Silver Falcons on display

If you look to the sky this weekend, you’ll be in for a treat.

The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team, the official display team of the South African Air Force (SAAF), will take over the Mitchell’s Plain sky on Saturday November 26, around 4pm, when they fly from the Air Force Base Langebaanweg to the eighth annual DStv Mitchell’s Plain Festival at Westridge Gardens.

They will return on Sunday November 27, at about 3pm, for another 15-minute air display.

They aim to inspire youth, promote aviation and showcase the skill of SAAF pilots to the public.

The team members fly the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II ‘Astra’ in a five-ship formation aerobatic display.

Captain Patrick Paulse, corporate spokesperson for Ysterplaat air force base, told the Plainsman that a detailed flight plan had to be finalised to have the air space cleared for the display, requiring them to inform Cape Town International Airport.

“We bought them in 1994 and they are used for pilot training. All of the members who fly the display team come from the Central Flying School based on the South African West Coast,” he said.

The Silver Falcons are all full-time ab initio flying instructors at the flying school.

This means they are instructors in the first phase of flight training.

Captain Paulse said the best view of the air display would be from the festival’s main arena as the pilots fly over the festival.

Festival-goers can sit in the pilot’s seat and imagine flying at sea in the Lynx maritime helicopter, which will be grounded at the festival this weekend.

The helicopter is usually dispatched with a navy ship, to be used for search and rescue missions.

Based at Ysterplaat air force base, the aircraft bought in 2007 is still in service.

Captain Paulse invited residents to check out the display and discover what the South African National Defence Force has to offer.