The SA Air Force (SAAF) presented a pilot’s course last year but those who made it will not be able to say they earned their wings in the year the air force marked its centenary.
defenceWeb was informed by Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi, SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Director: Corporate Communication, “the SAAF wings parade scheduled for December at AFB Langenbaan (sic) has been postponed until further notice”.
Follow-up questions, including a possible parade date and whether there will be a pupil pilot’s course in 2021, had not been responded to at the time of publication.
Not widely acknowledged by the air force and its management, thanks mostly to the impact of COVID-19 which saw many planned events, including the Aerospace Africa and Defence (AAD) exhibition at AFB Waterkloof and a special SAAF 100 air show “deferred”, the SAAF centenary was muted.
The number of prospective air force pilots on course at Central Flying School based at the Cape west coast base in 2020 is not available with indications from previous years it will not be many.
In December 2019, then SAAF Chief, Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang, presented 12 pilots’ wings, two flight engineer wings, a loadmaster half brevet and five flight attendant wings, also half brevet.
A year earlier in December 2018 the wings parade at AFB Langebaanweg saw 17 new pilots enter the SAAF ranks along with 10 new navigators and flight engineers as well as two loadmasters after successful completion of courses at Central Flying School.