Tag Archives: Silver Falcons

OG heads for Bloem!

Major Omphile “Biggy” Matloane former leader, soloist and slot pilot for the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team bids farewell to Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg and heads to Airforce Base Bloemspruit to continue instruction on helicopters, his message below as he leaves the team!

Falcons & Gripen
Falcons & Gripen

“Gentlemen, with a bit of luck and sheer guts tomorrow will be my last day as an official member of the Central Flying School. Goodness me, where does the time go ? Change is the only constant and inevitable. It’s been one heck of a tour ! 6 years flew past like nothing! Iv made friends and enemies alike! “

A great team

“But to tell you the truth , to say I’ve made enemies is a waste of the queens language! It doesn’t matter. What matters is the work we’ve all accomplished. I deeply believe when I meet all you after tomorrow, somewhere out there in the bigger saaf it will be a meeting of smiles and laughs.So , after all it’s said, done and dusted all that’s left is gratitude and total humility. I thank you so much for all the years !

Nine PC7MKIIs from Central Flying School Langebaanweg

“50 years from now , my grandkids will hear all the stories of my tour at Central Flying School ‘CFS’. And it will be a fascinating narration. Whatever happened was supposed to happen exactly how it happened. That means I have little to no regrets ! Which puts me at peace.”

Silver Falcons PC7MKIIs

“From the deepest part of my heart I wish you all the very best . Don’t worry much about the current situation! It too shall pass . Very soon the team will be tearing up the South African skies doing loops and barrels! And it will feel like there was never a pause ! Remember to find the joy in it or else it’s futile but remember you are the only team in SA which covers the length and breadth of our landscape. “

The moments not to forget

“Somehow I think the saaf will come out stronger through this crazy unpredictable period the entire world finds itself in . What am I saying? You guys are in the right place to dictate the future. “

Silver Falcons at AAD2018

“Every emotion I felt , every time I was uncertain or certain I was taking the right action, every time I was afraid, or unsure was the right emotion. It all led to this moment. Newcastle airshow 2018 and in hindsight Swartkops airshow 2019 will forever be etched in my blue print.”

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana September 2018

“Impossible is man made and not a representation of life . So all thatnis left is to say thank you . In my native tongue it goes like this ‘ ke a leboga. Ke leboga go menagane”

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

New Leader for Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team

Major Sivu Tangana has taken over Major Omphile Mutloane who has transferred back to flying helicopters at 87 Helicopter Flying School. Sivu joined the falcons as a ground liaison officer in 2016 and has since flown most of the teams position slots and now being falcon team lead for 2020.

Major Sivu Tangana new Silver Falcons Team Leader!

Born in Grahams Town 26 July 1984 and matriculated in 2003, joined the South African Airforce in 2004, recieved his wings in July 2007. Sivu joined the chopper line and started his helicopter flying training at Starlite Aviation. He later qualified as an Oryx Helicopter Co-Pilot in April 2008. Spent 2008-2010 as a Oryx Co-Pilot at 22 Squadron Airforce Base Ysterplaat in Cape Town.

Silver Falcons

Qualified as a Agusta A109 Commander in December 2010, where he spent three years at 19 Squadron. He then transferred to Central Flying School and qualified as an instructor in October 2015.

Major Omphile Matloane receives his golden wings from Major Sivu Tangana

Aircraft types flown, Pilatus PC7MKII, Robbinson R22, Oryx and Agusta A109LUH..

2019 Silver Falcons Switzerland Trip

The main purpose of the Silver Falcons team, the official aerobatic team of the SAAF, is to enhance the image of the Air Force by displaying their capability to do precision formation aerobatics and as such, to instill the passion for aviation in the youth and future Air Force members.

We look forward to announcing the new team this week, and also to see the team flying over Pretoria skies ahead of Prestige Day on Friday 31 January 2020.

