IT’S all systems go as the third annual Airfest kicks off at Wings Park on Saturday.
This will be the first time the Silver Falcons pay a visit to the event.
Flying clubs from around the country will descend on Wings Park Airfield this weekend for two-days of aviation fun, live entertainment, aerobatic performances and flips in aircraft for adrenalin junkies.
Besides all the aerial displays and exotic aircraft on show, there will also be high-flying action of a different sort, with freestyle motocross star Jason Hannan.
He said he would be doing some basic and “superman” tricks on a 22m ramp, on which he will do some flips to enthral the crowd.
“This is the first time I will be flipping in front of a crowd. They must scream so that I can get my blood pumping and go crazy,” Hannan said.
“This is not my first year at the Airfest and this year my tricks will be bigger and better.”
The Airfest was started by the Border Aviation Club, who still organises the event, with GO & Express and big sister newspaper, Daily Dispatch, on board as media sponsors.
Airfest’s marketing coordinator Jason Mark said: “We’ll have a beer garden, live music and entertainment throughout the day, a kids’ and family zone and static aircraft displays.
“People can tick off a few bucket-list items like going for an aircraft ride. Braver people can try tandem skydiving”.
Mark said this would be East London’s biggest air show since 2009 and the crowd can look forward to:
● The Silver Falcons will perform on both days. An SAAF BK-117 helicopter and a SAAF Gripen fighter jet will also make an appearance in the skies;
● SA aerobatic champion Patrick Davidson will perform in his SU-31 aerobatic aircraft;
● Local aviator Mark Oostingh, who recently flew his WWI Tigermoth aircraft from Crete to South Africa, will do an aerobatic display in his Zlin aerobatic aircraft;
● The Savannah, an aircraft built in Gonubie, will take to the air;
● A man will jump from 6000ft, gliding through the air with the aid of a wingsuit;
● Freestyle motocross star Jason Hannan will defy gravity as only he can; and
● Rugby games will be screened.
The show opens at 9am on both days. Tickets, on sale at the entrance, are R70 for adults, R30 for children and free for babies under two.
● Mountain biking action is kicking up a gear at the end of this month, as the Daily Dispatch Mountain Bike Challenge takes centrestage at Wings Park. This year it takes place at the Airfest.
Five distances will be available at the event, catering for mountain bikers of all ages and fitness levels.
The main race will be the 66km course, which is ideal for endurance and physically fit cyclists – with long, steep downhills and ascents on district gravel roads.
Prizes of R5000 for the winner, R3000 for the runner-up and R2000 for the third-place finisher will also be up for grabs.
The 42km race is a shorter distance, but parts of its terrain are harder than that of the 66km, with long climbs, loose stones and ruts on the track.
The 18km ride is on a nice scenic section of single and Jeep track that winds through a game park.
The final two distances will be the 10km and 5km rides.
Cost of entry for the distances are R180 for the 66km, R120 for the 42km, R80 for the 18km, R50 for the 10km and R30 for the 5km.
Entries can be found online at www.dispatchcycletour.co.za, as well as at local cycling shops in the city.
All participating cyclists will receive free entry into the Airfest on Sunday while tickets for the rest of the family and support will be on sale at registration and throughout the weekend at Wings Park.