South African Precision Flying Trophies

Previous South African National Rally Flying Trophy Winners

Year Open
PPL Champion
Memorial Trophy
Landing Champion
Adrian Pilling Trophy
Team Champions
Inter-Provincial Trophy
Club Team
Aero Club Trophy
2010 Adrian Pilling Hans Schwebel Adrian Pilling North West Brits Flying Club Jan Hanekom Barry de Groot
2009 Mary de Klerk Mary de Klerk Ron Stirk Gauteng Brits Flying Club Adrian Pilling Frank Eckard
2008 Adrian Pilling Adrian Pilling Adrian Pilling North West Province Brits Flying Club Adrian Pilling Adrian Pilling
2007 Adrian Pilling Adrian Pilling Adrian Pilling North West Province Brits Flying Club Jan Hanekom Adrian Pilling
2006 Jan Hanekom Jan Hanekom Adrian Pilling North West Province Brits Flying Club Jan Hanekom Adrian Pilling/
Frank Eckard
2005 Nigel Hopkins Jan Hanekom Adrian Pilling North West Province Brits Flying Club Nigel Hopkins Nigel Hopkins
2004 Nigel Hopkins Hans Schwebel Nigel Hopkins North West Province Brits Flying Club Nigel Hopkins Nigel Hopkins
2003 No event            
2002 Nigel Hopkins Jan Hanekom Nigel Hopkins North West Province Brits Flying Club Adrian Pilling Nigel Hopkins
2001 Nigel Hopkins Adrian Pilling Nigel Hopkins North West Province Brits Flying Club Nigel Hopkins Nigel Hopkins
2000 Nigel Hopkins Barry de Groot Nigel Hopkins/
Hans Schwebel
North West Province Brits Flying Club Nigel Hopkins Nigel Hopkins
1999 Nigel Hopkins Hans Schwebel Nigel Hopkins North West Province Brits Flying Club Nigel Hopkins Adrian Pilling
1998 - - - - - - -
1997 Adrian Pilling Nellis Nel Nellis Nel - - - -
1996 - - - - - - -
1995 Adrian Pilling Hans Schwebel - - - - -
1994 Adrian Pilling Barry de Groot Barry de Groot Transvaal Brits Flying Club    
1993 Adrian Pilling Geoff Henschel Adrian Pilling Western Province US Flying Club    
1992 Adrian Pilling Johan Dorfling Eastern Province Brits Flying Club    
1991 Riaan van
Peter Norton Orange Free State Orange Free State    
1990 Johan Campbell Johan Dorfling Transvaal -    
1989 Adrian Pilling Geoff Henschel Orange Free State Orange Free State    
1988 Andre
Johan Swart Western Province US Flying Club    
1987 Adrian Pilling Chris Kyle Natal Natal    
1986 Dave Perelson Andre Schoeman Western Province Western Province    
1985 - Adrian Pilling Natal Natal    
1984 - John Adams Orange Free State Orange Free State    
1983 Mike Seymour - Orange Free State Northern Transvaal    
1982 Mike Seymour - Orange Free State Orange Free State    
1981 - - Western Province Western Province    
1980 - - Orange Free State Orange Free State    
1979 - - Northern Transvaal -    
1978 - - Namibia -    
1974 - - - Western Province    
1971 - - - Natal    
1970 - - - Natal    
1969 - - - Natal    
1968 - - - Durban Wings Club    
1967 - - - Durban Wings Club    

2010 SA National Precision Flying Championships

Click here for more picturesClick here for more picturesBrits, 25 – 27 November 2010
By Adrian Pilling
Well can you believe it another year has passed and another National Championships has come and gone. Once again the ever-willing Brits Flying Club stepped up to the plate and offered their considerable experience and dedication in hosting the event.
Brits has a well-earned reputation when it comes to running competitions, and as expected the event went off like clockwork. This is great news as Brits will be the host airfield for the 20th FAI World Precision Flying Championships in October 2011. It would be difficult to imagine a better-prepared group of dedicated individuals to welcome our International colleagues!

Throughout the week the pilots flew in from all the corners of the province – and the country - to prepare for battle.

