Tag Archives: AviationNews

The Middelburg Speed Navigation Rally – 26th June 2022

  by Rob Jonkers

This is the 2nd Speed Rally in Season 4 for 2022, which has been fraught with challenges to get going, what with a venue change, skyrocketing fuel price and unseasonal weather. This is the 6th SAPFA event in as many months that has been affected by weather, seems that this year is jinxed in some way, what with following on of the two Covid years as well. So, now it seems a common term that everybody has now heard of “Cut off low” again made its appearance over SA, exactly a month later where the PTAR was also disrupted.

Strange that in mid winter having significant summer type rainfall in June. The initial weather prediction earlier in the week only showed cloudy conditions for Wednesday and Thursday, and as the week started to unfold, did the prediction see poorer conditions for Friday and Saturday, with all indictions that there would still be good enough conditions. Friday saw many arrivals after midday atter the morning low cloud had lifted, and test flights could be carried out of 5 new aircraft entries, four being new types not having flown in Speed Rallies before, an Ercoupe, a Maule, a Pioneer 300 and a Sequoia Falco.

The first Friday afternoon briefing was done at 6 PM, with a weather prognosis not very favourable but still showed promise of a window of clear enough weather in the early afternoon – shown on the spot graph for the local area.

Saturday morning dawned with rain, which although drying up a short while later with the cloud base rising, only two of the remaining competitors flew in, with five others still stuck at their fields. After holding three weather briefings at 9, 10 & 11 am, the event was scrubbed with an agreement to reconvene to Sunday where the weather was predicted to be clear and pristine. With everybody securing an additional night stay over, most of the teams and officials found their way to Ginelli’s for an excellent dinner and company, with a good fly-off finish before retiring for some good sleep…..

Sunday morning proved to start off in pristine cloudless and windless conditions, but icy cold with a high pressure system now dominating over the Highveld. However as the early morning unfolded the wind started picking  up from the south east.

After having 16 entries, the field was reduced to 11, 5 having had to withdraw not being available for the Sunday. After an 8h30 briefing by Iaan Myburgh, we got everybody ready for a 10h30 first take-off, with scrutineering actions and releasing papers 25 minutes prior take-off. Having had to change the take-off runway to 14 due to the 10+ kt wind, groups of 3 aircraft had to backtrack the runway to get into position. This worked out well, everybody got off onto their route, with the exception of Race 6 ZS-FMH who developed a flat tyre.

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, two had got significantly lost. The scores were released fairly quickly, and prize giving could be held at 13h15 before everybody would pack up for home.

For the Navigation Accuracy category, third place went to Lex and Christo Erasmus in their first time flight of their Ercoupe ZS-VCE, in 2nd  place Apie Kotzee and Hendrik Loots in their Robinson R66 ZS-HRS, and in 1st  place Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV.

For the Handicap/Speed category, third place went to Lex and Christo Erasmus in their Ercoupe ZS-VCE, in 2nd  place Gareth Pollock & Marcus Nouwens in the Maule ZS-MNW, and in 1st  place Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV.

Overall Winners in third place went to Gareth Pollock & Marcus Nouwens in the Maule ZS-MNW, in 2nd  place Lex and Christo Erasmus in their Ercoupe ZS-VCE, and in 1st  place Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Cherokee 235 ZS-FVV.

Many thanks to the Middelburg Aero Club 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 technical scrutineering, Chareen Atherton & Anthea Cronin for aircraft scrutineering, and Moira Wakeley for handling the Papers. Race Master David le Roux did some double duty also being the race starter, and arranged for a number of live video pod casts.

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 in Groblersdal on the 27th August 2022.

SAAF Mach Plus Reunion 2022

The first time a SAAF pilot hit transonic speed was way back in September 1956 when an unauthorised Sabre flight at the then home of the SAAF’s jet squadrons – AFB Waterkloof – with now retired Colonel John Inglesby at the controls broke the sound barrier.

On Friday 10th June 2022,it was the gathering of many current and ex fighter jocks of the South African Airforce. Many that have broken the sound barrier in various types from the Mirage III up to the the fourth generation Gripen gathered at Airforce Base Swartkop for the SAAF Mach Plus Reunion.

The evening started with a sunset display 85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120 flown by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter. The sound of freedom was echoed into the display halls around the museum housing some of the former frontline fighter jets the South African Airforce once flew.

Major Venter ended his display with spectacular flare drop before landing. A proud moment for his father former Mirage F1CZ display pilot Johann “Jeronkie” Venter watching his son display a fast jet.

