Tag Archives: SAAB

2 Squadron Gains Two New Gripen Pilots

Air force Base Makhado situated in the shadows of the Soutpansberg mountain range,is home to fighter town South Africa.Where the South African Airforces elite fighter squadrons are based,85 Combat Flying School flying the lead in fighter trainer the Hawk MK120.2 Squadron which is the sharp end of the SAAF,flying the smart fighter,The JAS39 Gripen!

Early May 2020 saw two new Gripen pilots going solo,Major Jabulani “Cyrax” Mabona and Captain Klyde “Ronin” Ross Naidoo. Their story below will show the hard work one has to take to get to Gripen and living the fast jet life dream.

Jabulani “Cyrax” Mabona

Major Jabulani Mabona was born in a township called Mamelodi West, Pretoria East. He attended Primary school at Ndima PrimarySchool (year) and matriculated at Vukani Mawethu Secondary School in 2004.
Major Mabona became interested in being a pilot when he was 9 years old. “There was no other career that I considered pursuing apart from becoming a pilot, specifically a fighter pilot.” He started applying when he was doing grade 11 and only got an acceptance letter to do the selection process in 2006.

The selection process included psychometric tests, psychomotor tests, flight medicals followed by interviews. His military career began when he was accepted to commence his Basic Military training in January 2007 and right after a successful completion commenced with Officers Forming Course in July the same year.

In 2008 he enrolled at the SA Military Academy in Saldanha, he spent a year studying Technology and Defence Mangement, which included modules in Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, English, Management, Aerodynamics and Economics. In 2009 January he had to go through Land and Sea Survival Training followed by Ground School Training for flying. In 2010 he started with his basic Ab initio Training in Cessna 172, followed by Astra stationed at AFB Langebaanweg. He was then selected to complete his pilot training in the United States of America where he flew the Texan T6 and qualified as a military pilot giving him the opportunity to be selected to fly Jets.

Jabulani was trained by former United States Air force F16 Viper Demonstration pilot Captain John “Rain” Waters.

Babcock Flight School Cessna C172
Babcock Flight School Cessna C172
Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKII
Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKII
US Airforce T6 Texan II
US Airforce T6 Texan II
Former United States Airforce F16 Viper display Demo Pilot Captain
John “Rain” Waters who was Major Mabona’s Instructor!
United States Airforce F16 Viper

In 2012 he went back to Military Academy to complete his degree in Defence and Technology Management which he successfully completed in 2015. In 2016 he was transferred to 85 Combat Flying School where he began to train as a fighter pilot in Hawk MK120 and a year later successfully completed the course. He served as a Flight Commander and was selected to do Flight Leaders Course which he completed in December 2019. He was then transferred to 2 Squadron in January 2020 where he began Operational Conversion Course in the SAAB JAS 39 where he currently serves as a Survival officer”.

Jabulani Flying the Hawk MK120 during a capability demo at the 2017 Rand Easter Show,Nasrec Johannesburg.
“Seraph” & “Cyrax” airborne out of AFB Swartkop during the 2018 SAAF Museum Airshow!
Lieutenant Colonel Craig “Shark” Leeson & Jabulani “Cyrax” Mabona during the 2018 SAAF Museum Airshow.

The challenges he encountered were being far from his family and being able to successfully complete each and every phase towards achieving his goal.He has served in the South African Air Force for 13 years has never looked back. While he was stationed at 85 Combat Flying School had the opportunity to serve as a Survival Officer and a Flight Commander.
He says; “my solo flight in a Gripen was such an astounding feeling, a feeling out of this world, especially the supersonic part of the flight.”

SAAB JAS39C Gripen
Gripen Solo Flight
Jabulani after his Gripen solo with Lieutenant Colonel Jaco “Weasel” Labuschagne

Major Mabona is 32 years old and married to Nomsa and together they have a beautiful daughter Njabulo. He says flying high speed jets is such an honor and comes with lots of responsibilities because you fly with live weapons onboard and also fly in close proximity with other jets. He says his family always supported him and they are the ones that are always boosting his confidence level when it comes to his career.
To further on his career, the next step will be Instructor’s Course so that he can also give back to the young men and women which are aspiring to become fighter pilots.

Fighter Formation over AFB Swartkop during the 2019 SAAF Museum Airshow.

Lastly he says “all the instructors that were part of my development for me to become a fighter pilot are my mentors. Before every flight, preparation is key, you go through your procedures, you play the scenarios in your head and most importantly you prepare for all the possible emergencies that you might experience.

