MARKSMEN AEROBATIC TEAM is a civilian formation display team, based in South Africa and operating Air Shows globally.

We perform a high-energy, dynamic 4 aircraft air display of close formation & freestyle aerobatics, cross-over passes, synchronized aerobatics and solo gyroscopic manoeuvres.

All pilots are actively involved in the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa (SAC) flying aerobatic competitions when not performing at Air Shows or  events.

The Team is available for Air Shows anywhere in the world. 

Team News 2022

2022 has been a tough year for The Marksmen. The team developed by flying some 170 training sorties in Cape Town mostly during the covid years. Stellenbosch Airshow in March 2022 was the debut where we experienced some amazing moments and an overwhelming response. The next display was in May, Nairobi (Kenya), which was an amazing adventure and a career highlight for most of us. On the way home from Nairobi, tragedy struck. We lost Sammy to an accident in Harare.

Individually and as a team, we all needed the time to deal with the loss of Sammy before we could consider rebuilding. Marty asked to be moved to a reserve position and we look forward to flying with him again in the not-too-distant future!

We were faced with the formidable task of filling 2 pilot positions. Anyone who has been involved with a formation display team will understand the difficulties that lay before us.

Cutting a very long story cut short, we are proud to finally introduce our new team pilots: Johnie Smith who takes Marty’s place on the right wing and Gary Glasson replaces Eugene on the left wing. Eugene moves to the slot position and Mark remains in lead.

We are very happy to announce that we are finally back to full operational status!

If you ever see our four-ship formation in the skies, remember there is always a fifth pilot flying with us. Sammy will continue as #4 and the rest of us will fly as #1, 2, 3 and 5.

Team News 2021

We are proud to announce an exciting marketing opportunity with fellow aviator and friend, Chris Leatt of LEATT, an international sports brand famous for the motocross neck brace.

Johnie Smith was an obvious choice for the Right Wing position. He’s a rock solid character and an exceptionally talented pilot, both attributes being essential qualities for the spot. He’s a highly respected senior member of the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa and has represented South Africa many times at World Aerobatic Championships both as pilot and judge. He’s also a hugely experienced agricultural pilot and owns a very successful crop spraying business in the Lowveld.

Johnie did all his formation training with the Marksmen under the guidance of Sammy, Mark and Eugene. Ground school began in February 2022. After 2 days of ground school, 60 briefings, 60 training sorties and 60 debriefs, Johnie received his display authorisation and final assimilation into the team in August of 2022.

Gary Glasson is a pillar of the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa. He’s an ex-chairman of the club and notably one of the very few pilots in the world capable of flying a Pitts Special in the Unlimited Class to a very high standard. His skill as a pilot, and the consistent high standard he sets for himself combined his humble good humour made him an obvious choice for the team. We had to drag him kicking and screaming through the initial stages of his formation training as he refused to believe that he possessed the talent for the task. I’m happy to say that once he finally realised that he was totally wrong in this regard, his learning curve became uncommonly steep!

Gary received most of his airborne instruction from his best mate Eugene Du Preez, with Mark flying lead for them. Ground school began in February 2022 and after 2 days of ground school, 60 briefings, 60 training sorties and 60 debriefs, Gary received his display authorisation and his final assimilation into the team in August of 2022.