Monthly Archives: March 2018

Rand Easter Show SANDF Capability Demo Day 1 2018-03-30 Gallery

Rand Easter show 2018 – Day One

The Rand Easter Show was officially opened today,Below are some pictures from today’s Capability demonstration!
We will post a full review after the last day.
Also see Updates to the SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

Click to enlarge

Rand Easter Show Validation Capibilty Demo 2018-03-29 Gallery

Today was the final day for validations for the SANDF Capability  demo, below are some pictures from today!
Show starts on Friday 30 May 2018. Come and see this amazing display for yourself!
Hashtag for this year is #SANDFrandshow_18

The Rand Show gives South African families a rare opportunity to interact with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF, SANDF CAREER GUIDE, SANDF RSA, SA National Defence Force Events). Nowhere else can you observe the different divisions in action, and see what equipment and hardware they use. To do this, SANDF has prepared a mix of thrilling live demonstrations and drills, as well as static exhibits for the public to experience.

The Capability Demonstration will take place at the Main Arena, at 11:30 each day* during the Easter weekend only (Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April 2018).

This 45 minute display of battle simulations will take place both on the ground and high up in the air. Watch fighter jets and helicopters thunder past, showing off their vehicles combat manoeuvres, while armoured tankers reveal their immense power and strength. It’s one of the annual highlights of the Rand Show, and visitors are urged not to miss it.
Visitors are urged to hold on to their hats for this event – not just because it promises to be an exhilarating experience, but also for safety reasons. The choppers used will create a huge downdraft, which could cause hats and other loose items to fly away if not securely stored!

SANDF Arena Programme will take place at the Main Arena, at 15:00 each day during the Easter weekend only (Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April 2018).

The pride of the SANDF’s drill teams will be on display for the Arena Programme, which includes drills and demonstrations by the South African Army, South African Navy and Military Police, as well as the 44 Parachute Regiment (the South African Army’s chief airborne infantry unit) and the SA Army Specialist Infantry Capability (SAASIC) – who will be incorporating their canine, equestrian and motorbike training into the drills.
The above quoted text source: SA National Defence Force Events

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Rand Easter Show 2018 Media Briefing

Rand Easter Show 2018 Media Briefing

Once again we were invited by the Rand Show organization team to the 2018 Rand Easter Show Media Briefing, the event is set to take place once again at the Johannesburg Expo Centre Nasrec from the 30 March – 8 April 2018. The Rand show is one of the biggest events in Africa and has been entertaining Families for over a year now, says Craig Newman CEO of the Johannesburg Expo Center.

The Media briefing was opened by Craig Newman adding what this year’s festivities are going to be like. We were then greeted by Brig Gen.Mafi Mgobozi who also informed us on what we can expect from the SANDF.After the briefing we were treated to a walk through some of the many exhibits the public can expect on the opening of the Rand Show on Friday 30th March.



The massive 12 000sqm SANDF display of Military Hardware that the public we be able to view from the many functions the SANDF have a role to play, including the SA ARMY, SAAF, SA Navy and SA military Health Service. The South African Air Force Museum is also present with static exhibits including the Zwartkops based Alouettes two and three. The mighty Rooivalk from 16 Squadron AFB Bloemspruit is also on Static display for the public to get up close and personal with Africa’s very own Gunship.

On the Easter Weekend the SANDF will thrill the crowds with a capability demonstration, this will include Ratel armoured vehicles, Helicopters from various Squadrons including Oryx and A109LUHs.Fighter assets we will see 2 Squadron Gripen simulating airstrikes. We will also see a solo Display by Major Sivu Tangana in the Pilatus PC7MKII from the Central Flying School Langebaanweg.


Please note the SANDF Capability Demo will only be taking place from the 30th March-2 April 2018, this also depends on the Availability of aircraft and weather permitting. We look forward to another highly anticipating arena program. Residents in the North and South of Johannesburg can be on the lookout for Helicopters operating out AFB Zwartkops on their routing to Nasrec during the mid morning from tomorrow!





