Tag Archives: Rob Jonkers

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

Grand Central Fun Rally 2019

Grand Central Fun Rally – 14 Sep 2019 by Rob Jonkers

This year’s SAPFA Fun navigation rally had its challenges in getting off the ground, the date initially set for the 7th September, where two other events entered the fray, that being the Children’s Flight and the SAAF Museum Airshow, and then the weather conspired to also be against us with fould weather on both the Friday and the Saturday.

In any event the date was moved by a week to the 14th September which coincided with the RV day and the Tedderfield Sling Fly-in, it seems everybody was getting into the spring feeling to hold events…. This Fun rally event is run in conjunction with Superior Pilot Services (SPS) who provide the facilities and sponsor a great breakfast at the Harvard, and an opportunity to allow their students to get to grips with rally flying.

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The teams busy plotting the course from the task sheets

For a number of years now Rob Jonkers planned and plotted the course for this event, catering for Open class and a Fun class, where the fun class introduces newbies to the sport. Entrants were planned to be around ten crews, with four from SPS and six from other airfields, and with the Protea teams still in Portugal having just completed the ANR World Championships were not available to take part. Eventually on the day only four teams could take part, thus it was a small field, with two in fun class and two in the Open class.

Most competitors arrived by 8.00 on Saturday morning to first enjoy the Harvard breakfast, thereafter briefing and plotting. The weather forecast looked promising with clear skies with 10+ kts wind later in the morning, which proved to become somewhat blustery closer to midday.

The route was planned to go out north, into familiar territory for the competitors as most of the legs were in their GF backyard. The start and finish points were just north of the N14 in the narrow Special Rules corridor between the Waterkloof & Lanseria airspace, and from there the route went out over the Hartebeespoort dam, across the Magalies ridge and into the scenic Crocodile river valley, then east across to Soshanguve and back across the ridge to the finish.

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Matthew French & Mike Blackburn plotting their course

From the GPS logger plot results, it could be seen the teams were struggling to slow down enough on the eastern & southern legs with many zig-zags being evident to counter the stronger wind at altitude.

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The Apron of Grand Central with competitor aircraft

There was one photo per leg that needed to be recognized, some of them were at least spotted by the crews, including a bonus photo which was one of those irresistible features (Stadium) that had to be found somewhere along the route, and which many crews did find in Attridgeville on the last leg.

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Approaching the Crocodile Valley – Landscape still wintery

After all the scores were tallied, first in Fun class was Matthew French with navigator Michael Blackburn in their very fast Mooney, second was father and son Jan and Max Coetzee in a C182. In this class the navigation accuracy allows 15 seconds at each gate before penalties are applied, one penalty per second.

In Open class in first place was Nick Christodoulou with navigator Andre Kluyts in a C172, and for this event a Route Planner class…. Rob Jonkers with his trusty navigator Martin Meyer in a C182, and being the route planner was expected to return with a perfect zero, but could not find the all the photos…., memory not that good it seems. In this class the navigation accuracy allows 2 seconds at each gate before penalties are applied, three penalties per second.

The navigation tracks – all seems fine until the eastern & southern legs

This event was for sure enjoyed by all, getting an understanding of flying with more precision, especially in the slower flight regime, and having to deal with wind variation. Many thanks extended to SPS for making all the arrangements with Grand Central Management, and for the fantastic breakfast and for Franz Smit and Ashley Loynes for joining at the start and providing the teams with much needed water refreshments.

Pilot Insure Secunda Navigation Speed Rally

The Pilot Insure Secunda Navigation Speed Rally – 10 August 2019 by Rob Jonkers

This 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 just under a year ago. This format of rally has gone from strength to strength with increasing entrants and popularity, with an initial entry list of 23 to over 40 at its peak at the Bethlehem event in June 2019.

This being the season finale, the season winners were to be crowned on Saturday at the prize-giving at the Secunda club. The Secunda club went all out to make this a memorable event, and between SAPFA and the club had also arranged Video recording teams to follow the preparation and the event’s proceedings. The entries started out at 40, but some competitors dropped out due to technical issues, and by Friday morning 32 entries were confirmed.

Club Chairman Hardie Voges made arrangements for food on site, accommodation and providing local members to assist with officiating. Some of the officials arrived early Friday to prepare the course and finalize the entries and their handicaps, where test flights were done throughout the day.

This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is around 125 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph. For this event the route was mostly to the northeast 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, as the competition director flew in as a first arrival at 8 am with virtually no wind and with a warm day unfolding, but by noon the wind started to pick up and became gusty in the late afternoon with a severe temperature drop, this being due to cold front moving through skirting the east coast. Arrivals started to pick up in the afternoon, and with four new teams, Mary de Klerk provided some dedicated training for these teams.

