeZlin 50ZS-OKZ995.201010.361103.461389.244498.2674.971
 6Tobie KockYak 52ZU-DSI973.01735.711064.03727.983500.7358.346
Yak 52

Intermediate

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Steve BrownSlick 360ZU-DXX1906.761831.431934.912362.588035.6981.663
 2Glen WardenSlick 360ZU-MDA1825.711657.922089.262353.457926.3480.552
 3Jason BeamishExtra 330LXZS-EXT1795.331716.881988.352271.837772.4078.988
 4Dustin HughesZlin 50ZS-OKZ1801.031796.321874.032273.377744.7578.707
 5Andrew Blackwood-MurrayExtra 300ZS-AEC1725.191635.071889.842233.107483.2076.049
 6Trevor WarnerPittsZU-WIZ1640.641536.591902.541994.807074.5771.896
 7Roger DeareExtra 300ZS-OLR1706.58633.801751.491145.765237.6453.228
Pitts S2E

Advanced

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Eugene Du PreezExtra 330SCZS-THS2853.902673.313026.413248.5111802.1382.590
 2Gary GlassonPitts FalconZU-FTP2875.322653.212992.353194.4411715.3281.983
 3Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2763.752620.262541.233186.8011112.0577.761
 4Pierre Du PlooyGiles 202ZU-ZOZ2771.102239.032827.113131.0910968.3276.755
 5Adam PucjlowskiZlin 50ZS-OKZ2511.372049.562775.482976.0810312.4972.166
 6Cliff LotterYak 55ZU-EHZ2612.531852.622767.892571.769804.8068.613
 7Kayle WoollExtra 300ZS-BDE2542.002131.352809.852249.579732.7668.109
 8Andrew FletcherZlin 50ZU-ZLN2509.931577.462361.062479.338927.7862.476
Giles 202

Unlimited

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3906.924266.464116.864404.6216694.8682.281
 2Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC3892.814215.823995.544480.3716584.5481.737
 3Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3856.053785.783962.484271.0615875.3678.242
Patrick Davidson in his brand new Redbull Gamebird

Freestyle

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration 4m Free Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3409.973409.9785.249
 2Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3118.773118.7777.969
 3Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC2990.312990.3174.758
 4Mark HensmanMX2N540MX2950.142950.1473.754
 5Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2712.862712.8667.822
Nigel Hopkins in his Extra 330SC

Judges for the SAC 2019 National Championships. Note far backward position on chairs as not to strain the judge’s necks while looking up at the acrobatic box – Cellphone photos by Jonty Esser

A big congratulations goes to the Klerksdorp Airport, Competitors and Annie Boon, Contest Chief Judge John Gaillard, Scoring Director Natalie Stark. Judges John Gaillard, Quintin Hawthorne, Mike Stark, Johnnie Smith and Cindy Weber.

Cliff Lotter and Annie Boon

Also a huge thank you to Annie Boon and Cliff Lotter for Keeping Aviation Central up to date during the Champs, Jonty Esser for sending us Photos and videos to share on our Facebook page.

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Klerksdorp Ready for Aerobatics and Airshow this weekend

Some of South Africa’s local aerobatic Nationals are currently taking place at Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province of South Africa. The P.C. Pelser Aerodrome will be abuzz with many aerobatic aircraft for the next couple of days. Local Radio presenter Alex Caige from 94.7 also graduated and will be flying in the Sportsman’s class in a Zlin50LS.

94.7 Highveld radio presenter Alex Caige flying the Zlin 50
Zlin 50

Airshow 22 June 2019

Saturday after the finishing of the national Aerobatic Champs, Klerksdorp will have a an Airshow, with many of the favourite airshow regulars such as the Flying,Lions,Team Extreme and many more. Capital Sounds will be the Broadcaster of the event and bringing you all you need to know during the course of the 22 June 2019.

Show starts at 11am, BUT gates open a 7 as Saturday morning will see the final rounds of the South African Sport Aerobatic Club National Championships. The Camps starts on Wednesday 19th, so if you can get to Klerksdorp please go and support our great aerobatic guys, Not only the pro’s but the young and upcoming guys as well.

