Rally Flying

Results and Articles
The sport of Air Rally Flying is a two crew operation, with a pilot and navigator. The emphasis here is on accurate plotting and observation. The penalties are weighted accordingly. The navigator is given a sealed envelope 15 to 30 minutes prior to take off. The envelope contains clues for each turning point on the route. The navigator has to pin-point the turning points on the map based on these clues and in order to compute the track for the pilot to fly. This is often completed in the air and is a real challenge for the crew. A word of warning here, if you are a husband and wife team you might not be when you land!! Rally Pilot Jan Hanekom The pilot also has photographs to find and record the position of these on a special sheet. Photographs for the turning points are also supplied. These photographs may or may not be accurate, so giving you a true/false situation to contend with at each turning point.

A GPS logger is placed into the aircraft for the flight. This enables the organisers to get a detailed printout of the actual track of the participant, as well as split second timings at turning points.

Then just as you thought that this was getting a bit hectic there may be an away landing to contend with as well as a return landing that will count for points. Timing is a critical aspect of the flight with most turning points being timed and again accuracy to the second is required. Well that sums up Rally Flying, if you can do all this it can only help improve your flying skills.

History of Precision and Rally Flying

The concept of Precision and Rally flying started in the Scandinavian countries between the two world wars. The object was to create a set of skills that combined hunting, flying and cross country skiing.Sample GPS TrackSample logger track So imagine flying to some remote location, landing in the mountains, skiing to a likely spot, shooting some target (animals or enemy) and then flying off to the next spot, to repeat the exercise. This sounded like a good idea at the time and for a few years the concept caught on with the Scandinavian countries, with regular competitions being held.

After the second world war more countries became interested in the concept and over a period of years a set of rules was drawn up that separated out the flying aspects only. Later two disciplines evolved, those of Precision and Rally Flying. The main difference between the two is that Precision Flying is a solo effort by a single pilot while Rally Flying is a two crew operation.

For many years the Scandinavians dominated the sports, but as acceptance was gained and the sports grew in popularity the former eastern block countries came to dominate the scene. Now with the economic changes sweeping Europe, the sports are pretty much open to everyone. The Southern Hemisphere countries are coming into their own and are starting to represent a serious threat to our cousins up north. World Championships are held on a bi-annual basis.

Rally Flying Tips

Basic Rally flying tips

For those new to the sport of rally flying here are some useful tips

First a brief rundown of the competition format as it applies to Sportsman Class. A rally is not a race. You are required in a rally to navigate very accurately over several short legs and keep on time based on your own nominated speed. That's it in a nutshell. Now to prove your skills you will be timed at certain of the points that you have to fly to and you will also have to demonstrate that you have found the point. The latter is done in two ways. Firstly there may be a marker at the point. This marker consists of white strips in the form of a letter of the alphabet. Only certain letters are used.

ZS-LIA

Secondly and even more important you will have to identify a photograph of the check point. These will be given to you before take off and will have the check point numbers on them. The trick is that the photo may be true or it may be false. You have to find the check point and then state on your answer sheet whether the photo you were given is really of the check point or not. Note that you get double penalties if you answer wrongly, so guessing is discouraged. Not sure, then rather don't answer.

You will be given the route 15 to 30 minutes before take off. In the beginners class it will be drawn on the map, so you will only have to mark in your headings and times. The time you have to be at each check point is also given to you on a separate sheet and will be based on your true airspeed possibly adjusted for any strong winds on the day. Now you will understand that it is better to nominate a slower speed then you would normally fly. A fair speed for a C172 for example might be 80kts. There is the advantage of having more time to navigate and to identify features en route. Just don't make it too slow that you can not fly slow enough with a tail wind. Top experienced competitors sometimes nominate between 70 and 75 kts. If you are flying a high performance aircraft such as a Bonanza one would have to choose the slowest safe cruise speed. A rally is more difficult to fly at speeds of 100kts and more.

