Category Archives: NewsLetter

2018 vs 2019 Airshow Seasons with a Look into 2020

The 2019 Airshow season has come to end and has been quiet year, yet it was busier than 2018.

In 2019 we lost Rand Airshow and has still not been added to the 2020 Airshow calendar. The Longest Current Running Airshow is Newcastle and it will celebrate its 10th Airshow in 2020. Newcastle took 2nd Place at African Pilot Airshow of the year award. Johan, lead organizer of the Newcastle Airshow said that they are aiming at the number one spot for the 2020 season.

Something new was the Sports Aerobatic Club Airshow at Klerksdorp this year. We truly enjoyed that airshow. This was an Airshow arranged by the Airshow and Aerobatic pilots themselves. The 2020 SAC Airshow will be in Bloemfontein.

Stellenbosch hosted a top-class Airshow this year and for that reason they took the African Pilot Airshow of the Year Award. Stellenbosch team will be back with a two-day Airshow in 2020. Mozambique and Swaziland (Eswatini) also hosted very successful airshows in 2019 and both will be back 2020.

The SAAF Museum – Swartkop Airshow was delayed this year due to the Presidential Ingurgitation. When South African Airforce finally decided on a new date for the 2019 Airshow, the SAAF Museum team had about one calendar month to arrange an Airshow with the size of what is expected by the public was a huge task! The team delivered an almost perfect show. Well-done.
The SAAF Museum – Swartkop Airshow 2020 will form part of the SAAF 100 celebrations and 2021 Swartkop Air Force Base will be celebrating 100 Years. The SAAF one hundred celebrations will be themed Embracing our Collective Heritage and 100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy

The Main SAAF100 – Public Calibrations Airshow will run in conjunction with Africa Aerospace and Defense 2020 that is to be hosted at Waterkloof Air Force Base in September 2020.

The Aeroclub of South Africa will also be celebrating 100 Years in 2020 with their main event is to run with the Aero Club Airweek and Airshow 1st Week in May 2020. South Africa will also be hosting the World Air Rally championships in Stellenbosch during 2020.

The 2020 Edition of the President trophy Air Race will be hosted at Ermelo in May and as part of SAAF and Aero Club centenary celebrations we will see a Silver Queen Air Rally to be hosted at Swartkop AFB.

Click here to view our online 2020 Calendar

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We would like to thank DJA Aviation for Teaming up with Team Aviation Central and this making it possible for us to attend more Airshows in the Year 2020

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Airshows 2018 vs 2019

2019 Had 12 Airshows compared to 7 in 2018. 2019 Airshows had 355 total flying aircraft vs the 213 in 2018. Yes, 2019 had more Airshows so let’s have a look at the average number of aircraft per Airshow 2019 had 31 and 2018 had 30 average aircraft (Number of aircraft divided by number of Airshows)

The Top performer in airshow attendance was Team Xtreme Airshows, with attending 10 Airshows and total of 36 Aircraft vs 2018 Top Performers. Flying Lions, Attended 7 and 20 Aircraft appearances!

The Airshow with the most Aircraft for 2019 and 2018 was Swartkop with 53 for 2019 vs 54 2018.

3 Airshows up its number of Aircraft from 2018 to 2019 with Botswana Wesbank international Airshow showing the biggest growth.

Number of Aircraft per Airshow where the Airshow was hosted in both 2018 and 2019

Airshow

2018 2019 Growth
Matsieng 24 37 13
Newcastle 26 32 6
Bethlehem 18 24 6
Swartkop 54 53 -1
Lowveld 42 33 -9

2 Squadron Gripen

SAAF Gripen remained the same with 6 Gripen’s flying in 2018 and 2019. C130BZ, another favorite among the public saw no displays during 2019.

Helicopters and Airliners was also in the decline for 2019. The Airlink Embraer E190 was a welcome newcomer to Airshows and flew at Lowveld, Newcastle and Ladysmith. The 2018 Season Lowveld Airshow was the only Airshow lucky enough get the Embraer E190.

