Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Before you crack open that cold one...A sober note for the festive season from Hugo Meyer

At this time of year parties are abundant, and in some cases, so is time to fly. In some clubs having a "couple" and then flying is tolerated because so and so is perfectly capable of flying after six beers. Rumour has it that someone is even fighting for his right to drink and fly in court.

For those people who think it is fine to drink and fly, please consider the following:

Accidents happen and the cause of this might be pilot error, interference, equipment failure or one of many other reasons. Should someone be injured or killed in such an accident, regardless of the cause the following is likely to happen.

In the case of death, there will be cops asking lots of questions including pesky ones about alcohol. You might explain your way out of trouble with the cops but the family will soon arrive. Imagine having to explain to them what happened with the smell of beer on your breath. Also consider that they probably lost their breadwinner, father and husband and will need to sue you as a result. Your trouble does not stop here because no insurance company will pay a cent if you transgressed the rules. Loss adjusters are experts at finding reasons not to pay. I don’t know of many people with a few million rands in reserve for eventualities like this so you will probably lose everything you own.

No matter what the cause of the accident, you will be asking yourself the following question for the rest of your life. Could I have reacted quicker and prevented the accident if I did not have that beer?

Before you open that beer please think and reconsider.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Friday, December 09, 2005

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Note on the use of BECs in electric gliders from Andre Kilian

Hi,

Just a few notes for the electric glider guys. I have observed a few cases where the guys are using some of the budget brushless speed controllers on the smaller electric gliders (e.g. Hawk 1400) and have "unexplained" crashes due to loss of control, and after checking the equipment after the crash everything seems to be working fine! The problem is mostly due to the BEC circuit overheating, and results mostly from the use of a 11.1V Lipo with more than 2 micro servos, or with 2 servos that do not move freely (e.g. aileron control horns).

My suggestion is to use a proven brand of speed controller, be very careful when using more than two micro servos (they normally draw more current than standard servos) and make sure that they do not bind. It is also preferable to use micro servos designed specifically for the collective pitch micro choppers, as these normally run on 4 servos and a BEC s peed control. Some controllers also come with an additional heat sink, such as the Align brand (good quaility but expensive) and the Melody (good quality at very reasonable price). It also helps to keep the controller away from heat sources such as batteries and motors, and never velcro the controller to the fuz!

The other problem is that the guys with the 2-3m gliders use the BEC controllers with up to 6 servos (4 in the wing, rudder and elevator) which is a recipe for disaster. The same principles as above applies - with these gliders rather disable the BEC circuit and run a seperate battery pack on the receiver or use a seperate BEC unit.

As these notes are based on practical experience, it would be useful if our electronical boffins can explain why you have to dissipate so much heat on a BEC unit to bring the voltage down from 12.5V (3S lipo) to 4.8V. l have seen that if you stir the sticks on any micro heli with 4 servo s for longer than 2 minutes without running the main motor, everthing stops working (BEC overheats) but if you fly it is fine!


Regards,

Andre

2006 F3J gliding team -- update from Ilma Stockton

Link to the F3X site for info

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Action photo of a glider launch done by the local Vaal Model Glider team at the 2005 Vaal Triathlon.
(Tony Neerings on left the time keeper, Gert Nieuwoudt the pilot and Hugh
Edmunds assisting).
Photo sent in by Gert Nieuwoudt
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Changing Times bring new duties for us all - Incident Reports

SAMAA has formally received delegated authority to control ALL model flying activities in the Country from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and we have to protect our allotted airspace. This is a very good development.
Your committee has been very busy for the past few months. The height restrictions for Model Aircraft have been changed to 500 metres in general and 850 metres for glider sites (to be specified) above our registered flying fields and the CAA now formally recognizes SAMAA to be the responsible body, accountable to the CAA for the control and regulation of all model flying activities, including areas/fields. This is very good news for us all.
In order to protect our 'cylinders' we now have available to us from the Confidential Aviation Hazard Reporting System (CAHRS), forms that we must complete every time their is an incursion into our airspace by general aviation, this is regarded as a "serious Incident" and the CAA wants to know about it. Confidentiality is assured, they only want to take pro- active action to prevent accidents.
The area that is being allocated to our 'cylinders' is 1 nautical mile (about 3 kilometers) in diameter and to whatever height we have permission to use (glider fields being higher). The reason for the 3 Kms is because this is the smallest size of an area which can be indicated on an aviation map. The process at present is that data pertaining to our flying sites is regularly published in a "Notice to Airmen" which is circulated to general aviation pilots and they are required to take note of the changes that are contained in these notices.
The new process will be that in addition to the Notams, our flying sites will also be marked on aviation maps, so that pilots can plan their trip to fly around the field or well above it, usually at least 150 metres above the 'cylinder'.
Incident Reporting Forms will be available from SAMAA, and all clubs should have them on hand. The CAA now considers a 'near miss" between a model and a general aviation aircraft as a 'serious incident' and they want to know about it.
If we, the modelers don't protect our airspace by reporting these incidents then we are not serious about the protection of our airspace, that we have fought so hard to obtain and we are endangering the lives of those who fly into our airspace even if it is their fault. We need to ensure that everyone knows where we are and what we are doing. Education will save lives, remember SAFE flying is No accident.
The forms are obtainable on our Website, (Not there yet ...Ed), and from the SAMAA office. A power Point presentation is also available by E-mail from the office, should Clubs wish to make use of it.

from management committee

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What I love about this hobby -- Wessie

I am in Cape Town

Bought a wing from Justin, who is in Pretoria

Justin hand delivered it to Ivan

Ivan took it to the SAMAA meeting and gave it to Ludwig

Ludwig put it on the plane and brought it down to Cape Town for me.

I dont know any of these gentlemen from a bar of soap.

Then I get home, and there's a package waiting for me full of stuff that Rudi has donated to our fledgeling Junior flying club.

Thank you! You all restored my faith in human kind!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

2005 Aero Club Awards Ceremony

On Saturday evening were attended the Aero Club Awards Ceremony. This was an uncompromising affair held at Skyraiders at Rand Airport. Over half the Colours awards went to Aeromodellers - not too bad.

At our table the talk turned towards Aero Club affiliation fees. SAMAA's fees have gone up considerably in the past year.

So; Is this fair? Does SAMAA get value for money? What does the Aero Club do for SAMAA?

In my view, these questions miss the boat.

Our Aero Club affiliation fees are the cost of getting into the Game. The Game of participation in International events; The Game of affiliation to the FAI; the Game of using Aero Club muscle in dealing with the authorities. If we want to play, we must pay.

The published accounts of the Aero Club show that it is run as a tight ship. There is no apparent extravagance in expenditure.

There was also a suggestion at one time that the Aero Club saw SAMAA as a cash cow. However, the same accounts show that SAMAA affiliation fees are only some 8,5% of the total Aero Club income.

I think there are things the Aero Club could do for SAMAA. It could handle membership administration for example. This would give the SAMAA General Manager a lot more time to look after the interests of our members. For good historical reasons there is opposition to this. But we should not be held hostage by the past.

Let's not be victims of the situation. Let's see how we can use the Aero Club to our advantage.

During the evening, to my surprise and delight, I was awarded Hon. Life Membership of SAMAA. Smokin' Joe said some generous and complimentary words. This was all the more surprising, as I had sent him some candid email earlier in the week. Thank you everyone who supported this gesture.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Results of the 2005 Gauteng Aerobatic Champs from Claude MacKrill

Link to results in pdf.

Gliding -- update on Vaal Triathlon from Gert Nieuwoudt

VAAL THERMAL SOARING TRIATHLON
DATE: Sunday 20th November 2005

You are invited to participate in the final HTL event for this year. The event will be hosted at a new field (see directions below). Pilots briefing will be 9H30 to start at 10H00 sharp. This event is not to be missed. If you do not have a team, please let us know and we will slot you in. Entries close on Friday 18th November 16H00. Enter via MGASA database or e-mail to gnieuwoudt@telkomsa.net or Telephone 0824610027 Provide the following info: Team name, Pilot name, class, frequency, (Alt. frequency), SAMAA Nr. If you have a Gazebo I would advise you to bring it along as we usually have some rain showers this time of year. Also bring some anti-mozzie/bug dope.

Rules

1. Only pilots with valid SAMAA membership cards presented at the event may enter.

2. The Triathlon Rules and MGA Rule book apply.

3. Teams competition: Best 3 out of 4 team member’s scores per round will count towards team total.

4. Individual classes: Open, Low tech (last time!) and 2m.

5. All Pilots will fly team competition and will automatically compete for individual class. Pilots may enter for one additional individual class.

6. Four slot, 5 round event and NO throw-away. Fixed slots, no matrixing.

7. 12 minute working time 10 minute max for all classes scored according to the attached saw tooth scale.

8. 3-minute prep time.

9. Max landing points is 200.

10. Full second completed will count.

11. Competitors to record times after each round on central timesheet in middle of launching area.

12. No landing points if the pilot’s aircraft flies into the pilot or his helper.

13. No landing points for landing after working time has run out.

14. Timing stops when working time run out.

15. The competitors must supply their own winches.

16. No re-launches unless line break or pop and re-launch called before chute lands.

17. We are flying on a farm with very dry grass. No fires are permitted.

18. Transmitter control is the “peg on the transmitter” system with any unresolved frequency clashing pilots bein introduced to one another after the pilots briefing.

19. Entry fee is R50 per class entered on arrival (no entry fee no scores!) This includes a cold drink and cold meat roll or two.

20. The prizes will be for first team of four members, first Open, first Low-Tech, first 2m and first Junior.

Cool drinks and some refreshments will be available at the field.