Ladysmith Aviation Career Expo & Airshow 2019

Kwa-Zulu Natal got to see their second airshow in the province this year after Newcastle Airshow during the early period of the South African Airshow calendar . Ladysmith was the chosen airport to host the Aviation Career expo and airshow on the 25th and 26th October 2019,with the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) supporting the whole event.

The Ladysmith Airfield goes back many years and with the Ladysmith Hotel in close proximity, the actual hotel was the airfields old terminal building which was opened by Brigadier C.G Ross,C.BE.,D.F.C on the 26th October 1950. The airfield is home to a small flight school and hangers other small aircraft for private use.

Friday 25th October youth from surrounding school in Ladysmith and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province got to know more about the aviation industry through the help of Civil Aviation Authority providing an Awareness drive to the children with talks by pilots, engineers and getting to network with display pilots in preparation for the following days airshow.

Free to the public was this years Ladysmith airshow, with the South African Airforce Silver Falcons Aerobatic team 83 in formation with Major Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper in a JAS39D Gripen. Major Omphile Matloane possibly completing his last airshow display as Falcon one as he will be moving on to instruct on helicopters at 87 Helicopter Flying School in Bloemfontein next year.

The Silver Falcons completed their display with two training livery aircraft from, Central Flying School at Airforce Base Langebaanweg in the Western Cape.Falcon 8 Capital Sounds Brian Emmenis produced the commentary for their show and all other display acts of the day.

The three jet display were part of the exciting program with the roar of the might 2 Squadron Gripen in which we saw two different gripens during the course of the day. In the morning we had ‘3905’ JAS39D dual seater and in the afternoon the solo display with ‘3916’ which was again put through its paces by Geoffrey “Spartan” Cooper. The Gripen operated out of Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria as made it to Ladysmith within 20 minutes of flight time!

Glen Warden flew the L29 Delphin, an ex eastern block jet trainer and Airlink displayed one of their Embraer E190s which made brilliant photo opportunities as one doesn’t see a airliner fly in Ladysmith everyday .

The Goodyear Eagles Pitts display team flew their four ship display, Team Extreme was present with 3 aircraft and once again showed off their famous knife edge passes before heading back to Rand Airport as large thunder storms closed the show off.

The South African Airforce also had a 17 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display. A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flew some of the lucky youth on Saturday morning before the show by Major Nick Green, Major Ashley Naxhe and Flight Saregent Jaques De Kock.

“Little Annie” an Antonov An2 flown by Jon-Marc Hill and Ryan Smith were the jump ship for this show and dropped some of the Adventure Skydiving members, with Ralph Ridge flying South Africa’s biggest flag.

André van Zyl flew his Magni Gyrocopter display and most probably the best Gyrocopter display. André has now displayed both in South Africa,Botswana and recently Mozambique!

Flying Display Director from Airshow South Africa “ASSA” Rickus Erasmus,Safety director Colonel Francois “Hose” Hanekom, Ramp Controller Cliff Lotter and Louise Hofmeyr as airshow programme director.

Well done to Ms Poppy Khoza and her team at the South African Civil Aviation Authority on providing a great variety of aircraft for a CAA Airshow. We look forward to the last show of the year at Polokwane as part of International Civil Aviation Day ‘ICAD’,which will also form part of an airshow.

Bethlehem Airshow 2019

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

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

“Little Annie” AN2

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

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

44 Squadron Casa 212

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Home of Pilatus- Silver Falcons visit Switzerland

“The idea was hatched late last year about getting the team to do an international trip . Switzerland being the home of the Pilatus was a no brainer. For us to be able get to view how and where all the current airframes were designed and built. On May the 3rd, Emirates hauled us through Dubai to Zurich, arriving in the cold that afternoon. Then a train ride from Zurich to Lucerne where we stayed for 3 days. For two days lots of walking around or busing around the sites and sounds of Lucerne.”

