Painting handover at Elders Flight Day, 22nd of April 2023

As many of you may have read in our previous news the Spitfire Restoration Project Hangar roof was recently completed at AFB Swartkop, Centurion. The funding for the roof was made possible by Col Tony Smit fundraising in America, Dave Evans selling hundreds of plastic model aircraft, and Felix Gosher.

Felix is a remarkable gentleman with an incredible passion for people and aviation. He is also an accomplished pilot. Felix is the mind and energy behind The Children’s Flight where disadvantaged children are treated to a flight in an aircraft, as well as the Elders Flight, where disadvantaged elders, many of whom have never flown before, are treated to a flight and are treated like royalty for the day.

When Tony met with Felix and mentioned the Project required R90,000 to complete the Hangar roof, R98,000 was raised within eight days.

During the fundraising, a donor, Rynier Keet, ex-Officer Commanding 5 Squadron, who is also an artist, offered to complete a painting of Spitfire 5518 in the colours she bore in 1950 and what she will again bear upon completion of the restoration. During the research for the painting, Rynier received much assistance from Piet van Schalkwyk, also an artist and Don Sutton. The painting has been completed and was auctioned and purchased by Gordon Dyne.

Gordon is a well-known aviator and businessman with an incredible aviation-focused mancave at Brakpan Airfield. As the Elders Flight took place at Brakpan Airfield on the 22nd of April 2023, it was decided to present Gordon and Susan with their new painting on that day. We extend our grateful thanks to both Rynier and Gordon.

Read more about The Elders Flight Day in Pilots Post.

Photo caption: from left to right, Kathryn Grace (Spitfire Project), Piet van Schalkwyk, Susan Dyne, Gordon Dyne, Mike Hoepper (Spitfire Project) and Rynier Keet (artist).