Category Archives: General News and Airshow Reviews

ROLLS-ROYCE ULTRAFAN POWER GEARBOX TOPS WORLD AEROSPACE RECORD

Rolls-Royce announced today that its UltraFan® power gearbox has set a new world aerospace
record at its facility in Germany.

The gearbox has reached 87,000 horsepower or 64 megawatts – enough to power a city the size of
Bath, United Kingdom – on test at Dahlewitz, near Berlin. The power milestone was achieved as build
continues on the power gearbox that will be delivered for the actual UltraFan demonstrator engine,
UF001, later this year.

UltraFan, which is scalable for narrowbody or widebody aircraft, is a key element of Rolls-Royce’s

commitment to making travel more sustainable. Gas turbines will continue to be the bedrock of long-
haul aviation for many years, and UltraFan’s efficiency will help improve the economics of an industry

transition to more sustainable fuels, which are likely to be more expensive in the short-term than
traditional jet fuel. The first test run of the engine will be conducted on 100% Sustainable Aviation
Fuel.

Dr Holger Klinger, Sub-System Executive Power Gearbox, Rolls-Royce, said: “Reaching this record is
another great achievement that showcases the performance and durability of this key component for
our UltraFan programme. The power gearbox technology is central to the success of the next
generation of Rolls-Royce jet engines and I’m proud to see us pushing the engineering boundaries
again.”

The PGB is playing a central role for the UltraFan engine, helping to deliver excellent efficiency
levels over a wide range of thrusts. It has a planetary design, with each ‘planet’ capable of holding
the force of a Trent XWB engine at full throttle. It is designed to allow the turbine at the rear of the
engine to run at a very high speed while the fan at the front runs at a lower speed. This makes the
engine very efficient, making the UltraFan engine 25% more fuel efficient than the first generation
of Rolls-Royce Trent engines.

Development testing of the first prototype gearbox, focused on validation, endurance and reliability,
began in 2017 at the dedicated PGB test facility in Dahlewitz. During a rigorous test regime, the
power gearbox has since accumulated more than 650 testing hours and proven its capability of
managing the equivalent power of an entire grid of Formula 1 cars.

As well as high power testing, the PGB has been undergoing test on the facility’s Attitude Rig, which
simulates the effect of the gearbox being on the wing of an aircraft in flight, through phases such as
take-off, climb, banking and descent.

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers the power that matters to connect, power and protect society. We have
    pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in our operations by 2030. We joined
    the UN Race to Zero campaign in 2020, and have committed to ensuring our new products
    will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030, and all products will be compatible with
    net zero by 2050.
  2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and
    leasing customers, 160 armed forces and navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear
    customers.
  3. Annual underlying revenue was £11.76 billion in 2020 and we invested £1.25 billion on
    research and development. We also support a global network of 28 University Technology
    Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  4. Rolls-Royce Holdings plc is a publicly traded company (LSE:RR., ADR: RYCEY, LEI:
    213800EC7997ZBLZJH69).

The Kittyhawk Van’s RV fly-in 2021

After lasts years event was cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic, this past weekend saw the return of the almost now annual Kitty Hawk RV Fly-in with a number of Vans RVs flying in as well as other aircraft fixed wing and rotary.

Kitty Hawk Aerodrome was established as an Aero-Estate in 1995. This project has developed to its exciting status as an Aerodrome. The Kitty Hawk Aerodrome is completely divorced from all other developments and consists of hangar facilities, a small residential flat, clubhouse and a fuel bay.

Picture by  Dries Beetge

The Van’s Aircraft, Inc. is an American kit aircraft manufacturer, founded by Richard “Van” VanGrunsven in 1973. Van’s RV series of aircraft, from the single-seat RV-3 to the latest RV-14, are all-aluminum, low-wing monoplanes of monocoque construction.

September 11th as you know was the 20th anniversary of terror attacks in the United States of America. Kitty Hawk held their event with all Covid 19 Regulations in place. Delicious breakfasts and lunches were served at the Kitty Hawk Aerodrome Club house, as well as a total of 79 RVs flying in for the day not counting other aircraft!

