On a sweltering evening the Aero Club of South Africa hosted their annual awards dinner at Air Force Base Zwartkop. At 4:30 in the afternoon the guests started arriving at the beautiful Hangar 5 at this historic Air Force Base. After a welcome drink the Air Force Museum treated everyone to a beautiful display of their pride and joy the de Havilland Vampire, flown by Col Glen Warden.
Once inside Paul Lastrucci welcomed everyone and acknowledge all the VIP’s these included Simon Segwabe (Executive Aviation Safety Operations SACAA), Mmanare Mamabolo (Executive Legal & Compliance SACAA), Chris Zwiegenthal (Chief Executive Airlines Association of South Africa), Tracey Eloff (Commercial Aviation Association of South Africa), Major General Ngema (SAAF), Neil De Lange (Chief Executive Officer RAASA), Donald Schenk (Founder Wonders of Aviation)and Bruce Harrison (Royal Air Force Officers Club).
The current chairman of the Aero Club, Jeff Earle, took to the podium. In his chairman’s address he highlighted some of the achievements and activities of the past year, with a lot of emphasis on the upcoming 2020 Centenary celebrations. He also outlined plans for a “Silver Queen” type air race. Invitations will be sent to many overseas visitors and aviation celebrities and once they on our home soil they can be exposed to the treasures of tourism in our magnificent country.
Jeff informed all present that another Aero Club Air Week is planned for March next year, judging by the reaction of the members it will be yet another successful event. All the members were thanked for their ongoing support and special thanks went to Sandra and Chandre for keeping things running smoothly in the office.
A toast was made to all the Chairpersons of all the sections as well as the management and staff of the Aero Club.
After the starters were served Paul Lastrucci got the business of the awards underway, first up was the awarding of SASCOC Protea Colours, for participation in international events.
Senior Protea Colours 22nd FAI World Air Balloon Championships 2016 from 31st October to 6 November 2016 in Saga, Japan to Danie Minnaar, Heinrich Hoffman and Jos Minnaar acknowledged for crew support to Danie Minnaar.
Senior Protea Colours 1st FAI World Wingsuit Flying Championships 2016 from 3rd to 9 November 2016 in Skydive City, Zephyrhills, Florida to Andrew de Jonge and Waldo Prinsloo.
Special Acknowledgement for participation in Canopy Piloting at the World Air Games in Wroclaw, Poland from 20th to 30 July 2017 to Matteo Pagani
Senior Protea Colours World Cup of Wingsuit Acrobatic Flying at Skydive City, Zephyrhills, Florida from 3rd to 9 November 2016 to Lehan Bornman, Susan Watts and Tamsyn Snyman
Senior Protea Colours for the World Aerobatic Championship 2017 from 10th to 17 September 2017 in Malelane, South Africa to Barrie Eeles, Bertus Du Preez, Mark Hensman, Neville Ferreira, Nigel Hopkins, Patrick Davidson and Annie Boon as the team Manager.
Senior Protea Colours for the 15th FAI World Paragliding Championships 2017 from 1st to 15 July 2017 in Monte Avena, Pedavena, Italy to Andre Rainsford-Alberts, Jon Pio, Khobi Bowden and Russell Achterberg and Special Acknowledgement to Andrew Smith and Jan Minnaar
Senior Protea Colours for the FAI F3K Glider World Championships in Lviv, Ukraine from the 23rd to the 29th of July 2017 to Alan Smith, Craig Goodrum, Ivor Fletcher and the team manager Brett Lewis and Junior Colours to Tiaan van Rooyen.
Senior Protea Colours for the 1st FAI World Air Navigation Race Championship 2017 held in Castellon, Spain held from the 11th to the 17th of September 2017 to Cally Eckard, Frank Eckard, Hans Schwebel, Mary De Klerk, Ronald Stirk, Thys van der Merwe and for participation as International Judge Special Acknowledgement to Arddyn Moolman.
Senior Protea Colours for the 23rd FAI World Precision Flying Championships held in Spitzerberg Airfield, Austria from the 29th of July to the 5th of August 2017 to Andre Kluyts, Frank Eckard, Mauritz Du Plessis, Ronald Stirk and the team manager Mary De Klerk and for participation as President of the Jury, Special Acknowledgement to Hans Schwebel.
Senior Protea Colours for the 34th FAI World Gliding Championships Open 18m and 15m Class held in Benalla, Australia from the 1st to the 22nd of January 2017 to Attie Jonker, Laurens Goudriaan, Oscar Goudriaan, Pieter Nouwens and Uys Jonker, Carol Clifford as the team Manager and Junior Colours to Marcus Nouwens.
