SA Airlink joined forces with Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 322 to give forty underprivileged children from Kimberly and Bloemfontein a day they will never forget. The morning started very early for the kids from Kimberly, they boarded a bus headed for Bloemfontein Airport where they met up with the rest of the group. Airlink made an Embraer ERJ 140 available to transport the group of wide eyed youngsters from Bloemfontein to OR Tambo international which for most of the children was their first flight ever.
This was only the beginning of a wonderful day of flying fun, no sooner had they disembarked at ORT and they were on another bus this time to the EAA Auditorium at Rand Airport. After a boerewors roll and a safety briefing it was time to give the visitors a taste of real rudder and stick flying.
EAA 322 pilots in a variety of aircraft took the children for a flip around the Rand circuit. The sudden increase in traffic caught the student air traffic controller a bit off guard with a constant flow of aircraft. After a challenging start ATC and the pilots worked together for a successful event where all children were flown plus their teachers and support staff.
After all the excitement it was time for the leaners to head back to OR Tambo to board their ERJ for the flight back to Bloemfontein and the bus trip back to Kimberly.
Very special thanks must go to Clive King for putting the whole day together as well as the pilots, Gordon Dyne, Frank Persson, Brian Appleton, Sean Russel, Alan Evan-Hanes, Robert Gasmann , Neal Bowden and Karl Jensen who selflessly gave their time and aircraft to make this a day to remember for all the kids. The ”Ground Crew” that kept things running smoothly and safely. Last but not least to the staff and management of SA Airlink THANK YOU for sponsoring this wonderful day hopefully a few of the young ones will pursue a career in aviation and maybe even join your airline someday and be part of similar inniatives.