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.