Tag Archives: Oryx Helicopter

Another Successful rescue for 15 Squadron

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 11h57, Wednesday, 06th May, NSRI Durban duty crew and Netcare 911 ambulance services were placed on alert for a pending mission to patient evacuate an ill sailor suffering a medical condition (not Covid-19 related) off a bulk carrier motor vessel approaching Durban.8

At 12h45 an SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, a ShipsMed doctor, Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and NSRI Durban rescue swimmers were activated and preparations, including Port Health Authority authorisations, were set in motion.

The SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, carrying 2 SAAF pilots, a SAAF flight engineer, 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, a ShipsMed doctor and 2 NSRI rescue swimmers rendezvoused with the ship 7 nautical miles off-shore of Park Rynie, KZN South Coast.

A rescue swimmer, the doctor and a rescue paramedic were winch hoisted from the helicopter onto the ship and the doctor and the rescue paramedic took over medical care of the patient, a 43 year old Filipino sailor, from the ships medical crew.

A second rescue paramedic was winch hoisted onto the ship with a Stokes basket stretcher and the patient, in a serious but stable condition, was secured into the stretcher and winch hoisted with one of the rescue paramedics into the helicopter.

The remaining rescue crew were winch hoisted into the helicopter and in the care of the doctor and the 2 rescue paramedics, who continued with medical treatment to the patient in the helicopter, the patient was airlifted directly to a Durban hospital and he has been taken into the care of hospital staff.

All Covid-19 precautions and protocols were observed during the operation.

NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Netcare 911 ambulance services, ShipsMed, Transnet National Ports Authority and Port Health Authorities assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation.

The operation completed at 17h20.

15 Squadron Extract Patient Off The Queen Mary Two!

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:
At 17h10, Thursday, 02 April, NSRI Port Elizabeth, NSRI East London and NSRI Durban were placed on alert following reports from MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of a 58 year old British man requiring medical evacuation off the Queen Mary 2 following a medical emergency (not Covid19 related) with the patient suffering a medical condition.

A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor had spoken to the ships medical team and it was deemed necessary for a patient evacuation to a hospital as soon as possible.

At that stage the ship was approximately 20 nautical miles off-shore of Morgans Bay, on the Transkei coastline, and after investigating options MRCC re-routed the ship to head in a direction towards Durban and an SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, NSRI Durban rescue swimmers and a Netcare 911 ambulance services rescue paramedical team were activated to prepare for the rescue operation 216 nautical miles South West of Durban.

NSRI bases along the East Coast, NSRI Durban, NSRI Shelly Beach, NSRI Port Edward and NSRI East London were placed on high alert to be on stand-by during the helicopter patient evacuation operation.

At 19h00 the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, carrying 4 SAAF crew, 2 NSRI rescue swimmers and 3 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics departed Durban.

On arrival at the ship, at 21h36, in challenging conditions with 25 knot North Easterly winds gusting to 34 knots and 2 meter swells, an NSRI rescue swimmer and 2 Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were hoisted onto the Queen Mary 2 and they received the patient from the ships medical crew and the patient was secured into a Stokes basket stretcher and hoisted into the helicopter, and he was airlifted, in a stable condition and in the care of the Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, to a hospital in Durban, arriving at the hospital at 23h38, for further medical care.

NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, NSRI Durban Station 5 duty controllers, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Transnet Port Health Authorities and TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) assisted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in the coordination, communication and logistics during the operation.

The operation completed at 00h04.

-ENDS-

TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE

Released by:

15 Squadron Extract Sick Crewman Off Durban Coast

15 Squadron received  a call saying there’s a male person on a ship with cerebral malaria. With the ongoing spread of Coronavirus the risk of the Ships being allowed to dock in the nearby Durban Harbour was a no go.

The vessel CONRAD  is a Bulk Carrier built in 2017 (3 years old) and currently sailing under the flag of Liberia.