Directions

From the Johannesburg take the N1 in Parys direction. Take the Vanderbijlpark turnoff (close to Iscor factory). Keep going straight through all the stops and robots until you cross the Vaal river (You are entering the Freestate!), past the Sasol factory on the R57 until you get to a 4 way stop. Turn right on the Koppies road. 5km from the stop you will see a farm entrance on your left with sign BELTRIM. Turn RIGHT into an open piece of field. Follow the farm road for 800m in the direction where all the action is (it is open so you will see us, except for Hugh who normally arrives at 5H00). If you see the farm house turn back to main road and read the instructions. If you see a sign for Kragbron left, you went past the turn-off 400m back. From the east of Jhb/Alberton take R59 and drive past Vereeniging over the Vaal river, past Vaalpark on your left and take the R57 Sasolburg/Heilbron turn off to the left. Keep on the R57 in Heilbron direction. Drive past the Sasol factory until you get to a 4 way stop. Turn right on the Koppies road. 5km from the stop you will see a farm entrance on your left with sign BELTRIM. Turn RIGHT into an open piece of field. Follow the farm road for 800m in the direction where all the action is (it is open so you will see us, except for Hugh who normally arrives at 5H00). If you see the farm house turn back to main road and read the instructions. If you see a sign for Kragbron left, you went past the turn-off 400m back From Parys/Kroonstad take the Sasolburg road R59 later on. Turn righ on to the R57 to Heilbron as you past Sasolburg. Drive past the Sasol factory until you get to a 4 way stop. Turn right on the Koppies road. 5km from the stop you will see a farm entrance on your left with sign BELTRIM. Turn RIGHT into an open piece of field. Follow the farm road for 800m in the direction where all the action is (it is open so you will see us, except for Hugh who normally arrives at 5H00). If you see the farm house turn back to main road and read the instructions. If you see a sign for Kragbron left, you went past the turn-off 400m back If you get lost phone me on 0824610027

Cheers

Gert

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hermanus slope weekend update from Ross Leighton

It’s that time of the year again and we have about 6 weeks to go until the slope soaring event of the year – the AFC Hermanus R/C Slope Fly In 2005. This years’ event will be held as usual on the last weekend of November (26/27th) at the car park next to the Vodacom Tower on the Hermanus Hill. The road to the tower is called Rotary Way. You turn left off the main Hermanus road, just before the Spar Shopping centre, through a set of white gateposts. Flying starts 09h00 and ends 17h00 Saturday and 09h00 until 15h00 on Sunday.

As usual there will be two flight lines, one for scale, moulded and built up gliders and one for combat and special events. We will be giving pylon racing a go this year and there will be several classes to cater for all types of slopies. Should be fun and we’ll see who is the real “King of the Hill”. As usual there will be prizes galore and of course the popular spot landing competition.

Safety is well taken care of with our usual Tx control caravan, air bosses and frequency board. Overall safety is in the capable hands of Bobby Purnell.

There will be the usual Saturday evening braai at the Hermanus Cricket Club, starting at 19h00. Order you braai pack when you register.

Register online at http://www.atlanticfc.org.za/ under the Hermanus 2005 section. You have to click on the register button and you will be taken to a new site where all you do is enter your SAMAA number.

Hope to see many of you there but book early because as usual numbers attending are limited to 120 pilots.

Regards,

Ross Leighton
Chairman
Atlantic Flying Club
Cell: 0828813183

Chris Theron's report on the 2005 Limpopo Aerobatic Championships

Link to the report (150K pdf)

Monday, October 17, 2005

In flight electric heli measurements from Andre Kilian (the man is a gold mine of info)

Hi,

I downloaded the in-flight data from Paul Coelho's T-REX last night. Flight included very little hovering, mostly loops, rolls, upside down flights etc. - he was pushing the little chopper to its limits!

Average current 9.2A, max amps 22.5, max voltage 12.5V, dropped to 10.1V under full load, avg 11.02V Max power 244W, avg 101W, 1595mAh used from battery.

As a matter of interest - flying gentle circuits gave the following results: Max current 12.99A, avg. 8.54A, max voltage 12.6V, avg. 10.96. Eco 8 (same flying style) max current 19.36A, avg. 12.89A, max voltage 13.57, avg. 10.61, min 10.01V (old GP3300 cels).

Also interesting to note that if you only intend to hover and fly gentle circuits, a 10C cell like the Hecell 2000, Align 1800 or the E-tech 1700 are fine, as amps are below 15A. If you intend to push it, go for the Kokam 2000 packs (15C) or for even better performance the the new 20C cells such as the PQ 1800 (22C) or the flight power 1800s (20C).

Regards,

Andre

Saturday, October 15, 2005

SAMAA AGM and election of Management Committee

The SAMAA AGM, held today Saturday 15 October 2005, ratified the election of a new Management Committee.

The members are, in alphabetical order:

Dave Armitage
Dirk Meyer
Keith Nicolls
Marietjie Skinner
Ludwig Steyn

Joe Coetzer is automatically a Committee member by virtue of his position as immediate past Chairman.
Bob Skinner remains General Manager.

Congratulations and Good Luck.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

CRF Maandelikse Akrobatiese Byeenkoms -- Pierre Fouche

Link to the report (40K pdf)

More on LiPo batteries from Andre Kilian

Hi,

As more of the hi-rate lipos (15-20C) packs are becoming available in SA, just note that dropping the voltage below 2.7V per cell, even momentarily under load, can permanently damage your cells. You can thus have a situation, for example, where you only use 1450mAh from an 1800mAh pack, but damage your batteries in the process ("fat pack" syndrome - normally fatal!).

It is thus not only important to stay within the capacity limits of your batteries, but also above the minimum voltage limit. This is normally not a problem when using a good quality speed controller which shuts down the motor if the voltage drops too low (Lipo-cut off) but may become a problem when using more than 3S lipo packs (normally with a separate receiver pack), or when the cells become imbalanced.

Also note that we are having the same race with Lipo ratings (e.g. 8C, 10C, 15C and now 22C) that we observed with the capacity rating of the Nicad/NiMh batteries. Some battery manufacturers are claiming very high C-ratings for their batteries (some are honest enough to admit that they are peak ratings and not continuous ratings) but watch for that voltage drop under peak (burst) loads! If the voltage drops to below 2.7V per cell (i.e. 8.1V for a 3S pack) you can kiss your batteries goodbye...

Don't count on the prop unloading in the air to reduce the current, as other factors such as the motor heating up may also play a role. - I have measured 46A in flight with my Acrow Wot, whereas the static current draw was about 40A (15% increase!). If anybody is interested in actual flight data or needs evidence, send me a message and I will mail you the graphs with in-flight data and/or a photo of my collection of "fat packs".

The bottom line is be wary of the "el cheapo" brushless controllers and hi-rate cells that are now flooding the market, as a bargain may turn out to be very expensive. By all means, use these cells and controllers (some offer good value for money), but be aware of their limitations and the fact that the harder you push your lipos, the shorter their operational life will be.

My advice is to measure the current on your setup, and stay within 80% of the continuous current rating, and if you are using more than a 15C pack or more than a 3S configuration, ensure that you buy batteries with pigtails so that you can check the individual cell voltage for imbalance.

Regards,

Andre Kilian

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

SAMJA update from Zane Mannell

After much deliberation and loss of blood, the SAMJA committee has been chosen:

Chairman: Boet "BVM" Denysschen
Vice Chairman: Johan "I'm on pension now" Ehlers
Events co-ordinator: Andy "Nosewheel" Keil
Webmaster/PRO: Olaff "Spiderman" Schoeman
Secretary: Paula "Weighless" Denysschen
Treasurer: Zane "I killed the Eurosport" Mannell

Everyone is urged to have their say here. It is a democratic forum and can say what you like about us - we will get you later!

Seriously though, it always seems to be a Vaalie Association, I am only here on loan to them just to show them how it is done! We want to ensure that everyone has their say(at least 20 cents worth - I am generous!), Cape Town, Durban, PE, Upington, Outshoorn, etc. If you don't, it is not our fault! Forget who likes who and what make of turbine you fly or who you bought it from, we want to hear from everyone who has something to say, good bad or ugly like me! I know that we can't please all the people all the time but I am sure that we can find common ground.

We are working on some stuff for people interested in attending the World Jet Masters in 2007 which will be held in Ireland. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) WJM is only held every second year. I have said that we need to meet with the guys that flew in this year WJM and learn from them. We do have the building and piloting skills necessary to do well in this competition. I have already spoken to the guys(Glen, Greg and Mark), OK I have'nt spoken to Glen directly but he will co-operate or else, and they are willing to share their experiences with us. Johan Ehlers has suggested a date after March 2006 as there is an International Judging clinic to be held overseas next year in March would could help us as well. Obviously the subject (aircraft)chosen is important to ensure that you stand a chance. There is no-way you can make up 100 static points in the flying rounds! So there will be a workshop held and I will keep you updated.

Direct all your abuse directly to me!

All for now

Zane

Thursday, September 29, 2005

M-NET and aerobatic Nats

Mike Spalletta posted this info on SARFLY;

HI All

I got this off another newsgroup.

For those interested, there will be a broadcasting of the 2005 National Aerobatic Championships on M-Net's SuperSport. The times are as follows:

01 October : SS1 07h30 & SS2 18h30
02 October : SS2 10h00
03 October : SS1 15h30 & SS1 22h30
04 October : SS1 06h30
06 October : SS1 18h00
07 October : SS2 02h30

Regards...mike

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Report on the World Aerobatic Championships in St. Yan in France by Bob Skinner

Bob Skinner's report on the Aerobatic World Champs in France.
Link to a 1800 k pdf. (rather large but worth it)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


G2K Jamboree at WHRF 10 / 11 Sept 2005.
Photo by Evan Shaw.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 10, 2005

2005 Limpopo Aerobatic Champs -- Claude MacKrill

Hi There all you Pattern Junkies............Now that the world champs are over I'm sure we are all looking forward to see what ideas our team have come back with.....You will be able to see them & chat about it at 'The Great 2005 Limpopo Aerobatic Championships that will be held on 1 & 2 OCTOBER 2005

Venue: CRMFC in Polokwane.