Klyde “Ronin” Ross Naidoo

Captain Klyde Ross Naidoo approaches with a plan of crafting an aviation legacy that the South African Air Force (SAAF) and this country can be proud of. When asked to introduce himself Captain Naidoo call sign Ronin said “Born: 17/06/1992 at Westville hospital, residing in Reservoir Hills initially, turn 5 and started school at Resmount Primary School.

We moved to Pinetown and I moved to Atholl Heights Primary School for grade 1 and 2, my dad then moved to Johannesburg for work and we followed, staying in Centurion and completing primary school in Laerskool Uitsig, moved to Hoerskool Uitsig followed by Pro Arte Alphen Park and finally completing my high school career at Reservoir Hills Secondary School in 2009.

In my childhood we spent a lot of time moving to new places and schools due to my dad’s, Kuban Naidoo, work in telecommunications. My mum, Ron Naidoo, is now a retired hairdresser and in my unbiased opinion is the best hairdresser in the world. I have two older sisters, Kelly and Robyn, who are great support, throughout my childhood and adult life, although the role of my super fan falls to my mum.

Growing up I spent a lot of time playing sports for schools, such as swimming, played competitively in rugby, cricket and softball. Presently I spend a lot of time at the gym and try to keep fit by running. The scariest thing I’ve done was the big swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, I consider bungee jumping from Bloukrans Bridge in Tsitsikama rainforest to have been easier. The most exciting thing I’ve done professionally thus far is when I took up a Gripen solo and broke the sound barrier sending down a bone rattling sonic boom over my awaiting wife.”

From an avid nomadic, together with his family, his military career is a gift that he does not take for granted. “At the end of my schooling career I sought out bursaries in order to study further in the fields of engineering or medicine as well as applying for pilot training in the SAAF. In 2010 upon receiving the call for pilots’ selections in the SAAF I had declined the bursaries I was offered for the other fields of studies, not realising that it was just a selection week and not actually accepted.

The SAAF selection is a four tier selection process, each eliminating potential candidates as you progress through. The first part is the paper selection, wherein you either download the form from the internet, or cut it out the newspaper it appears in early every year. Submitting the required information in the leaflet with all matric/ grade 11 results all the applications go to SAAF HQ and are scrutinized to select the best candidates for the job, once that process is completed, the successful candidates are contacted by to make arrangements to attend a week long selection camp.
At the second-tier process, all members are split into groups and go through a process of psychometric and psychomotor testing.
In the third process, a full flight medical examination is required.
The final step is a panel interview in front of high-ranking specialists at the SAAF HQ.

Although a long process, it is to allow only the best candidates to make it through to the training, from initial paper selection of thousands to only about 20 people being selected and finally only 9 qualifying from pilots’ wings course.” He said.

In January 2011, his humble beginnings in the ranks and military industry proved, thus far to be a firm foundation for the amazing military aviation. “I was called up for Basic Military Training at the SAAF Gym in Hoedspruit. It was a gruelling 6 months – taking a civilian and making a soldier. In June 2011, I started officers forming course at the SAAF College in Pretoria, this involved 6 months of cramming policy and standards expected from an Officer and a gentleman.

SAAF Gymnasium

In 2012, I enrolled at the Military Academy in Saldanha. I spent a year studying Technology and Defence Management, which include modules in Mathematics, Physics, Statistics, English, Management, Aerodynamics and Economics, achieving a certificate of higher education.
Before advancing to Langebaanweg for further training, two weeks of gruelling basic survival training was required, this included sea survival, coastal survival and land survival. The most daunting part of the experience involved the escape and evasion component of land survival training.

In 2013, I started ground school at Langebaanweg and later that year began flying the SAAF PC7 MK2, well known for being the aircraft flown by the Aerobatic Display Team of the SAAF, The Silver Falcons. The course consisted of ground school theoretical training in the following fields:

Pilatus PC7MKII

Aerodynamics (including high speed, rotary wing and multi engine aerodynamics)

Aviation law

Medicine

Aircraft technical

General aspects related to flying and aviation.

The flying training consisted of basic general flying, basic instrument flying, advanced general flying, advanced instrument flying, navigation, close formation and a “Wings Phase” which incorporated aspects from all the preceding ones.

Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKII

Once all phases were over and all test results were tallied up another selection board is held to stream pilots into one of the three lines in the air force: Maritime and Transport, Helicopter systems or Combat Systems. The directors of the three lines would there decide on the path that each pilot would then follow, taking into consideration the members preference, but ultimately selecting you on your course performance, attitude and perceived potential. I graduated as a pilot in the Air Force in December 2014 and was streamed to the fighter line.” He opined.

