14TH ANNUAL BATTLEFIELDS FLY- IN 10 MAY 2014

By Cheryl Smit

Battlefields Country Lodge has its own private airstrip, with beautiful lush gardens and it nestles in an amphitheatre surrounded by horses, game, ostriches, guinea fowl and stunning bird life. Situated in Dundee it lies in the heart of the battlefields in Kwazulu Natal. One can explore Boer, British and Zulu battle sites at Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift and Blood River. The lodge is nestled in green valley's overlooking rolling hills, dams and the famous Talana hill which is the site of the first battle between the Boers and the British soldiers!



A Husky parked in front of the lodge

Trevor Davids and I flew in on Saturday morning from Fly-Inn Estate. The weather was perfect and we experienced an awesome flight over the mountains between Newcastle and Battlefields. I counted 17 aircraft on arrival and was told by Tony Roberts the ATC that a number of the aircraft had arrived the day before.



ATC was expertly handled by Tony Roberts



Trevor's RV12 and a Sling 2

A passionate group of five Trikes known as the 'Pampoen Squadron' had also attempted to fly in the day before from Empangeni with a predicted 5 knot headwind. However when they reached Melmoth they had a 35 knot headwind, they flew low level in the gusty winds and landed at 'Hot cross bun' a forestry airfield, it had taken them 1hr and 50min to complete the 68km. With still 110km to go to Dundee they decided to turn around and head back to Empangeni which only took them 30min with the prevailing tailwinds. Not to be disheartened they then got into their vehicles and travelled by road to Battlefields. These aviators are really passionate about their flying and being with other like-minded aviators.



The Pampoen Squadron from Empangeni



Shooting the Breeze

Planes continued to fly in throughout the day and 25 were counted at the end of the day.
















Food and refreshments were available throughout the day and a number of the locals popped in for a quick bite to eat and to take a flip in one of the aircraft a Jabiru that had to be jumpstarted before it could fly. A big screen was available to watch the Sharks rugby game.



Jan Kemp (on right) flew in from Volksrus



Larry vd Merwe doing a fly past


Nan and Lourens Roos the owners of Battlefields Country Lodge hosted the scrumptious dinner for the aviators and as is tradition at the annual Fly In the pilots all received a R20 fine which was donated to a charity for various offenses and had to drink a strong alcoholic beverage from the long horn.



Hosts Nan and Lourens Roos





Ashleigh receiving a compass as a prize since he arrived late


We had such fun and I can't wait for the second week in May 2015 to attend the 15th annual Fly In.

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