Tag Archives: P51 Mustang Sally

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!

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

The Elders Flight 2019-Rand Airport

The second edition of The Elders Flight ,saw 120 elders took to the skies above Johannesburg on the 30th November.

Some of the elders have flown in a commercial aircraft before while some that have never before even stood close to an aircraft at all, but this event gave the incredible chance to tick off their bucket list at Rand Airport on a hot early morning to join many others that would all experience a day to remember.

Rand Airport ATC Tower

The brain child of the event Felix Gosher a contract Pilot from Zambia,gathered the aviation community and other business to put together a day for our precious eldery South African Citizens.

Felix Gosher
Menno Parsons & Felix Gosher

A pilots briefing was held in Rands former customs hall by Lieutenant Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom from the South African Airforce who was Safety Director for the day.Both Netcare 911 and Rand Airports Emergency Services were on Standby for the event if any situation had to occur.

Lieutenant Colonel Francois ‘Hose’ Hanekom

The excited passengers who met up at Harvard Café in Rand Airports Terminal building for breakfast before heading out for a flight, were firstly treated to gift bags and entertained by the Trinity House High School music department while not to be outdone by the Abrue Band.

Former Mirage F1CZ pilot Arthur Douglas Piercy was also present as well as Tony Smith former Officer Commanding of the South African Airforce Museum.

Trinity House High School

The Fleet

Both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters provided short circuits ,from the likes of an Alouette II and III ,flown by Rob Osner and Charles Fuller.

Two Robinson R44s flown by Ross McTaggart and Mischel Frlijack. The striking Colour Scheme of Menno Parsons Huey was also part of the helicopter contingency.

Brakpan based Alouette II and III Helicopters
R44s
Huey

The fixed wing aircraft consisted of a Piaggio Albatross,Cessna C172,Cessna210,Cessna 140,De Havilland Tiger Moth, Mooney M20J,MF17 Mushak, Bush Baby and much more!

Piaggio Albatross
Cessna 210
Cessna 140
Tiger Moth
MF17 Mushak

Flying Display by the Puma Flying Lions

Once all elders had their flights for the days proceedings, the guests were treated to a short display by the Puma Flying Lions flown by Scully Levin and Arnie Meneghelli.

Puma Flying Lions
Puma Flying Lions

The final flight of the day was to see Menno Parsons Mustang Sally take to the skies with Retired Captain Alister Sinclair Rae who was a former P51D pilot who served the South African Airforce in the Korean War.

As the Jeppe High School for Boys and Girls Pipe band created an arch as the former 2 Squadron Pilot walked out to fly in a Mustang once again!

Retired Captain Alister Sinclair Rae & Menno Parsons
Jeppe Pipe Band
The only airworthy P51D Mustang left in South Africa, such an honour to see this aircraft at Airshow around Southern Africa!
P51D Mustang

A big well done to Felix Gosher,Menno Parsons all sponsors and helping hands in a safe and great event.

Thanks to all on giving back to the community, to all the pilots and behind the scenes personnel in making dreams a reality and pilots making their aircraft available for the day at this year’s Elders Fight.

“Our Collective Heritage” SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

D-Day for the annual South African Airforce Museum Airshow 2019 had finally arrived at the worlds second oldest operational airbase in the world, Airforce Base Swartkop which is home to the South African Airforce Museum and 17 Squadron a operational helicopter unit also active at the base. The Theme for this years show was “Our Collective Heritage” this is to celebrate and recognise the procurement of our past and present in the SAAF.

Both Umkhonto we Sizwe ( MK ) and Azanian Peoples Liberation Army (AMPLA) sent their pilots abroad to train on aircraft including Cessna 150s and L39s.Helicopter Pilots were sent to Russia for their rotary wings course flying both the MI24 Hind and Mil Mi8 Helicopters.

Former homelands in South Africa known as the TBVC Sates, which were the Transkei, Bophuthatswana, Venda and the Ciskei had their very own Airwings which operated light transport aircraft, helicopter and turbo prop trainers including Pilatus PC7 MKIs just some of the few of their air assets. This was also a perfect occasion to celebrate the theme our collective heritage as mentioned above.

