Tag Archives: Nigel Hopkins

Middelburg Airweek & Airshow 2019

Middelburg Airshow 2019

The smell of Avgas, Mogas and Jet A1 filled the skies over Middelburg this past weekend with the first of two Mpumalanga Airshows to take place this year. The 2019 Middelburg Airshow returned this year after the planning phase taking place last year with the absence of the show. This year the organisers put together a major show with the Aero Club of South Africa having their Airweek and the highly anticipated Airshow.

Our team arrived at Middelburg on Thursday the 7th March, thanks to our aviation family Airshow friends “Just Love Mission” Little Annie the sole surving Antonov two on the Airshow circuit. We were extremely honored to be invited days before the show by Richard and Irene Lovett, organisers of past present and now future airshows at Middelburg Airfield. Our media liaison officer Mark Mansfield organized all our accommodation, once again treated to the hospitality of the Lovett Family. Mark also kept us up to date before and after the show with all necessary news updates.

Friday evening, we were treated to some early evening flying from Riaan Prinsloo, Ivan Van der Schaar and Juba Joubert in a Yak18T, Boeing Stearman and an Aerospatiale Gazelle in formation.

The Grasslands based Misasa Aerial Display Team-MAD microlights showed off their Led lights in close formation.

A number of aircraft flew in between Thursday and Saturday of the event.

Saturday morning the now exciting Speed Rally took place with some of the SAPFA members flying the speed navigation rally, which is similar to the fun rally’s we usually attend. Except that the rally is given a pre-determined handicap speed, based on a selected power setting to each aircraft.
Read more here on the Speed Rally

On show day, Hot Air balloons filled the morning sky above Middelburg. While some of the participating show aircraft made their way in from neighboring Gauteng airports and elsewhere.

A new plan at some of the airshows in South Africa this year is to have an afternoon show instead of the entire day having a full program with many repeats. This show had no repeats and a full program with no gaps in between.
A cavalcade of Trucks opened the show with Juba Joubert flying the Alouettes II above the line of trucks while Capital Sounds provided as always, the vibe to the Airshow circuits thanks to Brian Emmenis and his great team who put together sound and information on each act in the slot of the event.

The first of the processdings began with an Atlas Angel formally an Ex South Africa Airforce (SAAF) Kudu, used as a jump ship for the “Skydive Tandem Johannesburg” Delmas based parachute members and other members from neighboring parachute clubs.

Menno Parsons made a welcome back display in his P51 Mustang Sally, as the P51 had to have a major engine overhaul and was absent from airshows for a year. It was also a first to have a P51D at Middelburg Airshow.

The Just Love Mission Antonov 2 “Little Annie” with Jon-Marc Hill and Col Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer flew a fantastic display in the world’s biggest piston bi-plane. “Little Annie also raced a truck and decided to drop a number of marshmallows over the crowds of Middelburg. They’re surely know how to sweeten things up!

The Puma Flying Lions led by Scully Levin, Arnie Menageli and Sean Thakwray flew a three-ship display with the roar of the T6 Harvard. The Cows Pitts Specials had a synchro display with two aircraft displaying the colors of a good cause to the masses.
Captain Flippie Vermulen brought his Springbok Classic Air Beech 18, and showed off the classic early day propliner.

Dennis Spence had his team of the Goodyear Eagles with a full four ship display of all his Pitts S2Bs flown by Glen “Gringo” Warden, Nigel Hopkins, Johan Von Solms and Jason Beamish.

Nigel and Jason also flew the high energy aerobatic display of Team Extreme with Jason Beamish showing off his brand new Extra 330 at its first of many airshows to come. Pierre Gouws led the Raptor RVs with Nigel Hopkins, Trevor Warner and Ryan Beaton.

The main attraction of airshows has to always be the jets, this year we got to see Richard Lovetts L39ZU-IBN, David Laas Impala Mk1 ZU-IMP and Rand Airport based L29 ZU-AUX.

A new display was the hostage scenario where an Atlas Angel was taken hostage from terrorists and an Aerospatiale Gazelle came to the rescue with members of armed reaction forces. Juba Joubert also flew a solo display in an Aerospatiale Gazelle, his routine is very similar to some of the world’s present attack helicopter routines worldwide.


A gyrocopter and 2 Bathawks were put through their paces adding flavor to the ultralight aircraft on display.

The flying phase of the show was ended by a formation of the Puma Flying Lions led by the Springbok Classic Air Beech 18. A hot air balloon and fireworks ended the show, where all invited guests moved into the Lovetts Hanger for Gala evening and Price giving for the Speed Rally. The most scrumptious supper was awarded to us and many others. To all the sponsors, who made the show possible we thank you.

