Category Archives: General News and Airshow Reviews

SAAF Museum Airshow Saturday 7 September 2019 Programme

Please take note that aircraft can withdraw from the program at any point due to serviceability & operational requirements and weather!

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SAAF Museum Airshow Media Briefing 2019

The morning of Tuesday 3rd September 2019,corrospondents from different media houses were invited for a media briefing presented by the South African Airforce Museum Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies and Major Ntokozo Ntshangase at Swartkop Air Base West Auditorium.

Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies

The Theme for this years show as mentioned in the briefing is “Our Collective Heritage” this meaning all types of Airwings during the Liberation movement, Homelands Venda, Ciskei ,Bophuthatswana and past SAAF Aircraft celebrating their former centenary over the years.

Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruinjies addressing the media

Colonel Bruinjies mentioned that full SAAF Museum Aircraft inventory including Harvard’s, Cessna C185, Puma, Alouette II & III, Bosbok, Kudu and much more would take to the skies on Saturday, including a number civilian types and as well as a number of current SAAF Aircraft.

SAAF Museum Alouette II & III validated on 2019-09-03

Gates will open at 7am on Saturday morning for the public and paring will be made available around the Bases surroundings. There are 90 vendors that will be at the show, which will range from food stalls to memorabilia etc.

SAAF Museum Alouette III

Tickets available at Computicket , Click here

R80 Adults

R30 Children between the ages 12-16

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Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Noted as one of the coldest airshows on the South African Airshow circuit, this years Bethlehem Airshow was definitely the hottest. The Eastern Free State town of Bethlehem hosted their annual airshow and this year was most probably the best they have ever had, with a large variety of aircraft including the South African Airforce making a welcome return.

The Friday before the show, Little Annie an Antonov 2 took local school kids for some of them their first flight in an aircraft around the town of Bethlehem. At the same time many aircraft arrivals and validations took place to be suitable for the following day.

“Little Annie” AN2

Saturday morning we arrived at the airfield to get some sunrise shots of parked aircraft, not long after that we attended the pilots briefing with Dihlabeng Municipal Mayor Lindiwe Makhalema thanking the pilots and wishing them well during the course of the day. Stephen Fourie was the organiser once again of the fantastic show who also briefed the pilots on the days proceedings in conjunction with Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer as airboss for the show. Lieutenant Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom was Flight safety director and Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrew was ramp director.

The show opened up with the South African Airforce Golden Eagles Parachute Display team, their jump ship was a 44 Squadron Casa 212 with Lieutenant Colonel Sammy “Guru” Mabidikama, Major Ashley “Sensei” Naxhe and loadmaster Flight Sergeant Manny Ramajela at the controls.

44 Squadron Casa 212

The Cows Pitts Specials added an Extra 300 to their display led by Scully Levin, The Goodyear Eagles performed both a four-ship pitts display in the morning show and the afternoon show with a three-ship. A solo aerobatic display by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300 and a Pilatus B4 Glider was flown by Gary Whitecross.Orsmond Aviation provided a Turbo Thrush for aerial spaying demo. A provincial EMS Bell 222 demonstrated a car accident scene showing off the emergency services and the every day call out scenes around South Africa. Another Bell 222 from Henley Air at Rand Airport flown by Andre Coetzee showed off the helicopter skilfully.

Cows Pitts and Extra formation
Goodyear Eagles
Nashua Extra 300
Pilatus B4
Glider Tug Lambada flown by Derek Hopkins
Free state EMS Bell 222
Free state EMS Bell 222
Henley Air Bell 222

The South African Airforce (SAAF) provide the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team flying Pilatus PC7MKIIs with Major Omphile Matolane as lead ,Major Tian Stander at number two, Major Sivu Tangana at three and the soloist Major Bheki Shabungu.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Major Bheki Shabungu does a dirty roll in the Pilatus PC7MKII
Lieutenant Charlene Brown and Captain Xander Albasni made sure the Bethlehem crowds could get their Silver Falcons memorabilia

