Brits Flying club held their ninth annual Peter Hengst memorial fly-in on the weekend of the 10 November. Peter Hengst was a very well-loved member of Brits Flying Community and a stalwart of the EAA in South Africa where he served as chairman of Chapter 322. Peter lost a long fought battle against cancer.
Peter and Chalkie Stobbart restored a Fiarchild together and if that wasn’t a large enough feat, they decided to fly the aircraft all the way to Oshkosh in the USA, this was their first trip to Oshkosh they repeated the flight, this time in a substantially faster Vans RV6, a few years later.
The Peter Hegnst Memorial has evolved and has now become a day of remembrance to celebrate all departed members of Brits Flying Club. This year the weekend fell on the same day as Armistice Day also known as “Poppy Day”
The day’s activities started off very early with the Microlights getting airborne to compete in a flour bombing contest. The idea is to fly along the and drop a flour bomb in laid out target, concentrating on flying as well as dropping the flour bomb at exactly the right time is quite tricky.
While the competition was on the go a very hearty breakfast was served at the club house. Many pilots flew in from all over Gauteng and some from as far as Kroonstad and Volksrust. Aerobatics pilots Neville Ferreira and Eugene du Preez landed for a quick visit from Kitty Hawk.
Neville Ferreira Slick 540
Eugenedu Preez Extra 330SC
As the day progressed the participants of the Fun Rally were briefed and they left on their treasure hunt. A route was worked out and the participants had to fly a route answering questions along the way. On their return there was a one-time spot landing competition.
Thys and Pierre van der Merwe took top honours in in their Cessna 172, Thys and Pierre are both based at Brits and Thys recently represented South Africa on the International Rally Flying stage.
Thys and Pierre Cessna 172
Second place belonged to Karl Jensen and Mary de Klerk in Karl’s beloved Cessna 170, probably the most immaculately polished aircraft in South Africa today.
Karl and Mary Cessna 170
In a tied third place Pierre Dippenaar and Martin Meyer , in the” super-sized” RV14 joined by Niel Terblanche and Daniel Coetzer in a RV4 kept the Vans flag flying high.
Pierre and Martin RV14
Niel and Daniel RV4
As the bushveld sun climbed high in the sky the glider pilots took full advantage of the conditions and took to the skies in a range of gliders including the new resident at Brits, a beautiful DG500 beloning to Arjan Schaap.
Throughout the day the RC section of Brits flying Club were flying around, much to the surprise of some visitors there were no problems with the scale models sharing airspace with fill size aircraft, I believe this is one of the only airfields that combine these to fraternities.
After handing out the spoils of the competitions Karl Jensen, joined by Gewn Mason the widow of Paul Mason, said a few words in remembrance of all the diseased members of Brits Flying Club.
Karl and Gewn
Brits Flying Club remains one of the friendliest flying clubs I’ve ever visited and I can’t wait for the next event.
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