A two week trip to visit the biennial AAD show in South Africa, with a lot more besides. Following the last visit to SA for the event six years ago, a return visit was long overdue, with the 8th Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) show now being held at Waterkloof AFB, Pretoria after moving from Ysterplaat AFB, Cape Town. Joining the Aeroprints organised tour, which included flying to and from the airshow by DC-4, as well as visits to the various Joburg airports, the tour was concluded with first visits to Ethiopia and Kenya. In addition, prior to joining up with the group, we had three extra days at the start of the trip, which included day trips to Namibia, Pietersburg and East London, to catch up with some real classics. Joined by Ian 'Elbow' Ellington for this one, who flew with Ethiopian from/to the UK, meeting up at Joburg on Day One...
DAY 1 FRIDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER
Flying with Qatar Airways from Dammam to Joburg, an early start to catch QR1157 operated by A330-200 A7-ACC, was actually off early at 0400 for the 1 hour flight to Doha. Connecting through the new Doha airport for the first time was a lot easier, on to QR1365 to JNB. Operated by B787-8 A7-BCI, departure was at 0700, landing 7.35 hours later at 1335L. Now, with sundown at 6pm, the remainder of the afternoon was then spent on the indoor viewing deck in the International terminal. Among the more regular movements, a few highlights included Kenya Airways Cargo/Martinair B747-400BCF PH-MPS 'Safari Connection', classic B737-200 ZS-EVE of Jet 4 Now, 'white fuselage' Mango B737-300 ZS-VDB, CRJ-200ER ZS-NMK of MGC Airlines/Matekane Air (Leshoto), Flyafrica B737-500 Z-FAA (new LCC commenced services in July), Avex Air Transport Do328-300JET ZS-AAK, Mozambique Expresso Dash 8-400Q C9-AUY and ERJ-145MP C9-MEH, Africa Charter MD-83 ZS-TRI, TAAG B777-200ER D2-TEF, Air Zimbabwe B767-200ER Z-WPE and another Do328-300JET, ZS-IOC of Kumba Iron Ore/Anglo American. Staying at the nice Protea OR Tambo hotel, a short shuttle bus ride from the terminal, it has an aviation theme, with the wing of a FW-149 at the entrance! These first three nights, plus another six with the group, meant we were going to be practically residents!
DAY 2 SATURDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER
Our first full 'free' day, and an early start off to Namibia. One main reason for wanting to visit here for the first time... the very last DC-6 built, DC-6B V5-NCG of Namibia Commercial Aviation. Unfortunately missing out on this when it used to fly tourists around Victoria Falls etc, at least it still survives, after being grounded here for years now. As well as this, Eros Airport, in the South of the capital Windhoek, is Namibia's busiest airport, with most of the country's GA aircraft based here. Meanwhile, Hosea Kutako International Airport is situated 25 miles outside the city, to the East. Apart from Air Namibia's scheduled flights and a few foreign airline services, this place is otherwise pretty much empty. Flying with Air Namibia, the outbound from Joburg was operated by A319 V5-ANM, off at 0645 for the 1.30 hour flight, landing at WDH at 0815. The extra £50 each way for business class seemed too good not to take up!
On departure at JNB, a few shots from the aircraft included night stopped RwandAir B737-800 9XR-WG and Belarus An-26B EW-364TG of Vulkan Air/Grodno Aviakompania. This was parked mid-field, and was one of two around at the time, operating for the local cargo charter outfit. Arriving at Windhoek, we discovered there was no need to pick up any local money, as they all take the SA Rand, and with a taxi arranged at a reasonable cost, it was straight off to Eros. Thankfully, in the end, arrangements had been made with one of the based companies here, with Desert Air happy to give us escorted access to their ramp area, and in the end, almost all of the airfield (apart from the government hangars area 'where you'd get shot'!). This enabled us to photograph almost everything here, so worked out very well... almost! So, among the many Cessna 208's, Aero Commanders and other resident singles and twins, a couple of interest were Angolan Beech 200's D2-FFL of Tropicana/Gira Globo and (unidentified) D2-END. Both of these are WFU here, with the former missing its props. Nearby, two aircraft previously of (now defunct) Albatross Air are dumped, Pa-31 V5-POC and Cessna 402C V5-POE. Further along, past Westair, the largest charter/maintenance outfit here, another Tropicana/Gira Globo Beech 200 was present, with D2-EBF appearing to be operational (or sold and arrived for a similar fate?).
Now on to the serious stuff, with three classics at the end of this ramp, next to the main terminal ramp... NCA DC-6B V5-NCG is obviously still well maintained despite being grounded for quite a few years now, looking very clean with a cover over the nose. Back in 1992, NCA, set up by former SAA station engineer Chris Schutte, purchased two DC-6B's (with 40 tons of spares) from the Zambian Air Force, V5-NCF and V5-NCG. The last two Sixes produced, both were originally operated by JAT and the Yugoslavian AF, with NCF used by President Tito, and later, Zambian President Kaunda. In 2000, NCF 'Fish Eagle' was then sold to Red Bull (now OE-LDM), with NCG 'Bateleur' now restored and used for charters. Sadly, in late 2010, as plans were being finalised for an Australian tour with NCG in early 2011, owner Chris Schutte passed away. Later the family released a statement, saying Chris was "the driving force behind the aircraft, and the family can no longer sustain the enthusiasm he had for flying and maintaining it... and this beautiful aircraft is now up for sale". Hard to believe that such an aircraft is still sat there four years later, without being sold. There is an issue with the Namibian DCA giving an ATF certificate for the aircraft, without certain work/upgrades being carried out, which surely could be done if a serious buyer was interested. Only time will tell its fate, with many hoping this very special classic lives to fly another day...
As well as the Six, another old propliner present, but which we weren't aware would be here, was Convair 580 ZS-KEI. Operated by various South African companies over the years, this is apparently currently registered to Helilogistics Ltd, and reportedly operated here for NCA (from 2010). According to our guide it operates several times a week, on mining related flights. Certainly a rare passenger 580, it looks in great condition. Nice. The other, very nice classic present, was 1981 built Gulf 3 V5-PJM of Wings over Africa. Fitted with QTA Stage 3 hush kits, it was delivered in April 2010 (previously N1PR). Apparently, an engine issue means it may have been layed up here for a while now? Just then, another very nice biz-jet, was Learjet 45 D2-EBN of Angola Air Services, which arrived and parked outside the terminal.
Moving on, the Wilderness Air hangar is on the opposite side of the terminal ramp. Among the various singles and twins inside and outside, was early Cessna 208 V5-NOP with 'BA dimap' titles. Apparently not flown for a long time, it has 'Multisensory Digital Mapping and Geophysics' marked, being previously fitted with MAD boom sensors. Next to this is a Namibian Defence Force hangar, which was closed, though had Cessna O-2A NDF-3-628/9-7628 parked outside. Given the OK to photograph it, apparently it hasn't flown in years, and is now reportedly an instructional airframe. In addition, 'stored' against the hangar was the fuselage of another, unmarked airframe, which is reportedly 8-0872. As well as this pair, apparently there are four other examples still in service (all possibly inside?).
