Tag Archives: Capital Sounds

Ladysmith Aviation Career Expo & Airshow 2019

Kwa-Zulu Natal got to see their second airshow in the province this year after Newcastle Airshow during the early period of the South African Airshow calendar . Ladysmith was the chosen airport to host the Aviation Career expo and airshow on the 25th and 26th October 2019,with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) supporting the whole event.

The Ladysmith Airfield goes back many years and with the Ladysmith Hotel in close proximity, the actual hotel was the airfields old terminal building which was opened by Brigadier C.G Ross,C.BE.,D.F.C on the 26th October 1950. The airfield is home to a small flight school and hangers other small aircraft for private use.

Friday 25th October youth from surrounding school in Ladysmith and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province got to know more about the aviation industry through the help of Civil Aviation Authority providing an Awareness drive to the children with talks by pilots, engineers and getting to network with display pilots in preparation for the following days airshow.

Free to the public was this years Ladysmith airshow, with the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team 83 in formation with Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper in a JAS39D Gripen. Major Omphile Matloane possibly completing his last airshow display as Falcon one as he will be moving on to instruct on helicopters at 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein next year.

The Silver Falcons completed their display with two training livery aircraft from, Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.Falcon 8 Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis produced the commentary for their show and all other display acts of the day.

The three jet display were part of the exciting program with the roar of the might 2 Squadron Gripen in which we saw two different gripens during the course of the day. In the morning we had ‘3905’ JAS39D dual seater and in the afternoon the solo display with ‘3916’ which was again put through its paces by Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper. The Gripen operated out of Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria as made it to Ladysmith within 20 minutes of flight time!

Glen Warden flew the L29 Delphin, an ex eastern block jet trainer and Airlink displayed one of their Embraer E190s which made brilliant photo opportunities as one doesn’t see a airliner fly in Ladysmith everyday .

The Goodyear Eagles Pitts display team flew their four ship display, Team Extreme was present with 3 aircraft and once again showed off their famous knife edge passes before heading back to Rand Airport as large thunder storms closed the show off.

The South African Airforce also had a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display. A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flew some of the lucky youth on Saturday morning before the show by Major Nick Green, Major Ashley Naxhe and Flight Saregent Jaques De Kock.

“Little Annie” an Antonov An2 flown by Jon-Marc Hill and Ryan Smith were the jump ship for this show and dropped some of the Adventure Skydiving members, with Ralph Ridge flying South Africa’s biggest flag.

André van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter display and most probably the best Gyrocopter display. André has now displayed both in South Africa,Botswana and recently Mozambique!

Flying Display Director from Airshow South Africa “ASSA” Rickus Erasmus,Safety director Colonel Francois “Hose” Hanekom, Ramp Controller Cliff Lotter and Louise Hofmeyr as airshow programme director.

Well done to Ms Poppy Khoza and her team at the South African Civil Aviation Authority on providing a great variety of aircraft for a CAA Airshow. We look forward to the last show of the year at Polokwane as part of International Civil Aviation Day ‘ICAD’,which will also form part of an airshow.

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!

10 Years – Aviation Central 2009 to 2019

Aviation Central celebrates 10 Years

10 Years Long

Adrenaline Show

Adrenaline Show – Wonderboom National Airport

Aviation Central was founded in September 2009, just days before the 2009 Swartkop Airshow.

The drive behind the team that makes up Aviation Central, the time and effort spent in taking photographs, traveling across multiple countries to report on events, is all about the love and passion that the team has for aviation.

We have managed to see and witness some incredible moments in aviation in Southern Africa, and even witnessed some incidents we wouldn’t want to see again.

From the ups and the downs of regional air shows, to the fantastic Africa Aerospace and Defence show we eagerly attend every second year,

Race for Rhinos at Sua Pan in Botswana, The Botswana International Airshow and other neighbouring countries airshows around Southern Africa.

Gaborone International Airshow 2017

To flying in some exotic aircraft with friends we have made in the industry, to all the people behind the airshow scenes and fans we have met along the way.

We can’t thank you, all our fans and supporters, enough for all the positive feedback we have received on all our social media sites and our webpage, which was introduced in 2017.

