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 Thumbs up for 85 CFS

Congratulatory messages were all that could be heard around Makhado, near Musina, on 30 August 2007, for the solo pilots, instructors and ground crew for their efforts in supporting 85 Combat Flying School (CFS).

This was a great day in the lives of Maj S. G. “Prince” Ferreira, Lt T. “T-Bone” Mashilane and Lt. “Boerboel” Mashaba, as they finally took their first jet solos into the sunny blue skies above Air Force Base (AFB) Makhado.

It was also a milestone for 85 CFS as the unit was completing the test phase of the Hawk MK 120, and got down to brass tacks by training South Africa’s future defenders of our skies. And, not to be outdone by their future students, Instructors Course 1/2007 took to the skies for their first solo a few days later.

Captain Ryan “Monarch” Cokayne and Captain P. J. “Paragon” Norden proved themselves more than capable of taking the Hawk MK 120 into the air. All in all, this was a great month for 85 CFS, starting with an extremely efficient and successful weapons deployment to Bloemfontein, and ending with not one, not two, but five solos.

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