SAAF FLY-PAST TO REKINDLE 1994 MEMORIES
By CO Solomon M. Kotane and
photos by WO1 Christo Crous (in-flight) and WO2 David
Nomtshongwana (ground and silver falcon final solo display
The final rehearsal before the main event
Millions of South Africans,
diplomatic envoys and visitors, will tomorrow witness the
biggest air display ever mounted in the country since 1994,
with the inauguration of Mr Jacob Zuma as the 4th leader of
a democratic South Africa as President. The spectacular
fly-past is likely to remind many of the stunning show seen
during the Madiba era.
Detailed planning and preparations, which had begun few a
weeks ago, continued until today. The South African Air
Force (SAAF) has gone all out to draw on the old and the
latest aircraft technologies to ensure that the multitudes
of people attending the inauguration enjoy a breath-taking
event. The SAAF has also pulled out an assortment of
aircraft from its arsenal.
Senior DOD and SAPS members listening to
their commander- in -chief- to -be during the rehearsal
It would show off the
reliability, capability and an impeccable precision of all
its flying power, from the 42 year-old Silver Falcons to the
luxury of “Inkwazi”, the presidential B737 Boeing Business
Jet. A variety of aircraft formations would be on display.
SAAF members saluting the Ethopian
Lt Col Glen William Gibson,
(38), Officer Commanding (OC) 2 Squadron, said that his team
of pilots was ready for the mammoth task. He pointed out
that this was a “proud moment” for all of them. Lt Col
Gibson is also the leader of the combined operation of the
Gripen and Hawks stationed at Air Force Base Makhado.
Gripen no 07 towed into hanger provided by
Hawk Mk120 being prepared by SAAF technician
for the next day inauguration flight.