Saturday was airshow day in PE. This airshow, held in aid of the MTR Smit children's home, has become an anual event. This years show was the biggest they have put on to date. Fortunately the weather turned out nearly perfect with the wind coming up in the afternoon, but not too strong. Over 10,000 people passed through the gates which added to the atmosphere of the day. We have not had military participation at an airshow in PE for a number of years now so it was really good to see them taking part. The Cheetah was a crowd favourite starting off its display by whizzing past at over 1,000km\hr. This aircraft is one of the last of South Africa's ageing fighter fleet, starting off as a Mirage III before being converted to the Cheetah by Denel nearly 10 years ago. These are soon going to be replaced by Saab Gripens.
There were lots of aerobatic displays by various aircraft, Harvard (T6), YAK 18, Hawker Sea Fury, Extra 300L and two L39 displays. A Russian pilot, Valeriy Sobolev, did the most amazing display of solo jet flying in the one L39 display. The Sasol Tigers aerobatic team (3 x L29's) was also there.
There was also good general aviation representation, the most exciting of which was the Whisper motor glider designed and built by Russell Phillips. It was a pleasant surprise to get a call from Russell on Sunday morning to ask me to fly a photo plane for Athol Frans of African Pilot magazine to take pics of the Whisper. Of course I agreed.