Mar 1994

Held in Tempe – 25-26 March 1994

It was time to fly to Bloemfontein, or more precisely Tempe Airfield, and all those wonderful people, the hosts for the 1994 National Precision Flying Championships held in March from Friday 25th to Saturday 26th.

Everything in the OFS is different. One pilot, Adrian Pilling, arrived on the Monday to do some practice only to be told that his aeroplane was in fact in a town to the north called Bultfontein. Kassie Kasselman in ZS-DUM very kindly gave him a lift to this town to fetch the plane. The plane was not on the airstrip there, but parked in front of the owners house in town. The owner sped out to meet the pilots and gave Adrian a lift to where the plane was standing. After a tour of the take off strip (a strip cut out of the veld, which the owner had freshly scraped with his tractor), it was decided to get the plane back to Tempe. Well, the taxying out was fun, through a farm gate, along a track, between two large trees, and a quick run up under the power lines and then full power to be airborne in 350 meters running parallel to the railway line. “Well this is the OFS, you know”.

The flight back was uneventful except that upon landing, it was discovered that the airfield had run out of fuel. It eventually arrived the next morning. Mind you, this was not all, getting maps was another story, but enough of that, only tough people fly.

The organization was up to the usual impeccable standard now expected from Tempe. The routes were cunningly selected to confuse the senses of any sane pilot and push your blood pressure up high enough for you to fail your medical, whilst simultaneously allowing you to enjoy the amazing view of a green Free State.

Friday dawned bright and beautiful. The route was unusual in that there was an away start on a completely different map to the north of Tempe. The route kicked off with a long leg and plenty of photographs, targets and the inevitable secrets separating the men form the boys. After all the aircraft returned home it was decided to hold the first two landings. This really set the cat amongst the pigeons. By the end of the first day the leader board read: first Adrian Pilling, second Barry de Groot and third James Craven. Positions 2,3,4 and 5 being very close. What’s more the new member of the OFS team, Boet Louw, had scored a near perfect set of landings (with a zero and minus one) to finish the day with only 5 landing penalties. Well done.

James Craven, Adrian Pilling, Barry de Groot
L to R: James Craven (2nd) Adrian Pilling (1st) and Barry de Groot (3rd).

Saturday dawned very windy after a night of rain (yes it does rain there). The flight planning got underway with the outside wind gusting up to 25 knots. The route was well planned with some turning points being real tricky (for ex- ample an intersection at the foot of a hill which you approach from the other side!). The map was considerably out of date making some of the turning points very difficult to find. There were plenty of secret checkpoints too, and all in all the pilots reported a worse days performance. Still the scenery was superb. The management then worked feverishly to get the results out, Ros did her usual marvellous back room stunt and the results were out by 4.30pm, surely some kind of record. Well done guys.

The prize giving got underway after cocktails at the Bloemfontein Club. A very formal and fun affair. Dinner and prize giving started late, Johan Swart and Deon Mitton printed certificates for everybody (thanks guys), a very nice touch. Geoff Henschel was the MC and Ros Gibson presented the trophies. There was a lot of expectation as nobody knew the results and there were many trophies to be won this year, several being donated by Pilling, Craven, Schwebel, Kasselman and MLS Bank, thanks guys. An unusual trophy was the ‘Pisspot Trophy’ donated by Adrian Pilling for the most (shall we say …) ‘Interesting’ landing.

The final placings were : 5th place Etienne Le Roux (EP), 4th place Nico Gordon (OFS), 3rd place Barry de Groot (Natal), 2nd place James Craven (WP), and lst place Adrian Pilling (TVL).

Trophies were awarded as follows:

  • First Place Overall – Adrian Pilling
  • Second Place Overall – James Craven
  • Third Place Overall – Barry de Groot
  • First Place Navigation – Adrian Pilling
  • First Place Observation – Adrian Pilling
  • First Place Landings – Barry de Groot
  • Second Place Landings – Adrian Pilling
  • Third Place Landings – Kassie Kasselman
  • Best Private Pilot – Barry de Groot
  • Best Newcomer – Boet Louw
  • Best Province – Transvaal
  • Best Club – Brits Flying Club
  • Pisspot Landing Trophy – Dickie Swanepoel

The other big event of the evening was the announcement of the Springbok Team to the world event in the Czech Republic later this year. The selection committee decided to introduce new blood into the team and selected the following people: James Craven, Barry de Groot, Nellis Nel, Daroish Kraidy, Johan Swart, Etienne Le Roux (Reserve) and Adrian Pilling (Team Manager)

The A very special thanks to Geoff Henschell (Competition Director and magic man who put it all together), Johan Dorfling (Chief Judge), Herman Kemp (Jury), Ros & Andre (all that behind the scenes stuff), the Henschell Family and women, fuel people, cleaners and the background workers and marshals that make this type of event possible. Not forgetting MLS Bank for their generous sponsorship. Well done to you all. look out for the provincials and nationals in 1995, they are in the first part of the year.

S A NATIONAL PRECISION FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS -1994
Flight Foto Mkrs Nav Day 1 Flight Foto Mkrs Nav Day 2 Landing GRAND
Pos Reg Pilot Plan Pen Pen Pen TOTAL Plan Pen Pen Pen TOTAL Pen TOTAL
1 EGY Adrian Pilling 0 80 0 87 167 0 100 0 114 214 47 428
2 KUI James Craven 27 120 0 105 252 0 100 20 153 273 254 779
3 CSR Barry De Groot 9 60 40 237 346 0 120 40 759 919 36 1301
4 EGY Nico Gordon 3 80 20 438 541 64 100 40 465 669 224 1434
5 NAL Etienne Le Roux 12 100 80 195 387 0 120 80 747 947 344 1678
6 JSV Ron Stirk 0 140 100 303 543 2 170 120 666 958 289 1790
7 LZV Nellis Nel 9 100 20 447 576 0 140 40 516 696 610 1882
8 ELT Hans Schwebel 35 130 100 180 445 8 120 80 957 1165 366 1976
9 JYU Johan Swart 2 100 20 261 383 0 140 120 1269 1529 138 2050
10 JVI Ian Mc Jannet 4 160 190 645 999 28 140 140 375 683 369 2051
11 NAL Daroish Kraidy 0 60 120 462 642 160 100 80 1014 1354 132 2128
12 UGX Walter Walle 53 120 100 782 1055 8 140 40 897 1085 697 2837
13 ??? Kassie Kasselman 5 150 140 783 1078 67 120 100 1446 1733 102 2913
14 MAD Boet Louw 400 160 200 420 1180 70 140 180 1577 1967 145 3292
15 CUX Dickie Swanepoel 350 160 160 321 991 122 160 160 1062 1504 1050 3545
16 IOP Renier Moolman 4 100 80 732 916 3 160 120 1983 2266 458 3640
17 JYU Deon Mitton 1 120 190 920 1231 0 170 220 1878 2268 182 3681
18 IOP Richard Thornton 0 160 160 1597 1917 10 170 100 1533 1813 436 4166
19 ISW Jeff Shaw 0 160 200 1113 1473 24 160 100 2407 2691 585 4749