We look forward to next years event and hope that where the country stands with Covid 19 numbers the event will allow more victors and aircraft to fly-inn. To end of the day was a spectacular mass formation of RVs. Now this formation is getting bigger by the events that come by. What a treat!

Thanks to Pieter Cronje for the Awesome pictures of the day!

AIRLINK CONFIRMS SELECTION OF ROLLS-ROYCE TOTALCARE FOR ENGINE SERVICING

Rolls-Royce and Airlink have signed a TotalCare® service agreement for the AE3007 engines that power the South African airline’s fleet of Embraer ERJ135 aircraft. The agreement, which covers 28 aircraft, is an extension of service for a further 10 years, continuing the airline’s drive to maximise aircraft availability.

Airlink CEO, Rodger Foster, said; “Airlink and Rolls-Royce have worked hand in hand since the introduction of the ERJ135 to our fleet in May 2001. We operate 28 ERJs with a pool of 64 AE3007-A1/3 engines. We are proud of the phenomenal reliability we have achieved from these engines which have underpinned Airlink’s industry leading on-time performance, which has consistently been above 97%. Our TotalCare service agreement has been key to the management of engine maintenance costs and to ensuring the economic sustainability of the ERJ135 type for the foreseeable future. We are delighted at the dependability of the Rolls-Royce team and their engines.”

In 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Airlink carried more than 2 million customers on more than 63,000 flights. Airlink currently operates a reduced route network to more than 45 destinations in 12 African countries, whilst remaining agile to the effects of Covid-19 and associated travel restrictions. Airlink was proudly the most punctual South African airline for 2020; its year-to-date performance up to August 2021 has been 98.1% on-time.

“Our partnership with Airlink goes back to 2001 and this TotalCare extension is a testament to our strong working relationship and mutual trust of one another,” said Stewart Evans, Rolls-Royce, Vice President, Customers Europe Middle East & Africa, “I’m especially proud of the way both teams have worked closely together during the pandemic to manage maintenance costs effectively for both parties whilst enhancing our service offering at the same time. The entire team at Rolls-Royce is honoured to be able to serve Airlink and their customers for many more years to come.”

TotalCare is the flagship integrated engine service cover provided by Rolls-Royce. It is designed for predictive maintenance planning, as well as off-wing repair and overhaul activities for operators of Rolls-Royce aero engines. TotalCare transfers both time-on-wing and maintenance cost risks back to Rolls-Royce, as well as offering advanced engine health monitoring and future product enhancements.

Aircraft covered by TotalCare achieve higher availability, increased long-term residual values, and benefit from the global Rolls-Royce Care Network; a large, capable and competitive engine service network that caters for the needs of engines at every point in their lifecycle.

About Airlink

Airlink is an independent privately-owned, full-service premium regional airline, serving a comprehensive network of destinations throughout Southern Africa. The airline is the largest in Southern Africa when measured by flight movements and emphasises reliability of service whilst maximising choice and travel opportunities for its customers. Airlink has more than 50 commercial jetliners operating throughout Southern Africa. Airlink is a member of the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and is IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit program) accredited.

Steady Climb Fly-In #3

As the sun rose over the Rhino Park Airfield on a cool September Saturday morning, the air began to fill with the sound of aircraft engines. It was time for the third installment of the Steady Climb Fly-In.

The event was hosted by PilotInsure in conjunction with Steady Climb, a fund raiser initiated by PilotInsure to assist the pilots who have had to adapt their livelihoods to make a living.

As usual, the flying was great! The weather held up beautifully for the biggest part of the day, with the clouds only giving the photographers a headache during the Puma Energy Flying Lions Aerobatic Team display.

There were quite a few interesting visitors to the likes of the Puma Energy Flying Lions Aerobatic Team, a Bell 222 from Rocket HEMS and even a Piaggio P.166 Albatross.

Once again being an event for the people, spectators were allowed to walk around the various aircraft parked on the grass apron and enjoy a good chat with pilots and fellow aviators.

The Puma Energy Flying Lions display commenced at around 11h00. Unfortunately the clouds made for some rather bad lighting for photography, but the display was thoroughly enjoyed regardless.

After the Flying Lions had departed, the various pilots that attended the fly-in also began to head home. This event had no shortage of spectacular departures, with a highlight definitely being that Albatross low pass!