Our team has all visited shows in their youth, but it started at the Wings N’ Wheels Airshow that was held at Airforce Base Swartkop in 2009, where we got to see a number of fighter aircraft display including

The SAAF Museums Mirage IIICZ ‘Black Widow’ and Aerosud Mirage F1AZ. To see those aircraft in formation at the end of the day, will stay in our memories for years to come.

It was also an opportunity to see the New Gripen and Hawk Fighter jets display as they were put through their paces for the Pretoria crowds for the first time.

Aviation Central’s mission is to bring as much information to the public about upcoming airshows and aviation related events that take place in Southern Africa.

We get messages from all over the world when it comes to airshows and people want to know more about the event before attending.

As a non-profit organisation, our purpose is not to make money, but rather to bring the joy of aviation pictures and stories to the public to their mobile phones, PCs and now even on YouTube. We will now be

posting aviation videos from airshow MOs and events so you can also witness the sights and sounds of the magnificent aircraft.

We look forward to continue providing everyone with up to date news on all aviation events in Southern Africa, for many, many years to come.

Aviation Central Timeline

  1. Formed 13 September 2009 by Elan Hoffman
  2. June 2011, Flippie van Emmenis joined as a Follower to Aviation Central
  3. March 2012 Flippie van Emmenis was granted admin right to help run Aviation Central
  4. Sep 2012 John James joined Team Aviation Central, John is currently inactive.
  5. Dec 2013 Aviation Central had it 1st 1000 likes
  6. Dec 2013 Lettie van Emmenis  Joined Aviation Central  (Admin) 
  7. March 2014 Trevor Viljoen Joined Aviation Central
  8. May 2015 Jarryd Sinovich joined Aviation Central, Jarryd has become one of the most active members of the team.
  9. Feb 2016 Aviation Central passed all other Aviation Media related pages with followers on Facebook
  10. September 2018 Alan Richert joined Aviation Central
  11. March 2019 Niel Swart Joined Aviation CentralJuly 2019 Aviation Central reached the 30 000 likes mark on Facebook

The Team

Team AC AAD2018

Team Aviation Central AAD2018

Elan Hoffman
I love flying. I love watching the aeries soar, the smell of jet fuel in the morning, the feel of the throttle in my hand.

I remember the internet boom and wanting to catch into that. Long ago, in a land down under, I built a website that could connect flyers, enthusiasts, aviation businesses. I left that land back home to South Africa and started that idea again.

And then Facebook happened and with it came a fast moving need that I could not manage on my own.

Fortune brought a good man to Aviation Central who had assembled a great team. They have taken Aviation Central to heights I only dreamed of. Their photographic prowess on display, their service given to this idea now showing in an Aviation Central Calendar on as many digital channels I know.

May an idea taken from humble beginnings keep on ascending!

Alan Richert

Since as a young lad watching Vampire’s, Hawker Hunter’s and Alouette III’s of the then Rhodesian Air Force flying over Lake Kyle returning from their missions, I have always been fascinated by aircraft.

However, it was only in the 1990’s that I got to experience air shows, and then trying to photograph them with my trusty old 35mm film point and shoot automatic camera! It was around 2012 I decided to do something about my interest in taking photographs, got myself a proper DSLR and dived head first into the world of photography. It was a natural progression to then bring the two passions together.

With a stressful day job in the Information Technology world, the relief of getting out and doing photography is very rewarding and helps keep me focused.

My passion is aviation photography, but I do enjoy shooting most types of action sports. To keep sane and when I want some me time, I indulge in a bit of landscape photography.

Having joined the Aviation Central team late 2018 I am still learning the ropes of all the behind-the-scenes activities, but I thoroughly enjoy the privilege of being able to share with you my photographs of these magnificent flying machines.

Niel Swart

Niel has been a member of Aviation Central since March 2019. He is based in the Cape but travels to events when and where possible and has actively been taking photos since 2007.
Niel has covered events like AAD and air shows at Swartkops, Stellenbosch and Rand. Some of his other work cover the Coca Cola World Cup B737 visiting South Africa as well as the first landings of the three British Airways reto B747’s.
He also has a fond love for trains, both big and small. His fondest memory is of chasing a train in a 1953 Chipmunk as a passenger by taking air to ground photos with the cockpit filling with the amazing smell of burning coal while banking and experiencing the sensation of flying.

