Sep 2010

Jonty Esser - Competition Director
Jonty Esser – Competition Director
By Jonty Esser

On the 18th of September 2010 a fun filled flying competition took place at Pietersburg Civil Airport, with competitors coming from as far as Gauteng and Hoedspruit.

These fun rallies are hosted by SAPFA (South African Powered Flight Association) and are held monthly at different venues. These fun rallies has been an innovative and genius format derived from the FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale – The World Air Sports Federation) rally rules by SAPFA members, to introduce the sport to keen aviators, making it not only fun but competitive also focusing on enhancing pilot skills and constantly recruiting Pilots for the National team to compete in the World Championships.

The day started with the formalities of the highly important and comprehensive safety briefing presented by the safety officer of the day Mr. Leon de Villiers, followed by the Pilot’s and Navigator briefings presented by our Local Springbok, National Team member and Competition Director for this rally, Mr. Jonty Esser.

The navigators and pilots received their clue sheets and necessary blank maps, and immediately set off to work as the first take off was to be at exactly 11:00:00. Many of the competitors were first time rally pilots and navigators so help was at hand from the Competition Director. The route was setup to ease the new teams in up until check point 5 thereafter the degree of difficulty was increased. The route took the competitors from Pietersburg Civil Airport to Dalmada, then onto the University of the North from there out to the north then back to the Steven Lumber Mills, then back out to the Ebenezer Dam Wall, there after the climb for the Highest point in the Wolkberg Reserve flying down the mountain range to Chuniespoort and back to Pietersburg Civil Airport.

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By Cally Eckard
Grand Central, with its olde-worlde air and historic significance was a perfect location for a rally designed to fly over some of our rich and famous locations. From Nelson Mandela Bridge to Soccer City, over luscious golf courses, and from townships of Soweto to Sandton City, the teams thoroughly enjoyed the sights of Jo’burg while also concentrating on timing, navigation and safety.

For the first time, we held a briefing on the Wednesday evening before the rally. Most of the pilots attended, and many of them achieved really good results. This briefing was really helpful, as maps and instructions were handed out, and we all “flew” the route together on Google Earth, finding most of the photographs, and identifying features which helped the teams to fly the route more accurately during the rally.

The fifteen teams included two helicopters, which were of great interest to everyone, spawning arguments over whether rally flying in a helicopter would be an advantage or not.

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Number SA049
Class C (Aeroplanes)
Sub Class C1-b (Landplanes: weight 500 kg to less than 1,000 kg)
Group I (Internal combustion)
Type of Record Speed over Recognised Course
Course/Location Cape Town (South Africa) – Kimberley (South Africa)
Performance 366.7 km/h
Date 02/09/2010
Record Holder Mike Davis
Nationality South African
Aeroplane Osprey GP4 (ZU-CLC)
Engine 1 Aerosport Power IO-375-B1B (195hp)
World Record? Yes – 16091
Status Current Record

Number SA048
Class C (Aeroplanes)
Sub Class C1-b (Landplanes: weight 500 kg to less than 1,000 kg)
Group I (Internal combustion)
Type of Record Speed over Recognised Course
Course/Location Johannesburg (South Africa) – Kimberley (South Africa)
Performance 327.6 km/h
Date 01/09/2010
Record Holder Mike Davis
Nationality South African
Aeroplane Osprey GP4 (ZU-CLC)
Engine 1 Aerosport Power IO-375-B1B (195hp)
World Record? Yes – 16090
Status Current Record