Author Archives: Flippie Van Emmenis

The 22 nd World Rally Flying Championship

The 22nd World Rally Flying Championships by Rob Jonkers (photos Rob Jonkers & others)

Also, read The Arrivals and Training week for the 22nd World Rally Flying Championships

At last we had arrived at the competition week, after months of planning after Sunday the 13th of November dawned everything was in place to have the event start. After the morning briefings were concluded, preparation for the opening ceremony was carried out with podiums, sound and everybody in their National dress. Karl Jensen was the MC for the Opening ceremony, which started promptly at 3 PM with a Parade of Nations, each country with its National flag and country signboard walked past the clubhouse to gather around the podium, and as they walked past their National Anthem was played.

Once this was concluded, we had the Absolute Extras do a display as Nigel & Jason brought their aircraft over from the Coves earlier, they were able to give a stunning display against a backdrop of a passing storm cell, giving the photographers a good opportunity to get some amazing footage. Nigel and Jason are thanked for being able to give the opening ceremony the appropriate opening for such a prestigious event. It was also planned that the Puma Flying Lions would do an opening display, but the threatening weather all around us prevented them from getting through from Rand Airport.

It was fortunate that while the Opening Ceremony was underway between 3 – 4 PM the rain stayed away, as after the display the formality of the Opening continued, first with the chairman of the Brits Flying Club Lohan Otto giving a speech, then onto Rob Jonkers the Competition Director giving thanks to all the people involved in getting us to the point where we could start. Thereafter Hans Schwebel as the President of the General Aviation Commission (GAC) of the FAI declared the event open by raising the FAI flag. Cocktail snacks and drink was then enjoyed by all, and in the meantime, rain descended on the Airfield again.

The competition week then started out on Monday, when the weather was clearing up, although windy with low clouds, it was decided to fly the bad weather route – Granite for the day. All the routes were named after minerals in keeping with the theme of the area being rich in minerals. The only way the departure sequence would work was to use runway 20, and at least for Monday, the wind was southerly all day. A measured landing would be at Brits, in this case also on runway 20, where most of the previous week the prevailing wing was northerly. After day 1 in the first place was Michal Wieczorek from Poland and in 2nd place was Nigel Hopkins.

The rest of the week had good weather predicted with increasing temperatures, and for day two, the Chrome route was flown, with a landing again at home base. After day 2 Nigel Hopkins took the lead, with Marek Kachaniak from Poland in 2nd, and Michal Wieczorek dropped to 3rd place. Day 3 the route was Copper, this route was flown up north with an intermediate landing to take place at Kokoriba, the idea of an away landing was to challenge crews to land in unfamiliar territory. The runway there was imminently suitable to carry out a touch-and-go in farm strip conditions, some found it difficult and others were able to bingo the landings. Unfortunately due to a rule technicality, the landings had to be excluded, much to the chagrin of some competitors who had done well there. After day 3, the standings were still with Nigel in the lead with 604 points and Michal Wieczorek in 2nd place with 753 points. On day 4 the route was Gold, this route was flown to the west in the Rustenburg area with another away landing planned, but as the rule technicality could not be fixed for the Silver Creek runway, only a runway inspection could be flown, and a home landing at Brits was measured. Day 4’s results had Krzysztof Wieczorek in 1st place with Nigel having dropped to 8th.

After all 4 days of flights, other than a few aircraft snags, all competitors could fly all the routes, we were well supported by the aircraft owners to sort out snags and issues. Thursday afternoon & evening is traditionally International day with every country taking part to bring out their specialty food and drink to sample and enjoy. Germany brought Jägermeisters, the Norwegians brought their famous Norwegian salmon, the French their French wines, and the South Africans with boerewors and melktertjies….

Friday was set out as a reserve weather day and was fortunately not required, some teams took further scenic flights and others went to visit local game parks. The prize giving Ceremony was to be held at Fatherland Estate which is around 5km from the Brits airfield – which was scheduled for 7 PM. Everybody started to gather at the venue from 6.30 and David le Roux was the MC for the evening called everybody to take their seats at 7h30 for starters.

The proceedings for the evening commenced, first with Rob Jonkers giving a speech of thanks to everybody involved in making the event successful, and despite the challenges, we were able to pull this significant event off. For sure the key to making this event happen was securing Aircraft, which is much more than would be the case in Europe, here only the South Africans had their own aircraft, we had to cater for 28 teams, 14 aircraft at the end of the day. Between Martin Meyer & Ron Stirk they managed to secure these aircraft for the best part of 2022 and gave congratulations on the great work done to negotiate with the owners to rent them.

