News Letter 28 February 2019

Good day all This will be the last quiet weekend in the aviation community for quite a while as airshow season is fast approaching. The Aero Club Air week will start on Thursday 7th March and will continue to the 11th when everyone goes home. To add to this wonderful week of aviation the Middelburg Aero Club will be hosting an Airshow on Saturday 11th March. This together with all the other activities promises, including the next addition of the exciting Speed Rally Series, promises to be an event not to be missed. For those enthusiasts that can’t make it to Middelburg, the SAAF Museum will be hosting their monthly Flying Training day at Swartkops Airforce Base, as always there will be plent

The SANDF Salutes Captonians for their Patriotic Support

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to the residents of the Mother City and the surrounding areas in the Western Cape for their rousing welcome and support throughout the planning and execution stages of this year’s Armed Forces Day event. What the SANDF has achieved in Cape Town would not have been possible had it not been for the authorities and people of this marvellous city. It was through their support that the SANDF successfully managed to commemorate the sinking of SS Mendi, honour its heroes and heroines in the largest military parade in Cape Town since 1994 and conduct real-time mission readiness training to showcase the readiness of th

SANDF Armed Forces Night Shoot Muizenberg

It's not often we get to see the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) getting their feet wet. This being mostly the armed vehicle columns making their way to Muizenberg along the sunrise Beach area and showing off their firepower to most of the Western Cape folk who made their way to see their military assets in person on the evening of 19 February. The purpose of the Night Shoot was to show the fire power to the people of South Africa and to interact with its people. Many Capetonians were not happy at all to having the military on its beaches as they believed there will be a long-term environmental impact. The SANDF insured that impact assessments were rigidly adhered to and all tha

SANDF Armed Forces Day Parade

The conclusion to, what can only be described as an extremely successful, Armed Forces Week took place at Table View Beach on Thursday 21 February. A parade down Marina Drive had locals hanging out their ocean front apartment blocks to catch a glimpse of their Defence Force in full ceremonial mode. The day’s proceedings were kicked off with host of flypasts by the South African Airforce, leading the flypast was a flight of three SAAF helicopters, an Oryx carrying the national flag, a Super Lynx also flying the national flag and an Agusta A109 flying the SANDF Flag. They were closely followed by a Hercules C-130BZ accompanied by the Silver Falcons in tight formation, they were followed by a f

SANDF Armed Forces Day Capability Demonstration

The final planned event of the SANDF Armed Forces week was a Capability Demonstration on Table View Beach, the sketched scenario was a kidnapping of diplomats which were being held hostage in a building on the beach. The SA Navy were actively involved in the demonstration with a variety of vessels from Frigates to Harbour Patrol vessels and even on of the Navy’s three Submarines. SAS Manthatisi (Heroine Class 209 Type Submarine) SAS Amatola Valour Class Frigate A Zodiac Hurricane dropped two Navy Divers just beyond the breaker line, the divers then started swimming towards the beach to secure the area and mark a landing area for the SAAF Oryx helicopter, surprisingly the divers use AK47 and

Air Mercy Services Bids Farewell to two Legends

Friday afternoon, 22 February, saw a gathering at the Air Mercy Service complex, at Cape Town International Airport. Staff, past and present pilots, both full time and volunteers came together to wish a fond farewell and, in both cases, a semi-farewell to two legends of the AMS – Frans Grootepas and Rene de Wet. Whilst they have hung up their headsets, they will still be very much involved in the organisation – as trustees and advisors. L to R Frans Grootepas, Rene de Wet, Dr Ashley Stoner (retired aviation medical doctor), Dr Philip Erasmus, CEO AMS, Graham Smith, Alan Marshall, John Martin, John Stone and Danie Loubscher Professor Frans Grootepas, a maxillofacial surgeon by profession, joi

News Letter 21 February 2019

Good day all I greet you today from a very hot and windy Cape Town, where the Annual SANDF Armed forces Parade and Capability Demonstration is being held. President Cyril Ramaphosa Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force delivered an address before the parade and capability demonstration commenced. Please be sure to read or reports on all the aspects of the Armed Forces Day in our Tuesday edition. The EAA Chapter 322 will be visiting Arjan Schaap, for a project visit at Brits Airfield on Saturday 23 February, Arjan is busy restoring a PZL-104 Wilga Aircraft anyone is welcome to join. Africa on the Brink of an Aviation Boom. Continent Africa comprises some 54 countries.

