Filling the sky-The Brakpan Stearman and Radial Fly in 2017

By Willie Bodenstein and Cheryl Smit

The van der Schaar family, previously of Petit airfield and now at Benoni -Brakpan Airfield in their new spacious hanger which includes self-catering accommodation are well known for their displays at airshows in their Boeing Stearman and Pitts special as well as for having organised the two extremely successful Petit Vintage and Veteran Fly ins.

On Saturday 11 November the Benoni-Brakpan Airfield was abuzz with activity when more than twenty aircraft flew in whilst another fifteen or so local planes joined in and were parked on the fields tarred and grass apron.

There are twelve Stearman in SA scattered across the country of which ten airworthy. To celebrate the presence of the iconic trainer's in the country the van der Schaar's decided to organise a fly in hoping to get all the airworthy examples in on place at one time. Unfortunately because of various factors such as the distance that need to be travelled, weather and work commitments only two plus their own Stearman made it to Brakpan.

It was subsequently decided to invite all owners of radial powered aircraft to visit and a number, including a Waco, Cessna 195, Nanchang Dragon and two Yak 52's joined the Stearmans at the field.

Gordon Dyne (4rd from left) was joined for breakfast by amongst others Clive King ( 5th form left) newly elected Chairman of Chapter 322 of the EAA of South Africa.

Other visitors of various aircraft types, both old and new, also flew in for a scrumptious breakfast served in the club's recently renovated and enlarged clubhouse.

Local residents Ivan van der Schaar in his Stearman and a Christen Eagle, Gordon Dyne in his Nanchang Dragon and Robert Ossner in his Alouette II made their aircraft available for free flips.

Despite the fact that only three Stearmans visited, the presence of the other radial powered planes as well a number of vintage and modern types made the day a huge success. A thank you to the club for allowing the breakfast fly in to take place and to the ladies for the catering and to Ivan, Sonica and Jeandre van der Schaar for the huge amount of work put into the organising of the event.

Events 2017

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