The Blue Angels use a United States Marine Corps C-130T Hercules, nicknamed “Fat Albert”, for their logistics, carrying spare parts, equipment, and to carry support personnel between shows. The South African Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Silver Falcons, have always used a C47TP Dakota to carry out this task. However, it was always in it’s standard 35 Squadron livery.
It’s been long overdue for the Silver Falcons to have their own “Fat Albert”, an aircraft that will accompany them to airshows to carry the support crew, spare parts, luggage and equipment and perhaps even form part of the show.
Well, Dak 6840, now nicknamed “Gooney Bird” has become that ship.
I was asked to cover her inaugural flight. Joined by the Silver Falcons Team 73, the shoot took place over Table Bay in Cape Town. Dak 40 was flown by Colonel Ian Brunette and Major Nathaniel Milson of 35 Sqn.
The Silver Falcons were:
1) Major Roy “Cougar” Sproul
2) Major Werner “Cruncher” Vermaak
3) Lieutenant Jacques “Blackjack” Poolman
4) Major Heybrech “Valiant” van Niekerk
5) Major Beau “Dusky” Skarda
6) Captain Mark “Katana” Gentles
Delivery date: 11 August 1944
USAF No: 43-48050
RAF No: KG767
SAAF No: 6840