Stellenbosch Fashkosh Air Show 2015
By Ricky Fouchť
The first Air show of the 2015 season was held on the 11th April at the Stellenbosch air field and was organised by Alewyn Burger and his team from the Stellenbosch Flying Club. The "Air Boss" was Rikus Erasmus.
Rikus compiled the program and ensured that most of the various aviation sectors were represented. Displays ranged from Sky divers to Business Jets. In the mix we had the opportunity of viewing, among others, a Power Paraglider, Glider, Magni Gyro and Warbirds in the form of North American T6 Harvards, Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros, Aermacchi Bosbok and a North American P51 Mustang.
On the General aviation side we had a very rare Howard, a Husky and The Absolute Aviation Group entertained the spectators to a formation display of a King Air 250 and a Beechcraft Bonanza G36. NAC displayed a Bell 407. Business jets were represented in the form of a Dassault Falcon 50 EX
Only three acts were repeated and they were The Silver Falcons, Patrick Davidson in the Mustang and Nigel Hopkins flying Mark 'Bugsy" Hensman's Cirrus and Porsche sponsored MX2.
The South African Air Force were represented By the Silver Falcons, Super Lynx on static display and 35 Squadron that set up a very interesting display in one of the hangars.
Working on Fire did a simulated fire fight. Mark Jackson and the WoF team from Stellenbosch did a display that included fire bombing from an Air Tractor AT 208 and a Bell Huey using a Bambi Bucket. They also demonstrated how a line of "fire Beaters" go about their business.
At the end of the program a tribute was done for all the fire fighters, airborne as well as ground based, that lost their lives in the line of duty. A formation of Working on Fire aircraft led by Riaan Rautenbach, consisting of a Spotter, a Huey and a Bomber, led in the tribute. A Company strong guard of honour was formed, by the Working on Fire team augmented by the local Stellenbosch fire department, to honour these fallen heroes.
The Silver Falcons, were called on to do a missing man formation for the fallen aviators. The missing man formation was flown for two, airborne, fire fighters that lost their lives in the line of duty. Ex Capetonian, Richard Aschenborn, was fighting a fire in the Piet Retief area when his Air Tractor AT208 crashed on the 15th September 2014. On 8th March 2015, Hendrik Willem "Bees" Marais, was fighting a fire at the Cape Point Nature Reserve when his Bell Huey helicopter went down near Olifantsbos in the reserve. Their wives, Betty Aschenborn and Jaqui Marais, were present at the tribute.
Brian Emmenis gave a very moving account of the sad events in which these heroes lost their lives. Capital Sounds led in to the tribute with a song that was written and performed by Jennifer Eaves called David and Goliath. The song was inspired by the Cape Town fire that raged for so long. From this song they crossed over in to Bette Midler's rendition of Wind Beneath my Wings.
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