Tag Archives: 15SquadronCFlight

Parys Airshow 2023

After the first successful airshow last year being held at Parys Airfield after the covid pandemic. This years show was even bigger and better! With the help of Smoke on Go, Santam, and many other stakeholders making the show happen. Smoke on Go who after many years have been producing the Smoke on Go airshow book and now selling a monthly magazine offering top aviation bulletins.

This years show included a number of display teams from Rand Airport, Germiston and local Sandriver Crop Protection, and amongst others, were included in the display program.

The program was handled by Airshow South Africa Rikus Erasmus as Airshow boss, safety director Colonel Keith Fryer, Walter Doubell , in charge of ramp safety. Louise Hofmeyr looked after the Media.

Safety director Colonel Keith Fryer

The South African Airforce were present with their three different helicopter assets in their inventory including a 15 Squadron “Charlie” flight BK-117 from Air Force Station Port Elizabeth, flown by display pilot Major Corrie Oberholzer and Flight Sargent Coert Steynberg as the flight engineer.

15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight BK-117
Major Corrie Oberholzer and Flight Sargent Coert Steynberg

16 Squadron flew their mighty Rooivalk by Major Jannes Slabbert and Major Corne Stadler. Both operational pilots from Airforce base Bloemspruit.

16 Squadron Rooivalk & 15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight BK-117
16 Squadron Rooivalk

A Agusta A109 was on static display for the public to get a closer look at the light utility helicopter.
There was also a youth development program that was held the Friday before the show, to provide feedback to the youth wanting to join the air force or a career in the aviation fraternity.

Major Simphiwe Moloi & Major Vuyo Wakhaba both 19 Squadron Agusta A109 commanders

The airshow started with a paradrop with a Aermacchi AL-60 Trojan converted to turbine power a the jump ship. It was then the start of the first of the fixed wings aircraft on the program, the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s aerobatic display led by Scully Levin. Scully also led the Hired Gun Pitts Specials later in the day made up of three Pitts Specials S2Bs and a Single Pitts S2C.

Skydiver
Puma Flying Lions Harvards
Hired Guns Pitts Specials
Puma Flying Lions Number 3 & Hired Gun Soloist Ellis Levin

Andrew Blackwood Murray presented his Nashua sponsored Extra 300L, and showed why he will be representing South Africa at the World Advanced Aerobatic Champs to be held in Las Vegas in October.

Nashua Extra 300L

The Raptor RVs were up next with their tight neat and polished display made up of RV 7s and a Rv8 led by Trevor Warner, Dion Raath, Ryan Beaton and Johan von Solms.

Raptor RVs
Goodyear Eagles & Raptor RVs Johan von Solms

Master Power Technologies Menno Parsons who flew both his “Tiger” Huey display and his P51D Mustang “Mustang Sally”. The only flying example P51D flying in Africa.

Bell UH-1H Iroquois
Menno Parsons
North American Aviation P51D Mustang “Mustang Sally”

Some crazy flying reenactment by Jason Beamish flying the popular Bushcat aircraft had the crowds on their feet.The SkyReach BushCat is a South African light-sport aircraft developed from the Rainbow Aircraft Cheetah by Vladimir Chechin of SkyReach Aircraft.

SkyReach Bushcat
SkyReach Bushcat

Capital Sounds provided all the commentary during the course of the day, explaining each and every aircraft act. Both Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis were heard during the show.

Springbok Classic Airs Beech 18 was a welcome sight and sound to see the classic prop- liner be put through its paces by Flippie Vermeulen and Scully Levin.
The Magni Gyrocopter was once again shown off to the crowds by Andre van Zyl.

Springbok Classic Air Beech 18

The Sandriver Crop Protection with the form of a Air Tractor AT-402B and a Robinson R44 provided a crop spraying demonstration. The father and duo of Ivan and Jeandre van der Schaar with Ivan in the Boeing Stearman while Jeandre flew his remote control Extra 330 in formation alongside. The only display of its kind in Africa.

Sandriver Crop Protection Air Tractor AT-402B
Robinson R44
American Flying Classics Boeing Stearman & RC Extra 330

The Classic Flying Collection based out of Springs airfield flew their de Haviland Chipmunk formation made up of Rodney Chinn, Grant Timms and Steve Brown.

Classic Flying Collection de Haviland Chipmunks
Classic Flying Collection de Haviland Chipmunk

Grant Timms and Steve Brown also flew the de Haviland Tiger Moth formation, even in tough windy conditions. Scully Levine was at it again and this time in the modern Cirrus SR22.

