Superior Pilot Services hosted the annual Grand Central Rally on 6 October, and as always it was a great hit with the pilots and navigators who took part. Superior Pilot Services organise fly-in breakfasts once a month, and fly-aways every few months, as well as the annual Fun Rally. This rally is unique in that a number of their student pilots participate, providing these new pilots with a set of safety skills, habits and attitudes that are not normally taught during traditional pilot training.
Dennis Jankelow and Associates Insurance and Avimap set up tables at the airfield, which created interest for the participants between briefings, flights and scoring. A buffet breakfast was sponsored by Superior Pilot Services at the new Harvard Cafe, Grand Central.
Ian Seddon, Safety Officer from SPS, gave the safety briefing, and rally organiser Frank Eckard, gave the rally briefing as well as a short explanation of the new safety program which has been recently launched by Aero Club.
Seventeen teams took to the air, amongst them an Allouiette helicopter flown by Hugo Visser, who roped his sons into navigating for him. The weather was clear, but a strong wind challenged the stomachs of a few navigators.
The routes from Grand Central require a great deal of concentration, as the pilots need to navigate their planes through the Pinedene Route, and there is little margin for error, with Waterkloof and Oliver Tambo airspaces on either side.
Four of the teams who participated were Protea or part-Protea teams, so although all flew according to Fun rules, Frank separated the experienced teams from the fun rallyers at prize-giving.
|1||Hans Schwebel||Ron Stirk||ZU-IWD||Cessna 150|
|2||Leonard Edwards||Leon Weiderman||ZS-LXE||Cessna 172|
|3||Jonty Esser||Emmie Oelofse||ZU-CTL||Qualt 200|
|2||Francois Swart||Jaco Swart||ZS-MUU||Cessna 210|
|3||Jason Beamish||Richard Steyn and Keaton Perkins||ZS-EUO||Cessna 170B|
Landing Prize Hugo Visser in the Allouette
Lucky Draw Leonard Edwards
Prizes were generously donated by Superior Pilot Services, Harvard Cafe, Dennis Jankelow and Associates, Avimap and Wavecrest Resort and Spa
The next events in the Rally calendar will be on 17th November at Brits, this will also be one of the qualifying events for selection the National Team, which will be held in both Precision and Fun Rally formats. Therefore all pilots and navigators who wish to be available for the Protea team should attend this competitions. Fun Rallyers are also very welcome at these events, and they will be catered for as well. Please find entry forms on the SAPFA website.
Pictured above are (from L to R) Winners of the Fun Class Section: Rally director Frank Eckard, the father-son team of Jaco and Francois Swart (Second Place), Veronica Joyce (Dennis Jankelow & Associates (Aviation) (Pty) Ltd, Leon Bouttell (absent his pilot Dominique Van Roey, First Place), Richard Steyn with pilot Jason Beamish and Keaton Perkins (Third Place), Frederick Morrison and Cathlen Fourie.
Winners of the Open Class Section: Rally director Frank Eckard, Leonard Edwards and Leon Weiderman (Second Place), Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk (First Place) and Jonty Esser and Emmie Oelofse (Third Place), with Frederick Morrison.
The Nylstroom fun rally was combined with the Tail Draggers fly-in, 2012 at Modimolle airfield. A chilly 4°C start to the morning didn’t deter the early risers with a total of 14 competitors signing up for the challenge (5 Cessna 172’s, 3 Cessna 210’s, a Jora, a Qualt and an RV7 to mention a few). With breakfast, registration and the safety briefing
completed, it was time to put their skills to the test.
The route was designed as final preparation to challenge the Protea team members competing in Spain in September, yet easy enough to be enjoyed by new comers to rally flying. Making use of the beautiful area surrounding Modimolle, competitors were challenged from the start by flying the first of two arcs on the route seeking their first checkpoint, the elusive railway and river crossing.
Initially navigating the route was easy, following the many rivers and sand roads through the valley north of Modimolle. After a quick turn overhead “The Silver Building” of Cundi Ranch, the competitors turned south towards the town of Naboomspruit. Thereafter the terrain changed rapidly with one forest area looking much like the next, with even the best of the best getting lost, or rather “temporarily uncertain of their position”.
The home run was easy with all competitors finding the finish, an easy highway crossing north of the toll roads close to Bela Bela. After a total of 108 nm flown and 28 photos to identify, it was time to see if the GPS loggers had lied, if the en-route photo’s identified weren’t just an illusion and if the checkpoint photos were in fact true or false.
In the fun class, competitors are given 15 seconds to arrive over a checkpoint before being penalised. The winning team of Rob Jonkers and Pierre Dippenaar knew exactly how to use their map and stopwatch, flying within 1 second at 2 checkpoints, obtaining only 20 points for timing and 410 points overall.
This event was the final training for the Protea team’s ambitions for gold at the 2012 FAI World Rally Flying Championships. Adrian Pilling navigated his way to a world class score of just 21 penalty points for timing, arriving within the 2 seconds allowed at all but 2 of the checkpoints. Together Adrian and Mary scored a total of 51 penalties for the day.
The final standings for the event were as follows:
1st Rob Jonkers / Pierre Dippenaar
2nd Ryan Beeton / Gillian Beeton
3rd Kevin Phillips / Mark Strathmore
1st Adrian Pilling / Mary de Klerk
2nd Hans Schwebel / Ron Stirk
3rd Jonty Esser / Sandi Goddard
The Protea Team comprising of Adrian Pilling, Mary De Klerk, Frank Eckard, Cally Eckard, Hans Schwebel, Ron Stirk, Leonard Edwards, Leon Weideman, Rob Kennedy and Wikus Kritzinger will be flying our nations flag high in Castellon, Spain in September. You can show your support and follow their progress on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/
By Juri Keyter & Adam Barnard with permission from Pilot’s Post
The Sheila Taylor NAV Rally was hosted by the Krugersdorp Flying Club on the 16th of June 2012 with twenty entries on the day. The event was the initiative of Bryan Belcher to honor Sheila Taylor, flying club honorary member and wife of Jack Taylor after whom the Krugersdorp Airfield is named. Jack Taylor landed his Piper Tri-Pacer (ZS-CEX) on a small Krugersdorp field in 1960 and this area is the home of one of the biggest and most active flying clubs in South Africa today.
The event was conducted under the auspices of the South African Power Flying Association and in the capable hands of Frank Eckard. As always Frank and his wife Cally planned an exciting route and had our maps, photo sheets and score sheets ready when we arrived for the event. The photo sheets had a total 23 photographs and crews had to identify each during the rally. Except for a few, most had trouble either identifying the photos or navigating correctly and just could not do both together. Andy Lawrence and I were very pleased with our navigation efforts but our inability to identify most of the photos along the way placed us in seventh position.
