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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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I Can Dream – Newcastle Air Show 2019

The Newcastle Air Show in KwaZulu-Natal, which is the only airshow in KZN, was held on Saturday the 1st June 2019, for the ninth year running. With the theme “I can Dream”, the show encouraged participation from the community with free entrance and focused on the youth, which saw a lot of school children attending the show. It is fantastic to see the local community being considered and the drive to encourage the youth into the aviation world.

With lots of food stands available, there was also lots of activities and stands to keep the public busy, including a virtual reality stand, military and air force stands, motor bike stunts and even an  South African Air Force Agusta A109 static display.

The show opened to a parachute drop with a huge South African flag, whilst the Newcastle High School Choir performed the national anthem for the twelve and half thousand strong crowd. It was a very special moment as the choir timed it to perfection with the flag landing as they completed the anthem.

This was followed by an impressive display by the Silver Falcons. Team 82 of the Silver Falcons performed their display, lead by Major Omphile Matloane in Falcon 1, with team members Falcon 2 Major Tiaan Stander, Falcon 3 Major Sivu Tangana, Falcon 4 Bheki Shabangu and GLO Captain Xander Albasini.

(Photo by Brian Emmenis)

The Puma Flying Lions followed with their display showing off the Harvard T6 aircraft capabilities in the fabulously clear skies over Newcastle. Leading the team was Scully Levin with team members Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwray.

Gary Whitecross performed a graceful aerobatic display with his glider.

Nigel Hopkins took to the clear skies with an impressive aerobatic display, showing the crowd the capabilities of the Extra 330.

The tradition of racing a plane against a car was taken to a new level this year when Nigel Hopkins raced the Extra 300 against a dragster.

A parachute drop from the SAAF 44 Sqaudron CASA C212 AVIOCAR by the Golden Eagles parachute team kept the crowd entertained.

A SAAF 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen and navigator LT Col Marc “Bluebird” Wilson wowed the crowd with a very fast paced display. The speed and noise from the fighter jet always gets peoples attention and creates a lot of excitement. This was third appearance of the Gripen at the Newcastle air shows and for the second year in a row.

The iconic Pitts Specials of the Goodyear Eagles team performed their aerobatic routine, which is always a great display to watch. The four ship team was lead by Glen Warden with team members Johan van Solms, Dennis Spence and Jason Beamish.

A Magni Gyrocopter flown by Andre van Zyl was next up and he put the gyrocopter through an impressive display showing just how maneuverable the gyrocopter is.

Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Extra 300 in an aerobatic routine that certainly impressed everyone.

An Embraer E190 from Airlink surprised the crowd with an appearance, giving the crowd a good close up look at the jet.

Team Xtreme put on a high energy aerobatic display which really had the crowd going. They performed their routine which included the signature knife-edge fly past and a double knife-edge (two aircraft together) and if that was not enough, they did a double knife-edge side by side!

Lunch time saw the runway being used for some drag races.

After lunch saw the L29 flown by Glen Warden put through it’s paces. Always a good display of this fine jet.

The Raptor RV’s took to the skies and performed a great display for the crowd.

Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman, adding a touch of the olden day pilots with an impressive scarf!

The Goodyear Eagles with the Pitts Specials gave the crowd another beautiful display of aerobatic showmanship.

The Raptor RV’s then paired up with Team Xtreme to show us just how good they are, with an impressive 8 aircraft flying their display in very close formation. Truly a sight to behold.

The aircraft then split up with Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish giving the crowd some more precision flying demonstrations which included a few more signature double knife edge passes down the runway.

The iconic World War 2 fighter P51 Mustang, Mustang Sally flown by Menno Parsons showed the crowd the might and speed of this beautiful aircraft. The whistling of the air over the gun barrels always makes an impression to remember.

The Glider flown by Gary Whitecross took to the skies to give us a graceful display of flight. Barrie Eeles gave us a solo display in his Extra 330.Good to see Barrie back at Airshows once again!

