Incoming traffic. Photo © Dirk Heinrich.
The small town of Uis lies at the foot of the magnificent Brandberg. This small town came to life when aircraft from all corners of the country descended on Uis for the annual Brandberg-Uis Fly-in held from 29 May to 1 June 2019. This was the 5th Fly-in held in Uis organized by LISAMA (Light Sport and Amateur Build Aircraft Association of Namibia). The driving force of Heidi Snyman, together with the LISAMA committee members pulled out all the stops to host the Fly-in in spectacular fashion.
The small town of Uis came to life for the annual Brandberg-Uis Fly-in. Photo © Dirk Heinrich.
With its majestic Brandberg as backdrop, Uis offered the perfect venue. The Uis community was again a perfect host, supplying ample accommodation in town, as well as camping facilities at the airfield. The excellent gravel runway with enough parking for all aircraft rounded off all expectations.
Uis offered the perfect venue with camping at the airfield. Photo © Dirk Heinrich.
Uis is generally a sleepy little town used by tourist to fill up on supplies and fuel before heading into the hinterland of Damaraland and Kaokofeld. With its less than 100 inhabitants, the town was treated to a mind-blowing spectacle when 55 aircraft landed on Uis' airfield, arriving from Windhoek, Swakopmund, Bitterwasser and various farms around Namibia. Even a group of pilots from Cape Town's Morning Star in South Africa made the trip to Uis.
The Nanchang Dragon CJ5 doing a runway inspection with the majestic Brandberg as backdrop. Photo © DanteD.
The 55 aircraft attending comprised a wide of different aircraft like the colorful Atlas Angel, one Grand Caravan, C 210s, C 182s, C 172, C 170, RV-7s, RV-8s, RV-10s, P 235, Slings, the Sling TSI with Mike Blyth, Technams, CT's , Bushbabies, Jabirus, Glassair Sportsman, Gyros, two helicopters and others.
This colorful Atlas Angel and two helicopters was some of the fifty-five aircraft that visited. Photo © Dirk Heinrich.
Thursday was the official arrival day and most aircraft arrived during the course of the day. Leisurely flights were done over the beautiful Damaraland area, the Ugab River and the town of Uis.
V5-DPP on a leisurely flight. Photo © Dirk Heinrich.
The RSA pilots en route to Uis, most of them from Morning Star, stopped over in Swakopmund for a few days before commencing to the Uis Fly-in on Friday. Unplanned however, was the notorious blanket of winter mist in Swakopmund which delayed their Friday 07h00 ETD. The departure from Swakopmund had to be postponed as the mist only broke up well after 11h00. Only in the late morning the weather gods allowed the keen pilots the 87 nm passage from Swakopmund to Uis.
A cub landing……
and a formation take-off. Photos © DanteD.
In Uis however, Friday morning presented perfect weather conditions. Pilots made use of the crisp, still air and took to the skies well before sunrise. After some sightseeing flights, aerobatic flights and runway inspections to wake up the campers took place, as well as well deserved coffee and breakfast served at the airfield, it was time for the 08h30 pilots briefing. Dr Henk Koster was the man in charge of the competition and he checked that all pilots taking part in the navigational exercise attended the briefing. After completed pilot and aircraft registrations, the navigational route was handed to pilots and navigators and the aircraft took to the skies. Fastest aircraft took off first on the navigational exercise around the Brandberg. The loggers checked every turn the pilots took and showed the mishaps of those who got lost in the desolate Namibian desert.
ZU-DAY on the runway……………
and a Rv inverted over some typical Namibian sandy hills. Photos © Dirk Heinrich.
After lunch, the spot landing exercise treated the spectators by pilots showing off their exceptional flying skills. After the official program, skydivers from Ground Rush Adventures exited their Atlas Angel to entertain the crowd with their spectacular landings. Many sunset runway inspections and formation flights followed. One of the formations was a well flown, tight 6-ship formation consisting of 2 RV 7's, 2 RV 8's, 1 CJ-6 and a C210, which impressed the crowd. A loose 5-ship Sling formation soon followed with the five Sling pilots thrilled, as it was the first time they flew formation.
A two ship Rv formation woke the campers up on Saturday morning. Photos © Dirk Heinrich.
The Saturday wake-up call was the roar of the RV's engines, flying at the brisk of dawn carving smoke trails into the morning sky. After another pilots briefing at 8h30, the skills flying test was conducted where speed and accuracy around three pylons within close proximity of the airfield was tested. This was followed by another spot landing exercise after lunch.
During the entire event all pilots showed great flying skills. A five ship formation…………..
and a six ship formation. Photos © DanteD.
During the entire event, all pilots showed great flying skills, airmanship and radio procedures as no ATC was present and unmanned airfield procedures were followed. Multiple simultaneous movements were conducted by the aviators during the Brandberg-Uis Fly-in and never was there any encroachment or congestion of airspace or runways.
A two ship helicopter formation. Photo © DanteD.
The sun setting over a fly-in that topped all expectations. Photo Dirk Heinrich.
The Brandberg-Uis Fly-in topped all expectation this year and was the best Fly-in hosted at Uis so far. A great thanks goes out to all pilots attending and coming from as far as Cape Town to make this a truly memorable aviation event. The challenge is out there to try and top this Fly-in next year.