Wednesday 25th November
The official briefing took place at the clubhouse on Wednesday evening. Pilots old and new listened in much the same way passengers old and new attend commercial in-flight briefings – with a focus proportionate to their inexperience. Tony and Deon explained the proceedings in detail and Frank opened the competition in his capacity as Chairman of SAPFA. An informal dinner was enjoyed and the pilots retired for the evening.

Thursday 26th November
Before commencement of competition, the official briefing was held in the tent provided by our generous sponsors at the African Outdoor Group (AOG). It started promptly at 8am after which the pilots scattered to their various corners in anticipation of their start times.

The first papers were presented at 9am sharp and the pilots began their plotting. Route “blue” consisted of nine legs, plenty of interesting countryside and some challenging turning points. It started just to the east of the airfield and routed in a clockwise direction around the Brits area. The first pilot exited the flight planning hangar at 10am and was airborne by 10h15. Subsequent departures followed in businesslike fashion at intervals of five minutes.

On return each pilot was immediately debriefed by Jacques and Tony in the AOG rig. Jacques took care of the observation and Tony dealt with the timing. Within minutes of landing each pilot had his full score.

There were some tense moments in the program when some of the pilots almost departed without their loggers. This device is critical to the flight as it shows the track and timing to the judges. So without it the pilot would have earned a maximum score – and as with golf, that’s a bad thing.

The organisers faced some interesting challenges. Barry de Groot arrived from Durban in the afternoon, having been delayed by weather. He had to be briefed, issued with his papers and fitted in. Jan Hanekom suffered a mechanical problem but it was soon arranged that he could share ZS-IWD which then had to fly three times. So getting it all together so well is a real tribute to the organisers.

Some of the pilots were surprised to see how many penalties they had racked up at the secret timing points. Several pilots missing the timing gates altogether!!!
Once all the pilots had returned the provisional results were announced. A period of time was allowed for the protests and after they were lodged with the organisers the pilots retired for the night as the results would only be posted the next morning. This procedure laid out the pattern for the remainder of the competition.

Friday 27th November
The pilot briefing was again held at 8am in the AOG tent and the final results of Day 1 were announced. There were some surprises and a few position changes from the provisional results.
The official standings for Day 1 were:
Hans Schwebel 409
Ron Stirk 489
Mary de Klerk 522
Jan Hanekom 629
Frank Eckard 733
Jonty Esser 752
Adrian Pilling 758
Barry de Groot 832
Closely followed by Walter Walle, Mike Cathro, Steve Van Der Merwe, Rob Kennedy and Thys Van Der Merwe.

With these results in mind, the earliest pilot took off at 10h15 to maintain or regain position. Route “red” proved to be more challenging taking the competitors around Hartebeespoort Dam and over the Magaliesberg. The photos were particularly cunning and some of the checkpoints were a real challenge. On return, some of the pilots were shaking their heads in disbelief, while others were grinning widely.
This day brought no protests, and so the provisional results were declared final. They were as follows:
Frank Eckard 304
Adrian Pilling 455
Barry de Groot 491
Mary de Klerk 499
Jan Hanekom 592
Ron Stirk 652
Hans Schwebel 784
Jonty Esser 1134
Closely followed by Rob Kennedy, Walter Walle, Mike Cathro, Thys Van Der Merwe and Steve Van Der Merwe.

So as those of you reading with calculators in hand will know, at this point there were just 200 points separating the top four contenders. The pilots and their families went out for a well-deserved supper in Brits town.

Saturday 27th Nov
Saturday was always going to be interesting. There were to be three competitions held on the same day. The landings portion of the South African National Precision Flying Championships, the South African National Landing Championships and the Virtual Flyers Landing Championships, all at the same time.

The briefing at 8am was a complicated affair, covering all three upcoming events. The microlight pilots were well represented as part of the National Landing Championships event. Tony explained that each competitor would be flying eight landings. The plan was for each pilot to fly two circuits and landings, take a short break and repeat. After lunch another four landings would be flown, again in sets of two.

