Tag Archives: Central Flying School

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Home of Pilatus- Silver Falcons visit Switzerland

“The idea was hatched late last year about getting the team to do an international trip . Switzerland being the home of the Pilatus was a no brainer. For us to be able get to view how and where all the current airframes were designed and built. On May the 3rd, Emirates hauled us through Dubai to Zurich, arriving in the cold that afternoon. Then a train ride from Zurich to Lucerne where we stayed for 3 days. For two days lots of walking around or busing around the sites and sounds of Lucerne.”

“It must be said the bus n train network in Switzerland was brutally efficient and effective. On Sunday May the 6th was a special treat with the visit up Mount Pilatus to be greeted by typical winter weather in Europe with tons and tons of snow. Something one would never see in Langebaanweg. The rest of the day was spent visiting the old town of Lucerne.”

Mt Pilatus at 7000ft
Cold smiles all around
Falcon snow man

“The 6th was the team received special treatment form Pilatus aircraft corporation. The company arranged everything from transport from our mini budget hotel to Stans were the factory is located. Jerome Pörtner played host and guide for and arranged what needed to be needed during our visit. Once at the factory were given two cards, which one was a security clearance and the other a Wi Fi (Switzerland neh ) card.”

“The day began with a presentation about the company and their ethos of how they operate in a niche market, Swiss chocolates were on offer . From there on a factory tour covering everything from how parts are made from scratch to the company latest flagship the pC24 floor. Everything from the paint shop to the tiniest of details.”

The Pilatus Assembly line

“What blew the teams mind away was the special design of the hangers/factory which is made of special wood not the usual mortar n brick or canvas as we are used to back home in RSA. To say one can eat of the floor would not be off the mark. What was not lost to us was how space in general when it comes to aviation is a tricky thing to solve! In all the hangers, airframe after airframe, we squizzed into every corner available (guess the work must continue non the less ) regardless wether it’s the pc24 or pc12 hanger.”

The Team in the Pilatus factory

“Then another treat was the special ‘ground instruction ‘ of the PC21 given to the team by Neil ( ot&e pilot ex RAF) & senior sales man and Pascal and Jerome Pörtner. (One can only dream hey). Then it was lunch at the newly refurbished factory canteen which can be best described as a 3-4 start hotel dining hall. It boast views of all the surroundings mountains around the factory.”

Pilatus PC24s on the apron
The cold kicking in
What a view

“The a very interesting part of the factory is where Central Flying School (CFS) sends their Prat & Whitney engines for overhauling. Where they pull them apart and put them together again. Everyone swelled with pride from the feedback from the engines from the SAAF are always in good condition compared to other users which showcases how the SAAF looks after its equipment.”

Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKIIs

“Sadly the day flew by and on Wednesday May the 7th, the team repositioned to Zurich to get ready to fly back home. The evening of the 7th was spent visiting the beautiful city of Zurich with a special dinner held In town in one of the most beautiful part of the city and an age old restaurant which used to be an armory during the times (Zeughauskeller) “

One of the restaurants we visited in Zurich

“Special thanks goes out to the Coves aviation community led by JP Fourie of NAC and Luigi Rossi of Internek engineering and Obviously the SAAF for giving team 82 this opportunity.”

Left to Right
Major Sivu Tangana,Major Musa Dlamini,Major Bheki Shabungu,Major Tiaan Stander,Major Omphile Matloane,Captain Xander Albasani and Major Corne van Deventer.

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AAD2018 Aircraft Arrivals Update

With the build up to AAD2018,the excitement is building with aircraft arrivals. Each day until Tuesday 2018-09-18 we will update on each aircraft arrival to AFB Waterkloof.

2018-09-15 Silver Falcons & Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKIIs Arrival.

2018-09-16 USAF Boeing C17 Globemaster Arrival.

C17 Final approach for landing at AFB Waterkloof

2018-09-17 Monday Arrivals

Airforce of Zimbabwe CASA 212

Airforce of Zimbabwe K8

SUDAN SAFAT 03

USAF C130J

22 Squadron Lynx

44 Squadron CASA 212

41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan

Sling 2

41 Squadron KingAir

Ahrlac

19 Squadron Agusta A109LUH

Red Cross Agusta A119

Bell 212

R66

Ahrlacs

USAF C130J Final approach at AFB Waterkloof

USAF C130J

USAF C130J

LC130’Snowbird’ arrived at AFB Waterkloof at 20:30 2018-09-17

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.The team is the official aerobatic team of the South African Airforce, the team is 51 years old in 2018. The team celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year with an airshow at their home base at AFB Langebaanweg .Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire.

 

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana

The Bumbling Bees flew a 4 ship formation and made a name for themselves by regularly taking part in South African airshows. The team disbanded in the late 1950s leaving a gap in South African aviation. The introduction of the Pilatus PC7MKII in 1995 put the team back to a 4ship and then in 2008 the team went back to a 5 ship and painted in the Silver Falcons livery.

