South Africa’s own aerobatics squadron the Silver Falconshas been confirmed for the opening ceremony of the fourth annual RISKAFRICA Regatta on Friday evening, 21 October.
The Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team did a display at our very first regatta in 2013 and it proved to be a crowd-pleaser. The original aerobatic team, then known as the ‘Bumbling Bees’, was founded in 1953 to represent and promote the South African Air Force.
In the ensuing years, the Silver Falcons built their reputation as cockpit ambassadors of the SAAF by travelling across South Africa to display the skill and professionalism of the nation’s military pilots to the public. They’ve become role models, inspiring many a child to follow their dreams of flight.
The striking new livery portraying a falcon’s head and wings was an instant hit with the public, air show aficionados and photographers. In a matter of weeks, the Silver Falcons made the front pages and covers of several newspapers and aviation magazines in their shiny new feathers.
With more than 550 displays in over 40 years, the Silver Falcons’ safety record is among the best in the niche of military aerobatic teams. They continue to instil national pride by dazzling crowds at air shows across the country.
In most military aerobatic teams today, display flying and ground crew duties are coupled to a full-time posting in a dedicated squadron. The Silver Falcons, however, is a part-time team. Pilots and ground crew all perform display duties as an over-and-above task to their primary postings.
Based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg on the South African West Coast, the Silver Falcons are all full-time flying instructors at the Central Flying School.
To date, 105 pilots have been selected to fly in 80 different teams for the Silver Falcons. Each pilot is assigned a unique, sequential number. Whenever one or more team members change, a new team number is allocated.
Falcons 1-5 make up the flying members of the team. Falcon 6 is the Ground Liaison and Safety Officer (GLO) and Falcon 7 is the Public Relations Officer (PRO). Falcon 8 is an honorary position reserved for Brian Emmenis of Capital sounds and functions as the team commentator.