Waterkloof Airshow, 01st October 2011
Capt. Buti Tsebe: Ex-falcon 3 blog
They say: to everything a time, a place & a season. And so here I am writing this blog as my time & season as Falcon #3 comes to its completion. What better way to display my last as a Falcon than at the Waterkloof Airshow on October, 01st 2011. So, besides being a very emotional, nostalgic experience for me, this Airshow will forever remain sentimental. But I promise not to make this one long, soppy, teary eyed blog. Promise!!
Well, the day began for us at 07:30 with azure skies, sunshine & warmth all around-perfect for Airshow. The Silver Falcons team 71 would fly its last display & I would proudly hand over to the new Falcon 3, Lt. Jacques Poolman as team 72 was borne. Takes me back to the day Maj. Alex Macphail handed over the same position to me (aaah to awesome memories).
Speaking of team 72, EXTRA EXTRA: Read all about it: Not to claim any fame through association, but in utter modesty, this same Lt. Poolman, the new Falcon #3 was once my student & when he went through the selection & fly offs, it was clear in my mind & the rest of the teams mind: that we had found our new Falcon 3, who would continue to fly the SAAF & Silver Falcons Aerobatic Teams flag high. And I must say, watching Lt. Poolman fly his solo displays during the day, so meticulously reminded me that we as the SAAF possess limitless talents & skills which once tapped can reap numerous rewards. Well done FLAPJACK!
Talk of rewards, my time here in the Silver Falcons has been more rewarding than challenging although challenges there have always been. Some of these include having to fly a display in the worst of conditions like at the PE Airshow & Simonstown Naval base at the SA Navy Festival due to severe turbulence. It nearly got me sick, lol just joking. The side of the aircraft being blown away in different directions is sometime what you don’t wanna see especially when flying about a meter from another aircraft, this flying thingy can be dangerous sometime but fun,fun,fun.
But never mind the challenges cos they are heavily outweighed by the rewards. So, back to the rewards then: thanks to the Silver Falcons I have been rewarded with what must be some of the most memorable displays not only in my life but in the history of the country and world too (a little exaggeration but hey, it’s my last blog). These include among too many others:
- President Zuma's Inauguration
- 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony
- My 50th display
- Team 70 & 71's last displays, formating on large & small aircrafts ( man that Airbus A340 is just B(ea)utiful)
- Being the most capped Falcon #3 in the history of the Silver Falcons and,
- Being the most capped wingman (for now at least, until Capt. Gerhard Lourens surpasses this in the near future with just 10 displays to go) Love your work “Venom” & I wish you only the best, my brother from another mother. :-)
- +/- 25 minute, new display at AAD 2010, thanks to our trip to Italy.
- Making new friends around the world.
And so this Airshow was to prove to be yet another reward, so undeserved, yet so overwhelmingly sentimental & priceless. Let alone the joy of flying my last display to a whopping crowd of ±40 000 including my brother Ronaldo who came to see me fly for the 1st time since I got my wings back in March 2005, in the newly renovated FAWK, amidst the US Airforce and other great aviators; I also got to fly to the resounding cheers, chants & music of the never before heard at an Airshow vuvuzela’s of friends & family of the Silver Falcons, aviation and of myself. I say myself, cos little did I realise I had developed quite a supporter club, fully kitted with self-made “Proud supporter of Falcon #3: Capt. Buti Tsebe” t-shirts & “Rustenburg loves Falcon #3: Capt. Buti Tsebe” & “We love you Falcon #3: Capt. Buti Tsebe” banners. All of which, let me add here, I later found some of my team mates were also a part of (by some I mean: Falcon #5: Maj. Beau Skarda - love your work) Speechless!!!!
Amidst the very non-traditional presence of the magical vuvuzela, courtesy of one Thabiso Chahane: my lifetime fanJ, I am told by Capital Sound that many firsts were achieved “unofficially” at this Airshow :
- First time a vuvuzela was heard at an Airshow
- First time a whole supporter club uniformly kitted graced the Airshow
- First time the new Falcon #3: displayed his solo
- First time my family, the Silver Falcons did a farewell salute in front of family & friends with full smoke on go for me!!!!
- First time I step out of the Silver Falcons as an active team member
- And the first time I step into and look forward to joining the throngs of fans & supported in all upcoming Silver Falcons Airshows fighting for the front line position to witness the majesty & precision with awe, respect & a vuvuzela (lol) the legend of the Silver Falcons Team 72. If I push you for that front line view, forgive me because I want to see it all too J
And so today, I salute you all for 3 awesome years which will forever be engraved in my heart & mind.
- To you my Silver Falcon brothers & sister Team 71:
- Maj. Roy Sproul- 2 words describe you “genuine &inspirational”. Love your work Boss!!
- Capt. Heybrech Van Niekerk - 1st female Silver Falcon EVER!!! Wow. To many more firsts Valiant!!
- Capt. Gerhard Lourens – my brother, let me be the 1st to congratulate you on the most capped wingman and 1st #4 with 100 displays to come, make history “Skim”.
- Maj. Beau Skarda – the voice of reason & calm amidst the storms, ke a leboga brother (especially for the new kit & MONSTER!!!!!!) High 5!
- Capt. Jesse Ramaisa- You’ve done a great job, keep it up. Hope & wish you will be give the opportunity to write your own history one day as a wingman. Hit those targets hard in Makhado.
- The awesome ground crew - we started off as friends and today I say “ke a leboga” to you all as family. Keep up the team spirit, drive, unity & commitment guys. Love your work.
- To you Silver Falcons Team 72: Greater things are yet to come, in fact good things are already happening. Forward only backwards never. Ndiza!! Well done Lt. Poolman. Make memories & make me more jealous because I am already.
- To you Maj. Scott Ternent, for all those innovative ideas & sheer brilliance; and Maj. Nico Frylinck, for the great motivation and making every trip an exciting, memorable adventure: ke a leboga.
- To you the aviation media & paparazzi: Sir Brian Emmenis & Capital Sounds, Sir Frans Dely (RIP), Justin de Reuck among too many others – you have shaped & elevated my aviation career through your tireless, phenomenal work. I thank you.
- To you all, Silver Falcons’ supporters & Facebook friends I made: you made me who I am today. I appreciate & thank you for the friendships we have created & will maintain.
- To you my family & loved ones: Ke a lerata. Ke lebogela lerato le matsapa a lona ka nako tsothle.
- To my “sunshine” Sharlene Govender, YMMHS
- And lastly to the SAAF & everyone who has believed in me and given me the opportunity to grow as an aviator, thank you.
- To all the youngsters that I've met, & helped with their careers, as well as those that I've motivated, goodluck & pursue your dreams.
Remember: never let go of a dream until you are ready to wake up & make it happen. I’m living my dream.
Capt. Buti Tsebe
Current and eternal Silver Falcon super fan for life