SAAF Museum Project

Students from the faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) are required to complete 40 hours of community service in their second year of study. In collaboration with the SAAF and Mr. David Toma, the society allows a certain number of students to complete their hours at Swartkop Air Force Base (AFB) and Museum each year. This project consists of five days working from 8:00 to 16:00. Teams of students wash and polish all the museum static displays and some of the active historic military aircraft, in preparation for the annual Swartkop Air Show each year. The aim of this project is to contribute towards the preservation of the SAAF museum aircraft and in preperation for the annual air show.

This project is hard work but rewarding. Opportunities often arise for students to sit in some of the amazing aircraft including the Avro Shackleton, Harvard’s to the Mirage III fighter jets. Supervision by a serving SAAF member is required at all times. This has been undertaken by Warrant Officer Class 2 Mr. Dawie Marias from the SAAF Fire Services for the past 10 years. As a result, students have access to fire hydrants and a fire truck to complete this project.

Team work is an extremely important aspect of this project to ensure quality results. Resources are limited. Safety is always our priority and is closely monitored by the mentors. The mentors are volunteers who are carefully selected by Mr Toma. They have all completed this project numerous times in the past and are suitably qualified. Brooms, buckets, mutton cloth, soap and polish are some of the supplies required for washing and polishing aircraft. Funding for this project is usually provided by the University of Pretoria. Any remaining budget after the project has been completed is always donated to the SAAF Museum Fund.

- Author Allison King
Published by Allison King

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