EAA Chapter 1503 Bloemfontein and convener Jack Onderstall made sure there was something for everyone during the EAA Sun 'n Fun at New Tempe near Bloemfontein on Saturday the 10th of November 2012. Most of the visitors flew in on Saturday and I lost count at fifty early in the morning already. I will not be surprised if this figure doubled as visiting aircraft kept pouring in not to mention those who drove to the event.
The day started off with a military parachute drop. I am not sure if this was planned or if they arrived without knowing about this huge event on the day. Never the less, it was still entertaining as the Casa dropped one load before the company was loaded and they departed again.
As usual, Fun 'n Sun is not an airshow but rather a gathering of homebuilt and vintage aircraft enthusiasts to show off their creations or to admire the creations of others and there were plenty of this to see. Slings, Jabis, RVs, Bush Babys, Sky Rangers, Savannahs, Lancairs, Tiger Moths, Piper cubs and Cruisers, Pipistrels, a Long Eze, a Chinese Nanchang Dragon, Citabrias, vintage Cessnas, Chipmunks, Austers, a Jodel, a Sonex, Zodiacs and others completely unknown to me.
If you were looking to buy a kit aircraft, perhaps an engine or maybe just some pilot supplies, you could also find it all here.
If you were a radio flyer, especially radio controlled jets, there were a few present on the day flying a few high-speed passed providing thrilling entertainment.
The day also saw some new “Young Eagles” as volunteers took kids on short flights as part of the program. Even I was privileged enough to get a quick ride in Gordon Dyne's Nanchang Dragon.
There were lots of skydiving throughout the day and Skydive Central
operating from Tempe Airport sponsored a tandem jump to one lucky winner on the day.
Throughout the day the technical team led by Hennie Roets and assisted by Walter Walle, Kevin Hoper and Stephen Theron judged all the aircraft. The entries this year was again on a high standard and I am sure that the judges had a difficult time deciding who would walk away with the silverware.
It came as no surprise when Neil Terblanche won the homebuilt aircraft award with his pristine Van's RV-4. It took Neil three years to build it and in my opinion, this is very short if you look at the detail and the quality of his workmanship. Neil was also awarded the Concours d'Elegance for his remarkable feat.
Archie Kemp walked away with the Vintage Aircraft award with his beautiful Cessna 195, an executive aircraft of yesteryear.
The Scratch Built Aircraft award was won by Fanie Bezuidenhout with his Jodel while Wally Goodrich won the Professionally Built Aircraft award with his RV-7.
The Best Represented Chapter was undoubtedly Chapter 1262 from East London. They flew together in a loose formation all the way from East London and arrived in a spectacular armada of aircraft.
It was a busy day for most and we were all exhausted at the end of the day. Some however had a laid-back day just sitting down while enjoying the atmosphere and flying throughout the day.