Durban Wings Club SAPFA Fun Rally – Virginia airport – 26 September 2015

By Mike Wright

SAPFA designed a Flying Competition to introduce Pilots and Navigators to the exciting world of Competition Flying and thereby improve their general flying skills.

The competition is loosely based on the FAI Rally and Precision competitions but with many of the complications removed.

As this competition is designed for the new comer, those pilots who have already obtained Provincial or National Colours assist the newcomers with their preparation or to compete as Navigators. Pilots with Provincial or National Colours compete in a separate open class.



A safety briefing was given at the start of the competition by Springbok rally pilot Mary de Klerk.

Following this a full briefing was given on “How to Fly the Competition” by Mary , Frank Eckard and team. At the allotted time competitors each received an Envelope containing a Map and Photo Sheets. A Time Sheet was also be given which will gave the time competitors were required to be at each Check Point. The Map contained the route and checkpoints. Entrants were required to measure the heading for each leg and also insert the timing for each leg onto the map. Pilots were assisted in the Preparation of their Map and fly the course once this is properly prepared.


Then comes the flying of the route, attempting Accurate Navigation and according to the Time Schedule. A photo was provided of each Check Point which needs to be positively identified and a photo of a feature on each leg also needed to be found and marked on the map (Observation).

A Spot Landing competition was included back at Virginia which I enjoyed watching and filming from the Eastern side of the runway with the Safety Officer DWCs John Neilon and judges Celliers Manser and Bennie du Plessis.

Scoring is all “negative marking” and the Team who got the lowest score were declared the winners.

The overcast weather and lowish cloud base proved challenging conditions but with a lightish South westerly wind this year.

The full training and map preparation with a pre-briefing session was held at a local School on the Friday afternoon for the participants of the race. The DWC then hosted a function with lovely boerewors rolls on the Friday evening at the club with a further pre-briefing and registration. DWC catered a welcoming scrumptious breakfast of bacon and cheese rolls with a steaming cup of coffee all sponsored for by the club while the Safety Officer John Neilon conducted his safety briefing. Johns concluding words to the participants was to have fun and fly safe.


The route plotted was approximately 100nm from start to finish. The aircraft routed down the South Coast from the Coopers Lighthouse on the Bluff to the South Coast, then inland with the finish back at the Northern end of the Old Durban International field.

The race ended with a spot landing back at the Virginia Airfield. I am always fascinate by the variety of approaches here in regard to speed and height variation with most aircraft getting down close to the landing marker. A Few bouncers but nothing serious. By the time the last of the aircraft arrived back Mary and Frank Eckard as usual had all the results downloaded from the GPS loggers which are carried by each aircraft and a final prize giving function was held at DWC

The overall results were as follows:

Fun Class
Fun Class

Fun Class

Everett Montague and Merwyn Ewels – Piper ZS NFU

Niv Naguran and Ray Lee – Sling – ZU FWI

Andre lane and Jica Pinto-Coehlo – Sling – ZU IBM

Ian Macdermott and Calvin Pillay – piper ZS OEO

Douglas and Lance Fraser Cessna ZS LZN

Christopher Mc Farlane and Cameron Williams – Cessna ZS PUR

Open Class
Open Class

Open Class

Frank and Cally Eckard Cessna – ZS ETO

Thys van der Merwe and Barry de Groot – Cessna ZS SBC

Mary encourages participants to practice their landing skills in all wind conditions by having competitions amongst themselves at least once a month. Mary encouraged their further participation at the SAPFA fun rallies. DWCs Jica Pinto-Coehlo welcomed all to the club and Mary went on the hand out the certificates and prizes.
Well done to Mary de Klerk and her team and Durban Wings Club for putting together a special event again this year. A thank you to the sponsors for the prizes including AP magazine for the two free subs.

Mike Wright