Monthly Archives: November 2019

The Spanish Casa

During the late 1960s, the Spanish Airforce was still operating a number of outdated piston-engine transports, including the three-engine Junkers JU52 and Twin Engine Douglas DC3. In order to meet the Spanish Air Force’s needs to modernise its transport force. The CASA proposed the C-212, a twin engine 18 seat transport aircraft that would be capable of fulfilling a variety of military roles, including passenger transport, ambulance aircraft and paratroop carrier, while also being suitable for civil use.

A Casa 212 from 44 Squadron leads a formation of 41 Squadron King Airs during Armed Forces Day Cape Town February 2019.

The first prototype flew on 26 March 1971. In 1974, the Spanish Air Force decided to acquire the Aviocar to update its fleet. The company that now operates the Casa series is now known as Airbus Military.

Portuguese Airforce Casa 212

In 2010, Airbus Military said it could no longer afford to produce the C212 in Europe and after production in Seville slowed to four in two years, the last C-212 produced in Spain was delivered in late December 2012 to the Vietnam Marine Police Over 42 years, 477 aircraft have been produced for 92 operators.

Australian Civil Registered Casa 212-300

The South African Airforce Casa 212 in Service

The SAAF casa 212 and 235 fleet rage from former homelands The Aviocar fleet as inherited in 1994 from the air wings of the former Bophuthatswana (1, 1985), Transkei (2, 1986) and Venda (2, 1988).

SAAF Casa 212 Lowveld Airshow 2018

With 43 Squadron at Cairo West on 12 March 1944 with Avro Anson’s, the squadron began conversion to the Dakota by the end of the month. The squadron was involved in scheduled and unscheduled flights throughout the region and even as far as Rome, Russia, Karachi and the Gold Coast (Ghana). In February 1945 the squadron moved to the Italian port of Bari for operations in the Balkans, including providing support to Yugoslav partisans.

eSwatini Airshow 2019 Casa skydiver drop

The squadrons activities were not confined to the Balkans, with general transport and VIP flights to the south of France, Turkey, Egypt and Britain. The squadron was eventually disbanded at Bari on 6 December 1945.

44 Squadron Casa 212 & 41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan, Newcastle Airshow KZN 2011

The squadron was reformed in November 1953 at Swartkop as a transport unit flying Dakotas by renumbering 25 Squadron. The squadron spent a few years at Waterkloof between 1956 and 1963 before returning to Swartkop. Ex-SAA DC-4 Skymasters joining the fleet in 1966. The Vickers Viscount was transferred from 21 Squadron in October 1983 and flew with the squadron until sold in 1991. In 1992, the squadron moved to AFB Waterkloof and re-equipped with Dakotas converted to the C-47TP standard.

Lowveld Airshow 2018
Airforce of Zimbabwe Casa 212
Airforce of Zimbabwe Casa 212 AAD2018

The Skymasters were retired in 1994. During 1998 the C-47TPs were transfered to 35 Squadron when the squadron took over the CASA 212s and CN-235 of the disbanded 86 MEFS. With the disbanding of 42 Squadron in February 2000.44 Squadron took over their Cessna 185’s as well, using them to form B Flight, while the CASAs formed A Flight.

Ladysmith Airshow KZN 2019
South African Airforce & Airforce of Zimbabwe Casas

44 Squadron had a very busy start to the year 2019,as typhoons ripped over the eastern parts of Africa including Mozambique and Malawi.The casa was tasked to take medical and food aid while other contries who also assited at the time.The casa 212 has also been a regular at South African Airshows this year as a jump ship for the Golden Eagles Parachute display team.

Today the Casa 212s still operate out of Airforce Base Waterkloof with the Casa 212 whispering over the field.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 26 passengers / 25 paratroops / 2,820 kg (6,217 lb) military payload / 2,700 kg (5,952 lb) cargo payload
  • Length: 16.15 m (53 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 20.28 m (66 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 6.6 m (21 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 41 m2 (440 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 10
  • Airfoil: NACA 653-218[51]
  • Empty weight: 3,780 kg (8,333 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 8,000 kg (17,637 lb) military

7,700 kg (16,976 lb) standard

  • Max Landing weight: 7,450 kg (16,424 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 2,040 l (540 US gal; 450 imp gal) / 1,600 kg (3,527 lb) internal

and 1,000 l (260 US gal; 220 imp gal) auxiliary fuel tanks in the cabin or 2x 750 l (200 US gal; 160 imp gal) auxiliary fuel tanks in the cabin and/or 2x 500 l (130 US gal; 110 imp gal) underwing auxiliary fuel tanks


  • Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph, 200 kn) VMO (maximum operating speed) at MTOW
  • Cruise speed: 354 km/h (220 mph, 191 kn) (max cruise) at 3,050 m (10,007 ft)
  • Economical cruise speed: 300 km/h (190 mph; 160 kn) at 3,050 m (10,007 ft)
  • Stall speed: 145 km/h (90 mph, 78 kn) in take-off configuration
  • Range: 835 km (519 mi, 451 nmi) with full military payload
  • Ferry range: 2,680 km (1,670 mi, 1,450 nmi) with maximum fuel and 1,192 kg (2,628 lb) payload
  • Service ceiling: 7,925 m (26,001 ft)

3,380 m (11,089 ft) on one engine

  • Rate of climb: 8.283 m/s (1,630.5 ft/min)
  • Take-off distance to 15 m (49 ft): 610 m (2,001 ft) (MIL-7700C)
  • Landing distance from 15 m (49 ft): 462 m (1,516 ft) (MIL-7700C)
  • Landing run: 285 m (935 ft) (MIL-7700C)

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Pilot Insure 7th Speed Rally-Season 2 Springs 23 November 2019

Season 2 of the Pilots Insure Speed Rally in already upon us for the second edition of the growing flying sport which is becoming an exciting aviation event around South Africa, with 2020 close it was decided for the first of the speed rally proceedings to start earlier then usual.

The last Speed Rally held at Secunda on the 10th August was the finale of the 2018/19 season, and the 6th in the series, where it had returned to the birth of the Speed Rally concept in 2018. This new Season as Season 2 should prove to elevate this event to the next level, and since the completion of the 1st Season an extensive Season debrief was held with the officials and a number of competitors to review the rules and workings of the Speed Rally concept to look at improvements and changes, a number of which have been brought into the competition. One of the major changes was to extend the overall distance from 125 nm to 150 nm, to make the legs a little longer to accommodate the faster aircraft, most of the other
changes facilitating the crew with better cockpit paperwork.

Furthermore a GPS category was brought into play, which would allow novices to be introduced to the event without the stress of knowing or not knowing where to go, with the intent to get themselves
upgraded to Championship status after having gained sufficient experience.

Entries were already open after Season 1, and many already confirmed their entries which quickly went over 40, with an eventual count at 40 on Friday, with 3 withdrawing on the day. This event is attracting
many father & son teams, and many more of the younger generation. It was decided for this event that the Mach 1 Flight School would be the hosts on the airfield, they have as a school been involved from the first
rally and have increased their participation with their instructors, and seeing from the results over time they have become more experienced and moving up in the placings.

