Monthly Archives: March 2019

Stellenbosch warms old and young hearts alike-Stellenbosch Airshow 2019

Stellenbosch is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. The area is known for its scenery, wine, university and the kindness of the community. Stellenbosch Flying Club is located just off the R44 leading out of Stellenbosch and has a relaxed atmosphere where flying, local craft beer and good food makes for lazy Saturday afternoons. On the 23rd of March 2019 this changed to a hive of activity and the day where it all came together, months of meticulous planning with hard work and preparations came together. The scene was set, the queue at the gates forming just after sunrise and the weather being almost perfect.

Capital Sounds Brian Emennis and Silver Falcons lead Major Omphile Matloane

The packed program list and the variety of participating aircraft is proof of a wonderful show that warmed the hearts of many. The biggest flag in Africa was parachuted in from a C206, the emergency cavalcade was on display and the props of the aircraft of the first display were turning… out came the Silver Falcons to open the show. With the mountains and greenery from the surroundings being the scenery, the Silver Falcons took to the sky and gave a shortened but wonderful display. Really being the cockpit ambassadors for the South African Air Force.

SAAF Silver Falcons

Special mention is to be made of Mr Air Show, Brian Emmenis. As many will know, he is the voice of air shows in South Africa and abroad. While the first few displays where happening, interviews were performed with James Vos: MEC Tourism and Economic Affairs, Major Omphile Mutloane, Phillip du Preez: Head of ExecuJet Cape Town, Franz Smit: Pilot insure and Graham Smith who received a lifetime membership from Stellenbosh Flying Club.

The program consisted of The Silver Falcons, Team Extreme, a Mango B737, Ex-SAAF Bosbok, Working on Fire display consisting of two Hueys, a Cessna and AT-802, L39, NAC Bell 407, Shock Cub, Raptors RVs, Tigermoth, J51C Glider, Boeing Stearman, Howard Vintage, Radio Control Models, Husky, Harvard T6, a display by TSU/AGA involving vehicles, dogs and a EC145, M16 Gyro, NAC Mirage PA 46-350.

Team Extreme
Mango 737-800
Mango 737-800 & Ex SAAF Bosbok

The list of pilots being as impressive as the list of aircraft consisting of Scully Levin, Pierre Gouws, Trevor Warner, Nigel Hopkins, Glen Warden, Trevor Milton, Ivan V/D Schaar, Jurie Steyn, Trevor Milton and many others. These pilot put up energised displays that had the crowds entertained, camera shutters clicking all day long (making downloading, editing and posting a challenge) and made this show a memorable one.

NAC Bell 407
NAC Bell 407

throughout the day there were constant movements by staff between the crowds to collect litter which easily makes this the cleanest show I have witnessed. After a long hot day, the warmest in weeks, with loads of liquids consumed and the crowds leaving, there was not a single piece of paper or empty bottle lying around.

With the crowds heading home and some staying for a last drink or chat with old friends, the departing aircraft made for a mini show as many did the traditional fly by as a thank you. The Silver Falcons being no exception. They took off, the formation was formed and the six ship came past 3 times, almost as if they didn’t want to head home as yet. As the sun set on the mountains, the light being amazing, the dust from the show settled these were observed by a few and was truly magical.

A time to reflect on the day. To cement the memories made. To salute an organising team and everyone involved, from pilots to ground crew and cleaning staff. A massive thank you to all. Not even load shedding could dampen spirits or impact the show!

Raptors RVs

The Stellenbosch Air Show hosted by the Stellenbosch Flying Club is to be an annual event and surely one to diarise! I for one will be there.

See you next year!

Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team Ready for the first Airshow of 2019

The skies over Stellenbosch are getting Busy with the Big airshow this coming Saturday, 23 March at Stellenbosch Flying Club in the Western Cape.

Stellenbosch hasn’t hosted an airshow since 2015,the Cape aviation enthusiast’s are sure hungry for an airshow.

Silver Falcons

The Silver Falcons will be displaying at their first airshow for 2019 at Stellenbosch this coming Saturday under the leadership of Major Omphile Matloane.

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana September 2018

The team recently displayed at the past Armed Forces Week in Cape Town in February 2019.

