Rand Airport Challenge 2019

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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


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