Tag Archives: Pilatus PC7

Silver Falcons Ready for Annual Bethlehem Airshow 2019 this weekend

The South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team will be making their way to the eastern Free State this Wednesday as they get ready for the Bethlehem Airshow this Saturday the 24th August 2019.The aircraft and crew are based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.

The team made up of five Pilatus PC7MKIIs which will grace the skies over Bethlehem. Their last show in Bethlehem was in 2017.The team is lead by Major Omphile Matlone, Major Tian Stander, Major Bheki Shabungu and Major Sivu Tangana. The teams GLO Captain Xander Albasini.

A new member of the team is also in training at the moment and will be made public to the media soon. Other aircraft that will be taking part in the show will be a SAAF Gripen from 2 Squadron,44 Squadron CASA 212 and Oryx/A109 and the Golden Eagles Parachute Display Team.The likes of Little Annie AN2,Puma Flying Lions, Raptor Rvs and a lot more.

2 Squadron Gripen
44 Squadron Casa 212

Bethlehem is a large town in the eastern Free State province of South Africa that is situated on the Liebenbergs river along a fertile valley just north of the Rooiberg Mountains on the N5 road.

Radio Station OFM will be broadcasting live from the spectacular Bethlehem Airshow on Saturday the 24th of August 2019.

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Venue: Bethlehem Airfield

Date: 24 August 2019 (08:00 – 16:30)

Cost: R70 (adults), R20 (children 3-12), Free (kids under 3);

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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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Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Click on day below to open!

AAD Airshow Programme 22 Sept 2018

Or

AAD Airshow Programme 23 Sept 2018

 

 

Official Opening of AAD 2018

Official Opening of AAD 2018

The Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) is Africa’s only aerospace and defence expo that combines both a trade exhibition and an air show. Held biennially in the City of Tshwane – South Africa’s administrative capital, the AAD Expo is one of South Africa’s largest contributors to the country’s GDP in show years, and is regarded as a national asset.

This show dates back to when DEXSA 1975 ,The Africa Aerospace and Defense (AAD) Expo was born from the Aerospace Africa civilian exhibition that originates from the 1975 Lanseria Air Show and the DEXSA military exhibition.
The first in the series of aviation exhibitions titled “Aviation Africa.”

The show was opened by a 21 gun salute and a flypast by three Agusta A109LUH,the president Cyril Ramaphosa then addressed the crowd with the following:

Agusta A109LUH flag flypast

Agusta A109LUHs

“South Africa views the role of the military in the modern context as a developmental force, both nationally and continentally”, this is the view from President Cyril Ramaphosa in his opening address of the 10th Africa Aerospace and Defence exhibition, taking place from 19 to 23 September at the Waterkloof air force base in Pretoria.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

According to the President, the show brings defence agencies and defence industries together in reflections on the evolution of security – and how they must each adapt to the requirements of the future.

“Improved security attracts investment, encourages growth and promotes development. In support of continental economic development, the SANDF forms part of the continental military intervention capability, in the form of regional intervention forces, as well as the centralised capability under direct control of the African Union. He argued that the South African National Defence Force ought to involve itself, with African partners, in peace missions to improve security in strife-torn regions. These intervention capabilities can reduce the risk of major interstate conflict and civil war.”

“From a national perspective, the development role of our defence force implies involvement in border safeguarding, adding that South Africa’s border safeguarding operation, Corona, also focuses on preventing the illegal exploitation of national resources.”

As far as internal security is concerned, the defence force must always be ready to provide additional capacity to maintain order and stability within the relevant governance framework.

“A defence force that is a developmental unlocks substantial peace dividends for states and effectively reduces the investment required in defence over time.”

Whilst the government continues to prioritise socio-economic objectives that provide the best possible future for the youth, he was adamant that the economy is under pressure pointedly saying the means available in the fiscus are finite.

The President acknowledged that the South African National Defence Force was adapting to this economic reality.In this regard, the SANDF was prioritising within the implementation of the Defence Review by focusing on the core roles of the defence force. He said several ideas were being explored to modernise the funding model of defence and reduce its dependency on the fiscus. Still, for both security and developmental reasons, South Africa was looking after its defence industry.