Jarryd Sinovich

From the day my father brought home a toy 747 from his business trip to Cape Town,i have been devoted to aviation in South Africa. I attend my first ever airshow at the tender age of 3 that being DEXSA that was held at Airforce Base Waterkloof in 1998.To this day I remember sitting in the then Shurlock  Sponsored Pitts Special Aerobatic aircraft and the R=roar of thundering jets from above as my ears took a beating. I was hooked!

As the years went on I attend airshows all over the country from Cape Town to Polokwane, but one of my favourite shows I attended was the only and lets hope not the last fighter meet at Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province. It was where I got to see a number of fighter jets fly as well as hear the then cheetah fighter jet break the sound barrier. I also got to witness Ivan “Viking” Pentz display the new Hawk Mk120 for the first time.

Since then I got my PPL in 2013 and continue to travel and enjoy the South African Airshow circuit. I look forward to a big celebration in 2020 with the South African Airforce 100th anniversary  and the Aero Clubs 100th too.

Flippie van Emmenis

Flippie Van Emmenis

Aviation Central’s Flippie Van Emmenis receiving an Honorary Membership Certificate from Eagle Air

I use to be the guy attending air shows sitting on my camping chair form the start of the show until the end of the show, without moving from myspot even if it caused dehydration as I did not want to miss a thing. At first I did not own a camera, nor did I ever consider getting one as it was about my love for air shows, the aircraft, the fuel and smell from the vendors all while listening to Brian doing commentary.  Facebook started to gain popularity in 2009 and in order to find out more about upcoming air shows, I started following aviation pages to.

I joined Aviation Central as a normal follower which had about 140 likes at that stage. Soon afterward following, I started commenting and asking many questions. Elan Hoffman, the creator of Aviation Central, asked me if I would like to help him with the admin the page. This totally caught me off guard as I never expected myself to be doing something like this. I thought that my writing skills were not up to standard for this but this will not stop me! About one year later the page had grown to over 1300 likes. Elan phoned me and offered me to take over the ownership of the page, once again shocked, but I accepted. So yes, I never planned something like this let alone dreamt about it. Now, my love for air shows has also grown into a passion that my wife and I as well as the rest of my team can share with all air show lovers all over Southern Africa and abroad.

Trevor Viljoen

My passion for Aviation started as a young boy going to the Virginia Airshows and from there it was just aviation that was in my head and all I could think about and still up to today, Flippie ( Boss Man) and I got to meet each other for the first time in 2014 after being chatting to each other and sharing our passion and love for Aviation on Facebook for sometime. My first post for Aviation Central was the first Sky GO held at North Beach in Durban and from then it has been one Fantastic ride with this team!

To be apart of this team is something that I never ever thought would happen but when Flippie asked me to join the Team I was not sure if i was good enough to be apart of Aviation Central but just took it by the horns and said yes for the love of Aviation and I have never looked back, it’s hard work but it’s an Honour and I am truly greatful and blessed to have been given the opportunity to share my passion for Aviation!

Lettie van Emmenis (Admin)
Since I met Flippie he took me to the first Air show. I saw the Vampire flying and the Silver Falcons I could not wait for the next airshow just to see them flying again. My love for Aviation was triggered by Flippie and I enjoy it a lot.

Thank you!

We would also like to Thank all the Guys and Gals that helped us with phots and stories over the last ten years, below is a list of Some of them!
Dries Beetge, Pieter Cronje, Ryno Albrecht, Koos Smit, Andre Nel, Andre Venter, Michael Combrink, Mark Mansfield, Annette Visage Nel, Russell Dixon-Paver, Ben van der Walt, Bennie Henning, Justin de Reuck, Brent Best, Ruan Du Rand, Dian Townsend and Charmaine Oliver.

We Would also like to send out a BIG thank you to Mr Brian Emmenis form Capital Sounds that was always willing to guide us and advise were we can improve, Brian, Thank you and please continue with your valuable input.