The SAAF Museum Airshow was opened by the Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang. Who flew in one of the Museum Alouette III, General Msimang a former helicopter pilot mentioned in his speech “The purpose of the Museum Air Show is primarily to celebrate our collective heritage, as well as a build up towards the Aerospace and Defence Expo in September 2020.”

The South African Airforce Band, choreographed some beautiful sets of instrumental music for the opening of the show and kept the public entertained during the course of the day with sights and sounds of military men and women putting together their talent of music.

With the low cloud base in the morning of the show, the Golden Eagles Parachute display team were unfortunate not allowed to jump out of the 44 Squadron Casa 212 based at Airforce Base Waterkloof.

Air boss for this years show was Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King a former leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Display team. Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis had a huge deployment with at least a kilometre of speakers, so that the strong 30 000 plus crowd could hear commentary from both Brian Emmenis, Leon Du Plessis, Colonel Lance “Lancelot” Mathebula,Colonol Catherine “Siren” Constable, Major Dale Naddison,Lieutenant Colonel Iwan Robbertse, Captain Tiisetso “Lego” Legodi and Major Mandisa “Comet” Mfeka.

The Silver Aerobatic Display team opened he show with their flat display with Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane at the lead. The Museums Helicopter’s were next with a aerial ballet from both the Alouette II and Alouette III.A solo display by the Puma, flown by General John Church.

The First jet display for the day was the Museums Vampire T55 flown by Colonel Glen “Gringo” Warden. Glen also flew the Rand Airport Based L29 and L39 adding to the eastern block jet age.

South African Airforce Displays consisted of a Hawk MK120 flown by Lieutenant Colonel Craig “Shark” Leeson, as he gave his last display as 85 Combat Flying Schools display pilot. Major Rehan “Kaine” Venter will be taking over as the Hawk display pilot. Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper put the Gripen JAS39C through its paces with a flare drop at the end of his display.41 Squadron provide a formation display of a Pilatus PC12 and two Cessna 208A Caravans.17 Squadron provided a Oryx Capability demonstration with fast roping and troop extracting. A combat air routine was also carried out by two Hawk MK120s and a JAS39D Gripen fully loaded with ammunition was surly a favourite to see flying in that configuration.

The South African Airforce Museum put on a mini war re -enactment with two Alouette IIIs, Puma,two Cessna C185s,A Kudu and Bosbok. The Museum and Harvard Club T6 Harvard’s flew a mass radial display with a mass shutdown at the end of their slot.

Team Extreme were also present on the day as they have delighted more than hundreds of thousands of people at airshows in Southern Africa this year already. Other Aerobatic teams that were present were the Goodyear Eagles Pitts, The Cows Pitts Specials and the Puma Flying Lions. The MAD Microlight display team also closed the show with LED lights and smoke added to their trikes.

Singleton displays consisted of a Magni Gyro Copter flown by Andre van Zyl, The Nashua Extra 300 flown by Andrew Blackwood Murry. Menno Parsons made a welcome return to Swartkop this year with his P51D Mustang.The radial formation made up of ‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill as well as a Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and Riaan Prinsloo in his Yak 18T.Each of the radials then provided a solo display. The Classic Formation made up of a De Havilland Tiger Moth and two Chipmunks added to the De Havilland Aircraft heritage. Anton von Willich flew a display in his Aerospatiale Gazelle. General Des Barker flew a demo flight in the Wonderboom based Atlas Angel.

As the Gripen closed off the show with a sunset display, ending off with flares into the dark blue skies. Another successful and safe Swartkop Airshow had come to an end. With the short amount of time the SAAF Museum and the SAAF had to pull off a great show with a variety of aircraft on display, a big well done to all involved from Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang Chief of the SAAF, Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies Officer commanding SAAF Museum, Lieutenant Colonel Trish Schoeman Officer Commanding Airforce Base Swartkop, Lieutenant Colonel Rodney King Flight Director for the show, Major Ntokozo Ntshangase as the media liaison for the SAAF Museum, Capital Sounds and to all display pilots, ground crews ATCs and all other role players behind the scenes that made the show a success.

Until we all meet again at the 2020 SAAF Museum Airshow and celebrate 100 years of the South African Airforce “As the SAAF Museum like to say Keep them up where they’re belong!”

Watch some of the highlights below from this years SAAF Museum Airshow 2019!

https://youtu.be/dN8xcu63kLc