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… outstanding achievement for a first timer!

Full results are attached below.

2010Tedderfield Final Results 30.5 KB