The South African Airforce display team, the Silver Falcons gave us a late afternoon display. Always a great crowd pleaser and their stunningly professional display did not disappoint.

Closing the show was a parachute drop at sunset which was stunningly beautiful against the setting sun.

A huge congratulations to the organisers on achieving an attendance of over 12 000 people! The entire airshow committee lead by Johan Pieters worked hard to give us a great show and they gave us a winner! A big thank you to Christo Van Der Vyver and all the airshow committee members for their hard work. The Air Show director Rikus Erasmus, Safety Director and SAAF safety officer Col Francois “Hose” Hanekom,Grant Timms as Ramp Controller, ATC for keeping everything running smoothly and safely. All the pilots and ground crews, all the emergency and police services keep the public and crews safe.

Thanks to Mark Mansfield for managing the media and to Capital Sounds, Brian Emmenis and his team that gave excellent Airshow commentary and the sound that was heard nice and clear throughout and 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 for all the unsung hero’s mentioned above who make these country Airshows possible. We look forward to the 10 year anniversary of the Newcastle Airshow next year.

 

 

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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Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

The 10th edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence trade and airshow has come and gone, what was definitely the most exciting show we all looked forward to panned out to be a great success once again. The event took place over the 19th-23 September 2018 at Air force Base Waterkloof, Centurion, City of Tshwane.

AAD2018 Crowd

Static Park

The apron was full of aircraft and most of the hangers were full of all different companies showing off their technology to the world. The crowds were kept busy with all the walking through the halls and interacting with aircraft and pilots.

Crowds flocked to the gates around the base from the 22-23 September to get the best seat along the crowd line,this to insure they don’t miss any part of the exiting program Colonel Keith Fryer(flight director)  and Keith Andrews and their team put together to excite and show off air capabilities of the South African Airforce (SAAF). The Saturday show started off with the Sound of Freedom, that been the sound of jets, six Gripens from 2 Squadron and 3 Hawks from 85 Combat Flying School took to the skies and put a formation flypast over the crowds.What a way to start a airshow!

AAD2018 Crowd

With Airforce Base Swartkop down the road from Airforce Base Waterkloof, Swartkop was used as a second base for aircraft including the new microlight display team known as the Misasa Aerial Display-MAD Team. The team is made up of Adrienne Visser as lead, Pieter Kriel at the number two, Gary Heyenreich at number three, Gavin Van Der Berg at four and number five Marius Nel. It was great to see a microlight display team after the absence at airshows for some years now,we hope to see them on the regular airshow circuit in the future. There was a Airplane Factory Sling 4 and a Raven 500 formation Flypast.A mass Bathawk display was put on show, and is shown why its a great aircraft for Anti-Poaching missions.A light sky jeep was also thrown into the formation as well as the wagtail gyrocopter, all aircraft not shy to the African bush!

Raven 500

Wagtail

Capital Sounds once again had their ever hard working team at the event and this has to be the longest line of speakers that Capital has at a airshow in South Africa. Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis informed the crowd of each aircraft taking to the skies and brought a lot of the airshow vibe to Waterkloof.

Capital Sounds Team AAD2018

Capital Sounds

Lieutenant colonel Craig “Shark” Lesson once again did 85 Combat Flying School proud,as he put the Hawk Mk120 through its paces.The Officer Commanding 85 Combat Flying School displayed both one of the Flag Hawks’271′ and one of the grey aircraft during the course of AAD2018.Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 and Neville Ferriria flew his Slick 540 with a combined aerobatic sequence with high energy aerobatics and low knife edge passes so the crowd could capture the sleek lines on both aircraft. Neville Ferreria had just returned from Hungry where he is flying the Geneavation Aerobatic aircraft for the country. He is surely doing South Africa proud!

Hawk MK120 ‘Vlaggie’

Hawk MK120 ‘262’

Andrew Blackwood Murray Extra 300

Slick 540 Neville Ferreira

Paramount Groups AHRLAC aircraft did some tight formation flying and was defiantly a way to show it off to the worlds market of defence. Staying with the locally manufactured aircraft the 16 Squadron Rooivalk was put through its paces in the UN white livery by Major Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn, at the end of his display he released a large amount of flares,a great end to a display!