The route started in the southern part of Krugersdorp with the first leg to a pan just outside Randfontein. The second leg took us to a road / railway crossing near Carletonville and although the checkpoint was difficult to identify, the leg was short and by religiously following the heading and keeping time, it was found relatively easy. Leg three took us south to the N12 highway and from there everyone could see checkpoint 4, the Boskop Dam in the distance. Checkpoint 5 was the most difficult turning point to find as there were no prominent features on the map to verify our position during the leg (well, for us amateurs anyway). Leg 7 took us back to Carletonville with a home run to Tarlton, just west of Krugersdorp.
With my limited NAV Rally experience I expected a score of about 200 penalty points to be in the silverware but I was speechless when Pierre de Klerk (a three-week PPL) and his father Dale completed the rally with a score of 47. Although this was an outstanding achievement, it was short-lived when student pilot Michael Wrathall and his navigator Chris Kyle returned with only 8 penalty points placing them if first place.
This was another truly fantastic event and I encourage all pilots to participate in the next SAPFA NAV rally coming to your area soon. You will be surprised to see how little you know if you have not done this before and how it can significantly improve both your flying and navigation skills while having loads of fun.
Rally pilots and navigators took to the clear skies above Kitty Hawk for the first of the qualifying competitions before Nationals. Most of the Protea hopefuls competed, with the remainder having to take part in either or both of the Virginia or Parys rallies in order to be considered for participation in Nationals in May.
Nine pilot-navigator teams participated, with only one flying in the Fun Rally section. It is really gratifying to see so many serious contenders for Nationals.
Rally competition directors Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk have been putting together rally flying and navigation workshops, and their efforts to inject ‘new blood’ into the team seem to be paying off.
The organisers were disappointed however that none of the Kitty Hawk contingent took part. Every effort is made to include everyone in these rallies, and special arrangements can be made for gyrocopters and helicopters. First-time rallyers are given plenty of help, and usually attain surprisingly good ‘first-time-lucky’ results.
Route planner Cally Eckard sent the competitors along a fairly easy nav route, taking into consideration that many of them had not flown in the Open Class before; meaning that the navigators had to plot the route in the cockpit, putting them under enormous time pressure.
Only one team returned, reporting that they had got “hopelessly lost”, but after repeating the route in their own time, gained a great score, meaning that they would have been in fourth place. Unfortunately this score could not be taken into consideration, but it means that the master rallyers have a lot of younger competitors coming through that are in serious contention to be in the National squad to fly in Spain in September.
The results were as follows:
|1||Hans Schwebel||Ron Stirk|
|2||Thys van der Merwe||Mary de Klerk|
|3||Rob Kennedy||Wikus Kritsinger|
|4||Tony Russell||Pam Russell|
|1||Candice O’Connor||Dustin Hughes|
|2||Bryan Belcher||Donald O’Connor|
The next Fun Rally is at Virginia on 17 March, and in Parys on 21 April. Mary will be facilitating a rally workshop at Virginia on Thursday 15th March, and there is a braai sponsored by Durban Wings club on Friday 16th March to which all participants are welcome.
The rally season started this year with the fun rally at Rand Airport. This is traditionally a well-supported event in terms of both prizes and participants, and 2012 was no exception. Thirteen teams took to the Johannesburg skies and thanks to the sponsors, all received prizes.
Rand Airport hosted the event, presented the Rand Airport Winners Trophy , and waived landing fees. Karcher donated High Pressure Cleaners. Chris Linakis donated R3000 for cash prizes on behalf of his company, ACL Construction. AviMap donated 2 map books, 6 Pilot Destinations, and 6 Airfield Directories, and African Pilot 3 annual subscriptions to their magazine.
The competition was a bit different for this year, as Competition Director Frank Eckard chose a rally that asked questions about features along the route instead of identifying photographs. This was very popular with the participants, and lead to a lot of queries and discussion about the answers.
Last year being a Precision Flying year, all teams at Rand were taken by surprise with their lack of practise in plotting the route, and the word “rusty” was bandied around to excuse such mistakes as using tools designed exclusively for Slovakia, forgetting the difference between Magnetic and True, and using kilometres instead of nautical miles. All agreed that some extra hours need to be invested in plotting before Nationals.
The flying was good, and only one team had to use Frank’s hint that if they were lost and saw the Vaal River, to turn back and not cross it. Thys van der Merwe was thrilled to receive a total score of zero for his flying, meaning that he crossed every turnpoint exactly on time. Winners Esmond Erasmus and Johan Goosen and third placers Sean Murphy and Carl Dollenberg are faithful competitors, and it is good to see their dedication to the sport rewarded.
It was also great to see that of the 26 competitors, 7 were women, and we had 2 all-women teams competing.
The results were as follows:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR
1 Esmond Erasmus Johan Goosen
2 Thys van der Merwe Mary de Klerk
3 Sean Murphy Carl Dollenberg
4 Hans Shwebel Ron Stirk
The best First-timers, the father-and-son team of Dave and Aldo Naude finished in 7th. A creditable result.
|2012 RAC results||34 KB|
This year’s fun rally fell on Saturday 24 September, the first anniversary of SPS Flying Club (Special Pilots Services Flying Club), which CFI Ian Seddon explained is an organisation managed by SPS which tries to bring aviation enthusiasts together for social occasions in order to provide a platform for them to swap ideas and gain inspiration regarding all things aviation. They organise fly-in breakfasts once a month, and fly-aways every few months, as well as the annual Grand Central Fun Rally.
This rally is unique in that a number of student pilots from participate with their instructors, providing these new pilots with a set of safety skills, habits and attitudes that are not normally taught during traditional pilot training.
Stall holders from EAA, Wings ‘n Things, General Pilot’s Supplies set up their wares, which created a lot of interest from the participants between briefings, flights and scoring. Breakfast was sponsored by SPS from the coffee shop at Grand Central.
Ian opened the event with a talk about safety issues in flying, and reminded the participating pilots that during the rally they are issued with a logger, which picks up any pilot behaviour that is not within navigational regulations, and that these errors count against the teams in the scoring. For the first time, SPS set up a screen and projector, which SAPFA Rally organiser Frank Eckard linked up to his laptop, and was able to project all the routes and scores onto the screen. This provided the crowd with great entertainment, and they found it very uncanny that the logger could pick up exactly where they had flown, at what altitude, and what speed.
The rally, titled “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” took the teams through various transport-related turnpoints such as Kayalami Race Course, over the Gerotek Vehicle Testing Track, railway stations, and required a touch-and-go at Brits airfield. The weather cleared up after an initial foggy start, and the teams were all able to cross the Magaliesberg and complete the course.
Ian thanked Cathlin Fourie for putting the event together, ATC at Grand Central Jocelyn and Mashadi for bringing the pilots home safely, Mary de Klerk for her talk on flying rallies on the preceding Wednesday evening, and Frank and Cally Eckard for organising the rally. He also thanked Gary Reynolds from GC for waiving the landing fees for the event.
