An amazing turnout at the SAAF Museum open day March 2018
By Cheryl Smit and Willie Bodenstein
The weather on Saturday 3 March lent itself perfectly for a day of flying at the SAAF Museum at Air Force Base Zwartkop and people turned up in their hundreds to watch those magnificent men in their flying machines.
It has been a long time since so many people flocked to the base and they were not disappointed by the displays of some off the museums airworthy aircraft. In fact everyone was caught off guard by the number of visitors and by mid-morning the Friends of the Museum, who raises funds for the museum by selling boerewors rolls and hamburgers, ran of food and had to hurriedly leave to replenish and bought out all the stock of Boerewors and rolls at the local supermarket to feed the masses.
On display during the day was the Puma that practised sling lifting people on board.
Also flying was the Alouette IIs and IIIs that did flips.
A Bosbok , Kudu, Cessna 182 and the Harvards did formation displays.
The Paxton Explorer was also on display.
The outside static displays also drew large crowds.
Unfortunately because of renovations to the base the display hall, that houses some partially or completely restored aircraft as well as an extensive collection of military artefacts and an impressive collection of aviation art was closed on the day but a number of hangars that contain some of the museum's large collection of aircraft were open to the public.
The Museum is self-funded and relies heavily on the open days that are held every first Saturday of the month for donations to keep it running and to enable it to restore more aircraft.
The open day 3rd March was organised by Colonel Francois Hannekom assisted by the museum staff as well as the Friends of the Museum and the aircraft were flown by the Museum's pilots and was probably one of the most successful open days we have attended in recent times.