South African Precision Flying Championships Brits 2022

By Willie Bodenstein

18 to 21.03.2022

Competitors, organisers, assistants and rally training camp attendees at Brits on Monday.

Over the Human Rights long weekend of 18 to 21 March, Brits Flying Club hosted both the SA Precision Flying Nationals as well as a training camp for the SA Rally Nationals that will take place at the airfield from 16 to 18 June.

Piet Meyer and Fanie Scholtz leaving Wonderboom on Sunday for Brits.

The world precision Flying Championships is set to take place in August in France. Participating in the championships is entirely for the account of the participant. No government or other sponsorship is currently available to participants. Currently no details about who, if any, from SA will take part.

Currently there are three types of rally flying disciplines globally, each with a separate set of rules and each with its own world championships. Two: - Rally Flying and Air Navigation Races are team sports involving a pilot and navigator. The third is the sport of precision flying, probably the most difficult and its champions are regarded as the crème de la crème of the rally flying disciplines.

In precision flying, it is just you, the pilot and your aircraft. There is no navigator to assist with you with route planning, speed management and identifying target photos. To make matters worse, your every move is tracked by a fiendish little device called a logger that monitors just about everything you do and downloads it very second or two to a ground station.

Brits on Monday morning when I arrived.

Precision flying championships comprise of three distinct disciplines, each of which is judged separately and which will influence the competitor's ultimate score.

Firstly, there is a flight planning (theory) test. This is where a route is worked out by the competitor who has to calculate the distance, ground speed, time and heading of each leg of the route based on a constant airspeed and a given wind factor. No aviation or scientific calculators are allowed here and pilots have to use the traditional "Whizz Wheel". Penalties are allocated for every incorrect calculation of time or heading. Only very small tolerances are allowed.

Frank, Hans and Ron in some serious discussion.

Fanie, Piet and Iaan in a lighter mood and Adrian, Stuart and Laura McDermid sharing a funny.

Tarryn, Phillip and Nick having a chat.

The second section is a flying test. Pilots have to fly along a track at a nominated speed and need to be accurate within the second. Pilots also have to identify photographs and ground markers along the route. These need to be marked on a map. Penalties are awarded for each second early or late over certain unknown check points and turning points as well as for misidentification / misplacement of the ground markers and photographs.

The morning's combined briefing.

The Trophy's, all looking for a new home.

The master clock and loggers.

Finally, there is the landing section where the pilot has to perform four landings from 1000ft on downwind. Two of the landings are glides (one flapless) and the other two are powered approaches (one over a 2-meter barrier). Pilots aim for a two-meter-deep stripe painted on the runway. Penalties are awarded for each meter long or short of the line.

Iaan Myburgh, Barbara Freibose and Ursula Schwebel, they made everything run like clockwork.

Six entries were received for the precision championships. Three of which were from Adrian Piling, Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel, who have all competed in the discipline before. For Tarryn Myburgh (the only lady competitor), Fanie Scholtz and Leon Boutell, it was to be their first Precision competition. Leon withdrew after day one. Piet Meyer, for practice, flew route 4 on the Monday.

Adrian Piling

Ron Stirk

Route one was flown on Saturday with Ron finishing first on 663 points. Adrian was only 10 points behind on 673 points while Hans with 699 still well in the running. Tarryn on 868 in 4th place and Fanie on 997 in fifth.

Hans Schwebel

Fanie Scholtz

Route 3 flown on Sunday the 20th saw Adrian pulling out all the stops and finishing with 186 points. Ron was second with 409 points and Hans in third with 420 points. Fanie finished in fourth with 718 points and Tarryn fifth with 809 points.

Ron and Hans shared the C150

Tarryn in the Jabiru

Fanie in the Sling

Adrian in the C150

Piet in the Jabiru

The landings went to Adrian in first place, Ron second, Hans third, Tarryn fourth and Fanie in fifth.

Tarryn Myburgh

Piet Meyer

Monday's route, which was the final leg of the nationals, again saw Adrian in first with 233 points, Ron in second with 440 points, Hans in third with 545 points, Tarryn in fourth with 1000 points and Fannie in fifth with 1121 points.

Frank and Adrian

Ron………….Hans with wife Ursula

Phillip Gouws and Nick Morton

Leon Bouttell and Mary de Klerk

Laura and Stuart McDermid

While the nationals were in progress, three teams were putting in some serious practise for the SA Rally Nationals and the World Championships that are scheduled for 13 to 18 November 2022.

Many thanks are extended to SAPFA and especially Frank and Cally Ekhard and their team of Barbara Freibose, Ursula Schwebel and Iaan Myburg for always make us feel welcome and for treating us as part of the rally family. A special thank you to Barbara for permission to use her photos of the winners as well as to Piet Meyer for his photos of his and Fanies' flight from Wonderboom.

Events 2022

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