Monthly Archives: August 2022

SAAF Chopper Reunion 2022

The 27th August 2022, hovering into Airforce Base Swartkop, home to 104 Squadron, 17 Squadron, Airspace Control Unit, and the South African Airforce Museum Historic Flight.After a couple years absence due to Covid 19.

The chopper boys were welcomed back to the base to reminisce about their helicopter flying tasks from days gone by and present during their time in the South African Air Force.

SAAF Museum Puma Helicopter

A chopper reunion wouldn’t be the same with out the sounds of helicopter blades twirling through the crisp August day with a 17 Squadron Flypast and the Museum Puma flown by General (Ret) John Church and Piet Burger. And not to forget their flight engineers and ground crew that keep these helicopters serviceable.

Oryx Helicopter ‘1221’
Oryx Helicopter ‘1221’

Memrobilla of all sorts were on sale during the course of the day from 17 Squadron, Air Force Museum Swartkop and a number of others.

Picture by Karl Spangenberg

The SAAF Museum ground crew also placed some of the museum static exhibits including Alouette IIs, Alouette IIIs, Puma, Prototype Rooivalk and a Super Frelon.

With many friends meeting up with one another after the absence and sharing their flying stories as if they were back in their once flying office together again. And not forgetting the famous chopper boys song being sung jutting out loud.

We look forward to attending next year’s event.

The Holborn Assets Groblersdal Speed Navigation Rally – 20 August 2022

by Rob Jonkers

This is the 3rd Speed Rally in Season 4 for 2022, which after the weather challenges of the first three in this season turned out with pristine conditions on Saturday morning, albeit very windy later on, giving some good challenging flying conditions to contend with.

For this event the organisers looked at changing the format slightly, where instead of a Friday arrivals with
test flights and an evening briefing with dinner for an early start on Saturday changed to a Saturday &
Sunday event with competitors arriving early Saturday and a mid-morning briefing. As many of the competitor aircraft have previous test flown handicaps or event history, the number of test flights would only be limited to new entrants which could be done in the early morning prior the briefing. The idea was that first take-off would take place around midday with a finish around 2 PM, where after results would be available in the late afternoon with a prize giving and dinner for the Saturday night. This would allow a good opportunity to network and engage with friends and the local club community.

The Groblersdal Club went to great lengths to make the event successful, and also combined the Speed
Rally with a fly in, and prepared an excellent surface taxi-way in this last week to accommodate operation to both ends of the runway. Also some more firsts for the Speed Rally series, previous Race Director Rob
Jonkers passed the baton fully on to Iaan Myburgh to prepare and run the event together with David le Roux as the Race Master, and took the opportunity to fly a race type event for the very first time, prior to this either having been in the back office, route planning and directing since 2016. It was great to be taking a back seat and be on the other side of the fence….

And given this, can now report first hand the experience of flying at speed. SAPFA Chair Leon Bouttell
offered to fly the event in his Sportstar as a late entry, and after some discussion decided fly with him
navigating given my navigation skills being more rusty. At papers time I collected the envelope and had to take a brisk walk to get to the aircraft parked some 200 m away, strap in while Leon started plotting,
essentially I got a map with the route highlighted and he went to prepare the 2 nd map with minute markers to allow us to assess progress along the route.

This was concluded prior start-up and after taxi to the holding position we still had some 5 minutes to go
through the route and discuss altitudes to fly at. Barreling down runway 05 we first had to pick up speed in ground effect and have positive rate of climb prior the first turn after the end of the runway which was a steep left at almost 180 deg (the preferred take-off direction was actually Rwy 23 but changed due to wind conditions favouring 05 and it being downhill).

Not having flown the Sportstar for some time had to get used to the very light controls (compared to a C182), so the first leg was a little skittish in heading and it took most of that leg to get oriented, which resulted in a turn-point miss on turn-point 1, which most competitors found difficult to find. After that we settled down and could get on with finding the next turn-points, checking track position relative to the far field and close in features.

Around half way we sighted the Ercoupe in front of us, and proceeded to haul them in, but not long after that the Cessna 150 with Ron & Von overtook us, just to see them almost miss turn-point 8 having to jinx left and then right to get around the turn-point, this brought them closer to us again before disappearing into the distance. For sure it remains important to not lose energy around turns. Thereafter we overtook first timers Benjamin & Clinton in their Bushcat coming into the home straight, and I started wondering where were the faster aircraft behind us, and then no less than 15 seconds from the finish line the Comanche ZS-NXG, the 235 ZS-FVV and the C210 ZS-CNY came zooming past as if we were standing still, at least it looked like we must have arrived overhead in 5th place.

The wind for sure had an effect on us all, with much turbulence, and even though staying between 3500 & 4000ft, I let the aircraft drift up with thermal / wave lift where it happened, and bled off altitude to pick up speed taking advantage on the conditions. All in all great to fly one of these, and for sure there are strategies to follow, navigation accuracy to be maintained, energy management around turn-points, altitude management, it is not for sure not just a full throttle burn around a track, each element an important ingredient in achieving leader board positions as seconds count, where an average of an hour’s flight is involved.

After everybody was safe on the ground, Iaan and Tarryn got to work with scoring, and concluded this by 4PM, and then awaited the prize-giving at 6PM hosted by David le Roux. A number of competitors were not able to stay over, thus prize giving had a number of winners not being present.

For the Navigation Accuracy category, third place went to Ron Stirk and Von Hamman in their Cessna 150
ZS-NBT, in 2 nd place Willem Kruger & Cris Moolman as first timers in their Alouette 2 ZU-RAH , and in 1 st place Stefan Lombard & Martiens Marais in their Piper Comanche ZS-NXG.