Classic Flying Collection de Haviland Tiger Moths
Cirrus SR22

Some of the helicopter action that was present on the day surely came from both the Henley Air Bell 230 display in HEMS Rocket colours flown by Andre Coetzee and as well as Juba Jourbert in the Aerospatiale Gazelle.

Rocket Bell 230
Aerospatiale Gazelle

The Goodyear eagles showed off their high energy display made up of all Pitts S2Bs. At the end of the show. The pitts formed up with Africa Charter Airline Boeing 737-300 flown by Dennis Spence. After a few passes the formation broke up and and Dennis provided the crowds with a solo display in the Boeing 737 before returning to OR Tambo International Airport.

Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials
Africa Charter Airline Boeing 737-300 leading the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials
Africa Charter Airline Boeing 737-300

A special word of thanks goes to Creative Space Media, Hayley and Brendan Horan for hosting the media at this years show.

Well done to the organisers on a fantastic Parys Airshow. A great variety of aircraft on the program. Till next year!

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SAAF Museum Airshow 2023- “Taking off to new frontiers”

The first airshow of the seeing started with a bang at the Mobile Deployment Wing Swartkop (MDW) previously Air force base Swartkop.

The show build at Swartkop is always exciting at military airshows in South Africa. The Wednesday morning with the Gautrain Alouette II race where Aviation Central was kindly invited to be in the Alouette III follow chopper to get air to air shots of the race where we joined News Room Africa. The show also included a youth development program for a number of learners who spent the day considering a career in aviation the Friday before the show.

Also catching all the arrivals of aircraft and seeing them validate surely get the people of Pretoria excited for the show! This years theme for the show was “Taking off to new frontiers” The South African Airforce Museum ,South African air force and a number of civilian teams had a number of aircraft on flying and static displays.

The reason for this airshow is to generate funds to keep the South African Airforce museum flying and static exhibits in order and to look after military aviation history in the country.

The show was big this year with a large program as follows below with Colonel Keith Fryer as air boss and putting together a awesome show with a different variety of aircraft in the mix. Colonel Keith Andrew’s (Retired) was ramp boss with Major Heinrich “Skippie” Scheepers. Taskings of aircraft and over flight clearance were under taken by Captain Ryan Mitton ,Captain Andre Roets and Lieutenant Richard Dixon.

Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis and his team provided excellent commentary on aircraft and aircrew.

The morning show started with the arrival of Paramotors from the near Grasslands airfield with a brief display by helicopter formation fly-pasts by Rob Osner in his Alouette III “Rudi”, Charles Fuller in his Alouette II and Juba Jourbert in the Aerospatiale Gazelle.

The emergency vehicles made up of the ECC with a cavalcade and three helicopter types showing their presence in case of an emergency on the day which was luckily not needed. A 15 Squadron Agusta A109,17 Squadron Oryx and a Netcare Bell 430 helicopter. The flying display started with a lonesome Museum Harvard “7111” flown by Martin Louw. Followed by civilian aerobatic competitor Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Extra 300L.

Grant Timms in Richard Lovetts L29 flew a graceful display with a beautiful paint scheme added to this particular Middelburg based former jet trainer. The Museum Helicopter display of two Alouette IIs, Alouette IIIs and Puma as well as a solo Cessna C185 flown by Colonel Gerrie “Smokey” Pretorius.

Andre van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter Display, one of the best Gyrocopter displays you can see in the world. Ivan and Jeandre van der Schaar flew the father and son team, Boeing Stearman and RC Extra 330 demo. The only of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight brought one of their BK-117 Helicopters to the show flown by display pilot Major Corrie Oberholzer and Flight Sargent Coert Steynberg.85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120 flown by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter was the first of the fast jet displays of the day. Captain JP “Nitro” Poisat provided commentary during his display.

Steve Brown flew a rare display in the Classic Flying Collection Auster, a display tribute to his late father Gavin Brown. Central Flying School provided a solo Pilatus PC7MKII display flown by Rooivalk pilot Major Ronald Moroole. The Raptor RVs were next flown by Nigel Hopkins, Dion Raath, Ryan Beaton, Trevor Warner and Johan von Solms.

Juba Jourbert flew a Aerospatiale Gazelle display showing off the lines of the aircraft. The hired gun pitts specials were next led by Scullly Levin. Scullly also led the Puma flying lions Harvard’s in their display and during their sunset display before returning to Rand Airport.

The ever favorite 2 Squadron Gripen flown by Musa “Midnite” Mbhokota had the crowds on their feet to see South Africa’s front line fighter. Rodney Chinn, Grant Timms and Steve Brown were up next in the Classic Flying Collection De Haviland Chipmunks.

