By Willie Bodenstein

Ivan and Sonica van der Schaar are indeed a unique couple, both are besotted with aircraft and together they spend every free hour at their hangar at Petit Airfield working either on their Boeing Stearman that they are rebuilding or simply socialising with numerous friends and visitors.

In early January 2014 the Stearman was joined by another legendary bi-plane, a Pitts Special S-2A that they operate on behalf of Mike Lewis. A Pitts Special was always on the bucket list and having one share their hangar is a dream come true.

ZS-LVE has been standing for a number of years in a hangar at Rand Airport where Ivan saw her whilst he was trying to sort out the registration of the Stearman. He managed to trace Mike and after a couple of meetings they came to an agreement that suited them both. Ivan who flies Boeing 737-300, 400 and 800's for Comair and has an instructors rating, is a Grade II test pilot, flies Harvards for the Harvard Club and Academy Flying Lions did not have the Pitts on his license and needed a conversion to type. It being December, when the country almost closes down, this proved more difficult than expected as almost all (and there are not that many) Pitt's qualified instructors were not available. However on Saturday 11 January he did his conversion and later first flew ZS-LVE to Springs before taking the aircraft to Petit.

On Friday 18 January we undertook an air to air shoot with Stefan of Kitplanes for Africa flying the camera ship. Stefan's flight school and Kitplanes factory is also based at Petit .

The Pitts will be available for intro flights, type and tail dragger conversion and basic aerobatic training.

For more information contact Ivan: 082 375 9180 or Sonica 082 682 2825

Aviation Personalities

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