Grand Rand Airshow 2018

Grand Rand Airshow 2018

By Koos Smit

Sunday the morning of the 19th August 2018,The Grand Rand Airshow was ready to entertain the crowds of a pure ‘Jozi’ Airshow with the magnificent backdrop of the Johannesburg central business district.A few clouds were present but it wasn’t long until they were burnt off to make way for the ever eager airshow crowd, with Rand Airshow each year its placed on a Sunday to accommodate more people to enjoy the ever exciting Rand Airshow. This show is also lucky to have most display aircraft based at Rand.

The show was opened by the Queenstown based De Havilland Rapide flown by Captain Flippie Vermulen,he was accompanied by three De havilland Chipmunks with one of the ‘Chippys’ painted with a yellow ‘D-day’ color scheme very similar to the other aircraft in the formation. The Just Love Mission’s AN2 ‘Little Annie’ was tasked to  take the eleven skydivers up to their required height to jump,at the same time their is no room for error as Rand is very close to OR Tambo’s busy airspace. Two chipmunks were then in the display box to continue with their duo display while the AN2 climbed and reported ready for the jump.

Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital sounds added their professionalism to the crowd in providing sound and information on each pilot and aircraft flying on the day of the show.

The mass radial display got airborne with aircraft comprising of Harvards, A T28 Trojan and a Beech 18.Once all the aircraft had joined into formation they flew over head the crowd to show and hear the roar of the mighty radial engine. The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar brought more gentle aerobatics to the sole surviving Boeing Stearman display on the South African Airshow circuit. The ever popular Puma Flying Lions flew the best display at their home base, they later joined up with four other Harvards to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the ‘Pilot Maker’. The Harvard flew first on the 1 April 1935 and was retired from the South African  Airforce in 1995.

Henley Air showed off their Helicopter hardware consisting of five Bell 222s flying in close formation, the deep thud could be felt far into the distance from the airport. Menno Parsons flew his Bell 407, he really showed what this chopper can do. He teamed up then with Nigel Hopkins in the Extra 330 and showed both fixed wing and chopper can hover. Team Extreame flew their high energy aerobatics with some aircraft never been seen in that formation.That being Barrie Eeles Extra 330. The T28 Trojan was flown by Jason Beamish and a welcome sight to have a T28 flying at an Airshow for the first time this year.Patrick Davidson flew his Red Bull Sbach which he flew up all the way from Port Elizabeth.

Elton Bondi flew Andrew Blackwood Murray’s  Nashua Branded Extra 300, he joined up with Barrie Eles in Blue Extra 330The Goodyear Eagles with their Pitts S2Bs and the Taillifts flying Cows added to the ironic Pitts displays on the day. Veteran Airshow pilot Glen Wraden showed off the only jet action apart from the 737, The L29 showed off the sleek lines of the early soviet era jet trainer. The Mango 737-800 flown by Captain Rodney Chinn flew tight in the busy airspace around. Great to see the ‘Heavies’ displaying at airshows. Team Rv flew their four-ship Rv display while the Gyro-copter added variety to the show flown by Matthew Zwolinski.

 

 

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