Tag Archives: Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team

SAAF Prestige Evening Awards

The South African Airforce held a Prestige evening awards ceremony at Airforce Base Swartkop on the 31 January 2019.The following day the Airforce was to celebrate 99 years of air power excellence.

85 Combat Flying School Hawk MK120 “Gannet” on static display.

The aim of the Prestige Evening is to showcase the service excellence by bestowing honours and eminence to the sterling work the done by the different SAAF entities and individuals in their varied stations.

Invited guests were treated to a mini flying display by various aircraft in the South African Airforce inventory, that being the Silver Falcons led by Major Omphile Matloane ,an Oryx helicopter and the SAAF Museums De Haviland Vampire flown by Lt Col Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden.

Silver Falcons
Silver Falcons
De Havilland Vampire T55
De Havilland Vampire T55
17 Squadron Oryx Helicopter

Unfortunately there was no Rooivalk display due to the helicopter picking up a snag during its validation flight earlier in the afternoon. The Weather gods also didn’t agree with the evenings proceeding’s and rather made everyone move into Hanger 5 where supper and speeches took place due to the heavy rain downpour.

16 Squadron Rooivalk flown by Major Paul “Racoon” Kempthorn

Once everyone had run for shelter due to the rain in hangar five “The Centre of Aviation Awareness Hanger ” where the to the choir entertained us until the awards ceremony began.

The Chief of the South African Airforce and MCs for the evening congratulated each of the following units for the outstanding contribution to making the organisation a successful team in their different roles they’re play in the SAAF.

For the rest of the evening we got to listen to the South African Airforce Band, with a special musician who joined us for the evening, Mr
Jonas Gwangwa. He has been an important figure in South African jazz for over 40 years.


Mr Jonas Gwangwa

We would like to say thank you to the South African Airforce for their hospitality and to the Chief of the SAAF for welcoming us to the event personally.We wish the SAAF a great and safe year ahead. The evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

The Chief of the SAAF Lieutenant general Fabian Zimpande Msimang and his wife Ms Afrika Msimang enjoying their copy of their 2019 edition of Aviation Centrals Calendar.

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2019 Airshow Season

2018 has come and gone and saw some fantastic airshow displays across Southern Africa. We trust all our followers had a great festive season and some well spent time with loved ones!

We would like to wish all our followers a Happy New Year to you and your loved ones,2019 we should have a busier year with some action packed return events on the airshow circuit this year.

2018 Season

A quick recap on lasts years airshow season saw the welcome return of the Ermelo Airshow in Mpumalanga. The show had a great turnout and many of South Africa’s top airshow performers

 https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/tag/ermelo-airshow-2018/

Armed Forces Day which was held in Kimberly Northern Cape had a major SANDF presence, we were lucky enough to be invited to the Weapons Demo at De Brug Weapons Range in Bloemfontein. We got to witness all forms of Fire Power from all the South African National Defence Force.

https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/tag/de-brug/

Race for Rhinos saw our team make way to Sua Pan in Botswana, we made our 3 hour journey up from Wonderboom Airport onboard Little Annie AN2.And got to witness the worlds biggest air race, with all funds raised going to supporting Africa’s Endangered Rhino!

https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/race-for-rhinos-2018/

The Africa Aerospace and Defence show at AFB Waterkloof was a major success and I’m sure we all waiting for the 2020 edition of the show.

https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/africa-aerospace-and-defence-airshow-2018/

Before any airshows take place the boys and girls in the Cape must get ready for Armed Forces Day which will be taking place in Bloubergstrand. Many types of SAAF aircraft will be keeping Capetonians eyes to the sky.

Armed Forces Day 2019

2019 airshow season will be kicking off with the Middelburg Airshow and Aeroclub-Air Week at Middelburg Airfield in Mpumalanga from 7-10 March 2019. The country airshows are always a favourite and access to aircraft and pilots is always a guarantee among the crowds.

