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The simulator was built up from the cockpit of a South African Air force mirage F1-CZ  that was shot down over Angola in 1987.

Arthur Piercy was shot down over Angola in 1987 in his Mirage F1-CZ tail number 206 and was confined to a wheelchair as a result of the crash. And now, some 20 years later, is finally re-united with his airplane in one of the most emotional moments I have ever experienced. This amazing event happened at the African Aerospace and Defense 2004 air-show, the same air-show at which we had the simulator - by pure coincidence.

Visit Arthur's website to see pictures of the crash and read all about the dogfight and his dream to fly again

http://www.projectdreamwings.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=25

http://www.piercy.co.za/accident2_details.htm

See more photos

 

 Arthur Piercy - Wings parade

'' I did my first jet sortie 1 month after my 19th birthday. MIRAGEs, here I come! In December 1978 I had the privilege to stand in front of the Chief of the Air Force - Genl Bob Rogers - and receive my wings. Total flying 224 hrs.''

Arthur Wings

 

Nine years later, this photograph of the cockpit of 206 was taken shortly after Arthur Piercy was involuntary ejected from it bringing his flying career to an abrupt end.

Almost 20 years later, Arthur was re-united with his airplane during an air-show at Waterkloof AFB  We had restored some dignity to this once magnificent airframe by re-building its cockpit into a working flight simulator.

It was a proud moment

A proud moment 

 

The cockpit of Mirage F1-CZ tail number 206 now restored

F1-CZ 206 cockpit restored

The cockpit was removed from the wreck and has been carefully preserved by the Dooley brothers as a tribute to Arthur Piercy. It has now been fully restored with a full complement of original mirage cockpit components including an ejection seat and will be used as a certified flight simulator.

 

 

On his website, Arthur Piercy wrote a message to the pilot of the Mig23 to make peace.

He wrote:

I am desperately trying to find Major Alberto Ley Rivas, a Mig 23 pilot from the Cuban Air Force

Maj Rivas we've met briefly once before and then it was only for a couple of seconds at 30000 feet over Southern Angola in September 1987. The encounter at the time wasn't a friendly one but I am hoping that the next time we meet it will be with a lot of laughter and no regrets or remorse.

He has since found Maj Rivas and wants to take him flying as a gesture of goodwill. Read more...

 

Arthur was re-united with his aircraft at AAD 2004 after searching for 20 years....

 Click on pictures below 

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"My baby... my baby..." said the man in the wheelchair.

 

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The hand that once flew this baby back at the controls

 

This page is a tribute to Arthur's bravely and commitment where, despite the fact that he knew how badly damaged his aircraft was, did not simply pull the ejection seat handle and let her crash on her own but instead, stayed with his plane in an attempt to bring her home safely.

Arthur we salute you.

 

 

 

On the 30th December 2004 Arthur brought his mother and father over to fly his "baby". It was indeed a great occasion and "dad" flew her like a star, despite the fact that Arthur, sitting at the instructor's station, had dished up a cocktail of bad weather and failures just to add some extra excitement.

We then lifted Arthur into the cockpit from out of his wheelchair and he he was delighted to be able to teach us how to manage the engine, rpm etc and to further fine tune the aerodynamics and flight control sensitivities to make the simulator fly more and more  realistically and thereby conform to the limitations and procedures found in the original Mirage F1 flight manual.

Arthur had insisted all day that we allow him to land the airplane at Waterkloof air-force base in Pretoria where she was based prior to the war.

So with our add-on scenery loaded to add realistic South African airport features and terrain mesh, Arthur set off from Bloemfontein (FABL) at FL30 on a heading of 045 degrees via Grasmere (GAV) and then turned to Waterkloof  AFB (FAWK) where he performed a low level fly past over the base (for old times sake) and turning out right over Pretoria onto his downwind leg, he was finally inbound to land at Waterkloof AFB.

He landed on runway 01 and after shutdown patted the airplane and quietly said, "There you go 206, I finally brought you home"

Arthur we are privileged to have been able to give you the opportunity to bring your baby back to home base.

 

 
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