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 turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work with expected weather conditions, which looked like early morning low cloud cover but lifting towards the middle of the day.

Race Master Jonty Esser then took to the stage in his signature competing crew introductory theme song videos and race number handouts, and also including introductions to the event and team sponsors. With increasing popularity, more and more sponsors have come on board, and there are now 6 teams being sponsored by entities all vying for the teams to obtain top honors in winning, the latest being The Airplane Factory sponsoring the Sling team of David Ross & James Braid, and Beegle micro trackers sponsoring the team of Johan Whiteman & Quinton Kruger. A scrumptious braai was laid on by the club to end the evening with around the fire stories on a high note.

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For Saturday the briefing started at 8h30, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. An opportunity was provided by the Speed Rally main sponsor Pilot Insure of the benefits of Aviation Life Insurance cover for pilots, followed by Beegle Micro Trackers, who provided some information on available flight trackers using the Iridium Satellite system, and would be tracking 6 aircraft in the rally to watch their progress on a screen in the clubhouse, that would provide spectator value to the event. The weather turned out to have low cloud develop in the north west, and some teams could not arrive in time to take part with most of Jhb & Pta showing rainy and IMC conditions, but as the morning wore on, the weather improved, although the wind started to pick up from the north as well.

With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags. For this event Century Avionics were on hand to also block off Aircraft GPS systems for those who volunteered.

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Karen, Conrad 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 10h40 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 11h10, with planned arrival at 12h00.

With all the competitors off towards the south west, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints. In general the competitors found the course easy enough this time round, with the photographs now in larger format to identify the ground features more prominently, which can be seen in the results where many had a clear round in their tracks. At just before 12 noon, the first aircraft over the line was the Harmony ZU-FWS with Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer, followed 10 seconds later by two Slings with half a second between them followed by Jonty & Jonathan Esser’s C150. Within 2 minutes there were 15 aircraft over the line and within 6 minutes the remainder of the field, showing that less competitors had missed turnpoints or went wandering too far off course, however with the wind picking up, the first off and slower aircraft gained more speed on the downwind home stretch to clip their handicap speeds.

After all teams having returned, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, completing the individual scores by 3 pm, and then readied for the evening prize giving. The prize giving initially started with the MC Jonty Esser everybody involved in the Speed Rally series for the contributions, this was followed by Rob Jonkers showing some interesting tracks for the day. Thereafter certificates and medals were handed out to competitors and officials that contributed to the success of the events held over the last year. For this the final in the season, the overall winners with the best handicap speed was Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer in their Harmony ZU-FWS, in second place were first timers Johann Horn & Deidre Batchelor in their Sling ZU-WMM, and in third place father and son Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK. The first twenty placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

Final overall Handicap Results

Position Race nr A/c reg Aircraft Pilot Navigator
1 1 ZU-FWS Evektor Harmony Leon Bouttell Martin Meyer
2 26 ZU-WMM Sling 2 Johann Horn Deidre Batchelor
3 6 ZU-IHK Sling 2 Hendrik Loots Jandre Loots

Final overall Track Accuracy Results

Position Race nr A/c reg Aircraft Pilot Navigator
1 3 ZU-JAR Sling 2 David Ross James Braid
2 7 ZS-ACA Cirrus SR22 Ryan Shillaw Chris Shillaw
3 15 ZS-OZI Citabria Bob Cohoe Johann van Niekerk

Championship Final Results

Ranked Championship Points Pilot Navigator Aircraft Reg
1 1000 Leon Bottell Martin Meyer Evektor Sportstar Plus ZU-FBJ
2 935 David Ross James Braid Sling 2 ZU-JAR
3 885 Phil Wakeley Mary de Klerk C210 ZS-CNY

The winners in the accuracy category were the team of David Ross & James Braid in a Sling ZU-JAR, in second place was father & son Ryan & Chris Shillaw in a Cirrus SR22 ZS-ACA, and in third place Bob Cohoe & Johann van Niekerk in an American Champion Citabria ZS-OZI.

The overall season winners were Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer with 1000 points, David Ross & James Braid with 935 points and in third place Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk with 885 points. For the entire series, there were 85 teams that competed over the 6 events.

Many thanks to the Secunda Aero Club 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 with our handicapping guru the honorable Chester Chandler, 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, 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 – Phil Wakeley and Mary De Klerk, Pilot Insure – Jonty and Jonathan Esser, Beegle Micro Trackers – Quintin Kruger and Johan Whiteman, Prompt Roofing – Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard.

