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Posted by on in Falcons News Updates

Some say it's the end of an era...

But I like to believe its the beginning of a great adventure :)

It's been a fruitful three years in the team. I started in March 2010 as the GLO of the legendary Team 70, the pioneers of many a flying feet. From formation flying on all types of heavy freighters to displaying in front of 2 billion people at the FIFA WORLD CUP SOCCER and yes, for those wondering, I was inside the stadium next to the Chief choreographer :) 

After performing fly offs amongst eleven possible candidates for the team the announcement was made on the 5th of August...

Being the first female in the team and basically  an "experiment" of note, training started and believe me... it wasn't for the faint of heart either...

Being able to take criticism, stern voices and a constant drive to achieve perfection during the entire sortie, although your concentration levels are lower than a pupil in school :-$, was all worth it in the end :)

I think everybody always wants a nice clear calm cool day for their first display but unfortunately for myself and my co-new-falcon it was a baptism of fire. Our first four displays... over water... and the last two being in the most turbulent conditions found... Simonstown navy festival... and let's not even mention the hottest and highest airfield in South Africa as your 5th and 6th display ... Ermelo...

For those who don't understand the significance about displaying over water let me try and explain. You have no depth perception over water which gives you a false sense or hope that the ground is still far far away of which  it is not so you have to adapted and scan your altimeter all the time looking for safety gates and achieving certain speeds and heights during the display. For flying "hot and high" goes all about loss of engine performance and control effectiveness of the aircraft due to the warm less dense air which in itself gives more challenges during the display.

I flew 44 displays as the number 2 of Team 71 &72 and 31 displays as the number 4 of Team 73. 

For me, the number 4  has been the most challenging regarding responsibilities and movement in the display. From having one aircraft formatting on you (which in itself requires a stable platform otherwise you making life dreadful for your team member trying to formate on you) to having three formatting aircraft and you being the only link between the leader, power available and geometry of the maneuver. Not to even mention flying in the box and constantly moving around to assist your fellow team mates by making the diamond look like a diamond although someone has fallen back in a maneuver sitting what feels like with mere inches away from their wings with your spinning propeller.

The journey hasn't been an all flowery one... it's had it's ups and downs, it's awesome moments, it's scary moments, it's good moments and it's bad ones but to have had the honour to be apart of something unique and having had the opportunity to achieve one of my most memorable dreams have been a absolute blessing and honour...

To all the photographers, fans, friends, family, supporters of the team thank you very much for everything you have all done and still is doing for the team. Its been an honour and privilege to display for you...

To my fellow and future team mates, good luck, keep it real and keep it safe!

Regards

Mother Goose/MG/HB/Heybie 

Member number 95 of the South African Air Force Aerobatic Dispaly Team

The Silver Falcons

 

 

 

Posted by on in Falcons News Updates
No 2's account of the highly successful Ermelo Airshow

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