(Please contact ......Chris Theron 082 8080 835 / Martin Erasmus 083 628 6114



if you need accommodation! they could recommend suitable accommodation or make arrangements with club members.)



Please support this event.....By Order...Claude
Here's the entry form.


.....If you don't support this event your wife will receive by registered post a detailed breakdown of the cost of the pattern ship you have.....



PS. if she ever finds out how much you spent on your last pattern ship...Do the dishes........No husband was ever shot while doing the dishes...

2005 LSMAA Nats -- Gavin Walton

Link to Gavin's report on the Nats

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Report on an F5J postal comp from Gert Nieuwoudt

One of our local SA pilots Rudolf won the international postals F5J competition held the past weekend. His score was:
Flight #...Flight points-Motor run (30% Worked in) +Landing point=Total
1: 600 (10:00) - 8.1 (27sec) + 30 = 621.9
2: 597 (09:57) - 7.5 (25sec) + 27 = 616.5
3: 599 (09:59) - 8.7 (29sec) + 27 = 617.3
Total: 1855.7

Excellent score Rudolf and well done!. Considering the terrible wind on this weekend this shows what can be done. Rudolf is flying a Poly Sergio with Sp400 motor.

Hope this will serve as a motivator for the rest of the local F5J clan to crawl out of the woodworks again. Where are you WHRF and KZN pilots?

Cheers
Gert

PS. Read more here

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

ONLY 15 DAYS TO OUDTSHOORN SCALE 2005.

Here is a reminder to the regular and long time visitors to Scale and to all who have not been here before please note.

For those interested in Old Timers, there is the Old Timer event to be held at Cango Flying Club Field, from 8-00 am to 12-00 am every morning from the 22nd to 24th. Flyers compete for the Best Old Timers Trophy ,donated by the late Keith Bowles. Please remember to come and register at the TX tent.

Then on Friday evening 23rd, after the cheese and wine The indoor electric event takes place. There is the Trophy for the best indoor Electric Flyer that we also had last year. This year we are having two extra indoor events something like Touch 'n goes and Balloon bursting etc. where the flyers compete for the New trophy for the indoor events winner, donated by Le Roux Engineering.

For those who only want to fly at the indoor event the fee is R20-00. This includes admittance to the Cheese & Wine

So please bring along your indoor electric models as well. These need not be Scale models. This event is very popular and lots of fun for competitors and the just spectators love it.

At the same venue those interested in rubber powered models will have a chance to show what their models can do.

The Oudtshoorn Aero Club again offers Camping at the Airport. Bring your tent etc. and go camping for only R15-00 per night per person. Toilets, Showers etc. available.

One last reminder. we need your SAMAA membership number on the entry form. Those who have entry forms please remember to fill this in on the form, others can complete the entry forms
at the TX tent on arrival.

Thanks,
Hekkie.

Gliding postal results to August 2005 from John Lightfoot

Link to gliding postal results to Aug 2005.

Monday, September 05, 2005

So near and yet so far, a disappointing outing to Rosendal

We set off from Jozi just after six as the sun rose. We had packed three aircraft in the car. We took the motorway and joined the R59. South of Vereeniging the early morning inversion had clamped the industrial smog onto the ground.

It took three hours to get to Bethlehem. We had breakfast at BJ's Diner. We can recommend BJ's - excellent breakfast. Then we headed for Rosendal and the slope, or so we thought.

Somehow we missed the final turn-off. We ended up a few Ks further on where the road petered out onto a farm track. The track looked innocent enough, but after fifty metres a stone had broken our sump.

Modern cars are such that if the engine is not running, the car is dead.

No oil, no engine, dead car. From where we were we could see in the distance the trees behind the slope site.

I thought I would try to phone Hugh Edmunds. I wasn't sure what he could do but the situation called for desperate measures. Hugh thought that it might be possible to fix the sump with white epoxy: A true aeromodeller's solution. He immediately left for Rosendal for oil and epoxy.

In the meantime, the professor had managed to get hold of Renault Roadside Assistance. Gunter of RRA undertook to arrange for a tow-truck to collect us. Shortly after, Bennie from Gary's towing in Bethlehem phoned. He would send a truck. He would organise a hired car. Was there anything else we needed?

I phoned Hugh again to tell him what had happened. By that time he was in Rosendal. Within twenty minutes he appeared in a cloud of dust accompanied by a colleague on a quad. After checking that we were OK, wisely, he returned to the slope. His last words were, "let me know if you need anything more", and "give me a shout when you get back to civilization".

An hour and a half later the truck arrived. We loaded the car and piled in. I phoned Hugh to let him know that we were on our way.

Deeter the driver was of a garrulous persuasion. The professor was sitting in the middle so she bore the brunt of his soliloquy. I was on the outside and pretended not to hear. His speech was liberally sprinkled with the rhetorical "And you know what".

One of his stories concerned an elderly couple he had shown around Golden Gate. "And you know what. They were so happy with the tour that they gave me ten rands". Point taken.

The tow-truck had seen better days. The springs were rigid. There were many ventilation holes in the cab that let in blasts of hot air and dust. At certain speeds the engine made a distinctive staccato noise. All in all it was very much better than walking.

Bennie was waiting for us in Bethlehem. He had organised the hired car and stayed at work through the long Saturday afternoon to look after us. We said goodbye to him and headed back to Jozi.

Back home at about eight at night we took stock: We had traveled six hundred kilometers, broken the car and not flown. Something of a disappointment.

Thanks to the following, in alphabetical order:
Bennie and Deeter of Gary's Towing in Bethlehem
Gunter of Renault Roadside Assistance
Hugh Edmunds and his colleague
Marisa of Budget Rent-a-Car in Bethlehem
Vodacom (where would we be without cell phones).

Sunday, September 04, 2005

F3B World Championships, Finland 2005 -- Wolfgang Steffny

With Craig Goodrum's detailed Round by Round report already circulated, there is very little to add. All matters concerning the actual competition and some technical aspects have been addressed by Craig. As Team Manager elect, I have been with the team from the beginning in Feb 2005, in a mostly organizing and coordinating role and attempting to instill a cohesive team spirit and trying to keep negative influences away from pilots - allowing them to focus on their flying.

There are certain observations and thoughts I wish to share with anyone interested in this sport - particularly concerning competitiveness.

After many a talk with knowledgeable people, it became very clear that a good F3B campaign can only succeed, not only with good pilots (which we certainly have) and suitable helpers (which we selected) but most importantly with solid and timeous funding, which we were fortunate enough to also have had.

Good equipment (models, gadgets, electronics etc.) were acquired and practice commenced with great enthusiasm and evident commitment by everybody concerned. Performances steadily improved. After 6 month of dedicated training we reached a consistent level which we thought would qualify us to reach for the top.

Apart from some logistical problems with Air tickets, Visas and Aeroplane transport boxes, all preparations went smoothly and a well prepared Team left for Finland with great expectations and justified hopes.

So what went wrong?

* In my opinion, we certainly underestimated the extremely high level of performance of the better European Teams respectively the advances they made over the last few years. In this regard, one needs to recognize the fact that in Europe there are in excess of 25 top notch F3B contests, every year including the F3B Euro Contest Series covering several countries. In South Africa we have 4 events, by comparison, some of them of an inadequate standard.
The conclusion from this is obvious - we need to practice and practice and practice - in fact, we need to begin our next effort NOW.

More time and also money needs to be spent on dedicated F3B contests in SA. It is in competition where skills are honed and brought to peak level!

* Last minute changes of team members and their functions put extra stress on the minds of our pilots. Anton could not travel, young James Shaw was brought on board, and Anton's function was transferred to Craig Baker.

Derek Wiggill developed a serious thrombosis ( I told him he should reduce his Globetrotting!) and informed us on the day of departure that his doctor would not allow him to board yet another Airliner, at least until Sunday 31st July, the day before the contest started. On that very Sunday he informed us that on Monday he had to be in Hospital where 2 lumps would be surgically removed from his leg.

Consequently, the day before the start, more mental stress was put on our pilots who now had to split Derek's functions between themselves.

Our helpers Craig Baker, Ian Lessem and James Shaw did a superb job during the last 2 practice days, and had winches, lines, batteries, chargers etc. 100 % under control. We were ready to do battle.

Despite all the unexpected problems, the Championships started well for our team with Craig Goodrum having an excellent first round.

* During the morning of day 2, bad luck struck again, with Craig Baker falling ill-unable to carry out his assigned jobs. After a disastrous morning things were hastily rearranged. Craig Baker had to have medical attention and eventually, after day 3, had to be taken to hospital. All of us were of course very concerned and worried about Craig.

No doubt at all this rocked our ship considerably, putting more stress on Michelle, Craig G. and Dion. As a consequence, it appeared to me that focus and also momentum was lost for while. Only during day 4 did matters again begin to improve - alas, too late !

All in all, although we did not achieve what we set out to do, the team conducted themselves superbly under very often extremely trying circumstances. No flying tempers, no need for Fire Extinguishers - disciplined and determined - indeed commendable !

In conclusion, I wish to thank our Pilots and Helpers for their unwavering enthusiasm .Being with them made it, after all, worthwhile.

A special Thank You to Shirley Goodrum who looked after" Pea Nuts" so well and kept him in good shape throughout the time in Finland - a great help, really appreciated!

To Craig Baker all our best wishes for a speedy recovery and a chance to be there again in 2 years time.

