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Potchefstroom Airshow 2024, Hosted by Smoke on Go

Potchefstroom, Founded in 1838 by the Voortrekkers, also known as Potch, is an academic city in the North West Province of South Africa NWU students are known as “Pukke”. It hosts the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. Potchefstroom is on the Mooirivier (Afrikaans for “pretty river”), roughly 120 km west-southwest of Johannesburg. The Airport Coordinates -26.67062, 27.0843

Potchefstroom Airshow 2024 Sponsors
Smoke on Go
Master Power Technologies
Sandriver Crop Protection
SV Aviation

The preparations included a huge amount of grass cutting that needed to be done, while Capital Sounds set up their huge rigging of speakers and cabling needed to provide the crowd line with crisp clear sound.
Team Capital Sounds for the 2024 Potchefstroom Airshow…

Brian Emmenis: Presenter
Leon du Plessis: co presenter
Bevery Emmenis: research
Wesley van Zyl: producer
Elvis Manene: Satelite unit
Phillip Scott: Audio Left
Mike Rascher: Rhino patrol

5500+ people filled the flight line, with many vendors and a Beer Garden being available. The well-behaved crowd was well spread out and not all crowding the flight line, creating good spacing and everyone felt comfortable. Litter was to the absolute minimum. The Perfect crowd for any airshow.

HENLEY AIR provided helicopter flips for R300 Per Person. They were busy flipping till well after the show ended.

No doubt the star of the day belonged to Jason Beamish, He flew in most of the displays and almost got arrested! Well done Jason…

It was a cool start to the morning on 01 June 2024, warming up nicely later in the day. The Airshow director was Rikus Ermasus with Mark Kelbrick as safety officer. Commentating was done by no one other than Brain Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team. The show commenced at 10:00 am with the Potch Girl’s High Marjorette (aka Trompoppies). Jason Beamish followed the Girls in an Extra 300 with a well-timed flypast.

The Displays for the day were…
3 Skydivers from Johannesburg Skydive, Jumping from an Alouette 3 piloted by Juba Joubert. They had it tough in the Strong wind, yet they had a perfect display and amazing landings

Sandrivier Crop Protection and Castello Boerdery that consisted of a crop-spraying Bell 206 Long ranger, 9-cylinder radial engine air tractor AT301, an AT502XP, Air Tractor AT802, John Deere crop sprayer driven by Rijan Barnard, the aircraft and the heli were piloted by Petri van Rhyn, Henri van Niekerk, JD Heyns and Steve Viviers

Scully Levin, Arnie Meneghelli & Sean Thackwray flew the Flying Lions flat display. The radial engine sounds fill the sky with Smoke on Go! Once again the Wind made it difficult for even the well-experienced team, well done to the Team!

Magni Gyro, flewn by Andre van Zyl. Andrê always plans to attend and display as many shows as possible towing his Gyro by road on a trailer.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray, the gentleman himself in his Nashua Extra 300, Andrew is a well-experienced pilot in South Africa and the Crowd loves his aerobatic display. Once again he performed his trademark maneuver of going inverted just after take-off.

Jason Beamish & Gareth Gill Flew a two-ship Goodyear Eagles, Jason and Gareth will soon become family as Jason is set to marry Gareth’s sister.

Jonker Sailplanes JS-3 Rapture sailplane, gracefully flown by Oscar Goudrian. Oscar is based at Potchefstroom Glider Club, the factory of the Jonker Sailplanes.

The Heavy for the day was a Beech 18 flown by Captain Flippie Vermeulen giving an amazing, yet graceful display. Flippie owns the Springbok Group of Companies

Challenging windy flying conditions, Jason Beamish & Richard Nicholson displayed the LSA Aircraft in Formation.

Extreme Flight Extra 300 RC plane flown expertly by Joshua Twomey. My own (Flippie van Emmenis aviation career started with Radio Controlled Aircraft. For me, this was WoW to the extreme level, Joshua, Sponsored by his Dad can fly RC!

Then the madness started, a crazy flying act display. The display was set up as a drunk man steeling an Orion Cub Airplane. Not knowing it was a setup, one of the security personnel went running with all he had to Brain’s commentary stand wanting to help. The act included Jason Beamish being apprehended after the Orion Cub was back on the ground.

The new kids on the block, The Navion formation display flown by Steve George & Reyno Coetzer was well flown in the crosswinds. Later in the day we also saw a solo Navion Display. Navion, manufactured by North American Aviation, who also manufactured the P51 Mustang. Navion Manufacturing later moved to Ryan Aeronautical Company.