With a view of bringing in more excitement to this event, a shortened course of 60 nm with 3 laps in the
style of a Grand Prix circuit was also designed by Race Master Jonty Esser for a small field as a try out

This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is now around 150 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. This is also
an event where no GPS aids are allowed in the Championship league, these are all sealed up, and courtesy of Century Avionics on-board devices are also covered up, although not disabled. In the GPS league, competitors can utilize any technology, although it seems that this did not help much, a number of the GPS enabled competitors also went walk about…

The route was mostly to the east of the airfield, not in the most scenic part of the country, which is mostly dotted with power stations and coal mines, but then the competitors would have been more concerned
about keeping track than looking at scenery.

The weather on Friday started out real well, the forecast giving late afternoon thundershowers which were lurking towards the west. Test flights commenced with many new entries requiring test flights and some
old entries wanting to retest to re-confirm their handicaps. The EAA came in to help with this, with Sean Cronin & Karl Jensen supporting SAPFA’s test flight designate Mark Clulow, and got through all the test
flights just after 3 PM. Mary de Klerk also breezed in to provide the newbies with some dedicated training.

Thereafter at 18h30, 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 turn points,
distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system worked in terms of penalties as well as the expected weather conditions, which looked like some early cloud, then a clear day expected
with late afternoon thundershowers.

All the competitors were then treated to a briefing on Steroids with 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, thereafter everybody was treated to a buffet meal before retiring for the evening.

Saturday morning dawned with perfect flying conditions, a clear day with virtually no wind, with the briefing
starting a little earlier at 7.30 am as the intent was to finish the rally at 11.30 to be able to fit in the Grand Prix in the early afternoon.

The briefing was shorter than the previous evening, and focused on the procedures for scrutineering, the handing out of papers, starting line, and finish protocol. The aircraft were to be parked in order of slowest
to fastest, with a 15 second gap as a minimum between them, with the idea to have all the aircraft cross the finish line as close to 11h30 as possible, given that everybody needs to achieve a perfect route around
the course. There was a plan to also to live track the event under the events section of Livetrack 24, and for this purpose a number of live trackers were loaned and set up, although this proved to be very finicky,
it had marginal success, although

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Karen, Conrad, Johan and Alex 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 Jacques Jacobs and Mark Clulow, who 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 09h40 for the slowest aircraft
and last take-off at 10h40, with planned arrival at 11h30. This was the first time two helicopters also tookpart, one an Alouette 2 and the other a Robinson R66, the Alouette 2 being the slowest and was the first
to depart.

With all the competitors off towards the east, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turn points. In general the competitors found the course a little more difficult than the last one, especially around
turn point 4, where is seems the rail and road crossing was difficult to spot, attesting to the increased difficulty that there were only 13 clear round aircraft, out of 40. Just before 11h30 the first aircraft over the
line was a Cessna 172 ZS-OET, follow by a Sling 4 ZU-IOK, and closely after that the R66 ZS-HRS, and from there within the next 2 minutes or so 20 aircraft with stragglers coming up the rear. The landing
sequence was fairly easy to do with everybody joining crosswind, then downwind onto 03 with good spacing.

After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, with the tracks for a number being quite accurate, although some had wobbles, but a few got a bit
lost, the Alouette 2 flying at full speed being very thirsty in fuel consumption decided to carry out a precautionary landing in Nigel to refuel before resuming the course.

The results were completed by around 14h30, and prize giving  was schedule for 15h30, and first up on the prize giving programme was to show some of the interesting tracks, some excellent and some not so good getting the audience in fits of laughter. Jonty first handed over the GPS league competitor trophies, and then the host club trophy went to the Mach 1 Flight Training School owner Lee Petersen, and then the placings for the best handicap speed and thereafter the most accurate / shortest route flown.  Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET, in second place was Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL, and in third place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their R66 ZS-HRS.

Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET
Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL
Apie & Frederick Kotzee 3rd Handicap ZS-HRS

The most accurate / shortest route flown winners were the team of David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR, in second place was Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK, and in third place was Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR
Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK
Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

Many thanks to the Mach 1 Flight School for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Jacques Jacobs with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark
Clulow doing the scoring, Chester Chandler assisting with the handicapping on Friday, David le Roux from Pilot Insure at the registration desk, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering,
Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering with their team, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks
also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us, and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring
the race numbers, team sponsors Excel E&I – Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, The Airplane Factory –
David Ross and James Braid, Pilots Post – Nigel Hopkins and Mary De Klerk, Fast Flame Laser Cutting –Oops – We went to Nigel instead

Hendrik & Jandre Loots, Beegle Micro Trackers – Quintin Kruger and Johan Whiteman, Prompt Roofing –
Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard.
Our next Speed Rally event will be in Witbank in the 1 st of February 2020.

Air BP signs technical services agreement with Angola

25 November 2019

Air BP signs technical services agreement

with Sonangol marking new market entry in Angola

  • Air BP enters Angola with the signing of a technical services agreement with Sonangol.
  • The agreement will assist Sonangol to assure its operations in Luanda and wider Angola to international standards

Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and services supplier, has signed a technical services agreement with Sonangol, the state-owned oil company in Angola. This marks Air BP’s entry into the country and expands its footprint in Africa, one of the fastest-growing aviation regions over the next 20 years according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

As part of the technical services agreement, Air BP will support Sonangol in assuring its operations to international standards, providing advice on product quality, operations, HSSE and engineering. Training programs will be delivered in Portuguese to build knowledge and competence locally, as well as bringing Air BP’s internationally-renowned expertise to Sonangol’s airport operations and related engineering projects.

Justin Walker, technical services director, Air BP, said: “We are excited to partner with Sonangol to help them achieve their growth aspirations in Angola safely, effectively and reliably. The strong relationship BP Angola has developed with Sonangol and the Angolan government over the past decades, coupled with Air BP’s 90 plus years of aircraft refuelling experience, is a winning combination.”

Stephen Willis, BP regional president, Angola added: “I’m delighted we have reached this agreement with Sonangol; our Air BP business is looking forward to contributing and supporting Sonangol and Angola in this important activity. This is another step in the growth of BP’s strategic relationships with Sonangol and Angola, and we look forward to building on this for the future in support of the government’s desire to strengthen and diversify the economy.”

Air BP first started operations in Africa 75 years ago in Mozambique and Zanzibar and now provides fuel at around 40 locations across the continent. Technical services agreements are provided to customers in 15 African countries including South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Egypt and Morocco.

Air BP’s technical services offer comprises a complete aviation fuel consultancy service tailored to customers’ individual requirements. It includes a range of innovative technical services for airports including the design, build and operation of fuelling facilities to help customers comply with international standards, protect their operations and manage risk.

