Dreams Come True at Newcastle Airshow 2019
Dreams Come True
The ninth annual Newcastle airshow did not disappoint and will go down as one of the top airshows in South Africa for 2019.
Following with its theme, ‘I Can Dream’, the 2019 edition saw a whopping 12500 spectators’ stream through the gates, around 5500 more than the previous year.
It was a day jammed-packed with action and entertainment for the entire family no matter the age, gender or culture, with over 80 exhibitors, the very popular Munro Art exhibition, as well as the KwaZulu Natal Tourism 360-degree virtual stand. Opening the show was a stellar performance from the Newcastle High School choir and as they sang the national anthem, South Africa’s largest flag was flown by one of the parachutists followed by an perfectly timed break by the South African Air Force (SAAF) Silver Falcons aerobatic team as a show opener, had the large crowds on their feet.
This set the pace for the rest of the day, and the skies above the Newcastle airport was constantly filled with aerial displays by some of South Africa’s best aerobatic teams that included The Puma Energy Flying Lions flying their immaculate Harvard aircraft, the high-energy display by Team Xtreme flying the latest Extra 330 aircraft in perfect synchronization, the GoodYear Eagles in their Pitt Special aircraft, as well as the famous Raptors Aerobatic team flying their Vans RV aircraft. Not to be out done by the adrenaline-pumping aerobatic teams, the soloists kept the show going with performances flown by the Extra 300, the Boeing Stearman, a Glider, a Gyrocopter as well as a L29 jet. A blast from the past and an iconic wartime aircraft, the legendary Mustang P-51 roared into action and had the crowds on their feet with a stunning aerial display.
With the civilian aerobatics out of the way, the SAAF flexed its muscles and showed the crowd its mighty power with a fast and furious display by one of its Gripen fighter jet aircraft, as well as multiple displays by the SAAF Silver Falcons aerobatic team.
Adding to the day’s excitement and entertainment, Airlink airlines graced the sky with its Embraer E190 commercial jet, showing off its capabilities.
If aviation was not your scene, petrol-heads were treated to fast-paced action from Motoring South Africa that saw lots of bike action, as well as a race between a Rail Dragster driven by South Africa’s ‘fastest women’, Vanessa Fourie, who holds the record at Tarlton with an incredible 7.8 seconds run over a quarter mile, race against an Extra aircraft, as well as a motorbike stunt show.
Besides all the non-stop action, and for those wishing to learn more about aviation, exhibitions from the South African Defence Force (SANDF), as well as the SAAF and the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) had their hands full with questions and queries as to possibly career paths. The day also played host top over 1000 Grade 11 learners that attending the educational expo and included guest speakers from the SAAF by the Deputy Chief of the Air Force, as well as talks from the first two black female SAAF pilots, as well as talks from the SANDF and the SACAA.
Keeping the large crowd informed was world-famous Brian Emmennis from Capital Sounds. Brian and his team supplied the commentary for the entire crowd line as well as the VIP tents and made sure that everyone was well informed about each performance.
Such an event is not possible without committed sponsors and the driving forces behind this year’s event was the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs of KwaZulu Natal and KwaZulu Natal Tourism with the event organisation once again handled by the Champ Group of Companies lead by Johan Pieters and Christo van de Vyver.
According to Johan Pieters from the Champ Group of Companies, “2020 is a big year for the Newcastle airshow as we celebrate our 10th anniversary”. “Next year we plan on hosting a three-day airshow with artist performances as well as plenty of other activities, so watch this space”, said Pieters.