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“Our Collective Heritage” SAAF Museum Airshow 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://youtu.be/dN8xcu63kLc

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

Africa Aerospace and Defence Airshow programme

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AAD Airshow Programme 22 Sept 2018

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AAD Airshow Programme 23 Sept 2018

 

 

SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

SAAF Museum Airshow 2018

The long awaited annual SAAF Museum Airshow was held on the 5th May 2018,on some what perfect airshow weather.The show was conducted under the theme:Our Indomitable Spirit,both Civilian and Military aircraft and pilots showed off to the thousands of people that arrived early on Saturday morning at Air force Base Swartkop along side old Johannesburg Road in Valhalla, Pretoria. The SAAF Museum Airshow is designed to offer aviation enthusiasts, aviation institutions and publications ,the general public and as well as former and current SAAF an opportunity to reflect and or reminisce on the memories and presentations on history.

Youth exhibition Friday 2018-05-04

The day before the SAAF Museum and the SAAF hosted a career expo for learners around the Gauteng area. 14 different schools and a total of 1000 learners were invited to Hanger 4A to interact with some of the exhibiters including the south African Air Force.


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The Airshow Saturday 2018-05-05

The show started with paragliders who filled the skies with much colour to their bright chutes they were using as well as a single gyrocopter all operating out of the Grasslands field not to far from Swartkops. Next up the 28 Squadron C130BZ from AFB Waterkloof landed with a special surprise in being the SAAF Band that entertained the crowds until the show was officially opened, This has never been done at a airshow before in South Africa. The C130 then took off from the base to  climb to altitude to drop the several  parachutists from both the Golden Eagles Parachute team and member’s of the special forces.The landed just in time to meet and greet the Chief of the South African Air force Lieutenant General Fabian Zimpande Msimang and Officer Commanding Airforce Museum Swartkops Lieutenant Colonel Melvin Bruintjies.


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Capital Sounds provided sound equipment for the large crowd line, excellent commentary from Brian Emmenis,L eon Du Plessis and Elvis Manene. SAAF commentators that provided information for the ever eager public was Colonel Lance ‘Lancelot’ Mathebula who also provided commentary from one of the Hawk Mk120s during simulated top cover during the mini war.A first for a airshow. He was also joined by two new hawk pilots Captain ‘Comet’ Mfeka and Tiisetso ‘Lego’ Legodi.

Airboss for the show was Colonel Keith Fryer and also commentated during some of the display slots, Colonel Keith Andrews was ramp Boss and some of the best SAAF ATC’s were present keeping the airspace safe for display routines.

The show was opened by the Hawk Mk120 ‘Gannet’ flown by officer commanding of 85 Combat Flying School Craig ‘Shark’ Leeson,showing what the lead in fighter trainer is capable of and training the new generation fighter pilots on the type. The SAAF Museum heritage flight were straight after the Hawk landed,first up the helicopters consisting of the Alouettes II and III and Aerospatiale Puma.The Cessna 185s were soon over head the field followed by the formidable sound of the Atlas C4.M Kudu and Bosbok and Harvards.Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden flew a gentle solo display in the De Havilland T55 Vampire.


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The Rand Based Pitts Special teams flew their high energy display being the new Cows Aerobatic Team and the Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team led by Glen Warden, Johan Von Solms both ex fighter pilots joined Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish.  Team Extreme performed their first airshow as a four ship led by Nigel Hopkins,Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Jason Beamish. The Mango 737-800 was flown out of Lanseria International Airport to display  at the show by Captain Scully Levin and Captain Rodney Chinn.The Puma Flying Lions also flew a great display and were part of the 12 Harvard mass shutdown towards the end of the day!


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Andrew Blackwood Murray Displayed the Nashua Extra 300L and other aerobatic  slots saw Patrick Davidson who flew up from Port Elizabeth in his Red Bull Sponsored Sbach 342, it was great to see Patrick at a airshow on the Highveld, he was joined by unlimited aerobatic class pilot Barrie Eels in his new Extra 330sc in a dual display of intense aerobatics.


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Ex Russian Jet trainers that flew at the show was Ex Sasol Tiger L29 ZU-AUX and L39 ZU-TEE in its new colour scheme,both flown by  Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden.He definitely kept the photographers happy with his display passes.

The mini war that the crowd got to witness was a absolute treat to see the new and the old from the choppers,that being the Puma and the Oryx helicopters. The gunships saw the Alouette III and Rooivalk and two Agusta A109LUHs.The bosbok was also flown in the demonstration simulating airstrikes as well as two Hawk MK120s flown by Simon ‘Seraph’ Theunissen and Jabulani ‘Cyrax’ Mabona. The C130 was  used to drop parabats on the far side of the field and the 44 Squadron Casa 212 was utilized for a supply drop, while the army engineers provided pyrotechnics in the background.


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Major Geoffrey ‘Spartan’ Cooper showed off the JAS39C Gripen from 2 Squadron, he definitely  shows the aircraft well and in its limits. The crowds were on their feet during his famous dump and burn. The Pilatus PC7MKII was put through its paces by Major Bheki ‘Swaziboy’ Shabungu. 15 Squadron pilot Major Diaan Grobbelaar flew a awesome display in the Agusta A109LUH as well as Paul ‘Raccoon’ Kempthorn in the 16 squadron Rooivalk,great display from the chopper boys.


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The youngest airshow participant on the day was Ger-Drie de Beer flew his RC MX2,what a great display he did for the thousands of people he displayed for. Retired Gen. Des Barker few the first airshow display in the Atlas Angel, which is a upgraded Kudu with a Pt6 turbine engine, Gerrie ‘Sparkie’Pretorius flew a brilliant tight display in the Museum Cessna C185.

