Tag Archives: Mustang Sally

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.

Rand Airshow 2023

The Grand Rand Airshow one of the very few South African airshows that takes place on a Sunday shadowed by the Johannesburg central business district making a great background for photography with aircraft added in.

After a stern safety briefing from the Rand Airport new safety manager. All the known South African Aviation media that are on the airshow circuit made their way to acceptable advantage points to capture the days flying.

Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds and his team once again provided commentary on the show progress. A busy weekend it was for Capital Sounds as they also attended the Children’s Flight at Orient Airfield on Friday the 1st September.

Rand Airshows Flight Display Director with Rikus Erasmus and Safety director former South African Airforce Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom.

The airshow was opened by Grant Timms flying Chris Kambouris’s OneX. This was the first of its type flying in a South African airshow.

Grant also flew the de Haviland Tiger Moth display with Rodney Chinn.
Also making up of the contingent of the Classic Flying Collection was the de Haviland Chipmunk formation of three examples flown by Rodney Chinn, Ryan Briggs and Grant Timms. This was Ryan Briggs first airshow display.

The Puma Flying Lions led by Scully Levin and the Hired Gun Pitts Specials. Making up of most of the airshow performers based at Rand Airport. Scully also put on a solo display with a Cirrus S22.

Aerobatics galore was sure a favorite ar this years show, the South Africa Sports Aerobatic club (SAC) presented a Extra 330 flown by Barrie Eels, and a Extra 300L flown by Elton Bondi.

Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish in the Extra 330 Duo, which they also joined up with Menno Parsons in both his Bell407 and P51D “Mustang Sally”.Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 display despite windy flying conditions.

From the rotary airshow participants, Juba Jourbert flew the Alouette II, Andre van Zyl flew the Magni Gyrocopter, Henley Air Andre Coetzee flew the Bell 230, Both Menno Parsons in his Bell 407 and Buzz Bezuidenhout in the Tiger Bell UH1 Huey.

Mike Weingartz flew Master Power Technologies L39, Mike is still got the highest number of hours on the Aermacchi MB326K Impala in the world. Oscar Goudriaan in a Jonker JS3 Rapture Turbine Sailplane provided a glider display, something quite rare on the South African airshow circuit these days.

From the Classic businessliners of the day, the beech 18 flown by Springbok Classic Air Flippie Vermulen and his son Ben put on a spirited display of the radial.

The Goodyear Eagles, also having Rand Airport as their home base for many years, flew their four ship Pitts S2B routine. The Raptors Vans RVs also put on a tight aerobatic display of the kit built aircraft.

The highlight of the day was surely the Airlink Sky bucks E195 display flown by Airlinks chief pilot, Captain Jaco Henning.

A special word of thanks goes to Airshow South Africa including Louise Hofmeyr for allowing the media to cover the event and positioning us on the airport to capture the moments. Robyn from Aviation Hub for helping handle the media accreditation, we appreciate your assistance.

Please Browse through our gallery below:

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!

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!

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

Noted as one of the coldest airshows on the South African Airshow circuit, this years Bethlehem Airshow was definitely the hottest. The Eastern Free State town of Bethlehem hosted their annual airshow and this year was most probably the best they have ever had, with a large variety of aircraft including the South African Airforce making a welcome return.

The Friday before the show, Little Annie an Antonov 2 took local school kids for some of them their first flight in an aircraft around the town of Bethlehem. At the same time many aircraft arrivals and validations took place to be suitable for the following day.

“Little Annie” AN2

Saturday morning we arrived at the airfield to get some sunrise shots of parked aircraft, not long after that we attended the pilots briefing with Dihlabeng Municipal Mayor Lindiwe Makhalema thanking the pilots and wishing them well during the course of the day. Stephen Fourie was the organiser once again of the fantastic show who also briefed the pilots on the days proceedings in conjunction with Lieutenant Colonel Keith “Fulcrum” Fryer as airboss for the show. Lieutenant Colonel Francois “Hosepipe” Hanekom was Flight safety director and Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrew was ramp director.

The show opened up with the South African Airforce Golden Eagles Parachute Display team, their jump ship was a 44 Squadron Casa 212 with Lieutenant Colonel Sammy “Guru” Mabidikama, Major Ashley “Sensei” Naxhe and loadmaster Flight Sergeant Manny Ramajela at the controls.