Invited guests continued the festivities into the evening, bringing back memories from over the years of flying. As well as welcoming new members into the Mach Plus Club.

Pictures by Gerrit Mynardt & Jarryd Sinovich

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Newcastle Airshow KZN 2022

What now is the longest running airshow in South Africa, for the last 10 years the KwaZulu-Natal town of Newcastle has managed to have a decade of successful airshow. Obviously with the pandemic the show would be on its twelve year but got interrupted by hard lock downs and other reasons delaying the show in 2020 and 2021.

With the theme “I Can Dream” Champ Group Johan Pieters, Christo van Zyl and Romano Raghoo organisers of the last ten shows did it again. The only airshow in the entire KwaZulu-Natal, attracted many aviation enthusiasts and first timers at an airshow on 4th June 2022.

Airshow South Africa put together a great programme with a variety of display aircraft including the South African Airforce, a major contributor to a number of previous shows in the past as well.

Rikus Erasmus, who is Airshow South Africa Chairperson, was Flight Director. Louise Hofmeyr handled the media accreditation and placed the photographers in a great area for getting the shot of the day!

Keith Fryer former South African Airforce Cheetah pilot was safety director. Lieutenant Colonel Levi Mogosti former 22 Squadron Lynx flight engineer was the South African Airforce safety Liaison officer. Brent Waren was ramp controller who is a familiar face at Stellenbosch Airfield.

ATNS Ricardo Alfonso and his team of ATCs were kept busy from the Friday with arrivals through to the last departure on Saturday after the show.

Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis arrived the Friday before the show to set up sound equipment. Brian recently worked with Hollywood actor Tom Cruise in various South African provinces on a new movie that will be out in the near future. Brian himself, Leon Du Plessis provided excellent commentary on all aircraft and letting the crowd hear radio chatter between pilots.

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Wiseman Simo Mbambo flew in late Friday afternoon in a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH.Lieutenant General Mbambo grew up in Northern KwaZulu-Natal in a small village called Louwsburg (e-Ngoje).

The show started at 11am by then the crowds had arrived. A Cessna 206 was the jump ship for the massive South African Flag flown by Ralph Ridge and others including members from the South African National Defence.

It was then time for the fast movers in the form of Hawk MK120s from 85 Combat Flying School two-ship capability demonstration led by Major Kgosimang “Cipher” Seeco flanked on the wing by newly qualified wingmen at 85 Combat Flying School. The morning display was Captain Tiisetso “Lego” Legodi and then Major Mikhail “Spectre” Petersen in the afternoon.

The South African Airforce also had a 19 Squadron A109LUH on static display for the public to view as well as information for the youth to join the air force.

The Amajuba district municipality invited learners from a number of schools to listen to key addresses including the Chief of the South African Airforce and many others. The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs of KwaZulu-Natal and KwaZulu- Natal Tourism are part of the driving force of the show.

Next was the Goodyear Eagle Pitts S2Bs owned by Aerobatics Unlimited and retired SAA Captain Dennis Spence. The two ship was flown by Flysafair pilot Johan von Solms also a former Cheetah pilot. His lead was Trevor Warner, the new member of the team!

The Magni Gyrocopter was excellently flown by Andre van Zyl, who provided two displays for the day after flying in from Gauteng. Henley Air’s Andre Coetzee flew the Bell 222 helicopter display. Henley Air is the biggest operator of the Bell 222 in Africa and if not the world.

Juba Joubert flew a Alouette II display, probably the best helicopter display pilot flying the older generation of helicopters in the world.

The Puma Flying Lions flew a three-ship display flown by Scully Levin, Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackeray. The Harvard’s also did a missing man formation for the late Mark “Sammy” Sampson who tragically lost his life in a airshow accident in Zimbabwe a few days before the show.

A rare visitor to Newcastle was Dave Mandel in his Aero L39 ZU-Jet which is based in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) . Was great to see the camouflage of this particular L39 and very photogenic.

Unfortunately the L39 had a tyre blow out on landing and Dave did a great job handling the aircraft, as well as both flight director and safety officer brining it to a complete stop on the opposite side of the runway. Emergency services were dispatched as a precaution and were at the scene in seconds.

The show carried on at lunch with Ivan van Der Schaar in his Boeing Stearman, being the only other radial aircraft at the show. It’s a real classic to the public eye.

The Raptor RV two ship flown again by Trevor Warner and Johan von Solms provided close formation aerobatics.

