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Breaking News-SAAF Museum Airshow set for 7th September 2019

The South African Airforce Museum Airshow is set to take place at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria on Saturday 7th September 2019.The Officer commanding of AFB Swartkop confirmed with Aviation Central the official date has been set for the 7th September and NOT the 31 August 2019.

We look forward to working with the SAAF and the Museum as we get ready for another successful airshow that will once again take place over Pretoria skies.

Keep an eye out on our social media pages for more information on the upcoming Airshow.

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Klerksdorp Airshow 2019

Country Airshows in South Africa definitely make you hungry as you arrive at the smaller airports such as Klerksdorp to the smell of boerie Wors rolls and pannekoek among the crowds. This show was quite different to others shows in the country as the SA National Aerobatic Championships had been taking place days before the show and ending on show day. Airshow followers were able to see the competition side of aerobatics plus an airshow to top it off. Read more on the aerobatics competition here

Airshow Crowd Line

The morning of the 22 June 2019,the final day for some of the competitors taking part in the national aerobatic champs was underway. By mid afternoon the airshow was underway by Team Extreme under the leadership of Nigel Hopkins, who also won the national aerobatic champs in the unlimited category. The Western Transvaal Classic Car club were also present with a number of classic cars on display. Lt Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom and Klerksdorp aerobatic pilot local Cliff Lotter kept a good eye on Proceedings of the show. Capital Sounds provided sound and commentary for the large crowds and kept them entertained with information on pilots and aircraft. An RC Sbach was also put through its paces, that showing how it could hover centimetres off the ground.

Team Extreme
. The Western Transvaal Classic Car Club
Cliff Lotter climbing into his YAK55
RC Sbach 342

The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan Van Der Schaar flew next on the program,while the freestyle aerobatics coloum continued with Barrie Eles,Nigel Hopkins,Patrick Davidson,Mark Hensman and Mark Sampson.

Boeing Stearman
Extra 330SC Barrie Eles
Extra 330SC Nigel Hopkins
Patrick Davidson in his Gamebird
MX2 Mark Hensman
ZU-XAX
Sbach 341 Mark Sampson

Master Power Technologies Menno Parsons brought both his Swiss Pilatus PC12 and P51D ‘Mustang Sally’. This was the first display for the Mustang at Klerksdorp. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs gave their polished high energy display led by Glen Warden who also flew his Slick 360 in the aerobatic competition.

Pilatus PC12
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’
Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard’s put on a three ship display, led by Scully Levin,Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwary. Followed on by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300LP.The Raptors RVs flew a four ship display also led by Nigel Hopkins. A jet powered glider was put through its paces, not something you see at airshows in South Africa that often.

Puma Flying Lions Harvard
Nashua Extra 300LP
Raptors RVs

Henley Air provided helicopter flights at the show in one of their Bell 206 Jet Rangers. A solo RV7 display by Trevor Warner before one of the best displays of the day was the three ship Yak 55 display with tight formation aerobatics flown by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish and Mark Hensman.

Henley Air Bell 206
RV7
Yak 55 Formation

Klerksdorp Airshow, an Airshow arranged and ran by Pilots and what a good show this was!
Well done to the pilots and organisers for putting a show together in limited time, a big thanks to Werner Kruger from DJA Aviation Insurance for your hospitality during the show. Hope to see a show next year in the North West Province once again.

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Klerksdorp Ready for Aerobatics and Airshow this weekend

Some of South Africa’s local aerobatic Nationals are currently taking place at Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province of South Africa. The P.C. Pelser Aerodrome will be abuzz with many aerobatic aircraft for the next couple of days. Local Radio presenter Alex Caige from 94.7 also graduated and will be flying in the Sportsman’s class in a Zlin50LS.

94.7 Highveld radio presenter Alex Caige flying the Zlin 50
Zlin 50

Airshow 22 June 2019

Saturday after the finishing of the national Aerobatic Champs, Klerksdorp will have a an Airshow, with many of the favourite airshow regulars such as the Flying,Lions,Team Extreme and many more. Capital Sounds will be the Broadcaster of the event and bringing you all you need to know during the course of the 22 June 2019.

Show starts at 11am, BUT gates open a 7 as Saturday morning will see the final rounds of the South African Sport Aerobatic Club National Championships. The Camps starts on Wednesday 19th, so if you can get to Klerksdorp please go and support our great aerobatic guys, Not only the pro’s but the young and upcoming guys as well.

