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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The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally
The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Navigation Speed Rally – 8 June 2019 by Rob Jonkers
The South African Power Flying Association held a very successful Speed Rally at Bethlehem on 8th June 2019, this one being the 5th in the speed rally series started in 2018. This event is going from strength to strength, attracting more and more participants, this time round the first 30 entries were snapped up within hours and when the entries were increased to 40 to accommodate the local clubs, there were another 10 entries within days, where a waiting list had to be started.
Aircraft and Crew list
Van’s Aircraft RV-10
Cirrus SR22 G5
Mary de Klerk
Eugene van Staden
Airplane Factory Sling 4
Van’s Aircraft RV-7
Sarel van der Merwe
Carel du Preez
Cessna R182 RG II
Alex Mubanzo Barichelo
Thys vd Merwe
Enock Musasizi Kazimba
Bennie du Plessis
Barry de Groot
Airplane Factory Sling 2
Johan van Eeden
Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Nicholas de Wit
Van’s Aircraft RV-10
Airplane Factory Sling 2
Johann van Niekerk
American Champion 7-GCBC
Wayne van Rooyen
KFA Bush-Baby 500
Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Cirrus SR22 G2
Igun Nkosinathi Fanti
Flight Design CTSW
The Bethlehem Club went out of their way to make the organizing an easy affair, with Club Chairman Philip Jacobs making arrangement 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 south of the airfield hugging the Drakensberg mountains in places
The weather was absolutely pristine, with hardly any wind and no clouds throughout the day, with Saturday being predicted to be the same. As an institution as part of the Speed Rally is that Mary de Klerk provides a training session in the afternoon, but with many teams already becoming well versed in this, Mary provided some dedicated training to teams.
Thereafter at 18h00, 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 as if it would be good.
Then all the competitors were treated to a briefing on Steroids on Friday night with the Speed Rally Race Master Jonty Esser having set up a show for the teams, with a real life lights, camera, action sequence, where each team were introduced with their team theme song, handed their race numbers. Jonty also introduced the teams to the Speed Rally website where a Speed Rally ranking system was created, with team profiles and their leaderboard position. The evening ended with a braai hosted by the Bethlehem Aero Club, before retiring for the night.
For Saturday the briefing started at 8h00, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. 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.
The intent is that everybody uses the basic skills of navigation plotting and flying, and operate as a team in terms of cockpit workload, and with the course layout with short legs it for sure makes the crew resource work sharing all the more important. The idea would be that each crew would receive a pre-plotted map already complete with the route, turning points, headings, altitudes, where the map would not have any lat/long or grid references. This would be provided 20 minutes prior take-off to allow route orientation and the plotting of minute markers.
In this format, there are two objectives, fly against a pre-determined handicap speed for each aircraft, and fly the shortest route around the course which would consist of a minimum of 10 turning points, and any aircraft would be able to compete, from slower LSA aircraft to the fast turbo singles or twins. The idea would be to test the speed capability and navigation skills of each crew against each other, where the most accurate flying and turn performance management would win the rally.
Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Ashleigh and Jan-Paul 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 Mauritz du Plessis, 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 10h20 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h45, with planned arrival at 11h30.
With all the competitors off towards the west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints to contend with to give competitors a chance to always be aware of where they were, but some turnpoints were a challenge find, especially if the colour of the surrounding ground features had changes since the photos were taken. In general the competitors found the course difficult this time round, and this is visible in the results with many turn point misses, there will be a few improvements that will be made with planning a route. It appears that the final chicane turnpoint remained elusive for many.
At virtually exactly 11.30 the first aircraft over the line was the Sling of ZU-JAR, but unfortunately had missed two turnpoints, thus were out of the running as a winner. They were closely followed by the rest of the pack, all of the teams having arrived within 7 minutes.
