It was rather miserable misty overcast weather when I left home for the 35-minute drive to Fly Inn Estates. By the time I got to O.R. Tambo International almost everybody was driving with hazards on as visibility was less than 100 metres. This carried on until the turnoff onto the recently graded dirt road that leads to Fly Inn Estates. I stopped at Captain Karl Jensen's hangar and was the third arrival.
Others, all by road, soon followed and we made our way under overcast misty skies to the residential section and Graham and Venessa house where a braai fire was lit and coffee was available. Overhead, someone was circling the field. We later found out that it was Jeremy Woods from Silver Creek. He gave up and flew to Grassland from where I presume, he eventually went home.
Not too much later JP and Eileen du Ponsel arrived from Krugersdorp in their Xenon. They had a rather interesting flight. When approaching the Pinedene beacon they were advised by Waterkloof ATNS that a heavy had just take off routing south and that they should turn around and await further instructions which later followed.
Next was Hans de Beer from Wonderboom in ZU-RAT which looked suspiciously like a Robinson R44. The ZU, non-type certified registration is the giveaway. It is indeed a rebuilt R44 now registered as a SP44. A bit later Joining resident Kevin Rees's R44 were two more 44's from Petit, just a short hop away.
Some of the locals had their aircraft out kept those on the ground entertained by flying a circuit or two. Next to arrive was Derek Hopkins in his immaculate RV8 followed by Mike Puzzy in the absolutely stunning 150. Both flew from Eagles creek. From Brakpan Rob and Charles in the Alouette III and II with passengers flew from Brakpan. The weather did definitely not put the Heli brigades off.
Two Gyros from neighbouring Micorlight were some of the early arrivals. As was this weighshift, the pilot and passengers snuckly tucked in for the rather cold conditions.
If there was a prize for the furthers travel it surely must have gone to Sean Cronin. Sean flew from Abidjan in CŰte d'Ivoire a cool 4920 kilometres from Johannesburg. He arrived at O.R.Tambo at 09.30 where Anthea and pooch collected him for the drive to Fly-Inn Estates.
A steady stream of visitors arrived by road. I would guess that at the end of the day all in all about 55 arrived and stayed and enjoyed the burgers and coffee and camaraderie that is so apparent at all EAA evets.
Many thanks to EAA members and Fly Inn residents Graham and Vanessa Richardson who maid their hanger, patio garden available to visitors. Coffee and delicious burgers were served to fill some empty tummies. Thanks also the EAA Committee, Neil, Mary, Ronell, Belinda and Karl for organising the event.
Despite the weather having interfered as is has been doing for the last eighteen or so months everyone that I spoke to agree that overall, it was one of the nicest fly inns so far this year.