The FAW Ermelo Airshow 2018 – What to expect

The FAW Ermelo Airshow 2018

The 1st airshow for 2018.

This is the 1st Airshow for 2018 and it’s all happening on 07 April at Ermelo Airport.
We Aviation Central just love the Small-Town Airshows and will be at the Ermelo Airshow.
Adults R100 and scholars R50 and gates open at 8am
Sound and commentary by the professional Brian Emmenis and his CAPITAL SOUNDS Team.

Please read our Guide Do’s and Don’ts attending an Airshow

(Aircraft list below)

What to expect:

The following Aircraft and teams has been approved and confirmed. (Please note this can change at any time)

Antonov AN-2 – Little Annie Hill
4x Harvards Puma Energy Flying Lions Aerobatic Team
4x Pitts Specials The Cows Aerobatic Team
1941 Boeing Stearman – Ivan Van Der Schaar
L39 Albatros Pierre Gouws
Impala ZU-IMP
VANS RV “Raptors”
Extra 300 LP – Blackwood- Murray
Extra 330 Nigel Hopkins Aerobatics
4x Pitts Specials Goodyear Eagles – Aerobatics Unlimited
Slick 540 Neville Ferreira Airshows
Team Extreme (2 Extra, xa41 , mx2)
Gazelle Helicopter
Magni M16 Gyrocopter
SAAF Gripen (Operating from remote Base to Ermelo for Flying Display)
SAAF Agusta A109 (Static only)

* More Aircraft / Teams awaiting confirmation.
** Please note the Aircraft list can change at any time. 

Click here to view our fill our Airshow calendar 

We Hope to see you at the Ermelo Airshow 2018. Going to be a good one!

Airshow photography, the Canon way

Airshow photography, the Canon way.

Written by Abri Kriegler – aviation photographer and Canon nut.

Airshow photography in South Africa is alive and well as can be seen from the number of cameras following aircraft through the sky at any Airshow.

(AAD 2012, AFB Waterkloof, Photo by: Marius Nel)

More and more amateur photographers are lining the fences to get that one special image of their favourite aircraft or display team. Unfortunately, most of these photographers struggle to get the shot they want and this could be attributed to factors such as: understanding the basic fundamentals of photography, understanding their photographic gear or understanding the settings needed to get that special image.

Although this article leans towards the Canon systems, things such as the basics of photography, basic camera usage and basic settings applies to all systems.

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Photography basics

This section could easily span several pages with a lot of information forced onto the aspiring photographer. Most photographic courses start off with an hour or two on this subject. Here we will try and cover it in a few simple steps.

To understand photography, you must understand the fact that any photograph is made up out of light. Light controls and shapes the image or photograph, and how we control the light’s interaction with our cameras, through various settings, ultimately determines the result that we achieve.

Exposure, or image capture is controlled by three settings: shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Shutter speed controls the time that the sensor of the camera is exposed to light. This is measured in a time value and controlled in the TV setting of your Canon camera.

Aperture controls how much light the lens allows through to fall on the sensor of the camera and is controlled in the AV setting of your Canon camera. The largest aperture value is limited by your lens and is written on your lens. E.g. Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM has a maximum aperture of f/4.5 at 100mm and f/5.6 at 400mm.

The ISO setting is the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light. In a bright situation you can use a lower ISO value (ISO 100) than in a darker situation (ISO 1600).

Each of the three controllers does have a bit of baggage, or issues, associated with it.

Shutter speed: The slower the shutter speed, the more you can become prone to camera shake, or the dreaded out-of-focus “arty” images. On the other hand, a slower shutter speed would add a sense of movement to your images, either through panning or through propeller blur in older aircraft or helicopters. My rule is that an image of such an aircraft should always have the most amount of blur possible such as the image for the Harvard below right.

