Tag Archives: Nigel Hopkins Aerobatics

Rasesa ready for takeoff- WesBank Botswana International Airshow

The WesBank Botswana International Airshow is almost ready for takeoff to give the people of Botswana and other international visitors a day of spectacular aerobatic sequences from both old and new aircraft.


Matsieng Airfield (ICAO: FBMA) is a new Airfield which has been around since 2011. The airfield is located near Rasesa, 44 kilometres north of Gaborone Botswana.

The highlight for some is definitely the fly-in experience where pilots fly-in for the weekend and camp under the wing of their aircraft or even camp in the set up tent area where ablution blocks are available as well as log fires, that are made available for braai packs and other needed necessities during the weekend.

Aircraft that will be making a welcome back appearance will be the only airworthy P51 Mustang in Southern Africa, owned and flown by Master Power Technologies Menno Parsons. He will also have his Bell 407.Other helicopters that will be displayed will be the NAC Bell 430 flown by Alister Brown. Team Extreme will be making their full team debut made up of Nigel Hopkins in his Extra 330,Jason Beamish in his brand new Extra 330,Mark Hensman in his MX2 and finally Mark Sampson in his Sbach. Other favourites will be the L29 and L39 Jet trainers, AN2 ‘Little Annie’ Harvard’s ,Pitts Special teams and many other aircraft. Program to be posted soon!

P51D Mustang
Bell 407
Bell 430
Team Extreme
Jason Beamish”s new Extra 330

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Entrance gates: Gate 1 (on site map)https://www.botswana-airshow.com/index.php/info/maps

Gates open: Saturday from 9:00 to 16:00
Air Show ends: 17:00

Entrance fees: P120 per adult; P60 per child (6-17 years); Under 6 years – free if accompanied by paying adults.

Tickets available at the following PUMA outlets

·         PILANE

·         PHAKALANE

·         BBS

·         RAILPARK

·         TLOKWENG

·         FAIRGROUNDS

·         PULA SPAR

·         GRAND PALM

·         KGALE VIEW

·         TLOKWENG EXPLOSION

·         FRANCISTOWN

·         MAHALAPYE

·         PALAPYE

·         MOLEPOLOLE

·         KANYE

·         Also available from PHARMA LULU @ Westgate Mall

IMPORTANT NOTICE

  • No food or beverages will be allowed through the gates.
  • Empty cooler bags will be allowed through the gates.
  • No picnic or recreation of any sort will be allowed in the parking area.
  • No buses exceeding 8 people seated.
  • No admission will be granted without a valid entry ticket or permit.
  • The public shall enter and use the parking area as well as the premises at their own risk and the organisers and the owners of the premises cannot accept liability for any loss or injury to any person or property.
  • Any form of misbehaviour or criminal activity will be handed over to the members of the Botswana Police Service.
  • The public may not enter any fenced off zone allocated to aeroplanes and other vehicles. Trespassers will be escorted off the premises immediately without refund of any kind.
  • Members of the public are strictly not allowed to access the Hospitality tent area.

Us at Aviation Central cant wait to share a fantastic day with the people of Botswana in the next couple of weeks, we sure are super excited. Keep an eye on our social media pages and website for more updates to follow!

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Air Total Newcastle Airshow 2018

The 8th annual Newcastle Airshow, the only show in Kwazulu-Natal took place on the 2 June 2018 at the Newcastle Airport on the outskirts of the town of Newcastle. With this show being the only show on the circuit in KZN, members of the public traveled far and wide to the norther KZN town of Newcastle to witness the ever vibrant Airshow.  This years theme was ‘Give your dreams some Wings’.

Show day saw some early morning mist around the skies of Newcastle,but didn’t last long due to the sun creeping  through the hills in the distance,some early morning arrivals from display aircraft from Gauteng and other parts of the country was a welcome sight like every other airshow as the excitement cannot be hidden before the start of an Airshow.An Aviation Career expo was held in the morning before the days proceedings took place.Other talks from pilots took place during the day.


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The show started with a Para drop from SANDF and Golden Eagles parachutists from a 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter flown by Altaaf Sheik, Warren Jobe and flight engineer Lazola Vumazonke,once the last skydiver had landed safely the Oryx crew then began giving flips to the youth who have never flown in a aircraft ever.The Aerobatics Unlimited L29 ZU-AUX flown by Glen’Gringo’ Warden showed off the eastern block aircraft the to crowds who love seeing a jet in the sky especially in Newcastle.Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi’ Goosen and Lt Col Johannes ‘Boerboel ‘Mashaba flew the JAS39D Gripen all the way from Air force Base Makhado in the Limpopo province ,this was the 2nd time the Gripen has flown at Newcastle,the last time was in 2012.The frontline fighter was put through its paces before its final maneuver ,a ‘Upper Charlie’ and disappearing into the blue sky.Major Lone Nel was the GLO for the SAAF Aircraft.