Finally the South African TEAM wishes to thank all our sponsors form their valued support:

D. Wiggill / South Africa
Graupner/Germany
Carbotech/Austria
Tu Jay Knitwear/South Africa
Pyramid Clothing / South Africa
Spectacle Warehouse / South Africa
Texglass /South Africa
Ice Cold Bodies /South Africa




JOHANNESBURG AUGUST 2005
W.L. STEFFNY

Friday, August 26, 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Final placing update on Aerobatic World Champs from Claude

A massage received from Pierre

Final positions thus far............... the finals still to be flown i.e. the top 20 ......
.......Andre ....33rd
Danie ....52nd
Pierre.....59th


The team positions.....Japan 1st
America 2nd
France 3rd
RSA......15th

Please note that we are in the 15th position out of 42 countries that took part.....and there were 112 pilots that representing their countries

Our team Flew into 15th spot, as an totally amateur ( I.e. non sponsored ) sports team, up against professional teams that are sponsored down to their Tail wheels ........I think this is Excellent result.....We are privileged to have in our midst the likes of the SA Aerobatics team....Andre, Danie & Pierre.....The 'Ama Loop loop' gang.....who on their own bat, (& at great personal expense) flew into 15th position, ....no mean feat...........Congratulations & well done from the Pattern fraternity of this country........ all the MAASA boys & girls salutes you for what you have done to keep the SA pattern flag flying high & proud.......The team arrives back in town on Monday......


Regards.......Claude.M

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

F3A Aerobatic World Champs web site

This is the link to the official web site.
Go to "news" then download the "gazettes" in pdf format.

F3A news update from Claude

The latest news from Paris..........Ama Loop Loop....is doing well..... Team still very hungry ........will do anything for a Boerewors roll please send food parcels to the team......
Surprise 30% of entries are Electric..........50% YS 4 stroke..........20% OS 2 stroke

Score so far..... Danie 1st flight ....66 % 2nd flight 67% With Love to Amanda Pierre.1st flight ....63 % 2nd flight 66% Andre 1st flight ....67 % 2nd Flight 71%
weather conditions Still & windy....Top score for the 2nd day gone up 2 a staggering 87.5%

Will Keep you informed....Regards Claude
WE are trying to find an active web site for the champs, if anybody has please let us know....

Sunday, August 21, 2005

First info on the Aerobatic World Champs from Claude MacKrill

Got a sms from Carel our team manager he says that the Final practice has been completed, and that all the aircraft processing has been successful.Today was the opening ceremony.....Tomorrow the fight starts in earnest........

Lets hold thumbs for the team.....


Just a thought ....What do we call our team....Bokke?......Ama Loop Loop ?.........Ama ( need suggestions)....the one with the best suggestion will win a prize.....sponsored by SAB..........

Regards,,,Claude...Fly Strait....

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bob Parks on adverse yaw and dihedral in gliders

Well, sort out priorities here.. adverse yaw in transient maneuvers is probably not that critical in the overall performance. One key to efficient glider flying is not wasting energy on unneeded maneuvers, regardless of what they are. ;-)

More critical than short transients is how efficiently the model can do near steady state turns in a thermal. The big driver is having enough dihedral to be able to track a thermal turn at high lift coefficients, with reasonably stability. In the past, ailerons always meant also having low dihedral (an offshoot, I think, of F3b models optimized for the speed and distance tasks). It took forever, but there are now some aileron airplanes with enough dihedral to thermal well.

A very good pilot with full 3 axis control is always going to be the best performance. As pilot skill goes down (or the pilot is wanting to allocate his attention to tactics rather than turning), then the answer will change. Actually, one of the very early seeds of the Bubble Dancer concept was when I was at a big soaring meet about 13 years ago (Visalia), and was watching a lot of pilots just wallowing around the sky with flat wing molded airplanes, and realizing that they would get MUCH better flights with an RES ship.

Some of it comes down to personal preference. I happen to like flying RES gliders. I find it relaxing, and it lets me dedicate a lot of my attention to "tactics".. i.e. what is happening in the air, where the birds are, what the feel of the air is etc. I don't compete any more, so I tend to fly alone, no caller etc. I fly other aileron airplanes (3D electrics, jets), so I probably want different things out of my gliders than many people would. I just happen to like the way a good rudder/ dihedral sailplane flies.

Anyway, the answer for competition is to fly the plane that will give YOU the best score. The hot shot pilot who won with his F3B airplane probably would have won it with any other plane too, but that doesn't mean that what he flew is what you should fly. Note that the airplane that gives you the best score might just be the one you ENJOY flying the most.

Bob

Friday, August 12, 2005

Helicopter World Champs in Spain

Link to official web site for scores etc

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

World Jet Masters -- final results

Link to official web page in Hungary, (there is an English version)

Volksrust Aug 2005, Izak Theron launching a Zipper. Photo by Gert Nieuwoudt.
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Gert writes:
I joined the ETB clan the past weekend for one of their regular Volksrust outings. A few others joined in with about 14 pilots in total on Saturday. The lift was at first light and not consistent but improved during the day up to the point where we had a ball. The crowd was made up mostly of slope and glider pilots. The usual foam wing was used to get warmed up and followed up with other slope toys. The models ranged from Norbit's 4.5m ASW-26 and flying wing, Toko (Theuns Coetzee), Baby-Eish (Herman), Shongolollo (Paul), Fling DLG (Herman), Zipper (Herman), Hill billy, other Glass slippers and some "crunchie" models. Yes Herman had quite an interesting carload full of gliders all in immaculate condition. Herman, next time I will take a go with that Baby-Eish.

I used the opportunity to maiden my 54cm Limit-Ex and was surprised to see it fly really well. It is obviously very sensitive, but after some endpoint adjustments it was easy to handle. The one ruddervator horn broke off and caused it to spiral in. Due to the low weight the damage was little and will prolly become one of my favorite toys in future.

I had to leave early on Saturday but had my fix and is now again ready to take the workload. A day on the mountain is always refreshing and to see a few old friends is priceless.

Cheers
Gert

PS. From Izak
Die wind het Saterdag middag meer steady geraak hoe later dit geword het en Paul en Norbert het tot amper sononder op die valley release gevlieg. Ek het 'n bietjie vroeër afgegaan plaas toe want die griep het my behoorlik begin pak.

Sondag was 'n bietjie meer consistent as Saterdag maar ek moes teen 2-uur pad vat. Paul, Norbert en André het oorgebly Sondag aand en het blykbaar 'n fantastiese dag Maandag gehad.



Volksrust Aug 2005. ASW 26, baby Eish and Limit X. Photo by Gert Nieuwoudt
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Volksrust Aug 2005. Photo by Gert Nieuwoudt
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Volksrust Aug 2005, the western slope. Photo by Gert Nieuwoudt.
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Volksrust Aug 2005.
The pit area.
Photo by Gert Nieuwoudt
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Monday, August 08, 2005

World Jet Masters update from Zane

Hi Guys

Unfortunately confusion rules about the final results as NOWHERE can I find the final scores after round 3! Only the final results are available but here they are. Will also try and contact our guys today.

THE WINNERS WERE:

Individual Class:

1. Thomas Gleissner, Germany, Bae Hawk
2. Reto Senn, Switzerland, F-5
3. Günther Sedlmeier, Germany, Mirage 2000

Open Class:

1. Thomas Singer, Germany, Mig 29
2. Jon Tappin/Ian Richardson, England, F-100
3. Lucca De Marche, Italy, MB-339

Nations trophy:

1. Germany

2. England

3. Switzerland

4. USA

Highest static score: Gunther Sedlmeier, Germany, Mirage

Highest Flight Score: Andy Lau, China, L-39 Albatros

Will keep you updated when I can find our placings

Zane

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Update from WJM from Zane

Hi Guys

I have just spoken to our guys over in Hungary.

The bad news is that Greg Casson had 2 terrible rounds due to flame outs on flight no.1 and flight no.2. They have traced the problem to a faulty fuel pump which they have changed and also moved closer to the motors. The sad bit is that his scores were all 8's and 9's but then got 2 0's because he had to land and could not finish his schedule.

Greg is hoping to get a great flight in tomorrow. Glen and Mark are still in there with a chance so lets keep our fingers crossed for them. The SA Team should finish well in the top 10.

Zane

Update on F3B World Champs from Craig Goodrum

Link for info

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


2005 Bushveld Fly in
More pictures at the club web site
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Update on World Jet Masters from Zane

Hi Guys

Here are the static scores for WJM 2005 Individual Class:

1 Günther Sedlmeier Germany Mirage 2000 1421
2 Robert Sedlmeier Germany Mirage 2000 1413.5
3 Thomas Gleissner Germany BAe Hawk MK51 1411.3
4 Angelo Minici Italy MB-339 1389.5
5 Mark Savage South Africa Vampire 1389.3
6 Reto Senn Switzerland F-5 Tiger 1386.5
7 Stephan Voelker Germany BAe Hawk MK51 1383.8
8 Roger Thoma Switzerland F-15 1361
9 Steve Elias England F-100F 1358.3
10 Anton Lamberti Germany F-15 1349.3
11 Martin Forster Switzerland L-159 1345.8
12 Max Ahlman Sweden F-100D 1342.3
13 Glen Roberts South Africa T-33 1337
14 Greg Casson South Africa MiG 29 1335.3
15 David Ribbe USA MiG 15 1323.8
16 Frank Stein Namibia Mirage III CZ 1307
17 Urs Maylander Switzerland L-39 Albatros 1296.8
18 Rod Snyder USA F-100D 1292.5
19 Ali Mashinchy Iran L-39 Albatros 1276.8
20 Philip Avonds Belgium F-16A Thunderbirds 1269.5
21 Scott Harris USA F-86F Sabre 1265
22 Luca Parma Italy Mirage 2000 1261.3
23 Darryl Tarr United Arab Emirates L-39C Albatros 1253
24 Khalid Al-Khater Qatar L-159B 1249
25 Dustin Buescher USA F-86F Sabre 1248.8
26 Gaby Keidar Israel F-15 1238.5
27 Lars Palm Sweden Viggen 1209.8
28 Janos Horvath Hungary L-39 Albatros 1200
29 Jeremy McMillan England L-39 Albatros 1193.3
30 Vasiliy Korotenko Ukraine MiG 29 1192.8
31 Jussi Korolainen Finland CF-18 Hornet 1176.8
32 Steve Brett England Venom 1104.5
33 Avi Ambar Israel Fouga Magister 1080
34 Robert McCartney Northern Ireland DH112 Venom 1004.8
35 Tony Khlaf Sweden FA-22 Raptor 976
36 Lindsay Dickie Scotland Fiat G91 933.7
37 Tommi Vesalo Finland F-86F Sabre 914.8
38 Ian Russell England Eurofighter 908.3
39 Loudan Blair Northern Ireland Miles Student 791.5
40 Victor Stefan Romania F-15 495.8
41 Calin Protopopescu Romania F-15 0