Mark Mansfield, Your guidance and Support to the Team is also very much appreciated, You opened many doors to Team Aviation Central and always supported us!

Thank you to all our Fans and Followers out there. To Our Critics, Thank you for showing us where we can Improve

Some Birthday Messages

Air Show South Africa – ASSA

Many happy returns to all our friends at Aviation Central on their 10th anniversary – Congratulations on the huge success and we look forward to continuing relationship for another 10 years at least

Trevor Cohen

Congratulations Aviation Central on achieving your first 10 years. You guys have provided the greater flying community with awesome up to date info pertaining to flying and flying events. Flippie you have guided this ship expertly and you should be proud of your achievement. Keep up the good work and loads of respect.

DJA Aviation

DJA uses Aviation Central to ensure that it stays up to date with all industry events and happenings.

DJA applauds Aviation Central on the availability and accuracy of information on their platform.

Simone Helen Stoop Lekker FM

Happy 10th birthday Aviation Central. This community has given me a platform to get updates about airshows, aviation news and to be part of a community that share my love for avaition. Thank you for your hard work and sharing your passion with all of us. Here is to another 100years of Aviation Central

Puma Energy – Flying Lions

Congratulations to Aviation Central on a decade of authentic aerobatic news. Although I have not worked with Flippie van Emmenis and his flaring team for the longest time, I am truly impressed by their dedication to the flying scene. Self-funding excursions to capture the greatest airborne photographs and creating emotional stories about our beloved pilots http://bit.ly/ArniesLoveStory. Aviation Central is our loyal Airshow support, without them, fans wouldn’t know about Airshows happening across our African skies. We are sincerely grateful to the Aviation Central team for collaborating on events to ensure we all experience the love for flying with the Puma Energy Flying Lions! We continue to praise you for your amazing work and together we bring you the roaring action from above.

Brian Emmenis Capital Sounds

What started out as a dream has now become an essential part of our everyday life. Congratulations FLIPPIE, you and your team are doing sterling work to promote aviation in South Africa. We at Capital Sounds are proud to be associated with your on-line forum.

Omphile Mutloane, Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team Leader

In an ocean of negativity, AC is a glimpse of what we can be in the professional world of aviation in SA, their professional approach to all that involves the saaf ,GA and corporate is highly appreciated! Carefully over the years you guys chose to highlight and promote the saaf and the Silver Falcons aerobatic team to the general public Cheers 🥂 to the next 10 years . Thank you so much for y’all professionalism.

Elvis Manene Capital Sounds

Well am proud of Aviation Central as the online magazine, they keep us updated with what’s happening in the aviation circle and they always accurate with the news they give us, one can rest assured when reading the news you guys give to the people that those news a correct as you get your story straight you don’t just head the bush, as for me am over the moon the be associated with Aviation Central.

Justin du Reuck

Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

Dian Townsend

Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

Team AC and Falcons

Team Aviation Central and Silver Falcons – Wonderboom 2016

Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 82
Wishing Flippie and the team at Aviation Central a very happy 10 year anniversary. Love what you guys do for aviation in SA. Keep up the good work.

“Our Collective Heritage” SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

D-Day for the annual South African Airforce Museum Airshow 2019 had finally arrived at the worlds second oldest operational airbase in the world, Airforce Base Swartkop which is home to the South African Airforce Museum and 17 Squadron a operational helicopter unit also active at the base. The Theme for this years show was “Our Collective Heritage” this is to celebrate and recognise the procurement of our past and present in the SAAF.

Both Umkhonto we Sizwe ( MK ) and Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (AMPLA) sent their pilots abroad to train on aircraft including Cessna 150s and L39s.Helicopter Pilots were sent to Russia for their rotary wings course flying both the MI24 Hind and Mil Mi8 Helicopters.

Former homelands in South Africa known as the TBVC Sates, which were the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and the Ciskei had their very own Airwings which operated light transport aircraft, helicopter and turbo prop trainers including Pilatus PC7 MKIs just some of the few of their air assets. This was also a perfect occasion to celebrate the theme our collective heritage as mentioned above.