OG short for Omphile was born in a small village just outside the town of Zeerust in the North West Province. His interest of flying started back in his Primary School days, when a SAAF Alouette three landed on the Soccer field. “It was so cool to see it so close up. All of the kids that’s day ran towards the chopper to get a better look, I still remember the pilot saw us and hovered at a medium height level just above our heads. The noise and dust from the down wash from the spinning rotors were awesome”. Says OG

He has flown the PC7MKII,Oryx and Agusta A109LUH during his time in the South African Airforce and is currently a instructor at the Central Flying School down at AFB Langebaanweg. He is also team lead for the famous Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

The 15th September 2018,OG earned his gold wings for reaching 2500 flying hours. With the arrival from AFB Langebaanweg, on the Capes West coast to AFB Waterkloof with a total of 10 Pilatus PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School. The Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow is surely ganna have the crowd on their feet!

Below 10 PC7MKIIs arriving for AAD2018

 

Central Flying School Pilots and Instructors after arrival at Airforce Base Waterkloof 2018-09-15

 

 

From Soloist to Lead-Omphile Mutloane

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the number 5 in the Silver Falcons Aerobatic  Team, known as the soloist in the team with the call sign “Biggy”.The team is the official aerobatic team of the South African Airforce, the team is 51 years old  in 2018. The team celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year with an airshow at their home base at AFB Langebaanweg on the Capes West Coast.Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire. The Bumbling Bees flew a 4 ship formation and made a name for themselves by regularly taking part in South African airshows. The team disbanded in the late 1950s leaving a gap in South African aviation.The indroduction of the Pilatus PC7MKII in 1995 put the team back to a 4ship and then in 2008 the team went back to a 5 ship and painted in the Silver Falcons livery.

OG short for Omphile was born in a small village just outside the town of Zeerust in the North West Province. His interest  of flying started back in his Primary School days, when a SAAF Alouette three landed on the Soccer field. “It was so cool to see it so close up. All of the kids that’s day ran towards the chopper to get a better look, I still remember the pilot saw us and hovered at a medium height level just above our heads. The noise and dust from the down wash from the spinning rotors were awesome”. Says OG

 

 

Aircraft were  always flying high overhead the village Omphile stayed,but never did himself and the children around him at the time get the opportunity to get up close and personal with  the real thing. That one moment of the SAAF helicopter crew pretty much changed Omphiles life, from that time on he was determined not to have a plan B in his career. Plan A was to wear the green overalls and the well know green chopper helmet.

“I joined the SAAF in January 2005 and reported for basic military training at Air force Gymnasium in Valhalla Pretoria. I qualified three years later in December 2007 at AFB Langebaanweg on the Pc7mkII Astra.Completed Rotary Wings Course Starlight aviation under the guidance of Mr A.C. Hunter (best instructor I have ever flown with) in April 2008,From there I was sent to 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemspruit and from there onto 17 Squadron as a Oryx Helicopter co-pilot.”

I served as an Oryx co pilot at 17 squadron in Pretoria from Jan 2009 until November 2012. I did my command course on the Agusta A109LUH in 2013.In 2014 I was posted back to AFB Langebaanweg to become a instructor and subsequently did the famous falcon ‘fly-offs’. The fly offs are basically a selection of instructors who want to join the Silver Falcons and I was able to join the team in October 2015 as the number 3,then moved to the singleton as falcon 5″.

My flying hours are currently sitting at a total of 2200 of both fixed wing and helicopter hours:

750 hours on Oryx Helicopter
300 hours on A109LUH Helicopter
800+ hours on PC7MKII

Omphile will take command of leading the team from the 2018 SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May.This will be team 82,as we saw Mark’Katana’Gentles leave team once again after Armed Forces Week in Kimberly in the Northern Cape earlier this year as the former leader.

Some of falcon 5s hobbies interests include him being a serious book worm who loves history and a avid marathon runner. He will be competing in his second comrades Marathon in KZN in month or so time. Wish him all the best of luck!

The Pride of the nation, The Silver Falcons

The Pride of the nation,  The Silver Falcons
The Silver Falcons are the South African Air force official display team. The team of five Pilatus Pc7mkii plus 3 additional spare aircraft are based at the Central Flying School,Air force Base Langebannweg in the Western Cape South Africa. The main purpose of the Silver Falcons is to enhance the image of the South African Airforce, encourage recruitment and restore national pride.
The team was originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees display team. The team flew a 4ship formation flying the de Havilland Vampire. By the 1950s the team disbanded and left a major gap in South African Aviation. In 1967 at the opening of the Atlas Aircraft Corporation known today as Denel Aviation, there was an idea to change the name of the team to something a bit more bold. The Silver Falcons team which was chosen as they gave their first display at the event in November 1967,under the leadership of Col Chris Prins.

In 1986 the team was expanded to a five ship to bring more exciting displays and to include a solo display, at this team the aircraft were painted up in old South African flag display colors. The team operated out of AFB Langebaanweg until the early 1990s,when all impala jet training was moved to Air force Base Hoedpsruit on the Kruger National Parks door step in the lowveld region of South Africa.