After all teams having returned, bar a Sportcruiser that lost its propeller and had to do a forced landing, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, and with the new loggers were able to complete the scores by 2 pm, given that there was an increase in the number of competitors, whereby everybody were given their score sheets. After this there was prize giving, which first started off with showing some tracks of how many got lost around the course.
The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Eduard Scholtz and Johannes Streicher ina RV10 ZU-RVI, in second place was Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard in a Lancair ZU-LNC, and in third place Rhett and Ryan Shillaw in a Cessna 182 ZS-ECK. The first fourteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.
The winners in the accuracy category were the team of Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer in a Evektor Harmony ZU-FWS, in second place was Quinton Kruger and Johan Whiteman in a PA28-235 ZS-FVV, and in third place Simon Abbot and Chris Shillaw in a Cirrus SR22 ZS-ACA.
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Many thanks to the Bethlehem 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 Mauritz du Plessis doing the scoring with our handicapping guru Chester Chandler, Marc Robinson from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks also extended to Danie Heath of the ARCC who was our first port of call on the force landing of the Sportscruiser to get the Search and Rescue function activated and the link into the CAA, for sure at these types of events we need our guardian angels.
Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, also to Pilot’s Post for sponsoring the team of Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk, and provided three key reasons for this, the first one being that the Speed Rally as a brand is seen as the future of competitive flying, second being that the Speed Rally brand will add value to our brand, third being that they believe that Phil and Mary are the perfect ambassadors for Pilot’s Post and they will carry our flag high.
ZU-LAX – taking the scenic route along the Drakensberg
One of the better tracks of the day – ZU-IBH
Final Overall Handicap Results Bethlehem 2019
Final Overall Accuracy Results Bethlehem 2019
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I Can Dream – Newcastle Air Show 2019
The Newcastle Air Show in KwaZulu-Natal, which is the only airshow in KZN, was held on Saturday the 1st June 2019, for the ninth year running. With the theme “I can Dream”, the show encouraged participation from the community with free entrance and focused on the youth, which saw a lot of school children attending the show. It is fantastic to see the local community being considered and the drive to encourage the youth into the aviation world.
With lots of food stands available, there was also lots of activities and stands to keep the public busy, including a virtual reality stand, military and air force stands, motor bike stunts and even an South African Air Force Agusta A109 static display.
The show opened to a parachute drop with a huge South African flag, whilst the Newcastle High School Choir performed the national anthem for the twelve and half thousand strong crowd. It was a very special moment as the choir timed it to perfection with the flag landing as they completed the anthem.
This was followed by an impressive display by the Silver Falcons. Team 82 of the Silver Falcons performed their display, lead by Major Omphile Matloane in Falcon 1, with team members Falcon 2 Major Tiaan Stander, Falcon 3 Major Sivu Tangana, Falcon 4 Bheki Shabangu and GLO Captain Xander Albasini.
(Photo by Brian Emmenis)
The Puma Flying Lions followed with their display showing off the Harvard T6 aircraft capabilities in the fabulously clear skies over Newcastle. Leading the team was Scully Levin with team members Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwray.
Gary Whitecross performed a graceful aerobatic display with his glider.
Nigel Hopkins took to the clear skies with an impressive aerobatic display, showing the crowd the capabilities of the Extra 330.
The tradition of racing a plane against a car was taken to a new level this year when Nigel Hopkins raced the Extra 300 against a dragster.
A parachute drop from the SAAF 44 Sqaudron CASA C212 AVIOCAR by the Golden Eagles parachute team kept the crowd entertained.
A SAAF 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen and navigator LT Col Marc “Bluebird” Wilson wowed the crowd with a very fast paced display. The speed and noise from the fighter jet always gets peoples attention and creates a lot of excitement. This was third appearance of the Gripen at the Newcastle air shows and for the second year in a row.
The iconic Pitts Specials of the Goodyear Eagles team performed their aerobatic routine, which is always a great display to watch. The four ship team was lead by Glen Warden with team members Johan van Solms, Dennis Spence and Jason Beamish.