Zabula provided the first prize of a 2 night mid week break for 4 people at the lodge. The second prize was from General Pilot Supplies which were magnificent product hampers for each crew member worth R 500 each. Mugg & Bean at Greenstone donated the third prize of a lunch voucher worth R300. Our thanks got to the sponsors.
Full results are attached below. The podium positions are:
POS PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN
1 Sean Murphy Ernie Alexander ZS-IRL
2 Reino Horak Reinhardt Basson ZU-SUP
3 Roger Bozzoli Christopher Nikitov ZU-NPB
|Full results||10.85 KB|
Richard Nicholson, Chairman of Nylstroom Flying Club, requested SAPFA hold a fun rally at the Taildraggers Event that he organised in July. Frank Eckard agreed to organize the rally, and 8 teams participated.
Most competitors stayed over at B&B’s, or camped at the airfield overnight. The organizers ensured that no pilot went hungry; Friday night dinner was prepared at the pub, and it was difficult to choose from a myriad of stall holders on Saturday, ranging from traditional breakfasts to curry vetkoek.
Pilots were easily distracted from their navigational tasks by all the activity at the airfield, but they were eventually airborne by 11 am, and flew a route that Cally Eckard had planned with the stark beauty of the area in mind. All pilots agreed that it was “pretty”, including one of the teams, who got lost shortly after the first turn point, and had to use their GPS to find their way back to Nylstroom.
After the second turn point the teams had to follow a road down a steep valley to turn point three, providing spectacular scenery along the way. From there the route took them westward to an old abandoned mine, then south around a game park and back parallel to the N1, over the Finish Point, which was Nylstroom Hospital, and back to the airfield.
Long-time participants Carl and Shaun were thrilled to take first place, saying that everything just fell into place. Local knowledge, first-timers’ luck or excellent flying and navigational skills provided Nylstroom’s only team of Lukas and Leon Eksteen with second place. This pair not only found most of the check points, but also a lot of the photographs, and incredibly good timing for novices at the sport, especially considering their nominated speed was 100 knots. Hopefully this father and son team will continue in this sport and provide some stiff competition for long-time contestants.
Also taking part were Emmie Oelofse and Jonty Esser, Frank Persson and Keith Irwin, and Juri Nyssen with Francois Wuras.
Long-time veterans Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel took part in the Precision section of the rally, in training for the World Precision Champs in October.
The results for the Fun Rally were:
POSITION PILOT NAVIGATOR CALL SIGN SCORE
1 Carl Dollenger Shaun Murphy ZS-IRL 172
2 Lukas Eksteen Leon Eksteen ZS-NFA 639
3 Ralph Hurwitz Stephan Theron ZS-FLF 754
|Full results||11.84 KB|
Holding these rallies in various venues introduces the sport to members of those clubs who have not before participated. Baragwanath is a case in point, where six local club pairs took part in this event, three of them being first-time rallyists.
Bee and Gerhardt provided a delicious breakfast along with bottomless coffee, which was in great demand in near-minus temperatures.
Once everyone had warmed up, and all ten teams had registered, map preparation began in earnest, under instruction and guidance from veteran rally pilot Frank Eckard. Although several of the teams had not flown rallies before, and some had not even planned to take part, they all managed to find most of the turn points, and even “newbies” were finding photographs with enthusiasm. First-timers Dominique Van Roey and Leon Bouttell claimed that home-ground advantage enable them to take third place, and were very encouraged by their result, so veteran rallyists should look out for this competitive pair!
With nerves on edge and pulses racing they all took off by 10h30, flying at speeds varying between 70 and 100 Knots, which are nominated by the teams themselves. By 12h20 all teams had returned, exchanging their experiences with each other and looking forward to seeing how their routes looked once Frank had downloaded their loggers onto his laptop. They also had to fill in answer sheets, which were checked by Cally Eckard.
Mary de Klerk had planned a lovely easy route, ideal for first-timers to try out the sport, and for veterans to hone their timing skills. The directions took them through 10 turn points, down to Vaal Barrage, and then over the old Vanderbijlpark Airfield and back home to Baragwanath. Maps with the turn points and route printed on them were handed to each team, who then had to fill in other details such as bearings and times.
At each rally some of the Protea team members are available to give their advice and to encourage new pilots to the sport. We urge every pilot to try out this sport, to improve their flying and navigation skills, and to enjoy a morning’s flying with other pilots.
The top 3 results were:
1 Henk Koster/Jan Roode
2 Esmond Erasmus/Johan Goosen
3 Dominique Smuts-Stein/Leon Bouttell
Please join us for the next Fun Rally at Nylstroom (Modimolle) on Saturday 16 July. This event will be combined with Nylstroom’s Taildragger Fly-in, and all types of aircraft are welcome to join the rally.
|Full results||29.5 KB|
Unlike the weather across most other parts of the country, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th March brought clear skies to the city of Durban. Even the slightly higher than normal wind strengths did little to dampen the spirits of the Pilots and Navigators participating in the Annual SAPFA Virginia Fun Rally and KZN Provinicial Landing Championships.
True to form, the Durban Wings Club represented by John Nielon and Stu Low, went out of their way to provide top notch hospitality to all participants and supporters. Cate Juselius, the Manager of the DWC Airracing Team arranged great prizes for all participants. The teams met at 18h00 on Friday evening around the pool and were welcomed and given a Rally briefing by Mary de Klerk. This was followed by a delicious braai provided by Durban Wings Club.
The teams all met for a hearty breakfast at the Head Office Restaurant and Safety Officer, Kevin Woolecott kick started the day with a Safety Briefing. This was supported by a very efficient Nancy representing ATC. Since the opening of the new King Shaka Intnl Airport, all GA traffic has had to reroute south to enter the GFA. These new routings were relatively new territory for a lot of the teams so the briefings had to be very detailed in terms of departures and arrivals.
The route was carefully planned by Cally Eckard, wife and navigation partner of Protea Precision and Rally Pilot, Frank Eckard. The rally started overhead the threshold of 24 of the old Durban International Airport, routed inland over Adams Mission, then zig zagged south as far as Ifafa beach before turning sharply back to head home nothwards up the scenic coastline, finishing at Isipingo Beach. A couple of the teams were flying a Fun Rally for the first time so their learning curve was already very step. Adding to the challenge level was a 25 kt SW which caused the crews to belt it on the south bound legs and test the back end of the power curve on the north bound homeward legs. Some of the more experienced crews like the Koekemoer / Koen crew used their years of experience to “snake” the north bound tracks being careful not to break the 90degree turn rule. Even then the tailwind proved far too strong and penalites increased as they neared the finish. The only crew to handle the aircraft sufficiently well and counter the strong tailwind to gain zero penalties was the highly experienced Snr SAA Capt Thys van der Merwe with his navigator Johan Juselius in a C172 Reims Rocket.
Frank Eckard was the only participant to fly the Rally in the Open Class with his young navigator, Nicola Juselius, a budding aviatrix. A total of 9 teams participated in the Rally Section and 11 pilots participated in the Landing Championships.