Falcon 1 Background
Falcon 2 Tiaan Stander
Falcon 3 Corne van Deventer
Falcon 4 Bheki Shabangu
Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana
Silver Falcons over Cape Town during Armed Forces Week February 2019
Silver Falcons

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Stellenbosch Flying club getting busy – Show Time

Skies over Stellenbosch getting Busy with the Big airshow this coming Saturday, 23 March at Stellenbosch Flying Club
By Niel Swart

Team Xtreme Airshows

Team Xtreme Airshows – By Justin de Reuck

With the Stellenbosch Air Show less than a week away, we spent some time at Stellenbosch. With load shedding reaching stage 4 and often at the most inconvenient times, what better way to spend your day watching airplanes and chatting to local aviators?

Preparations for the show is already underway with the crowd line being put up, the grass being looked after and local aviators making sure everything is in tip top condition. Not only is there activity on the ground but also in the kitchen and believe you me, some amazingly good food and local beer on tap. By visiting Stellenbosch Flying Club you do not only get food for the soul but also food for the body. The air is clean, the scenery is beautiful, the people are friendly, the food amazing and the airplanes beauties.

If you haven’t bought your tickets as yet, please do as you will miss out on, what promises to be, a very special event.

2019 Airshow Aircraft and Teams

Every year we see Airshows across Southern Africa. Some teams we see at every show and others we don’t see that often. Aircraft we get L29 & 39’s to Gripen and Cheetah, From Harvard’s and Pitts Specials to Little Annie. The Military aircraft is always a winner at any airshow.

Every 2nd Year with AAD, we all hold thumbs and our breath in hope for some international aircraft, however due to South Africa being on the most southern tip of Africa the cost to bring aircraft to SA is very costly and not always feasible. We are hoping for something spectacular in 2019, however our, Aviation Central’s hope is on 2020.

2020 is a big year for Aviation in South Africa. The Aero Club of South Africa and South African Air force will be turning 100 years old. At this stage only the Aero club indicated interest in Centenary celebrations and planning is already in progress. We will Keep you updated on any Centenary celebration planning!

2021 Swartkop AFB will be 100 years old. Lets hope 2021 we will see a BIG Swartkop / SAAF Museum airshow.

The list below contains Aircraft and Teams listed per Airshow for 2019. We will be running a list for every year from as from 2018!

Popular Display teams, Puma Energy Flying Lions, The Cows Aerobatic team, GoodYear Eagles Aerobatic team, The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team and the High Energy Team Xtreme are some of the popular display teams on our Airshow circuit

Southern Africa also has some Farther’s and Son’s flying in Airshows, Larry and Jason Beamish, Mark and Jon-Marc, Scully and Ellis Levin, Derick and Nigel Hopkins.

Also see our Airshows and other Aviation Events Calendar

If you feel we missed any Airshow, Team, Pilot or Aircraft, please let us know, or

Important Notice:

We will only add Aircraft as we get conformation to the buildup of an show, this the listing my not be complete when its added prior to show date! Where Aircraft is added prior to an Event, does not guarantee that all aircraft is added nor that all Added aircraft will be flying!

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This is a list of all Airshows in Southern Africa for the Year 2019, Middelburg, Stellenbosch, Lowveld, Matsieng, Newcastle, Mozambique, Klerksdorp, Bethlehem, Swartkop, Swaziland, Ladysmith, ICAD 2019

Teams & Aircraft

Middelburg Airweek & Airshow 2019

Middelburg Airshow 2019

The smell of Avgas, Mogas and Jet A1 filled the skies over Middelburg this past weekend with the first of two Mpumalanga Airshows to take place this year. The 2019 Middelburg Airshow returned this year after the planning phase taking place last year with the absence of the show. This year the organisers put together a major show with the Aero Club of South Africa having their Airweek and the highly anticipated Airshow.

Our team arrived at Middelburg on Thursday the 7th March, thanks to our aviation family Airshow friends “Just Love Mission” Little Annie the sole surving Antonov two on the Airshow circuit. We were extremely honored to be invited days before the show by Richard and Irene Lovett, organisers of past present and now future airshows at Middelburg Airfield. Our media liaison officer Mark Mansfield organized all our accommodation, once again treated to the hospitality of the Lovett Family. Mark also kept us up to date before and after the show with all necessary news updates.

