Monthly Archives: March 2022

SANDF to take Part in Rand Easter Show 2022

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will be participating in the 2022 edition of the
Rand Show in NASREC. The SANDF will once more utilise the Rand Show as an opportunity to
showcase and engage with the citizens of the country on a variety of careers and expertise within the
SANDF as well as to focus on the departments achievements, career outreach programme, training
opportunities, social responsibility and peace support operations in Africa.

The Rand Show will take place at NASREC Show Grounds in Gauteng and will be open to the public
over the period 13 – 18 April 2022. This years edition, the SANDF will not showcase an Arena programme and the Capability Demonstration.

The overall aim of the SANDFs participation is to educate and raise public awareness about the
SANDF as well as to bring the people`s defence force to the people. The SANDF’s participation will
include static exhibitions manned by communicators from the four (4) Arms-of-Service and the various

At this stage its not quite clear yet what aircraft from the SAAF South African Airforce will be taking part in this years Rand Easter Show, in previous years, various helicopters have taken part including Oryx,A109 and Rooivalk. Fixed wing assets including the Silver Falcons, Casa 212 and Gripen and Hawk.

Meet Elizabeth Mapatle –  Flight attendant to Pilot training

Meet Elizabeth Mapatle- who went from Lift Airlines flight attendant to pilot in training

Elizabeth Mapatle’s love for aviation started as a little girl when her father would take her and her siblings to the then Jan Smuts Airport to watch planes take off and land. “It was amazing to watch these magnificent machines take to the sky and what was even more mind-blowing and exciting was knowing that there were real people flying them. That’s where the seed was planted for me,” recalls Mapatle. Now at age 39, Elizabeth has completed her private pilot license and is well on the way to becoming a commercial pilot. 

According to 2020 figures published by A3 Flight School in South Africa, only 5% of airline pilots and 3% of airline CEOs are female. “Flight decks are still dominated by males, even with private pilot license acquisitions – women are few and far between,” adds Mapatle. With 11 years in the aviation industry, Mapatle believes there is a lot more room for women and girls to get excited about flying. 

As a flight attendant at LIFT airline, Mapatle balances getting in her flight hours with working as a cabin crew on LIFT’s domestic flights between Johannesburg to Cape Town. 

Asked how the experience has been, Mapatle is clear that flying planes requires dedication. “Since I work, I need to create time, I currently have 100 hours left until I complete my commercial license.” Another consideration is the costs that go with it. However, if you can manage the costs and time needed then not even the sky’s the limit says Mapatle. 

“Flying offers me an escape. When I am up there, I forget about all my problems – it’s really therapeutic,” she says. After completing her commercial license qualification, Mapatle would like to study further and pursue her Airline transport license so that she can one day become a captain.” There are several opportunities when looking to enter the aviation industry and unlike previous misconceptions, you don’t have to have Maths and Science if you are able to pay for your lessons without a scholarship,” she adds.  

Mapatle studied travel and tourism and when she completed this qualification, she became a flight attendant and did her research to find a reputable flight school to pursue her dream. “I went to Rand Airport in Germiston. Finding the finances was challenging but I decided never to take no for an answer, and pursued my dream to fly.” Mapatle encourages other young girls and women who have the flight bug – to go for it. Her advice is to disregard some of the negative comments you’re likely to hear from some who don’t think women are capable of flying. “Don’t take it personally or seriously, just go for what you want,” she says. Finding support from other female pilot students and colleagues has been very beneficial to her too. “I have a group of women who offer me that support. These are mothers and other working women who are pursuing similar goals and I too am always open to offer advice to other women looking to enter the aviation sector,“ she says. 

Her dreams for the future include flying commercially – whether airlines or private jets and freelancing as a drone pilot too. That’s not all, Mapatle also plans to pursue her LLB since law is another passion and possibly merge the two by pursuing an aviation law degree. 

The Witbank Speed Navigation Rally

 26 March 2022 by Rob Jonkers

This first of the 4th Season Speed Rallies for 2022 has been held at Witbank, organised by SAPFA and hosted by the Witbank Aeronautical Association. This is the 3rd event held at Witbank in the series, which also had to be postponed due to weather issues on the original date of 5th March, the weather forecasting being fickle at best, but looked eventually flyable on the 5th, and as Competition Director you are damned for making those weather related calls…. one way or the other, especially up here on the reef where weather changeability is so prevalent within hours.

With the change of date also saw some competitors having to withdraw and at least others could join. Similarly we had officials planned that also had to drop out, but the WAA stepped up with an additional ground support team to help out, with the end result we had a fun & safe event.

There were 20 entries, but with the early morning weather situation on the highveld, many attempted to get to Witbank, but had to turn back or could not take-off, reducing the field to 15. Only two competitors had arrived on Friday before significant thundershowers made their appearance.

The traditional Friday evening briefing was cancelled, so the full briefing was then planned for Saturday morning, where after the club provided a nice Friday dinner spread and for the teams, officials and club members, before retiring for the evening.

Saturday morning dawned with more promising weather, the predicted low cloud did not materialise, and by 9 am the cloud base had risen to around 6000 ft, with light and variable wind. The briefing was delayed to 9h30 am and was concluded at around 10 am, where everybody dispersed first for a group photo and then to park their aircraft and prepare for the scrutineers. The route for the day was one with a cross over to the east of the field, with the first series of legs to the north-west, and the 2nd series of legs to the north-east.