Bell 222, most well known for being “Airwolf” was displayed by Dr Andre Coetzee. This is the Skid version of the Bell 222. Henley Air has the most Bell 222 Aircraft in the world.

On the Move Extra 330 was Piloted by the Young Unlimited display pilot, Tristan Eales. Tristan’s commentary was done by his dad Barry Eales, also a well-known aerobatic pilot in South Africa. Tristan recently competed in the World Advanced Aerobatics Championships where he placed 24th overall held at Reno in the USA.

Click on Photos below to enlarge
Photos by Ruan du Rand, Marriane Eksteen, Jarryd Sinovich  and Flippie van Emmenis

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.

Children’s Flight 2023

Fly, Feed, Love, Inspire,

Orient Airfield, on September 1, 2023, hosted another very successful 8th edition Children’s Flight. Magaliesburg Gliding Club is located at Orient’s airport. Steve and Andreas were hosts, and the organizers, Felix and Belinda Gosher, once again did a fantastic job of giving 500 underprivileged children a day they will never forget. Gosher started The Children’s Flight in South Africa back in 2016, and this has since been extended to Zambia. Since the first Children’s Flight in 2016, an estimated 4000+ kids have been flown.

Once the flying, or flipping, started, it all went non-stop. Just under twenty fixed-wing aircraft were doing circuits around the airspace and queuing to welcome the next kids onboard. A number of helicopters also flipped a large number of kids, including Menno Parsons and his Tiger Huey. In total, 109 aircraft flew into Orient Airfield. Two American-registered aircraft based in Sa also did flipping.

The ever-growing list of sponsors contributed to the event, with just over 100 sponsors this year. The sponsors included but were not limited to, food, drink, toys, and other goodie bags. Entertainment consisted of face painting, clowns, jumping castles, and playgrounds.

 list of sponsors

With the busy skies and many takeoffs and landings, air traffic control and the team up in the temporary contracted tower had their hands full and did an excellent job. At one stage, more than 15 aircraft were waiting in line for their chance to get airborne. I don’t think the kids minded the wait or getting a few more minutes on an airplane.

A mini-airshow was part of the day, with some top displays. The kids were treated to flying displays by the RV Raptors, Menno Parsons and his Tiger, Mennos’ L39 Jet flown to perfection by Mike Weingartz, the Good Year Eagles, Andrê van Zyl in his Gyrocopter, Nashua Extra 300, flown by Champion Andrew Blackwood-Murray, Juba in his favorite toy, Gazelle, the Raptors aerobatic team, and lastly, Two Ship Extras piloted by Nigel and Jason.

The South African Air Force sent a Hawk fighter jet from Makhado AFB. The Hawk, painted in the South African Flag paint scheme, was a huge hit with all attending. SAAF CASA 212 was on static display for the day. The CASA was also used to fly in some top SAAF generals. Let’s hope they take a word of good faith home and send a bigger list of Aircarft in the 2024 edition of the Children’s Flight. Maybe even do some flipping.

Sound Was provided by Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds Team, simply world-class commentating done in a perfect way to entertain and inform the kids. The local radio station in South Africa, HOT 102.7 FM, provided live commentary on the day, with Steve Bishop managing the broadcasting station and Tara Penny on the ground.

We certainly look forward to the 2024 edition of the Children’s Flight and are hoping and praying for more sponsorship to make the day bigger and better for our kids.

The Elders Flight – Brakpan Airfield 2023

Many people across the world have never had the opportunity to fly in an aircraft let alone even set foot inside one.

The 22nd April, a cool autumn breeze swept along the Brakpan airfield for the 2023 edition of the elders flight. A day many South African elderly from communities around Gauteng,this including a handful of ex South African Air force pilots once again sitting up in their former office.

Excitement was definitely on ones mind for some of the 300+ elderly members joining for their day of flying for the first time and a day dedicated to them.

Felix Gosher, the event organiser, put together a huge program of sponsors to pull off the event. With a large safety team, beverages, fuel and aircraft just to name a few.

Felix Gosher a Air Line Transport Pilot license holder and a newly qualified Beechcraft 1900 rated pilot. Felix who also organisers the annual Children’s Flight at Orient airfield. Felix is supported by his wife Belinda at these events which sleepless nights make these events a success with a large amount of hard work from behind the scenes.

The day without a doubt was planned to the last full stop landing of each aircraft and every last passenger receiving their wings from South African Air Force Major General Lance “Lancelot” Mathebula who is director of force preparation at SAAF Headquarters. He arrived in a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH.