While expanding on his career path, formal education was still his goal. He relates that he has a massive respect for education as the SAAF does, and through education and the SAAF he has had fun serving with the most brilliant of minds and continually travels the world. “In 2015, and early 2016, I continued studies toward my degree at the military academy and flying at Langebaanweg whilst waiting to be transferred to 85 Combat Flying School at Air Force Base Makhado.

I, together with 3 other members, moved to Makhado in April 2016 to begin training to become fighter pilots. Which upon arrival was met by another week of survival training exercise in Port Saint Johns, after which we have yearly survival training due to the nature of our job.

Our fighter training was done on the BAE Systems Hawk LIFT Mk120 and the courses consisted of Hawk Conversion Course, a condensed version of what I had done on the PC7 MK2, followed by Operational Training Course. With the ability to fly the aircrafts, we were taught how to use it as a weapon by delivering various ammunitions and being trained in various aspects of Air and Surface warfare, so we could be utilised in operational roles in the SAAF. After a year of consolidation flying, two candidates were selected to complete Flight Leaders Course, Major Jabulani Jerry Mabona and myself. FLC was completed in November 2019.

85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120 “Gannet”
Armed Forces Day Capability Demonstration De Brug Weapons Range Bloemfontein February 2018
Fighter Formation over AFB Swartkop during the 2019 SAAF Museum Airshow.
SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

As Flight Leaders we were then eligible to be transferred to 2 Squadron and begin Operational Conversion Course on the SAAB JAS39C/D Gripen. I completed my first solo flight in the Gripen on May 5th, 2020, a first for an Indian South African Fighter Pilot.

SAAB JAS39D Gripen

In 2010, I met my wife, Marcia Naidoo, but had only really started speaking too her in 2012, being in the western cape and her in KZN it wasn’t often I got a chance to see her, unless it was a trip home to see the family. We started dating in 2013 and even though had such distance between us the relationship grew to me finally proposing in 2017 and tying the knot in September 2018. Throughout my flying career she’s been a keystone to my support, from not being able to fly a thing to taking to the skies in a modern fighter jet, with all the good and the bad she would be there, either the most excited or ready to throw down with anyone that may have gotten me upset. Although I’m the soldier she’s the tougher of the two of us.

As a youngster I’d always been fascinated by flying, from as early as my second birthday it was evident that I wanted to be a pilot, my parents had gotten me an aircraft cake and dressed me up in a white suit. Being from Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) I didn’t know it was a possibility for me to be an air force fighter pilot, as there’s not much publicity for the defence force in the KZN community. It was by chance that I happened across a leaflet in the newspaper and my mum had made further inquiries. It was only then that I had decided that I was going to be a fighter pilot in the SAAF. Hard work and perseverance will always pay off.”

He was sure adamant to wear the SAAF uniform and inspire confidence, thus he hastens to say that he keeps himself busy with researching on everything that has to do with the latest aviation technology while mastering the art of being a proud fighter pilot. “There’s still a long road ahead of me to complete Operational Conversion Course on the Gripen and becoming the best Fighter pilot at the SAAF. At some stage in the distant future I will go down to Langebaanweg once again and do pilot Instructors’ Course and give training to the future pilots of the SAAF. Thereafter returning to 85 Combat Flying School for pilot attack instructors’ course on the hawk and move over to give instruction to aspiring fighter pilots in training on the Gripen as well.

Hawk MK120 MK82 Bombing run,Roodewal bombing range Limpopo

What I’d like to say to aspiring SAAF pilots is that nothing comes easy, but nothing is impossible, follow the procedures laid out and don’t be afraid to ask for help, it’s often said on courses that individuals don’t pass the course, those who work together, find motivation in themselves and their peers to complete the course together. Work hard in school in physics and maths, be a good person and never stop trying.

Through this journey I’ve seen it doesn’t matter where you come from, what your skin colour is or what school you went to, what matter is the work you put in. I have come from many places but now I am Captain Klyde Ross Naidoo, a fighter pilot in the SAAF.” He concluded

Ice cold bath after Klydes Gripen Solo

Well done to Ronin and Cyrax,we wish you many more happy and safe flying hours,from all of us at Aviation Central.

Completion of Gripen solo and traditional ice cold bath at 2 Squadron

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Noted as one of the coldest airshows on the South African Airshow circuit, this years Bethlehem Airshow was definitely the hottest. The Eastern Free State town of Bethlehem hosted their annual airshow and this year was most probably the best they have ever had, with a large variety of aircraft including the South African Airforce making a welcome return.