Paramount Group AHRLACs

Paramount Group AHRLACs

16 Squadron Rooivalk

16 Squadron Rooivalk

The Rand Airport based Puma Flying Lions  Harvards and Taillifts Cows Pitts Specials flew their usual display infront of the 45 000+ crowds.The SAAF Museum and Harvard Club Harvards and a single Douglas DC4 did a couple of formation Flypasts over the crowd and brought back many memory’s of the former SAAF trainer before the Harvard was replaced by the Pilatus PC7MKII. The DC4 then went onto doing a solo display flown by Captain Bill Good.

Puma Flying Lions Harvards

Taillifts Cows Aerobatic Pitts Team

Mass Radial Display

Harvard Club

Harvard Club

Douglas DC4

Douglas DC4

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 82,put on a great display led by Major Omphile Matloane who received his Golden Wings  a couple of days before the start of AAD2018.Lt Colonel Glen Wraden flew the Aero L29 from AFB Swartkop, The Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 was also flown with a support CASA 212 on static display.

Silver Falcons

Silver Falcons PC7MKIIs

Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana

L29

L29

K8

K8

There were two mini-wars on the day of the show,both from the SAAF Museum and from the current SAAF inventory of aircraft.A vast amount of pyrotechnics and armored vehicles were used during the show.

SAAF Museum Bosbok and Cessna C185

Ratels

Oryx Helicopters

Top Cover Rooivalk and Hawks

Ivan van Der Schaar and Jon-Marc Hill, Juba Jourbet flew the Bi-plane formation that being a Boeing Stearman and Antonov 2 ‘Little Annie’.Later in the day Little Annie escorted by the Stearman dropped a large amount of Manhattan Marshmellows for the crowds.

AN2 and Boeing Stearman

AN2 ‘Little Annie’

Annie Drop AAD2018

AN2 marshmallow drop

2 Squadron was well represented at the show once again,we were able to see six Gripens in formation,two Gripens in the mini-war and a solo gripen display flown by Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper and a 2v1 combat routine.

2 Squadron Gripens

Gripen JAS39D flown by ‘Midnite’ and ‘Bluebird’

Gripens being flown by ‘Cipher’ and ‘Doberman’

28 Squadron was busy during the mini-war delivering troops into the simulated battle-zone, Lt Col Clint Hawtrey also gave one of the best C130BZ displays to date. What a display it was to witness!

C130BZ

C130BZ dropping flares

C130BZ during the mini-war

A huge of congrats must go to the organisers of AAD2018

Florence Musengi-AAD Chairperson

Simphiwe Hamilton-Excutive Director

Leon Dillman-CEO CAASA

Leona Redelinghuys-Exhibition Director

Marketing and Public Relations-Nakedi Phasha

Youth Development Program-Kholisile Khumalo

General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang-Chief of the South African Airforce

The 11th Edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence, AAD2020, will take place 16 – 20 September 2020. 2020 SAAF and the Aero Club of South Africa will be celebrating their centenary birthdays and this creating lots of expectations among young and old to see a Super Show. All we can do is wait and see what they deliver and how many Countries except the invite to join South Africa on this centenary celebrations.

 

Click to enlarge photos below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bethlehem Free State Airshow 2018

Central South Africa in the town of Bethlehem took to the Dihlabeng skies on August 25th,with their annual airshow.This show is always known as one of the colder airshows on the airshow circuit,but the crowds still flocked to the Airshow to see some of the top aerobatic and airshow display performers on the South African Airshow scene. With the low cloud conditions in the morning of the show,some participants manged to get through the weather and made sure they wouldn’t miss the show.

Half scale Tucano

Friday the day before the show some of the pilots arrived as they made a full weekend of the show. Little Annie provided short flips for the youth who have never tasted the thrill of flight. Little Annie is definitely flown a lot of the youth at small town Airshows. These guys are truly making an impact of the youth and are sure creating future pilots for South Africa.

