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 Silver Falcons at Ermelo Airshow

By WO2 Patrick Vermaak

The new SAAF Silver Falcons made their official debut during the extremely popular Ermelo Airshow on Saturday 22 April 2006. Led by former Falcon No 3, Maj Alex van Oostveen, with Lt Vaughn Gryffenberg Falcon No 2, former Falcon No 4 and Capt Ryan Cokayne now as Falcon No 3 and team debutant, Capt Scott Ternent slotting in as soloist and the new Falcon No 4.

Crew chief, WO2 Jaco Smit, and his support crew sported new clothing thanks to the much appreciated support of Denel Aviation and AMG. Departing from AFB Langebaanweg at 04h00 on Friday 21 April the crew were put to the test when Falcon 4 and 4˝ (Sgt Conrad de Wet) was attacked by a bird (rather large feathered variety) enroute. FSgt Kobus Kotzé and Sgt Pine Pienaar (both attached to 2 ASU) soon dispatched with a replacement propeller aboard a 35 Squadron TP47-C.

For many members this trip would always retain special
meaning as it was the debut of a new team, and debutant Capt Scott Ternent earned his Silver Falcon colours with distinction. It would have been a last chance for the ladies but Capt Ryan Cokayne to married the love of his life, Cinzia Valetti, on Freedom Day (27 April 2006). They spent the entire weekend trying to explain the concept of freedom - to no avail! Jokes aside, may this prove to be the best decision you ever make Captain!

For two members of the ground crew this was a farewell as career prospects will see them move to new units shortly. Affectionately known as Falcon 4˝, Sgt Conrad de Wet (Aircraft Mechanic), considered the rear seat of Falcon 4 his personal property and even had his name affixed to the aircraft for this weekend. Always trying to fit maximum into minimum he now has a broken spinner to show for his efforts. FSgt Kokka de Kock (Armament), team expert on hypnosis, has decided that bare feet is the way to go and he is set to become a Cats supporter (shame).

Sgt Bernadette Venter (Photographer) will also become Sgt Bernadette Gildenhuys (6 May 2006) before the next public appearance of the Silver Falcons which is set for the Rand Air Show on Saturday 13 May 2006.

Accept their invitation and come and meet the team.

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