• Garth Calitz

Let's get Airborne - with Brian E

I’m well aware that making the following statement will give away my age but what the hell it's all for the sake of sanity during this lock-down. Scenes reminiscent of the mid 70’s have been playing out all over South Africa and the world as people gather around a device, like in the old days of Springbok Radio’s “Squad Cars” and many other favorites from yesteryear. The only difference is that today we are gathering around a computer or mobile phone to watch the latest episode of Brian Emmenis’ “Lets get Airborne”.


Chris Rothman a former team member at Capital Sounds, the team that makes airshows in South Africa what they are, came up with the idea and approached Brian. Brian, being a bit technologically challenged was a bit tentative at first quickly warmed up to the idea and decided to give it a go. Overcoming the logistics is still a massive challenge with Chris directing from Pretoria, Brian in Welkom and the guests all over the world.

Chris is quite a whiz at putting this type of production together as this is one of his key functions at Virtual Productions. Chris makes use of a Tricaster to do the vision mixing which is a massive task considering all the photos and video clips that are included in each episode.


Running a production like this would be impossible without a reliable data connection, as the team realised early on often the picture would freeze probably due to the increase of internet usage during the lock-down. Simon Kirzian from INCONET noticed their frustration and came on-board to help speed up the data stream.


Soon after ITEC offered to install bigger point to point links and between the two generous companies the problem was solved.


Jarryd Sinovich an aviation photographer and regular contributor to Flightline Weekly offered his services to help source and manage photos thus giving the many upcoming photographers a chance to see their work on the big screen.


The channel has really taken off and Brian now has major companies offering their services. This means soon a broadcast-quality Canon camera with proper audio will replace the laptop camera and mic. PROSOUND are currently working on the project within a project and I’m sure they will offer a solution very soon.


The idea behind the channel is to introduce interesting characters in the aviation sector to fellow aviators and aviation enthusiasts. Brian has opted not to invite guests that may not be all that well known but all of them have made considerable contributions to aviation in South Africa and the world. I’m not going to bore everyone with a list of all the personalities that have already been guests on the show it will be way more fun to go and watch each episode, if you haven’t already seen them, I will, however, add links to all the episodes.

Funding for the project is coming out the pockets of Brian and Chris, they are more than willing to keep the concept running to keep people entertained during the period of lock-down, however long that may be. Unfortunately Capital Sounds business has been all but stopped as their income is from live events, especially airshows, and we are not likely to see any of them any-time soon.

Thanks for all your effort Brian, Chris, and the rest of the team.

Episode 1

Author Kobus De Villiers

Episode 2

Major Johann Venter

Episode 3

Horace Blok


Episode 4

Chris Briers

Episode 5

Major Chris Pretorius

Episode 6

Naval Captain Charl Coetzee

Episode 7

LtCol Dave Knoesen

Episode 8

Capt Flippie Vermeulen


Episode 9

LtCol Koos Kieck


Episode 10

Colonel Theo Meyer


Episode 11

Chief Pilot Marco van Coller


Episode 12

Capt Chalkie Stobbart

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