“Prop Clear”….. and so the adventure began !
To most people, the thought of flying a small, slow, open cockpit aircraft all the way to the south coast would be daunting, but Sean Cronin and Peter Gaddin decided to make the most of their break right from the start.
4h45 saw the Magaliesberg ridge covered by mist, and two eager pilots itching to get going.
The plan was to fly as far as we could in the calm morning weather, and overnight if necessary wherever we reached. Leg One was Silver Creek Aero Estate to Deneysville, where Pete’s brother met us with coffee, sandwiches and fuel. Leg Two took us past Harrismith and over the escarpment, where the wind rotor kept us on our toes. We had hoped to re-fuel at the Ultracity, but that strip is sadly no longer there. Our poor old legs needed a stretch, so we landed at Eskort anyway. The short hop to Pietermaritzberg to re-fuel gave us a stunning view of Howick and the midlands.
The weather was still great, so we headed straight to Margate, taking in the beautiful sights of Oribi Gorge, and finally the sea. Landing at Margate at 12h30 was a challenge. We hadn’t counted on a 22 knot, gusting cross wind. This was an ‘arrival’
Horse shoe falls
We spent the next week exploring the coastline, from Hibberdene to Port Grosvener on the Wild Coast, spending 4 nights at Margate Airport, and the rest in Munster. Flynn and Vernon welcomed us at their private strip, playing tour guide from their Foxbat on the trip down the Wild Coast, pointing out the landmarks and relating historical stories. Such beautiful countryside.
Wild Coast Sun
The weather was perfect again for our return flight. The first, and much needed stop, was Aerofarm in Harrismith, meeting father and son team, Peter and Gareth, keen pilots who fly a Maul. They invited us into their home at the strip for a very welcome coffee, and kindly ferried us to town for fuel, true aviator hospitality.
Aerofarm in Harrismith
A quick stop in Deneysville for more sandwiches, and it was back to Silver Creek.
It was indeed an adventure, and a trip we’d do again in a heartbeat !