Tag Archives: L39

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!

ICAD Heidelberg Airshow 2022

The International Civil Aviation Day was celebrated with an airshow at Heidelberg Airfield just to the south of Johannesburg on the 3rd December 2022.

The airshow was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority, Department of Transport, Airshow South Africa, South African Police Airwing, South African Airforce and Civilian Airshow Participants.

Capital sounds provided sound equipment and utilized Keith Fryer as commentator during the duration of the displays as the show started at 1pm and around 4pm the show came to a close with a Highveld afternoon thunderstorm.

There were over 500 learners from the surrounding Sedibeng communities, alongside the Deputy Minister of Transport Hon Sindisiwe Chikunga, the Gauteng Premier Honourable Panyaza Lesufi, Director of Civil Ms Poppy Khoza as well as other key aviation dignitaries that were present at the show.

Before some of the dignitaries commenced with their speeches. The South African Police Airwing Airbus Helicopters H125 “Squirrel” dropped a handful of Police task force skydivers.

The airshow started with a Bell UH-1 Huey in its striking colour scheme known as the “Tiger Huey” flown by Menno Parsons. Menno also flew South Africa’s only flying P51D “Mustang Sally”.

The Puma Flying Lions were next flying a three ship Harvard display led by Scully Levine. Scully also led the Hired Gun Pitts Specials flying their three ship Pitts S2Bs and a single S2C.

Dennis Spence, Gareth Gill and Jason Beamish flew the high energy aerobatic display sequence with the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials S2Bs. This was Gareth Gills first airshow display as a new member to the team!

The Police Squirrel once again dropped skydivers during two more slots on the day. They also provided a small task force demonstration during their display.

Jeandre van der Schaar flew his RC Extra 300 aerobatic display. The young man is definitely following his fathers footsteps as his father Ivan van der Schaar now flies Boeings in the middle east.

Andre van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter display. One of the best Gyrocopter displays one can see in the world.

Dave Mandel brought his Plettenberg bay based Aero L39 ZU-JET to Heidelberg. Unfortunately he didn’t get to fly in the show due to the weather at the end of the program. We did see him give a pass or two before overnighting at Rand Airport on Saturday before departing back to his home base on Sunday.

The South African Airforce was present with a number of static displays including a Fire truck asset, a 44 Squadron Casa 212 and a Agusta A109LUH from AFB Bloemspruit.

Once again Rikus Erasmus as the display director and Francois Hanekom as safety director made the show a safe and successful ending of ICAD 2022.


Thank you to Louise Hofmeyr for handling the media accreditation. This was the final South African Air Show for 2022.What a great airshow season it was!

AAD 2022 is Ready!

With Africa’s Largest Trade Exhibition and Airshow around the corner that will be taking place at Air force base Waterkloof in the city of Tshwane, South Africa.Its officially show time!

Aviation Enthusiasts will be treated to a world class airshow after the last AAD that was due to take place in 2020,but got cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic which obviously put a hold to many other events not just AAD.

AAD2022

This year’s show will include a number of favorites with the recently returned to airworthy status, 2 Squadron Gripens that’s will definitely ensure pure air power growl to the general public flown by veteran Gripen display pilots.

2 Squadron Gripen

85 Combat Flying School will be flying a singleton Hawk MK120 display. 15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight will also be a welcome return to the display scene after a few years absence in their BK117s,based at Air Force Station Gqeberha.

15 Squadron “Charlie flight” BK117 & 16 Squadron Rooivalk

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce will fly a four ship display of Pilatus PC-7MKIIs, based at the Central Flying School, Langebaanweg on the Capes West coast.

Silver Falcons

Always a great crowd pleaser will see 16 Squadron in the form of a Rooivalk Attack helicopter will also put through its paces.
A few more surprises and assests will also be on display especially in the SANDF mini war.

The South African Airforce Museum will also give a number of aircraft to be put on display including, Harvards, Cessna C185s, Alouette II, Alouette III and the Aerospatiale Puma and much more.

Hawk MK120

From the civilian side it will be the first airshow appearance of Flysafair’s Boeing 737-800 and joining in will be a SAFAIR Lockheed L100-30 (known as the civilian C130 Hercules)

Hangar 51 also doing their first show on the Highveld with the Aero L29 Delphin and YAK 52. Coming all the way from Port Elizabeth.

Hangar 51s Aero L29

The United States Air Force (USAF) will have a large contingent of aircraft flying in. Two C17 Globemasters, KC135R, KC46 Pegasus, C130J, MQ-9 Reaper drone and a UH-60 Blackhawk which will fly in the show.

USAF C130J

From our neighbouring countries we will welcome back AAD past performers that being the Airforce of Zimbabwe with a K-8 jet trainer in a display and a Casa 212 as static.

Airforce of Zimbabwe K-8

More civilian acts that are expected will be Menno Parsons in his P51D “Mustang Sally”, a privately owned L39 Albatross, Two different Pitts Special Teams, Puma Flying Lions, Extra 330s and much more. There will be surprises so make sure you buy your tickets and get to AAD2022!

P51D “Mustang Sally”
Iveco Extra 330s

Aviation Central will bring your live coverage from the event. Days leading up from arrivals to updates ect.

The Africa Aerospace and Defence Trade exhibition and Airshow will run as follows

21-23 September (Trade Days)
24-25th September (Airshow Days)

AFB Waterkloof, City of Tshwane
South Africa

Tickets available at Computicket!

AAD2022 Site Map

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

Newcastle Airshow KZN 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please Browse through our gallery below!