SAAF Commando / Voluantry Air Squadrons

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Spice
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SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Spice » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:21 am

Hi gents and ladies

Anyone have an idea of what aircraft types have been flown by the Commando/Air Force Reserve squadrons, since the inception of the various squadrons. I am looking for type e.g. Cessna 208 Caravan and if at all possible the ZS-??? numbers too.

All bits of information will be appreciated, thank you in advance.
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by jimdavis » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:20 am

Good morning Spice, that's quite a big ask - each pilot flew his or her own aircraft, or even hired aircraft. So the smallest would be 150 Cessnas that were obviously used for training but also for reccee and even FAC. Not sure what was the largest private aircraft that the Commandos used. I am pretty sure a Lear and certainly a Duke that I know of.

Or I wonder if you are looking for ones that were used on the border. Even that would be quite a job.

Good luck with your research.

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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by kudu177 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:43 am

My old man flew for 104 Sqn and used his own aircraft, first an A36 Bonanza and then a Duke.

As Jim says, all kinds of aircraft were used in the early days but as the volunteer squadrons roles' became focussed on transport tasks, use of smaller types dwindled rapidly. Almost no recce flying was done in the later years except during the annual two-week camps.

By the late 80s/early 90s, most tasks were flown with twins - Barons, Cessnas, a couple of Dukes, etc - and the handful of privately owned business jets.

The SAAF VIP squadrons were reserved for proper VIPs, not red-faced majors and lowly commandants shuttling to the bush. And the volunteers went where 28 Squadron didn't.

There was a plenty of flying - lots of brass to shuttle all over SA and even up to the Border. (In one notorious incident, a national serviceman bowser driver at Grootfontein topped up the tanks of a Cessna 414 while the pilot was shepherding his pax to the terminal. Only after a double engine-out in the climb and subsequent white-knuckle ride back to Grootfontein was it discovered that the troep had filled the a/c with Jet A1 and not Avgas. That'll be two new donkeys, thank-you. It took years for the SAAF to cough up on that bill.)

And, yes, plenty brass complained that they had to fly in a lousy prop-driven Duke while their senior-ranking maatjies went by Citation or whatever. Plus ca change ...
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Spice » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:53 am

Hi

I am aware it is a BIG ASK :wink:

Maybe it'll shake some memories and have some current/former Comdo/Res Sqn members on the forum, have look in their log books.

I appreciate that the types will be various and even a long list, if I am able to extract some information from sqn staff.

Objective is to see what I can find, first of all and then collate into a chapter in my Air Power Diary which I have restarted working on, after loosing a lot of data, so I am back at square one.

Currently busy rewriting section on the origin of the SAAC up and till the establishment of the SAAF.

The future I intend to include a page or two on the various military and civil types used by the SAAC and SAAF, hence the request to see what type of response and or data I receive based on this request, will use dedicated FB pages too, it is always a challenge to see what is out their.
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Sunbird » Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:34 am

Tikli Kessler ZS-EXT PA 28-235
https://samilhistory.com/2015/10/13/bor ... y-kessler/
viewtopic.php?t=154469
How he got the mods pass DCA at the time must have been interesting.
I am told that he motivated the granade launch tube with that his children often got airsick and he needed a place to get rid of the airsick bags!? DCA apparently played with, instructing him to put a placard next to the tube reading: "Not to be used over populated areas"
My dad had a Cherokee 6 ZS-WGC at the time parked at Eros and Tikli sometimes played mailman on his way through and used to drop my letters into my dad's plane.
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Spice » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:21 pm

Thanks Sunbird
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by jimdavis » Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:23 pm

Spice wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:53 am
Hi

I am aware it is a BIG ASK :wink:

Maybe it'll shale some memories and have some current/former Comdo/Res Sqn members on the forum, have look in their log books.

I appreciate that the types will be various and even a long list, if I am able to extract some information from sqn staff.

Objective is to see what I can find, first of all and then collate into a chapter in my Air Power Diary which I have restarted working on, after loosing a lot of data, so I am back at square one.

Currently busy rewriting section on the origin of the SAAC up and till the establishment of the SAAF.

The future I intend to include a page or two on the various military and civil types used by the SAAC and SAAF, hence the request to see what type of response and or data I receive based on this request, will use dedicated FB pages too, it is always a challenge to see what is out their.
OK thanks Spice - I understand what you want now!

If Avcom doesn't mind having this thread dedicated to individuals listing the types they flew for the Commandos I will dig through my logbooks and give you a list of what types I flew for them. There must be plenty of Commando pilots on Avcom, so if we all do the same that should be a start for you.

Is that going to work for you?

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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Sceptic » Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:15 pm

C310 ZS-JOS
C337 ZS-IDI
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by CarlGrobler58 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 5:40 pm

Hi, I flew C414, C210, PA 34-200T, Duke B60 and PA28 for them. Oh and B58, A36. Whatever we could get our hands on. :D
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by jimdavis » Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:36 pm

Aircraft registration numbers and types flown by myself for various Commando squadrons between 10 October 1975 and 21 January 1983.

