Rand Airshow - Spring 2023

By Russel Dixon - Paver


Vendors and exhibitors doing their final stocking and setup as the sun rises.

Aircraft visiting and participating from other home-base airfields started to arrive from around 07:00.

Some of the arrivals included Derek Hopkins in his RV8, which would be used by his son Nigel in the Raptors display, Jason Beamish in his Extra and one of the Goodyear Eagles Pitts Specials.

With the consistently strong and gusting wind, the initial program item of the flying school flypast did not take place.

Instead, Grant Timms did a short display with the Sonex One experimental aircraft.

The Tiger Moths from the Classic Flying Collection, based at Brakpan were superbly and gracefully displayed by Rodney Chinn and Grant Timms, who had to work hard to keep close formation in the serious wind conditions.

AirShow Director, Safety Director and Capital Sounds commentary teams in position on the tower.

The AirShow was formally opened with the National Flag delivered by the skydivers, who were taken aloft by the Bell Huey. They had to manage their descent very carefully in the high wind.

The “Tiger Girls” temporarily gave up their places in the Huey to the skydivers for their drop.

The Puma Energy Flying Lions then performed the first of their displays for the day. Their displays were the flat version due to the wind conditions.

Dr Andre Coetzee from Henley Air displayed their dedicated “Kids Flight” air ambulance Bell 222.

Elton Bondi and Tristan Eales showed their skills in the SAC Extra 2-ship in their Extra 330SC and 300L machines.

The Pitts Specials of the Goodyear Eagles team gave a good account of themselves, as always, and rounding off their display with the “Pitts dance” with smoke in front of the crowd. Team consisted of Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Gareth Gill and Trevor Warner.

Menno Parsons gave his first display in his Mustang P51-D “Mustang Sally', demonstrating the “gun-port whistle” on the fast passes to accompany the Packard-Merlin V12 symphony.

Veteran test pilot, Mike Wyngartz made the display of Menno's L39 Albatross jet trainer look so effortless.

Scully Levin demonstrates the Cirrus SR22.

Andre van Zyl demonstrates the capabilities of the Magni Gyro, now with smoke!

Captain Flippie Vermeulen of Springbok Classic Air displays the Beech 18 with great skill from many years of experience.

Next display was a jet powered glider from internationally acclaimed Jonker Sailplanes, built in Potchefstroom. This model has a jet assistance engine, to find thermals or get you home without landing out. It still requires aero-tow launching, here done by a Sling monoplane, also locally designed and manufactured at Tedderfield airfield.

Oscar Goudriaan elegantly displays the Jonker Sailplanes JS3 Rapture.

The Raptors RV Team displays these very capable aircraft. Team consisted of Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish, Trevor Warner and Ryan Beaton.

Puma Energy next displays a mixed team of Harvards - Scully Levin and Arnie Meneghelli and Extras -Ellis Levin and Sean Thackwray.

The Nashua Extra is expertly displayed by champion aerobatic pilot, Andrew Blackwood-Murray.

The Classic Flying Collection also displays it's Chipmunk basic trainer formation. They had their work cut out for them, flying a low powered aircraft in strong and gusty conditions, but the display was excellent. The pilots were Rodney Chinn, Grant Timms and Ryan Briggs, who was flying his first air show display - good performance in difficult conditions!

Menno Parsons and Buzz Bezuidenhout display the two-ship Huey and Bell 407.

Menno Parsons and Buzz Bezuidenhout in the Bell 407 have a “hover duel” with Nigel Hopkins in the Extra, while Jason Beamish joins in, and then lands. Nigel Hopkins stayed in the air to do a solo display.

Nigel's solo display followed by a smoke pirouette in front of the crowd, much to their delight.

A special highlight followed - AirLink's ERJ in new special black livery made several passes over the airfield.

AirLink ERJ piloted by Jaco Henning, wows the crowd.

With a busy day in their aerial offices, Scully, Arnie, Ellis and Sean, the Hired Gun Pitts Specials returned us to the balance of the program, with the quality of light getting better as the afternoon progressed.

Juba Joubert, veteran helicopter expert pilot, then displayed what was billed as an Alouette II, but it had the tall skids and triple rotor blades of the Llama derivative. I am happy to be corrected!

Juba Joubert puts the Alouette II/Llama through its paces.

An unusual formation display followed- the P51 Mustang and Extra Duo flypast and break.

P51D Mustang Sally flown by Menno Parsons takes off for a formation flypast and break with Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish in the Extras.

Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish in the Extras, went into their final display of the day, performed their spectacular “roll blade” break - the crowd was gob-smacked!

Nigel Hopkins and Jason Beamish in the Extras, continued and ended off their display with their double knife edge as the Harvards taxied out for the final display of the day!

The Puma Energy Flying Lions with Scully, Arnie, Ellis and Sean driving gave their final display in the beautiful afternoon light.

Arnie, Sean, Ellis and Scully greet the crowd in their traditional way to round off a good AirShow day at Rand Airport.

The crowd did not seem to be as big as would be been hoped, but with the economic pressures and load shedding of the day and the uncertainties generated by the last minute cancellation of the Saturday activities, this may have been expected. Hopefully the vendors and exhibitors generated enough turnover to cover their space rentals!

The coffee vendors had very long queues most of the day, which may have been a missed opportunity for more of them.

Brian Emmenis with his Capital Sounds team, once again provided great sound quality and commentary and the teams behind the scenes are to be congratulated on running a safe and well-run AirShow.

Pilots Post was happy to provide media coverage for the event and it is hoped that the value that media bring to such events generates and maintains the public's interest in aviation and especially general aviation is appreciated by organizers.

Event Video

Rand Airshow 2023

Events 2023

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