Matsieng Air Show Was Lights Up The Skies


“Did you actually see that?” a boy shouted to his mate, clearly in awe of what he was seeing with own two eyes. What he just witnessed was something only seen in movies, Fast and Furious 7 to be specific.

But this was real life scene, at Wesbank Matsieng Airshow held at Matsieng Airstrip on Saturday in Rasesa. Just to jazz it up a bit, the plane dropped a real car from the sky.

Unlike in the movie where they parachute their cars out of the back of a cargo plane, at Matsieng Airshow, a helicopter glided around with a car attached to its landing skits like it was a fish eagle.

As soon as it was in a specific drop zone, the hovering helicopter let go of the car and the fall was stabilised by the fact that it was a big car.

The car drop was just a fine particle in the desert sands of stunts and viewers couldn’t help but stare at the sky all day. One aircraft that made the day was the Bat Hawk which is a Light Sport Aircraft produced by Micro Aviation South Africa.

It is designed, developed and built to handle the toughest bush conditions and one of the air show fanatics called it kiribane (wheelbarrow) because of its conventional 3-axis layout with a strut-braced high-wing, a two-seats-in-side-by-side configuration open cockpit, fixed tricycle landing gear and a single engine in tractor configuration.

But it was the world record wall of fire that left people amazed because it was unexpected especially for first timers. It started with a plane approaching, followed by fire sweeping across the spectators’ field of vision.

The wall of fire was made up of dynamite, electric blasting caps and detonation cord. While it didn’t break the record of the world’s longest Wall of Flame set at the Yuma Airshow in 2009 the fire was felt around the place and it was great photo opportunity for lens men.

A hero of the sky Neville Ferreira also displayed a blissful Extra 300 Aerobatics with his two-seater aerobatic monoplane. Puma Energy Flying Lions T5 Harvard team came afterwards and left sketches in the sky with their amazing formations. South Africa’s premiere aerobatic team didn’t just fly but made death-defying aerobatic stunts and the aviation fanatics couldn’t handle the excitement. The audience was treated to synchronised aerobatic displays from L39 and L29 Albatross Jet Formation.

The Aero L-39 Albatross is used as an agile jet trainer, tactical reconnaissance aircraft and light ground support fighter. People were finally seeing the aircraft used by agent 007 in one of the James Bond movies.

The air show was organised by the Matsieng Trust and sponsored by WesBank Botswana, a division of First National Bank of Botswana.

Editor's Comment
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