All the Officials were called up to the stage to have their participation certificates handed over, after giving thanks for their support during the event, as it takes many functions to make this level of event happen successfully.

After this the Chief Judge took over with the prize giving, first being the youngest pilot category, this going to the Czech team of Lukas Behounek & Krystof Bobek, then the Landings category going to the Polish Team of Krzysztof Wieczorek & Kamil Wieczorek. Then the main category of Individual team results with 1st place going the Polish Team of Krzysztof Wieczorek & Kamil Wieczorek, in 2nd place Michal Wieczorek & Marcin Kwiatosz, and in third place South African team of Nigel Hopkins & Mary de Klerk, the first podium finish for the South Africans since 2003. Next was the Team Trophy which went to Poland in 1st place, Czech Republic in 2nd place and France in 3rd place. The Air BP best in navigation and observation trophy went to the Polish Team of Krzysztof Wieczorek & Kamil Wieczorek

After the prize giving the GAC President Hans Schwebel officially closed the event and the FAI flag was lowered, folded where the Competition Director Rob Jonkers handed it over to Phillipe Muller of France who is the appointed Competition Director for the 23rd WRFC to be held in Macon France in 2023.

With that the 22nd WRFC was closed and guests could enjoy the main course for the evening.

There are so many thanks to be given, from all the Officials from far and wide that is the engine room of such a competition, everybody in their various roles were well versed in what they needed to do and did so very well, and to get to the end of competition having been concluded with safe flights throughout.

A big thanks to Thanks to Lohan Otto and the BFC team for preparing the airfield and having upgraded the clubhouse as you see today.

Thanks to all the SAPFA & BFC committee members that for months of planning meetings got this event fully realised.

Thanks to the CAA PEL department carrying out licence validations, also the GA department, Piet Fourie & Mothiba Kanyane on the Special Air Event application management and their daily support for the event over the last week.

Thanks to the media for their support and attendance, they always support our Recreational Aviation

Thanks to the sponsors, Absolute Aviation, DJA Aviation Insurance, Bill Harrop’s Balloons, Brits Auto, Century Avionics, Wings and Tracks, Puma Fuel, and various local hotels & food establishments.

Am sure this event will come around to South Africa sometime in the future again, and that new teams will experience the best of South Africa. I wish all of you safe skies where ever you fly, and am sure we’ll see you again soon at the next events.

Click on the photos below to enlarge


Aviation Central recently received an invitation to attend a handover ceremony of four Bat Hawk aircraft to the South African National Parks. (SANParks)

Anglo American Platinum donated four Bat Hawk surveillance aircraft to South African National Parks (SANParks) to aid in their surveillance, conservation, and anti-poaching efforts. The sponsorship agreement of the aircraft is valued at over R3.8 million.

The donation is in line with the healthy environment pillar of the organization’s sustainable mine plan, which is aimed at maintaining a healthy environment by creating waterless, carbon-neutral operations as well as delivering positive biodiversity outcomes.

The Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Ms Barbara Creecy officially receives the Bat Hawk Light aircraft from Anglo American Platinum on behalf of SANParks. With her are Executive head: Projects at Anglo American Platinum – Mr Prakashim Moodliar and SANParks Chief Pilot, David Simelane

The Kruger National Park (KNP), which spans over 2 million hectares of land and is divided into 22 sections, continues to face several operational challenges linked to animal poaching, the poisoning of animals as well as snaring. The four Bat Hawk aircraft, which are proudly assembled in South Africa, are an affordable and safe alternative to helicopters and will go a long way in assisting with the Kruger’s conservation and anti-poaching efforts. Other benefits of the aircraft include its great visibility during adverse weather conditions and its light undercarriage which can easily maneuver through porous terrain.

Minister Creecy tests out one of the Bat Hawk Light Aircraft

Speaking at the handover event of the aircraft, Anglo American Platinum’s executive head of projects Prakashim Moodliar said, “Our donation of the Bat Hawk aircraft presents an important step for biodiversity and conservation at the Kruger National Park. As an organization that is committed to re-imagining mining to improve people’s lives, Anglo American Platinum has always been clear that we cannot do this work alone, and that building a safer, cleaner, and more sustainable future has to be founded on the collaboration and knowledge sharing that comes from partnering with likeminded organizations.”