An important skill is map reading. This can be picked very quickly by a beginner but it is a good idea to get a 1:250 000 map of the area in which you normally fly and try to recognize the features and navigate a short course purely by following the map. Remember that this is a team sport. The pilot and navigator make up the team but it is important for both members to be able to read a map well to succeed. If you can follow the map the next thing is to try to keep on time at all times. The standard method used by all rally pilots is to mark each minute of time along your track before you begin the flight. By this I mean that you will have a scale representing the distance that you will cover in one minute. For example at 90 kts you would fly 1,5nm's. So let us say your start time was 10:35 then 1.5nms along your track you would put a mark 36 (ie 10:36). Then 37, 38 etc so that at your first check point you should find that the time co-coincides with your ETA. Logger Track 2Logger Track
You do this all the way around your track. Now while you are flying you just watch your time and compare it to your position over the ground. If you are ahead of time slow down if you are behind you immediately speed up. This way you should be pretty close to being on time when you get to the check point.

From the preceding discussion you will see that it is pretty important to have a clear digital time display somewhere in front of you. Ideally you need a stop watch type instrument that displays time that you can easily fix on the panel in full view of both the pilot and the navigator. Just a tip here. A common mistake is to confuse the hour digits with the minutes, especially when things get tense. You are only concerned with minutes and seconds so it may not be a bad idea to stick something over the hours while you are flying. Oh and another tip. This may seem an obvious one but make sure to always align your track on the map with the direction of flight and keep your thumb or finger on your present position. It is just too easy to look up for a few seconds and then look down and not be able to find your position on the map.

Well I will add more as questions arise. You will find all the experienced rally pilots more than willing to share there insights so please don't hesitate to ask. You will find rally flying exciting and at the same time you will be improving your flying skills. Have fun! We know you will.

Rally Flying Regulations

Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

Official Rules and Regulations - Air Rally Flying Championships

The 2042 rules and regulations were approved by the FAI General Aviation Commission (GAC) at the FAI/GAC Meeting, 2013, in Cordoba (Spain) and apply to events organised after 1 January 2014.

All rights reserved. Copyright in these documents is owned by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI).

Any person acting on behalf of the FAI or one of its Members is hereby authorized to copy, print, and distribute these documents, subject to the following conditions:

1. The documents may be used for information only and may not be exploited for commercial purposes.
2. Any copy of these documents or portion thereof must include this copyright notice.

Note that any product, process or technology described in the document may be the subject of other Intellectual Property rights reserved by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale or other entities and is not licensed hereunder.

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South African Rally Flying Trophies

Previous South African National Rally Flying Trophy Winners

Year SA Rally Champions Brits Flying Club Trophy
2nd Place
Dorfling Kemp Trophy
3rd Place
Southern Transvaal Trophy
4th Place Trophy
Geoff Henschel Trophy
Sportmans Class
2009 Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Jonty Esser/
Sandi Goddard
Walter Walle/
Ron Stirk
Rob Kennedy/
W Kritzinger
Kobus Kotze/
Frank Smook
2008 Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Adrian Pilling/
Arddyn Moolman
Walter Walle/
Dale Joseph
 
2007 Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Walter Walle/
Dale Joseph
Ernie Alexander/
Mike Ehrman
C Badenhorst/
D Swanepoel
2006 Frank Eckard/
Quentin Taylor
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Jan Hanekom/
Henk Koster
Mike Richmond/
Jeff Richmond
2005 Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Frank Eckard/
Quentin Taylor
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Jan Hanekom/
Hugo Stark
P Lamond/
C Siebert
2004 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Ernie Alexander/
Mike Ehrman
Morne du Toit/
Jurie du Toit
2003 Adrian Pilling/
Renier Moolman
Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Frank Eckard/
Quentin Taylor
D Warden/
H Meyer
2002 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Frank Eckard/
Quentin Taylor
Ernie Alexander/
G Brink
2001 No event        
2000 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Adrian Pilling/
Renier Moolman
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Claude Hardman/
Francious du Toit
1999 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Adrian Pilling/
Renier Moolman
Dick Churley/
Don MacIntyre
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
P Billson/
M Harris
1998 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Adrian Pilling/
Renier Moolman
Geoff Henschel/
Rob Andrew
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
D van Niekerk/
R Bezuidenhout
1997 Adrian Pilling/
Renier Moolman
Hans Schwebel/
Ron Stirk
Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
 
1996 Nigel Hopkins/
Dale de Klerk
Dick Churley/
Wally Nel
Geoff Henschel/
John Adams
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
 
1995 James Craven/
Jake Heese
  Dick Churley/
Wally Nel
Dicky Swanepoel/
N Bohm
 
1994 Frank Eckard/
Martin Hellberg
Barry de Groot/
Mary de Klerk
Geoff Henschel/
Nico Gordon
Nellis Nel/
Dirk Coetzee
 
1993 John Adams/
Geoff Henschel
       
1992 James Craven/
Jake Heese
       
1991 Hannes Roets/
Riaan van Niekerk
       

2008 Rally Flying Championships

Rally results and articles for 2008 and prior years can be found Here

This website is in the precess of conversion. The pages referenced above still need to be converted. Watch this space for the updates.

