By Lumka Oliphant

  • Reflecting on the importance of exposure to South Africa’s armed forces beyond formal events, advocating for a lifestyle of patriotism.
  • Attending the annual SAAF Museum airshow in Centurion, we witness impressive displays from various branches of the armed forces.
  • From firefighting demonstrations to aerobatic displays by the SAAF, the airshow provides a memorable experience for attendees of all ages.

 Every South African should be exposed to our armed offices. Not just during SONA or when someone has died but it should be our lifestyle. Just to instil our patriotism.

We tend to follow everything that has planes and aviation in general. This past weekend was no exception when the annual SAAF Museum air show took place in Centurion.

Our armed forces came out to show what this country is made of.

They had exhibitions for each arm and were out to impress and give every air show attendee an experience of a lifetime. They had everything, for everyone. From child to older person. The firefighting army wing came out to demonstrate their capability encouraging and educating each child about firefighting. They allowed them to wear a firefighter’s uniform. The patience within which these compatriots executed this task, every child came out smiling with a photo in hand.

But it was the display and show of force by the SAAF that at one point made me to standstill and felt proud to be South African.

The air show organisers left nothing to chance and gave a show never to be forgotten by all aviation enthusiasts. As you were driving from the N1 approaching the museum, you could see the heavens decorated and I had to remind my son more than once to concentrate on the driving and not the sky. The aerobatic display teams like Puma Flying Lions, the Jason Beamish, Goodyear Eagles gave spectacular shows.

The air force showed its Gripens, Hawks and all its currently serving military and civilian aircrafts and thrilled the crowds. I hope my notes do not fail me but I heard there was a Silver Falcon, Hawk formation, Gripen fighter, Alouette 11, Kudu. I tried to educate myself because we are now living and breathing aviation in my home.

The army and the SAPS too were not left out. There was a mini war demonstration by the SANDF with mock fire fighters, aerial attacks, anti-aircraft guns and troop inspection. The SAPS had its helicopters impressing the audience. The greatest moment for me was when it was announced that the SAAF Museum air show 2024 had officially come to the end, Sarah Brightman’s Time To Say Goodbye, playing in the background, the aircrafts facing south of Johannesburg and slowly gliding on the runway, giving beautiful colours on the horizon that I felt a tear or two on my cheeks. The South African Airforce had successfully reminded me that it is good to be South African.

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