44 Squadron Casa 212

The Cows Pitts Specials added an Extra 300 to their display led by Scully Levin, The Goodyear Eagles performed both a four-ship pitts display in the morning show and the afternoon show with a three-ship. A solo aerobatic display by Andrew Blackwood Murray in his Nashua Extra 300 and a Pilatus B4 Glider was flown by Gary Whitecross.Orsmond Aviation provided a Turbo Thrush for aerial spaying demo. A provincial EMS Bell 222 demonstrated a car accident scene showing off the emergency services and the every day call out scenes around South Africa. Another Bell 222 from Henley Air at Rand Airport flown by Andre Coetzee showed off the helicopter skilfully.

Cows Pitts and Extra formation
Goodyear Eagles
Nashua Extra 300
Pilatus B4
Glider Tug Lambada flown by Derek Hopkins
Free state EMS Bell 222
Free state EMS Bell 222
Henley Air Bell 222

The South African Airforce (SAAF) provide the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team flying Pilatus PC7MKIIs with Major Omphile Matolane as lead ,Major Tian Stander at number two, Major Sivu Tangana at three and the soloist Major Bheki Shabungu.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Major Bheki Shabungu does a dirty roll in the Pilatus PC7MKII
Lieutenant Charlene Brown and Captain Xander Albasni made sure the Bethlehem crowds could get their Silver Falcons memorabilia

A 2 Squadron Gripen JAS39D flown all the way from Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo province, the squadron demonstrated a flat display by Major Mohau “Dobaman” Vundla and Major Kevin “Safron” Chetty as his navigator. This was the first appearance of a Gripen in Bethlehem. An Agusta A109LUH from 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein, which was on static display among some of the other visiting civilian static aircraft. Adding to the jet action Pierre Gouws flew Richard Lovett’s Aero L39 and also led the Raptor RVs.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Agusta A109LUH
Aero L39 Albatross
Raptors RVs

Andre Van Zyl displayed the Magni Gyrocopter to its full potential Radials were a common sound at this years show with Little Annie An2 flown by Jon Marc-Hill and Juba Jourbert dropping skydivers and later joining up with Ivan Van der Schaar in his Boeing Stearman for a formation display and both their singleton displays. The Puma Flying Lions led once again by Scully Levin flew their three-ship routine .Menno Parson’s Douglas Dc3 gave a brief display flown by Derek Hopkins and Ivan van der Schaar. Menno displayed his popular and only flying P51D Mustang in South Africa. SAA Pilot Trevor Warner also gave a Solo Rv7 display, this being the most homebuilt aircraft in the world.

Magni Gyro
Radial Formation An2 & Boeing Stearman
Douglas DC3
Puma Flying Lions
P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”
RV7

Capital Sounds provided commentary to both the display line in front of the crowd line, behind the crowd line and by the aircraft parking area across the tar runway at Bethlehem. Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene kept the crowds posted on each display on the day.

Menno Parsons & Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis
Silver Falcon Major Sivu Tangana & Capital Sounds Elvis Manene

Bethlehem Airshow well done on a fantastic show this year, to all the organisers, display pilots and ground crews on making the show safe and successful. Looking forward to next years show already.

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P51D “Mustang Sally” To Return to SAAF Museum Airshow

Well known businessman and airshow display pilot Menno Parsons will be bringing his P51D Mustang to this years SAAF Museum Airshow on the 7th September 2019,at Airforce Base Swartkop in the city of Tshwane.

Days remaining the 2019 Swartkop airshow!

The P51D “Mustang Sally” is the only type of its kind airworthy in South Africa, this attractive looking warbird last flew at the SAAF Museum Airshow in 2015.

P51D ‘Mustang Sally’

The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, dual-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in 1940 by North American Aviation in response to a requirement of the British Purchasing Commission.

The theme for the 2019 Airshow is “Collective Heritage” Tickets will be on sale via Computicket.
Tickets this year will cost R80 over the age of 16, ages 12 to 16 will be R30 and under the age of 12 free.

More information of the SAAF Museum Airshow will follow soon. Remember this will be the only airshow in the Pretoria, Johannesburg region this year!

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Ticket Prices for the SAAF Museum Airshow 7th September 2019

Venue- AFB Swartkop,City of Tshwane

R80 (Adults)

R30 Age groups between (12 -16)

Under 12 free

Tickets available at Computicket

Aero South Africa 2019

The General Aviation Global show of the world which has been taking place in Lake Constance in Germany for the last 40 years and now the show has made its way to South Africa. This is due to the close partnership between Messe Friedrichshafen and Messe Frankfurt.

