SAAF Museum Flying Training Day - Swartkop 3 March 2012
By Adam Barnard
I clearly recalled the years I spend in England as I arrived at Swartkop AFB yesterday, it was misty, it was windy and it was unpleasantly chilly. Not a good day for flying at all! Fortunately the forecasters were right, and shortly before 8 the mist cleared and we were blessed with beautiful blue skies.
The Swartkop Air Force Museum had their monthly Flying Training day, but with a slight twist... General Aviation was invited to fly in this time. Among others, Grant Timms showed up in a Yak 52, Karl Jensen in his beautiful Cessna 170, a Piper Cub, a Super Cub, a Tiger Moth and my personal favorite, Gordon Dyne in his Nanchang Dragon.
The SAAFM (South African Air Force Museum) had their usual aircraft on display with an addition of a Rooivalk which very recently became part of their priceless possessions.
Sometime this past week, a 100 years ago, the first parachute jump out of a powered aircraft was made and the SAAFM celebrated this historic event with a parachute jump from a Kudu.
Other ex-SAAF aircraft that took to the skies was the Bosbok, Alouette III, the Vampire (what a beautiful sight!) and of course the trustworthy and reliable old Harvards.
For the hungry and tired there were hamburgers, boerewors rolls (best I've had in a long time), camouflage nets provided shade, the "Windsock Pub" was open for a drink or two and plenty for the kids to do.
Although there were not many spectators, there was a huge amount of photographers from various photography clubs and the media.
Overall a good, fun filled day with the sound of radial engines, the smell of Avgas (and JetA1) and plenty of "Hangar Talk"
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