EAA of South Africa Report 2017-18

By Paul Lastrucci

The EAA's mission worldwide has always been to unite people and aircraft, and when this is accomplished great friendships and camaraderie and learning takes place. All our members, however they may be involved, will benefit from family values, friendship and an in- extinguishable passion that we all have for aviation.

Taildraggers at Nylstroom 2017.

It is certainly a pleasure to report on the events that the EAA of SA and its Chapters have had with another successful year, filled with relaxed and fun-filled aviation experiences for everyone who is part of this wonderful organisation.

It is true that positive results are borne out of positive management. When obstacles are encountered it is good to have a room full of ideas and capable people all over the country who rise up to the challenges and turn sticky situations into positive, successful actions that ensure that the objectives of the EAA and Sport aviation in general in this country are met.

Chapter 322's meetings are always well attended.

Chapter 322: under the sharp stewardship of Dr Mike Brown assisted by his committee and co-opted members like Karl Jensen , Gordon Dyne, Rob Jonkers and Trixie Heron and Marie Reddy to name a few who freely avail themselves to produce the finest, fun and informative events throughout the year. The monthly meetings at the Dicky Fritz Moth hall in Edenvale continue to provide informative talks on a host of relevant and fun topics keeps the momentum of this chapter at an all-time high. At the 322 AGM in Nov Clive King has taken over the reigns as EAA Chapter Chairperson, Neil Bowden as Vice Chairman, and Mark Clulow as Treasurer and Kevin Marsden as Secretary for 2018. We wish Clive and his team success going forward.

Many thanks Kevin Marsden and Trixie Heron who have continued the fine work on producing a world class Contact magazine newsletter, which receives accolades from all over the world. Contributions from the chapters are forthcoming albeit sparse and we encourage that participation from all spheres.

EAA 322 Teddy Team had initially progressed well on the Teddy Build due to a couple of dedicated members who continued to work on the project. More volunteers were required which did not materialise. The Teddy build team decided that the participation and overall cost of the Teddy build did not warrant the continuation of the project which was a sad moment for the Chapter 322 Teddy team and have decided to terminate the project going forward. Many thanks to the committed Teddy team that provided a fantastic experience of building a plane albeit a short one. The project will be sold off to recover some of the costs incurred.

EAA 322 member Roston Dugmore.

EAA 322 member Roston Dugmore represented South Africa and SAMAA at the model aircraft world championships held at Villa Gessel in Argentina. His attendance was in part made possible by the generous assistance of a few EAA 322 members. Roston is a world class model pilot who has recently completed his PPL as well. It is this type of guidance and enthusiasm that creates future aviators by a superb gesture of goodwill from members in this chapter.

Peter Lastrucci.

At the annual Aero Club awards In November EAA 322 member Peter Lastrucci was awarded the prestigious Gold Wings award for the tireless efforts over many years as one the EAA technical ambassadors to general sport and recreational aviation who has given over a lifetime of contribution, enthusiasm and encouragement to many EAA members with technical and various other forms of assistance over the years.

Sun 'n Fun Rustenburg 2017.

We also saw a super EAA Sun and Fun event held in Rustenburg in November with great participation in the event. We had additional support with a host of sponsors.

Fun Rally competitors during Sun 'n Fun.

EAA member and SPFA chairman Rob Jonkers once again organised a superb fun rally and the evening's entertainment ensured a couple of pleasant surprises at the musical talent of some of the members. Soon the EAA are going to be a formidable team on the Fun Rally circuit in South Africa.

Breakfast at Circus Airfield.

Chapter 322 has participated in many Fly In's breakfasts and regularly participates in aviation activities on the 2017 aviation calendar. The highlights where many $100 breakfast flight, the Stars of Sandstone, The Aero Club Air week. Bateluers Flying Mission in the Magaliesburg.

A fly away to Kimberley with the theme of re-enacting the atmosphere of a century ago was organised by member Brian Appleton. Twelve aircraft took part from Gauteng. The evening's gala dinner held at the Kimberley Club where all participants arrived in period dress and a royal time was had by all. Visits to the local museums including the Aviation museum where a replica of the Patterson Biplane is housed all added to the fun of the event.

Taildraggers at Nylstroom is one of the most popular events not only for EAA members but for the flying community as a whole.

Special Thanks to member Richard Nicholson and the Nicholson family that convene the annual EAA Tail draggers Fly inn in conjunction with the Nylstroom Flying Club. A total of 85 aircraft took part in this annual event. Besides all the camaraderie, plane talk, laughter and fun, there was the most incredible display by EAA 322 member, and World Champ Roston Dugmore, of his large-scale Extra 300 semi scale model. This inspired young fellow demonstrated aerobatic manoeuvres that defy not only the imagination and gravity, this all done with huge support from his mother, Susan Miller who is his most ardent fan.

The Puma Energy Flying Lions Team.

Support from Scully Levin and Arnie Meneghelli and the Puma Flying Lions team who also never failed to impress with the Harvard Formation at Nylstroom. One of the biggest smiles of the year must be was when one of the little Nicholson's got to ride in the back of one of the Harvard's. An indelible memory no doubt for this emerging aviator.

