Category Archives: NewsLetter – Review

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

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We Fly the C130B -Botswana Defence Force

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed. Now known as Lockheed Martin, which is capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.

The Botswana Defence Force received their first of three C130 B models in the late 90s as their medium transport resource.The last C130 which was . The latest addition to the transport fleet was an ex-AMARC C-130 Hercules to complement the two existing aircraft. The C130s belong to the Z10 Transport Squadron, made up of the Lockheed C-130, Casa 212 and CN235 – Maparangwane Air Base (Thebephatshwa/Molepolole in Botswana.

The C-130B model was developed to complement the A-models that had previously been delivered, and incorporated new features, particularly increased fuel capacity in the form of auxiliary tanks built into the center wing section and an AC electrical system. Four-bladed Hamilton Standard propellers replaced the Aero products three-blade propellers that distinguished the earlier A-models. The C-130B had ailerons with boost increased from 2,050 psi (14.1 MPa) to 3,000 psi (21 Mpa), as well as uprated engines and four-blade propellers that were standard until the J-model’s introduction.

An electronic reconnaissance variant of the C-130B was designated C-130B-II. A total of 13 aircraft were converted. The C-130B-II was distinguished by its false external wing fuel tanks, which were disguised signals intelligence (SIGINT) receiver antennas. These pods were slightly larger than the standard wing tanks found on other C-130Bs. Most aircraft featured a swept blade antenna on the upper fuselage, as well as extra wire antennas between the vertical fin and upper fuselage not found on other C-130s. Radio call numbers on the tail of these aircraft were regularly changed so as to confuse observers and disguise their true mission.

At Aviation Central we’ve had the privilege of also flying with the South African Airforce C130BZs from 28 Squadron based at Airforce Base Waterkloof in Pretoria on a number of occasions. A big thank you to the Botswana Defence Force for allowing us to join you during the 2019 Makgadikgadi Skydiving Epic in the beginning of July.

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MARITZBURG MODEL AIRCRAFT CLUB SCALE DAY 2019

MMAC Scale day

Sunday, 21 July 2019, Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club hosted the 2019 edition if the annual Scale Day. The day was a perfect winter’s day with clear blue skies. This made it a winning combination with fantastic radio control flying. 
Aircraft that participated ranged from Fighter Jets, Helicopter with bambe bucket, WW1 & WW2 aircraft, Civilian aircraft, Aerobatic Aircraft and a Glider!

Pilot briefing commenced at 08h30 with a nice turn out of pilots. All factors needed to make this a good and fun filled day was in place and the day turned out spectacular with some stunning flying.

A big Well Done to all the pilots for their fantastic displays and to MMAC for making Scale Day 2019 a Good One.  Food was proved in the food tent which was well attended by all on the day Well Done! 

Aircraft and Pilots

John Dorse
1/5 Boeing P26 Peashooter

Rhys and Ryan Mason
1/8 Puma
1942 Stuka

Dean Halley
1/5 FW190 30cc
J3 Piper Cub 30cc
ASH 25 Glider

Clive McInnes
1/4 Fokker DR1
Yak 11

Leon Coetzee – flown by Jason Barker
Beechcraft T6 Texan II
Lavochkin LA-7
1/7 Junkers 87B Stuka

1/4 Nieuport 28
Built by Neil Allen in 1986 and flown by Neil on the 2019 scale day.

Johan De Lange
1/5 Nieuport 11 (1915)
Dalotel MD 165
1/12 L39 Albatross

Andrew Marshall
Extra 300SC

Richard Steel – Flown by Mark Savage
P40 Warhawk
Fockewulf

Mark Savage
Mitsubishi Raiden

Ian Drennan
Ventus 2C

Eric Bell
1/7 Eurofighter
Extra 330
1/6 Hunter

Trevor Dickinson
1/7 Spitfire Mk9

Allan Sneedon
1/4 Clipped wing cub. 120cc

Craig Lipsett
Habu edf jet

About Maritzburg Model Aircraft Club

The club has been in existence for about 60 years; the previous site was at the old Oribi airport and has been at the current site for 36 years.

The current chairman is Johan De Lange who has been chairman for the last 5 years. The club has 60 paid up members.

Flying takes place normally on Wednesdays, Saturday and Sundays. This is a very social club and regularly hosts a “bring and braai” days on the first and last Wednesday of the month.