 


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Major Diaan Grobbelaar put the 15 Squadron A109LUH through its paces,one of the great A109 displays one can see at an airshow these days. The Silver Falcons Team 82 with the leadership of Major Omphile Matloane,  flew the first official airshow display as team 82 flying out of the Central Flying School of AFB Langebaanweg along the Capes West Coast. Other team member’s consists of Major Bheki Shabangu at the number 2,Major Corne van Deventer and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana. It was great to see how hard the ground crew for the Silver Falcons, they’re  are the ones who keep the aircraft maintained at all time. A big salute to all of them!

Radials that were present on the day was Menno Parsons Dc3 flown by Derek Hopkins,a first to see a DC3 at the Newcastle Airshow.The Puma flying Lions flying the T6 Harvard’s led by Captain Scully Levin. Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman.

Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds provided the sound for this Airshow once again.commentary for the day was professional provided by Leon Du Plessis and Brian Emmenis, keeping the public informed of all the aircraft and pilots during the course of the day, and always bringing the vibe to the airshow and getting the public excited for each act during the display slots.


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South Africa’s top aerobatic pilots from the likes of Patrick Davidson flew all the way in from Port Alfred in his RedBull sponsored Sbach 342,a first at Newcastle to have him display at this particular show.He will soon get ready for his next Redbull Air Race series in Russia in August this year. Team Extreme  two member’s, Nigel Hopkins flying his Extra330 and Mark’Buggs’Hensman flying Mark Sampson’s yellow Sbach in high energy aerobatic sequences. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Team flew their three ship display routine under the leadership of Glen Warden, Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish flying the other two Pitts.

Neville Ferreira flew his newly painted Slick 540 from Kitty Hawk aerodrome to the East of Pretoria, He then raced a AMG Mercedes later in the day. Matthew Zalewski flew the Magni Gyrocopter, becoming one of the best and only Gyrocopter displays to watch at airshows.


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A big well done to the organizer of this years Newcastle Airshow, from the entire Airshow Committee and Johan Pieters and Christo van der Vyver from Champ Marketing. Johan Neilon, Pete Graham and the ATCs kept the show safe and on time.To all the emergency services that were on standby during the whole day if any incidents had to occur. Thanks to Charlie Hugo for organising the media accreditation and to Capital Sounds for providing commentary and sound during the show, to the South African Air force providing aircraft and promoting and restoring National pride to our country.To all the stakeholders who sponsored the show, this last paragraph is all for the unsung hero’s mentioned above he make these country Airshows possible.We look forward to the 9th edition of the Newcastle Airshow next year.

Please browse through our gallery below

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatics Team has been in the forefront of bringing aerobatics excitement to the public for the past 29 years. Over this period the team has had several major sponsors, but Goodyear Aviation became the official team sponsor at the beginning of the 2009 season and we are both proud and honoured to be associated with this great company that have been in the forefront of Aviation Tyre technology since the very beginning of manned flight.


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Dennis Spence the founder and owner of the team, who is an ex SAA Captain on Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s. Deniis also landed both 747s at Rand Airport that are now on static display at the SAA Museum at Rand Airport. He was also a regular display pilot for SAA on the A340 and 747.

The team has also been a regular performer at air shows in Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and in 2008 were privileged to be invited to perform at the Al Ain International Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirate where we performed as “The Wizards” and our display included 2 Extra ES300’s, becoming, we think, the first team to perform with not only two different types of aircraft, but also incorporating two skydivers into the aerobatic display.

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team continually strive to enrich and improve our displays, not only to entertain but also to educate the airshow public of the full capabilities and manoverability of the wonderful aircraft we fly, namely the Pitts Special S2B and we strive to keep the skies full of thrills for the entire duration of our display.


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The Pitts S2B

General characteristics

Crew: Two ( ONLY ONE DURING AEROBATIC DISPLAYS) • Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.71 m) • Wingspan: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m) • Height: 6 ft 7⅓ in (2.02 m) • Wing area: 125 ft² (11.6 m²) • Empty weight: 1,150 lb (521 kg) • Max takeoff weight: 1,625 lb (737 kg) • Powerplant: 1× Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six air cooled piston engine, 260 hp (194 kW) Performance • Max speed: 182 knots (210 mph, 338 km/h) • Cruise speed: 152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h) (max cruise) • Stall speed: 52 knots (60 mph, 97 km/h) • Range: 277 NM (319 mi, 513 km) • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
• Rate of climb: 2,700 ft/min (13.7 m/s) • Wing loading: 13.0 lb/ft² (63.6 kg/m²) • Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.26 kW/

The team

Glen Warden: Team Leader

 

Former fighter pilot of the South African Airforce,Glen Warden is the team leader of the team.He has flown the Aermacchi MB326, Mirage and Cheetah jet aircraft, and remains active in the South African Air Force Museum Flight, displaying the Mirage CZ III , the Vampire T11 and the  T6 Harvard. He also spent time as an exchange pilot with the Chilean Air Force flying Mirage 50’s, F-5 E Tigers and A-37 Dragonfly. He is also a civilian jet instructor and display authorisation examiner on the L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros, BAC Strikemaster, and T-2 Buckeye.

