Category Archives: General News and Airshow Reviews

2019 Air Show Aircraft attendance list

2019 Air Show Aircraft attendance list

2019 Is not a big year for airshows in Southern Africa as some got cancelled and finical situation on Southern Africa not looking good.
However we will see Stellenbosch, Mafeking and Maputo that is nor regular shows. Regarding availably of aircraft we did not see any slowdown and most Pilots and Aircraft eager to get in the sky and wow the crowds.
We ate Aviation Central is extremely positive and hopeful that we will see more shows and Aircraft in 2020 with both the AERO Club of South Africa and SAAF celebration there centenary birthdays.
We will try to keep this list updated. Please contact us if you feel we missed any aircraft.

Aircraft list 2019

2019 Air Show Aircraft attendance list

Aircraft list 2018

Aircraft list 2018

ABSA Lowveld Airshow 2019

Some of the Aviation Central media arrived Friday afternoon from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria and others on Saturday morning with some validations happening before the large crowds flocked to the airfield for an airshow that has won numerous airshow awards.

The skies over the old Nelspruit airfield were once again filled with aerobatic display teams, vintage aircraft, helicopters, jets and jet airliners to name a few. This years show had a different twist of the program with the theme fast and furious, the show started in the afternoon and had no repeats of display acts during the course of the afternoon with airboss Johan Heine keeping a watchful eye on display teams.

Ramp Controller Frank Smook

Capitals Sounds Brian Emmenis and his team provided commentary in between the battle of the DJs with Jacaranda who partnered up with airshow Organisers Kishugu and sponsor Absa for a different vibe to the Lowveld airshow during display acts. Before the airshow started, the Lowveld Model Aircraft Club (LOMAC) provided remote control (RC) aircraft displays with their different scales of aircraft in their club, For new photographers to Aviation, its a good learning curve to capture Rc aircraft.

The show opened with BMW Motorcycles revving down the runway, just before a paradrop with different member’s of the skydiving community on the airshow scene, their jump ship was ‘Little Annie’ an Antonov two flown by Jon-Marc Hill and Colonel Keith Fryer. The An2 also led the vintage formation and dropped a large amount of marshmallows for
children aspiring to be pilots one day. The Yak18T which was also flown in the formation by spotter pilot, Riaan Prinsloo. Comair Boeing 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman. Danie Terblanche flew the ‘crazy pilot display’ in the well known STOL capability Husky.

BMW Motorcycles
Big South African Flag carried by Ralph Ridge
Vintage Aircraft Formation

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as well as South African National Parks put together A mock battle with poachers and members of the SANDF coming into contact with each other a patrol. The put on act just shows what happens on a daily occurrence in the Kruger National Park and South Africa’s borders. The South African Airforce was unfortunately not present at this years show, due to the countries inauguration taking place on the 25th May later this month. Air Force Base Hoedspruit exhibited some of the SAAFs duties in the form of life boats, dummy bombs, etc in one of the hangers.

A total of five Extra 300 series aircraft were at the airshow, Nashua sponsored Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his solo display in his Extra 300LP. Arnie Meneghelli and Ellis Levin flew the first double inverted ribbon cut in the world at an airshow. Team Extreme had both Nigel Hopkins in his Extra 330 and Jason Beamish in his new Extra 330, they joined up with Mark Sampson in his newly painted Sbach and Mark Hensman in his MX2 for the full Team Extreme display. The Raptor RVs with the new number five Johan von Solms completing his first display.

Double inverted Ribbon Cut
Nashua Extra 300LP
Team Extreme

Two Pitts Special display teams flew their usual routine,The Cows put up a threeship with Captain Scully Levins daughter Sally Bates flying one of the aircraft,not many women airshow display pilots on the airshow scene. Nigel Hopkins led the Goodyear Eagles sponsored Pitts Specials with Johan von Solms and Jason Beamish. A light aircraft display consisted of two Bathawks and two Kitfox’s showed the short takeoff capability’s and a asset in the bushveld area.

