On the 23 March 2020, our South African President announced a nation-wide lockdown for 21-days which came into effect on Thursday, 26 March 2020. This initial Level 5 Lockdown has since been extended and at the time of writing has been in effect for 304 days.
These far-reaching measures, designed to curb the spread of this disease, globally requires all of us to change the way we do business and sport, and this naturally had a knock-on effect with regard to with regard to the 22nd FAI World Rally Flying Championship earmarked to take place in Stellenbosch in November 2020.
The restriction placed on the flying community and general aviation led to the cancellation of all remaining events for 2020. However, later in the year these were relaxed and competition, strictly controlled to meet Covid 19 regulations were allowed. SAPFA (the South African Power Flying Association) in consultation with the FAI decided to postpone the event to November 2021 and currently the changes of it taking place does look good.
In the mean time SAPFA has launched a drive to get as many SA pilots as possible to qualify for the Worlds. A series of practise session has been planned to run to the lead up to the competition and the first session was held on Friday 22nd and Saturday the 23rd of January at Brakpan airfield. Twelve teams entered.
Jonty Esser who has represented SA in numerous World Championship events was elected as the Coach of the National Rally Flying Squad.
"I am honored to have been selected as the Coach for our RSA National Rally Flying Squad. Thank You.
Now let's get down to business.
South Africa ???? has won the bid to host the 2021 World Flying Championships in Stellenbosh this November 2021
We don't have time on our side, SAPFA needs to select a squad that will make us proud this year, to achieve this all-potential National crew teams need to qualify at the National Championships in April 2021 at Stellenbosh.
Once we have the RSA squad chosen by our SAPFA selectors the hard work starts and as time is not on our side we need to start training immediately.
I have scheduled official training camps for our potential crew teams at different venues to prepare for the Nationals, this weekend was the first of many training camps that will be held.
The training camps are designed to improve CRM (Plotting in the aircraft before take-off), observation (Finding photos, ground markers en route as well as turn point photos that could be incorrect) and accurate timed flying (Flying to the second - over each turn point, every second early or late will accumulate 3 points against you for each second)
Today was a very successful training day, sadly our scores are not even close to world standard, however all crews have set their base line scores and can only improve from this point.
Next weekend Frank and Cally Eckard of SAPFA will host the Rand Airport Rally Challenge, I am sure that all our crews will do well and apply what they have learnt from the training camp to improve their scores.
Keep a close eye on the media for updates of our progress."
The Rand Rally Challenge, Frank Eckard's 17th rally organised at this popular and historical airport, with its routes compiled by wife Cally is always a well-supported and popular event.
30 JANUARY 2021
SAPFA Rand Airport challenge
Contact Frank Eckard E-mail: email@example.com Cell: 083 269 1516
If there is ever a rally to fly, it's this one.
Briefing at 9:00 sharp in the old Customs Hall.
Entries are open for this prestigious rally, the first official event of the season.
The count-down to the World Rally Flying Championships starts here, where all the contenders will be honing their skills, in the hope of making one of the ten teams to be announced worthy to compete. They are all looking forward to competing at Nationals in Stellenbosch in April.
However, we are still inviting the beginners and those wishing to have a day of fun with their airplane. To this end, we will be running a Fun Rally in parallel with the Open Event. This rally will be super easy, with the route already printed on the map, true photos of turn points, and only one observation task on each leg. The Rand Airport Challenge Trophy is up for grabs in this section of the competition.
Please book online as soon as possible.
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