2007 African Bush Pilots Fly-In and Airshow.
The fourth annual African Bush Pilots Fly-In was held once again at the Barberton Airfield between Wed 8 and Sunday 12 August. The main difference this year apart from previous years was it was held over two main days instead of one. The second day was reserved as an airshow. The event was organized and hosted by CC Pocock and Shirley Johnson of Bush Air, who own and reside on the airfield. It was an outstanding success, better than all previous years. A total of 47 aircraft flew in to the Barberton Valley Airfield over the weekend (Confirmed by individual photographs).
Aircraft started to arrive on Wednesday 8th. Most pilots camped out along the runway, with their aircraft, the entire weekend. Some local pilots and their aircraft from Nelspruit and surrounding private airstrips participated in the flying competitions on the Friday then departed back to their home base airfields but drove back to the event so that they could stay and enjoy the Airshow day and party on the Saturday evening.
Friday was reserved for display authorizations and numerous flying competitions which included Spot landings, Short Field operations, Flour Bombing and Toilet roll cutting.
Saturday was reserved as the Airshow day and started off with an air race to the Barberton Town and back to the airfield. The airshow program included many different types of General Aviation flying displays and skydiving displays. The day ended with a Pyro-FX Air Raid war scene incorporating a 2nd World War twin radial engine Beech-18 "Bomber", owned by Mercy Air in White River, as well as live explosives simulating machine gun strafing and bombing runs. The "Target" was a min-bus vehicle sponsored by F&H Tow-In, Barberton. The mini-bus was blown up during the display. The Air Raid ended with a massive, hot and loud "Wall of Fire" Napalm explosion which sent a shock wave for many kilometers around the airfield.
A high impact fireworks display by Pyro-Fx was held after the prize giving and the after-party continued until early Sunday morning. Flips were given in a World War 2 Tiger Moth all weekend. Air Traffic Control was supplied by Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) from Rand Airport Johannesburg. Emergency Services participation: Barberton Fire dept: Clarence Hobbs, Jan van Vuuren, Allen Sampson. Provincial EMS: Jan Oberholser.
Phoenix Hotel Sponsored rooms for all the officials and also supplied all the catering for the event over the entire weekend. Jock of the Bushveld Huts Sponsored the media accommodation. Barberton Pick n Pay supplied Goodie bags to pilots that flew into the event. PYRO-FX (Based on the Airfield) Supplied the Pyrotechnic Special Effects and the Fireworks display. Aerial-FX Skydiving sponsored the Skydiving displays and Bruce Robson Fencing sponsored the crowd line fence.