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Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Kitty Hawk Airfield Vans Rv and MG Car Club Day 2016
By Willie Bodenstein
Kitty Hawk situated on the east of Pretoria is one of the best organised and friendliest clubs around. It's imposing thatch clubhouse/ restaurant is a popular venue not only for aviators that flock there on weekends but also for others from the community. Family friendly, the club's well maintained grass apron offers visitors the opportunity to get close to the large numbers of aircraft that visit whilst enjoying a meal in the open air.
Once a year the club organise a fly in open to all but aimed at the Vans RV community. In the past owners of the Lotus Car Club were also invited. This year they broke from tradition and invited the MG Car Club of South Africa.
More than forty RVs flew in from as far as Kroonstad in the Free State whilst numerous other types visited.
The MG Car Club of South Africa combined centres hold a national meeting every two years, hosted by one of the six MG Car Club centres that are affiliated to the MG Car Club in England. This year it fell to the Northern Centre to organize and it was held at Kitty Hawk Aerodrome with the theme being a throwback to the prewire days when an outing to the Aerodrome was a special occasion and an opportunity to have a picnic. Kitty Hawk was chosen, not only due to its proximity to Cullinan, which was the venue for the Sunday outing but the excellent Restaurant facility run by Wilma Fourie, who ensured the 160 participants at the Indaba were well fed and looked after for the day.
Frank van Heerden, chairman of the Aerodrome suggested we combine our event with RV day, this ensured that the MG Car Club members were treated to a special aerobatic display and the RV members got to see the top four cars in the country compete for the prestigious d'etat prize as best car of the event in their class.
Having driven in from all corners of South Africa to attend this event, the 80 cars participated in driving tests and a treasure hunt rally in the areas surrounding Kitty Hawk. In addition to the 80 cars on the event, there were an additional 20 or so MG 's that arrived as day visitors, swelling the number of cars on the day to well 100 cars.
Many thanks to Charles du Toit who kindly flew his Robinson R44 and to Rodney Benn who flew his immaculate Dornier 27 in German Luftwaffe colours for the photo shoots.
Congratulations to Frank van Heerden and the Kitty Hawk committee for a wonderful, well organised and safe day.
Posted by Kitty Hawk Aerodrome at 9:50 AM
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Sky Grand Prix 2016 Impresses
by Paul Godwin - Photos by Willie Bodenstein
Saturday morning exploded with the second edition of the Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics dazzling the skies, weaving and winding, pumping and grinding aviators performing death defying and seemingly unnatural manoeuvres while the crowds looked on awestruck and totally enthralled by the Men and one Women competing in their fantastic flying machines.
All the action was streamed live to a huge strategically placed screen
The Durban weather did not disappoint as it was a beautiful cloudless and windless day at Greyville racecourse with approximately 4000 people filtering into the venue from sunrise. The event will leave an indelible imprint on the people of Durban who can know claim they witnessed history in the making and saw the World's best up close and personal.
Keeping the crowd entertained was Mike "Spanky" Galloway all the way from the USA. Mike, an accomplished aerobatic pilot in his own right, got his start in the world of aerobatics back in 1996. Since then he has travelled the globe as a pilot, judge and commentator in some of the sports largest venues
The action included impressive formation flying displays from the Flying Falcons and the RV Raptors.
Team 80 of the Flying Falcons at only their second public display thrilled the crowd
The Raptors RV Formation Team is now firmly established on the air show circuit.
Members of the Durban Skydiving Club landed with pinpoint precision in front of the grand stand
Michel Leusch amazed with his skilful display RC display
At in between all the high speed adrenalin pumping action a Kulula Boeing did a slow 'dirty configuration' fly-past
The Competition side of the event took the form of three heats of which the pilots competed against each other, the clock and the scrutinising judges.
The three heats comprised the Known sequence, Unknown sequence and the Freestyle section, points from each discipline were added together to decide an overall winner.
The top three pilots in the Known Sequence were first place Rob Holland (USA), second place Nigel Hopkins (PTA) and Patrick Davidson (PE).
Results of the Unknown sequence, in first place Patrick Davidson (PE), Aude Lemordant (France) in second place and in third place Rob Holland (USA)
In the Freestyle section the winner was Rob Holland (USA) Aude Lemordant (France) in second place and Nigel Hopkins (PTA) in third
The overall winner of this very closely contested event of was Patrick Davidson (PE) with 84.93%, followed by Rob Holland (USA)84.24% and in third place Nigel Hopkins (PTA) with 83.26%.
Patrick Davidson the overall winner "The event was a great success and at this moment I find the whole experience quite surreal. I had little problems with near perfect flying conditions, the sky was a little hazy due to the Durban heat of which I am not used to, It was an awesome day and I hope the public on the ground enjoyed the event as much as we did flying for them.
Comment from Roger Deare CEO Sky Grand Prix, "Thanks to all the people that supported the event from around the country and the great media response to the event and the Sky Grand Prix team. As a new concept event we would like to build on this edition and create a legacy event for Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics in Durban. This year we had a fair crowd and we look forward to Durban embracing the event more robustly going forward."
All in all it was a beautiful day in Durban and the Sky Grand Prix Team enjoyed hosting this show for the people of Durban and the Pilots from all over the World were treated to great local hospitality and had the good fortune of seeing Durban at its best, warm weather, blue skies and " a lekker jol".
This Sky Grand Prix was held in conjunction with the Annual Daily News 2000 horse race and was supported by - Gold Circle, Royal Durban Golf Club and the Daily News, Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom and Caesarstone.
Posted by Kitty Hawk Aerodrome at 3:05 PM