Given the lesser tolerance for wind of the microlights, proceedings were changed to allow them to fly all eight landings in one set. For the power flyers it was understood that all eight landings would count towards the National Landings Championship (the worst score of the eight being dropped), while the last four were to be counted towards the landing segment of the National Precision Flying Championships.

As the landings proceeded, the Virtual flyers were flying the same landings on their computers at a virtual Britz runway. The airfield was busy indoors and out.
The wind increased as the day progressed. By lunchtime it was gusting down the runway and occasionally swinging to a 90 degrees crosswind. All in all, a real challenge for the afternoon. Add to that high temperatures which left most pilots very grateful for the gazebos provided by AOG at the landing line. The marshals were particularly hard hit by the strong sun - well done guys.

The afternoon session was a real eye opener. Even experienced pilots were battling the wind and some of the results were horrible to say the least. Even experienced pilots were caught out by the lift generated by the runway, and the variable crosswind pushed several pilots to the limit. Several landings were completely out of the box. One intrepid pilot even decided to eliminate the obstacle she was supposed to land over.

Many pilots finished the session dejected and frustrated at the number of penalties received. All the while the virtual pilots were fighting their own wars. As the judges performed the video reviews, the virtual boys had managed to finish their competition and the results were:-
Stephan Burger 1035 Junior Champion
Dawie Burger 1210 Senior Champion
Kyle Kunz 1520 Junior Runner Up
Andre Potgieter 1555 Senior Runner Up
Renaldo Potgieter 1570 Junior
JP Kruger 1755 Senior
Kyto Kunz 1870 Senior
The virtual pilots did themselves proud and are a credit to the sport.
Back at the clubhouse preparations were being made for the prize giving ceremony and all the partners and supporters were hurriedly working in the background to make the evening a success.

Once the landing results were included the final results for the South African National Precision Flying Championships 2010 are:-
Adrian Pilling Gold Medal & Landing Champion
Hans Schwebel Silver Medal
Ron Stirk Bronze Medal
Jan Hanekom Observation Trophy
Barry De Groot Navigation Trophy
Hans Schwebel Best PPL
Mary de Klerk Best Lady
Brits Flying Club Best Club
North West Province Best Province
The results for the South African National Landing Championships 2010 are:-
Adrian Pilling 118 Gold Medal
Mike Cathro 162 Silver Medal
Hans Schwebel 242 Bronze Medal
Barry de Groot 318
Ron Stirk 322
Jonty Esser 382
Dale de Klerk 474
Jan Hanekom 480
Frank Eckard
Mary de Klerk
Steve Van Der Merwe
Rob Kennedy
Thys Van Der Merwe
Walter Walle

This National Championship is particularly important as it forms one of the two part qualification process for the upcoming 20th World Precision Flying Championships to be held at Brits in October 2011. Congratulations to everyone who took part, especially those who earned a place on the podium.

As part of the Award ceremony, Hans Schwebel presented Tony Russell and Frank Eckard with their badges as International Judges.

As usual there are numerous unmentioned people who make our enjoyment of these events possible, and make their organization seem easy. I would like to give tribute to them. As usual, Brits Flying Club excelled itself. A special thanks to Ursula Schwebel, Nella van der Walt, Brenda van den Berg, Tinka Hannekom and Renata for all their work around the club house and to Tyren Henderson, Dewald Hatting, Piet van den Berg, Cally Eckard, Sandy Goddard and Johannes Hermann for their assistance as marshals. I for one know that they will do a smashing job of hosting World Precision Flying Championships in 2011.

Full Results195.14 KB
Landing Results199.27 KB

2011 SA National Precision Flying Championships

by Adrian Pilling
As usual the Brits Flying Club stepped up to the plate and put on a spectacular event for the competing teams. Crews flew in from around the country and congregated at the airfield for the National Championships. One pilot Henk Koster having arrived a week early to fit in extra training for the event.

This particular event being extra important as it is the second leg of the selection process for the National Team to represent South Africa at the World Championships to be held in October. And what’s more, the worlds will be held at Brits itself. So for the first time in a long time we will have home ground advantage.

The event was run according to the new world format, taking the best part of a week to get through the various events.

Most crews arrived to practice and get accustomed to the area. The great hospitality of the Brits club made all instantly feel at home. The weather was good and most managed to get in a few good practice navigations and some landing practice.