2009 SA National Rally Championships

Parys 5 – 7 November 2009

By Mary de Klerk

Mary de Klerk & Barry de GrootMary de Klerk & Barry de GrootThe South African National Rally Championships were held from 5 – 7 Nov in Parys. Twelve teams entered, six in the Sportsmans Class and six in the Open Class. The Open Teams consisted of four good old stalwarts being Barry de Groot, Mary de Klerk, Ron Stirk & Walter Walle and four teams made up of guys that have only flown Fun Rallies for a year and who decided that it was time to upgrade to the real thing. They were Jonty Esser and his partner Sandi Goddard, Rob Kennedy and his partner Wikus Kritzinger, and Emmie Oelofse and her partner Andrew Lane.

These 3 new teams were quickly brought up to speed with the Open Class Plotting requirements in a few Classroom sessions held by Mary prior to the event. This training stood them all in very good stead during the competition and all sailed through the plots with ease and confidence.

All Teams were welcomed by Wynn Dedwith and his wife Tacye in their cottage on the Vaal River and in their beautiful home in Parys.

The Competition Director, Frank Eckard, worked tirelessly for weeks to plan and produce the routes with his normal military precision.

Day 1 dawned and brought with it a very challenging route which was not made any easier by the strong westerlies. There was also much murmuring about confusion in the plot because 2 roads were marked N1…..Results after day 1 were:
#1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk
#2 Walter Walle Ron Stirk
#3 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard
#4 Rob Kennedy Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane

Scores were close between the 2nd and the 5th position so the competition screws tightened on Day 2. Again the wind was not on their side. Other challenging factors for some of the teams were the choice of aitcraft. Rob was flying an RV7 and Emmie her Dyn Aero. Neither of these aircraft are suitable for Rally Flying for two reasons - Low wing and Too Fast. Whilst there was nothing they could do to alter the wing structure, they both reduced their speed on Day 2 and both improved their performances enormously.

Day 2 also brought with it some new faces and 6 teams arrived to fly Sportsman's Rally which is in essence exactly the same route as Open Class, but it is pre-plotted on the ground and flown with sequential photos as opposed to random.

The Final Results for the competition were:
OPEN CLASS:
#1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk
#2 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard
#3 Walter Walle Ron Stirk
#4 Rob Kennedy Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane

SPORTSMANS CLASS:
#1 Kobus Kotze Frank Smook
#2 Ralph Hurwitz David Stein
#3 Roger Bazolli Freek Stegman
#4 Corno Badenhorst Ronsard Lazare
#5 Rick Barnardie Esmond Erasmus
#6 John Shaw Chris Shaw

Prize Giving was held in the clubhouse and by 15H00 the last aircraft had flown back to base to avoid the nasty weather that was approaching.

This 2009 SA Rally Flying Championship results will count towards the SA Team selection to attend the World Rally Flying Championships in Slovakia in August 2010. The final selection will take place at the next SA Rally Flying Championships to be held in April 2010.

Emmie Oelofse & Andrew LaneEmmie Oelofse & Andrew Lane Participants - SA National RallyCompetitors Participants - SA National RallyMore of the team
Ron and WalterRon and Walter admiring Rob's RV Jonti Esser &; Sandi GoddardJonti Esser & Sandi Goddard Ralph Hurwitz & David SteinRalph Hurwitz & David Stein
Rob Kennedy & Wikus KritzingerRob Kennedy & Wikus Kritzinger Mary de Klerk & Barry de GrootMary de Klerk & Barry de Groot
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2010 SA National Rally Championships

Competitors & OrganisersCompetitors & OrganisersThe SA Rally Flying Championships took place from 8 – 10 April at Aviators Paradise in the North West Province.

The event was generously sponsored to the tune of R20,000 by BRITS FLIGHT TRAINING CENTRE, and R15,000 by AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP.