ZS-OZI – third in the accuracy results

One of the tracks having gone a little pear shaped.

Photos by Charmaine Oliver Photography, Click here to view here Facebook page

Click To Enlarge photos

Middelburg Speed Rally 2019

The Pilot Insure Middelburg Navigation Speed Rally – 9 March 2019 by Rob Jonkers

The South African Power Flying Association held a very successful Speed Rally at the Aero Club Airweek 2019 at Middelburg. Originally scheduled as an Adventure Rally as was held in 2018, SAPFA decided to change this to a Speed Rally given the popularity of the event, with this one being the 4th in the series.

Within days of the announcement, the first 28 places were snapped up by competitors having taken part in the previous events, not leaving any room for new entrants, and it was decided to extend the field from the original maximum of 30 to 35, with an opportunity for the local Middelburg club members to take part. This event is one that is flown at full speed under handicap conditions, the course is around 120 nm long, has 11 or so turning points, with each turning point identified with a correct photograph.

Planning got underway in February to prepare the route, keeping in mind that with the Airweek as an event and an Airshow to coordinate with, in terms of take-off and landing slots of other arrivals and departures made the details challenging to plan. The route was kept to the north and east of the airfield, as most inbound and outbound traffic would be from the west.

Friday saw a fairly full day of test flights with some repeat test flights to reconfirm handicaps, with conditions mostly favourable although the cloud base was low in the morning. After the Safety Aviator Presentations which started just after 2 pm, Mary de Klerk had arranged to hold a training session on how to fly a Speed Rally, which was very well attended, and included a practical map preparation session on an example map, sharing the tips and tricks of how to follow the map features and timing points.

Thereafter at 6h30, 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 turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and also how the scoring system would world work with expected weather conditions, which looked as if it would be good.

Then all the competitors were treated to a briefing on Steroids on Friday night with the Speed Rally 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. Jonty also introduced the teams to the Speed Rally website where a Speed Rally ranking system was created, with team profiles and their leaderboard position.

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Briefing on Steroids – race numbers being handed out

The evening ended with a braai hosted by the Middelburg Aero Club, before retiring for the night, some were camping under the wing or in Neil Bowden’s tent area. Saturday morning saw low cloud and some fog, although it started to lift and clear fairly soon, giving a go ahead to start the rally.

The briefing started at 8h30, which was a shortened version just to cover the basics of the route, radio procedures and weather. With the briefing over, teams prepared their aircraft, with marshals assisting in parking sequence, while the organisers got the papers ready. Each team would then receive an envelope with a map, turnpoint photos, a minute marker and a GPS logger to record their track. Aircraft were then also scrutineered with all portable electronic devices sealed up in bags, and although no onboard systems were disabled, it relied on an honour code to not utilise onboard GPS as a Navigation aid, however the course is designed as such that GPS would be of minimal benefit.

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The Rally line up getting ready to start

The intent is that everybody uses the basic skills of navigation plotting and flying, and operate as a team in terms of cockpit workload, and with the course layout with short legs it for sure makes the crew resource work sharing all the more important. The idea would be that each crew would receive a pre-plotted map already complete with the route, turning points, headings, altitudes, where the map would not have any lat/long or grid references. This would be provided 20 minutes prior take-off to allow route orientation and the plotting of minute markers.

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The skopgat team of Von Hamman & Ron Stirk in their C150 ZS-IWD

In this format, there are two objectives, fly against a pre-determined handicap speed for each aircraft, and fly the shortest route around the course which would consist of a minimum of 10 turning points, and any aircraft would be able to compete, from slower LSA aircraft to the fast turbo singles or twins. The idea would be to test the speed capability and navigation skills of each crew against each other, where the most accurate flying and turn performance management would win the rally.

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Father & Sone team of Hendrik & Jandre Loots

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Charlene, Jean, Conrad, Frans and David 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 Hans Potgieter and Mark Clulow, which 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 09h55 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h50, with planned arrival at 11h30, the fast Cirrus ZS-ACA only needing 40 minutes to complete the course.

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Scrutineering the team of Piet Meyer & Adrienne Visser in their Jabiru ZU-DUU

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With all the competitors off towards the north, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints to contend with to give competitors a chance to always be aware of where they were, but some turnpoints were a challenge find, especially if the colour of the surrounding ground features had changes since the photos were taken. Although Turnpoint 2 was essentially along the road going past the airfield, it was still difficult to find apparently given how many were searching for it. Quite a few competitors cut the corners on turnpoints including Phil & Mary who during her training session warned everybody to “go round the TP”.

