Tag Archives: silver falcons

Catching Sight of Table Mountain from Bloubergstrand (2016-11-27) Photo Gallery | Travel Attractions 01 DEC 2016

Following a lovely morning spent at the Century City Natural Goods Market, followed by a trip to Canal Walk for some Lindt chocolate from their newly opened boutique shop, we decided to cool down with a trip through to Bloubergstrand, in the hopes of securing a lunch spot at perennial favourite, The Blue Peter Hotel – and of course to give the girls a chance to play in the sand by the sea for a bit.

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Of course, at this point any local would have already rolled their eyeballs at this plan, because anyone from the area would immediately point out that on such a gorgeous, wind free summer’s day, there is literally a snowball in Hell’s chance of actually finding a table at the iconic Blue Peter!

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They would of course be 100% right.

So no Blue Peter Sunday lunch for the Lotters then, but that’s okay, because there was plenty of space for us on the nearby (but popular) Little Bay beach, where we were rewarded with the most beautiful view of the iconic Table Mountain.

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Nice right?

This classic view of Cape Town’s beloved mountain is of course absolutely stunning, and something rather special to see if you don’t normally come out this way – i.e. like us.

(Plus, as a massive bonus, we even got to enjoy the famous Silver Falcons do two formation fly-bys over the beach while we were there!)

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We are working hard at getting the girls more comfortable with the sea (in preparation for our December trip to Gouritz), and amazingly, despite the icy cold Atlantic water which feels like ice blocks on your skin (thanks Benguela Current!), the girls allowed themselves to get wet and in the end had an actual ball – both going so far as to strip right down to their undies!

(We really should plan our beach visits better – you know, bring with costumes etc. At least we had the presence of mind to apply sunscreen to the girls in the morning!)

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The kids had a blast, we were left with a quaint collection of mud painted rocks and shells to bring home, and of course, mommy and daddy managed to soak up some sun as well.

Not a horrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon out and about then!

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A handy map to where we were:

Related Link: Bloubergstrand | Blue Peter Hotel

FASHKOSH 2015 Stellenbosch Airshow (2015-04-11) Photo Gallery 22 JUN 2015

Saturday the 11th of April saw Chantelle, the kids and myself make the drive through to the Stellenbosch Flying Club in order to hand over some money and spend the day watching all manner of aircraft blasting past with the most magnificent backdrop in the world – The FASHKOSH 2015 airshow had finally landed!

A clear, beautiful day, with the beauty of Stellenbosch and the roar and excitement of airplanes all around – no wonder I was as excited as a little girl who had just been given her very first puppy!

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(Chantelle couldn’t get over the fact that I just couldn’t stop grinning the whole morning long!)

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Needless to say, my phone is not particularly great at taking photos of all these magnificent beasts of the air (the Mustang, really, really enthralled me), but thankfully aviation photographer Renier Siebrits Flickr captured some pretty nice shots!

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See, much better!

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Ricky Fouché wrote up a nice little piece over at Pilot’s Post, giving a quite a nice breakdown of the spectacular day:

“The first Air show of the 2015 season was held on the 11th April at the Stellenbosch air field and was organised by Alewyn Burger and his team from the Stellenbosch Flying Club. “Air Boss” Rikus Erasmus compiled the program and ensured that most of the various aviation sectors were represented.

Displays ranged from Sky divers to Business Jets. In the mix we had the opportunity of viewing, among others, a Power Paraglider, Glider, Magni Gyro and Warbirds in the form of North American T6 Harvards, Aero Vodochody L39 Albatros, Aermacchi Bosbok and a North American P51 Mustang.

On the General aviation side we had a very rare Howard, a Husky and The Absolute Aviation Group entertained the spectators to a formation display of a King Air 250 and a Beechcraft Bonanza G36. NAC displayed a Bell 407. Business jets were represented in the form of a Dassault Falcon 50 EX .

The South African Air Force were represented By the Silver Falcons, Super Lynx on static display and 35 Squadron that set up a very interesting display in one of the hangars.

Working on Fire did a simulated fire fight. Mark Jackson and the WoF team from Stellenbosch did a display that included fire bombing from an Air Tractor AT 208 and a Bell Huey using a Bambi Bucket. They also demonstrated how a line of “fire Beaters” go about their business.”

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Sadly, it turns out that an airshow isn’t particularly exciting for a toddler and a four year old little girl, so needless to say they were rather chuffed to be leaving the proceedings a little on the early side (we had another engagement on the day, Damen’s birthday braai if I remember correctly).