Cows Pitts S2C
Goodyear Eagles Pitts
Bathawk
Kitfox

Jet display’s by a L39 ZU-IBN owned by Middelburg’s Richard Lovett and flown by Pierre Gouws joined up with Mike Weingartz in the Impala MK1 ZU-IMP. The Airlink Embraer E190, flew a beautiful tight display. Airlink have displayed at most Nelspruit airshows now, and the E190 is definitely a crowd favourite.

L39 & Impala MK1
Embraer 190

Helicopter displays included a Gazelle flown by Juba Jourbert who raced to Jaguar cars, he also joined up with a Airbus Helicopters H125,Bell Huey and a Enstrom. We don’t often see such choppers in a display like we did. It was like a licorice all sorts formation. Three Working on Fire Hueys flew a sunset display with the use of two bambi buckets throwing water in show centre. The Flying Lions ended the display flying with a sunset show mixed with pyrotechnics to end another safe airshow.

Gazelle flown by Juba Jourbert
Airbus Helicopters H125,Bell Huey and a Enstrom.
Working on Fire Hueys

We would like to thanks Monica Fourie, Naranda Leeuwener and the rest of Kishugu for taking the time to keep the media up to date with the show months before. Also big thank you to StayEasy Emnotweni, Nelspruit for the wonderful accommodation!
Till next year, Thanks Nelspruit for the support!

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New date set for SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

New date set for SAAF Museum Airshow 2019ATC Tower SAAF Museum Swartkop

We have sadly been informed that the SAAF has decided to recall the date, 31st August as show date.
We have been informed that we will be provided with a new date and we will keep you updated about the date and plans for the SAAF Museum Airshow 2019.

Mercedes Day-Brakpan Airfield

A different type of fraternity, The Mercedes Benz club of South Africa, get together every year with the last event taking place at Brakpan Airfield. The same venue under the Brakpan Aero Club Members including organiser Hilton Wolff and many other role players put together a day which many visitors of the day wont forget for years to come.

Hilton Wolff, Marcus Goldring and other Mercedes Benz members.


The history of Mercedes-Benz in South Africa by far outstretches the history of the marque’s club here. Although the enthusiasm, interest and involvement of “fans” of the marque throughout its history, this cannot be denied and underplayed, it was not until the late 1970’s that this was harnessed and organised into the beginnings of the Mercedes-Benz Club.

Lucky Mercedes Benz club member with one of the prizes that were won on the day.

The purpose of the day, was to give members of the club, a taste of flight in small aircraft, and not just any aircraft but some unique and modern flying machines. With vintage era up to the modern Mercedes vehicles parked in the vicinity of the club house, both aircraft and car enthusiasts were in their element.

‘Little Annie’ AN2 Taking another load of happy passengers for a flight.
ZS-DFK

Grant Timms flew in a Rand Airport based Harvard ‘7526’ which belongs to John Wright, the aircraft was a major draw card as its not to often to see a Harvard at Brakpan Airfield. It made a excellent photo opportunity as some Mercedes Benz photo bombed the aircraft.

Grant Timms and his Happy Pax
Harvard ‘7526’

Very well known helicopter pilots at Brakpan airfield Rob Osner and Charles Fuller flew both an Alouette II and III. Nothing like flying in ex air force helicopters and flying over the once rich mining areas of the east rand of Johannesburg.

Alouette III Pilot Rob Osner and his ground crew Willie Schutte
zu-rec
Alouette II and III
Charles Fuller’s Alouette II

Other aircraft that gave flips, namely the Cessna Grand Caravan flown by Frederick Kotzee, Dornier Do 27 flown by Rodney Benn,An2 ‘Little Annie’ flown by Jon-Marc Hill. A Piaggio Albatross,Cessna 210 and many more!