One lucky winner also received a flip in the orange Mighty Mouse Harvard! The flip ended with some superb low passes and aerobatics overhead the airfield, well and truly ending the day off with a bang!

Us aviation enthusiast have been left dry over the last few months, with this event being my first aviation event in exactly 3 months. It is therefore absolutely fantastic to see events like this making a return!

Although at time of writing, events are still very scarce, but with the recently announced move to level 2 lockdown, we hope to see smaller events like this making a comeback.

* All the required COVID-19 related health and safety measures were in place. Photos taken whilst adhering to all of these protocols. 

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New careers take flight with CRET

There is exciting fresh talent taking to the skies as five newly qualified drone pilots celebrate at a graduation ceremony hosted by The Academy of Aviation and Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET). All five students are beneficiaries of education funding from CRET.

Velile Mngoma, Amanjee Moosa, Azwindini Mugari, Braiden Kitching and Jayden Brink are part of a fully sponsored drone pilot training programme as part of development careers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. These specially trained pilots are part of a growing demand worldwide. PwC estimates that commercial applications of drone technology and flight have a market value of $127 billion globally. Considering the first drone pilot license on the continent was only issued five years ago, it is remarkable that new graduates are being produced in a career path that didn’t exist until recently.

The graduates come from vastly different backgrounds, but all are looking forward to building stable careers in the aviation industry. As Amanjee Moosa reflects, “Being able to have a chance to fly fills me with motivation.”

During the small graduation ceremony, the five graduates demonstrated their pilot skills and received their official certificates of qualification. This will open doors for them to work as a precision agriculture surveyor, search and rescue drone operator, drone flight instructor or drone mechanic. These career paths are available in a wide variety of sectors from construction and conservation to mining and public safety.

Chantelle Oosthuizen, Executive Director of CRET, is proud of what the future holds for these graduates.

“As with all of our CRET graduates, it is an exciting moment to see them spread their wings and fly off into the world – this is quite literal for our aviation students. CRET isn’t just for university education. The program exists to support and develop well-grounded graduates who grow to be leaders, who are of service to their community, and who have the skills to build a prosperous future. This can be done through a variety of education pathways, be it university, technical or vocational training. What we can see from this success is that young people need more options and help to get the necessary skills for new careers in a digital era.” she said.

Just 6% of the South African population have university degrees. A further 6% have diplomas and 3.4% hold technical and vocational education and training (TVET) certificates. Because South African society typically associates success with university education, vocational or technical training doesn’t get the necessary attention or respect it deserves for yielding valuable and often sought-after skills.

CRET is committed to promoting alternative skills development routes in addition to university study. The organisation promotes technical and vocational education as well as entrepreneurship as career choices. The organisation’s partnership with The Academy of Aviation is only a year old but has also produced 10 graduates with Civil Aviation Authority licenses who have completed internships with the ExecuJet Aviation Group and Lanseria Airport. To date, CRET has assisted 213 skills development training beneficiaries through various programmes.

Remote Pilot Licence Graduates with their certifications – From Left to Right Velile Mngoma, Braiden Kitching, Amanjee Moosa, Azwindini Mugari and Jayden Brink
Remote Pilot Licence Graduate Azwindini Mugari showcasing his skills
CRET Remote Pilot Licence Graduates with representatives from The Academy of Aviation and CRET Executive Director, Chantelle Oosthuizen

Remote Pilot Lincence Graduates Showcasing their skills

The SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally

The SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally – 28 August 2021 by Rob Jonkers

This year we have returned again to the birth place of the Speed Rally, being the 4th time this event has been held here, with 2018 the start of Season 1, and from 2020 having re-aligned the Speed Rallies to calendar year seasons, with this event being the 3rd event in Season 3, with the final event for Season 3 being at Springs on 27 Nov 2021.

With lockdown still at level 3, we limited the entries to 25 teams, and 22 had entered by the time the event entries closed on Friday 27th August. Our host club with Chairman Ashvir Kallis and Vice Chairman Lourence Mathee went all out to support the event, making the club facilities available and a braai for the Friday evening. The Aviation Junction flight school made their school facilities available for the scoring and officials team.

