With the SAPFA National Rally Flying Championships coming up within the next week from 12 - 14 April, it was decided to hold an advanced plotting course for competitors wanting to try their hand at rally flying at competition level, but also open up the course for teams wanting to fly in the fun class, with the idea that everybody gets an understanding of the plotting procedures.
Mary de Klerk in Teaching Mode
The Harvard Cafť function room at Grand Central was organized as the venue for the event as it could be arranged into class room seating, with a start time of 8 am, with most having arrived at around 8. All told there were 30 attendees, and a good proportion were current experienced Protea pilots who were on hand to provide their experience to the plotting activities.
The Rally Plotting Class of 2018
The convener and teacher for the day was Mary de Klerk who started by giving some theory on plotting procedures and described the tools of the trade. Then it was off to plotting an example course which had to be done from basic plotting principles of co-ordinates, bearings (which could be in either true or magnetic) and distances (either in nm of km). Each turning point then had to be found and identified and linked into legs, some of which could be arcs or follow map features.
The goal in getting to National level standard is to be able to plot in the aircraft with a papers time of around 30-40 minutes prior take-off, which means speed is of the essence in doing the plot, so that the navigator can assist with finding and identifying the ground photos.
The morning's training ended off at around 12 pm with an in cockpit video of one of Rob & Martin's 2012 rally flights to show how the leg photo features match up with the real world outside to give the perspective of what one sees outside the cockpit from the flying height and distance.
Everybody left with some knowledge gained on plotting and techniques of planning & flying a rally, and it is hoped that many will come to the Nationals and in particular the fun rally on Saturday.
Martin Meyer with Ricardo de Bonis
Stephan Theron with Thys vd Merwe
Peter Magnus, Pierre van Rooyen and Marcus Jager working together
Mark Clulow figuring the plot
Bennie du Plessis & Franz Smit
Mike Gamble and Leon Bouttell
Jonty Esser with his son Jonathan
Cor Esterhuizen, Johan van Eeden and Eric Addison with Hans Schwebel
Cally Eckard with Mike Penney
Tendo, Edzard and Cecile Verseput with Ron Stirk
Pierre and Sandy vd Merwe
Dominic Watson with Mary de Klerk