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Eswatini Ligwalagwala Airshow 2019

With the shadows of the different plateaus the Matsapha International airport situated near the town of Mbabane. The Kingdom of Eswatini hosted a successful airshow ,as hundreds flocked to the airport to see South African displays teams both civilian and the South African Airforce as well as the Airforce of Zimbabwe in action.

For both the South African Airforce and the Airforce of Zimbabwe, this was a big deployment for both countries. This was one of the first shows that the South African Airforce have attended a cross border show since 2006,where the SAAF attended a airshow in Maputo Mozambique.

Matsapha Airport Apron and Tower

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and his wife , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini who also flew the Alouette in the parade and many other VIPS attended the show.

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and some of the youth that visited the airport the day before the show!

Hot and humid, but perfectly clear skies, the show began with the ever popular Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by ex South African Airways Captain Dennis Spence flying with his team of Pitts S2Bs.Soon after the Prince of Eswatini flew one of the Eswatini Airwing Alouette III Helicopters as a cavalcade of emergency vehicles to promenade , the show as it was opened. Dennis Spence also raced a car with one of the Pitts Specials where the aircraft won the race!

Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials
Eswatini Air Wing Alouette III

Capital Sounds super team, Brian Emmenis and Elvis Manene once again pulled off excellent commentary on both aircraft and pilots in command during all show slots. Other team member’s who helped make sure sound was the number one priority to get out to the public was Eric Nkomo,Wesley van Zyl and Daniel Mashego,Ricky Fouche, Keith Fryer was air boss for the show, with Keith Andrew as Ramp director with the help of Matsapha airport officials.

Brian Emmenis and team working hard
Capital Sounds
Capital Sounds in tradition dresses causes a stir at border post, huge applause goes out for local team as Eswatini border officials felt as they were being honoured!

The South African Airforce displayed the new team 83 of the Silver Falcons who flew all the way from their home at Central Flying School Airforce Base Langebaanweg with the outgoing lead Major Omphile Matolane,Sivu Tangana,Bheki Shabungu and newbie in the team Major Lehlonoholo Malokane.

SAAF Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 83
Silver Falcons Omphile Matloane
Pilatus PC7MKII

Other South African Airforce assets included a 44 Squadron Casa 212 from AFB Waterkloof and a 19 Squadron Oryx Helicopter. The Oryx provided a fast roping demonstration as well as a short capability demo of the helicopter itself. The crew for the Oryx were Major Altaaf Sheik and Co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Stefan King, the Flight engineer Flight Sargent Justice Mthombeni .The Golden Eagles Parachute display team also were present with Adventure Skydive member’s making up the large paradrop.

44 Squadron CASA 212
SAAF Oryx
SAAF & Adventure Skydive Members
Exciting the CASA 212

The Airforce of Zimbabwe brought two K8 jet trainers one for static and one for a flying display. Their ground crews were brought in by a Casa 212,which was also utilised for the parachute jump.

Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 Jet Trainer
K8 display pilots
Airforce of Zimbabwe Casa 212

Team Extreme led by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Mark Sampson and Mark Hensmen flew their high energy tight aerobatic routine with a knife edge pass making an easy photo to get with the modern cell phone.

Team Extreme
Jason Beamish in his Extra 330

Menno Parsons brought his P51D Mustang Sally, a first for Eswatini to have this beautiful warbird have her gun barrels whistling during her display. Menno’s team also brought a Pilatus PC12 for static display.

P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”

Radial engines also echoed through the hills near Matsapha Airport with Ivan van der Schaar in his Randolph Sponsored Boeing Stearmen. Little Annie the Anotnov An2 flown by Mark and Jon-Marc Hill flew a solo routine with a surprise marshmallow drop as the crowds roared with tears and joy as marshmallows fell from the sky. Little Annie also raced one of the airports Tractor vehicles where things got tight in the race which led the worlds biggest bi-plane to win!