Caption: Right to Left, Justin Walker, Technical Services Director Air BP and Inacio Costa, Aviation Manager, Sonangol in London, UK.

About Air BP

As the aviation division of BP, Air BP is one of the world’s leading suppliers of aviation fuel products and services. It has been investing in the aviation industry for more than 90 years to keep people flying safely around the world. It supplies around 6.6 billion gallons of aviation fuel a year; fuelling over 6,000 flights a day at over 800 locations in more than 55 countries – that’s more than four planes a minute.

Its customers include commercial airlines, the military, business and private aircraft owners, airports and airfield operators. Air BP has a wide range of services to support its fuel offer including the design, build and operation of fuelling facilities, technical consultancy and training, low carbon solutions, the Sterling Card for efficient general aviation refuelling and innovative digital platforms to increase efficiency and reduce risk.

For more information, go to

Further enquiries:

Air BP – Emerald Media, +44 1420 560094,

Dreams Come True for the 2019 Newcastle Airshow

Dreams Come True for the 2019 Newcastle Airshow

It was a moment of pure elation as the ‘I Can Dream’ 2019 Newcastle airshow was announced as South Africa’s second-best African Pilot Airshow of the Year at the recent annual Aero `Club of South Africa’s 2019 awards evening.

“The organisers of the Newcastle Airshow are very proud of the event and each and every committee member, traffic, fire, SAPS, ER24 and all other roll players – this award are for the people of Northern KZN , we can all dream”, said Johan Pieters and Christo van der Vyver.

This prestigious award is presented to airshow organisers and is based on 15 criteria as mentioned below:

  • Initial planning including Air Show South Africa (ASSA), Recreation Aviation Administration of South Africa (RAASA), Aero Club and media communication
  • Professional ATC participation: arrival, airshow and departure clearances
  • Suitable aircraft and vehicle parking arrangements
  • Pilot, airshow and safety briefing including disaster management planning
  • Display pilot and participants hospitality arrangements
  • Public address systems and appropriate public broadcast entertainment
  • Host organisation’s social interaction with display teams, media and important invited guests
  • Social responsibility towards the local / regional population
  • Youth development programmes including aviation education
  • Sales satisfaction for local and distant vendor participants
  • Crowd control access, security planning and policing
  • Food and beverage arrangements, including an appropriate variety of vendors
  • Litter management and cleanliness of the airfield during and immediately after the event
  • Overall airshow safety for spectators, including any transgressions by individual pilots
  • Organiser’s airshow report that is submitted to the aviation authorities

Looking ahead for the 2020 show, Pieters commented that planning for next year has already begun, and it will be the 10th consecutive airshow hosted at Newcastle airfield.

Newcastle Airshow 10 Years 2020

Pieters also announced that the South African Air Force (SAAF) will once again be part of the airshow and will (SAAF) will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“The theme for 2020 will be ‘I Can Dream – I Say No to Drugs’, it is important for us to bring in a social factor to our airshow. We want people to know that to be part of aviation you need to have sober habits and that drugs are out!”, said Pieters. “We understand that the drugs are very bad in schools and this is our way to get involved”, commented Pieters.

SAAF Newcastle 2020

The week before the 2020 airshow that will be held on 6 June 2020, will see a lot of activity taking place prior to the show. An aviation conference for the top science and mathematics Grade 10 learners will be held on the Wednesday before the airshow for Northern KZN learners is been planned, as well as a National Aviation conference for all aviation enthusiast on the Thursday. The Friday before the show will be reserved for an educational day for Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners.

Learners Expo 2020

Awards Function – Eagle Air 2019

Awards Function – Eagle Air 2019

Also read 
Eagle Air-The Fly Away March 2019
Eagle Air’s State-of-the-art Flight Simulator

Aviation Central was invited to attend the glamorous Eagle Air 2019 Awards and Year End function. With Eagle Air being Aviation Central’s flight school of choice in Gauteng North, we simply could not pass up on this offer. The evening was also attended by SAA Training Captain and DFE Francois Naudè and MANGO Training Captain and DFE Marc de Klerk.

The evenings proceedings kicked off at 18:00 at Morgenzon Estate in the famous Airport road. We were all welcomed with a glass of champagne on arrival. The evening started with a casual chat followed by starters, an amazing biltong soup! After starters the Initial Solo and PPL certificates were handed out.

The proceedings then continued with certificates handed out for Night Rating, Initial Multi, Engine Rating, CPL Multi-Engine Instructor Rating, Grade III Flight Instructor Rating, Grade II Flight Instructor Rating and ATPL. We were then treated to a top-notch main course for dinner.

About Eagle Air

TR Eagle Air (Pty) Ltd has been in operation as an elite flight school for more than 10 years and has as such been registered as an Aircraft Training Organization with the South African Civil Aviation Authority.

Initial Solo

Ahmed Helmy

Hardus Venter

Ivus George Mkuralinda

Ashleigh Mogane

Omphemetse Phetoe

Joseph Ene-Okon

Nedaal Asaad

Quinton Stewart

Mark Mangeni

Maria Mwanza

Thabiso Ramosamo

Ayman Kayyali

King Malema

Krestah Hanongo


Sheref Ahmed

Abdelrahman Aldelmagid

Trinity Jongwe

Louis Minnaar

Rhyno De Grange

Bambihlelo Gobingca

Ahmed Helmy

Lene Hurter

Night Rating

Ashwin Sylvester

Ahmed Helmy

Trinity Jongwe

Diana Ndouvhda

Vulindlela Ndolvu

Ibrahim Elmostafa

Initial Multi Engine Rating

Ravi Vansia


Timothy Brandt

Mariska Wisse

Kennedy Tshivhase

Multi-Engine Instructor Rating

Hennie Botes

Marcelle Nienaber

Grade III Flight Instructor Rating

Hennie Botes

Timothy Brandt

Grade II Flight Instructor Rating

Huzaifa Umar


Damian Shima

Eagle Air

The Eagle Air Story: (Taken from their website )


Eagle Air is owned by Percy Rudman, Chih-Jen Tseng, Iemei Tseng and Brandon Mendillo. We believe that our owners, management, instructors and students are all owners of Eagle Air and together we build our own future.

This family atmosphere is the basis of our training at Eagle Air without jeopardising on standards and degree of discipline. Our pledge to all our clients is to provide safe, efficient and cost effective flight training. Eagle Air uses the most reputable maintenance organisation on the airport. Safety is our main concern! The maintenance facility exposes pilots to the mechanical aspects of aircraft maintenance thus enhancing their total understanding of aviation.

Our application for a licence charter division (Part 135) that exposes pilots to the real aviation ‘day to day’ flying world is pending. Our application for a charter licence includes medical evacuations (Part 138). The application should be finalized within a number of months. The latter would also enhance our pilots opportunities for successful employment We have a wide range of aircraft available for training, advanced training and type ratings. Eagle Air’s Operational Specifications enables us to provide training on aircraft ranging from Single Engine Piston, Complex Single Engine Piston, Piston Twins and Jet (Twin Turbine).