A Silver Badge was awarded to Danie Minnaar for his achievements in the Ballooning Class
Recognition certificates were awarded to the following for achieving FAI Continental Records
for setting an African record for the longest Indoor Formation Skydiving 4-way sequence (25 formations) at the 2nd FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving in Warsaw, Poland on 14 October 2016
Andrew de Jonge
for setting an African record for the highest time in Wingsuit Flying (84.7 sec) at the 1st FAI World Wingsuit Performance Flying Championships in Zephyrhills, USA on 6 November 2016
for setting an African record for the greatest speed in Wingsuit Flying (258.00 km/h) at the 1st FAI World Wingsuit Performance Flying Championships in Zephyrhills, USA on 4 November 2016 and
for setting an African record for the greatest distance in Wingsuit Flying (3.607 km) at the 1st FAI World Wingsuit Performance Flying Championships in Zephyrhills, USA on 4 November 2016
for setting an African record for the max distance in Canopy Piloting (133.08m) at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland on 22 July 2017
Special Recognition Certificates Awarded to Aeroclub members who have made an exceptional contribution to the Aeroclub during the year
Yolande was elected to the SAGPA committee in November 2016 and took to the task like a breath of fresh air. She took on the job as secretary and more and hit the ground running.
Her knowledge of the Civil Aviation Regulations has assisted SAGPA a great deal and during the course of 2017. Yolande can literally stand her "man" in the worst of arguments regarding the CARS and does not back off at all. She organised a fly-in during which she also ran a very successful seminar for the gyrocopter community. Yolande also restarted the SAGPA website as well as a informal whatsup site for easier communication. By doing this, she has started to reunite the various factions within the section.
For achieving a Silver Medal, 2nd Place in the Landing Section of the 23rd FAI World Precision Flying Championships held in Spitzerberg Airfield, Austria from the 29 July – 5 August 2017
Safety First Aviator Team
The Aeroclub is the administrative organiser of the industry Safety First Aviator campaign with input from various organisations, and generous sponsorship from SACAA,
SA Search and Rescue
SA Weather Service
Experimental Aircraft Association of South Africa
The results as presented by the SACAA Accident Rates show that this initiative is making a difference. But it is the people whom make it happen and the Aeroclub acknowledged the 2017 team for making it happen
Eric Du Rand, Piet Fourie, Santjie White, Danie Heath, Cobus Toerien, Kylee Burnett, Adriaan Leodolff, Mike Bowyer, Leon van der Mescht, Horace Block, Don Keth, Eon de Vos, Rian Smit, Karl Jensen, Jeff Earle, Margie Viljoen, Hennie Marais, Brenda Thomas, Megan duRaan, Sibusiso Ketwe, Sandra Strydom, Alan Evan-Hanes, Chandre Steenkamp, Richard Becker, Sonia Ferreria, Xolile Jele, Dean Thomas, Wendy Santhilano, Rian Smit
This season of Safety Aviator has had a particularly strong presence of 30 venues country wide to bring the message to as many aviators possible by linking up at club level at local airfields, covering a number of topics with a safety aspect. Attendance was generally good. The enthusiasm of the team was infectious to the audience as evidenced in their presentations, and it is hoped that what was provided in that short space of time will have a lasting effect on the attendees.
Sylvester is a past student of the Cornerstone College in Silverton Pretoria. He learnt to fly radio models there, and his uncontained enthusiasm has spilled over into continuing to assist students at the College. Over and above that, he has on his own undertaking and cost, gone well out of his way by trying to find various bursaries for the deserving students he knows.
Whilst he has not yet achieved his goals, the Aeroclub wishes to recognize his passion and enthusiasm for assisting others, being a young man himself in assisting other fellow youth enthusiasts.
South African World Aerobatic Championship Management Team
"John Gaillard, Mike Visagie, Annie Boon, Kelly McCauley, Natalie Stark, Adam Puc, Cindy Weber, Alan Evan-Hanes, Mel Preddy, Quintin Hawthorne, Cliff Lotter"
Organising a World Championship Aviation event in South Africa is no mean feat, especially involving competition flying where the logistics of being at the southern tip of Africa plays a big role in the success of such an event. The SAC management team realised a very successful WAC held at Malelane which in itself is a remote area of the country, but could offer good airfield facilities and interesting bush lodgings. There was even a coastal cyclone to contend with on the last competition day. It is the ONLY WAC held where all intended flights were flown.
