By Dian Townsend
It's hard to believe that we've reached August already, but with a new month also comes another flight training day at the Swartkop branch of the SAAF Museum!
Every first Saturday of the month is flight training day at the SAAF Museum. This means that the air force machines of yesteryear can once again spread their wings. The flight training days are always a family favourite in Centurion, with loads of aviation enthusiast, young and old, making their way to the museum for what is always a great morning out.
The usual flock of fixed wing aircraft were first to head out. Starting off with the Cessna 185, which was followed by the Aermacchi Bosbok and North American Harvards. I spent most of last year in Germiston at Rand Airport and whenever the Flying Lions would go overhead, it would take me right back to Saturday mornings in Centurion. That iconic Pratt And Whitney radial roar is something every single person living in Centurion would recognize.
And not too long after the fixed wing machines got airborne, it was the turn of my preferred class of flying machines, the helicopters! The first to get airborne was the Aérospatiale Puma, with the Alouette II and III following suite shortly after.
Us photographers have been treated with some amazing photo opportunities at the Museum for many years now, and this weekend the star of the show was without a doubt the Puma. The black and white photo of the beast diving straight at us has to be one of my all time favourites.
The pilots all made sure that the enthusiasts that made their way to the Museum headed home well satisfied, with the helicopters doing quite a few flybys, auto-rotations and even a couple of dives directly for the lenses. And no flight training would be complete without a graceful Harvard display!
Although August is a fairly quiet month in terms of aviation events, it serves as a good opportunity to prepare for the September rush. Next month brings events to the likes of the Children's Flight, Museum training day, Rand Airshow, Virginia Airshow, Krugersdorp Heli Fly-in and the RV Day at Kitty hawk, to only name a few!
Although this year (no pun intended) has flown by, there is definitely no shortage of action still to come!