A 2 Squadron Gripen JAS39D flown all the way from Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province, the squadron demonstrated a flat display by Major Mohau “Dobaman” Vundla and Major Kevin “Safron” Chetty as his navigator. This was the first appearance of a Gripen in Bethlehem. An Agusta A109LUH from 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein, which was on static display among some of the other visiting civilian static aircraft. Adding to the jet action Pierre Gouws flew Richard Lovett’s Aero L39 and also led the Raptor RVs.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Agusta A109LUH
Aero L39 Albatross
Raptors RVs

Andre Van Zyl displayed the Magni Gyrocopter to its full potential Radials were a common sound at this years show with Little Annie An2 flown by Jon Marc-Hill and Juba Jourbert dropping skydivers and later joining up with Ivan Van der Schaar in his Boeing Stearman for a formation display and both their singleton displays. The Puma Flying Lions led once again by Scully Levin flew their three-ship routine .Menno Parson’s Douglas Dc3 gave a brief display flown by Derek Hopkins and Ivan van der Schaar. Menno displayed his popular and only flying P51D Mustang in South Africa. SAA Pilot Trevor Warner also gave a Solo Rv7 display, this being the most homebuilt aircraft in the world.

Magni Gyro
Radial Formation An2 & Boeing Stearman
Douglas DC3
Puma Flying Lions
P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”
RV7

Capital Sounds provided commentary to both the display line in front of the crowd line, behind the crowd line and by the aircraft parking area across the tar runway at Bethlehem. Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene kept the crowds posted on each display on the day.

Menno Parsons & Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis
Silver Falcon Major Sivu Tangana & Capital Sounds Elvis Manene

Bethlehem Airshow well done on a fantastic show this year, to all the organisers, display pilots and ground crews on making the show safe and successful. Looking forward to next years show already.

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Excitement is building for the SAAF Museum Airshow

Excitement is building for the South African Air Force YOUTH EXHIBITION day and the SAAF Museum annual Airshow!

The the South African Air Force (SAAF) YOUTH EXHIBITION day and the SAAF Museum annual Airshow will be held on 06 and 07 September 2019 from 07h30 to 16:00 and 09h00 to 17h00, respectively. These events will take place at Air Force Base (AFB) Swartkop, Old Johannesburg road in Valhalla, Tshwane.

The theme for this year is “Collective Heritage”. The theme appreciates and recognizes the collective and individual sacrifices of the members in pursuit and realisation of the SAAF’s mandate. As the historical aviation hub of the SAAF, the SAAF Museum continues in its efforts by collecting, restoring, preserving and exhibiting the heritage and traditions of the SAAF and military aviation.

The Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande Msimang initiated the Project “Embracing our collective heritage” in order to present a holistic history of the Air Force. These records of history include former TBVC (Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and Ciskei) states and the Armed Wings of former Liberation Movements in relation to the corresponding political, social and economic dispensation of the country. One of the fundamental elements in nation-building and cultivating a cohesive society is the reconfiguration of the heritage landscape to ensure that it reflects the diversity, the unity of society and the triumph of a human spirit.

Youth Exhibition is scheduled for 06 September 2019 at 08:00 in Hangar 4. A total of 1000 learners will attend from different schools around Gauteng and other provinces. The following companies are among those that will exhibit on the day:

1. Standard Bank

2. Armscor

3. Mango

4. Aviation Academy (Cabin Crew)

5. South African Air Force

6. Unisa Robotic Department

The SAAF Museum Airshow (07 September 2019) is designed to attract aviation enthusiasts, the general public as well as current and former members of the SAAF, providing an opportunity to celebrate military aviation in both static and flying conditions.

Aircraft: Members of the public can expect to see the following aircraft on the day:

Operational aircraft: Gripen, Hawk, Lockheed C130, Oryx, Agusta 109, Pilatus 12, Rooivalk

Museum aircraft: Allouette II, Allouette III, SA 330L Puma, Harvard, Atlas C4M Kudu, Aermacchi AM 3C Bosbok, Vampire, Cessna 185 and Explora

Also read Mustang Sally’s Return to SAAF museum Airshow

Tickets: Tickets are available at Computicket at R80.00 for adults and R30.00 for children between 12 – 16 years. Whilst tickets will be available at the gate, members of the public are encouraged to buy tickets before coming to the event.