 

Dennis Spence: Team Owner and Reserve Leader

 

 

Dennis Spence the team owner,an ex SAA A340 senior Captain, with in excess of 26000 flying hours, of which over 3500+ is on the Pitts Special alone. He has been the owner and operator of the Team since 1985, and represented South Africa in the first Advanced World aerobatic championships in 1995, obtaining South African National colours.

Johan Von Solms: Wingman

A South African Airways Captain, with over 16500 flying hours. He served in the South African Air Force as a fighter Pilot flying the Aeromacchi MB326(Impala) and the Cheetah. He was the 8 Squadron Impala display pilot in 1993 and a 2 Squadron Cheetah display pilot during 1995 and 1996. My father was best mates with David Stead. As a kid growing up near Mooi River on a dairy farm, David would lead simulated attacks on our farm using Harvards and later Impalas from Durban. It sparked a dream that none of my other talents could detach and I thus pursued a flying career that I am very grateful for and proud of.


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Nigel Hopkins: Wingman

 

Nigel Hopkins Is a training Captain at South African Airways on the Airbus A320, he has flown all types of aerobatic aircraft and warbirds including the T28 Trojan and L29 Delphin.He is alsp part of the Team Extreme team.

Paul Coetser:Soloist

Paul Coetser is a SAA Cargo 737 pilot,he is also a former 85 Combat Flying School MB326 Impala display pilot and SAAF Instructor. He has flown the Pitts,Piper Saratoga, MB326 Impala and Pilatus PC7MKII.

Jason Beamish: Reserve Soloist

Jason Beamish is a Aircraft Engineer at Absolute Aviation based at Lanseria Airport. His father Larry Beamish taught him to fly at a young age.He has been surronded by avaition his whole life,he has also flown AN2s,Piper Cub,KingAirs,Pc12s and Caravans and much more.His Total Flying hours: 2,700+ hrs.He is also part of Team Extreme Airshows and a reserve dispaly pilot on the AN2 ‘Little Annie’.

The team will be flying the SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May 2018,and the team also has a L29 Delphin that will also be flying at the SAAF Museum Airshow.

 

 

 

Team Xtreme Airshows

Team Xtreme Airshows

With their high energy aerobatic manvureves, Team Xtreme is surly a display to watch  at airshows, Led by SAA Captain Nigel Hopkins and South African World Aerobatic champion,the team is internationally renowned for displaying in China. Team Xtreme Airshows is a Formation Aerobatic Team flown by South African aerobatic pilots. The Team was started in 2010 by Mark Hensman & Nigel Hopkins flying two MX2 aerobatic aircraft in a high-energy duo display. Click here to goto the Team’s website

The team fly high performance aerobatic aircraft ranging from the Walter Extra 330SC and the Extreme Air XA42 Sbach,both aircraft are built in Germany. Team Extreme is a four ship Aerobatic Team,the pilots perform manures  which includes formation & freestyle aerobatics, cross-over passes, synchronized maneuvers and solo gyroscopics.


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The team members often take part in regional and international aerobatic competitions and are regular performers on the airshow circuit, if they arent flying aerobatic aircraft at an airshow.They flying warbirds or jet airliners, each member having different flying experience.Each pilot is an active member of the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa and holds an Advanced or Unlimited Aerobatic Rating in addition to the required Display Ratings. The pilots have a combined experience of 47,700 flight hours.

This year already the team has displayed at the FAW Ermelo Airshow in Mpumalanga. Next show on the cards is the SAAF Museum Airshow at Airforce Base Swartkops in Pretoria.The Pretoria airshows are always big and large crowds gather to see some of South Africa’s best pilots perform both civil and military.

The Aerobatic Team has performed nearly 100 displays in South Africa, Southern Africa and China since 2010, Team Xtreme is voted in the top 3 civilian Aerobatic Teams at the inaugural Formation Aerobatic Challenge (FAC 2017) held in Zhengzhou, China.