Falcon 1 of the Silver Falcons at an Airshow 2000

Falcon 1 – Photo: Russell Dixon-Paver

ex -Silver Falcon Impala

ex -Silver Falcon Impala

ex -Silver Falcon Impala

ex -Silver Falcon Impala

Photos Credit Stefaan Bouwer

1995 Red Arrows and Silver Falcons

1995 Red Arrows and Silver Falcons photo credit unknown

This formed part of 85 combat flying school which is now located at AFB Makhado in Limpopo flying the Hawk m120. In 1994 with the new South African national  flag, the teams aircraft were repainted to represent the colors of the South African Air force:blue, light blue and white. With SAAF75 in 1995 the Silver Falcons had the opportunity to tour South Africa with the RAF Red Arrows all over South Africa.
During 1998, the team moved back to AFB Langebaanweg and commenced training on the new Swiss Pilatus Astra turboprop trainers. The decision was taken to display the Astra trainer to the public, as the time was near for the retirement of the impala aircraft in 2005. The air force was getting ready for the introduction of the Bae Hawk mk120 into SAAF service.
At AFB Langebaanweg the team was reduced to a four ship in the standard red and white paint scheme, known to pilots as flying coke cans on the Astra fleet. At this point of time the aircraft had no eye catching paint scheme on the aircraft.

In September 2008 at the African Aerospace and Defense (AAD) Expo at AFB Ysterplaat in Cape Town, the aircraft were specially painted in a unique blue and white and other additional liveries and the team was expanded to 5 ship once again. The paint for the aircraft was donated by a local paint supplier, First African Paints. The first display was flown at this major show.
From then on the Silver Falcons have been a hit at every airshow they’re attended, if they not flying with an SAA Airbus in formation. They up close and personal with one of Mango Airlines Boeing 737-800s.
Something new was when they started is flying with a fighter jets, including Hawk and now Gripen. The Gripen formation is also known as the “Aviation Central Formation”. Many of these particular  formations have the crowds on their feet every time they are flown!



The team also made history when they opened the Fifa Soccer World cup in Soweto in 2010,the world had all eyes on them. Today the Falcons lead Major Mark ‘Katana’ Gentles is the most capped leader in the whole Silver Falcons history. With the rest of the team made up of Major Bheki Shabangu,Major Sivu Tangana,Major Wendy Badenhorst,Major Omphile Matlaone and the GLO Corne Deventer and don’t forget Falcon 8 Brian Emmenis who has commentated for almost every team.

To the very special ground crew who keep the aircraft serviceable and fix snags before shows at the last minute. If it wasn’t for you guys we would have no aircraft flying but hopefully taxing lol.
This year  the Silver Falcons are celebrating their 50th Anniversary with an airshow at AFB Langebaanweg on the Capes West Coast on December 9th. With some of the rumors going around its definitely a show to attend, with a major SAAF presence. We would like to wish the Silver Falcons all the best and many more safe sorties. To the past team members,once a falcon …always a falcon!

Team Update 2018-07-17 “A new Number 2”

As we are well into the 2018 South African Airshow season,recently we saw the Falcons preform at the Total Air Newcastle Airshow in KZN in June.The Falcons are set to preform at the Bethlehem Freestate Airshow on the 25th August and the big one Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo at Airforce Base Waterkloof on the 19-23 September,this is promising to be the biggest show to date.This week the Falcons announced their new Falcon 2 Major Tiaan Stander!

Major Tiaan Stander

 

 

Major Stander will be flying in the number two position in the team, Tiaan joined the South African Airforce on the 23 April 2002!

Pilots Wings Course 03-2004-Wings Date 8-07-2008

Completed RWCC 18-05-05

A109LUH Commander 01-12-07

Oryx NVG Commander-22-11-09

Instructors Course 03-03-16

Aircraft types and Hours:

PC7MKII-842.8

Alouette III 49.9

A109LUH-376.2

Oryx-1510.7

Total-2779.6

Major Tiaan Stander is married and has two children.We look forward to seeing the new Number 2 preforming at the Bethlehem Airshow in August.The team will now be back to a 5ship and remain as team 82.

Silver Falcons Team 82

Falcon 1-Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane (Flown the Pc7MKII,A109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 2-Major Tiaan “Excell” Stander (Flown the PC7MKII,Alouette III,A109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 3-Major Corne “Stilbo” van Deventer (Flown the PC7MKII,HawkMK120)

Falcon 4-Major Bheki “SwaziBoy”Shabungu (Flown the PC7MKII,Cessna 208 Caravan)

Falcon 5-Major Sivu “Sivuple” Tangana (Flown the PC7MKII,AgustaA109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 6 GLO- Major Musa Dlamini (Flown the PC7MKII)

Falcon 7 PRO- Captain Xander Albasani (Flown the PC7MKII)

Falcon 8- Commentator Brian Emmenis

See Falcon One’s Story here-https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/2018/04/05/from-soloist-to-lead-omphile-mutloane/

 

 

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