‘Little Annie’ an Antonov 2 showed why its the worlds largest Bi-Plane piloted by father and son team Mark and Jon-marc Hill. Jeff Earle flew his Vereeniging based De Havilland DH. 82 Tiger Moth.The Randolph  sponsored Boeing Stearman flown by Comair Boeing Captain Ivan van der Schaar.28 Squadron flew their usual low-level routine in the C130Bz from 28 Squadron flown by Clint Hawtrey and Caro Duven.


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The SAAF Museum Puma dropped a car that apparently parked where it shouldn’t of been ,the public made sure it wasn’t their vehicle at the end of the day.At the end of the last act being the Gripen,Captain Mark Kelbrick proposed to his wife to be in front of of a large crowd who waited until the last slot of the day had been flown.

Gripen stopping in-front of the crowd at the end of the show… all for one reason…

Photo credit Niel Swart

Big congratulations to Mark and Megan that stole the show when as went down on one knee and proposed to her before the whole of the crowd in front of Gripen

Photo credit Niel Swart

This Museums show was definitely a winner, to Colonel Trish Schoeman, Colonel Melvin Bruintjies, Col. Keith Fryer and their team, we salute you on a great show and to all the spectators who attended the Airshow, till next year

Keep them Up where they’re belong

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Ermelo Airshow 2018

The great Ermelo Airshow has finally returned to the Airshow circuit once again, after an absence since 2011. The show made a welcome return on the 7th April 2018 under the Gert Sibanda Local Municipality. Ermelo is situated 210 kilometers east of Johannesburg. It is both a mixed agriculture and mining region of South Africa.The airfield sits at 5700 feet MSL, pilots took the proper precautions as this was not a usual airfield pilots are used to flying at.

I was fortunate to fly into Ermelo airfield the day before the show with the Hill family in their beautiful strong Russian Antonov An2 “Little Annie” from Wonderboom National Airport in Pretoria.We arrived at the field with full of smiles from organisers and marshals,welcoming us and providing us with some of the best hospitality one can ask for.

That evening we were again treated to a lamb spit braai for all the pilots and VIPs that were invited to the braai.At this point of time the next day would see most display pilots and other aircraft just flying inn for the show.

Apon arrival at the airfield on Saturday the 7th April,we were blessed with beautiful weather for flying.As aircraft after aircraft arrived.The show started off with a parachute drop with SANDF Special Forces ,their jump ship was the An2 “Little Annie”. The An2 was then showed why it is the worlds biggest single engine bi-plane flying in the world today flown by Jon-Marc and Mark Hill.

Ensuring the airshow ran smoothly during the course of the day, safety officers Pete Graham and Trevor Wilson and display directors Kishugu’s Johan Heine was show boss for the day.The Capital Sounds team arrived the Friday before the show to set up for the show, Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis provided excellent commentary and ensuring all information on aircraft and pilots flying on the day.

The Ermelo RC Club was next with two RC aircraft, while Neville Ferreria was soon up after the RC display. His sequence showed part of what the unlimted Aerobatic team level is sitting at. The Magni Gyrocopter flown by Matthew Zalewski from 303 Squadron flying school from Brakpan/Benoni airfield.Johan ‘Juba’ Joubert flew the only helicopter display for the day in the Aerospatiale Gazelle.

The show was a first for Team Extreme made up of Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish,Mark ‘Bugs’ Hensman and Mark ‘Sammy’ Sampson. The team flies a range of high performance aerobatic aircraft from the Extra 330, MX2 and Sbach 341. Two aircraft were ferried up from Cape Town just for the show. Andrew Blackwood Murray flew his Nashua sponsored Extra 300 in two spirited displays during the day.

The Rand Airport based team including the Puma Flying Lions T6 Harvard’s led by veteran airshow pilot Scully Levin who still flies for Mango airlines. He also led the new Cows Aerobatic team sponsored by ‘Taillifts SA’ flying the Pitts Specials who were sponsored by Torre for some years. The Goodyear Eagles put a 3ship display,also flying the Pitts Special led by former fighter pilot Glen ‘Gringo’ Warden. The team is also made up of Paul ‘Cruiser’ Coetzer former 85 Combat Flying School Impala display pilot. And lastly Johan von Solms a former Cheetah pilot. Glen Warden also flew the solo L39 ‘ZUTEE’ display and later paired up with Richard Lovett in his L39 ZU-IBN which both L39s are almost identical.

Ivan van der Schaar flew is beautiful Boeing Stearman with gentle aerobatics and also flew his stearman into a immaculate sunset at the end of the day. Denel test pilot Mike Weingartz flew David Laas Impala ZU-IMP, Mike has the highest hours on the type in the world. The kishugu AT802 demostarted simulated fire bombing just as the sun set.

The South African Air force provided an Agusta A109LUH from 19 Squadron AFB Hoedspruit which was on static display. The 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flew all the way from AFB Makhado to provide a mini display. The Gripen was flown by Mohau ‘Doberman’ Vundla, this was his first airshow display and in the back seat Marc ‘Bluebird’ Wilson.

The show was tasked by Andre Van Rooyen who had support from most of the members from the Ermelo Aeronautical Society and the support of the sponsoring of the show from FAW Trucks Ermelo. We hope to see the Ermelo Airshow as a regular on the airshow circuit.

 

The next Airshow on the calendar in South Africa is the SAAF Museum Airshow 2018