 Mr David Simelane, Mr Cornel Du Plessis, Mr Stephen Bullock, Dr Danny Govender, Minister Barbara Creecy, Mr Prakashim Moodliar, Mr Property Mokoena, Ms Hapiloe Sello, Mr Hermanus Prinsloo and Ms Yolan Friedman.

Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment said: “Anglo Platinum joins several international and local companies and individuals who work with SANParks to protect our natural world and our threatened species. These Ultra-Light aircraft will assist us in carrying out aerial patrols as well as monitoring and effectively managing the environment. As custodians of our fauna and flora, SANParks has limited resources at its disposal. It is therefore important to form partnerships to look after our country’s rich and varied biodiversity”.


Questions and Answers by Aviation Central to SANParks

Q: Who donated the Aircraft?
Anglo American Platinum

Q: What is the value of the 4 aircraft?
A: R3 million, eight hundred thousand ZAR

Q: Will additional rangers receive pilot training or will additionally be employed?
A: There will be training for current Section Rangers

Q: Where will the Bat Hawks be stationed (Park and Camps)

A: Skukuza , Malelane, Letaba and Shingwedzi

Q: How will the Bat Hawks be used?
A: Law enforcement, conservation, and monitoring

Q: We know a Bat-hawk has low operating costs compared to other aircraft, But what is the estimated operating cost per hour?
A: Thousand Rands compared to ten thousand for the helicopter

Q: What is SANParks total Air fleet consist of?

A: Two fixed-wing four-seater Cessna, three Airbus Squirrels, and four Bat Hawk_

Q:. Does SANParks receive support from the South African Air Force or SAPS airwing?

A: We do receive support upon request, and it depends on availability and budget.

Q: The donated fuel from TotalEnergies just a few weeks ago, van the fuel also be used for the Bat Hawks?

A: The Anglo Platinum donation comes with maintenance and fuel support to the tune of Five Million Rands

Q: Why bat hawk vs other aircraft (besides running costs)

A: They are durable and technically suited for the KNP terrain.

Q: What type of missions will they be used to carry out (is it just surveillance, animal counting, etc) A: All conservation-related work

Q: What tasks do the Airwing / Fixed and Rotor wing used for besides poaching?

A: Census support, monitoring of rivers, and general maintenance of the ecosystem.

Q: Project Skywards, a Fundraising project, needs R19m and the SANParks website only indicates that R79 200 has been donated, is this status correct?

A: It will be updated after the Anglo Platinum donation and the Total Energies.

Registration Information on the four donated Aircraft






The Bat Hawk is proudly designed and built in Mbombela (Nelspruit), South Africa

The performance of the Bat Hawk in its multiple options has been widely acclaimed as nothing short of sensational. 

In the hands of a learner, it remains perfectly balanced for fingertip control and hands-off flight but pushed to the maximum by an experienced pilot the maneuverability is breath-taking.

There is a big demand for this aircraft in surveillance and conservation industries and with the Bat Hawk’s propeller up and out of the way it reduces the risk of damage by grass, sticks, stones, and sand. Making it a true “Bush Plane”.

The Bat Hawk’s cockpit is very similar to that of a helicopter with excellent forward visibility as well as to both sides.

The Bat Hawk is a proudly South African “Light Sport Aircraft” designed and built for tough African conditions.

The aircraft is supplied as a complete ready to fly and complies with the ASTM2245-12c Build Standard rules and regulations as well as South African Civil Aviation Type Approval.

It features a strut-braced high wing, two seats in a side-by-side configuration open cockpit, fixed tricycle landing gear, and a single Rotax engine in tractor configuration.

As a conventional 3-axis light sport aircraft, the Bat Hawk does not rely on pilot weight shift to affect control. Twin seats are positioned side-by-side for full dual control and both crew members are well protected from the weather by an aerodynamic fiberglass pod and large wrap-around windshield.

The Bat Hawk has been designed and developed in South Africa primarily for surveillance and conservation.