Bulk Carrier Vessel CONRAD

A SAAF Oryx Helicopter part of the 15 Squadron helicopter asset was to the Rescue as a need  to get the patient off the ship. Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Fraser Officer Commanding  15 Squadron, Major Altaaf Sheik and Flight Sargent Ryan Naidoo together with three members from Netcare 911 flew out to the ship 12nm from the coast and hoisted members of the Netcare personnel onto the vessel (called the “Conrad”). The man was  stabilized, ventilated and other  other necessary precautions were put in place  while the Oryx Helicopter remained in the holding position in the versinity of the ship.

20 minutes had passed and the Oryx was called back from a NSRI vessel which was also on scene to to communicate with both the Oryx crews, the ship and the NSRI. On the ship the patient was ready for extrication. The Oryx proceeded into the hover over the helipad again and hoisted the medics and the patient onboard and flew him to St Augustines hospital in Durban.

Once again 15 Squadron pulled off a successful sea extraction and saved a life. 15 Squadron is based at the old Durban International Airport and is home to Agusta A109LUHs and Oryx Helicopters, with their sister base in Airforce Station Port Elizabeth home to 15 Squadron “Charlie” Flight flying BK117s.

As 15 Squadron says
“The first 15 the rest are reserves “

The South African Airforce Involved in a Joint Sea Rescue Mission In Cape Town

The South African Air Force (SAAF) received a request for sea rescue assistance from the South African Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to rescue 13 people who were on-board a rubber duck boat that capsized between Clifton beach and Oudekraal in Cape Town.

The Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant General Zimpande Msimang has since authorised 22 Squadron, based at Air Force Base (AFB) Ysterplaat to join other sea rescue entities involved in the joint sea rescue efforts.  

A SAAF Oryx helicopter crew (Major Juan-Pierrie du Preez – pilot, Major Tebogo Selepe – Co-pilot and Warrant Officer Gerard Usher – Flight engineer), managed to rescue two (2) survivors and brought them to safety. The remaining people who were on-board the ill-fated inflatable boat are still unaccounted for and a joint sea and land rescue mission is ongoing to locate them. 

SAAF Oryx Helicopter in the Big Apple

The year was 1996,it was a combined exercise with the North Atlantic Fleet, held in the Caribbean, there after a visit to Northfolk, New York and Newport R.I.

Who would ever think the SAAF would have an oryx flying over the statue of liberty. Well that is now one of the memories of the crew of Oryx 1238 can remember for times to come!

22 Squadron Oryx

In 1996, Drakensberg became the first SAN vessel in over 20 years to visit the United States, when it called at the ports of Norfolk, Newport and New York City, which followed a naval exercise with over 25 other vessels at the US Navy’s base at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico.

SAS DRAKENSBERG

In 1996 the Navy’s most respected grey diplomat, SAS Drakensberg would return to the USA.

The Drakensberg left Simon’s Town on 14 June 1996 and participated with approximately 25 other warships from seventeen countries in naval manoeuvres, referred to as “Operation Unitas”, the ship visited the large US naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, as well as New York and Newport. Here she is seen alongside Staten Island in 1996.

Oryx 1238 was onboard SAS Drakensberg as she sailed the seas and played a vital role in the combined exercise with other navy vessals.

22 Squadron is a helicopter Squadron based at Airforce Base Ysterplaat in the Western Cape. The squadron has operated the Oryx Helicopter for many years now, and recently took delivery of the four Westland Super Lynx Mk64s helicopters for use aboard the South African Navy’s new Valour Class Frigates that were delivered on 13 July 2007. 

The squadron was formed in Durban on 1 July 1942 by renaming 31 Flight to 22 (Torpedo-Bomber-Reconnaissance) Squadron. It was equipped with ex-SAA Ju52 Junkers as well as a number of Avro Ansons and was assigned to anti-submarine, coastal reconnaissance and convoy support duties

22 Squadron insignia

Armed Forces Day 2020 Capability Demonstration |Night Shoot- Roodewal Bombing Range

The most anticipated event of the Armed Forces Week taking place in Polokwane had to be the capability demonstration at the Roodewal Bombing Range a few kilometres outside the Limpopo capital Polokwane.