Middelburg Airshow 2019
Airweek 2019 Logo

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Some news for 2019

Get your own Airshow and Aviation Events Desktop calendar here

Aviation Centrals Newest Member

We would like to introduce one of our newest members to the Aviation Central Team, Mr Alan Richert who hails from Hilcrest in Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Alan Richert

He will be covering the Natal Aviation events with our Aviation Centrals Trevor Viljoen. We look forward to your beautiful pictures and reviews Alan!

Some pictures from some RC Flying along the coast this past weekend Alan took, while Trevor Viljoen at the controls of the RC Aircraft!

Trevor Viljoen at the controls

Seen at Virginia Airport (FAVG) January 2019

Netcare Bell 222
L29 ZU-VLL

See also https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/the-aero-l29-delfin-the-soviet-trainer/#more-4211

Silver Falcons Team 82

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team introduced a new team member to the team, Major Tian Stander became the number two. We would like to wish Major Omphile Matloane and the rest of the team a safe 2019 airshow season.

https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/the-pride-of-the-nationthe-silver-falcons/#more-477

https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/from-soloist-to-lead-omphile-mutloane/#more-1436

Falcon 2

Major Tiaan Stander

Silver Falcons Team 82

Falcon 1-Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane (Flown the Pc7MKII,A109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 2-Major Tiaan “Excell” Stander (Flown the PC7MKII,Alouette III,A109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 3-Major Corne “Stilbo” van Deventer (Flown the PC7MKII,HawkMK120)

Falcon 4-Major Bheki “SwaziBoy”Shabungu (Flown the PC7MKII,Cessna 208 Caravan)

Falcon 5-Major Sivu “Sivuple” Tangana (Flown the PC7MKII,AgustaA109LUH and Oryx Helicopters)

Falcon 6 GLO- Major Musa Dlamini (Flown the PC7MKII)

Falcon 7 PRO- Captain Xander Albasani (Flown the PC7MKII)

Falcon 8- Commentator Brian Emmenis

Silver Falcons

The 2019 Airshow season is set to be exciting and a number of shows will be there to entertain the South African Aviation Fanatics. Keep a good eye on our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AviationSA/    And also our website https://www.aviationcentral.co.za/ 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Click on day below to open!

AAD Airshow Programme 22 Sept 2018

Or

AAD Airshow Programme 23 Sept 2018

 

 

AAD2018 Aircraft Arrivals Update

With the build up to AAD2018,the excitement is building with aircraft arrivals. Each day until Tuesday 2018-09-18 we will update on each aircraft arrival to AFB Waterkloof.

2018-09-15 Silver Falcons & Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKIIs Arrival.

2018-09-16 USAF Boeing C17 Globemaster Arrival.

C17 Final approach for landing at AFB Waterkloof

2018-09-17 Monday Arrivals

Airforce of Zimbabwe CASA 212

Airforce of Zimbabwe K8

SUDAN SAFAT 03

USAF C130J

22 Squadron Lynx

44 Squadron CASA 212

41 Squadron Cessna 208A Caravan

Sling 2

41 Squadron KingAir

Ahrlac

19 Squadron Agusta A109LUH

Red Cross Agusta A119

Bell 212

R66

Ahrlacs

USAF C130J Final approach at AFB Waterkloof

USAF C130J

USAF C130J

LC130’Snowbird’ arrived at AFB Waterkloof at 20:30 2018-09-17

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Falcon 1 gets his Gold Wings

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the leader of the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.The team is the official aerobatic team of the South African Airforce, the team is 51 years old in 2018. The team celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year with an airshow at their home base at AFB Langebaanweg .Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire.

 

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana

The Bumbling Bees flew a 4 ship formation and made a name for themselves by regularly taking part in South African airshows. The team disbanded in the late 1950s leaving a gap in South African aviation. The introduction of the Pilatus PC7MKII in 1995 put the team back to a 4ship and then in 2008 the team went back to a 5 ship and painted in the Silver Falcons livery.