Dimensions of the Bat Hawk

Overall length – nose to rudder TE 18.19 feet (5.544m)
Length – propeller plane to rudder TE 17.40 feet (5.304m)
Undercarriage wheel track 5.42 feet (1.652m)
Main wheel size 8.00 x 6.ins
Nose wheel size 4.00 x 4.ins
Typical empty weight–standard equipment 573.2 lbs (260 kg)
Maximum fuel 123.0 lbs (56 kg)
Maximum weight all-up weight 1204.2 lbs (540 kg)
Minimum solo crew weight 163 lbs (74 kg)
Average dual crew weight 396.8 lbs (180 kg)
Take-off weight with full fuel/average crew 1100.0lb (499 kg)
Cruise Speed: 70 knots
Stall Speed: 36 knots
Vne: 92 knots
Length: 6,00m
Wingspan: 9,50m

South African National Parks and/or wildlife conversation need all the help they can get, if you think you can assist please use the contact information below…

Nthabiseng Moeletsi
General Manager: Fundraising
Contact number: +27 12 426 5034

Lebogang Phetlha

To see other fundraising projects by South African National Parks go to

Photos by Swanie Swanepoel and Anglo American Platinum

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See a short handover video
Video by Anglo American Platinum

Bell Completes U.S. MARINE CORPS Ah-1Z Program of Record

Bell Completes U.S. MARINE CORPS Ah-1Z Program of Record

Completes United States Military program of record for H-1 Helicopters

A U.S. Marine Corps AH-1Z Viper with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469 fires at a target during Resolute Dragon 22 at Yausubetsu Maneuver Area, Hokkaido, Japan, Oct. 6, 2022. Resolute Dragon 22 is an annual bilateral exercise designed to strengthen the defensive capabilities of the U.S.-Japan Alliance by exercising integrated command and control, targeting, combined arms, and maneuver across multiple domains. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lorenzo Ducato)

Middle East (Nov. 03, 2022) – In a ceremony at the Amarillo Assembly Center, Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, celebrated the delivery of the 189th AH-1Z Viper to the U.S. Marine Corps, completing the Program of Record (POR) for the latest version of the storied H-1 platform. Bell completed the UH-1Y POR of 160 aircraft in 2018 bringing the combined H-1 POR to 349 aircraft.

“The first production lot of US Marine Corps H-1s was ordered in 1962, and they changed the way Marines fight today,” said Mike Deslatte, Bell H-1 vice president and program director. “Completing the AH-1Z and UH-1Y deliveries to the US Marine Corps adds one more chapter to the legacy of the H-1 platform.”

Bell has been producing H-1s for the U.S. military since 1959. Bell originally designed the H-1 for the U.S. Army with the iconic “Huey.” In 1966 Bell created the AH-1 Cobra as the first dedicated gunship. In 1970, the Bell UH-1N brought twin engine capabilities to more than 28 countries, and in 1984 the AH-1W provided the U.S. Marine Corps increased attack helicopter capability.

The current generation AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom are the most agile, mobile, and survivable combination of aircraft used by the Department of Defense. The 85% common platforms are the only two aircraft that share so much commonality, providing the Marines with logistical agility and reduced operating costs. The AH-1Z achieved initial operating capacity in February 2011 and the UH-1Y achieved initial operating capacity in August 2008. The first combined Viper/Venom deployment with a Marine Expeditionary Unit occurred in 2009.

“H-1s are key to the 2022 Marine Corps Aviation Plan,” said Col. Vasillios Pappas, Light/Attack Helicopters program manager (PMA-276). “With the US program of record now complete, the Marines have the flexibility to manage and deploy the helicopters based on current and future mission requirements as established at the start of the program.”

The H-1 production line is still active in support of foreign military sales to approved U.S. allies. Bell continues to produce AH-1Z Vipers for the Kingdom of Bahrain and will manufacture eight UH-1Ys and four AH-1Zs for the Czech Republic in 2023.

Since the first delivery of the AH-1Zs and UH-1Ys to the U.S. Marines, the H-1 mixed fleet has accumulated more than 450,000 flight hours through a full spectrum of military operations. Bell will continue to support the U.S. H-1s with lethality, survivability, and reliability upgrades through a long-term modernization plan that helps ensure the aircraft keep an overwhelming tactical advantage for generations.


About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were aboard NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training. For more information, visit:

Certain statements in this press release may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to risk factors related to U.S. government contracts and foreign military sales as described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Royal Jordanian Air Force Purchase Bell 505


Royal Jordanian Air Force Agrees to Purchase Bell 505s to Boost Training Capabilities

Ten advanced trainers purchased by the RJAF

Aqaba, Jordan (Nov. 1, 2022) Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced the signed agreement for the sale of 10 Bell 505 helicopters to the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF) today at The Special Operations Forces Exhibition & Conference (SOFEX) in Aqaba, Jordan.

