“Well this was one of those days I never will forget!” // J Wiklund
What a great crew and staff at this friendly Air Force base at Swartkop. Not that active when it comes to the main operations, but very active when it comes to flight museums and they keep over 15 aircrafts airworthy!
Harvards, Alouettes, DC3s and Tiger Moths…
Got out around 1000 and did an engine run tho check the oil leak which has been a problem.
I got help to get it fixed, and I also adjusted some of the wires.
Met with SAAB representatives and prepared some photos on the computer in the hangar, that I would show later in the afternoon.
At 1300 we had a briefing with the Gripen pilots (a 2 seater plane that just flew in).
A bit delayed after some C130 dropping elite parachuters we got airborne around 1430.
We had the Gripen doing big turns and me doing more tight turns and at a lower altitude (150ft).
Intention was to have the photographers getting good shoots on both of us passing by.
Five turns later the Gripen had to continue to refuel as the refuelling at Swartkop was temporarily out of order.
I got to climb. It took me a long time reaching 7000ft (2500ft above the airfield)
I did a looping, a barrel roll, half cuban eight and another barrel roll and the altitude was gone and the finishing of with steep turns to show the turn rate and a slow fly by followed by a fast low fly by and the landing.
The crowd seemed satisfied! To be frank, you do not see much DH60 aerobatic at 5000ft often! (never!) And as some of our followers noticed, I sure did create some “green spaghetti” on FR24.com!
I did a speech for many of the SAAF pilots and others for more than an hour. I think it went well!
Inspire to go back to basic, to take on challenges in life and to keep a good balance in order to feel well – that were the main topics in my speech I guess!
I feel very satisfied how the day went! Now some SLEEP to get ready to fly around 0800LT tomorrow.
Short flight to Orient to meet up with Brett, Mark and possible the Sling Aircraft factory.
Then we will fly to Kimberly and the Swedish monument to give the 100 Scandinavians that died in 1899 in the Boer war a thought!
Aerobatics and aspirations
Here is an interesting experiment for all you open-cockpit pilots out there: aerobatics at high altitude (for us, anyway). I gave it a shot today at Baraganath just to see how it would feel. Not great, I can report… the thin air immediately drained me of all my energy. I’ll have to limit tomorrow’s air show to only a few maneuvers.
I flew to Swartkop and got a very nice reception, even though the lady in the tower refused at first to grant me permission to land. Turned out she hadn’t seen the document and was therefore following procedure… It all worked out in the end!
Some military technicians helped me with an oil leak and then a transport from the base took me into town to the school where I was scheduled to speak. I held a one-hour lecture about Cape to Cape, SAS and aviation for a group of very attentive and enthusiastic teens, who claimed they all wanted to become pilots. A great experience to talk with these kids.
Then it was on to dinner in Johannesburg, with invited guests and especially folks from the Aircraft Factory, who make the great light aircraft called Sling. They’re truly passionate about their work – they’ve flown three times around the globe to create PR for their products – a publicity stunt that sure seems to be bringing them success!