Friday evening, we were treated to some early evening flying from Riaan Prinsloo, Ivan Van der Schaar and Juba Joubert in a Yak18T, Boeing Stearman and an Aerospatiale Gazelle in formation.

The Grasslands based Misasa Aerial Display Team-MAD microlights showed off their Led lights in close formation.

A number of aircraft flew in between Thursday and Saturday of the event.

Saturday morning the now exciting Speed Rally took place with some of the SAPFA members flying the speed navigation rally, which is similar to the fun rally’s we usually attend. Except that the rally is given a pre-determined handicap speed, based on a selected power setting to each aircraft.
Read more here on the Speed Rally

On show day, Hot Air balloons filled the morning sky above Middelburg. While some of the participating show aircraft made their way in from neighboring Gauteng airports and elsewhere.

A new plan at some of the airshows in South Africa this year is to have an afternoon show instead of the entire day having a full program with many repeats. This show had no repeats and a full program with no gaps in between.
A cavalcade of Trucks opened the show with Juba Joubert flying the Alouettes II above the line of trucks while Capital Sounds provided as always, the vibe to the Airshow circuits thanks to Brian Emmenis and his great team who put together sound and information on each act in the slot of the event.

The first of the processdings began with an Atlas Angel formally an Ex South Africa Airforce (SAAF) Kudu, used as a jump ship for the “Skydive Tandem Johannesburg” Delmas based parachute members and other members from neighboring parachute clubs.

Menno Parsons made a welcome back display in his P51 Mustang Sally, as the P51 had to have a major engine overhaul and was absent from airshows for a year. It was also a first to have a P51D at Middelburg Airshow.

The Just Love Mission Antonov 2 “Little Annie” with Jon-Marc Hill and Col Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer flew a fantastic display in the world’s biggest piston bi-plane. “Little Annie also raced a truck and decided to drop a number of marshmallows over the crowds of Middelburg. They’re surely know how to sweeten things up!

The Puma Flying Lions led by Scully Levin, Arnie Menageli and Sean Thakwray flew a three-ship display with the roar of the T6 Harvard. The Cows Pitts Specials had a synchro display with two aircraft displaying the colors of a good cause to the masses.
Captain Flippie Vermulen brought his Springbok Classic Air Beech 18, and showed off the classic early day propliner.

Dennis Spence had his team of the Goodyear Eagles with a full four ship display of all his Pitts S2Bs flown by Glen “Gringo” Warden, Nigel Hopkins, Johan Von Solms and Jason Beamish.

Nigel and Jason also flew the high energy aerobatic display of Team Extreme with Jason Beamish showing off his brand new Extra 330 at its first of many airshows to come. Pierre Gouws led the Raptor RVs with Nigel Hopkins, Trevor Warner and Ryan Beaton.

The main attraction of airshows has to always be the jets, this year we got to see Richard Lovetts L39ZU-IBN, David Laas Impala Mk1 ZU-IMP and Rand Airport based L29 ZU-AUX.

A new display was the hostage scenario where an Atlas Angel was taken hostage from terrorists and an Aerospatiale Gazelle came to the rescue with members of armed reaction forces. Juba Joubert also flew a solo display in an Aerospatiale Gazelle, his routine is very similar to some of the world’s present attack helicopter routines worldwide.

A gyrocopter and 2 Bathawks were put through their paces adding flavor to the ultralight aircraft on display.

The flying phase of the show was ended by a formation of the Puma Flying Lions led by the Springbok Classic Air Beech 18. A hot air balloon and fireworks ended the show, where all invited guests moved into the Lovetts Hanger for Gala evening and Price giving for the Speed Rally. The most scrumptious supper was awarded to us and many others. To all the sponsors, who made the show possible we thank you.

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But to the Middelburg Aero Club and to Irene and Richard Lovett we congratulate you on a fantastic event you have once again pulled off. Us as a team get highly emotional as your hospitality, your organization and there is so much more we can say. You guys are the best of the best. We thank you, we cannot wait for Aero Club 100 next year once again to be held at Middelburg Airfield. At what we have been told, it’s going to be massive.