The much anticipated Aero South Africa finally arrived on South African shores at the Wonderboom National Airport in the city of Tshwane. This was the first of its kind in South Africa to introduce this type of expo to the General Aviation Industry. The purpose of the event was to see an interactive trade show with demonstration flights of the different aircraft, aviation exhibitors, flight schools and other products in the industry that were showcased, a fly-inn was also part of the proceedings during the entire duration of the event.

4000 square meters of space was provided for exhibition space, consisting of indoor, outdoor, park and sell plus and aircraft display area. This included general aviation most of all types seen in South Africa, a couple of warbird aircraft that also flew in for the event, such as the P51D Mustang, De Havilland Tiger Moth and also part of the De Havilland family the Wonderboom based De Havilland T55 Vampire, a number of helicopters were on static display and in the park and sell area.

Swiss Vampire T55 & Wonderboom National Airport Terminal

The Saturday saw the entire apron full of aircraft both that flew in and that of who were present from day 1.Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrews from the South African Airforce was Ramp Controller and made sure he could accommodate any type of aircraft for parking purposes for all three days of the event.

Bell 407-Dian Townsend

The Park and Sell area was pointed out as a new attraction to any aviation event in South Africa sponsored by the well know Auto Trader which made a perfect opportunity to sell previously owned aircraft. A total of 80+ exhibitor’s were present. The new Cirrus vision jet of CDC aviation was a favourite for us to see south Africa’s first of its type face to face for the first time. Absolute’s Aviation Citation XLS+ was also one of the bizjets on static display shadowed by a Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

Cessna 210-Dian Townsend
Cessna Citation XLS+
Absolute Aviation showing the youth a Cessna Grand Caravan

Team Extreme’s Jason Beamish and Nigel Hopkins in their Extra 330 Aerobatic Aircraft closed day 1 of Aero South Africa with a short aerobatic display, while day 2 and 3 were closed off with Jason in his Extra 330 and Mark Sampson in his Sbach 341.They also met up with Menno Parsons on the final day of Aero in his P51D ‘Mustang Sally’ with some formation flying before the day concluded.

Team Extreme Extra 330s
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’

Century Avionics was many of the many exhibitors of the event, their products were put to show were the static display of both Team Extremes MX2 owned and flown by Mark Hensman’s and Mark Sampson’s Sbach 341 with GPSs and other avionics the aircraft are fitted with.

MX2

Villa San Giovanni’s Restaurant made sure pure business visitors and the general public didn’t go hungry with excellent Italian cuisine during the three days of the show, as well as accommodation on the airports premises.

Little Annie the well known Airshow Antonov 2 owned by the Hill Family, was on static display and visitors were able to look and interact with. They also had a raffle for a new set of Bose Headsets with R20 000 which is available with Wings n Things from Lanseria International Airpor.Wings ‘n Things is a pilot supplies store established in 1990. We are authorised dealers of the world’s leading aviation brands such as Jeppesen, David Clark and Bose, as well as a reseller of many other aviation products.

‘Little Annie’ AN2

A huge well done to all the organisers of the event both local and overseas officials. Lets hope this becomes and annual event with the next Aero South Africa even bigger.


Saturday was the busiest day of the AERO SA trade show weekend. The morning started out quiet but picked up speed after 10h00. The fly-in was a great success. Anything and everything that flies was seen at Wonderboom. Vans RVs, Cessna, Bat hawks and many Robinson Helicopters. Absolute Aviation Group with Jason Beamish took photos with fans and they printed them on customized frames. The day played out beautifully and there was entertainment for the whole family. Definitely one for the 2020 calendar!-Dian Townsend SAAFMPC Member

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I Can Dream – Newcastle Air Show 2019

The Newcastle Air Show in KwaZulu-Natal, which is the only airshow in KZN, was held on Saturday the 1st June 2019, for the ninth year running. With the theme “I can Dream”, the show encouraged participation from the community with free entrance and focused on the youth, which saw a lot of school children attending the show. It is fantastic to see the local community being considered and the drive to encourage the youth into the aviation world.

With lots of food stands available, there was also lots of activities and stands to keep the public busy, including a virtual reality stand, military and air force stands, motor bike stunts and even an  South African Air Force Agusta A109 static display.

The show opened to a parachute drop with a huge South African flag, whilst the Newcastle High School Choir performed the national anthem for the twelve and half thousand strong crowd. It was a very special moment as the choir timed it to perfection with the flag landing as they completed the anthem.

