Tag Archives: Pitts Special

Eswatini Ligwalagwala Airshow 2019

With the shadows of the different plateaus the Matsapha International airport situated near the town of Mbabane. The Kingdom of Eswatini hosted a successful airshow ,as hundreds flocked to the airport to see South African displays teams both civilian and the South African Airforce as well as the Airforce of Zimbabwe in action.

For both the South African Airforce and the Airforce of Zimbabwe, this was a big deployment for both countries. This was one of the first shows that the South African Airforce have attended a cross border show since 2006,where the SAAF attended a airshow in Maputo Mozambique.

Matsapha Airport Apron and Tower

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and his wife , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini who also flew the Alouette in the parade and many other VIPS attended the show.

The Chief of the South African Airforce Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang and some of the youth that visited the airport the day before the show!

Hot and humid, but perfectly clear skies, the show began with the ever popular Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by ex South African Airways Captain Dennis Spence flying with his team of Pitts S2Bs.Soon after the Prince of Eswatini flew one of the Eswatini Airwing Alouette III Helicopters as a cavalcade of emergency vehicles to promenade , the show as it was opened. Dennis Spence also raced a car with one of the Pitts Specials where the aircraft won the race!

Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials
Eswatini Air Wing Alouette III

Capital Sounds super team, Brian Emmenis and Elvis Manene once again pulled off excellent commentary on both aircraft and pilots in command during all show slots. Other team member’s who helped make sure sound was the number one priority to get out to the public was Eric Nkomo,Wesley van Zyl and Daniel Mashego,Ricky Fouche, Keith Fryer was air boss for the show, with Keith Andrew as Ramp director with the help of Matsapha airport officials.

Brian Emmenis and team working hard
Capital Sounds
Capital Sounds in tradition dresses causes a stir at border post, huge applause goes out for local team as Eswatini border officials felt as they were being honoured!

The South African Airforce displayed the new team 83 of the Silver Falcons who flew all the way from their home at Central Flying School Airforce Base Langebaanweg with the outgoing lead Major Omphile Matolane,Sivu Tangana,Bheki Shabungu and newbie in the team Major Lehlonoholo Malokane.

SAAF Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 83
Silver Falcons Omphile Matloane
Pilatus PC7MKII

Other South African Airforce assets included a 44 Squadron Casa 212 from AFB Waterkloof and a 19 Squadron Oryx Helicopter. The Oryx provided a fast roping demonstration as well as a short capability demo of the helicopter itself. The crew for the Oryx were Major Altaaf Sheik and Co-pilot Lieutenant Colonel Stefan King, the Flight engineer Flight Sargent Justice Mthombeni .The Golden Eagles Parachute display team also were present with Adventure Skydive member’s making up the large paradrop.

44 Squadron CASA 212
SAAF Oryx
SAAF & Adventure Skydive Members
Exciting the CASA 212

The Airforce of Zimbabwe brought two K8 jet trainers one for static and one for a flying display. Their ground crews were brought in by a Casa 212,which was also utilised for the parachute jump.

Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 Jet Trainer
K8 display pilots
Airforce of Zimbabwe Casa 212

Team Extreme led by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Mark Sampson and Mark Hensmen flew their high energy tight aerobatic routine with a knife edge pass making an easy photo to get with the modern cell phone.

Team Extreme
Jason Beamish in his Extra 330

Menno Parsons brought his P51D Mustang Sally, a first for Eswatini to have this beautiful warbird have her gun barrels whistling during her display. Menno’s team also brought a Pilatus PC12 for static display.

P51D “Mustang Sally”
P51D “Mustang Sally”

Radial engines also echoed through the hills near Matsapha Airport with Ivan van der Schaar in his Randolph Sponsored Boeing Stearmen. Little Annie the Anotnov An2 flown by Mark and Jon-Marc Hill flew a solo routine with a surprise marshmallow drop as the crowds roared with tears and joy as marshmallows fell from the sky. Little Annie also raced one of the airports Tractor vehicles where things got tight in the race which led the worlds biggest bi-plane to win!

