Tuesday, July 23, 2024 Air Shows » Displays - Government  
Government Organised displays.

This page lists displays that were put up by the Maltese government. Events date in red text indicates recently added material.
01 October 1977 – Inauguration of runway 32/14 extension.

The extension of runway 32/14 was part of a project that included an overall improvement of the airport. The original plans had been drawn up in 1969 by Italian engineer Mario Marra, who would be in charge of the project. The work started in early 1972, was estimated to cost £M4,780,000, and see the runway being lengthened from its 5,343 ft to its present 11,500 ft., a reduction from the originally planned 13,300 feet. Final cost was estimated at £M9,000,000.

At first, there was going to be no perimeter fence, but this decision was revised in 1977, especially after security concerns were voiced by airlines.

The first aircraft to use runway 32/14 was Air Malta B.720, AP-AMJ, when it did a number of touch and go’s in the afternoon of 27 September 1977.

For the inauguration programme, the Italian aerobatic team, Frecce Tricolori, then still using the Fiat G.91, was brought over to give a display. These had arrived on 29th September, with a practice display on the 30th, between 10.15 and 11.00 hours. They used Runway 24 to get airborne, both for the practice and inaugural displays, and for landing afterwards.

Italian officials were brought on board Italian AF PD.808, MM61954/3154

The flying programme got underway with a flypast from three AB.47G2s of the Helicopter Flight, followed by Super Frelon LC.155 of the Libyan Military Mission, then stationed in Malta. AB.206 9H-AAJ was then ably demonstrated by Captain Roberto Punzo of the Italian Army.

This rotary wing display was followed by a fifteen minute display from a 13 Sqdn Canberra, and a 203 Sqdn Nimrod, both individually, and in formation. These were followed by the Frecce Tricolori display.

The first official takeoff was made by an Air Malta B.720, AP-AMG (on lease from PIA). On board were Air Malta and tour operator officials. After a circuit round Malta, it came back to land, followed shortly afterwards by an Alitalia DC-10, I-DYNU, on flight AZ6490. It carried 125 passengers, including the secretary general of Alitalia, on a souvenir flight.

AB.206A   9H-AAJ Helicopter Flight Performed flypasts with three AB.47s.
AB.47 A.F.M.   Helicopter Flight Performed flypasts with AB.206.
Super Frelon Libyan Military Mission LC.155   Performed flypasts.
Fiat G.91 PAN Italian AF MM6249/1, MM6250/3, MM6240/4, MM6242/6, MM6251/9, MM6244/10, MM6253/11, MM6254/15 Frecce Tricolori Arr on 29.09, practice display on 30.09. Display during inauguration of extension of runway 14/32 on 01.10.77.
Fiat G.91R/1A PAN Italian AF MM6310/5, MM6311/8, MM6301/14 Frecce Tricolori As above.
PD.808 Italian AF MM61954/3154   Brought Italian officials.
EE Canberra PR.7 Royal AF WJ825 13 Sqdn Solo display, and in formation with Nimrod. RAF based.
HS Nimrod Royal AF XV249 203 Solo display, and in formation with Canberra. RAF based.
B.720-040B Air Malta AP-AMJ   Performed a number of touch and go’s on 27 Sept. Reregistered as 9H-AAN on 31 Mar 79.
B.720-040B Air Malta AP-AMG   Performed first official takeoff. Reregistered as 9H-AAM on 31 Mar 79.
DC-10 Alitalia I-DYNU   AZ6490. Performed a souvenir flight. First wide-bodied airliner to use runway 14/32.

Republic Day 1977

Probably in connection with the celebration of Republic Day, Cessna T.210H Centurion D-EMAU dropped parachutists over Marsa Stadium on 13.12.77. The aircraft had arrived on the previous day.
23 September 1983 – Second Frecce Tricolori visit

AB.206A A.F.M. 9H-AAJ    
AB.47 A.F.M. 9H-AAE    
AB.47 A.F.M. 9H-AAF    
AB.47 A.F.M. 9H-AAG   Equipped with floats.
B. 47 A.F.M. 9H-AAH    
AB.204 Italian AF MM_____    
Ae. MB339 Italian AF MM54474/06, MM54475/01, MM54476/10, MM54477/14, MM54478/04, MM54479/09, MM54480/08, MM54482/03, MM54483/02, MM54484/11, MM54485/13, MM54486/05 Frecce Tricolori Arrived on 21.10, practice display on 22, proper display at Airport on 23.10.83
L. C-130H Italian AF MM61998/4612   Technical support aircraft. Arr on 21.10.