The last aery arrrived back from the Rally at about 13H30 and after a delicious Prego Roll provided by the Dourban Wings Club, Mary again briefed the teams on the Landing Championship requirements. With the strong SW of 15 gusting 25, Runway 23 was in use. Airport management kindly allowed John to mark the runway so that the marshals could accurately assess the touchdown points.
The pilots were briefed to fly 4 landings, 2 with power and flaps and 2 glide approaches – one with flaps and one without flaps. ATC were very accommodating in terms of traffic and spacing and 44 landings were completed in less than 2 hours.
Prize Giving was held at the Pool Bar at 17H00 and the following results were achieved:
|1||Frank Eckard||None||OPEN PRECISION|
|1||Thys van der Merwe||Johan Juselius||FUN RALLY|
|2||Leon Koekemoer||Andre Koen||FUN RALLY|
|3||Caleb Watson||Tyrone English||FUN RALLY|
|4||Meryl Rahme||Rodney Stops||FUN RALLY|
|5||Peter Beckmann||Peter Gilbert||FUN RALLY|
|6||Meryl Rahme||Rodney Stops||FUN RALLY|
|7||Dave Bruce||Barry Kinnear||FUN RALLY|
|8||Alastair Matthews||Nicole Matthews||FUN RALLY|
KZN PROVINCIAL LANDING RESULTS:
By Cally Eckard
Keen aviators brought their fastest and favourite ‘toys’ along to the Mini Air Race at Kitty Hawk for the first air race of 2011
The Mini Air Race is regarded as a precursor and a ‘trial run’ for the President’s Trophy later in the year.
The weather was perfect, with just a few little white clouds in the sky. Kitty Hawk members and staff put their best foot forward, and as always welcomed all the visitors and put on a delicious breakfast, and ala carte dining throughout the rest of the day.
Thanks must go to Race Organiser Neels van Deventer, Chief Marshall Chris Burger, and Safety Officer Nigel Musgrave, all from Kitty Hawk. Robin Spencer-Scarr did the safety briefing with his usual unique flair, and Frank Eckard produced the results in quick time for prize giving.
One of the Cessna 210’s gave the spectators a bit of a scare when it settled back on the runway shortly after take-off. Fortunately he hadn’t retracted his wheels, so everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
There were a few first-timers taking part, the youngest being Ronan Brink, part of a father-son team. This event, although all about speed, was enjoyed by all the competitors, and the bug seems to have bitten a lot of newcomers.
For safety reasons, the race rules have been amended to include timing and exclusion penalties for being too high or too low over turn-points. Competitors found this a challenge, and only one team returned home without a single penalty.
The Spencer-Scarr’s provided the lesson for the day when they committed the error that Robin told the competitors very emphatically not to make. The experienced father-and-son team got hopelessly lost, providing much bantering from the rest of the field, and then flew too low over the few turn-points that they managed to find. “The lesson for us”, commented Robin later, “was that this sport is a great leveller and you cannot expect to do well unless you put at least some sort of effort into it”.
The navigation in the East of Johannesburg should have been quite straight-forward, but confounded many of the teams, four of whom were excluded from the results for missing turn-points . It will be interesting to see how these same pilots will manage the navigation over the vast expanses of nothingness around Mafikeng for the President’s Trophy Air Race in May.
The top position were as follows:
|1||RV6||160||N. V.d. Walt||C. Bezuidenhout|
|2||C172||110.18||T. Vd Merwe||M. De Klerk|
|3||M20C||147.19||Walds Venter||Wuhan Steyden|
Full results are attached.
|Full Results - Kitty Hawk 2011||10.7 KB|
I am a student pilot who has nearly completed his PPL – for the second time (it’s a long story). I guess, like most other students, I yearn for the day that I have a license to fly – by myself, where I want to, when I want to – and to REALLY start learning. To fly accurately. To navigate confidently. To know my aeroplane.
I can’t see myself endlessly taking friends up for a ‘flip’ around the patch every weekend. Or, going ‘cross country’ by picking a destination, feeding the ICAO designator into a GPS and following the purple highway on the screen.
So what to do after the PPL? Night rating – yes. Taildragger – yes. Aerobatics – yes (limited mind you!)
Rallying – What?
Maybe… but how do I learn what it’s about?
That’s why I went to Rand Airport on the morning of the 29th January – I heard they were holding the Rand Airport Challenge Fun Rally. Hopefully I could speak to someone who could tell me what it’s about and maybe even get the route, and a copy of the “check point” photos – and sit in a quiet corner by myself and try and figure it out…… boy was I in for a surprise.
Mary De Klerk and Frank Eckard - Professionals. They run the fantastic SAPFA Fun Rally calendar. When I introduced myself to Mary, her enthusiasm for the sport is so evident that it is instantaneously contagious. “ Let’s see if we can get you to fly with someone!” she said.
And that’s where my day, and possibly my future flying career, changed dramatically. One minute I was hoping to stand in a corner and imbibe some wisdom from the REAL pilots, and the next I was being introduced to Mike Cathro who was hitherto flying by himself, but now offering me a seat in Jabiru ZU-CHJ, owned by Esmond Erasmus. I felt apprehensive, and frankly, rather intimidated by my surroundings and company.
But I was put at ease very quickly, by everybody involved. Mike Cathro, I learnt, is and experienced pilot, instructor, and rally participant. His planning was as meticulous as his explanation to me about what was to happen. We set our clocks to the “master” clock, collected a Track Logger and headed to the plane. Even before we had started up, I was learning from Mike – he is an excellent teacher. Our scheduled take off time was 11:10B and we had to cross the start at 11:20. According to the logger, we were airborne at 11:09:58 and crossed the start overhead Rand Water (T-junction Impala Rd and Klipriver Rd) at 11:20:02 – that is how accurately Mike flew ! The whole way! Man, that cockpit gets busy. This was flying – making the plane go exactly where it is supposed to, exactly when it is supposed to.
The route took us nearly directly south. Check Point one – a farm house near Allewynspoort. Got it. Check point two – a creek confluence in Henley-on-Klip. Got it. CP3. CP4. Now, follow the Vaal River, so precisely, all the way to the Dam Wall. 11:58:16 ETA and we were 13 seconds late! It seemed to bother Mike, but I was quietly stunned at how accurately one can Fly! We turned north again at the Eastern shores of the Vaal Dam and headed to CP7, thence to the west of Suikerbosrand Game Reserve. All the while, keeping a strained eye out for the Photos we had to identify on each leg.
“There! Is that the School we are looking for?”. “Nope, not quite. And that one?” . “Yes –that’s it. Time? Distance? Mark it down.”
All in all, we – well, Mike - only had eight time penalties, and we –Mike- only missed three leg photos , giving us a total of 108 penalty points and a Win ! First Place !
