Tag Archives: BK117

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 Museum Airshow 2023 to be a returnable hit

The South African Air Force Museum Airshow at Mobile Deployment Wing (MDW) Swartkop previously Air Force Base Swartkop is shaping up to be an airshow spectacular!

This will be a welcome return of the SAAF Museum Airshow after the covid-19 pandemic and no airshows taking place at MDW for three years.

The build-up to the show will see the now-familiar Gautrain vs Alouette race on the morning of 3rd May. As well as the start of airshow validations with a lot more aircraft activity over the city of Tshwane skies.

The youth development program will also take place the day before the show for a handful of high school learners wishing to choose a career in aviation.

A number of airshow favorites from the South African Air Force fighter line, the Gripen from 2 Squadron and the Hawk Mk120 from 85 Combat Flying School from AFB Makhado will be put through their paces on the 6th of May 2023. Central Flying School will also provide a Pilatus PC7 MKII display

SAAB Gripen
BAE Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

The SAAF Museum will put most of its flying exhibits into the show including the Cessna C185, Kudu, Bosbok, Harvard, Alouettes, and Puma Helicopter.

SAAF Museum Cessna C185
SAAF Museum Kudu
SAAF Museum Bosbok
SAAF Museum Harvard
SAAF Museum Alouette II
SAAF Museum Puma Helicopter

Rotary assets we will see Airforce Station Gqeberha based BK-117 from 15 Squadron “Charlie” flight.
16 Squadron mighty Rooivalk will also be flown showing South Africa’s locally built combat support helicopter. We will also see an Agusta A109LUH and Oryx helicopters!

MBB/Kawasaki BK 117
Rooivalk CSH
Agusta A109LUH
Oryx Helicopter

Civilian participants will include the Puma Flying Lions Harvard’s, Goodyear Pitts Specials, and Classic Flying Collections de Havilland Chipmunks, Tiger Moths and Auster as well as many others!

Puma Flying Lions Harvards
Goodyear Pitts Specials
Classic Flying Collection de Haviland chipmunks

Members of the public are to be aware aircraft can be pulled off the program due to operational needs, serviceability, and weather dependent.

A variety of beverages will be on sale on the day from many of the kiosks as well as memorabilia from different squadrons, restoration projects, and others!

Tickets are on sale at Computicket nationwide, tickets will also be available at the gate on the 6th of May. Gates open at 7 am and the show starts at 9 am

Tickets are available on the link below!

https://tickets.computicket.com/event/saaf_museum_air_show/7212629/7212658/129083

Where to find the Airshow Venue / Airport

Also, Read Do’s and Don’ts attending an Airshow
Also, Read Airshow photography, the Canon way

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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Africa Aerospace and Defence 2022

The Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition Trade show and Airshow made a welcome return to Air Force Base Waterkloof in the City of Tshwane from 21-25 September 2022. The show hosted three trade days and two airshow days where the public could witness Africa’s biggest airshow.

With the obvious pandemic that we should all be aware of. Africa Aerospace and Defence was not allowed to take place during 2020, as it also formed part of the South African Airforce centenary year.

The first trade show was opened by the minister of defence Thandi Modise. She mentioned

“This eleventh edition of AAD will bring together the largest gathering of aerospace and defence industry decision makers and buyers from around the world, including many from Africa.”

“The defence industry plays a key role in assisting the SANDF to discharge its
constitutional mandate of defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of
South Africa and to secure our nation. By ensuring security and stability, the
SANDF, in turn, helps to create an enabling environment for economic growth
and development. “

” Through our peacekeeping missions, we are similarly contributing to peace, stability, and prosperity on our continent.”

Before we move on the show, the show would not have happened without the Department of Defence, stakeholders and sponsors, the AAD team, and especially the Airboss Colonel Keith Fryer, Colonel Keith Andrews, and Colonel Keith Wilkinson, Airforce Base Waterkloof for putting such a great show together with your team of ramp controllers, ATCs, pilots and ground crew.

As most of the hangar space was used up by local and foreign exhibitors. The apron had a number of static aircraft from both the South African Air Force and the United States Airforce and Civilian aircraft both fixed wing and helicopters.

Capital Sounds and Brian Emmenis proved a kilometer and more of the audio cable to provide commentary to this year’s AAD.
The sound of Mr airshow brings back all the memories of big airshows at Waterkloof during our youth.

The airshow featured a cavalcade of emergency vehicles that were lucky not needed during the duration of the two airshow days.

