Captains Log - A Summary of August 2012

By Juri Keyter

First may I start off by expressing my sadness after the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. Although most of us never knew him in person, he was a role model and an inspiration to all of us. Of the 12 men who walked on the moon, only 7 are still alive today and I sometimes wonder if the moon will ever be visited again.

The month of August was certainly a cold month and that goes for the weather and the politics in this industry we all love. The talk of the month was probably the SAA cadet program where white applicants were (what appears to be) rejected electronically immediately after applying. Even if there were candidates with exceptional potential, these candidates were not considered purely based on skin colour. Of course once this discriminating activity became public knowledge, SAA changed it. Yeh right!! I suppose that instead of receiving the “Dear John” immediately after the application, white applicants will now be invited for an interview only to be rejected a few weeks later anyway. Equal opportunity has never existed in this country and we all know that unless we succeed in creating equal opportunity we will continue to have the same problems over and over again. But is this how equal opportunity is created, by discriminating against another group? This is certainly not “equal opportunity” and will never be regardless of how your present it.

Early in August I checked the Pilot's Post weather update and a forecast of “Sleet” for most of the airports I checked created serious doubt in our published weather information. We have not seen snow in years and with a forecast of snow in eight provinces I considered removing our weather information until we could find the problem. Well, the next day people were running around in the snow and in many places it was significant. If it forced a 200Km road closure between Johannesburg and Durban, I suppose that it had a huge impact on general aviation in South Africa although there were no real complaints. Maybe the novelty was a consolation and broke the serious nature of our daily lives, even if it was just for a few hours.

The first three events of August were the SAAF Museum open day, the Antonov AN-2 entertaining Groblersdal and the Heidelberg Breakfast fly-in on the 4th of August. All of these events were well supported and enjoyed.

The Skydive boogie hosted at the ranch hotel followed next with the Jabiru Spectacular 100 on the same weekend.

The rest of the month was a little quiet but it ended with the 2012 SAAF Helicopter Force Preparation Camp at AFB Swartkop and another well attended breakfast fly-in hosted in Bela Bela.

September will be another exciting month with the Bethlehem Air Show and Vredendal Fly-in on the 1st, CC's Barberton Air Show and Fly-in on the 8th, a Zenith Fly-in at Zynkraal on the 15th, the big AAD at AFB Waterkloof starting on the 20th, and we will close the month with a RV / Lotus day at Kitty Hawk.

This month's winner of a signed copy Johan Lottering's book “Avoiding Fatal Flying Traps” is Andrew Jones and he will receive his book in the next few days. To stand a chance to win one of these highly recommended books, make sure that you have registered your email address with Pilot's Post on our home page. Your email address will not be used for anything other than updating you with when new articles are published.

Captains Log

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