E:\Dropbox\Rob's Aerie & Workshop Album\Rob and the big aeries\Rob and the big aeries 2019\Middelburg\2019-03-08 19.24.17.jpg

But to the Middelburg Aero Club and to Irene and Richard Lovett we congratulate you on a fantastic event you have once again pulled off. Us as a team get highly emotional as your hospitality, your organization and there is so much more we can say. You guys are the best of the best. We thank you, we cannot wait for Aero Club 100 next year once again to be held at Middelburg Airfield. At what we have been told, it’s going to be massive.

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SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019 – by Rob Jonkers

As a follow-on to the Rally Navigation Training events held at Aerosud on the 19th of January 2019, it was planned to fly the practice route that was plotted on that day. The 16th February was chosen and as the week unfolded with almost daily rain, it looked auspicious to get good weather, although it looked a little promising on Friday. As the day dawned, the clouds were on the deck throughout Gauteng, north of the Magalies in the Brits area was a bit better. The cloud base only started lifting around 9 am, and then only in patches, so even with 12 teams registered to take part, only 4 teams eventually were able to get to Brits. Frank & Cally Eckard prepared the route packs for the teams and were on hand to do the scoring. 

Frank Eckard – Presenting the Rally Flying Techniques Course

The focus of the day was more related to flying techniques and Frank Eckard provided an hour’s presentation on how to prepare the cockpit, roles of the crew in work sharing, organizing the photos, flying techniques such as speed management, altitude, approach to turn points.

Nigel Hopkins & Mary de Klerk preparing their maps for their flight

The teams then plotted the course, basically replotted the course that was previously prepared a month ago, and went to fly the route. Aerobatics ace & SAA Captain Nigel Hopkins who has been a previous rally world champion 15 years ago, flew with experienced navigator Mary de Klerk, and proved by his excellent score of 64 penalty points that he has not lost his touch in rally flying.

Leon Bouttell & Karyn Purchase preparing their Plots

Veteran Protea Pilot Thys vd Merwe preparing the maps with Navigator Frans Smit

As SAPFA is preparing for the World Rally Flying Championships in 2020, the focus on these two years prior the event, is to gain as many South African qualified teams to take part, and every event being held this year will be an event that can improve skills.

Nigel & Mary preparing the cockpit

To achieve world standard qualification, there is a route to achieve these skills in classes, with Advanced Class as the definitive level of competition, where existing Protea teams would compete and new teams would vie to achieve a qualification standard. The initial Sportsman’s Class is the entry level where teams gain experience to get to try their hand at the Advanced Class. There is also an Intermediate Class, which has a combination of Protea pilots and navigators that fly or navigate with new team members as further skill building in a step to achieve an Advanced level.

A competitive score for Nigel on a route with arcs and follow the feature

The next rally is being held at Virginia on the 26th March, and as the weather was not favourable on this weekend, SAPFA will look at rescheduling this event again at a future date.

ICAD 2018 – Nelspruit Airfield

ICAD 2018 – Nelspruit Airfield

#ICADSA2018 International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD) was held on Saturday, 08 December 2018 at the Nelspruit Airfield in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, under the theme: ‘Working together to ensure no country is left behind’.

The Minister of Transport, Dr. Blade Nzimande, addressed the people at ICAD. The ICAD official commemoration was preceded by a career expo attended by 1600 learners from neighbouring schools around Nelspruit, especially previously disadvantaged communities.

ICAD 2018

The ICAD and Career Expo was organised by the Department of Transport in partnership with the Mpumalanga provincial Government and key stakeholders in aviation, academia and the youth, organised under the banner of the Joint Aviation Awareness Programme (JAAP).
ICAD is an annual event initiated by the United Nations (UN) and is aimed at raising awareness regarding the importance of civil aviation and the role the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) plays in international air transport. ICAO is a United Nations specialised agency, responsible for administering and standardising the world’s civil aviation activities.
The Flying Lions and The Cows Aerobatic Team were sadly forced to turn around on route to ICAD due to bad weather. The Kishugu team put a lot of help and effort into ICAD 2018 and despite the huge impact the weather had on ICAD, the Kishugu team managed to pull off a spectacular show. The show was shortened and had no repeat performances. Short but Amazing.
The team managing the show was Rikus Erasmus, Johan Heine and Werner Terblanche and what a great job they did!