Team Extreme
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Flying Lions

All the Big names will be competing over 3 days. +/- 30 Competitors had entered the SAC National Champs

19-21 June – Free to go and support our Aerobatic pilots
22 June – R50 per Adults and R20 per Kid to see the Final rounds and a Full Airshow from 11am to 4pm

Get your tickets at any Pick n Pay or online at #Webtickets
Ticket link https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1492090715

List known of Competitors at time of article

Some of the aircraft that will fly in the Nationals

Pitts S2B
Extra 330SC
Slick 360
Yak52
Extra 300LP
Extra 330SC
Extra 330 LC & Extra 330LX
Vans RV8
Zlin 50
Yak 55

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O Incrível Show Aéreo de Maputo – The Amazing Maputo Airshow

It has become abundantly clear that if you have enough willingness, passion and eagerness then all things are possible.  This was the attitude of not only the organizing committee of the 2019 Maputo airshow hosted by the Aeroclub of Mozambique for its 90th anniversary celebrations but also from all the relevant authorities that made the show work.  It was a perfect example of a conducive synergy between the Mozambique Municipality, the Mozambique  Civil Aviation Authority, the Airforce, the Police, the Harbor Authorities, as well as Air Traffic and Navigational services are the reasons why it was a resounding success and can be ranked as one of the best airshows in Africa.

The Aeroclub of Mozambique (ACM) has had an illustrious history and is the oldest Mozambican aeronautical institution and has been instrumental in pioneering the way for aviation on the African continent as wells been the forefather of commercial and military aviation in Mozambique.

Unlike other aeroclubs, whose main activity is limited to sports and recreational aviation, the history of ACM is marked by the training of aeronautical technicians by the support of public causes and by the contribution that it has given to the development of aviation in Mozambique.


Since its foundation the genesis of the Aero Clube de Moçambique has been defined by the voluntarism of its members, a principle that remains alive to this day.  The purchase of its first aircraft in 1928, a Gipsy Moth, was a result of a large monetary donation and the auction of a car, a luxurious Minerva, by the man who presided over its Constituent Assembly on 6 August of that year.

The example given by Sebastião Valle and Vasconcelos would be multiplied throughout the 90 years of history of the ACM.  The most symbolic and striking was perhaps the first flight that Armando Torre do Valle took between Xai-Xai and Alverca aerodrome in Portugal, in 1933.  He was the first amateur pilot to fly between South Africa and the European continent, he did it with his own funds and flying his de Havilland Puss Moth.  The navigation aids he relied on were very basic maps and a compass. Torre do Valle left Xai-Xai on 28 March, headed for Lumbo, flew to Malawi, then made stops in Tanzania, Kenyan, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, crossed the Mediterranean sea, flew over Spain and on 4 May 1933 landed in Alverca, Lisbon the capital of the Portuguese colonial empire that still had no aerodrome.


On return to Mozambique he founded the ACM and established the first commercial aviation company of the then colony, which was bought in 1935 by the Mozambique Railways (CFM), then run by Pinto Teixeira.  do Valle joined the AM with the Railways where he held the position as chairman of the board, this partnership gave a strong impetus to the creation of its flight school. This venture, in 1936 was the formation of the CFM’s Directorate for Operation of Air Transport (Direcção de Exploração do Transporte Aéreo or DETA), which in 1980 was transformed into what today is Mozambican Airlines (LAM).  In addition to the creation of the Civil Aviation Services in Mozambique in 1932, Aero Colonial in 1934, and DETA in 1936, the ACM was responsible for the construction of numerous airfields throughout the country. In part this resulted from the establishment of its subsidiaries in Lichinga, Pemba, Lumbo, Nampula, Angoche, Tete, Quelimane, Beira, Chimoio, Inhambane and Xai-Xai.


The independence of Mozambique however imposed an inevitable clash of mentalities and in particular, of political wills.  The vast majority of members left the country leading to the standstill in all branches of the ACM. Basically, all that was left were a few members a s well as its rich heritage.

It was with this that the ACM moved on to the post-independence era. Even so, it was the ACM’s pilots that played a key role in setting up the Mozambican Air Force by volunteering to train their pilots in 1976.  The ACM also was pivotal in training the army’s first parachutists, as well as played a vital role in humanitarian efforts when the country was hit by natural disasters.


Only after the signing of the General peace Agreement in 1992 did the ACM activity once again gain momentum and part of this ongoing momentum was to celebrate its 90th anniversary by hosting an airshow that has set new standards in airshow co-operation between various stakeholders.

The Maputo airshow was held over the Baía de Maputo (Bay of Maputo), under the RNVA approach into Maputo International airport and sandwiched in between serious no-fly zones, one which include the presidents palace, with over 20 commercial operations continuing as if were just another day, just goes to show that with all stakeholders committed to the ‘cause’, anything is possible, it would be a sigh of relief if the South African Civil Aviation authorities take note of this synergy, it also proves that cross-border airshows are now becoming the place to be due to the eagerness and wiliness of all authorities to make it a success, and to add to the show highlights, drones were flown, yes, drones in controlled airspace -the mind does boggle.


