Tag Archives: Silver Falcons

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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SANDF Capability Demonstration and Arena Displays- Rand Easter Show 2019

The 125th Rand Easter Show has once again entertained Gauteng residents with raw power of the South African National Defence  with the South African Navy, Army, Airforce and Military Health Service all present at the Expo Centre Nasrec South of Johannesburg.

SAAF Silver Falcons fly overhead the arena

The Capability demonstration was once again a major draw card to the Rand Show as it always is and run for the first four days of the opening of the show. Unfortunately with the absence of South African Airforce helicopters as the choppers were still on operational duties in Mozambique and Malawi.

15 Squadron Agusta A109LUH on static display

We were blessed with great weather for the first 3 days of the event including the validation day before the opening of the event as their was predicted rain showers and overcast weather for the duration of the morning shows. The final day was unfortunately rained out.

2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Major Lee-Roy ‘Shinobi” Goosen and Major Kevin ‘Saffron’ Chetty

2 Squadron didn’t disappoint  with the presence of two Gripens opening the event. Major Mohua “Dobaman” Vundla with navigator Kevin “Saffron” Chetty and in the second Gripen was Major Lee-Roy “Shinobi” Goosen kept a tight formation flypast as the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula arrived on the podium to address the public on the official opening of the Rand Easter Show 2019.

2 Squadron Gripens flown by ‘Dobaman’ and “Saffron” in the first gripen and “Shinobi” in the second gripen

“I am delighted and honored to be amongst the men and women in the uniform-our country’s armed forces – during the official opening of the 2019 Rand Easter Show. Our soldiers have been patriotically exhibiting and showcasing their capabilities at this crowd – pulling event without fail since 2011 and endeared themselves to visitors from all walks of life, educating our people about the miltarys role in society and towards the defence of our constitutional dispensation.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” The platform that the Rand Easter Show affords the South African National Defence Force is key to exposing the citizens of Gauteng and the country at large to the capabilities, state of the art technologies and the career opportunities the abound within our national defence force.”


Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula

” It is through the participation of the SANDF in events such as this one that the aspirations of young men and women–from Eldorado Park, Soweto, Tembisa, Diepsloot, Brynston, Alexandra and Dainfern- in fact throughout the country, ignites them to serve the country. “

” The Rand Easter Show has over the years been a gathering place for visitors who have proven to be owerawed by the dedication, hard work and precision with which our soldiers carry out their duties as showcased through the various capabilities demonstrated in these arena lawns.”

The capability demonstration se the theme this year as a deployment of reaction forces to support a convoy ambushed in a foreign territory. Two Ratel 90 ammoured vehicles gave support fire power as well as a lone 2 Squadron Gripen with simulated airstrikes. Simulated mortar strikes echoed in the arena as the crowds were awered of the pyrotechnics set off by the army engineers. All while this was happening a bridge laying was complete during the mock attack.

Simulated IED Mine
Ratel 90
2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen
Simulated Mortor Strikes.
Bridge Build

A 44 Squadron Casa 212 flown by Major Ashley Naxhe and  Major Nick Green and Loadmaster  Flight Sergeant Ramajela who
dropped skydivers from 44 parachute battlion with a designated landing zone in the arena. The Casa 212 then gave a beautiful fly past over the arena as they excited the special rules west area of Johannesburg.

44 Squadron CASA 212 Paradrop
44 Squadron Casa 212

The cockpit ambassadors of the South African Airforce, Silver Falcons of team 82 led by Major Omphile Matloane, Tiaan Stander, Corne Deventer, Bheki Shabangu and the soloist Major Sivu Tangana flew their 5 ship Pilatus PC7MKIIs.

Silver Falcons in the ‘Vixen’ Formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Cobra’ formation
Silver Falcons in the ‘Starfighter’ formation

Other arena events on the program included presion drills from the SA Army and Navy. The now popular Navy gun run, a Military Police anti hijacking display, SANDF Marshal Arts demonstration. The SANDF K9 unit and field patrol. And finally the new act on the SANDF the Land Drover of the Army Technical Corpse which is demobilised and mobilized under 10 minutes. Also a favorite at this year’s event.

Thank you kindly to the Rand Easter Show organizers. We look forward to next year’s 126th event.

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Stellenbosch warms old and young hearts alike-Stellenbosch Airshow 2019

Stellenbosch is situated in the Western Cape, South Africa. The area is known for its scenery, wine, university and the kindness of the community. Stellenbosch Flying Club is located just off the R44 leading out of Stellenbosch and has a relaxed atmosphere where flying, local craft beer and good food makes for lazy Saturday afternoons. On the 23rd of March 2019 this changed to a hive of activity and the day where it all came together, months of meticulous planning with hard work and preparations came together. The scene was set, the queue at the gates forming just after sunrise and the weather being almost perfect.

Capital Sounds Brian Emennis and Silver Falcons lead Major Omphile Matloane

The packed program list and the variety of participating aircraft is proof of a wonderful show that warmed the hearts of many. The biggest flag in Africa was parachuted in from a C206, the emergency cavalcade was on display and the props of the aircraft of the first display were turning… out came the Silver Falcons to open the show. With the mountains and greenery from the surroundings being the scenery, the Silver Falcons took to the sky and gave a shortened but wonderful display. Really being the cockpit ambassadors for the South African Air Force.

SAAF Silver Falcons

Special mention is to be made of Mr Air Show, Brian Emmenis. As many will know, he is the voice of air shows in South Africa and abroad. While the first few displays where happening, interviews were performed with James Vos: MEC Tourism and Economic Affairs, Major Omphile Mutloane, Phillip du Preez: Head of ExecuJet Cape Town, Franz Smit: Pilot insure and Graham Smith who received a lifetime membership from Stellenbosh Flying Club.

