Last week the skies above Eswatini came alive as the Local Millitary celebrated its 40th anniversary of its Airwing. The Airshow that was organised in less than three weeks saw participation from the SAAF
Air Force of Zimbabwe and limited participation from South African top display pilots and skydivers. Heading the team of organizers from Eswatini was HRH Prince Secalo Dlamini. He along with a small team had to jump through many hoops in order to bring the event to fruition. The SAAF main contingent arrived on Friday with the Silver Falcons flying in as the sun set.
Saturday the weather was near perfect and those present were treated to flying of a very high order.
A Team Goodyear Eagles Pitts Special.
Three country's working hand in hand with the Eswatini CAA were the Swaziland Air Force, the Zimbabwe Air Force, the South African Air Force and civilians all worked together to make the Airshow a huge success.
The SAAF Silver Falcons.
Saturday 21 was the big day and the pilots briefing was held in the early morning on the Saturday before the Show started at 10am. During the safety briefing, the pilots were told that they are aware of what is expected of them and to do their best, to be safe and to enjoy.
Little Annie did a flat display as well as a Marshmellow drop and raced and the tractor won!
Most of the crew and pilots arrived on Thursday 19 September 2019. Hanger space was arranged for every aircraft. We had no problems with fuel, smoke or oil and the Prince looked well after his guests.
500 Squadron of the SAAF did a repelling display out of an Oryx.
Ivan van der Schaar in the Boeing Stearman.
After landing, everyone had to report to the Ramp Director, Safety Officer and the Airboss. Everyone went to book in at the hotel that was arranged. The night of 19 Sep 2019 the Prince sent us a bus to take us to Manzini for Dinner.
Jason Beamish in his Extra 330.
Friday 20 September 2019 everyone met at the airport, waiting for the rest of pilots that still needed to arrive. The skydiving team did some jumps, the Air Force teams did some practicing and the last final arrangements was made by Linden. Pilot briefing started at 7pm. Everyone enjoyed the dinner and returned to their accommodation.
A SAAF Casa 212 dropped members of the SAAF Golden Eagles Skydiving Team.
Team Extreme in action.
The teams were as follows:
Good Year Eagles, Boeing Stearman , Zimbabwean Air Force, Adventure Skydiving Team, Team Xtreme, SAAF 500 Squadron, SAAF Silver Falcons, the P51 Mustang and AN2 Antonov 'Little Annie'.
The Zimbabwean Airforce displayed a K-8 jet.
Some of the pilots had to leave on the same day immediately after the show. The rest of us received an invitation which read as follows: "For the remaining teams in Eswatini, HRH the Prince is inviting you to a Farewell Dinner in Manzini, the same venue used during the welcome on Thursday. Pick up at your Hotel Reception has been arranged for 20:00 (8 pm). See you then".
Menno Parsons displayed his P-51.
Zimbabwean Airforce Transporter.
Thanks to the following people that made everything possible: The Air Force of Eswatini, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Brian and Bev with their Capital Sounds team, Keith Fryer and Keith Andrew that kept us safe. (Safety officers/Ramp inspectors/Airboss) as well as Linden Hermansson (organizer of this event) and all the pilots and ground crew, staff of the airport that helped with the refuelling and customs and to Ian Jacobs and Gerrit Venter for the pictures.