March 1985

Number 1284
Class C (Aeroplanes)
Sub Class C1-q (Landplanes: weight 150,000 kg to less than 200,000 kg)
Group III (Jet)
Type of Record Speed over Recognised Course
Course/Location London (UK) – Cape Town (South Africa)
Performance 1 192.73 km/h
Date 28/03/1985
Record Holder Brian Walpole
Nationality UK
Aeroplane Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde (G-BOAC)
Engine 4 Rolls-Royce/SNECMA Olympus 593 (38050 lbs each)
World Record? Yes -1284
Status Current Record

Jansenville Air Rally

Held at Jansenville – 23 March 1985

By Frikkie Moolman

Well guys, the word is out. If you’re a lover of air railies, there’s a venue that should not be missed – Jansenville. OK, I know you’ve just juggled all your one in a millions, and couldn’t find it, so I’ll tell you. Jansenville is between Graaff Reinet and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, and the town is so small that the name appears an both sides of the signboard. But this town has a great big heart! There is no flying club as such, just a bunch of guys who love flying, with spirit and enthusiasm to make our. slick city type “flying clubs” look like they need a major overhaul.

Peter Wotherspoon and I arrived at Jansenville at around 1600 hours on Friday, and as we came overhead we saw Flip van der Merwe’s Bonanza on the field, so we knew we had found it. On landing we were welcomed by Ray, and almost immediately after by Flip in his bakkie stacked with cold beer. For the occasion the guys had bulldozed an enormnous piece of real estate as a parking area, and drums of fuel, boxes of oil and compressed air laid on for the big day. The hangar had been cleared and set up with tables, chairs, a PA system and serving tables for food and drinks. Not bad, huh. Shortly after, John, Jenny and George and Rea arrived from Cape Tovvn in the Baron, and also the Robinson brothers from ‘Maritzburg. The rest of the competitors were due the next morning.

While we stood around talking flying, Boetie Beeker and Arabier van der Merwe arrived from Robertson, as well as Barry (Pa), Willem, Piet and Andre from the Swellengrebel Gliding Club, by car. Yes, by car. They weren’t competing but they just came across for the fun. Now if that is not spirit, then I’ll trade my licence for a used movie ticker.

Rally day dawned, crisp, clear, promising to be hot. And it was! Briefing was scheduled for 1000, but some competitors arrived late so Flip delayed a bit. This caused some bunching as takeoff times could not be altered. Anyhow, with most of the planning done, we took off with ‘jors troelie’ still doing some homework on his lap, and navigating at the same time. The rally was a six leg exercise with secret check points, ground markers and photographs all thrown in. There was an interesting twist in the tail, in the form of some untimed hopping from place to place over rugged terrain, to find some of the photos and then return to the airfield to complete the timing run. Very interesting.

After landing back, everyone was treated to lunch, etc, by the girls who supplied coffee, tea and snacks all day long in the hangar. But dig this! The hangar also had a temporary licence for the day, so beer was available! This must be the only iicenced hangar in the world! That night the prizegiving and party was held at the showground, also licenced! Everyone was treated to prime beef, tremendous bar service and a disco.

At 21 00 Flip finally put us out of our misery and announced the results. Prizes were in the form of cash and some other vice goodies, and we all had a great party. My congratulations to Flip van der Merwe, Louis Nel and all their helpers, for a very vvell organised rally. If one considers that these guys are technically “in the sticks”, their efforts are even more laudable. Whether you’re a serious hot shot looking for points or whether you fly for fun, the Jansenville Rally is well worth it. Mr Dave & Mrs Ivanhoe Perelson from Port Elizabeth in a Piper Super Cub, ZS.DJR took first place with P. Wotherspoon and F.J. Moolman from Johannesburg in a Cessna 177 RG, ZS-JMW in second place.

President Lucas Mangope Air Rally

Held in Pilanesburg – 9 March 1985

Gavin Beck, Chris Kyle, George Zaboroski, Tony Pennell
L to R: The winnning team of Gavin Beck and Chris Kyle, a minister in the Bophuthatswana government and Chairman of the Beauchamp-Proctor Flying Club, George Zaboroski, with co-organiser Tony Pennell at the podium.

It was a very worried group of pilots and officials that gathered in the overcast and hazy conditions early on Saturday morning, 9th March at Lanseria Airport. It certainly seemed to us all that the first President Lucas Mangope Air Rally could be a non-starter, and that the event would not be able to contribute to the Mafikeng Centenary celebrations. However, the clouds started lifting, and taking a signal from Tony Pennell, everyone got airborne, and were soon over the ridge, past the Hartebeespoort Dam, and over the Rustenburg flats – destination, the Pilanesberg airfield near Sun City, and the starting point for the first stage of the Rally.

Two aircraft did not make the start due to technical problems, and so 31 pilots and crew, after attending the customary concise Tony Pennell briefing, set off on the first leg. The course was around the northern edge of the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, and then back in a westerly direction along a long straight track to a turnpoint near Lobatse.

Pilanesburg Airfield
General view of Pilanesburg before the start of the rally.

Those of you who have flown in this area will be familiar with the distinct lack of detail or landmarks in this area, so navigators had to be very attentive. As is his want Tony again placed secret checkpoints along the route to check that all pilots were flying within the 500 m corridor (250m each side of centre line) and that they were on time overhead that point. The main objective of the Rally being a test of pilot’s skill and navigation ability, and co-ordinating these two.

Penalties are calculated at one point for each second early or later than the prescribed time set to be over each checkpoint. One or three minute penalties are given for being right off track, or outside the 500m corridor. Each checkpoint carries a maximum three minute or 180 point penalty.

Colin Jordaan and Mike Seymour
Colin Jordaan (centre) and a side view of Mike Seymour (right).

The first section of the Rally ended in a power on precision landing task at the new international airfield at Mmabatho. Pilots could not stop talking about the huge expanse of tarmac they landed on, and the usual single line to aim for was replaced by the oversized runway markings.

Once all down, the last aircraft being Gary Shield in a Grob 109, the pilots caught a quick lunch, attended the next briefing’and prepared for the second leg of the Rally.

This was a sort of triangular route in the Vryburg area, and included a double S curved track, a very difficult route to navigate and fly on. Unfortunately, a storm cell moved in overhead the airfield checkpoint at the start of the curved track, and Rally co-organiser Don MacKenzie had to hot foot it out of the airfield as he was the marshall there. This caused many pilots to miss several cheek points and complicated the scoring for the officials.

The final second stage checkpoint was overhead the Mafikeng town square where the celebrations were in full swing, and ended with an engine out landing task. Then was the time for talking, joking, pulling legs, and speculation. Pilots and crew set off for their their respective hotels in fine spirits as six balloons took of over the town, in the face of a threatening storm.

Partenavia Observer
The Bop Air Force entered their Partenavia Observer.

That night a grand feast was held at Mmabatho Sun and at the end of the day it was the seemingly invincible tearn of Springboks, Chris Kyle and Gavin Beck (Cessna 172) who walked away with the prize money. A very close second was the team of Erie Stratford and Colin Jordaan (Cessna 182 PG) with a local team from Stelia, T Bothma and M Serfontein in a Cessna 182 in third place. Cessnas seemed to have a field day. The landing competition was won by Roger Bradfield in a Grumman American.