The Himeville Fly-In took place on Sunday 10 September 2017 at the picturesque Himeville Airfield. The local community including surrounding areas pulled out all the stops to provide a wonderful venue for a fly-in. Around 40 aircraft flew in for the occasion. The airfield was splendidly prepared with the grass cut neatly, providing ample parking for the visiting aircraft. ATC services were available from 7am.
Johan “Sakkie” de Lange in his ATC tower!
Catering was provided by the Underberg Primary School Fundraising Team. Apart from the visiting aircraft and their passengers many locals turned out for the occasion, many brought their cameras and enjoyed the morning in the warm sun, which was perhaps a little hot at times. Early flying conditions were perfect but at departure time, a crosswind had picked up and made for some interesting crabbing take-offs to ensure a straight-out departure line.
Aircraft starting to arrive
The team that put the show together comprised; Grant Beattie, who orchestrated the fly-in and did a lot of the PR work; Scott Williams who did the co-ordination of work on the ground in Himeville; Johan “Sakkie” de Lange (ATC); Jason van Schalkwyk; Donovan Barton-Hobbs and last but not least Tyrone Wood, who was responsible for keeping the strip in tiptop condition. Scott emphasised that it had been a real team effort and that all those who hangered their machines in Himeville and who used the strip, had come to the party to help in one way or the other.
Scott Williams, Simon Berkeljon, Jason Van Schalkvyk and Donovan Barton-Hobbs
The event was a pleasure to attend and everything went off like clockwork. The only small hitch appeared to be one aircraft having a rough running engine on landing and it had to remain at Himeville until parts could be sourced.
ZU-IFV - Savage Bobber flown by Craig Lang
ZU-IVO - The Sling of Ivor Smith
The Maule ZS-JIP on short finals
Magni Gyro ZU-EGI
ZU-KEA Van's RV-8…… Rockwell Commander ZS-JRJ
Sling ZU-FZN….. Aeroprakt A-22LS, ZU-PCB
A feature of the event was a raffle which was included in the admission price of R30 per person. The coveted prize was a flight in a Russian Yak 52. The flip was kindly donated by the owner of the Yak, Simon Berkeljon. Six tickets were drawn out of a bucket and the finalists were called up to the front. In turn, they had to choose a ticket and each one drawn was then eliminated from the running. A couple of unlucky contestants drew their own tickets, ending their chances. The winner of the competition was Albert Willemse, who had flown in, in his new Cirrus. He sportingly gave his prize up for auction.
Six tickets drawn but only one winner - that was Albert Willemse second from the left who donated his prize to be auctioned
Grant Beattie assumed the role of auctioneer and managed to raise another R1000 which will be put towards ablution facilities at the airport. The lucky person that ended up flying with Simon was Veronique Schroeder and she was treated to full “Yak Attack” experience, one she is not likely to forget in a hurry.
Simon Berkeljon and Veronique Schroeder
Hannes Scharf, Bernard Alan-Brown, Simon Berkeljon, Veronique Schroeder and Tony Schroeder
Simon flying the winner Veronique Schroeder
Arrivals and departures, from the beautifully situated grass strip, went very smoothly aided by the “pop-up” ATC. The runway is orientated 04/22 and the 22 side was used for arrivals. With a cross-wind the 04 side was used for departures. The airfield is in the foothills of the Drakensberg and is high at 5340 ft.
Sling ZU-JAL flies in over an agricultural setting
ZU-ARP- Bushbaby 450 gets airborne
ZU-RGP, the futuristic Arrow-Copter AC10 of Rudolf Erasmus
ZU-IGS, a Sonex Onex with proud owner Jonathan Low
ZU-VIP - Aeroprakt A-22LS
A wide variety of aircraft attended the event from all over KZN and one aircraft even dropped in from Rand Airport! In all about 40 visiting aircraft made the event and they were a really diverse bunch. By my count there were 10 Van's of different models, 5 Aeroprakts, 3 Maules, 3 Slings, 2 Jabiru, 2 Magni Gyros, and one each of the following: - Cessna 337, Cessna 206, Cessna 172, Rockwell Commander, Cirrus SR22, Challenger II, Yak 52, Bantam, Savannah, Savage Bobber, Tailwind, Sonex Onex, Zenair CH701, Buch Baby and Evektor Harmony.
The Johannesburg contingent leaves in Cessna 206, ZS-PLR
ZU-FOZ - Van's RV-7 flown out by Jonathan Roberts
ZU-EBB - Van's RV-8 leaving under the control of Mervyn Roberts.
ZU-MBA - The Van's RV-7A flown by Gabriel Chella
ZU-IBX - Van's RV-9 flown by Andre Smit
The Magni Gyro ZU-CJG departs
ZU-AYF the unusual Quad City Challenger II on its way home
One of the last to leave is Mike Korck with his Sling ZS-IAZ
All in all, a wonderful day for flying and a great way to keep aviation alive. Well worth the visit and we are looking forward to the next one!