March 2010

The plan was set to hold the initial Rally briefing on Friday evening before the DWC sponsored Braai, then to arrive at 07H30 on Saturday morning for a pilot safety briefing, final route briefing, map preparation and then commence with the competition from 10H00. I love it when a plan comes together flawlessly, and this one indeed did…. The African Outdoor Group generously sent their fantastic new “Rig” all the way from Jhb to Dbn with the AOG crew. It arrived minutes before the 18H00 Briefing and was quickly reversed into place on the grass verge in front of the pool just off the taxi way. Within minutes, the scene was set for the weekend with the chairs and tables and umbrellas all laid out. About 50 people attended the initial Rally briefing during which Mary de Kelrck gave a presentation on what Rally Flying is all about, and for the first timers, what to expect. 19 Crews registered and before long we were all enjoying the hospitality of the Durban Wings Club around the pool. At 08H00 on Saturday a full Safety Briefing was given by Fred Bebington. This was followed by an ATC briefing from Didier. The Durban North Coast traffic can be quite busy and strict separation procedures have to be adhered to. By 08H30 the organisers were running the eager teams through the map preparation and route instructions.

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Another fantastic Aviation event notched up this past weekend at Klerksdorp. The entire weekend was run under the auspices of the EAA Sun & Fun convention under the directorship of Cliff Lotter and his team, Len du Preez and Piesang Myburgh.

Despite the threatening weather and isolated thunderstorms, 98 aircraft out of the expected 150 aircraft arrived. The AOG rig was set up close to the club house and the scene was set for a successful weekend of aviating.

Brian Emmenis of Capital Sounds entertained the crowds while Karl Jensen showcased various aery’s on the “block”. No less than 21 brand new keen Young Eagles arrived from 7 different schools in the area. They were supervised by Jason van Schalkwyk and enjoyed a day filled with experiencing the thrill of their first real flight with the Young Eagle Volunteer Pilots.

The Klerksdorp Flying Club proved to be very hospitable hosts, providing fabulous food with live music and dancing on both nights.

Then the Fun Rally….. 14 aircraft participated and although the start was delayed to avoid some storm cells, the first few competitors still had to cut short on a few legs to avoid tangling the weather – good call guys! Unfortunately for the early starters, the second half of the field all managed to get through, so no legs were scratched.

The final results were:
1st Position : Rob Kennedy (Pilot) Wikus Kritzinger (Navigator) in ZU FHD
2nd Position : Johnnie Smith (Pilot) Christiaan Le Grange (Navigator) ZS AXX
3rd Position : Derick Lategan (Pilot) Francois van Eeden (Navigator) ZS CBO

African Outdoor Group