Tag Archives: Rally Flying

Pilot Insure 7th Speed Rally-Season 2 Springs 23 November 2019

Season 2 of the Pilots Insure Speed Rally in already upon us for the second edition of the growing flying sport which is becoming an exciting aviation event around South Africa, with 2020 close it was decided for the first of the speed rally proceedings to start earlier then usual.

The last Speed Rally held at Secunda on the 10th August was the finale of the 2018/19 season, and the 6th in the series, where it had returned to the birth of the Speed Rally concept in 2018. This new Season as Season 2 should prove to elevate this event to the next level, and since the completion of the 1st Season an extensive Season debrief was held with the officials and a number of competitors to review the rules and workings of the Speed Rally concept to look at improvements and changes, a number of which have been brought into the competition. One of the major changes was to extend the overall distance from 125 nm to 150 nm, to make the legs a little longer to accommodate the faster aircraft, most of the other
changes facilitating the crew with better cockpit paperwork.

Furthermore a GPS category was brought into play, which would allow novices to be introduced to the event without the stress of knowing or not knowing where to go, with the intent to get themselves
upgraded to Championship status after having gained sufficient experience.

Entries were already open after Season 1, and many already confirmed their entries which quickly went over 40, with an eventual count at 40 on Friday, with 3 withdrawing on the day. This event is attracting
many father & son teams, and many more of the younger generation. It was decided for this event that the Mach 1 Flight School would be the hosts on the airfield, they have as a school been involved from the first
rally and have increased their participation with their instructors, and seeing from the results over time they have become more experienced and moving up in the placings.

With a view of bringing in more excitement to this event, a shortened course of 60 nm with 3 laps in the
style of a Grand Prix circuit was also designed by Race Master Jonty Esser for a small field as a try out
event.

This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is now around 150 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. This is also
an event where no GPS aids are allowed in the Championship league, these are all sealed up, and courtesy of Century Avionics on-board devices are also covered up, although not disabled. In the GPS league, competitors can utilize any technology, although it seems that this did not help much, a number of the GPS enabled competitors also went walk about…

The route was mostly to the east of the airfield, not in the most scenic part of the country, which is mostly dotted with power stations and coal mines, but then the competitors would have been more concerned
about keeping track than looking at scenery.

The weather on Friday started out real well, the forecast giving late afternoon thundershowers which were lurking towards the west. Test flights commenced with many new entries requiring test flights and some
old entries wanting to retest to re-confirm their handicaps. The EAA came in to help with this, with Sean Cronin & Karl Jensen supporting SAPFA’s test flight designate Mark Clulow, and got through all the test
flights just after 3 PM. Mary de Klerk also breezed in to provide the newbies with some dedicated training.

Thereafter at 18h30, Jonty Esser as the Race Master introduced Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turn points,
distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system worked in terms of penalties as well as the expected weather conditions, which looked like some early cloud, then a clear day expected
with late afternoon thundershowers.

All the competitors were then treated to a briefing on Steroids with Race Master Jonty Esser having set up a show for the teams, with a real life lights, camera, action sequence, where each team were introduced
with their team theme song, handed their race numbers, thereafter everybody was treated to a buffet meal before retiring for the evening.

Saturday morning dawned with perfect flying conditions, a clear day with virtually no wind, with the briefing
starting a little earlier at 7.30 am as the intent was to finish the rally at 11.30 to be able to fit in the Grand Prix in the early afternoon.

The briefing was shorter than the previous evening, and focused on the procedures for scrutineering, the handing out of papers, starting line, and finish protocol. The aircraft were to be parked in order of slowest
to fastest, with a 15 second gap as a minimum between them, with the idea to have all the aircraft cross the finish line as close to 11h30 as possible, given that everybody needs to achieve a perfect route around
the course. There was a plan to also to live track the event under the events section of Livetrack 24, and for this purpose a number of live trackers were loaned and set up, although this proved to be very finicky,
it had marginal success, although

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Karen, Conrad, Johan and Alex were on hand to seal up all portable GPS capable devices, and also handing out papers at the allotted time, and also checking the fuel tanks were
full. To assist the teams at getting their take-off roll accurate, a starting colour panel was used, which was set up next to the start line on the runway by Chief Marshal Jacques Jacobs and Mark Clulow, who would
release them at their allotted time slot.

Each team then received their envelopes with their loggers at their 20 minutes prior take-off time, and then taxi to the starting line within 10 minutes of take-off time. 1st take-off was at 09h40 for the slowest aircraft
and last take-off at 10h40, with planned arrival at 11h30. This was the first time two helicopters also tookpart, one an Alouette 2 and the other a Robinson R66, the Alouette 2 being the slowest and was the first
to depart.

With all the competitors off towards the east, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turn points. In general the competitors found the course a little more difficult than the last one, especially around
turn point 4, where is seems the rail and road crossing was difficult to spot, attesting to the increased difficulty that there were only 13 clear round aircraft, out of 40. Just before 11h30 the first aircraft over the
line was a Cessna 172 ZS-OET, follow by a Sling 4 ZU-IOK, and closely after that the R66 ZS-HRS, and from there within the next 2 minutes or so 20 aircraft with stragglers coming up the rear. The landing
sequence was fairly easy to do with everybody joining crosswind, then downwind onto 03 with good spacing.

After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, with the tracks for a number being quite accurate, although some had wobbles, but a few got a bit
lost, the Alouette 2 flying at full speed being very thirsty in fuel consumption decided to carry out a precautionary landing in Nigel to refuel before resuming the course.