Young Aviator

The Capital Sounds team provided the sound and information on each aircraft on the day,thanks to Leon Du Plessis, Col Keith Fryer, Elvis Manene, Ricky Fouche,’Lappies’ Labuschangne and Francios Schutte. Safety Directors were none other then col Francios ‘Hosepipe’ Hanekom and Pete Graham. Ramp Boss kept the aircraft safe out of the ramp in charge was Col Keith Andrews and Nigel Musgrave.

Capital Sounds Team

The show started off with a gyrocopter display flown by Matt Zalewski,the AN2 ‘Little Annie’ was tasked at taking the eleven Skydivers though the thick clouds,their canopy appeared through them as they were opened. The Brakpan based Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman was up next flown by Boeing Captain Ivan Van Der Schaar. The sleek line on the canvas made great photo oppurtnities. Team Extreme were up next with their always high impact show. The two Pitts Teams the Cows and Goodyear Eagles put on their high energy aerobatic sequence. Little Annie the AN2 completed a polished display and then decided to race a tractor, something new to the airshow scene. The Puma Flying Lions flew a three-ship display.

Gyrocopter

Paradrop from ‘Little Annie’

Boeing Stearman

Team Extreme

Jason Beamish

The Cows Taillifts Team

Goodyear Eagles Pitts S2B

‘Little Annie’ AN2 ZU-JLM

Little Annie racing a tractor

A Trubo Thrush did a water bombing demo and Bell 222 from Henely Air, provided a near ‘Airwolf’ movie scene with the roar of the blade3s beating through the skies. Conrad Botha and Andrew Blackwood Murray provided solo aerobatic sequences.

Turbo Thrush

Bell 222

Slick 360

Nashua Extra 300

Thanks to Stephan Fourie and Khotso on another Bethlehem Airshow. See you next year!

 

 

Grand Rand Airshow 2018

Grand Rand Airshow 2018

By Koos Smit

Sunday the morning of the 19th August 2018,The Grand Rand Airshow was ready to entertain the crowds of a pure ‘Jozi’ Airshow with the magnificent backdrop of the Johannesburg central business district.A few clouds were present but it wasn’t long until they were burnt off to make way for the ever eager airshow crowd, with Rand Airshow each year its placed on a Sunday to accommodate more people to enjoy the ever exciting Rand Airshow. This show is also lucky to have most display aircraft based at Rand.

The show was opened by the Queenstown based De Havilland Rapide flown by Captain Flippie Vermulen,he was accompanied by three De havilland Chipmunks with one of the ‘Chippys’ painted with a yellow ‘D-day’ color scheme very similar to the other aircraft in the formation. The Just Love Mission’s AN2 ‘Little Annie’ was tasked to  take the eleven skydivers up to their required height to jump,at the same time their is no room for error as Rand is very close to OR Tambo’s busy airspace. Two chipmunks were then in the display box to continue with their duo display while the AN2 climbed and reported ready for the jump.

Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital sounds added their professionalism to the crowd in providing sound and information on each pilot and aircraft flying on the day of the show.

The mass radial display got airborne with aircraft comprising of Harvards, A T28 Trojan and a Beech 18.Once all the aircraft had joined into formation they flew over head the crowd to show and hear the roar of the mighty radial engine. The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar brought more gentle aerobatics to the sole surviving Boeing Stearman display on the South African Airshow circuit. The ever popular Puma Flying Lions flew the best display at their home base, they later joined up with four other Harvards to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the ‘Pilot Maker’. The Harvard flew first on the 1 April 1935 and was retired from the South African  Airforce in 1995.

Henley Air showed off their Helicopter hardware consisting of five Bell 222s flying in close formation, the deep thud could be felt far into the distance from the airport. Menno Parsons flew his Bell 407, he really showed what this chopper can do. He teamed up then with Nigel Hopkins in the Extra 330 and showed both fixed wing and chopper can hover. Team Extreame flew their high energy aerobatics with some aircraft never been seen in that formation.That being Barrie Eeles Extra 330. The T28 Trojan was flown by Jason Beamish and a welcome sight to have a T28 flying at an Airshow for the first time this year.Patrick Davidson flew his Red Bull Sbach which he flew up all the way from Port Elizabeth.

