Fly, Feed, Love, Inspire 2022 Childrens Flight

By Russell Dixon-Paver


I was privileged to attend the Children's Flight 2022 for the second time this year. The event was again hosted by the Magalies Gliding Club at Orient Airfield. Thankfully, with lockdown restrictions lifted, the event could again cater for 500 underprivileged children.

Felix Gosher, the visionary, organizer and chief go-getter had put in a huge amount of work with his team, getting everything in place for the event. Some great sponsorships came on board for various aspects and there were around a hundred pilots and many others who volunteered their time and aircraft to give the youngsters a memorable first exposure to aviation. Final set-ups were well underway early in the day, as the participating aircraft started arriving.

The main tent awaits its various goodies to host the 500 children just before the sun rises.

Capital Sounds, with Brian Emmenis and his team setting up for on-site commentary and Hot FM broadcasting live to their listeners.

They came in their numbers - big ones, small ones, ex-military, civillian, home-builds, fixed-gear, retract gear, tricycles, tail-draggers, fixed-wing, helicopters, piston and turbine - as the sun rose, all with the purpose of providing a special aviation experience for the Children!

Weather was clear and mostly windless, although some pilots reported a little turbulence around the airfield, which is where the circuits were flown. Temperature started off at 0C as the sun rose, but warmed quickly, for a great day for the occasion.

The media, pilots and marshals' safety briefings were held, children arrived, and it was time to get the show on the road!

Heystek and Michele Pretorius in their AN-2 "Anushka" on take-off roll with Ralph Ridge and his parachute team for the opening.

Capital Sounds played the National Anthem, while the children, with hats off, sing while some watch the parachutists descend and Ralph Ridge about to land with the 80kg national Flag.

RV formation of 10 aircraft approach and break, whoops of amazement from the children!

Some of the RV's land.

Some of the smaller children pre-occupied with their goodie-bags, while the RV Raptor team perform a short display.

Parachute team walk the crowd fencing high-fiving and low-fiving the amazed children.

Children watch, some RV's parked along the line, while registration is done.

First Grand Caravan pax embarking, wheelchair child lifted in and happy faces looking out of the windows.

Michele Pretorius waves to the children as they taxi out, helicopter hot-turnaround in progress.

Hot turn-around sorties buzzing along.

Keith Andrew in his natural environment of ramp control, marshaling in the next Grand Caravan for loading.

Children waiting in anticipation for their turn to fly.

Tent, tables and the popular face-painting.

Helicopter hot-turnaround operations.

Helicopter hot-turnaround operations.

Arthur Piercy, with Gerda Bondfield and Kobus Toerien pinned on Children's wings.

Felix Gosher on the fly in the tent.

Strapping in smiling and flying.

Charles Pratley's pax strapped in, taking off and becoming ground-crew - putting in the chocks.

Startup of the Harvards signaled the start of the AirShow part of the day and the Puma Flying Lions Team Display.

Goodyear Eagles and Magni GyroCopter display.

Menno Parsons put the Huey through its paces.

Ivan van der Schaar and his son, Jeandre flying formation with the Stearman and radio controlled Extra.

The IVECO Extra team display.

Cup-cakes for a final sugar-high.

Pilots Post wish to thank Felix Gosher, the sponsors, pilots and the hundreds of passionate volunteers for the planning, organising and running what was one momentous event to fly, feed, love and inspire some 500 youngsters who have never had the opportunity to experience aviation at first hand. It was indeed an honour to part of this worthy event.

Some comments from social media

"Well done Felix and team, you can be super proud, you changed lives today. A true humbling experience!" Dirk

"Definitely a humbling experience, first time I've attended this and I'm humbled beyond word!!!" Dane

"Thank you, Felix and team! Happy children, smiles from ear to ear, jumping for joy, priceless!" Fiona and Charles Hugo.

"Thanks a million for an incredible event Felix! Incredible job from you and your team! Dian Townsend.

"My friend you can be very proud! Well planned and executed event. Your passion is contagious! Thank you allowing me to be part of this amazing experience. To the rest of the team thank you as well. You all worked like a well-oiled machine!" Anton Wannenburg.

"What a fabulous day! Well done Felix and Team! You definitely made many, many happy today." Renate.

"Thanks Felix! This was one of a heckof a team effort!" The Real Rudi.

Events 2022
Childrens Flight

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