The 34th FAI World Gliding Championships South African Team
Oscar Goudriaan, Lourens Goudriaan, Attie Jonker, Uys Jonker, Peter Nouwens, Marcus Nouwens"
The South African team consisted of 3 pairs of families: Brothers Oscar and Laurens Goudriaan in the Open Class, brothers Attie and Uys Jonker in the 15m class and father Peter and son Marcus Nouwens in the 18m class. The SA team all flew gliders manufactured from the local glider manufacturer, Jonker Sailplanes.
In the 15m class Attie and Uys flew the brand new JS3 who had its maiden flight on 12 December 2016 on the 10 year anniversary of the maiden flight of the 1st JS1. This was merely a month before the WGC kicked off in Australia!
It was less than two years ago that brothers Attie and Uys Jonker and Johan Bosman, designers of the JS3, considered developing a 15-metre sailplane to be ready for the World Gliding Championships in Benalla, Australia. The aerodynamic design was only frozen in March 2016 leaving the team with less than 10 months to complete the detail design and to construct a completely new sailplane.
Dr Mike Brown
Dr Mike Brown our National Young Eagles convenor and Chairman of Chapter 322 Johannesburg continues to put in tremendous effort to ensure momentum within the Chapter and the Young eagle's project. Mike always comes up with novel ways to arrange and promote the young eagle's way beyond the initial flip that the young eagles are taken on.
Mike uses his classic Beechcraft Debonair and Globe Swift aircraft to provide many a young enthusiast the chance to experience flight for the first time. Mike worked very hard to ensure that the Young Eagles flights are successfully done and young eagle is a worthy recipient of their first flight.
Dr Brown is versatile and always assists with EAA projects and has taken the lead in a many EAA initiatives. He is on hand to assist with hosting EAA Flying events throughout year and makes a special attempt to ensure they operate to a high standard. Mike will be relocating to Cape Town in the New Year and our Johannesburg Chapter and the entire EAA will miss his get it done style. There will be some EAA movement now at Morningstar we are sure.
Mike is certainly a worthy recipient of this prestigious award. Mike could unfortunately not collect his award Eugene Couzyn collected it on his behalf
And a very special thanks to an honorary SAC member Mel Preddy. Mel lives in Malelane and heads up local business council. It is not possible to thank him enough for all that he has done. There would certainly not be a contest without him. Amongst many other critical things Mel organised the following - all the local authorisations (police, local Government, business sector, emergency services, as well attaining from the owner permission to use Malelane airfield, he also organised the catering, the marking of the box, the emergency facilities, the training airfields, and even the ablution facilities.
It is as a direct result of his credibility, and the high esteem with which he is held by the local community, that the people of Malelane have opened their hearts to this contest and made this event possible. Mel Preddy is a credit to Malelane and indeed to South Africa.
In 2020 the Aero Club will be celebrating its Centenary. Rob Jonkers has volunteered to manage the programme of celebrations, and the Aero Club would like to recognise his exceptional contribution thus far and ask all the sections and entities of the Aero Club to support him with the successful outcome of the celebrations.
Youth Development Certificate is Awarded to Dr Rob Hurlin who made a significant contribution in developing new young Aeroclub aviators. Dr Rob Hurlin has run a Radio Control Model Flying development project at Cornerstone College for the past 11 years . Young boys and girls from grade 7 to 11 have been taught how to fly RC models and have learnt about the principles of flight and aviation safety. From a group of 20 there are usually two who qualify as Solo RC pilots each year.
The young people involved in this project have been guided in developing their passion for a career in aviation. The project is sponsored by the Aero Club of South Africa, the South African Model Aircraft Association, the Silverton Model Flying Club and Frasers RC models.
Rob Hurlin and his wife founded Cornerstone College 26 years ago to make excellent education accessible to disadvantaged communities. He has a doctorate in Aeronautical Engineering and was the manager of the CSIR wind-tunnels before joining the school full time 16 years ago
Paul Maritz the guest speaker for the evening took all present on a humorous recollection of the trils and tribulations of the recently held Vintage Air Rally from Crete to Cape Town. It would be fair to say that the Crete to Cape Vintage Air Rally event would not have been completed were it not for Pauls’ enthusiasm and generous assistance
Don Tilley Award for Safety in Aviation was awarded to Lt. Col. Francois Hanekom who have made a noteworthy contribution to aviation safety this year .