The airshow closed with the pair of Hawk MK120s. Some the visiting aircraft departed back to their home bases. And another safe and successful airshow in Newcastle was done and dusted. And we now start the count down to next year’s show once again.

Please Browse through our gallery below!

Parys Airshow 2022

The long awaited Parys Airshow on the banks of the Vaal River was finally here, with legendary airshow veteran Scully Levin as the host of this first airshow back on the highveld after the Covid 19 pandemic!

Airshow tickets were sold out both online a few days before and as well as at the gate at sjoe itself. It was definitely a show that wasn’t going to be missed by aviation enthusiasts from around the country.

Airshow South African Chairperson Rikus Erasmus was Flight Director with Lieutenant Colonel Retired Francois “Hose” Hanekom. Louise Hofmeyr handled the media contingent for the day!

Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital Sounds provided sound and incredible commentary for each of the acts of the day. It was great to hear Mr Airshow himself back at it again!
The team comprised of Peter Bailey Keith Alan Fryer Leon  Du Plessis Ricky Fouché Michiel Rascher Philip Scott, Rodger Coetzee.

The airshow started with a paradrop from a  ex- Rhodesian Airforce AL-60  converted into a turbine with a number of familiar skydivers from the past airshow scene but most of all representing Skydive Parys.

ex- Rhodesian Airforce AL-60 

It was then the first aerobatic act of the day from the Puma Flying Lions Harvards with Scully Levin leading the team, the Hired Gun Pitts Specials also flew their routine with the ever popular Pitts Special.

Puma Flying Lions Harvard
Hired Gun Pitts Specials

The RV Raptors flew their tight routine with leader Pierre Gouws who also flew Richard Lovetts Middelburg based L39 Albatross. The crowd loved the sound of the Jet as during the week saw the premiere of the new Top Gun Maverick at cinemas around South Africa. It was surely the talk of the show.

L39 Albatross.
RV Raptors

The Iveco Extra 330s debuted their first show in their newly sponsored aircraft with Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish flying extreme aerobatics. Barrie Eeles also flew a solo display in his “On the move” Extra 330.

Iveco Extra 330s
Jason Beamish & Nigel Hopkins
Barrie Eeles Extra 330

Helicopters lovers saw Menno Parsons in his Bell 407 as well as Juba Joubert in the Aerospatiale Gazelle. Andre Coetzee Flew one of the many Henely Air Bell 222s.Andre van Zyl who provides one of the best Gyro Helicopter displays one can see.

Bell 407
Aerospatiale Gazelle.
Bell 222
Magni Gyrocopter

The Goodyear Eagles flew with a new team comprising of Dennis Spence, Johan von Solms and newest member Trevor Warner in their Pitts S2Bs.

Goodyear Eagles

The classic flying collection based at Springs Airfield brought two different de Havilland aircraft to the show. Three Chipmunks and two Tiger Moths.

De Havilland Chipmunks
De Havilland Tiger Moth

Ivan van Der Schaar flew his beautiful Brakpan based Boeing Stearman and his inspiring aviator son Jeandre as his ground crew for the day!

Boeing Stearman

Oscar Goudriaan (Former Open Class World Gliding Champion)flew a Jonker Sailplanes JS3 Rapture 18m powered glider. What a graceful display. And great to see at an airshow once again.

Jonker Sailplanes JS3 Rapture

The Sandriver Air Tractors flew a crop spraying and water bombing demo. It was great to see and hear a radial air tractor as its not often seen at events. A real treat.

Well done to all role players of the event being a success and we looking forward to more airshows at Parys. Roll on Newcastle Airshow KZN 4th June 2022.

Please Browse through our gallery below!



A wet and cold PTAR 2022

A wet and cold PTAR 2022 at New Tempe Bloemfontein – By Rob Jonkers

This year’s Presidents Trophy Air Race was held at New Tempe Bloemfontein, and traditionally held on the last weekend of May, but with the advent of the Botswana Air Show also taking place on the same weekend it was decided to move it a week earlier, which if we all had the perfect hindsight, with that event not happening, we could have held it on its traditional date, and subsequently avoiding this last few days of most unseasonal weather that befell the race weekend.

This year for sure has had many of the planned aviation events disrupted by wet, cold, windy weather systems, the most bandied about term of “cut-off low” being used to describe the weather situation. This weekend no less had a very large cold front coupled with an intense low-pressure system over the centre of the country affect the plans to race.