The SAAF Museum put most of their assets in the air with Combat Search and rescue as well as many formations displays including their Aerospatiale Puma in formation with two Harvard’s. The Cessna C185 with two Alouette IIIs. Team Extra 330 flown by Jason Beamish and Nigel Hopkins flew a high energy aerobatic display. Nigel also led the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials.

Menno Parsons flew both his beautifully bright Tiger Huey and the only flying P51D Mustang in Africa. The Tiger Moth Duo flown again by Grant Timms and Steve Brown making up the contingent of aircraft from the Classic Flying Collection based at Springs Airfield.

The Boeing 737-300 flown by Captain Dennis Spence and First Officer Melissa with the compliments of Africa Air Charter. A great sight to see a airliner display at Swartkop once again.

16 Squadron provided a mighty Rooivalk display flown by Major Paul “Raccoon” Kempthorn. With a spectacular flare drop at the end of his show.Midnite flew the last display of the day with the Gripen also ending his spectacular loud show with a flare drop.

A huge well done to Lieutenant Colonel Stefan van Zyl, acting officer commanding of Mobile Deployment Wing Swartkop and his team for making this show happen. Lieutenant Colonel Gaelejwe. Also a word of thanks to many of the sponsors and stakeholders in their effort to the Museum Airshow. The show was also dedicated to the former acting OC of The SAAF Museum Major Ntshangase who unfortunately lost his life a few weeks ago. We look forward to seeing more Museum aircraft coming back online and more static exhibits getting their finishing touches. A word of thanks to Captain Mpama for looking after the media and getting them to the designate photography spots on the day.
Till then, “Keep the up where they belong”!

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SAAF Prestige Parade 2023

The South African Airforce Prestige Day Parade once again took place at Air Force Base Swartkop in the City Of Tshwane, celebrating 103 years of airpower in South Africa.

Most years prestige parades have seen some awful weather including alot of rain downpours and low cloud, resulting in no flying for any aircraft and parades been cut short.This year we were welcomed with clear skies and scorching hot temperatures as we neared midday.

The South African Airforce is the second oldest air force in the world after the Royal Airforce after been formed of the 20th February 1920. Making the SAAF 103 years old this year!

 Air Force Base Swartkop is South Africa’s oldest air force base and operational and houses the South African Air Force Museum and 17 Squadron just to mention the flying squadrons.

The evening before ,Heartfelt Arena near 1 Military Hospital, hosted the SAAFs Prestige evening. The venue was also the perfect place to capture some amazing sunset shots of various flypast including the Museum Helicopter Formation, Silver Falcons and Hawk Mk120 Formations. A number of awards were handed out to various bases and squadrons for their outstanding contribution to the Airforce.

The parade began with the national and South African Airforce flag flown by two Agusta A109LUHs while the chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo took the general salute with canon fire in the background below bays hill.

Colonel Donovan Chetty, the Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, in the Western Cape,was announced the trophy of Best Performing Air Force Base!

The Chief of Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo & Colonel Donovan Chetty, the  Officer Commanding of Air Force Base Overberg, in the Western Cape

With the theme Free the “Eagle as the air forces motto now stands. Invited Guests and media at the parade got to witness marching columns, Airforce band, a flypast, a fast jet air display and a VIP protection display to conclude the days activities by 500 security squadron.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH from AFB Durban,KZN

The mass flypast began with a number of rotary wing assets from various squadrons around South Africa as well as the SAAF Museum.

The helicopter formation was led by a 15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” BK-117, with two Oryx,two Agusta A109LUHs,two Alouette IIs and two Alouette IIIs helicopters.

Helicopter Formation

The Museum fixed wing formation were overhead next with a Cessna C185,Bosbok and two Harvards.

Museum fixed-wing formation

The next formation of the mass flypast were The Pilatus PC7MKII formation from Central Flying School, AFB Langebaanweg with both Silver Falcon members and Central Flying School pilots.

Astra Formation

The final flypast with the form of three Hawk Mk120s lead in fighter trainers from 85 Combat Flying School, based at AFB Makhado.The invited guests were also treated to a solo display by the Hawk Mk120 flown by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter.

Gannet Formation
Hawk MK120 Solo display by “Kaine”

After the parade the Chief of Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo invited the media to a media briefing in the WAAF officers mess near the museum hangar exhibits area of Swartkop. A topic that has been on the cards for a while now was the acquiring additional Lockheed C-130s, said “in our road going forward, the medium lift capability is right in the centre of our attention.”

“Also, there is a lot of talk around the strategic lift capability. This is not a surprise as to why this capability is being mentioned. The reality we face is South Africa is not in a strategic position. Our location cannot be changed. We need to have very strong legs to connect ourselves to the rest of the continent and the world.”

