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The annual LOMAC airshow creates such a hype of excitement for the pilots who get invited to participate in this awesome event.
This year some of the pilots arrived as early as Thursday to get some early flights in at this amazing venue. Pilots came from all corners of the country some as far as Cape Town and George. The hospitality that is offered by LOMAC is hugely appreciated by the pilots as this is not offered at any other event in the country. On arrival at the field on Friday around 3 we found it to be a hive of activity with the organisers sorting out the last minute things. The road had been graded and watered down, parking for the public was graded and crowd control barriers erected and the area set aside for the trade vendors and kiddies’ entertainment was all set out.
On Saturday morning all arrived early to get planes ready before pilots briefing and the usual breakfast that was served in a large tent to all pilots, helpers and wives. A VIP guest was flown in by helicopter before the official opening of the event at 09h00. This special guest was none other than The Stig himself which created quite a stir amongst the crowd. He was part of the flying display where he got to show off his multiple talents. The weather was spot on for an air show, it was quite hot with a slight breeze down the runway.
The crowd started filling up the large spectator area from around 09h00. The public attendance was good but started to dwindle out towards the afternoon possibly due to the important rugby match taking place.
The flying displays put on by visiting pilots as well as some of the local club members kept the public entertained. There were a few items on the program that were a first for the LOMAC crowds to see. Some cardboard props were built and placed on the edge of the flight line and were rigged with some explosives. A pyrotechnic display was done by Leon Breytenbach who holds a licence to do such displays. Two displays were planned for the day, one in the morning and the large one around 16h00. In the morning display none of the props were destroyed as this was reserved for the final show in the afternoon. The show was done with a mini warbird attack over flying the ground troops and tanks and dropping bombs. It all went off with lots of loud bangs, plenty smoke and flames which was surely enjoyed by all.
The Stig show was done where he displayed his multiple talents that included flying of model aircraft. His display was interrupted when a drunk supporter wanted to have some selfies taken of him and the Stig. The Stig fan then thought it a good idea to grab the TX and also show his flying capabilities which ended up with the plane crashing head on into the ground which was a crowd pleaser.
Flying stopped around 17h00 after a very good day was had by all. Disassembling and packing away of aircraft was now the order of the day as all had to get ready for the Saturday evening closing ceremony. The event was organised in the large tent that was used for breakfast and lunches that was served to pilots and helpers.
The evening was kicked off with a prize giving for various achievements throughout the show. Thank you was said to the sponsors and to all the people who helped behind the scenes and the workers who slaved away to make this day a huge success. As Alex the chairman said in the LOMAC way “Well done guys and girls you have achieved your goal”