“It must be said the bus n train network in Switzerland was brutally efficient and effective. On Sunday May the 6th was a special treat with the visit up Mount Pilatus to be greeted by typical winter weather in Europe with tons and tons of snow. Something one would never see in Langebaanweg. The rest of the day was spent visiting the old town of Lucerne.”

Mt Pilatus at 7000ft
Cold smiles all around
Falcon snow man

“The 6th was the team received special treatment form Pilatus aircraft corporation. The company arranged everything from transport from our mini budget hotel to Stans were the factory is located. Jerome Pörtner played host and guide for and arranged what needed to be needed during our visit. Once at the factory were given two cards, which one was a security clearance and the other a Wi Fi (Switzerland neh ) card.”

“The day began with a presentation about the company and their ethos of how they operate in a niche market, Swiss chocolates were on offer . From there on a factory tour covering everything from how parts are made from scratch to the company latest flagship the pC24 floor. Everything from the paint shop to the tiniest of details.”

The Pilatus Assembly line

“What blew the teams mind away was the special design of the hangers/factory which is made of special wood not the usual mortar n brick or canvas as we are used to back home in RSA. To say one can eat of the floor would not be off the mark. What was not lost to us was how space in general when it comes to aviation is a tricky thing to solve! In all the hangers, airframe after airframe, we squizzed into every corner available (guess the work must continue non the less ) regardless wether it’s the pc24 or pc12 hanger.”

The Team in the Pilatus factory

“Then another treat was the special ‘ground instruction ‘ of the PC21 given to the team by Neil ( ot&e pilot ex RAF) & senior sales man and Pascal and Jerome Pörtner. (One can only dream hey). Then it was lunch at the newly refurbished factory canteen which can be best described as a 3-4 start hotel dining hall. It boast views of all the surroundings mountains around the factory.”

Pilatus PC24s on the apron
The cold kicking in
What a view

“The a very interesting part of the factory is where Central Flying School (CFS) sends their Prat & Whitney engines for overhauling. Where they pull them apart and put them together again. Everyone swelled with pride from the feedback from the engines from the SAAF are always in good condition compared to other users which showcases how the SAAF looks after its equipment.”

Central Flying School Pilatus PC7MKIIs

“Sadly the day flew by and on Wednesday May the 7th, the team repositioned to Zurich to get ready to fly back home. The evening of the 7th was spent visiting the beautiful city of Zurich with a special dinner held In town in one of the most beautiful part of the city and an age old restaurant which used to be an armory during the times (Zeughauskeller) “

One of the restaurants we visited in Zurich

“Special thanks goes out to the Coves aviation community led by JP Fourie of NAC and Luigi Rossi of Internek engineering and Obviously the SAAF for giving team 82 this opportunity.”

Left to Right
Major Sivu Tangana,Major Musa Dlamini,Major Bheki Shabungu,Major Tiaan Stander,Major Omphile Matloane,Captain Xander Albasani and Major Corne van Deventer.

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I Can Dream – Newcastle Air Show 2019

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

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

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

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

(Photo by Brian Emmenis)

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

Gary Whitecross performed a graceful aerobatic display with his glider.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

I Can Dream – Newcastle Airshow 2019

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I Can Dream – Newcastle Airshow 2019

Newcastle Airshow 2019

All systems are a go for the 2019 ‘I Can Dream’ Newcastle airshow that will be taking place 1 June 2019 at Newcastle airport, Amajuba district.

Since the show first started nine years ago, the theme has been ‘I Can Dream’, “The reason behind this is that people can dream to become pilots or dream that they will also one day have the opportunity to fly in an aircraft. 95% of the local Amajuba community have never flown in an aircraft, while 80% had never seen a Boeing or an Airbus up close”, said Johan Pieters, one of the organisers of the event.

The driving forces behind this year’s event is the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs of KwaZulu Natal and KwaZulu Natal Tourism with the event organisation been handled by the Champ Group of Companies lead by Johan Pieters and Christo van de Vyver.

