by Garth Calitz photos by Andre Venter
Arriving at Eagles Creek Aviation Estate on Saturday the first thing that was noticeable was the Eagles resident pilots walking around very proudly welcoming their fellow aviators to their wonderful airfield. The spirit at this relatively new airfield is amazing reminding one of the Heydays of SA flying when the airfields were alive with activity and camaraderie.
Eagles Creek Aviation Estate is situated right next to the N14 just outside of Lanseria airspace only 30 Km west of Pretoria. The airfield was established in 2011 by Armand Greyvensteyn, he identified the need for a general aviation estate in the triangle made up of Johannesburg’s Northern Suburbs, the West Rand, and the Southern Areas of Pretoria.
Once the rights were obtained to develop the airfield the first phase of the development was initiated, this consisted of 48 hangars which were very quickly sold out. Originally the runway was a very steep grass runway and due to the popularity of the airfield, it was decided to level off the eastern threshold and replace the grass with a stunning 880meter tar runway (08/26).
The first arrival was a Sling 2 flown by Graham Methiusand not long after the flood gates opened quickly filling up the designated parking on the northern side of the runway. Close to thirty visiting aircraft arrived throughout the morning which is great considering there was another event at Wonderboom and we in the middle of a Pandemic.
In a demonstration of what the aviation community is all about, the local Eagles residents joined by Pierre van der Walt, from Sport Plane Builders based at Wonderboom, to help a fellow aviator that experienced a problem with his Super Cubs tail wheel. In no time at all the jacked up the fuselage of the classic machine and removed the offending part. Took it to a hangar and welded up the damaged section and then resembled and fitted it so the visitor could safely make his way back to his home airfield.
Andrew Pitman and Sean Russell from Sling Aircraft made a quick visit in a Sling 4 Tsi. Unfortunately, the Sling Hi-wing could not make the trip as it is still very much in a testing phase and is not quite ready for the prying eyes of the aviation public. We are however reliably informed that the big reveal will be held very soon, definitely something to look forward too.
The visitors were encouraged to try the now-famous Engine 67 Food Co Burgers that are served out of a vintage fire engine, these guys know how to make a decent burger.
The Eagles Creek Clubhouse and deck make eagles a great place to host a fly-in, from the large raised deck one can sit comfortably in the shade and watch the aircraft landing right in front of you. Any plane spotters dream.
One very notable point that was remarked on a few times during the morning was the impeccable discipline and Airman-ship displayed by all the visiting aviators, the Eagles Creek members ask specifically that they get the necessary praise for such great behaviour.
Big thanks must go to all the members of Eagles Creek for making all the visitors feel at home, we hope to attend another fly-in there sooner than later.