In individual class after the first round of flying the top 10 is: (static and flight one combined)

Pilot Country Plane
1. Thomas Gleissner Germany BAe Hawk MK51
2. Günther Sedlmeier Germany Mirage 2000
3. Robert Sedlmeier Germany Mirage 2000
4. Mark Savage South Africa Vampire T-55
5. Martin Forster Switzerland L-159
6. Steve Elias England F-100F
7. Anton Lamberti Germany F-15
8. Glen Roberts South Africa T-33
9. David Ribbe USA MiG 15
10.Angelo Minici Italy MB-339



Top 10 in open is:

Pilot Country Plane
1. Jon Tappin / Ian Richardson England F-100F
2. Thomas Singer Germany MiG 29
3. Luca De Marchi Italy MB-339
4. Vitaliy Robertus Russia L-39 Albatros
5. Roberto Laghi Italy L-39 Albatros
6. Peter Rütimann Switzerland L-39 ZA
7. Dave Stephens England F-9F5 Panther
8. Franz Walti Switzerland Rafale
9. Alex Lau China - Hong Kong F-100F
10.Marco Bresciani Italy F-15



I have not been able to raise the guys over there today but will update you as soon as I get some news



Zane

Friday, July 29, 2005

News from the SA team at the Jet World Masters in Hungary -- from Zane Mannell

Some good news from Hungary.

For those that are not aware, the SA Team for the World Jet Masters in Hungary left on Monday(obviously not SAA!) The team consists of Greg Casson - MIG 29, Glen Roberts - T33 and Mark Savage - Vampire. There was some consternation on Monday when Mark and James Peel (Manager)were stuck at Durban because SAA was not flying. The ended up leaving Durban by Kombi at about 11:00 and would have to check in at 17:00 for the flight to Hungary via Frankfurt. Greg and Glen arrived at JHB INT at 16:00 after been told that they could bring the boxes straight to the check-in counter! Obviously when the boxes arrived at the Check-in counter their story changed. After much running around and lots of help from Danie Potgieter Snr, it was decided that the boxes had to go to Lufthansa Cargo! At this stage, Mark was still at Heidelburg! The lady from Lufthansa, Carla, was extremely helpful in resolving the crisis. Mark was redirected to the cargo drop-off and arrived at check-in just after 18:00. After things had calmed down to a panic, everyone went for a quick dirnk and the boarded.

Just heard from the team over there that everone had had a flight and that everything went well.

I think that the static judgeging starts tomorrow. For those who are interested, Greg had a major glitch problem on the first 2 flight and then installed and new servo isolator with Lipo batteries and the problem wen away. Next problem was to get the aircraft below 20kg! This is a twin turbine with hydraulic undercarridge. After drilling holes in everything, filling any excess metal of anything that didn't need it. Ended up with about 100g to spare in the end!

As some of you know, Mark lost his L39 about a month before the comp! Fortunately he still had his Vampire in mothballs and copuld just install a new turbine and had a couple of flights.

Glen had a trouble free run up to their departure.

The news is that they are very confident of doing well over there!

If anyone wants to post some messages, I will get it to them as I am going to try and speak to them on a daily basis as soon as the comp really gets going!

Will keep you all posted on the progress

Zane

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Noel Booysen's air force
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Thursday, July 07, 2005


Conrad Klintworth and Wolfgang Steffny at the 2005 Nats. Conrad is the smaller one.
As Izak says, helping you spot the thermals AND providing a sunshield for you..... Now that's what I call a helper!
Photo by John Monk

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Monday, July 04, 2005


Evan Shaw's new Tsotsi fuselage
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photo by Evan Shaw

Bill Vos Memorial Trophy July 2005 -- report by Dave Greer

The July Bill Vos took place in a chilly westerly, an anti-climax for the Nats contenders who had enjoyed the beautiful conditions the week before. The slope remains a breeding ground for new thermal blood and Ross Henderson found himself migrating from some useful slope foamie wing flying experience to teaming up with Dennis Bird and the Esprit, which is probably the most pleasant intro for someone with reasonable slope co-ords and Ross quietly rose to the occasion with some real smooth flying. Dennis was to handle the landings, with the points still accruing to Ross and we might have been a tad more embarrassed by the newbie, had Dennis managed any of the proxy landings!

Yours truly had not even unpacked the Nats car and paid the price with a stripped flap servo and no brakes for the day - much wrinkled brow when flying the last slot against Dennis, who promptly out launched, out climbed and out landed with the similar Esprit craft! What was more irritating was that Checkmate hanging around at half the height and not going away, either. Brian Fanning is fast getting to grips with the hotrod Checkmate and a look at the accumulated results with one throwaway round, is going to wrinkle more than one brow - second place is not too shabby, Brian!

Another interesting last round "Winston" battle was tween Paul and Brad, with Paul probably executing the only genuine downwind thermal chase of the whole day, by anyone, to seal it against Brad in that battle, although Brad still won that war with a useful score in fourth place. The weather and waiting for an early shower to pass had decided in favour of the three round no throwaway event and this especially hurt all from fourth down, most folk still getting to enjoy two max flights, though. The two throw away event summary shows the event still to be wide open for most competitors, specially some oke by the name of Russell Conradt, although it will take some doing against the Dennis/Esprit combination.

A short meeting decided the following two items of interest for DMAC Glider Guiders:

The OFS lads had freely helped themselves to the September BVMT date for the Rosendal slope event and an impassioned please from Warren decided a move on the September BVMT contest date, the subsequent weekend also being out because of the G2K Jamboree. Warren's wonderful PRO job on the Rosendal event may also see more Durbanites joining the freeze your doodads off weekend up there.

It was confirmed that the Natal Champs would retain its current format at Summerveld and be held over the weekend of 22/23 October 2005.

Please remember the June BVMT will be reflown Sunday 24 July 2005.

Cheers
Dave


BVMT 2005
HANDICAP
JULY 2005
Pilot Norm Total
1 Dave Greer 1000 2934 Esprit
2 Dennis Bird 994 2918 Esprit
3 Ross Henderson 962 2823 Esprit
4 Brad Conlon 952 2794 Ellipse
5 Brian Fanning 949 2784 Checkmate
6 Warren Butler 930 2728 Cobra
7 Simon Nelson 913 2679 Eish
8 Paul Boswarva 887 2604 Eish
9 Alan Sneedon 848 2489 Sangoma
10 Fred Wittstock 838 2460 Sagitta 1000
11 Norman Smith 635 1862 OD 2M
12 Don Slatter 531 1558 Spirit 2M


BILL VOS 2005 LOG
With TWO t/away Total T/A2 T/A1 Jan Mar Apr June July
1 Dave Greer 2000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000
2 Russell Conradt 1969 0 0 969 999 0 0
3 Dennis Bird 1963 865 835 835 969 865 994
4 Brian Fanning 1920 927 0 927 972 0 949
5 Brad Conlon 1914 855 830 962 830 855 952
6 Warren Butler 1913 711 0 0 984 711 930
7 Simon Nelson 1912 817 0 817 999 0 913
8 Scott Munn 1872 0 0 0 1000 872 0
9 Alan Sneedon 1862 848 812 862 1000 812 848
10 Paul Boswarva 1837 816 798 816 798 949 887
11 Fred Wittstock 1832 838 514 514 937 895 838
12 Ryan Nelson 1793 0 0 884 910 0 0
13 John Coulson 1651 0 0 651 0 1000 0
14 Paul Munn 1512 0 0 0 778 734 0
15 Adrian Baker 1480 0 0 849 0 631 0
16 Norman Smith 1472 621 536 621 536 838 635
17 Don Slatter 1160 531 0 796 364 0 531
18 Ross Henderson 962 0 0 0 0 0 962
19 Piet Strauss 916 0 0 460 0 456 0
20 Sheldon Macglone 697 0 0 0 697 0 0
21 Kim 428 0 0 0 0 428 0
22 Tim Potter 334 0 0 334 0 0 0

BILL VOS 2005 LOG
With ONE t/away Total T/A1 Jan Mar Apr June July
1 Dave Greer 3000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000
2 Brian Fanning 2847 0 927 972 0 949
3 Dennis Bird 2828 835 835 969 865 994
4 Brad Conlon 2769 830 962 830 855 952
5 Simon Nelson 2729 0 817 999 0 913
6 Alan Sneedon 2710 812 862 1000 812 848
7 Fred Wittstock 2670 514 514 937 895 838
8 Paul Boswarva 2653 798 816 798 949 887
9 Warren Butler 2625 0 0 984 711 930
10 Norman Smith 2093 536 621 536 838 635
11 Russell Conradt 1969 0 969 999 0 0
12 Scott Munn 1872 0 0 1000 872 0
13 Ryan Nelson 1793 0 884 910 0 0
14 Don Slatter 1691 0 796 364 0 531
15 John Coulson 1651 0 651 0 1000 0
16 Paul Munn 1512 0 0 778 734 0
17 Adrian Baker 1480 0 849 0 631 0
18 Ross Henderson 962 0 0 0 0 962
19 Piet Strauss 916 0 460 0 456 0
20 Sheldon Macglone 697 0 0 697 0 0
21 Kim 428 0 0 0 428 0
22 Tim Potter 334 0 334 0 0 0

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Control Line Vintage Stunt Day -- Keith Renecle

We have decided to hold our annual vintage C/L stunt day at RMAC, and join in with the Old-time R/C fliers. I have spoken to the organizer of the Memorial day event on the 24th of July, Colin Matthyssen, and he has agreed that this is a good idea.

