PC-7 Mk IIs in mid-air incident

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The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) confirmed a mid-air “incident” involving two training aircraft last month while preparing for the Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) exhibition now underway.

The two Pilatus PC-7 Mk II aircraft, flown by Silver Falcons aerobatic team pilots, were flying a formation training sortie on 29 August in Air Force Base (AFB) Langebaanweg airspace on the Cape west coast. It is believed the starboard (right) wing of one aircraft hit the port (left) elevator of the other aircraft, resulting in severe deformation of the horizontal stabiliser.

The Silver Falcons are the official aerobatic team of the SA Air Force (SAAF), but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, aircraft availability and budget shortfalls have not undertaken public displays in over two years. The team had to reconstitute with new members and train intensively in an inherently high-risk environment of close-formation flying.

A SANDF spokesperson said: “There were no injuries with minimal damage to the aircraft” and a board of inquiry (BOI) has been convened to determine the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The Silver Falcons will be participating at the AAD air show at AFB Waterkloof on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 September.