Click to enlarge

Middelburg Speed Rally 2019

The Pilot Insure Middelburg Navigation Speed Rally – 9 March 2019 by Rob Jonkers

The South African Power Flying Association held a very successful Speed Rally at the Aero Club Airweek 2019 at Middelburg. Originally scheduled as an Adventure Rally as was held in 2018, SAPFA decided to change this to a Speed Rally given the popularity of the event, with this one being the 4th in the series.

Within days of the announcement, the first 28 places were snapped up by competitors having taken part in the previous events, not leaving any room for new entrants, and it was decided to extend the field from the original maximum of 30 to 35, with an opportunity for the local Middelburg club members to take part. This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is around 120 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph.

Planning got underway in February to prepare the route, keeping in mind that with the Airweek as an event and an Airshow to coordinate with, in terms of take-off and landing slots of other arrivals and departures made the details challenging to plan. The route was kept to the north and east of the airfield, as most inbound and outbound traffic would be from the west.

Friday saw a fairly full day of test flights with some repeat test flights to reconfirm handicaps, with conditions mostly favourable although the cloud base was low in the morning. After the Safety Aviator Presentations which started just after 2 pm, Mary de Klerk had arranged to hold a training session on how to fly a Speed Rally, which was very well attended, and included a practical map preparation session on an example map, sharing the tips and tricks of how to follow the map features and timing points.

Thereafter at 6h30, Jonty Esser as the Race Master introduced Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work with expected weather conditions, which looked as if it would be good.

Then all the competitors were treated to a briefing on Steroids on Friday night with the Speed Rally Race Master Jonty Esser having set up a show for the teams, with a real life lights, camera, action sequence, where each team were introduced with their team theme song, handed their race numbers. Jonty also introduced the teams to the Speed Rally website where a Speed Rally ranking system was created, with team profiles and their leaderboard position.

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Briefing on Steroids – race numbers being handed out

The evening ended with a braai hosted by the Middelburg Aero Club, before retiring for the night, some were camping under the wing or in Neil Bowden’s tent area. Saturday morning saw low cloud and some fog, although it started to lift and clear fairly soon, giving a go ahead to start the rally.

The briefing started at 8h30, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, with marshals assisting in parking sequence, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags, and although no onboard systems were disabled, it relied on an honour code to not utilise onboard GPS as a Navigation aid, however the course is designed as such that GPS would be of minimal benefit.

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The Rally line up getting ready to start

The intent is that everybody uses the basic skills of navigation plotting and flying, and operate as a team in terms of cockpit workload, and with the course layout with short legs it for sure makes the crew resource work sharing all the more important. The idea would be that each crew would receive a pre-plotted map already complete with the route, turning points, headings, altitudes, where the map would not have any lat/long or grid references. This would be provided 20 minutes prior take-off to allow route orientation and the plotting of minute markers.

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The skopgat team of Von Hamman & Ron Stirk in their C150 ZS-IWD

In this format, there are two objectives, fly against a pre-determined handicap speed for each aircraft, and fly the shortest route around the course which would consist of a minimum of 10 turning points, and any aircraft would be able to compete, from slower LSA aircraft to the fast turbo singles or twins. The idea would be to test the speed capability and navigation skills of each crew against each other, where the most accurate flying and turn performance management would win the rally.

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Father & Sone team of Hendrik & Jandre Loots

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Charlene, Jean, Conrad, Frans and David were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, and also handing out papers at the allotted time, and also checking the fuel tanks were full. To assist the teams at getting their take-off roll accurate, a starting colour panel was used, which was set up next to the start line on the runway by Chief Marshal Hans Potgieter and Mark Clulow, which would release them at their allotted time slot. Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at their 20 minutes prior take-off time, and then taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of take-off time. 1st take-off was at 09h55 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h50, with planned arrival at 11h30, the fast Cirrus ZS-ACA only needing 40 minutes to complete the course.

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Scrutineering the team of Piet Meyer & Adrienne Visser in their Jabiru ZU-DUU

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With all the competitors off towards the north, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints to contend with to give competitors a chance to always be aware of where they were, but some turnpoints were a challenge find, especially if the colour of the surrounding ground features had changes since the photos were taken. Although Turnpoint 2 was essentially along the road going past the airfield, it was still difficult to find apparently given how many were searching for it. Quite a few competitors cut the corners on turnpoints including Phil & Mary who during her training session warned everybody to “go round the TP”.