Boeing Stearman
Antonov 2 “Little Annie”

To the Eswatini people, I’m sure you enjoyed your airshow as we did. A huge congratulations must go out to the organisers , HRH Prince Sicalo Dlamini Capital Sounds,Calinyasti Kunene,Eswatini Defence Force, Eswatini CAA and to all pilots and ground crews for a safe show. Until next year, we cant wait!

SA National Aerobatic Championships- Klerksdorp 2019

The South African National Aerobatic Championships took place at the P.C Pelser Airport in Klerksdorp Airport in the North West Province. The event started on the 19 June to the 22nd June 2019. The familiar duck dances seen by pilots before strapping themselves into their aircraft as they went through their sequences before entering the imaginary box in the sky.
Read more on the Klerksdorp Airshow 2019 here…

Barrie Eeles before his slot

Klerksdorp Airport provides a number of convenient runways both tar and gravel, for most aerobatic taildragger aircraft, which made it easy access for aircraft flying in and out during the course of the week from Gauteng Airfields and other neighboring provinces.

South African Weather reports did say a nasty cold front was to make landfall over the weekend of the end of the nationals and airshow, but luckily enough we were blessed with all days of the championships having clear skies, hot temperatures and cold nights, while overnighting aircraft were tucked away in hangers and not having to clear frost off canopy’s.

Slick 360

Sportsman

 1Chris JoubertZlin 50ZS-OKZ1113.591120.121231.201552.285017.2083.620
 2Johan Van SolmsPittsZS-MZY1028.301065.541189.221433.684716.7478.612
 3Machiel Du PleesRV 7ZU-WMW1033.731070.341155.831427.094686.9978.116
 4Jonty EsserYak 52ZU-DSI995.201036.501147.411427.744606.8576.781
 5Alex CaigeZlin 50ZS-OKZ995.201010.361103.461389.244498.2674.971
 6Tobie KockYak 52ZU-DSI973.01735.711064.03727.983500.7358.346
Yak 52

Intermediate

Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Steve BrownSlick 360ZU-DXX1906.761831.431934.912362.588035.6981.663
 2Glen WardenSlick 360ZU-MDA1825.711657.922089.262353.457926.3480.552
 3Jason BeamishExtra 330LXZS-EXT1795.331716.881988.352271.837772.4078.988
 4Dustin HughesZlin 50ZS-OKZ1801.031796.321874.032273.377744.7578.707
 5Andrew Blackwood-MurrayExtra 300ZS-AEC1725.191635.071889.842233.107483.2076.049
 6Trevor WarnerPittsZU-WIZ1640.641536.591902.541994.807074.5771.896
 7Roger DeareExtra 300ZS-OLR1706.58633.801751.491145.765237.6453.228
Pitts S2E

Advanced

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Eugene Du PreezExtra 330SCZS-THS2853.902673.313026.413248.5111802.1382.590
 2Gary GlassonPitts FalconZU-FTP2875.322653.212992.353194.4411715.3281.983
 3Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2763.752620.262541.233186.8011112.0577.761
 4Pierre Du PlooyGiles 202ZU-ZOZ2771.102239.032827.113131.0910968.3276.755
 5Adam PucjlowskiZlin 50ZS-OKZ2511.372049.562775.482976.0810312.4972.166
 6Cliff LotterYak 55ZU-EHZ2612.531852.622767.892571.769804.8068.613
 7Kayle WoollExtra 300ZS-BDE2542.002131.352809.852249.579732.7668.109
 8Andrew FletcherZlin 50ZU-ZLN2509.931577.462361.062479.338927.7862.476
Giles 202

Unlimited

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3906.924266.464116.864404.6216694.8682.281
 2Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC3892.814215.823995.544480.3716584.5481.737
 3Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3856.053785.783962.484271.0615875.3678.242
Patrick Davidson in his brand new Redbull Gamebird