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Pilots

Nigel Hopkins#1 (Leader) 

Is a training Captain at South African Airways on the Airbus A320,he has flown all types of aerobatic aircraft and warbirds including the T28 Trojan and L29 Delphin.
Total Flying hours: 18,500+ hrs

Mark Sampson#2 (RH Wingman)

Mark is a Captain on Boeing 747s at Cathy Pacific,he is an Ex South African Airforce Pilot.His total Flying hours: 11,500 hrs

Jason Beamish#3 (LH Wingman)

Jason Beamish is a Aircraft Engineer at Absolute Aviation based at Lanseria Airport.His father Larry Beamish taught him to fly at a young age.He has been surronded by avaition his whole life,he has also flown AN2s,Piper Cub,KingAirs,Pc12s and Caravans and much more.His Total Flying hours: 2,700+ hrs

Mark Hensman #4 (Box & Solo)

Is the Team Manager & Aircraft Technician,he was recently Nigel Lambs Aircraft Technician on the Red Bull Air Race Series.He also has a helicopter PPL. His Total Flying hours: 15,500+ hrs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ermelo Airshow 2018

The great Ermelo Airshow has finally returned to the Airshow circuit once again, after an absence since 2011. The show made a welcome return on the 7th April 2018 under the Gert Sibanda Local Municipality. Ermelo is situated 210 kilometers east of Johannesburg. It is both a mixed agriculture and mining region of South Africa.The airfield sits at 5700 feet MSL, pilots took the proper precautions as this was not a usual airfield pilots are used to flying at.

I was fortunate to fly into Ermelo airfield the day before the show with the Hill family in their beautiful strong Russian Antonov An2 “Little Annie” from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria.We arrived at the field with full of smiles from organisers and marshals,welcoming us and providing us with some of the best hospitality one can ask for.

That evening we were again treated to a lamb spit braai for all the pilots and VIPs that were invited to the braai.At this point of time the next day would see most display pilots and other aircraft just flying inn for the show.

Apon arrival at the airfield on Saturday the 7th April,we were blessed with beautiful weather for flying.As aircraft after aircraft arrived.The show started off with a parachute drop with SANDF Special Forces ,their jump ship was the An2 “Little Annie”. The An2 was then showed why it is the worlds biggest single engine bi-plane flying in the world today flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill.

Ensuring the airshow ran smoothly during the course of the day, safety officers Pete Graham and Trevor Wilson and display directors Kishugu’s Johan Heine was show boss for the day.The Capital Sounds team arrived the Friday before the show to set up for the show, Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis provided excellent commentary and ensuring all information on aircraft and pilots flying on the day.

The Ermelo RC Club was next with two RC aircraft, while Neville Ferreria was soon up after the RC display. His sequence showed part of what the unlimted Aerobatic team level is sitting at. The Magni Gyrocopter flown by Matthew Zalewski from 303 Squadron flying school from Brakpan/Benoni airfield.Johan ‘Juba’ Joubert flew the only helicopter display for the day in the Aerospatiale Gazelle.

The show was a first for Team Extreme made up of Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson. The team flies a range of high performance aerobatic aircraft from the Extra 330, MX2 and Sbach 341. Two aircraft were ferried up from Cape Town just for the show. Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua sponsored Extra 300 in two spirited displays during the day.

The Rand Airport based team including the Puma Flying Lions T6 Harvard’s led by veteran airshow pilot Scully Levin who still flies for Mango airlines. He also led the new Cows Aerobatic team sponsored by ‘Taillifts SA’ flying the Pitts Specials who were sponsored by Torre for some years. The Goodyear Eagles put a 3ship display,also flying the Pitts Special led by former fighter pilot Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden. The team is also made up of Paul ‘Cruiser’ Coetzer former 85 Combat Flying School Impala display pilot. And lastly Johan von Solms a former Cheetah pilot. Glen Warden also flew the solo L39 ‘ZUTEE’ display and later paired up with Richard Lovett in his L39 ZU-IBN which both L39s are almost identical.

Ivan van der Schaar flew is beautiful Boeing Stearman with gentle aerobatics and also flew his stearman into a immaculate sunset at the end of the day. Denel test pilot Mike Weingartz flew David Laas Impala ZU-IMP, Mike has the highest hours on the type in the world. The kishugu AT802 demostarted simulated fire bombing just as the sun set.

The South African Air force provided an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit which was on static display. The 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flew all the way from AFB Makhado to provide a mini display. The Gripen was flown by Mohau ‘Doberman’ Vundla, this was his first airshow display and in the back seat Marc ‘Bluebird’ Wilson.

The show was tasked by Andre Van Rooyen who had support from most of the members from the Ermelo Aeronautical Society and the support of the sponsoring of the show from FAW Trucks Ermelo. We hope to see the Ermelo Airshow as a regular on the airshow circuit.

 

The next Airshow on the calendar in South Africa is the SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

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