Category Archives: News Updates

Rooivalk stars at Air Capability Demo

The recently upgraded and redelivered Rooivalk attack helicopter participated in the simulated operational exercise during the Air Capability Demonstration held by the SAAF at the Roodewal weapons range today.

The Air Capability Demonstration (ACD) is normally held twice a year in which the SAAF is able to demonstrate its operational capabilities, including co-operation with the others arms of the SANDF. It is also the only time invited dignitaries and guests are able to witness live weapon firing at close range.

Differing from previous years, the ACD did not concentrate on humanitarian missions, but rather on what Chief of the Airforce, Lt. Gen. Carlo Gagiano, described as “speed and dust!”

Proceedings commenced with introductory speeches and background information, followed by 70 minutes of incredible noise caused by the live firing of rockets, mortars, cannon, machine gun fire and the dropping of bombs, all with the continuous clatter of rotor blades overhead.

Read the full article at here.

Gallery with 40 photos can eb viewed here.

Dean Wingrin
Webmaster: The Unofficial South African Air Force Website

  • -

Major General Msimang and the Youth Development Program

(All images by Alan Wienburg)

On Saturday 02 April 2011, Major General Msimang, Chief Director: Policy & Planning from the SAAF Air Command visited the SA Air Force Museum Youth Development Program participants.

He has a great enthusiasm for young people and he greeted and introduced himself to each and every youngster present. He gave an inspiring message to them relating to technical careers in the SAAF and said that he would be following each and everyone’s career in the South African Air Force.

He commended the FSAAFM (Friends of the South African Air Force Museum) for initiating the project and he assured the members of the YDP that it has his full support .

He would be back in the future accompanied by senior colleagues to spend a day with them so that they could experience themselves, the impact of the program on young people aspiring to make the SAAF a career of choice.

  • -

SAAF to hold Air Capability Demonstration

SAAF to hold Air Capability Demonstration

The South African Air Force will mark the return of the Rooivalk attack helicopter in style when it hosts an Air Capability Demonstration (ACD) next week. The first of the bi-annual exercises will be held at the Roodewal weapons range on Thursday 12 May 2011.

The Rooivalk has undergone a major revamp by Denel Aviation to bring its structure, systems and avionics up to a single standard acceptable to the airforce. The first five aircraft were handed back to the airforce at the end of March.

Amongst the line-up of participating aircraft are Hawk and Gripen jets, C-130 Hercules, Casa and Cessna C-208 transports as well as Oryx and Augusta A109 helicopters. The demonstration is meant to illustrate the employment of air power by means of academic profiles.

Various simulated exercises which includes a South African Army element comprise scenarios ranging from mortar attacks, light artillery drops, air supplies, counter attacks by jet fighters, photo reconnaissance to fire fighting. A Department of Defence media release states that “this serves as a splendid opportunity for the Air Force to demonstrate its strength and ability to secure the South African air space and the citizens of the country.”

It is also the only time invited dignitaries and guests are able to witness live weapon firing at close range. The Unofficial SAAF Website will be in attendance and will, of course, be reporting on the event with photographs.
The Roodewal Weapons Range is situated in the Northern Province, roughly halfway between Polokwane (previously Pietersburg) and AFB Makhado, near the town of Louis Trichardt.

By Dean Wingrin


  • -

Friends Meeting Monday, 9th May 2011

Dear Friends

You are cordially invited to the April meeting of the Cape Town Friends on Monday, 9 May 2011 at 19.00 for 19.30 hrs.

Our quest speaker will be WO1 Chris Pedler, Chief Flight Engineer 35 Squadron. I think you will find his talk more than fascinating. He has agreed to talk about his many experiences regarding the handling of in flight emergencies and some of his bush war experiences.

A special welcome is extended to the Junior Friends, as they will find this talk fascinating.

The usual cold refreshments will be available.

See you all there.

Kind Regards

John Coutts.

PS For those who have still not paid their subs. Please settle with me at the meeting to avoid the R20 re-registration fee.
There will be a Committee meeting at 18.00 hrs.


SAAFA Cape Town Notice

SAAFA Lunch Arrangements – Officers’ Mess, Ysterplaat.

Our next Lunch will be on 12th April 2011, and will be held at the Officers Mess, Ysterplaat.

NOTE WELL! Please book as early as possible so as to allow Juliana to finalise arrangements in good time with the Mess.

Date: Tuesday 12th April 2011

Lunch: 12h30 for 13h00

Venue: Officers’ Mess, AFB Ysterplaat

Cost: R50 per head

As always, please confirm if you wish to attend the lunch. You may do so either by replying to this e-mail, or by contacting our secretary Juliana via one of the following contact numbers:-

Office Number:   021 508 6138

Fax Number:       021 508 6192

Cell Number:       072 6777 800 (SMS or leave a message).

E-mail:        or

We look forward to seeing you there!

Lee Hall

On behalf of the Committee of SAAFA (Cape Town Branch)

Wings Parade, AFB Langebaanweg, 24th March 2011

Wings Parade, AFB Langebaanweg

24th March 2011

Irene McCullagh attended the Wings Parade held at AFB Langebaanweg on 21st March for the student pilots, course 114/11 (13 in total).

It was also the official introduction of the Silver Falcons Team 71

Outgoing leader Maj Scott Ternent handed over to new Number 1 Capt Roy Sproul and the two incoming members were welcomed to the team : Major Beau Skarda – No 5 and soloist, and the first female ever to be part of the Silver Falcons, Captain Heybrech van Niekerk (Falcon 2 – Right Wing).

In his speech, Lt Gen C Gagiano ended by saying:

“To the recipients I wish to say: “Never give up your endeavours to do better today than you did yesterday, so that you may continue contributing towards keeping the South African Air Force the professional organisation it is.”

To see more of the images, go to the Wings Parade Album.

  • -

Project Dreamwings

Arthur D Piercy

In 1984 Arthur was sent to 3 Squadron at AFB Waterkloof to fly Mirages. Since seeing a Mirage F1 at an airshow in 1971, he had always wanted to fly Mirages.

In 1987 Arthur’s aircraft was hit in the tail area  by an air-to-air missile during a dogfight with a Mig 23. He brought his damaged aircraft back to base, but the damage sustained had resulted in the failure of critical systems such as the braking parachute and hydraulics. As a result of the subsequent crash, he left hospital seven months later with a C6 and C7 neck fracture, and permanently confined to a wheel chair. In 1991 he was medically discharged from the Air Force.

Arthur has since gone scuba diving,  participated in the Argus Cycle tour, the World Wheel Chair Games in Wheelchair Rugby, gaines SA Champion status in the shotput and javelin and silver in shot-put. He has also completed his PPL, and is now eyeing out wheel chair ballroom dancing.

His greatest challenge however is the completion of a specific aircraft, adapted for him, and in which he will fly around the world. This is Project Dreamwings.

You can find out more about this Project from Arthur himself on his website.