Brakpan ANR - Air Navigation race - 19 October

By Rob Jonkers (photos by Jaco Pitout & Rob Jonkers)

The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) held a very successful ANR (Air Navigation Race) at Brakpan Airfield, the first time in a very long time that an event was held at this airfield, initially this event was supposed to be the National Landing Championships with the venue at Brits, but after the fantastic showing of our National Protea team in the ANR World Championships in Portugal in September, and the ability for us all to watch them on live track, sparked a big interest in ANRs for our local members. It was thus decided to hold an ANR and combine it with the Landing Championships and to hold it at Brakpan as an eminently suitable venue.

Competition Director Jonty Esser briefing the teams on Saturday morning.

Jonty Esser put his hand up to arrange the event, having got back from the Portugal campaign with all the fresh ideas on how to configure ANR courses and knowledge of the scoring system. To be able to fit all this in one day, briefing was planned at 8 am, with landings planned to start at 2 pm, but as the interest to attend grew to 21 entries, it became difficult to pack so much into one day. With some risk of summer afternoon thundershowers, it was decided to drop the landing championships and reschedule that for another day.

Some of the competing aircraft.

The briefing eventually started at 8.30 after everybody had arrived, with Lizelle & Sandi making and serving great breakfast orders from the new clubhouse bar and kitchen, the competitors were divided up into two categories of Sportsman & Unlimited. Competitors holding Protea colours automatically had to take part as Unlimited teams, and those who wanted to try their hand at International standard courses could choose to do so.

Team Johan van Eeden and Cor Esterhuizen plotting.

In an ANR, there are only two objectives. The first being on-time at the start and finish gates:- each second early or late attracts 3 penalty points. The second objective is to remain inside the corridor, which in the case of Sportsman Class is 0.4 nm wide (+/- 800 m), any excursion outside the corridor also attracts 3 penalty points per second being outside the corridor.

Adrienne Visser & Piet Meyer plotting.

For the Unlimited Class, the corridors are narrower and the course layout with turns with sharper angles, and for this event the first course of the day was at 0.3 nm wide (550 m) and for the 2nd course the width reduced to 0.25 nm (460 m), leaving little margin to keep inside this sliver of airspace.

Father and son team Hendrik and Jandre Loots plotting.

Each course is around 25 nm, so the course takes around 20 minutes to complete, which is nice and short but given the amount of concentration and focus required to stay within bounds, a very daunting contest. The navigator has the unenviable task of keeping the pilot on the straight and narrow, and the pilot has to ensure that the navigator is doing his job….

The teams from the Mach 1 School plotting.

The courses all had 10 legs, which meant that on average the legs were around 1 min to 1.5 min in length, making flying these short legs quite daunting - one is hardly on a leg when you have to think about turning onto the next leg, and keep track of the time.

Adrienne Visser explaining some finer plotting points to Caroline Koll as a first time ANR participant.

First off in the Sportsman Class was Johan van Eeden & Cor Esterhuizen in a C182 followed by the rest of the field in 4 minute intervals on Route 1, thereafter the Unlimited Class led by Rob Jonkers & Martin Meyer also in a C182 on Route 3. The weather for these mid-morning routes was good with a mild wind blowing from the North East, ensuring good results from the competitors.

Photographer Jaco Pitout en-route with Route 1 in the R44 with Apie and Frederik Kotzee.

Interesting approach angle for landing…..

Judge Jaques Jacobs in action during the landings. (Photo by kind permission Ray Watts)

The next round of Route 2 & 4 respectively started after midday where the wind shifted from the south, temperatures were over 30 deg, with unstable air all around. With thunder showers already building in the west, flying was somewhat challenging in the bumpy air. After each flight a precision landing had to be done, this proving difficult in the high density altitude conditions. Only two bingos were achieved.

A good approach to the bingo line…..

With everybody back in the clubhouse, Jonty Esser had the unenviable task of downloading the loggers and scoring everybody, and while this was being done, Santjie White, our Guardian Angel in Aviation, was invited to give a talk on the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC), and could provide information on this important service available to Aviators. Thanks to Santjie for the time taken out to tell us about this, we will also look at advertising these services and provide contact details on our websites

Santjie White giving her ARCC presentation to the competitors.

Competition Director Jonty Esser busy with the scoring.

In the Sportsmans class, first place for Navigation went to Johan van Eeden & Cor Esterhuisen in their C182, and for landings it was Hilton Wolff and Grant Timms in their Mushak, with Dougie Inggs and Tyron Steenkamp in the rotor craft category in their Gryro Magni. After the Navigation and Landing scores are tallied up into a combined total result, 1st place was awarded to Johan van Eeden & Cor Esterhuizen, 2nd place to Dougie Inggs and Tyron Steenkamp and 3rd to Ray Wilford and Bernard Jansen in their Sabre.

Winners in Sportsman Class Johan van Eeden & Cor Esterhuizen.

Second Place in Sportsman Class Dougie Inggs & Tyron Steenkamp.

Third Place in Sportsman Class Ray Wilford & Bernard Jansen.

In the Unlimited Class, 1st place for Navigation went to Rob Jonkers & Martin Meyer in their C182 while the landing competition was won by Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk in the C150, with Rob Osner & Sandi Goddard in the rotor craft category in their Alouette 3. Overall winners once the Navigation & Landing scores combined resulted in 1st place being awarded to Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk, 2nd place Rob Osner & Sandi Goddard and 3rd place Rob Jonkers & Martin Meyer.

First Place in the Unlimited Class Hans Schwebel & Ron Stirk.

Second Place in Unlimited Class Rob Osner & Sandi Goddard.

Third Place in Unlimited Class Rob Jonkers & Martin Meyer.

This event was for sure enjoyed by all with everybody wanting to know when the next one will be, and with a very busy 2020 calendar and with the World Rally Flying Championship coming up as well, we are all spoilt for choice, but will see what can be achieved in the coming months.

Route 4 in the Unlimited Class - seems everybody went off track at the same place on leg 3 - some confusion which powerline crossing to head for….

The Google Earth Live track screen.


Events 2019

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