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Chief Marshall Hans Potgieter at the Starting Point

After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, and with the new loggers were able to complete the scores by 1 pm, and everybody were given their score sheets. Prize giving would only be in the evening so the teams and officials could enjoy the Airshow for the afternoon.

With everybody settling in for the VIP dinner hosted by the Middelburg Aero Club, and opening speeches and starters enjoyed by the guests, the prize giving was coordinated by Jonty Esser acting as the MC for this time slot, with firstly aircraft judging certificates handed out by EAA’s Sean Cronin, and thereafter a showing of a number of interesting flight tracks given by Rob Jonkers, which for this rally turned out overall to be very good, with only one competitor having had some navigation trouble, and for sure the overall standard is improving, with all aircraft over the line within 7 minutes. As the teams were visible approaching the field, first in view was Jonty Esser in the slowest aircraft a Foxbat being chased down by Phil Wakeley in a C210, who crossed the line within 8 seconds of each other. Some other interesting facts were that the full field also completed the course with an average of 7 nm overflown and the best performance against handicap time was 25 seconds.

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After this the Speed Rally promo video was shown, and then the prize giving, which was hosted by Frans Smit from Pilot Insure who was this Speed Rally’s main sponsor. First a Hard Luck certificate was handed out to Jaco Goosen whose C182 fell into a subterranean aardvark tunnel and damaged the horizontal stabilizer, then Jonty handed over the Club Trophy to Richardt Lovett and the Middelburg team.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Jonty Esser and Jonathan Esser in a Foxbat ZU-DYE, in second place was Arthur de Kock and Freddie van Rooyen in their Jabiru J430 ZU-MEL, and in third place Hendrik Loots and Jandre Loots in their Sling 2 ZU-IHK. The first fourteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

The winners in the accuracy category were the team of David Ross and James Braid in their Sling 2 ZU-JAR, in second place was Johan van Eeden and Cor Esterhuizen in their RV7 ZU-IHH, and in third place the skopgat team of Ron Stirk and Von Hamman in their C150 ZS-IWD.

Many thanks to the Middelburg Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Hans Potgieter with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark Clulow doing the scoring with our handicapping guru Chester Chandler, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews, Jonty & Lizelle for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Also thanks to Mary de Klerk for the time made available to do the training course held on Friday, it for sure helped the teams to gain an understanding of what to expect.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, also to Pilot’s Post for sponsoring the team of Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk, and provided three key reasons for this, the first one being that the Speed Rally as a brand is seen as the future of competitive flying, second being that the Speed Rally brand will add value to our brand, third being that they believe that Phil and Mary are the perfect ambassadors for Pilot’s Post and they will carry our flag high.

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The next speed rally is in Bethlehem on the 8th June 2019

The winning track – ZU-DYE

Having a bad day, but not bad considering the good recovery – ZU-LAX


Stellenbosch Update 2019 Update II

For the first time in years, Stellenbosch is having an air show. This is not just an air show, it is an air show that promises to be like no other and we are just as excited to share the following with you, our loyal followers and a show packed with firsts. In this article we will share the what, where, when and what else you may need to know to make this the best show you ever attended.

Dubbed FASHKOSH, a play on Stellenbosch’s official airfield name FASH and OSHKOSH, the single biggest air show and gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world which takes place annually at Oshkosh Wisconsin in the USA, the 2019 Stellenbosch Airshow takes place on the 23rd of March and promises to be bigger, louder and more exciting than in previous years.

Few things to remember

  • Cash is king
  • Sunblock
  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Have fun!


The program for show day provides non-stop adrenalin and entertainment with the line-up consisting of the following:

  • Power paragliders
  • Large scale model jets
  • The biggest SA flag skydiver (A first for Stellenbosch)

As you can see, that is one LARGE flag!

  • South African Airforce Silver Falcons

Visiting all the way from Langebaanweg AFB.

  • L39 fighter jet

  • Ex SAAF Bosbok

Golden oldie!

  • Glider and tug display
  • Vintage De Haviland Tiger Moth and Chipmunk display
  • Emergency vehicle cavalcade
  • Bell 407 helicopter
  • Vintage Howard display

Such beautiful lines!

