Helivate Helicopter Olympics, FAKR November 2020

By Willie Bodenstein

Whether you are looking for a Tiger Moth or Pietenpol or the newest RV, Krugersdorp Flying Club is certainly one of South Africa's most active flying clubs, with 137 aircraft, 110 hangars and more than 268 active members. And it's still growing by the day.

At the flight line.

The field is also home to a number of flight schools, one of which is Helivate, a helicopter flying school with a difference established by Hayley Cumming. It opened its doors in 2011 in response to the ever-increasing helicopter charter, helicopter training market and helicopter hire market within South Africa and its neighboring countries.

Some of the Helivate's immaculately maintained Robinsons.

The Alouette II.

Saturday 7 November, when the 5th edition of the Helivate Helicopter Olympics took place, was a typical highveld day, extremely hot with little wind. Twelve teams took part, all but one flying in two of the schools Robinsons R44s, the other being a Sud Aviation Alouette II.

Uncapping the bottle.

The aim of HeliOlympics is to challenge pilots to be the best they can be and develop the accuracy in their flying: - the course is designed to do just that. The competition is divided into two pilot categories; Student Pilots and Qualified Pilots. Both classes flew the exact same course with the same set of rules. A maximum of ten minutes is allowed for completion of the course with three minutes allowed for the uncapping of the bottle.

Each team consists of a pilot and a navigator while Hayley flew as safety pilot and observer in the left seat. The object of task one is to drop a weight into a bucket and then to wrap a rope with a second weight attached along its length around the bucket without pulling the bucket of the drum or allowing the weight to touch the ground.

Once that task is completed, the navigator is supplied with a rope and grappling hook which is used to lift one of four buckets from a drum. The colour of the bucket will determine trough which of the obstacles it is to be navigated before being placed on a drum
. The team then return to the starting gate to lift the second bucket and follow the obstacle navigation course determined by that colour. The same applies to the third bucket.

This task completed the team after having placed the last bucket fly directly to the last task, a beer bottle in a holder on a raised platform. It is time for the dreaded uncapping of the bottle which completes the set tasks. Taped and cable tied to the point of the pilot side skip is a bottle opener visible to the pilot who has to position it just right to be able to uncap the bottle.

The competition was completed without incidents and all retired to the cool interior of the hangar to await the results.

Hayley congratulated all that took part mentioned that the standard set by the teams were extremely high and the results quite close.

The winners of the Student Section were pilot seventeen-year-old Genevieve King and navigator Luke Jacobs with 370 points.

In second place with 320 points was Pilot Gary Arnold with Andy Crocker as navigator followed by………….

……………. pilot Dylan Houten and navigator George Gerber on 170 points.

The winners of the PPL section were Andy Crocker with Gary Arnolds as navigator on 365 points.

In second place was pilot Leon Senekal and navigator Carel Hoffman with 345 points followed by……………

………………pilot Rudi Marx and navigator Animike Cloete with 340 points.

Thank you to Helivate for your hospitality. We are looking forward to next year's Olympics.

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Events 2020

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