Menno Parsons and his P51D Mustang also made a welcome return to the Airshows with 0 Airshows in 2018 and 7 in 2019. The Reason for 0 in 2018 is the Mustang engine was sent for a scheduled overhaul.

The Best Airshow of the year awards 2018 vs 2019

Position 2018 2019
1st Lowveld Airshow Stellenbosch Airshow
2nd Rand Airshow Newcastle Airshow
3rd Ermelo Air Show Middelburg Airshow

Brian Emmenis and his Capital Sounds team was the broadcaster at all airshows in 2018 and 2019. At Some Airshows he had specialist co-commentators that was provided by the Airshow organizers.
The Sound was as always clear throughout the Flight lines. Brian and his Crew kept the crowds on their feet and well informed on all Pilots, Aircraft, Team, Airshows, Sponsors, Key Aviation Media, all the Safety and behind the seen personnel. We are looking forward to a festive and busy year 2020 in the compony of the wonderful team.

** Notes**

  • AAD2018 is not counted as it’s not an Airshow but a Trade show.
  • If an Aircraft or Team flew more than one displays a day it is still counted as one, counted per airshow and not displays
  • Some Pilots and Teams displayed at other events that classified as an Airshow, these are also excluded

Below are the 2018 and 2019 Airshow Attendance lists

2018 Airshows

2019 Airshows

2020 Interim Airshow Calendar

Date

Event
JAN
18th – 19th SAC Gauteng Regionals – Vereeniging
FEB
MAR
7th – 8th North West Regionals – Klerksdorp
21 & 22 FASHKOSH 2020 Stellenbosch 2-day air show
APR
4th Wings and Wheels Festival, Uitenhage
25th Garden Route Air Show – GEORGE AIRPORT
MAY
1,2,3 Middelburg – Aeroclub Aero week
9th Swartkop Airshow
16th Lowveld Air show
23rd – 25th PTAR – Ermelo
23rd – 24th SAC KZN Regionals – Ladysmith
30th Wesbank Botswana Air show
JUN
5th & 6th Newcastle Air show
13th Maputo Air, Sea and Land Air show
16th – 20th SAC National Championships – Tempe
20th SAC Aerobatic Air Show
JUL
22nd – 1st SAC Advanced World Championships
AUG
22nd Bethlehem Air Show
SEP
19th – 20th AAD Waterkloof – SAAF100
OCT
3rd – 4th SAC Western Cape Regionals
24th – 25th SAC Judges Trophy
NOV
9th – 21st SAPFA World Rally Championships
DEC
5th – 6th SAC Ace of Base

Dreams Come True for the 2019 Newcastle Airshow

Dreams Come True for the 2019 Newcastle Airshow

It was a moment of pure elation as the ‘I Can Dream’ 2019 Newcastle airshow was announced as South Africa’s second-best African Pilot Airshow of the Year at the recent annual Aero `Club of South Africa’s 2019 awards evening.

“The organisers of the Newcastle Airshow are very proud of the event and each and every committee member, traffic, fire, SAPS, ER24 and all other roll players – this award are for the people of Northern KZN , we can all dream”, said Johan Pieters and Christo van der Vyver.

This prestigious award is presented to airshow organisers and is based on 15 criteria as mentioned below:

  • Initial planning including Air Show South Africa (ASSA), Recreation Aviation Administration of South Africa (RAASA), Aero Club and media communication
  • Professional ATC participation: arrival, airshow and departure clearances
  • Suitable aircraft and vehicle parking arrangements
  • Pilot, airshow and safety briefing including disaster management planning
  • Display pilot and participants hospitality arrangements
  • Public address systems and appropriate public broadcast entertainment
  • Host organisation’s social interaction with display teams, media and important invited guests
  • Social responsibility towards the local / regional population
  • Youth development programmes including aviation education
  • Sales satisfaction for local and distant vendor participants
  • Crowd control access, security planning and policing
  • Food and beverage arrangements, including an appropriate variety of vendors
  • Litter management and cleanliness of the airfield during and immediately after the event
  • Overall airshow safety for spectators, including any transgressions by individual pilots
  • Organiser’s airshow report that is submitted to the aviation authorities

Looking ahead for the 2020 show, Pieters commented that planning for next year has already begun, and it will be the 10th consecutive airshow hosted at Newcastle airfield.

