The Coves Country Estate near the Hartbeespoort Dam in the North West Province of South Africa had its annual fly-in on Saturday 7 March and what a marvellous event it was. I decided to leave Krugersdorp early in the morning to catch a glimpse of all the arriving aircraft at The Coves but by the time I took off, I was number 9 in the queue, all heading to the same destination.
A short video arriving at The Coves Estate
Situated within the panoramic embrace of the majestic Magaliesberg mountain range, The Coves has been designed with meticulous attention to detail and care for the environment around natural features such as open farmland, streams, forest walkways and dams. The Coves boasts a top quality private airstrip and hangars, fully serviced jetties and boathouses and an outstanding clubhouse with swimming pools, squash and tennis courts.
On our arrival, we were directed by friendly marshals to the designated parking areas while a hot cup of coffee with biscuits awaited us. Aircraft kept coming in and the local residents and friends enjoyed the spectacle.
I have to add that the emergency services of the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Centre volunteered their services and was present throughout the day.
With two of South Africa's RV gurus based at The Coves, Rudi Greyling and Jan Hanekom, I expected the majority of visitors to be Van's RVs but to my surprise, Jabiru was the most represented aircraft type on the day.
One unique visitor on the day was Dale De Klerk with his Cvjetkovic Mini Ace, the oldest flying homebuilt aircraft in South Africa.
Andries van Tonder also drew a lot of attention with his magnificent Dornier. Its sound, size, paint scheme and historical value had everyone talking.
The clubhouse at The Coves, a short walk from the runway, serves a mean breakfast. For those too lazy to walk, golf carts were also on standby to transported pilots and visitors around the estate.
The success of any fly-in is determined by the amount of people flying in and how much they enjoyed it. In this case, The Coves succeeded on both counts. We will certainly be back next year.