SAAF Museum Open Flying day - Aug 2012

By Willie Bodenstein

It may be news to some that the SAAF Museum host open days on the first Saturday of every month where some of the Museum's aircraft are put on display for the public to see and to keep the Museum's Pilots current on the various types they have available. For a few years the Museum's future was a little uncertain but the previous Commanding Officer of the Museum, Col. Willie Nel, and the new Commanding Officer Col. Mike O'Connor have made a huge impact on the Museum and it is back to its former glory where it preserves our aviation heritage for the next generations to see.

The weather on Saturday the 4th of August could not have been better and ďThe Friends of the SAAF MuseumĒ, aviation enthusiasts, historians and other visitors moved in to AFB Swartkop early in the morning for another privileged view of some of South Africa's Air Force classics.

The day was made even more special with a few unusual visitors both in the air and on the ground. A P-51 Mustang, possible the most famous aircraft of WWII was flown in for the day by its owner Menno Parsons. Human Settlement Minister Tokyo Sexwale, Minister of Transport, Ben Martins and Swaziland's Prime Minister Barnabas Lamina was also present on the day. But Lt. General Dennis Earp, an aviation legend and former Chief of the South African Air Force brought back fond memories with his presence on the day. General Earp, a Mustang pilot during the Korean War flew with Menno in Mustang Sally and I am sure that to him it was just as special.

The Vampire is always one of the open day favourites and I am not sure if it is her age, looks or sound that is the attraction. Eight Harvards from both the Museum and Harvard club graced the skies whilst the Puma, Alouette II and III, Bosbok and Kudu also had their turn.

If you have not been to the Museum recently, make sure you are at next month's open day. Although it has always been nice to visit the Museum, the positive effort by the Museum staff is evident during every visit.

SA Air Force
Events 2012

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