Newcastle Airshow 10 Years 2020

Pieters also announced that the South African Air Force (SAAF) will once again be part of the airshow and will (SAAF) will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.

“The theme for 2020 will be ‘I Can Dream – I Say No to Drugs’, it is important for us to bring in a social factor to our airshow. We want people to know that to be part of aviation you need to have sober habits and that drugs are out!”, said Pieters. “We understand that the drugs are very bad in schools and this is our way to get involved”, commented Pieters.

SAAF Newcastle 2020

The week before the 2020 airshow that will be held on 6 June 2020, will see a lot of activity taking place prior to the show. An aviation conference for the top science and mathematics Grade 10 learners will be held on the Wednesday before the airshow for Northern KZN learners is been planned, as well as a National Aviation conference for all aviation enthusiast on the Thursday. The Friday before the show will be reserved for an educational day for Grade 10, 11 and 12 learners.

Learners Expo 2020

Flying Lions Charity Day – 17 Nov ’19

This was the 18th anniversary of the annual Flying Lions Charity Day, which happens mid-November. The Puma Flying Lions Aerobatic Team treated orphans to flights in Harvards, lunch at the Harvard Café, awesome goodie bags and a whole lot more to lift their spirits during the festive season. This year, over 60 children from Nkosi’s Haven, iKhaya da Luz Children’s Home and Children of the Dawn experienced a once in a lifetime flight.  Puma Energy was the major sponsor of the day, with other brands contributing gifts, such as Mango Airlines who provided caps and pens. The day ended on a cheery note as Father Christmas made an appearance at the Christmas party that was held after all the flights. Santa handed over all the gifts to the children. The Children were also treated to an all-time favourite Hamburgers and chips with soda drinks.
Aircraft at Rand Airport

Aircraft used
Cessna 140,  Cessna 210, Beechcraft Baron,  2 x Pitts Special from the Cows Aerobatic Team, 3 x Harvards from the Flying Lions

To witness events like this is extremely heart-warming and we at Aviation Central witness few of these events yearly!
Well-done to Puma Energy, Flying Lions, Cows Aerobatic Team, Andrew Blackwood-Murray who also joined the team and provided flips in a Cessna.

Pilots for the day :

Arnie Meneghelli

Andrew Blackwood-Murray

Rodney Chinn

Sean Thackwray

Hayden Tunmer

Sally Bates Levin

Mark Fleck

Dylan van der Merwe

Ground Crew for the day :

Chloe Spolander

Aubyn-Shaye Paul

Brad Wood

Keagan Foley

Margo Venter

Rozz

William

Retania Mahabeer

Lee Naidoo

Click to enlarge photos below

SAAF Museum Airshow Date set for 9th May 2020

Swartkop Airshow 2020
SAAF Museum Airshow Date set for 9th May 2020

Note, This is not the official poster for the 2020 SAAF museum Airshow

Join the Facebook event page for the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020

And so a century is made with the South African Airforce (SAAF) turning 100 years old. “Through hardships to the stars” of gracing the skies over South Africa, the latin motto explains the Per Aspera Ad Astra phrase.

The South African Air Force was established on 1 February 1920. The Air Force has seen service in World War II and the Korean War as well as the Bush War.

The date is set for the annual SAAF Museum Airshow with a Theme not 100% confirmed yet, but sources has it as “Embracing our Collective Heritage” and “100 years of Air Power, through 25 years of Democracy” on the 9th May 2020 at Airforce Base Swartkop in the City of Tshwane.

The Centenary of this magnificent milestone will start from the 31st January 2020, as Airforce Day will be the first of the glimpses of the 100 years of Air Power celebrations with an invited guests and media parade which will also be held at AFB Swartkop.

Note to the public that the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020 will only see local aircraft and another show will be held later in the year at another base which should see potential international participation.

Pay attention to our social media platforms for more information on the show closer to the time!