So how is that for a stunning day? Went to Rand to maybe be around pilots and photograph some planes – and end up being in the winning plane of the Rand Airport Challenge! Not in my best imaginary scenario did I hope to learn as much as I actually did in one morning.
So, if you’ve ever thought that maybe you should look into joining a fun rally, DO IT ! It really is fun – but more importantly you will learn to sharpen a variety of skills, and learn a lot about flying precisely.
Thanks a million to Mike Cathro, and Esmond. And thanks to Mary de Klerk and Frank Eckard for the fantastic introduction to Rallying. Thanks also to sponsors Karcher, Avimaps and AP.
I will be doing more Fun Rallies soon, when I have my PPL.
|Final Results||32 KB|
Brits Airfield welcomed 35 airplanes on Saturday 13 November to celebrate the Peter Hengst Memorial Day. Peter was a loyal and active member of Brits Flying Club for many years, and the project is held annually in his honour. His wife, Crystal, was present, preparing breakfast and coffee for all the visitors.
The EAA and SAPFA members braved the heat to spend some time together and swap flying anecdotes.
SAPFA took the opportunity to hold a “Fun Precision Flying Competition”. 17 pilots took part, many of them contenders for National Precision Flying Championships which are scheduled for the end of November, also in Brits.
Hans Schwebel, chairman of Brits Flying Club, long-time Rally and Precision pilot, and the newly instated Vice President of the GAC (General Aviation Commission) of the FAI, put together a route that was both challenging and enjoyable. The normally rigid rules of Precision were relaxed slightly for the day, to enable pilots to adjust their skills from Rally Flying to Precision Flying. SAPFA are also trying to encourage more Rally pilots to attempt Precision, in order to expand the field available for National selection, and to improve South Africa’s chances next year at The World Championships.
Frank Eckard won first place, with up-and-coming Jonty Esser hot on his heels. Ron Stirk from Brits was placed third, and Rob Kennedy fourth. Congratulations to all the pilots who attempted Precision Flying for the first time.
Mike Cathro came first in the Sportsman class, with Keith Irwin second, Wynand Uys third and Rob Jonkers fourth.
Thanks to Brits Flying Club for hosting the event, to Hans for preparing the route, to Crystal and Ursula for preparing the delicious breakfast, and to Nella for running the club.
Brits Flying Club has generously offered to host the World Precision Flying Championships in October 2011, and if Saturday’s event is anything to go by, then our local and overseas visitors are in for a treat.
|Full results - Open and Fun classes||20 KB|
These fun rallies are hosted by SAPFA (South African Powered Flight Association) and are held monthly at different venues. These fun rallies has been an innovative and genius format derived from the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale - The World Air Sports Federation) rally rules by SAPFA members, to introduce the sport to keen aviators, making it not only fun but competitive also focusing on enhancing pilot skills and constantly recruiting Pilots for the National team to compete in the World Championships.
The day started with the formalities of the highly important and comprehensive safety briefing presented by the safety officer of the day Mr. Leon de Villiers, followed by the Pilot’s and Navigator briefings presented by our Local Springbok, National Team member and Competition Director for this rally, Mr. Jonty Esser.
The navigators and pilots received their clue sheets and necessary blank maps, and immediately set off to work as the first take off was to be at exactly 11:00:00. Many of the competitors were first time rally pilots and navigators so help was at hand from the Competition Director. The route was setup to ease the new teams in up until check point 5 thereafter the degree of difficulty was increased. The route took the competitors from Pietersburg Civil Airport to Dalmada, then onto the University of the North from there out to the north then back to the Steven Lumber Mills, then back out to the Ebenezer Dam Wall, there after the climb for the Highest point in the Wolkberg Reserve flying down the mountain range to Chuniespoort and back to Pietersburg Civil Airport.
We also had the honor of having one of the National Rally Teams namely Cally Eckard and Frank Eckard who is also the Chairman of SAPFA and National Rally Team Coach, as competitors in the open class which is scored at the International Rally rules level, this means that instead of 15 seconds before and after the expected time to be at a turn point they only have 1 second before and after, their photos are not in sequence and the clue sheet is handed to the navigator in the aircraft 15 min before the take off time.
Each aircraft is equipped with a logger (Scoring instrument) issued by the competition director, this logger, logs the exact time and position of the aircraft on their route, so no cheating is possible. The teams will take off at their exact times and if not be penalized according to the fun rally rules, each second after the 15 seconds before and after for fun rally and 1 second before and after each check point the team will get 2 penalty points for each second up to a maximum of 200 points per check point, at each check point there is a photo that has to be identified as true or false, if the photo that has been supplied is incorrectly marked by the team 100 penalty points will be added if not marked the 50 points and if marked correct then 0 penalty points are added, en-route the team has to also look for photos that was provided in the clue sheet if seen by the team they have to measure in nautical miles the distance from the previous check point to the photo, if distance is correct the team scores zero if no seen 20 penalty points and if incorrect the 40 penalty points are given. At the end of each flight the pilots skills will be further tested with a spot landing here the pilot is expected to land on a two meter line on the runway if the pilot manages to do this the landing is a BINGO and scored as 0 if the pilot lands short then from 60 to 200 points could be scored depending on the distance in front of the line and from 10 to 200 after the BINGO line. Thank you Landing Chief Judge Susan Du Preez.
There for you will see each team has timing, observation and landing points against their names and the total lowest score wins the rally.
Well done to the winners Wynand Uys and his Navigator Kobus Kruger from Hoedspruit as well as second place son and Father team Dusty and Ron Stirk from Britz and a big very well done to the first time rally competitors Wessel Ardendorff and Nadia Van Heerden.
Full results are attached below.
|Polokwane - full results||20 KB|
By Cally Eckard
Grand Central, with its olde-worlde air and historic significance was a perfect location for a rally designed to fly over some of our rich and famous locations. From Nelson Mandela Bridge to Soccer City, over luscious golf courses, and from townships of Soweto to Sandton City, the teams thoroughly enjoyed the sights of Jo'burg while also concentrating on timing, navigation and safety.
For the first time, we held a briefing on the Wednesday evening before the rally. Most of the pilots attended, and many of them achieved really good results. This briefing was really helpful, as maps and instructions were handed out, and we all “flew” the route together on Google Earth, finding most of the photographs, and identifying features which helped the teams to fly the route more accurately during the rally.
The fifteen teams included two helicopters, which were of great interest to everyone, spawning arguments over whether rally flying in a helicopter would be an advantage or not.
Praise must go to Superior Pilots Services Flying Club who hosted the event, and to African Outdoor Group, the main sponsors. Frank and Cally Eckard planned the route, and Mary de Klerk helped to organise the event on the day.
First-time rallyers Ernst Wolfaart and Jean-Pierre Rousseau won first prize of two nights at Zebula Golf Estate and Spa. Stephan du Plooy and Petrus van Graan won gift vouchers for Pooley’s Flight Equipment. Third place went to more experienced rally team of Esmond Erasmus and Johan Goosen. The Spot Landing Competition was won by the 3-man team of Dave Keijer, Ryno Visser and Ruan Visser.
