Falcons 5 (Video)
Silver Falcons Aerobatic Team
Reviewed By: Dean Wingrin
Formation aerobatics has always been a major attraction at airshows, and the South African Airforce's official display team, The Silver Falcons, will always be in great demand. The purpose of the team is to promote the SAAF and to encourage recruitment through the presentation of precision, close formation aerobatics that demonstrate the capabilities of the aircraft and the professional skills that the SAAF develops in the men (and women) who fly and maintain these aircraft.
Falcons 5 first premiered on South African television in 1996 and has been regularly aired since then, thus it is of broadcast quality. It's age does show as the team was still flying the Impala MkI during filming, instead of the their current mount, the PC-7 MkII Astra, but don't let this detract from the enjoyment value.
As the cover states, the video 'will put you in the cockpit as you become part of the team flying at 700 kilometers per hour'. Specialised on-board cameras were used to film the air-to-air sequences, resulting in some magnificent footage as seen from within the formation. They're right, it's as if you're in the cockpit yourself!
The video is all about formation flying, but there is also a very brief introduction to the history of the team, having been descended from the Bumbling Bees with their DH Vampire fighters. As the pilots are all part-timers, their full-time day job being instructors at 85 Combat Flying School, footage is shown of student pilots being instructed on the simulators, Impala MkI and the single-seater Impala MkII. It is also good to see that the ground crew is given the recognition they deserve. I would, however, have liked to see how prospective team members are chosen and inducted into the team.
The Silver Falcons can hold their head high in the world of military aerobatic teams and I can recommend this video to anyone interested in the joy of flight and aerobatics.
27 minutes (VHS/PAL)