(AFB Zwartkop, Photo by: Abri Kriegler, Tv 1/125) (AFB Zwartkop, Photo by: Abri Kriegler, Tv 1/80)

Aperture: This might get a little confusing, but the smaller the number associated with aperture, the bigger the opening of the lens. Aperture value is expressed as f/2, or f/2.8. Understand that the “f” stands for focal length and using the “/” in a mathematical equation will give us the lens opening associated with that value. For example: f/2 on a 50mm lens – 50/2=25. 25mm is the diameter of the physical opening of the lens through which light passes, or known as the entrance pupil. The issue with a bigger f value such as f/2.8, is that your depth of field, or objects in focus in front, or behind your focus point.

ISO: When shooting in bright sunlight, or in situations where there is enough illumination, the ISO value can be rather low such as ISO 400. To get fast shutter speeds, or use a smaller aperture in darker situations, you will have to increase the ISO value. Increasing it to too high a value will result in “noise” appearing in your image.

This chart helps in explaining this a little more.

(Chart created by: Hamburger Fotospots – these are not linked in any way, it just shows the effects of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO)

It is interesting to note that you can use different combinations of these setting to achieve the same result. This is very good for you if you are limited by your equipment. A good example of this is if your lens does not go to and aperture value of f/2.8 but can only go as low as f/4.

Another factor that influences the exposure or image is the metering mode at the time that the image was taken. Metering is how your camera determines what the correct shutter speed and aperture should be, depending on the amount of light that goes into the camera and the ISO. Back in the old days of photography, cameras were not equipped with a light “meter”, which is a sensor that measures the amount and intensity of light. Photographers had to use hand-held light meters to determine the optimal exposure. Obviously, because the work was shot on film, they could not preview or see the results immediately, which is why they religiously relied on those light meters.

Today every camera has an integrated light meter that automatically measures the reflected light and determines the optimal exposure. There are three common metering modes: Evaluative metering, Centre-weighted metering and Spot metering.

Evaluative metering analyses readings from multiple areas in the image.

Centre-weighted metering takes an average of the scene with a bias towards the centre of the scene.

Spot metering covers a smaller area (2-3% of the scene) and allows the photographer to dictate where the key point of exposure is. I use this mode for most of the images I would take at an Airshow because I like to expose for the aircraft in the shot.

Basic camera use and settings

Once again, I must stress that these controls and settings are based on the Canon system. Other systems will have slightly different naming for their controls, however the outcome will still be the same.

Shooting modes:

Shooting modes for the camera are controlled by the main dial and allows the photographer to select the shooting mode. There are several shooting modes ranging from Automatic, where the camera makes all the decisions for you, to more creative models such as Program (P), Aperture value (Av), Time value (Tv) and Manual (M).

Automatic mode (the green square): Aperture and shutter values are automatically set to prevent camera shake, Auto ISO.

Program mode (P): This is a step up from fully automatic. The camera detects which lens is used and sets the shutter speed and aperture.

Aperture value mode (Av): This mode is used when more control over aperture is needed. The photographer sets the aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed. I use this mode when shooting fast moving aircraft such as jets where I do not have to show movement.

(EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2015, Photo by: Abri Kriegler, Mode: Av, f/8)

Time value mode (Tv): This mode is used when more control over shutter speed is needed. The photographer sets the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperture. This is the mode to use when shooting aircraft with propellers or rotors in the case of helicopters.

(Adrenaline Airlink Airshow 2017, Photo by: Abri Kriegler, Mode: Tv, 1/10)

Manual mode (M): All setting for shutter speed and aperture are controlled by the photographer.


When photographing at an Airshow your camera should always be on a continuous focus mode, unless you are shooting static images on the flight line. Set your camera to AI SERVO mode and continuous shooting.

I use back-button autofocus on all my camera bodies and would suggest this to anybody whose camera allows this. Unfortunately, this is very camera dependant and setting this up changes from model to model. I suggest you have a look in your camera manual if you want to set this up.


