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By CO Solomon M. Kotane and photos by WO1 Christo Crous (in-flight) and WO2 David Nomtshongwana (ground and silver falcon final solo display photo)

The final rehearsal before the main event tomorrow.

Millions of South Africans, diplomatic envoys and visitors, will tomorrow witness the biggest air display ever mounted in the country since 1994, with the inauguration of Mr Jacob Zuma as the 4th leader of a democratic South Africa as President. The spectacular fly-past is likely to remind many of the stunning show seen during the Madiba era.

Detailed planning and preparations, which had begun few a weeks ago, continued until today. The South African Air Force (SAAF) has gone all out to draw on the old and the latest aircraft technologies to ensure that the multitudes of people attending the inauguration enjoy a breath-taking event. The SAAF has also pulled out an assortment of aircraft from its arsenal.

Senior DOD and SAPS members listening to their commander- in -chief- to -be during the rehearsal today.

It would show off the reliability, capability and an impeccable precision of all its flying power, from the 42 year-old Silver Falcons to the luxury of “Inkwazi”, the presidential B737 Boeing Business Jet. A variety of aircraft formations would be on display.

SAAF members saluting the Ethopian delegation.

Lt Col Glen William Gibson, (38), Officer Commanding (OC) 2 Squadron, said that his team of pilots was ready for the mammoth task. He pointed out that this was a “proud moment” for all of them. Lt Col Gibson is also the leader of the combined operation of the Gripen and Hawks stationed at Air Force Base Makhado.

Gripen no 07 towed into hanger provided by Denel

Hawk Mk120 being prepared by SAAF technician for the next day inauguration flight.


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