Elton Bondi flew Andrew Blackwood Murray’s  Nashua Branded Extra 300, he joined up with Barrie Eles in Blue Extra 330The Goodyear Eagles with their Pitts S2Bs and the Taillifts flying Cows added to the ironic Pitts displays on the day. Veteran Airshow pilot Glen Wraden showed off the only jet action apart from the 737, The L29 showed off the sleek lines of the early soviet era jet trainer. The Mango 737-800 flown by Captain Rodney Chinn flew tight in the busy airspace around. Great to see the ‘Heavies’ displaying at airshows. Team Rv flew their four-ship Rv display while the Gyro-copter added variety to the show flown by Matthew Zwolinski.

 

 

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

Race for Rhinos 2018

Race for Rhinos 2018

The 2018 edition of Race for Rhinos finally arrived for all the eager competitors taking to the skies of Sua Pan in Botswana from the 28th June -1 July.The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San.The Race for Rhinos in now in its forth year running and this year was the biggest amount of aircraft taking part in the race, a new world record.


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The vision for the race came from veteran pilot Chris Briers who has planned all four races to date, with the help of the Botswana government ,Botswana Tourism and the Botswana environmental Department.This is all to help stop the poaching of Africa’s most majestic animal the Rhinoceros . These animals are being poached on a daily rate and need to be protected before they’re are extinct.

Air racing is a highly specialised type of motorsport that involves aircraft or other types of aircraft that compete over a fixed course, with the winner either returning the shortest time, the one to complete it with the most points, or to come closest to a previously estimated time.

After arriving from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria on the Thursday before day1 of the Race. We were greeted by all of the known faces in the Southern African Region of the aviation community,while many aircraft were still arriving over head the pans above us. We had a fun-filled flight from Pretoria to Pilanesberg to clear customs and from their on to Sua Pan on ‘Little Annie’ An2 piloted by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill.We were allocated to our accommodation in comfortable  tents that were placed up before arrival. Each day our tents were cleaned, beds made and all our valuables all in one place!


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The oldest aircraft in the race was the Navion, 1046, race 38
A few of the rarest aircraft; Race 14 a Rockwell’s Collins 112, first time in the Race for Rhinos, possibly early 70s model, a Rockwell Collins 114 Race 105 first time racing in the Race for Rhinos, and very rare to have both a 114 and a 112. Another rare aircraft was Race 40, the Dornier DO 27, also a first time at Race for Rhinos, the Harvard also rare as well as Little Annie
Biggest air race to date was in Bloemfontein in central South Africa with 111 entries, The 2018 Race for Rhinos is 117 entries.


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The huge marquee that was put up just in front of Race Headquarters where Brian Emmenis and his team were Broadcasting from and was our daily alarm clock playing music from 6am in the morning to get the competitors up and amped for the day ahead.At the Marquee we were served three meals a day,obviously that being breakfast,lunch and supper.The bar area was also placed there where we could enjoy many of the sunsets on shores of the pan and the evenings entertainments from various musicians. Most of the competitors were busy with their plotting’s and race briefings before everyone made route for the tents quite early before the start of day one of Thursday evening.

 

Day 1- Friday 2018-06-29

With our daily alarm clock getting us up nice and early thanks to Capital Sounds, we headed off to freshen up in the portable showers, straight after that to the filling breakfasts and Cappuccinos on tap to get all competitor’s ready for day 1 of the race. Pilots and Navigators then made their way to their aircraft while the Bathawk and Bantam took off for the Telstar mission to communicate with Race authorities if their had to be a emergency from one of the competing aircraft along the route. Chris Briers took media up in the Agusta A119 to get some aerial shots of different competitors. The chopper was donated 20 hours of flying during the race days.