Guests were flown up to Polokwane by a charted aircraft,where they were then bused to the bombing range,to witness some of the different assets the South African National Defence Forces Firepower!

The display of arms started with various vehicles showing their fire power, that being the Ratel 90,Olifant MK2 battle tanks are just to name a few.Pathfinders were then dropped into the battle zone as that was the beginning of the mechanised attack from different mechanised armored vehicles, air assets and other ground forces.

Ratel 90
Olifant mk2

The South African Airforce are big favourites at Roodewal as this is the home to 2 Squadron and 85 Combat Flying School as their weapons training grounds. An Oryx Helicopter simulated a fire fighting task, with a Bambi bucket equipped underneath the helicopter.

Oryx Helicopter

The fighters assets provided a recce run, with a single gripen and hawk. A 2v1 combat routine was then shown by two friendly JAS39C Gripens and a enemy Hawk Mk120.

Hawk & Gripen Formation
2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

Trooping was tasked to a pair of Oryx helicopters with fast ropping, followed by two Agusta A109 helicopters providing a mock hoisting operation from a downed pilot scenario.

Agusta A109LUH

From the transport line including 44 Squadron with a single Casa 212 simulated a tactical cargo supply drop. A 41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan was the eye in the sky providing top cover footage to both the spectators and playing a vital role during the entire period of the demonstration with aerial visuals to the coordinators of the simulated battle zone.

44 Squadron Casa 212
41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan

The invited guests were treated to see 2 different 16 Squadron Rooivalks in camo and in white, the proudly south African made helicopter provided both cannon and rocket fire gun runs during the demo.

16 Squadron Rooivalk rocket strike!
16 Squadron Rooivalk

Bombing runs were then up next ,with Hawks and Gripens and then followed by a 30mm Aden cannon strike from four Hawks on Charlie Coke known to the pilots as the famous weapons strike zone!

Hawk Bomb Run
The Aftermath
Hawk 30mm Cannon

The night shoot was made up of all arms of ground forces fire power at Roodewal,as well as a cannon and rocket strike from a Rooivalk Helicopter. A single gripen flew directly over the crowd with full afterburner as it reached for the Limpopo night skies filled with dropping flares,a oryx helicopter following next with a flare drop to close off this years Armed Forces Day Capability demonstration.

Oryx Helicopter Flares

A very big well done to all members of the South African National Defence Force that made the event possible and abling the media to attend these exciting demo’s!

22 Squadron to the Rescue-Toitskloof Western cape

Big wall rescue for Base Jumper this past weekend in the Cape. Rescue 37 of 2020 for the Western Cape teams.

Picture by Brett Jennings/MCSA

A foreigner was critically injured after striking a cliff while BASE jumping in Du Toitskloof near Cape Town.

Picture-MCSA

A small WSAR team of 3 (2 medics and a climber) were deployed with the AMS (Western Cape Government Department of Heath) helicopter just before dark on the 14th. They abseiled 170m to the patient, where a Metro ALS Paramedic stabilised the patient overnight on the cliff face.

Picture by MCSA

At first light on the 15th 21 members of MCSA Mountain Rescue team assembled as part of a greater WSAR team.

A South African Air Force (SAAF) Oryx helicopter from 22 Squadron Airforce Base Ysterplaat inserted a MCSA Technical Rescue Climbing team, who assisted in retrieving the patient, the gear as well as the rest of the team on the cliff face.

After extraction the patient was treated at the landing Zone by doctors and paramedics then flown by AMS Air Ambulance Agusta A119 to Cape Town for further urgent treatment.

On behalf of the MCSA and patient we would like to extend our gratitude to the South African Airforce!

22 Squadron Oryx Helicopter

We wish the patient a speedy recovery.Thank you to the MCSA for the upbove detailed wording on the weekends rescue operation!