TUESDAY 5th – Official Landing Practice
The pilots busied themselves with various practice navigations and prepared themselves for the official Landing Practice session to be run in the afternoon. Jacques had the landing equipment out and ready for the official practice session in the afternoon. Deon the Competition Director and Tony the SAPFA Vice Chairman were at the landing line to judge.

Each plane took to the air in turn and completed the 4 prescribed landings on runway 02. The landings were all good and Adrian the 2010 champion was again top of the log for the day.
That evening the competition was officially declared open at a supper held in the club house. Ominous weather reports were filtering for the next day. Everyone had fun and retired fairly early to prepare for the morning.

WEDNESDAY 6th – Official Practice Day 1
After the 8am briefing the Competition Director Deon, announced that the anticipated early take off for the navigation section had been delayed for an hour due to low cloud. This hour came and went and another hour delay was announced. This too proved to be a problem and Deon took to the skies in his own plane to check on the route. He landed just 30 minutes later to announce that the navigation must be postponed as the cloud was just too low. After a quick briefing it was decided to run the official landing practice. The competition suddenly got serious as this set of landings will count as the official landings should the weather deteriorate in the coming days. The results of the landing practice were:-
1 Adrian Pilling 14 Penalties
2 Ron Stirk 72 Penalties
3 Hans Schwebel 122 Penalties
4 Jan Hanekom 190 Penalties
5 Frank Eckard 204 Penalties

As the weather continued to hang around it was decided to call it a day and the pilots and organisers retired to the club house, After a brief period the landing results were posted on the board and suddenly the competition was on. Now things were serious. The weather was still looking ominous and what’s more several out of town pilots were grounded and could not get through to the competition.

THURSDAY 7th Official Practice Day 2
The 8am briefing was held and the we were all told that if the weather situation got worse the results from yesterday and today will count for the competition (this being the new world format) and ultimately for the selection of the national team. Barry de Groot managed to make it through the bad weather from Durban and Mike Cathro also made it through. Both joining the competition. We missed Jonty who was in recovery due to a horse riding incident and could not make it (be careful of those one horsepower vehicles!!!).

The weather has been checked and the competition director gave the thumbs up for the competition to commence. The first pilot went into flight planning at 8h45 and was airborne at 10am. The planes departed at 10 minute intervals and the competition was on. The route selected for today is the Yellow route which boasted 7 legs, 8 photos, ground markers and 25 timed points. This was truly a test for the pilots.

After all the pilots had returned they were debriefed and the results were posted on the board for all to see. The first 5 positions were (top 5 only)::-
1 Adrian Pilling 530
2 Mary de Klerk 650
3 Hans Schwebel 742
4 Ron Stirk 746
5 Jan Hanekom 817

Then after a quick lunch it was on to the official landing practice. To make matters more interesting, runway 20 was in use so the crews were faced with a landing competition on a runway that they had not practiced on. Well this really scattered the field and at the end of the day the top 5 landing positions were (top 5 only)::-
1 Jan Hanekom 70
2 Mary De Klerk 108
3 Frank Eckard 120
4 Ron Stirk 158
5 Hans Schwebel 210

Adrian Pilling (8th position) had a video query on his second landing and decided to protest, which triggered a procedure with all the results remaining provisional until the protest had been resolved.
Don’t forget that if the following few days had bad weather (and the forecast was not good), and the landings could not be run, then these results would stand.

The pilots enjoyed a great supper at the Brits Flying Club and after checking on the weather forecast Adrian withdrew his protest and the landing results became final.

FRIDAY 8th Official Day 1
The day dawned bright but overcast. The briefing at 8am started on time and the support team provided a great breakfast for us all. Tony and Deon provided a great briefing and after all was done wished the crews all the best. The first pilot was into flight planning at 8h45 and airborne at 10h00. The route for today was the Blue Route.

2011 Precision Nationals2011 Precision NationalsAround noon the pilots started to return and by lunch time Tony and Deon were working on the scores and Jacques was setting up the landing equipment. After a brief lunch it was down to the landing line and thank goodness it was runway 02 and not runway 20.