A very nice little gem there to finish off our ramp tour, as we headed back, stopping briefly to shoot Air Namibia ERJ-135ER V5-ANH parked outside the terminal... Then came the first 'major' problem of the trip!... Unfortunately, we had been 'monitored' by airport security, and while stopped, the lady chief of security had come out, and asked us to get out of the van. As our guide made his excuses and sped off, we were asked to go inside the terminal! Thankfully though, to cut a long story short, after explaining our actions to her boss for a good hour or so, he was of the opinion that our guide was at fault, and that we had only trusted in him as to what we were allowed to do airside. With a lot of relief, that our CF cards hadn't been taken, we were 'free to go', as we hastily made our exit. Now, with a free afternoon before our flight out at tea time, we then headed to a very nice hotel resort just outside the airport, to relax and try out the local Windhoek lager, reflectling on our 'experience'! Later, calling our driver to pick us up there, earlier than planned, we headed back to WDH to catch NMB729 back to Joburg. Among a few final shots in Namibia, was TAAG B737-700 D2-TBF, which had arrived just before we boarded our ride home, A319 V5-ANN. Departing at 1720, our 1.40 hour flight was in after dark at 1900... at the end of a an eventful day!
DAY 3 SUNDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER
Our second free day... Pietersburg. Otherwise known as Polokwane International, around 175 miles to the NE of Joburg, in Limpopo province, this large, former Airforce base is a very empty place... apart from the presence of eight classic jetliners. With three B707's, four B727's and a B737-200 parked here for years now, there is no other place in Southern Africa to see such a group of aircraft, especially when it comes to the legendary 707. So, after not making the journey here previously, this was a 'must' this time, whilst it was still possible to see so many 'survivors' together. With most owned or present here with Interair, and owner David Tokoph, contact with the company was initially positive, and we had decided to book flights, instead of making the long return drive from Joburg. Infact, the SAA/Airlink Joburg services are the only scheduled flights here, with three services on a Sunday. As well as these, a few GA/biz movements seem to keep the place open, with one very surprising, unexpected biz movement today, as luck would have it! One bit of negative news though, from Interair, not long before the trip, when re-confirming our plans, was being informed that they 'no longer had the facility at Pietersburg, and we would have to arrange access with the airport'. Crap! Whatever the truth behind that message was, there was now no chance of a change of plan, so it was fingers crossed we could arrange something after arriving!
Departing JNB on SA8809, operated by ERJ-135LR ZS-OUV, take off was at 1105, for the 30 minute flight. On departure, a few shots included the pair of Air Zimbabwe A320's stored in the SAA maintenance area. Of these, Z-WPM is painted in the new colour scheme, while Z-WPN is all white, with some parts missing. Both have obviously been parked here for a while, with 'issues' preventing their delivery. Then on take off, a pair of A380's, with BA's G-XLEF and Lufthansa's D-AIML, along with Atlas Air B747-400F N476MC (the former G-GSSA) also being worked. On landing, we taxied in past B727-235 5N-BCY, previously of Freedom Air, which is now parked mid-field for use by the fire service. Present here for five years now, the titles and tail logo have been painted over, with 'Polokwane International Airport' titles and 'GAAL' logo now applied. Then parking on the main ramp, was alongside Botswanan Beech B200 A2-MCT, which was to depart later in the afternoon.
Now, speaking with airport officials, thankfully we were eventually granted airside access, after explaining our situation and showing them the emails from Interair. With perfect weather and the afternoon light getting better, the other seven classics, parked together outside a large hangar to the right of the terminal were then thoroughly worked... Starting with the Seven 0's, B707-336C 5Y-BNJ was last operated by Aero Zambia, and has been parked here for around ten years now. With a white fuselage and thin blue cheatline, and blue fin (no titles or logos), the number one and three engines have been removed. Aero Zambia was headed by David Tokoph, with BNJ previously registered to his company as N14AZ. Alongside, B707-323C ZS-IJI retains the full Interair colour scheme, and is only missing the forward cowling on the number one engine. Previously N29AZ, it was also used by Aero Zambia in the late 90's and arrived here around 2001. Then, parked around the back, all white B707-351C 3C-JZW was last operated by Air Cargo Plus, before arriving here in 2002. Fully complete, the previous reg N21AZ is still visible under the Guinea reg.
On to the Seven Two's, as well as the ex Nigerian already mentioned, also present was all white B727-030 N25AZ. Complete, apart from a sealed over missing cockpit window, it is registered to David Tokoph, and is thought to have arrived around 2010. Reported as operating government VIP flights (Togo etc) in the five years or so before arrival here, presumably it has/had an executive interior. Alongside is another short 100 series, B727-061 ZS-IJK, which retains the full Interair colour scheme. Previously operated by the FAA as N27, it was WFU at JNB around late 2007 before being flown here for continued parking. Then, further around, unmarked B727-294 N143AZ was identified by a note on the cockpit control panel, after a look inside. Registered to Blue Falcon Corp, El Paso, another of David Tokoph's company names(alongside Aviation Consultants and Grecoair etc), it is now painted in an (unknown) blue and red scheme. The cockpit note still refers to A6-SAA (when operated by Nova Gulf around 2000-2003), including briefly into Gatwick for Sierra National Airways. Finally, alongside is B737-244 ZS-SIM in full Interair colours. Obviously PWFU, it is missing both engines and a few other external parts, and was first reported here in 2012, though could have been present for longer.
So, a very good visit here, was topped off by very nice, surprising executive movement. Having been told the 'King and Queen' of Saudi Arabia were due in (and managing not to laugh!), maybe there was 'some' truth in it?... Right on time, Jeddah based Alpha Star Aviation A318CJ HZ-A5 arrived. Very nice! Not sure who the 'VIP' was, but one guy eventually got off, followed by his entourage and truck load of luggage! Now, with a few hours before our return flight to Joburg, we had time to relax at this strange little airport. With a brand new terminal extension that was used for the 2010 World Cup here, but then left derelict, even more bizarre is the 'Millionaires VIP' bar upstairs. So pimped out, that even Snoop Dogg would cringe, it has the back half of a BMW M5 on display, along with a jacuzzi in the corner! Be interesting to see what goes on here after dark! Certainly different, and good for a bite and a couple of beers before leaving, with the departure delayed by 50 minutes in the end. And so, on to SA8818 back to JNB, operated by ERJ-135LR ZS-SUV, departure was at 1715 for the 30 minute return flight. Job done.