ZS-DFK
Cessna Grand Caravan
Dornier DO-27
AN2 ‘Little Annie’
Piaggio Albatross
ZS-MFI
Cessna 210

At non airshow type events its always crucial to have safety as your main priority, Both Colonel Keith Fryer and Colonel Keith Andrews from the South African Airforce kept all flights as well as the ramp safe and running smoothly during the course of the day.

Colonel Keith Fryer helping disembark passengers from Charles Fuller’s Alouette II.
Colonel Keith Andrews keeping an eye as Ramp Controller.
AN2 & Caravan Formation

The Brakpan Aero Club welcomed guests with muffins and coffee and provided boerewors rolls and Hamburgers for the rest. Local flight schools and Mercedes Benz dealership also provided excellent offerings of their latest deals on both pilots licences and car purchase deals.

Piper Colt getting airborne
Little Annie AN2 with some company.

Well done Hilton Wolff and the Mercedes Benz Club Members as well as all the pilots and ground crew who made the event possible and safe. We look forward to the 2020 edition of the event.

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SAAF Museum Flying Day 2019-05-04

Pretoria residents once again got woken up to the sounds of some of the South African Airforce Museum aircraft as they took to the skies above Air Force Base Swartkop ,Valhala Pretoria this past Saturday.

AFB Swartkop

These flying days take place every first Saturday of the month to get pilots current on aircraft and test fly some aircraft, and the same time giving the public an opportunity to visit the SAAF Museum.

Museum Puma and Oryx Helicopter

The flying day as always starts with a parachute jump with members of the Golden Eagles Parachute display team and other military parachute members. They did two jumps during the course of the day. Their jump ships were both a C4M Kudu and Aerospatiale Puma.

Hravard
Bosbok
Cessna 185

The rest of the fixed wing aircraft took the skies, with the Museum Harvard’s, followed by the one of two airworthy Bosboks and Cessna 185s.The Puma flown by General John Church, displayed the helicopters hoisting capabilities.

Puma

Warm referments were made available at the Windsock Café as well as from the Friends of the Museum Boerewors stand. The Spitfire restoration fund committee were guarded by the former 2 Squadron Cheetah C ‘Spotty’ in one of the exhibit Hangers.

We look forward to the next flying day, with a date to be confirmed soon as well as the Airshows new date. Till then keep them up where they belong.

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The EAA Convention 2019- Adventure Rally

The EAA convention this year was held again at Vryheid, which is situated close to the escarpment in very scenic
mountainous areas and in the heart of the Anglo Boer & Zulu war zones. With the success of last year’s Adventure
Rally, which had a mainly battlefield theme, it was decided to hold another one, this one being a mix of a scenic route
and some battlefield areas.


At registration time, there were 27 crews who had entered, this being a record for this type of event, but with weather
still closed in on Saturday morning, some crews could not get to Vryheid in time to take part, and at last count 20
crews were able to take part, which is still one of the most attended Adventure Rallies, giving credit to EAA’ers
enjoying this type of event.


For this year, the route started just northeast of the field at a big railroad U junction, and however one would fly, there
would be a railway line that would be seen flying east or north, thus to converge on to the start would be an easy
matter….., but guess what, some competitors could not find the start.
From the railroad U junction, the route went behind Lancaster Hill to a nondescript dam, and from there on west to
north-west in the valley until a very prominent farm house complex was seen.


Greg Clegg and Keaton Perkins
in their Jodel ZU-UEK attained 2 nd place

From there south west to a more
nondescript farmhouse nearby a quarry, turning more south east on a curved leg to be positioned to descend after
crossing the mountain range known as Skurweberg into the Aasvoelskrans gorge where three distinctive waterfalls
could be seen, making this the most worthwhile scenic part of the route. At the bottom of the gorge another farmhouse was a waypoint and then to the battlefield memorial of Blood River Poort, and from there to three dams
that made up the last three turn points the last being the Klipfontein dam just south east of the airfield.


As part of this rally, it was decided that to add some spice as well, to track everybody with loggers to check how
accurately they fly to keep within a 1 km corridor, which should have been easy given that one is allowed to fly with
GPS.