South African Airforce Prestige Day 2020

The South African Airforce Prestige Day was held at Airforce Base Swartkop, the second oldest operational Airforce Base in the world to date, in Pretoria on Friday 31 January 2020.

AFB Swartkop

The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War. This years theme of celebrating the South African Airforce, is “embracing our collective heritage”.

The parade was opened by a paradrop from two 44 Squadron Casa 212s with a number of skydivers from the Golden Eagles Parachute display team and the Pretoria Military Skydiving Members, including the big South African flag.

22 Squadron Lynx Helicopter

Part of General Fabian Msimang’s speech he mentioned:

“Formation of the Union of South Africa’s Air Force
In 1917 sent by Prime Minister General Louis Botha to London to attend the Imperial Conference, General Jan Smuts presented a report to the British Parliament which became known as the ‘Smuts Report’ stated, inter alia;”


“Air Service on the contrary, can be used as an independent means of war operations far from and independently of, both Army and Navy.”
General Jan Smuts soon summoned Sir Pierre van Ryneveld to London and was told:

Chief of the South African Airforce General Fabian Msimang
Chaplin Smit reads a beautful testimony


“I want you to go back out to South Africa and start an air force”. 
Subsequently, South Africa received an Imperial Gift that comprised of 113 aircraft and included steel frames for 20 hangars and everything else required to start and operate an air force. The consignment was sent here to where we currently stand, an airfield that was named Swartkop, the oldest active military airfield in the world today.  Some of the Imperial Gift Hangars are still in daily use as you can see.

Prestige Day 2020 Mass Flypasts

During the parade we got to wintness some spectacular flypasts from both ex and current South African Airforce aircraft, a mass helicopter formation led by a 16 squadron Rooivalk attack helicopter. Other types of helicopters included Oryx, Lynx, Agusta A109s from various chopper squadron across South Africa. The SAAF Museum also were a part of the formation with a Puma, two Alouette IIs and Alouette IIIs.

SAAF Helicopter Formation
A pair of 16 Squadron Rooivalk, Museum Puma, Agusta A109LUH & Oryx Helicopter
Agusta A109LUH
Oryx Helicopter
16 Squadron Rooivalk & Museum Alouette II

The next formation included two museum aircraft assests, a Kudu and Cessna C185, followed by a formation of Harvards.The Transport formation was up next led by a 35 Squadron C47TP Dakota, with three 41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravans and two 44 Squadron Casa 212s making up the formation.

Museum C4.M Kudu & Cessna C185
Museum Harvard’s
35 Squadron C47TP Dakota, Leads a trio of 41 Squadron Cessna C208A Caravans & 44 Squadron Casa 212s
35 Squadron C47TP Dakota

The sound of freedom was then up next with the roar of the Hawk and Gripen formation as they buzzed overhead the parade made up of 85 Combat School and 2 Squadron assets. The Final flypast was led by a 21 Squadron Boeing 737BBJ, A Dassault Falcon 50 and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

Fighter Formation 2 Squadron Gripens & 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
Fighter Formation 2 Squadron Gripens & 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120s
21 Squadron Boeing 737BBJ,A Dassault Falcon 50 and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

The prestige unit of the year for the South African Airforce from 2019 was presented to AFB Ysterplaat as part of the Prestige Unit award.

AFB Ysterplaat awarded the Prestige unit trophy.

The parade concluded with Fledglings releasing doves and balloons while the SAAF announcer read out, “We will keep whirling and twirling from the sky. White doves fly into our hearts, embracing our Air Force heritage. Carrying messages of goodwill. We will sing forever young and free. We will be an Air Force that inspires confidence.”

Releasing doves and balloons with future Airforce Members

SAAF Museum Flying Day 1 February 2020

The First flight training day for the year 2020 at Airforce Base Swartkop was different this year, it was the South African Airforce’s birthday, which was founded on the 1 February 1920.