Video by Karl Spangenberg

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AAD2022 closes on a high note

Working against the clock in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the organisers of Africa
Aerospace and Defence (AAD) stand proud for having delivered yet another signature event
this year.


The 11th edition of this long-standing event took place at Air Force Base Waterkloof (AFBW)
in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September, under the theme: “Exploring New Paths, Sharing
Solutions, Showcasing Innovation and Capabilities.”


As the executive chairman of the AAD2022 organising committee Sandile Ndlovu, who is also Executive Director of the South African Aerospace, Maritime, and Defence Industry
Association (AMD), the lead partner that hosted AAD2022, said in his welcome message:


“We have worked hard to ensure that every participant at this edition of AAD will have value
for money; we have adopted a diversification strategy that ensures the continued relevance
of AAD in this fast-changing world.”
The partners are AMD, Armscor, the Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa
(CAASA), supported by the Department of Defence.


Over the intervening 20 years, AAD has firmly established a winning format, which was
replicated again. Thus, AAD2022 comprised exhibition stands to showcase capabilities, static
aircraft park, air show days, and runway-facing hospitality chalets. This was augmented with
mobility demonstrations for land and air technologies, coupled to live screening of
demonstrations – now including UAV display flights. In parallel, conferences and seminars
were hosted, and significant opportunities for B2B meetings.


In spite of the long hiatus since the last edition of AAD (2018), coupled with the many global
uncertainties that prevailed post the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, all efforts paid off:
AAD2022 attracted 203 exhibitors from 24 countries of which nine (9) displayed their
aerospace and defence products in national pavilions.

These included China, the USA, Türkiye
(with two pavilions), Italy, Belgium, and India.
Among the 24 nations from around the world, six were from Africa, namely Nigeria, South
Africa, Egypt, Uganda, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

No less than 51 official delegations from 29 countries attended the event, as well as 176
accredited media from around the world. Just over 23 000 trade visitors came in from 76
countries, while 51 228 general public visitors were attracted to the show, especially during
the public air show on the weekend days of 24 and 25 September.


In her opening address, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Thandi Modise had this to
say about AAD:


“Let us never underestimate the critical importance of this event. It is more than a show. It is more than an exhibition. It is an investment.”
Youth Development Programme (YDP)


Though not specifically referencing the youth programme, the Minister’s pronouncement
certainly applied to investing in the youth.
With a target of 10 000 learners, this year’s initiative reached 9 100 learners and students
from around the country, including from Cape Town and Durban who arrived courtesy of
South African Airways (SAA).

Whilst at AAD2022, these youth were exposed to career opportunities in the military and civilian defence and Aerospace space, artificial intelligence (AI) drone capabilities and other high-level technologies. Pilots from the US and South African air forces, as well as scientists from South Africa’s CSIR and America’s National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) briefed the learners on aviation and space technology and careers, as well as the importance of embracing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects at school.


Among the firsts for AAD were flying displays of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), often now
referred to as drones or RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems).

The show organisers succeeded in having the United Nations (UN) as a first-time participant in a UAV conference on 21 September, which was well attended.


The Counter-Terrorism, Technology and Development in Africa conference on 22 September also brought the University of Hungary as a first-time international university participant, along with South Africa’s own University of Stellenbosch.


In like vein, the American space agency NASA, jointly with the UN and Italy, was a first for AAD
through their participation in the General Aviation conference on 23 September.

Other firsts/highlights for AAD included a general aviation hub, full participation by the South
African Police Service (SAPS) in both a display and demonstration, a Department of Trade,
Industry and Competition (dtic) pavilion dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SMEs),as well as the online DefenceWeb official Show Daily, a new media partner (CNBC Africa), and transport shuttle partner (SANI Rental).


Some highlights noted by South African Air Force (SAAF) officers were the participation of the
SAAF Gripens and in-flight refuelling of a US Air Force Sikorsky HH-60 Pave Hawk by a HC-130J
Super Hercules.


Affirming support and commitment to the success for AAD2024, scheduled for 18 to 22
September 2024, Armscor Chief Executive Officer Solomzi Mbada said AAD2022 “exceeded
all expectations.” In the latest Armscor newsletter, Mbada said this was evidenced by
“positive participation in both the exhibition and air show across categories, including
exhibitors, trade visitors, foreign delegations, air forces and the general public.”


With Covid-19 hopefully out of the way, the AAD show organisers – under the guidance of
Armscor as lead partner – are now gearing for the next event.

