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The Aero Club of South Africa Awards Dinner 2018


At a very glitzy function held at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg the Aero Club of South Africa recognised and celebrated the outstanding members of the South African Aviation community.

Gen Des Barker, the master of ceremonies welcomed the the VIP’s including Ms Poppy Khoza – Director of Civil Aviation, Levers Mabaso – Department of Transport, Ron Wheeldon - AeCSA appointed RAASA Director, John Morrison- AeCSA appointed RAASA Director, Neil De Lange – CEO RAASA, Jeff Earle – Past Chairman of AeCSA the media and all AeCSA members. After a short “briefing” on the house rules proceedings got underway.

Gen Des Barker

First order of business was the Chairman’s Address, Paul Lastrucci addressed the large audience and briefly touched on the celebrations planned for the AeCSA’s Centenary which will take place throughout the year in 2020. Paul also thanked all the members, staff and management of the Aero Club for the outstanding way in which the promote aviation in Southern Africa. When Paul concluded his address starters were served.

Paul Lastrucci

After everyone had enjoyed their starter and a short explanation of the “Awards Protocol” the ceremony got underway strting with the awarding of National Colours and Special Acknowledgements.

Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa (BAFSA)

Danie Minnaar and David Mac Gregor were not in attendance, but each were awarded with Senior Protea Colours for participating in the 23rd FAI Hot Air Balloon Championships held at Austria from the 19th to the 25th of August 2018 and special Acknowledgement to the Crew who was Heinrich Hoffman, Jos Minnaar, Burger Minnaar.

Heinrich Hoffman

Parachute Association of South Africa (PASA)

Senior Protea Colours were awarded to Christopher Teague for participating in the 7th FAI World Championships of Canopy Piloting held at Wroclaw, Poland from the 2nd to the 7th of July 2018.

Matteo Pagani accepted the award on Christopher's Behalf

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Johannes Liebenberg for participating in the 2nd FAI World Wingsuit Flying Championship held at Prostejov, Czech Republic from the 26th to the 31st of August 2018.

Johannes Liebenberg

Senior Protea Colours were awarded to Bailey Edmunds, Bernard Janse van Rensburg, Carmen Edmunds, Ian van den Berge and Yolande van den Berge for participating in the 23rd FAI World Formation Skydiving Championship held at Goldcoast, Australia from the 6th to the 13th of October 2018.

Bailey Edmunds, Carmen Edmunds, Bernard Janse van Rensburg, Ian van den Berge and Yolande van den Berge

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Bailey Edmunds, Claire King, Diederik Venter, Nicolaas Hickley for participating in the 3rd FAI World Cup of Indoor Skydiving held at Zallaq, Bahrain from the 25th to the 28th of October 2018.

Bailey Edmunds and Nicolaas Hickley

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Matteo Pagani, Christopher Teague and Warren Hitchcock for participating in the 9th FAI World Cup of Canopy piloting 2017 held at Dubai, UAE from the 25th of November to the 2nd of December 2017.

Matteo Pagani

Sport Aerobatic Club (SAC)

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Eugene du Preez and Leigh Le Gonidec for participating in the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships held at Ploiesti, Romania from the 15th to the 28th of August 2018 and Special Acknowledgement to Quintin Hawthorne, Johnnie Smith, Lazlo Liskay and John Gaillard for Judging the Championships.

Eugene du Preez

Quintin Hawthorne, Johnnie Smith, John Gaillard and Lazlo Liskay

South African Modelling Aircraft Association (SAMAA)

Senior Protea Colours were awarded to Evert Scholtz and Keith Renecle for participating in the FAI F2 World Championships for Control Line Model Aircraft held at Landres, France from the 14th to the 19th of July 2018.

Evert Scholtz and Keith Renecle

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Alan Smith, Craig Goodrum, Michelle Goodrum for participating in the FAI F3J World Championship for Model Gliders held at Ploiesti, Romania from the 22nd to the 28th of July 2018 and Junior Protea Colours to Aldo Vos for his participation in the F3J World Championships for Model Gliders.

Alan Smith, Craig Goodrum, Michelle Goodrum and Aldo Vos

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Alan Ball, Devon Barnett, Luke Bakke and Ruivan Branco for participating in the FAI F4U World Drone Racing Championships held at Shenzhen, China from the 1st to the 4th of November 2018. Junior Protea Colours to Jadon Churchman for his participation in the FAI F4U World Drone Racing Championships

Alan Ball, Devon Barnett, Luke Bakke, Ruivan Branco and Jadon Churchman

Senior Protea Colours awarded to André Stockwell, Clinton Carter-Brown, Grant Brook and Roston Dugmore for participating in the F3A World Championship for Aerobatic Model Aircraft held at Villa Gesell, Argentina from the 5th to the 11th of November 2017.

