2017 Freestate Regional Aerobatic Championships

By Ricky Fouchť

The event organisers were Conrad Botha (Contest Director) and Wally Goodrich. A Big thank you to them for all the information and assistance they provided to me. As Natalie Stark was busy with exams, Wally had to take over one of her roles as the "Chief of admin" for the day. Wally needed to photograph each and every score sheet and send them on to Natalie so she could capture them on the scoring system.

This is an example of a completed scoring sheet:
From Wednesday 18-October 2017 the aerobatic pilots started arriving at the New Tempe airport just to the North-West of Bloemfontein in the Freestate smack bang in the centre of South Africa. With wind blowing from the west on Thursday and Friday it made for interesting practice and trying to maintain position in the aerobatic box.

The aerobatic box's dimensions are 1000x1000x1000 m. This box is raised 1000 foot above ground for Graduate -, RV - and Sportsman classes and the minimum height above ground decreases as you progress to the Intermediate -, Advanced - and Unlimited classes. To advance from one class to the next the pilot needs a score of 70% or above.

Air traffic information services were provided by the volunteer, Special Air Events (SAE), team from ATNS. On duty for the day was, from Durban's King Shaka International Airport, Sean England and Roanda Steyn. Local controller from Bram Fischer airport, Dineo Moeti, also attended to gain experience in SAE and to assist in providing the information service (Unfortunately Dineo had already left when this picture was taken).

The, on duty, Paramedic was Stanley Schimper from Trauma Response Africa. Not only is he a highly experienced paramedic but he is also a commercial pilot and test pilot at Ferreira aviation. This makes him highly qualified to be deployed at air events. It is great to have a paramedic on site although one would prefer that he stays on his chair in the shade and not have to work.

A Total of 13 Pilots participated in the event. The RV-, Advanced- and Unlimited classes had only one participant in each Class. Sportsman class had 6 participants and Intermediate class had 4 pilots flying.

Pilots were allowed to do free practice on Thursday and Friday during which time Helmut Ludwig gave the pilots some guidance from the ground. The competition consisted of two programs for each pilot which are the Known and Unknown programs This competition was judged by a panel of three Judges. The Judges were John Gaillard (Chief Judge), Helmut Ludwig and Johnnie Smith. The judges truly display their love for the sport by attending these events and spending the whole day in the sun to make it happen and all at their own expense.

Helmut Ludwig & John Gaillard Picture

Competition day and all the wind was gone. The first pilot, Mike Brissenden in the RV 8, took to the air at 09:30 and the competition was on. The first round for all pilots was completed at around 11:45 and all enjoyed a great lunch at the Skydive Central Clubhouse. Patrick Davidson started off the flying program for the afternoon and all flights were completed at around 16:30 with Patrick being the last competitor.

With the competition closed, we all gathered at the clubhouse and the social began. We had a great time catching up with old friends and recalling great aviation memories.

All in all a very successful day of competition and looking forward to seeing everybody again at the next one in 2018.

Safe flying and Blue Skies to all.

The contestants were:
RV class

Mike Brissenden in his Vans RV8 call sign ZU-DLZ


Markku Torppa in a Zlin 50 L call sign ZS-WSZ

Jonty Esser in a Yak 52 call sign ZU-DSI

Kayle Wooll in his Extra 300-L call sign ZS-BDE

Iain Fergusson in his Sbach 342 call sign ZS-XAA

Mark Oostingh in his Zlin 50 L call sign ZS-PUE

Jurie Steyn also in his Zlin 50 L call sign ZS-WSZ


Conrad Botha in his Salleys Yamaha sponsored Slick 360 call sign ZU-JSS

Jason Beamish in his Absolute Aviation sponsored Extra 300 call sign ZS-EXT

Andrew Blackwood-Murray in his Nashua sponsored Extra 300 call sign ZS-AEC

Cliff Lotter in his Yak 55 call sign ZU-EHZ


Eugene Du Preez in his Extra 330 SC call sign ZS-THS


Patrick Davidson in his Red Bull / Hella Sponsored Sukhoi SU31 call sign ZU-SUK

The results by class


1 Mike Brissenden RV 8 ZU-DLZ 60.77%


1 Jurie Steyn Zlin 50 ZS-WSZ 81.36%
2 Markku Torppa Zlin 50 ZS-WSZ 81.09%
3 Kayle Wooll Extra 300 ZS-BDE 79.04%
4 Mark Oostingh Zlin 50 ZS-PUE 75.22%
5 Iain Fergusson Sbach ZS-XAA 74.31%
6 Jonty Esser Yak 52 ZU-DSI 72.82%


1 Andrew Blackwood-Murray Extra 300 ZS-AEC 63.36%
2 Conrad Botha Slick 360 ZU-JSS 63.20%
3 Cliff Lotter Yak 55 ZU-EHZ 56.16%
4 Jason Beamish Extra 300 ZS-EXT 22.71%


1 Eugene Du Preez Extra 330SC ZS-THS 74.43%


1 Patrick Davidson Sukhoi 31 ZU-SUK 83.26%

Events 2017
Events 2017

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