Swaziland Air Show 2012
By Willie Bodenstein
The small mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland with a friendly population off just over one million hosted another of its airshows organised by the Swaziland Flying Club under the leadership of Lyndon Hermansson. Matsapha International is currently the countries only airport (a new airport being under construction) and like the East London and Port Elizabeth Shows, it is an active Airport with scheduled flights and the program makes provision for these.
Two Atlas Angels were kept busy dropping eleven skydivers from Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal. The Skydivers has always been a crowd favourite with the Swazis. The event also marked the first display at a show by the Atlas Angel flown by Llewllyn Stroebel. Following the Angel was a brief display by Dave Gous in the Yak 52. Dave later treated the crowd to his “by now” famous Monkey act. The L39 and L29 belonging to Swazi resident Ernest Da Cruz and flown by himself and Mike Weingaartz then took to the skies in the first of their displays.
The Bantam of Nelspruit resident Andrew Pappas was next followed by the Goodyear Eagles with Dennis Spence, Johan van Solm and Neil Trollip for one of their polished displays. Danie Terblanche also from Nelspruit then put the Robinson R44 through its paces followed by a more sedate display by Jeff Earle in the Tiger Moth. A race between the Pitts and a bike followed and much to the delight of the crowd, Lucky a local won the race. Nigel Hopkins arrived in the MX2 and went into his display which earned him a standing ovation from the spectators.
Lyndon Hermansson and his team did a sterling job, ran a well-organized show and considering the size of the Kingdom's population, better supported than most of our local smaller shows. Francois Hannekom acted as Safety Officer and Koos Kieck as Airshow Director. Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team entertained and informed the crowd estimated at more than five thousand. Capital sounds professionalism and Brian's commentary must surely rank among the best in the world.
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