The airfield has two tar runways with a very large area either side which is mowed and has a very long run off area. This serves as a grass runway in 2 directions. The club has an awesome view of the surrounding area. There is a makeshift toilet, but the club does not have running water but can make a plan if water is required.

All sorts of aircraft are flown at the club. The airfield is also used occasionally for large scale aerobatics. Day visitors are allowed as long as they are fully paid up SAMAA members.  

Click to enlarge photos

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019-Skydiving Boogie

The Magadikgadi Epic once again took place with some of Africa’s finest scenery along the salt pans of Sowa,which lies in the Central District of Botswana. The event consisted of a number of skydivers from across the world sharing their knowledge with one another and using jumping platforms from both the Botswana Defence force and a lonely South African based Atlas Angel.

Sua Pan
Kampsite
Casa 235 & C130B
Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe
Skydivers from around the world
Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130

Flying in the Botswana Defense Force C130B#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan.

Sowa Town

A lot of our questions we get is what is skydiving, another word for skydiving known as Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. If you enjoy skydiving the Sua pan is the best place to view from the sky.

We had a early start, leaving Pretoria in the premature hours of Thursday 11 July 2019. Arriving back at the pans after visiting last year, we were greeted by members of the Botswana Parachute Association and old friends from Botswana. The evening we were briefed for the upcoming days activities. Before going to bed, one could admire the beautiful galaxy the pans bring out with the absence of city lights and other concerning noises one would hear while trying to get some sleep.

Entrance onto the pans
Our accommodation

Our accommodation was made up tents with comfortable beds, added with warm blankets and pillows for the chilly nights. With the wildlife in Botswana we were spoiled to see many types around the area, including Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and many more!

Blue Wildebeest
Zebra

The following morning saw the first jump with a quick briefing at manifest (meeting area) before making our way with the shuttles to Sowa airport, just a few kilometers away from the pans. The first two days the jump ship was the Botswana Defence Force Casa 235, while the next two days saw the welcome return of the Lockheed Martin C130B. The Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe took tandems (first time skydivers) during the course of the epic.

Evening Briefings
Turnoff to Sua Airport
BDF Casa 235
Casa 235 cargo hold
Wingsuit
C130B Sunset Flypast
C130 cargo Hold
Atlas Angel
Ready for the jump in the Atlas Angel

The Saturday was open to the people of Botswana to come enjoy a day out on the pans, in addition as listen to some local musicians while skydiving doings took place. This saw mass jumps from the C130B, as said this could accommodate more skydivers in the large cargo hold the aircraft has. One of the jumps saw the aircraft climb to 19 000ft with oxygen fitted to the aircraft for the skydivers use. Helicopter flips were also available with one of the Delta Rescue Bell Jetrangers.

Oxygen at 19 000ft
Wingsuiters ready for the jump from the C130
Bell Jetranger giving flips over the pans.
Makgadikgadi Epic 2019

Makgadikgadi Epic 2019 Highlights#ILoveBotswana

Posted by Aviation Central on Wednesday, 17 July 2019

Botswana current president Mokgweetsi Masisi also visited the event on Saturday afternoon. Great to see world leaders visiting top notch events that bring exposure from around the world. The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van), just this time on sand and stone.

Cyril Nfila and a happy new skydiver
The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van) and a Taxi, just this time on sand and stone.

A big thank you to the Botswana Parachute Association, Colonel Majama, Botswana Tourism and many others who got us to the event. A big Congratulations to another successful boogie and a safe event.Individually next year is again on our lists to attend without a doubt.

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Krugersdorp Flying Club-Spot Landing and Airfield Festival 2019

By Dian Townsend

The Krugersdorp Flying Club (KFC) hosted their annual Spot Landing and Airfield Festival. It was an overall great day with the weather playing along very nicely. Many pilots competed in the spot landing competition and there were many classic cars forming the static display.


Flying started at about 10h00 with a couple of Cessna’s, which were then followed by some Beechcraft and other interesting aircraft. Part of the static aircraft was an Antonov AN-2 ‘Daizy’ and four Robinson helicopters. Many of the pilots that competed in the spot landing competition also parked their aircraft on the static display area.

The motor show was also a big success with no less than 20 cars on display.
There was plenty to do for the whole family. Vendors sold toys for the kids, Karel Zaayman from the Aviation Shop also was present with many of aviation finest collection up for purchase as well as lunch and many other interesting crafts and memorabilia. An Alouette III helicopter gave flips to visitors, showing them the beautiful scenery around the airfield.