The correct posture when taking photos are also very important as this will help combat camera shake. Keep your elbows together, against your chest. Keep your left hand under the lens, rather than on the side. Lean slightly into camera, holding it tight against the forehead. Keep your legs open. Same for shooting portrait, no excuses. Keep in mind that if you have a zoom lens, your left hand will also be adjusting your focal length. Your right hand should now automatically fit on the side of the camera. Teach yourself the button layout of your camera, so that you can do minor adjustments whilst keeping your eye to the viewfinder.


The more you practice the better you will most definitely get. Use every opportunity to practice your panning, from children and dogs running in the garden to vehicles driving past your property. Remember to keep your stance as solid as possible while following the movement of your subject by turning from the hips.

(EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2015, Photo by: Abri Kriegler, Mode: Tv, SS 1/125, Instagram 1:1 crop)

The gear

Canon of course.

On a serious note, as we know, your budget determines your gear. I have seen photographers shooting with the most basic camera and lens combinations getting the most amazing photos at Airshows. Do not put yourself down because you cannot afford the latest and greatest. Make do with what you have, learn to use your gear to its full potential and when you can upgrade, make sure to get the most bang for your buck.

Camera bodies:

Although it is possible, I would not suggest using a Digital Compact Camera, a camera where the lens is permanently attached, to use as an Airshow camera. Look at an interchangeable lens camera that fits your budget. The more expensive bodies will have better frames per second speed, focussing systems, memory buffers and durability to name a few.


There is a very good reason why I only own Canon lenses. I believe that the Canon lenses works best with the Canon system and offers the best results. Having said that, once again you have to look at it from a budget point of view.

You will need a long zoom lens to capture that aerial display and something shorter to capture some static images of the people and maybe some aircraft on the flight line.

I find that a minimum of 300mm focal length is sufficient for most South African Airshows.


I do not take a tripod or monopod to Airshows as I find them cumbersome and restrictive. Always take at least two batteries, it helps to have them charged before the show!

Take a cleaning cloth to clean the dust and sweat from your camera gear.

Invest in the best memory cards that you can buy. The cheaper cards are cheap for a reason.

Do’s and Don’t

Do – Enjoy yourself. Take as many photos as you can, that special moment only happens once. Walk around, don’t stand on one spot and get the same photos as everybody else. Smile and wave at the pilots walking or taxing past, they do notice and it makes for a great photo when they wave back. Help other photographers that you see struggling, you were there once as well. Go up to the pro photographers and ask them for tips. Most of the time they are more than happy to help.

Do not – Go where you are not allowed. Safety officers will ask you to leave the Airshow. Get in the way of another photographer, be aware of your surroundings.

Remember to have fun!

Maiden flight of The High Flying Maverick

Maiden flight of The High Flying Maverick

From the 1st Phone call we got from Devashini Govender to d-day on the 17th March 2018 was a busy time from for all. The Team building an assembling the Maverick pushed to get the job done in time and still insuring maximum safety for all aboard the Maverick. They exceeded expectations and did an excellent job.  Devashini and her team planning the launch event with help from M Cubed Media’s Mark Mansfield on the Aviation side was a huge success and not even some bad weather could put a stop to the what they have put together for the launch, well done to all!

Also see The High Flying Maverick
To read all the Tech’s specs on the Flying Maverick or to book your seat go to

Launch day:
Several media houses, Aviation and Non-Aviation,  Radio stations and TV crews attended the launch.
Welcomed by our Captain and Airhostess we felt comfortable and at ease ready for take-off.
Before boarding we surprised by a guest appearance of The Cows Aerobatic Team.
They were limited to a flat show due to a low cloud base, yet they gave an excellent display and we were reminded as to why they are the top display team in South Africa.

After The Cows, it was the turn of the Maverick Test pilots to do their part. Aviation Central had Rickus Briers an Airline Pilot himself and with some aerobatic flights behind him on the test flight crew.

