South Africa: The South African Air Force participated in the Saldahna Air Show, hosted at the Saldahna Airport on the West Coast on 30 September 2023.
The activities commenced on 29 September 2023, when the SA Air Force introduced aviation to the scholars of the West Coast. The schools in the West Coast community were visited by the SA Air Force members handing over tickets to headmasters for the scholars to attend the activities.
The programme allowed the scholars to learn more about aviation within the SA Air Force’s experience a close-up touch and feel of the SA Air Force aircraft that formed part of the air display and static display. The aircraft is the PC7 from Air Force Base Langebaanweg, Lynx from Air Force Base Ysterplaat and the BK117 from Air Force Station Port Elizabeth.
All named aircraft were manned by pilots who were there to fill the young minds with information and experience of a lifetime to the boys and girls of the West Coast.
The Impala Simulator from 5 Air Supply Unit allowed the scholars to have a feel of how it feels like to fly an aircraft and the 2 Air Supply Unit from Air Force Base Langebaanweg explained and demonstrated how the equipment for survival is used when needed.
The team of the Silver Falcons and the Pilot students from the Central Flying School equipped the young minds with what is expected of them one day when they decide to join the flying family within the Blue culture.
The scholars and educators were filled with knowledge and joy. “Thank you we enjoyed ourselves, please thank everyone on our behalf” one of the educators expressing their gratitude to the SA Air Force. One learner from Louwville High School Alude Ellias Xhego said, “For the first in my life have I been given the opportunity to be inside an aircraft, even though it’s static but I’m happy to have even been so close to it.”
The scholars were also overwhelmed to meet and greet the SA Air Force pilot, Major Clayton Mnise who took part in the Mr SA 2023 pageant and is currently number one in the top 10, which taught the young minds that in the SA Air Force dreams are encouraged to be followed.
Major Mnise explained, “Not only Am I a pilot, but I have taken this opportunity to enter Mr South Africa 2023 as a challenge to myself, that as a person you can be one of many talents that you should always discover about yourself.”
The show was attended by the Deputy Chief of the South African Air Force, Major General M.M. Matanda, with the support of the Officers Commanding from the Air Force bases on the West Coast.