Affordable fuel, great breakfast-Wonderboom Airport Fly-In 2017

By Jaco Pitout

Affordable fuel, a great breakfast and waived landing and approach fees, these are the ingredients to a wonderful Wonderboom Fly-in held on 29 October.

The Wonderboom Airport Interest Group partnered with Blue Chip flight school and Wanna Fly to host a landmark event this past Sunday. The event organisers anticipated that 70 aircraft would attend the event. The Charlie apron was filled with an incredible variety of aircraft anything from a microlight trike to a Beechcraft Baron and everything in between. The rotor wing fraternity came out in force too with a Bell 47, Alouette II and III making their way to the various helipads around the field.

The friendly Blue Chip students and instructors were on hand on Charlie apron to assist with the positioning of the visiting aircraft.

Microlights provided a much needed splash of colour on which was a gloomy morning. The ever popular Bathawk aircraft made an appearance too with no less than three examples flying in.

The Van's RV brand was well represented with several of these well-loved aircraft attending the event.

Possibly the biggest star of the show, albeit only in static form was a beautiful Convair CV440 ZS-BRV. This aircraft previously served with Rovos Air taking luxury rail passengers on aerial excursions between a variety of Sub-Saharan countries. Boarding the aircraft along the immaculately polished "air-stair" I was greeted with the sights and smells of a truly vintage machine. The rich leather upholstery, the thick pile carpets and the curtained windows are all indications that this aircraft served in the hey-day of air-travel. I imagined a time when air-travel was romantic, special and an event in its own right. I imagined looking out over the wing of this gorgeous metal bird and seeing the azure blue of the Caribbean below, where she once served in times gone by. Apparently this fine specimen will leave our shores in the future; I was elated to have met her if only once and fleetingly so. I can be said that this aircraft is in immaculate condition with several updates being done in the avionics department.

Upon speaking to some of the attending pilots, I got the impression that the air traffic controllers had their hands full getting the slower and faster traffic accommodated in the circuit, which was done with no incident. A feather in the cap of the ATNS team at Wonderboom! Mention must also be made of the airmanship displayed by all the pilots on the day. All pilots took it to heart to accommodate one another in the circuit and to secure their aircraft suitably.

The Wonderboom Airport Interest Group also made it their duty to give back on the day, the nominated charity, Rock of Hope, will receive a portion of the funds raised at the fly in. Further to this some of the children present took the opportunity to go flying and enjoyed it immensely. The charity focusses on the needs of babies and toddlers in crisis.

The Wonderboom Fly-In was a resounding success! The Wonderboom Airport Interest Group certainly made the day of several pilots by hosting a superb fly in event. I am sure that an event of this stature will find a home on the long list of annual events on the South African aviation calendar.

Events 2017

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