Brakpan Airfield situated in the east of Johannesburg opposite Carnival City entertainment dome is the new home of “American Flying Classics”. The field was established in 1953, which is situated in the centre of Brakpan and other metros around the east rand area.
The airfield is home to the Brakpan Aero Club which has undergone a lot of pilot training from PPL to ATPL over the past number of years, on most days one can see training aircraft in the circuit ranging from Cessna 172s to Cherokee 140s.
The 11th November 2017 saw a not so common fly inn event at Brakpan Airfield organised by Sonica and Ivan Van Der Schaar. The couple have recently moved their operation “American Flying Classics” to Brakpan airfield from Petit. Ivan Van der Schaar a Captain at Comair flying 737s as his day job, while on weekends he plays around in his beautifully restored Boeing Stearman. Ivan and Sonica rebuilt the Stearman from a wreck and for some more aerobatic fun he has a Pitts S2A. They offer introductory flips for a reasonable price and Ivan has become a regular taking part in Airshows around Southern Africa.
Morning arrivals from airfields around the Gauteng area, ranging from the skyreach ultralight Rainbow cheetah aircraft to a Yak 52.
Pilots and the visiting public were treated to a scrumptious buffet breakfast at the new club house, after which one could walk through the static park admiring aircraft. The theme of the event was a radial and bi-plane fly-in with a number of Stearmen flying in plus a Waco owned by Nico Van Staden flown in from the Hekpoort Valley Airfield near Brits.
Another rare visitor was Hilton Wolfs Pakistan Mushak, which is the only flying example flying in South Africa, He was joined by “Little Annie” the Anatnov AN2 flown in by display pilot Jon Marc Hill.
The Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey , which is an amphibian aircraft unfortunately due to strict regulations cannot operate on water in South Africa, was on static display looking rather dry out of its natural habitat.
Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey
Alouette pilot Rob Sandler also a former resident at petit now based at Brakpan ,flew his beautifully restored ex SAAF Alouette III, he also owns an Aloutte II which I had the opportunity to fly in not to long ago.
ex SAAF Alouette III
A classic warbird sits in one of the hangars, known as a Skyraider. This ex Gabon Airforce machine is being restored to flying. I'm sure that will be a crowd favourite on the Airshow circuit when is is complete.
As the proceedings of the day started to quiet down and aircraft slowly returned to their home bases, guests who stayed for the braai at the Van der Schaars new Hangar and B&B were treated to some great hospitality.
To Sonica and Ivan and the Brakpan Aero Club we would like to congratulate you on a great turnout of aircraft and the general public. We look forward to more events at Brakpan Airfield soon.