It was an icy cold and windy morning at Klipriver Airfield with some ominous clouds looming in the distance. The organizers of this year's event, Michael Skinner & Christo Smit, were both anxious and apprehensive as to how this day would turn out... Luckily the silence at the stunning Klipriver Airfield was soon filled with the sound of approaching prop engines! And then, almost like two Phoenix appearing from the fiery sunrise, two micro-light aircraft appeared. The annual Kliprivier fly-in had officially started!
The morning saw a steady arrival of various aircraft, facing the cold and a bit of a nasty cross-wind on the runway approach. Once parked in a neatly prepared grass apron, the pilots and passengers could get themselves some delicious warm pancakes, breakfast and boerie rolls. Unfortunately the Hired Gun coffee truck had a critical breakdown and could not make it to the airfield on time; not being able to taste that dark elixir of comfort, was the only disappointment of the day! The organizers however ensured that some alternative (albeit not Hired Gun), coffee was available to brace against the cold.
The Hired Gun team together with the organizers however did have a special treat up their sleeve to make up for the lack of the coffee; suddenly the warm and familiar voice of one of our most loved pilots came over the sound system - it was none other than uncle Scully Levin, leading the Hired Gun team on approach to the Kliprivier Airfield! Having seen them perform countless times, I can however say that this was by far the most thrilling displays I have experienced, especially that by the lead aircraft flown by Ellis Levin. Looking forward to see them display again soon at the Parys Airshow on the 3rd of June.
Throughout the day we were well entertained with some very talented and pleasing live music by the proudly local band, Luna Lane. Playing a mixture of familiar classic covers and some really good original songs, this was the perfect accompanying music for the day. We need to really support our local artists and these guys really deserve it!
The Kliprivier Airfield is home to the Rainbow Air School owned by Michael Skinner. This flying school specializes in light sports and micro-light flight training. Michael is also the manager of Kliprivier Airfield and the chief flight instructor at the airfield. This year's event was co-arranged by Michael and Christo Smit. Christo is the safety manager at the airfield and is also currently busy with his instructor's rating.
The organizers also allowed for some exhibitors for aviation related products showcasing the best they have to offer, with lots of interest by all the pilots.
Like everything in life, unfortunately all good things have to come to an end…slowly good friends in aviation started to say their farewells and started taking to the skies again, homebound to their various home bases. All in all a total of 19 visiting aircraft made their way to Klipriver Airfield for their annual fly-in - considerably less than what the organizers originally had hoped for, however still a very decent turn-out given the less than favourable weather conditions.
Pilots Post would like to thank and congratulate the organizers and of this year's event and their entire team for a very enjoyable and successful fly-in. We are already looking forward to the next one! To all the pilots, this is definitely one to mark with a big yes on your calendar for next year!
Michael & Christo
For those who hasn't been to Klipriver before; The airfield is situated on the North western tip of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve at S" 26 28.883 E 028 06.316.
It boasts three grass runways: 02-20 now 1000 Metres and in good condition. 07-25 500 Metres also in good condition. However, beware of power lines on approach to 07. 13-31 is quite short. Altitude is 5000 feet, traffic to join overhead at 6000 feet whilst the circuit height is 5500 feet. Frequency is Special Rules South frequency 125.6.