Saturday the 18th August saw Kitty Hawk hosting a Fun Rally which was intended to be for Gyrocopters only but due to a fairly low turnout Frank Eckhardt made the decision to let fixed wing aircraft also participate. Frank reached a personal milestone with this event and he probably holds the world record for the most fun rallies organised by one person, this one being the ninetieth. Well done Frank and thanks for all the years of service.
Top Billing presenters Jeannie D and Michael Mol were among the many visitors to Kitty Hawk on Saturday. They were both treated to a flight with Glen Dell in the Red Bull branded Extra 300.
The weather gods smiled on Kitty Hawk with a beautiful day except for quite a nasty cross wind that made landings pretty interesting. After a hearty Kitty Hawk breakfast the seven participating teams got underway. All competitors were given a set time to cross the start, all check points and finish and they were penalised for being early or late.
After a short hop to the starting point just South of Kitty Hawk they set off on the first leg, 10.1 miles with checkpoint 1 located to the Southeast in the Rietfontien area. With only a map and an aerial photograph of the checkpoint navigation can get quite tricky. The second checkpoint was East of Daveyton along the N12, a leg of 8.3 Miles. With a turn to the west it's off to checkpoint 3 situated south of Delmas in the farming area just inside the boarder of Mpumalanga. Checkpoint 4 was located 10.7 miles away to the east of Delmas and was more or less the half way mark. The next leg, a short one, was to the north with checkpoint 5 positioned next to “Jas se Pan”. Checkpoint 6 was probably the easiest one of the lot to find as it was located just to the west of Bronkhorstspruit Dam 10.8 miles to the North. Flying along the Northern shore of the dam took the participants to checkpoint 7 just to the east of the dam, a leg of 7 miles. checkpoint 8 was to the Northwest, approximately 7.5 miles just south of the N4 close to Bronkhorstspruit. The final leg was almost parallel to the N4 for 10.5 miles to the finish North of Kitty Hawk completing the 86 mile course.
The overall winners on the day was Rob Jonkers and Pierre Diepenaar in a Cessna 172 (ZU-KEZ). Their Navigation was exceptional only losing 15 points but unfortunately they crossed the start line early and lost 200 points for this minor indiscretion. Frank Eckhardt persuaded them to consider taking part in more competitions as they achieved such great scores.
Juanita and Marius Kruger were second overall and were the first Gyro home in Juanita's stunning Calidus GMBH Autogyro (ZU-RTM).
Dominique van Roey and Jackie Hoffmann finished in third place in a Bushbaby (ZU-FEJ). Fourth place belonged to Gerhard Roux and Thomas Scott in the Magni Gyro M22 (ZU-RCS)
Fininshing in fith place was the team of Leon de Lange and Johann Koen flying a Chayair Sycamore MK1 (ZU -CFW)
Werner Schoeman flying a Europe MT03 (ZU-ELH) was the only solo participant coming in sixth position jointly with the team of Retief von Wielligh and Jan du Plessis also in a Europe MT03 (ZU-RBO)
Overall a fun day for all and a big thank you to Nigel Musgrave for his role as safety officer and for the great service, as usual at the Kitty Hawk clubhouse.