“It is a national asset that has value for many departments and agencies of government,” he said. “It innovates products for the greater economy, such as systems that improve the safety of railway lines or improve the efficiency of shark nets. The common TV decoder in widespread use in South Africa is based on the intellectual property from a military technology project.”

The President noted the industry’s role as an important employer and an incubator of scarce skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Some of our aircraft-related businesses are expanding in a highly competitive environment as suppliers to the biggest players in the global aircraft industry.” The industry is a steady earner of foreign exchange by delivering to the world leading products such as the Husky vehicle for detecting explosives and improvised explosive devices.”

In support of the industry, he outlined the many initiatives to maximise the value of the defence industry, notably the Defence Industry Strategy developed by the National Defence Industry Council, a Defence Sector Charter developed to open space for private participation by small and medium black enterprises and a defence industry fund that was launched in June this year as a funding mechanism for industry.

Government intends to support the industry to become export-driven on the back of international investment, by having a policy stance favouring international joint ventures with local industry. He noted defence industry investment destination, South Africa combines many unique factors.

Local industry still tends to own the full supply chain necessary for conceptualising and manufacturing their end product. Unlike many international ventures, defence production in South Africa does not imply multinational interdependency.

In terms of intellectual property, South Africa is one of less than ten countries that can manufacture missiles of a certain level of sophistication. He used this as an example, saying the development of intellectual property into technology demonstrators is very cost-effective due to the exchange rate between the rand and the major international currencies.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and General Solly Shoke Chief of the SANDF

“Many nations, from different parts of the world, have recently expressed interest in becoming involved in joint ventures with our industry. The African Aerospace and Defence exhibition offers a massive opportunity for all present to identify areas of synergy and convert them into joint ventures.”
The President concluded by saying that South Africa is interested in leveraging intellectual property into tangible products and export contracts. “We assume that the interest of our visitors here is a good return on investment and we are confident that it can be achieved.”

A flypast from nine PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School concluded the ceremony.

Nine PC7MKIIs from Central Flying School Langebaanweg

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

 

 

SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

The long awaited annual SAAF Museum Airshow was held on the 5th May 2018,on some what perfect airshow weather.The show was conducted under the theme:Our Indomitable Spirit,both Civilian and Military aircraft and pilots showed off to the thousands of people that arrived early on Saturday morning at Air force Base Swartkop along side old Johannesburg Road in Valhalla, Pretoria. The SAAF Museum Airshow is designed to offer aviation enthusiasts, aviation institutions and publications ,the general public and as well as former and current SAAF an opportunity to reflect and or reminisce on the memories and presentations on history.

Youth exhibition Friday 2018-05-04

The day before the SAAF Museum and the SAAF hosted a career expo for learners around the Gauteng area. 14 different schools and a total of 1000 learners were invited to Hanger 4A to interact with some of the exhibiters including the south African Air Force.


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The Airshow Saturday 2018-05-05

The show started with paragliders who filled the skies with much colour to their bright chutes they were using as well as a single gyrocopter all operating out of the Grasslands field not to far from Swartkops. Next up the 28 Squadron C130BZ from AFB Waterkloof landed with a special surprise in being the SAAF Band that entertained the crowds until the show was officially opened, This has never been done at a airshow before in South Africa. The C130 then took off from the base to  climb to altitude to drop the several  parachutists from both the Golden Eagles Parachute team and member’s of the special forces.The landed just in time to meet and greet the Chief of the South African Air force Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande Msimang and Officer Commanding Airforce Museum Swartkops Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies.


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Capital Sounds provided sound equipment for the large crowd line, excellent commentary from Brian Emmenis,L eon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene. SAAF commentators that provided information for the ever eager public was Colonel Lance ‘Lancelot’ Mathebula who also provided commentary from one of the Hawk Mk120s during simulated top cover during the mini war.A first for a airshow. He was also joined by two new hawk pilots Captain ‘Comet’ Mfeka and Tiisetso ‘Lego’ Legodi.

Airboss for the show was Colonel Keith Fryer and also commentated during some of the display slots, Colonel Keith Andrews was ramp Boss and some of the best SAAF ATC’s were present keeping the airspace safe for display routines.