I arrived on Wednesday in excellent weather conditions and started setting up for the race, mostly the race control room and preparing for test flights, some of the early competitors also started to arrive at the field. Thursday saw all the aircraft arrive, some of the Cape based teams first had to wait for the front to pass before setting off, arriving just before dark. Most of the day was taken up by flight tests and registration and watching what the weather would be doing for the next day as the front was approaching.

During the first extensive Thursday afternoon briefing which also included the SA weather services team being on hand to give us the best outlook it appeared that there may be an early morning flyable gap, thus the day was planned with an early 7h30 start. As Friday dawned, it looked promising, cloud base was at a reasonable 1000 ft, and we proceeding briefing and sent the turnpoint marshals to their locations, this being particularly important to get weather condition updates from them at the furthest corners of the route.

As the morning progressed with a planned 10 am first take-off, the news from the turnpoints were not good, and then light rain started, it was then decided to scrub Day 1 with a debrief at 11 am to plan for the next day. The prediction for Saturday would be that the weather would improve from midday onwards. Everybody dispersed for some rest for the rest of the day.

Saturday dawned with flyable conditions, and in fact the window opened up from 11 onwards, thus at briefing the first take-off was planned for 11. The turnpoint marshals were sent out, who from the previous day’s rain had challenges of negotiating almost impassable roads to get to their intersections, fortunately they all sent in confirmation of being in position prior the first take-off.

This year’s field attracted 37 entries, which is very low by PTAR standards, which would normally have 60+ competitors, this year for sure the cost impact would have been affecting most would be competitors, given the fuel price virtually double that of last year at the same time. Three competitors had to withdraw mostly due to not being able to get to the event on time, thus we had 34 starters.

With the airfield being water logged, we decided not to move the aircraft from where they were parked, and carried out scrutineering in-situ and changed the papers time with a few additional minutes for the crews to collect their maps and route envelopes, which worked out well. The ground marshals were also very efficient in getting the start order taxying out at their allocated time. With the race under way, and having a cross over route, we could all watch how the order of the aircraft would be coming back over the field which was at around one third race distance.

Although the traditional race finish would be at 1PM, and given the weather window having a later than normal start, the finish was planned at 13h45, and as the time got closer to finish, the weather was threatening to deteriorate, with sudden cold and dark clouds forming just east of the field, which fortunately stayed away. The line finishers were close between Race 2 Bosbok, Race 14 Piper Commanche, Race 45 Harvard. With spacing between aircraft at the start being required to keep a safe distance, the finish order became Race 45 Harvard ZS-WSE, Race 9 RV-7 ZU-VZJ, Race 14 Piper Commanche ZS-NXG, who were the handicap winners.

Prize-giving was held at the Windmill Casino, which had laid out an excellent banquet hall for all the teams, club members and officials to enjoy. The evening started with a short debrief of the race, some of the best and “interesting” tracks being shown. Race 19 had a “long” day having lost their way at turnpoint 1 continuing northwest for 20 nm, before realising their error, they had the presence of mind to return to that first turnpoint, and continue from there to fly a good race further, only picking up one penalty, but of course adding almost 40 minutes to their time.

After the main meal, David le Roux the Race Master started the proceedings for the rest of the evening, first up Franz Smit who introduced and thanked all the sponsors supporting the race, Pilot Insure, Holborn Assets, Aircraft Finance Corporation, DJA Aviation, Century Avionics, and all the local Bloemfontein sponsors, Leon Bouttell was up next as the SAPFA Chairman, and at this point announced that Rob Jonkers would be standing down as Race Director, the baton being handed over to Iaan Myburgh.

Rob took to the stage thanking all for their support since 2018 when the Race was handed to him, at the same time an evolution of the format having been developed to today’s standard of a 10 turnpoint race limited to 300 nm, with an accuracy component added as well. There is still much discussion about this race format and its merits compared to the traditional 4 corner race, and this will be for the next Race team to work together with the racers for their input. Just as Formula 1 evolves with technology improvements, so must the PTAR evolve to take into consideration changes in technologies utilised, such as GPS based heading reference devices, different engine types that have variable power settings, these all affect the handicap speeds and course accuracy.

Rob went on to thank all those involved in the race organisation, particularly the Bloemfontein Flying Club under the key organiser Andre Grobler and experienced PTAR event coordinator, who had provided the ground marshals, turn-point marshals, and all the catering at the airfield. Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer with the ATNS team of Ricardo Afonso, SA Weather Services, ARCC, Bloemfontein Emergency Services team of Braam van Zyl, the CAA Special Air Events team, the local Municipality & SAPS.

