Mansfield reports from the African Bush Pilots Fly-In and Airshow held
at the Barberton Airport.
African Bush Pilots Fly-In held recently at Barberton was bigger and
better than anything previously held at the airfield wihich is now Barberton's
airport. With over 50 aircraft from various parts of South Africa and
a flying programme with over 45 thrilling displays, this year's event
known event hosted by CC Pocock at his Barberton Valley Airfield which
is currently in the process of being licensed by the Civil Aviation
Authority (SACAA) as a catagory B Aerodrome and will be renamed "Barberton",
was definintely the biggest and best held to date. This year also saw
the South African Airforce which displayed its Oryx and Augusta109 helicopters.
taking part in the flying displays included a Bantam BJ22, Cheeta, Sunbird,
Flamingo, Appolo Fox, Sport Cruiser, Savanna, Lambada, EuroFox, Marabou
Stork as well as a Navion, Harvard anda Beech 18. Making its debut at
the event was a PAC 750 from Naturelink which unfortunately did not
take part in the flying, but was on static display.
event of this magnitude cannot be undertaken without the help
of dedicated and professional assistance. This year this came
from ATNS which handled the flow of traffic; "Hosepipe"
Hannekom who was the Safety Director, as well as CC Pocock who
was the Flight Director. Graham Cooper, who kept the spectators
entertained with his light hearted humour, handled the commentary.
made this year's event different wasdefinitely the participation
of the SAAF and CAA, as well as a motorbike race versus Ian Puntis
flying the Sport Cruiser. Of course the aircraft won - just!
the skydiving side, Mike Rumble demonstrated his agile skills
and jumped from various aircraft with his Garmin Canopy.
grand finale was a formation fly-past with the Beech 18 flown
by John Herbet from Mercy Air an a Harvard the Harvard Club of
South Africa flown by Dereck Hobkins, with CC using the opportunity
to "blow-up" the airfield with simulated bombing runs.
- Graham Cooper
Director - CC Pocock
Herbet's Beech-18 hits the "target"
Oryx of the SAAF demonstrates its fire bombing technique
Annual Fly-In / Airshow
annual fly-in at "CC's"is always an enjoyable event
and can be relied upon to produce something unexpected.
current airfield, originally established by CC Pocock as the Bush
Pilots Airfield, then more recently named Barberton Valley Airfield,
is now the official airfield for Barberton.
year's event saw some 57 aircraft on the field during the 3 day
event. Two SAAF helicopters from 19 Sqn, AFB Hoedspruit, an AS330S-2
Oryx 1227, andan August A109LUH, 4020, were a popular drawcard.
The great bulk of the aircraft wereNTCA's and certified light
aircraft, including the Sport Cruiser, Flamingo, Bantam, EuroFox,
KitFox, Apollo Fox,Jabiru, Bush Baby, Samba, Lambada, Topaz, Cheetah,
CH-701 and CH-801, the latter making its first airshow appearance.
Also making its first national airshow appearance was the new
Aerokopter Sanka (ZU-RIT) light helicopter from the Ukraine, while
the attendance of a Piper J5A Cub Cruiser, N35297, was also a
Hobkinds and Andre Klepper brought the Harvard 2A, ZU-AOZ/7166,
belonging to the Harvard Club od South Africa and its black and
yello target tug finish.
many of us though was the radial engined aircraft that were the
big attraction. Derek Hobkinds and Andre Klepper brought the Harvard
2A, ZU-AOZ/7166, belonging to the Harvard Club od South Africa
and its black and yello target tug finish proved popular with
the spectators. It was a fortaste of the big Harvard Fly-In and
formation being planned for the Open Day at AFB Swarkop on 1 November.
The other radial type was the 1959 model Beech E18S-9700, ZS-OIJ
(BA-428), ofMercy AIr, White River, Which was flown by John Herbet.
This aircraft, which has the later model G18S type windscreen
and cabin enclosure, was fitted a while ago with a localy manufactured
Hamilton long nose conversion. The aircraft was however recently
used in the making of a film about Amelia Earheart, some of which
was filmed in South Africa. A Lockeed 12A Electra junior, F-AZLL.
was brought out from france for most of thesequences and it was
thus finished in bare metal, with orange wing leading edges and
tailplane. It's Hamilton nose reverted to the standard type.