Team Extreme
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Flying Lions

All the Big names will be competing over 3 days. +/- 30 Competitors had entered the SAC National Champs

19-21 June – Free to go and support our Aerobatic pilots
22 June – R50 per Adults and R20 per Kid to see the Final rounds and a Full Airshow from 11am to 4pm

Get your tickets at any Pick n Pay or online at #Webtickets
Ticket link https://www.webtickets.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1492090715

List known of Competitors at time of article

Some of the aircraft that will fly in the Nationals

Pitts S2B
Extra 330SC
Slick 360
Yak52
Extra 300LP
Extra 330SC
Extra 330 LC & Extra 330LX
Vans RV8
Zlin 50
Yak 55

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Botswana Airshow Rocks-Wesbank Botswana Airshow 2019

The African themed Oshkosh type fly-inn and airshow at Matsieng Airfield situated a few kilometeres outisde of the nations capital Gabarone. What makes a show so special here is getting the opportunity to camp bush style at an airfield and for some next to you aircraft.
Wesbank, once again a major sponsor for this years show at Matsieng with the help of the De Wet family, the show would not be possible.

We were flown from Wonderboom National Airport with ‘Little Annie’ the famous Antonov two owned by the Hill Family under the leadership of ‘Just Love Mission.As we cleared customs at Pilanesberg International Airport we made way to Matsieng Airfield, where we joined up in formation by a second An2 in old South African Airways Colours flown by Jon-Marc Hill and a Yak 18T, which made fantastic photo opportunities for the media onboard.

Antonov 2 ‘Daizy’

Friday Afternoon we got to see some validations before a late afternoon thunder storm made its way through the area, some of us scattred for the Town Lodge in Gabarone where we were fortunate enough to be
accommodated for the rest of the weekend thanks to the oragnisers. Saturday morning we made our way to the airfield for early arrivals as a perfect blue sky day was installed for the only airshow in Botswana this year.

The show started with a formation of microlights,a display that is not seen to often at shows in Southern Africa, showing off a dead stick landing was part of the show. ‘Little Annie’ An2 flown by Mark Hill and Col Keith Fryer
dropped skydivers including Ralph Ridge was the massive and biggest Botswana Flag. Jon- Marc Hill and His dad Mark flew a solo AN2 display and just to love ‘Little Annie’ even more she dropped marshmallows for the crowd. The vintage formation took to the skies, with this show being the first-time at a Southern African Airshow two Antonov 2s flew in formation with Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar and Middleburg based YAK18T flown by Riaan Prinsloo. The crowd also got both a solo display by the Boeing Stearman and Yak18T. Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis and his hard working team rigged the longest sound system for the first time at the show, always a treat to hear the voice of Brian at Airshows as he brings the vibe to each show he attends.

Microlight Formation
Ralph Ridge-Big Botswana Flag
Skydivers Elmarie Grobler & Ian Jacobs
‘Little Annie’ AN2 solo display
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
‘Little Annie’ An2 Marshmallow drop
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Youngsters with their Marshmallows
Vintage Formation-Boeing Stearman,Yak18T & Two AN2s
Boeing Stearman
Yak 18T

Conrad Botha started the days aerobatic sequences in his RV7, followed by the Raptor RVs led by Nigel Hopkins who also led Team Extreme flying his Extra 330, joining him was Jason Beamish in his new Extra 330, Mark ‘Buggs’ Hensman in his MX2 and Mark ‘Sammy ‘Sampson in his Sbach in new colours. The Goodyear Eagles flew the high energy aerobatic display led by Glen Warden, he also flew the only jet display for the day in the Rand Airport based L29 ZU-AUX.The ex Soviet jet trainer brought much joy to the jet fans at the show. The Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s flew their sequence with their second final show of the day ending with a great wall of fire. Gary Whitecross flew his Pilatus B4 Glider, one of the best glider display one can see at an airshow in Africa.

Conrad Botha RV7
Raptors RVs and MX2
Team Extreme
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2B
Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2Bs
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
L29 ZU-AUX flown by Glen Warden
L29 ZU-AUX flown by Glen Warden

Andrew Blackwood-Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 solo display, A gyrocopter display was also flown and a entertaining show to watch as the magni gyrocopter flown by Andre van Zyl was put through its paces. Menno Parsons brought both hisP51 Mustang, Pilatus PC12 and Tiger Huey.All aircraft are such a treat to see fly, the Huey also dropped a car in show center, “remember don’t park your car where it shouldn’t be at an airshow”.the air boss will move it!

Nashua Extra 300
Magni Gyro
P51D Mustang
Pilatus PC12
Tiger Huey
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Huey Car drop
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019

Helicopter displays included Alister Brown flying the Netstar Bell 407, a Bell 505 made its Southern African Airshow Debut. Juba Jourbert flew a fantastic display in the Aerospatiale Gazelle 341. Two Krugersdorp based North American Navions flew close formation in a flat show with smoke added to their display. Danie Terblanche flew the crazy pilot display in the Aviant Husky which had some of the crowd worried with the state of his crazy flying, Which is all part of the act. Dennis Spence led the decathlon display with basic aerobatic sequences. True North Aviation Turbo Thrush
demonstrated fire fighting capabilities as well as crop spraying capabilities. We wont forget some of the great RC flying that was also shown in-between displays.

