Tag Archives: L39ZA

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

Fight Against Insurgency : Nigerian Airforce Completes In-Country PDM, Avionics Upgrade Of Alpha Jet Aircraft T As Cas Commissions 2.8KM Road Network In Kainji

In furtherance of its sustained efforts to boost Air Power employment capability against insurgency and other security challenges in the Country, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has reactivated and commissioned another Alpha Jet aircraft after Periodic Depot Maintenance (PDM). The commissioning of the additional Alpha Jet, NAF 455, took place today, 21 March 2020, at the 407 Air Combat Training Group (407 ACTG), Kainji. The event also featured the inspection of the upgraded avionics equipment on the aircraft as well as a thrilling test flight with aerobatics display. In addition, a 2.8km road network traversing almost 80 percent of NAF Base Kainji and a Technicians’ Crew Room were commissioned.

Alpha Jet

Speaking during the ceremony, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the PDM, stated that the reactivation would go a long way in boosting the morale of troops on the frontlines and better equip the NAF in its drive to sustain the offensive initiative against the terrorists and insurgents. According to him, the in-house PDM, apart from being cost-effective when compared to the overseas option, also affords NAF technicians the opportunity to build better technical capacity. “It is worth mentioning that our NAF technicians were the major manpower for this PDM. The avionics upgrade, which is the first of its kind on the Alpha Jet, has also significantly improved the aircraft navigation and communications systems thus increasing safety, reliability and overall efficiency”, he added. The CAS noted that the challenge posed by lack of avionics spares, which accounted for over 60 per cent of the Alpha Jet critical spares, had also been addressed with the upgrade. The upgraded instruments and accessories, he said, were readily available in the market, thus ensuring availability of maintenance support spares which would translate to improved aircraft availability. The CAS added that under his watch the NAF, for the first time in its history, had successfully conducted in-country PDM on two C-130H aircraft (NAFs 917 and 913) in Lagos, while Life Extension Programme (LEP) was also successfully conducted on three L-39ZA aircraft in Kano. He further highlighted that an Mi-35P was also undergoing in-Country reactivation in Portharcourt, which would further boost aircraft availability for enhanced mission accomplishment.


Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the completion and subsequent commissioning of 2.8 km road infrastructure, which he highlighted was executed through direct labour by the NAF Directorate of Services, was one among many other welfare projects earmarked for Kainji. He stated that during his last tour round the Base, he observed the deplorable state of the road network and believed the Unit deserved better considering its importance to the NAF’s Air Power projection capability. He added that the completed road network as well as other ongoing projects would enable personnel of the Unit discharge their respective duties conveniently, thus translating to enhanced operational performance. The CAS further noted that the Base was also being positioned to efficiently support the A-29 Super Turcano aircraft when it arrives. “I can assure you that this robust infrastructural development would continue to take place in NAF Base Kainji”, he said.

A-29 Super Turcano

Air Marshal Abubakar expressed his profound appreciation to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his gracious support to the NAF. He equally thanked the National Assembly, especially the Senate and House Committees on Defence and Air Force, for their continued support to the Service. While thanking the host community for the peaceful co-existence as well as their support to the NAF, the CAS promised that the Service would not rest on its oars until 407 ACTG, which is tasked with the important responsibility of training fighter pilots for the NAF, becomes a model Base.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Air Officer Commanding Air Training Command (AOC ATC), Air Vice Marshal Musa Muktar, who was represented by the Chief of Staff ATC, Air Commodore Abraham Adole, remarked that the commissioning of the reactivated aircraft and the welfare projects were inspiring demonstrations of a leadership whose top priority is to enhance NAF operations and promote morale of personnel through the provision of adequate platforms and enabling environment for effective service delivery. He noted that this would undoubtedly boost the NAF’s efforts in stemming the scourge of criminality bedeviling the Nation. While thanking the CAS for his commitment to the provision of infrastructure that would enhance personnel comfort and professional performance across the spectrum of NAF operations, the AOC pledged the commitment of the ATC as well as 407 ACTG to continue to do more to ensure the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.

After the unveiling of NAF 455 and inspection of the upgraded avionics in the cockpit, a Functional Check Flight (FCF) was conducted to further certify the aircraft fit for combat operations. The FCF, which also featured an exhilarating aerial display, was skillfully executed by the Commander 407 ACTG, Squadron Leader Kingsley Igwegbe, and Flying Officer Kafayat Sanni, the NAF’s first female fighter pilot, whose arrival from the flight was heralded by a traditional water salute. Present at the colourful event was the Emir of Borgu Kingdom, His Royal Highness, Barrister Muhammad Haliru Dantoro Kitoro IV, who commissioned the 2.8 Km Road Project and Technicians’ Crew Room. Other dignitaries included Branch Chiefs and Directors from Headquarters NAF as well as Commanders of Military Units and Heads of Para-Military Agencies in Kainji.

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