The contract includes the delivery of the aircraft with a flight training device and a comprehensive computer-based training package to enable an enhanced approach to basic and advanced rotorcraft flight training at the King Hussein Air College in Mafraq, Jordan.

“It is with profound gratitude to the Royal Jordanian Air Force that we share news of this agreement to purchase the Bell 505s as the new helicopter trainer for the Air Force,” said Patrick Moulay, senior vice president, International Business, Bell.

“We are dedicated to the Armed Forces, the Air Force, and the citizens of Jordan and offer our commitment to ensure the best of service. The Bell 505 will serve alongside the men and women of the Air Force by playing a critical role in ensuring the operational readiness of its cadets,” commented Sameer Rehman, managing director Africa and Middle East, Bell.

The Bell 505 is a popular aircraft for commercial and military customers alike, offering phenomenal power, optimal visibility and high-tech Garmin avionics. The company recently celebrated the 400th Bell 505 delivery since its launch in 2017.

“We look forward to adding the Bell 505 aircraft to our fleet and providing our pilots with one of the best possible aircraft for their training. The addition of 10 new aircraft will enable us to further expand our operations in the country, in turn increasing the capabilities of the Royal Jordanian Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Mohammad F. Hiyasat, Commander, Royal Jordanian Air Force.

As the most advanced helicopter in its class on the market, details has been considered in the design of the Bell 505, starting with the fully digitally controlled engine, and advanced avionics that dramatically reduce pilot workload and maximize safety in a multitude of operational scenarios.

SOFEX is the world’s leading special operations forces and homeland security exhibition. Currently in its 13th year, the show was established by His Majesty King Abdullah II to provide a platform to present and demonstrate new and innovative equipment and technologies in security operations.

For more information, visit the Bell website.

EAA Sun and Fun 2022 Rally

EAA Sun and Fun 2022 Rally by Rob Jonkers

This year’s EAA Sun and Fun flying event is the 7th in the series of rally events held yearly in support of the EAA, although previous events has followed the Adventure rally format, in recent years some level of accuracy of maintaining track has also been part of the route. This year, it was decided to have a route that was a more formal ANR type (Air Navigation Race). This type of rally is the newest type of rally to be found as part of the FAI events series.

In an ANR, there are only two objectives, the first being on-time at the start and finish gates, each second early or late attracts 3 penalty points. The second objective is to remain inside the corridor which in this case is 1 nm wide any excursion outside the corridor also attracts 3 penalty points per second being outside the corridor. For the Brits ANR it was decided not to measure the start & finish gate timing due to the busy airspace for the day.

The route is normally fairly short at 25 nm, and for the route planned it was to start south east of the field, route over Brits town and find a way through the scenic Crocodile river valley to end north west of the field.

The Route

There were 8 entrant teams, and briefing commenced at 9 am, where the teams after briefing got on with plotting their routes and could fly at their own pace. As they returned, logger downloads commenced and scoring could be done.

Best for the day were the team of Bert v Jaarsveld & Lance Holland flying a Bushcat ZU-FEW, in fact an excellent platform to fly this type of rally being slow enough for observation and being able to keep the turns fairly tight. In second place Bryan Nicolau and Roger Ford in their Bathawk ZU-IGI – another good observation aircraft. In third place Roger Bozolli and Dean Nicolau in the Piper Arrow ZS-KFM.

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Teams plotting their routes – discussing their strategies, Caroline Koll, Byron Kirkland, Sean Cronin and Roger Ford

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Roger Bozolli and Dean Nicolau with intense concentration

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Hilton Wolff and Milan Daniz plotting their route

The Winning Track

Prize giving was held at the evening braai together with the EAA awards, unfortunately the floating trophy was not available, and will be handed over at an appropriate date. This trophy is the Sling (previously The Airplane Factory) Sun and Fun rally trophy awarded annually.

