Parys Pylon Time Trials 6 April 2013
By Willie Bodenstein
Saturday 6 April and the second leg of four planned Pylon Time Trials for the year were held at Parys. Entries this time were restricted to aircraft with a speed of 120 knots and more. In Scully Levin's words: “This is not a race but a measure of what your airplane can do and what you can do.”
More than 65 aircraft arrived at the field, some to participate and others to enjoy a day of action packed aviation action. Amongst the visitors was Steve Hinton a young man from the USA and the son of Steve Hinton Senior, legendary air race pilot and owner of Fighter Rebuilders and president of Planes of Fame Museum. Steve Senior held a world speed record from 1979 to 1989 and won six unlimited air races in one year, the only pilot ever to do so. In 2009 at the age of 22 Steve junior became the youngest pilot to win the Reno Unlimited Championship
In 2010 he won based on his qualifying speed when high winds forced the cancellation of the actual race, and he was again declared the technical winner for qualifying speed in 2011 after the races were cancelled due to Jimmy Leeward's P-51 "Galloping Ghost" going out of control and crashing into the VIP boxes in front of the grandstands, cancelling the races. Steve flew Menno Parson's Mustang at Parys's 3 mile long course and found this a bit too short for the Mustang. The course length at Reno for the unlimited class is 8 miles. His logger fitted to the aircraft lost signal but he was none the less timed and his speed calculated at 254.91 mph.
The winner on the day was Witbank resident Henri Westerman who flew his Glasair II ZU-VNE and was clocked at 226.57 mph.
In second place was aviation legend Chris Briers in a Beech 58 clocking at 211.93 mph.
Airline pilot Trevor Warner in his fast RV7 finished in third place at 200.72 mph.
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