Gates: Gates will open from 07:00 till 17:30. The Air Show starts at 09:00.

Parking: Parking for people with disabilities will be at the North Gate (Corner Old Johannesburg road & Snake Valley Road). The general public will also park alongside Old Johannesburg Road & Snake Valley Road. Although there will be car guards, members of the public are informed that parking will be at own risk.

Traffic congestion & Noise: There will be traffic congestion and significant aircraft noise. We therefore appeal for tolerance and understanding from the public, especially residents of Valhalla, Centurion and other surrounding areas.

Bus Shuttle: Gautrain buses will be available to shuttle people from Centurion and Pretoria stations to the venue. Gautrain cards are required for the use of this service.

Vendors: There will be food stalls and a beer garden. Alcohol will be served at a designated area. Controlled substances are not allowed.

Also read Do’s and Don’ts attending an Airshow

Prohibited items: Drones and UHF/VHF transmitters.

Also remember to read our air show dos and don’ts for general things to remember. The article can be found here.

Brakpan Aero Club Celebrates Women in Aviation

Saturday the 17th August 2019,Brakpan Aero Club celebrated women in Aviation at the East Rand Airfield this past weekend. Women as pilots, groundcrew, cabin crew and Air traffic controllers congregated at the airfields club house for cake and tea. Some of the lucky ladies were awarded with a bouquet of flowers for their contribution in the South African Aviation Community.

Newly paved runway at Brakpan Airfield as seen from a Alouette III

Santjie White provided a short talk on Search and Rescue in South Africa as she explained more in detail as the Chief of Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre.

Santjie White

Santjie started at the Aeronautical Search and Rescue coordination centre in April 2008 and received The Director civil aviation special industry award for exceptional individual contribution to the Aviation industry. Santjie White is responsible to Establish a Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) to co-ordinate all participating search and rescue unit’s facilities within her area of responsibility. Ensuring effective and efficient co ordination of SAR processes and operations.

SkyRaider work in progress in full swing

Amelia Mary Earhart one of many women in aviation ,who was an American aviation pioneer and author. Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set many other records, wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences, and was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots.

Brakpan Aero Club House

The rest of the day, saw some of Brakpan’s local aircraft take to the skies, an Alouette III owned and flown by Rob Osner ,A Mushask MF17 flown by Hilton Wolff, Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and a visiting Yak 52 flown by Wim Kotze were some of the favourites seen during the afternoon period.

Alouette III
Savannah
Cessna 152
Sling 4
Piper J3 Cub

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Rostec to unveil latest Russian military aircraft to foreign partners at MAKS 2019

August 19, 2019
Press-release

Rosoboronexport (part of the Rostec State Corporation) will make presentations of the Russia’s latest combat and transport aircraft at the MAKS 2019 International Air Show.

“MAKS is a traditional platform for aviation premieres. This year, Rostec’s display includes 250+ new models of aircraft, avionics, aircraft engines and airfield equipment, including over 40 items that are being showcased at MAKS for the first time. I am sure these products will attract a lot of attention of our foreign partners,” said Rostec CEO Sergey Chemezov.
The Su-57E fighter (manufactured by KоAAP named after Yuri Gagarin) and the Il-112VE military transport (built by VACM) will be the centerpieces of the military part of Russia’s display at MAKS 2019.

MAKS 2019

“At MAKS 2019, Russian manufacturers will be unveiling the fifth-generation Su-57E multi-role fighter jet and the Il-112VE light military transport aircraft, the hottest and most anticipated new products of recent years. Rosoboronexport is ready, at the request of foreign partners, to present these aircraft and turn a new page in promoting state-of-the-art aircraft systems in the world market. I’m sure the interest in them will be massive,” said Alexander Mikheev, Rosoboronexport’s Director General and Deputy Chairman of the Russian Engineering Union.

