Tag Archives: BDF

We Fly the C130B -Botswana Defence Force

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed. Now known as Lockheed Martin, which is capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.

The Botswana Defence Force received their first of three C130 B models in the late 90s as their medium transport resource.The last C130 which was . The latest addition to the transport fleet was an ex-AMARC C-130 Hercules to complement the two existing aircraft. The C130s belong to the Z10 Transport Squadron, made up of the Lockheed C-130, Casa 212 and CN235 – Maparangwane Air Base (Thebephatshwa/Molepolole in Botswana.

The C-130B model was developed to complement the A-models that had previously been delivered, and incorporated new features, particularly increased fuel capacity in the form of auxiliary tanks built into the center wing section and an AC electrical system. Four-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers replaced the Aero products three-blade propellers that distinguished the earlier A-models. The C-130B had ailerons with boost increased from 2,050 psi (14.1 MPa) to 3,000 psi (21 Mpa), as well as uprated engines and four-blade propellers that were standard until the J-model’s introduction.

An electronic reconnaissance variant of the C-130B was designated C-130B-II. A total of 13 aircraft were converted. The C-130B-II was distinguished by its false external wing fuel tanks, which were disguised signals intelligence (SIGINT) receiver antennas. These pods were slightly larger than the standard wing tanks found on other C-130Bs. Most aircraft featured a swept blade antenna on the upper fuselage, as well as extra wire antennas between the vertical fin and upper fuselage not found on other C-130s. Radio call numbers on the tail of these aircraft were regularly changed so as to confuse observers and disguise their true mission.

At Aviation Central we’ve had the privilege of also flying with the South African Airforce C130BZs from 28 Squadron based at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on a number of occasions. A big thank you to the Botswana Defence Force for allowing us to join you during the 2019 Makgadikgadi Skydiving Epic in the beginning of July.

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Makgadikgadi Epic 2019-Skydiving Boogie

The Magadikgadi Epic once again took place with some of Africa’s finest scenery along the salt pans of Sowa,which lies in the Central District of Botswana. The event consisted of a number of skydivers from across the world sharing their knowledge with one another and using jumping platforms from both the Botswana Defence force and a lonely South African based Atlas Angel.

Sua Pan
Kampsite
Casa 235 & C130B
Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe
Skydivers from around the world
Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130

Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130B#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan.

Sowa Town

A lot of our questions we get is what is skydiving, another word for skydiving known as Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. If you enjoy skydiving the Sua pan is the best place to view from the sky.

We had a early start, leaving Pretoria in the premature hours of Thursday 11 July 2019. Arriving back at the pans after visiting last year, we were greeted by members of the Botswana Parachute Association and old friends from Botswana. The evening we were briefed for the upcoming days activities. Before going to bed, one could admire the beautiful galaxy the pans bring out with the absence of city lights and other concerning noises one would hear while trying to get some sleep.

Entrance onto the pans
Our accommodation

Our accommodation was made up tents with comfortable beds, added with warm blankets and pillows for the chilly nights. With the wildlife in Botswana we were spoiled to see many types around the area, including Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and many more!

Blue Wildebeest
Zebra

The following morning saw the first jump with a quick briefing at manifest (meeting area) before making our way with the shuttles to Sowa airport, just a few kilometers away from the pans. The first two days the jump ship was the Botswana Defence Force Casa 235, while the next two days saw the welcome return of the Lockheed Martin C130B. The Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe took tandems (first time skydivers) during the course of the epic.

Evening Briefings
Turnoff to Sua Airport
BDF Casa 235
Casa 235 cargo hold
Wingsuit
C130B Sunset Flypast
C130 cargo Hold
Atlas Angel
Ready for the jump in the Atlas Angel

The Saturday was open to the people of Botswana to come enjoy a day out on the pans, in addition as listen to some local musicians while skydiving doings took place. This saw mass jumps from the C130B, as said this could accommodate more skydivers in the large cargo hold the aircraft has. One of the jumps saw the aircraft climb to 19 000ft with oxygen fitted to the aircraft for the skydivers use. Helicopter flips were also available with one of the Delta Rescue Bell Jetrangers.

Oxygen at 19 000ft
Wingsuiters ready for the jump from the C130
Bell Jetranger giving flips over the pans.
Makgadikgadi Epic 2019

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019 Highlights#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Botswana current president Mokgweetsi Masisi also visited the event on Saturday afternoon. Great to see world leaders visiting top notch events that bring exposure from around the world. The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van), just this time on sand and stone.

Cyril Nfila and a happy new skydiver
The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van) and a Taxi, just this time on sand and stone.

A big thank you to the Botswana Parachute Association, Colonel Majama, Botswana Tourism and many others who got us to the event. A big Congratulations to another successful boogie and a safe event.Individually next year is again on our lists to attend without a doubt.

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Closing in fast-The Makgadikgadi Epic

The Makgadikgadi Epic is closing in fast which is set to be another successful skydiving boogie, with skydivers from around the world, are coming see Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, and precisely, in the Nata Bird Sanctuary.

Makgadikgadi is synonymous with awesome birding experiences and open natural landscapes that will be a marvel from any view, be it from the ground or above.

The event will take place at Sowa pan, which is the same venue as Race For Rhinos which we have visited in past years. We will see the first jump from 12 – 15 July 2019.

Aircraft that will be jump ships from the start of the event will be Atlas Angels as well as a Botswana Defence Force C130 and Casa 235 which will take bigger loads of skydivers.

The main objective of the event is to give travellers to Botswana, Is a lifetime unique experience to capture the majestic wildlife and a an uncultivated area.

With the Parachute Assosioan of Botswna,Gabarone Skydiving Club,Botswana Defence Force and Botswana Tourism on board and many others, You don’t want to miss out on this event. Stay up to date with our Facebook page and website for more information closer to the event.

2019 Schedule

Thursday, 11 July 2019

18:00

Arrival – Licensed Skydivers

Friday, 12 July 2019

08:30

Briefing – Licensed Skydivers

18:00

Arrival – Members of the Public, Tandem Passengers

Saturday, 13 July 2019

06:00

Start – Tandem Skydives

Monday, 15 July 2019

18:00

Last Operational Day


Facebook pages

Makgadikgadi Epic, 2019 Event page – https://www.facebook.com/events/2316344431977757/

Makgadikgadi Epic, page –
https://www.facebook.com/Makgadikgadi-Epic-1925115194401236/

Parachute Association of Botswana, page – https://www.facebook.com/Parachute-Association-of-Botswana-391366344374851/

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