A bit of a different ride for a fighterjock, Lance has flown the Pilatus PC7MKII,Impala Mk1 and Impala MKII, Hawk Mk120 and Gripen. The Major General who is also a qualified weapons attack instructor, former 2v1 display pilot and foreign exchange pilot to name some of his achievements!

Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds, provided commentary throughout the day, also during the Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard’s display. A flat show was provided by Scully Levin and the team, with some height restrictions, with Brakpan airfield being so close to OR Tambo International Airport airspace.

The final flights that took place were for many ex South African Airforce Pilots flying in some extraordinary aircraft. This included aircraft types members flew or had the opportunity to fly for the first time, one being retired Lieutenant Piet Visser in his P-51 Mustang almost 70 years after he flew the P51 in the Korean War. Former Chief, retired Lieutenant General Fabian ‘Zakes’ Msimang, flew in a alouette II with owner Charles Fuller.

Some of the aircraft that were present at this years elders flight most probably the biggest fleet committed ever.

We a number of fixed wing aircraft including a Antonov An2 ZU-FOO, Cessna C208 Grand Caravans, Cessna C182,C210s,C150s.A large continent of taildraggers, chipmunks, austers, bosboks, Kudu, tiger moths and even a P51D Mustang owned and flown by veteran elders flight partner Menno Parsons.

Helicopters that were present had a bell 407s,Brakpan based Alouette II and Alouette III flown by Charles Fuller and Rob Osner. Bell B206 Jet Rangers, Hughes 369 and a Bell 205

Please browse through our gallery!

The Grand Rand Airshow 2022

The Grand Rand Airshow, one of Johannesburg’s most favourite airshow on the airshow scene for many years now, finally made its way back after a three year absence.

One of the few airshows that take place on a Sunday, Rand Airport in Germiston is home to many of the South African Airshow performers .

This years show would not be possible to Menno Parsons of Master Power Technologies. Who displayed his beautiful and only airworthy P51D Mustang in South Africa. With a new display routine, Menno also provided his Bell UH-1 Huey as the jump ship for Skydivers as the opening slot of the program.

Alister Brown from National Airways Corporation (NAC) and Menno also flew a dual helicopter Bell 407 display. The helicopter duo was also joined by Nigel Hopkins in the Iveco Sponsored Extra 330 and hovered just like the helicopters momentarily. Menno also raced a formula f1 car vs his Bell 407.

Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis provided sound and commentary for the show as he is known as Mr Airshow South Africa.

The Puma Flying Lions Harvards flew their roaring radial display. The Harvard’s also joined up by two Extra 300s for a new display combining both teams. The team also did a missing man formation for the South African Police Airwing Pilatus Porter a few days before the show, unfortunately five people lost their lives.

The Hired Gun Coffee Pitts display led by Scullly Levin. The Goodyear Pitts Specials flew their four ship display as they were also present at the Children’s Flight on Friday at Orient airfield near Magaliesburg.

Patrick Davidson displayed his RedBull sponsored Gamebird for the first time on the highveld. Barrie Eels and Elton Bondi flew competition aerobatics in two Extra 330s.

The Classic Flying Collection from Springs airfield flew a two ship Tiger Moth display by Grant Timms and Steve Brown, later they flew three Chipmunks led by Rodney Chinn.

Jason Beamish also a flew a Chipmunk solo display. Nigel and Jason Beamish also flew the Iveco Extra 330 high energy display.

Andre van Zyl who flies the best Gyrocopter display one can see at an Airshow in his Magni Gyrocopter. Henley Air provided a Bell 230/222 display consisting of six helicopters. Biggest formation of its type seen at an airshow ever.

Pierre Gouws flew Richard Lovetts L39ZA ZU-IBN which is based at Middelburg Airfield, Mpumalanga. Pierre also led the Raptors RV team with close formation aerobatics.

Airlink did their first Airshow display at Rand Airport in an Embraer E190 flown by Jaco Henning. Was great to see an airliner put through it paces, as we remember days gone by as we saw Boeing 747s,737s and Airbus A340s also at past Rand Airport Airshows.

Ivan and Jeandre van der Schaar flew a Boeing Stearman and RC Extra 300 display
A first for South African Airshows.

A big well done to all role players behind making the Rand Airport Airshow happen. Airshow South Africa Rikus Erasmus as show director, Colonel Retired Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom as safety director and all other’s at ASSA,and Rand Airport Manegment, media houses,vendors and exhibitors for directing a safe rand airshow once again.

See you next year Rand Airport Airshow. For now we see you all at Africa Aerospace & Defence at AFB Waterkloof 21-25 September 2022.

Pictures by Jarryd Sinovich,Flippie van Emmenis,Anton Wannenburg & Capital Sounds