ZS- TYPE
JPY Auster
CWO Beech Debonair
DOB Beech Bonanza V35
CWO Beech Bonanza
PWD Beech 17S Staggerwing
290 Bosbok
ERU Cessna 172
DXZ Cessna 172
FFL Cessna 172
FNM Cessna I82
IAK Cessna 182
CSP Cessna 182
IDB Cessna 150
JBH Cessna Cardinal C177
DNC Cessna 180
CRK Cessna 210
TMM Cessna 210
CNT DH82A
JAB Grumman TrainerAA1B
Grob G109B
995 Kudu
987 Kudu
EMG Mooney M21
KPS Mooney 201
JVJ Maule
FHI Piper Arrow PA28-R
FMJ Piper Arrow PA28-R
FWT Piper Arrow PA28-R
FYU Piper Cherokee PA28-235
DWI Piper Cherokee PA28-235
JTN Piper Cherokee PA28-235
FEO Piper Single Comanche PA24-250
DPL Piper Single Comanche PA24-250
EZI Piper Single Comanche AP24-250
EBL Piper Cherokee PA28-140
FAW Piper Twin Comanche
SWD Piper Twin Comanche
CMV Piper Cherokee PA28-180
KWM Piper Cherokee PA28-180
KHW Piper Cherokee PA28-180
CYN Piper Colt PA22-108
CKM Piper Tri Pacer PA22-160
IXO Piper Aztec PA23-250
SVB Piper Seneca
JRJ Rockwell Commander 112A
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by pwnel » Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:30 am

jimdavis wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:36 pm
Aircraft registration numbers and types flown by myself for various Commando squadrons between 10 October 1975 and 21 January 1983.
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by Walter105 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:20 am

jimdavis wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:36 pm
Aircraft registration numbers and types flown by myself for various Commando squadrons between 10 October 1975 and 21 January 1983.

ZS- TYPE
JPY Auster
CWO Beech Debonair
DOB Beech Bonanza V35
CWO Beech Bonanza
PWD Beech 17S Staggerwing
290 Bosbok
ERU Cessna 172
DXZ Cessna 172
FFL Cessna 172
FNM Cessna I82
IAK Cessna 182
CSP Cessna 182
IDB Cessna 150
JBH Cessna Cardinal C177
DNC Cessna 180
CRK Cessna 210
TMM Cessna 210
CNT DH82A
JAB Grumman TrainerAA1B
Grob G109B
995 Kudu
987 Kudu
EMG Mooney M21
KPS Mooney 201
JVJ Maule
FHI Piper Arrow PA28-R
FMJ Piper Arrow PA28-R
FWT Piper Arrow PA28-R
FYU Piper Cherokee PA28-235
DWI Piper Cherokee PA28-235
JTN Piper Cherokee PA28-235
FEO Piper Single Comanche PA24-250
DPL Piper Single Comanche PA24-250
EZI Piper Single Comanche AP24-250
EBL Piper Cherokee PA28-140
FAW Piper Twin Comanche
SWD Piper Twin Comanche
CMV Piper Cherokee PA28-180
KWM Piper Cherokee PA28-180
KHW Piper Cherokee PA28-180
CYN Piper Colt PA22-108
CKM Piper Tri Pacer PA22-160
IXO Piper Aztec PA23-250
SVB Piper Seneca
JRJ Rockwell Commander 112A
Uncle Jim, I have to ask...a Grob? On commando duty? :)
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by V5 - LEO » Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:59 am

Walter105 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:20 am
jimdavis wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:36 pm
Aircraft registration numbers and types flown by myself for various Commando squadrons between 10 October 1975 and 21 January 1983.

Uncle Jim, I have to ask...a Grob? On commando duty? :)
....yeah that was the stealth observer aircraft at the time - :lol:
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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:02 am

Walter105 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:20 am

Uncle Jim, I have to ask...a Grob? On commando duty? :)
Yes indeed, Walter. I never used mine in anger on the border, but it had huge potential for some roles - mostly reconnaissance, telstar (getting up high and relaying messages between ground bases), and even FAC (forward air control) for directing mortar fire).

It had some huge advantages – it has almost no radar footprint, it is extremely quiet, it has massive endurance, and, under the right conditions - which often prevailed on the border – it could be immune from SAM fire by simply shutting down the engine. It's unlikely that they would bother wasting a SAM on you - but it would be comfortable to know you are untouchable!

I actually did my SAAF instructor renewal flight-test in mine in mid-summer over Oudtshoorn one year. The testing officer was a PF Major who came up from Cape Town - I forget his name. Of course he had never even seen a Grob before, and was fascinated. At one point he gave me an engine failure at 4000' and demanded that I pick a field. I honestly thought he was joking - but he was dead serious. The thermals were such that I was able to ask him whether he would like to land at Oudtshoor, Mossel Bay, George, Plett or Beaufort West. He was somewhat offended, and insisted that I go through the whole procedure so he could fill in his form.

It was a magic aeroplane.

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Re: SAAF Commando / Reserve Squadron Aircraft

Unread post by jimdavis » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:04 am

V5 - LEO wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:59 am
Walter105 wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 7:20 am
jimdavis wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:36 pm
Aircraft registration numbers and types flown by myself for various Commando squadrons between 10 October 1975 and 21 January 1983.

Uncle Jim, I have to ask...a Grob? On commando duty? :)
....yeah that was the stealth observer aircraft at the time - :lol:
You are dead right Leo - in some ways it was 8)

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"Flight Tests"
"So Others May Live"
"Flying in Africa" Vol 1
"Flying in Africa" Vol 2
Look inside these books, or buy them at: www.jimdavis.co.za.

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