Freestyle

 Rank Pilot Aeroplane Registration 4m Free Totals O/all %
 1Nigel HopkinsExtra 330SCZS-XSC3409.973409.9785.249
 2Barrie EelesExtra 330SCZS-XBE3118.773118.7777.969
 3Patrick DavidsonGamebirdN536GC2990.312990.3174.758
 4Mark HensmanMX2N540MX2950.142950.1473.754
 5Mark SampsonXA41ZU-XAX2712.862712.8667.822
Nigel Hopkins in his Extra 330SC

Judges for the SAC 2019 National Championships. Note far backward position on chairs as not to strain the judge’s necks while looking up at the acrobatic box – Cellphone photos by Jonty Esser

A big congratulations goes to the Klerksdorp Airport, Competitors and Annie Boon, Contest Chief Judge John Gaillard, Scoring Director Natalie Stark. Judges John Gaillard, Quintin Hawthorne, Mike Stark, Johnnie Smith and Cindy Weber.

Cliff Lotter and Annie Boon

Also a huge thank you to Annie Boon and Cliff Lotter for Keeping Aviation Central up to date during the Champs, Jonty Esser for sending us Photos and videos to share on our Facebook page.

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Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow 2018

The 10th edition of the Africa Aerospace and Defence trade and airshow has come and gone, what was definitely the most exciting show we all looked forward to panned out to be a great success once again. The event took place over the 19th-23 September 2018 at Air force Base Waterkloof, Centurion, City of Tshwane.

AAD2018 Crowd

Static Park

The apron was full of aircraft and most of the hangers were full of all different companies showing off their technology to the world. The crowds were kept busy with all the walking through the halls and interacting with aircraft and pilots.

Crowds flocked to the gates around the base from the 22-23 September to get the best seat along the crowd line,this to insure they don’t miss any part of the exiting program Colonel Keith Fryer(flight director)  and Keith Andrews and their team put together to excite and show off air capabilities of the South African Airforce (SAAF). The Saturday show started off with the Sound of Freedom, that been the sound of jets, six Gripens from 2 Squadron and 3 Hawks from 85 Combat Flying School took to the skies and put a formation flypast over the crowds.What a way to start a airshow!

AAD2018 Crowd

With Airforce Base Swartkop down the road from Airforce Base Waterkloof, Swartkop was used as a second base for aircraft including the new microlight display team known as the Misasa Aerial Display-MAD Team. The team is made up of Adrienne Visser as lead, Pieter Kriel at the number two, Gary Heyenreich at number three, Gavin Van Der Berg at four and number five Marius Nel. It was great to see a microlight display team after the absence at airshows for some years now,we hope to see them on the regular airshow circuit in the future. There was a Airplane Factory Sling 4 and a Raven 500 formation Flypast.A mass Bathawk display was put on show, and is shown why its a great aircraft for Anti-Poaching missions.A light sky jeep was also thrown into the formation as well as the wagtail gyrocopter, all aircraft not shy to the African bush!

Raven 500

Wagtail

Capital Sounds once again had their ever hard working team at the event and this has to be the longest line of speakers that Capital has at a airshow in South Africa. Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis informed the crowd of each aircraft taking to the skies and brought a lot of the airshow vibe to Waterkloof.

Capital Sounds Team AAD2018

Capital Sounds

Lieutenant colonel Craig “Shark” Lesson once again did 85 Combat Flying School proud,as he put the Hawk Mk120 through its paces.The Officer Commanding 85 Combat Flying School displayed both one of the Flag Hawks’271′ and one of the grey aircraft during the course of AAD2018.Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua Extra 300 and Neville Ferriria flew his Slick 540 with a combined aerobatic sequence with high energy aerobatics and low knife edge passes so the crowd could capture the sleek lines on both aircraft. Neville Ferreria had just returned from Hungry where he is flying the Geneavation Aerobatic aircraft for the country. He is surely doing South Africa proud!