A Magni Gyrocopter flown by Andre van Zyl was next up and he put the gyrocopter through an impressive display showing just how maneuverable the gyrocopter is.
Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Extra 300 in an aerobatic routine that certainly impressed everyone.
An Embraer E190 from Airlink surprised the crowd with an appearance, giving the crowd a good close up look at the jet.
Team Xtreme put on a high energy aerobatic display which really had the crowd going. They performed their routine which included the signature knife-edge fly past and a double knife-edge (two aircraft together) and if that was not enough, they did a double knife-edge side by side!
Lunch time saw the runway being used for some drag races.
After lunch saw the L29 flown by Glen Warden put through it’s paces. Always a good display of this fine jet.
The Raptor RV’s took to the skies and performed a great display for the crowd.
Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman, adding a touch of the olden day pilots with an impressive scarf!
The Goodyear Eagles with the Pitts Specials gave the crowd another beautiful display of aerobatic showmanship.
The Raptor RV’s then paired up with Team Xtreme to show us just how good they are, with an impressive 8 aircraft flying their display in very close formation. Truly a sight to behold.
The aircraft then split up with Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish giving the crowd some more precision flying demonstrations which included a few more signature double knife edge passes down the runway.
The iconic World War 2 fighter P51 Mustang, Mustang Sally flown by Menno Parsons showed the crowd the might and speed of this beautiful aircraft. The whistling of the air over the gun barrels always makes an impression to remember.
The Glider flown by Gary Whitecross took to the skies to give us a graceful display of flight. Barrie Eeles gave us a solo display in his Extra 330.Good to see Barrie back at Airshows once again!
The South African Airforce display team, the Silver Falcons gave us a late afternoon display. Always a great crowd pleaser and their stunningly professional display did not disappoint.
Closing the show was a parachute drop at sunset which was stunningly beautiful against the setting sun.
A huge congratulations to the organisers on achieving an attendance of over 12 000 people! The entire airshow committee lead by Johan Pieters worked hard to give us a great show and they gave us a winner! A big thank you to Christo Van Der Vyver and all the airshow committee members for their hard work. The Air Show director Rikus Erasmus, Safety Director and SAAF safety officer Col Francois “Hose” Hanekom,Grant Timms as Ramp Controller, ATC for keeping everything running smoothly and safely. All the pilots and ground crews, all the emergency and police services keep the public and crews safe.
Thanks to Mark Mansfield for managing the media and to Capital Sounds, Brian Emmenis and his team that gave excellent Airshow commentary and the sound that was heard nice and clear throughout and to the South African Air force providing aircraft and promoting and restoring National pride to our country. To all the stakeholders who sponsored the show, this last paragraph is for all the unsung hero’s mentioned above who make these country Airshows possible. We look forward to the 10 year anniversary of the Newcastle Airshow next year.
2019 Presidential Inauguration
The 2019 presidential Inauguration took place at Loftus Verseveld stadium in the city of Tswane. South Africa’s newly appointed president his excellency President Cyril Ramaposa was sworn in on Saturday 25th May 2019.
Pretoria residents might of noticed a lot of South African Air force activity days before the ceremony, operating from Airforce base Swartkop and Waterkloof.
Aircraft types that were seen during the days flypast on the 25th consisted of both museum and current air force assets.
Aircraft types flown SAAF Museum Puma Alouettes IIIs Vampire Cessna C185 Bosbok Kudu
Photos below from various Friends of Aviation Central. ORTIA Planes spotter, Peter Cronje, Johan Stephens, Dries Beetge and Andre Nel. Big thank you for your continues support and Willingness to share your photos and love for Aviation with us.
The African themed Oshkosh type fly-inn and airshow at Matsieng Airfield situated a few kilometeres outisde of the nations capital Gabarone. What makes a show so special here is getting the opportunity to camp bush style at an airfield and for some next to you aircraft. Wesbank, once again a major sponsor for this years show at Matsieng with the help of the De Wet family, the show would not be possible.
