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Spectacular Skies: SAAF Museum Airshow 2024 Thrills and Amazes!

The recent SAAF Museum Airshow 2024 proved to be an exceptional event, showcasing a seamless blend of meticulous organization, diverse and outstanding displays, and continuous entertainment, making it one of the finest airshows the museum has ever presented.

People lined up from very early in the morning, and as they entered the gates at the Mobile Deployment Wing Swartkop (Old Air Force Base Swartkop), they were greeted by an early morning sky dotted with powered paragliders, with keen aviation enthusiast’s spotting an Ilyushin IL-76 taking off from Waterkloof Airforce Base in the background.

The day commenced with the traditional parade of emergency services down the main taxiway, setting the stage for the event. Brigadier General Donavan Chetty officially welcomed the Chief of the Air Force, Lieutenant General Wiseman Mbambo. Following a scripture reading and prayer, Lt. Gen. Mbambo emphasized the need for the SAAF to embrace the “Space Age.” His speech was complemented by a dramatic skydiving display from the Police Task Force, who landed skillfully behind the podium, adding to the moment.

The airshow officially opened with a thrilling display by the SAAF Museum. A SAAF Museum Bosbok, Cessna C185, and two Harvards crossing over a Puma, two Alouette IIIs, and an Alouette II, showcased exceptional piloting skills, setting a high standard for the rest of the event.

The Harvards, piloted by Martin “Marlow” Louw and Daan “Spur” Conradie, continued with an impressive display.

This was followed by Lieutenant Colonel Scott “Prowler” Logie in the BAE Hawk Mk.120 from 85 Combat Flying School, who delivered a stunning performance demonstrating the jet’s capabilities.

Andre van Zyl in his Magni M16C Gyro and Johann “Juba” Joubert in a privately-owned Alouette III displayed their remarkable skills, further adding to the day’s highlights.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray’s high-energy performance in his Nashua-sponsored Extra 300LP captivated the audience.

A standout was the unusual three-ship formation of two Alouette IIIs flanking a Cessna 185 by the SAAF Museum, demonstrating a remarkable blend of rotor and fixed-wing aircraft in formation flight.

The solo display by Major Morolong in the Silver Falcons Pilatus PC-7 and the agility of the Agusta A-109 from 17 Squadron at AFB Swartkops highlighted the SAAF’s versatile fleet.

The Classic Flying Collection’s de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moths, flown by Grant Timms and Ryan Briggs, delivered a graceful formation display, celebrating SAAF’s rich history.

The SAAF Museum’s dynamic formation of two Harvards and a Puma, the North American Navions’ display by Mike George and Reyno Coetzer, and Tristan Eeles’ high-energy aerobatics in the Extra 330SC were all crowd favorites.

The Hired Gun Pitts Specials, piloted by Ellis Levin, Arnie Meneghelli, and Sean Thackwray, showcased exceptional aerobatics and formation flying. Captain Flippie Vermeulen’s Beechcraft Model 18 display brought nostalgia from the golden age of flying

The “Mini War” display was a dramatic re-enactment of SAAF and SAPS capabilities, including a simulated cargo drop, enemy engagement, and rescue operations, all narrated by Capt Jacques de Vries, Capt Richard “Omega” Dixon, and Capt Jean-Pierre “Nitro” Poisat.

The scenario commenced with a SAAF Casa 212 executing a vital cargo drop, only to face hostile fire from enemy forces that brought down the aircraft. Swiftly, an Agusta A-109 was deployed as a strategic coordination platform, orchestrating the response. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the crew summoned the SAPS Special Task Force to parachute in and support the downed pilot, yet the adversary remained formidable.

In a decisive move, the Hawks were mobilized, unleashing a barrage of cannon fire and strategically placed simulated bombs by the adept SA Army engineers, effectively suppressing the hostile threat. The pivotal moment arrived when a pair of MBB-Kawasaki BK-117s from 15 Squadron Charlie Flight, piloted by the skilled Maj Bertie “Beetle” Fourie with Flight Sgt Letladi Mahlakwana and Maj Ross “Pacer” Cameron with Sgt Carl van Dalen, swooped in to airlift the pilot to safety.

The audience, deeply engaged by the intense and dynamic sequence of events, responded with fervor, their excitement heightened by the resounding explosions that punctuated the display. Such gripping scenarios not only showcase the exceptional skill and coordination of our forces but also captivate and thrill spectators, leaving a lasting impression of the prowess and precision of our armed services.

Following the intense action, the pace eased as a three-ship de Havilland Chipmunk display took to the skies. Piloted by Rodney Chinn, Ryan Briggs, and Grant Timms, these meticulously restored Chipmunks delivered a mesmerizing demonstration of formation flying. The graceful and seamless maneuvers of these vintage aircraft offered a serene contrast, captivating the audience with their elegance and precision.

The SAAF Museum astounded spectators with a display of unparalleled precision and coordination as they executed a breathtaking aerial ballet featuring a Puma and two Alouette III helicopters. The sight of these helicopters operating in such close proximity is a rare spectacle, making the synchronized performance all the more remarkable and captivating. Spectators were treated to a display of skill and mastery rarely seen, leaving them in awe of the pilots’ expertise and the helicopters’ graceful maneuvers.

