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Garden Route December Fly-In's – Saint Francis and Mossel Bay

I have never been an expert when it came to collective nouns and having used our friend Google, I found a site that claimed to be just that. I searched pilots and no answer was found. I searched aircraft and no answer was found. So, to make sure everything was working I searched birds and five answers appeared one being "Dissimulation", based on the variety of aircraft flown in from the area this seems to best describe the variety of aircraft and pilots at St Francis and Mossel Bay fly ins.

St Francis had twenty-two aircraft fly in and only three were from St Francis aerodrome. There were also many other participants who came and spent a windy and partly cloudy morning having steak rolls and coffee. The fly in was planned for the morning of the 29th of December but was moved a day earlier due to inclement weather being predicted.

There were at least Seven Vans RV’s of various models, a Piaggio P-166 Albatross and one Robinson 44 to make sure there was a rotor-wing presence.

Mossel Bay fly in was then held on the 29th December, the flight down the coast proves how fortunate we are to live in such a naturally beautiful country and how privileged we are to be able to fly up and down the coast as there are parts of the coast line not visible or accessible from land. We took off in Cavok conditions and landed in a very dull and miserable FAMO.

The RV10 burnt forty-five odd litres of fuel from Plettenburg Bay aided by a nice tail wind of about 15 knots. We refuelled at Mossel Bay as Plett no longer has fuel available. Once the aircraft was fuelled it was time for us to do the same, so it was off to the clubhouse for coffee and a warm breakfast. A few local pilots joined for breakfast and new and old acquaintances were made and renewed.

This is where I realised the purpose of the Garden Route group chat and Fly ins, It is about like-minded individuals who are privileged to be pilots who are even more privileged to fly their own aircraft that want to associate with other people of the same calibre. They also get to see parts of our beautiful country 99.9999% of the population will never have the opportunity to experience.

The rains came down and after the third downpour and the William's all settled we climbed into Peter Lea's RV 10 started up and climbed out of FAMO under a very dark cloud which seemed to be hovering only over the airfield, within a minute of taking off we were back into the beautiful summer sun flying North to FAPG. The fuel burn on our return leg was an impressive forty-nine even with a 10 knot head.

I would like to thank Peter Lea for adding myself and Inge to the Garden Route aviation group and inviting us to join him in his RV10 to and from the fly-ins. I would like to also thank those that hosted the fly ins at the respective airports and last but not least the people who worked on the ground to make sure everyone was safe.


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