He served as vice chairman on the ASSA board and took the flight safety and training of safety officer’s portfolio under his leadership.
Better known as “Hosepipe“he has trained many pilots and ground personnel in the industry.
All respecting him for his diligence and always willing to help with no questions ask attitude.
Francois has been involved in the airshow area for more than 25 years, with this back ground and willingness to help and train, assist where necessary playing a key role in the back ground of flight safety he was very deserving of this award.
Dennis Jankelow Trophy for Airmanship was awarded to Karl Jensen
Karl an enthusiastic supporter Aeroclub, is a radio modeler, ex-air force pilot, scheduled airlines pilot, charter pilot and a vintage aircraft flyer. He never fails to volunteer his services, often at tremendous personal cost, to support various initiatives and projects the Aeroclub has. His enthusiasm and true passion are symbolized by his genuine love of aviation and aviators. It is also displayed by his constant demonstration of doing things the right way, acting as an exemplary role model for peer review. He is always approachable and willing to share his wisdom acquired over 27,000 hours of flight. He has been known to offer quiet confidential suggestions to other pilots to help them understand why they should change their behaviour for future flight safety. His constant display of exemplary airmanship over years of flying makes him for this a very worthy recipient of this award.
Air show of the year this year went to Wonderboom Adrenaline show, Christian Maiorana and his team have taken Airshows to a new level incorporating motorsport has made the appeal far more widespread. Absolute efficiency of every “Boss” in charge of their respective departments made them an obvious choice for this prestigious award.
Middleburg Airshow came in a very close second Richard and Irene Lovett together with their amazing team put together a show that hasn’t been seen in small towns for many years.
The Lowveld Airshow was a judged third best airshow, this team of dedicated people managed to do their preparations twice in one year as the first date was cancelled at number 99 due to inclement weather. The show was then held a few weeks later.
James Gilliland Trophy Awarded to Marc Oostingh most meritorious flying feat accomplished in the past year Marc could unfortunately not be to accept the award in person and has asked if Paul Maritz would do so on his behalf.
Together with his good friend Motswanan Brett Warren, Marc Oostingh agreed to fly an open cockpit biplane along the length of Africa. A minor problem was the Marc did not own a biplane, so he quickly bought a Tiger Moth and then had it suitably modified in order to undertake the journey. He did some minor test flights to Botswana where it and Brett’s Tiger were boxed and shipped to England. On arrival the propeller was found to be broken. After being assembled with a new propeller, and some flights within England, Marc and his brave wife Lauren flew to Crete. Lauren soon became weary of oily cold uncomfortable air travel, and elected to send Marc solo from Rome southwards. On a final inspection in Athens, the engine was found to be unairworthy and certain failure in the next five flight hours. New parts and a mechanic were quickly imported from England, and the engine was repaired.
Marc flew solo across the Adriatic Sea, and the Mediterranean to enjoy all the spectacles Africa has to offer, witnessing the great pyramids, along the centrepoint of early civilization – the Nile, Kilimanjaro, landing on the rim of the Ngorongoro crater and the mighty Victoria Falls. Along with Brett Warren in his Tiger Moth, Marc rightly believed that no trip would be complete without visiting the Okovango Swamps so they deviated from the Vintage Air Rally route to incorporate this. It was here that Brett damaged his Tiger Moth when a storm damaged it.
Marc completed the journey in 90 hours, the only real problems being minor damage to a wing when landing at Nairobi, and a flat wheel on landing in Plettenburg Bay.
SA Eagle Trophy awarded Tiaan van Rooyen for the most meritorious achievement at an international event.
Tiaan was born on the 22nd July 1999 and is a grade 12 scholar at Pretoria Boys’ High School. He participates in athletics high jump, squash, cricket, ice skating and plays the guitar. After completion of matric he wishes to study Mechanical Engineering. Tiaan is a very keen aeromodeller and a member of the Silverton Model Flying Club. He grew up surrounded by his father’s planes since the age of three and spent every Saturday afternoon on the flying field. Tiaan had met so many people that this wonderful hobby has brought him into contact with. As a youngster while playing with cars, Tiaan would pick them up and fly around like an aeroplane. Everything he got in his hands would fly. At age five he would take the RC transmitter and fly the aeroplane for a few minutes before running off to play. By seven he flew like an accomplished pilot, taking-off and landing with no hassles. It was evident from a young age that Tiaan was set for big honours in the radio control fraternity. One of the most important elements that he was taught from a young age, was to fly the aeroplane, and not wait for the plane to move before correcting its movement. He mastered this skill amazingly fast. Tiaan’s natural ability to stay calm under all conditions is the ultimate element necessary to be an excellent pilot which falls direct in line with his relaxed characteristics.
