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Introducing Team 71 (L to R): Roy Sproul (Falcon 1), Heybrech van Niekerk (Falcon 2), Buti Tsebe (Falcon 3), Gerhard Lourens (Falcon 4) and Beau Skarda (Falcon 5).
Leader of the Silver Falcons: Captain Roy Sproul.
No 2 and first woman team member Captain Heybrech van Niekerk.
No 5 and soloist Major Beau Skarda.
Team 71 performing at the Wings Parade for Student Pilots Course 114/10.

New Silver Falcons team on display

Date: 25 March 2011

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By Dean Wingrin. Photography by Irene McCullagh.

The first official display of Team 71 took place at the Wings Parade held at AFB Langebaanweg yesterday.

The Team 71 members for the 2011 air show season, which includes its first female member, is as follows:

  • Falcon 1 - Captain Roy Sproul
  • Falcon 2 - Captain Heybrech van Niekerk
  • Falcon 3 - Captain Buti Tsebe
  • Falcon 4 - Captain Gerhard Lourens
  • Falcon 5 - Major Beau Skarda

The Silver Falcons is the official aerobatic display team of the South African Air Force. Based at Air Force Base Langebaanweg near Cape Town, the Silver Falcons fly the Pilatus PC-7 Mk II. The team consists of five display pilots, of which Falcon 5 is the soloist.

At the Wings Parade for SAAF Student Pilots Course 114/10, outgoing leader Major Scott Ternent handed over to new Leader and Number 1 Captain Roy Sproul. The two incoming members, Captain Beau Skarda and Captain Heybrech van Niekerk, were also welcomed to the team. Captains Tsebe and Lourens remains in the team

Heybrech van Niekerk is the first female member of the Silver Falcons, who gave their first display in November 1967. van Niekerk was previously the Ground Liaison Officer for Team 70. Sproul took over as Leader from Ternent, while the other new member, Skarda, replaces Nico Frylinck. Ternent and Frylinck have been transferred to other posts within the SAAF.

The Unofficial SAAF Website congratulates the new members and wishes Team 71 a successful 2011.


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