A very cold and wet Kitty Hawk played host to a South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) Air Navigation Rally, fortunately the weather cleared up, a short delay in the programme and three teams that couldn’t make it were the only negative result.
The briefing took place at 8:30m and very soon thereafter the teams were dotted all over the restaurant plotting the first of two courses the would be flown.
The first route, the simpler of the two took the participants south-east to the starting point. The route went anti clockwise near Bronkhorstspruit dam. Route one had 5 turning points and was 25nm long it took the average competitor approximately 20 minutes to complete.
As soon as Safety Officer Nigel Musgrave gave the go ahead the first of the fourteen teams took to the air followed by a team every five minutes. Every aircraft is equipped with two GPS loggers which are downloaded after the flight, an accurate record of the flight is then overlaid digitally on the route map and penalty points are then given for wondering out of the 0.4 nm corridor and not arriving at the start of finish on time.
Nigel Musgrave and Dawie Pretorius
The second route of the day proved far more difficult with ten turning points in the short 25 nm’s , that’s one turn every 2,5 minutes no time to relax in the cockpit. Route two also followed an anti-clockwise track to the East of Kitty Hawk.
With the growing popularity of this discipline of flying SAPFA decided to set up competition classes to make things more competitive. Novice and First timers competed in the Sportsman Class, Mixed crew with a novice took part in the Intermediate Class and the Protea teams made up the Unlimited Class.
Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk synchronizing wathches
The level of flying is improving at every rally that is held this is in part due to the the coaching sessions that Rob Jonkers holds the evening before each of the rally's held around the country. The popularity of these events is definitely growing, at Kitty Hawk one of the competing teams came all the way from Nelspruit to compete and the flew back after the rally.
Kobus and Louis Jacobs from Lowveld Aero Club
After a short wait,being entertained by the practicing local aerobatic pilots, Rob tallied the scores and called everyone to the clubhouse for the prize giving.
First position in the Sportsman Class belonged to Johan and Jurie van Eeden in a RV7A, they did exceptionally well with a score of 398 considering they chose a speed of 120 Knts things must have been happening extremly fast in the the cockpit.
Johan and Jurie van Eeden
Tyrone Steenkamp and Eric Addison managed a very respectable 1175 to comfortably claim second spot they were flying a Rainbow Cheetah
Tyrone Steenkamp and Eric Addison
Pierre Dippenaar and Martin Meyer waked away with third place in a Cessna 182 thier total for the two routes was 1998
Fourth place belonged to the team of Wayne van Rooyen and Almero Calitz in a beautiful Piper Saratoga they achieved 2336
Wayne van Rooyen and Almero Calitz
Pierre van der Merwe and Neville Ferreira took fifth place in a Sling 2 followed by Freddie van Rooyen and Mark Clulow in a Jabiru.
Pierre van der Merwe and Neville Ferreira Freddie van Rooyen and Mark Clulow
Seventh place belonged to Jan Coetzee and Walter Hofbauer in a Cessna 182 and in eight was Kobus and Louis Jacobs in a Kitfox
Jan Coetzee and Walter Hofbauer Kobus and Louis Jacobs
The Advanced Competition was a very close affair with Mary de Klerk and Leon Boutell narrowly edging out Thys van der Merwe and Wiehan Grove both in a Cessna 172
Mary de Klerk and Leon Boutell
Thys van der Merwe and Wiehan Grove
Andre Kluyts and Nick Christodoulou also in a Cessna 172 took third place
Andre Kluyts and Nick Christodoulou
Unlimited Class is always a very competitive class with just over 400 points separating first and third, Frank and Cally Eckard managed top hounors in a Cessna 150
Frank and Cally Eckard
Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer came in second although they didn't fly on the day, they had flown the route earlier in the week.
Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer
Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk came in in third place in a Cessna 150
Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk
The overall winners came from the sportsman class which very promising for the future of the sport well done to Johan and Jurie van Eeden
Big thanks must go to Nigel Musgrave and Dawie Pretorius for keeping things safe and orderly,Theresa and Ali for keeping everyone sustained and last but not least Rob for all the hard work put in to make the day such a success.