Airshow makes its mark

The WW II vintage Harvads skimmed their wheels across the Botswana blue sky, while the V5-HUE Bell chopper brought back poignant memories of Vietnam as it cut a majestic figure against the sunset. The BDF Air Arm, which has outgrown its status and become an airforce in its own right, must really come to the party next time, writes REVEREND RICHARD MOLEOFE

The Botswana International Air Show has certainly made its mark on the Botswana calendar of outdoor events.The crowd was fairly good for an event that made its debut only last year. It was held at the Matsieng International Airstrip that is owned by the Bauer De Wet, owners of Botswana's oldest drilling company, just outside Rasesa Village. This facility is unmistakebly landmarked by huge warehousing structures seen from the A1 Road that links the North and the South of Botswana.

At this event, an assortment of both classical and recent aircraft were  assembled. The oldest aircraft were the Harvards that saw action during the Second World War. The Harvards were brought to Botswana by Eqstra, a fleet management company doing business here. Speaking to the Country Manager, Morne Potgieter, bringing the Harvards to Botswana's International Airshow has  resulted in valuable exposure for their business, which is relatively new in the country's market. "The Eqstra Flying Lions aircraft are all ex-World War II, two-seater military T-6 Harvard trainers now in civilian hands," Potgieter said. The aerobatic team are famous for their waterskiing act - a world first manoeuvre that involves skimming the wheels of their Harvards across the length of a body of water.

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