All things considered, it was a brilliant day. There was a very good turnout of aircraft and cars, offering something for the aviation fan as well as the petrolhead. There was something to do for everybody and it was near impossible to be bored while looking at all the aviation spectacles. Well done to Henco Van Niekerk on winning the spot landing competition. We look forward to next year’s edition!

Spot Landing Participants

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Aero South Africa 2019

The General Aviation Global show of the world which has been taking place in Lake Constance in Germany for the last 40 years and now the show has made its way to South Africa. This is due to the close partnership between Messe Friedrichshafen and Messe Frankfurt.

The much anticipated Aero South Africa finally arrived on South African shores at the Wonderboom National Airport in the city of Tshwane. This was the first of its kind in South Africa to introduce this type of expo to the General Aviation Industry. The purpose of the event was to see an interactive trade show with demonstration flights of the different aircraft, aviation exhibitors, flight schools and other products in the industry that were showcased, a fly-inn was also part of the proceedings during the entire duration of the event.

4000 square meters of space was provided for exhibition space, consisting of indoor, outdoor, park and sell plus and aircraft display area. This included general aviation most of all types seen in South Africa, a couple of warbird aircraft that also flew in for the event, such as the P51D Mustang, De Havilland Tiger Moth and also part of the De Havilland family the Wonderboom based De Havilland T55 Vampire, a number of helicopters were on static display and in the park and sell area.

Swiss Vampire T55 & Wonderboom National Airport Terminal

The Saturday saw the entire apron full of aircraft both that flew in and that of who were present from day 1.Lieutenant Colonel Keith Andrews from the South African Airforce was Ramp Controller and made sure he could accommodate any type of aircraft for parking purposes for all three days of the event.

Bell 407-Dian Townsend

The Park and Sell area was pointed out as a new attraction to any aviation event in South Africa sponsored by the well know Auto Trader which made a perfect opportunity to sell previously owned aircraft. A total of 80+ exhibitor’s were present. The new Cirrus vision jet of CDC aviation was a favourite for us to see south Africa’s first of its type face to face for the first time. Absolute’s Aviation Citation XLS+ was also one of the bizjets on static display shadowed by a Cessna Grand Caravan EX.

Cessna 210-Dian Townsend
Cessna Citation XLS+
Absolute Aviation showing the youth a Cessna Grand Caravan

Team Extreme’s Jason Beamish and Nigel Hopkins in their Extra 330 Aerobatic Aircraft closed day 1 of Aero South Africa with a short aerobatic display, while day 2 and 3 were closed off with Jason in his Extra 330 and Mark Sampson in his Sbach 341.They also met up with Menno Parsons on the final day of Aero in his P51D ‘Mustang Sally’ with some formation flying before the day concluded.

Team Extreme Extra 330s
P51D ‘Mustang Sally’

Century Avionics was many of the many exhibitors of the event, their products were put to show were the static display of both Team Extremes MX2 owned and flown by Mark Hensman’s and Mark Sampson’s Sbach 341 with GPSs and other avionics the aircraft are fitted with.

MX2

Villa San Giovanni’s Restaurant made sure pure business visitors and the general public didn’t go hungry with excellent Italian cuisine during the three days of the show, as well as accommodation on the airports premises.

Little Annie the well known Airshow Antonov 2 owned by the Hill Family, was on static display and visitors were able to look and interact with. They also had a raffle for a new set of Bose Headsets with R20 000 which is available with Wings n Things from Lanseria International Airpor.Wings ‘n Things is a pilot supplies store established in 1990. We are authorised dealers of the world’s leading aviation brands such as Jeppesen, David Clark and Bose, as well as a reseller of many other aviation products.

‘Little Annie’ AN2

A huge well done to all the organisers of the event both local and overseas officials. Lets hope this becomes and annual event with the next Aero South Africa even bigger.


