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Grand Central Air Rally 2018

Grand Central Airport and Superior Pilot hosted a very successful rally on Saturday 8 September. The early morning weather threatened to cancel the event but fortunately the cloud lifted and the rally was a go.

The teams arrived from 7:30 and all enjoyed a delicious breakfast at the Harvard Café kindly sponsored by Superior Pilot Services. After breakfast all the competitors made their way to the conference room for the briefing and to receive their Rally packs.

The Packs consisted of an un-plotted map, a task sheet and the photos of turning points and the identification on the legs. The Teams have to plot their maps from the information given on the task sheets, to make things slightly more difficult the tasks are given in multitude of methods. Some are given in headings from another turning point in either magnetic °or True °, with distances in either km, miles or NM and some from a set of co-ordinates.

With a mix of Newbies and Protean teams, there were three classes of competition, Fun, Advanced, Unlimited, where the Fun class were for those new to the sport, Advanced Class where a Protea team member teamed up with a Newbie, and Unlimited Class with a full Protea team. There were two competition rule sets flown although both were on exactly the same route, with the Fun and advanced rules requiring photo recognition in sequence, one per leg for all 11 legs, and Unlimited with 18 scrambled leg photos.

Teams hard at work plotting their routes

After being issued with a GPS logger the teams take –off with a five minute gap in order of nominated speed from fastest to slowest so the chances of catching the aircraft in front are minimalised.

The wind played havoc with the teams, even the top Protea teams battled to keep on track as they were being blown off course. Eventually everyone bar one team landed safely back at Grand Central, Jonty Esser and his son Jonathan opted to land at Eagles Creek after they passed the finish point on the track.

Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer, in their C182 took top honours in the Unlimited Class with a very respectable score of 86 followed closely by another very experienced team of Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk in a C150, Robs score was helped greatly by his perfect Bingo Landing.

1st place Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer (Unlimited)

2nd Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk (Unlimited)

The Advanced Class was a tight affair with Steve and Thys vd Merwe walking away with first placein a RV6. Leon Bouttell and Mary de Klerk came in a close second flying Leon’s Evektor Sports Star. Pierre Dippenaar and Martin Meyer came in third in a C182. The top three teams were separated by less than 200 points.

1st Steve and Thys vd Merwe (Advanced)

2nd Leon Bouttell and Mary de Klerk

3rd Pierre Dippenaar and Martin Meyer

It was great to see CPL students from Superior Pilot taking up the challenge and doing very well in the fun class, the three student teams manged second, third and Fifth. Loen Boutell and Karen Purchase managed first place Cessna 172. Second place belonged to the first of the student teams Wian Minne and Keuler Breed in a Cessna 172, followed closely by Goitso Dialen and Jan Dirix also in a Cessna 172.

1st Loen Boutell and Karen Purchase (Fun)

2nd Wian Minne and Keuler Breed

3rd Goitso Dialen and Jan Dirix

The next SAPFA event will be the Secunda Speed Rally on the 6 October; this rally will take on a new format and promises to be very exciting.


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