There will be no competitions, and the emphasis will be on joining in the fun of bringing out all of those old control-line models that you have had lying around for many years. We will have some spare lines, handles, and even some spare diesel fuel! We will start at around 09:00, so we would encourage all to come out and join in the fun of "Fly-by-wire" flying.

It would be particularly appreciated if folks could wear "vintage" clothes, and arrive in vintage cars if at all possible as well. I will be making a properly edited video/DVD of the event available later, so the more we can add to the atmosphere, the better.


Regards,

Keith Renecle 083 415 1409

Swaziland Jet Airshow -- Rodger and Francis Dunn

In South Africa it is a mission to obtain permission to host a flying event on a disused military air field. The model air show that was organized by Rodger Dunn from Randburg, his wife Frances and a very small group of helpers was held on Matsapa International Airport. An invitation from the organizers was extended to some pilots from JHB, Pretoria, Nelspruit and surrounding areas to be part of the second Swaziland model air show.

The majority of pilots traveled on Friday to Swaziland where they were met by the organizers and were settled into some first class accommodation. Friday evening all were treated to a supper served in a hangar alongside the airfield. This was a perfect opportunity for all to get to meet one another. Danie and Neville soon had all amused by their flying skills with their 3D Electric planes inside the hangar.

On Saturday morning all congregated bright and early at the airfield with the mammoth task of unpacking and assembling of aircrafts. Some struggled a bit due to the Friday evening festivities.

The weather over the weekend was great as well as the flying. There was a large variety of aircraft from large scale aerobatics, jets, scale models, fun fly's, 3D Electrics, down to trainers. All the pilots through out the weekend did exactly what they were invited to do and that was to keep the crowd amused at all times. The whole weekend went off with only one incident of a crashed Delta.

Saturday evening was back to the hangar for yet another great evening with 2 sheep on a spit, liquid refreshments and a lot to talk about. Danie Potgieter and Shaun Russell put on a night flying display, which was watched by all in amazement. Danie flew a Shot Gun decorated with glow sticks used by the military and divers. Shaun used special designed rotor blades with built in batteries and lights in the tips as well as some glow sticks on the tail. The helicopter blades when rotating forms a red circle with a second circle about 100mm to the inside of that. With the tail of the chopper lit up you can see the attitude of the helicopter clearly. The attitude of the helicopter in the sky while performing aerobatics is by far more visible at night than in the day. At the end of the night's activities the hangar was used to store all the aircraft.

The great atmosphere and party mood then moved over to our hotel where some groups partied till the early hours of Sunday morning. Loud singing noises could be heard all over the hotel by one particular group singing (or trying to) "I'm so lonely". I don't know if they were actually lonely or could only remember those few words to one song.

Early on Sunday after packing up our rooms and having a breakfast it was off to the airfield to enjoy yet another good flying day with good weather.

Bob Skinner did commentary on both days with the host Rodger Dunn relieving him from time to time. Flying ceased at about 14h00. After packing up all aircrafts we were once again treated to a meal in the hangar, which was followed, by greetings and a big thanks to our hosts for a great weekend of flying and enjoyment.

A few local Swazi businesses as well as some from SA sponsored the weekend. Swazi Bank and Mr Bread were some of the Swazi sponsors, with Sign Link from Randburg being the main sponsor. Henley Air charters supplied a helicopter, which was sponsored by Mr Bread and was used to take people for flips over both days. During lunch the helicopter was used for an emergency evacuation of a lady who was stung by a bee and is highly allergic to bee stings. Thanks to Henley Airs crew she was stabilized and later released from hospital. Some pilots collected a donation, which was handed over to the Local Lions Club. All the money made over the weekend was handed to the Lions club who distributes it to the local charities.

A big thank you to all the pilots, sponsors, helpers and supporters for making the second Swaziland Air show a resounding success. Once again a special thanks to Rodger and Frances for all their hard work and we look forward to next year.

Monday, June 27, 2005


2005 Soaring Nats.
The travelling Malberies Don, Frank 'n Ricky - Don looking as dapper as ever.
photo by Dave Greer
Posted by Hello

2005 Soaring Nats.
Victor Ludorum Mama Michelle with super relaxed baby Mathew and "run you lazy bastards" Craig Piglet.
photo by Dave Greer
Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Claude's pattern flying manual

THE PATTERN FLYING MANUAL....
It's possible to buy a 2 X 2, But not the Skills
it's possible to buy a Wheel, but not a Perfect landing;
it's possible to buy a Motor, but not the carb settings;
it's possible to write a pattern, but not the flight;
it's possible to buy a Helicopter, but that's just plain stupid;
it's possible to buy a radio, but not know how to use it;
it's possible to buy airplane, but not the excitement of flight;
it's possible to buy sex, but PATTERN ....IS.... BETTER.


The Flying manual brings success. The original is stored in Cape Town. (The centre of the universe, as it happens). This manual has already flown about 8 times around the world and this time it will bring success to you. After receiving this letter you will become a very happy Chappie!!! IT IS NOT A JOKE!

DO NOT STORE THIS LETTER MORE THAN 96 HOURS, IT'S NECESSARY TO SEND IT TO 20 PEOPLE.

Here are some examples have taken place:
Andre received the letter in 1983 and asked his secretary to make 20 copies. In 9 days HE WON THE NATS!!! PIERRE received the letter and forgot about it. Couple days later he lost his Prop He decided to send this letter and continue the chain and IT BROUGHT SUCCESS TO HIM!!! (He won the 2004 Nats) In 1997 Danie received the letter, laughing he threw it away. Later he had radio failure. Danie found the letter and made 20 copies. WITHIN A WEEK HIS TX was repaired!!! In 1987 A young man from Durban received the letter. He did not listen, he crashed into the power lines at the Helderberg field when he was in Cape Town, He promised to retype it and send it to 20 friends of his. So Louw helped him repair his pattern ship HE CONTINUED THE HAPPY CHAIN!!!
SO DO NOT FORGET TO SEND THIS LETTER TO 20 FLYING FRIENDS OF YOURS!!! I'M SENDING IT TO YOU SO YOU WOULD HELP IT TO FLY AROUND THE EARTH!!! AFTER SENDING THIS LETTER TO YOUR FRIENDS YOU'LL BE BROUGHT GOOD NEWS OR A SURPRISE!!!


I wonder if posting in the BLOG counts a sending to 20 people? If so, I'm im for some good luck!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Louis Bester on his "gutter" aeroplane

I have built myself a "gutter" airplane from 80mm square gutter downpipe as manufactured in South Africa by Marley. I had a 40-sized trainer wing left over from a previous aircraft and used this as the basic input into my design. The wing has a chord (width) of 270mm. Using some basic guidelines I made the bit between the prop backplate and the LE of the wing 1.5 x chord. The total length of the downpipe is therefore the wing chord + (1.5 x chord) = 2.5 x chord.

The fuselage part between the TE of the wing and the tail feathers is made of 20 x 20mm Obechi wood. Total length of this is 2.4 x wing chord. I allowed some extra length as I mounted the servos and the tail feathers on it as well. I made a H-type bracket out of 3-ply and mounted this and the servos directly onto the one end of the Obechi. The tail feathers were folded out of correx and mounted with self tappers directly onto the other end of the Obechi. I used normal 6mm dowels as pushrods between the servos and the tail feathers. This whole arrangement is mounted inside the Marley pipe with another set of self tappers, i.e. the servo end is mounted inside the pipe.

The aircraft is powered by a MVVS 49 with a mini-tune pipe and swinging a 10x6 prop - what an amasing engine. A word of advise should you wish to built this aircraft - keep the nose section long (1.5 x chord) otherwise you will have a problem (a) mounting the tank internally and (b) be required add a lot of weight to the tail in order to balance it.
The aircraft doesn't look as flashy as the ARFs but it flies like a dream. It is exceptionally strong as well and was extremely cheap to build - the 3 metre downpipe was R66 approximately. I would also highly recommend this aircraft as a trainer/ beginner/ Sunday flier.

Gliding postal results for May 2005 from John Lightfoot

Link to pdf with details

Monday, June 13, 2005

In memoriam -- Cliff Culverwell

Posted by Fran, his wife.

It is with great sadness that this comes to you.
Cliffie (Clifford Augustus Culverwell) passed away peacefully on Tuesday &8th June at noon(12.15 South African time). Cliffie was told on 17th Nov 2003(after almost 2 years of having test upon test done, for Drs to determine what the matter really was) and Proff Bill from the medical Faculty of the University of Natal, after a lengthy examination, confirmed it to be Motor Neuron Disease(MND or sometimes A L S)
There was in the medical field nothing that could stop, cure or prevent it. I nursed him as this debilitating illness claimed him, but eventually on 1/3/2004 he went into a frail-care clinic. Ten days he developed a cold, but with an all ready much deteriorate internally, the lungs were so weakened that it was soon a serious pneumonia. He was transported to Kingsway Hospital, I C U for the final stage
We cannot wish back, Cliff, who always had been a giant, with such skill and abilities, so great a heart, active to the time when he could no more had been subjected to the most devastating suffering, but never, never did he becry his fate. He kept his strong Faith in God, his Creator.
Much love. Fran.

