2016 Kishugu Lowveld Air Show. Bolder. Faster. Louder.
On Saturday 21 May the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show filled the sky with a sequence of remarkable aerial displays. Sky-divers, hot air balloons, helicopters, jets, bombers and even radio controlled airplanes danced across the stage set before more than 6,900 spectators who attended this year’s Kishugu Lowveld Air Show.
To celebrate its 13th hosting, we dedicated the greater part of our programme to the spectacular art of formation flying – a first for South African Air Shows.
Formation flying is the disciplined flight of two or more aircraft under the command of a flight leader. At this year’s Kishugu Lowveld Air Show the crowds witnessed a variety of formation aerobatics flown by expert teams, ranging from three to eight aircraft.
“Formation flying is an art which demonstrates a pilot’s skillfulness, expertise and precision. We decided to set a stage where these amazing pilots could share their talents,” said Johan Heine, CEO of Kishugu and Chairman of the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show.
The show officially opened at 10:00 when the Ralph Ridge Skydivers jumped from a Working on Fire huey, and the programme concluded with a remarkable pyrotechnics display after sunset. Some of the breathtaking displays featured at this year’s Kishugu Lowveld Air Show included: Just Love Mission, a charity born out of love for aviation. Their single engine bi-plane, “Little Annie”, stole the crowd’s heart.
Two of Kishugu Fleet’s Tractor 802 aircraft demonstrated Working on Fire’s expertise in aerial firefighting by water bombing the runway. Five of Working on Fire’s huey helicopter pilots also displayed their skills while flying these big aircraft in formation.
Another highlight was when Ex SAAF Helicopter Pilot, Juba Joubert, raced his Gazelle against a Jaguar.
Two of the world’s leading aerobatic pilots, Nigel Hopkins in the Extra 330SC and Mark Hensman in the MX2, painted the sky with their antiques and daring flips and the ambassadors of the South African Air Force, Silver Falcons, wowed the audience with their speed and precision while leaving streaks of white smoke across the blue backdrop.
“This was a highly successful event and it will be our pleasure to host it again in 2017,” said Heine.
On behalf of the Lowveld Air Show committee, Kishugu would like to thank the Lowveld community for coming out in their thousands on Saturday to enjoy the Kishugu Lowveld Air Show with us. Thank you also for being so hospitable to the aviation enthusiasts who visited us from outside of Mpumalanga.
A great deal of planning, hard work and collaboration goes into organising such a large air show. Kishugu would, therefore, like to thank our sponsors, without whom this event would not have taken place; the vendors and exhibitioners; and also our service providers.