Jonker Sailplanes were selected to receive the PGS Trophy an anonymous award given to the most significant achievement by a South African manufacturer or designer of recreational aviation aircraft or products.
With more than 125 products sold worldwide Jonker Sailplanes (JS) is certainly living up to their vision to manufacture the most sought of sailplanes in the world.
JS’s first product, the JS1 Revelation had its maiden flight in 2006 and was awarded Type Certification by SACAA in 2010, the first and only aircraft to be type certified in Africa.
Since 2010 the JS1 was on the podium in every World Gliding Championships. During the 2015 European Gliding Championships, seven out of the first ten places were held by JS1 pilots, including places one to four.
The JS1 is currently also dominating the Grand Prix format - both the 2015 and 2016 Grand Prix finals were won by JS1s.
The company’s ultimate dream was achieved earlier this year during the 34th World Gliding Championships in in Australia. The JS3-15m racer was revealed to the world during this contest, a bare 20 days after its maiden flight. The JS3 achieved 2 day wins as well as the fastest task speed during the championships. On top of this, the JS1-18 EVO won the 18m class and its bigger brother (or shall we say sister) the JS1C-21 was awarded the gold and bronze medals in the Open Class.
Jonker Sailplanes is indeed well on their way to be the best in the world.
Silver wings were awarded to awarded to Aeroclub members who have delivered an exceptional service or a project to further the aims of the Aeroclub.
Daniel Ralefeta is an IT specialist, trainer but most importantly an enthusiastic aviator.
He is highly commended in the South African government ICT strategic development for political bearers and civil servants alike. His IT skills are utilised by the State Information Technology Agency’s (SITA) key projects to ensure maximum input into the uplifting of ICT skills for previously disadvantaged communities.
As chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa Transformation and Development, Daniel oversees the development of aviation enthusiasts through model flying, glider pilot training and the achievement of a private pilot license.
Daniel has a wide network of significant role players in the IT and aviation industry, and uses these networks to give back to the Previously Disadvantaged Children.
It is his overwhelming and insatiable enthusiasm for fellow aviators and creating new ones that he deserves this recognition. He is also a serving member of the Executive Committee for Wonders of Aviation.
Mark Clulow is an experienced Pilot who has served the EAA of SA diligently. He flew Impala Mk2, Mirage III and Mirage F1 for SAAF during the conflicts of the 70’s and 80’s on SA Borders in both operational tours and sorties during the Angolan war. Mark is now a Chartered Accountant by trade and spends most weekends as a flight instructor at Circus Airfield. Mark’s gentile manner and generosity with his time is always something to be marvelled at.
Mark took on Project Cuba for the EAA of SA, supporting Arthur Piercy in his efforts to complete Project DreamWings – the highlight being the opportunity to reconcile with a Cuban Airforce Pilot on what happened to him when he was shot down in his Mirage as a young SAAF pilot in Angola. Mark headed up this project with enthusiasm in order for a fellow SAAF pilot to be able to reach his goal. Although the vision of the project evolved over four years, the end result made it a success and gave Arthur Piercy some form of closure and offered all those that were involved along the way an opportunity to share in Arthur’s experience. This would not have been possible without Mark Clulow.
Gerald Maddams Introduced into aviation at the age of seven by his father, an aircraft mechanic during WW II, when two French navy Lancaster’s flew over St Paul’s Church in Durban.
Gerald joined the Pietermaritzburg EAA Chapter in 1972 where he honed his aviation interests and has been an active EAA and Aero Club member ever since.
Gerald championed the EAA Natal Chapter Merge in 1996 to what is now known as Chapter 1502 which is now the second most active chapter in South Africa today.
Gerald a school teacher by profession now retired, spent many years between his teaching and chapter duties restoring an Auster ZU –MGM back to pristine condition and has also whilst in his retirement from his teaching profession recently attained his PPL.
Gerald has spearheaded many projects over the years and his most notable is the merge of the KZN chapters into Chapter 1502 East Coast. His tireless efforts putting together the local Chapter newsletters and keeping the enthusiasm and interest alive within the KZN region is commendable. He is well known for keeping the dream alive by arranging B/S sessions where like-minded aviation enthusiasts shoot the breeze.
