August 2015

By Francois and Caroline Marais

It was an exciting day at the Bethlehem Airfield on Saturday 29 August 2015 when the Bethlehem Aero Club hosted another fun Navigation Rally in conjunction with The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA). The rally was organised by Martin Meyer and Rob Jonkers who did a sterling job preparing the flight maps, photographs and everything else needed. Frank Eckard, who had organized more rallies than he cares to remember, was present in an advisory position.

14 teams entered the event – 3 from Harrismith, 1 from Springs, 1 from Reitz, 1 from Brits and 8 Bethlehem residents.


Thys van der Merwe did not have a navigator and a local aviation enthusiast (Martin Nagel) was asked to join him as navigator – what an experience for somebody that came as an spectator to end up as an navigator!

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by Mary de Klerk

The first ever ANR was held  on the 8th August 2015 in Brits.

Air Navigation Racing (ANR) is a recently developed aviation discipline introduced to attract more aviators into the sport that is positioned somewhere between Rally Flying and Air Racing.  It has been accepted by GAC (General Aviation Commission) as a recognised sport and  falls under the auspices of FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) It is probably the newest most exciting International aviation competition discipline for many reasons. SAPFA (South African Power Flying Association) under the guidance of its Chairman, Frank Eckard, has ventured to introduce the very first event into South African skies.

The team consists of Pilot and Navigator. The crew is given a map with a printed corridor on. After the crew have added headings and times (minute markings) to their map, they fly to a pre allocated time slot. All aircraft fly at the same speed (normally 80kts)

The objective is for the aircraft has to pass the start gate at a specific time (Hr:min:Sec) fly the route accurately as close to the centre line as possible. Touching the borders or flying outside of the corridor will incur penalty points.. The corridor  width can vary from 1nm either side of track to 200m either side of track. As the crews improve, the corridor becomes narrower to increase the level of difficulty. No timing penalties are awarded during the corridor flight, but the aircraft will be timed as they exit the final gate at the finish point.  The winner is the crew with the least amount of penaties.


What makes this new sport so attractive is the fact that it’s fun, its achievable for most, its inexpensive to fly, and the rules are simple.

Frank designed the first event  to be held in SA and had to modify the rules slightly to accommodate the SA landscape and scoring system. The entire route took less than 45 mins to complete and the crews returned having had a lot of fun in the air. Watch this space for the next event and be sure not to miss it.

For more information on the sport please visit :

The  SAPFA Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday 1st August 2015 at 14h00.

The following committee was nominated.

Frank Eckard Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Jonty Esser Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Mauritz du Plessis Western Cape Province
Sandi Goddard Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Arddyn Moolman Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Cate Juselius Kwa-Zulu Natal
Hans Schwebel North West Province and Limpopo Province
Mary de Klerk Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Robbie Myburg Gauteng and Mpumalanga
Ron Stirk North West Province and Limpopo Province
Walter Walle Free State and Northern Cape Province
Hans Potgeiter Western Cape Province
Robin Spencer Scarr Seconded