The advanced Su-57E fifth-generation fighter jet from Sukhoi (a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation) and the Il-112VE light military transport aircraft from Ilyushin (a subsidiary of the United Aircraft Corporation) have received the necessary export permits and Rosoboronexport has the right to offer them to foreign customers.

The Su-57E is a fifth-generation multi-role aircraft system designed to accomplish a wide range of missions against air, ground and surface targets. It can be used in any weather, day or night, and in a severe jamming environment.

Its main advantages compared with 4th generation aircraft systems are stealth due to a reduced radar and infrared signature, high immunity of both avionics and aircraft armament system, as well as a strong supersonic cruise capability.

SU 57

At the same time, the latest Russian fighter surpasses 4++ generation aircraft in terms of key properties:

  • multi-mission capability;
  • automation and AI technologies incorporated into target engagement processes;
  • all-azimuth and multiple target capability, the use of long-range precision-guided weapons;
  • super-maneuverability.

The set of features of the Su-57E fighter gives it superiority over the fifth generation aircraft available on the market today at a lower life cycle cost. This fact has been recognized by many world experts in weapons and military equipment.

The Il-112VE light military transport aircraft is the export version of the Il-112V developed for the Russian Air Force and intended for the transportation and airdropping of cargo, vehicles, equipment, ammunition and personnel.

IL 112

The major competitive advantages of the Russian Il-112VE light military transport aircraft are:

  • versatility enabling a wide range of transport missions, including airdropping of cargo and special forces groups, transportation of personnel with organic weapons, delivery of weapons, ammunition and materiel, casualty evacuation, etc;
  • state-of-the-art avionics that makes it possible to perform combat missions day or night, in any weather and in different climatic conditions;
  • the dimensions of the cargo compartment of the Il-112VE expand the capabilities for transporting cargo, including self-propelled and non-self-propelled equipment;
  • the Il-112VE is equipped with two new higher-power and more fuel-efficient engines, the TV7-117ST, and AV112 propellers controlled by a single automatic control system which increases flight safety and provides high take-off and landing performance allowing the aircraft to be operated from short runways, including unprepared fields;
  • on-condition maintenance of the Il-112VE obviates the need for major overhauls, which ensures that the required level of equipment operational readiness is maintained at minimum operating costs within the service life limit of 30,000 flight hours or for 30 years;
  • the presence of advanced handling and drop equipment on board the aircraft that allows loading and unloading without the use of additional special equipment;
  • compliance with ICAO flight accuracy and safety;
  • capability to operate independently, including from unimproved airfields.

Rosoboronexport is the only state-owned arms trade company in the Russian Federation authorized to export the full range of military and dual-purpose products, technologies and services. It is a subsidiary of the Rostec Corporation. Founded on 4 November, 2000, now Rosoboronexport is one of the leading world arms exporters to the international market. Its share in Russia’s military exports exceeds 85 percent. Rosoboronexport cooperates with more than 700 enterprises and organizations in the Russian defence industrial complex. Russia maintains military technical cooperation with more than 100 countries around the world.

State Corporation Rostec is one of the largest industrial groups in Russia. It comprises over 700 scientific and production entities in 60 regions of the country. Rostec’s key business areas include transport machine building, electronics, medical technologies, chemistry and innovative materials. Rostec’s holding companies form three clusters: the Radioelectronics cluster, the Weapons cluster and the Aviation cluster. Rostec’s portfolio includes famous brands such as AVTOVAZ, KAMAZ, Concern Kalashnikov, “Russian Helicopters”, Uralvagonzavod, etc. Rostec takes an active part in implementation of all 12 National Projects. The company is a key supplier of Smart City technologies, carries out digitization of the government, industry, social sector, and prepares plans for developing 5G wireless technologies, the industrial Internet of Things, big data and blockchain systems. Rostec is a partner of the world’s leading manufacturers such as Boeing, Airbus, Daimler, Pirelli, Renault, etc. The corporation supplies its products to more than 100 countries. Export of high-tech products provides for almost a third of the company’s revenue.

