Lowveld Airshow 2024

By Pieter Cronje


It was with a little trepidation that my wife and I drove down to Mbombela for the Lowveld Airshow. My previous 2 visits to the Lowveld Airshow resulted in mixed feeling. My 1 visit, I think in 2018, resulted in very positive feelings. The 2023 visit however did not.

The weather prediction for Saturday was for a very hot day. On arriving at the Nelspruit Airport at about 9:00 it was already very hot with the heat still building. And yes…... we arrived at the Airport about 6 hours before the Airshow was officially to start. The weather changed for the better at about 13:00 with a light breeze helping to bring the temperatures down.

One of the advantages of arriving early at the Airport was to get a feel of where the best light would be coming from, see some of the validations and if possible, get a feel of the displays to take place later in the day. Oh yes….and also greet and have a chat with friends and new acquaintances.

The Lowveld Airshow also has a sort of pre-display of Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft. And that is almost a show of its own. It started with a number of "stringers" flown by a number of school age boys. The "stingers" are small and very nimble radio-controlled aircraft trailing ribbons. This was followed by other radio-controlled aircraft such a Spitfire and a Hawk. Both being very realistic down scaled models of the original. Such a pleasure to see.

Just prior to the Airshow the emergency vehicles did their parade. Always a comforting parade knowing if they are needed, that they are available and prepared.

The Airshow was opened by a mass fly-past of all the fixed wing aircraft to participate in the show. It was very impressive with the light upon the planes emphasising that we were in a good show.

The first display of the day was the Good Year Eagles again confirming why they are always one of the crowd favourites.

There are always some planes flying at the Lowveld Airshow that makes the show unique. One was the UH-60A Blackhawk. A very imposing an iconic helicopter. This is sure to become one of my favourites.

Next up was another crowed favourite the Master Power Extras. Their display needs to be seen and not described. They together with some of the other displays reminded all that the following day was to be Mother's Day. The light, the blue sky and the professional flying creating a perfect heart in the sky.

This was followed by Puma Flying Lions which I always can't wait for. I just love seeing and hearing and experiencing their display.

A first for me was the Marksmen Aerobatic Team with a 3-ship display. The only way in which I can really describe it is that it is the complete display. Professional, world class, comprehensive, gracious and also very energetic. I can't wait to see them again and see their 4-ship display.

We were fortunate to see another master of the air a number of times, and that is Juba Joubert with the Alo 3. He did a display on his own, had a race with an Audi Sports Car and did a display with an Airforce A109. As he is difficult to properly photograph, I often just stand and enjoy his display.

An airshow without Andrew Blackwood-Murray in his Nashua Extra is not an airshow. He just brings everything together. The same can be said about the Raptor's Display. There precision flying is always to be enjoyed.

The Airlink A190 followed with the music of Paint it Black. And yes. The plane is painted black. It is again one those displays that need to be experienced, and especially in the late afternoon Lowveld light. It is addictive.

Another display almost unique to the Lowveld is the Kishugu Working on Fire display with the Cessna Spotter plane, the 2 UH-1's and the AT 802's. I will almost just drive down to the Lowveld to just see it. And with a pyrotechnic display it is just breathtaking.

One of the display's that just gets better and better is Andre van Zyl with is Magni Gyrocopter. And again the late afternoon light just added to his display.

The last two displays of the day served as an invite to come to the Lowveld Airshow again. It was the already mentioned dual display of Juba Joubert in the Alo 3 and the SAAF A109, ending with pyrotechnics behind the A109. The last display of the day was again the Flying Lions with the iconic sunset display, a mass shutdown and a big bang.

A special mention needs to made of the Lowveld Crowd. They just loved the show. And is probably the most civilised crowd that I have experienced at any airshow. High 5 to you all.

And a last remark to needs to go to Captain Sound……Brian Emmenis and team of Capital Sound. You just add to the sound dimension needed at an Airshow. Well done.

Lowveld Airshow……we will see you again !!!!!

Mpumalanga WOF Air Show 2016

Events 2024

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