Saturday was the busiest day of the AERO SA trade show weekend. The morning started out quiet but picked up speed after 10h00. The fly-in was a great success. Anything and everything that flies was seen at Wonderboom. Vans RVs, Cessna, Bat hawks and many Robinson Helicopters. Absolute Aviation Group with Jason Beamish took photos with fans and they printed them on customized frames. The day played out beautifully and there was entertainment for the whole family. Definitely one for the 2020 calendar!-Dian Townsend SAAFMPC Member

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Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

Warbirds Over Swartkop 2019

By Dian Townsend

This year’s annual Warbirds Over Swartkop was held at Air Force Base Swartkop. The event span two days with Saturday being the busier of the two. On Saturday we saw Warbirds like the P40 Warhawk, Corsair, Bell UH-1, Eurofighter Typhoon, T-6 Harvard, Pilatus PC-21 and many more. The day had very little breaks in flight and continued until about 16h00. Sunday was much quieter with only about 10 aircraft flying, but the pilots made sure to impress none the less.

Saturday was certainly a good day for the spectators with the Viper Jet, Eurofighter Typhoon and Pilatus PC-21 being the biggest crowd pleasers. Later in the afternoon the two T-6 Harvards joined forces to put on a good aerobatic formation display. Sunday started with the sound of a second Viper Jet firing up it’s engine, followed by a couple  more jets and some smaller aircraft. Arguably the main event for the day, the Extra 300 display. Exhilarating knife edge flybys, inverted passes and  very low hovers.

This event made for a great family outing. The Windsock Café was open for lunch on Saturday, once again serving tasty sandwiches at a very reasonable price and there were two pavilions right on the crowd line providing a good seating spot. Spectators are also allowed onto the actual apron/ taxiway. Something you don’t normally see at airshows. It is recommended that small children are always accompanied by an adult as there were some pretty expensive aircraft in attendance and there is no barrier dividing the apron and runway.

This event was a first for me, but definitely not a last. Photographing these small aircraft is no easy feat, but serves as great practice for bigger airshows. It was awesome talking to many more of the people in our wonderful aviation community here in South Africa. The pilots are very passionate about their aircraft and love talking to the younger crowd and showing them around their aircraft.

This weekend was a great success for the organisers and pilots who attended. There was no dull moment with talented pilots flying their hearts out and even the occasional spill on landing or take off.  There was a wide spread of aircraft ranging from jets to warbirds, aerobatic planes and even a couple of helicopters. This event has once again proven to be one for the 2020 calendar and we look forward to seeing what next year’s Warbirds Over Swartkop has in store for us!

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The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally

The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Navigation Speed Rally – 8 June 2019 by Rob Jonkers

The South African Power Flying Association held a very successful Speed Rally at Bethlehem on 8th June 2019, this one being the 5th in the speed rally series started in 2018. This event is going from strength to strength, attracting more and more participants, this time round the first 30 entries were snapped up within hours and when the entries were increased to 40 to accommodate the local clubs, there were another 10 entries within days, where a waiting list had to be started.

The Pilot Insure Bethlehem Speed Rally 2019

Aircraft and Crew list 

Pilot Navigator Registration Aircraft
Eduard Scholtz  Johannes Streicher ZU-RVI Van’s Aircraft RV-10
Leon Joubert  Sandi Goddard ZU-LNC Lancair ES
Rhett Shillaw  Ryan Shillaw ZS-ECK Cessna 182H
Simon Abbot  Chris Shillaw ZS-ACA Cirrus SR22 G5
Quintin Kruger  Johan Whiteman ZS-FVV Piper PA-28-235C
Phil Wakeley  Mary de Klerk S-CNY Cessna 210
Eugene van Staden  Gary Whitecross ZU-IBH Airplane Factory Sling 4
Jaco Breytenbach  Neil Claassen ZS-SVW Cessna T210L
Ryan Beeton  Franz Smit ZU-EYP Van’s Aircraft RV-7
Sarel van der Merwe  Paul Potgieter ZU-ACI Piaggio P.166S
Jaco Goosen  Carel du Preez ZS-KNX Cessna R182 RG II
Mubarak Manaf  Alex Mubanzo Barichelo ZS-MMD Piper PA-34-220T
Ron Stirk  Von Hammon ZS-NBT Cessna A150M
Thys vd Merwe  Gerda Pienaar ZU-AFP Cessna 172D
Leon Bouttell  Martin Meyer ZU-FWS Evektor-Aerotechnik Harmony
Mobin Mohamed  Enock Musasizi Kazimba ZS-CBU Piper PA-28-180B
Ala Buserwil  Tintswalo Mabunda ZS-SMB Cessna 172K
Bennie du Plessis  Barry de Groot ZS-IJL Beech K35
Hendrik Loots  Jandre Loots ZU-IHK Airplane Factory Sling 2
Johan van Eeden  Cor Esterhuizen ZU-IHH Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Jonty Esser  Jonathan Esser ZU-BLL Cessna 150C
Nicholas de Wit  Philip Jacobs ZU-MRW Van’s Aircraft RV-10
David Ross  James Braid ZU-JAR Airplane Factory Sling 2
Zwelihle Zondo  Madi Duba ZS-EKI Piper PA-28-140
Bob Cohoe  Johann van Niekerk ZS-OZI American Champion 7-GCBC
Wayne van Rooyen  Almero Calitz ZS-MOI Piper PA-32R-301T
Gerrit Coetzee  Liesel Coetzee ZU-BPI KFA Bush-Baby 500
Piet Meyer  Adrienne Visser ZU-DUU Jabiru J400
Eric Addison  Antoinette Addison ZU-LAX Van’s Aircraft RV-7A
Shaun Barron  Steven Watkins ZS-PLE Cirrus SR22 G2
W Uys  Franz Maeder ZU-FVA Jabiru J430
Riccardo Baruffa  Munaf Sayyed ZS-PED Cessna 172M
Adenola Daniel  Igun Nkosinathi Fanti ZS-MKZ Piper PA-28-160
Phillip Austin Shaune Fryer ZU-KGV Flight Design CTSW