The results were completed by around 14h30, and prize giving  was schedule for 15h30, and first up on the prize giving programme was to show some of the interesting tracks, some excellent and some not so good getting the audience in fits of laughter. Jonty first handed over the GPS league competitor trophies, and then the host club trophy went to the Mach 1 Flight Training School owner Lee Petersen, and then the placings for the best handicap speed and thereafter the most accurate / shortest route flown.  Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

Winners of the GPS league were the team of Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in a Sabre ZU-DIY.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET, in second place was Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL, and in third place Apie & Frederick Kotzee in their R66 ZS-HRS.

Munaf Sayyed & Ricardo Baruffa in a C172 ZS-OET
Joshua & Mark Dethian in their PA28-180 ZS-ELL
Apie & Frederick Kotzee 3rd Handicap ZS-HRS

The most accurate / shortest route flown winners were the team of David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR, in second place was Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK, and in third place was Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

David Ross & James Braid in a Sling 2 ZU-JAR
Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK
Quinten Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their PA28-235 ZS-FVV.

Many thanks to the Mach 1 Flight School for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Jacques Jacobs with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark
Clulow doing the scoring, Chester Chandler assisting with the handicapping on Friday, David le Roux from Pilot Insure at the registration desk, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering,
Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering with their team, Jonty & Lizelle & Sandy for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks
also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us, and the ATNS team for managing the ATC for the weekend.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring
the race numbers, team sponsors Excel E&I – Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, The Airplane Factory –
David Ross and James Braid, Pilots Post – Nigel Hopkins and Mary De Klerk, Fast Flame Laser Cutting –Oops – We went to Nigel instead

Hendrik & Jandre Loots, Beegle Micro Trackers – Quintin Kruger and Johan Whiteman, Prompt Roofing –
Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard.
Our next Speed Rally event will be in Witbank in the 1 st of February 2020.

Rand Airport Challenge 2019

A typical summer morning at Rand Airport where most pilots like to take to the skies over Johannesburg and enjoy the beautfual scenary
around the Gauteng Province.

Briefing on the way

Entry’s for the day

This past weekend we attended the first fun Rally for the year and no better place to have it at a busy airport,with the Harvard Cafe
along side the terminal building, pilots and navigators stocked up on a filling breakfast and coffee, they made their way to the airports terminal building for a sharp briefing at 8.30am.A quick photo of every participant in front of what could be a oasis of palm trees shading Rand Airport Tower!

Once the briefing was over the team memebers made their way to their aircraft making sure all routes and refrences marked out so that the best man or women wins.


The SAPFA Committee, particularly Rob Jonkers and Mary de Klerk, who organised a very thorough workshop recently on Rally Flying,  saw their efforts bear fruit at the annual Rand Airport Challenge, when a record 8 teams took part in the Intermediate form of the sport.  In previous years most participants preferred to stick to the simplest and easiest form which is Fun Rally, but this year pilots and navigators were encouraged to enter the more difficult category.  The reason for this, is to elevate their skills levels, so that they can participate at national level, thereby building up a new breed of South African champion rally pilots and navigators.

C172 ZS-DAC


The navigators and pilots in the Intermediate category had one hour to plot the entire route, and had to do so in the cockpit, which was a first for most of them.  They also had far more photo targets to identify, and these were mixed up instead of being sequential and only one per leg. The pilots had only a 5 second window to get through each turn-point, instead of 15 seconds  for Fun.


Organisers Frank and Cally Eckard gave them the task of flying an arc, which is a curved track between two turn-points, and a follow-the-feature, where they have to fly along a road, river or railway line.  Every pilot flew the arc perfectly, and really enjoyed the challenge.

The route took them south from Rand Airport, around Suikerbosrand to Heidelberg, then down to two turnpoints on the banks of the Vaal Dam, and back again near Vereeniging to the Finish Point at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve.


Rand Airport, who sponsor the Rand Airport Challenge Trophy, also waived landing fees on the days for the participants.  The trophy was won by the defending team of Shane Brits and Karen Stroud, who have been putting a lot of effort into their sport.  

The full results are:

The Fun Rally section:

PilotNavigatorPoints
1RC ShillawCJ Shillaw319
2Thys van der MerweGerda870
3Kim PratleyAndrew Pratley1231
4Piet MeyerPieter Kriel1410

The Intermediate Section:

PilotNavigatorPoints
1Shane BritzKaren Stroud750
2Jonty EsserJonathan Esser967
3Adrian PillingAdam Pilling982
4Don LucasAndre Kluyts1488
5Leon BouttellKaryn Purchase1955
6Mark ClulowRenee Clulow2170

Unfortunately the two teams consisting of Phil Wakely and Mary de Klerk, and Jakes Jacobs and Franz Smit did not complete the course due to mechanical problems.  

The Unlimited Section:

PilotNavigatorPoints
1Rob JonkersMartin Meyer409
2Hans SchwebelRon Stirk766
3Antony RussellPamela Russell1344

Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of this sport, and are all very motivated to take part in the next events:

  • 1-2 Feb – Cape Speed Rally, Morning Star
  • 16 Feb – Training Day in Brits, with the focus on the role of the pilot, and cockpit-management
  • 23 March – Virginia Rally, Durban (with a training course on 22 March)
  • 4 – 6 April – Rally Nationals, Stellenbosch

Please enter online at http://Sapfa.org.za


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