Carl Visagie with Navigator Niel Terreblanche in their Ikarus ZU-EUV came in first place

The map and task booklet were provided 20 minutes prior the take-off for everybody to either plan their route
with traditional map plotting tools or to program their GPS’s – if they were more at home following the magenta line.
Each route’s leg had turning point photographs to be recognised (either being correct or incorrect), then a few
questions had to be answered on ground features or sites that were historic or scenic, mostly cryptic in nature.

The booklet contained a section of wiki notes that would enable the crews to answer all the questions – with a
warning – “Don’t read at your peril….”, and guess what…., most forgot to find the answers in the most obvious place….
Some crews of course were googling for answers on their cell phones – because they can – somewhat inefficient given
everything was right in front of them, and of course sometimes getting the wrong information from what was written
up in the notes.


Third place going to soloist and local Morne Strauss in the RV4 ZU-FVL.


The briefing was eventually held at 10 am after the misty weather had delayed the start, and then papers were
handed out with the first take-off around 11 am, with good flying conditions with hardly any wind. Most crews were
able to find their way around, and appeared hardly anybody used a GPS, possibly with insufficient time to program
them, there were a few crews that wandered off course somewhat, and one got totally lost and decided to return to the airfield aborting the flight.

And then there was the only helicopter taking part in the rally, that being the Gazelle of Eugene Couzyn flying with Marie Reddy who took to heart the briefing that said enjoy the scenery of the 3 waterfall
gorge, and hovered to take some pictures (see the header photo in this article)

Gazelle of Eugene Couzyn flying with Marie Reddy,first time a chopper taking part in a rally.

With everybody successfully home, it was time for marking the exam papers which was left to Mark Clulow to do, with
Rob downloading loggers and printing results. Then at the Convention prize giving and spit braai, Rob gave a
presentation of everybody’s logged tracks which had many in stitches for those who lost their way a bit, thereafter the
prize winners were called up to received their prizes.

Carl Visagie with Navigator Niel Terreblanche in their Ikarus ZU-EUV came in first place, Greg Clegg and Keaton Perkins
in their Jodel ZU-UEK attained 2 nd place, with third place going to soloist and local Morne Strauss in the RV4 ZU-FVL. In
the spot landing that everybody carried out after the rally, the winner was also Carl Visagie. For the most accurate
flown route went to Mark Clulow and Sean Cronin.



Thus came to the end of a hopefully enjoyable day for everybody who took part, and given the interest in the event,
should bode well for future rallies of this type and also gain an expression of interest in the more formal and timed
rallies.

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Freedom Day Celebration Flypasts

The sound of thunder of jets rocked Port Elizabeth residents as Gripens, Hawks, The Silver Falcons, two BK117s and Lynx took part in Freedom Flypasts over event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape.

The 27th April marked 25 years of democracy, following decades of apartheid rule and segregation in which the majority of the country’s citizens were marginalised.

JAS39D Gripen

Local residents in Grahamstown got to witness the flypasts and brought joy to the youth as some of these aircraft are not usually seen in the area.

The Silver Falcons showed why they can restore national pride as known as the cockpit ambassadors to the South African Airforce. Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana grew up in the area and it was surely a proud moment to display in front of a home crowd.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Silver Falcons

It was also a photo opportunity for some of the local aviation enthusiasts to capture the Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901’.This was the first gripen delivered to the SAAF.


Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901
85 Comabt Flying School Hawk MK120 ‘262’
Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

We would like to thank Patrick Davidson for allowing us to use a certain platform to gain access to get this incredible photos.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen ‘3918’

Another big presence of South African Airforce Aircraft will be seen over Pretoria end of May 2019 and no its not an airshow.Keep an eye on our social media pages.

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EAA National Convention-Vryheid 2019

The small town of Vryheid in Kwa-Zulu-Natal,was invaded with all types of small aircraft on the South African aircraft register from
ultralights to former South African Airforce Aircraft.The Experiamental Aircraft Assiaotion played a vital role in the organsing of
this the second event to take place at this airfield as did like last years fly-inn.

