The East Rand Flying Club once again hosted their annual free fly-in breakfast on Saturday 2 August 2014. As in the past, it was very well attended with pilots flying in from near and far. Peter Lea made the trip from Barberton in Mpumalanga in his stunning RV10, a long way for a quick breakfast.
Paul Sabatier did a brilliant job of handling both the ATC and ramp director functions, getting more than fifty visiting aircraft in and parked safely. Breakfast was served on the Northern side of the field while on the Southern side there was a massive car show, hopefully some of the local "motor heads" become aviation enthusiasts after being exposed to the wide array of flying machines that visited the field.
Ivan van der Schaar offered the locals flips in one of the Harvard Club of South Africa's beautifully preserved Harvard's.
Springs local Gavin Brown had his impressive stable on display. These include two of the most beautiful de Havilland Chipmunks in the country, his authentic Tiger Moth and a Stampe
et Vertongen SV.4
Aircraft from big to small and old to new came to enjoy the get-together, the smallest being the tiny KR2 which looks like a RC model when parked between all the other aircraft. This aircraft was restored in 2006 after the original owner Sakkie Halgreen was killed in a crash while test flying another KR2 and the aircraft stood unused for many years.
Vintage War birds from both East and West Blocks flew in the East being represented by the Russian Yak 18Tand
beautiful CJ-6A Dragon, which is similar to the Yak 52, the Harvard, Chippies and Tigers representing the West.
The Non-type Certified Aircraft market seems to be growing from strength to strength with Vans RV's, Slings and many other types swelling the number of visitors. A few years ago the majority was made up by Cessna and piper light aircraft but now a variety of homebuilts have taken the lead. The older "Blik Aeries" were still represented by some beauties including the very recognisable Cessna 170 "Pixie Plane" flown as always by Karl Jensen.
Hugo Visser made the short trip from Petit airfield in his Alouette III joined later by an Alouette II and a Robinson 22.
Springs has become a haven for the Motor glider fraternity with many of these graceful aircraft being hangared there. We were all treated to a few low runway inspection flights by a range of these machines showing why this sector of aviation has been growing at such a rapid pace in recent years.
The breakfast Fly-in was a great success with old friends meeting up again and new friendships made, all with a common love for aviation.