All kudos must go to the four dedicated and committed members of the ACM for their perseverance and tenacity in pulling off one of the best airshows in Africa; namely Gavin Neil, Bruno Homem, João Ribeiro and Bernardino Malawene, were the driving forces behind the show.  The organizing committee took cognancy of the fact that in order to pull off a show of this magnitude, help would be needed and that help came from a group of South African display pilots, Capital Sounds Broadcasting team that not only included the commentary on the day, but also played a vital role in the logistical planning of the airshow behind the scenes as well as offered critical support for the sea search and rescue operations as well as the Airshow Boss and Ramp Director from South Africa that assisted the Mozambican team in making history.


The vast crowds that filled the waterfront street of Av. 10 de Novembro (10 November avenue) were constantly entertained by non-stop action, either from the sea, air, or land as a jammed-packed airshow program kept them constantly applauding for more.


Aerial display acts included, drones, Bathawk, Boeing Stearman, Gyrocopter, skydiving, a gazelle helicopter display as well as Alo 11 helicopter display, a Yak, as well as the very famous Little Annie Antonov AN2, and some high-speed jet action in the form of the GoodYear Eagle L29 Jet.  Formation aerobatic teams kept the energy going and displays flown by the Puma Energy Flying Lions in their Harvard’s, the Tailift Cows Pitt Special aerobatic team, as well as the heart-stopping Team Extreme, and the radial formation made up of an AN2, Boeing Stearman and a Yak.

When the skies above the bay were not filled with smoke, the crowd’s attention was drawn to the action on the water that included a yacht race, jet ski races, as well as a jet ski and helicopter race.  For the land enthusiast, there plenty food and drink stalls, a children’s paly area as well as various activities including a sound stage that featured prominent local musicians kept everybody entertained for the entire day.

Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, and the penultimate display was a sunset display dedicated to the Airshow Director, Gavin Neil that saw his homebuilt Safari Z010 be flown as a tribute flight to him.  Closing the show was the very special and spectacular sunset display by the Puma Energy Flying Lions.

Thanks to Mark Mansfield for the report of the Maputo Airshow.
Photos below by Mark Mansfield – M Cubed Media

Click to enlarge

Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

By Dian Townsend

This year’s annual Warbirds Over Swartkop was held at Air Force Base Swartkop. The event span two days with Saturday being the busier of the two. On Saturday we saw Warbirds like the P40 Warhawk, Corsair, Bell UH-1, Eurofighter Typhoon, T-6 Harvard, Pilatus PC-21 and many more. The day had very little breaks in flight and continued until about 16h00. Sunday was much quieter with only about 10 aircraft flying, but the pilots made sure to impress none the less.

Saturday was certainly a good day for the spectators with the Viper Jet, Eurofighter Typhoon and Pilatus PC-21 being the biggest crowd pleasers. Later in the afternoon the two T-6 Harvards joined forces to put on a good aerobatic formation display. Sunday started with the sound of a second Viper Jet firing up it’s engine, followed by a couple  more jets and some smaller aircraft. Arguably the main event for the day, the Extra 300 display. Exhilarating knife edge flybys, inverted passes and  very low hovers.

This event made for a great family outing. The Windsock Café was open for lunch on Saturday, once again serving tasty sandwiches at a very reasonable price and there were two pavilions right on the crowd line providing a good seating spot. Spectators are also allowed onto the actual apron/ taxiway. Something you don’t normally see at airshows. It is recommended that small children are always accompanied by an adult as there were some pretty expensive aircraft in attendance and there is no barrier dividing the apron and runway.

This event was a first for me, but definitely not a last. Photographing these small aircraft is no easy feat, but serves as great practice for bigger airshows. It was awesome talking to many more of the people in our wonderful aviation community here in South Africa. The pilots are very passionate about their aircraft and love talking to the younger crowd and showing them around their aircraft.

This weekend was a great success for the organisers and pilots who attended. There was no dull moment with talented pilots flying their hearts out and even the occasional spill on landing or take off.  There was a wide spread of aircraft ranging from jets to warbirds, aerobatic planes and even a couple of helicopters. This event has once again proven to be one for the 2020 calendar and we look forward to seeing what next year’s Warbirds Over Swartkop has in store for us!

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