Commentary was done by Capital Sounds and the voice of Thamsanqa Elvis Manene was enjoyed by the crowd!
The CAA of South Africa and Partners put a lot of effort into ICAD 2018 and it was a huge success and one to be remembered. The CAA utilized a lot of facilities and made use of large marquee tents to brief the learners who were bussed in and were received in a very organized manner.
Every learner received a complimentary backpack and gift pack, thereafter they were taken to a large marquee hosting about 1000 learners where they were treated to good food and soft drinks. Two hangers with career expo info of high standard were available for the learners to explore different careers within the aviation industry.
Capital sounds covered the entire spectator area and about 300m of crowd line. Elvis Manene host broadcaster excelled in his task informing the learners in aircraft and manoeuvres and provided them with well researched information.

ICAD 2018_2

Friday also saw lots of busses bringing learners to the career expo and seeing the validation flights for Aircraft getting ready for Saturdays ICAD Airshow.
Saturday saw a large public crowd who came to see the ICAD 2018 Airshow. The Minister and deputy Minister of Transport and many more dignitaries also attended ICAD 2018.

At 11:30 bad weather and extreme lighting made the director of safety delay the show until it was safe to continue. The minister and his entourage then sat down to enjoy a meal in a marquee that was set out stunningly beautifully.
As lunch was completed the Airshow continued. The pilots and Elves had the crowd cheering!
The Aircraft participating included; a three ship Goodyear Eagles, RV7 flown by Pierre Gouws, The high energy Team Xtreme with Nigel Hopkins, Mark Hensman and Mark Sampson who kept the crowd thrilled. Ivan van der Schaar in the Boeing Stearman demonstrated some majestic and classic aerobatics, while the Jet action was provided by Glen warden in the L29 giving his best display ever!
“Little Annie”, an Antonov AN-2 was up with the 4 skydivers followed up closely with an SAPS
Pilatus PC-6 and 3 Task Force skydivers. One of the Skydivers was carrying a huge South African Flag and with Capital Sounds playing the national anthem, the scholars joined in singing along to the National anthem, which gave all a memorable goose bump and hair-raising moment.
Disaster management team with the professional guidance Jacques Benadie proved why they are one of the finest DM teams in Southern Africa.
CEO Johan Du Plessis was specially kitted out in a quad and the VOC was well equipped and ready for anything that can go wrong. Roanda and Sean England providing the ATC, which was brilliantly handled with exceptional aircraft handling. Just after 4pm a huge storm was expected and the organizers had everything cleared and removed before the storm arrived.

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Kishugu Lowveld Airshow 2018

Kishugu Lowveld Airshow 2018

Friday, Midday our journey to Nelspruit in the Lowveld started by road from Gauteng, the Team for the Weekend was, Flippie & Lettie van Emmenis and Jarryd Sinovich. We got to Nelspruit Airport at about 16:00 and did our accreditation with the friendly Monica Fourie, once done we went to checking Sheba Rock Guest House our accommodation for the weekend. This was followed by a 780m quick trip to the Mini Boss music festival, this festival started with Brian Emmenis and Willem Botha arriving and a Robinson R44 shortly followed by the Flying Lions doing a sunset display before the music started. During the evening a hot air balloon did some night glows adding to the amazing atmosphere. The artists for the evening was and Willem Botha, Touch of Class and Bok van Blerk

Touch of Class

Bok van Blerk


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Airshow

After a fun filled night before at Minibos,we were up early and we  had the Hot Air balloons up and about filling the early morning skies above Nelspruit.Nelspruit Airport was originally the only airfield serving the region. For commercial flights, it has mainly been replaced by the new Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport.Today the airfield still has the Lowveld Aero Club where many pilots learned to fly including airshow display pilot Ivan van der Schaar. Compare to last year we were blessed with beautiful airshow weather and the days program flowed smoothly.The theme for this years show was ‘Rock The Runway’.

The show started with a Para drop from ‘Little Annie’ AN2 flown by Jon-Marc-Hill and a SAAF Casa 212 from 44 Squadron AFB Waterkloof,both had civilian skydivers and SANDF skydivers including the SAAF Golden Eagles Parachute Team. Different Harley Davidsons were part of the Cavalcade as the skydivers cam into land.Lowveld Radio Control Club flew their aerobatic RC aircraft,while a Kit fox showed off the aircraft versatility .The Bathawk showed why it can be such a great asset to tackling Rhino-Poaching in the Kruger National Park and other private reserves around the country .Airlink provided an Embraer E190 with two beautiful displays during the day.

High energy aerobatics from Team Extreme flying the MX2,Sbach,Extra 300 and Extra 330,led by SAA Training Captain Nigel Hopkins who also led the Goodyear Eagles flying Pitts S2Bs.It was the debut of the CHOC Cows Aerobatic team led by Scully Levin and also leading the Puma Flying Lions.Another airshow debut in his new colour scheme was Neville Ferreira in his Kitty Hawk based Slick 540.During the end of the program most display teams formed up in major formation which really isn’t seen at airshows in South Africa to often. Little Annie was then put through its paces in a solo display flown by Jason Beamish and Jon-Marc Hill. Ivan van der Schaar flew his Boeing Stearman with gentle aerobatics.