Boeing Stearman
Antonov 2 “Little Annie”

To the Eswatini people, I’m sure you enjoyed your airshow as we did. A huge congratulations must go out to the organisers , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini Capital Sounds,Calinyasti Kunene,Eswatini Defence Force, Eswatini CAA and to all pilots and ground crews for a safe show. Until next year, we cant wait!

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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Aero South Africa 2019

The General Aviation Global show of the world which has been taking place in Lake Constance in Germany for the last 40 years and now the show has made its way to South Africa. This is due to the close partnership between Messe Friedrichshafen and Messe Frankfurt.

The much anticipated Aero South Africa finally arrived on South African shores at the Wonderboom National Airport in the city of Tshwane. This was the first of its kind in South Africa to introduce this type of expo to the General Aviation Industry. The purpose of the event was to see an interactive trade show with demonstration flights of the different aircraft, aviation exhibitors, flight schools and other products in the industry that were showcased, a fly-inn was also part of the proceedings during the entire duration of the event.

4000 square meters of space was provided for exhibition space, consisting of indoor, outdoor, park and sell plus and aircraft display area. This included general aviation most of all types seen in South Africa, a couple of warbird aircraft that also flew in for the event, such as the P51D Mustang, De Havilland Tiger Moth and also part of the De Havilland family the Wonderboom based De Havilland T55 Vampire, a number of helicopters were on static display and in the park and sell area.

Swiss Vampire T55 & Wonderboom National Airport Terminal

The Saturday saw the entire apron full of aircraft both that flew in and that of who were present from day 1.Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrews from the South African Airforce was Ramp Controller and made sure he could accommodate any type of aircraft for parking purposes for all three days of the event.

Bell 407-Dian Townsend

The Park and Sell area was pointed out as a new attraction to any aviation event in South Africa sponsored by the well know Auto Trader which made a perfect opportunity to sell previously owned aircraft. A total of 80+ exhibitor’s were present. The new Cirrus vision jet of CDC aviation was a favourite for us to see south Africa’s first of its type face to face for the first time. Absolute’s Aviation Citation XLS+ was also one of the bizjets on static display shadowed by a Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

Cessna 210-Dian Townsend
Cessna Citation XLS+
Absolute Aviation showing the youth a Cessna Grand Caravan

Team Extreme’s Jason Beamish and Nigel Hopkins in their Extra 330 Aerobatic Aircraft closed day 1 of Aero South Africa with a short aerobatic display, while day 2 and 3 were closed off with Jason in his Extra 330 and Mark Sampson in his Sbach 341.They also met up with Menno Parsons on the final day of Aero in his P51D ‘Mustang Sally’ with some formation flying before the day concluded.

Team Extreme Extra 330s
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’

Century Avionics was many of the many exhibitors of the event, their products were put to show were the static display of both Team Extremes MX2 owned and flown by Mark Hensman’s and Mark Sampson’s Sbach 341 with GPSs and other avionics the aircraft are fitted with.

MX2

Villa San Giovanni’s Restaurant made sure pure business visitors and the general public didn’t go hungry with excellent Italian cuisine during the three days of the show, as well as accommodation on the airports premises.

Little Annie the well known Airshow Antonov 2 owned by the Hill Family, was on static display and visitors were able to look and interact with. They also had a raffle for a new set of Bose Headsets with R20 000 which is available with Wings n Things from Lanseria International Airpor.Wings ‘n Things is a pilot supplies store established in 1990. We are authorised dealers of the world’s leading aviation brands such as Jeppesen, David Clark and Bose, as well as a reseller of many other aviation products.

‘Little Annie’ AN2

A huge well done to all the organisers of the event both local and overseas officials. Lets hope this becomes and annual event with the next Aero South Africa even bigger.