DAY 4 MONDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER
Free day number three... East London. Even more so a case of quality over quantity, one aircraft was the goal today... Convair 880 N88CH. Along the South coast in the Eastern Cape, East London is around 500 miles South of Joburg. Another place and aircraft yet to be visited after a few trips to SA, catching up with rare classics is cetainly a priority these days... and now was the time! With Elbow giving this one a miss, it was a very early start to catch the first flight down to East London. Planning for a mid-day return, gave more than enough time to visit the 880, around 40 miles along the coast to the NE of ELS. This meant i would be back at JNB for the afternoon, with a full day away not necessary on this occasion. So, checking in for SA459 to ELS, operated by A319 ZS-SFK, departure was at 0615. Landing just over an hour later at 0720, it was straight off in a day-rental (a nice upgrade to a Merc), through the city and out onto the rural roads of the Eastern Cape. And then, all of a sudden, there it was... one of only three complete Convair 880's in the world, sat by the side of the main road, five miles outside of Kei Mouth.
Of course, you would expect such an aircraft out here to have an interesting story behind it, and N88CH certainly has... Founded in 1987 in the 'independent homeland' of Ciskei, Ciskei International Airways had plans to operate a Convair 880 and 990, with the 880 also to be used by the then President, Lennox Sebe. All went to plan, with late production model N880C (c/n 58) being purchased, and modified with part-passenger and part-VIP fit. Ferried Miami-Barbados-Cape Verde-Abidjan-Bulembu in July 1987, Bulembu (Bisho Airport) is around 35 miles to the NW of East London. However, due to lack of funds and not being licenced for service, the aircraft never flew again, with the plans for the purchase of 990 N8357C then abandoned. Finally being auctioned in late 1991, it was purchased by Billy Nel (a member of the Eastern Cape Provincial Government), who then moved the aircraft to his private residence in Bonza Bay. Later, it was moved to its current location, the Morganville Farm property, just off the R349 road (GPS co-ordinates: 32°39'55.02"S 28°17'45.90"E). After varying states of repair and 'interesting' colour schemes over the years, it is now pretty much complete, painted all white with a thick red cheatline, "Eish" Airlines titles, named 'Kate', and with 'Convair 880' on the number one engine nacelle. Actually registered as N88CH (though not worn) to Ligon Air of Indiana, the reg was finally cancelled in 2009. So, all three complete 880's now seen and photographed, the others being N815AJ at Mojave and N880EP at Graceland, Memphis, thats one more off the bucket list! Note, although it may be open to the public, the Morganville Farm, with its sign 'Resting place of old bikes, automobiles and flymachines' was closed during my (unarranged) visit. Thankfully though, good shots can easily be taken over and through the fence next to the road.
And so, after only around 15 minutes here, the job was done! Now, heading straight back to East London, any spare time left would be spent there, before my flight back to Joburg at mid-day. A quick look around the hangars, provided a few nice things, with highlight being vintage 1965 built HS125-731 ZS-TBN. Operated by River Aviation/Trinity Broadcast Network, it was converted from a series 1A in 1980. In the same hangar, early 1969 built Beech 100 ZS-PBH and Pitts S-2A ZS-PEG were also present, while outside was Cessna 414A ZS-FPU of Blu Crane Air, minus an engine. Finally, in the back of another hangar, the fuselage of A2-ACT (Beech Baron?) was present, while extremely vintage was DH-89A Dragon Rapide ZS-JGV/NR734 (6831) of the Historic Wings Collection. After a long, interesting history in East Africa, its restoration into RAF markings is continuing at a rapid pace, with the wings re-fitted shortly after this visit. And so, it was then on to SA476 back to JNB, operated by A319 ZS-SFM, departure was at 1205, landing 1.10 hours later at 1315.
Back at Joburg, it was straight to the end of the runway in Elbows day-rental, for landing shots for the rest of the day, with runway 03R in use. Some highlights (not mentioned on Day 1)... SAA 'Star Alliance' B737-800 ZS-SJV, PC-12 ZS-JBR of Kapama Game Reserve, three week old Qatar Airways B787-8 A7-BCN, Cessna 402C ZS-WRI of Batair Charters, Mozambique Expresso ERJ-145MP C9-MEX, classic Interair B737-200 ZS-IJA, 'white' SA Express Dash 8-400 ZS-YBZ, Proflight/CemAir 'Captains Choice' CRJ-100ER ZS-CMR, the other MGC Airlines/Matekane Air CRJ-200ER ZS-NMJ, Qantas first B747-400 VH-OJA, Air Seychelles/Etihad A330-200 A6-EYZ, Beech B200(WL) ZS-PCH of VR Steel Properties (Boksburg), Cessna 208B (Supervan 900) ZS-EPZ of Morukuru Air, Qatar Cargo A330-200F A7-AFV, Air Namibia ERJ-135ER V5-ANI, Delta B777-200LR N704DK, BA/Comair B737-800 ZS-ZWI (the first 737-800 with winglets in BA Colours), 'white' SA Express CRJ-700 ZS-TBH, Cargolux B747-400F LX-TCV, Air Botswana ATR-42-500 A2-ABN and ATR-72-200A A2-ABR, and SA Express CRJ-200ER ZS-NMN in special 'Durban-Harare' colours.
DAY 5 TUESDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER
Now joining up with the Aeroprints tour group, the plan today was for a visit to the Federal Air facility and other ramps on the NE side of JNB. Then, with a free afternoon, it was on to the Hi-Flyerz restaurant for lunch, before back to the photospot nearby for landing shots on runway 03R. So, among the various Cessna 208's and other twins at Federal Air and the adjoining Solenta Aviation ramp and hangars, highlights included three Solenta Jungle Jets. ERJ-145LU ZS-BBH and ERJ-145LR ZS-BBJ were both parked, in what appeared to be basic Continental Express colours (even though only BBJ was operated by them, with BBH until recently in Air Zimbabwe colours, on lease). The other one present, ERJ-145LR ZS-BBM is in a similar scheme, but had Afric-Aviation titles and tail logo, and departed later. The Gabonese regional carrier already have an ATR-72 on lease from Solenta, so this also appears to be joining their fleet. As well as these, also outside was a rare SA registered Turbolet. L-410UVP-E20 ZS-ZAD is also with Solenta, and appears to have a fresh all white anonymous paint job. Then, outside at Federal Air, a couple of Beech 1900D's with at least some scheme on, were ZS-PHX of NAC and ZS-PKB of CemAir. While of several PC-12's present, inside was the fuselage of ZS-SRP, which was w/o after an undercarriage collapse at Ellisras in September last year. Also while in this area, good take off shots of aircraft departing 21L are possible, which included LAM ERJ-190AR C9-EMB and SAA Cargo B737-300F ZS-SBB. Highlight though was another movement, with Skyclass/SAA Museum DC-4 ZS-AUB taxying close by from the Safair ramp over to the cargo ramp. A couple of hours later it was then caught on take off, presumably returning to Rand. Four days later we were to enjoy a flight on her!