Capital Sounds were present from their busy schedule coming up, they’re provided the show with music from producer Ricky Fouche and commentary  from Brian Emmenis ,Elvis Manene and Leon Du Plessis,making sure the public had information on aircraft and the pilots present.line technicians Phillip Smith, Elvis Manene, Eric Nkomo and Wesley van Zyl, who also raced Little Annie on takeoff with the Yamaha sponsored scooter where Wesley was blown away!.

The South African Air force was present with a 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen operating out of AFB Makhado flown by Major Mohau ‘Doberman’ Vundla and Navigator Marc ‘Bluebird’ Wilson.The 44 Squadron Casa 212 was used as a jump ship for the SANDF skydivers.A lonely 19 Squadron Oryx helicopter was on standby if any incidents had to occur during the day, it was used when a SANDF skydiver had trouble with his canopy and landed in a field not to far from the airshow center. The Ground Liaison Officer for the SAAF aircraft flying wads Major Ashley ‘Sensei’ Naxhe who now flies the Casa 212.

Working on fire had a number of aircraft flying during the show,this including a syncro drop from four AT802s and four Hueys .They’re were called out to go put a raging fire out on the outskirts of Nelspruit. The Airshow debut of the first civilian Blackhawk in South Africa ,what a great helicopter to see flying. We also saw to great displays from Danie Terblanche in the Robinson R66 and Juba Jourbert in the Aerospatiale Gazelle who also raced a Jaguar F-type and a super charged Range Rover Sport in a relay race.

Johan Heine, Chairman of the Lowveld Air Show and Safety director Francois ‘Hosepipe’ Hanekom made sure the show flowed smoothly .Kishugus Monica Fourie and Naranda Leewner kept Aviation Central with any news and regarding the show itself and providing us with great hospitality,we thank you.

The show ended with a dusk display from the Puma Flying Lions and Fireworks lighting the night sky up, this was another great Lowveld Airshow complete the rest of the night we were rocked away from the rock band.

 

 

 

 


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Opinions:

Flippie van Emmenis:

After many years of obstacles and barriers I finally get to attend the Lowveld Airshow, I had rather high expiations of the show as I followed reviews of the all the Lowveld airshows I missed in the past. This was the one South African airshow I recommended to everyone is the one that was not to be missed and they did not disappoint, Well-done to the Team at Kishugu, Brian Emmenis and all the Pilots and Support crews for this amazing weekend.  Your show and hospitality was top class!

Jarryd Sinovich: 

.What a great show,. Really enjoyed seeing the Blackhawk for the first time, see you all next  year…

Our next Airshow we are attending will be the Matsieng Airshow and Fly-in in Botswana 26 May 2018.

SAC Gauteng Regional Aerobatic Competition-Vereeniging

Vereeniging  airfield situated to the south of Johannesburg, welcomed back 15 competitors to the field as the beginning of the years festivities of aerobatics in South Africa.


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The event was held on the 21st January 2018,with the airfield being close to many other airfields around Johannesburg it was a quick flight for visiting competitors.

Sport Aerobatics is made up of four categories which is the Sportsman Class, Intermediate Class, Advanced Class and the Unlimited Class. This is all on the watchful eyes of Judges when scoring takes place. Below are the results

Sportsman Class

1
Dustin Hughes
Zlin 50
ZS-OKZ
76.606%

Derek Bird
Robin R2160i
ZS-PPE
76.420%


3
Roger Deare
Extra 300
ZS-OL
70.141%

4
Ivan Van Der Schaar
Christen Eagle
ZU-EBR
68.800%

5
Bernd Asbeck
Robin R2160i
ZS-PPE
51.168%


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Intermediate Class

1
Adam Pucjlowski
Zlin 50
ZS-OK
78.777

2
Andrew Blackwood-Murray
Extra 300
ZS-AEC
75.594

3
Andrew Fletcher
Zlin 50
ZU-ZLN
74.508

4
Cliff Lotter
Yak 55
ZU-EHZ
74.247

5
Kayle Wooll
Extra 300
ZS-BDE
71.177


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Advanced Class

1
Neville Ferreira
Slick 540
ZU-TN
76.646

2
Elton Bondi
Extra 300
ZS-DCR
75.717

3
Eugene Du Preez
Extra 330SC
ZS-THS
62.780


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Unlimited Class

1
Nigel Hopkins
Extra 330SC
ZS-XSC
76.304

2
Barrie Eeles
Extra 330SC
ZS-XBE
64.717


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