Photos below is from the 2019 SAAF Museum Airshow

Join the Facebook event page for the SAAF Museum Airshow 2020

World Rally Flying Championships Training Session

World Rally Flying Championships Training session – Stellenbosch airfield (By Mary de Klerk – Photos Mary de Klerk & Rob Jonkers) 30th Oct – 2 Nov 2019

South Africa and the South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) has won the bid to host the 2020 World Rally Flying Championships where Stellenbosch Airfield in the Western Cape has been selected as the Airfield of choice.

SAPFA has previously hosted:

1991 – 7th World Rally Flying Championships– Stellenbosch Airfield

2003 – 13th World Rally Flying Championships– Pilanesberg Airfield

2011 – 20th World Precision Flying Championships – Brits Airfield

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The picturesque Stellenbosch Airfield

In 2020, the Aero Club of South Africa and the South African Power Flying Association will be celebrating their 100th Centenary Birthday. This World Championship competition will be an integral part of our celebrations.

The Programme:
7th to 14th Nov 2020 Unofficial practice
15th to 21st Nov 2020 World Rally Flying Championships
22nd to 25TH Nov 2020 General Aviation Committee (GAC) Annual meeting

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The teams participating on Competition Day

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Competition Director Colin Jordaan – briefing the teams

The sport of Rally Flying is aimed to improve fundamental flying skills to enable a team (Rally Crew of 2) to navigate and handle their aircraft under Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) as independent of technical subsystems as possible. Thus Rally Flying enhances flying safety. This overall aim for Rally Flying is achieved by:

  1. Emphasizing the ability to navigate by following a set of route instructions, using basic equipment
  2. Emphasizing the ability to follow a precise track while adhering closely to a timing test (punctuality test)
  3. Emphasizing the ability to perform realistic observation tasks while navigating the aircraft on a timing test (observation test)
  4. Emphasizing the ability to handle the aircraft on short and narrow landing strips (landing test)

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Flying the Mountain practice route – up through Bains Kloof Pass

The above tasks would demonstrate the team’s ability to perform accurately and safely. Penalties are awarded for each error incurred and the team with the lowest penalties over all competition days is ultimately the winner. The winning country is selected from the top 2 team scores from each country.

The competition map is a topographical map to the scale of 1:200 000. The routes will be set by the expert Protea Team of Frank and Cally Eckard and will be planned in the Special Rules Area, under the TMA, so maximum heights are restricted to 2000 ft AGL in the flat areas and 4000 AGL in the mountainous areas. The routes will nominally be set to the north, east and south east of the Stellenbosch Airfield.

Up to 80 Teams from the following countries are expected to participate from the following countries:

Austria China Czech Republic France
Germany Hngary Italy Lithuania
Luxembourg New Zealand Norway Poland
Russia South Africa Spain Switzerland
United Kingdom

Each Country will also bring additional crew in the form of International Judges, Team Managers, Judge Observers, Engineers, Supporters and Families.

In total we are expecting in excess of 300 of the “crème de la crème” of international aviators and their families to visit South Africa.

In preparation for the World Championships in 2020, SAPFA decided to hold a “mini training session” in Stellenbosch from 30th Oct – 2nd Nov 2019. The objective was to bring all parties together in order to execute a ‘Mock Event’ utilising all available services in order to iron out any potential wrinkles ahead of the main event in 2020.

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Poland’s Michal Wieczorek preparing for a practice route with Mary de Klerk

An enormous amount of work went into the preparation for this event. The SAPFA and WRFC Committees meet monthly and have worked tirelessly to ensure that the following sections were adequately covered:

  1. Aircraft Hire and Insurance – Mostly C152s and C172s were flown in from various surrounding airfields – a huge logistical task excellently handled by Chareen Shillaw
  2. Licence Validations – This took many hours of work and CAA meetings to finally arrive at a smooth operation – outstandingly arranged by Frank Eckard, Rob Jonkers and Marko Nel.
  3. Stellenbosch Hospitality – Magnificently hosted by Anton Theart, Frank Olsen and the incredible teams running the newly renovated Stellenbosch Flying Club.
  4. ATNS and Safety Planning – Professional approach by Rikus Erasmus, Nigel Musgrave and ATNS (with Santjie White and her team always ready in the wings)
  5. Route Planning – World Class Routes planned by Cally and Frank Eckard showcasing some of the most breathtakingly stunning scenery in the world over the mountains, the sea, and the wine farms of the Western Cape.
  6. Judging took place under the auspices of our well-seasoned international judges Jacques Jacobs, Ursula Schwebel and all their helpers.
  7. Colin Jordaan (ex SAA / CAA), well versed in the art of Precision and Rally flying took up the mantle of Competition Director with ease.

The opportunity to practice in Stellenbosch was snapped up by the French, Polish, Swiss and Austrian international teams. The South African teams including current and potential Protea members also participated. An interesting mix of 2 united teams from different countries also took part. Michal Wieczorek from Poland flew with Mary de Klerk from South Africa and Mauritz du Plessis flew with Nicola from France.

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Theewaterskloof Dam

Some teams arrived a few days early to take advantage of some tourism opportunities. The plan was to run open practice days from Wed – Friday and then the competition on Saturday 2nd Nov. However no one anticipated SA getting into the World Cup Rugby Finals so the plan was changed to accommodate this event. The Competition was flown on Friday 1st to allow all participants to watch the game live in the various SFC hosting restaurant facilities…… a truly memorable event!!!! Training then resumed after the match on Saturday 2nd Nov.

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Steep climb angle to fly over the Maanskynkop

The competition route on Friday was a route to the south east of Stellenbosch, with high overcast weather predicted with strong upper winds of up to 20 kts. The route took the teams just south of Sir Lowry’s Pass, remaining in the high ground and mountain areas until a steep descent to the coast to Voelklip, then along the coast all the way past Hermanus, with whales visible just off the river mouth in Walkerbay. From there the surprise steep climb up Maanskynkop, everybody having to snake their way over the top, and then into the Caledon valley up to the Theewaterskloof dam, and then back over the ridge of the Hotentots-Holland mountains to find the sharp bend in the railway line that goes up Sir Lowry’s pass, then to the finish point through Kleinnek which is just abeam the Helderberg. This was a very scenic route, as the whole Cape is, with many of the competitors being distracted from flying the route rather enjoying the scenery….

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Coming up to Kleinnek passing the Helderberg on the left

The French Team are well supported by their French Sporting Federation and therefore have to stick strictly to the Team Managers rules for training with little ‘free time’ to play. This discipline showed up in their final results with all 6 French Teams finishing in the top 10 positions.

The final results for all competitors were:

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Third placed Alexis Fuchs and Adele Schramm with Colin Jordaan

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Second Placed Michal Wieczorek and Mary de Klerk

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First placed Olivier Riviere and Jerome Jireau with Colin Jordaan & Frank Eckard

The South African Rally Flying National Championships will take place at the Stellenbosch Flying Club from 2-4 April 2020. The final Protea Team to represent South Africa at the World Championships will be selected at this event. Ideally SAPFA are hoping to select an “A” team and a “B” team to give some newbies the opportunity to experience a real World Championships Event. Jonty Esser has been appointed as Chief Protea Team Coach and will be publishing a training schedule soon.

Thanks to African Pilot we have a great website to capture all events, pictures, information, results live tracking etc http://www.worldrallyflyingchampionship2020.com/

Thanks also to DJ Aviation for their contribution in supporting excess insurance on the hire aircraft that were made available for the international teams.

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We are now investigating all avenues for financial and service support to ensure that we can deliver a world class event in 2020. Any further information and be mailed to info@wrfc2020.com

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The French Team

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Celebrating Rally Veteran Ron Stirk’s 70th Birthday on 1st Nov 2019

Do you want the Russians to return?