Had a fantastic experience on the launch of The High Flying Maverick. As a Pilot myself I would in courage the public and all adrenaline junkies to head to Gold Reef City for an awesome thrill ride in order to have glimpse of what it would be like to pull some G’s in Aerobatic Aircraft. After three rounds on the Maverick I could honestly say that I would go back for more. A big thank you to all that made it a special day. “ – Rickus Briers

Aviation Centrals Test Flight crew
Captain: Rickus Briers, Co-Pilot Jessica van der Merwe and Crew members, Jacky van der Merwe and Lettie van Emmenis

Test Flight Video

Later the day, after the Drive from Rand Airport to Gold Reef City Theme park, we were joined by Ellis Levin, soloist with The Cows Aerobatic Team. Ellis and his son then took on The High Flying Maverick with Ellis in the captain’s seat and his Son as co-pilot.

Ellis Levin and his son

About Ellis

Ellis started his aerobatic career at the tender age of 17 in a Pitts Special. Coached by his father Scully, he has some 15000 flying hours to his name and has flown for SAA for the past 14 years. He currently flies the Airbus A340 on international routes and has continued the Levin family legacy of skill, precision and professionalism.  Ellis is a member of The Cows Aerobatic Team and the Puma Energy Harvard’s Aerobatic Team.

African Pilot’s Athol and Christine taking “The High Flying Maverick” for a test flight at Gold Reef City

To read all the Tech’s specs on the Flying Maverick or to book your seat go to

Wings Over Howick 2018

Wings Over Howick 2018

On the weekend of the 9th of March Wings Over Howick ( RC Event ) was held at the Howick Glider Club and with a number of pilots coming from all over the country,it was a great turnout indeed. — By Trevor Viljoen

Wings Over Howick

Sunday was a early start, up at 04h00 and on the road at 05h00 up to Howick with the weather looking very good with a light wind and a awesome sunrise behind us and as we got to the field you could see and feel a good vibe and by the sounds of it, the guys had a good Saturday night talking around the fire which is always awesome to see and hear.

The best thing about this field is where it is and you get fullsize aircraft coming into land and taking off which the guys on the ground and the pilots in the air are always talking to each other about where they are and where are the rc gliders in the air which is nice for all to know.

Now for you guys that have not seen or been to an event such as this, ITS SAFETY FIRST FOR EVERYONE even that it is a Radio Controlled Aircraft THEY ARE NOT TOYS they can go some real damage to you or anyone. Ok so some of the gliders don’t have a motor in the front to full it into the air and some do!

The gliders that don’t have any motors are fulled into the air by a TUG, now a TUG is also a RC aircraft that is designed for such a thing as pulling a glider into the air and when the get to the height the glider pilot will pull up and the tow rope will release from the glider and then the glider is free from the TUG to fly on its own and do what the pilot wants to do with it, the TUG will then clear out the way of the glider and come and land where another glider will be waiting for a tow by the TUG. Its really awesome to see!
Wings Over Howick

The gliders with motors are hand thrown and with the pull of the prop will go up to a height and it does not take long too where then the pilot will cut the motor and the prop will fold back and then they can do what they need to do.

This event had a few things for the glider pilots to do which all did very well and Well Done to them indeed

Results From The Wings Over Howick 2018

Longest Thermal – Andrew Marshall
2nd Longest Thermal – Jason Durban Drone Guy
3rd Longest Thermal – Dean Halley
Tugger of the Event – Dean Hally
‘Skid Marks’ Champ – Chris Adrian
Most Beaut ‘Old Timer’ – Chris Adrian
Best Modern Glider – Clint Du Toit
Aerotower Of The Event – John Greenfield
Man Of The Match – Kenneth Lello
Most Suffering Wife – Lesley Ann Du Toit
Winner GPS Racing – Chris Adrian
2nd GPS Racing – John Greenfield
3rd GPS Racing – Johan Bruwer Snr & Wouter

A BIG THANK YOU to Dave Claxton, Russell Brent Conradt and everyone that put this event together, WELL DONE ALL my cap is off to you all – Trevor Viljoen

Click to enlarge photos


The High Flying Maverick

  1. The High Flying Maverick



Johannesburg, February 2018: Excitement is, quite literally, in the air at SA’s top-rated theme park* as Gold Reef City’s first-of-its-kind aeronautical ride – The High Flying Maverick – opens.