A Moment Time Stood Still-Air Force Base Swartkop

Wherever one wonders around aviation museums around the world, you wonder and think how aviation has come this far as we speak in 2019,expecially in South Africa .The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Imperial war museum at Duxford and many more.Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria is also part of the elite museums to visit as an aviation enthusiast touring South Africa.

The Past..

The SAAF claims Swartkop is the second oldest air station in the world and the oldest operational air station in the world.Over the years many distinguished Squadrons have been based at Swartkop. This includes 26 Squadron which was formed there on 24 August 1942.

* Photos by Adrian Munro, Stefan Bouwer, Team Aviation Central and SAAF Museum archives

Photo of Swartkop taken 1935

The Chief of the South African Air Force opened the relocated at AFB Swartkop in 1993. The Air Force Base reverted to Air Force Station status in 1999. This decision was made by the South African Air Force to vacate the base and leave behind the Museum located there and to keep the Airfield as an extension of Airforce Base Waterkloof. The SAAF Museum Historic Flight had also moved to Hanger 14 at the end of the Southern part of the base to this present day.

As of December 2013 the South African Air Force still hasn’t vacated all operational units on the base. The South African Airforce Museum currently occupies the northern side of the base while active SAAF units occupy the southern side of the base.

One of the oldest ATC Towers In South Africa

Air Force Base Swartkops over watches the residents of Valhalla, Centurion in Pretoria and most air force officers that outlasted their selection phase of pupes course and other forms of duties in the South African Airforce were boundless.

Still to this very day Harvard’s and other museum assets fly at the base
Former 44 Squadron C47 Dakota part of the Museum Historic Flight

The famous SAAF memorial is located on Bays Hill in Swartkop outside overlooks the entire Airbase. Its familiar in pictures of SAAF fighters passing behind it as they brought the sound of freedom amongst visitors of many airshows held over the years. The memorial was unveiled 1 September 1963 by the then State President of South Africa Charles Robberts Swart. The unveiling ceremony was attended by 5000 people.

SAAF Memorial Bays Hill

The history of the SAAF dates back after a visit to observe the 1912 military manoeuvres in Europe, Brig. Gen. C.F Beyers (who was then Commandant-General of the Defence Force) gave an extremely positive report on the future use of aircraft for military purposes to General Jan Smuts initiated an arrangement with private fliers in the Cape and established a flying school at Alexandersfontein near Kimberley, known as the Paterson Aviation Syndicate School, to train pilots for the proposed South African Aviation Corporation.. The first South African military pilot qualified on 2 June 1914.

de Havilland DH.9
New and old trainers T6 Harvard & Pilatus PC7MKII

On the 1 February 1920 Colonel Pierre van Ryneveld was appointed as the Director Air Service with the task of forming an air force, the date is used to mark the founding of the South African Air Force. In December 1920 the South African National insignia was added to aircraft for the first time.

SAAF Insignia 1921–1927
SAAF Insignia 2004-Present

4 Squadron was reformed in January 1951 at AFB Waterkloof as the Active Citizen Force element of 1 Squadron with Harvards and Spitfires until once again disbanded in October 1958. On 1 November 1961, it was reformed at Swartkop, flying Harvards and in August 1972 the first Impala Jets were received.

Swartkop in the late 1940s
Swartkop in the late 1940s Photo credit http://www.spitfire-restoration.co.za

The squadron moved from Swartkop to Waterkloof and then to Lanseria Airport where it received Impala Mk IIs. It saw numerous deployments to South West Africa and Mpacha and Rundu airfields in southern Angola. Its home base remained at Lanseria until it was disbanded in September 1991.

The Museums Spitfire in her former glory days

Airshows at AFB Swartkop over the years..

For years many of Aviation Centrals followers have been to some of the many historical airshows at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria. The shows have had a big impact in promoting aviation in South Africa and more military aviation.

