Falcons to fly regularly again

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Public appearances by the Silver Falcons are set to resume after the crack aerobatic team’s displays were earlier this year curtailed by the SA Air Force’s (SAAF) diminishing budget.

Major General Wiseman Mlambo, General Officer Commanding SAAF Air Command, told a media briefing at AFB Waterkloof yesterday that a decision had been taken at SAAF Command Council level to put the aerobatic team back on the South African airshow circuit.
“The Silver Falcons will be going to flypasts and displays at airshows from now on,” he said.

To date this year the team, based at AFB Langebaanweg, has taken to the skies at just three airshows: the SAAF Museum show in May, the Rand airshow in September last month and at Secunda earlier this month.
“It is an air force decision. The Falcons will continue to do their business. We will make sure they continue,” he said at a media briefing at AFB Waterkloof yesterday.

The current Falcons team is number 73 and is led by Major Beau Skarda following the resignation of Major Roy Sproul. He left soon after the announcement that the team’s attendance at and participation in airshows would be curtailed due to budget constraints.

Announcing their withdrawal, the full Falcons team said on the team website they were “bitterly disappointed” but understood the global economic situation and the reduction in defence budgets internationally had ramifications.
“The operational side of the SAAF must obviously take priority,” team 73 said.

At the time of publication no displays had been added to the website calendar but it is believed the Falcons will be in action at AFB Ysterplaat’s “Wings ‘n’ Wheels” event set down for December 7.