THE DAY BEFORE:
Preparations came in to full swing the day before the start of the first ICAD day. With threatening skies it seemed as if it would be a wet event. The chaperones were instructed in the safety aspects at the airfield.
And the exhibition team moved in and started erecting the stalls for the various aviation-related companies.
This might have seemed like a last minute attempt to get the event organised. However, behind the scenes, the cogs were grinding and things were falling in to place.
DAY ONE ICAD 2013
Arriving at Tempe at just after six in the morning, with clear skies, I sensed a buzz on the airfield. Tents were being erected and stalls were decked out
Security guards were deployed and the sound system, for the presentations, were set up in no time and ready for the masses.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) pulled out all the stops and invited most of the schools, from across the province, to attend this year's event. On average 3000 learners, per day, were expected to attend the event. The first learners started arriving, by bus, from around 08:30 in the morning and were treated to gift packs and carry bags filled with goodies.
The learners were then treated to an information session presented by various role players from the CAA and the Aviation industry. After the formal session, the learners, were guided to the exhibition hall, and introduced too various aviation related companies as well as the South African Police Services Air wing and the South African Air Force.
DAY TWO ICAD 2013
Once again the busses started arriving and the learners were waiting for the information sessions to start
The learners were then taken to the exhibition area and introduced to the various exhibitors
While the learners were introduced to aviation related careers, the SABC outside broadcast crew arrived.
The planning was done for a live broadcast of Morning Live, from Tempe, the next morning. Leanne Manas and Vaylen Kirtley were collected at the Bram Fischer Airport by helicopter.
The ladies, Leanne, Vaylen and Heike Verhoef were kitted out and went off to do a Tandem Jump with Tandem masters from Skydive Central
After her tandem jump, Vaylen also had the opportunity to chat to Beau Skarda, Leader of the Silver Falcon Aerobatic Display Team, about various aspects of their day to day lives as members of the elite team.
Vaylen got out of the Pilatus PC7 Mk 2 and straight in to the RV-7 of Conrad Botha for a short aerobatic flight that made her crave for more. I am sure we will see her in an aerobatic aircraft again.
My feeling is that the ladies were adrenalin-ed out and they must have looked forward to a good night's sleep.
DAY THREE ICAD 2013
The stage was set, by Brian Emmenis and Johann Verhoef, for an unforgettable broadcast of Morning Live. However the unexpected happened and the passing of former president Nelson Mandela was announced. The great Leader, Statesman, Father, Grandfather, Family man and Global Icon had passed away on the night of 05 December 2013. As is only fitting, the broadcast was dedicated to the memory of this great man Madiba. Long shall his memory live in the hearts and minds of people all over the world. Rest in Peace Tata Madiba.
The SABC and the Capital Sounds team worked throughout the night to prepare for the broadcast from the Waaihoek Church. After the conclusion of the broadcast, the Capital Sounds team returned to Tempe to provide a sound system for the ICAD Gala function
The guests were entertained by traditional dancers.
Presentations were made by various dignitaries from the Aviation, Transport and Education sectors.
Just before lunch, all the guests and dignitaries were treated to a formation aerobatic display by the "Cockpit Ambassadors of the South African Air Force" The Silver Falcons' team 75. The team, consisting of 1 Major Beau Sharda, 2 Captain Mark Gentles, 3 Captain Loedolff MŁller, 4 Major Werner Vermaak and 5 Captain Jacques Poolman, gave an outstanding display and thrilled the spectators.
Boeta, from Westline Aviation, and Zanele, From Eskom, then did a demonstration of cargo slinging to conclude the short aero demonstration
The gala function was concluded by a lunch befitting a king.
All in all the CAA and the Department of Transport presented an unforgettable ICAD 2013 and the Freestate Government has already expressed their desire to present this event again in the years to come.
DAY FOUR ICAD 2013
Early morning saw the team of Westline Aviation busy getting the flight line prepared, for the arriving aircraft, and doing a safety check on the public area.
Various vendors set up their stalls and waited for the spectators to arrive.
The flight line started filling up with various display aircraft.
Attendee's for the day was, Delfin L39 Albatros, 6 x Pilatus PC7 MK II of the Silver Falcons, 3 x Eqstra Flying Lion Harvards, 2 x SAA Technical Harvards, Texan T28B Trojan, Beech 18, Atlas Impala MK I, Pilatus PC 6 Porter, AS350 Squirrel, MX2, Radio Controlled Eurofighter Typhoon, Bell 206L, Robinson R44 Raven and Skydivers from SAPS, Army and Skydive Central.
The emergency services did a timed run, from their base to the furthest point from them, to the threshold of runway 28. This took them only one and a half minute.
The Show was started by the Radio Flyers of Bloemfontein with an outstanding display of a Eurofighter Typhoon.
Next on the program were the skydivers. These were made up of SAPS Special Task Force members, 44 Parachute Battalion and Skydive Central. They made use of the Police PC6 for the dive plane.
It was then time for the Silver Falcons to strut their stuff.
The Fan Break was dedicated to the memory of Madiba. Brian Emmenis, appropriately dubbed it the Madiba Break.
The skydivers did another display jump just after the Silver Falcons' display followed by a short display by the Squirrel of the Bloemfontein Police Air Wing.
It was then the turn of maestro Nigel Hopkins in his MX2
The Delfin L39 Albatros was next and also the first of two warbird Jet displays.
Following the L39 were the three Harvards of the Eqstra Flying Lyons flown by Scully, Arnie and Ellis.
Flippie Vermeulen of Springbok Classic Air followed in his immaculate Beech 18
The Atlas Impala MK I, ZU-IMP, was next and also the second and last jet fighter display.
Now we were treated to an amazing display by Pierre Gouws and Nigel Hopkins in the two SAA Technical T6 Harvards.
We were treated to another Skydiving Display just before the rain came.
The Rain came and the Safety Director in conjunction with the CAA and ATNS decided to call it a day and ensure the safety of our display pilots and Skydivers.
There were many, behind the scenes, activities happening and here are some of the fun pictures.
The Silver Falcons did a final "Formation Walkby" for the day.
The visiting aircraft started departing and that marked the end of ICAD 2013
Many learners from all over the province were introduced to various aspects of aviation. They were made aware that there are careers and job opportunities for all people, from the gifted to the not so gifted, in the aviation industry.
Emphasis was put on the dynamic world of aviation and the theme of this year's event was "Evolving to meet the challenges 21st century air transport". I would say that a major step has been taken to achieve these goals and we are eager to see the fruits of this week's labour.
To the CAA of South Africa and all other relevant role players.... I say well done and I salute you on a very well organised and precisely executed International Aviation Day celebration.