1st take-off was planned at 11h20, and arrivals at 12h45. With all the competitors off towards the northwest, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints, especially TP6 which required good navigating skills to find the dust road intersection from amongst the same colour surroundings, from the results this turn point seems to have been difficult to home onto. There were two groups coming over the line, those that were a bit early as they had got waylaid along the course and a group that were accurate with their navigating skills getting over the line close to their handicap times.

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, three had got significantly lost. As everybody essentially left for home, it was left to the scoring team to complete their work off line, and hold a virtual prize giving as done at previous events, which was done at 8 PM.

For the Navigation Accuracy category, third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS, and in 1st place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK.

For the Handicap/Speed category, third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK and in 1st place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS.

Overall Winners in third place went to Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, in 2nd place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS, and in 1st place Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK.


Many thanks to the Witbank Aeronautical Association for hosting this fantastic event, supporting with logistics and great meals available throughout the day, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan Myburgh doing the scoring, as well as taking up the Deputy Event Director role, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Martin Meyer & Hans Schwebel for doing Starting. Thanks also extended to ATNS for supporting ATC for this event..


Also thanks to our sponsors, who sponsored our sponsored teams, Prompt Roofing, Beagle Tracking, Gem Air and Aviation Direct.

Our next Speed Rally event will be in Kroonstad on the 25th June 2022



Nice perfect Track

Oops – Turned a bit early on most of the turnpoints

Click on photo below to enlarge

AERO South Africa confirmed to take place from the 7-9 July 2022, at Wonderboom National Airport, Tshwane

Messe Frankfurt South Africa is excited to announce that the second edition of AERO South Africa, Africa’s premier event for the General Aviation Industry, will take place from the 7-9 July 2022, at Wonderboom National Airport in Tshwane. The first edition was an overwhelming success and welcomed over 4200 visitors, with over 100 exhibiting companies showcasing the industry’s latest innovations from 14 aviation sectors, across 4000sqm. The three-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt South Africa in partnership with fairnamic GmbH – the new joint venture of Messe Frankfurt and Messe Friedrichshafen who organise Europe’s largest General Aviation Show – AERO Friedrichshafen.

“The feedback from the inaugural edition of AERO South Africa was extremely positive. We have already seen an unprecedented level of interest from companies wanting to exhibit at the event. To date we are proud to announce that we have confirmed Bose, Bell Helicopters, Concorde Battery, Airbus Helicopters Southern Africa, Pooley’s, Spidertracks, Avcon Jet, Wings n Things, DJA Aviation, Aviation Direct together with SA Weather Service, Aeronautical, Blue Chip Flight School, Sling Aircraft, Get-Wings International, Vektor International, Readiness Squared, Flyfofa and Vitalmed,” says Annelie Reynolds, Portfolio Director at Messe Frankfurt South Africa.

“We are also honoured to have the support of the City of Tshwane as the host city. Wonderboom Airport is the ideal location for our event as it is one of the only venues in South Africa that can accommodate aircraft fly-ins for visitors and demo flights for aircraft OEMs and distributors, allowing for a first-hand experience to a prospective buyer during the purchase process. This not only allows our exhibitors to demonstrate their products, but also makes it more convenient for people to attend the event from around the country. In 2019, AERO South Africa welcomed over 250 fly-ins“‘ Says Reynolds.

Tobias Bretzel, Show Director of AERO Friedrichshafen adds: “We are very pleased to see how AERO South Africa is evolving and I`m strongly convinced that the show will become/ be the most important platform for the General Aviation for both fixed and rotary wing but also for Business Aviation industry in the region. AERO Friedrichshafen taking place from 27 – 30 April 2022 in Friedrichshafen Germany will strongly support the 2nd edition of the South African event.”

The event will benefit the local economy, as it brings South African and international suppliers to the City of Tshwane and connects them to private airplane and fleet owners, pilots as well as potential buyers.

“We in the Economic Development Division believe the City of Tshwane is the host of choice for the biggest General Aviation Exhibition in Africa, because the City is the hub for General Aviation in Southern Africa. We are fully committed to support Messe Frankfurt in hosting the AERO 2022, 2023 and 2024 General Aviation Exhibitions at Wonderboom National Airport and believe these editions will eclipse the successful event of 2019“, said Christiaan van der Wath, Deputy Director: Aerospace Sector Support at City of Tshwane.

Both exhibitors and visitors expressed their satisfaction with this first-time business-to-business showcase, focusing solely on the niche market of General Aviation. “The show was a roaring success and certainly met our expectations and those of our exhibitors and visitors. We are confident that AERO South Africa will become the premier promotional platform for the General Aviation and we look forward to participating at the next edition,” said Guy Worthington, Executive Director at Absolute Aviation after the 2019 event.

Fanie Jansen, the GM of Hiconnex, an aftermarket parts supplier commented that “AERO South Africa connects the right people with the right industry. It is a firm platform to market your brand to a niche market.”

General Aviation businesses are booking their space at the event at a rapid pace, and it is advisable to enquire about stand availability soon! For stand bookings, contact Annelie Reynolds, Show Director on or on 083 308 1251.


Background information on Messe Frankfurt

The Messe Frankfurt Group is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Group employs approximately 2,300* people at its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and in 30 subsidiaries around the world. In 2021, the company had to contend with the challenges posed by the pandemic for the second consecutive year. Annual sales will be approximately €140* million after having been as high as €736 million in 2019 before the pandemic. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

For more information, please visit our website at:

* Preliminary figures for 2021

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