Stephane du Ponsel's aircraft at the BERG F3B comp in June, makes a change from the same-old same-old F3B ships. Photo by Charles Flee.
Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Johan Beyers on wing servos

In my Shongololo and now my Pike Superior I have experimented a bit with different wing servo's to try to find ones that last longer than 6 months.

I have used JR 368 digital servo's, JR digital slim wing servo's, Hitec 125 analog wing servo's and various other types of plastic geared servos.

These planes suffer a huge aerodynamic load, and they have quite large flaps and ailerons. On landing you need crow braking and every so often I forget to tuck the flaps back in place before landing. This causes substantial force on the flaps and thus the servo gear trains.

As a result, my plastic geared servo's just did not last. In my view, the JR331 servo's are simply not up to the job. Considering your investment in the plane I think these servo's represent false economy.

I have thus resorted to metal geared servos.

I have found that the slim wing servo's - the Hitec 125 and the JR digital wing servos - suffer stripped gear trains on a regular basis. I have also experienced servo motor failures on the JR slim servo's. The JR368 servos lasted long, but it is a pricey servo, and there is a big current draw with digital servo's.
My suggestion would be to go for a 13mm thick metal geared servo like the Hitec 85MG. These servos are economical (about US$ 35 each from aircraft-world.com, compared to US$45 for the Hitec 125) and I think the added thickness (approx 13mm) gives a much stronger gear train than the slim wing servo's.

One must also bear in mind that, every time you want to replace the gears, the whole servo has to come out. If, like me, you epoxy the servo's in place, this is a mission, even if you tape the servo's before epoxying them in.

In the Peninsula Soaring competition on Sunday, I suffered a stripped gear train on a Hitec 125MG flap servo, and I was out of contention. If I had installed proper servo mounts in my wing, I could have replaced the stripped servo in 5 minutes and continued flying.

So I have now resolved to buy proper servo mounts from cubittsmodels.com (about R40 each) which are secure and which add no thickness to the servo installation. This also allows one to replace the stripped gears without damaging the servo - my JR wing servo's were glued in so securely that I had to router them out of the wing (even though they were masking taped before epoxying them in) thus destroying the servo. Had I spent a little extra to start off with, I would have been able to replace the gear train only with no damage to the servo.

Servo mounts also allow you to fine-tune the position of the servo output arm after installation - this is impossible once you have glued the servo in place.
As regards your Shongololo - mine suffered a catastrophic wing failure on launch due to a manufacturing defect related to the installation of the wing joiner tube. Unlike international manufacturers of planes like the Tragi or the Pike, you will find the manufacturer of the Shongololo singularly unsympathetic to your plight if this happens to you, so I suggest that you check that the wing skins are securely glassed to the joiner tube before you fly the plane. I have been told that several Shongololo's experienced this problem - maybe the manufacturer has attended to this defect since, I don't know.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards

Johan Beyers

Andre on the care of LiPos

Just a note for the guys that are not aware of it: always unplug your Lipo battery from the ESC when not in use (even if it has a on/off switch like for of trhe newer ESCs). I have seen a number of lipos damaged (discharged too low) after a week or two when connected to the ESC - it seems there is still a current draw to the ESC although it is switched off.

Another problem that I have noted is that some guys run their lipos too hot, which eventually destroys the battery (typically middle cell in a 3-cell pack). If the battery is too hot to hold in your hand after landing it will not last. Rather reduce the amp draw by using a smaller prop, limit flying times or use better quality battery. Rather have 2 five minute flights on the T-rex and allow time for cooling with the Align battery than one 10 minute flight, as it gets too hot after 10 mins with the standard Align motor.

Regards,

Andre

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A comparison of local and imported LiPo battery prices

Johan van Tonder of Ballistic RC provided the following table;
Any other dealers like to contribute?

I have compared prices with a leading Kokam retailer in the USA: FMAdirect

Price is calculated on the Dollar ($) exchange of 7 ZAR + 14% VAT, NO SHIPPING COSTS included for or from USA.

Lipo are not allowed to be shipped airfreight anymore from the USA. (TowerHobbies and FMAdirect)

Type Battery:
FMA Direct
BallisticRC

910mah 2S1P 15C
R 251.37 ($31.50)
R 278.00


910mah 3S1P 15C
R 369.15 ($46.26)
R 415.00


1250mah 2S1P 15C
R 310.82 ($38.95)
R 335.00


1250mah 3S1P 15C
R 442.89 ($55.50)
R 496.00


2000mah 2S1P 15C
R 454.46 ($56.95)
R 436.00


2000mah 3S1P 15C
R 666.33 ($83.50)
R 650.00


3200mah 2S1P 20C
R 786.03 ($98.50)
R 920.00


3200mah 3S1P 20C
R 1161.09 ($97.46)
R 1376.00

Johan

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Monday, May 23, 2005

The ballad of the Bubble Dancer by Ryan Woebkenberg

"The king is gone but he's not forgotten
This is the story of Johnny Rotten
It's better to burn out than it is to rust
The king is gone but he's not forgotten."



On the final round of the day in Cincinnati on Saturday, I had a battery failure on the Bubble Dancer. Final round was a 15 minute task. I had noticed before launching on the final round that my spoiler servo was buzzing. It normally does not buzz. When I moved the spoiler stick a bit, it stopped buzzing, so I thought I should be fine.

Launch was a bit low in the down wind conditions at the time of that launch. One pilot managed to find lift in that round and got pretty high. Not sure how the other guys did, as I pretty much fought my own fight that round. After about a minute and loosing most of my launch altitude, I found some decent lift but got pretty far down wind. After about 6 or so minutes into the task, I started back up wind. I worked my way up wind for about 2 minutes, until I found a small patch of lift over a lone tree. At this point I was probably at about 100 feet of altitude.

I worked this bubble for the next several minutes. Re-cored a number of times. About 12 or 13 minutes into the task, I noticed that the plane did not want to change diameter of the circles. I gave hard right stick, nothing. I tried to see if I could stall it, nothing. Gave full spoiler nothing. At this point, I realized I did not have the plane.

So I of course go running after the plane. That seems to be the first instinct when something like this happens. I ran after the plane as it started to thermal higher (and move down wind). On my run, John Dinitz from JR pulled up behind me in his vehicle and offered to drive and chase the BD. I hop in his SUV, and we drive down the roads at Voice of America Park. We get to a closed road and ask the security guy if we can go through as we were chasing a plane. He said we could not, so I thanked John for the lift and took off on foot. I chased the plane about another half mile, and finally stopped to at least get a line on it as it seemed to be descending. Then, of course right as soon as it descended it would climb again. I stopped and watched it for what seemed like forever. It eventually disappeared from sight in the sky. Probably at 500 to 1000 feet of altitude. It seemed odd to just turn back when I could still see it, but I knew that it was so far away and thermalling so nicely that it
was unlikely I would be able to run it down on foot.

On the walk back to the field, John came around in his car again. He drove me back to the flight line. He said he took another route around that closed road after he dropped me off. He had driven about 2 or 3 miles after the plane. He eventually got to a point where it was low (and over a park). But then of course it re-cored the lift and went up and out of sight.

Even though I was not able to recover the plane, I really appreciated John's help. He could have missed his flight assignment but he chose to help me chase after the plane anyway. John is a heck of a good guy, and JR has been supporting the OVSS series very well. I have been a JR customer since 1996 when I purchased my 783. I have bought gear from other manufacturers since (as well as a ton of JR servos and receivers. I'm particularly fond of the 610 for use in small HLGs and other small planes). JR has found another lifetime customer in that small act of camaraderie on Saturday.

My last image of that Bubble Dancer was it working the lift masterfully. As much as it hurts too loose a plane that took me 7 months to build (not to mention the gear including the good JR servos), I like to think it is still up there somewhere, still working thermals. My name, AMA number, and phone number are inside the canopy, so if anybody finds a red, white, and blue Bubble Dancer in Ohio, Indiana, or Kentucky, please give me a call.

Ryan

Highveld Thermal League number 2. Photo by Evan Shaw.
Posted by Hello

Friday, May 20, 2005

Andre on Slow Fly prop balancing

I have seen many guys struggling to balance a prop by scraping or sanding down the heavy blade. This is especially a problem with the electric or slow fly props, because you do not have that much material to scrape away (blades are lighter & thinner on electric props as you do not have the same vibration/eccentric forces than on IC motors).

What I have found to work best is having a small can of clear aerosol spray lacquer paint handy - simply spray the back of the lighter blade until it balances! I have been using the same can of paint since 2002, so it is worth investing in a can of paint.

Andre

John Cunningham on the 2005 Aerobatic Nats

Link to John's report. Not only is John an Old Master of aerobatics he is also a Master when it comes to a report.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Paula Denysschen on the Graaff Reinet Jet Fly In

The fly in that was organized by Ross in Cape Town from the 27th April to 2nd May was an absolute blast! Graaff Reinet is a very pretty Karoo Town situated on the route from Bloemfontein to Port Elizabeth in the eastern Cape. The town, with its prominent white painted houses, lies at the foot of a mountain range. There is a road that takes you to the top of the mountain overlooking the town and the valley of desolation. From there you cannot only see into the future but also into the past.
The actual activity took place on the municipal airstrip just out side the town.

On arrival at the airfield on Wednesday afternoon after the trek from Gauteng all the Capetonians had already parked their trailers, their planes were already assembled and had done a flight or two. By Thursday morning everybody had arrived barring Chris and Terry who only arrived on Friday morning. After a short pilots briefing it was time to fly. The weather for the whole of the weekend was absolutely awesome. In the early part of the day it was breathless but in the afternoon we had a breeze straight down the runway. There was a good spread of planes to be seen ranging from scale planes to jets.

