The NAMPO Agricultural Trade Show (NAMPO Harvest Feast) is the largest agricultural trade show in the southern hemisphere and is held annually during the month of May at NAMPO Park which covers an area in excess of 25 hectares, providing space for more than 600 exhibitors.
NAMPO SHOWGROUND AND LANDING STRIP
As the show is mainly agriculturally based there are also many exhibitors who target other interests and at least three aviation related companies made use of the opportunity to display their services and products.
Previously known as "Working on Fire" this company that is mainly involved in wildfire fighting, suppression and prevention, now forms part of the new South African based service industry giant Kishugu (Swahili for anthill). They made use of the opportunity presented by the show to introduce their new identity as well as the Kishugu Group's products to the public.
Natasha De Kock National Events Coordinator Kishugu
The Kishugu exhibit at NAMPO
Rotary Air Force once again displayed and marketed the RAF 2000 Gyrocopter and according to the company's representatives, a lot of interest was shown by the public and they are expecting at least three sales to be finalized very soon.
Rotary Air Force staff and a RAF 2000
NAC is first timers at the show and their display included a PA-46 Mirage, the Quest Kodiak as well as a Robinson R44. Gary Phillips the Executive Director Helicopter Sales indicated that having a stand at this show, even though it is an agricultural show, is of more value than participating in an normal airshow and that NAC will be back in future and that they have negotiated the exclusive right to display fixed wing aircraft at the show.
Gary Phillips and staff at the NAC exhibited
The NAMPO Park showground is situated on the R30 midway between Orkney and Bothaville and as this is the only tarred road giving access to the showground, very heavy traffic congestion is experienced during the duration of the show. The most convenient way of getting to the show is by flying. A 1200m long grass-covered runway is situated less than 600 m from the northern entrance to the show grounds and as the parking area for aircraft has recently been extended there are more than sufficient parking space available. Unfortunately there is no fuel available at the landing strip.
NAMPO landing strip and parking area
Air traffic control was superbly handled by DJ de Nysschen and his team of three experienced air traffic controllers. Not a single incident occurred during any of the aircraft movements.
D J de Nysschen and his team off air traffic controllers
NAMPO Control Tower providing more than just Air Traffic Control
An OFM sponsored air-taxi service for VIPs and media representatives as well as an "eye in the sky" service was provided by Cliff Lotter of the Klerksdorp Pilot's association for the duration of the show. Cliff also supervised the parking activities and provided any assistance required by the visiting pilots.
The NAMPO landing strip was a hive of activity for the duration of the show, already on the first day of the show 94 aircraft made use of the facility. More than 70 types and model of aircraft utilized the landing strip during the four days that the show was open. The aircraft varied in size from LSA aircraft e.g. Aeroprakt 22LS, Ikarus C42 and a CTLS to heavier aircraft e.g. Caravans, Pilatus PC-12s and a Gippsland Airvan.
Piper PA-31-325 Navajo CR
Robinson R44 Raven II………South West Florida SW205 UH-1H
PB & NP Airway Cub Replica
Other types included amongst others; most Beech, Cessna, Piper and RV models, Glasair Sportsman, ICP Savannah, Sling, SA Ravin, Rans S7S, Cirrus, Citabria, Jabiru, Scheibe Falke, Maule, TL 2000 Sting. Rotorcraft included most of the Robinson models, Bell 206B, 206L, 230, 407 and UH-1H, Eurocopter AS350B and EC120B4, RAF 2000 and Calidus gyrocopters.
The Airplane Factory Sling 2
Cessna 208B Grand Caravan………Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six
Beech A36TP Allison
Visiting the NAMPO landing strip during the trade show is an experience that all general aviation enthusiasts should consider as at no other event in this country will such a wide range of different aircraft be seen in such a short period.
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