Lesson learned – next time the airshow rolls into town, the girls are definitely staying at home, and I’m bringing a better camera! :)

Related Link: Renier Siebrits Flickr | Pilot’s Post

Military Aircraft: South African Atlas Impala (Macchi MB-326) Military Aircraft 13 MAY 2015

My introduction to the Impala as a boy growing up in the 80’s was of course through promotional images of the Silver Falcons proudly flying these distinctive jet airplanes throughout the country. In other words, it is about time I featured the Impala on this site then!

south african airforce SAAF Atlas Impala Mk II

Introduced in 1962, the Aermacchi or Macchi MB-326 is a light military jet aircraft designed in Italy. Originally conceived as a two-seat trainer, there have also been single and two-seat light attack versions produced. It is one of the most commercially successful aircraft of its type, being bought by more than 10 countries and produced under licence in Australia, Brazil and South Africa. It set many category records, including an altitude record of 56,807 ft (17,315 m) on 18 March 1966. More than 600 were built.

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South Africa obtained a license to produce the MB-326M (similar to the ‘G’ model), as the Impala Mk I in 1964 with production starting in 1966. It received 40 Italian-built aircraft followed by about 125 built locally by the Atlas Aircraft Corporation, using them both as trainers and in an armed configuration. Seven examples of the MB-326K were also bought as light attack aircraft, with a further 15 assembled from kits, while around 78 were license-produced and known as the Impala Mk II. Licence production of the single seat version began in 1974. The Impala Mk II, locally manufactured and equipped with French armament, was also advanced with a South African ECM suite.

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The South African Defence Force employed Impalas during campaigns against the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola (FAPLA) and Cuban expeditionary troops in Angola between 1975 and 1989. Impala pilots typically flew at 550–650 km/h at a height of 15 m to avoid Angolan air defences. Over the course of the South African Border War, one was downed by an SA-7; another returned with an unexploded missile in its exhaust.

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The aircraft had many advantages over expensive supersonic jets. Although slower, it could operate take off from relatively primitive airfields and strike swiftly. The South African Air Force (SAAF) used up to 6 x 120 kg or 4 x 250 kg bombs. The main armament consisted of 68 mm SNEB rocket-launchers (four x 6 or two x 18), and two 30 mm autocannon (with 300 rounds). These cannons were the real bonus for the Impala Mk II, helping to give a superior performance compared to earlier two-seat versions. The latter could also carry a pair of 30 mm DEFA guns in under-wing pods. However, dual capability as trainer-attackers was better appreciated, as was the availability of six hard points and so dual-seat versions were far more common. Six squadrons were equipped with the Impala Mk II in the SAAF during the 1970s and 1980s. Prior to Operation Moduler, most Impalas were withdrawn from their operating bases in South-West Africa, leaving the work to Mirage IIIs and Blackburn Buccaneers.

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Impala Mk IIs were also opportunistically used as interceptors. In several encounters in 1985 with Mi-8 and Mi-24 helicopters, they shot down a total of six. This happened during a crucial phase of the ground war, when Angolan and Cuban troops were checked in an offensive against UNITA bases. This ended in disaster for the Angolan/Cuban alliance when their supplies were cut off by UNITA and the SAAF and front line troops ran out of ammunition. Helicopters were being used to supply the besieged troops and the SAAF cut off this link. Two Mi-24s were shot down in the first encounter while escorting Mi-17s. The MiG-21s that escorted them flew too high to react in time. Two days later the Impala Mk IIs struck again, downing two Mi-24s and two Mi-17s. Attacks on unsuspecting helicopters were carried out with only two guns per aircraft. The single seat Impala Mk IIs were also sometimes armed with Matra R550 Magic air-to-air missiles for self-defense. The Impala Mk II operated at extreme ranges and had to fly very low, climbing only when helicopters were seen at medium altitude. After each attack they returned to low level to avoid interception by enemy MiGs.

And as I started this whole passage off, the Silver Falcons, the SAAF aerobatic team, were of course equipped with Impala Mk Is for a long period of time as well.

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Related Link: Wikipedia | SAAF

Stellenbosch FASHKOSH 2015 Airshow takes off Next Weekend! Event News 06 APR 2015

If you don’t have plans for Saturday 11 April 2015 and happen to be milling around the Stellenbosch area, then you might be keen to know that the FASHKOSH 2015 Stellenbosch SA Airshow is on the go that day, kicking off at 08:00 in the morning!

saaf silver falcons flying in formation in cape town over the sea and in front of the mountain

The Stellenbosch Flying Club is playing host to this 2015 Stellenbosch Airshow edition, and with tickets coming in at a ridiculously low R40-R60 per person, you would be quite silly to miss it! (You can secure your tickets online via Webtickets)

Sights already confirmed include:

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