The Google Earth Live track screen, the yellow track being the best of the day, and the purple track with some wandering around the course

The Track shown of Route 2 – a clockwise route

Season Finale Speed Navigation Rally ’22

The Holborn Assets Springs Season Finale Speed Navigation Rally – 1 October 2022 by Rob Jonkers (photos by Jaco Pitout, Rob Jonkers)

The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) organised the 2022 Season finale Speed Navigation Rally on Saturday 1st October 2022 to take place at Springs. This being the 4th event in Season 4 of the Speed Rally series. As a season finale it would end with a black tie gala dinner on the Saturday evening against the standard already set in 2020 ending Season 2. Our Season 4 events were held in Witbank, Middelburg, Groblersdal and lastly Springs. Groblersdal was a new venue for this season, where SAPFA has been looking at diversifying venues and partnering with clubs to hold these events, and we hope to look at other venues again in 2023.

As most will remember, the 2021 season finale also at Springs was rained out, and this time, conditions were totally the opposite, with summer like clear skies and temperatures, in fact the Density Altitude was around 8000 ft with wind and turbulence affecting aircraft performance, many speeds seen were somewhat reduced from expectations.

Entries for this finale were 14, and as with previous entries since Witbank also somewhat subdued given the economics seen in the Aviation industry with fuel priced over R35/l in most places. The Springs club provided their facilities to hold the event and the briefing was held in the new open area adjacent to the club-house. As with Groblersdal, the competition would be arranged over 2 days, being Saturday and Sunday, with prize giving as an evening function. Arrivals would be on Saturday morning with a start mid-morning (previously a Friday arrival and early morning start), and departures on Sunday.

Race Master David le Roux called for the briefing to start at 10 am, where the teams were introduced and race numbers were handed out. We welcome back the Mach 1 school entry of Manaf Mubarak competing in a Beechcraft Sundowner. Thereafter Iaan Myburgh as the competition Director went through the safety and route briefing for the day. After that all the teams prepared their aircraft, scruntineered, and were handed out their papers, with a minor map glitch had to move the take-off times by 25 minutes. Martin Meyer and myself were under starters orders to man the start line on runway 03, and waved off (air carrier style…) all the teams. The arrival time was 13h25 with the Lanceair crossing the line first followed by the Sling. Everybody were home safely, just the Falco had some engine difficulties and had to return early (missed 2 turnpoints) but still finished to score. The scoring team got on to provide individual results for everybody that were handed out in the afternoon, then most retired to their lodges or returned home to come back to the airfield for the gala dinner.

The gala dinner took take place in Gavin Brown’s Classic Wings hangar with a great backdrop of some of his classic aircraft. The décor was being prepared during the day, with guests of around 60 starting to arrive at 6 pm. Everybody was seated by 07h00 and Race Master David le Roux opened the proceedings with thanks to all the helpers, officials and the Springs Flying Club for hosting this event. The main Season Sponsor Holborn Assets gave a short brief on their business, and also drew the lucky winner of their money jar. David also advised about planning being done for 2023’s fixtures that would be concluded within the next week. David also recognized Rob Jonkers as the previous competition director for all the work carried out on Speed Rallies since inception to create the foundation on which the future of the sport can be built. It is now more relevant than ever to bring in new competitors to enjoy the sport.

With the main course enjoyed by all, it was time for prize giving, firstly the placings for the Springs event, where first place went to Leon Joubert & Jonty Esser in their Lanceair ZU-LNC, second place went to Hendrik & Jandre Loots in their Sling ZU-IHK and in third place Sean Cronin and Roger Ford in their Jabiru ZU-JBJ.

The overall season placings went to father & son team of Quintin Kruger & Johan Whiteman in their Piper 235 ZS-FVV, in second place Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk in their C210 ZS-CNY and in third place Leon Joubert & Jonty Esser (also Sandi Goddard) in their Lanceair ZU-LNC. In fact the season standings had the top 3 placed identically in the Handicap and Accuracy categories as well.

The formal proceedings were closed off with Leon Joubert and his band WASP to get everybody into the mood for party time and good music from a bygone era.


Many Thanks to all the officials who put in the effort to make the Speed rally what it has become, David le Roux as the Race Master, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Iaan Myburg as Competition Director and scorer, Sean Cronin & Martin Meyer doing test flights and starting, Marc & Shane for Century Avionics for GPS & Fuel Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw & Anthea Cronin on Scrutineering. ATC from the Special Air Events team are always on hand to support our events. Anneke Pretorius put together a fantastic gala dinner spread with all the décor and trimmings fitting for a black tie event. Thanks also extended to the team at Springs, Raymond Ayre, who graciously supported the officials in their hangar and Gavin Brown for the use of the Classic Wings hangar for the gala dinner.