The landings were held in two sets of two landings with the power and glide in #1 and the glide without flaps and the barrier in #2. The aircraft experienced variable winds with a few gusts challenging the competitors. After completing the two sets each, the nervous pilots walked back to the club house where the navigation results were posted on the wall. Wow none of us could believe what high penalties we had. There was much grumbling.

Tony explained that there was an error in the navigation in that a runway that was used as a turning point was incorrectly marked on the map and this had generated massive penalties for the competitors. A recalculation of the route was done electronically. Three legs were effectively cancelled and the secret timing points being moved onto the remaining of the legs. This gave some competitors huge penalties. At this time the landing results were also released and the results are as follows (top 5 only):
Navigation:- Landings:-
1 Hans Schwebel 461 1 Adrian Pilling 58
2 Jan Hanekom 931 2 Hans Schwebel 78
3 Mary de Klerk 1023 3 Mary de Klerk 124
4 Walter Walle 1043
5 Adrian Pilling 1084
A great party was had by all and then off to bed to get the necessary rest for the coming day.

SATURDAY 9TH Official Day 2
After a great breakfast and a briefing at 8am sharp the competition was put on hold as an hour delay due to weather was in force. Later an additional hour was added and then it was all systems go. With yesterdays high penalties fresh in everyone’s mind, most were determined to improve their scores.
The Red Route was flown comprising 5 very long legs over sparse country. A simple trick by the organisers to lull the pilots into a false sense of security. There were 9 photos, 5 ground markers and 21 timed points for this competition. The pilots were so hyped up for this that one pilot, Ron, actually forgot to take his loggers along and so incurred the maximum penalties for the route.
Well after the regulation 90 minutes or so the pilots returned and after a very efficient debriefing session the results were announced (Top 5 only):-
1 Adrian Pilling 278
2 Jan Hanekom 490
3 Barry de Groot 509
4 Hans Schwebel 692
5 Mary de Klerk 756

This left us all working out who was first, second, etc. The pilots busied themselves with these calculations and a few took families and friend for a flip around the airfield. As 6pm approached the pilots got dressed and entered the Brits Flying Club which looked spectacular. As usual the ladies in the back had made the place look stunning and the food was equally great.
Tony was the MC and as usual he did a sterling job. The necessary thank yous were made and the final overall results announced as follows:-
First Hans Schwebel 1231 Gold Medal + Timing Trophy
Second Adrian Pilling 1420 Silver Medal
Third Jan Hanekom 1571 Bronze Medal
Fourth Mary de Klerk 1903 Observation Trophy
Fifth Barry de Groot 2088
Sixth Frank Eckard 2289
Seventh Walter Walle 2545
Eighth Mike Cathro 2842
Ninth Thys Van Der Merwe 3014
Tenth Henk Koster 3276
Eleventh Ron Stirk 3777

The Landing Results were already known as:
First Adrian Pilling 58 Gold Medal
Second Hans Schwebel 78 Silver Medal
Third Mary de Klerk 124 Bronze Medal
Fourth Barry de Groot 126
Fifth Ron Stirk 132
Sixth Jan Hanekom 150
Seventh Frank Eckard 178
Eighth Walter Walle 246
Ninth Mike Cathro 254
Tenth Thys Van der Merwe 276
Eleventh Henk Koster 648

Then of course the big announcement for the evening. The selection of the National Team to the World Precision Flying Championships to be held in October at Brits. The team was announced, based on the previous Nationals and this Nationals performance as:-
Adrian Pilling, Hans Schwebel, Ron Stirk, Jan Hanekom, Barry de Groot, Mary de Klerk and Frank Eckard.
Captain Thys Van Der Merwe was elected as manager but had to stand down as there was a scheduling conflict with the airline where he works. Later the committee elected Frank Eckard as Coach, Nigel Hopkins as Assistant Coach and the post of Manager is waiting to be fulfilled. Adrian Pilling was elected Team Captain.

A big thank you to all at the Brits Flying Club and to Deon, Jacques, Tony and all those who made this wonderful event happen.

More pictures Here

2011 National Precisions - full result201.26 KB