The Bethlehem Club went out of their way to make the organizing an easy affair, with Club Chairman Philip Jacobs making arrangement 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 south of the airfield hugging the Drakensberg mountains in places

The weather was absolutely pristine, with hardly any wind and no clouds throughout the day, with Saturday being predicted to be the same. As an institution as part of the Speed Rally is that Mary de Klerk provides a training session in the afternoon, but with many teams already becoming well versed in this, Mary provided some dedicated training to teams.

Thereafter at 18h00, 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. The evening ended with a braai hosted by the Bethlehem Aero Club, before retiring for the night.

For Saturday the briefing started at 8h00, 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, 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.

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.

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.

Scrutineers Chareen, Lizelle, Ashleigh and Jan-Paul 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 Mauritz du Plessis, 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 10h20 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h45, with planned arrival at 11h30.

With all the competitors off towards the west, 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. In general the competitors found the course difficult this time round, and this is visible in the results with many turn point misses, there will be a few improvements that will be made with planning a route. It appears that the final chicane turnpoint remained elusive for many.

At virtually exactly 11.30 the first aircraft over the line was the Sling of ZU-JAR, but unfortunately had missed two turnpoints, thus were out of the running as a winner. They were closely followed by the rest of the pack, all of the teams having arrived within 7 minutes.

After all teams having returned, bar a Sportcruiser that lost its propeller and had to do a forced landing, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, and with the new loggers were able to complete the scores by 2 pm, given that there was an increase in the number of competitors, whereby everybody were given their score sheets. After this there was prize giving, which first started off with showing some tracks of how many got lost around the course.

The overall winners in the best handicap speed were the team of Eduard Scholtz and Johannes Streicher ina RV10 ZU-RVI, in second place was Leon Joubert and Sandi Goddard in a Lancair ZU-LNC, and in third place Rhett and Ryan Shillaw in a Cessna 182 ZS-ECK. 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 Leon Bouttell and Martin Meyer in a Evektor Harmony ZU-FWS, in second place was Quinton Kruger and Johan Whiteman in a PA28-235 ZS-FVV, and in third place Simon Abbot and Chris Shillaw in a Cirrus SR22 ZS-ACA.

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Many thanks to the Bethlehem 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 Mauritz du Plessis doing the scoring with our handicapping guru Chester Chandler, Marc Robinson from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw, Lizelle Kruger handing out competition papers to the crews as well as Scrutineering, Jonty & Lizelle for putting together an awesome Friday evening launch event. Thanks also extended to Danie Heath of the ARCC who was our first port of call on the force landing of the Sportscruiser to get the Search and Rescue function activated and the link into the CAA, for sure at these types of events we need our guardian angels.

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.

ZU-LAX – taking the scenic route along the Drakensberg

One of the better tracks of the day – ZU-IBH

Final Overall Handicap Results Bethlehem 2019

Final-Overall-Accuracy-Results Bethlehem 2019

Final Overall Accuracy Results Bethlehem 2019

Final Overall Handicap Results Bethlehem 2019

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