His is known within the chapter as Gerald Conduit as over the years he has amassed a huge friendship with many folk involved in aviation. He is known for putting people in need in touch with people that know, a real handy guy to have around. Gerald is also a member of the LAA in the UK as well. He spent time in the UK following the vintage aircraft circuit following his passion. He has also put together an aviation library at Grass Roots airfield his home base to further the rich history of aviation in Natal.
Gerald also serves on the board of EAA South Africa as Chapter Chairman.
His attainment of Silver Wings is a worthy accolade for championing the EAA and in turn the Aero Club for his superb efforts spanning over almost 50 years is something special.
Cliff Lotter a committee member who expertly ran all ground operations during the 2017 WAC (World Aerobatic Championships). This included aircraft hangarage, aircraft movement, refuelling, safety briefings, and a host of other day to day apron related tasks throughout the entire contest including the organisation of all telecommunications infrastructure.
In the run up to the contest Cliff singlehandedly organised the largest corporate sponsor. Without him we could not have hosted this competition.
Rob Jonkers has designed a new type of power flying competition known as an Adventure Rally, to bring a bit of fun into flying around the patch, filled with clues, out of the window features photo recognition, and some “don’t veer out of the corridor navigation”.
These ADVENTURE RALLIES have become a hit with EAA and SAPFA members and the last one at the EAA Sun n Fun convention attracted 18 entries. For this superb effort and his many other contributions, including volunteering to plan the Aeroclub 2020 Centenary Events we award him Silver Wings.
Quintin Hawthorne was on the 2017 WAC (World Aerobatic Championship) committee. He expertly oversaw the entire scoring office, the very heart of the competition. In the run up to the contest he was extraordinarily reliable working quietly in the background, always getting tasks completed done, always applying wise judgement, and always making the correct decisions.
He oversaw all the accommodation, and other related support activities surrounding the contest. For the last 20 years Quintin always has the clubs interest at heart first and foremost. Without him we would not have hosted WAC 2017 in South Africa.
Gold Wings are awarded to Aeroclub members for at least 10 years continuous meritorious service to Aeroclub
Mark Hensman started flying at the age of 15. His flying career began with gliding, and model aircraft and many years later he became a training captain on Boeing 747s.
His involvement with Sport Aerobatics began in 1995, when he entered his first aerobatic competition, under the guidance of his mentor, Nigel Lamb. He has twice held the title of SA Aerobatic Champion in 2006 and again in 2009, and has represented his country many times, achieving the silver medal for the South African team in both 2008 and in 2010 at the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships. Mark also placed 5th at the 2010 China International Air Sports Fiesta, and came 4th in the World Air Masters in China in 2011. In 2010, after 15 years of performing solo displays around South Africa, Mark set up the Team Xtreme MX2 duo with Nigel Hopkins, and then decided to expand it to a 4 ship, taking it to China and around the World, thereby putting the South African aerobatics mark on the world! Mark has served on the SAC committee for the past 10 years, and continues to share his passion not only in SA, but throughout the world.
Bertus du Preez is a full-time airline pilot and has accumulated more than 19 000 hours of flying time. He has been involved in aerobatics for more than 18 years, his accomplishments include SA Aerobatic Champion in the Sportsman, Intermediate and Advanced Aerobatic classes and he has represented South Africa three times at the FAI World Aerobatic Championships. He also represented South Africa in the Sky Grand Prix. Bertus loves everything that flies, from microlites to jumbos, and he would like to fly them all. He has also been involved in the building of experimental aircraft, to flying of radio controlled aircraft. Bertus has served on the SAC committee for over 10 years, and has been actively involved in growing the sport in South Africa.
Peter Lastucci has been an avid aviation enthusiast since the early 1980’s. He has been flying since 1981, and an Aero Club and EAA member since 1985. Along the years he has restored a Bowers Fly-Baby; a Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser and two Bell 47 helicopters. None of this is particularly remarkable for an average EAA’er, even if we add his Approved Persons qualification he attained along the way.
What is truly remarkable, however, is Peter’s constant willingness and personal generosity in helping others. Peter has seldom, if ever, covered even the costs of his services. He has been known to provide others with spare parts at his own cost to help others in need; and solve unsolvable problems in various aircraft. Peter will carefully research problems if he does not have the answer. And it is not only his technical knowledge he willingly shares, but he will willingly swing a spanner to help a fellow pilot in need to ensure that the solution has been safely attended to.