Bell 407
Bell 505
Aerospatiale Gazelle
North American Navions
Aviant Husky
WesBank Botswana International Air Show 2019
Decathlon Formation
Turbo Thrush
RC Extra

With another safe show hosted at the Matsieng flying club under the AirBoss of Chris Briers and safety direct Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom. All 43 acts gave the crowds a day to be remebered.We would like to thanks all the oragisers Wesbank,De Wet Drilling,Matsieng Flying Club, Mark Mansfield our media liaison officer and the Town Lodge.
Till next year Matsieng, Well done to all.

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The Flying Lions, Arnie’s Love story

The flying Lions, Arnie’s Love story

Arnie Meneghelli

The dream of one day owning a Harvard, (or Texan as it is more commonly known in its country of origin) was the product of my living and going to both primary and high school within a radius of 7 miles of Rand Airport in Germiston, South Africa.

Forty two Squadron was based at Rand Airport and in those early days of the 60’s, hundreds of Harvard’s were flown into Rand Airport, serviced and then test flown overhead the field. During those early formative years the seed of one day flying a Harvard was planted.

The chance to fulfill this dream came when the South African Air force decided to sell its large fleet of Harvard Trainers in 1994. We put in a tender and were awarded the first Harvard.

Two more Harvards followed within the next few years. We shared the hangar where Scully Levin kept his Pitts Specials. Not only is Scully a formidable formation and aerobatic pilot, he is also a person who is always ready to help a fellow pilot. It did not take long for the idea of a formation aerobatic team flying harvards to pop up. One thing led to another and the Flying Lions Aerobatic Formation Team was born.

The choice of pilots was most important. We had to have aerobatic formation pilots who fitted the bill as far as the flying went, but more important to consist of pilots who shared the same mental attitude or culture, discipline and passion.

The current pilots that were flying in Scully’s Shurlok Pitts Special Aerobatic Formation Team were ideal – I, in fact was the odd man out! So my training started in earnest and we eventually did our first display on the

4TH December 1999 at Kitty Hawk.

The quest for sponsors then began. We realized we were onto something good here. Harvards are noisy, large, they present well, and they have a nostalgic element about them with the South African public. Unfortunately, they also gulp fuel at an alarming rate!

Our expenses were rising and our pockets were emptying!

The brushware company, which I owned in those days, Academy Brushware (Pty) Ltd was the first obvious choice to support our team, but the burden was a heavy one.

Our next stroke of luck came when Peugeot started co-sponsoring our three-ship team on 1 March 2000.

In January 2001 BP fuels with their subsidiary Castrol became part sponsors with Peugeot and Academy Brushware. Later that year, they allowed us to negotiate a sponsorship with Nissan who were interested in giving us an overall sponsorship for the Harvards with full Nissan livery and no other branding.

This happened in January 2002, Nissan SA approached Peugeot and BP and took over their portion of the sponsorship, and in the meantime we had acquired another two Harvards.

This sponsorship lasted four and a half years and was a most successful one for both parties.

BP Ultimate with its subsidiary Castrol then regained full sponsorship of the Flying lions and this lasted until 2010. Our association with BP was in actual fact the longest even though it was intermittent but had lasted from January 2001 up until August 2010, approximately nine years.

In August 2010 we entered into a temporary sponsorship agreement with Cell C and were flying the Cell C 4G logo around the country.

This was a short term sponsorship which lasted for just over a year.

Then in the 2012 Eqstra took over the sponsorship and we ran for four years giving them a large amount of advertising for their brand and ending the sponsorship when they unbundled the company in 2016.

 

We then operated for a year and a half without sponsors keeping the aircraft flying with our own funds and engaging every potential sponsor, until, in December 2016, we did a display at a private lodge in the Skeerpoort valley and Puma Energy was there and were enthralled by what they saw.

The rest is history and we are now the Puma Flying Lions and have a magnificent relationship with Puma Energy. It is a forward thinking company that concentrates on high quality fuels and the manufacture, storage and distribution thereof. They are involved in the community which they serve not only at ground roots level but also in the environmental aspect where they sponsor the Race for Rhinos and Rhino 911 operations that take care of traumatized and orphan rhinos during anti-poaching operations.

The team displays a four ship formation choreography of loops in Vic, in line abreast and in line astern ,with barrel rolls and straight rolls while trailing smoke which is nontoxic oil burning in the aircraft’s exhausts. They are well known for their precision formation flying and their magnificent night display.

 

The Flying Lions Aerobatic Formation Team has successfully dovetailed vintage aircraft, formation aerobatics and marketing to the benefit of all. And what keeps this all together and ticking is the passion of the pilots and the people behind the scenes that form part of a larger team.

Arnie Meneghelli

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