Pyrotecnics display at the end of the airshow saw the Harvard
and Super 18 making simulated bombing runs, followed by the 19Sqn
Oryx with Bambi bucket to put out the resulting fires.
special word of thanks must go to Peter Owen of the vteran Phoenix
hotel in Barberton who, with his staff, provided excelent fair
for all the attendees, accommodated many of them in his hotel,
and was available at the oddest hours to shuttle them back and
forth to the airfield. A big thank you is also due to Graham Cooper
for the entertaining commentary, and to CC and Shirley for putting
the whole thing together.
SAAF helicopters from 19 Sqn, AFB Hoedspruit, an AS330S-2 Oryx
1227, and an August A109LUH, 4020, were a popular drawcard.
Bush Pilots Fly-In
a first time attendee at the Barberton Bush Pilots Fly-In, I was
not sure what to expect. My husband and I left Rand Airport at
15h00 on Fridaty afternoon in a Cessna 172, with a 25 knot tail
wind and we arrived overhead Barberton Valley Airfield in less
than 2 hours.
airfield was well marked with a good dirt surface and ground marshals
were on hand to show us where to vacate the runway and guid us
to our parking spot. This years Barberton Bush Pilots Fly-In was
well attended with more than 50 aircraft flying to barberton and
joining the fun despitethreats of cold fronts and high wind speeds.
By the friday afternoon at least 27 planes had arrived and many
of the pilots and their passengers had already set up camp under
the wings of their planes in true bush style. The night was warm
and there was a festive atmospherein the camp. The organisers
hadarranged the the beers were cold and a hot ptjie was ready
early the following morning the remainder of the aircraft started
arriving. Airtraffic controllers from Rand ATNSdid a good job in
keeping everything safe and well run, with planes arriving from
Pocock in his C172 (T-41) bush flying trainer.
was a good mix of Non Type Certified Aircraft (NTCA), certified
types, microlights and singleBell Jet Ranger helicopter. Some
of the types pressent were: Savannahs, C172's, a C206, Piper cubs,
a Tripacer, Kit Foxes, Bush Babies and two Bantams. A large number
of locals arrived by mid morning to watch the displays and have
a close look at the aircraft. The safety officials and marshals
had their hands full keeping everyone safe. As such there were
not any incidents. Fortunately fo the spectators, this was the
only part of the show that was uneventfull.
programm was packed full of demonstrations and displays. Commentary
was spocken by Grahanm Cooper with non-stop information on the
types of planes and the names of the pilots flying them. Graham
also had a great sence of humour asking all the ladies to line
up when the Oryx emptied its bambi bucket full of water. Parachutist
Mike rumble jumped from a number of planes. Some departures were
quite tricky as the planes had narrow doors through wich to climb.
One of the trickiest jumps was from the Bell Jet Ranger flown
by Henk Pretorius. Mike climbed out of the helicopter, ballanced
on the skid and closed the door before he jumped, whilst Henk
managed t okeep the helicopter in a hover high above the crowd.
Some of the pilots treated the crowd to low fly pasts as well
as a few aerial displays. Two of the planes that were displayed
were the Sports Cruiser flown by Ian Puntis and a Savanna tha
amazed the crowd with its short take off's and landings. CC Pocock
flew a fantastic low level display in his C172 and showed us what
bush flying is all about.
on the Saturday afternoon CC Pocock had arranged for a spectacular
pyrotechnics display using the Beech-18 and the Harvardto do his
always the fire engines were on hand to put out the fires and the
Oryx brought a bambi bucketof water to help douse the flames quickly.
Herbet in the Mercy Air Beech 18
the end of a fun filled day of flying, the festivities continued
around the camp fires with good food and a prize giving for the
spot landing and flour bombing events. After a good party, most
of the pilots retired to bed at a respectable time, as they wanted
to make an early start the next morning to avoid the predicted
a hearty breakfast we preflighted and took off into a beutifull
clear sky. However, as we climbed out over the escarpment towards
Gauteng, we encountered some serios turbulence and head winds
which slowed us down to a ground speed of 30 -40 knots at times.
This improved as we neared Rand.
arrived back safely after a slow and bumby flight, but feeling
very content after a fun filled weekend. Pierre and I will be
back next year.
CC and Shirley Pocock for a most entertaining fly-In.
- CC and Shirley