By Eduardo González Sarría and Lionel Reid EXTRACT:  MiG DOWN Luena, August 1985 “Wakey wakey, my pigeons, you’ve got a lot of flying today.” The voice was accompanied by a banging on the bunk bed structure on which Eduardo lay. “God damn you, Januaria!” Mauricio said. The dormitory came toRead More →


Darren Olivier The upcoming deployment of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), designated SAMIDRC, is yet another attempt to address the persistent conflict and instability within the region. It follows on from the United Nations peacekeeping mission that ran for moreRead More →

Darren Olivier In an era of growing instability and broad reinvestment in military capabilities, driven by the re-emergence of great power competition, separatist movements, and increased pressure for resource competition as a result of climate change, the ongoing destruction of the South African Air Force (SAAF) and its capabilities isRead More →

The recent much-publicised breach of the South African National Defence Force’s (SANDF) networks by the ‘Snatch’ ransomware team, in which they stole multiple terabytes of files and published them online, has thrown into sharp relief the need for strong cybersecurity practices for African militaries, especially as they adopt more digitisedRead More →

On Misinformation Patience and Grace. Darren Olivier It has become a running joke that the general public, and much of the media, will always assume the worst of the South African Air Force (SAAF), and of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as a whole. “Damned if you do,Read More →

Guy Leitch asks the question in his Attitude for Altitude column. For years I have moaned about how crappy piston aircraft engines are. They are prohibitively expensive, yet have antiquated technology and are far less efficient and reliable than modern car engines. The modern car now has mature technology engineRead More →

Is it as bad as they claim?Darren Olivier – Defence Editor Reflections on Inkwazi Inkwazi, the South African Air Force’s Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) used for VIP transport, has been reliably racking up the flying hours this year. In just the past two weeks before writing this column it flewRead More →

In 2016 musician, Michael Ferguson and commercial Pilot Felix Gosher joined forces to offer underprivileged children the opportunity to experience the joys of flight, a privilege that many of us take for granted. The initiative was inspired by a song by Michael, ‘Paper Plane’ about a young boy with aRead More →

The piston twin is making a comeback.  In the 1980s, under the pressures of high maintenance and high Avgas prices, the demand for piston twins collapsed in the face of Cessna Caravan and Pilatus PC-12 turbines. But now, the value proposition of a 40-year old piston twin is once againRead More →