Silver Falcons at Ermelo Airshow
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
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.