By Andre Venter
Arriving at Kitty Hawk Aerodrome on Saturday morning didn’t fill me with confidence that there would be any sort of flying, the torrential rains that persisted the night before had left but a low cloud bank was still around. The grass apron in front of the clubhouse was totally waterlogged and not fit to safely park aircraft.
The reception at the clubhouse was by far warmer, with a complimentary cup of coffee and the smell of breakfast being prepared. Initially, over 100 people were expected but sadly the weather keep many of them away. The EAA had invited aviators from all over the surrounding area in an attempt to make the first breakfast fly away for 2022 one to remember.
As the cloud base started to lift and pilots felt conditions had sufficiently improved to fly the arrivals started. One of the first aircraft to arrive was a Police Air Wing Pilatus PC-6 Porter, the crew had breakfast and then headed out again. On their departure, everyone was treated to a demonstration of the amazing short field abilities of this wonderful aircraft.
Two brave Weight Shift Trike Pilots arrived and made a beeline to the clubhouse for a warm cup of coffee, as it was rather cold in these open motocross bikes of the sky.
During the day there were a few interesting aircraft that made an appearance, one of them being a unique Jabiru J400, what makes this particular aircraft unique is that it is powered by a Rotax 914 engine. One could almost be forgiven for confusing it with the newly released Sling Tsi High-Wing as the cowl on the Jabiru has been borrowed from the Sling, the wing struts however give it away as the Sling has done away with them completely.
A Whisper X350 joined for a quick breakfast during a photoshoot, a Decathlon was being used as a photo ship and on arrival, the two did a quick formation runway inspection.
The rotor-wing turnout was quite impressive with three Robinson 44’s, all of them sporting non-type certified “ZU” registrations. They were joined by an Alouette III and Alouette II, which are based at Brakpan Airfield, and two Magni Gyros.
EAA Stalwart Karl Jensen made the short hop from Fly-Inn in his beautiful Cessna 170 and was accompanied by a small number of EAA members that were fortunate to find some decent flying weather. Kendra Evens joined in a Piper PA-22 Tri-Pacer along with Neil Murray in his Vans RV-8, Neil recently completed a build of an RV-3.
Gary Glasson took his tiny Pitts Falcon out for its last flight before it gets shipped out to the new owners. Gary has almost completed a plan built Rihn DR-107 One Design which he 933will be competing in the local aerobatic competitions within the not too distant future. I, personally cant wait to see this aircraft in the air.
The day, despite the weather, was a great success and everyone that joined had a great time, the EAA is planning many social gatherings this year and if you are not a member yet why not join now and be part of the fun. As always the service and food from the Kitty Hawk clubhouse restaurant was top drawer and for those that haven’t paid them a visit before it is definitely a great lunch or breakfast destination.