Combining thrilling motion and spectacular visual effects, The High Flying Maverick takes riders on an amazing journey which replicates the experiences and sensations of an acrobatic aeroplane flight, with banks, loops, dives and weightlessness that will test even the most experienced thrill seekers.

The New High Flying Maverick Thrill Ride Experience

As soon as the throttle is opened the plane wastes no time climbing to altitude. While ascending, passengers immediately start to pull a hard right, chasing the craft seen in front. Behind them is another aeroplane bearing down on their ‘six’ (otherwise known as your tail) and tailing the plane hard. This only means one thing, the pilot must take evasive manoeuvres. The aircraft swings into a series of awesome barrel rolls, pushing everyone on-board to the extreme, with G-forces anywhere between +4g to -1,8g. Numerous outlandish moves are seamlessly executed in a sequence that would put pilots of the famous Red Arrow Aerobatic Team to shame.

TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICS Lenght dimension 23,1 m (75’ 9’’) Width dimension 23,1 m (75’ 9’’) Height dimension 12,3 m (40’ 3’’) Number of seats 24 adults
TECHNICAL DATA SPECIFICS Number of arms 6 Theoretical hourly capacity 480 pph Minimum passenger height 120 cm (48’’) Drive power 109 kW Version Park model
If you’re brave enough to take a seat in the cockpit, get down to Gold Reef City from Wednesday 7 March and experience the sheer thrill of The High Flying Maverick for yourself.
The High Flying Maverick is exclusive to Thrill Rider ticket holders – R210 per person for full access to all rides and attractions in the park, and all riders must be 1.3m or taller. For more information and ticket bookings, please visit

Aviation Day 2018 – Springs Airport

Aviation Day – Springs Airport


By: Andre Venter
An amazing venue which was held in the Classic Flying Museum Hanger. The great turnout by pilots and co-pilots. A hundred people turned out to listen three amazing speakers.
Danie Heath from SASAR who is based at Oliver Tambo as an Air Controller, who talked on Safety and notifying your relatives where you are flying too and when you will be back. Think of the risks when doing anything. Giving detailed information when make a Mayday call. Make sure that you carry emergency supplies, water, space blanket, Pocket knife and a lighter. Also make sure you have a First Aid Box. Notify SASAR that you have landed safely at your destination.

The second speaker was Mike Bowter from CRM who is an ex pilot. Mike spoke about attitude. No matter how many aircraft you have flown and how many hours you have behind your name, if your attitude is wrong when flying, then you shouldn’t be flying. Rather cancel your arrangements for another day. Be positive in every way, if you not happy with your safety check, switch off and notify the authorities .

The Third speaker was Frank Versteegh, an ex-RED BULL Pilot who’s last RED BULL air race was in 2015 Frank spoke of the dangers of flying at high speeds , the g –force. He flew at 15g many times. He travelled to various countries all over the world. He believed in a No Fear strategy which was a bit careless at times. He said that if you not happy with your flying conditions rather turn around and try on another day. Frank should various videos where he was competing in races. We also saw 2 occasions when a water bottled came flying past his head while doing a routine in a race , and when item weren’t made secure (pen).
Prizes were handed out afterwards in a Lucky Draw and I won a BOOK on Airports SA

Click to enlarge, Photos by Andre Venter

The South African Guild of Aviation

Where Artists Soar

Where Artists Soar The South African Guild of Aviation, Military and Maritime Artists

Text: Juanita Benade
Photographs: SA GAMMA members

Whether the pen – or the brush – is indeed mightier than the sword will eventually only be determined by the course of history.