Hangar 51 provided a flying display from their Aero L29 Delphin flown by Grant Timms, this was Grant’s first L29 display on the highveld. The L39 Albatross was also displayed as part of the civilian jet contingent by Pierre Gouws.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray flew a solo aerobatic display in his Nashua Extra 300L.

Pierre Gouws also flew the first FlySafair Boeing 737-800 display together with SAFAIRs outgoing Lockheed L100-30.
The Raptor RVs were also led by Pierre Gouws as there provided tight formation aerobatics in form of the kit-built aircraft.

The South African Airforce provided a number of assets to this year’s Africa Aerospace and Defence. 2 Squadron had three Gripens with a flying display by Colonel Musa “Midnite” Mbhokota. Six Hawks, a solo display by Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter.

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team with a four-ship route with team 84 flying their first display led by new team leader Major Lucky Malloks. A solo display from Central Flying School Langebaanweg by Falcon 5 Major Diaan Grobbelaar. Major Grobbelaar used to be the Agusta A109LUH display pilot before moving on to Central Flying School to become an instructor.

41 Squadron with the “Pointer formation” consisting of four Cesena C208A Caravans flew a diamond formation before breaking off for singleton flypasts during their show.

A skydive drop made up of members from the Pretoria Military Skydiving club and other units in the SANDF used a 44 Squadron Casa 212 “8011” as their jumpship for their skydive drop.

From the rotary assets, we had 15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117 display flown by Major Corrie Oberholzer with flight engineer Sargent VD van Dalen, together with Major Paul “Raccoon” Kempthorn in the 16 Squadron Rooivalk.

The highlight of any AAD airshow is the mini-war, in which you get to see a number of helicopters, Transport aircraft, Jets, and armored vehicles.

Three Oryx Helicopters, Two Agusta A109s, Two BK117s, One Rooivalk from various helicopter squadrons from across South Africa, Casa 212-300, C130BZ, and four Hawk MK120 made up of the aerial assets in that slot of the program.

The South African Police Airwing also put on a threat-type scenario of a hijacked Cessna Sovereign that got escorted by two 85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120s. Once on the ground SAPS task force and bomb squad members were brought in by SAPS Airwing Airbus H125 and 15 Squadron BK117s helicopters.

The United States Airforce brought two Boeing C17 Globemasters, a KC46 Pegasus Tanker, HC130 Combat King Hercules, and an HH-60 Pavehawk Helicopter. The HC130 and Pavehawk provided a flying display of aerial refueling.

The Airforce of Zimbabwe was present with a Casa 212 and two K8s. The K8 display was flown by display pilots wing commander Lizwe Mahlangu and squadron leader Norman Taurai Marodza.

The South African Airforce Museum flew most of its flying exhibits, two Alouette IIs, two Alouette IIIs, Aerospatiale Puma, and two Cessna C185s, and a solo display included. Solo Aerobatics from Harvard “Nelson” 7111 display by Martin “Marlow” Louw. A Kudu was also a jump ship for a few Pretoria Military Skydive members.

Juba Joubert flew an Alouette II display and Andre van Zyl flew the Magni Gyrocopter display. Henley Air also displayed two of their Bell 222s.

Menno Parsons was welcomed back at AAD with the only flying type of its kind on African soil the P51D “Mustang Sally”.

High-energy aerobatics were performed by the Iveco Extra 330s flown by Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish. The two also flew in the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials team joined by Johan von Solms and Trevor Warner.

Ivan and Jeandre van der Schaar performed their first display at AAD with the Classic radial Boeing Stearman and RC Extra aircraft duo or better known as the father and son duo.

Excujet provided a display of their Challenger business jet that was seen flying on Saturday and a brief appearance of a Learjet 45 on Friday’s validations.

The Hired Gun Pitts specials also flew their four Pitts specials on the afternoon slot of the show on Saturday.

Flare drops were probably the highlight for any camera user from 28 Squadron on their Lockheed C130BZ, 85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120, and 16 Squadron Rooivalk during the later part of the program of the show on both days.

The Puma Flying Lions Harvards led by Scully Levin performed a sunset show on both Saturday and Sunday bringing a fittingly spectacular end to AAD 2022.

Well done to everyone involved. We were proud to be the official media partner during the duration of the trade and Airshow and build up to the event
We look forward to the ninth edition of AAD in 2024. Join the #AAD2024 event page by clicking on the banner below!

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