The second of the Kwa Zulu Natal Airshows though not officially part of the Winter Tour, The Newcastle Airshow was held in almost summer conditions on Saturday 31 May . Organized by Champ Marketing the show featured most of the regular performers as well a first for the South African Air Show circuit.
Though not part of the program, Jan Kemp aircraft builder extraordinaire of Volksrust was granted permission to do a number of fly past in his Mazda twin rotor modified Piper Tomahawk.
Three fire tender were on duty, one stationed at each threshold and one adjacent to the taxi way leading to the apron. A procession of the emergency vehicles heralded the opening of the show after which a team of Gauteng Skydivers took to the sky in the AirTeam PAC 750XStol and descended with the biggest National Flag in the Country.
Next up to thrill the fair sized crowed was Charles Urban who displayed three aircraft, the Yak 52 …….
The Extra 300……..
And the L39, the only Jet at the show……
The Goodyear Pitts Specials as per usual filled the sky with their action packed performance.
Whilst the Eqstra Flying Lions Harvard's precision formation display has for decades been crowd favourites and at Newcastle they again showed their skills.
And then there was CC Pocock in his Cessna 172, flying it like no 172 has undoubtedly been flown before. To top it all CC's pyro display has now received approval by RAASA and hopefully he will again be a regular at shows.
What can one say about Nigel Hopkins that has not been said before? He was his awesome self, making the most of the MX2 in a display that as always leaves the spectators in awe.
Ranked fourteen in the world in the Yak 52 Neville Ferreira first raced a Mercedes before showing his skills in the South African designed Slick 540.
Probably the display of the day was Mathew Zalewski in his MT03 Autogyro. Mathew's display showed the full flight envelope and more and afterwards when spectators were allowed to view the aircraft from up close the Gyro was inundated by spectators.
The cherry on the top and a SA first was a display by a Boeing 737 200 in formation with the Goodyear Eagles Aerobatic Team in their Pitts Specials.
The Capital Sounds Team was again on duty to entertain and inform the crowd whilst Charlie Marias acted as Safety Officer and John Neillon was the Show Director. Newcastle has now become a regular event on the Airshow Calender and this year probably lost some support from visiting aircraft as the ever popular Presidents Trophy Air Race was held at Gariep dam on the same day.