The Friday before the show, Little Annie an Antonov 2 took local school kids for some of them their first flight in an aircraft around the town of Bethlehem. At the same time many aircraft arrivals and validations took place to be suitable for the following day.

“Little Annie” AN2

Saturday morning we arrived at the airfield to get some sunrise shots of parked aircraft, not long after that we attended the pilots briefing with Dihlabeng Municipal Mayor Lindiwe Makhalema thanking the pilots and wishing them well during the course of the day. Stephen Fourie was the organiser once again of the fantastic show who also briefed the pilots on the days proceedings in conjunction with Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer as airboss for the show. Lieutenant Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom was Flight safety director and Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrew was ramp director.

The show opened up with the South African Airforce Golden Eagles Parachute Display team, their jump ship was a 44 Squadron Casa 212 with Lieutenant Colonel Sammy “Guru” Mabidikama, Major Ashley “Sensei” Naxhe and loadmaster Flight Sergeant Manny Ramajela at the controls.

44 Squadron Casa 212

The Cows Pitts Specials added an Extra 300 to their display led by Scully Levin, The Goodyear Eagles performed both a four-ship pitts display in the morning show and the afternoon show with a three-ship. A solo aerobatic display by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300 and a Pilatus B4 Glider was flown by Gary Whitecross.Orsmond Aviation provided a Turbo Thrush for aerial spaying demo. A provincial EMS Bell 222 demonstrated a car accident scene showing off the emergency services and the every day call out scenes around South Africa. Another Bell 222 from Henley Air at Rand Airport flown by Andre Coetzee showed off the helicopter skilfully.

Cows Pitts and Extra formation
Goodyear Eagles
Nashua Extra 300
Pilatus B4
Glider Tug Lambada flown by Derek Hopkins
Free state EMS Bell 222
Free state EMS Bell 222
Henley Air Bell 222

The South African Airforce (SAAF) provide the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team flying Pilatus PC7MKIIs with Major Omphile Matolane as lead ,Major Tian Stander at number two, Major Sivu Tangana at three and the soloist Major Bheki Shabungu.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Major Bheki Shabungu does a dirty roll in the Pilatus PC7MKII
Lieutenant Charlene Brown and Captain Xander Albasni made sure the Bethlehem crowds could get their Silver Falcons memorabilia

A 2 Squadron Gripen JAS39D flown all the way from Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province, the squadron demonstrated a flat display by Major Mohau “Dobaman” Vundla and Major Kevin “Safron” Chetty as his navigator. This was the first appearance of a Gripen in Bethlehem. An Agusta A109LUH from 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein, which was on static display among some of the other visiting civilian static aircraft. Adding to the jet action Pierre Gouws flew Richard Lovett’s Aero L39 and also led the Raptor RVs.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Agusta A109LUH
Aero L39 Albatross
Raptors RVs

Andre Van Zyl displayed the Magni Gyrocopter to its full potential Radials were a common sound at this years show with Little Annie An2 flown by Jon Marc-Hill and Juba Jourbert dropping skydivers and later joining up with Ivan Van der Schaar in his Boeing Stearman for a formation display and both their singleton displays. The Puma Flying Lions led once again by Scully Levin flew their three-ship routine .Menno Parson’s Douglas Dc3 gave a brief display flown by Derek Hopkins and Ivan van der Schaar. Menno displayed his popular and only flying P51D Mustang in South Africa. SAA Pilot Trevor Warner also gave a Solo Rv7 display, this being the most homebuilt aircraft in the world.

Magni Gyro
Radial Formation An2 & Boeing Stearman
Douglas DC3
Puma Flying Lions
P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”
RV7

Capital Sounds provided commentary to both the display line in front of the crowd line, behind the crowd line and by the aircraft parking area across the tar runway at Bethlehem. Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene kept the crowds posted on each display on the day.

Menno Parsons & Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis
Silver Falcon Major Sivu Tangana & Capital Sounds Elvis Manene

Bethlehem Airshow well done on a fantastic show this year, to all the organisers, display pilots and ground crews on making the show safe and successful. Looking forward to next years show already.

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Freedom Day Celebration Flypasts

The sound of thunder of jets rocked Port Elizabeth residents as Gripens, Hawks, The Silver Falcons, two BK117s and Lynx took part in Freedom Flypasts over event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape.

The 27th April marked 25 years of democracy, following decades of apartheid rule and segregation in which the majority of the country’s citizens were marginalised.

JAS39D Gripen

Local residents in Grahamstown got to witness the flypasts and brought joy to the youth as some of these aircraft are not usually seen in the area.