Vryheid Airfield

South Africa has a wide variety of general aviation and probaly the biggest on the African continant.and as the fly-inns are a
great way to discover how many aircraft congrigate to these events are a aviation enthieasts crem-til-le-crem.

Best place is to camp under your aircrafts wing.

Friday the 26th April 2019 aircraft from all places around the contry made their way to Vryheid where visiting aircraft and pilots
were treted to hospitality from the local flying club contigent and EAA members. Lets also not forget Neil Bowden’s mini Oshkosh set up camp where tents were set up for pilots and clean ablution blocks close to the vicinity of the camp site on the field.

Oshkosh look alike Camp Site

Most pilots camped next to their aircraft for the weekend, most of the aircraft arriving on the Friday during the course of the day. Braai packs were available for purchase and a aviation vibe kept the folk social until the early hours into Saturday morning.

Brian Appletons Luscombe
Riaan Prinsloo YAK18T
Bellanca Scout
Kitplanes Safari
Archie Kemps Cessna 195
Peter Lea’s RV10

The following day abit of low cloud and mist,which delyaed
a couple of aircraft arriving in for the day but quickly burnt off and a hot condtions were install for the remainder of the day.

Piper Colt flown by Keaton Perkins

The days activities consisted of a adventure rally, which a number of aircraft took place. A flypast was held for EAA member Klaus
Keuchel and his partner Maxine Fietch who lost their lives last year when they crashed in a Taylorcraft on their way home from Vryheid .The missing man formation was in the form of a Beechcraft Bonanza, a Vans RV7 and RV10.

Missing man formation

The a EAA 322 Annual General Meeting also took place and announcements were made for the future of the EAA in South Africa.Other safety meetings also took place with the likes of Santjie White,Fred Bebbington and a few others.

The only helicopter that flew in a Aérospatiale Gazelle.
Classic cars were also on display

A great dinner was served with a awards evening on the best judged aircraft of the day. A 100+ aircraft flew in for the weekend, some didn’t as said before with inclement weather stopping arrivals on Saturday morning.We look forward to next years event hosted by the
Pietermaritzburg flying Club.

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Eagle Air-The Fly Away March 2019

Eagle Air-The Fly Away March 2019

By Marcelle Nienaber – Grade 2 Instructor at Eagle Air.

Its early morning Friday, the 27th of March.

There is a slight chill in the air as 20 pilots assemble with luggage, flight plans and positive attitudes around a fleet of 9 aircraft. Fueled and ready to take to the skies for eagle Air’s first Fly-Away for 2019.

“Cleared for take-off” echoed in all the headsets as we routed to Kruger International Airport. One hour into the flight we had to divert back to Wonderboom (FAWB) due to inclement weather at Kruger. Our fleet met up and re-fueled at FAWB.

With the weather keeping its head up high, our pilots took to the skies again. This time to Bloemfontein (FABL) on route, clear skies greeted us.

After a well-deserved rest at FABL, flight plans were filed for our route to Port Elizabeth via Beaufort West.

Spectacular views of the Indian Ocean ensured excitement among all. PE welcomed Eagle Air with signature windy conditions.

With great anticipation on day 3 of the Fly-Away, the fleet departed for Cape Town via George. Touching down in George revealed adverse conditions and aircraft were secured for the night.

The skies cleared for day 4 as or journey continued on to Cape Town. More spectacular views of the mountains and sea stunned the Eagle Air fleet. We descended into Cape Town International Airport slotting seamlessly between commercial carriers. With a few hours of daylight left, the Eagle Air squad explored the streets of Cape Town, taking in all it has to offer.

Energized by the scenes of the Mother City we set off to Bloemfontein (FABL) to settle in for the final night before heading back to the Eagle Nest.

Midday on the 3rd of April, the Eagle Air fleet safely arrived back at home base.

“Six days, a dozen cities, thousands of nautical miles and immeasurable memories and experience gained” quoted by Percy Rudman.