André Stockwell, Clinton Carter-Brown and Grant Brook

South African Power flying Association (SAPFA)

Senior Protea Colours awarded to Caroline Eckard, Frank Eckard, Jonathan Esser, Martin Meyer, Mary de Klerk, Matthys van der Merwe, Rob Jonkers, Ronald Stirk and Sandra Goddard for participating in the 21st FAI World Rally Flying Championships held at Dubnica, Slovakia from the 5th to the 11th of August 2018, and Special Acknowledgement to Hans Schwebel for being the 1st International Judge, Ursula Schwebel, Jozef Jacobs and Barbara Frieboese who was the International Judges and Leon Bouttell who was the Judge Observer at this event.

Martin Meyer, Mary de Klerk, Matthys van der Merwe, Rob Jonkers, Ronald Stirk, Barbara Frieboese and Leon Bouttell

Soaring Society of South Africa (SSSA)

Senior Protea Colours were awarded to Attie Jonker, Dawid Pretorius, Uys Jonker, Nico Le Roux and Stephan van den Berg for participating in the Club, Standard and 15meter classes of the 35th FAI World Gliding Championships held at Ostrow, Poland from the 1st to the 7th of July 2018.

Dawid Pretorius and Stephan van den Berg

Senior Protea Coours awarded to Abraham Kotze, Carol Clifford, Laurens Goudriaan, Oscar Goudriaan and Uys Jonker for participating in the Open, 18meters and 20 meters, 2-seater classes of the 35th FAI World Gliding Championships held at Hosin, Czech Republic from the 28th of July to the 12th of August 2018.

Abraham Kotze, Carol Clifford, Laurens Goudriaan and Oscar Goudriaan

South African Hang and Paragliding Association (SAHPA)

Special Acknowledgement Certificates were awarded to Andre Rainsford-Alberts, Andrew Smith, Jon Pio, Khobi-Jane Bowden, Russell Achterberg, Stephan Kruger, Theunis de Bruin for participating in the Paragliding World Cup Tour held at Aksaray, Turkey from the 8th to the 15th of September 2018.

Unfortunately they were not present to accept the award.

Records Achieved

FAI Continental record is presented to Bailey Edmunds, Carmen Edmunds, Ian van den Berge, Yolandi van den Berge and Bernard Janse van Rensburg for setting the new African record for parachuting in formation 4 Way and highest average for ten rounds with a performance of 14,4 points

Bailey Edmunds, Carmen Edmunds, Ian van den Berge, Bernard Janse van Rensburg and Yolandi van den Berge

FAI Continental record is presented with two Certificates to Hendri Liebenberg for setting the African Record for the greatest distance of 3.898 km and greatest speed 260.3 km/h

Hendri Liebenberg

Special Recognition Certificates

Special Recognition Certificate is presented by Aero Club to Alard Hufner for winning the Icarus Trophy 2018.

The Icarus race is a 1000-mile, unsupported, cross country paramotor adventure race. This is you and your flying machine against the wilderness in the ultimate test of pilot skill and endurance, this is the world’s toughest air race which took place in Southern Africa in July 2018 and started on the 25th of July with 27 paramotorists taking to the skies just north of Johannesburg and took them across Botswana to finish near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Alard completed the journey over a period of three days, 27 pilots from the UK, Europe, North and South America, South Africa and the Middle East made it to the finish line. Alard also won the shorter weekend-long-X-series event in April this year.

James Pitman a fellow competitor in the Icarus Trophy collected the Award on behalf of Alard

Special Recognition Certificate is presented by Aero Club to Christopher Teague for the splendid achievement on setting the African Canopy Piloting Record of 2.404 seconds over a 70meter carved speed at Wroclaw Poland on the 4th of July 2018. The previous record was 2,434 seconds also set by Christopher Teague on the 5th of April in 2015.

Matteo Pagani accepted the award on Christopher's behalf

Special Recognition is presented by Aero Club to Naomi Kotzee for being invited to be part of the Vertical Elite Team to participate in the Vertical Formation World Parachute Record 2018 attempt held at Skydive Chicago, Ottawa, IL, USA from the 13th to the 18th of August 2018.

Carmen Edmunds accepted the award on Naomi's behalf

Special Recognition is presented by Aero Club to Bailey Edmunds, Nico Hickley, Claire King and Dirk Venter for achieving the great distinction and honour of representing South Africa in the sport of parachuting Indoor Formation Skydiving.

Nico Hickley and Bailey Edmunds

Special Recognition is presented to the Middelburg Aero Club Team for successfully hosting the Aero Club Airweek 2018. The team accepted the challenge of hosting the Aero Club Airweek 2018 with enthusiasm and met every problem with a solution. This was a true team effort and it would be unfair to single out any person, however under the guidance of Richardt Lovett, an excellent air meeting was achieved. The event was marred by imperfect weather but that should not discount the extraordinary efforts the team went to, in hosting the event.

Richardt Lovett

Special Recognition is presented to Theunis De Bruin out of 278 pilots for winning the Nordic Open 2018, with a total score of 2507 in his Ozone Enzo 3 Glider the competition was held at Macedonia from the 26th of August to the 1st of September 2018.

Kevin Storie accepted the award on Theunis' behalf

Daniel Ralefeta is an IT specialist and trainer, but most importantly, an enthusiastic aviator, is highly commended in the South African government ICT strategic development for political bearers and civil servants alike. His IT skills are utilised by PiLog Data Management key projects to ensure maximum input into the uplifting of ICT skills for previously disadvantaged communities.

As Chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa Transformation and Development division, Daniel oversees the development of aviation enthusiasts through model flying, glider pilot training and the achievement of a private pilot license. It is his overwhelming and insatiable enthusiasm for fellow aviators, and creating new ones, Daniel is also a serving member of the Executive Committee for Wonders of Aviation.

Daniel Ralefeta

The T&D section awarded Special recognition certificates to Bhekija Masango, Mduduzi Mnugni, Duncan Molefe, Samuel Tshikovhi, Elijah Rakoma, Gift Kgadima and Thabang Kotlola.

Bhekija Masango, Mduduzi Mnugni, Duncan Molefe, Samuel Tshikovhi, Elijah Rakoma, Gift Kgadima and Thabang Kotlola

Guest speaker James Pitman

James, also a shareholder in The Airplane Factory, grew up on a farm in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands of South Africa. He is a qualified lawyer who completed a university degree in science prior to studying law. More recently James has worked as a VP of a mining exploration company listed in London and Toronto. Following the successful sale of the mining business, James was able to give expression to his love of flying by joining Mike as his business partner in The Airplane Factory. James gave a humouristic account of the life of the Airplane factory and at times had the audience breaking out in laughter.

James Pitman

Most Enthusiastic Flying Club

2nd Place for the Most Enthusiastic Flying Club award is presented to Brakpan Aero Club

One of the older flying clubs, founded in 1928, it has been continuously active especially with training since Sluggy started instructing in 1963. They now own the airfield and have upgraded the facilities to make it a destination of choice for the $100 breakfast. The overall enthusiasm is demonstrated in hosting the Safety First Aviator presentations and continuing to find reasons to celebrate aviation such as a Women’s Day or a Bi-plane day, or even a Cessna Day.

Paul Lautrci accepted the award on their behalf

1st Place for the most enthusiastic Flying Club award is presented to Ermelo Aeronautical Society

Their general enthusiasm is demonstrated throughout the year in their activities, from a willingness to host the PTAR, to organising distinguished guest speakers, to being an early participant in African Pilots Flying Club articles.

They boast about 60 members, and 35 aircraft. But it is there enthusiasm and support for Aero Club activities that we celebrate tonight.

Andre van Rooyen Ermelo Aeronautical Society

Air Show of the Year Award

In 3rd Place FAW Ermelo Air Show

Ermelo Aeronautical Society was the first airshow of the 2018 season. The officials went out of their way to accommodate those professional photographers. The overall logistical management of fuel and smoke oil, air traffic control, spectators, vendors, sponsors, the large beer garden tent and of course the participating pilots was outstanding. The pre-show documentation was high quality. This was an excellent day of exciting entertainment as the display pilots excelled to keep the crowds on their feet and cheering with delight. As an outlying town on the air show circuit the Ermelo team went beyond the normal call of duty to earn this airshow a place amongst three best in South Africa.

Andre van Rooyen

And in 2nd place Rand Airshow

The annual Rand Airport Airshow is known to be one of the bigger shows on the circuit. Not only in footprint but also in the offering to the public. The complexity of the layout in terms of airspace and other logistics is a challenge to any organiser. The Rand team have managed to capture this winning formula to near perfection. Crowd numbers is proof of this concept. A line-up of participants can’t wait to be part of this event to entertain the crowds. A wide variety of stalls compliment the crowd area with plenty of opportunity to view static display and other aviation related stalls. Despite the economic constrains in South Africa, the Rand Air Show management continue their support and commitment to host a show of such magnitude and maintain the world class standards in the flying displays. The Rand show has become a “landmark” on the SA calendar. The show style and presentation of the airshow programme are aligned with world class standards.

Carol Olivier

And in 1st place Kishugu Lowveld Airshow

The Kishugu Lowveld airshow started with early morning action in the sky from early morning with the launch of several hot air balloons to well after sunset with the night formation flight of the Puma Energy Flying Lions, followed by incredible fireworks display and a rock band on the airside. A very first in South Africa.

With a good mix of military aircraft, including the Gripen, two Airlink Embraer E195 displays, Working on Fire Huey helicopters and water bombers, the brand new to South Africa magnificent Blackhawk helicopter as well as a fantastic line-up of individual display aircraft and aerobatics teams this was an airshow to remember. The general layout of operational matters and the professional handling of the pre-show planning, post-show debrief to ensure continuity and identify areas of improvement is a huge contributing factor to ensure a place amongst the top three air show in South Africa.

Johan Heine

Youth Development

The Youth Development award is presented to Henk van Wyk for his significant contribution to the Development of Aviation amongst the younger generation.

When PASA received the first allocation of SRSA funding via the Aero Club in April 2016, Henk van Wyk at Skydive Mossel Bay identified one of his parachute packers as a worthy recipient for such funding. Sakhele Tyakume had joined Skydive Mossel Bay as a parachute packer in 2012, having previously packed parachutes and qualified as a skydiver in Grahamstown. From the outset, he had made known his long-term goal of becoming a Tandem Instructor.