Above: The new team in front of their aircraft at AFB Langebaanweg. From left to right, they are Capt Heybrech van Niekerk, Capt Gerhard Lourens, Capt Roy Sproul (team leader), Capt Buti Tsebe and Major Beau Skarda.
Our favourite aerobatic team has undergone a reshuffle for 2011, boasting a new team leader and two new members, one of which is the team’s first female member.
“Commanding the Silver Falcons is a huge honour and Iam extremely proud to be leading such a talented team of pilots and support staff,” says new team leader Captain Roy Sproul. “The Team members work together as ‘Cockpit Ambassadors ‘ to showcase the professionalism and excellence of the South African Air Force’s personnel and equipment to literally millions of people both in SA and overseas through Air Shows and large scale media events such as the recent FIFA Soccer World Cup.
Many of the Team’s pilots and support staff have served operationally within the South African Air Force (SAAF) and now serve on the Team in a voluntary capacity over and above their normal daily duties. All
pilots on the Team are full-time flying instructors with the Air Force Central Flying School at AFB Langebaanweg on the West Coast just outside of Langebaan. On completion of their tour with the Team, they will return to duties that directly support the SAAF’s operational commitments both locally and abroad.
2011 marks the 44th year of existence for the Silver Falcons. The Team has flown in excess of 600 official displays in and around South Africa and its neighbouring countries and holds the title of being one of the safest military aerobatic teams in the world of military precision display flying.
This article will give you an insight into who the people are behind the Team that frequently graces the skies over the West Coast and its surrounds.”
So, let’s meet the team…