Full results are attached.
The fun rally program was started in 2006 to try to attract more pilots to the sport. Many pilots are intimidated by the idea of rally flying, envisioning the flying version of Sarel van der Merwe doing handbrake turns with dust flying over the enthralled crowds. This is far from reality. Rally flying was designed to promote flying safety, and every effort is made to enforce safety first at all times. The slower a plane can fly the better, and there is plenty of time to navigate and find photographs. Pilots are encouraged and taught how to fly with “heads out the cockpit” instead of using navigational equipment. We give the teams a lot of time before they take off to ask questions, and we take each team through navigational tips and safety briefings. The aim of rally is to HAVE FUN, and it is not intended to intimidate or overwhelm pilots. Once a team excels at the Fun Rally level we then encourage them to try the Open Class, and we continue to nurture and train these teams right through their sporting careers.
|Grand Central Fun Rally - Full results||22 KB|
Saturday 5th June dawned and brought with it wall to wall blue skies – perfect weather to jump in an aery and take to the skies. The challenge was on for the SA Rally Flying team to challenge the Fun Rally pilots and any Airline Pilots brave enough to tackle the plot and convert it into a route. Nico Brandt, from Tedderfield Airpark hosted the event at their fabulous clubhouse. From early the aeries started to fly in from various local airfields as well as from all over the country including Durban, Polokwane and Hoedspruit.
Scores of brand new Young Eagles from various schools in the area also started to arrive, eager to learn a bit more about the opportunity to pursue a career in aviation, and enjoy their first free flight. Jayson and Nicky van Schalkwyk took them under their wings and put them through their paces. They enjoyed a day filled with aviation input and this was topped with a flight around Soccer City and back to Tedderfield by Chris Bailes, Nico Brandt, Laszlo Liszkay and the inimitable Captain Karl Jensen. Also attending the event were representatives from Youth in Action South Africa.
The Rally challenge saw 16 teams cross the start and finish line. Six of the teams comprised the recently selected Proteas who were flying in the Open Class Section, and the balance were the Fun Rally and Airline pilots.
The route was set by Tony Russell, the current SA Team Manager and covered a distance of 120nm. Mary de Klerk did her usual prebrief on “How to Fly a Fun Rally” and took the new and old teams through a detailed step by step account of how to prepare the maps and how to fly the route, while Frank Eckard arranged the start lists and take off times.
The route itself, was nothing short of challenging – even to the seasoned Proteas, and this was not made easier by the fact that a gremlin crept into the scoring system and caused the participants to have to fly a 5 minute leg in 9 minutes. For a first timer, this proved to be quite disconcerting, but everyone managed to get through the glitch and continue through to the finish.
The Proteas flew to Open Class standard whilst the rest of the field flew to Sportsmans Class Standard. The original objective was for the Proteas to challenge the Airline Pilots, but only one brave Airline Pilot showed up and the results proved most interesting. He was Snr Captain Thys van der Merwe from SAA, who with his talented pilot, Rob Jonkers, in a C172, cruised into first position in the Sportsmans Class and beating some Proteas into 4th position overall…..an outstanding achievement for a first timer!
Full results are attached below.
|2010Tedderfield Final Results||30.5 KB|
The plan was set to hold the initial Rally briefing on Friday evening before the DWC sponsored Braai, then to arrive at 07H30 on Saturday morning for a pilot safety briefing, final route briefing, map preparation and then commence with the competition from 10H00. I love it when a plan comes together flawlessly, and this one indeed did....
The African Outdoor Group generously sent their fantastic new “Rig” all the way from Jhb to Dbn with the AOG crew. It arrived minutes before the 18H00 Briefing and was quickly reversed into place on the grass verge in front of the pool just off the taxi way. Within minutes, the scene was set for the weekend with the chairs and tables and umbrellas all laid out.
About 50 people attended the initial Rally briefing during which Mary de Kelrck gave a presentation on what Rally Flying is all about, and for the first timers, what to expect. 19 Crews registered and before long we were all enjoying the hospitality of the Durban Wings Club around the pool.
At 08H00 on Saturday a full Safety Briefing was given by Fred Bebington. This was followed by an ATC briefing from Didier. The Durban North Coast traffic can be quite busy and strict separation procedures have to be adhered to. By 08H30 the organisers were running the eager teams through the map preparation and route instructions. First take off was due for 10H00 but there was a delay for an hour to allow some low cloud to lift.
An interesting array of aircraft coloured the skies this day. They ranged from C152’s C 172’s, C182’s to a couple of Yaks a Bonnie BE35, and even a twin PA34. The route was short at 70nm, but was not without its challenges. This particular stretch of terrain NE of King Shaka is renowned for having very difficult navigational features, and ill matching roads on the map. Some legs were short with tight turns, which again proved rather hectic especially for the aeries bombing along at 120kts. So the teams really had to work hard to get around and find all 10 Check Points.
The last aircraft was down by 13H30, just as the SW buster came through. Mary had been in constant contact with Louis from Margate Tower, and he fed her a blow by blow (no pun intended) account of what was happening with the weather. At 14H00 after discussions with ATC, Safety Officer, Club Chairman and Mary, it was decided to proceed with the KZN Provincial Landing Championships in the 25 – 30 kt down the runway howler. A briefing was given on the 4 types of landings required viz:
1. Powered Approach from 800’
2. Glide Approach from 1000” Abm Threshold with flaps
3. Glide Appraoch from 1000’ Abm Threshold without flaps
4. Barrier Landing with Power from 800’ circuit.
The event was run in accordance with the full FAI rules and regulations. Brian Steenkamp, the SAPFA Chief Marshall from Gauteng arrived and laid out the Electronic Bingo Box to record the landings accurately to the meter. Stuart Low and his team had been out on the runway from 06H00 painting the Zero Line and the 10m stripes. Fred Bebington had a full Marshalling crew down on the landing line (unfortunately the wind favoured 23 so viewing from the Club House was difficult), and at 15H00 the first group of 12 participants got airborne. Some withdrew because of the weather.
These were indeed very brave crews, not only to perform 4 difficult spot landings in this howler, but just to get airborne, was in itself a feat. According to the rules, anyone scoring 30% or less of the total score would earn themselves Provincial Colours. This proved a huge carrot, and the teams were determined not to waste this opportunity to achieve.
The results were most interesting, taking the appalling conditions into account. 60% of the landings were either out of the 80M landing box, go around, or maxed. The only Bingo for the day was achieved by Mark Carstens in the Yak 52, but his undercarriage collapsed on touch down, and he veered off the runway and slid to a halt on the grass with minimal damage to the craft or his crew. Fortunately his was the last landing for the day, so no traffic was affected. Needless to say with the very high scores, no-one was awarded provincial colours.