Without sponsors these type of events would not be possible, thanks to Holborn Assets, Prompt Roofing, Beegle Tracking, Gemair Maintenance, Century Avionics, 4 Track Mover

An almost perfect track – with a minor excursion at turnpoint 10

A very wobbly start on leg 1, with good recovery after turnpoint 2


Flippie van Emmenis – #AAD2022

#AAD2022, Africa Aerospace and Defence 2022, After a 4-year absence and the SAAF100 celebrations being missed in 2020, all South Africans were hungry for a good Airshow. With tight finances, Fuel costs, COVID, and war in Ukraine everyone, including myself was skeptical if AAD2022 was going to happen, but even with all these major negative impacts AAD2022 did take place, and what a good show it was. The crowd was just amazing, the most cheerful and cheering crowd I ever witnessed at an Airshow, The Airboss did a fantastic job putting together and flight program like that we saw, Was just wow.  The Static display and exhibition halls could have been fuller, but again, no one has the budget for that now! From end to end I will give 7/10 (9/10 Airshow and 5/10 exhibition side)

Woza #AAD2024 and we at Aviation Central will once again be sharing you all with information regarding the buildup to Africa Aerospace and Defence 2024. Our next focus will be the SAAF Museum 50th Birthday celebrations at Swartkop Air Force base in 2023.  

Photos by Flippie van Emmenis, Click to enlarge photos


TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa Managing Director and CEO, Mariam Kane-Garcia handed a cheque at a symbolic handover to the value of R4, 5 million rands to the South African National Parks (SANParks) Airwing for their fuel when they embark on anti-poaching operations. The handover also marked a long-term relationship between TotalEnergies and SANParks which has existed for over 60 years; as well as a continuation by TotalEnergies to create awareness of its environmental stewardship, its focus on nature conservation and its contribution to the communities in which it operates in.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of SANParks, SANParks Chief Operating Officer, Lize McCourt thanked TotalEnergies for the transformative partnership that has existed for over six decades with SANParks. “TotalEnergies has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are a formidable partner because they have partnered with us on various programmes over the years. McCourt said that “the on-going rhino poaching incidents in our country is an area of concern to government and ordinary people including corporate South Africa. It is with great humility and sense of pride that SANParks accepts the generosity presented by TotalEnergies – this is proof that together we can do more to win the fight against rhino poaching.”

Programmes which TotalEnergies have partnered with SANParks over the years range from the SA National Parks Week, which took place on 12 -16 September this year and affords South African citizens a chance to visit SA National Parks for free, SANParks Kudu Awards, the marketing campaigns including the Golden Classics Concert at the Golden Gate National Park, the greening projects as well as the Environmental Conservation Education and Awareness projects e.g. Keep Kruger Clean campaign which ran for over 15 years in the KNP as well as the Walk on the Wild Side programme:

We really appreciate this gesture as it will not only make it easier for our air services to patrol and react to conservation teams on the ground in the vast areas National Parks provide for the protection of wildlife, but it also strengthens our relationship with one of our important business partners; concluded McCourt.

TotalEnergies Mariam Kane-Garcia (wearing black and white) officially hands over a cheque worth R4,5 million to the SANParks Chief Financial Officer, Dumisani Dlamini (middle) for the fuel provision of the SANParks aircraft. With them are (from left to right): SANParks GM: Area Integrity Management – Dr Nicholus Funda, TotalEnergies General Manager – Strategy, Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Communications – Sunil Gandhi, SANParks Chief Pilot (the Blackhawk) – David Simelane, SANParks Chief Operating Officer – Lize McCourt and TotalEnergies General Manager Lubricants & Specialities – Chris Walkinshaw.

Airshow 2022 Program Final

The Airboss for #AAD2022 released the Final Air display program to us.
Saturday and Sunday program is almost similar for the two days.
Note although this is labeled as the final program, this can still change due to Aircraft or Pilot availability.


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Also, Read

Do’s and Don’ts attending an Airshow
About Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD2022)
AAD 2022 is Ready!

