PTAR 2019 Saldanha hosted by the West Coast Flying Club

By Willie Bodenstein

An aerial view of the field. Photo by Stephan Rossouw

The 2019 PTAR was hosted by the West Coast Flying Club based at Saldanha Bay/ Vredendal Airport. The airport that is approximately six kilometers from town has a single paved runway, 02/20, 1419 metres long and 25 wide and it is 50 m ASL. The coordinates are S 32 57 48/E 17 58 12. The club has recently added a taxiway to accommodate the rules of the PTAR, which states that the airfield must have a taxiway in order for the event to be held.

The field during the PTAR

Saldanha Bay, named after Antůnio de Saldanha a captain of a vessel in Albuquerque's fleet which visited South Africa in 1503 is about 105 kilometres (65 mi) north west of Cape Town. Saldanha Bay's location makes it a paradise for the watersport enthusiast. Its local economy is strongly dependent on fishing, mussels, seafood processing, the steel industry and the harbour that plays an important part in the Sishen-Saldanha iron-ore project.

Adriaan and Emmie Kleyn finished in 35th position in their Vans Rv-14A

Alewyn Burger and Charles Peck was placed 7th in their Vans-Rv6

Bennie du Plessis and Barry de Groot finished in 4th place in the Beech K35

Dieter Bock and Brendan Boraine finished in 38th position in Dieter's extremely fast Lancair 2000. They were awarded the Best Airmanship Award.

DJ Lubbe and Alan Pickles was placed 19th in the Cessna 172K

Eduard du Plessis and Hubert Wentzel finished in 10th place in the Cessna 182H

Father and son Gerard and Gerard van Rooyen took the 23rd spot in their immaculate KFA Safari.

Century Avionics sponsored a number of prizes while
DJ Insurance handed out tickets for free coffee and cookies.

The PTAR that for a the last few of years saw the number of participants declining to a low of just over forty at last year's race held in Bloemfontein has undergone some major changes this year. One of the major changes is that the old conventional race had now been brought more into line to conform with the format set for the extremely popular Speed Rallies introduce late in 2018 and that has been drawing record numbers of participants.

Race secretary Sharon Potgieter and ladies at the registration desk.

Hans Potgieter and the team of local boys who acted as marshals and who did a wonderful job.

Andrew Lane and James Pittman finished in 8th place in Andrew's Sling 4 TSI.

Lo-Ammi Fourie en Paul Dreyer was placed 24th in the Sling 4 TSI.

Team Pilot's Post Phil Wakeley and Mary de Klerk flying a Cessna 175A finished in 30th position.

Rufus Dreyer and Joggie Prinsloo was placed 9th in the Vans RV-7.

Rob Jonkers during a safety briefing

Participants during one of the briefings

Among other changes are that
competitors now have the option of having a flight test done before the race to establish a handicap. Handicaps will not change after day one or two of the PTAR as was previously the case, it is set and cast in stone, maps are provided 20 min before takeoff time and are pre-printed with route and magnetic headings which was also previously not the case.

The start on Saturday morning.

Henk and Ilse Oosthuizen took off first on Saturday morning. They finished in 41st position in their Cessna A150K.

David Ross and James Baird took off in 2nd place and finished in 14 spot in their Sling 2.

Third into the sky was Hughan Heuvel and William Boltman in their Sling 2. They finished in 27th.

Sean Curran and Colin Maggs were the fifth aircraft to take off. They finished in 40th in the Piper PA-22-150.

Kai-Uwe Neckel and Ross Leighton took off in sixth place in the cute little Flight Design CTSW and managed to finish in 5th place.

Andre Middel and Franz Smit, one of the event's major sponsors took off in 8th place in the Cessna 172 and finished 20th.

PTAR competitors could expect between 12 and 24 turn points left and right. Loggers have been upgraded to give ALT accuracy of between 5 and 30 foot thus avoiding all discussions about height above the ground. The only way to now get disqualified is to fly 100' and lower on any part of the race route. Any other offence will attract time penalties accordingly.

Brian Emmenis of Capital Sounds on the apron during the arrivals of the competitors after the Saturday leg.

31st overall was the Vans-Rv10 of Jonathan Mason and Iwan Davey.

The Gruman AG-5B flown by Willem Nieuwenhuis and Pieter de Beer was placed 26th overall.

Finishing in 28th place was the Beech V35B of Jan and Willie Visser.

Whilst offering as many clubs and localities the opportunity to host the PTAR is laudable however, hosting an event at the coast is always a risky business as the weekend's race again proved. The start of Friday's race had to be postponed a number of times and was eventually cancelled because of weather. At the Friday briefing the possibility of holding both races on Saturday was discussed, in the interest of safety, decided that only race two be held.

A lavish awards dinner was held at Club Mykonos in Langebaan.

During which Colonel Chety of AFB Langebaan and the Mayor of Saldanha, Marius Coen addressed those present.

Kobus and Sarel van der Merwe in their Mooney M20F were the winners this year's PTAR.

Kobus Nel and Martin Grunert Pipistrel Virus SW 100 took second overall.

With Johan Whiteman and Quention Kruger Piper PA-28-235C in 3rd place.

Considering the distance most of the participants had to travel, the race was well supported which bodes well for the future of this historic event. The general opinion was that this was one of the best PTAR's held for the last couple of years. The organization was superb, the handicap system seems to have worked extremely well with very few complaints and the hospitality fabulous.

The 2020 PTAR will be hosted by the Ermelo Aeronautical Society.

Events 2019

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