Photo credits: Eagle Air

Click to enlarge photos

SANDF Capability Demonstration and Arena Displays- Rand Easter Show 2019

The 125th Rand Easter Show has once again entertained Gauteng residents with raw power of the South African National Defence  with the South African Navy, Army, Airforce and Military Health Service all present at the Expo Centre Nasrec South of Johannesburg.

SAAF Silver Falcons fly overhead the arena

The Capability demonstration was once again a major draw card to the Rand Show as it always is and run for the first four days of the opening of the show. Unfortunately with the absence of South African Airforce helicopters as the choppers were still on operational duties in Mozambique and Malawi.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display

We were blessed with great weather for the first 3 days of the event including the validation day before the opening of the event as their was predicted rain showers and overcast weather for the duration of the morning shows. The final day was unfortunately rained out.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi” Goosen and Major Kevin ‘Saffron’ Chetty

2 Squadron didn’t disappoint  with the presence of two Gripens opening the event. Major Mohua “Dobaman” Vundla with navigator Kevin “Saffron” Chetty and in the second Gripen was Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen kept a tight formation flypast as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula arrived on the podium to address the public on the official opening of the Rand Easter Show 2019.

2 Squadron Gripens flown by ‘Dobaman’ and “Saffron” in the first gripen and “Shinobi” in the second gripen

“I am delighted and honored to be amongst the men and women in the uniform-our country’s armed forces – during the official opening of the 2019 Rand Easter Show. Our soldiers have been patriotically exhibiting and showcasing their capabilities at this crowd – pulling event without fail since 2011 and endeared themselves to visitors from all walks of life, educating our people about the miltarys role in society and towards the defence of our constitutional dispensation.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” The platform that the Rand Easter Show affords the South African National Defence Force is key to exposing the citizens of Gauteng and the country at large to the capabilities, state of the art technologies and the career opportunities the abound within our national defence force.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” It is through the participation of the SANDF in events such as this one that the aspirations of young men and women–from Eldorado Park, Soweto, Tembisa, Diepsloot, Brynston, Alexandra and Dainfern- in fact throughout the country, ignites them to serve the country. “

” The Rand Easter Show has over the years been a gathering place for visitors who have proven to be owerawed by the dedication, hard work and precision with which our soldiers carry out their duties as showcased through the various capabilities demonstrated in these arena lawns.”

The capability demonstration se the theme this year as a deployment of reaction forces to support a convoy ambushed in a foreign territory. Two Ratel 90 ammoured vehicles gave support fire power as well as a lone 2 Squadron Gripen with simulated airstrikes. Simulated mortar strikes echoed in the arena as the crowds were awered of the pyrotechnics set off by the army engineers. All while this was happening a bridge laying was complete during the mock attack.

Simulated IED Mine
Ratel 90
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Simulated Mortor Strikes.
Bridge Build

A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flown by Major Ashley Naxhe and  Major Nick Green and Loadmaster  Flight Sergeant Ramajela who
dropped skydivers from 44 parachute battlion with a designated landing zone in the arena. The Casa 212 then gave a beautiful fly past over the arena as they excited the special rules west area of Johannesburg.

44 Squadron CASA 212 Paradrop
44 Squadron Casa 212

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce, Silver Falcons of team 82 led by Major Omphile Matloane, Tiaan Stander, Corne Deventer, Bheki Shabangu and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana flew their 5 ship Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons in the ‘Vixen’ Formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Cobra’ formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Starfighter’ formation

Other arena events on the program included presion drills from the SA Army and Navy. The now popular Navy gun run, a Military Police anti hijacking display, SANDF Marshal Arts demonstration. The SANDF K9 unit and field patrol. And finally the new act on the SANDF the Land Drover of the Army Technical Corpse which is demobilised and mobilized under 10 minutes. Also a favorite at this year’s event.

Thank you kindly to the Rand Easter Show organizers. We look forward to next year’s 126th event.

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