EAA Taildraggers Fly-In - Warmbaths Airfield 2021

By Photos by Jaco Pitout and Alwyn Pitout - Words by Jaco Pitout

Photos by Jaco Pitout and Alwyn Pitout - Words by Jaco Pitout

08 -10 October 2021

Flying is an activity best enjoyed shared with another person, in my opinion. What better way to share flying out to the annual EAA Taildraggers Fly-In than to do it with your twin brother. I had just that opportunity this past weekend, while attending this very popular event.

We were to fly from Brakpan where the Jabiru J400 is based that my brother rents. The conditions looked fantastic for an early morning departure to the North. We set sail out of Brakkies just after 6am on Saturday morning for a leisurely cruise to Warmbaths airfield.

With the Jabiru purring along at about 100 knots, we reached Warmbaths within the planned hour and we started our descent, just as the aerodrome flight information service frequency of 120,2 became active. We were on the ground moments later, landing on runway 03 in windless conditions.

The local flying club members were on hand on the ground frequency of 120,9 to guide us to our parking spot.

Safely on the ground, arrivals were ramping up and I had to slap on some sunscreen, grab a bottle of water and to go and capture some of the arriving aircraft, equipped with conventional landing gear.

Naturally, this fly in was not exclusive to tail-dragging aircraft; everyone was welcome and all types of flying machines arrived in droves.

With a lot of arrivals on the ground, it was time for breakfast. A short walk back across the runway brought you to the main center of activity for the weekend, the clubhouse and adjacent hangars. Braai fires were already lit in anticipation of the many hungry crews arriving. The flying club also made it very convenient for visitors by having card facilities available to buy tickets for breakfast and other refreshments on sale.

A scrumptious breakfast was had by all with something on offer for all tastes. With our tanks refilled, we took a walk to the aircraft parking and took the following pictures of a few of over a hundred visiting aircraft.

During this part of the morning, the Bushveld sun had made its intentions very clear, it was going to be a scorcher of a day, so I took a break in the shade of the wing of the Jabiru. During this hour or so, it was great to see people passing by, excited by airplanes and sharing flying stories. I was also joined under the wing of the Jabiru by some friends where we sat and solved the worlds' avgas price problems while enjoying a cold water or a cold-drink.

Re-invigorated, I took up position again next to the taxiway to capture the taxi out and display of the Puma Energy Flying Lions. This display is a highlight of any Fly-In that this team attends.

With the Flying Lions display completed, it seemed that a large number of visitors decided that it was also time to head home.

The success of an event like this is undoubtedly the people in the background ensuring it happens in a well-organized manner. To this end, Richard Nicholson, Jana van Zyl and the entire team at the flying club worked tirelessly to ensure that this event was the success that they envisaged. Together with all the role players, I can attest that this event was once again a highlight on the calendar.

During the course of the day, we kept a close eye on the weather and decided that it would be more comfortable to return to Brakpan on Saturday afternoon rather than battle very strong direct crosswinds on Sunday. We fueled the Jabiru and departed from Warmbaths and landed back at Brakpan at about 3pm. It was a great day out in the Bushveld sun at this superb event. Thank you Richard, Jana and the entire team for hosting PilotsPost! We look forward to the next one!

As per usual, we close with some of the friendly faces seen at the fly-in.

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