By Charlie Hugo
Rand Airport has a long history of hosting airshows, way back to the 1930s with the airport terminal buildings being part of that history. Rand Airport is home to many of South Africa’s aerobatic display teams and this event is extremely popular with aviation enthusiasts. The 2018 airshow was awaited with great anticipation.
Airshow day dawned to a slightly chilly mid-August late winter’s day, but that did not deter the aviation enthusiasts from arriving in their droves. Although there were delays in opening the gates to the public this was resolved and the crowds streamed through to take up their preferred spots in preparation for a day’s aviation entertainment. The weather started warming up and the day turned out to be a very pleasant one.
At 10h00 the airshow commenced with a flypast of a classic De Havilland formation consisting of an immaculately restored DH-86 Dragon Rapide flown by Flippie Vermeulen and three DH Chipmunks flown by Nigel Hopkins, Jason Beamish and Steve Brown. During this period ‘Little Annie’, a Russian Antonov An-2 had clawed her way into the air, carrying her load of parachutists and climbed to altitude. Jason and Nigel then performed a sedate tight formation aerobatic display in two of the Chipmunks before landing to clear the display line for the parachutists.