Organisers of the Baywest Port Elizabeth Airshow are confident that the event will not only entertain record crowds this weekend, but that it will be the most exciting air spectacle ever witnessed in the region.
The air show, now in its 18th year, boasts pilots from around the world as well as home-grown talent in the form of Port Elizabeth-based Patrick Davidson, South Africa’s number 1 aerobatics pilot who ranks third best globally.
German stuntman Philipp Steinbach has also been flown in as Baywest Mall’s guest of honour and is set to perform precision aerobatic stunts in his Sbach 342, which he designed. In a previous show Steinbach was the star attraction, with aerobatic feats seen nowhere else in the country.
Additionally, Mango Airlines has announced that it will, for the first time, participate in the event. Shortly after 10am on Saturday, the airline’s new generation Boeing 737-800 is set to wow spectators when flanked in formation by the SA Air Force Silver Falcons.
In addition to food and craft stalls, Mango will be hosting a Career Day to provide information to learners on careers and opportunities within the aviation sector.
The air show, which promises to be the pinnacle of family entertainment over the weekend, has also teamed up with AlgoaFM to offer adults taking part in the AlgoaFM Big Walk for Cancer early on Saturday a 33% discount on their entry ticket if they present their Big Walk ticket stub or wear their Big Walk t-shirt.
There will also be food and craft stalls for families to enjoy, as well as outdoor displays to view in between the various air show events. Raffles will also be held for exciting giveaways, including a weekend worth R30,000 at a top Eastern Cape game reserve, and helicopter flights over the region.
Baywest Mall is also holding a Baywest Best Selfie competition, awarding R1,000 for each of the five best selfies taken at the air show and posted on the Baywest Mall Facebook page.
Gates to the event open at 8am with proceedings beginning at 9am and ending at approximately 3.30pm. Tickets can be purchased at the gate and cost R20 for children aged five to 17, and R60 for adults. Children under five enter free.
According to the SA Weather Service Port Elizabeth office, Saturday’s weather will see cloud cover and a maximum of 20?C with only a small chance of light rain in the early morning.
Baywest MD Gavin Blows said the sponsorship of the air show was “a logical step” for the developers, whose motto for the Baywest Mall is “expect big things”.
“This is the biggest and most-loved air show in the region, so we wanted to be part of that and help the organisers put on the best spectacle that Nelson Mandela Bay residents have ever seen,” said Blows. “With the opening of the biggest mall in the Eastern Cape just six months away, we wanted to remind residents of what we are all about – bringing something exciting and new to the region.
“We are also passionate about community upliftment, so the fact that the proceeds of the Baywest Port Elizabeth Airshow go towards the MTR Smit Children’s Haven is what helped clinch our backing.”
The programme for the day is as follows (please note that it is subject to last-minute changes):
- SAAF (South African Airforce) – Silver Falcons Display Team (5 aircraft). Pilatus aircraft
- SAAF (South African Airforce) – Golden Eagles parachute team (2 displays)
- Robbie 44 – Civilian Helicopter (aerobatic display – John Huddlestone)
- Mango and Silver Falcons Boeing fly-by
- L39 Jet Fighter Trainer , Stu Davidson
- Sea Fury, Second World War fighter, Stu Davidson
- Stearman, biplane, Stu Davidson
- Mustang, Second World War fighter, Patrick Davidson
- Sukhoi, Aerobatic aircraft, Patrick Davidson
- Flying Lions – 4 Aircraft Formation Display team using Harvard aircraft (ex-South African Trainers)
- Sbach 342, Aerobatic aircraft, Philipp Steinbach
- BK117 SAAF Military Helicopter
- Wisper Motorised Glider
- Equestra Flying Lions, Harvard 4 aircraft aerobatic team
- GoodYear Eagles, Pitts Special Aerobatic Team, biplanes
- Bike versus plane race
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