The program consisted of The Silver Falcons, Team Extreme, a Mango B737, Ex-SAAF Bosbok, Working on Fire display consisting of two Hueys, a Cessna and AT-802, L39, NAC Bell 407, Shock Cub, Raptors RVs, Tigermoth, J51C Glider, Boeing Stearman, Howard Vintage, Radio Control Models, Husky, Harvard T6, a display by TSU/AGA involving vehicles, dogs and a EC145, M16 Gyro, NAC Mirage PA 46-350.

Team Extreme
Mango 737-800
Mango 737-800 & Ex SAAF Bosbok

The list of pilots being as impressive as the list of aircraft consisting of Scully Levin, Pierre Gouws, Trevor Warner, Nigel Hopkins, Glen Warden, Trevor Milton, Ivan V/D Schaar, Jurie Steyn, Trevor Milton and many others. These pilot put up energised displays that had the crowds entertained, camera shutters clicking all day long (making downloading, editing and posting a challenge) and made this show a memorable one.

NAC Bell 407
NAC Bell 407

throughout the day there were constant movements by staff between the crowds to collect litter which easily makes this the cleanest show I have witnessed. After a long hot day, the warmest in weeks, with loads of liquids consumed and the crowds leaving, there was not a single piece of paper or empty bottle lying around.

With the crowds heading home and some staying for a last drink or chat with old friends, the departing aircraft made for a mini show as many did the traditional fly by as a thank you. The Silver Falcons being no exception. They took off, the formation was formed and the six ship came past 3 times, almost as if they didn’t want to head home as yet. As the sun set on the mountains, the light being amazing, the dust from the show settled these were observed by a few and was truly magical.

A time to reflect on the day. To cement the memories made. To salute an organising team and everyone involved, from pilots to ground crew and cleaning staff. A massive thank you to all. Not even load shedding could dampen spirits or impact the show!

Raptors RVs

The Stellenbosch Air Show hosted by the Stellenbosch Flying Club is to be an annual event and surely one to diarise! I for one will be there.

See you next year!

Stellenbosch Airshow 2019 What to expect

Stellenbosch Airshow 2019

Stellenbosch Flying Club Airshow

Dubbed FASHKOSH, a play on Stellenbosch’s official airfield name FASH and OSHKOSH, the single biggest airshow and gathering of aviation enthusiasts in the world which takes place annually at Oshkosh Wisconsin in the USA, the 2019 Stellenbosch Airshow takes place on the 23rd of March and promises to be bigger, louder and more exciting than in previous years.

Friday 22nd March is a practice day for the participating pilots and the Stellenbosch Flying Club will host a youth development day with around 200 learners from local schools attending where they will have the opportunity to gain first hand insights into possible careers in aviation. They will also be able to get up close to the participating pilots and aircraft, in particular the South African Airforce.

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The program for show day provides non-stop adrenalin and entertainment with some of the highlights of the show being the South African Airforce Silver Falcons, a Boeing 737 airliner flypast, the first public display in South Africa of the Pilatus PC24 small business jet and for the first time in the Western Cape a skydiver will jump with the biggest South African flag ever to fly. Team Extreme will thrill with their precision formation aerobatics display, and Working on Fire will demonstrate it’s capable team of firefighting helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that have been seen hard at work around the Cape over the last few weeks. These are but a few of the exciting aircraft to be seen on the day.

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World renowned airshow commentator Brian Emmenis and Capital Sounds will bring you informative and entertaining commentary and food and refreshments will be available throughout the day.

Gates open for spectators at 0800 with visiting aircraft of various descriptions flying in until the emergency cavalcade procession at 1015 whereafter the show will be opened by the skydivers

Tickets are available online at Webticket at R150 for adults and R100 for children. Under four years old enter for free. Numbers are limited and very few tickets will be available at the gate so get yours online early.

Click here to get your tickets online 

Stellenbosch AirShow Program 2019

Wide spread that covers most of the flying disciplines. From paragliders gliders, helo’s, business jets, fighter jets, formation team extreme aerobatics, competition aerobatics, flag jumps, gyro planes, model aircraft, simulated firefighting, simulated armed response and medivac, warbirds, new types on market.

A few not normally seen in the Western Cape. (Hidden in the program are a number of firsts at Stellenbosch.)

Below is subject to availability of aircraft & crew and is not in display order

  1. Power Para Gliders
  2. Large scale model Jets
  3. Biggest SA Flag skydivers
  4. SAAF Silver Falcons
  5. L 39 fighter jet
  6. Aero Machi Bosbok Ex SAAF
  7. Glider and Tug display
  8. Vintage Tiger Moth and Chipmunk display
  9. Emergency vehicle cavalcade
  10. Bell 407 Helicopter
  11. Howard vintage
  12. Cessna 195 vintage
  13. Boeing 737 airliner
  14. “THE HULK” display
  15. Pilatus PC 24 business jet
  16. Motor Glider
  17. Raptors Aerobatic Formation team
  18. RV Aerobatic solo display
  19. Gyrocopter M16
  20. Shock Cub display
  21. Team Extreme Aerobatic team
  22. Aviat Husky short field performance (Stellenbosch first female display pilot)
  23. Nashua Extra 300
  24. Harvard T6 Display
  25. Boeing Stearman Aerobatic display
  26. Black Hawk Helicopter
  27. Huey helicopter
  28. Piper Malibu
  29. Piper Aerostar
  30. Airborne armed response/ medivac demo
  31. Working on Fire demonstration

The above is subject to availability of aircraft and crew. Will be updated closer to the event.

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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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