By Garth Calitz Photos by Andre Venter
Panorama Flight Park was a hive of activity on Saturday morning 23 October when they hosted a fly-in breakfast, the weather was perfect and many aviators from all over Gauteng made the short hop to this wonderfully friendly airfield.
Panorama Flight Park was founded in 1980 when two friends Gary Holmes and Bill Anderson who had both trained to fly Trikes at Bapsfontein decided they wanted a field closer to home. Situated just outside Alberton on the Swartkoppies road on the way to Eikenhof it grew from one hangar to where today it houses over 50 aircraft, trikes, fixed wings and gyros and sports three runways, a well-equipped clubhouse. Johannesburg Flying Academy joined the fold in 1984, offering very comprehensive training with their team of well-qualified instructors.
The visiting aircraft started arriving from just after sunrise, some of the local powered Paraglider pilots were first to appear joined shortly after by the trike pilots. The trike crowed generally get in and out before the wind and heat pick up and flying these machines becomes more work than fun.
Throughout the morning there was a steady stream of aircraft of all shapes and sizes arriving and once they had a scrumptious breakfast they would leave again. The Panorama Flight Park locals were kept very busy with over 180 breakfasts being served before they were cleaned out by the much better than expected crowd.
Whenever there is an event at Panorama the airfield is to a certain extent flung back in history with the presence of the Military Collectors & Re-enactors of SA, they too have made Panorama their home. The MCRS offers all enthusiasts an organization of like-minded people with whom to share experiences, collectables and to take part in social events such as re-enactments, displays and Days of Living History.
Sean Russell from Sling Aircraft made the short hop across from their impressive base at Tedderfield Air Park, just over the hill to show off the beautiful Sling High Wing Taildragger. Sling Aircraft, formally known as The Airplane Factory, is a true South African success story and must have been proud to see the number of Sling aircraft that trip Panorama for breakfast.
The wind sadly started to pick up and by 1:00 most of the 70 visiting aircraft were all but gone, one can never predict when a Highveld thunderstorm would decide to crash the party and ruin ever-ones day, so one can't blame the pilots for leaving early and airing on the side of caution and making their way home.