The weather outlook was looking challenging as the weekend was approaching, many warnings of severe cold and high winds predicted from a substantial cold front, and at dawn on Friday much low cloud and rain squalls made their appearance across Gauteng, which cleared later but with increasing gusty wind conditions. Having left Kitty Hawk at 10 am, caught a 30 kt tailwind to Secunda and had to deal with a 15 kt crosswind on landing. Around half the field chose rather to arrive early on Saturday, with some test flights also delayed to Saturday morning. The test flights were ably handled by Mauritz du Plessis and Iaan Myburg, with Iaan also taking up the role of scorer for this event having developed new scoring software.

At 18h30, Jonty Esser as the MC and Race Master introduced Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work and the expected weather conditions. This year’s route would include a cross-over, which would bring more spectator interaction as the aircraft came over the field at the half way mark.

Jonty Esser then took to the stage in his signature competing crew introductory theme song videos and race number handouts, and also including introductions to the team sponsors, which has picked up this year after a disastrous 2020, and great to see the sponsors returning to support their teams. A scrumptious braai was laid on by the club to end the evening with around the fire stories on a high note.

For Saturday the briefing started at 8h00, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather, which at least had improved wind conditions from the Friday, starting out at 10 kts with a maximum of 15 kts predicted in a westerly direction, which would at least be favourable for runway 29. Some line squalls were also in the area, with the cloud base at least more than 1000 ft, with good visibility.

With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags. For this event Mark & Shane from Century Avionics were on hand to also block off / seal Aircraft GPS and autopilot systems, and also checking the fuel tanks were full.

The Pilot Insure Scrutineer Team were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, with the papers team under guidance of Lizelle handing out papers at the allotted time, Chief Marshall Adrian Cronje and Starters Mauritz & Chareen set up at the starting line adjacent the threshold of Runway 29, who would release each aircraft at their allotted time slot. Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at 20 minutes prior take-off time, taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of brake release. 1st take-off was at 10h20 for the slowest aircraft which was a Magni Gyrocopter (the first time a gyro has taken part) and last take-off at 11h10, with planned arrival at 12h00.

With all the competitors off towards the south west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints. In general the competitors found the course easy enough. At just before 12h00, the first aircraft over the line was a little early, and then followed by at least three quarters of the field within 1 minute, with tail enders after that.

After all teams having returned, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, completing the individual scores by 14h00, with prize giving planned for at 15:00. In the meantime, most of the competitors being concerned over deteriorating weather decided to return to their home bases, thus a call was made at 14h30 to rather hold a virtual prize giving, which Race Master Jonty carried out at 5 PM on the WhatsApp platform. MC Jonty Esser thanked everybody in the Speed Rally series for their contributions.

The winners in the handicap category were Deidre Batchelor & Dave Naude in their Jabiru ZU-EBU, in second place Mike Blackburn & Steve Briggs in a Sling ZU-IBM and in third place the Evans Racing team Jonty & Jonathan Esser in their C150 ZU-BLL. The first thirteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

The winners in the accuracy category were the Gem air sponsored team of Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY, in second place Fanie Scholtz & Herman Haasbroek in their Sling ZU-FZF, and in third place Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer in their Evektor Harmony ZU-FWS..

Overall Standings are in first place father and son Apie & Frederik Kotzee, in second place another father and son Johan Whiteman & Quintin Kruger in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV, and in third place another father & son team of Hendrik & Jandre Loots flying their Sling ZU-IHK. This is the first time the first 3 overall placed teams are all father and sons.

Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Adrian Cronje as the Chief Marshall, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan & Tarryn Myburg doing the scoring, Mauritz du Plessis doing test flights and starting, Marc & Shane from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw as the Event Secretary, Lizelle Kruger, Clarissa Dacostaesilva, Ariana Rompel, Leonie du Plessis for handing out competition papers to the crews, the Pilot Insure team under David le Roux for Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandi for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event, and Anneke Pretorius for looking after officials lunches. Santjie & Jean Marie White were also on hand to ensure all aircraft are accounted for during and post the event.

ZS-CNY – third in the accuracy results

 

One of the tracks having gone a little pear shaped.