Member Wayne Giles completed a Bearhawk LSA. The LSA version is fitted with a Continental 0-200D with a fixed pitch 2-blade prop. The level of workmanship is world class and during the build Wayne opened up his Hangar at Fly Inn to all EAA members to experience first-hand the build of this beautiful aircraft. Well Done! Wayne.

Chapter 322 was awarded the Grand Champion Chapter Award at Oshkosh 2017.

Oshkosh 2017.

Congratulations are in order for member Neil Bowden and his awesome team for setting up the camp site at the 2017 International EAA Convention in Oshkosh USA, The team provides wonderful breakfasts and dinners and a well-stocked bar at Camp Plakkersfontein for all SA attendees. There are always enough plug sockets to keep the hordes of cameras and laptops fully charged and ready for another day of action at the flight line that is relayed daily real; time back to the members by the superb team of journalists from SA that attend. The South African contingent made their presence felt so strongly, that Chapter 322 was awarded the Grand Champion Chapter Award at Oshkosh 2017 for outstanding chapter representation and farthest distance travelled! This is a big one for 322.

Many thanks to Capt. (Ret) Karl Jensen for his tireless efforts and involvement in the Aero Club Safety First Campaign Roadshow. This is a annual event held in organised by the Aero Club of SA, SA CAA, SASAR, ATNS and Comair all contributing to its success. Chapter 322 and EAA national co-sponsored the Safety Campaign with R 20 000 towards this safety roadshow that re instils an ongoing safety to the general and recreational aviation fraternity at organised events throughout South Africa.

Visitors and aircraft at Taildraggers.

Paul Lastrucci and Karl Jensen.

Chapter 322 also concluded 2017 with a gala evening of awards at the Chapter 322 annual chairman's dinner. Recognition and prizes where handed to the 322 members present, testament to the hard work and continual passion that the Chapter bestows on its members and the EAA in South Africa.

Well done to all Chapter 322 members for fostering and continuing the efforts of this superbly successful world recognised chapter.

Chapter 1502 East Coast KZN under the leadership of Gerald Maddams has continued the momentum of instilling grass roots flying in the area; They host their monthly BS sessions a fostering the interest in Aviation in the KZN Region. 1502 Member Len Cormack was awarded the prestigious Aero Club Gold Wings award for his lifetime of effort and assistance within the homebuilt technical areas of this chapter. This chapter hold monthly structured minutes superbly run by Chairperson Gerald Maddams ably assisted by his management team.

Visiting aircraft at Circus Airfield.

The chapter hosted successful fly aways and in particular a superb visit for 1502 members was to Ladysmith in June 2017, where a total of 17 Aircraft participated. Members honed their cross country skills in the aircraft and it culminated in a great evening session of fun and banter at the Ladysmith Flying Club.

The judges during the 2017 Convention held in Bethlehem.

Chapter 1502 also hosted a successful Air Scouts Day at Light Flight and provided 6 aircraft to provide the local air scouts with an aviation experience. The aviation action was followed by a braai and plenty of aviation chatter, with real enthusiasm being shown by the Scouts. Well done to Light Flight, for excellent organisation, and well done to Chapter 1502, for committing to the education of the next generation. Looking forward to the next event!

Himeville KZN Fly in.

Another Chapter highlight for 2017 for Chapter 1502 and the EAA in South Africa was the maiden flight of a Tucano replica. This took place on the 04 February and Chapter 1502 was invited to Eva's Field on the Hilton Ridge outside Pietermaritzburg to witness the local 'roll-out' of the first complete Tucano replica in the country. James Bentley opened his immaculate strip to all-comers, and followed it up with outside caterers for coffee/tea, while his son and his companion did the boerie rolls. Glorious weather saw a dozen aircraft descend on the bowling-green-like turf, and many more came by car.

Celia Lastrucci at Circus Airfield.

Chapter 1502 under the guidance of Gerald Maddams and team is keeping the enthusiasm alive within KZN. Well done Chaps.

Advocacy and Regulations: The NTCA regime has become a complex division within the SA CAA and with the advent of RAASA now being recalled back to the SA CAA, the recreational aviation organisations like the EAA need to be close to the regulatory and advocacy discussions that pertain to amateur and experimental aircraft and NTCA aircraft in South Africa. The Aero Club held strategic sessions in order to review recreational aviation in South Africa and the EAA played an integral part in this.

Volksrus Fly in 2017.

Chapter 322 member Karl Jensen represented the EAA of SA at an ICASA meeting that was attended by the Aero Club GM Alan Evan Hanes on ICASA licence issues. The problems where highlighted to the ICASA management around the radio station licence issues that are on the table at present.

The EAA is close to these negotiations and through EAA member and Aero Club Chairperson Jeff Earle as well as EAA national president and Vice Chairman of Aero Club Paul Lastrucci provide guidance and support going forward. EAA support for the Aero Club and RAASA is to ensure a smooth transition in these and other issues to ensure that the future of ARO's like the EAA within the recreational aviation environment is closely guarded within these advocacy areas.

