This is an account of the events that led to the death of Lt Roos.
In May 1966 the Air Force was making preparations for the celebration of the fifth anniversary of the Republic of South Africa, scheduled for 31 May. A fly-past of jet fighters sporting contrails in the colours of the national flag (Orange, white and blue) was contemplated. There was no problem in making blue and white contrails, but making an orange contrail was a challenge.
At that time I was doing a course at the Radar School at Waterkloof Air Force Base to become a ground radar operator. One day, I am not sure about the exact date, but it may have been on 26 May 1966, there was every now and then a F-86 Sabre flying low along the runway and making a contrail that was orange in colour, but turned green after a few seconds. It was obvious that the technical staff had difficulties in producing an orange colour and was experimenting with a liquid to inject into the exhaust of the jet engine that would give a contrail with an orange colour.
At about lunchtime, when the class was on the way to the mess, we observed how the Sabre came past again, but was at last producing a flawless, bright orange contrail, meaning that all the experimenting during the morning to produce the correct colour had been successful.
After this pass, the pilot made an approach as if to land, but then decided to make another fly-past, doing a low level double barrel \"victory\" roll, flying along the runway. This manoeuvre failed dismally and he flew straight into the ground in an upside down position front of our eyes.
We later learned that the unfortunate pilot was Lt IP Roos.