After Federal Air, we then asked at CemAir for a quick visit. Inside, was one of two former Delta Connection/Comair CRJ-100ER's present, still in basic 'widget' colours. N989CA, awaiting the registration ZS-CMA, was ferried over on 1st July after being WFU at Kingman in February 2011. Outside, along with similar, but operational ZS-CMR (photographed arriving yesterday), the other one present was ZS-CMD which had been sanded down ready for paint. The former N969CA, this was ferried over on 30th July after being WFU at Kingman in September 2012. These two latest arrivals join three operational examples, with another 12 aircraft reportedly due from the same source, some of which are expected to be sold on. Also outside here was CemAir Beech 1900C-1 ZS-PUD, while a couple more take off shots were of SAA A340-300E ZS-SXD (still in special 'Team South Africa 2012' Olympic games colours), and classic all white DC-9-32 ZS-GAR of Global Aviation caught departing. Now leaving the group, we walked back to Federal, past another classic Nine, DC-9-34CF ZS-PAL of Phoebus Apollo, which also has 'flyexall.com' titles. Parked out the back of a hangar, this is presumably WFU? Now back at Federal for a bit longer, before the sun moved overhead, as well as the departing DC-4, also caught was all white SAA A319 ZS-SFD, which is one of a couple about to be returned to the lessor, after ten years in service. So, from here we caught a taxi to the aviation themed Hi-Flyerz, which still has the nose/cockpit of former SAA B747-200 ZS-SAL on display. This was WFU in 2004 before being scrapped in 2007.
After a bite and a beer it was now the short distance to a similar photospot as yesterday, for landing shots for the rest of the day, with runway 03R continuing in use. Some highlights (not mentioned already), start with a 'new' national carrier on the scene... Malawian Airlines B737-800 ET-APL. Following Air Malawi ceasing operations in February 2013, Malawian Airlines commenced services in January this year, with some assistance from Ethiopian Airlines (who have so far leased this B737 and a Dash 8). This was followed by... all white A320 ZS-GAS of Global Aviation (the former US Airways N629AW WFU at Victorville in January, before delivered here on 9th June), Solenta Aviation's fourth ERJ-145LR ZS-BBI (in the same basic Continental scheme) arriving back, another Do328-300JET ZS-AAT of Avex Air (delivered in January, still in basic BA (Sun Air) colours, ex OY-NCV), Qantas B747-400 VH-OJM, Beech B200's ZS-ASB and ZS-JSC, Saudia Cargo/Mycargo B747-400BDSF TC-ACG, Delta B777-200LR N701DN ('The Delta Spirit' nose logo) and Turkish A330-300 TC-JNI.
With this last bit of spare time spent at JNB, also to mention one of the more interesting SA carriers (when it comes to colour schemes), with the following Kulula B737-800's photographed over the past few days here... ZS-ZWA, ZS-ZWB (Scimitar Winglets), ZS-ZWC and ZS-ZWD (all regular colours), ZS-ZWP ('Flying 101' colours), ZS-ZWQ ('Fly Well, Discover Vitality' titles), ZS-ZWR and ZS-ZWS (both 'Europcar' colours) and their only B737-400 still in service, ZS-OAF ('Camoplane, no one saw us coming' colours). Their only 'special' missing was ZS-ZWO ('This Way Up' colours).
DAY 6 WEDNESDAY 17TH SEPTEMBER
Our second day with the group, and one of the highlights of the trip... a full day at Lanseria, Joburg's main biz/GA field. After a few visits here over the years, this place never ceases to amaze me, with the quality, and quantity of aircraft present. You can always expect some nice, exotic stuff here, as well as plenty of classic old biz. With the morning spent on the main, North side, and the afternoon on the South side, we had a break for lunch on the excellent terminal viewing deck in between. So, starting with the amazing selection of biz-jets present, here's what was worked... Beech 390 ZS-AAM of Bee Line Aviation (operated for the SAAF?), Beechjet 400 ZS-ORW of NAC, 1973 built Cessna 500 ZS-PFG (fresh all white paint job) and 1975 built ZS-PXD ('Triomf' logo), 1977 built Cessna 501 ZS-CWD, Cessna 510 ZS-MUS, Cessna 525B ZS-DPP, Cessna 550 ZS-NII of Great Wall Motors Ltd, Cessna 550 Bravo ZS-BVO, Cessna S550's ZS-BEN and ZS-EDA of Netcare 911 Aeromedical Services, Cessna 560 N410DM, Cessna 560XL ZS-FOS ('Foskor' logo), new Cessna 680 Sovereign+ demonstrator N510WD (with turned up wing tips), CL600S's ZS-BGA ('Bothongo Group' logo), ZS-TCW, ZS-YAG of Elite Jet and '9Q-CRD' of Air Baraka (painted incorrectly, really 9Q-CDR!), 1979 built Falcon 10 ZS-FGS of Gough Aviation (reg cancelled, so presumably WFU) and ZS-JLK of Farmacres 21 Ltd, 1979 built Falcon 20F-5 ZS-KGS of Guardian Air (with 'ER24' tail logo, the former G-FRAA), Falcon 50EX ZS-LAC, Falcon 2000LX ZS-SAB of The South African Breweries Ltd, 1974 built Gulf 2B ZS-TPG and 1975 built ZS-DGW of MCC Aviation (PWFU), even older 1970/1969 built Gulf 2SP's ZS-MMG, ZS-WHG (PWFU with parts missing) and very early 1968 built ZS-PYY of Fastjet Aviation (also clearly PWFU), Gulf 3's ZS-JGC (hush-kitted), ZS-LAH of Norse Air Charter, ZS-LUX, ZS-TEX, ZS-VIP and N243MW (hush-kitted, previously with the Brunei Government), old HS125-400A N55RZ, HS125-3A/731 ZS-CNA, HS125-400A/731's ZS-OIF, ZS-PLC of Zenith Air Charter, very nice 6V-AIN and ancient 1965 built HS125-1A/731 N942DS ('exported to Congo' in June 2010, but presumably only made it as far as here, and now appears to be PWFU), HS125-700A's ZS-ICU of Netcare 911 Aeromedical Ltd, ZS-IPE and ZS-SDU of Matekane Farming (Lesotho flag colours), HS125-700B's ZS-CAG of King Air Services (former UN aircraft), ZS-SYS and 6V-AIM (still with 'EI-WJN' engine covers!), BAe125-800A ZS-AOA of Netcare 911, Hawker 800XP's ZS-EXG of EXG Investments Ltd, ZS-MNU ('Haskell Group' logo), Mozambique AF Hawker 850XP FAM-002, classic Learjet 24B's ZS-TOY and 1969 built ZS-LWU of AirQuarious, Learjet 25C ZS-NYG (WFU?), 1968 built Learjet 25XR ZS-SSM, Learjet 31A ZS-OML, Learjet 45 ZS-CVU, Learjet 55 ZS-ELJ of Medair Charter (ex D-CVIP) and Learjet 60 ZS-TEJ. Finally, saving the best 'til last, resident Jetstar 2 ZS-ICC of C&K Moneyline Ltd is unfortunately WFU now. This classic, late production model, built in 1978 and registered here six years ago, has an 'Investors Choice' logo on the fin, and the names of the company owners 'Christo & Karien Oosthuizen' next to the door. Great to see, there was another similar, very nice surprise still to come!...