It had been a long tiring but very rewarding day’s flying and at the final Prize Giving at 18H30, all agreed that they were leaving the event way better aviators than when they had arrived. The learning curve is very steep at an event of this nature under normal conditions, but far steeper under challenging visibility and high winds.
Congratulations to all who participated, marshalled, braaied, assisted, supported, and especially to Durban Wings Club, Virginia ATC, and African Outdoor Group for making it all possible. General Aviation is in a better place today…..
The final results for the Rally are set out below. Landing results Here
More pictures Here
|Virginia Fun Rally Results||30 KB|
"What the hell are we going to do if the weather forecast is correct and we get rain?" Neels van Deventer's nervous voice begged over the phone on Friday afternoon. "Don't worry," I said, "the weather man is an even bigger liar than a politician." I tried to sound a lot calmer that I felt.
Well, as it turned out, the weather held and we all arrived to the welcoming voice of Nigel, the safety officer and advisory ATC for the day.
A hearty breakfast washed down with a steaming cup of coffee settled a few nerves although Neels, Nigel, Chris and Robin had to struggle with the decision of which runway to use as the wind remained in favour of 19 after it knew we were all set up for 01
"What if we let them finish here?" somebody asked. ".... and then let them land at Wonderboom," came a quick response, "because when they're screaming over the runway, we can't have anyone on short final can we?" "Not unless we want to spoil everybody's day with an aluminium shower!" "Well then what if we .........." and so the conversation went on and on until finally an acceptable solution was found.
Derek from African Outdoor Group had set up his rig with a podium and P.A. and, more importantly, he had set up the most fabulous 'lecture room' situation with chairs and long tables that would have such a good idea if it weren't for the wind again. We are all so looking forward to seeing this setup at the next event as it looked like exactly the right way to do a briefing.
The briefing was held in the clubhouse which was very comfortable after Derek's guys had kindly moved the podium and microphone inside to avoid the weather. Robin did the safety and detailed briefing and Mary gave them the track and a quick lesson on how to navigate.
With the planned 01 runway no longer feasible and 19 having to be used, there were no fewer than 22 aircraft on the start line for a "PTAR day 2" type start. It was decided that this would be the most exciting way to start and more so because the Handicappers had managed to get the handicaps so well calculated that we anticipated a really exciting finish.
The start went off well with the ground marshals doing an excellent job in keeping the flow going whilst keeping the movement safe at all times. It wasn't too long before the many spectators at or in the clubhouse were suddenly alerted by the sound of a 180hp Lycoming purring in the front of Rudi Greyling's RV7 as he came bulleting over the finish a good minute or two ahead of the A2 (Botswana) Jabiru who was pedalling as hard as he could because, right on his tail was the Meerkat flown by Chris Spencer-Scarr and George Brink who managed to just pip him at the post for a second place.
The Jabby, sadly, had logger failure and therefore didn't feature in the prize giving but, because it was a school and a fun race we are going to record his 3rd place for the day.
See the attached file for the full results.
The prize-giving was a huge success enjoyed by all who stayed. It was compered by Chris SS and ably assisted by Mary de Klerk. Prizes were generously sponsored by AOG, Zandspruit and International Flight Clearances. A spectacular trophy was awarded to the winners, Rudi Greyling and Jan Hanekom. Second third fourth and fifth also walked away with prizes. Emmie Oelofse won the First Lady Home prize and then loads of Lucky Draws were pulled out of the hat.
The weather held and many crews stayed to enjoy the clubs hospitality before barrelling off down Rwy 19 to head for home bases.
Another great SAPFA aviation event, a lot of happy pilots and navigators and exhausted ground crew completed the day, and returned safely home in anticipation of the next event at Swellendam on 6 March. See you all there!
|Kitty Hawk Mini Air Race Results||27.5 KB|
Another fantastic Aviation event notched up this past weekend at Klerksdorp. The entire weekend was run under the auspices of the EAA Sun & Fun convention under the directorship of Cliff Lotter and his team, Len du Preez and Piesang Myburgh.
Despite the threatening weather and isolated thunderstorms, 98 aircraft out of the expected 150 aircraft arrived. The AOG rig was set up close to the club house and the scene was set for a successful weekend of aviating.
Brian Emmenis of Capital Sounds entertained the crowds while Karl Jensen showcased various aery’s on the “block”. No less than 21 brand new keen Young Eagles arrived from 7 different schools in the area. They were supervised by Jason van Schalkwyk and enjoyed a day filled with experiencing the thrill of their first real flight with the Young Eagle Volunteer Pilots.
The Klerksdorp Flying Club proved to be very hospitable hosts, providing fabulous food with live music and dancing on both nights.
Then the Fun Rally..... 14 aircraft participated and although the start was delayed to avoid some storm cells, the first few competitors still had to cut short on a few legs to avoid tangling the weather – good call guys! Unfortunately for the early starters, the second half of the field all managed to get through, so no legs were scratched.
The final results were:
1st Position : Rob Kennedy (Pilot) Wikus Kritzinger (Navigator) in ZU FHD
2nd Position : Johnnie Smith (Pilot) Christiaan Le Grange (Navigator) ZS AXX
3rd Position : Derick Lategan (Pilot) Francois van Eeden (Navigator) ZS CBO
This weekend heralded the start of what is going to be an amazing year in Sport Flying in South Africa. The Rand Airport Challenge was held at Rand Airport under the direction of SAPFA committee members Frank Eckard and Mary de Klerk. Despite the threatening weather, 16 aircraft managed to participate in what turned out to be a rather challenging event. The event has been held every January for the past six years. Each year we have received very generous sponsorship from AFOS, Karcher, AVIMap, and African Pilot. This year African Outdoor Group also provided wonderful prizes, so at least half of the field went home with something special ranging from cash, to high pressure cleaners, Avimaps, African Pilot Subscriptions and various other aviation related goodies.
No less than 11 Check Points were included in the 120nm route, and this incorporated an away landing at Vereeniging, plus some interesting flying following tracks of railway lines and rivers. Storm cells dotted the landscape and depending on the take off time, forced a few crews to deviate off course in order to remain on the safe side of the wx……wise move…. as they will be here to participate in the next event. Unfortunately when some teams get through the sticky patches after the storm cell has moved on, other teams are penalized – the nature of the sport.
It is very heartening to see the teams that have regularly attended the Rally Program throughout 2009 start to rise through the ranks. The “by now expert” father and son team of Phil & Scott Wakeley took the honours in their 7th Fun Rally by finishing in 1st position despite having missed a couple of checkpoints due to the storms. The well oiled team of Emmie Oelofse and Andrew Lane flew home into 2nd place and the biggest surprise of the day came from Mark Shoesmith & Andrew Gray when they finished a close third to Emmie and Andrew. This was the first time Mark & Andrew had ever attempted to fly a Rally. This should be very encouraging to all new guys wanting to participate, but who are still apprehensive.
|Full Results and Prize List||24.5 KB|
Springs Flying Club hosted the last of the year’s series of Fun Rallies. Nineteen entries were received for this event - the final one of the year following a series of successful similar events held at various venues the past twelve months.