Although we have a company structure which we adhere to, we have a so-called open-door approach enabling students and pilots to liaise directly with Management and even with the Directors. At Eagle Air aviation is our passion and students and pilots will immediately experience the camaraderie that exists at Eagle Air. Be prepared to become part of the Eagle Air Team the moment you walk through the door!

All our Directors, members of the Management Team and personnel are qualified pilots and therefore have appreciation and understand the challenges in the field of aviation. Eagle Air has a broad base of international students from Kenya, Mozambique, Botswana, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Abu Dhabi, China, Ghana, Angola and India, to name but a few.

Our experienced and focussed family of experts are well trained with the skill and qualifications to carry out their functions with diligence and skill. It is our vision that Eagle Air may be of service to all prospective students in the Private, Professional and Public sector.

Our wide variety of aircraft available will give our student the edge in the aviation community.”

Click on photos below to enlarge 

Aero Club Awards 2019

Aero Club Awards 2019

The Aeroclub of South Africa awards evening which normally has their evening event which is usually held at Airforce Base Swartkop in Pretoria, this year’s awards afternoon and venue was held in Springbok Classic Air’s Hanger at Rand Airport. The Mc of this year’s awards evening was Jonty Esser!

Paul Lastrucci speech stated

Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to take the opportunity at the outset of making a special welcome to all our invited guests and to every single person here today

Special mention to Ms Poppy Khoza, Simon Segwabe, Neil de Lang, Mary Stephens Subash Devkaran and their partners from the SA CAA and to Bruce Harrison Chairperson of RAFOC  Jonty Esser our MC and Guest speaker Rob Pascoe many thanks for availing your time to be here today.

Today we celebrate the achievements of our Aero Club members who have contributed for many years and also to those that have represented our country in a numerous recreational aviation disciplines this year, we will share these special times with friends and fellow members as they receive well deserved accolades and awards for their achievements.

Every year and this one is no exception we see a number of South African aviation enthusiasts achieve so much, well beyond our international standing, and through their efforts it’s confirmed that the South African recreational aviation fraternity continues to be held in high regard worldwide.

On as slightly sombre note our Aero Club membership numbers have declined this year 2018 19  from 3479 to 3115 members currently, largely due to the tough economic conditions, a turbulent regulatory environment and a few other challenges that we find ourselves in that plays a large part in lessening the recreational participation within the sections.  We have also declined by over 1000 members from 2014 to date, so we knew that 2019 will be a challenging year for the Aero Club.  Given this we could not be paralysed by the boiled frog syndrome,  so we attempted to interpret these conditions by taking a strategic view and as to how we will increase membership. To support thus we developed a high road budget and a low road budget in order to be proactive as to how we would go forward in 2019, this to ensure that we remain solvent and are able to provide the work we do to the recreational aviator.

The low road budget meant that we would have to continue the business however with reduced expenses and without the services of the general manager and increase sponsorships.  It was concluded through various meetings held, to use a model where the Exco, office staff and designated council chairpersons, aero club members and others with the requisite skills in the various advocacy and technical areas are coopted to tackle the tasks that the General Manager would have ordinarily done during his tenure.  This would then replace the General Managers role.  This also paved the way after numerous permutations of the business we reduced subscription costs to attract more members

In March of this year given the subscription income and the landscape before us , it was obvious that we would have to embark on the low road budget which reluctantly was done.  It was a difficult task and the decision to proceed with the model was adopted.  A huge debt of gratitude to section council chairpersons that have availed their time and resources to attend meetings and seminars where the necessary representation is paramount to ensure we continue to strive within the recreational aviation environment ensuring freedom of flight where at all possible.   It has been challenging, however through expert guidance of the representative team we are progressing forward.

Our aim continues to focus to make aviation appealing to the recreational aviator and the youth, in order for them to share and progress in the wonderful passion of all types of aviation sport offered by the various sections of the Aero Club in South Africa.

Our Aero Club Air week which now is an annual event had its origins specifically to showcase the differed type of recreational disciplines to aviation enthusiasts and encourage the youth alike as a platform to nurture and grow the passion where 2019 was no different and the team at Middelburg under the leadership of Richard Lovett have made this a prestigious event a great success on our aviation calendar.

We are also fortunate to have in our midst many professional and retired professional career and military aviators that continue to share their mentorship and guidance to anyone who is interested in aviation in South Africa.   They avail themselves freely to provide leadership, guidance at the various information exchanges throughout the year and would like to thank all involved that contribute to the Safety Campaign.

SAMAA is a pinnacle special interest group that in many ways has created the entry point for a lifelong passion in aviation for many in South Africa and they continue to do this very well.  This I have always believed is largely where the passion for aviation is born.

EAA SA led by Sean Cronin continues to host and represent many enthusiastic events on the calendar throughout the year.  A number of completed amateur built projects took to the skies, we saw a beautiful Radial Rocket aircraft take to the sky as well as a superbly crafted RV built by long-time EAA member Derek Hopkins and his son Nigel fly for the first time this year. Chapter 322 celebrates its 50th year in South Africa this year and huge thanks to the EAA team under the leadership to Ret Capt. Karl Jensen and Sean Cronin for his untiring effort and promotion of the EAA in SA.

The Misasa and SAGPA team contribute immensely to the various interactions held during the year and through Chairperson John Boucher and particularly Rowena Kraidy, Yolande Combrinck and Eric Torr that have been at the pinnacle in providing input and direction at the AP Panel and ARO workshops that was established this year to take this ever important aspect of recreational aviation and its continuance forward.   Many thanks also to Mary Stephens and the team from the SA CAA that have facilitated the AP panel and also been instrumental in its guidance and formation.

Worldwide within the aviation industry it is expected to have a safe and regulated environment in all aspects of flying and recreational aviation is no different.   There is sometimes a tendency to over regulate however with continued engaging with the regulator in a constructive and mutually beneficial manner, we find workable  solutions that is pursuant to avoid any over-regulation of the amateur sports aviation, and also assist to work toward  international compliance that is required.

Regulations are dynamic so it’s good that that existing regulations are revisited from time to time, in a manner that continues to ensure optimal safety for aviators and the public at large as well as ensure acceptable governance required by the regulator.

Recently further alignment and review of the sections to Part 149 ARO which is the regulatory framework within the civil aviation regulations is in process within ARO’s where strong representation is in place at these forums now with the regulator to streamline and improve going forward.

Being an aviator,  one of the pre requisites is being a safe aviator, and recurrent honing of skills can be done at events that take place at least once a month within SAPFA.  The fun navigational rallies are the precursor to providing fun and competition flying to our recreational aviators to become accurate navigational flyers.  Rob Jonkers, and Jonty Esser and the SAPFA team have raised the bar considerably with fun rallies and have untiringly provided a professional platform that attracts many aviators to this sporting, skill honing events.   We have world champions in our midst that impart these skills to new pilots or pilots that want to get involved.  Next year SAPFA hosts the international rally competition at Stellenbosch as part of the Aero Club centenary celebrations.  A round of applause ladies and gentlemen is in order.

