The 2018 Airshow season was kicked off with the welcome return of the Ermelo Airshow, the Mpumalanga town last hosted show back in 2011. Being the first show of the season the display pilots were chomping at the bit to get back doing what they love, exciting and entertaining the South African crowds. Ermelo airfields elevation being a bit higher than the norm at 5800ft plus a pretty high Density Altitude participating pilots needed to take precautions to keep things safe.
The show was sponsored by FAW Ermelo, supported by the Gert Sibande District Municipality and organised by Andre Van Rooyen along with his team from Ermelo Aeronautical Society. Capital Sounds treated the crowds to great commentary from Brian Emmenis and Leon Du Plessis, at the same time providing information on each aircraft type that was flown during the day.
Aircraft waiting to thrill
The show started with a Para drop by SANDF Special Forces Skydiving team, Little Annie an Antanov An2 flown by father and son team Mark and Jon-Marc Hill ferried them to altitude. The RC guys from the local RC club flew two aircraft, leaving many of the ever growing crowd very interested in taking up this very popular hobby.
Little Annie the Antanov AN2
SANDF Special Forces Skydiver
Many Aerobatic aircraft took to the skies of Ermelo from Neville Ferreira in his Slick 540,Andrew Blackwood Murry in his Nashua Extra 300 to name a few.
Andrew Blackwood Murry
The show also saw two Pitts Specials team, first being the Goodyear Eagles lead by Glen Warden. The newly sponsored Cows Aerobatic team did their first display in the newly branded Pitts.
Cows Aerobatic Team
Team Extreme made up of Nigel Hopkins, Mark Hensman, Jason Beamish and Mark Sampson created quite a stir with their Hi-impact very tight aerobatic formation flying.
The Radials included the Antanov An2, a Boeing Stearman flown by Ivan van der Schaar and the ever popular Puma Flying Lions Harvard team who also provided a dusk display to close the show.
Ivan van der Schaar
Puma Flying Lions
The SAAF 2 Squadron JAS39D Gripen flown by Doberman and Bluebird got the crowd on their feet, flying all the way from AFB Makhado. The SAAF also provided a 19 Squadron Agusta A109LUH for static display.
A Magni Gyrocopter was put through its paces by Matthew Zalewski from 303 Squadron Flight School at Brakpan Airfield. The AT802 from Kishugu Aviation demonstrated firebombing reinforcing what great assets these aircraft are at fighting fires all around South Africa.
Juba Joubert arguably South Africa’s best helicopter display pilots showed off the manoeuvrability of the Gazelle, that’s one man who can fly a chopper!
Civilian Jet action saw two L39’s ,in the same colour scheme, flown by Glen Warden and Richard Lovett and David Laas' Impala Mk1 flown by Denel Test Pilot Mike Weingartz, these two displays kept the ”jet Junkies” happy.
A big “WELL DONE” must go to Andre and his dedicated team you guys really outdid yourselves .We sincerely hope to see the Ermelo Airshow become a regular on the airshow circuit.
Please browse our Gallery of this Event