The SAAF Museum Airshow was opened by the Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang. Who flew in one of the Museum Alouette III, General Msimang a former helicopter pilot mentioned in his speech “The purpose of the Museum Air Show is primarily to celebrate our collective heritage, as well as a build up towards the Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2020.”

The South African Airforce Band, choreographed some beautiful sets of instrumental music for the opening of the show and kept the public entertained during the course of the day with sights and sounds of military men and women putting together their talent of music.

With the low cloud base in the morning of the show, the Golden Eagles Parachute display team were unfortunate not allowed to jump out of the 44 Squadron Casa 212 based at Airforce Base Waterkloof.

Air boss for this years show was Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King a former leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Display team. Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis had a huge deployment with at least a kilometre of speakers, so that the strong 30 000 plus crowd could hear commentary from both Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis, Colonel Lance “Lancelot” Mathebula,Colonol Catherine “Siren” Constable, Major Dale Naddison,Lieutenant Colonel Iwan Robbertse, Captain Tiisetso “Lego” Legodi and Major Mandisa “Comet” Mfeka.

The Silver Aerobatic Display team opened he show with their flat display with Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane at the lead. The Museums Helicopter’s were next with a aerial ballet from both the Alouette II and Alouette III.A solo display by the Puma, flown by General John Church.

The First jet display for the day was the Museums Vampire T55 flown by Colonel Glen “Gringo” Warden. Glen also flew the Rand Airport Based L29 and L39 adding to the eastern block jet age.

South African Airforce Displays consisted of a Hawk MK120 flown by Lieutenant Colonel Craig “Shark” Leeson, as he gave his last display as 85 Combat Flying Schools display pilot. Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter will be taking over as the Hawk display pilot. Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper put the Gripen JAS39C through its paces with a flare drop at the end of his display.41 Squadron provide a formation display of a Pilatus PC12 and two Cessna 208A Caravans.17 Squadron provided a Oryx Capability demonstration with fast roping and troop extracting. A combat air routine was also carried out by two Hawk MK120s and a JAS39D Gripen fully loaded with ammunition was surly a favourite to see flying in that configuration.

The South African Airforce Museum put on a mini war re -enactment with two Alouette IIIs, Puma,two Cessna C185s,A Kudu and Bosbok. The Museum and Harvard Club T6 Harvard’s flew a mass radial display with a mass shutdown at the end of their slot.

Team Extreme were also present on the day as they have delighted more than hundreds of thousands of people at airshows in Southern Africa this year already. Other Aerobatic teams that were present were the Goodyear Eagles Pitts, The Cows Pitts Specials and the Puma Flying Lions. The MAD Microlight display team also closed the show with LED lights and smoke added to their trikes.

Singleton displays consisted of a Magni Gyro Copter flown by Andre van Zyl, The Nashua Extra 300 flown by Andrew Blackwood Murry. Menno Parsons made a welcome return to Swartkop this year with his P51D Mustang.The radial formation made up of ‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill as well as a Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and Riaan Prinsloo in his Yak 18T.Each of the radials then provided a solo display. The Classic Formation made up of a De Havilland Tiger Moth and two Chipmunks added to the De Havilland Aircraft heritage. Anton von Willich flew a display in his Aerospatiale Gazelle. General Des Barker flew a demo flight in the Wonderboom based Atlas Angel.

As the Gripen closed off the show with a sunset display, ending off with flares into the dark blue skies. Another successful and safe Swartkop Airshow had come to an end. With the short amount of time the SAAF Museum and the SAAF had to pull off a great show with a variety of aircraft on display, a big well done to all involved from Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies Officer commanding SAAF Museum, Lieutenant Colonel Trish Schoeman Officer Commanding Airforce Base Swartkop, Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King Flight Director for the show, Major Ntokozo Ntshangase as the media liaison for the SAAF Museum, Capital Sounds and to all display pilots, ground crews ATCs and all other role players behind the scenes that made the show a success.

Until we all meet again at the 2020 SAAF Museum Airshow and celebrate 100 years of the South African Airforce “As the SAAF Museum like to say Keep them up where they’re belong!”

Watch some of the highlights below from this years SAAF Museum Airshow 2019!

https://youtu.be/dN8xcu63kLc

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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