Like an egg of Columbus, Maputo bay was too small to accommodate thousands of people on Saturday who witnessed “in loco” the resumption, three years later, of the Maputo Air Show. An aeronautical festival that left thousands in ecstasy.
More than thirty aircraft, piloted by Mozambicans and foreigners, crossed the skies to brighten the event. It was not only a moment of great emotion generated by the manoeuvres practised by the pilots, but also a celebration of history.
History, yes sir, as some aircraft lined up to do the “show” at Maputo Air were used during the Second World War, besides serving in humanitarian actions.
For example, the P-51 Mustang, which provided a great show with manoeuvres such as looping and step turning, was an invaluable part of the Allied success during the Second World War. The P-51 provided the US Air Force with a high performance, high altitude, long range fighter escort.
In the race between “Jet Ski” and the Allouete II helicopter (an aircraft whose military versions were used essentially for aerial photography, observation, sea rescue, liaison and training situations), there were moments of pure adrenaline when the aircraft made, in three passes, an attempt to pass the water machines with capabilities for speeds of 130 Km/h.
The aircraft (Puma Flying Lions Sunset) were also paraded in formation flights and at different altitudes, making 360° turns. In addition, with a formation movement, the aircraft, one of the leaders, culminated in a “break” (breaking up). Heavy, and with super-powerful engines, the aircraft also did the “pirouette” after putting the “nose” of the aircraft on top. Great show and a round of applause from the audience.
As the afternoon approached, the emotions grew. In the skies of Maputo the aircraft of fumigation (which today is at the service of the Sugar Company of Xinavane), Bell helicopter (nicknamed Tiger Huey), an aircraft that was notable in the Vietnam war in actions of rescue as well as cannon attack.
Each with their own manoeuvres, each with their own abilities to entertain the audience. The “Marksmen Pyro” flight, already at sunset, got the adrenaline pumping with a fireworks show on both wings of the aircraft. This was complemented by a simultaneous pyrotechnic display released from the ground. It was the complement to the Maputo Air Show concept: emotions in the air, on land and sea.
The parachuting exhibition, marked by a rescue exercise of a parachutist who fell into the water, was also one of the moments of an afternoon not to be forgotten. In fact, this moment was nothing more than a calculated risk, that is, a demonstration of rescue capacity at sea.
The public was in full force
Huge queues at the entrance to Robert Mugabe Square. The public was eager to book a privileged spot, with a good view, to follow the Maputo Air Show “in loco”. The atmosphere, charged with enormous expectations and emotions, even before the show started, was already denouncing the overflow and the confirmation of the warning given by the organization: tickets sold out on Tuesday.
Children, young people, adults and elderly people with their eyes fixed on the skies. This was the scene near the protection net over Maputo Bay, one of the security measures to avoid incidents. After all, it was from the air that a noise was generated that made the adrenaline rise with each plane of flight and acrobatics. Professional cameras and mobile phones of different generations could not be missing. Because, in the end, there is always an experience to share with those around. A unique moment and experience.
The family concept was the biggest gain of the Maputo Air Show, as defined by the organisation. For the rest, many families gathered on Saturday to spend a different day in Maputo Bay.
Flawless, the organization prepared everything to detail with the placement of teams from INAMAR, Polícia Pesqueira, Clube Naval (which provided jet ski to support the Aero Club of Mozambique).