03 - 06 May 1988 – Third Frecce Tricolori visit

The eleven Aermacchi MB.339A (PAN) landed on runway 14 on Tuesday 3rd May, at 16.46 hours after making some formation passes over the Grand Harbour area. Call sign for the inbound flight was India 4477. Support was provided by Aeritalia G.222 MM62117/4625 (call sign India 2108) which landed at 17.39 hours and parked by the team in Park 4. It departed later in the evening.

The Frecce Tricolori staged a practice display on 4th May from 18.00 to 18.30 hours, and made their display proper the following day at the same time. A small static aircraft display was put up in Park 9, comprising Task Force Jet Ranger 9H-AAJ and Bell 47G-2 9H-AAH, Italian Air Force AB.212 MM81162/15-62, Seneca 9H-ABH, Cherokee Six 9H-AAI, Rallye 9H-AAY, Tampico G-BIZE and Hornet Raven 9H-ABI. Shortly before the Frecce’s display, light aircraft 9H-ABH, 9H-AAI and 9H-AAY made a stream take-off on runway 14, followed by a flypast and landing before entering the static park. Before taking off for their display, the Frecce Tricolori taxied in numerical order in front of the guests in Park 9, leaving behind aircraft number 11, which was put in the static display. AB.212 MM81163/15-63 gave a brief SAR demonstration near Park 9 before the Frecce’s display.

The team departed on Friday, 6th May, supported by G.222 MM62014/46-91.

The above report was written by my colleague John Visanich for Take-Off, May 1988.

The following table lists all the participating aircraft.

Ae. MB339 Italian AF MM54484/02, MM54475/03, MM54477/04, MM54478/05, MM54551/06, MM54485/07, MM54483/08, MM54536/09, MM54552/10, MM54480/08, MM54486/11 Frecce Tricolori Displayed over airport.
Ae. G222 Italian AF MM62117/46-25   Technical support aircraft. Arr & dep on 03.05.
Ae. G222 Italian AF MM62014/46-91   Technical support aircraft. Arr & dep on 06.05.
AB.212 Italian AF MM81162/15-62 Italian Military Mission Static/
AB.206A A.F.M. 9H-AAJ Task Force Static display.
B.47G-2 A.F.M. 9H-AAH Task Force Static display.
Hornet Raven   9H-ABI    
Piper Cherokee Six   9H-AAI    
Piper Seneca Eagle Aviation 9H-ABH    
Socata TB.9 Tampico Leisure Flight Services Ltd G-BIZE   Later re-registered as 9H-ABJ.
Socata Rallye Luqa Flying Group 9H-AAY    

Career Convention 29 Jan – 02 Feb 1992

For this convention, held at what are commonly known as the Trade Fair grounds, Bell 47G-2, 9H—AAG, was placed on static display, whilst AB.206 Jet Ranger, 9H-AAJ, gave a flying demonstration.
25th Independence Anniversary, 27 August 1989

A small air display was held over the Marsa Sports ground on August 27th, as part of the 25th anniversary of the granting of Independence from Great Britain. The following report, written by John Visanich, first appeared in the AAE Newsletter, September 1989. A table at the end of the articles lists the aircraft that participated.