David Simelane Promoted To Chief Pilot Of SANParks Air Services

South African National Parks (SANParks) is proud to announce that Ndabenhle David Simelane has become the first black Chief Pilot for SANParks Air Services. SANParks Chief Operating Officer Lize McCourt, said, “Simelane’s most recent promotion sees him moving from the rank of pilot to SANParks Chief Pilot and Person Responsible for Operations as per the South African Civil Aviation Authority’s regulations”.

“It comes as no surprise that Simelane aka “The Black-Black Hawk”, is progressing through the ranks as he is a skilled professional pilot with solid management and leadership skills with approachability and strength of character to boot”.

On arrival at the SANParks Airwing in Skukuza almost a year ago, Simelane wasted no time forging a solid relationship with the Civil Aviation Authority – an endeavour that serves SANParks well in terms of aviation compliance.

Air Services is part of the newly formed Area Integrity Management unit (AIM), which comprises Air-Services, Firearm Management, Special Operations, Environmental Crime Investigations, and Environmental Compliance. The main objective of creating the AIM unit was to establish and better coordinate safety and security within SANParks. The objective is well underway, with AIM providing core functions such as logistical ranger support, amongst other crucial services within SANParks. McCourt has noted that the unit played an integral role in establishing the Command Centre within Table Mountain National Parks. We believe that the team will continue to excel with Simelane at the helm of Air Services.

McCourt concluded, “There is no doubt in my mind that Simelane will take SANParks Air Services to the next level and it is my sincere pleasure to see transformation in the airwing. Fly Black Hawk, fly!”

Airborne patient evacuation at sea with 15 Squadron SAAF

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 11h32, Sunday, 11 July, 2 NSRI Durban rescue swimmers, 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and a SA Air Force (SAAF) ,15 Squadron, flight crew, departed Durban Air Force Base aboard a SAAF Oryx helicopter to rendezvous with an oil tanker motor vessel approaching Durban from deep-sea to patient evacuate a 27 year old Filipino crewman suffering a medical complaint.

The crews had been placed on alert by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) on Saturday after a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor evaluated the patients condition in communications with the ships medical crew and it was deemed necessary for the patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with the VHF marine radio communications.

On arrival at the motor vessel, 50 nautical miles off-shore of Durban, in calm sea conditions, an NSRI rescue swimmer and the 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were hoisted onto the helicopters deck.

The patient, in a stable conditions, was secured into a vacuum mattress and specialised stretcher and hoisted into the helicopter with one of the rescue paramedics.

The NSRI rescue swimmer and the remaining rescue paramedic were hoisted into the helicopter.

The patient, in the care of the Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, was airlifted directly to a Durban hospital landing zone and then transported to a Durban hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance where he is receiving emergency medical care in hospital and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The patient evacuation operation completed at 13h04.

NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, NSRI Durban duty controllers, Netcare 911 duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, SA Air Force Command, Transnet National Ports Authority and Transnet National Ports Health Authority assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in operational logistics and coordination of the airborne patient evacuation operation.

SAAF Change of Command Parade

A cold frosty morning on the 4th June 2021 we made on way to Airforce Base Swartkop in Valhalla. This is has been our home grounds for years for Airshows, flying training days and parade as such this being the new chief acceptance parade from Lieutenant General Fabian Zakes Msimang to pass on his task as the new chief of the South African Airforce, Lieutenant General Wiseman Simo Mbambo.

Thanks to the South African Media Liaison officers. We were kindly given gift bags and made surely welcome to base and had a fantastic position for photo opportunities for both members of the parade and aircraft flying overhead.

SA Defence News provided live streaming via YouTube for Aviation Enthusiasts and other guests which weren’t able to attend the parade due to covid 19 restrictions. AFB Swartkop made sure all protocols were made for screening and sanitizing all invited guests and media.

A general salute was first up of the sequence of events of cannon gun fire while a pair of Oryx Helicopters carried both the South African National flag and South African Airforce (SAAF) flag. Once again great flying by the crew from various helicopter Squadrons in such windy conditions.

During this time Chaplin Melanie Smit provided the parade with a Religious observance and a code of conduct also mentioned.