After this the long awaited Prize Giving was held, with 24 trophy categories being handed out, up until the top 3 places, with third place going to Race 9 RV-7 ZU-VZJ with crew of Johan van Zyl & Eric Addison, second place going to Race 45 Harvard ZS-WSE with a crew of John Sayers & Dion Raath, and the PTAR trophy going to Race 14 Piper Commanche ZS-NXG crewed by Stefan Lombard and Martiens Marais.

After this the PTAR flag was handed over from BFC Chair Deon Loots to Jock Nel the Chairman of the Middelburg Aero Club as the 2023 PTAR event location. Thanks go to everybody who makes this event a success, especially the volunteers who take time out to assist, also the media who are key to promoting the PTAR.

 

Click on the photos below (By Rob Jonkers)

SAAF Museum Flying Day May 2022

And so we were already into the May edition of the South African Airforce Museum Flying day at Airforce Base Swartkop in the city of Tshwane.

The flying days at the SAAF Museum are to keep some of the flying exhibits airworthy, keeping pilots currents, generating funds to keep the museum ongoing and encourage the public to visit the museum and grasp the 102 years of SAAF airpower.

This months flying day was definitely a busy one with a number of public visitors and a number of aircraft flying. The base Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Trish Schoeman, Major Ntshangase and all the faces behind them can be very proud of the Base and the behind the scene people including the friends of the Museum.

Flying day safety director Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer. Colonel Fryer also provided some good commentary during the morning on each of the aircraft both flying and static.

Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer

The flying started at 9am with the rotary exhibits, that being the Alouette II and Alouette III flown by various helicopter museum pilots that being Lieutenant Colonel Billy Port, Lieutenant Colonel Dave Keijer and General Piet Burger.

General Piet Burger in the Alouette II
Alouette III ‘624’

The sounds of Lycoming engines that were a familiar hum over the field, by two Cessna C185s, two Bosboks and the single Kudu.

Cessna C185 ‘748’
Cessna C185 ‘718’
Bosbok ‘959’
Bosbok ‘920’
Kudu ‘969’
Lt Colonel (ret) Abri Stoman

Three of the handful of Harvard’s flew including the most well known Harvard that was in SAAF service, that being 7111 known as “Nelson”.

Harvard 7111 known as “Nelson

It was great to see the de Haviland Vampire T55 that soaked up the basking sun and the museum ground crew did a engine run providing the photographers with a wet start flame as she whistled to life.

de Haviland Vampire T55

A word of thanks goes to the ground crew that keep the exhibits in airworthy condition. We are sure we will have a number of SAAF Museum aircraft that will take part in the AAD airshow in September this year!

All Systems go for AAD 2022

It is all systems go for the return of the Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) in September 2022. With 22 years since its inception, AAD has been instrumental in unlocking the growth of the local, regional and even the international aerospace and defence industries.

AAD2022

This being the 11th edition, AAD2022 will once again be held at its home base, Air Force Base Waterkloof 21 to 25 September 2022 in the City of Tshwane. The event will follow its tradition format of three trade days followed by two public air show days. The South African President, Hon Cyril Ramaphosa recently (on 5 April 2022) announced the lifting of the national state of disaster which – according to AAD organisers, cements their readiness to deliver another sterling event.

“As organisers we are taking every step to ensure the safety of guests, exhibitors, trade visitors and participants,” said Sandile Ndlovu, Executive Committee Chairman AAD 2022.
“The lifting of the state of the national disaster eases our preparation and planning, and it will allow us to move swiftly in finalising our official programme of events, delegations and other planned activities for AAD 2022. A detailed Standard Operating Procedure will be communicated once the Government regulations are in place, in the next 30 days. We look forward to welcoming everyone back soon”, concluded Ndlovu.

AAD – a gateway into the African market – is the largest Defence and Aerospace exhibition on the African continent and has been an important platform for international players to showcase innovation and capability.

Standard rates for bookings are still open and will end on 30 April 2022, when new tariffs will apply.

SPACE AND EXHIBITION ENQUIRIES

For more queries please contact:

Acting Exhibition Director
Michelle Nxumalo
expodir@aadexpo.co.za

Sales and Administration
Busisiwe Nhlanhla
sales@aadexpo.co.za

Sponsorships and Branding
Nakedi Phasha
marketingcomms@aadexpo.co.za

Finance and Administration Manager
Portia Ngobeni
finance@aadexpo.co.za

Sixteen candles for SA’s only Mushshak

The PAC MFI-17 Mushshak is a license-built fixed-gear basic trainer aircraft used by the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Air Force. An improved version of the Saab Safari, the MFI-17 is manufactured in Kamra, Pakistan by Pakistan Aeronautical Complex.