  • Vintage Cessna 195 display
  • Boeing 737 airliner display (First for Stellenbosch)

This augh to be a sight, remember the SAA B747 visit a few years back?

  • The HULK Sonerai 2 aerobatic display
  • Pilatus PC24 Business jet (First for Stellenbosch)
  • Motor glider display
  • Raptors formation aerobatics display (First for Stellenbosch)
  • RV solo aerobatic display
  • Gyrocopter M16 display
  • Shock Cub display (First for Stellenbosch)
  • Team Extreme aerobatic display

Always impressive!

  • Aviat Husky short field performance display (First Sstellenbosch female display pilot)
  • Nashua Extra 300 (First for Stellenbosch)

Expect another action packed display!

  • T6 Harvard display
  • Vintage Boeing Stearman display
  • Black Hawk Helicopter display (First for Stellenbosch)
  • Huey Helicopter display

This will be impressive to see!

  • Piper Malibu display (First for Stellenbosch)
  • Piper Aerostar display
  • Airborne armed response and medevac demonstration (First for Stellenbosch)
  • Working on Fire demonstration

World renowned air show commentator Brian Emmenis and Capital Sounds will bring you informative and entertaining commentary and food and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Food and refreshments

A wide variety of food vendors will ensure that you can have a meal to your liking. Stellenbrau will be serving their products in the beer tent and a number of wine producers from the area will have their produce available for tasting and sale. Remember… cash is king at air shows.

Getting there and getting in

The show takes place on the Stellenbosch Airfield, Aerodrome road, off the R44 between Stellenbosch and Somerset West.

Gates open for spectators at 0800 with visiting aircraft of various descriptions flying in until the emergency cavalcade procession at 1015 where after the show will be opened by the skydivers

Tickets are available online at Webticket at R150 for adults and R100 for children. Under four years old enter for free. Numbers are limited and very few tickets will be available at the gate so get yours online early.

Flying in

Aviators are welcome to fly in and are required to register their intention to do so by emailing or by whatsapp to the club GM Anton Theart on 0798734567. Due to limited space the cutoff for fly-in registration is 19 March and all aircraft flying in are required to be on the ground and parked by 09 00 on the day of the event. The normal FASH joining procedure as published on the club website at is to be followed and ATC instructions should be listened for on the airfield frequency which is 119.3. Parking will be in the visitor’s area and you should bring your own tow bar for ground handling. All arriving pilots and their passengers are required to pay the normal R150 per person entrance fee by purchasing a ticket on Webtickets before arriving.

Those wishing to fly in the day before and camp on the field may do so for a fee of R200 which is payable on arrival. Bring your own tent to camp under the wing of your aircraft. Ablutions and braai facilities will be available.

Departures will be permitted after the completion of the display program from 16 00


Middelburg Airshow 2019


Although the Airshow is only an Afternoon show, The morning skies will be extremely busy with an Speed Rally, Drone Racing and many more! See Trucks, Dragster Cars Race against Glider, Planes and Helicopters

Get your Thickets here

To view more on other Events at the Aero Club of South Africa’s Airweek and Public show day on Saturday please click here
















15:41 – 15:56 DEPARTURE SLOT






L 39 JET











All day commentary by the legendary air show commentator Brian Emmenis and his expert CAPITAL SOUNDS team.


Preview Video on the Speed Rally

Truck’s that will be in action

Dragsters that you will see at Middelburg

Middelburg Airshow 2017 Photo’s

What to expect for the Aero Club Airweek 2019

Some of the provisional entries on the list for the Aero Club Airweek 2019 that is scheduled for this week that ends with a Stunning High Energy Middelburg Airshow 2019 that will future Fireworks and Dragster Cars racing against Aircraft and Choppers.
Proudly hosted by Middelburg Aero Club
Don’t Forget that is a build-up to Airweek 2020 when the Aero Club of South Africa will be celebrating 100 Years

CAASA Index Q4-18

Media statement

CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) – 4th Quarter 2018

Embargo: 1 March 2019 (08:00)


The Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA) is proud to announce the results of its composite index of aviation activity for the 4th quarter of 2018.

The CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI) is based on 25 different indicators and provides an objective & balanced gauge of economic activity in the commercial aviation industry. Due to the short-term volatility inherent in purchasing and selling aircraft, where units are small, but the currency values are very high, the CAAI includes a trend that is based on a 4-quarter moving average, as illustrated by the graph.

Summary of key trends depicted by the CAAI for the 4th quarter of 2018:

  1. The CAAI index value recorded a sharp increase in the 4th quarter of 2018 to a level of 142, which represents an increase of 42% over the base period for the Index (the 1st quarter of 2014). In the process, the index value seems to have recovered to the average level that was recorded between mid-2014 and the end of 2016, after which a declining trend commenced that saw the index slip back to a level of 100.
  2. A strong rise in the value of helicopter exports represented the main reason for the welcome recovery of the CAAI. Both categories (mass of below 2 tonnes and mass above 2 tonnes) recorded record high export values.

  1. A second contributing factor to the stellar performance of the CAAI during the 4th quarter of 2018 was strong growth in import values for aeroplanes and helicopters.
  2. An encouraging feature of the latest CAAI is the broad-based nature of recovery of commercial aviation activity, with a total of 16 of the 25 different indicators recording gains over the 4th quarter of 2017.
  3. The declining trend in air traffic movements (ATMs) at two ACSA airports, namely Port Elizabeth and East London, is a point of concern, particularly due to the abundance of tourism facilities in their surrounding areas. Combined with low growth in ATMs at the larger ACSA airports, it is clear that inbound tourism from overseas has not yet recovered from the ill-conceived stricter visa regulations that were implemented during Mr Malusi Gigaba’s term of office as Home Affairs Minister.
  4. Care should nevertheless be taken with the interpretation of the CAAI results. Commercial aviation activity in South Africa has suffered the same fate as several other sectors of the economy over the past two years, namely insufficient demand, flowing from lethargic economic growth and low levels of business and consumer confidence.
  5. Other reasons for the generally subdued levels of activity in commercial aviation since 2017 include high interest rates, higher fuel prices (until recently), and the effect of a volatile and undervalued currency. Combined with the lingering threat of land expropriation without compensation (EWC), this has not been conducive to investment in new productive capacity – a problem that exists in most of the country’s economic sectors, as confirmed by a consistent declining trend in real capital formation. Hopefully, the reforms aimed at improving growth that have been promised by the country’s new president, will start to bear fruit after the May elections.
  6. The best performing indicators in Q4 2018 are listed in the table.
Best performing CAAI indicators in Q4 2018
(compared to average for Q4 since 2014)
% increase
Exports – Helicopters above 2t 147
Exports – Helicopters under 2t 129
Imports – Aeroplanes under 2t 22
Imports – Propellors 15.2
Imports – Other spares 14.5
ATMs – Rand airport 11.5
ATMs – Pietermaritzburg 11
Imports – aeroplanes >2t<15t 9.1
ATMs – Nelspruit 3.8
ATMs – OR Tambo 1.3
ATMs – Lanseria 1.2

Three key considerations sparked the decision by the Board of CAASA to design the CAASA Aviation Activity Index (CAAI):

  • Firstly, the recognition of the indispensable role that commercial aviation plays in facilitating the rapid transport of decision-makers in all spheres of society.
  • Secondly, individual data sets reflecting one or more areas of commercial aviation activity often contradict each other, particularly as a result of the capital intensive nature of the industry’s asset base.
  • Thirdly, CAASA has identified a need amongst its members and other stakeholders in aviation to contribute to the knowledge base of conditions in the aviation industry by forging a number of key indicators into a composite index, weighted in terms of their perceived contribution to the general trend in commercial aviation.

Composition of the Index

A total of 25 different indicators were selected for inclusion in the CAAI, classified in terms of the following seven groups (weightings, trends and historical graphs are available on the CAASA website):

  • Value of imports of helicopters
  • Value of imports of aeroplanes (of a mass less than 15t)
  • Physical quantity of imported aircraft
  • Value of imports of aircraft spares
  • Value of exports of aircraft
  • Air traffic movements at six ACSA airports
  • Air traffic movements at seven non-ACSA airports


Louise Olckers – General Manager, CAASA

e-mail:; tel: 011 659 2345

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