Lt General (Retired) Fabian Zakes Msimang continued with his speech as he passes on his command to Lieutenant General W. S Mbambo as said :

I leave an Air Force that centers its behaviour around the needs of the next generation. An Air Force that lived by the slogan “We serve with Discipline, Dignity, Professionalism and Patriotism”.

The mass Flypasts began with a helicopter formation of five Oryx Helicopters from various Squadron from around South Africa and one BK117 from 15 Squadron “Charlie” flight.

The pointer formation was next led by 1 Pilatus PC12 and four Cessna 208A Caravans from 41 Squadron bSed at Airforce Base Waterkloof.

Nine Pilatus PC7s MKIIs led by Major Sivu Tangana, current leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team of the South African Airforce, flew directly over the parade podium showing the abito-nitio trainer for student pilots to qualify to get their wings in the SAAF.

28 Squadron with two C130BZ Hercules in linerstern formation flew over with not far behind them the Combat Formation with two JAS39 Gripens from 2 Squadron and three Hawks from 85 Combat Flying School, both Squadrons based at Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo Province.

After the parade we we treated to a wonderful spread of refreshments at the Centre of Aviation Awareness Hanger at AFB Swartkop, where Lieutenant General Mbambo, addressed media and invited guests.

The SAAFs Combat Readiness

THIS IS OUR CORE BUSINESS AS THE AIR FORCE – TO BE ALWAYS COMBAT READY WHENEVER WE ARE REQUIRED TO DELIVER ON OUR MANDATE. WE MUST DO EVERYTHING TO REMAIN AT OUR SHARPEST READINESS LEVEL. NO DOUBT – THERE ARE MANY STORMS AROUND US BUT AS EAGLES WE CANNOT AFFORD TO COW DOWN TO THEM. WE SHALL CONTINUE TO FORGE AHEAD IN LINE WITH OUR INTRINSIC EAGLE CHARACTERISTICS AND OUR MOTTO ASPERA PER SPERA AD ASTRA – FROM THE ADVERSITY TO THE STARS

We’d like to welcome the new Chief of the South African Airforce to his position and look forward to working with him in the future. Till then this “an Airforce that inspires Confidence”

Thanks to the contributors to this article Jarryd Sinovich, Vincent Nagel, Dian Townsend & Gerrit Mynhardt

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Outgoing SANDF General Solly Shoke Parade

The 28th May 2021,saw the outgoing chief of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) General Solly Zacharia Shoke during a retreat parade at Thaba Tshwane, known to many as the military town of Pretoria.

Just to mention just some of his curriculum vitae In 1998, Shoke commanded the South African Development Community forces during Operation Boleas in Lesotho. He was the Director Personnel Acquisition from January 1999 to October 2000, when he was promoted to the rank of major general as the Chief Director Human Resources Support. He was promoted to Chief of the Army in 2004, and became Chief of the South African National Defence Force in May 2011.Solly Shoke was the longest serving Chief of the SANDF to date.

President Cyril Ramaphosa attened the parade during the hand over the command of the SANDF to Lieutenant-General Rhudzani Maphwanya as new chief of the South African National Defence Force.

A flag fly-past started proceedings by two Oryx Helicopters carrying both the South African National Flag and SANDF flag, a single 44 Squadron Casa 212 dropped skydivers from 44 Parachute Regiment. Different marching columns made their way onto the sports.

First of the Mass Fly pasts included a helicopter fly-past consisting of a Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron, four Oryx Helicopters and a 15 Squadron ‘Charlie’ Flight BK117.

Next was the Pelican Formation made up of a 35 Squadron C47TP Dakota and a 44 Squadron Casa 212.Followed then by the pointer formation of four Cessna 208As Caravans from 41 Squadron. It was then the return of 28 Squadron with two C130BZs.Major Sivu Tangana led a 9-ship formation of Pilatus PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School, AFB Langebaanweg.

The final formation was the combat formation led by Colonel “Boerboel” Mashaba with two Gripens from 2 Squadron and three Hawks from 85 Combat Flying School. It was then time for Major Mohau “Dobaman” Vundla’s first Gripen solo display in Gauteng skies as he comes in as 2 Squadrons new Gripen display pilot!

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