Yester year youngsters watching former fast movers shadowing “Bays Hill” in the foreground in the form of Mirage IIIs,Mirage F1s and Cheetahs and today the Gripen as the countries 4.5 generation fighter aircraft. The echo of the sound of freedom is what draws the “vlamgat” lovers to these shows!

Swartkop has had a number of airshows over the years which were mainly known as flying days from when the museum had a big fleet of ex air force aircraft that were part of the shows program.This also saw many fighter aircraft from the then current and past SAAF from various fast mover squadrons,including Impalas, Mirages, Cheetahs and up till now to the current SAAF fighters Gripen and Hawk. Warbirds that have attended included PBY Catilina, DC3, DC4, DC6, JU52, Spitfires, Mustangs, Sea Fury’s, Yaks and the list goes on.

Ex Eastern block jet trainers such as the L39 and L29, Vampires, Hawker Hunters and a T2 Buckeye have touched down on Swartkops sloped runway on many occasions. Many airliners have taken part in shows and have landed at the base included MD80s, Airbus A319s, Boeing 707s, 727s and 737 series.

Photos below by Adrian Munro, Stefan Bouwer, Team Aviation Central and SAAF Museum archives.

Since 2012, the Chief of the South African Air Force, Lt Gen FZ Msimang, has initiated a programme to preserve and promote our Air Force history, which includes former TBVC states and the Armed Wings of Former Liberation Movements in relation to the corresponding political, social and economic dispensation of the country under the theme “embracing our collective heritage”. One of the fundamental elements in nation-building and cultivating a cohesive society is the reconfiguration of the heritage landscape to ensure that it reflects the diversity and the incredible efforts of the unity of our society.

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Pilot Insure Secunda Navigation Speed Rally

The Pilot Insure Secunda Navigation Speed Rally – 10 August 2019 by Rob Jonkers

This Speed Rally held at Secunda on the 10th August was the finale of the 2018/19 season, and the 6th in the series, where it had returned to the birth of the Speed Rally concept just under a year ago. This format of rally has gone from strength to strength with increasing entrants and popularity, with an initial entry list of 23 to over 40 at its peak at the Bethlehem event in June 2019.

This being the season finale, the season winners were to be crowned on Saturday at the prize-giving at the Secunda club. The Secunda club went all out to make this a memorable event, and between SAPFA and the club had also arranged Video recording teams to follow the preparation and the event’s proceedings. The entries started out at 40, but some competitors dropped out due to technical issues, and by Friday morning 32 entries were confirmed.

Club Chairman Hardie Voges made arrangements for food on site, accommodation and providing local members to assist with officiating. Some of the officials arrived early Friday to prepare the course and finalize the entries and their handicaps, where test flights were done throughout the day.

This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is around 125 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. For this event the route was mostly to the northeast of the airfield, not in the most scenic part of the country, which is mostly dotted with power stations and coal mines, but then the competitors would have been more concerned about keeping track than looking at scenery.

The weather on Friday started out real well, as the competition director flew in as a first arrival at 8 am with virtually no wind and with a warm day unfolding, but by noon the wind started to pick up and became gusty in the late afternoon with a severe temperature drop, this being due to cold front moving through skirting the east coast. Arrivals started to pick up in the afternoon, and with four new teams, Mary de Klerk provided some dedicated training for these teams.

Thereafter at 18h30, Jonty Esser as the Race Master introduced Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work with expected weather conditions, which looked like early morning low cloud cover but lifting towards the middle of the day.

Race Master Jonty Esser then took to the stage in his signature competing crew introductory theme song videos and race number handouts, and also including introductions to the event and team sponsors. With increasing popularity, more and more sponsors have come on board, and there are now 6 teams being sponsored by entities all vying for the teams to obtain top honors in winning, the latest being The Airplane Factory sponsoring the Sling team of David Ross & James Braid, and Beegle micro trackers sponsoring the team of Johan Whiteman & Quinton Kruger. A scrumptious braai was laid on by the club to end the evening with around the fire stories on a high note.

