Tag Archives: SAPFA

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

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.

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


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

Secunda Spring Festival 2018

Secunda Spring Festival 2018

By Charmaine Oliver

The weekend of 5 – 6 October was the end of the annual Secunda Spring Festival.

It was celebrated by Scully and his team with a brilliant display in the Pitt’s Flying Cows.

As usual Secunda did not disappoint with the magical sunset and you could feel the festivity in the air.

On Saturday there was a total of 23 aircraft that participated in the Speed Rally hosted by Secunda Flying Club and SAPFA. A well organised event and the first of its kind. It was enjoyed by skilled pilots and navigators. Herewith are a few photos of the event.

Race results

1st  Race no 15 ZS-CNY Cessna 210 Phil Wakeley & Mary de Klerk
2nd  Race no 1 ZU-CXK Yakolev YAK-52 Jonty Esser Jonathan Esser
3rd  Race no 8 ZU-IHH Van’s Aircraft RV-7A Johannes Jurie & Cor Esterhuizen
4th  Race no 14 ZU-FHZ Van’s Aircraft RV-6A Thys vd Merwe & Bernard Jansen
5th  Race no 2 ZU-FBJ Evektor-Aerotechnik Sportstar Plus Leon Bouttell & Martin Meyer

Shortest route Winner

Race 4 ZS-SOK Cessna 210A Richard van der Heijden & David Bartholomew

Click to enlarge photos

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