This was followed by an impressive display by the Silver Falcons. Team 82 of the Silver Falcons performed their display, lead by Major Omphile Matloane in Falcon 1, with team members Falcon 2 Major Tiaan Stander, Falcon 3 Major Sivu Tangana, Falcon 4 Bheki Shabangu and GLO Captain Xander Albasini.

(Photo by Brian Emmenis)

The Puma Flying Lions followed with their display showing off the Harvard T6 aircraft capabilities in the fabulously clear skies over Newcastle. Leading the team was Scully Levin with team members Arnie Meneghelli and Sean Thackwray.

Gary Whitecross performed a graceful aerobatic display with his glider.

Nigel Hopkins took to the clear skies with an impressive aerobatic display, showing the crowd the capabilities of the Extra 330.

The tradition of racing a plane against a car was taken to a new level this year when Nigel Hopkins raced the Extra 300 against a dragster.

A parachute drop from the SAAF 44 Sqaudron CASA C212 AVIOCAR by the Golden Eagles parachute team kept the crowd entertained.

A SAAF 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen and navigator LT Col Marc “Bluebird” Wilson wowed the crowd with a very fast paced display. The speed and noise from the fighter jet always gets peoples attention and creates a lot of excitement. This was third appearance of the Gripen at the Newcastle air shows and for the second year in a row.

The iconic Pitts Specials of the Goodyear Eagles team performed their aerobatic routine, which is always a great display to watch. The four ship team was lead by Glen Warden with team members Johan van Solms, Dennis Spence and Jason Beamish.

A Magni Gyrocopter flown by Andre van Zyl was next up and he put the gyrocopter through an impressive display showing just how maneuverable the gyrocopter is.

Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Extra 300 in an aerobatic routine that certainly impressed everyone.

An Embraer E190 from Airlink surprised the crowd with an appearance, giving the crowd a good close up look at the jet.

Team Xtreme put on a high energy aerobatic display which really had the crowd going. They performed their routine which included the signature knife-edge fly past and a double knife-edge (two aircraft together) and if that was not enough, they did a double knife-edge side by side!

Lunch time saw the runway being used for some drag races.

After lunch saw the L29 flown by Glen Warden put through it’s paces. Always a good display of this fine jet.

The Raptor RV’s took to the skies and performed a great display for the crowd.

Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman, adding a touch of the olden day pilots with an impressive scarf!

The Goodyear Eagles with the Pitts Specials gave the crowd another beautiful display of aerobatic showmanship.

The Raptor RV’s then paired up with Team Xtreme to show us just how good they are, with an impressive 8 aircraft flying their display in very close formation. Truly a sight to behold.

The aircraft then split up with Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish giving the crowd some more precision flying demonstrations which included a few more signature double knife edge passes down the runway.

The iconic World War 2 fighter P51 Mustang, Mustang Sally flown by Menno Parsons showed the crowd the might and speed of this beautiful aircraft. The whistling of the air over the gun barrels always makes an impression to remember.

The Glider flown by Gary Whitecross took to the skies to give us a graceful display of flight. Barrie Eeles gave us a solo display in his Extra 330.Good to see Barrie back at Airshows once again!

The South African Airforce display team, the Silver Falcons gave us a late afternoon display. Always a great crowd pleaser and their stunningly professional display did not disappoint.

Closing the show was a parachute drop at sunset which was stunningly beautiful against the setting sun.

A huge congratulations to the organisers on achieving an attendance of over 12 000 people! The entire airshow committee lead by Johan Pieters worked hard to give us a great show and they gave us a winner! A big thank you to Christo Van Der Vyver and all the airshow committee members for their hard work. The Air Show director Rikus Erasmus, Safety Director and SAAF safety officer Col Francois “Hose” Hanekom,Grant Timms as Ramp Controller, ATC for keeping everything running smoothly and safely. All the pilots and ground crews, all the emergency and police services keep the public and crews safe.

Thanks to Mark Mansfield for managing the media and to Capital Sounds, Brian Emmenis and his team that gave excellent Airshow commentary and the sound that was heard nice and clear throughout and to the South African Air force providing aircraft and promoting and restoring National pride to our country. To all the stakeholders who sponsored the show, this last paragraph is for all the unsung hero’s mentioned above who make these country Airshows possible. We look forward to the 10 year anniversary of the Newcastle Airshow next year.