Nonetheless, the South African Guild of Aviation, Military and Maritime Artists (SA GAMMA) harnesses each and every “weapon of mass creativity” in its quest to depict combatants and their devices, whether in war or peace. Established in 2014 under the wing of the Zwartkop Scale Modellers at the SA Air Force (SAAF) Museum, Zwartkop, the Guild took flight with only a handful of artists. Its goal is to reach a broader civil society by means of artistic expression to the benefit of the SAAF Museum and other Special Interest Groups, whilst providing a specialty artistic resource to individuals, public and corporate entities alike. Barely three years and several exhibitions later, SA GAMMA’s membership has grown significantly, including artists in various South African cities and even abroad. Under the leadership of its current chairman, Theo Burden, the Guild has advanced to become an independently recognised SA Air Force Museum Special Interest Group (SIG) all the while continuing to gain public visibility. This diverse group of individuals share a common interest in aviation, military and maritime subjects, allowing for each artist’s distinct style and niche to be expressed within the broader genre. Its members’ pursuits range from original paintings to fine art prints, sketches, commissioned artworks as well as corporate gifts and the like. Many of SA GAMMA’s artists can be met in person during the Guild’s monthly exhibitions – courtesy of the Windsock Restaurant – at the Zwartkop SAAF Museum Flying Days. Other members living further away or abroad can be contacted via the South African Guild of Aviation, Military and Maritime Artists facebook group or on the artists’ personal pages. Randomly listed, the Guild’s official members currently include the following artists as introduced below:

Theo (on the right) in conversation
with visitors to the Guild, discussing his
Spitfire aviation artworks

SA GAMMA’s chairman Theo Burden closely liaises with the SA Air Force Museum, Zwartkop, other Special Interest Groups and corporate entities. He was one of the Guild’s founding members.As artist and scale modeller Theo’s main interest has always been Spitfires and he focusses currently on scale modelling.

On the far right,
Janine at one of SA GAMMA’s exhibitions.

Janine-Marie van den Heever is a multi-disciplinary artist, with qualifications in Jewellery Design and Manufacture.
She specialises in crafts and other artefacts, with her works including a series of Harvard-themed coasters available from the Harvard Club situated at the Zwartkop Air Force Base, or on order directly from herself.

Don with his painting of
SAAF Spitfire Mk-IXe AX-K 5553 in support of the Spitfire Restoration Programme

The Port Elizabeth SAAF Museum is the proud custodian of the Don Bell Art Gallery. He supports the Spitfire Restoration Programme and is a passionate volunteer at the PE SAAF Museum. This milieu provides input and stimulation for his aviation artworks, rendered in pencil or oil paints as his media of preference. Decades of experience in the architecture, advertising, graphic design, illustration and commercial art industries dictates his commitment to client satisfaction. He is available for commissions with executions in mixed media, water colours or pen in addition to oil painting and pencil artworks.

Young visitors at SA GAMMA hang on every word
as Marthie shares her love for the SAAF Museum and art with them

Marthie Vorster Breet is an accomplished painter, sculptor and sign writer with a profound love for teaching.
She created a number of remarkable maritime artworks alongside aviation subjects and supports various SAAF Museum Special Interest Groups with striking sign writing projects.

Adding another original piece to his extensive personal collection, Lt. Col. Heinrich Janzen (left) receives his painting from Andre, the creator of this Sunderland artwork.

Born in 1955, Andre du Plessis served in the Rhodesian Air Force between 1975 and 1979. Accordingly his main interest is aviation art, yet he enjoys depicting military and maritime themes as well. Working in a wide range of media – from digital art to oils, acrylics, pencil and aquarelle pencils – Andre teaches art in Pretoria with a focus on traditional materials and techniques. Being passionate about art, he views it as an opportunity to serve the Lord. His goal is to paint prolifically and complete at least one painting a month.

Carol at a SA GAMMA exhibition, next to her artworks executed in acrylic paint, water colours and dry point respectively.