The Fun Rally pilots started arriving from as early as 06h30 and on arrival were greeted with a full breakfast sponsored by the East Rand Flying Club. No less than 24 aircraft entered the Rally, but after sifting through the weather and other technical aircraft issues the final field was whittled down to eighteen competing crews and one unofficial entry from current Protea pilots, Hans and Ron.
For once the weather played along and although rain was forecast the day was a typical hot Highveld summer’s day. The wind was rather strong in the morning.
The route saw them take off on 03 and follow a 90 nautical mile anticlockwise path towards Leandra, then up north towards Witbank and then back to Springs via North of Delmas.
Jonty Esser and Sandy Goddard from Polokwane (who finished second in the Open Class in the Yuma at the SA National Championships) were the eventual winners followed by Robert Gassmann and Antony McBride in the futuristic Tanarg Trike with Hendrik and Adele Loots in third place in the striking Apollo Delta Jet Trike. Jonty and Sandi finished with an impressive 56 penalties (50 of which were for a single incorrectly identified picture).
The event was combined with the EAA and 14 young aspiring eagles attending the event. They spent the day assisting Frank and Mary with the Rally and were then whisked away into the air with their respective YOUNG EAGLES PILOTS. Lofty from SAMAA entertained them with Model Aircraft building and at the end of a hot exhausting day, the fourteen young people left the airfield feeling as though they has enjoyed a life changing experience.
The next Rally will take place at Rand Airport in February 2010.
1st Pos Jonty Essar/Sandi Goddard
2nd Pos Robert Gassmann/Antony Mc Bride
3rd Pos Hendrik Loots/Adele Loots
Full results are attached below.
The 2009 EAA Sun n Fun Fly In was held at New Tempe Airfield, Bloemfontein from 23 to 25 October 2009. Hundreds of keen aviators braved the inclement weather to attend this weekend, show off their little birds and join in the fun. The severe thunderstorms on Friday forced many aeries to turn back, but this did not prevent them from trying again at first light on Saturday morning.
For the past couple of EAA events, SAPFA have been invited to hold a Fun Rally so as to share the opportunity of sport flying with the EAA pilots. This proved very successful at Bethlehem, so the exercise was repeated at the Bloemfontein Sun n Fun.
The briefing session on Friday evening was attended by about 40 pilots. Half the field had never flown a Rally before and in the other half there were five entrants have their Green Protea Blazers.
The guys that could not get through due to weather took a “crash course” in Rally Flying at the Saturday morning briefing. Maps were diligently prepared early on Saturday. Charlie Marais presented his Safety Briefing to the eager teams and first aircraft took off at 10H30.
There were 15 aircraft that entered. Only thirteen flew as two withdrew. Chris Briers’ Cub had a CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Thehangardoor), and Rickus had a flat tyre.
After a challenging 80nm route, the last aircraft landed ahead of the impending weather, and it was not long before all 93 visiting crews, some coming from as far afield as Western and Eastern Cape, were enjoying Bloemfontein Flying Club’s hospitality in the Beer Tent to the well known sounds of Dix Vorster.
Prizegiving was held on Saturday evening after all had enjoyed a delicious Free State Lamb on a Spit. Karl Jensen entertained the crowds while delivering the top awards for the EAA categories. Fun Rally results were delivered by Robin Spencer Scarr and Mary de Klerk to the eagerly awaiting crews. They were:
First: David Forster & Walter Walle of the Bloemfontein Flying Club
Second: Andrew Lane & Emmie Oelofse - CFA
Third: Ralph Hurwitz & Hennie Stander - Afos
Barry de Groot together with Peter de Viliiers flew a faultless Rally and only scored 30 penalties for landing. However, they were not contenders in the Fun Rally Class as Barry used this as a practice round to defend his SA Rally Flying Champion status with me in Parys on 7th November.
This Saturday saw the newest step in SAPFA’s concerted efforts to reintroduce sports flying in the Western Cape. A Fun Rally was held at the Worcester Flying Club, and was attended by ten pilots and their navigators.
This was a slightly smaller field than anticipated, but a good start. Several aircraft from George sent late cancellations, due to the logistics of flying out of George airport during the current construction. However, they managed to send Carl and Debbie Basson to represent them. We hope to see more Southern Cape pilots next time.
The rest of the field was made up of pilots from Cape Town Flying Club, Worcester Flying Club and Stellenbosch Flying Club. Mauritz du Plessis, an old hand at Rallying, planned a long-ish but interesting route for us, and SAPFA sent down sufficient loggers for each competitor to take two along on their flight. Organizers included Meet Director Tony Russell, Chief Judge and Safety Officer Peter Erasmus, and Marshall Katie Russell.
The Worcester Flying Club outdid themselves on the hospitality. When the first people arrived at 7am, the clubhouse was already filled with the inviting fragrances of coffee and frying bacon! It did not take long before pilot after pilot was streaming in to be fed. Our hostess Alison said afterwards that as they heard each call-sign, they would check how many were on board and start cooking.
Well fed, the competitors assembled for the safety briefing. Final decisions regarding speed were made, and the organizing team disappeared to produce start times and finalise the rally packs. Once those were handed out, a mood of diligence fell over the Flying Club, as everyone frantically marked up their maps and sorted their photos.
The course itself was made more challenging by a strong headwind on the initial legs, turning into a tailwind later on. It made for some challenging flying but was handled well by all the competitors, most of whom were new to rallying. The terrain also presented some challenges, partly because the route went over a ridge or two, and partly because it made the wind more turbulent at lower levels. At least three navigators saw their breakfast more than once on the day, but even that did little to dampen the enjoyment of the event.
As today’s rallies rely on GPS loggers to mark the route and timing for each competitor, rather than marshalls in the field, judging was a swift affair. Within 45 minutes of the last aircraft arriving back, the results were available.
The Kitty Hawk Club provided a great venue for the day and all aviators were greeted early with coffee followed by a full hot steaming breakfast.
Once again, Frank & Mary kicked into action with a briefing at 08H00 followed by map preparation. Of the Fourteen teams that entered no less than 3 teams were brand spanking new – never having flown a Rally before. This shows that it is never too late to join the Rally circuit.
Participating Aircraft varied from a C210 to a Partinavia, an RV7, a Jabiru to a selection of C182’s, C172’s, C152’s. The field even included the Yuma from Polokwane.
Also participating in this event were the long time Protea Team of Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk, who flew unofficially and finished with a total score of 4 penalties (for landing 2m over the Zero Line).
1st Position: RV7 - Rob Kennedy/Kristen Kennedy
2nd Position: Yuma - Jonty Esser/Sandi Goddard
3rd Position: Jabiru -Esmond Erasmus/Johan Goosen