Hawk MK120 ‘Vlaggie’

Hawk MK120 ‘262’

Andrew Blackwood Murray Extra 300

Slick 540 Neville Ferreira

Paramount Groups AHRLAC aircraft did some tight formation flying and was defiantly a way to show it off to the worlds market of defence. Staying with the locally manufactured aircraft the 16 Squadron Rooivalk was put through its paces in the UN white livery by Major Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn, at the end of his display he released a large amount of flares,a great end to a display!

Paramount Group AHRLACs

Paramount Group AHRLACs

16 Squadron Rooivalk

16 Squadron Rooivalk

The Rand Airport based Puma Flying Lions  Harvards and Taillifts Cows Pitts Specials flew their usual display infront of the 45 000+ crowds.The SAAF Museum and Harvard Club Harvards and a single Douglas DC4 did a couple of formation Flypasts over the crowd and brought back many memory’s of the former SAAF trainer before the Harvard was replaced by the Pilatus PC7MKII. The DC4 then went onto doing a solo display flown by Captain Bill Good.

Puma Flying Lions Harvards

Taillifts Cows Aerobatic Pitts Team

Mass Radial Display

Harvard Club

Harvard Club

Douglas DC4

Douglas DC4

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team 82,put on a great display led by Major Omphile Matloane who received his Golden Wings  a couple of days before the start of AAD2018.Lt Colonel Glen Wraden flew the Aero L29 from AFB Swartkop, The Airforce of Zimbabwe K8 was also flown with a support CASA 212 on static display.

Silver Falcons

Silver Falcons PC7MKIIs

Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana

L29

L29

K8

K8

There were two mini-wars on the day of the show,both from the SAAF Museum and from the current SAAF inventory of aircraft.A vast amount of pyrotechnics and armored vehicles were used during the show.

SAAF Museum Bosbok and Cessna C185

Ratels

Oryx Helicopters

Top Cover Rooivalk and Hawks

Ivan van Der Schaar and Jon-Marc Hill, Juba Jourbet flew the Bi-plane formation that being a Boeing Stearman and Antonov 2 ‘Little Annie’.Later in the day Little Annie escorted by the Stearman dropped a large amount of Manhattan Marshmellows for the crowds.

AN2 and Boeing Stearman

AN2 ‘Little Annie’

Annie Drop AAD2018

AN2 marshmallow drop

2 Squadron was well represented at the show once again,we were able to see six Gripens in formation,two Gripens in the mini-war and a solo gripen display flown by Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper and a 2v1 combat routine.

2 Squadron Gripens

Gripen JAS39D flown by ‘Midnite’ and ‘Bluebird’

Gripens being flown by ‘Cipher’ and ‘Doberman’

28 Squadron was busy during the mini-war delivering troops into the simulated battle-zone, Lt Col Clint Hawtrey also gave one of the best C130BZ displays to date. What a display it was to witness!

C130BZ

C130BZ dropping flares

C130BZ during the mini-war

A huge of congrats must go to the organisers of AAD2018

Florence Musengi-AAD Chairperson

Simphiwe Hamilton-Excutive Director

Leon Dillman-CEO CAASA

Leona Redelinghuys-Exhibition Director

Marketing and Public Relations-Nakedi Phasha

Youth Development Program-Kholisile Khumalo

General Fabian Zimpande “Zakes” Msimang-Chief of the South African Airforce

The 11th Edition of Africa Aerospace and Defence, AAD2020, will take place 16 – 20 September 2020. 2020 SAAF and the Aero Club of South Africa will be celebrating their centenary birthdays and this creating lots of expectations among young and old to see a Super Show. All we can do is wait and see what they deliver and how many Countries except the invite to join South Africa on this centenary celebrations.

 

Click to enlarge photos below

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grand Rand Airshow 2018

Grand Rand Airshow 2018

By Koos Smit

Sunday the morning of the 19th August 2018,The Grand Rand Airshow was ready to entertain the crowds of a pure ‘Jozi’ Airshow with the magnificent backdrop of the Johannesburg central business district.A few clouds were present but it wasn’t long until they were burnt off to make way for the ever eager airshow crowd, with Rand Airshow each year its placed on a Sunday to accommodate more people to enjoy the ever exciting Rand Airshow. This show is also lucky to have most display aircraft based at Rand.

