I always thought that I have been to many fly-in events in my life until I arrived at the Eagle Flight Academy Fly-in near Hartswater where I realised what a fly-in actually is.
At the Eagle Flight Academy Fly-In it is all about aviators, their planes, their stories and jokes. No one tries to sell you anything, nor do you fight the queues to buy something to eat. But beware, you eat much more than you should. On the Friday night we had some wors, lamb chops, beef fillet and pork chops (if anyone wanted some vegetables, they would have slaughtered a chicken). Breakfast Saturday morning, boerie rolls for lunch and a spit braai in the evening. These people are not shy when it comes to food and the ladies in the kitchen did an excellent job in preparing salads, desert or anything else we wanted.
Saturday started off with a navigation fun rally and both microlights and fixed wing aircraft took part. The rally was ended with a spot-landing competition and although it was all just for fun, the standard was high.
I am glad to know that none of these guys are bomber pilots in the SAAF as only one microlight and one fixed wing aircraft could hit the runway during a flower bombing challenge on Saturday afternoon.
Throughout the day, pilots young and old, PPLs plus two hours to ATPs with 30,000 hours shared aviation experiences, stories and jokes. I must say that I truly enjoyed this very much!!
Excellent entertainment was provided both evenings. On Friday evening Karl Jensen shared some technical details on the Boeing 747 which he flew as captain for many years and also added lots of laughter with funny stories about the sanitation systems on the aircraft. On Saturday Mike Blyth shared the details of their flight around the world with their South African designed & built Sling 4. This was also a truly amazing story and if you have not seen this presentation, make sure you are there when he does it again.
The most impressive thing about the Eagle Flying Academy is their infrastructure. There is accommodation for everyone in fully equipped chalets, a huge kitchen and a dining room for large groups of people. Three runways to choose from and I think that the main runway (35/17) was built by NASA as a Space Shuttle alternate. Standing on one side I could hardly see the other side.
The winners of the different fun events on the day were:
Micro light Spot Landing: Paul van Schalkwyk
Fixed wing Spot Landing: Neville du Piesanie
Micro Light Rally: Bertie van Jaarsveld
Fixed Wing Rally: Connie Conradie
Micro light Flour Bomb: Morne du Toit
Fixed Wing Flour Bomb: Craig McMurry
A special word of appreciation must go out to Comet Aviation Supplies
and ComAv Risk Services
for sponsoring the event and the fantastic prizes.
Remember, support those who support you!!!