We continue to bring the joy and passion of flying, and being involved in the recreational aviation industry at large to a vibrant youth in South Africa.  This through the efforts of the Aero Club Transformation and development programmes, which has changed slightly with the formation of Rise Above Aviators.  This is championed by Daniel Ralefeta, himself a highly energetic enthusiastic and capable aviator along with a team; they ensure representation and participation throughout the year, by promoting recreational aviation amongst the youth that ordinarily would not have had easy access to aviation.  We are seeing fruits of their efforts of not only mentoring and creating future aviators; however we have seen participation competing in the SAPFA fun rallies and soon we will see participation on the world stage competing in various disciplines, bringing home the trophy and accolades that will be showcased at events like this.

It all starts with dedication, direction and passion that are continually kindled in the recreational sphere providing consistent and safe participation within the path chosen to reach their pinnacle.   Aero Club provides funding through projects to promote provide the platform to bring recreational aviation to the youth with a long term view of establishing the future aviators in South Africa.

All our sections are well established and professional, and portray a strong room full of experience and knowledge that resides within their specific disciplines and they make it available to existing and attract new members.

To the sections and members of SAHPA, SAPFA, SAMAA, SAC and SSSA that represented South Africa this year thank you for your dedication and commitment to your sport by your enthusiasm and professionalism you make us very proud.

Equally special thanks to John Gaillard and Bob Skinner for representing the Aeroclub at the FAI.    We also need to acknowledge the contribution of the industry players like the Airplane Factory, the various ATO’s and the commercial AP’s  and CAASA who provide valuable input into recreational aviation.

The effort and support we get from the Aero Club council team whom I am privileged to act as the Chairperson and through our  Vice Chairman Rob Jonkers, who is a superman when it comes to steadfast and discipline planning and to Hanke Fourie for his strict and fair role as our treasurer.  But their efforts are in no way discounting the tremendous input and support and frank disagreeance where necessary when we interact with each section head and representatives on the Aero Club Council .  – Sean Cronin,  Rikus Erasmus, Rob Jonkers, Richard Bovell, Simon Smith, John Boucher, Rowena Kraidy, Mark Bellingan, Walter Doubell, Yolande Combrink, Pete Wallender, Marthinus Potgieter, Bob Skinner, Sean de Klerk, Daniel Ralefeta, Kevin Storie, John Gaillard and our dedicated office staff Sandra Strydom  and new appointee this year Chane Smit for their assistance.  With exception of our office staff almost all are volunteers that also have demanding careers and family lives.  Sincere thanks for your contributions and concise efforts to promote and keep recreational aviation in this country.

We also owe a debt of gratitude to our colleagues at the SA CAA in particular Neil De Lange, Mary Stephens, Subash Devkaran and their teams for all their support over the year at Aero Club.  Despite the many challenges that arise we are sure that with energetic interactions the SACAA they will meet and exceed the industry leading excellence in service delivery.

We launched a document assistance process at the Aero Clubs offices to assist members with submission and follow up of documentation delivered for processing at SA CAA.  There are challenges however has worked exceptionally well and we will continue to promote.

As has been widely publicised, in 2020 we celebrate our centenary, and want to make it a memorable year in every possible manner for all in South African aviation.

We are rapidly approaching the festivities for  2020,planning is well under way, there is still a vast amount of work to be done in preparations for the celebration, and will be the year in which formal actions will be in place to execute the current plan. Marie Reddy our Aviation Super Woman that keeps us all on our toes has put in tremendous effort here and in many other areas to ensure success many thanks Marie.

The team have completed a prospectus of activities, outputs and events, and have started to circulate this within the Recreational Aviation community, and should have much of this done by year end, this prospectus outlines the overall plan for 2020.

Highlights will be  the Governor General’s Cup Air Race in the format held initially in 1937, which became the President’s Trophy Air Race as a feature air race on the 2020 calendar, plans are in place  in cooperation with the SAAF hold the Silver Queen Air Rally from Swartkop as a theme rally. The Aero Club will be holding the annual Air week at Middelburg as the signature centenary event for the year that encompasses all our sections and extend the period of activities with the ambition to achieve a Oshkosh type of event which is a fly-in, airshow, forums, fly markets, camping to bring together our recreational fraternity and also promote youth development, and this year’s Air week held at Middelburg was a precursor to 2020 where we were on a smaller scale able to achieve many of these features.

The team has started the outline of a Centenary Yearbook supported by SA Airlink, content has mostly been sourced during 2018, and the writing process will begin in January 2019. As you can see, this project is a mammoth task and has a year to go, and anybody willing to step up to the plate to contribute would be well appreciated.

So as can be seen we have progressed steadily in the planning and framework of showcasing this prestigious milestone. We urge all sections to start finalising the planning for the section events that will compliment a full program during the celebrations.  The plans and wish list we have cannot be achieved by the small competent team we have alone, so I am appealing to all sections to get involved and support us.

In closing this afternoon a special thank you once again to each and every one here today for making Aero Club the special club it is.
Thank You and Enjoy the rest of the proceedings.

Paul Lastrucci

The South African Olympics Committee – SASCOC

The South African Olympics Committee – SASCOC – only acknowledges participating competitors and their team managers by awarding them Springbok colours. Yet many sports require the support of others for competitions to actually take place. Aero Club acknowledges these whose dedication, commitment and sacrifice is equal to that of the competitors, and as necessary; by awarding their efforts with Special Acknowledgement Certificates.
South African Modelling Aircraft Association (SAMAA)
Senior Protea Colours awarded to Alan Smith, Bernard Vos, Craig Goodrum, Brett Lewis and Junior Protea Colours awarded to Aldo Vos, Oliver Booysen, James Steel and Theo Wolthers for participating in the FAI F3K World Championships for Model Gliders held at Jakabszallas, Hungary from the 12th to the 20th of July 2019.

Senior Protea Colours awarded to André Stockwell, Clinton Cater-Brown, Grant Brook, Neil Twomey and Junior Protea Colours to Joshua Twomey for participating in the FAI F3A World Championships for Aerobatic Model Aircraft held at Calcinatello, Italy from the 3rd to the 10th of August 2019.

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Bernard Vos and Jan Sime for participating in the FAI F5J World Championship for Model Gliders held at Trnava, Slovakia from the 11th to the 17th of August 2019.

South African Power flying Association (SAPFA)

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Jonty Esser, Jonathan Esser,  Anthony Russell, Pamela Russell, Mary de Klerk, Matthys van der Merwe, Hans Schwebel, Ronald Stirk, Christiaan Du Plessis and Sandra Goddard for participating in the World Air Navigation Race Championships held at Santa Cruz Beach, Portugal from the 5th to the 14th of September 2019.

