There are few places as scenic as the Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal, but then I am biased as I am a Newcastle native. The Volkrust fly-in made a welcome return to the calendar after an absence of about 6 years.
I arrived at Volksrust airfield early on Saturday morning after a short but misty drive from my parents' home in the Bloodriver area. It was chilly! My car registered 9 degrees at 7 am on the morning. I found my host for the day, Steven Prinsloo as he was busy finalising the arrangements for the visitors.
Sometimes one finds the most interesting aircraft in the most unusual places, this was the case for me, I found a J6 Karatoo. The Karatoo is an Australian design produced by a variety of manufacturers. This beautiful example ZU-FBR, is a resident at Volksrust and owned by one of the club members. I was later informed that it is the only one of its type on the African continent.
The Volksrust airfield is nestled in the shadow of the famous Boer War battle site, Majuba, making it a beautiful backdrop for a town and the airfield alike. The airfield designator is FAVU and sits at 5610ft with an orientation of 11/29, my host for the fly in, Steven, informed me that Newcastle airfield has the same runway orientation (29/11) and that they operate on the same frequency, which leads to some confusion at times. Steven informed me that they refer to their runways as 28/10 to avoid confusion.
If there is one thing that I have learnt about flying, is that it creates a good appetite. The Volksrust flying club made sure that the all the hungry pilots were attended to!
Evans Aviation also attended the fly- in with a variety of solutions for the visiting pilots.
Many a hungry pilot must have smelled the lovely aroma of the breakfast, the visiting pilots started arriving in short succession.
The hospitality of the flying club members proved to be second to none! Deon Prinsloo, father of Steven invited me for a flight in a Razzo Aerobat 152, this aircraft started its' life as a “regular” Cessna 152 Aerobat but it was converted to a Razzo by adding a powerful 160 horsepower engine. A real little pocket rocket!
With the pilots and crew suitably re-fuelled many elected to return to their home bases. I captured the following departures.
It was really a great day out in the company of fellow aviation enthusiasts! Volksrust flying club is booming with new hangars under construction. This is a small wonder considering the beautiful scenery surrounding the area. General aviation in rural South Africa is highly beneficial, with deteriorating roads and the fact that you can find a used aircraft for as much as a small new hatchback, flying from town to town becomes a very attractive proposition. Thanks again to the entire Volksrust Flying Club for their hospitality!
I captured the following friendly faces at the fly in.
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