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EAA Sun n Fun Rally - 24 October 2009
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.