The show was opened by the Queenstown based De Havilland Rapide flown by Captain Flippie Vermulen,he was accompanied by three De havilland Chipmunks with one of the ‘Chippys’ painted with a yellow ‘D-day’ color scheme very similar to the other aircraft in the formation. The Just Love Mission’s AN2 ‘Little Annie’ was tasked to  take the eleven skydivers up to their required height to jump,at the same time their is no room for error as Rand is very close to OR Tambo’s busy airspace. Two chipmunks were then in the display box to continue with their duo display while the AN2 climbed and reported ready for the jump.

Brian Emmenis and his team from Capital sounds added their professionalism to the crowd in providing sound and information on each pilot and aircraft flying on the day of the show.

The mass radial display got airborne with aircraft comprising of Harvards, A T28 Trojan and a Beech 18.Once all the aircraft had joined into formation they flew over head the crowd to show and hear the roar of the mighty radial engine. The Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing 737 Captain Ivan van der Schaar brought more gentle aerobatics to the sole surviving Boeing Stearman display on the South African Airshow circuit. The ever popular Puma Flying Lions flew the best display at their home base, they later joined up with four other Harvards to celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the ‘Pilot Maker’. The Harvard flew first on the 1 April 1935 and was retired from the South African  Airforce in 1995.

Henley Air showed off their Helicopter hardware consisting of five Bell 222s flying in close formation, the deep thud could be felt far into the distance from the airport. Menno Parsons flew his Bell 407, he really showed what this chopper can do. He teamed up then with Nigel Hopkins in the Extra 330 and showed both fixed wing and chopper can hover. Team Extreame flew their high energy aerobatics with some aircraft never been seen in that formation.That being Barrie Eeles Extra 330. The T28 Trojan was flown by Jason Beamish and a welcome sight to have a T28 flying at an Airshow for the first time this year.Patrick Davidson flew his Red Bull Sbach which he flew up all the way from Port Elizabeth.

Elton Bondi flew Andrew Blackwood Murray’s  Nashua Branded Extra 300, he joined up with Barrie Eles in Blue Extra 330The Goodyear Eagles with their Pitts S2Bs and the Taillifts flying Cows added to the ironic Pitts displays on the day. Veteran Airshow pilot Glen Wraden showed off the only jet action apart from the 737, The L29 showed off the sleek lines of the early soviet era jet trainer. The Mango 737-800 flown by Captain Rodney Chinn flew tight in the busy airspace around. Great to see the ‘Heavies’ displaying at airshows. Team Rv flew their four-ship Rv display while the Gyro-copter added variety to the show flown by Matthew Zwolinski.

 

 

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

Aerobatics Unlimited-The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatics Team has been in the forefront of bringing aerobatics excitement to the public for the past 29 years. Over this period the team has had several major sponsors, but Goodyear Aviation became the official team sponsor at the beginning of the 2009 season and we are both proud and honoured to be associated with this great company that have been in the forefront of Aviation Tyre technology since the very beginning of manned flight.


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Dennis Spence the founder and owner of the team, who is an ex SAA Captain on Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s. Deniis also landed both 747s at Rand Airport that are now on static display at the SAA Museum at Rand Airport. He was also a regular display pilot for SAA on the A340 and 747.

The team has also been a regular performer at air shows in Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and in 2008 were privileged to be invited to perform at the Al Ain International Aerobatic Show in the United Arab Emirate where we performed as “The Wizards” and our display included 2 Extra ES300’s, becoming, we think, the first team to perform with not only two different types of aircraft, but also incorporating two skydivers into the aerobatic display.

The Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team continually strive to enrich and improve our displays, not only to entertain but also to educate the airshow public of the full capabilities and manoverability of the wonderful aircraft we fly, namely the Pitts Special S2B and we strive to keep the skies full of thrills for the entire duration of our display.