USAF Tanking

See USAF Tanking HC130/HH60 Demo at 15:15

Airshow 2022 Program

Slot TimeSlot EndAir Display Item (SATURDAY)Air Display Item (SUNDAY)Aircraft Type
Show OpeningShow Opening
09:0009:10Hawk Display (SAAF)Hawk Display (SAAF)BAE Hawk 120 (SAAF)
09:1009:20Museum Harvard (SAAFM)Museum Harvard (SAAFM)Harvard (SAAFM)
09:2009:30Pointer FormationPointer FormationC208s (SAAF)
09:3009:40Extra Advanced AerobaticsExtra Advanced AerobaticsExtra 300LP (Nashua)
09:4009:50GyrocopoterGyrocopoterMagni Gyro
09:5010:00RaptorsRaptors4 x RV7/8s
10:0010:10Golden Eagles Paradrop (SAAFM)Golden Eagles Paradrop (SAAFM)Kudu (all SAAFM Aircraft)
10:1010:20Chopper Display (SAAFM)Chopper Display (SAAFM)Puma, Alo-III, Alo-II
10:2010:30Fixed Wing Formo (SAAFM)Fixed Wing Formo (SAAFM)Bosbok/Kudu/C185
10:3010:40L-29 DisplayL-29 DisplayL-29 (Hangar 51)
10:4010:45Hawk Scramble/InterceptHawk Scramble/InterceptSovereign (SAPS)/Hawks (SAAF)
10:4511:00Silver Falcons (SAAF)Hired Gun Pitts TeamFalcons (SAAF)/4 x Pitts 2B
11:0011:40SAPS HijackingSAPS HijackingCessna Sovereign (SAPS)
Hawks Intercept (SAAF)
H125 (SAPS)
BK117s (SAAF)
11:4011:50Zimbabwe (AFZ)Zimbabwe (AFZ)Karakorum K-8 (AFZ)
11:5012:00BK117 Display (SAAF)BK117 Display (SAAF)BK-117 (SAAF)
12:0012:10SAFAIR B737/C130SAFAIR B737/C130C-130/B737 (SAFAIR)
12:1012:20SAFAIR C130Silver Falcons (SAAF)4 x PC-7 MkII (SAAF)
12:2012:30SANDF ParadropSANDF ParadropCasa 212/C208s (SAAF)
12:3012:40Good Year TeamGood Year Team4 x Pitts Specials (Good Year)
12:4012:50CFS Solo Display (SAAF)CFS Solo Display (SAAF)PC-7 MkII (SAAF)
12:5013:00Alo-II Helicopter DisplayAlo-II Helicopter DisplayAlo II (Pvt)
13:0013:15Puma Flying LionsPuma Flying Lions4 x Harvards (PUMA)
13:1513:30IVECO ExtrasIVECO Extras2 x Extra 330SC (IVECO)
13:3014:00Lunch BreakLunch Break
Mini War - Aircraft AirborneMini War - Aircraft AirborneGripen/Hawk
14:0014:45Mini War - C130/Casa 212 (SAAF)Mini War - C130/Casa 212 (SAAF)C130/Casa212
Mini War Fighters (SAAF)Gripen/Hawk (SAAF)Gripen/Hawk
Mini War - Choppers (SAAF)Mini War - Choppers (SAAF)Oryx/A109s/BK117s
14:4515:00L-39L-39L-39 (Pvt)
15:0015:15Silver Falcons (SAAF)Silver Falcons (SAAF)4 x PC-7 MkII (SAAF)
15:1515:30USAF TankingBK117 Display (SAAF)HC130 & HH60 (USAF)
15:3015:45USAF Pave HawkStearman/RC (Sunday)Boeing Stearman/RC
15:4516:00Hawk Display (SAAF)Hawk Display (SAAF)BAE Hawk Mk120
16:0016:15Mustang SallyMustang SallyP51D Mustang
16:1516:25Henley/Rocket HEMS Bell 222Henley/Rocket HEMS Bell 222Bell 222/Rescue
16:2516:40Henley Air 222Henley Air 222Bell 222
16:4016:50Extra Advanced AerobaticsExtra Advanced AerobaticsExtra 300LP (Nashua)
16:5017:00Mass Para Drop C130 (SAAF)Mass Para Drop C130 (SAAF)C130 (Flares)
17:0017:15Attack Helicopter Duo (SAAF)Attack Helicopter Duo (SAAF)Rooivalk/BK117 (Flares)
17:1517:20Fighter Flypast (SAAF)Fighter Flypast (SAAF)4 x Hawks
17:2017:30Gripen Sunset (SAAF)Gripen Sunset (SAAF)SAAB Gripen (Flares)
17:3017:45Puma Lions Flat DisplayPuma Lions Flat Display4 x Harvards

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