Ursula Schwebel and Barbara Frieboese to present them with Special Acknowledgement certificates for being the International Judges at the World Air Navigation Race Championships

Speed Rally Championship
Shortest Route – Best Navigation Championship winners – David Ross and James Braid

Fastest closest to handicap – Championship winners – Jonty Esser and Jonathan Esser

Aero Club Colours is presented to Leon Boutell and Martin Meyer for being the Winners of the Speed Rally- Pilot Insure 2019 Championships.

Aero Club Colours will be presented to the winners of the Presidents Trophy Air Race 2019.
Kobus van der Merwe and Sarel van der Merwe

Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa – SAC

Johnnie Smith and Quintin Hawthorne served as a 1st Class Judge at the World Intermediate Contest, and the SAC would like to commend them for their contribution to the sport.

International Judges are subjected to scrutiny at World Championships, their performance is analysed in detail, as part of the sophisticated scoring system. To be ranked No 1 at the end of this process, in effect proves that the judges concerned performed better than all the other judges at the contest, this ranking is used for selection purposes at subsequent contests.

Parachute Association of South Africa – PASA

Eugene (Pottie) Potgieter started skydiving in March 2003 and holds numerous instructional ratings. He was elected to the Johannesburg Skydiving Club Committee in 2004 and has served as Chairman since 2007. He has organised many events locally including the 5th FAI Canopy Piloting World Cup in 2009 and PASA National Skydiving Championships in 2013 as well as the 2019 Makgadikgadi Epic in Botswana. He has done a 151-person large formation skydive and holds SA records in Formation Skydiving and Wingsuit Flying. PASA recognises his contribution to growing the sport by awarding him this Special Recognition Certificate.

Microlight and Lightsport Association of South Africa –  MISASA

Brett Hickman has been a MISASA Committee member since 2008. He has served in various roles but primarily as the MISASA Treasurer. He is the convener and organiser of the very popular “MISASA Africa Cup” that is hosted at Numbi Hotel, Hazeyview, Mpumalanga.

It is during this event that Brett acted unselfishly and with absolutely no consideration for self when he went to extract two members out of a stricken aircraft after a landing accident.

MISASA would like to thank him for this effort by awarding him this Special Recognition Certificate.

John Boucher chairman of MISASA, for his personal dedication, professionalism, leadership and significant contributions that have materially advanced recreational aviation interests and communications within the South African Aviation industry, the past two years.

South African Powerflying Association – SAPFA

Franz Smit has shown huge commitment, enthusiasm and contribution towards the growth of the fastest growing General Aviation Sport in South Africa – The SAPFA Speed Rally. From the first event, he has been instrumental in getting participants excited to take part in the new format, helped with supporting the officials in their various tasks, and overall promotion of this now prestigious event on the Recreational Aviation calendar.

Dirk de Vos has been part of the SAPFA Presidents Trophy Air Race handicapping & scoring team for 30 years, and with the advent of the Speed Rally has developed a specialised automated scoring system allowing results to be made available within a very short time frame for this single day event. This Special Recognition also celebrates Dirk for his 30th year of SAPFA support.

Experimental Aircraft Association – EAA

Paul Lastrucci invests enormous effort, time and legal skills in his dedication to heading the Aero Club of SA. His ability in steering the organisation through the challenging advocacy & governance regime is invaluable to all members and disciplines of the Aero Club. Paul’s dedication and involvement are always exceptional despite his intense professional and family commitments.

Nigel Musgrave has involved himself intensely in the task of being Safety Officer for all EAA flying events as well as regular Safety Officer at many airshows and SAPFA flying events throughout South Africa. Nigel is a dedicated Safety Officer of the highest calibre. Although Nigel has at times being the assistant to a Chief Safety Officer, testament to his dedication is that the accident rate this past year has been ZERO and the incident rate insignificant. All of Nigel’s work has been on a voluntary basis and most often at his personal cost. Most often Nigel has carried out the required pre-event surveys and submitted all CAA required paperwork timeously. Nigel has also made his personal radio equipment available to the ATNS personnel when ATNS have not been able to provide their own equipment.

Records Broken

Mark Playford Holliday

Mark did a 1000 km out and return from Orient to Postmasburg. He achieved an average speed of 139kph. He was awarded a continental record, the previous record being a speed of 122kph. The glider he did it in was a 15m ASW-27, with no motor at all.

Youth Development Certificate

The Youth development Certificate is awarded to 2 worthy recipients this year, one being a commercial pilot and currently training with Loutzavia towards her flight instructors rating and the other is an avid Aviator with a SACAA Pilots License. He has accomplished himself as an active young man in the general aviation scene and transformation and development projects.

Boitumelo Tumi Katisi and Goitseona Diale.

Boitumelo Tumi Katisi Is also one of the founders and Chairperson for an NPO called Aviation Development in Africa which focuses on aviation awareness in less remote areas and townships and rural areas.
Tumi hosted the first biggest aviation career day in Soweto this year with her organization Aviation Development in Africa for her Birthday in April as a form of giving back to her community. Where over 1500 kids from townships around Johannesburg and Pretoria attended, they were young professions across all streams in the aviation sector who presented to the kids and also had a flight simulator for the kids to fly and different aviation companies present and many sponsors.

Goitseona Diale is an avid Aviator with a SACAA Pilots Licence. He has accomplished himself as an active young man in the general aviation scene and transformation and development projects. IF you can’t pronounce this name call him “Mr G”

Goitseona has valuable experience in Flight Operations in Part 121 and Part 135 operations. His is currently running and assisting a local charter Swift Flite in their day to day Flight Operations as a Flight Operations Officer.

He has dreams to become one of the first Sportsman rated aerobatic pilots of colour and to become a vital role play in the growth of aviation sports in South Africa through collaboration and development. Goitseona is proud to be a board member of Rise Above Aviators, an association deeply rooted in aviation awareness and development. Goitseona is one of the biggest supporters of The Airplane Factory and is now in collaboration for future exciting projects.

The Don Tilley Trophy is presented to Cobus Toerien for his significant Contribution to Safety in Aviation.

In recognition of his significant contribution to the flying fraternity by upholding and promoting the highest level of aviation safety in South Africa.

His commitment to making aviation safer and his unwavering dedication to building relationships with industry stakeholders has been acknowledged by the aviation community in South Africa.


The leading Airshow in “rural area initiative”. One of longest running privately organised Airshow on South African Airshow circuit. The unique concept of free entry to public. Well balanced program with participation form SAAF, Civilian participants, airliners, and much excitement amongst the crowd with fun filled entertainment. Stalls promoting aviation and a highly motivated team effort makes this show a contender for the Airshow of year award 2019.

Large contribution of all sections in Aeroclub sections were rewarded with a last closure day presenting an Airshow hosted by the Middelburg flying Club. The Middelburg club is renowned for their outstanding service. The precision in the cratering and hosting area is a trade mark to be noted. With the combined effort of Aero Club sections to end the remarkable air week  has become an annual milestone. Previously awarded the Airshow award Middelburg is once again in the top three.