Peter is not only an acknowledged master mechanic and a walking library of technical knowledge but also a very enthusiastic member. There are probably many here in the audience here tonight that have been the recipient of his generous efforts. He embodies what an Approved Person and an Aero Club member is all about, and has done so for over 30 years.
Len Cormac was one of a group of men constructing and flying home-made hang gliders in and around Pietermaritzburg in the late 1960s and early 70s. Their enthusiasm grew and this group then moved on to making aeroplanes. Len started with a Jodel D9, ZS-UGO, which he completed and flew in 1974. It was a joy to see in the sky. He subsequently built a Jodel D11, which was unfortunately burned in a fire. He is presently about 70 % along on another aircraft – this time a Jodel D185.
Len has been an Aero Club of South Africa member and an EAA member since 1973. That is more than 40 years ! Len was one of the first two Approved Persons (A.P.s) in Natal (now KZN), that being achieved in the mid 70’s. He is a very active A.P., signing out about 50 odd aircraft each year.
He has accumulated more than 5000 flying hours in a vast array of differing aircraft types, and was an instructor at Cato Microlight airfield for many years.
He continues to be an inspiration and a fount of knowledge to KZN EAA members, and as a talented engineer will always step forward to assist with the manufacture of door locks, brake levers, bushes, or whatever bit of engineering is required, quite often without even asking for the material costs.
Len is a man who has been at the heart of homebuilding and NTC aircraft in KwaZulu-Natal for many decades, and truly fits the description of a ‘selfless aviation enthusiast’.
Barry Turner a young 74 Years old and still actively involved in aviation.
He has never stopped working and says he does not know how to say no. There are few who have contributed more to the well-being of Aviation, and gliding in particular, than Barry.
With at least 3000 hours of flying Barry has also spent many years instructing. He taught young kids from the township when in Zimbabwe and five of these are now airline captains.
He was a keen tennis player but had a motor cycle accident at 17 years old ended his sporting activities. He discovered gliding and joined the Midlands Gliding Club which happened to be opposite his home.
Airplanes were in short supply in those days due to sanctions. The first plane Barry bought was a wrecked Slingsby Swallow for GBP15, it was more broken than fixed but after 4 years effort Barry eventually repaired it. Since then Barry has gone on to rebuild in excess of 20 to 30 airplanes taking them from write-offs, to complete rebuilds for either his own use or coming to the aid of club aircraft. As he says “It was the only way I could afford new aircraft”.
Whilst still in Zimbabwe he flew in a number of different championships with various degrees of success. He flew in the Caproni and attained the record when he flew a 300km triangle - it is highly likely that this record is still unbroken. He continues to entertain with his stories of an outlanding on a farm in the Free State where he was forced to take refuge at the top of a wind pump away from the affections of the farmer’s daughters – the rest is censored!
His first foray into metal gliders was when he rebuilt three Blaniks. His pride and joy was his beloved Libelle which as usual he had bought as a wreck and rebuilt to fly competitions.
He moved to South Africa in 1982. Peter Howe phoned him and told him there was a crashed Fornier RF5 in Nelspruit, unable to resist the lure of an opportunity to resuscitate old aircraft to their former beauty and grace, he went on to accumulate in excess of 700 hours before getting involved with the motor glider movement.
He was a founding member of East Rand Gliding Club (ERGC) which was formed in 2004 and is based at Springs airfield.
Over time Barry has been involved in flying generally, not only in his various roles at ERGC but also serving for many years on the SSSA Exco as technical officer helping to develop the then SSSA managed Approved Person scheme. Given his auto mechanic background he has become a leading expert when it comes to VW derivative aero engines and continues to rebuild, give advice and get that extra ounce out of those engines particularly on the Highveld.
During this time Barry has never sought recognition, reward or favor. While due to age, arthritic hips, failing health etc. Barry is not putting in the flying hours that he once did, he has and continues to show his passion for aviation and his desire to share this unique experience. We consider Barry a worthy contender for Aero Club Golden Wings for services to aviation.
Mary de Klerk is well known as one of the most enthusiastic and competitive aviators in our domain of recreational aviation. Her presence at flying events is always infectious and brings fun into our world of flying. Mary has served on the SAPFA committee for 10 years, and has organised and also assisted with many of the SAPFA Fun Rally events, and has also managed the South African Flying Team at our international events. She is a great ambassador for South Africa at our international competitions.
We have a small surprise in that our next award goes to an unusual recipient, and would like ask all the guests to stand as I ask the Aeroclub Treasurer Mr Hanke Fourie to come up onto the stage and present the next Aeroclub Gold Wings and as we celebrate and acknowledge the next recipient.