A major bonus for visitors this year is that there will be no entrance fee to the show. “We had a look at the economic situation of the district and the country and together with our sponsors decided to make it a free airshow for 2019”, said Pieters.

The Newcastle airshow has become one of the largest one-day events in the Amajuba District and boosts the local district and Newcastle by R5 million.

Amongst the many highlights for this year, AON will host an educational guidance day on the day of the airshow. The educational guidance day is geared at Grade 11 math and science learners from the Amajuba district with around some 1000 learners attending. The learners will be addressed by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), The South African Airforce (SAAF) as well as the SAAF Silver Falcons, and will be given the chance to learn more about aviation as well as possible career paths that can be chosen in the various aviation fields.

This year promises to be a jammed-packed day with plenty of activities for the entire family. The show will open at 10:30 with a spectacular Airbus A320 display. For the adrenaline junkies all the action will be found in the sky and visitors can look forward to a fun-filled day, and will see acts from South Africa’s top aerobatic teams, the SAAF will be in full force at this year’s show and visitors will get the chance to see the SAAF Silver Falcons, fast jet action will be the Gripen as well as a SAAF Oryx helicopter will be put through its paces.

For the car-crazy visitors, there will be Hot Rods on display as well as a car and plane race.

For the family members that would prefer to do a little shopping, there will be plenty of stalls, a Munro Art exhibition, as well as various motor vehicle dealerships offering advice on your next vehicle purchase, as well as plenty of food and drink stalls and a beer garden. KZN Tourism will have a virtual reality stand where you can experience KZN live, a stand not to be missed.

For those that would like to view the show from a more VIP point of view this year members of the public can buy VIP Tickets at Computicket for R100 – that ticket will give you an experience in a Marquee with upholstery chairs, shade and VIP toilet. Limited tickets are available.

By the end of the show, which will be around 17:00, if you still have enough energy there will be an after party hosted by Tree Tops.

Newcastle Airshow VIP

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2019 Air Show Aircraft attendance list

2019 Air Show Aircraft attendance list

2019 is not a big year for airshows in Southern Africa as some got cancelled as well as the economic situation in Southern Africa not looking positive.
However we will see the Stellenbosch, Mafeking and Maputo air shows which are not regular shows. Regarding the availability of aircraft we have not seen any slowdown with most Pilots and Aircraft eager to get in the sky and wow the crowds. We at Aviation Central are extremely positive and hopeful that we will see more shows and Aircraft in 2020 with both the AERO Club of South Africa and SAAF celebrating their centenary birthdays.
We will try to keep this list updated as best as possible, but please contact us if you feel we missed any aircraft.

Aircraft list 2019

2019 Airshow Aircraft List

Aircraft list 2018

Aircraft list 2018

Freedom Day Celebration Flypasts

The sound of thunder of jets rocked Port Elizabeth residents as Gripens, Hawks, The Silver Falcons, two BK117s and Lynx took part in Freedom Flypasts over event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape.

The 27th April marked 25 years of democracy, following decades of apartheid rule and segregation in which the majority of the country’s citizens were marginalised.

JAS39D Gripen

Local residents in Grahamstown got to witness the flypasts and brought joy to the youth as some of these aircraft are not usually seen in the area.

The Silver Falcons showed why they can restore national pride as known as the cockpit ambassadors to the South African Airforce. Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana grew up in the area and it was surely a proud moment to display in front of a home crowd.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Silver Falcons

It was also a photo opportunity for some of the local aviation enthusiasts to capture the Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901’.This was the first gripen delivered to the SAAF.


Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901
85 Comabt Flying School Hawk MK120 ‘262’
Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

We would like to thank Patrick Davidson for allowing us to use a certain platform to gain access to get this incredible photos.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen ‘3918’

Another big presence of South African Airforce Aircraft will be seen over Pretoria end of May 2019 and no its not an airshow.Keep an eye on our social media pages.

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