The Mighty Antonov An-2 Soviet Workhorse

The An-2 was designed as a utility aircraft for use in forestry and agriculture. However, the basic airframe is highly adaptable and numerous variants of the type have been developed; these include hopper-equipped versions for crop-dusting, scientific versions for atmospheric sampling, water-bombers for fighting forest-fires, flying ambulances, float-equipped seaplane versions and lightly armed combat versions for dropping paratroops. The most common version is the An-2T 12-seater passenger aircraft. All versions were originally powered by a 1,010 hp nine-cylinder Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engine, which was developed from the Wright R-1820. The An-2 typically consumes 150 litres of fuel and app

Airshows in 2019 – What you can look forward to

We are well into 2019 and the Airshow season is once again upon us unfortunately this year we will have to make do with a season that is far lighter than in previous years, but we promise to do our best to bring you the stories and photographs of all the shows on the cards this year. Middelburg Airshow The first Airshow of the year will be held at Middelburg Airfield, on 9 March, and will form part of the Aeroclub of South Africa’s annual Aeroclub Airweek. Middelburg have a hosted very successful airshows in the last few years and this promises to be up there with the best of them. Richard and his lovely wife Irene are at the head of the planning team for this event and which once again is s

South African Airways – What now?

SAA’s “Turnaround Strategy” was dealt a massive blow last week it was revealed that matters had finally been concluded between Comair and SAA, The National Carrier would begin payments of R1.1 billion, plus legal fees, from the end of March until July 2022. Comair, who operate both British Airways and Kulula in South Africa, called SAA to account based on the accusation that the national carrier was guilty of anticompetitive behaviour in 2006. The crux of the argument, from Comair’s perspective, was that SAA had been issuing incentives to travel agencies that diverted customers towards them and away from competitors. Excluding the legal costs SAA is expected to pay around R28.9 million per m

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp - Brits Airfield

As many will recall SAPFA held a training camp at Aerosud recently and at this event it was decided that it would be followed by a practical training day and Saturday 16 February was the chosen date. Unfortunately the weather did not play along and many of the teams could not make it to Brits Airfield due to an extremely low cloud base and patches of rain over most of Gauteng. The cloud did lift at Brits but pretty late after many of the teams decided to remain safe at their home airfields, four teams however did make it to Brits and it was decided to go ahead with the teams that were there. The previous training session focused on map plotting and preparing as muvh as possible so the worklo

News Letter 14 February 2019

Good day All I greet you today from a very very wet Gauteng, we have had rain nonstop since early yesterday and it seems like it will be continuing well in to the weekend, as things stand we are not aware of any events planned so the disappointment isn’t too great. South African National Defence Force ready for Armed Forces Day 2019 16 – 21 February in Cape Town On Armed forces Day, the SA National Defence Force celebrates its unit and creates an environment where the public can interact with the military and view its latest military hardware and technology. Consequently exposing and expanding the public’s perception of the various military roles and its purpose in society in peacetime in a

The "Queen of the Skies" Turns 50 - Boeing 747

Every day millions of people fly, it is an accepted way of life , but that has not always been the case. From the early days of commercial aviation, flying was limited to business travellers and those with the means to purchase the very expensive tickets. Destinations were also limited requiring a number of connections to fly between major cities. In 1969, that all changed as an incredible invention was revealed to the world. On Feb. 9, 1969, the Boeing 747, called the “Super Jet,” and dubbed the “Jumbo Jet” by the media took to the skies for the first time. To those whom have loved the plane through the years she is the “Queen of the Skies.” Boeing 747's First Flight The Boeing 747 was conc

Rustenburg Breakfast Fly-In 2019

As we got airborne at The Coves it became very clear that this was going to be no ordinary breakfast fly-in, the radio was jammed with pilots reporting their positions on their way to Rustenburg. When we flew overhead the apron next to the club house was already full of aircraft and the grass alongside the taxiway was filling up fast. The wonderful flying weather and the idea of getting out and shaking of the January blues made for a great day with no less than one hundred visiting aircraft making their way to this beautiful airfield in the heart of Platinum country. The Rustenburg Flying Club who hosted the event seemed to be caught a little of guard by the sheer number of visitors and had

