2000 NATIONAL PRECISION FLYING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Brits – 29 to 31 June 2000
By Adrian Pilling
Well before you know what has happened another year has passed and it’s time for the National Precision Flying Championships again. This year it was held in Brits. That incredible small town that is the home of some of the friendliest people in the country, and is the heart of the Precision Flying community in South Africa.
I think that the economy has taken it’s toll on flying competitions as the field was fairly small, just as it was last year. Still the organizers did a great job of getting together 15 open class competitors and 3 sportsmans class competitors. The competition was to be used as a selection process for the team to the World Air Games in Spain in 2001.
The pilots started arriving from their various provinces during the previous week, with the bulk arriving the week of the competition. Wednesday was designated as the official practice day and most of the competitors took advantage of the official practice route. That evening after a short briefing and a great meal the group decided on an early night and went to bed.
Competition Day 1 (Thursday 29th June ) The usual ice blue winters day dawned. Breakfast was served at the club and the first crews started flight planning at 8am sharp. The navigation route was most interesting with an away start. The competitors having to climb out over the hill behind the airfield and fly to the west in order to approach the start point which was a road junction.
The route comprised the usual tricky tracks. We flew to the south, around seven turning points (excluding the start and finish). Along the way we had to find eight photographs, thirteen ground markers and negotiate three secret check points.
When the crews returned they were efficiently debriefed by Dale de Klerk, Deon Van den Berg and Dave Perelson. Peter Grobler’s ground marshals expertly had all the aircraft refueled and readied for the landings to be flown later.
After lunch landings 1 and 2 were flown on runway 20. This caught the pilots by surprise as everyone had practiced on runway 02.
After a brief interlude the results were announced for the day. First place Nigel Hopkins, followed by Barry De Groot, Jan Hanekom, Mary De Klerk, Ron Stirk, Frank Eckard, Hans Schwebel and Adrian Pilling (I had succeeded in missing a turning point – the first time in 16 years – this costing me first place for the day).
The results of the landings were also announced. First place Hans Schwebel, followed by Adrian Pilling, Frank Rehl and Mary De Klerk.
After a great meal, sponsored by Deon and Brenda Van Den Berg we all retired to bed.
Competition Day 2. A typical winters day dawned. A great breakfast was laid on at the club as per usual and the competition got underway at 8am sharp. The route today started off towards the east and then moved in an anti clockwise direction over Hartbeespoort Dam and around Brits. The route comprised eight photographs, seven turning points, eleven ground markers as well as three secret check points.
Returning crews were again treated to fantastic ground support and efficient debriefing. After lunch the second set of landings were held, this time on runway 02. Turbulent wind conditions making for some interesting landings.
Later the results were announced for the day. First Place Nigel Hopkins, followed by Ron Stirk, Hans Schwebel, Barry De Groot, Jan Hanekom, Andre Koen, Adrian Pilling, Mary De Klerk.
The landing results for the day were withheld so that the combined results could be announced at the prize giving. Competition Day 3. This was always going to be a tough day. Dale had planned a route that was full of very sharp turns and relatively short legs. This made map marking very difficult. The route comprised seven turning points, twelve ground markers and four secret checkpoints.
Later the results for the day were as follows. First Place Nigel Hopkins, followed by Adrian Pilling, Barry De Groot, Jan Hanekom, Hans Schwebel, Ron Stirk, Mary De Klerk and Frank Eckard.
After some re-adjustments to the scores on day two’s results, due to a distance error, it was off to the Mayor’s offices for a very formal and special closing function.
A great evening with many fun and formal speeches followed. Uli Gerth was a great MC. At the end of the meal the presentations were made and the results announced as follows:
Individual Results (Open)
- 1st Nigel Hopkins
- 2nd Barry De Groot
- 3rd Jan Hanekom
- 4th Hans Schwebel
- 5th Mary De Klerk
- 6th Adrian Pilling
- 7th Ron Stirk
- 8th Frank Eckard
- 9th André Koen
- 10th Mauritz Du Plessis
- 11th Walter Walle
- 12th Henk Koster
- 13th Frank Rehl
- 14th Frikkie Lubbe
- 15th Norman Dixie
- 1st Hans Schwebel & Nigel Hopkins (joint winners)
- 2nd Adrian Pilling
- 3rd Frank Rehl
- Observation Trophy – Nigel Hopkins
- Timing Trophy – Nigel Hopkins
- Best Private Pilot – Barry de Groot
Individual Results (Sportsman)
- 1st Ted McKerchar
- 2nd Peter van der Velden
- 3rd Stephan Pienaar
- 1st Ted McKerchar
- 2nd Stephan Pienaar
- 3rd Peter van der Velden
During the dinner the National Team to Spain, for the World Air Games in 2001, was announced:-
- Pilots – Nigel Hopkins, Adrian Pilling, Barry De Groot, Hans Schwebel, Jan Hanekom.
- Reserves – Mary De Klerk, Ron Stirk
- Judges – Dicky Swanepoel
- Judge Observer – Frikkie Lubbe
Congratulations to you all. We wish you all the best for Spain and hope that you will bring back the medals.
Special thanks must go to: The Mayor, the Brits Council, Tannie Truia and Oom Nick for the catering at the club. Imperial Bank, ABSA Bank, Alamo car hire for their great sponsorship. Renier Moolman (Flight Planning Marshal), Deon Van Den Berg (Competition Director), Dale De Klerk (Route Planner), Dave Perelson (Jury), Dicky Swanepoel (Jury), Peter Grobler (Chief Marshall), all the wives, girlfriends and of course the marshalls without which this competition would never have taken place. Well done to Brits for a great time, also to everyone involved.
S.A. National Precision Flying Championships — Brits 2000 : Results
|Day One||Day Two||Day Three||Land||Grand||Nav|
|2||Barry De Groot||KIT||KZN||0||40||60||57||0||157||0||20||40||48||0||108||0||40||20||48||0||108||130||503||153|
|5||Mary de Klerk||KXF||KZN||0||70||60||135||0||265||0||50||20||81||0||151||0||20||70||57||0||147||79||642||273|
|10||Mauritz Du Plessis||FDJ||NW||20||70||80||393||0||563||2||40||60||195||0||297||0||60||80||261||0||401||266||1527||849|
|1||Ted Mc Kerchar||CNZ||NW||41||100||90||593||0||824||43||0||70||219||0||332||116||60||60||144||0||380||272||1808||956|
|2||Piet v d Velden||NDA||NW||350||40||0||371||0||761||8||70||40||797||0||915||1||60||20||255||0||336||690||2702||1423|