As 2014 fast approaches with advance warning, there is little we can do about it, as in my case one chapter has closed on my life, while another adventure has started. As I reflect on my time as Falcon 7 while I sip on my red wine over a Lowveld setting, which happens to be my new home, my previous statement about life, chapters and adventures all remind me of how my Falcon 7 career started.
The Silver Falcons sowed the seeds of a future Air Force life not far from my current location in Tzaneen; where the family stopped to watch an aerial display. Strange how things work, but soon after the Display in The Sunday Times there was a recruitment advert for the Air Force; that is when I knew that is what I wanted to do. The seeds were nurtured on a continuous basis through the Tzaneen Bush Pilots Flying Club and the annual Airshow where I could see and meet Air Force people.
I joined the Air Force in the Skills Development program with the hope of becoming an Air Traffic Controller, at that point Silver Falcons were nowhere in the thought process. Over time through hard work and a bit of luck I did become an Air Traffic Controller, and with this I was posted to Air Force Base Langebaanweg. Having just qualified as an Air Traffic Controller, I remember the day the first newly painted Astra in the now familiar blue and white scheme (thanks to Kuba Miszewski from First African Paints,) arrived. When it landed I was amazed at how nice it looked I walked around the aircraft at least two times I then went home and life continued. The then current Team asked me a month or so later if I would like to become the Public Relations Officer. Wow! How could I say no?
There are countless fond memories and good times to look back on. The things that will remain with me till I die are the life experiences, opportunities and great relationships that my times with The Silver Falcons have brought me. One often hears bad/negative things about The Air Force but I continuously ask my self where else would I be paid to see a different part of the country every weekend as a Air Traffic Controller, sitting on a ejection seat flying tight formation aerobatics with some of the most highly trained aviators in the world and once we reach our destination see friendly faces that have now become so familiar that I can call them family. The icing on the cake is standing at The Silver Falcons stall on Show day answering questions and trying to inspire the next generation of military personal in a life similar to mine; as not to long ago I was that young boy looking up and thinking if I could do that.
The main purpose of The Silver Falcons is to create awareness and promote The South African Air Force. The Silver Falcons have a history going on 46 years, I think that past, present and future teams have and will continue to do a fine job.
Thanks to all the teams supporters and friends that I have come in contact with through the team, I hope you will continue to support the current and future teams in the same manner. Most of all I would like to thank the Air Force for providing me with necessary qualifications to do my job and then allowing me the opportunity to be part of this prestigious team, I hope that the team can continue to grow through continuous support from with in The Air Force and the South African Aviation Community. The Silver Falcons presences is warranted and needed. I can vouch for that cause if it were not for one of the Falcons Teams flying over Tzannen I would probably be an accountant or something and I know life would not be as cool as it has been sitting back seat with The Silver Falcons.