Because of his position as the Chairman of the Aero Club of SA, we often ignore the personal achievements and easily overlook the extra commitment realized by retired Col. Jeff Earle.
Jeff is an ex combat hardened military pilot, who holds the distinction of performing a perfect forced landing in a jet in a foreign country on a tiny sand road. Jeff has worked in aviation throughout his life and has been an avid supporter of Aero Club.
Jeff has often at his own substantial personal cost gone the extra mile to support the Aero Club. Over the years, they have become too numerous to mention and his willingness to volunteer is easily taken for granted. Despite being semi-retired, and busier than ever before, Jeff has volunteered his time to support the industry initiated Safety First Aviator campaign. He has done so at tremendous personal cost, yet his support is unfailing.
The next two awardees have achieved so much in the flying for South Africa and as ambassadors for the Aero Club that there are only a few awards which they have not achieved. You will recognise them as they have worn out the carpet on the way to the podium tonight as they have in years before, most deservedly, but it was with surprise that we established that neither had received Aeroclub Gold Wings, so tonight we rectify that.
Started gliding at the age of 14 and went solo on his 16th birthday. Was numerous times South African champion from 1978 onwards. Received my Springbok colours in 1981 and that same year at the worlds in Paderborn Germany. This was the first time that a father and son participated in the same national team for their country.
Laurens has flown in 17 world competitions since 1981, and is always in the top 10 positions at world competitions.
1983 Hobbs New Mexico USA placed 3rd
1985 Rieti Italy placed 3rd
2001 Mafikeng South Africa placed 4th
2008 Lusse Germany placed 3rd
Currently ranked 44th in the world on the IGC ranking list.
Also won the South African Grand Prix series in Worcester in 2015 and 2017, and was 3rd in Potchefstroom in 2012.
National Champion in 2015 and 2016 and 2nd in 2017
Oscar Goudriaan first Solo flight on his 16th birthday, obtained his PPL soon after.
18 times SA National champion
Current #1 ranked glider pilot in South Africa
Ranked #16 internationally
National Colours: 1989 (Austria), 1991 (Texas), 1993 (Sweden), 1999 (Germany), 2001 (South Africa), 2003 (Poland), 2005 (Sweden), 2012 (Texas), 2014 (Poland), 2017 (Australia)
World Champion in 2001, 3rd in 2012, 4th in 2017
Invited by Barron Hilton (founder of the Hilton Hotel Group) to fly on his ranch in Nevada (Barron Hilton Soaring Cup) in 2002. The Barron Hilton Cup can only be attended by invitation.
Received the State Presidents Award in 2002 for gliding.
Lewis Lang Trophy was awarded to “Pilot of the Year” Frank Eckard
Frank's first flying lesson was in 1977 with Oli Tennant and cost him R 13.00/hour. He won his first spot landing competition during his 5th hour of instruction with Andre Kluyts in the right-hand seat. Frank did his first Rally as a navigator with Martin Hellberg before he got his licence in 1987. He and Martin earned their first Protea colours in 1995 at the World Rally Flying Championships in Denmark.
In 2004 after having enjoyed and taken much from aviation, Frank decided it was time to give back, and so started the Fun Rally program. To date SAPFA have arranged about 125 events, and more than 1600 pilots and navigators have enjoyed and learned from the experience. In 2004 he was elected to the SAPFA committee and served as chairman for 7 years.
In 2009 he was awarded the first ever claimed World Record for a flight from Johannesburg to Durban, where he proposed to Cally. Since then Cally joined Frank as Navigator and together they earned their Protea colours in 2010 at the World Rally Flying Championships in Slovakia.
In 2015 they were selected by the FAI to compete in the World Air Games -Dubai. They won the Gold Medal for the Landing Trophy and Bronze for the TOP ANR Trophy. In 2016 they competed in the World Rally Flying Championship in Santa Cruz Beach – Portugal and were awarded the Silver Medal for the Team results with Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk.
This year they earned the FAI Gold Medal for 1st Place in the Landing Section of the 1st FAI World Air Navigation Race Championship 2017 held in Castellon, Spain in July 2017
Frank now serves as Chairman of the Rally Subcommittee of the General Aviation Commission of the FAI with the support of Cally as secretary.
Alan Evan-Hanes closed off proceedings by thanking everyone that made this very successful event possible
And the it was time for some "gum flapping" and catching up with old friends