On Sunday, August 27 a small air display was held over the Marsa Sports Ground as part of the activities marking the 25th anniversary of Independence. The display started at about 1630 hours with the first parachute jump from about 12,000 feet by members of the FallschirmSports Club of Saulgau, West Germany. The aircraft used was Med-Avia’s Aviocar 9H-AAP. This was followed by a very spirited perfo-mance by a group of French microlight aircraft from the Bon_Vols Microflight and Hang-Gliding School of Pignau. They used the grass football pitch with the greatest of ease for their takeoffs and landings. These very simple machines did not carry registrations, as presumably French regulations do not require this type of aircraft to be registered. Next in the display were the hang gliders, most probably this being the first time such aerial sport was seen in Malta. One hang glider was towed aloft by a microlight and released over Marsa, while another was launched by means of a ground vehicle.

Next came the local light planes, namely Cherokee Six 9H-AAI, Cherokee Arrow 9H-ABK and Tampico 9H-ABJ. Their display consisted of one slow pass in what can be optimistically called a loose formation. Unfortunately, at that altitude they were hardly noticed by the crowd but according to my information, this rather meek showing as not really their fault because the Civil Aviation Department had given strict instructions regarding the height. Despite this, Excelair’s Aztec 9H-ABM put in a nice low-level beat up of the field. The light aircraft programme was brought to a close by Frank Haye’s CFM Shadow microlight 9H-ABL which made one single pass at about 1,000 feet. This was apparently the first time the aircraft flew in Malta, because local regulations for microlights had it effectively grounded. However special permission was granted by the Civil Aviation Department for the aircraft to operate out of Luqa for the occasion.

Notable by their absence were Rallye 9H-AAY which was grounded due to technical reasons and Eagle Aviation’s Cessna 421. Last but no least on the light side, Hornet Raven 9H-ABI was in the static display, mounted on floats less its wings. Pity the owners did not bother to assemble it.

Following the light planes, the French microlights started up and made an unauthorised departure for Gozo, much to the consternation of the show organisers. I am told they landed in the horse racing circuit. Is this a historical event for our sister island? After a while, a familiar deep throbbing sound could be heard, and AB.212 MM81214 of the 15 Stormo entered the grounds at speed and low level with siren blaring and proceeded to carry out a rescue demonstration of a stretcher case in front of the crowd.

Next came three Bell 47G-2s and the AB.206A JetRanger 9H-AAJ from the AFM Helicopter Flight. After making some formation and single passes, the Bell 47G-2s left the area and the JetRanger demonstrated its manoeuvrability a few feet above the ground in front of the crowd. The four helicopters then rejoined for a last flypast, the JetRanger trailing a Maltese flag. Another paradrop by the German skydivers and a flying model aircraft display by the Model Aircraft Association brought a rather pleasing afternoon to an end.

Bell 47G-2 Helicopter Flight, AFM 9H-AA_ Displayed with AB.206
Bell 47G-2 Helicopter Flight, AFM 9H-AA_ Displayed with AB.206
Bell 47G-2 Helicopter Flight, AFM 9H-AA_ Displayed with AB.206
AB.206A JetRanger Helicopter Flight, AFM 9H-AAJ Displayed solo and with Bell 47G-2s.
AB.212 Italian AF/15 Stormo MM81214 Flying display.
Casa 212-100 Aviocar Med-Avia 9H-AAP Dropped parachutists.
CFM Shadow Frank Haye 9H-ABL  
Hornet Raven   9H-ABI Static display only, with floats but without wings.
Piper PA-23 Aztec Excelair 9H-ABM  
Piper PA-28-200 Cherokee Arrow Silvair Ltd. 9H-ABK  
Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six   9H-AAI  
SOCATA TB.9 Tampico Leisure Flight Services Ltd. 9H-ABJ  


Independence 1991

The following hot air balloons were seen at Floriana on 19.09.91.

Colt 90A HAFB   G-BTKF c/n 1655, Canx 06.04.94, on sale to US.
Thunder Ax7-65 HAFB   G-NIGS c/n 1663
Thunder Ax7-65 HAFB   G-ROSI c/n 1284
Colt 77A HAFB   G-UPPP 852
Colt 77A   OY-BOW c/n 014, pi SE-ZVB.

50th Independence Anniversary, 20 September 2014.

As part of the 50th anniversary of Malta’s granting of independence from Great Britain, the Alpi Pioneer Team display team was brought over the Grand Harbour. With the display taking place late in the evening, however, not many people seemed to have enjoyed the spectacle, as was confided to this writer by a non-enthusiast work colleague.

