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West Coast Airshow is great family fun
1 day Mega-Extravaganza with aerobatics + skydiving
Last updated: Monday, 11 September 2023
The aerial circus is coming to town – just in time for the school holidays. There’ll be plenty of jaw-dropping antics at the West Coast Airshow on 30 September, as well as drone racing, sky diving and even a concert with headliner Karen Zoid. Make a weekend of it? We tell you how to get there, where to stay and what to expect. Plus, stand a chance to win tickets.
Even if you’re not an aviation fanatic, you’ll be amazed by the tricks and antics on display at the West Coast Airshow. Image: Dean Wingrin
WATCH THRILLING JETS
One aircraft worth mentioning is the L-29 Delfin (also known as “Dolphin”). Designed in 1961, the L-29’s ease of handling made it the standard combat/weapons jet in Eastern-bloc countries.
The Aero L-39 Albatros is another to look out for. This high-performance jet, masterfully designed in Czechoslovakia, exudes power and elegance.
The L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer designed in former Czechoslovakia. Image: Dean Wingrin
MEET TOP PILOTS
Dave Mandel, the pilot (and owner) of the Aero L-39, is known for his smooth low-level knife-edge passes along the crowd line. Both the L-29 and L-39’s speed and loud, roaring engines will fill up your chest and get young and old jumping out of their seats.
Other top aviators in South Africa whose skills will be on display include André van Zyl (the top gyrocopter display pilot in South Africa), aviation legend Juba Joubert, Dr Jurie Steyn (a South African Intermediate Aerobatic champion), and others. There will also be a pilot meet and greet, where you’ll get to see the aircraft up close.
Dave Mandel, the pilot (and owner) of the Aero L-39, is known for his smooth low-level knife-edge passes along the crowd line. Image: Benjamin William-Pierce
SEE HUMANS FLY + DRONES RACE
Members of the Mother City SkyDiving team will take to their playground in the sky and leap out of planes high above the spectators, linking into impressive, beautiful formations all the way down.
This is a highly experienced team that flies daily, and they may just inspire you to take your own leap of faith in the future and learn to skydive. This air show also is a great opportunity to meet and interact with this team and the other sports people.
There’ll also be a fascinating drone displays, alongside an attempt to set a new SA drone speed record for an FVP quad by the FlyFPV SA team. Now that’s going to be worth watching.
It’s thrilling to watch these skydivers link up in the sky as they plummet towards the earth. Image: Bernard Voges/Typographica Media
HOST HAS 20+ AIRSHOWS UNDER HIS BELT
This show was put together by experienced air-show organiser Dr Clive Coetzee. He has hosted 24 successful air shows between 2012 and 2014 in KwaZulu-Natal, and thought it was time to bring a high calibre air show to the West Coast for the first time in 2022.
Besides the fact that very strict safety protocols are followed under the watchful eye of Air Show South Africa, the team from West Coast Medical Rescue will also be on site for its duration.
Very strict protocols are followed for a completely safe event. Image: Bernard Voges/Typographica Media
KAREN ZOID, BEER GARDEN, KIDDIES AREA…
You can’t bring in food or drink, but you’ll be spoilt for choice with over 50 vendors on site, selling all the popular foods like burgers and fries. There’ll also be lots of kiddies entertainment.
Lovers of the brew will be super happy to hear there’s a dedicated beer garden. Not a beer fan? There’ll be a cocktail lounge, too.
The L-29 Delfin is a confirmed display act, flown by aviator Grant Timms. Image: Dean Wingrin
This year the West Coast Airshow is hosting their first music concert. Starting at 5pm, there’ll be a lineup of wonderful local talent before headliner Karen Zoid. The concert ends at 10.30pm, so grab some drinks from the beer garden or cocktail lounge and settle in for a night of rock n roll with some of South Africa’s most talented musicians.
MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT: CAMP AT THE AIRSHOW
Also new this year is off-the-grid camping. There’s no need to worry about driving home after the concert and a few drinks: An on-site camping spot, metres away from all the action, costs R400 per night and can fit up to four people. It’s essential to book accommodation online.
Bring triangle-shaped tent pegs; the West Coast is notoriously windy, and normal short pegs won't stay in sand.
OR STAY AT THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE BAY LODGE
There’s also Blue Bay Lodge, which has 33 B&B rooms, one executive suite and 14 self-catering cottages.
Plus, it has a tennis court, a conference centre, a swimming pool, a braai area, beauty salon, bar and a stunning restaurant at Blue Bay Lodge.
And you might run into some of our team there too!
The Bosbok is closely linked with South African military history. Image: Bernard Voges/Typographica Media
TICKETS, SHUTTLES & WHAT TO BRING
Tickets cost R240 for adults, R180 for kids ages 6 - 18, and R200 for pensioners. Children under 5 get in free. Looking for a discount? Buy 10 of the same ticket type (e.g. 10 adult tickets) and you’ll receive 10% off. To avoid long queues, we advise you to buy tickets online beforehand.
There’s plenty of free on-site parking, as well as limited parking at the Oval for R10. Bel ‘n Pêl Dial a Buddy will offer a shuttle service with convenient pick-up points in Table View, Stellenbosch, Paarl, Durbanville and more.
Parking won't be an issue on the big day. Image:Bernard Voges/Typographica Media
There’s also a frequent shuttle option from the Weskus Mall (R60pp return ride). Shuttles will also run from a number of nearby West Coast towns. Most shuttles need to be booked beforehand. Find out more information and how to book via the West Coast Airshow website.
The West Coast is known for its hot windy weather and dry terrain. Make sure to bring good walking shoes, sun-protective clothing, sunscreen and a fold-up chair. Due to limited space on the shuttles, no chairs will be allowed. 2 000 chairs will be available for hire at the event on a first come, first serve basis.
There will be a pilot meet and greet, too. Image: Bernard Voges/Typographica Media
GO TO THE WEST COAST AIRSHOW
The West Coast Airshow is on: Saturday, 30 September 2023
Gates open and close: 6am to midnight
Find it: Saldanha/Vredenburg Airport | West Coast (the airport is off the R399, only 8 kilometres away from the West Coast Mall)
Contact on: West Coast Airshow website, 084 603 3875, Facebook, @wcoastairshow
Three people could win 5 tickets each to the West Coast Airshow! Find the details below.
How to enter:
Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Giveaway ends 22 September 2023 at 12pm and winners announced 22 September 2023 at 3pm. No cooler boxes, own drinks, food, umbrellas or pets. Bring your own chairs or rent chairs at the air show. The event is weather permitting.
Maybe this is something you want to consider for your weekend - we'll be there.
EXPLORE THE PROVINCE
Can’t get enough of aviation? Check out this free museum in Cape Town.
Keep the kiddies entertained with these 30+ kids activities that you'll enjoy, too.
The show is one day only, but there’s loads more to do on the West Coast – see flowers.
Balance out the action with some nature-bathing at the West Coast National Park.
There’s no shortage of other things to do over the weekend and in the week ahead.