The Arrivals and Training week for the 22nd WRFC 2022
By Rob Jonkers (photos Rob Jonkers & others)
The 22nd World Rally Flying Championships has been a protracted postponed event after having planned to take place in 2020 in Stellenbosch with a 2nd attempt in 2021, and then eventually a third attempt in 2022 but this time in Brits in the height of the summer rainy season, and knowing full well that weather may be a factor here in the North-West area, however expected would normally have been afternoon thundershowers, and daily schedules were such that flying would be avoided in the afternoon.
Having started setting up on the weekend of the 5th November there were 2 good days, but as Monday came around 2 very bad weather days prevented aircraft being flown to Brits, with international crews waiting their arrival and good weather. Eventually, Wednesday and Thursday were good and all the aircraft arrived with check rides done, and some of the first teams were able to start flying their practice routes taking advantage of the 2 good weather days. Many thanks are extended to the CAA’s PEL department headed by Johan Niemand, with Mikhal Rosenberg carrying out the validation certificates which had turnaround times of less than an hour, giving each international crew the ability to start flying very quickly after their check rides.
Sunday saw the final preparations of the airfield, and with water still seeping through the ground from the adjacent hills, left much of the prepared parking and taxi-ways waterlogged, where alternative parking and taxi plans had to be put in place, which still saw feasibility of managing the movement after papers handout to be ok, albeit needing to use Runway 20 for take-off, but with a calm weather outlook for the week from Tuesday, would be operationally suitable.