High impact air show in a very compact and challenging air show box. Wide spectrum program covering form the vintage to the latest in airline and SAAF participation. The first South African Airshow to have gates sold out one day prior to the show day. The meticulous program flow and sterile ramp layout contributes to the success of this remarkable show in a 2 nm Airshow box. Extensive outreach to accommodate the youth development program of surrounding schools carries a strong aviation to the nation message. Museum contribution from the SAAF development programme exposed the industry to the activities and history of the “behind the scenes” action. The dedication of the organising team to host an Airshow without initial sponsorship places this show in the top three.

And in 1st place Stellenbosch Flying Club
And in 2nd place Newcastle Airshow
In 3rd place Middelburg Air Week 

James Gilliland Trophy

The disabled Aviation Association of South Africa would like to nominate Mike Lomberg for the James Gilliland – Most meritorious feat over the past year.
Call Simon Smith to the stage to collect the award on behalf of Mike Lomberg’s Family

The award would celebrate the life of Mike Lomberg a pilot and paraplegic from Cape Town, who in November 2018 embarked on a humanitarian mission to fly around the world with Handiflight, a Swiss based disability flying organization.  The mission was to engage with communities in the countries they visited creating disability awareness and inspiring the disabled. By all accounts the mission was a fantastic success, where not only were communities transformed, but Mike himself was deeply humbled by the enthusiasm and motivation of the people he met. Mike died in a crash on December 30, 2018 leading the Handiflight team into landing in Thailand.

The SA Eagle trophy is presented to Mauritz Du Plessis and Sandi Goddard for the Most meritorious achievement at an international event

Mauritz du Plessis and Sandi Goddard achieved a Bronze Medal in the Landing Section at the recent World Air Navigation Race Championships held in Santa Cruz Beach, Portugal.

PGS Trophy

The Airplane Factory has achieved a major milestone in passing 500 Sling aircraft sales. The ongoing success of The Airplane Factory is testament to the vision and energy of James Pitman and Mike Blyth in the production of great aircraft that are ideally suited to the recreational aviation community. Further, the employment and skills development of individuals who come from disadvantaged backgrounds is an example to all South African citizens. The Airplane Factory is a noteworthy centre of excellence in our country.

Silver Wings

Silver Wings are presented to an Aero Club member for an exceptional project to further the goals of the Aero Club of South Africa.

Rob Jonkers is presented with Silver Wings
Rob Jonkers has been instrumental in the design of the new Speed Rally format, that has been the fastest growing General Aviation Sport in South Africa. He has developed the route and map format for participants to use in each event, and acted as the Competition Director from inception, developing the format to continuously improve safety and experience. He has been instrumental in revitalising the Presidents Trophy Air Race based on the knowledge and experience gained in the Speed Rally format. He has also been a guiding light in the upgrading of piloting and navigation skills through his involvement and encouragement for pilots to participate in numerous and regular Fun Navigation Rallies which he so tirelessly designs and runs.

Jonty Esser is presented with Silver Wings
Jonty is the father of the Speed Rally format, it was his brain child to put together the idea of an event that would excite the GA fraternity to take part, that was not as technical as a rally, but to tap into a real two person crew participation in flying and navigating skills utilising basic paper map based navigation. He has through, his passion and energy, incited participation from far and wide, where it is now the fastest growing recreational event on the SAPFA calendar.

Yolande Combrinck is presented with Silver Wings

Yolande is the South African Gyro Planes Association Chair, and had become well versed in the Civil Aviation Regulations CATS & CARS, and active in the development of Manuals of Procedures for their ARO, which also was passed on to other ARO’s as a benchmark. With this background she became deeply involved and instrumental in the proposed changes to the Regulations governing Approved Persons under Part 66 and took the Part 66 subpart 4 regulation under her wing to write up a more practical solution for the governance of Approved Persons together with the regulator. She has spoken with authority in all engagements between the regulator and the industry to ensure workable solutions and is held in high regard by all in the interpretation of the interwoven regulatory framework. She is also playing a leading role in establishing a framework of rules written up for the commercial licence for Gyro Planes which is under consideration at the SACAA.

Gold Wings are presented to Alan Stewart.

Alan Stewart obtained his Microlight Pilot licence in 2005. Like all good students, he immediately got involved with all the schools & clubs’ activities. The big difference, Alan never stopped for a day ever since.  He is truly the epitome of what the Aero Club Gold Wings stand for. Fly-in’s, fly-out’s, fly a way’s, regulatory updates, newsletters, technical assistance, competitions, preaching safe aviation, pilots and builders support, weather updates, introduction flights, student pilots guidance, as well as being an active member on various forums, just to mention a few. But most importantly, even though Alan has moved on to higher licences and faster aeroplanes, he has never lost touch with grass roots aviation and you will forever find him sharing his knowledge. He is a regular visitor to Oshkosh and other international air events and aviation museums. He then goes to great lengths to share his experiences and joys, in order to make us all feel part of it, without being there. Alan and his wife Cathy have recently taken over an ailing flying school for the main purpose of encouraging new pilots into aviation. Your dedication, sacrifice and immense contribution are truly appreciated.

Gold Wings are presented to John Illsley.

John Illsley formed the Pretoria Boys High School Aviation Society more than 25 years ago. John has ensured that the many young men have been given hands on meaningful experiences in many facets of aviation from military commercial, historic and recreational aspects. This has involved and invoked the long-term interest and involvement in aviation to many appropriate young men who have subsequently pursued careers in these varied fields serving the interests of Aero Club and the ethos it espouses.

Gold Wings are presented to Craig Couzens.

Having been involved in flying for 30 plus years and having made WCM’s his full time career since 1994, he has a vast amount of experience, and intimate knowledge in this field.  Craig has 25 years of experience instructing students to learn to fly microlights as well as teaching students to become instructors themselves.  Furthermore, prior to becoming owner of Solo Wings, he was involved with the previous owners of the business and used this opportunity to expand his flying knowledge with manufacturing and technical aspects of the planes.

The Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Mike Pascoe

Mike took his first flight in a glider on 25th May 1969 at the age of 22. In this moment a lifelong dedication and passion for soaring was born. After completing his studies he started his ab-initio training and went solo on 5th June 1971 at age 24. He later completed his instructors rating in September 1982. In 1988 he became the Assistant CFI of the Cape Gliding Club and was promoted a year later, serving as the club CFI until 1996. In 1998 Mike continued his service to the gliding community by serving as the Soaring Society National CFI for fifteen years from 1998 to 2013. During this time Mike trained countless instructors and students across South Africa, setting the bar higher to establish impeccable safety and competency levels within the soaring community. To this day Mike remains an active and humble instructor, at age 73.

