The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) together with the Johannesburg Light Plane Club based at Baragwanath Airfield) organised a successful Navigation Fun Rally on Saturday 27th October 2018.
It was an excellent day for flying, with clear weather predicted all day, although there was some wind from the north east. There were 18 entries posted on-line prior to the event and all 18 were able to arrive on Saturday morning, the Baragwanath field parking area was full up.
Rob Jonkers busy with the competitor briefing and training session
Edzard and Cecile Verseput with Mark Jackson and Stuart Clegg preparing their plots
There were mostly new teams taking part, thus the briefing included some training on how to plot the course, the map provided was blank, but a smaller A4 map with the course already plotted was provided which allowed the teams to transpose the route to get an idea of how to draw each turnpoint, and place minute markers, headings and times. There were some Protea teams on hand to help with the plotting.
Ron Stirk explaining the finer art of plotting to newbies Von Hamman and Matthew Ruschenbaum
There were two classes being flown, Fun & Unlimited, the Unlimited teams were current Proteans, and Shane Britz and Karen Stroud who were trying their hand at flying in the Unlimited class. There were two competition rule sets flown although both were on exactly the same route, with the Fun rules requiring photo recognition in sequence, one per leg, and Unlimited with 10 scrambled leg photos, and correct/incorrect photos of the turnpoints. The Fun teams had a turning point timing gate of 15 seconds, where the Unlimited teams had a 2 second timing gate.
Frank Persson and Daniel von Heynitz preparing their plot
With the briefing and training done by just after 9 am, the time sheets printed, the first aircraft off planned for 10h30 giving everybody sufficient time to complete their plots. By this time the wind had picked up, and was around 10 kts gusting to 15kts.
The competitor line-up, with Ron Wheeldon taxiing out in his Focke-Wulf 149D
The route was planned to go out north-west, with the start point just north of the N12, then on to Randfontein, then further west to an obscure farm house in the Ventersdorp region before returning southwards towards Carletonville, south past Westonaria with the finish point over Ennerdale.
The map with the route shown. The map scale provided is 1:200 000
There was one photo per leg that needed to be recognized, somehow for this rally not many of them were spotted by the teams, although one of the Unlimited teams found half of them, and these were in jumbled order for them, thus they were able to be found, but I guess the cockpits were more busy keeping on track as the route especially in the north western area somewhat featureless, but keeping the big powerlines in view would enable one to keep on track.
One of the good tracks with a clear round almost missing the gate at Turnpoint 1
This team went off track off track right from the start - picked the wrong road to follow….
After returning, the teams handed in their loggers and received their route print-outs while Sandi Goddard assisted in marking the photo recognition sheets, and tallied up the final scores. First in the Fun class was Leon Bouttell and Karyn Purchase flying a Sportstar, in second place Pierre and Francois vd Merwe flying a Sling and in third place Phil and Scott Wakeley flying a C210. Interesting between the 1st and 2nd place the timing results were within 2 seconds of each other.
In the Unlimited Class, in first place were the Protea Team of Hans Schwebel and Ron Stirk flying their C150, in second place Thys vd Merwe and Sandi Goddard flying in a C172 that was being flown at full speed of 120kts having the engine being run in, thus a tough rally for them, and in third place as a new Unlimited team of Shane Britz and Karen
1st place in the Fun class Leon Bouttell and Karyn Purchase and 1st place in the Unlimited class Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel
2nd place in the Fun class Pierre & Francois vd Merwe and 2nd place in the Unlimited class Thys vd Merwe and Sandi Goddard
3rd place in the Fun class Phil and Scott Wakeley and 3rd place in the Unlimited class Shane Britz and Karen Stroud
This event was for sure enjoyed by all, especially for the entrants never having flown a rally before, getting an understanding of flying with more precision, especially in the slower flight regime, and having to deal with wind variation. Many thanks extended to JLPC for the arrangements on the airfield and for obtaining the support of the members to take part.