Hilton Wolff the owner of the only Mushshak in South Africa,came into SA as a demonstration model for the South African Airforce (SAAF) who then were in the market for a basic trainer.

In 2016 aviation enthusiasts got to see the Super Mushshak being put through its paces at Africa Aerospace and Defence at AFB Waterkloof in Pretoria from the Pakistan Airforce.This Maybe another time for the SAAF to purchase this type of trainer. But it didn’t fold out.

Initially twelve were ordered but then things went wrong and the order was eventually cancelled and the demonstration aircraft , that was delivered, stayed in South Africa for good.

The aircraft was then sold to a couple of owners where she landed up in Cape Town at a flight school and eventually in the hands of Hilton where the aircraft was based still at Wonderboom Airport and now as we speak Brakpan in the East Rand of Johannesburg.

One of Hilton’s biggest concerns about owning this former military trainer was parts availability, a concern that was quickly resolved when he contacted the factory in Pakistan and they assured him that anything he needed they were willing to supply.

The aircraft is built under licence from SAAB who originally released the military version as the SAAB MFI-17 Supporter. Hilton also made contact with SAAB and they too assured him parts would not be a challenge.

On Thursday 7th March 2022 we were invited to join the celebration of both Hiltons and the Mushshak birthday at Brakpan Airfield. We were treated to a couple of flypasts of the aircraft flown by veteran airshow display pilot Scully Levin.

The 6th of April is esteemed Hilton Wolff ‘s Birthday and the 7th of April is the Mushshak’s Birthday.
This making the Mushshak 16 years old.

SAAF BK117s on their way to Durban

In the last couple of days Durban Kwa Zulu Natal has been hit with enormous amounts of rain bringing damage throughout the province. Unfortunately there has been a number of lives lost as well as still people missing.

15 Squadron “Charlie Flight” based at Airforce Station Port Elizabeth are on route to Durban to be tasked to help in any way the unit can in a flood relief manner. At this point of time two Bk117s are on route with a third to join later.

BK117 during sunset at East London Airport yesterday evening.

SAAF Chopper crews

Crew so far from 15 Sqn C Flight is Maj Corrie Oberholzer, Maj Jarred Oliver, Sgt Carel van Dalen and Sgt Nengo Mahlakwana

A109 with Major Simphiwe Moloi and WO2 Jason Buglass

Oryx with Lt Col Charles Tarentaal cmdr, Capt Robo Muthwa and WO2 Allister Prince.

Additional crew to arrive: Maj Aobakwe Gaelejwe, Flight Sergeant Coert Steynberg, Sergeant Lungelo Mcanyana

Ground crew on deployment is Flight Sergeant Larry Williams, Flight Sergeant Brian Reynolds, Sergeant Thanduxolo Madyo, Corporal Sara Ramlingam

SAAF Museum Flying Day April 2022

The first Saturday of the month means its the annual SAAF Museum Flying day,a day where some of the SAAF Museum inventory get to fly, pilots get current and a day for visitors to explore the museum from 102 years of South African Airforce history.

Air Force Base Swartkop is South Africa’s oldest air force base and houses the South African Air Force Museum as well as 17 Squadron as well as non aviation squadrons.

We go back and remember all who served the South African Airforce and who is no longer with us but some that were the driving force to the Museum as the likes of Rama “Dynamite” Iyer ,Des “Bishop” Barker ,Glen “Gringo” Warden” and Kim Pratley.

Saturday saw a bigger crowd then previous flying days, as Covid-19 restrictions start to become a lot calmer and starting to get aviation back to normality after the successful first airshow after the pandemic in the Western Cape at the Stellenbosch flying club the previous weekend.

The day started out with the rotary museum assets that being the Alouette II flown by Colonel Dave Keijer and an Alouette III flown by Colonel Billy Port.

Was good to see some of the former school master of the sky the North American Harvard flown by Martin Louw and Darryl Wright.

The Museums Kudu, both Cessna C185s made up of the rest of the tail draggers that flew during the course of Saturday.

One has to be thankful to the ground crew that keep these time pieces serviceable. Was good to see Colonel Keith Fryer as he was safety director for April’s flying day.

We looking forward to the SAAF Museum airshow and AAD later this year!

Please browse through our gallery below!

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