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For Saturday the briefing started at 8h30, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. An opportunity was provided by the Speed Rally main sponsor Pilot Insure of the benefits of Aviation Life Insurance cover for pilots, followed by Beegle Micro Trackers, who provided some information on available flight trackers using the Iridium Satellite system, and would be tracking 6 aircraft in the rally to watch their progress on a screen in the clubhouse, that would provide spectator value to the event. The weather turned out to have low cloud develop in the north west, and some teams could not arrive in time to take part with most of Jhb & Pta showing rainy and IMC conditions, but as the morning wore on, the weather improved, although the wind started to pick up from the north as well.

With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags. For this event Century Avionics were on hand to also block off Aircraft GPS systems for those who volunteered.

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Karen, Conrad and Alex were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, and also handing out papers at the allotted time, and also checking the fuel tanks were full. To assist the teams at getting their take-off roll accurate, a starting colour panel was used, which was set up next to the start line on the runway by Chief Marshal Jacques Jacobs and Mark Clulow, who would release them at their allotted time slot. Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at their 20 minutes prior take-off time, and then taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of take-off time. 1st take-off was at 10h40 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 11h10, with planned arrival at 12h00.

With all the competitors off towards the south west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints. In general the competitors found the course easy enough this time round, with the photographs now in larger format to identify the ground features more prominently, which can be seen in the results where many had a clear round in their tracks. At just before 12 noon, the first aircraft over the line was the Harmony ZU-FWS with Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, followed 10 seconds later by two Slings with half a second between them followed by Jonty & Jonathan Esser’s C150. Within 2 minutes there were 15 aircraft over the line and within 6 minutes the remainder of the field, showing that less competitors had missed turnpoints or went wandering too far off course, however with the wind picking up, the first off and slower aircraft gained more speed on the downwind home stretch to clip their handicap speeds.

After all teams having returned, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, completing the individual scores by 3 pm, and then readied for the evening prize giving. The prize giving initially started with the MC Jonty Esser everybody involved in the Speed Rally series for the contributions, this was followed by Rob Jonkers showing some interesting tracks for the day. Thereafter certificates and medals were handed out to competitors and officials that contributed to the success of the events held over the last year. For this the final in the season, the overall winners with the best handicap speed was Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer in their Harmony ZU-FWS, in second place were first timers Johann Horn & Deidre Batchelor in their Sling ZU-WMM, and in third place father and son Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK. The first twenty placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

Final overall Handicap Results

Position Race nr A/c reg Aircraft Pilot Navigator
1 1 ZU-FWS Evektor Harmony Leon Bouttell Martin Meyer
2 26 ZU-WMM Sling 2 Johann Horn Deidre Batchelor
3 6 ZU-IHK Sling 2 Hendrik Loots Jandre Loots

Final overall Track Accuracy Results

Position Race nr A/c reg Aircraft Pilot Navigator
1 3 ZU-JAR Sling 2 David Ross James Braid
2 7 ZS-ACA Cirrus SR22 Ryan Shillaw Chris Shillaw
3 15 ZS-OZI Citabria Bob Cohoe Johann van Niekerk

Championship Final Results

Ranked Championship Points Pilot Navigator Aircraft Reg
1 1000 Leon Bottell Martin Meyer Evektor Sportstar Plus ZU-FBJ
2 935 David Ross James Braid Sling 2 ZU-JAR
3 885 Phil Wakeley Mary de Klerk C210 ZS-CNY

The winners in the accuracy category were the team of David Ross & James Braid in a Sling ZU-JAR, in second place was father & son Ryan & Chris Shillaw in a Cirrus SR22 ZS-ACA, and in third place Bob Cohoe & Johann van Niekerk in an American Champion Citabria ZS-OZI.

The overall season winners were Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer with 1000 points, David Ross & James Braid with 935 points and in third place Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk with 885 points. For the entire series, there were 85 teams that competed over the 6 events.

Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Jacques Jacobs with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark Clulow doing the scoring with our handicapping guru the honorable Chester Chandler, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us, and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, team sponsors Excel E&I – Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, The Airplane Factory – David Ross and James Braid, Pilots Post – Phil Wakeley and Mary De Klerk, Pilot Insure – Jonty and Jonathan Esser, Beegle Micro Trackers – Quintin Kruger and Johan Whiteman, Prompt Roofing – Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard.

ZS-OZI – third in the accuracy results

One of the tracks having gone a little pear shaped.

Photos by Charmaine Oliver Photography, Click here to view here Facebook page

Click To Enlarge photos

FIRE AT HANGAR NO. 8 AT AIR FORCE BASE SWARTKOP

MEDIA STATEMENT

DATE: 10 August 2019

EMBARGO: None

SUBJECT:     FIRE AT HANGAR NO. 8 AT AIR FORCE BASE SWARTKOP

The South African Nation Defence Force (SANDF) hereby confirms that a general-purpose hangar at Air Force Base Swartkop, which did not house any aircraft or museum artefacts, caught fire this Saturday, 10 August 2019 at around 5:00 am. Though there is extensive and structural damage to the hangar, there were neither human injuries nor fatalities.

The cause of the fire is still unknown. The Base Fire Services and the Tshwane Fire Services managed to extinguish the fire to prevent further damages to other vehicles and equipment.

The SANDF with the support of the Tshwane Fire Services will immediately initiate a Preliminary Investigation and/or a Board of Inquiry to determine the cause and extent of the fire.

The majority of the hangars of AFB Swartkops are classified as “heritage structures” because this was the first established air force base in South Africa. The Base and the hangars were built from the early 1920s.

This loss of the hangar is a setback to the South African Air Force and the history of Military Aviation worldwide. Since 2012, the Chief of the South African Air Force, Lt Gen FZ Msimang, has initiated a programme to preserve and promote our Air Force history, which includes former TBVC states and the Armed Wings of Former Liberation Movements in relation to the corresponding political, social and economic dispensation of the country under the theme “embracing our collective heritage”. One of the fundamental elements in nation-building and cultivating a cohesive society is the reconfiguration of the heritage landscape to ensure that it reflects the diversity and the incredible efforts of the unity of our society.

We are grateful for the prompt response of the City of Tshwane and the Air Force Base Swartkop Fire Services.

                    ENDS

Issued by: Defence Corporate Communication

(Defence Headquarters)

Pretoria

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SAAF Museum Training Day 2019-08-03

This past weekend the SAAF Museum once again held their monthly flying day. Being busy with other aviation events this past couple of months, we really enjoyed being back for a great museum event. This flying day was very busy in particular with three Allouette helicopters, five Harvards, a bosbok, Cessna 185, Patchen Explorer and Puma all flying. The Friends Of The SAAF Museum sold very tasty boerewors rolls and the Windsock café also had a wide selection of toasted sandwiches and drinks to satisfy all tastes on the day.

The visitors had plenty of flying to enjoy, starting out with the Aerospatiale SA 330 Puma starting up right in front of the crowd line. The Puma pilots ensured that everyone nearby left with a funky hairstyle. As the Puma taxied past, it was able to blow over my tripod  with my secondary camera doing video recording. Luckily the only thing that was damaged was my ego with my fellow photographer friends getting a good laugh out of the tumbling Canon.

With this being the final flying day before the big airshow in September, some of the Harvard pilots lead by Glen Warden flew a nice formation flight at the end of the day. The three Harvards participating in the flyby were Siyandiza, 7231 and 7480. The trio flew a tight formation coming from the rear over the main tower, making a wingover to the left, passing over Bay’s Hill and then passed in front of the crowd again.

This year’s airshow was delayed due to the elections taking place in May. The official date has now been set as 7 September 2019. The show organisers are hard at work with the planning and the theme for this year’s show is “Collective Heritage”. The Gautrain will once again be aiding with transport and Computicket will be the ticket sellers. The prices are as follow: R80 for over the age of 16, R30 for 12-16 and under 12 is free. NB: Ticket sales are not open at the time of writing. Keep an eye on the event Facebook page for more info regarding the show.

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