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Chief Marshall Hans Potgieter at the Starting Point

After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, and with the new loggers were able to complete the scores by 1 pm, and everybody were given their score sheets. Prize giving would only be in the evening so the teams and officials could enjoy the Airshow for the afternoon.

With everybody settling in for the VIP dinner hosted by the Middelburg Aero Club, and opening speeches and starters enjoyed by the guests, the prize giving was coordinated by Jonty Esser acting as the MC for this time slot, with firstly aircraft judging certificates handed out by EAA’s Sean Cronin, and thereafter a showing of a number of interesting flight tracks given by Rob Jonkers, which for this rally turned out overall to be very good, with only one competitor having had some navigation trouble, and for sure the overall standard is improving, with all aircraft over the line within 7 minutes. As the teams were visible approaching the field, first in view was Jonty Esser in the slowest aircraft a Foxbat being chased down by Phil Wakeley in a C210, who crossed the line within 8 seconds of each other. Some other interesting facts were that the full field also completed the course with an average of 7 nm overflown and the best performance against handicap time was 25 seconds.

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After this the Speed Rally promo video was shown, and then the prize giving, which was hosted by Frans Smit from Pilot Insure who was this Speed Rally’s main sponsor. First a Hard Luck certificate was handed out to Jaco Goosen whose C182 fell into a subterranean aardvark tunnel and damaged the horizontal stabilizer, then Jonty handed over the Club Trophy to Richardt Lovett and the Middelburg team.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Jonty Esser and Jonathan Esser in a Foxbat ZU-DYE, in second place was Arthur de Kock and Freddie van Rooyen in their Jabiru J430 ZU-MEL, and in third place Hendrik Loots and Jandre Loots in their Sling 2 ZU-IHK. The first fourteen placings were the only crews who managed a clean penalty free round.

The winners in the accuracy category were the team of David Ross and James Braid in their Sling 2 ZU-JAR, in second place was Johan van Eeden and Cor Esterhuizen in their RV7 ZU-IHH, and in third place the skopgat team of Ron Stirk and Von Hamman in their C150 ZS-IWD.

Many thanks to the Middelburg Aero Club for hosting this fantastic event, the SAPFA team of Hans Potgieter with the ground marshals, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos and Mark Clulow doing the scoring with our handicapping guru Chester Chandler, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews, Jonty & Lizelle for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Also thanks to Mary de Klerk for the time made available to do the training course held on Friday, it for sure helped the teams to gain an understanding of what to expect.

Also to the sponsors Pilot Insure, who was the main sponsor of the event, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, also to Pilot’s Post for sponsoring the team of Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk, and provided three key reasons for this, the first one being that the Speed Rally as a brand is seen as the future of competitive flying, second being that the Speed Rally brand will add value to our brand, third being that they believe that Phil and Mary are the perfect ambassadors for Pilot’s Post and they will carry our flag high.

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The next speed rally is in Bethlehem on the 8th June 2019

The winning track – ZU-DYE

Having a bad day, but not bad considering the good recovery – ZU-LAX

 

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019

SAPFA Rally Flying Training Camp – Brits Airfield 16 February 2019 – by Rob Jonkers

As a follow-on to the Rally Navigation Training events held at Aerosud on the 19th of January 2019, it was planned to fly the practice route that was plotted on that day. The 16th February was chosen and as the week unfolded with almost daily rain, it looked auspicious to get good weather, although it looked a little promising on Friday. As the day dawned, the clouds were on the deck throughout Gauteng, north of the Magalies in the Brits area was a bit better. The cloud base only started lifting around 9 am, and then only in patches, so even with 12 teams registered to take part, only 4 teams eventually were able to get to Brits. Frank & Cally Eckard prepared the route packs for the teams and were on hand to do the scoring. 

Frank Eckard – Presenting the Rally Flying Techniques Course

The focus of the day was more related to flying techniques and Frank Eckard provided an hour’s presentation on how to prepare the cockpit, roles of the crew in work sharing, organizing the photos, flying techniques such as speed management, altitude, approach to turn points.

Nigel Hopkins & Mary de Klerk preparing their maps for their flight

The teams then plotted the course, basically replotted the course that was previously prepared a month ago, and went to fly the route. Aerobatics ace & SAA Captain Nigel Hopkins who has been a previous rally world champion 15 years ago, flew with experienced navigator Mary de Klerk, and proved by his excellent score of 64 penalty points that he has not lost his touch in rally flying.

