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Mercedes Day - Brakpan Airfield

Brakpan Airfield came alive to slightly different sounds and sights on Sunday 5 May when the Mercedes Benz club of South Africa converged on the Airfield. Mercedes Day has been held for many years, the last few years have been at the SAAF Museum, this year Brakpan Airfield was the chosen destination.

Mercedes Benz club members were treated to flights in various aircraft ranging from the veteran to the modern, and some ex-military helicopters thrown in for good measure. Wonderful photo opportunities were crated with a selection of Mercedes form almost the motor manufactures entire history were parked in close proximity to some wonderful veteran aircraft.

One of the very popular aircraft was an ex-SAAF Harvard from the John Wright stable,7526, Grant Timms form Mango Airlines, took a very lucky Merc Club member for a flight in this SAAF Schoolmaster of the sky.

Rodney Benn joined in the fun with his beautifully restored Dornier Do27, This particular aircraft has a very interesting history and has had to be rebuilt on a few occasions due to mishaps by previous owners.

Rob Osner and Charles Fuller two of the proud Alouette owners offered flights in their stunning machines, Rob flies an Alouette III and Charles an Alouette II, the lucky Mercedes Club members wont soon forget these flights.

The now very famous Antanov AN2 “Little Annie” wasn’t about to stand around and miss out on the action. Jon-Marc Hill treated many of the motorheads to what 1000hp can do if in the right hands. Little Annie later joined a formation with a ex-SAAF Bosbok

A gaggle of gyrocopters made their way to Brakpan for a quick visit to the delight of all the visitors.

Col Keith Fryer and Col Keith Andrews, two of the most senior SAAF safety officers took charge of the safety arrangements on the day, Col Fryer spends lots of time flying Little Annie around the country when not at the controls of the presidential BBJ ferrying Pres Ramaphoza from place to place.

Throughout the day lucky draws were held and many sponsored prizes were given away to both the Aviation and the Automobile fraternity faithful, it was great to see the merging of the two passions and I’m sure that many similar events will be taking place in future.

We would like to thank Hilton Wolff and his team from the Mercedes Club and all the pilots who gave flights to the visitors on the day. We at Flightline Weekly belive you have planted many flying seeds.