It is finally Spring in South Africa and the bitterly cold days are making way for warm and sunny flying days. It was just such a day this past Saturday at the third Steady Climb Fly-In at Rhino Park.
I had convinced myself that the best way to enjoy a fly in, is to "Fly-In". So that's just what I did. I invited a close friend, let's call him "Boats" for the purposes of this article, to join me for a day of avgas and airplanes.
We left Centurion before the sparrows had the opportunity to awake, let alone perform other necessary bodily functions in order to beat all the arriving aircraft to the field. At the airfield, I pre-flighted our trusty steed, a Jabiru J120 ZU-FFE from LegendSky Aviation. The little Jabiru leapt into the silky-smooth spring sky. My plan was to remain in the circuit and obtain some photos of a sleepy Rhino Park before all the visitors arrived.
Safely back on the ground and with the aircraft put to bed, I walked out to the runway in order to capture some of the arrivals.
The Fly-In also consisted of an expo, which exhibited anything from avionics to various aviation focused financial solutions and even an estate agent. Making this fly-in a multi-faceted event, sure to satisfy the curiosity of all of those that attended. The event also promised prizes of over R50 000 which attracted a lot of attention. This in itself made the fly in completely worth-while to attend.
The brain(s) behind the Steady Climb "Fly-In" is that of Franz Smit and David le Roux. Two gentlemen synonymous with various general and corporate aviation events in South Africa. I managed to snap a very quick picture of Franz and David, needless to say, they were suitably impressed with the turnout.
Some aircraft are natural crowd "pullers". It must be something about the noise they make that instantly draws attention from crowds. The event was spoilt for choice in this regard, having everything from a Dornier to an Albatross in attendance.
The friendly team of instructors and marshallers from LegendSky flight school was on hand to assist with the parking of the arriving aircraft. A great deal of thanks is due to these hard-working ladies and gentlemen who braved the hot sun to ensure the safe handling of the aircraft on the ground.
Some of the visiting pilots decided that it was time to head home and I captured the following departures.
A distant drone of Pratt & Whitney engines was heard and all of a sudden it became a mighty roar! The Puma Energy Flying Lions aerobatic team had made their long awaited arrival. After a short stay on the ground, Scully Levin, Ellis Levin and Sean Thackwray took to the ever-warming air to display the School-Master of the skies in typical tight and thrilling formation flying.
What a fantastic day out at Rhino Park airfield. I definitely had a lot of fun! To close the article off, I'd like to feature some of the friendly faces that I saw at the event.
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