The 5th Limpopo Flying Club annual fly in was held at the Club's base at Mokopane (Potgietersrus) airfield just outside the Bushveld town on the weekend of 11-13 November 2016.
When we arrived by road midday on Friday a couple of visiting aircraft had beaten us and were parked close to the clubhouse. Unfortunately the weather did not play along and the floods and thunderstorms of the previous week were expected to continue. Eventually only a handful of the almost 300 aviators that indicated that they would attend arrived. Those that did arrive were met by the mouth-watering aroma of breakfast and treated to typical Bushveld hospitality.
Willie van der Walt, who has been flying for 34 years and know the Lowveld like the back of his hand, flew his Skyjeep ZU-DSV from Hippo Pools in Mpumalanga. Willie could not cross the mountains by the Strydom Tunnel area but fortunately got permission from the Lowveld Traffic Control authorities for a low-level flight under the clouds along the mountains to Tzaneen. From Tzaneen he flew up George's Valley where he found a clear section and eventually arrived at Mokopane.
"I arrived early on Friday morning and Nico Willemse and the club members were at the field ready for a flight in their six weight shift trikes. They invited me to join them in the Skyjeep and we went for a scenic flight to Sterkriverdam and en-route did some aerial game spotting. It was an experience flying in formation with the trikes at 60 mph. The Potties guys are wonderful people and passionate aviators. Landing back at the field we had breakfast that included pudding, another first for me! Needless to say my diet flew out the window! These guys braai continuously! I cannot thank them enough for their hospitality." Willie told me as we sat chatting on Friday watching the braai fire being prepared.
Willie's comments were echoed by all. All aviators and aviation junkies should visit the Limpopo Fly -in at least once in their life. You would not only have the time of your life but also contribute to a good cause. The club that has no support from the council use the funds raised to improve their facilities and to maintain the field as far as possible. Although the field is only a few kilometres from town it has no services and the club has, at its cost, had a borehole drilled to supply water and use generators and solar panels for power.
The airfield has 10 hangars housing approximately 42 aircraft and is the base of the Limpopo Flight School. The school with its computer equipped classroom is the biggest in Limpopo and also the only one that offers both microlight as well as gyrocopter training. LSA training is also available however; the student must supply his own aircraft.
The weather might have intervened but despite the fact that only a few aircraft arrived the Limpopo fly in was by far the best that I have attended this year. Many thanks to Nico, Willie, Martin and all the club members for their hospitality and especially to the ladies for the delicious meals.