The first of the years all comers time trials and the second for 2014 in the extremely successful series were held at Pays on Sunday 18 May. Unfortunately low cloud over most of Gauteng during the morning meant that a large number of competitors did not fly in.
Parys's unique control tower with main sponsor AeroShell's hospitality marque on the right.
Parys was clear except for a fairly strong wind. The briefing, normally held at 09h00 was postponed to 11h00 by which time 31 aircraft of which almost half were Vans RV's had arrived. A total of seventeen aircraft took part in the trials and the formation flying competition. Unfortunately only two teams completed their formation sequence when the clouds started building and it started raining and further flying was stopped in the interest of safety.
Early morning arrivals
Pilots, Organisers and Marshalls after the briefing
The first two aircraft that took to the sky opted to use the short course; all others fly the longer course. Rob in the Cessna clocked in at 80,59 mph and Stojan in the Cheetah at 75,01 mph.
Rob's Cessna 150 and Stojan's Rainbow Cheetah.
A surprise arrival and one that caused much excitement amongst the spectators was Menno Parsons in the North American P51 Mustang. Beside participating and clocking 237.20 mph the highest speed for the day, Menno had the crowd on its feet with two spirited high speed demonstrations.
Scully Levine and Arnie Meneghelli performed what must surely rate as one of the best two ship displays ever in the Harvards and also showed why the Pitts Specials is still a favourite formation and aerobatic aircraft.
Three to four aircraft that have similar performance parameters are allowed on the course during the heats. Although separated by 20 seconds from take-off the competition is none the less fierce and one can be forgiven when thinking it is a race rather than a time trial.
Henk in the Maule clocked 142,20 mph
Whilst Frank in Mooney was timed at 173,45 mph
Each aircraft is fitted with a logger that records the time it takes to complete the three laps. The loggers that upload data every second also records the track flown and are accurate to within 1 inch thus cutting inside the pylons will be picked up.
Gregory in the Jodel DII, 136,40 mph
Jaco, Cessna 182-141,54 mph…………….Henno, Cessna 210-183,06 mph
Francoise, RV9-144,99 mph……………….Mark, RV7-183,75 mph
Mark F, RV7-181,59 mph
Probably the closest competition of the day was between three RV's………….
Rounding the pylon
Frank in his RV7 clocked at 176,69 mph
Cliff in his RV7 clocked at 176,64 mph only .05 of a second faster
Whilst Neil is his RV4 clocked 180,06 mph almost 4 mph faster than Frank and Cliff.
There are some seriously fast RV's out there.
Neil's RV8 was clocked at 189.00 mph
And Trevor was the fastest Vans of the day. His RV7 was clocked at 191,78 mph
The next Time Trials will take place during July. The last trials for the year will be reserved for Warbirds. Any aircraft that served in a military role will be eligible.