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Roy Sproul

Roy Sproul

Roy Sproul has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in Falcons News Updates

SM 8504-Roy Sproul cropAfter a long and exciting career with the South African Air Force and the Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team, I have decided that its time to hang-up my gloves and step down that someone else may experience the honour of leading such a World Class Team and furthermore also allow a new member the opportunity to experience the thrills of Precision Aerobatic Flying.

Over the course of my two tours with this professional Team, I have been privileged to fly in the No3 and No2 positions before my appointment as Leader in 2010. Highlights of my Falcons career include, but are certainly not limited to having performed numerous live broadcast aerial displays ranging from the Opening of the FIFA World Cup, the Nedbank Cup Soccer Challenge and a Presidential Inauguration to name but a few. Other highlights are the regular formations flown with other aircraft ranging from the Airbus A340 to a Cessna 172!

However all of this aside, what made every challenge and show worthwhile must certainly be the publics enthusiasm and the support shown by the rest of the aviation fraternity. Without the public, no Team could survive and the pride and passion shown by the members of the public was phenomenal, during down times and periods of uncertainty, the public and the Teams supporters were always there with words of encouragement and every shows attendance was beyond expectations, even in areas far removed from major cities and hubs.

I must also commend and thank the civilian and military pilots and support crews on the Air Show Circuit for their continual support, friendship and ‘can do’ attitude. The aviation world is very small and the Air Show world even smaller, yet every individual and Team feels like family and arriving at a venue was always exciting to see the familiar faces and if you ever needed advice or help with something, you were never far from a helping hand. I hope that this comradeship between the various Teams and individuals continues to go from strength to strength.

The regular photographers on trips also formed a very special bond with the Team and I must thank them for all the positive PR and willingness to share their work with the Team. Their continual passion for their work over the years has really helped build up the image of the Team and without a doubt inspired many a young person to pursue a career in aviation.

It’s with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Team 74, this Team has had a special bond, are all truly inspirational pilots and brought some unique qualities to the table! I know that each member of the Team will go on to assist and support their new Leader just as they did for me and continue to fly the flag high. It is however a great comfort knowing that Maj Beau Skarda will now be taking the reigns of the Team and be leading the “Cockpit Ambassadors” of the SAAF into the future. Beaus’ friendship and experience were paramount to making my tour as Leader so smooth and I wish him well for his future as No1.

Without the SAAF’s training and support throughout my career, I would never have been able to experience and be part of the Teams rich and colourful history and for this I will always be grateful. To meet the majority of the ex-Falcons members during last years 45th Silver Falcons Reunion was an honour and reaffirmed why this Team is considered one of the best in the world.

Finally, a special and heartfelt thank you goes to my wife, Helma and my kids, Robert and Nicole. Without their support, my tour with the Team would not have been possible! I am eternally grateful that they allowed me to pursue this dream and stood steadfast behind me even though it meant weeks away from home.

Thank you to all the Silver Falcons supporters and my best wishes to Team 75!

Sincerely

Major Roy Sproul

Outgoing Team Leader

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Posted by on in Falcons News Updates

AFB LANGEBAANWEG FAREWELL FOR LT GEN GAGIANO

Before sunrise on Friday 24 August 2012, two Pilatus PC7 MkII aircraft got airborne from AFB Langebaanweg en-route to the Test Flight and Development Centre (TFDC) near Bredasdorp. The purpose of the mission, to surprise and collect the Chief of the South African Air Force, Lt Gen C. Gagiano for the final portion of his farewell road show of the Western Cape Air Force Bases.

Due to the discreet and efficient planning of the mission by the staff of DBFT, upon arrival at TFDC, the crew of the PC7’s were met with tremendous surprise by the staff of TFDC who were due to welcome the Chief to their base only moments later.

The two PC7’s were initially parked well away from the TFDC movement centre where CAF was to address the base personnel. After CAF’s address to the TFDC staff, he was flown by Oryx helicopter for a brief visit to Skipskop whereupon the two PC7’s were taxied across to the movement area in anticipation of his return. Whilst away from the unit, the lead PC7, Falcon 1, was ceremoniously prepared and positioned with a red carpet and ceremonial guard comprising members of TFDC for CAF’s final farewell from the unit.

After returning from Skipskop, CAF was informed of the plans and provided with a g-suit and helmet which were generously provided by the TFDC personnel for his final PC7 flight. After a unique ‘Generals Salute’ and address by CAF dressed in a flying overall, Lt Gen Gagiano strapped himself into the aircraft without hesitation displaying his great professionalism as an aviator having not flown in the PC7 for a number of years.

Lt Gen Gagiano was paired with Maj Roy Sproul for the flight with the backup PC7 flown by Capt Mark Gentles. After take-off, CAF was handed control of the aircraft and flew the entire route back to Langebaan himself. Passing the town of Darling, CAF’s aircraft was intercepted by the rest of the Silver Falcon Team flying two red and white PC7’s representing the Central Flying School and two aircraft in the Falcon colours.

The now 6-ship formation then completed a scenic flight of the West Coast before positioning over the Langebaan Lagoon for a 5min Silver Falcon aerobatic sequence before routing to AFB Langebaanweg to meet up with the rest of CAF’s delegation.

After disembarking from an Oryx at AFB Langebaanweg’s VIP movements section, Mrs Gagiano along with Maj Gen Msimang and his wife were treated to a final loop and break by the Falcons with their very special guest! After landing, Lt Gen Gagiano made the time to personally thank each of the Falcons crew for their contribution representing CFS and AFB Langebaanweg on his final flight.

A final word from Maj Roy Sproul (Falcon Lead): “On behalf of the Silver Falcons who are charged with the responsibility of publicly showcasing the professionalism and skills of ALL past and current serving members of the South African Air Force, it was a great privilege and honour to be able to serve under Lt Gen Gagiano and partake in his farewell. We hope that he and Mrs Gagiano will enjoy a well deserved retirement and I once again take the opportunity to thank CAF for all his years of service, serving us, the men and women of the SAAF”CAF and Team 73

Posted by on in Falcons News Updates

Capt Roy Sproul's message to all the Silver Falcons' supporters

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