The Coves Annual Flies High

For aviation enthusiasts in and around Gauteng, The Coves Annual Fly-in has been a popular attraction on the South African aviation calendar. Started in 2011, the event has grown exponentially and the 2019 Flying Carnival, held on 6 April, was a memorable event for both The Coves community and visiting aviators.

Despite being a private event for The Coves community and their invited guests, it was very well-supported. Over 2000 spectators were treated to a wide variety of visiting aircraft, aerobatics, fly-pasts and displays, along with the opportunity to fly in the NAC Bell 407 helicopter over the estate and the Hartbeespoort Dam.

The event started at first light with Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safari operating as the sponsors were setting up their static displays. Before long, the radio-controlled gliders were showing their skills, soon to be followed by the powered radio-controlled aircraft.

Visiting aircraft were soon landing, providing an opportunity for residents to see a range of historic and modern aircraft close-up and to chat to the pilots. From late morning, the runway was closed to provide a safe environment for aerobatic displays and fly-pasts.

Top aerobatic pilots and teams in the country demonstrated impeccable control over their powerful and agile aircraft in mesmerizing displays of world-class flying. Highlights included displays of Harvards flown by the Puma Energy Flying Lions and the Pitts Specials of the Goodyear Eagles team.

The climax to the day was a breathtaking dual display by local man Jason Beamish, who lives at The Coves, and Nigel Hopkins who is the current South African Unlimited and Freestyle Aerobatic Champion.

Two parachute displays (one of which featured a spot-landing competition with six incredible prizes), a display of radio-controlled jets, a flight simulator for spectators to try their hand at flying and a sunset powered paraglider display all provided entertainment and interest.

All these aviation activities were complemented by a vibrant craft market, an exotic car display, a wide range of food and beverage offerings and children’s entertainment. A Carnival Celebration with live music rounded off the day.

Commentary on the events and displays was broadcast on The Coves FM Radio powered by Capital Sounds and could be heard in homes around the valley, and across the estate.

Nowhere in a private estate has such an event ever taken place.

Situated on the western shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, The Coves is a 200-hectare residential estate that boasts a 900m tarred runway. As a working farm, The Coves provides the ultimate rural lifestyle together with the excitement of a thriving aviation community. At the foot of the majestic Magaliesberg mountains, a full house of sporting and leisure facilities and proximity to Johannesburg and Pretoria, The Coves provides a unique piece of paradise to its 417 owners and their families.

The Coves Flying Carnival was the perfect event to showcase this premier estate.


The first Fly-In at The Coves was held on 3rd September 2011. It was the idea of George Brink and Jan Hanekom, but George, together with his father Wally sadly had a fatal accident competing in the President’s Cup Challenge that year.

The Fly-In was then arranged and managed by Jan Hanekom and as a tribute to George the RV’s flew in the missing man formation, bringing sadness to many hearts.

A breakfast was sponsored by the Developers and run and managed by Harcourts, from Jan Hanekom’s hangar (which was the only hangar at The Coves at that time). Already the trend was set – 140 breakfasts were served when the plans were for 100! Further celebrations took place at the waterfront, with a braai and live music as part of The Coves traditional Spring Day event. Some twenty planes flew in that day.

This was followed by another successful Fly-in in 2012 just outside Jan Hanekom’s stand in a tent. The 2013 Fly-in was also a big success and was the first one held at The Coves Club House. Jan continued to manage the event each year, with the help of Harcourts, the Social Committee and of later years the Clubhouse service providers. Rudi Greyling ran it in 2016.

The aviation team did not hold a Fly-In for 2017 and came back with a bang in 2018 – with 72 planes registering for the event. Unfortunately, due to inclement weather conditions only 50 flew in – but what a day it was. The Oaks (our very own restaurant) had their first day here, serving over 400 meals (they had been told to provide for 200!). They ran out of beer (no not the pilots I hope), but it was a fabulous day and all enjoyed it.

This year the game has been changed dramatically. JP Fourie and The Coves Aviators have planned a magnificent day. All weather permitting of course.

A full programme will be issued, with times nearer the event.

Download the press release in PDF

The attached press release was put together for the 2019 Flying Carnival

Click Here

This event is NOT open to the public

You will need to be a resident of The Coves or be an invited guest of a resident or The Coves management Team.  Nobody will be given access at the gate without a code.