Then, of the other stuff present in and around the North side hangars and ramps, a few twins of interest were... AC680FL ZS-NVK (WFU), Beech E90 9J-STA of Starair, Beech 200 5N-IHS ex Wings Aviation (WFU for years), Beech 1900D ZS-SVI of Fly 88/NAC, 1955 built Cessna 310R Z-WLS (w/o here in June 2007, after the right main gear collapsed) and EMB-120RT's ZS-ETA, ZS-PGY and D2-FFU & D2-FFY of Diexim Expresso Aviation. A couple of tins of interest were Beech A23 Musketeer II Z-WHK (WFU) and Cirrus SR-20 ZS-JAB in 'USAF' colours, while one 'warbird' was MB-326M Impala ZU-IMP/479 of Sakoi Ltd, operated in SAAF markings. Then, the bigger stuff present was... very nice B727-2N6(RE) ZS-PVX of Paramount Logistics Corp, all white B737-236 ZS-SIT of Owenair (recently in Exxaro colours, this was originally BA's G-BGDA), anonymous all white CN-235 ZS-SOO (previously of the Botswana and Togo Air Forces, current operator not confirmed), long term 'resident' Turbo Dak 5Y-RDS ex Rossair Kenya. This is a bit special in being the prototype Schafer DC-3-65TP Cargomaster, which as N70BF first flew in August 1986. Later, in August 1993 it was ferried to Kenya for operation in the DRC for the ICRC, becoming 5Y-RDS in July 1995. Ten years later it was flown out of Kenya, after the ICRC titles had been changed to 'IORO' to 'help' its departure, and has been stored here since (now in the back of a hangar, with wings also removed). Another, more modern resident, was EMB-135BJ ZS-ECB of ECB Aviation Ltd, which was hangared alongside Diexim Expresso ERJ-145MP D2-FFW (here on maintenance), and very nice ERJ-135LR 7Q-WPB of Paladin (Africa) Ltd (an Australian uranium company, which has operations in Africa).
Moving on to the terminal area, visiting and parked on the main ramp were... Beech F90 ZS-MHM, Beech 200 ZS-TAK, Beech 1900C-1 ZS-TAB of NAC, Cessna 402C ZS-PPY, vintage 1969 built HS125-F3B/731 ZS-CAL of King Air Charter (recently WFU, so good to see active again), HS125-700A ZS-SOI of Giants Logistics, and Global Express M-MDBD of Cozuro Holdings Ltd, while a couple of airline movements were Mango B737-800 ZS-SJG and Kulula B737-800 ZS-ZWA. Then, heading over to the South side, highlights included... a couple of AC690A's ZS-JRB and ZS-JRH, with the former registered to the South African Weather Service, having some external gear attached (though appeared to be WFU?), Beech 58 Z-WRG (WFU), Cessna 337E ZS-IDO, Cessna T206H 9J-DOM of Sky Trails Zambia, Beech E90 Z-AHL (with small 'Executiveair' next to the door), early 1973 built Cessna 500 Eagle ZS-PTT, Cessna 208B ZS-ORK of Sheltam Aviation, Pa-31-350 ZS-MRC (painted up as C9-VAM (reg taped over) over a year ago, but still here as such), Pa-31-350 9J-AGE of Proflight (damaged when came off the taxiway on 13th May), Pa-34-200T 7Q-BAT, Pa-31-350 5R-MVY of TAM Travaux Aériens de Madagascar (being paint-stripped), Falcon 7X VQ-BAA of Planair/Sonair, Cessna 401A 9J-SOA of Star of Africa ('Goldstar' tail logo), Kodiak 100 N85KQ of Specialized Aircraft Services Inc (reg cancelled 30th September, to NAC?), Beech 350 ZS-FML of First Quantum Minerals SA Ltd, classic 1962 built Gulf 1 ZS-ALX (still?) of Trans Air Congo (the only one of the type photographed here this time), all white EMB-120RT's ZS-SMV and ZS-POE of NAC (the latter fitted with Missile Warning Systems, after UN operations), nice BAe125-1000A ZS-CFA of NAC, very nice EMB-120ER 9J-PKP of Royal Air Charters, while another Zambian, inside on maintenance, was Cessna 208B 9J-TRI, which is presumably operated by First Quantum Minerals (Zambia), having the same colour scheme as ZS-FML.
A very impressive list of aircraft so far, there was still one major highlight to come, tucked away in the back of the next hangar to be visited. Certainly a surprise to see here, the second Jetstar on the airfield was an aircraft i had yet to catch, after being noted around (including in Europe), since it was registered. Another late production aircraft, Jetstar 2 9G-ABF of BF Jet Air Ghana Ltd appeared to be here receiving some work. Acquired in 2009, it was previously the familiar N814CE and later N1MJ (as photographed at Fort Lauderdale Exec on one occasion). As well as this classic, also in the same hangar was Hawker 4000 ZS-DDT, Beech 400A ZS-POT of Sahara Computers Ltd, Cessna 680 ZS-AKG (also with a 'Sahara' tail logo) and Cessna 550 ZS-OIE of Two Mountains Aviation. Then, in the final couple of hangars, Phenom 300 ZS-MPD and 30 year old Falcon 200 ZS-JVS were present, with the latter registered to JVS Air being the old air ambulance ZS-SOS of Med Rescue International, which now appears to be WFU with quite a few parts missing. Finally for the South side, the fire training area and 'boneyard' couldn't be visited on this occasion, although some of these have been photographed on previous visits. Still present were the well known DC-6B EL-WNH with its 'custom' paintjob, though not looking so well know, lying on its belly, its hoped for move to an Australian museum may not be so realistic? Also still surviving here are the two classic BAC1-11's, with former Rwanda Airlines -200 9XR-RA being the oldest surviving 1-11, alongside -500 ZS-NUG, the last of Nationwide's aircraft. New since my last visit though, were nice Ivory Coast B727-200F TU-TII, which arrived over 5 years ago now. All white with a tail logo, it was operated by Opedair, before ending up on 'death row' here. Alongside was all white F-28-4000 ZS-JES of AirQuarius Aviation, and BAe146-200 ZS-SBD, last operated by Nationale Regionale Transport/KBI , now PWFU after lease to the Gabonese carrier in 2010 as TR-LIR (and still in their colours).