Piet Smith, CEO of BFTC, provided all the food and hospitality in the Clubhouse at the airfield as well as 1000L of fuel for all participating aircraft. BFTC offers flight training from PPL to Commercial Licences in Technams. As the only school on the airfield, and operating in uncontrolled airspace, they enjoy virtual freedom of the skies and can maximize the student’s time on the ground and in the air.

Derick Lategan from the AFRICAN OUTDOOR GROUP provided stunning tented accommodation for all teams at the nearby De Rust Training Centre at Hartbeespoort Dam. AOG also hosted a braai for all participants on the Friday evening, as well as the Gala Awards Dinner together with a Live Band on the Saturday Evening.

The Competition was ably directed by Tony Russell from Cape Town with route planning by Deon Van den Berg. Jacques Jacobs once again handled all the Ground marshals.

The Competition allowed for both Open and Sportmans (Fun) Class entries.

Day 1 dawned and brought with it some suspiciously marginal weather which delayed the start by a few hours. At around Checkpoint 6, things started to look rather bleak and slowly one by one, the pilots started to announce their intentions to abort and return to base. Only two teams managed to push through and complete the route – Barry and Mary in ZU AFP (C172) and Jonty and Sandi in ZU EIL (Yuma). Even they had to skirt around a few tracks to avoid heavy cells over the Magaliesburg Range. Barry and Mary landed minutes before a microburst, which caught Jonty and tested his landing skills to the maximum in the 30kt crosswind.

Day 2 provided some respite from the weather with the cloud base allowing for the full route to be completed by all competitors. Route Planner, Deon van den Berg, tested the skills of the Navigators to the hilt with extremely difficult plots to work out. Temperatures in all cockpits reached boiling points as we all discovered when sharing similar stress levels back on the ground. “The objective” said Deon “was to raise everyone’s skills level in preparation for the World Championships in Europe in August.”

Selection for the World Championships takes place over 2 sets of Nationals each year. The first leg was held in November 2009 in Parys. The results of this competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU -AFP
2 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
3 Walter Walle Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
4 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-ORV
5 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

The results of the second leg of the competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Barry de Groot Mary de Klerk ZU-AFP
2 Hans Schwebel Ron Stirk ZS-CNZ
3 Rob Kennedy W Kritzinger ZU-FHD
4 Jonty Esser Sandi Goddard ZU -EIL
5 Frank Eckard Cally Eckard ZS-MOC
6 Emmie Oelofse Andrew Lane ZU-DTB

In is very interesting to note that three of the top six teams were borne from competitors who less than 18 months ago, had joined the Fun Rally Series run by Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk. This is truly testimony to the success of a program that has proudly seen over 600 pilots fly through the system. In fact Rob Kennedy with his Navigator Wikus Kritzinger, were so determined to achieve their place in the team, that Rob invested in a brand new Savanah to participate in the competition. What is of even greater interest is the fact that 30% of the field is female, (when traditionally only 5% of total World participants are female).

The results of the Sportmans competition were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Walter Walle Stephan Burger ZS-CNZ
2 Derick Lategan Francois van Eeden ZS-OJZ
3 Wynand Uys Kobus Kruger ZU-ESO
4 Carl Dollenberg Sean Murphy ZS-IRL

The Final Team to represent South Africa at the WORLD RALLY FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS in SLOVAKIA in August 2010 was announced at the Gala Dinner held at the African Outdoor Group Training Centre in Hartbeespoort at De Rust.

They are:
#1 Barry de Groot and Mary de Klerk
#2 Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk
#3 Frank Eckard & Cally Eckard
#4 Rob Kennedy & Wikus Kritzinger
#5 Jonty Esser & Sandi Goddard
#6 Emmie Oelofse & Andrew Lane (Reserve)

Team Manager : Tony Russell
Team Coach : Frank Eckard
Team Captain : Mary de Klerk
International Judge : Jacques Jacobs
Judge Observer : Arddyn Moolman
Judge Observer : Sabrina Kennedy

The Team, together with supporters (23 pax in total) will participate from 1 – 15 August 2010 in Slovakia, Europe, in a field of up to 80 Aircraft from 20 countries worldwide. Between now and then, the team will enjoy rigorous Ground and Air School Training by Frank and Mary, who will have to work around the World Cup Soccer dates to accommodate the training camps.

Click HERE for pictures of the event.

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