Carol Thomas is a keen pioneer of new techniques and artistic approaches, experimenting with watercolours, inks and pastels.
Her paintings and handmade dry point prints predominantly explore the domain of World War II aircraft, with her father’s stories from his years as a youngster living in war-torn London serving as inspiration. She works within the aviation industry (information technology) and in addition to aviation artworks also paints wildlife and landscapes.

At work in his studio, Darryl holds one of his World War 1 aviation artworks.

The renowned and admired South African artist Darryl Legg joined the Guild recently. With a general interest in marine and military subjects, he specialises in aviation art. Working as a full time professional artist, his love for aircraft developed from aero-modelling as a youngster. His medium of choice is acrylic on canvas, executed in an evocative photorealistic technique. Both his parents are artists, with his father, Gordon Legg (a water colourist) being the greatest inspiration for Darryl to pursue art as a career.  Darryl has a high regard for the aviation artworks of Roy Huxley and Michael Turner.

In process: an oil painting by Lynn. This work has since been completed and can be viewed at SA GAMMA exhibitions.

A new and poignant series on Prisoner-of-War camps are to see the light within the near future under the brush of Lynn Greyling.
Working predominantly in oils and studying at the Creative School for art under Elsa and John Blem since 1992, Lynn’s artworks were featured in a private exhibition in the Paul-Jacques in 2014. Her portfolio includes wildlife, equine, military and aviation artworks.

As a South African living in Taiwan,
John’s artworks reflect both his roots
and future alike.

John Ecclestone (aka Cappie) comes from a family with a long line of military history and he served in the SA Army as an Infantry Officer until 2011, in both the Regular Force and Reserve Force.
Being a self-taught artist, he works in various media. This includes commemorative military digital artworks, design, Chinese Shuǐmòhuà (水墨畫) or sumi-e in Japanese (water ink painting), panpastel, watercolour and acrylic paint. He currently resides in Taiwan and continues his studies in the oriental art forms as well as compiling art lessons for young students.

Juanita presents a
military pencil portrait demonstration
at one of the Guild’s exhibitions.

Believing that everyone has a story to tell, Juanita Benade finds the discovery of the veiled humanity behind each and every new work captivating. The challenge is to express this personal narrative alongside the historical and contemporary significance rendered within the work. She enjoys the technically demanding nature and precision required to execute portraits, military and aviation artworks.
Some of her career highlights include the front-page feature of a research article on the South African-born World War 1 fighter ace Captain Douglas John Bell, as well as the accompanying commissioned artwork published in the January 2018 edition of the RADAR Magazine, Royal Air Force Museum, United Kingdom.

The success of SA GAMMA depends on each member contributing his / her particular set of skills in order to benefit the SAAF Museum and Guild, with new initiatives being launched constantly.

Visitor’s enthusiasm and participation in
projects remain the wind beneath
SA GAMMA’s wings

Between 24 October and 19 November 2018, the Guild is to exhibit at theBrooklyn Theatre (CANSA Art Gallery), with the opening event on the morning of 27 October 2018 at 10h30. Another project is an exciting ongoing public participation painting. Here, members of the public get their hands dirty, experiencing painting in oils at the SA Air Force Museum Zwartkop Flying Days during the Guild’s monthly meetings.
To obtain more information on projects, events and members’ artworks, visit the Guild’s Facebook page at: .



Readers are invited to join SA GAMMA’s competition for young upcoming artists and students! Win a year free of membership as well e-tutoring sessions with artist John Ecclestone. SA GAMMA Competition – Terms and Conditions
1) The competition is open to all young upcoming artists and students below the age of 25 years.
2) Submit photographs of two of your artworks within the Aviation, Military and/or Maritime genre (the exact subject matter and medium is participant’s own choice).
3) Submit a short paragraph of about 100 words about yourself and on why you would like to join SA GAMMA.
4) Submissions must be sent to: on or before 31 April 2018.
5) The winner will be announced on SA GAMMA’s facebook page:
6) The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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