From here, it was back to the terminal for a quick look from the rooftop before heading off. A few final shots then, included new arrival Learjet 45 D2-FFX of Diexim Expresso, 1975 built Cessna 421B ZS-JEY, Cessna 208B ZS-LEB of Fortune Air and arriving EC130B4 ZS-CTE. So, another great visit to this fantastic airfield, the ride home was to see one more classic aircraft today. Around 5 miles to the South of Lanseria, at the Fantasy Park in Farmall, the fuselage of all white HS748-2B ZS-OLE is in use at a playground. The former AirQuarius Aviation Budgie was w/o in 2002 after being damaged after landing at Sun City, and ended up here, propped up on blocks, with the tail fin, engines and outer wings missing. At least it survives...
DAY 7 THURSDAY 18TH SEPTEMBER
Todays plan with the group was to visit the two other main GA airfields in the Joburg area, Rand and Grand Central. Arriving at Rand, our first stop was at the SAA museum, for a return visit. However, different from the last visit 7 years ago, were a pair of propliners that were previously wfu and parked out on the airfield. Former Skyclass/Springbok Flying Safaris DC-4 ZS-AUA was donated to the museum in 2010, while former Services Air DC-6A (C-118A) 9Q-CGZ still has the fake reg '5H-264' visible on the left side (as applied for a film). As well as these, the forward fuselage section of SAAF B707-344C 1421 is now on display, after arriving in 2011 from Waterkloof AFB, where it had been retired and then broken up. As well as the nose and an engine, the tail fin is also here, stored awaiting display.
From here, we were then supposed to have a ramp tour of the airport, though this then had to be re-arranged for the afternoon. So, a change of plan, and we were now off to Grand Central for an earlier than planned ramp tour there. Highlights included... PC-12 ZS-YEA of Raubex Group, Cessna 208B's ZS-ATP and ZS-PFL, all white 1972 built BN-2A ZS-BLV of Cocopine Air, very nice Falcon 10's ZS-SEA and ZS-SEB of Tivona Ltd, and all white Cessna 208B ZS-JEM of Jemax Aviation. Then, with Southern Mapping Co, were Cessna F406 ZS-SSY, P-68B ZS-OWL and the w/o fuselage of P68 Observer ZS-LSX, which crashed in Malawi in July 2013 (while en route from here to Tanzania). Finally, quite a few choppers based here, including all black SA342L Gazelle ZU-RHH, air ambulance Bo-105LS's ZS-ONC and ZS-ONH of NetCare911, Bell 205A ZS-RBE of Aeronautic Solutions, and a Squirrel trying to look like a Leopard... the very nicely painted AS350B-2 ZS-REV of Malilangwe Ltd.
So, from here it was back to Rand for the rest of the day, for our re-arranged full airport tour. Similar to Lanseria when it comes to classics and rare stuff, you never know what to expect here, and again, it wasn't to dissapoint. Firstly, parked out on the grass opposite the terminal and nice outdoor restaurant, were some of the very nice highlights... Zambian AF HS748-2A AF-602 with a missing number one prop, is presumed to be here for work. Unmarked all white YS-11A (9Q-CYS) of Trans Air Cargo Services is complete and fresh following a repaint here in March (after being wfu for several years now). Another Congo aircraft alongside, was F-27-500CRF 9Q-CNH registered to XL Trading (the former G-CEXB of Channel Express). Another Friendship was Angolan F-27-500RF D2-ESN registered to SJL Aeronáutica Cargo (with small titles on the nose) which is still in ex Sonair colours, who had operated the aircraft from new in 1981. After being at Woensdrecht since 2008 for work, it eventually departing at the start of 2014 for South Africa. As well as these, early 1985 built Saab 340A N340SS was also parked here. Registered to Top Aircraft LLC, it has been here since 2008 after a deal to operate for Nigerian carrier Overland Airways fell through.
Then, looking through the various hangars, provided plenty of interest, including active Springbok Classic Air C-47A ZS-NTE and 'long nose' Beech E18S ZS-OIJ in overall bare metal, as well as DC-3A (ZS-KEX) which is registered to P Vermeulen. Stored in overall bare metal with wings removed, it awaits possible restoration. Next door, a real surprise was Angolan AF An-32B T-256, present for a major check. Painted in an anonymous white and grey scheme, it was noted outside a month later after being paint stripped. Then, another hangar contained all white 1966 built F-27-400 9H-MQT, receiving some attention after being returned from lease to SKY Gabon. Still with the Maltese reg visible under the wing, it was re-registered as I-MLQT to MiniLiner this month, returning to the parent Italian company. Moving on to the Phoebus Apollo hangars, these had DC-9-32 ZS-PAK 'Electra' (with the additional large 'Exclusive Alliance' logo now having the 'Exclusive' removed), along with SAA Museum's DC-3C ZS-BXF (in the 1950's scheme). Next door in their smaller hangar, early 1937 built DC-3A (ZS-PAA) is now stored in here. The unmarked bare metal fuselage looks in good clean condition, and is another possible long-term restoration project, though is still in the same state as when first photographed outside here in 2006. Then, outside on the Phoebus ramp, some familiar aircraft and some different, including two more DC-9-32's. Congo registered TN-AJG 'Calypso' and TN-AJM were both with Phoebus after operating for Mistral Aviation, with AJG still having Mistral titles. Parked alongside was all white B737-200 ZS-SMD, still with the bird logo of Proflight Air Services on the nose (after operating with the Zambian company). With a major check due, it was offered for donation to the SAA Museum, arriving on 14th September from JNB, and will presumably be moved to the museum compound in the near future.
As well as these, other classic propliners present were long-term residents... Skyclass/SAA Museum DC-4's ZS-AUB (1960's 'orange tail' scheme) and ZS-BMH (1950's scheme), along with retired Phoebus Apollo DC-3C (C-47A) ZS-DIW 'Pegasus', C-54E ZS-PAI 'Atlas' and engineless ATL-98 Carvair 9J-PAA (last flown in 2006), as well as the 'Dak-in-the-wall-Pub' C-47B (9J-RDR) 'Phoenix' nose section. Then, of the smaller/GA stuff on the airfield, these included Learjet 45 ZS-PNP of Pick 'n Pay Supermarket Group, Cessna 208B ZS-NIZ of DHL/Solenta Aviation (in the paintshop, partly stripped), Cessna 182K 9J-RDW, long-term parked/derelict Pa-31T C9-JTP with 'Reliable Group' logo on the fin, Pa-46 5Y-MIR (reportedly for sale), Cessna 337 ZS-EET, 'Goodyear' Pitts S-2B ZS-MZX, ex Army Chipmunk T10 ZU-DXP (WP871), Mu-2B ZS-ONB of Executive Helicopters, all white Do228-200 marked as 5N-ARF and VH-VJF (ex Dornier Aviation Nigeria AIEP, sold to General Aviation Maintenance, but NTU) with engines and other parts missing, nice Merlin 4A ZS-ZOB of WC Ferries (engines removed), Pa-46-500TP ZS-TAY, nice Aerostar 602P ZS-MKX, 40 year old AC500B ZS-MFS of In-Quest Investigations (which arrived), while of the choppers present, these included AW139 ZS-HHL of Rustenburg Platinum Mines.