Museum Alouette III

With the Prestige Day parade held the day before at Airforce Base Swartkop, many of the aircraft that took part in the mass flypast were present and gave the visiting public a glance at both static and departing aircraft returing to their home bases across South Africa.

22 Squadron Super Lynx

The Usual museum aircraft such as the many Museum Harvards, Patchen Explorer, Cessna C185, Kudu and Alouette II, III as well as the Puma continued with currency flights in between display slots.

SAAF Museum Harvard’s
SAAF Museum Cessna C185

Friends of the SAAF Museum sold Boere Wors Rolls, Refreshments and held guided tours of the airforce heritage displays located on the base premises.The windsock Café was also open for cool and hot refrements throughout the day.

The days proceedings started with a short display by a 35 Squadron C47TP Martime Dakota from AFB Ysterplaat in Cape Town. Major Paul “Raccoon” Kempthorn flew one of the best Rooivalk displays that we have witnessed in a long time.

35 Squadron C47TP
16 Squadron Rooivalk
16 Squadron Rooivalk

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 84 led by new team lead Major Sivu Tangana showed off the tight formation aerobatics of four Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons
Pilatus PC7MKII

Two Cessna C208A Caravans from 41 Squadron, who operates out of neighbouring Airforce Base Waterkloof, gave a short formation display. Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter flew his second airshow display as he is now the new Hawk display pilot for 85 Combat Flying School.

41 Squadron Cessna C208A Caravans
85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120
85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120
2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper flew a great display in the JAS39C Gripen before heading back to Airforce Base Makhado in the Limpopo Province.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen

The Museum Helicopter assets including the Alouettes II and IIIs closed the flying day with their helicopter display, with a big chance of seeing them do it again on 9th May 2020 at The SAAF Museum Airshow.

SAAF Museum Puma & Alouette III
SAAF Museum Alouette III

Well done to the Museum staff and AFB Swartkop on providing a different flying day as a gift to the public on the South African Airforce Birthday!

Please Browse through our Gallery Below!

15 Squadron Choppers conduct another successful sea rescue off Durban coast!

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 09h30, Tuesday, 07th January, NSRI Durban, Netcare 911 ambulance services and the SA Air Force (SAAF), were tasked by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to prepare to respond to rendezvous with a Heavy Lift Vessel, that was approaching Durban, to assist 5 adult Brazilian male crewmen suffering injuries sustained in an accident onboard.

A Brazilian adult male crewman suffered fatal injuries in the accident and on the ship’s Captain’s request the body of the deceased man would remain onboard the ship.

MRCC had arranged a Western Cape Government Health EMS duty doctor to provide medical advice to the ship’s medics while the ship diverted from deep-sea and headed towards Durban.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications.

A SAAF BK-117, 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, helicopter was tasked to respond to Durban from Port Elizabeth and a 2nd SAAF helicopter, a SAAF Oryx, 15 Squadron, helicopter, was made ready at Durban while the ship came closer to Durban.

15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK117

At 16h42 the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie launched from our Durban Sea Rescue station, accompanied by a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and an IPSS rescue paramedic, to respond towards the ship to stand-by on the scene.

At 17h30 the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and an NSRI medic and the SAAF 15 Squadron, Charlie Flight, BK-117 helicopter, accompanied by two NSRI rescue swimmers, responded from Durban.

Oryx Helicopter

On arrival on the scene, 28 nautical miles off-shore East of Durban, the SAAF Oryx helicopter landed on the ship’s helicopter pad.

The SAAF BK-117 helicopter and the sea rescue craft stood-by on the scene while Netcare 911 rescue paramedics and the NSRI medic took over care of the 5 patients from the ships medical crew and the patients were transferred into the Oryx helicopter.

Medical treatment continued in the helicopter and the 5 patients, 1 in a critical condition and 4 in stable conditions, were airlifted to a hospital in Durban.

On behalf of all services involved Condolences are conveyed to family, friends and colleagues of the deceased man.

It has been confirmed that all 5 patients are in stable conditions and they are recovering in hospital.

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