The apron at Taildraggers.

The EAA is also working effectively with all the sections within the Aero Club, making it easier to lobby any legislation that would hamper or prevent freedom of the skies or lead to exorbitant costs for pilots and aircraft owners. This is an ongoing effort within the EAA Advocacy structures. The EAA is represented as an ARO at all of the regulatory forums held at the SA CAA and at RAASA.

EAA of South Africa's National Convention 2017

Held at Bethlehem, and we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to the following members and sponsors for their generous donations of prizes and other assistance, which went a long way towards making it such a huge success. Club Chairperson Philip Jacobs, and the fantastic team at Bethlehem Vliegklub.

Bethlehem Airfield during the 2017 EAA Convention.

Their hospitality and assistance with arrangements was fantastic Andrť Pieterse at Vleissentraal for sponsoring the marquee. Kia Motors (c/o Philip Jacobs) for the transport assistance. Mark for donating oil and cleaning products. Flitesure for their sponsorship of prizes. Andrea Antel of Aviation Direct for sponsorship of SA Airfields Books, as well as subscriptions to Easy Plan and Easy Cockpit. African Pilot for the subscriptions and Rob Jonkers for all his efforts!

Forums and the Awards dinner during the Convention in Bethlehem.

A superbly well organised fun rally around the environs of the eastern Free State was provided by Rob Jonkers and his team. Eleven aircraft took part and was won by Franz Maeders and Jaco Breytenbach from Bethlehem EAA Chapter.

Grand prizes were awarded for the various categories of aircraft that were judged on the day. Special Thanks to Peter Lastrucci for leading the team of judges.

Marie Reddy pulled out all the stops with the arrangements of the convention, gala dinner and prize giving, these just get better every year. Many members were also recognised for their efforts during the year at the prize giving.

Some of the visiting aircraft at Bethlehem.

Nigel Musgrave.

A special thanks to our safety officer Nigel Musgrave who nails the safety requirements of the Convention and various Fly Inns held throughout the year.

The EAA Auditorium and Talk Show Legends

Major Alan Brand, and now Captain Alan Brand SAA, lit up the stage at the EAA Flying Legends Talk Show at Rand Airport on Thursday 16 February. It was the youthful 55-year old Alan Brand, whose great uncle was Sir Christopher Quentin Brand who in 1920, along with General Sir Pierre van Ryneveld, made the first flight from England to South Africa in several Vickers Vimys.

That is quite a pedigree, so it is no wonder that Alan chose aviation as a career. Many thanks to Jeremy Woods and Gordon Dyne and the Braai team who always make these a roaring success.

Later in the year the EAA Auditorium took a rest from the monthly talk shows and hosted film evenings and was used as a superb facility for the annual Grand Rand Air show. The facility is also used by the Aero Club on odd occasions to host meetings. Clive King and the auditorium team is busy with preparations for another bumper year of events to be held at the Auditorium.

Young Eagles:

Chapter 322 in conjunction with SA Air link hosted a successful Young Eagles day at Rand Airport in June It was called the "Link Day" It was a co-hosted by Chapter 322 and SA Air link as a career day showcasing aviation to the youth. Many thanks to the members that avail their time and resources to promote aviation amongst the youth. This ensures that the aviation interest going forward is robust and continues to grow.

A total of nine aircraft from 322 provided this special opportunity of flight to the young folk who attended. This partnership with the EAA and SA Air link to identify and recognise future aviators is a pinnacle achievement for the EAA in South Africa.

Nine aircraft from 322 provided this special opportunity of flight to the young folk who attended.

Airlink CEO and owner Roger Foster was the guest speaker at the monthly 322 meeting as the guest speaker accompanied by his Executive Manager Corporate Services - Namhla Tshetu. They gave a very interesting talk and accompanied this with a video of Airlink's activities and transformation intentions.


As we review the results of a challenging year, we can once again be reminded that none of this is possible without the generous volunteer work of our EAA'rs. Everything just happens when volunteers are committed, and it makes the whole task all seem worthwhile. We have also seen a decline in participation in events from chapters that remain dormant. These continue to be a concern. A re look at these chapters was not successful in 2017 however a plan to be put in place by EAA National to revisit these activities in order for these chapters to ensure participation and involvement going forward. Whilst there is support at national events local involvement in the dormant areas is still a concern.

Despite challengers the EAA continues to provide a platform where aviation enthusiasts can continue to contribute and also reap the benefits of teamwork, camaraderie and sharing of experiences and expertise, where EAA members continually avail themselves and their resources to all kinds of aviation initiatives as a worthy effort of giving back and promoting aviation to all in SA.

The sterling efforts of African Pilot Athol Franz and team, Pilots Post's Juri Keyter and Willie Bodenstein as well as Flightline Weekly Garth Calitz for the up to date coverage and hordes of pictures and real time videos of all the events throughout the year is simply spectacular.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone within EAA National and all the Chapters for their continued involvement as without it we would not be able to achieve and promote many facets of Experimental and Amateur built aviation in South Africa.

EAA National president Paul Lastrucci

Aero Club of SA
EAA South Africa

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