The Silver Falcons showed why they can restore national pride as known as the cockpit ambassadors to the South African Airforce. Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana grew up in the area and it was surely a proud moment to display in front of a home crowd.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Silver Falcons

It was also a photo opportunity for some of the local aviation enthusiasts to capture the Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901’.This was the first gripen delivered to the SAAF.


Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901
85 Comabt Flying School Hawk MK120 ‘262’
Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

We would like to thank Patrick Davidson for allowing us to use a certain platform to gain access to get this incredible photos.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen ‘3918’

Another big presence of South African Airforce Aircraft will be seen over Pretoria end of May 2019 and no its not an airshow.Keep an eye on our social media pages.

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SANDF Capability Demonstration and Arena Displays- Rand Easter Show 2019

The 125th Rand Easter Show has once again entertained Gauteng residents with raw power of the South African National Defence  with the South African Navy, Army, Airforce and Military Health Service all present at the Expo Centre Nasrec South of Johannesburg.

SAAF Silver Falcons fly overhead the arena

The Capability demonstration was once again a major draw card to the Rand Show as it always is and run for the first four days of the opening of the show. Unfortunately with the absence of South African Airforce helicopters as the choppers were still on operational duties in Mozambique and Malawi.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display

We were blessed with great weather for the first 3 days of the event including the validation day before the opening of the event as their was predicted rain showers and overcast weather for the duration of the morning shows. The final day was unfortunately rained out.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi” Goosen and Major Kevin ‘Saffron’ Chetty

2 Squadron didn’t disappoint  with the presence of two Gripens opening the event. Major Mohua “Dobaman” Vundla with navigator Kevin “Saffron” Chetty and in the second Gripen was Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen kept a tight formation flypast as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula arrived on the podium to address the public on the official opening of the Rand Easter Show 2019.

2 Squadron Gripens flown by ‘Dobaman’ and “Saffron” in the first gripen and “Shinobi” in the second gripen

“I am delighted and honored to be amongst the men and women in the uniform-our country’s armed forces – during the official opening of the 2019 Rand Easter Show. Our soldiers have been patriotically exhibiting and showcasing their capabilities at this crowd – pulling event without fail since 2011 and endeared themselves to visitors from all walks of life, educating our people about the miltarys role in society and towards the defence of our constitutional dispensation.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” The platform that the Rand Easter Show affords the South African National Defence Force is key to exposing the citizens of Gauteng and the country at large to the capabilities, state of the art technologies and the career opportunities the abound within our national defence force.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” It is through the participation of the SANDF in events such as this one that the aspirations of young men and women–from Eldorado Park, Soweto, Tembisa, Diepsloot, Brynston, Alexandra and Dainfern- in fact throughout the country, ignites them to serve the country. “

” The Rand Easter Show has over the years been a gathering place for visitors who have proven to be owerawed by the dedication, hard work and precision with which our soldiers carry out their duties as showcased through the various capabilities demonstrated in these arena lawns.”

The capability demonstration se the theme this year as a deployment of reaction forces to support a convoy ambushed in a foreign territory. Two Ratel 90 ammoured vehicles gave support fire power as well as a lone 2 Squadron Gripen with simulated airstrikes. Simulated mortar strikes echoed in the arena as the crowds were awered of the pyrotechnics set off by the army engineers. All while this was happening a bridge laying was complete during the mock attack.

Simulated IED Mine
Ratel 90
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Simulated Mortor Strikes.
Bridge Build

A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flown by Major Ashley Naxhe and  Major Nick Green and Loadmaster  Flight Sergeant Ramajela who
dropped skydivers from 44 parachute battlion with a designated landing zone in the arena. The Casa 212 then gave a beautiful fly past over the arena as they excited the special rules west area of Johannesburg.

44 Squadron CASA 212 Paradrop
44 Squadron Casa 212

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce, Silver Falcons of team 82 led by Major Omphile Matloane, Tiaan Stander, Corne Deventer, Bheki Shabangu and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana flew their 5 ship Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons in the ‘Vixen’ Formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Cobra’ formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Starfighter’ formation

Other arena events on the program included presion drills from the SA Army and Navy. The now popular Navy gun run, a Military Police anti hijacking display, SANDF Marshal Arts demonstration. The SANDF K9 unit and field patrol. And finally the new act on the SANDF the Land Drover of the Army Technical Corpse which is demobilised and mobilized under 10 minutes. Also a favorite at this year’s event.

Thank you kindly to the Rand Easter Show organizers. We look forward to next year’s 126th event.

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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.

 

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