With more than 18 months to go, the organisers have sufficient time to build on the success of AAD2022, and once again stage a spectacular event: one that has grown to be a significant game changer in the defence and aerospace ecosystem.

AAD 2022 is Ready!

With Africa’s Largest Trade Exhibition and Airshow around the corner that will be taking place at Air force base Waterkloof in the city of Tshwane, South Africa.Its officially show time!

Aviation Enthusiasts will be treated to a world class airshow after the last AAD that was due to take place in 2020,but got cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic which obviously put a hold to many other events not just AAD.

AAD2022

This year’s show will include a number of favorites with the recently returned to airworthy status, 2 Squadron Gripens that’s will definitely ensure pure air power growl to the general public flown by veteran Gripen display pilots.

2 Squadron Gripen

85 Combat Flying School will be flying a singleton Hawk MK120 display. 15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight will also be a welcome return to the display scene after a few years absence in their BK117s,based at Air Force Station Gqeberha.

15 Squadron “Charlie flight” BK117 & 16 Squadron Rooivalk

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce will fly a four ship display of Pilatus PC-7MKIIs, based at the Central Flying School, Langebaanweg on the Capes West coast.

Silver Falcons

Always a great crowd pleaser will see 16 Squadron in the form of a Rooivalk Attack helicopter will also put through its paces.
A few more surprises and assests will also be on display especially in the SANDF mini war.

The South African Airforce Museum will also give a number of aircraft to be put on display including, Harvards, Cessna C185s, Alouette II, Alouette III and the Aerospatiale Puma and much more.

Hawk MK120

From the civilian side it will be the first airshow appearance of Flysafair’s Boeing 737-800 and joining in will be a SAFAIR Lockheed L100-30 (known as the civilian C130 Hercules)

Hangar 51 also doing their first show on the Highveld with the Aero L29 Delphin and YAK 52. Coming all the way from Port Elizabeth.

Hangar 51s Aero L29

The United States Air Force (USAF) will have a large contingent of aircraft flying in. Two C17 Globemasters, KC135R, KC46 Pegasus, C130J, MQ-9 Reaper drone and a UH-60 Blackhawk which will fly in the show.

USAF C130J

From our neighbouring countries we will welcome back AAD past performers that being the Airforce of Zimbabwe with a K-8 jet trainer in a display and a Casa 212 as static.

Airforce of Zimbabwe K-8

More civilian acts that are expected will be Menno Parsons in his P51D “Mustang Sally”, a privately owned L39 Albatross, Two different Pitts Special Teams, Puma Flying Lions, Extra 330s and much more. There will be surprises so make sure you buy your tickets and get to AAD2022!

P51D “Mustang Sally”
Iveco Extra 330s

Aviation Central will bring your live coverage from the event. Days leading up from arrivals to updates ect.

The Africa Aerospace and Defence Trade exhibition and Airshow will run as follows

21-23 September (Trade Days)
24-25th September (Airshow Days)

AFB Waterkloof, City of Tshwane
South Africa

Tickets available at Computicket!

AAD2022 Site Map

SAAF & SAPS Airwing in KZN Flood Relief Efforts

15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” based at Airforce Station Port Elizabeth are assisting in the flood relief efforts in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The PE based helicopters as well as an A109 and Oryx made their way to Durban Virginia Airport during the week as KwaZulu-Natal province has seen some serious rain resulting in flooding.

The Durban Airforce Station of 15 Squadron, which is located in the Southern side of Durban at the old Durban airport, was heavily impacted by the floods, leaving them displaced and unable to effectively assist in the relief operations. Thus “Charlie Flight” from Port Elizabeth was tasked with assisting in the relief operations.

The two Bk117’s and Oryx helicopters, are joined by an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit. They are assisting two SAPS Eurocopter AS350 now the Airbus H125 Écureuil (Squirrel) helicopters, SAPS Pilatus Porter aircraft, SAPS Search and Rescue ground units and eThekwini Metro Search and Rescue ground units, in various relief operations around the flood damaged areas.

Search and Rescue ground units had K-9 units as well that flew in some of the rotary assets.
The ground units all deployed from Virginia as well after a briefing with the aircrews.

Using Durban’s Virginia airport, which is ideally situated for the efforts, as the base of operations, they have already been flying on many missions and will continue to do so over the coming days. This is also the reason Virginia Airport must stay and not be demolished for a housing development when it is the main hub in the middle of search and rescue operational area. The airport was opened in 1959 and was home to the annual Durban Airshow .

South African Airforce SAAF has always come to the rescue in times of natural disasters and provide a welcome sight to the people needing help.

Oryx Helicopter “1212”

SAAF BK117s on their way to Durban