The show was opened by the Hawk Mk120 ‘Gannet’ flown by officer commanding of 85 Combat Flying School Craig ‘Shark’ Leeson,showing what the lead in fighter trainer is capable of and training the new generation fighter pilots on the type. The SAAF Museum heritage flight were straight after the Hawk landed,first up the helicopters consisting of the Alouettes II and III and Aerospatiale Puma.The Cessna 185s were soon over head the field followed by the formidable sound of the Atlas C4.M Kudu and Bosbok and Harvards.Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden flew a gentle solo display in the De Havilland T55 Vampire.


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The Rand Based Pitts Special teams flew their high energy display being the new Cows Aerobatic Team and the Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by Glen Warden, Johan Von Solms both ex fighter pilots joined Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish.  Team Extreme performed their first airshow as a four ship led by Nigel Hopkins,Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Jason Beamish. The Mango 737-800 was flown out of Lanseria International Airport to display  at the show by Captain Scully Levin and Captain Rodney Chinn.The Puma Flying Lions also flew a great display and were part of the 12 Harvard mass shutdown towards the end of the day!


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Andrew Blackwood Murray Displayed the Nashua Extra 300L and other aerobatic  slots saw Patrick Davidson who flew up from Port Elizabeth in his Red Bull Sponsored Sbach 342, it was great to see Patrick at a airshow on the Highveld, he was joined by unlimited aerobatic class pilot Barrie Eels in his new Extra 330sc in a dual display of intense aerobatics.


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Ex Russian Jet trainers that flew at the show was Ex Sasol Tiger L29 ZU-AUX and L39 ZU-TEE in its new colour scheme,both flown by  Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden.He definitely kept the photographers happy with his display passes.

The mini war that the crowd got to witness was a absolute treat to see the new and the old from the choppers,that being the Puma and the Oryx helicopters. The gunships saw the Alouette III and Rooivalk and two Agusta A109LUHs.The bosbok was also flown in the demonstration simulating airstrikes as well as two Hawk MK120s flown by Simon ‘Seraph’ Theunissen and Jabulani ‘Cyrax’ Mabona. The C130 was  used to drop parabats on the far side of the field and the 44 Squadron Casa 212 was utilized for a supply drop, while the army engineers provided pyrotechnics in the background.


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Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper showed off the JAS39C Gripen from 2 Squadron, he definitely  shows the aircraft well and in its limits. The crowds were on their feet during his famous dump and burn. The Pilatus PC7MKII was put through its paces by Major Bheki ‘Swaziboy’ Shabungu. 15 Squadron pilot Major Diaan Grobbelaar flew a awesome display in the Agusta A109LUH as well as Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn in the 16 squadron Rooivalk,great display from the chopper boys.


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The youngest airshow participant on the day was Ger-Drie de Beer flew his RC MX2,what a great display he did for the thousands of people he displayed for. Retired Gen. Des Barker few the first airshow display in the Atlas Angel, which is a upgraded Kudu with a Pt6 turbine engine, Gerrie ‘Sparkie’Pretorius flew a brilliant tight display in the Museum Cessna C185.

‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 showed why its the worlds largest Bi-Plane piloted by father and son team Mark and Jon-marc Hill. Jeff Earle flew his Vereeniging based De Havilland DH. 82 Tiger Moth.The Randolph  sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing Captain Ivan van der Schaar.28 Squadron flew their usual low-level routine in the C130Bz from 28 Squadron flown by Clint Hawtrey and Caro Duven.


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The SAAF Museum Puma dropped a car that apparently parked where it shouldn’t of been ,the public made sure it wasn’t their vehicle at the end of the day.At the end of the last act being the Gripen,Captain Mark Kelbrick proposed to his wife to be in front of of a large crowd who waited until the last slot of the day had been flown.

Gripen stopping in-front of the crowd at the end of the show… all for one reason…

Photo credit Niel Swart

Big congratulations to Mark and Megan that stole the show when as went down on one knee and proposed to her before the whole of the crowd in front of Gripen

Photo credit Niel Swart

This Museums show was definitely a winner, to Colonel Trish Schoeman, Colonel Melvin Bruintjies, Col. Keith Fryer and their team, we salute you on a great show and to all the spectators who attended the Airshow, till next year

Keep them Up where they’re belong

Click to enlrage

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!

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