Nitro Extreme at RMAC - Miniature Pylon Racing

The morning kicked off bright and early for our pilots, as they made their way through to Rand Model Aeronautical Club (RMAC) in the south of Johannesburg. The luscious green fields and blue skies of RMAC made for the perfect venue for Miniature Pylon Racing. Rand Model Aeronautical Club is the oldest model flying club in the country and has been around for over 80 years, the club moved to its current location over 43 years ago. RMAC cater for all types of RC flying (Large scale, Scale, Pattern, Pylon, Helicopters and Quadcopters). At 8:00 the pilots made their way to briefing held by Matthys Botha, while the briefing was on the go some cloud cover started forming, and a nice light breeze pi

Aviation Enthusiast Gifts for Valentines Day

Pilots and aviation enthusiasts are a special breed they have been drawn into a world that tends to become somewhat of an obsession. It is difficult for the average pilot/ enthusiast to understand people that don’t share their love for flying and flying machines and as a result finding the perfect gift for them is no easy task. I have attempted to help the non-aviation wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend by compiling a list of possible gifts that your aviation mad significant other might appreciate. The “normal” people out there might find some benefit from this seeing that the dreaded St Valentine’s Day is once again upon us. Aviation themed watches are very popular among the flying frat

News Letter 7 February 2019

Good day All The weekend looks pretty active in Gauteng and North-West unfortunately we are not aware of any events in provinces. Rustenburg Fly-in Breakfast Rustenburg Flying Club (FARG) will be hosting a Breakfast Fly-In on Saturday 9 February only a short flight from Gauteng and if their past events are anything to go by, it’s going to be great. Rustenburg is an unmanned airfield, please ensure communication with other aircraft, join overhead at 5200 feet and then follow the normal joining procedure for runway 16 or 34 depending on the weather. Rustenburg Airfield INFO Elevation: 3700 feet Runway: 16 and 34, 1200 meters long, asphalt Frequency: 122.4 Coordinates 25°38′39″S 027°16′16″E Ran

The SAAF Celebrates its 99th Birthday

The South African Airforce was formed on the 1st February 1920 and has seen service in World War II, the Korean War and later the Rhodesian Bush War as well as the Angolan Bush War, known as the “Border War”. More recently the SAAF has been involved in peace keeping missions all over Africa on behalf of the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU). In Celebration of its 99th Birthday the SAAF held a Prestige Day Parade on the 1st February at the historic Air Force Base Swartkop in Centurion Pretoria. AFB Swartkop is the proud holder of the title of “Oldest Operational Airforce Base” in the world, it was established in 1921. The Parade marched on accompanied by the SAAF Band, after a b

SAAF Prestige Awards Evening

Airforce Base Swartkop was the host of the South African Airforce Prestige Awards Evening for the 2018 rotation period. While the guests were arriving the Silver Falcons entertained everyone with a magnificent display of formation aerobatics, while they were busy the weather deteriorated somewhat with a massive storm front moving in from the East. Gen Glen Warden took to the air in the SAAF Museum Vampire with a very dark stormy backdrop. At that stage everyone was hoping that the storm would be blown to the south of Swartkops, unfortunately that was not to be and soon after the Oryx display by 17 Squadron the heavens opened up and forced everyone into 5 Hangar. A King Air from 41 Squadron

Morningstar Speed Rally – Third of the Series

Saturday 2 February heralded the 3rd Speed Rally organised by SAPFA in the last few months the previous two were held at Springs and Secunda. After the success of the first two rallies Morningstar Flying Club, based at Morningstar Airfield, approached Jonty Esser to assist in organising a Speed Rally in the Cape. Dart Aeronautical stepped up as the main sponsor for the event they were joined by Sideslip Aviation Worx, Pilot Insure, Skye Plastics and Aero Shell without their generous contributions events like this would never get off the ground. The two day event started on the Friday evening, with a training seminar for new and aspiring rally pilots, presented by experienced World Stage Rall