March 2000


Brits – 25 March 2000

By Jan Hanekom

It was a nice cool morning, overcast with the cloud base about 2000′ AGL. Twelve competitors arrived at Brits, some of them from Bloemfontein and Ladybrand. As I arrived at Brits, Mauritz phoned to tell me that our C150 has got a problem (AMO induced snag) – so I had to rush over to Wonderboom by car, flew over to Brits in a C182 to make it just in time for my papers and obviously a bit stressed because I now had to participate in the C182 at a much higher nominated speed and in a heavier aeroplane.

Dale de Klerk and his team of helpers and marshals did an excellent job in the planning and setting up of this route. We had unmarked (secret) timing points, secret markers in town where it was difficult to time yourselves and find the markers, and we had one turning point behind a koppie which also made it difficult to get ones timing right. Unfortunately we discovered an error with Dale’s distance calculation on one leg, which meant that the timing for two secrets had to be cancelled.

An indication of the difficulty was that four pilots missed a turning point marker in town. But seeing that we want to do well in the coming up World Championships, I feel that this is what we need.

After a well appreciated lunch break with Tannie Truia and her team doing the necessary providing us with meals, it was off to the landing contest. Conditions were good with a slight crosswind of about 5 Kts. The organizers decided that we have to do all four landings namely, 1) Powered approach, 2) Glide approach, 3) Glide approach (no flaps allowed) and 4) Powered approach with obstacle. This is a very crucial part of the contest and some competitors feel that it is weighted too heavily with regards to penalties. The bottom line is – one bad landing and you are basically out of the competition.

After a short wait and an impromptu airshow (with smoke and all) by Norman Dixie and his Cub, the final results were available.

Barry de Groot with his Jabiru won the landing contest with a total of 40 penalties and Jan Hanekom did the best on the navigation/observation section with a total of 120 penalties. It was a tight finish as usual with only 82 penalties covering the top five positions.

N W Precision Flying Winners 2000 - Adrian Pilling, Hans Schwebel, Barry de Groot
Top three Adrian Pilling, Hans Schwebel and Barry de Groot

Open Class

  • 1. Hans Schwebel 199
  • 2. Barry de Groot 232
  • 3. Adrian Pilling 236
  • 4. Mary de Klerk 267
  • 5. Jan Hanekom 281
  • 6. Ron Stirk 392
  • 7. Frank Eckard 431
  • 8. Mauritz du Plessis 709
  • 9. Walter Walle 916
  • 10. Norman Dixie 1808

Sportsman class

  • 1. Ted McKerchar 2408
  • 2. Jack Onderstal 3638

A very special thanks again to Brits Flying Club for hosting this event. See you in Vanderbijlpark on the 15th of April – and please bring your friends along.


Port Elizabeth – 11 March 2000

During the week up to the competition day, PE had lots of rain with the last rain falling on the Friday morning as I arrived there. Saturday was one of those perfect mornings that you can only get at places like PE and we had a field of 13 competitors ready to roll at Progress airfield.

EP Precision Flying Winner 2000 - Hans Schwebel
Overall Winner – Hans Schwebel

Dave Perelson’s experience as a competitor showed with a very well thought out route with seven legs and an away start to complicate matters. The route distance was about 75NM. Miss the start and you can just as well go home. Most of us came back from the navex, confident that we found most of the secrets – not to be. Dave has put 3 secrets in villages and they were in positions where it was not only difficult to spot them due to the ‘busy’ environment, but also where you would not expect them. Another problem obviously was that it was difficult to fly your time accurately at these secrets. With a total of 10 timing points (6 secrets) the results reflected your real performance and took luck out of the equation. Isn’t this what Precision flying is all about – on track, on time, all the time.

By the time we were ready to do the landings, we had a wind of 20–25 Knots more or less down runway 25. Not finished with us, Dave decided that we should do 4 landings namely: 1) Power with flaps, 2) Glide with flaps, 3) Glide without flaps and 4) Obstacle landing. By the time the second group was airborne, low cloud came in and we had to do the glides from 800ft instead of the usual 1000ft.

In the navigation part of the competition, James Craven did the best with a total of 196 penalties followed by Hans Schwebel (313) , Jan Hanekom (387), Russell Phillips (695), Frikkie Lubbe (1181) and A van Vuuren (1445) in the Open Class.

In the Sportsman Class we had R Hickman first (1139), followed by O Akerlund (1354), C Gerard (1602), A Taljaard (2084), D Renwick (2305), C du Plessis (2965) and J Saveur (3292).

EP Precision Flying Sportsmans Class - 2000 Gerard, Hickman & Akerland
First Three in the Sportsman Class













First Three in the Sportsman Class

The landing competition was won by Russell Phillips, closely followed by Jan Hanekom and Hans Schwebel with only 7 penalties between separating them. The penalties 33, 35 and 40 respectively for the four landings combined.

Overall Result – Open Class

  • 1 H Schwebel 353
  • 2 J Craven 383
  • 3 J Hanekom 422
  • 4 R Phillips 728
  • 5 F Lubbe 1492
  • 6 A van Vuuren 1827

Overall Result – Sportsman Class

  • 1 R Hickman 1469
  • 2 O Akerlund 1736
  • 3 C Gerard 1958
  • 4 A Taljaard 2501
  • 5 D Renwick 3195
  • 6 C du Plessis 3446
  • 7 J Sauveur 3784

I would like to thank all the competitors for their participation and hope to see everyone at the forthcoming events. A big thank you to Dave Perelson and is able team of marshals without whom we could not have the event. Last but not least, thanks to Algoa Flying Club and John and Mandy English of Progress for offering their facilities. It is indeed appreciated by everyone.