OG short for Omphile was born in a small village just outside the town of Zeerust in the North West Province. His interest of flying started back in his Primary School days, when a SAAF Alouette three landed on the Soccer field. “It was so cool to see it so close up. All of the kids that’s day ran towards the chopper to get a better look, I still remember the pilot saw us and hovered at a medium height level just above our heads. The noise and dust from the down wash from the spinning rotors were awesome”. Says OG

He has flown the PC7MKII,Oryx and Agusta A109LUH during his time in the South African Airforce and is currently a instructor at the Central Flying School down at AFB Langebaanweg. He is also team lead for the famous Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team.

The 15th September 2018,OG earned his gold wings for reaching 2500 flying hours. With the arrival from AFB Langebaanweg, on the Capes West coast to AFB Waterkloof with a total of 10 Pilatus PC7MKIIs from the Central Flying School. The Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow is surely ganna have the crowd on their feet!

Below 10 PC7MKIIs arriving for AAD2018

 

Central Flying School Pilots and Instructors after arrival at Airforce Base Waterkloof 2018-09-15

 

 

Air Total Newcastle Airshow 2018

The 8th annual Newcastle Airshow, the only show in Kwazulu-Natal took place on the 2 June 2018 at the Newcastle Airport on the outskirts of the town of Newcastle. With this show being the only show on the circuit in KZN, members of the public traveled far and wide to the norther KZN town of Newcastle to witness the ever vibrant Airshow.  This years theme was ‘Give your dreams some Wings’.

Show day saw some early morning mist around the skies of Newcastle,but didn’t last long due to the sun creeping  through the hills in the distance,some early morning arrivals from display aircraft from Gauteng and other parts of the country was a welcome sight like every other airshow as the excitement cannot be hidden before the start of an Airshow.An Aviation Career expo was held in the morning before the days proceedings took place.Other talks from pilots took place during the day.


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The show started with a Para drop from SANDF and Golden Eagles parachutists from a 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter flown by Altaaf Sheik, Warren Jobe and flight engineer Lazola Vumazonke,once the last skydiver had landed safely the Oryx crew then began giving flips to the youth who have never flown in a aircraft ever.The Aerobatics Unlimited L29 ZU-AUX flown by Glen’Gringo’ Warden showed off the eastern block aircraft the to crowds who love seeing a jet in the sky especially in Newcastle.Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi’ Goosen and Lt Col Johannes ‘Boerboel ‘Mashaba flew the JAS39D Gripen all the way from Air force Base Makhado in the Limpopo province ,this was the 2nd time the Gripen has flown at Newcastle,the last time was in 2012.The frontline fighter was put through its paces before its final maneuver ,a ‘Upper Charlie’ and disappearing into the blue sky.Major Lone Nel was the GLO for the SAAF Aircraft.

 


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Major Diaan Grobbelaar put the 15 Squadron A109LUH through its paces,one of the great A109 displays one can see at an airshow these days. The Silver Falcons Team 82 with the leadership of Major Omphile Matloane,  flew the first official airshow display as team 82 flying out of the Central Flying School of AFB Langebaanweg along the Capes West Coast. Other team member’s consists of Major Bheki Shabangu at the number 2,Major Corne van Deventer and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana. It was great to see how hard the ground crew for the Silver Falcons, they’re  are the ones who keep the aircraft maintained at all time. A big salute to all of them!

Radials that were present on the day was Menno Parsons Dc3 flown by Derek Hopkins,a first to see a DC3 at the Newcastle Airshow.The Puma flying Lions flying the T6 Harvard’s led by Captain Scully Levin. Ivan van der Schaar flew his Randolph sponsored Boeing Stearman.

Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds provided the sound for this Airshow once again.commentary for the day was professional provided by Leon Du Plessis and Brian Emmenis, keeping the public informed of all the aircraft and pilots during the course of the day, and always bringing the vibe to the airshow and getting the public excited for each act during the display slots.