The South African Air Force has a rich history of active participation in numerous conflicts, including the Korean War, during which SAAF 2 Squadron famously deployed the North American P51 in combat. Menno Parsons paid homage to this historic period with a captivating display of his P-51 “Mustang Sally”. Despite never having seen combat, this iconic aircraft, which celebrates its 80th anniversary later this year, gained fame for its role in the movie “Patton” and its participation in the prestigious Reno Air Races during the early 1980s.

Next up, Paramount’s Mwari showcased the ongoing spirit of innovation within the South African aviation industry. This two-seat, tandem cockpit aircraft features a high-wing design and twin-boom configuration, hinting at its considerable potential for the future. The aircraft was expertly maneuvered, demonstrating its impressive agility and versatility to the enthralled crowd.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) delivered an impressive showcase of their response capabilities. A Pilatus PC-6 Porter executed a flawless drop of three Special Task Force members, who executed pinpoint accurate landings amidst the smoke and action on the ground. They were then skillfully picked up by Tillanie Neethling, expertly piloting one of the brand new Airbus H125 Squirrel Helicopters. The thrilling display, featuring task force members hanging onto the side of the helicopter as it weaved through smoke and stun grenades, was undoubtedly a crowd pleaser!

The following display, featuring two SAAF MBB BK-117 helicopters from 15 Squadron Charlie Flight, left the crowd in awe. Piloted by Maj Corrie “Serrano” Oberholzer with Maj Bertie “Beetle” Fourie, and Lt Col Jared “Gizmo” Oliver with Sgt Carl van Dalen, their performance was nothing short of unforgettable. From their synchronized spiral climb and daring vertical handstands to maneuvers that seemed to defy gravity, the skill and precision required to execute such maneuvers are truly remarkable. A commendable performance by 15 Squadron Charlie Flight!

Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish, supported by their new sponsor Master Power Technologies, elevated the excitement with their performance in the Extra 300s. Their breathtaking maneuvers, incredibly tight formation flying, and high-energy aerobatics thrilled the crowd, showcasing not only the capabilities of these exceptional aerobatic aircraft but also the extraordinary skill of the pilots.

The SAAF Museum’s hoisting demonstration with the Puma, followed by Juba Joubert’s skilled display in the Aerospatiale SA-341 “Gazelle” continued to keep the crowd captivated.

Grant Timms took to the skies in the Aero L-29 Delfín, a Soviet-era trainer, delivering a beautiful and graceful display of this remarkable jet. Owned by Richardt Lovett, the aircraft is adorned with a stunning livery depicting an American Bald Eagle. The striking contrast of this amazing livery against the clear blue skies created a truly breathtaking sight.

The Goodyear Eagles have long been a familiar sight on the South African aviation scene. Piloted by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Trevor Warner, and Johan von Solms, they continue to deliver a fast-paced performance that has captured the hearts of the crowd. Their high-energy display, featuring close formations and aerobatics, ensures that the audience is thoroughly entertained from start to finish.

The crowd was treated to the distinctive sound of the Bell Huey UH-1, as Menno Parsons showcased the agility of his Tiger Bell UH-1. With a series of maneuvers, he highlighted the capabilities of this fantastic aircraft. The Huey is renowned for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War, immortalized in numerous movies that captured the iconic sounds and sights of this helicopter.

Next up was the breathtaking formation flying of the RV Raptors team. Pierre Gouws, the team’s founder and former leader, provided commentary, captivating the crowd throughout the display. Led by Nigel Hopkins and accompanied by Dion Raath, Trevor Warner, and Johan von Solms, the team executed an incredible routine of exceptionally close formation flying.

As the sun began its descent, the Puma Energy Flying Lions took to the skies for their sunset display. With several pilots lined up for takeoff before darkness fell, they had to wait on the taxiway, enveloped in the dense smoke from the preceding Harvard display. The Harvards delivered a stunning performance, the gleaming aircraft in the setting sun creating a truly magnificent sight.

Major Morolong continued to impress with his second display in the Silver Falcons Pilatus PC-7 as the sun dipped toward the horizon. The aircraft gleamed in the sunset, enhancing the beauty of the graceful maneuvers and creating a fantastic spectacle for the audience.

As night fell, Brian Emmenis and Captain Charlene “Artemis” Buitenhuis rallied the crowd to gather close for the final display. Three Hawk Mk.120s took off into the twilight, their roaring engines reigniting the crowd’s excitement for the grand finale. The spectators were treated to a mesmerizing display by Lieutenant Colonel Scott “Prowler” Logie, who performed gracefully against the backdrop of the darkening sky, concluding with a spectacular flare display.

Prowler was soon joined by the other two Hawk Mk.120s, forming the “Hawk Formation” of three jets. They executed a dramatic break in front of the crowd, releasing flares as a massive wall of fire illuminated the night sky, bringing the show to a thrilling conclusion.

The SAAF Museum Airshow 2024 was a resounding success, thanks to the efforts of all participants, organizers, and supporting services. Special thanks to Brian Emmenis and Capital Sounds for their engaging commentary and to the SAAF Museum and Mobile Deployment Wing Swartkop for hosting a memorable day. The event showcased the skill, dedication, and excellence of the SAAF, leaving the audience with unforgettable memories.

Please enjoy the photos below, taken throughout the show and show validation days.

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!

Please Browse through our Gallery below!

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

Please browse through our gallery below!

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.