For the Handicap/Speed category, third place went to Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY, in 2nd place Stefan Lombard & Martiens Marais in their Piper Comanche ZS-NXG, and in 1 st place Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV.

Overall Winners in third place went to Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY, in 2 nd place
Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, and in 1 st place Stefan Lombard &
Martiens Marais in their Piper Comanche ZS-NXG.

Many thanks to the Groblersdal Flying Club for hosting this fantastic event, supporting with logistics and great meals available throughout the day, Iaan Myburgh as Race Director, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Shane with his team from Century Avionics for technical scrutineering, David le Roux as Race Master, and all the SAPFA and Grobersdal Club members who supported marshalling and administration.

Also thanks to our headline sponsors Holborn Assets, Pilot Insure, Flying Eyes and our sponsored teams,
Prompt Roofing, Beagle Tracking, Gem Air and Mnandi Signs.

Our next Speed Rally event will be at Springs on the 30th September 2022, which will be the Season 4 finale, with a gala dinner to round it off.

USAF Aircraft Coming to AAD

Also, see About Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2022)

With this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence Trade and Airshow around the corner. The anticipation is now here!

A number of United States Aircraft will be coming to Airforce Base Waterkloof from the 21-25th of September 2022.

First on the list is the Boeing C17 Globemaster, the McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a large military transport aircraft that was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) from the 1980s to the early 1990s by McDonnell Douglas. There will be two C17s at this year’s AAD.

Click here to View the full Aircraft list

Boeing C17 Globemaster

The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker is an American military aerial refueling aircraft that was developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype, alongside the Boeing 707 airliner. It is the predominant variant of the C-135 Stratolifter family of transport aircraft.

Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker

The C-130J is the newest version of the C-130 Hercules and the only model in production. As of March 2022, 500 C-130J aircraft were delivered to 26 operators in 22 countries.


The Boeing KC-46 Pegasus is an American military aerial refueling and strategic military transport aircraft developed by Boeing from its 767 jet airliner. In February 2011, the tanker was selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner in the KC-X tanker competition to replace older Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers. The US Air Force intends to procure 179 Pegasus aircraft by 2027.

KC46 Pegasus

The Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-blade, twin-engine, medium-lift utility military helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft. Sikorsky submitted the S-70 design for the United States Army’s Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System competition in 1972. The UH-60 will also provide an air display.


More aircraft will be added to the aircraft list soon including a number of South African Airforce Favourites.

Africa Aerospace and Defence trade show will be on 21-23 September and the two airshow days are 24th & 25th September 2022 at Airforce Base Waterkloof, City of Tshwane, South Africa.

Sea Rescue in Stilbaai 20th August 2022

A South African Air Force 22 Squadron Oryx was activated for a Air Sea Rescue mission locating the yacht, panacea that has been missing at sea. The yacht has been overdue to reach his destination. The Squadron received initial coordinates from a passing tanker ship where the yacht was last seen.

The tanker, has tried to confirm the presence of life onboard the yacht, but due to heavy sea condtitions and vessel size it could not be established with certainty.

The crew with the the help from the NSRI then flew a SAR pattern and managed to locate the yacht approximately 28 nautical miles South South West of Stilbaai on the South Coast.

An NSRI Airborne rescue swimmer was deployed from the helicopter into the sea, he swam to and boarded the yacht where he found the sailor deceased below decks.

With limited fuel remaining the rescue swimmer placed a signalling beacon on the yacht before being recovered into the helicopter. The yacht with the deceased sailor had been recovered and towed back to shore by the NSRI rescue vessel.

Special thanks to the ground crew that works behind the scenes for always ensuring safe serviceable helicopters.

The effort by all involved, for their tireless contributions that helped to bring closure in this tragedy, is commended.

Credit to NSRI, MRCC and SAAF.

Photos were taken by Frank Boekkooi

Exercise Shared Accord 2022

Exercise Shared Accord 2022 is a Joint and Multinational Peace Support Operation and
Humanitarian Relief Exercise with the US Army Southern European Task Force, Africa
(SETAF-AF) of the United States (US) Armed Forces, took place over a period 05 -30 July
2022 in and around Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal. This came about as a result of bilateral
Defence Force Committee discussions that originated in 2009, and was approved by the
Military Command Council (MCC) in 2010.

The exercise was followed by a capability demonstrations including High Altitude
Low Opening (HALO) techniques by paratroopers, US and RSA Medivac, Chemical Spillage
procedures by SANDF and the disaster management, and demonstrations.

Exercise Shared Accord was the fourth exercise of this
nature to be planned and executed in South Africa, with previous exercises that took place in
2011, 2013 and 2017. The last exercise was conducted in Northern Cape at the SA Army
Combat Training Centre (CTC) Lohatlha, and the following scheduled exercise was to be
executed in 2020, but due to outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, all exercises were
suspended in March of that year.

The Aim of Exercise Shared Accord 2022 was to improve bilateral military inter-operability in Air
Support Operations and Peace Support Operations (PSO) for landward forces, and to
exercise the provision of medical assistance and humanitarian relief to own forces and the
local population. The South African Medical Heath Service (SAMHS) together with the New
York Army National Guard personnel from US Armed Forces have been in the forefront with
the community outreach programme in providing medical services, like primary health care,
dental, veterinary and ophthalmic services to residents in a number of local rural clinics
around uMhlathuze Local Municipality and uMfolozi local Municipality to name a few.

Pictures by Hein Beukes

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