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South Africa’s top aerobatic pilots from the likes of Patrick Davidson flew all the way in from Port Alfred in his RedBull sponsored Sbach 342,a first at Newcastle to have him display at this particular show.He will soon get ready for his next Redbull Air Race series in Russia in August this year. Team Extreme  two member’s, Nigel Hopkins flying his Extra330 and Mark’Buggs’Hensman flying Mark Sampson’s yellow Sbach in high energy aerobatic sequences. The Goodyear Eagles Pitts Team flew their three ship display routine under the leadership of Glen Warden, Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish flying the other two Pitts.

Neville Ferreira flew his newly painted Slick 540 from Kitty Hawk aerodrome to the East of Pretoria, He then raced a AMG Mercedes later in the day. Matthew Zalewski flew the Magni Gyrocopter, becoming one of the best and only Gyrocopter displays to watch at airshows.


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A big well done to the organizer of this years Newcastle Airshow, from the entire Airshow Committee and Johan Pieters and Christo van der Vyver from Champ Marketing. Johan Neilon, Pete Graham and the ATCs kept the show safe and on time.To all the emergency services that were on standby during the whole day if any incidents had to occur. Thanks to Charlie Hugo for organising the media accreditation and to Capital Sounds for providing commentary and sound during the show, 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 all for the unsung hero’s mentioned above he make these country Airshows possible.We look forward to the 9th edition of the Newcastle Airshow next year.

Please browse through our gallery below

From Soloist to Lead-Omphile Mutloane

Omphile Mutloane who is currently the number 5 in the Silver Falcons Aerobatic  Team, known as the soloist in the team with the call sign “Biggy”.The team is the official aerobatic team of the South African Airforce, the team is 51 years old  in 2018. The team celebrated their 50th Anniversary last year with an airshow at their home base at AFB Langebaanweg on the Capes West Coast.Originally formed in 1946 as the Bumbling Bees and flying the T-6 Harvard and then the de Havilland Vampire. The Bumbling Bees flew a 4 ship formation and made a name for themselves by regularly taking part in South African airshows. The team disbanded in the late 1950s leaving a gap in South African aviation.The indroduction of the Pilatus PC7MKII in 1995 put the team back to a 4ship and then in 2008 the team went back to a 5 ship and painted in the Silver Falcons livery.

OG short for Omphile was born in a small village just outside the town of Zeerust in the North West Province. His interest  of flying started back in his Primary School days, when a SAAF Alouette three landed on the Soccer field. “It was so cool to see it so close up. All of the kids that’s day ran towards the chopper to get a better look, I still remember the pilot saw us and hovered at a medium height level just above our heads. The noise and dust from the down wash from the spinning rotors were awesome”. Says OG

 

 

Aircraft were  always flying high overhead the village Omphile stayed,but never did himself and the children around him at the time get the opportunity to get up close and personal with  the real thing. That one moment of the SAAF helicopter crew pretty much changed Omphiles life, from that time on he was determined not to have a plan B in his career. Plan A was to wear the green overalls and the well know green chopper helmet.

“I joined the SAAF in January 2005 and reported for basic military training at Air force Gymnasium in Valhalla Pretoria. I qualified three years later in December 2007 at AFB Langebaanweg on the Pc7mkII Astra.Completed Rotary Wings Course Starlight aviation under the guidance of Mr A.C. Hunter (best instructor I have ever flown with) in April 2008,From there I was sent to 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemspruit and from there onto 17 Squadron as a Oryx Helicopter co-pilot.”

I served as an Oryx co pilot at 17 squadron in Pretoria from Jan 2009 until November 2012. I did my command course on the Agusta A109LUH in 2013.In 2014 I was posted back to AFB Langebaanweg to become a instructor and subsequently did the famous falcon ‘fly-offs’. The fly offs are basically a selection of instructors who want to join the Silver Falcons and I was able to join the team in October 2015 as the number 3,then moved to the singleton as falcon 5″.

My flying hours are currently sitting at a total of 2200 of both fixed wing and helicopter hours:

750 hours on Oryx Helicopter
300 hours on A109LUH Helicopter
800+ hours on PC7MKII

Omphile will take command of leading the team from the 2018 SAAF Museum Airshow on the 5th May.This will be team 82,as we saw Mark’Katana’Gentles leave team once again after Armed Forces Week in Kimberly in the Northern Cape earlier this year as the former leader.