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The Pitts S2B

General characteristics

Crew: Two ( ONLY ONE DURING AEROBATIC DISPLAYS) • Length: 18 ft 9 in (5.71 m) • Wingspan: 20 ft 0 in (6.10 m) • Height: 6 ft 7⅓ in (2.02 m) • Wing area: 125 ft² (11.6 m²) • Empty weight: 1,150 lb (521 kg) • Max takeoff weight: 1,625 lb (737 kg) • Powerplant: 1× Textron Lycoming AEIO-540-D4A5 flat-six air cooled piston engine, 260 hp (194 kW) Performance • Max speed: 182 knots (210 mph, 338 km/h) • Cruise speed: 152 knots (175 mph, 282 km/h) (max cruise) • Stall speed: 52 knots (60 mph, 97 km/h) • Range: 277 NM (319 mi, 513 km) • Service ceiling: 21,000 ft (6,400 m)
• Rate of climb: 2,700 ft/min (13.7 m/s) • Wing loading: 13.0 lb/ft² (63.6 kg/m²) • Power/mass: 0.16 hp/lb (0.26 kW/

The team

Glen Warden: Team Leader

 

Former fighter pilot of the South African Airforce,Glen Warden is the team leader of the team.He has flown the Aermacchi MB326, Mirage and Cheetah jet aircraft, and remains active in the South African Air Force Museum Flight, displaying the Mirage CZ III , the Vampire T11 and the  T6 Harvard. He also spent time as an exchange pilot with the Chilean Air Force flying Mirage 50’s, F-5 E Tigers and A-37 Dragonfly. He is also a civilian jet instructor and display authorisation examiner on the L-29 Delfin, L-39 Albatros, BAC Strikemaster, and T-2 Buckeye.

 

Dennis Spence: Team Owner and Reserve Leader

 

 

Dennis Spence the team owner,an ex SAA A340 senior Captain, with in excess of 26000 flying hours, of which over 3500+ is on the Pitts Special alone. He has been the owner and operator of the Team since 1985, and represented South Africa in the first Advanced World aerobatic championships in 1995, obtaining South African National colours.

Johan Von Solms: Wingman

A South African Airways Captain, with over 16500 flying hours. He served in the South African Air Force as a fighter Pilot flying the Aeromacchi MB326(Impala) and the Cheetah. He was the 8 Squadron Impala display pilot in 1993 and a 2 Squadron Cheetah display pilot during 1995 and 1996. My father was best mates with David Stead. As a kid growing up near Mooi River on a dairy farm, David would lead simulated attacks on our farm using Harvards and later Impalas from Durban. It sparked a dream that none of my other talents could detach and I thus pursued a flying career that I am very grateful for and proud of.


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Nigel Hopkins: Wingman

 

Nigel Hopkins Is a training Captain at South African Airways on the Airbus A320, he has flown all types of aerobatic aircraft and warbirds including the T28 Trojan and L29 Delphin.He is alsp part of the Team Extreme team.

Paul Coetser:Soloist

Paul Coetser is a SAA Cargo 737 pilot,he is also a former 85 Combat Flying School MB326 Impala display pilot and SAAF Instructor. He has flown the Pitts,Piper Saratoga, MB326 Impala and Pilatus PC7MKII.

Jason Beamish: Reserve Soloist

Jason Beamish is a Aircraft Engineer at Absolute Aviation based at Lanseria Airport. His father Larry Beamish taught him to fly at a young age.He has been surronded by avaition his whole life,he has also flown AN2s,Piper Cub,KingAirs,Pc12s and Caravans and much more.His Total Flying hours: 2,700+ hrs.He is also part of Team Extreme Airshows and a reserve dispaly pilot on the AN2 ‘Little Annie’.

The team will be flying the SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May 2018,and the team also has a L29 Delphin that will also be flying at the SAAF Museum Airshow.

 

 

 

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