The British Royal Family was represented by His Royal Highness, Prince William. Originally, Her Royal Highness, Princess Kate was expected to arrive, but concerns about her health caused by her second pregnancy forced her to cancel her trip to Malta.

SA Alluette Air Wing/AFM AS9211 Performed a flypast.
Alpi Pioneer Team Alpi Pioneer 330 I-A596 Arrived on the 20th, displaying over Grand Harbour. Team departed on the 21st.
Alpi Pioneer Team Alpi Pioneer 330 I-A688  
Alpi Pioneer Team Alpi Pioneer 330 I-A690  
Red Arrows 1992 display

To commemorate the 50th Anniversary since the granting of the George Cross Medal to the Maltese people in April 1942 (see QUOTES page) the Red Arrows were invited to put on a display.

This was the first time that the team was being seen in Malta since the British Forces departure from the island in 1979, and with the BAe Hawk as their “mount”.

Tuesday 11th August. The 10 Hawks were planned to land at our airfield at about 4p.m. and from many hours before, the airport's surroundings were full of aircraft enthusiasts ready with their photo and video cameras in their hands so that when they see the Hawks they would capture the aircraft on film. The Red Arrows were punctual proving that English time is valid for them too! Before landing on runway 32, the Hawks pulled a loop above the villages near the airport. After the landing of the Hawks it was time for the AAE * members to get near the ex-VIP gate for park 8 to wait until they could enter the park near the aircraft. When this was possible a crowd of people wearing T-shirts of the Red Arrows could be seen splitting-up, everyone going to a different direction. A particular spectacle was created by the RAF Hercules XVI90 which taxied onto the park whilst the visit had already began.

Wednesday 12th/Thursday 13th, On these days 6p.m. was an important time, since at that time the rehearsal (on the 12th) and the show (on the 13th) of the Red Arrows formation of 9 Hawks had to begin. The Red Arrows, needless to say, were punctual and their two shows over Manoel Island thrilled the numerous spectators. This article will not devote time describing the performances of the Hawks since the author was surely not taking note of what was being done in the 25minute shows. A thing which I must point out is that such an event was surely worth seeing live, and not on TV since the event could not be captured well by the TV cameras although it was just as interesting listening to the commentary by the AAE president.

Friday 14th August. At about 12:3OPM the visit of the Red Arrows came to an end with the departure of the 10 Hawks on runway 14. After take-off, they turned right and made a low level fly by over Mqabba, the village which had hosted the pilots for their village feast a couple of nights before. But some minutes later Reds 10 and 7 could be seen landing once more at our airfield. The reason was that Red 7 had developed pressurisation problem whilst flying. The acrobatic team's was concluded in the afternoon with the departure of the remaining Hawks and Hercules.

Also commemorating this historic event, this 5Oth anniversary, were US, British and Italian warships which paid a visit to the Grand Harbour. The USS John L. Hall FFG 32 had Sea Hawk SH60 163238/HQ which was hangared most of the time. The HMS Argonaut had a Lynx ...../466/AT.

* Association of Aircraft Enthusiasts, as we were know before the change to the current Malta Aviation Society.

BAe Hawk XX227, XX237, XX252, XX253, XX260, XX264, XX266, XX294, XX306, XX308,  
L. C-130 XV190, Technical support aircraft.

Lejlet Lapsi - Notte Gozitana 14-16 May 2010

A culture fest held over Friday – Sunday, the 2010 editon featured an aerobatic display by the Italian The Pioneer Team. The aircraft were parked in park 4 for the duration of their stay. Date of arrival is believed to have been the 14th.

The team would also participate in that year’s Malta International Airshow.

Alpi Aviation Pioneer The Pioneer Team I-8548/1  
Alpi Aviation Pioneer The Pioneer Team _____/2  
Alpi Aviation Pioneer The Pioneer Team T7-MPD/3  
Alpi Aviation Pioneer The Pioneer Team T7-MPI/4  
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