Tag Archives: BotswanaDefenceForce

Hercules C130 aka “Flossie”

Hercules C130 Flossie aka “Flossie

C130 Flossie

A while back, whilst we were running a series on SAAF aircraft, the question arose as to how the Hercules C130 got the nickname ‘Flossie’. Well, here we have it courtesy of Jan Marais from Who’s Who in the SAAF.

Here is the story of where the name “FLOSSIE” came from.

Not many years after the arrival of the C130B’s onto the SAAF register, South Africa became embroiled in a Border War along the South West African/Angolan border. There has been much good and bad written about that conflict and I am not going to add further to that issue, other than to point out that the C130’s were used on a daily basis to convey troops and material to and from the border, and in later years SAFAIR, operating L100’s, were contracted to assist in the air transport effort. To the casual observer the C130 and L100 look so much alike that one could be forgiven for thinking they were the same. Having said the above I can now get on with story.

At 28 Squadron, the operators of the SAAF C130’s, was a Flight Engineer named Phil or “Flippie”. He was a most dedicated man who ate, slept and dreamed C130. In his private life he was a most disciplined man (real old school, soldier), who never did a half job of anything. You all know the type, “if its worth doing, do it properly or don’t do it at all”

Phil was married to a lady with the real old English name of Florence. In her family she was called Flo, and among her siblings she was called Flossie. (by now you can see where this is going)

Presidential Inauguration 2019

Photo: Johan Stephens

Being the consummate professional Phil would ALWAYS walk out, long before the rest of the crew, to the aircraft he was scheduled to fly in and do a proper pre-flight inspection. A few of his fellow flight engineers would pull his leg and tell him the aircraft was only due for a major technical inspection at a future date. His standard reply was “Chaps, if you treat and look after your aircraft like you look after your wife, she will never let you down” This comment always gave all of his Squadron mates a smile. Over the months, whenever his crew were due to walk out to the aircraft they would ask “where is Flippie, is he at Flossie? or Come guys we shouldn’t keep Flossie waiting” or comments along those lines.

In time the reference to Flossie was made more often at the movement control section at Air Force Base Waterkloof and more and more people became attuned to this reference and this then morphed into all troop transport, becoming known as “FLOSSIE”

You may ask how I know this bit of history. The simple answer is that Phil was my Father and “FLOSSIE: was my Mother.

Flying the BDF C130

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019-Skydiving Boogie

The Magadikgadi Epic once again took place with some of Africa’s finest scenery along the salt pans of Sowa,which lies in the Central District of Botswana. The event consisted of a number of skydivers from across the world sharing their knowledge with one another and using jumping platforms from both the Botswana Defence force and a lonely South African based Atlas Angel.

Sua Pan
Kampsite
Casa 235 & C130B
Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe
Skydivers from around the world
Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130

Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130B#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan.

Sowa Town

A lot of our questions we get is what is skydiving, another word for skydiving known as Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. If you enjoy skydiving the Sua pan is the best place to view from the sky.

We had a early start, leaving Pretoria in the premature hours of Thursday 11 July 2019. Arriving back at the pans after visiting last year, we were greeted by members of the Botswana Parachute Association and old friends from Botswana. The evening we were briefed for the upcoming days activities. Before going to bed, one could admire the beautiful galaxy the pans bring out with the absence of city lights and other concerning noises one would hear while trying to get some sleep.

Entrance onto the pans
Our accommodation

Our accommodation was made up tents with comfortable beds, added with warm blankets and pillows for the chilly nights. With the wildlife in Botswana we were spoiled to see many types around the area, including Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and many more!

Blue Wildebeest
Zebra

The following morning saw the first jump with a quick briefing at manifest (meeting area) before making our way with the shuttles to Sowa airport, just a few kilometers away from the pans. The first two days the jump ship was the Botswana Defence Force Casa 235, while the next two days saw the welcome return of the Lockheed Martin C130B. The Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe took tandems (first time skydivers) during the course of the epic.

Evening Briefings
Turnoff to Sua Airport
BDF Casa 235
Casa 235 cargo hold
Wingsuit
C130B Sunset Flypast
C130 cargo Hold
Atlas Angel
Ready for the jump in the Atlas Angel

The Saturday was open to the people of Botswana to come enjoy a day out on the pans, in addition as listen to some local musicians while skydiving doings took place. This saw mass jumps from the C130B, as said this could accommodate more skydivers in the large cargo hold the aircraft has. One of the jumps saw the aircraft climb to 19 000ft with oxygen fitted to the aircraft for the skydivers use. Helicopter flips were also available with one of the Delta Rescue Bell Jetrangers.

Oxygen at 19 000ft
Wingsuiters ready for the jump from the C130
Bell Jetranger giving flips over the pans.
Makgadikgadi Epic 2019

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019 Highlights#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Botswana current president Mokgweetsi Masisi also visited the event on Saturday afternoon. Great to see world leaders visiting top notch events that bring exposure from around the world. The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van), just this time on sand and stone.

Cyril Nfila and a happy new skydiver
The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van) and a Taxi, just this time on sand and stone.

A big thank you to the Botswana Parachute Association, Colonel Majama, Botswana Tourism and many others who got us to the event. A big Congratulations to another successful boogie and a safe event.Individually next year is again on our lists to attend without a doubt.

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