Some of falcon 5s hobbies interests include him being a serious book worm who loves history and a avid marathon runner. He will be competing in his second comrades Marathon in KZN in month or so time. Wish him all the best of luck!

SANDF De Brug Weapons Capability Demonstration Feb 2018

With the build up to the Armed forces day parade being held in Kimberley, the following day Wednesday the 21 February, much of the public have been getting up close and personal with both SANDF members and assets that have been put on showcase to the community who haven’t had the chance to interact with these forms of assets in this particular area with the major presence of SANDF.

On Sunday the 18th February, members of the public were able to attend the De Brug weapons demo, at the De brug weapons range outside of Bloemfontein. This also had a major impact on the public to witness live ammunition being fired in front of their faces from armored vehicles,ati-aircraft Guns and aerial support just to name a few.

Competition

On Tuesday morning 21 February ,Aviation Central had the opportunity to be flown down from Air force Base Waterkloof in Pretoria to AFB Bloemspruit situated at the Bram Fisher International Airport in the Free state town of Bloemfontein.Air force base (AFB) Bloemspruit is home to 87 Helicopter Flying school, operating the Denel Oryx Helicopter, the Agusta A109LUH and the Bk117 for training and operational duties in the South African Air force(SAAF).

We were then allocated to buses that would be taking us out to the De brug weapons range a few kilometers outside of the City of Bloemfontein. With the advantage the SANDF had the Military Police and other security squadrons escorting the buses,which onboard was members of the various media houses and Invited guests ,who got to the weapons range in no time. At this point this have many of the media who haven’t been to De Brug Weapons Range to explore the ‘Koppies’ behind the marquee that was specially put up to provide shade and refreshments.

 

This is also showed how big the range was compare to other bombing ranges that Aviation Central has visited in previous years.What we had been hearing and seeing on Social media from the demo a few days before we knew we were in for a treat that not many people can say they have ever witnessed in their lifetime.

The days proceedings started with a drop of pathfinders from a 44 Squadron Casa 212,the jet action started immediately with a 85 Combat Flying School Hawk Mk120 and being escorted by two 2 Squadron Gripens,both fighter assets operating out of AFB Bloemspruit.

The program then continued sticking with the fighters, when the airspace in front of the crowd, got very busy with a 2v1 dogfight,using the Hawk Mk120 as the bogey(Enemy Aircraft) and two Gripens  intercepting the Hawk.

The Army engineers of the South African Army were next in line to show off the earth shattering explosions that were set off.The Air force was then overhead again, this time with Two 28 Squadron C130BZs dropping a parachute cargo drop and 64 paratroopers.

As soon as the area was clear from the Para drop and troops were brought out of the weapons zone, Ratels drove into the firing zone and engaged with small arms fire.

The battlefield was then kicked up with the roar the big guns the Olifant Mk1 Tanks and Rooikats kicking up dust from their cannon fire.

The air force was at it again, with two Agusta A109LUH performing a search and Rescue situation of a “simulated downed aircraft,”with 3 Oryx helicopters bringing troops to and from the batttlezone.At the same time Rooivalk atttack helicopters from 16 Squadron provided top cover.

Fast movers were then sent in to drop bombs ranging from the Mk81 and Mk82 bombs released from Gripen and Hawk fighter aircraft. It was also the first time seeing Gripens shooting their cannons.The usual 30mm Aden cannon from the Hawk was also put to use on the battle zone.

The two Rooivalk attack helicopters in attendance demonstrated the type of flying they sometimes do during peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, raining 20 mm cannon fire down and unleashing 70 mm rockets onto the battlefield.

The demo was slowly coming to a close, the various aircraft that took part gave fly pasts which included 4 Hawks,5 gripens,3 Oryx Helicopters,2 A109s,2 Rooivalks and a C130.The main battle tanks and armoured vehicles then proceeded to give a salute to the Chief of the SANDF in a parade.