During the past week those in Gauteng were treated to some special visitors… the Russians, an African first for the landing of The Tupolev Tu-160 in Africa, and that in our very own South Africa.
The General that headed the team that visited South Africa mentioned the they might return soon during the farewell function held Friday evening.
One of the crew also dropped that they could be returning in 2020 during the time spend at O.R Tambo international Airport.
2020 We see the next Addition of Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2020) and also be celebrating SAAF100. Just maybe they will return!

Would you like to see the Russians return with the TU-160's?

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Below is and video of the Tupolev Tu-160’s departing ORTIA in the early hours of Sunday morning.

SAA A350

SAA A350’s soon to be seen at OR Thambo International as well as Cape Town International!

In August 2014 Airbus sent their newly built A350-900, F-WWYB, to Johannesburg for some testing. She arrived on Friday evening 2 August 2014 (A350 XWB Route proving Tour Trip 3 from TLS to JHB with flight number AIB301 which took 9h35mins) and departed on Monday morning 4 August 2014 (A350 XWB Route proving Tour Trip 3 form JHB to SYD with flight number AIB303 which took 21h1min). During her visit here, high altitude auto landing trials (with flight number AIB302 which took 3h14mins) were performed on RWY 03L and 03R on Saturday 3 August 2014. There was huge excitement among plane spotters and the aviation community in general as everyone could picture and A350 in an SAA (South African Airways) livery.

The reality at that stage was that we would not see any A350 in SAA livery any time soon. That all changed a few months back when there were rumours that SAA might be leasing two. Again the excitement picked up and when the news broke during early July 2019, the wait for their arrival could not be soon enough.

So why did why did SAA opt for the two A350’s? SAA want to replace its 4-engine operated aircraft with 2-engine operated new technology aircraft. The A350s are such 2-engine new technology aircraft, capable of flying the Ultra-long New York route. The lease is for 3 years and when we asked SAA if we can expect more than two A350’s, we were told that “This is a possibility we cannot rule out”.

All this is good news and you may be asking yourself: when will they arrive? Where will I be able to spot/see or maybe even fly the SAA A350? We will be able to see them arrive during October 2019 and are likely to be seen at OR Tambo International Airport and Cape Town International Airport and if you are to fly domestic, you may end up in an A350 while in the beginning of their operations when the A350’s are being introduced into service.

Now all the technical stuff:

Registration: ZS-SDC

Serial number: 226

Aircraft Type: A350-941

Engine Type: 2 x RR Trent XWB-84

Test Registration: F-WZFG

Production Site: Toulouse, France (TLS)

Age of Aircraft: 1 y 1 m (Jul 2018)

Current registration: B-304Z

Currently with: Hainan Airlines

Will be leased from: Avolon Aerospace

Registration: ZS-SDD

Serial number: 245

Aircraft Type: A350-941

Engine Type: 2 x RR Trent XWB-84

Test Registration: F-WZNX

Production Site: Toulouse, France (TLS)

Age of Aircraft: 0 y 11 m (Oct 2018)

Current registration: B-305A

Currently with: Hainan Airlines

Will be leased from: Avolon Aerospace

Dimensions:

Overall length: 66.80m

Cabin length: 51.04m

Fuselage width: 5.96m

Max cabin width: 5.61m

Wing span (geometric): 64.75m

Height: 17.05m

Track: 10.60m

Wheelbase: 28.66m

Capacity:

Typical seating 3-class: 300-350

Cargo capacity underfloor (LD3): 36

Max pallet number underfloor: 11

Performance:

Range: 15 000km

Mmo: M0.89

Max ramp weight: 280.90 tonnes

Max take-off weight: 280.00 tonnes

Max landing weight: 207.00 tonnes

Max zero fuel weight: 195.70 tonnes

Max fuel capacity: 141 000 litres

Take-off (MTOW, SL, ISA): 2 600 m (8 500 ft.)

Landing (MLW, SL, ISA): 2 000 m (6 600 ft.)

Service ceiling: 13 100 m (43 100 ft.)

First flight: 14 June 2013

Introduction: 15 January 2015 with Qatar Airways

We cannot wait for their arrival and spotting them at either OR Tambo International Airport or Cape Town International Airport!

