Tag Archives: ZAF

Eswatini Ligwalagwala Airshow 2019

With the shadows of the different plateaus the Matsapha International airport situated near the town of Mbabane. The Kingdom of Eswatini hosted a successful airshow ,as hundreds flocked to the airport to see South African displays teams both civilian and the South African Airforce as well as the Airforce of Zimbabwe in action.

For both the South African Airforce and the Airforce of Zimbabwe, this was a big deployment for both countries. This was one of the first shows that the South African Airforce have attended a cross border show since 2006,where the SAAF attended a airshow in Maputo Mozambique.

Matsapha Airport Apron and Tower

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and his wife , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini who also flew the Alouette in the parade and many other VIPS attended the show.

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and some of the youth that visited the airport the day before the show!

Hot and humid, but perfectly clear skies, the show began with the ever popular Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by ex South African Airways Captain Dennis Spence flying with his team of Pitts S2Bs.Soon after the Prince of Eswatini flew one of the Eswatini Airwing Alouette III Helicopters as a cavalcade of emergency vehicles to promenade , the show as it was opened. Dennis Spence also raced a car with one of the Pitts Specials where the aircraft won the race!

Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials
Eswatini Air Wing Alouette III

Capital Sounds super team, Brian Emmenis and Elvis Manene once again pulled off excellent commentary on both aircraft and pilots in command during all show slots. Other team member’s who helped make sure sound was the number one priority to get out to the public was Eric Nkomo,Wesley van Zyl and Daniel Mashego,Ricky Fouche, Keith Fryer was air boss for the show, with Keith Andrew as Ramp director with the help of Matsapha airport officials.

Brian Emmenis and team working hard
Capital Sounds
Capital Sounds in tradition dresses causes a stir at border post, huge applause goes out for local team as Eswatini border officials felt as they were being honoured!

The South African Airforce displayed the new team 83 of the Silver Falcons who flew all the way from their home at Central Flying School Airforce Base Langebaanweg with the outgoing lead Major Omphile Matolane,Sivu Tangana,Bheki Shabungu and newbie in the team Major Lehlonoholo Malokane.

SAAF Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 83
Silver Falcons Omphile Matloane
Pilatus PC7MKII

Other South African Airforce assets included a 44 Squadron Casa 212 from AFB Waterkloof and a 19 Squadron Oryx Helicopter. The Oryx provided a fast roping demonstration as well as a short capability demo of the helicopter itself. The crew for the Oryx were Major Altaaf Sheik and Co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Stefan King, the Flight engineer Flight Sargent Justice Mthombeni .The Golden Eagles Parachute display team also were present with Adventure Skydive member’s making up the large paradrop.

44 Squadron CASA 212
SAAF Oryx
SAAF & Adventure Skydive Members
Exciting the CASA 212

The Airforce of Zimbabwe brought two K8 jet trainers one for static and one for a flying display. Their ground crews were brought in by a Casa 212,which was also utilised for the parachute jump.

Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 Jet Trainer
K8 display pilots
Airforce of Zimbabwe Casa 212

Team Extreme led by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Mark Sampson and Mark Hensmen flew their high energy tight aerobatic routine with a knife edge pass making an easy photo to get with the modern cell phone.

Team Extreme
Jason Beamish in his Extra 330

Menno Parsons brought his P51D Mustang Sally, a first for Eswatini to have this beautiful warbird have her gun barrels whistling during her display. Menno’s team also brought a Pilatus PC12 for static display.

P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”

Radial engines also echoed through the hills near Matsapha Airport with Ivan van der Schaar in his Randolph Sponsored Boeing Stearmen. Little Annie the Anotnov An2 flown by Mark and Jon-Marc Hill flew a solo routine with a surprise marshmallow drop as the crowds roared with tears and joy as marshmallows fell from the sky. Little Annie also raced one of the airports Tractor vehicles where things got tight in the race which led the worlds biggest bi-plane to win!

Boeing Stearman
Antonov 2 “Little Annie”

To the Eswatini people, I’m sure you enjoyed your airshow as we did. A huge congratulations must go out to the organisers , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini Capital Sounds,Calinyasti Kunene,Eswatini Defence Force, Eswatini CAA and to all pilots and ground crews for a safe show. Until next year, we cant wait!

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