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Spring and Autumn is probably the best time of the year to have a fly in event in South Africa as there is a small likelihood of thunderstorms, beautiful smooth air and spectacular scenery as the seasons change.
I noted just this on my drive on Saturday morning to Kroon Airfield and I found my senses dancing to the aroma of new Jasmine blooms and my eyes being drawn to the new leaves on the Jacaranda and other trees.
I was to meet with an old friend and instructor, Marius Nel, for our short flight to Silver Creek.
With the pre-flight of the Savannah completed I taxied out to runway 11 to complete the warmup of the Rotax engine. Marius watched closely as I proceeded with the take-off. I must say that I am always surprised just how effortless the Savannah performs, we were airborne in a little over a hundred and fifty meters and considering my rusty technique, the Savannah faithfully climbed into the Spring air with just over half tanks at our disposal.
We took a leisurely cruise along the Northern Magaliesburg ridge at between 70 and 80 miles per hour giving Marius and I a lot of time to look out of the large windows of the Savannah.
Arriving in the circuit at Silver Creek, I handed control to Marius to land at Silver Creek Gorge. Marius made a beautiful squeaker of a landing on runway 08 and we taxied in to be directed to parking by the efficient marshallers. I am sure that the Silver Creek flying club was just as impressed as I was with the turnout, I counted more than 50 aircraft at one stage. This is a popular event, there is no doubt about that!
As we walked toward the clubhouse where pancakes were awaiting, there were several arrivals and departures.
With this fly in being the pancake fly in I spoke with the pancake baking team that was set up in a hanger adjacent to the clubhouse. They were prepared to bake 1500 pancakes using a total of 150 litres of batter. An incredible achievement in itself!
It was great to see some general aviation exhibitors at the fly in. A wide variety of products were available, from insurance to avionics, covers for your aircraft to pilot accessories and clothing.
It was great to see some old friends and make some new ones at this ever-popular fly in, here are some of the friendly faces at the fly-in.
All too soon it was time for Marius and I to return to Kroon Airfield. We took off from runway 08 at Silver Creek and routed low level towards home base. Arriving overhead Kroon, I opted for the right hand downwind for runway 29 and performed a “pretty nice” landing according to Marius, I think my landings still need some work, but I will take a “well done” from Marius as high praise.
Thank you to the entire Silver Creek Gorge team for a wonderful day out on a perfect Spring day.
If you would also like to learn more about flying the Savannah or perhaps a microlight trike, be sure to pay Marius Nel the CFI of Rosslyn Microflyers a visit. You can find them at www.microflyers.co.za
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