Finally, another propliner present, not photographed this time, was unmarked DC-6B (9Q-CYO), which is in a similar scheme to the other ex Services Air 'Six 9Q-CGZ. This was also retired here many years ago, before later being converted for use as an educational classroom (with a DC-6 and DC-3 simulator onboard). Then, on leaving we stopped to photograph a couple of aircraft parked/stored on a remote ramp near to the museum, with Kaya Airlines EMB-120RT C9-AUU (ex Naturelink ZS-OEN) and Aero Fret Business An-24RV TN-AHH both having been present, wfu for some time now.
DAY 8 FRIDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER
Today was going to be partly spent with the group, with a morning visit to Wonderboom, but instead of then going on to Swartkop Museum (which had been visited twice in the past), i had my own plans for the afternoon. So, after picking up a rental car last night, this morning i followed the group coach up to Wonderboom, to the North of Pretoria. With a full airport tour here, there was to be plenty of interest, as with previous visits, starting with catching up again with some old classics that used to be resident at Lanseria. In 2008 Rovos Air ceased operations, with both their Convair 340 ZS-ARV and Convair 440 ZS-BRV flown here for continued parking in February 2011. Both are registered to Rovos Rail Tours, and remain here for sale, still in complete condition (though with paint now fading, being kept outside). The company's Dakota, C-47A ZS-CRV 'Delaney' (named after a baby girl that was born onboard the aircraft during a flight in 1975), though not very active recently, has a more hopeful future. Looking in very nice condition, it was inside receiving some work. Then, inside the same hangar, was the bare metal fuselage of another Dak, stripped to pretty much a shell. Attempts to discover an identity at the time came to nothing, though some research has since provided the answer. One of three Zimbabwe AF C-47B's flown to Wonderboom in 2001-2002 for Turbo conversion by Wonder Air, they remained here after the deal fell through. Two of the aircraft (7039 in camo, and 7310 in a white-top scheme) were later moved to the owner's (Gert de Klerk) farm, next to Freeway Airstrip, Kromdraai in August 2009. The third aircraft remained here and is believed to be the dismantled airframe in the hangar, the former 7134 (c/n 26437) which as with 7310, operated with 3 (VIP) Squadron in a white-top scheme. Still on Daks, one more photographed on the airfield, was Basler BT-67 (DC-3C) ZS-ASN of Spectrem Air. A division of Anglo American Corporation, the company operates the heavily modified aircraft on airborne electromagentic survey work. Some recent changes to the paintwork on the aircraft, included the nose and wing-tip pods now painted in primer, while part of the tail logo (on the rudder) has now gone.
So some nice propliner highlights here, also photographed were Cessna 208B ZS-NNK of Ophthalmicare CC, Kodiak 100 ZS-XUP of Centurion Eye Hospital, 1972 built RC680F ZS-IMY (presumably PWFU, sat on it arse with engines and other parts missing), nice Cessna 402C ZS-WRI of Gemair, Pa-42 ZS-CMM of Cava Mola Mining, nice 40 year old Cessna 401 ZS-TRR, Piaggio P166S ZS-NJP, Alouette II ZU-RAJ, nice An-2P ZU-FOO of Heymic Aviation (in basic Aeroflot colours with 'Ocean Jasper' titles, named 'Anushka'), Bosbok AM.3C's ZU-ACX (Aermacchi Prototype, ex I-TAAB), ZU-ADC in Italian AF markings and one other being restored, Cessna 172 9J-ZED, BN-2T's ZS-NAT, ZS-PKJ and ZS-PKK of Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics (PKJ and PKK both engineless, while NAT was later damaged in a forced landing in Afghanistan on 20/1/15 when the undercarriage was torn off), PC-12's ZS-JBR of Kapama Game Reserve and ZS-SMY, PC-6's ZS-AFE (all white), ZS-XTR of NRG Exploration CC (survey mod) and Police ZS-NIT, ZS-NIV and ZS-NIX, Cessna 525(M2) ZS-FCW of Whelpton Investments, nice 39 year old Jodel ZS-UFV, and choppers including A109C ZS-HJD of Keeley Granite Ltd, Enstrom 280C ZS-HRL, Hu369E ZS-HXT and nice Tanzanian Enstrom 480B 5H-WWA registered to Aerocom Holdings Ltd (British Virgin Islands), who's reg then expired on 15th November.
And so, leaving the group after a good tour of Wonderboom, i headed off in the hire car to do my own thing for the rest of the day. First stop, just six miles to the North, was the Drakensberg Truck Manufacturers facility in Wallmansthal... the home of DC-6B ZS-MUL. After being parked/wfu at Swartkop since 1998 as 'ZS-XXX', the aircraft was acquired by Witold Walus and Willie Muntingh of the company, with restortion to flying condition commencing in November 2008. Over two years later, the 'Empress of Suva' finally departed Swartkop on 4/12/10 for the 20 mile flight to her new home, after an existing 500m dirt strip was widened and lengthened by about another 800m adjacent to the company site, for the landing. Access today was granted through Mr Walus, to photograph the aircraft again, and while on site, another former long-term 'resident' of Swartkop was also seen again. Last photographed there in 2007, On-Mark Marksman B ZS-CVD has also since been aquired and moved here, and is lying in a similarly dismantled state, to the rear of the site. The rare converted A-26C Invader was last operated by the South African Iron & Steel Corp, Wonderboom, until being retired in 1977. At least it still survives...
Now, with only one visit planned by the group to the AAD airshow this week, on a public day tomorrow, i had decided on another, solo visit, on a trade day today. So, heading straight there after a nice little visit here, Waterkloof AFB is 20 miles to the South, where entry was a bit of a pain, after queuing for a while. Finally into the static, i concentrated on getting good shots of these today, presuming it would be less busy, leaving the flying display shots for tomorrow. Still plenty of interest here, the highlights included... SAAF C-47TP 6885 of 35Sq (Ysterplaat AFB), Beech B200C 650, Beech 300 653, Cessna 208A 3012 of 41Sq and Oryx 1232 of 22Sq (all Swartkop AFB), resident Casa 212-200 8011 of 44Sq, JAS39C Gripen 3920 of 2Sq and Hawk Mk120 268 of 85CFS (both Makhado AFB), Rooivalk Mk1 680 of 16Sq (Bloemspruit AFB) painted all white for UN operations in the DRC (though without UN markings). In addition, the only foreign military was limited to two USAF aircraft this year (with a possible B-52H visit unfortunately not happening) with just C-17A 94-0067 of 137AS/105AW NY ANG (Stewart AFB) and C-130J-30 08-8605/RS of 37AS/86AW (Ramstein) both also present in the static.