The EAA Convention 2019- Adventure Rally

The EAA convention this year was held again at Vryheid, which is situated close to the escarpment in very scenic
mountainous areas and in the heart of the Anglo Boer & Zulu war zones. With the success of last year’s Adventure
Rally, which had a mainly battlefield theme, it was decided to hold another one, this one being a mix of a scenic route
and some battlefield areas.


At registration time, there were 27 crews who had entered, this being a record for this type of event, but with weather
still closed in on Saturday morning, some crews could not get to Vryheid in time to take part, and at last count 20
crews were able to take part, which is still one of the most attended Adventure Rallies, giving credit to EAA’ers
enjoying this type of event.


For this year, the route started just northeast of the field at a big railroad U junction, and however one would fly, there
would be a railway line that would be seen flying east or north, thus to converge on to the start would be an easy
matter….., but guess what, some competitors could not find the start.
From the railroad U junction, the route went behind Lancaster Hill to a nondescript dam, and from there on west to
north-west in the valley until a very prominent farm house complex was seen.


Greg Clegg and Keaton Perkins
in their Jodel ZU-UEK attained 2 nd place

From there south west to a more
nondescript farmhouse nearby a quarry, turning more south east on a curved leg to be positioned to descend after
crossing the mountain range known as Skurweberg into the Aasvoelskrans gorge where three distinctive waterfalls
could be seen, making this the most worthwhile scenic part of the route. At the bottom of the gorge another farmhouse was a waypoint and then to the battlefield memorial of Blood River Poort, and from there to three dams
that made up the last three turn points the last being the Klipfontein dam just south east of the airfield.


As part of this rally, it was decided that to add some spice as well, to track everybody with loggers to check how
accurately they fly to keep within a 1 km corridor, which should have been easy given that one is allowed to fly with
GPS.


Carl Visagie with Navigator Niel Terreblanche in their Ikarus ZU-EUV came in first place

The map and task booklet were provided 20 minutes prior the take-off for everybody to either plan their route
with traditional map plotting tools or to program their GPS’s – if they were more at home following the magenta line.
Each route’s leg had turning point photographs to be recognised (either being correct or incorrect), then a few
questions had to be answered on ground features or sites that were historic or scenic, mostly cryptic in nature.

The booklet contained a section of wiki notes that would enable the crews to answer all the questions – with a
warning – “Don’t read at your peril….”, and guess what…., most forgot to find the answers in the most obvious place….
Some crews of course were googling for answers on their cell phones – because they can – somewhat inefficient given
everything was right in front of them, and of course sometimes getting the wrong information from what was written
up in the notes.


Third place going to soloist and local Morne Strauss in the RV4 ZU-FVL.


The briefing was eventually held at 10 am after the misty weather had delayed the start, and then papers were
handed out with the first take-off around 11 am, with good flying conditions with hardly any wind. Most crews were
able to find their way around, and appeared hardly anybody used a GPS, possibly with insufficient time to program
them, there were a few crews that wandered off course somewhat, and one got totally lost and decided to return to the airfield aborting the flight.

And then there was the only helicopter taking part in the rally, that being the Gazelle of Eugene Couzyn flying with Marie Reddy who took to heart the briefing that said enjoy the scenery of the 3 waterfall
gorge, and hovered to take some pictures (see the header photo in this article)

Gazelle of Eugene Couzyn flying with Marie Reddy,first time a chopper taking part in a rally.

With everybody successfully home, it was time for marking the exam papers which was left to Mark Clulow to do, with
Rob downloading loggers and printing results. Then at the Convention prize giving and spit braai, Rob gave a
presentation of everybody’s logged tracks which had many in stitches for those who lost their way a bit, thereafter the
prize winners were called up to received their prizes.

Carl Visagie with Navigator Niel Terreblanche in their Ikarus ZU-EUV came in first place, Greg Clegg and Keaton Perkins
in their Jodel ZU-UEK attained 2 nd place, with third place going to soloist and local Morne Strauss in the RV4 ZU-FVL. In
the spot landing that everybody carried out after the rally, the winner was also Carl Visagie. For the most accurate
flown route went to Mark Clulow and Sean Cronin.



