2018-Another bumper year for SAPFA

By Rob Jonkers

This past year SAPFA has been pretty busy having organised or hosted 16 events (PTAR , 3 Adventure Rallies - co-hosted with the EAA, Rand Airport Easter, AeCSA Airweek, 1 precision landing event, 1 Rally Nationals, 5 Fun rallies, 2 ANR's, 2 Speed rallies, 1 Navigation Training Event), which turns out to be almost two events per month. Four National teams represented South Africa at the World Rally Championship held in Dubnica, Slovakia.

A new format of Speed Rally was designed as a handicapped mini-air race with a 120 nm distance allowing any type of aircraft to take part, with two categories of winning performance, firstly to beat a handicap speed, and secondly to fly an accurate course. The first two were held at Secunda and Springs respectively, and were dubbed inter-club challenges adding some spice to these events for inter club-rivalry.

PTAR entrants on the starting line at New Tempe, Bloemfontein

The PTAR this year held at New Tempe was not too well supported given that it attracted short of 50 entrants, the format having had difficulties to draw entrants this year, and with some serious introspection and a survey held with competitors, an overhaul of the rules has been envisioned, much of these have already been brought into effect with the Speed Rallies on a trial basis, with some further communication going out to competitors shortly to advertise what is in store for the 2019 edition of the PTAR to be held in Saldanha.

The Adventure Rallies has continued to be proved to be popular for the casual pilot who wants to have some fun, the fun rallies were well supported, with training events held for new entrants to the sport to get an idea on what is required.

Secunda Speed Rally entrants

The newest form of rally flying is the ANR (Air Navigation Race), which are short zig-zag corridor routes which is starting to gain popularity, especially where there can be some spectator value on the ground using live-tracking displays. The future will for sure have improvements on making live-tracking the norm in our sport.

One of the highlights for this year was that SAPFA has earned the prestige of hosting the World Rally Flying Championships to be held in Nov 2020, and thanks to the SAPFA team who put together an excellent bid which was presented to the GAC in Helsinki in November. This event will complement the 2020 Centenary celebration of the Aero Club as one of the key events on the Centenary calendar.

Springs Speed Rally entrants

As we close with 2018, the committee is working to make 2019 a bumper year, with no less than 18 events planned, with some being held at Stellenbosch as the World Championships airfield of choice, with some International teams already planning to visit in November 2019 for training. There is also a Constitution update planned, for ratification at the next AGM (26th January 2019), details will be circulated shortly to members, the Agenda, Nomination form & Minutes of previous AGM are on the website. We are also looking for nominations to serve on the committee, if you would please provide any nominations you may have to serve on the committee to the SAPFA secretary Leon Bouttell leon@lbaa.co.za by the latest 19th January 2018. I would like to thank our Committee and SAPFA Supporters who have worked hard at making each event and activity a success, without our team approach we could not make these happen on the scale at what we have achieved in the last year, and bodes well for our future.

Let 2019 be an exceptional year in our sport with your support.

All the Best
Rob Jonkers (Chairman)


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