The organisers of this year’s Krugersdorp Airfield Festival must have breathed a collective sigh of relief when they arrived at Jack Taylor Airfield on Saturday morning as the weather was perfect, the last few years events have been plagued by terrible weather.
Aircraft started arriving form very early in the morning from all over Gauteng and a few from neighbouring provinces. Everyone made their way to 26 South the Restaurant situated at the clubhouse where a hearty breakfast and a warm cup of coffee awaited them. At 9 all the entrants assembled for the safety briefing and everyone was allocated their slots for the spot landing competition, soon after that the competition got underway.
The entrants were divided into groups (slots) of four with more or less equal speeds the first slot got airborne for their three landings, slots are organised from the slowest to the fastest aircraft.
The four judges were positioned at the threshold of runway 08 at the landing lines, the lines are marked incrementally from the .5 meter “Bingo” line both forward and backwards at one meter intervals and these lines determine the score of the participants.
Overall there were thirty entrants in total, which is slightly down on last year but nevertheless made for a wonderful competition. The circuit was pretty busy with a few arrivals and departures being slotted in while the competition was underway.
Helivate Helicopter Services were at hand the entire day offering helicopter flips to the public in their beautiful Alouette III .
Jack Taylor airfield which has been around since for almost sixty years has over the years come to be known as HMS Krugersdorp, because of the steep drop-offs at both ends of the almost 730m tar runway. The founder of the airfield, which the airfield is now named after, Jack Taylor, resided in Krugersdorp but need to commute by air but Krugersdorp didn’t have an airfield at the time. Mr Taylor landed his Piper Tri-pacer at the site and the airfield was born.
The competition was hotly contested with no less than three perfect Bingo’s being scored throughout the day and many pilots landing with five meters of the target.
After wonderful days flying everyone made their way to the clubhouse for some refreshments and the all-important prize giving where the results of the completion were made public, some competitors were elated and some were pretty embarrassed at their results.
Prizes for the Day
The overall winner of the day was awarded to Greame McCarthy, Graeme managed a brilliant score with one Bingo which is a massive feat considering the approach speed of a Beech Baron is pretty high.
Greame McCarthy ZS-NAH
The Non-Member overall prize went to Karl Jensen in his beautiful Cessna 170B, Karl is the current PRO ant EAA chapter 322 and spends an exorbitant amount of time and energy on the promotion of aviation in South Africa.
Karl Jensen ZU-VAL
Celia Lastrucci waked away with the honours for the first lady pilot, Celia is a Krugersdorp local and flies a stunning little Cessna 152.
Celia Lastrucci ZS-CAT
The Greaser Award for the smoothest landing was a very close affair with many nominations finally the judges decided Roel Stausebach’s landing in the Stampe was the best for the day. The Stampe SV.4 is a Belgian two-seat trainer/tourer biplane designed and built by Stampe et Vertongen.
Roel Stausebach ZU-SVF
Dale de Klerk from Alpi Aviation SA encouraged all his students to take part and many did including the young lady that walked away with the award for the best student. Ciara Huntley did a sterling job giving many of the experienced pilots a run for their money, Ciara took part in an Ibis GS-700.
Ciara Huntley ZU-IBS
An very noticible and welcome change this year is the number of Lady Pilots that took part in the competition six of the thirty entrants were of the fairer sex well done ladies.
Every year Krugersdorp Flying Club chooses a charity to support for the year and this year was no different, Shalom Respite Care Centre was this year’s recipient a certificate was handed to the Chairman Mr Shaun Maynard. Krugersdorp Flying Club has donated items to the value of R59133.40 over the last year.
Shaun Maynard and John Addis
Krugersdorp Flying Club Chairman John Addis, Club Secretary Cecile Ferreira and the rest the team did a magnificent job of host this wonderful event and we hope to be back next year.
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