By Garth Calitz
Silver Creek Gorge Estate has become a regular fly-in destination for pilots from all over Gauteng, Northwest and Limpopo province with its 1200m tarred runway that is 10m wide it is more than long enough to comfortably handle larger aircraft. This fly-in was organised on the back of two very successful “pancake” fly-ins held in 2020 and 2021. The gorgeous estate is nestled in the foothills of the Magaliesberg 2 Nm east of Buffelspoort Dam.
Some of the more enthusiastic aviators made their way there on Friday and set up camp for the night, spending a lovely evening in the bush with residents of Silver Creek. Sadly, only five aircraft spent the night, Arjan Schaap noted that in future he would like to accommodate at least 50 aircraft in future camp out weekends.
Visitors were requested to RSVP so the organisers could get a clear idea of how many people they would be catering for, by Friday midday 80 people had responded and the scene was set for a great day. The aircraft started arriving early in the morning with pilots descending on Silver Creek from all over. The breakfast crew were kept very busy with well over 40 aircraft arriving and enjoying the wonderful Silver Creek hospitality.
The approach to 26 is over the trees so generally the aircraft land a bit deep which is not a problem as the runway runs uphill from both thresholds to the centre. If anyone is planning to visit on a quieter day please take care as there may be game on the runway. The Estate is home to 65 Wildebeest, 45 Zebra, 32 Kudu, 30 Eland as well as Giraffe and Rooibok.
Silver Creek Gorge Estate has been developed on the 1000 hectare family farm of the late motoring giant, Lindsay Saker, the farm now belongs to Louis and Lawrene Jordaan. As the nearest school is quite a way away in Hekpoort the original dairy on the farm was converted to a wonderful country style private school. Learners are taught in a tranquil setting and even have access to the horses that are kept on the property.
Sean Cronin, Louis Jordaan and Pierre Bothma offer instruction to aspirant pilots who would prefer to learn to fly in a beautiful country setting. Pierre, the CFO at the nearby Rustenburg flight school, is a resident of Silver Creek and operates from both Silver Creek and Rustenburg Airfield.
All present were treated to some wonderful fly-bys in some amazing aircraft, Geoff Earl joined up with Peter Lastrucci and gracefully flew a few circuits in their beautiful Tiger Moths. Derek Hopkins and Mike Puzey, both in Vans RV8’s then joined up for a formation farewell fly-by on their way back to Eagles Creek.
Three Weight Shift Trikes joined the festivities, but as is normal left quite early as to avoid the turbulent air that generally builds later in the day on the Highveld. The EAA was very well represented with long time and newer members, the newer members have livened things up a bit as with them came new aircraft not often seen at fly-ins.
The wonderful people at Silver Creek never fail to please all their visitors and as the pilots and passengers were making their way to their aircraft questions were already being asked about the next event that they will be hosting. Well done to Sean Cronin, Arjan Schaap, Neil Bowden, and Jeremy “Moose” Woods for organising yet another memorable day in paradise.
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