Leon Bouttell & Karyn Purchase preparing their Plots

Veteran Protea Pilot Thys vd Merwe preparing the maps with Navigator Frans Smit

As SAPFA is preparing for the World Rally Flying Championships in 2020, the focus on these two years prior the event, is to gain as many South African qualified teams to take part, and every event being held this year will be an event that can improve skills.

Nigel & Mary preparing the cockpit

To achieve world standard qualification, there is a route to achieve these skills in classes, with Advanced Class as the definitive level of competition, where existing Protea teams would compete and new teams would vie to achieve a qualification standard. The initial Sportsman’s Class is the entry level where teams gain experience to get to try their hand at the Advanced Class. There is also an Intermediate Class, which has a combination of Protea pilots and navigators that fly or navigate with new team members as further skill building in a step to achieve an Advanced level.

A competitive score for Nigel on a route with arcs and follow the feature

The next rally is being held at Virginia on the 26th March, and as the weather was not favourable on this weekend, SAPFA will look at rescheduling this event again at a future date.

SAPFA Rally Training Camp

SAPFA Rally Training Camp – Aerosud Premises 19 January 2019 – by Rob Jonkers

SAPFA held a very successful training event on Rally Navigation on Saturday 19th January as the first SAPFA event of the year. Initially planned for a maximum of 30 participants, and at Grand Central, the eventual total participation was 50, and fitting everybody into the Aerosud training hall proved a challenge.

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Alan Evan Hanes – GM of the Aero Club with a short Aero Club Intro

It is great to see the sport being supported so enthusiastically, and the willingness to learn these basic skills of map reading and planning. The GM of the Aero Club Alan Evan Hanes opened the day with a brief overview of the Aero Club and its functions, that the Aero Club has as its mission to protect all forms of Recreational Aviation, and supports Sections of the Aero Club such as SAPFA to be able hold successful events within the procedures governing recreational aviation in SA.

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The Participants – 50 in total

With that Mary de Klerk took charge and laid out the objectives of the day, by initially going through the theory of plotting, and then to practice on an actual plot. With this year of 2019 having a full calendar of events, and the Nationals coming up in April in Stellenbosch, and with SAPFA having won the bid to host the World Rally Flying Championships in 2020 (which is also the Centenary year of the Aero Club), this training event would serve as an excellent platform to entice new members to the sport and to start training for the Internationals and obtain Protea Colours.

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Mary first started off with having everybody introduce themselves, and what they each had as objectives for training, some were there as newbies interested in taking part in the sport, some having takien part previously indicated they needed some formal and expert training, and some others indicated they just wanted to delve more in depth than what a ppl course would give on the art of paper based navigation.

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The Rally Plotting Class of 2019

From there Mary outlined the theory on plotting procedures and described the tools of the trade. Then it was off to plotting an example course which had to be done from basic plotting principles of co-ordinates, bearings (which could be in either true or magnetic) and distances (either in nm of km). Each turning point then had to be found and identified and linked into legs, some of which could be arcs or follow map features.

The goal in getting to National level standard is to be able to plot in the aircraft with a papers time of around 30-40 minutes prior take-off, which means speed is of the essence in doing the plot, so that the navigator can assist with finding and identifying the ground photos.

The morning’s training ended off at around 11 am, and after a short break, everybody got their first route in an envelope, got the laminated transparent tool, which they had to cut out, and proceeded to plot each of the turn points making up the route. It was decided to proceed right through lunch, and most had finished their plot by after 2pm. The course was ended off with an in cockpit video of one of Rob & Martin’s 2012 rally flights to show how the leg photo features match up with the real world outside to give the perspective of what one sees outside the cockpit from the flying height and distance.

Everybody left with some knowledge gained on plotting and techniques of planning & flying a rally, and it is hoped that many will come to the Rand Challenge on the 26th January and Nationals in April.

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Daniel Ralefeta and his team of Rise Above Aviators getting ready to plot

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Feverously map reading and plotting

The Track shown of Route 2 – an anti-clockwise route

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Martin Meyer assisting Dave Thomas

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Mark and Rene Clulow figuring the plot

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Newbies to the sport, Time Scharf, Conrad van Coller and Daniel Ralefeta

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Mary de Klerk assisting Melika Mohapi with Franz Smit & Ashley Loynes at left

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Kim Pratley and his son Andrew Pratley working their plot

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Protea pilot Adrian Pilling and newly minted ppl pilot son Adam learning from the expert

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Arthur Piercy working his plot

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Michael Stofberg & Bryony Martin from 104 squadron

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Virtual Aviators Johan van Wyk and Freek Stegman

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Shaun Barron with Cally Eckard helping in the background

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Rob Jonkers explaining some flying techniques

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