Thus came to the end of a hopefully enjoyable day for everybody who took part, and given the interest in the event,
should bode well for future rallies of this type and also gain an expression of interest in the more formal and timed
rallies.

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Freedom Day Celebration Flypasts

The sound of thunder of jets rocked Port Elizabeth residents as Gripens, Hawks, The Silver Falcons, two BK117s and Lynx took part in Freedom Flypasts over event in Makhanda, formerly Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape.

The 27th April marked 25 years of democracy, following decades of apartheid rule and segregation in which the majority of the country’s citizens were marginalised.

JAS39D Gripen

Local residents in Grahamstown got to witness the flypasts and brought joy to the youth as some of these aircraft are not usually seen in the area.

The Silver Falcons showed why they can restore national pride as known as the cockpit ambassadors to the South African Airforce. Falcon 5 Sivu Tangana grew up in the area and it was surely a proud moment to display in front of a home crowd.

Silver Falcons Team 82
Silver Falcons

It was also a photo opportunity for some of the local aviation enthusiasts to capture the Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901’.This was the first gripen delivered to the SAAF.


Test Flight and Development Centre JAS39D Gripen ‘3901
85 Comabt Flying School Hawk MK120 ‘262’
Hawk MK120
Pilatus PC7MKII

We would like to thank Patrick Davidson for allowing us to use a certain platform to gain access to get this incredible photos.

2 Squadron JAS39C Gripen ‘3918’

Another big presence of South African Airforce Aircraft will be seen over Pretoria end of May 2019 and no its not an airshow.Keep an eye on our social media pages.

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EAA National Convention-Vryheid 2019

The small town of Vryheid in Kwa-Zulu-Natal,was invaded with all types of small aircraft on the South African aircraft register from
ultralights to former South African Airforce Aircraft.The Experiamental Aircraft Assiaotion played a vital role in the organsing of
this the second event to take place at this airfield as did like last years fly-inn.

Vryheid Airfield

South Africa has a wide variety of general aviation and probaly the biggest on the African continant.and as the fly-inns are a
great way to discover how many aircraft congrigate to these events are a aviation enthieasts crem-til-le-crem.

Best place is to camp under your aircrafts wing.

Friday the 26th April 2019 aircraft from all places around the contry made their way to Vryheid where visiting aircraft and pilots
were treted to hospitality from the local flying club contigent and EAA members. Lets also not forget Neil Bowden’s mini Oshkosh set up camp where tents were set up for pilots and clean ablution blocks close to the vicinity of the camp site on the field.

Oshkosh look alike Camp Site

Most pilots camped next to their aircraft for the weekend, most of the aircraft arriving on the Friday during the course of the day. Braai packs were available for purchase and a aviation vibe kept the folk social until the early hours into Saturday morning.

Brian Appletons Luscombe
Riaan Prinsloo YAK18T
Bellanca Scout
Kitplanes Safari
Archie Kemps Cessna 195
Peter Lea’s RV10

The following day abit of low cloud and mist,which delyaed
a couple of aircraft arriving in for the day but quickly burnt off and a hot condtions were install for the remainder of the day.

Piper Colt flown by Keaton Perkins

The days activities consisted of a adventure rally, which a number of aircraft took place. A flypast was held for EAA member Klaus
Keuchel and his partner Maxine Fietch who lost their lives last year when they crashed in a Taylorcraft on their way home from Vryheid .The missing man formation was in the form of a Beechcraft Bonanza, a Vans RV7 and RV10.

Missing man formation

The a EAA 322 Annual General Meeting also took place and announcements were made for the future of the EAA in South Africa.Other safety meetings also took place with the likes of Santjie White,Fred Bebbington and a few others.

The only helicopter that flew in a Aérospatiale Gazelle.
Classic cars were also on display

A great dinner was served with a awards evening on the best judged aircraft of the day. A 100+ aircraft flew in for the weekend, some didn’t as said before with inclement weather stopping arrivals on Saturday morning.We look forward to next years event hosted by the
Pietermaritzburg flying Club.

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