The guests and media were then treated to a display from the Silver Falcons of team 81,led by Major Mark”Katana”Gentles.Solo displays from the Hawk Mk120,flown by Lt Col Craig”Shark”Leeson and the Gripen flown by Major Geoffrey”Spartan”Cooper released flares during the course of their displays.

The night shoot then took place just after dusk showing off from the smallest arms fire to the biggest arms fire in the SANDF,this included assault rifles, machineguns, RPGs, mortars, Ratel 90 mm rounds and Olifant tank rounds.

Rooivalks then engaged the battlefield again with 70mm rockets and 20mm gun fire. The aircraft then closed off with flares over the battlezone

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Chief of the SANDF General Solly Shoke said the capability demonstration was part of normal training but was held in the run-up to Armed Forces Day to show the public what the armed forces do. “We train to be ready at all times,” he said, and added that the response from the people of Kimberley who previously came to witness the demonstration was “overwhelming”.

The next day being a early start of the Armed forces day parade in Kimberly, which saw new South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addressing the parade.

More photos Below, click to enlarge

Competition

 

Armed Forces Day Kimberley 2018 Fan Park Launch.

 

The 21st of February each year, Armed forces day is observed to celebrate the lives of the native labour contingent who died when the troopship, SS Mendi sank off the English Coast in 1917.Today we saw most of Kimberley with most part mobilsed with Military contingent.

Kimberley is on a hive of activities from any form of Military platform the SANDF has to offer, This Morning marked the opening of the fan park at the A.R Abass stadium in Kimberley in the Northern Cape. The opening of the event was in form of a Guard of honor parade accompanied by Military bands and a fly past by Oryx Helicopters from various squadrons across South Africa.

The arena program was opened by a Para drop from a Oryx helicopter with various special forces and pathfinders member’s landing in front of a massive crowd as they’re cheered their brilliant landings they’re were executing. The public were treated to more procession  drills from both the SA Army and SA Navy, and the famous gun run which is often seen at the Rand Show in Johannesburg from previous years. Aircraft that flew over the Stadium during the course of the program such as the Oryx helicopter mentioned above,2 Rooivalk Attack helicopters and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic team to name a few.


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The SANDF also has to offer at the fan park the career center for those that are interested about the work life and serving their country in many different aspects they’re have to offer. Its also a opportunity for the public to interact with Military personal and their assets they have on display.

During the weeks and weekend celebrations, a number of events will be held at various venues:
The will also be career hosted and interested individuals can visit the center and enquire about careers in the Armed Forces – Ar Abass Sports Stadium
Music events at various schools between 12 – 15 Feb
Fan park at Ar Abass Sports Stadium 15 Feb
Sporting activities and Clinics at De Beers Galeshewe Stadium, formerly known as King George Sports Ground , between 16 – 20 Feb
Music events Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre 17th
Inter Faith Church services Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre 18th


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ROAD CLOSURES: 19, 20, 21 FEBRUARY 2017
19 to 20 February 2018 the roads will be closed from 09:00 for the rehearsals.
Memorial Road at the Monument.
Carrington Road at Dalham Road.
Lennox Street. (Must confirm where the road is to be closed.)
Du Toitspan/Main Road between Hercules, Lennox and Regiment Way.
Pniel Road between Stokroos Street and Old Barkly Road. (15 to 21 February 2018.)
Todd and Harley Street.
All roads connecting to Du Toitspan and Main Road.
Please take note:
Access to the hospitals in the area of the parade to be advised by the Department of Health.
Military Police personnel will assist with all road closures.
Public is advised to avoid the area bordering on Lennox, DuToitspan from
Regiment Way down to Hercules Street, Park Road, Synagogue Street,
Dalham Road, Hercules Street, Fabricia Road, Pniel Road as mentioned above, Carrington Road between Dalham and Elsmere Road.

We will bring more reports from next week Tuesday when we attend the Weapons demo in Bloemfontein at De Brug firing range.

Happy Armed forces day!