Brits Flying Club once again hosted the EAA Fun n Sun weekend at the Brits Airfield on the weekend of 11th to the 13th of November, unfortunately this year the weather didn't quite play along. Friday as from lunch time is the customary arrival time but with all the warnings of severe weather not many pilots risked the flight. For the few brave souls that did venture out and flew to Brits, a spread of note was laid on, the hospitality of the people in Brits is fast becoming legendary. When a thunderstorm threatened space for almost all the visiting aircraft was found and all the precious machines were put to bed safely.
The weather gods smiled on everyone on Saturday morning and the airfield was a hive of activity with pilots making the annual pilgrimage from far and wide. The numbers quickly swelled to well over 50 visiting aircraft. The majority of aircraft that arrived were Slings as The Airplane Factory were one of the sponsors of the event and had invited all the Sling owners to attend and as always they gave a special gift to all the arriving Sling pilots. The Airplane Factory fabulous movie of Sling flying adventures in Namibia was screened on Friday evening, much to the enjoyment of all present.
A full programme was planned for the day, starting off with a great breakfast at the clubhouse followed by the registration for the Fun Rally and then the pilots leaving in pre-determined slots to fly the route. Paul Lastrucci, National President of EAA in South Africa, paid homage to all the members of the aviation family that have been lost over the past few years. This is a tradition that was started at the passing of Peter Hengst and is known as the Peter Hengst Memorial Fly In Breakfast and always coincides with the Fun n Sun weekend.
A wonderful display of model aircraft was enjoyed by all followed by a very restricted display of the latest drone technology flown by Daniel Ralafeta a seasoned drone pilot and instructor. Daniel is also the Chairman of the Transformation and Development Section of the Aero Club of South Africa as well as a Glider and TMG pilot.
At EAA events the Vans RV stable is well represented and this year was no exception with many RV7 and RV8's making their way to Brits. The rotor wings were also represented albeit by only three machines: an Alouette II, a Robinson 22 and the wonderful veteran Bell 47. The balance made up of various LSA, TMG's and the good old "Blik Airies" many of which carried the Cessna logo proudly.
Unfortunately, the weather started threatening late in the afternoon and many of the pilots decided to leave while conditions were safe. And for the people that decide to stay the night, probably enticed by the smell of the Spit braai which was being prepared the whole day, the wonderful people at Brits once again opened their hangars to the visitors squeezing aircraft in before the storm hit.
Bear Hawk Patrol
The long awaited dinner was served followed by great entertainment by Frank Persson who kept the crowd going with a selection of classic songs, and later as the liquid refreshments flowed the Karaoke started. Many of the aviation family members fortunately don't have to sing for a living. It was great to see so many people making their way to support this event and even to camp out on the field knowing that it would most likely be a very wet weekend. Thanks must go to all the Brits flying club members for their hospitality and special thanks to Johan Booysen for keeping everyone hydrated, fed and fuelled up. Hope to see you all next year again.