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SAPFA Club Rally Championship – Secunda

Secunda Flying Club was the chosen venue for the annual Rally Flying Club competition on Saturday 30 September 2017. The fun Rally coincided with the Secunda Spring Festival which was held at the Umuzi Lake just to the North of the airfield. The Spring festival will continue until 9 October .

Jonty Essrer Chairman of South African Power Flight Association assisted by Sandy Goddard set up the course, which consisted of a “Start Point”, eight “Turning Points” and a “Finish Point” in addition there are fourteen enroute photos that need to be Identified.

The teams consisting of the pilot and navigator fly the route and are required to pass over each of the points within a fifteen second window and no further than one mile diameter of the point. All teams chooses a speed at which they are comfortable t and their times are calculated accordingly. The speeds range from 80 to 120 mph depending on aircraft type.

The first team of got airborne at 10:00 am and a team left every five minutes for the next hour or so, all the competitors carry a GPS logger on board and could be tracked on LiveTracks24 via their cell phones, this makes the competition far more exciting for people on the ground watching as they can track the competitors in real time.

In addition to the turning points and photo identification the entrants are also judged on their landings a score 0 is given for landing on the designated line and then the penalty points get larger the further they land from the line.

Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer, both SA National competitors were the only entries flying under the Unlimited rules, Unlimited is far more stringent and only a four second window is allowed at turning points and the gate is also reduced.

Top honours in the Fun Rally compettion went to JP Swart and Jan Hendrik Jacobsz in a Cessna 182 with a very good score of 165, JP and Jan fly out of Ellisras.

Johan van Eden and Cor Esterhuizen followed in second spot in a RV7A they were also the first team from Springs and managed a very respectable 300 points.

Riaan Kamffer and Jaco Groenewald came in a close third only 12 points behind with 312, Riaan and Jaco held the Secunda name high.

Jaco Groenewald Jnr and Lourens Human manged 441 points to take fourth place, Jaco and Lourens also operate out of Secunda .

The prize for the best landing of the day went to local Secunda instructor Christoff la Grange and his wife Zina.

Leon le Roux was judged to have had the worst landing in his Sling 2, Leon ended running along on the nose wheel for a short while.

Arnie Meneghelli, Scully Levin, Ellis Levin and Dewalt Lourens entertained all with an aerobatic sequence over the festival grounds in the Puma Energy Flying Lions Harvards.

Jonty and Rob were totally “gob smacked” by the level of improvement from the previous year’s Club Challenge and encouraged everyone to take part in more Rally’s around the country.