We were flown from Wonderboom National Airport with ‘Little Annie’ the famous Antonov two owned by the Hill Family under the leadership of ‘Just Love Mission.As we cleared customs at Pilanesberg International Airport we made way to Matsieng Airfield, where we joined up in formation by a second An2 in old South African Airways Colours flown by Jon-Marc Hill and a Yak 18T, which made fantastic photo opportunities for the media onboard.
Friday Afternoon we got to see some validations before a late afternoon thunder storm made its way through the area, some of us scattred for the Town Lodge in Gabarone where we were fortunate enough to be accommodated for the rest of the weekend thanks to the oragnisers. Saturday morning we made our way to the airfield for early arrivals as a perfect blue sky day was installed for the only airshow in Botswana this year.
The show started with a formation of microlights,a display that is not seen to often at shows in Southern Africa, showing off a dead stick landing was part of the show. ‘Little Annie’ An2 flown by Mark Hill and Col Keith Fryer dropped skydivers including Ralph Ridge was the massive and biggest Botswana Flag. Jon- Marc Hill and His dad Mark flew a solo AN2 display and just to love ‘Little Annie’ even more she dropped marshmallows for the crowd. The vintage formation took to the skies, with this show being the first-time at a Southern African Airshow two Antonov 2s flew in formation with Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar and Middleburg based YAK18T flown by Riaan Prinsloo. The crowd also got both a solo display by the Boeing Stearman and Yak18T. Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis and his hard working team rigged the longest sound system for the first time at the show, always a treat to hear the voice of Brian at Airshows as he brings the vibe to each show he attends.
Conrad Botha started the days aerobatic sequences in his RV7, followed by the Raptor RVs led by Nigel Hopkins who also led Team Extreme flying his Extra 330, joining him was Jason Beamish in his new Extra 330, Mark ‘Buggs’ Hensman in his MX2 and Mark ‘Sammy ‘Sampson in his Sbach in new colours. The Goodyear Eagles flew the high energy aerobatic display led by Glen Warden, he also flew the only jet display for the day in the Rand Airport based L29 ZU-AUX.The ex Soviet jet trainer brought much joy to the jet fans at the show. The Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s flew their sequence with their second final show of the day ending with a great wall of fire. Gary Whitecross flew his Pilatus B4 Glider, one of the best glider display one can see at an airshow in Africa.
Andrew Blackwood-Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 solo display, A gyrocopter display was also flown and a entertaining show to watch as the magni gyrocopter flown by Andre van Zyl was put through its paces. Menno Parsons brought both hisP51 Mustang, Pilatus PC12 and Tiger Huey.All aircraft are such a treat to see fly, the Huey also dropped a car in show center, “remember don’t park your car where it shouldn’t be at an airshow”.the air boss will move it!
Helicopter displays included Alister Brown flying the Netstar Bell 407, a Bell 505 made its Southern African Airshow Debut. Juba Jourbert flew a fantastic display in the Aerospatiale Gazelle 341. Two Krugersdorp based North American Navions flew close formation in a flat show with smoke added to their display. Danie Terblanche flew the crazy pilot display in the Aviant Husky which had some of the crowd worried with the state of his crazy flying, Which is all part of the act. Dennis Spence led the decathlon display with basic aerobatic sequences. True North Aviation Turbo Thrush demonstrated fire fighting capabilities as well as crop spraying capabilities. We wont forget some of the great RC flying that was also shown in-between displays.
With another safe show hosted at the Matsieng flying club under the AirBoss of Chris Briers and safety direct Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom. All 43 acts gave the crowds a day to be remebered.We would like to thanks all the oragisers Wesbank,De Wet Drilling,Matsieng Flying Club, Mark Mansfield our media liaison officer and the Town Lodge. Till next year Matsieng, Well done to all.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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