Strangely no airliners on display at the show this year, with just the nose section of former Interlink B737-200 ZS-SIC being present. This was broken up earlier this year and was being used by RAMMSA Aerospace Dismantling as part of their display here. Biz-jets present were Learjet 35A ZS-IGP of MCC Aviation, Falcon 7X F-HGHF of Dassault Falcon Service (OO-AAM ntu), Learjet 45 ZS-TJS of Dunrose Trading, Phenom 300 ZS-CSB of Choppies Distribution Centre, Eclipse 500 ZS-YTC of Route Managements Ltd, Gulfstream 280 demonstrator N280GD and Challenger 300 ZS-JDL of JAir, while the smaller stuff and GA highlights included the first showing of the new Aerosud AHRLAC XDM (Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance and Surveillance Aircraft) demonstrator ZU-XDM of the Paramount Group, which had its first 'official' flight at nearby Wonderboom in August. Also present was similar mission Tecnam P2006T MRI (Multi-sensor Reconaissance and Identification) demonstrator OE-FAF, while others included very nice PZL An-2 ZU-JLM/RA-33390 of the Just Love Mission, named 'Little Annie'. This was donated by UT Air, and still wears their titles on a nice silver scheme along with '65 Years' (An-2 anniversary, applied in 2012). It also has a large 'From Ocean to Ocean' logo, after the project to fly from Tyumen-Plekhanovo to South Africa in December 2012, which was expected to take 15 days, but due to conflicts etc en route, eventually took 2.5 months, arriving at Lanseria in March 2013.
As well as these, others present included Kodiak 100 N72KQ of Fayard Enterprises, Aerostar 600 ZS-KTO of KTO Aviation and Aerostar 601P ZS-PEB (both for sale), Beech B200GT ZS-TWP of Merlin Aviation, South African flag coloured Pa-32R-301T ZS-OFH of SA Flyer Magazine, Beech C90 ZS-DIX of NAC, Pa-46-350P ZS-NDR of Geotech Nano Chemicals Ltd, Cessna 208B ZS-TBB of Open Edge Technologies Ltd, PAC CT-4E Airtrainer demonstrator ZK-JDZ, Beech 1900D ZS-EAA of Money Aviation, GA-8 Airvan ZS-TDB of Airvan Africa Ltd, Beech C90GTi ZS-PLN of Plennegy Ltd, Diamond DA.42M-NG GeoStar demonstrator OE-FMV, Beech B55 ZS-KZE of South African Flight Training Academy/Vukani Aviation (SA flag fin), nice vintage Pa-12 Super Cruiser N4057M (with a 'Cub 75th Anniversary Edition' logo on the fin) and fire-fighter 'Spotter 1' Cessna 182P ZS-TMT, along with company fire-fighter UH-1H ZS-HLA 'Chopper Alpha' of Leading Edge Aviation. Finally, other choppers included Bell 407 ZS-RZG of MCC Aviation, Enstrom 480B ZS-HDO in a silly camo scheme and crop-sprayer Enstrom 280FX ZS-RBC of Safomar Aviation, MD530F (Hu369FF) ZS-BBG, Bell 230 ZS-HPK of Safatronics Ltd, Bell 407 ZS-HMR of Sandton Plant Hire Ltd and nice camo EC635 T2+ ZS-RSN, the Airbus Helicopters (Paramount Group) demonstrator, reportedly for the Iraqi AF as YI-293.
DAY 9 SATURDAY 20TH SEPTEMBER
The final full day in South Africa, with a return to the 8th AAD (Africa Aerospace & Defence) show at Waterkloof. Travelling to and from the show by DC-4, this visit on a public day was now mainly to catch the full flying display, after photographing the static very well yesterday. With a very early start to be at Rand to catch our 0600 departure to Waterkloof, unfortunately early fog there meant we would eventually get away at 0730, onboard DC-4 ZS-BMH operated by Skyclass/SAA Museum. The 20 minute flight was concluded with an extremely hard landing and bounce, just to add to the memorable experience! Parking outside the VIP terminal behind company DC-4 ZS-AUB, which had arrived just before us, we then hung around as the other charters from Rand landed and taxied in for the same ramp. Great shots of the SAA Museum's DC-3C ZS-BXF, Springbok Classic Air C-47A ZS-NTE and company 'long nose' Beech E18S ZS-OIJ were followed by some of our ride, as it was pushed into the static display for the day, along with the other recent arrivals.
And so, after a few more shots of the static, we settled to catch the flying display, with the following being photographed... Harvard MkIIA 7111, Harvard MkIII ZU-DML/7480, Vampire T55-2 ZU-DFH/277, SA316B's 624 and 628, SE3130 15 and the last Puma in the SAAF, SA330L 175 (with '100 Years' anniversary markings still visible) all of the SAAF Museum HF at Swartkop. Other warbirds included P-51D N72FT/44-11661/QP-X 'Mustang Sally' belonging to Menno Parsons. This is really 44-74494 restored into 334thFS/4thFG markings (previously 'Iron Ass'), while current mil included SAAF JAS-39C Gripen 3917/17 of 2Sq (Makhado AFB), BK117A-3 381 of 15Sq (Durban), the 'Mini War' with Rooivalk Mk1's 675 and 677 of 16Sq (Bloemspruit AFB) and Oryx 1212 of 17Sq (Swartkop AFB), based C-130BZ 402 of 28Sq (with '20 Years of Freedom' tail markings) and SA Navy Lynx 300 192 of 22Sq (Ysterplaat AFB). Another 17Sq Oryx was 1226, which landed on the visitors ramp, while completing the flying display, were very nice SA flag painted Cheetah B 861 of Denel/SAAF, the 'Silver Falcons' PC-7 MkII's, which also displayed in formation with Mango B737-800 ZS-SJH, the 'Save the Rhino Jump' demo with SA341C ZU-HBH, Kulula B737-800(SW) ZS-ZWB (newly fitted with Scimitar winglets) and Eclipse 500 ZS-DKS of Dixco Transport Ltd, which gave a very agile display. And so, not a show it used to be, but with still enough of interest involved, as the Rand charter aircraft were pulled from the static for their return flights, we boarded the other DC-4 ZS-AUB. Departing at 1750, the 20 minute flight back to Rand brought another good day to an end.
DAY 10 SUNDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER
Leaving South Africa today, we were to make our own way to the terminal for our mid-afternoon flight to Ethiopia. Checking in three hours before the flight gave us a chance of some shots from the gates overlooking the ramps and runway, including... SAA A340-300E ZS-SXD (still in special 'Team South Africa 2012' Olympic games colours), Air Austral B737-800 F-ONGB, BA A380-800 G-XLEB, Air France A380-800 F-HPJE, Kenya Airways B737-800 5Y-KYE, Mozambique Expresso EMB-120RT C9-MEI, departing all white Safair B737-200F ZS-SIF, SAA A340-600 ZS-SNC ('Star Alliance' colours), Malawian Airlines B737-800 ET-APL, Air Seychelles/Etihad A330-200 A6-EYY and finally, Qatar Airways B787-8 A7-BCE. Part II to follow...