Over 40 aircraft attended the Volksrust 2017 Fly-In

By Jaco Pitout

Volksrust is a town with rich cultural history at the foothills of the Amajuba Mountains. The town is known for its warm hospitality especially when it comes to the flying community, this weekend was my first experience of this and I was not disappointed in any way or form. It is an ideal fly away destination within easy reach of Gauteng the town provides in all needs with its' guest houses and restaurants in close proximity to the airfield.

Our host for the day was a local microlight pilot, Robert Jacobz, who also acted as chief organizer of the event. It was the first time that Robert arranged the fly in, I can however say that it was expertly done in every way.

Robert also arranged that I go for a flight around the area with local flying club member, Jan Kemp.

Over 40 aircraft attended the fly in. This excludes a gaggle of gyrocopters and a lone helicopter in the form of a very nicely turned out Bell B206. The visitors arrived from as far afield as Pretoria, Johannesburg, Witbank, Nelspruit, Klerksdorp and the neighboring Standerton to name but a few.

In quite a rare sighting, two FK14 Polaris aircraft flew in together. These slick light aircraft have beautiful lines and have the speed to match.

The local community and flying club ensured that all the visitors' needs were attended to. The flea market stalls sold freshly baked goods, freshly made curry mince jaffels, making this a festival-food feast!

Talking to the local flying community it is clear that there is a very active flying scene at the airfield. It was home to several Piper Seneca's a twin engine Cessna and a multitude of other types over the years. I visited one of the flying club members in his hangar and discovered a treasure trove of aviation memorabilia, aircraft parts and several aircraft in serviceable condition.

All too soon the visiting aircraft started departing the long and perfectly kept grass and gravel runway to their home bases.

The fly in exceeded all expectations in term of visitors. The organizers informed me that they only anticipated about 20 aircraft to attend. In a world where general aviation is slowly dying, it is encouraging to see that the general aviation scene is well and alive in country towns such as Volksrust. I sincerely hope that the Volksrust flying club can have this event again next year with even bigger attendance figures.

Events 2017

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