By Andre Venter
Christian Maiorana, managing partner of Villa San Giovanni and his team went to great lengths to organise and promote this fly-in and classic car show, unfortunately, the weather decided not to play along. The morning started off with low cloud over the entire Gauteng and surrounding area, this kept many an aircraft safely tucked away in their hangars.
In total only six aircraft made their way to Wonderboom, one can't blame the pilots for not taking the chance to fly in the terrible conditions – safety first – but it was sad to see such a poor turnout. Wonderboom waved all fees for the day “No registration fees, no approach fees, no landing fees, no parking fees” which made the day considerably cheaper for any visitors. Paramount parked two of their Siai Marchetti trainer aircraft on the apron which received lots of attention from all the visitors.
The weather sadly even kept the car owners away with only a handful of “Petrolheads” venturing out in their prized vehicles. The Tshwane Metro sent two of their historic double-decker buses to make up the numbers.
The day however was not a total loss as Blue Chip Flight School hosted a very successful Open Day. Blue Chip has been training pilots for more than 26 years and is situated at the Wonderboom Airport on the 1st floor in the Main Terminal Building. Tey has an accredited in-house examination centre, which makes the writing of theoretical examinations for Private Pilot Licence and Night Rating more convenient. Blue Chip also boasts a superb fleet of aircraft that caters to all training needs as well as a state-of-the-art flight simulator, designed and built to meet the SACAA FNPT II requirements.
Blue Chip believes in hour building with a difference, they host “fly-aways” and cross-country trips that provide the pilot with unique opportunities to be exposed to a non-home based environment, such as grass or gravel runways, uncontrolled airfields, and complex airspace.
Blue Chip offered introductory flights to aspirant students after an informative talk was held in their hangar. We estimate that there were approximately 200 bright-eyed young “aviators” who attended the introduction to flying and a large number of them have now enrolled so they will be taking their first step in the wonderful world of aviation soon.
Hopefully, the poor turnout will not deter the Wonderboom team from organising similar events in the future as this is a great venue for fly-ins and in the process can expose country pilots to controlled airspace in a friendly informal manner.