Saturday was the busiest day of the AERO SA trade show weekend. The morning started out quiet but picked up speed after 10h00. The fly-in was a great success. Anything and everything that flies was seen at Wonderboom. Vans RVs, Cessna, Bat hawks and many Robinson Helicopters. Absolute Aviation Group with Jason Beamish took photos with fans and they printed them on customized frames. The day played out beautifully and there was entertainment for the whole family. Definitely one for the 2020 calendar!-Dian Townsend SAAFMPC Member

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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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Stellenbosch warms old and young hearts alike-Stellenbosch Airshow 2019

Stellenbosch is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. The area is known for its scenery, wine, university and the kindness of the community. Stellenbosch Flying Club is located just off the R44 leading out of Stellenbosch and has a relaxed atmosphere where flying, local craft beer and good food makes for lazy Saturday afternoons. On the 23rd of March 2019 this changed to a hive of activity and the day where it all came together, months of meticulous planning with hard work and preparations came together. The scene was set, the queue at the gates forming just after sunrise and the weather being almost perfect.

Capital Sounds Brian Emennis and Silver Falcons lead Major Omphile Matloane

The packed program list and the variety of participating aircraft is proof of a wonderful show that warmed the hearts of many. The biggest flag in Africa was parachuted in from a C206, the emergency cavalcade was on display and the props of the aircraft of the first display were turning… out came the Silver Falcons to open the show. With the mountains and greenery from the surroundings being the scenery, the Silver Falcons took to the sky and gave a shortened but wonderful display. Really being the cockpit ambassadors for the South African Air Force.

SAAF Silver Falcons

Special mention is to be made of Mr Air Show, Brian Emmenis. As many will know, he is the voice of air shows in South Africa and abroad. While the first few displays where happening, interviews were performed with James Vos: MEC Tourism and Economic Affairs, Major Omphile Mutloane, Phillip du Preez: Head of ExecuJet Cape Town, Franz Smit: Pilot insure and Graham Smith who received a lifetime membership from Stellenbosh Flying Club.

The program consisted of The Silver Falcons, Team Extreme, a Mango B737, Ex-SAAF Bosbok, Working on Fire display consisting of two Hueys, a Cessna and AT-802, L39, NAC Bell 407, Shock Cub, Raptors RVs, Tigermoth, J51C Glider, Boeing Stearman, Howard Vintage, Radio Control Models, Husky, Harvard T6, a display by TSU/AGA involving vehicles, dogs and a EC145, M16 Gyro, NAC Mirage PA 46-350.

Team Extreme
Mango 737-800
Mango 737-800 & Ex SAAF Bosbok

The list of pilots being as impressive as the list of aircraft consisting of Scully Levin, Pierre Gouws, Trevor Warner, Nigel Hopkins, Glen Warden, Trevor Milton, Ivan V/D Schaar, Jurie Steyn, Trevor Milton and many others. These pilot put up energised displays that had the crowds entertained, camera shutters clicking all day long (making downloading, editing and posting a challenge) and made this show a memorable one.

NAC Bell 407
NAC Bell 407

throughout the day there were constant movements by staff between the crowds to collect litter which easily makes this the cleanest show I have witnessed. After a long hot day, the warmest in weeks, with loads of liquids consumed and the crowds leaving, there was not a single piece of paper or empty bottle lying around.

With the crowds heading home and some staying for a last drink or chat with old friends, the departing aircraft made for a mini show as many did the traditional fly by as a thank you. The Silver Falcons being no exception. They took off, the formation was formed and the six ship came past 3 times, almost as if they didn’t want to head home as yet. As the sun set on the mountains, the light being amazing, the dust from the show settled these were observed by a few and was truly magical.

A time to reflect on the day. To cement the memories made. To salute an organising team and everyone involved, from pilots to ground crew and cleaning staff. A massive thank you to all. Not even load shedding could dampen spirits or impact the show!

Raptors RVs

The Stellenbosch Air Show hosted by the Stellenbosch Flying Club is to be an annual event and surely one to diarise! I for one will be there.

See you next year!

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