The Kingdom of Sua Pan had its own non-radio station from Capital Sounds, filling us in with any information for the days proceedings with most of the base having sound equipment reaching far and wide into the distance. To make sure no one couldn’t miss out what was taking place. The team comprised of Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis, Rodger Coetzee, Ricky Fouche, Eric Nkomo.

At 10am saw the first takeoff from race 74, a Aerostar/Piper 600A ZS-PCV flown by JZ Moolman and his navigator Jannie Moolman of the 114 competitors with ex President of Botswana Ian Khama waving the Botswana National flag of the start of go time!

Just after mid day the first of the aircraft made their way back to base,once landed and checked back in at Race HQ,Then treated to lunch and competitors getting ready for day 2.We were then treated to some fantastic flying displays from a T6 Harvard flown by Dion Raath, Extra 330 flown by Nigel Hopkins who also led Team Extreme with Jason beamish in the Rv7,Mark Hensman in the RV8 and Mark Sampson in the Sbach XA41.Neville Ferreira flew a great show in his Kitty Hawk based Slick 540,The Raptors RVs were the up next in their tight formation flying and then joined up with other Rv owners in a mass RV formation that has not been seen before in Southern Africa,with a total of 12 RVs in one formation. What a sight it was!

 

Raptors Rvs


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Team Extreme

Dinner was served and a short race briefing was presented and some of the daily loggers were shown. Day 2 was slowly upon us.

Top 40-Day 1

 

Day 2- Saturday 2018-06-30

The day once again with our daily alarm clock, shower Breakfast and go time. Day 2 saw all the slowest aircraft getting off the ground first and the route being more difficult then the day before. The flag was waved and the first aircraft was off the ground, that being Race 108 a Piper PA-22 ZS-CET flown by Pilot Richard Fair and Navigator Timothy Fair. At lunch time all the aircraft arrived back and a sight it was to behold seeing many aircraft arriving back at the same time. Not long after that the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s arrived from Rand Airport. The first four aircraft arrived back and the long wait for who was the winner of this years Race for Rhinos. The late evening airshow took place as like the day before plus the Puma Flying Lions doing their display plus water skiing on the water in front of the marquee was unbelievable, something we don’t see everyday.

The evening saw a dress up of the early fifties of pilots and crew, where some of the beautiful ladies dressed up like cabin crew and some of the men taking the part of early fighter pilots.The Minister of Environment, Conservation, Natural Resources and Tourism Affairs Mr. T.S Khama greeted the competitors of the final results and presented why everyone has to work together to protect Botswana’s wildlife and still keep the country as a tourist attraction for many. He also addressed many with a joke or two, not many ministers one can interact with without having body guards swarming the place!

Mr. H.T Khama

Stephan Fourie nd Derek Bird in Race 99 finished in 3rd place.

 

 

Richard and Timothy Fair took 2nd place in race 108.

 

Overall winners in race 25,Michiel and Greylingh Jansen.

Race 25 at turn point two

Race 25
CENTURY AVIONICS TROPHY Best handicap Performance on day 1
THE RACE FOR RHINOS TROPHY To the aircraft and crew placed first overall
ZU-NKC
KLN / Aveko sr VL-3, 100HP, 3-bl CS, N
Handicap speed: 134.79
Michiel Jansen and Greyling Jansen


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Chris Briers was up next to thank all that took place and made the forth Race for Rhinos take place without any incidents involved, he thanked the Government of Botswana for all their hard work and finance’s put into the race, without them tis race would not be taking place. We would like to thank Chris Briers and the Botswana Government for hosting the media and to Mark Mansfield for organising everything for Aviation Central from all the updates and making sure we were taken good of. We were then treated to again some of the various musicians and Diner .The next day we set sail back to South Africa in ‘Little Annie’ flown by Father and son Jon-marc and Mark Hill. We thank them for getting us to and from Sua pan safe and sound.

We look forward to the 2019 Race as every year gets bigger and better!

Overall Results-Top 43

 

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