Barry: Sorry, I’ve still got to learn how to put pics on FB! and
again this very interesting article was sent to me without anyone
to thank for the content.
This extremely low flying South African Air Force Harvard was
flown as a dare to the pilot by the South African pongo (army)
personnel about to be buzzed. (Missing pic)
Pongo is a derogatory term used by other arms of the forces,
such as the Navy or the Air Force to describe the Army. comes
from the British army tradition saying .. where the pong (smell)
goes the army goes.
The pilot of the Harvard is Quentin Mouton, who is currently
Chief Pilot of Mango Airlines in South Africa. He said the
following about these pictures taken on 2nd October 1964 on a
South African aviation forum:
We were 590 hr pilots at the time and the whole thing was
illegal, stupid and needless to say, dangerous. The low
flying limit was 200ft (or above, not below).
I would have been court-martialled if the SAAF knew. Too
late now.. These pictures were taken 2nd October 64. I was
the pilot. The pictures are original and not touched up.
The Pongos were on a route march from Langebaan by the sea
to Saldanha. The previous night in the pub one of them had said:
Julle dink julle kan laag vlieg maar julle sal my nooit laat
l nie (You think you can fly low, but youll never make me lie
I went to look for them on the beach in the morning and was
alone for the one picture. I was pulling up to avoid them. In
the afternoon I had a formation with me and you can see the
other aircraft behind me. (piloted by van Zyl, Kempen and Perold)
A friend by the name of Leon Schnetler (one of the pongos)
took the pics.
The guy that said Jy sal my nie laat lê nie (You wont make
me lie down) said afterwards that he was saying to himself as
I approached: Ek sal nie lê nie, ek sal nie lê nie (I won’t
lie down, I won’t lie down) and when I had passed he
found himself flat on the ground. This subsequent
photograph shows the Pongos hitting the deck and just how
low that Harvard is.
Certainly not something that would be approved of today, but
it does demonstrate the exemplary flying ability and training
of SAAF pilots.
Blogger Barry: Back in my Air Force days, I was fortunate to be
part of a parade at the Dunnota Air Base for the 1974 qualifying
pilots. A flight of 12 Harvards flew right over our heads
accompanied with the gorgious roaring sound of those rotary
engines short dumpy exhausts. A memory of note!
Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed.