A Thundering Success At The TFDC Overberg 2012 Fly-In

By Juri Keyter

The Test Flight and Development Centre (TFDC) bi-annual fly-in and air show took place between the 20th and 21st of April 2012. The attendance was not nearly as high as the previous years and apart from the current economic climate, poor weather on Friday and Saturday morning resulted in many cancelling their visit to this exciting event.

Friday was overcast throughout the day making photographic opportunities challenging but it was still a good day as most of the flying participants completed their validations during the day. The RV formation team also arrived on the Friday and provided an exciting display soon after their arrival. Unfortunately they did not take part during the show on Saturday and it was a huge disappointment to all the RV fans.

Those who flew in on the Friday and camped on the field were rewarded with a twilight show with an Agusta 109 and a Gripen fighter jet.

Sadly, on Saturday the rain was pouring and if you asked me at 10AM if the show will take place, I would certainly not have given you any good prospects. However, at 11AM the weather cleared up and the show was back on track.

First on the program was the Agusta A109 with a spectacular routine and firing some flares at the end of its performance. The pride of the SAAF, the Silver Falcons followed with another flawless display.

The Oryx carrying troops, a C47-TP picking up its tail without moving forward, a T-28 with its thundering sound and a few civilian displays ensured a nonstop event.

But we all came for the heavy metal, the noise of jets and the capability demonstrations. The Hawk fighter jets attacked an area on the ground on the other side of the runway with bombs and some machinegun fire.

The Spitfire of Jets, the Hawker Hunter played music to our ears with its whistling sound in the capable hands of Ian Pringle. It was Ian's last display in the Hunter and we thank Ian for his contribution to air shows over many years.

The moisture in the air provided some spectacular views of the Buccaneer as it filled the air with vapour trails. With every sharp bank vapour covered its wings and I am sure that some photographers managed to get some exhilarating shots.

To most people the Gripen was the pinnacle of the event and Blokkies Joubert took this fantastic machine through its paces a few times during the day. Blokkies taxied the Gripen and parked it next to the spectators after every display and this made his performance even more exciting.

But no sonic boom!!! What were they thinking?
This was what we came for!!!

I must pay a tribute to those who made this show possible and I managed to get a few photos of some of these fine ambassadors of aviation.

Events 2012
SA Air Force

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