On any given Saturday all around the world aviators will get together to take to the skies, we here in South Africa are especially blessed with wonderful weather and amazing destinations dotted all around our beautiful country. This Saturday I was invited to join retired SAA captain Karl Jensen for a flight in his beautiful Cessna 170B.
We departed Fly-inn just before 8:00 am taking the WK Pinedene routing to the west until we left Waterkloof Airspace then turned south towards Johannesburg. Flying just to the west of the Johannesburg CBD I was reminded how fortunate we as South Africans are to have the opportunity to fly so close to a major city without any pre-authorisation.
The radio was constantly busy with aviators flying in all directions all out to enjoy the wonderful flying weather. We had no sooner left the Johannesburg area and we were joined in the air by Gregory Clegg in his stunning Jodel D11, this is probably the best looking Jodel in South Africa and maybe even the world.
The recent rains have done wonders for the Vaal River area, the river was flowing strong and the surrounding area was lush and green. Many boaters were out enjoying the wonderful hot weather on the river.
The rains kicked started growth at Parys Airfield as well, unfortunately weeds have penetrated the runway and causing the airfield to look a bit neglected but poses no real danger to landing or departing traffic.
Skydive Parys were very active as per usual on any Saturday morning, in the time we were there three loads of jumpers were dropped using their ex Rhodesian Air Force Aermacchi Trojan. Skydive Parys’ Trojan has had the 260hp Continental replaced with a Walter Turbine making it a very effective jumpship.
Breakfast at the restaurant was not bad, the service was a bit slow but fortunately the prices are much better value since the new owners took over. If you are in need of fuel the price of avgas is very much on par with most airfields although a R60 weekend surcharge is charged. This added to the R50 landing fees tends to add up a bit.
Thirteen Aircraft arrived while we were there making for a very pleasant atmosphere with old friends meeting up for a quick chat before departing form home base before the heatwave made things too uncomfortable.
Gordon Dyne, Who had flown in with his very recognisable Piper PA-28R-200 Cherokee invited everyone to pop in at his “Man Cave” at Brakpan Airfield, Gordon’s hangar is gem and one will be forgiven for assuming it to be a museum.
We joined up with Brain Appleton in his newly acquired Luscombe Silvaire this aircraft had spent many years inactive in a hangar, Brian purchased her and after a minimal amount of maintenance got her in the air again, what a beautiful machine.
With the temperature now high in the 30’s and pushing the Density Altitude way above 8500 ft a legendary Kitty Hawk milkshake was calling. On the short hop from Brakpan to Kitty Hawk we noticed a massive “Whirlwind” wreaking havoc in the Daveyton squatter camp, ripping off roofs and sending the debris high into the air. Kitty Hawk was the usual buzz of activity and we were fortunate to meet up with a few good friends and have a chat.
The days flying ended with a quick flight back to Fly-inn, Special thanks to Karl and all the members of EAA Chapter 322 for a very memorable day, I hope to fly with you guys very soon again.