The Springs and EAA combined fly-in got off to a slow start initially, but I think the delicious breakfast aromas attracted hungry pilots and their crews! The first visiting aircraft arrived around 07:10 and by 08:00, when the superb breakfast put on by Raymond and the Committee team from the Ekhuruleni East Flying Club started serving, the aviation enthusiasts were queuing for their breakfasts, having had a coffee first.
Bright and early - first fly-in aircraft - Bearcat finds breakfast venue!
There is a new ablution block next to the clubhouse, and breakfast was served in the lapa, with a tent top equipped with tables and chairs provided to enjoy breakfast and aviation banter. About 150 delicious breakfasts were served.
Coffee, breakfast and sharing of aviation passion.
The club supports the local SPCA, who had a table selling items for fundraising, and we were asked to "feed the dog" in their donation box.
Springs SPCA were beneficiaries of the event.
During the course of the morning, about 35 aircraft flew in, with some of the early arrivals departing before the last arrivals. There were varied aircraft types present, including a number of microlight types, Jabirus, RV's, Cessnas, Pipers, Jodel, Aeronca, Puma Flying Lions Harvard and an Alouette III. People flew in from various places including Vereeniging, Brakpan, and Eagles Creek. A good number of EAA people, including stalwarts like Carl Jensen who are regular supporters of such events were also present. Many attendees also drove in.
A variety of aircraft flew in and most pilots waved a friendly greeting.
Everyone was very relaxed and friendly and the comparing of notes and sharing of aviation stories abounded around the breakfast tables and amongst the aircraft.
Some later arrivals.
Memories just have to be recorded!
During the morning, the local flying school, Mach 1, gave their latest solo pilot, Heinz - a matric student, his customary ice and mud bath to bring him back down to earth, which generated loud cheers and clapping from the pilots present. Discussions then turned to reminiscing about their own first solo's.
Milestone for a young man!
Some aircraft made use of the fuel service and as all good things must come to an end aircraft departed.
Fill-up and final checks in process and done, and then taxi to fly home.
The Club has a new committee led by Etelka Paxton and they were all hands-on preparing and serving the breakfasts.
There is a definite need for a coffee and eatery service on the airfield, especially since the place across the road has closed down due to three recent armed robberies. There are plans to enclose the lapa to accommodate a coffee shop to meet this need and make Springs a "fly-in destination". The idea is also to use the venue to run a community service project to teach local people basic skills and to accommodate smaller events. Proposed names for the coffee shop are to be considered by the committee and will be announced shortly. Opening of coffee shop is planned for Heritage Day.
Nicci Du Preez and Jillian Whitecross, who are regulars at the airfield, were part of the breakfast team and are the drivers of the coffee shop project. These two ladies have also been responsible for arranging monthly safety talks at Springs, which have been very well attended - well done! August topic was "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance", led by Santjie White.
Breakfast fly-ins are planned to be hosted by the club twice annually, so the next one will be in early 2024.
Pilots Post was again honoured to be invited to join this aviation community building event. We look forward to future events!