Throughout his nearly five decades of service to aviation and the gliding community Mike has logged over 4300 glider flights and 3100 gliding hours, of which 1200 hours were instructional flights. Mike also authored and published a book on the history of Cape Gliding Club and a gliding training manual. As an Approved Person for 25 years, he has undertaken countless airworthiness inspections of gliders and is a key part of maintaining the Cape Gliding Club fleet. Mike was the recipient of the Airmanship Award from the SSSA in 1995 and the Aero Club Gold Wings Award, for 10 years continuous contribution to sports-aviation in SA, in 2013. He has been an honorary member of the Cape Gliding Club from 1996 and of the SSSA from 2015. The effort and energy which Mike puts into gliding development, training and safety, is enormous. He is an example to others and remains an invaluable source of knowledge and guidance, which is always shared with a dry sense of humour. He is deeply respected and sincerely appreciated by the entire soaring community.

Hans Schwebel obtained his PPL in 1972 at the Brits Flying Club. He has accumulated 3850 flying hours and has participated in both national and international events and competitions since 1990.

He has been a member of the Brits Flying Club since 1972. He served several times as chairman, vice- chairman and treasure and is still on the committee today.

He has been a member of the Aero Club since 1988 and served as a Board member for more than 10 Years. He has been a member of SAPFA since 1990. Since 1992 he served on the committee until now and has also served as chairman between 1997 to 1999.

He has been the South African delegate to the FAI/GAC since 1999. From 2000 he served as a member of the Rally Flying Sub-committee.
He presented the successful bids on behalf of SAPFA for the 2003 WRFC /Rustenburg, 2007 GAC meeting /Cape Town and the 2011 WPFC / Brits and recently the 2020 WRFC / Stellenbosch and 2020 GAC Meeting / Stellenbosch bids.
He has served as Vice-President and Secretary of the FAI/GAC from 2010 until now.

Has represented SA since 1994 at 24 different World Flying Championships in rally and precision flying, as well as at the first ANR in Spain and the second ANR in Portugal.

Hans Schwebel is qualified as FAI/GAC International Judge and Jury and served as Jury President at the FAI/GAC World Precision Flying Championship in Austria in 2017 and Chief Judge at the FAI/GAC World Precision Flying Championship in Spain in 2019.

For his service to Sport Aviation, he is awarded the Paul Tissandier diploma by the FAI.

Lilienthal Gliding Medal
Richard Bradley is awarded with the Lilienthal Gliding Medal, Richard could not attend the ceremony therefore we would like to call his wife Brenda who will collect his award on his behalf

At the International Gliding Commission (IGC) Plenary Meeting in Istanbul, 8th and 9th March 2019, Richard Bradley was awarded the Lilienthal Gliding Medal for his contribution to the IGC.

It is unclear exactly when Dick Bradley became the International Gliding Commission (IGC) representative for South Africa as IGC archives are from 1996 only. Then Dick was Vice President & continued as 1st IGC Vice President until 1999. In 1996 he was appointed Treasurer and remains so until today. In 2000 he was Chairman of the IGC Strategical & Business Plan working group which was to bring IGC into the new era. Dick was involved with a number of objectives and planned actions to incorporate the wider responsibilities, as the body responsible for the stewardship of the sport of gliding, as stated in the FAI statutes. In 2001 he was World Gliding Championship director of the very successful event held in Maflkeng, South Africa. In 2004, it was recommended that he be re-elected as a Vice President which he declined due to his high workload. In 2004 Dick noted the objectives stated of the 2000 plan were still correct, but that IGC was still not visible to many soaring pilots. Four Action Items were presented:

Establish and legitimise the Business Development Group (BOG) and start generating additional income streams.
The IGC website was the major communication medium and should be developed, popularised and commercialised.
Develop policy positions on glider pilot’s licenses, medicals, and airspace for FAI to promote at ICAO. ICAO had recently created a licensing Panel, which included GPLs under its terms of reference.

The IGC Strategy 2004 was unanimously approved by Delegates and Mr Bradley was confirmed as the Chairman of the BOG in 2005.
From 2006 to 2016, he was the Steward Manager, Championship Manager and the BID specialist.

The SSSA executive committee as well as the IGC Bureau believe he is very deserving of the Lilienthal Gliding Medal.

Flying Lions Charity Day – 17 Nov ’19

This was the 18th anniversary of the annual Flying Lions Charity Day, which happens mid-November. The Puma Flying Lions Aerobatic Team treated orphans to flights in Harvards, lunch at the Harvard Café, awesome goodie bags and a whole lot more to lift their spirits during the festive season. This year, over 60 children from Nkosi’s Haven, iKhaya da Luz Children’s Home and Children of the Dawn experienced a once in a lifetime flight.  Puma Energy was the major sponsor of the day, with other brands contributing gifts, such as Mango Airlines who provided caps and pens. The day ended on a cheery note as Father Christmas made an appearance at the Christmas party that was held after all the flights. Santa handed over all the gifts to the children. The Children were also treated to an all-time favourite Hamburgers and chips with soda drinks.
Aircraft at Rand Airport

Aircraft used
Cessna 140,  Cessna 210, Beechcraft Baron,  2 x Pitts Special from the Cows Aerobatic Team, 3 x Harvards from the Flying Lions

To witness events like this is extremely heart-warming and we at Aviation Central witness few of these events yearly!
Well-done to Puma Energy, Flying Lions, Cows Aerobatic Team, Andrew Blackwood-Murray who also joined the team and provided flips in a Cessna.

Pilots for the day :

Arnie Meneghelli

Andrew Blackwood-Murray

Rodney Chinn

Sean Thackwray

Hayden Tunmer

Sally Bates Levin

Mark Fleck

Dylan van der Merwe

Ground Crew for the day :

Chloe Spolander

Aubyn-Shaye Paul

Brad Wood

Keagan Foley

Margo Venter



Retania Mahabeer

Lee Naidoo

Click to enlarge photos below

SAAF Museum Airshow Date set for 9th May 2020

Swartkop Airshow 2020
SAAF Museum Airshow Date set for 9th May 2020

Note, This is not the official poster for the 2020 SAAF museum Airshow

Join the Facebook event page for the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020

And so a century is made with the South African Airforce (SAAF) turning 100 years old. “Through hardships to the stars” of gracing the skies over South Africa, the latin motto explains the Per Aspera Ad Astra phrase.

The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War as well as the Bush War.

The date is set for the annual SAAF Museum Airshow with a Theme not 100% confirmed yet, but sources has it as “Embracing our Collective Heritage” and “100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy” on the 9th May 2020 at Airforce Base Swartkop in the City of Tshwane.

The Centenary of this magnificent milestone will start from the 31st January 2020, as Airforce Day will be the first of the glimpses of the 100 years of Air Power celebrations with an invited guests and media parade which will also be held at AFB Swartkop.

Note to the public that the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020 will only see local aircraft and another show will be held later in the year at another base which should see potential international participation.

Pay attention to our social media platforms for more information on the show closer to the time!

Photos below is from the 2019 SAAF Museum Airshow

Join the Facebook event page for the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020