Durban Airshow: father and son visit event for 21st year in succession

2009-07-01 00:00

FATHER and son Tony and Neil Dixon have attended the Durban Airshow together for the past 20 years — and this year they hold lucky ticket number one, for their 21st visit.

“It was ironic, I was quite chuffed,” Dixon said, after his son Neil was allocated the first ticket by chance.

Dixon’s interest in aircraft began when he was a policeman in the 1960s and he introduced then seven-year-old Neil to his passion 21 years ago.

Then the airshow was held at the Louis Botha (now Durban International) Airport.

“His eyes just lit up, he had a big smile on his face,” says Dixon.

Since then, attending the Durban Airshow has become valuable bonding time. “We’ve stuck together from the time he was born,” Dixon says proudly.

Neil will be travelling down from Johannesburg for the event, which is taking place on Saturday and Sunday, July 11 and 12, at Virginia Airport in Durban.

Dixon expects there to be over 15 000 spectators.

The main attractions are the Mirage F1 and the helicopters. “The speed really gets your adrenaline going,” Dixon says.

“People just don’t know what they’re missing … When the Mirage F1 comes out, everybody ducks. They don’t know which way it’s coming from.”

Previously unaware that the “Black Widow” would be making an appearance at this year’s show, Dixon is excited that the fighter jet is set to break the sound barrier for the first time in his and Neil’s 20 visits.

“Hang on to your windows,” Dixon warned Durban residents.

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