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Springs Grand Prix Navigation Rally – 23 November 2019

As an extension to the Speed Rally being held on the same day, the South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) decided to look at Grand Prix version of the Speed Rally, with the view to have more spectator value in two mediums, one being visual, and the other watching it on a live tracking screen. As a concept it was master minded by Jonty Esser to try out.

Thank you to Adelaar BlueStar and Sapphirus BlueStar from Sanlam Financial Advisory Services Sanlam Grand Prix Girls chaperoned our Elite selected Grand Prix Pilots and Navigators, making sure
they were well looked after and kept covered in the shade at all times with the Sanlam umbrellas.

The circuit is akin to a grand prix circuit in the sky, and of course easy to make one as the sky is the
limit…. The format remains exactly the same as the speed rally, any type of aircraft can take part, and is handicapped with the intent to look at a simultaneous finish over the finish line.

The course is around 60 nm long and consists of three laps of 20 nm each, so that at each lap you can
start to see how the competitors are closing up. The track is in fact a corridor, similar as is done in the Air

Navigation Race (ANR), and the idea is to keep within that corridor which if you go out of bounds then the
idea is to give an instant penalty – that is if the live tracking is working sufficiently well enough. Every
corridor infringement will result in a 15 second “close the throttle” penalty.

A track was laid out, and Jonty and a number of selected teams started to practice the concept, this kind of navigation is one that it is no longer looking for an intersection or a dam wall, now the resolution has to be such to be able to fly through a needle, looking for the red carport next to the green house roof. The track is 0.8 nm in width, this providing manoeuvring room in the sometimes constant turns and chicanes.

The way to win is as with a Formula 1 race, keep to the inside of the track to obtain the shortest route, as the handicap is based on the centre of the course, thus the objective is to fly a route shorter that the
median by hugging the inside track and keeping far enough away for not corridor infringements. The handicapping speeds were provide by Rob Jonkers who looked at the circuit, the turns and overall
distance to make an educated calculation.

The way to win is as with a Formula 1 race, keep to the inside of the track to obtain the shortest route, as the handicap is based on the centre of the course, thus the objective is to fly a route shorter that the
median by hugging the inside track and keeping far enough away for not corridor infringements. The handicapping speeds were provide by Rob Jonkers who looked at the circuit, the turns and overall distance to make an educated calculation.

After the main Speed Rally event, and a 2 nd briefing of the selected 7 competitors for the GP, all of them having practiced the route, the teams were set off by Jacques Jacobs as the flag man at the allocated
time, with the teams off into the course, and as they came around you could see them all getting closer to each other, up to the point of the last lap where Jonty’s Cessna 150 came over the line 45 seconds before
the remainder who came over the line very closely, with Nigel Hopkins & Mary de Klerk came in second and Johan van Eeden & Cor Esterhuizen in 3 rd place. After touch down, a Champagne cork popping
podium winners circle was held with trophies handed over, just like F1.

As a concept, this is still in its infancy, the Sport Aerobatics Club (SAC) has expressed great interest in being part of this new format, as have Airshows South Africa, as it will be great to have more sections of
the Aero Club be part of inter section support. The handicapping will still require some work, but with sufficient data, this can be developed, as does the live tracking system, which is still an elusive
mechanism not being robust enough and costly, and possibly our networks may have insufficient bandwidth, but am sure will converge onto a solution.

What was very visible at this Speed Rally weekend, was the enthusiasm of the aviation youth that were
present, and working on making the format of our events to be more exciting should bring in the youth to
take part more.

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.

Kitty Hawk RV Fly-In 2019

Kitty Hawk Aerodrome once again held their annual RV Fly-In. The apron was jam-packed with light aircraft of all sorts. Everything from yesteryear general aviation types, to the RVs and even a few Cessnas, Bathawks and Gyrocopters. The morning started with a lovely breakfast at the Kitty Hawk Restaurant. The flying started at around 10h00 with 15 RVs getting airborne.

They formed for two formation flybys. After the mass flybys have concluded, the Raptor Aerobatic team started their display. The team’s display consisted of a couple of barrel rolls, loops and solo flybys. After the Raptors RV Team had landed, the skies filled with a familiar roar of radials.

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvard team came in to land. The fans really enjoyed chatting to Scully and Arnie. The Bell 206 Jet ranger also made a few passes with a journalist from eNCA inside. Following the helicopter trend, was the two Gyrocopters. I unfortunately missed the Flying Lions display as I my day ended shortly after their arrival.

With the big SAAF Museum Airshow held only a week prior, events like these often get over shadowed by the bigger shows, but they must not be underestimated. Having a chat with some of the airshow pilots is something that you don’t normally get to do at the bigger shows. Because the aircraft park right on the grass in front of the restaurant, it provides a unique opportunity for the future aviators to get up close and personal with the aircraft.

2019 has been a rough year for airshows in South Africa. Many have been cancelled or delayed, leaving the aviation fans longing for some action. That is where many of these smaller events have shined this year. We look forward to next year’s edition of these lovely event!


Kitty Hawk RV Fly-In 2018

The now annual Kitty Hawk RV Fly-in was again a huge turnout from both RV aircraft owners and other general aviation aircraft who made the outing to the east of Pretoria for a great breakfast and lunch at the Kitty hawk restraint which is well advertised through the aviation community and surely attracts all pilots from around the country.

Kitty Hawk aerodrome is located 30km and an easy 20 minute drive south east of Pretoria in the Boschkop area. The airfield is the central hub for an active aviation community and offers aircraft owners superb facilities. As the theme being a RV Fly-in many types of RVs flew into the field and owner to owner had the great opportunity to interact with one another and share the passion for the Vans Rv aircraft.

Some of the resident Rv pilots gave the visitor’s a display of formation flying with different types of the Rv, after the break the Raptors Rv team broke away and then continued to give their usual display at their home base where all of their airshow training takes place before the air show season starts. Once again a great turnout from everyone that attended and one of the friendliest fly-in Aviation Central has attended. We look forward to sharing this day again next year!

 

History of the Vans RV

After improving another homebuilt design, the Stits Playboy, as much as he could, Richard (Van) VanGrunsven decided to start with a clean sheet of paper. His RV-3 impressed a lot of people (“RV” of course, stands for Richard VanGrunsven…). Many of them were willing to take on the task of building an airplane from scratch so that they, too, could have an airplane that flew like Van’s. Already an experienced pilot, Van quit his job with a forklift company and seized the opportunity to work with his real love, aviation. He founded Van’s Aircraft, Inc. in 1972 and began selling plans and a few parts for the RV-3. These he manufactured himself, working in a small shop behind his house in the small town of Reedville, Oregon. As business grew and Van’s Aircraft began producing full aircraft kits and new designs, the company moved to larger quarters in North Plains, Oregon, a small town about 25 miles west of Portland. Van and his wife Diane built a home on a residential airpark just across the road from the factory. For many years, the RV prototypes and demonstration aircraft flew from the grass runway at the airpark.

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