Some of the Cape Town boys used the weekend to sort out their new jet models as well as themselves, but by the end of the weekend they were pro's. Bernard Langa from Cape Town flew a large Ultimate Bipe, which at times performed some very precise aerobatics. The times when it did not perform so well was when he tried to pretend it was a large Helicopter.

Zane Mannell flew his Eurosport now fitted with an AMT Pegasus, which has vertical performance like a home-sick angel. Brian Martin who has also now joined the jet scene flew an identical colour Eurofighter as Zane's. He also used the weekend to come to grips with jets and by Sunday was flying formation aerobatics with Zane. It was good to see a few ducted fans tearing up the skies as well.

Oloff Schoemann was at his normal self -- arriving at the field with an incomplete aircraft. At last years outing to Graaff Reinet he worked on a plane and was ready for test flight on the last day but due to a strong cross wind he did not manage to test fly the model. This time round he completed the model and managed a test flight. The aeroplane is a Boet - Cat that actually belongs to Norman Kempsley who was to make the trip down with us from Gauteng but at the last minute cancelled due to work commitments. Better luck next time Norman.

Not everyone had a good long weekend in the sun as some were plagued with some sort of bad luck or misfortune. About four jets were totalled but the worst and saddest was the B.A Hawk belonging to Christo Groenewald from Cape Town, which on maiden flight after not even one minute in the sky went into a severe spiral straight into the ground and burst into flames. It took the team of salvage hunters a long time to locate the wreck, which landed in the adjacent nature reserve. They had to make use of a full size plane to spot it from the sky, after which they managed to find what was left of the plane.

Another group of pilots who made the trek to Graaff Reinet were the men from Upington. Alex flew his F15 with ease but was plagued with a sick controller on his Raffael. Terry clocked more flights on his good old trusted Dominator but Chris had his fair share of gremlins that crept into his F16.

On Friday evening an organized braai was held in the nature reserve, which was attended by just about all the pilots, and on Sunday evening everyone went to a local restaurant for a social evening. All in all it was a great weekend spent with a wonderful bunch of modellers from all around the country. So watch out for the dates for 2006.

A special thanks goes to Brian Jones who helped with the organizing with the local club, municipality and he organized the accommodation for those he needed help.

A few prizes were arranged just as a good gesture to some pilots -

Best Prop - Bernard Langa - Ultimate
Best Jet - Zane Mannell - Eurosport
Best Test Flight - Ross Holing - F20
Best Aircraft - Bernard Langa - Ultimate
Best Jet - Ray Anderson - Pantha
Hard Luck - Christo Groenewald - BA Hawk

Then their were a few joker prizes handed out just for fun which was best geriatric and was deservedly won by Ross Leighton . The worst fireman went to Bernard for pointing the fire extinguisher at his foot instead of at the fire in Ross's aircraft. I can think of a few other titles that come to light for prizes and that is for the pilot who brings an unfinished aircraft and actually completes it at the event. This year there were at least three pilots in the running to compete for first place. I must say Oloff won the race, it must be due to his experience as this was his third attempt. Other prizes could go to the most miserable pilot or the hardest working helper. The list could go on and on. Lastly a special thanks to all the pilots who attended the weekend, as well as those who made the weekend possible.

WEBSITE
For those of you that have noticed and those who have shown concern about the website not being updated for a long time, the problem is with the web site host. In the past Phil ran the whole process but since he has not got the facility to host the site he has made use of another service provider. Apparently there is a problem getting access to their site for changes and updating of information. At present the service is free of charge. It has now become quite embarrassing and something has to be done about it. We are going to do some investigating and come up with an alternative provider. If we have to pay for the service then so be it. If anyone can assist with information regarding this problem please contact either Boet or Phil, it will be greatly appreciated by all.

NEWSLETTERS

For those that receive the newsletters via email from the Jet Association and are unhappy about receiving them please feel free to send me a email to have your name removed from the mailing list, as you are under no obligation to receive it.

NEW JET PILOTS
Due to dealers passing on email addresses and information of new pilots that have joined the ranks the list of Jet pilots in the whole country has grown by 0 percent. It is in your interest as well as ours to keep the list updated so please send us the info. For the pilots who forwarded their info to the committee we welcome you and hope to see you sometime, somewhere at a fly in.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Tom Copp on the length of servo horns

Tom Copp posted this on the F3F Yahoo group.
I have his permission to reproduce it here...

Are your servo control horns too long?

Your servo control horns are too long if:

You re got the rates cranked down for that servo.

Your end points or travel volumes are well below 100%

You have lots of Expo on that servo.

You are always breaking gears.

If you re only moving the servo 10 or 15 degrees for full throw you are not using all available travel and your resolution for that control surface is null. It would be better replaced with a button.

Sometime a unique install is needed because of bad servo placement or ?? and a long arm is needed to short cut the fix or its simply was no other solution.

On a normal installation using 75 degrees or more servo movement for full deflection will get you a very smooth and controlled input and result in better feel You can make small changes in flight input and get small changes out of your model. Yes it will slow down your rate of deflection but if you re the guy with long arms and 5 cell packs that keeps us ducking for cover on race day learn the ZEN secret of slowing down to go fast


Tom Copp

Friday, May 13, 2005

Keith Williams on Iso Mounts

A lot of us pattern flyers make our own iso mounts. This is how:

1. Use silicone glue and make a layer of around 2mm directly onto the back (circular/square) section of your motor mount. Once the silicone is on, lay it flat on a piece of wax paper, make sure that the silicone is relatively even all the way round & leave to dry. Once dry, pull off the piece of wax paper and trim any excess silicone around the outer & inner edges of the mount. You can now pull the silicone off the back of your mount and you will have a nice silicone ring or square. I normally just leave it stuck to the back of the mount.

2.Buy 4 small rubber tap washers and similar sized metal washers. Place your mounting bolts through these with the metal washer closest to the head of the bolt and the tap washer next. Now cut 4 pieces of fuel tubing which will be long enough to fit through your mount & the silicone stuck to the back of the mount. Slide one of these pieces of silicon onto each bolt behind the tap washer.

3.Re-drill the holes in your engine mount which are used for bolting the mount to the firewall so that they are big enough to allow the piece of thick silicone fuel tubing through. Insert the bolts with thewashers and silicon tubing through the engine mount & you now have a very effective iso mount.

Cheers

Keith

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Claude's report on the 2005 Aerobatic Nats in Bloem.

I think Claude must be a follower of Jackie Chan. This is a perfect example of; "...give me a report, detailed and simple, starting at the beginning".

The Magical South African Aerobatics Champs
2005 in Bloemfontein- Orange Freeze State.


1. The journey home from the Nats must be one of the saddest journeys that a pattern pilot can experience, but when you reminisce about all the old friendships that were renewed, and the new friendships that were made...the journey suddenly does not seem that sad - a smile breaks out all over your face - it was all so worth it! Somehow in our hobby, we always find a positive experience, and immediately start planning for next year's trip... There is no one event in the calendar of aerobatics that can conjure up so much magic - such powerful magic - the magicians being all the pilots, Oom Danie who is always there, Digby & his dogs, Walter, his kitchen staff, the scorers, the cool drink vendors, the little runner, the TX control, the judges, as well as all the supporters - they all seem to be able to create some magic. Thank you one & all! I will always remember a comment made by Lindsey Ousman, who in years gone by when she controlled the Novice (Sportsman nowadays) flight line, she said that it was a wonderful experience to meet these fine young men starting the journey to the Masters flight line - the magic starts right there...
2. If I ever have to hear the joke "How do you know when a person is from Cape Town? The answer: They will tell you!" Then I will shoot the teller!! When you sit around at the Nats, you will end up at sometime or another in the company of Digby, who in recent years, I must warn you, has not matured into a 'Graceful old Man'. Just to get the angle right here: Digby's email address is 'oldfart'@ mweb.co.za'. Now whenever Digby tells a joke at the Nats during one of his many highly intellectualized (indabas) discussion groups, the joke spreads around the Nats like wild fire. Digby must have told the above joke at about 3.25pm on Sat, and by 4.25 pm I was told that same joke at least 5 more times - even my son Kurt, who does not generally tell jokes, had to tell us this joke. He does not know how close he came to total annihilation! The other joke that did it's rounds goes like this: An inexperienced pilot is flying a Boeing, and radios the control tower desperately asking for help, telling them that he is upside down. Control asks him how does he know that he is upside down. His reply 'because there is something warm & smelly running up my neck!' Now these 2 jokes have reached the level of 'Digby's Urban Legend class joke status' (like the helicopter 'hurl' statement). Please use them on unsuspecting club members, not at anyone that been to the Nats - he would most probably have heard it 50 times by now - you may suffer sharp pains to the head if you do... For a list of Digby's Nats Urban Legend type jokes, please ask him to repeat all 465 thousand of them at the next 'highly intellectualized' indaba at the next Nats... OK...
3. ......Happy Birthday Amanda (Pierre.M's Wife)........From Louw, Jane, Josh & the gang for CapeTown as well as all who attended the Nats. . May God bless you & your family.
4. The Nats began with the Wednesday being the official practice day. The weather was brilliant... This phrase I would have to repeat for each day thereafter, so instead of being repetitious, accept that the weather was stunning all the way through... The lines of aircraft to fly were so long that it took an hour or more to get a second practice round in, but all in good spirit, no jumping the Q was allowed. This was the time when the prelim sassing out the enemy began - checking on what type of aircraft your main rival was flying, and asking him 'polite' questions to sass out his weaknesses... From here on the nerve-ends started twitching... Now here I must say I have an advantage - in the expert division that I fly in, all had the high-tech '2x2' planes, while I had a plane I borrowed from Nazeem Harris for the competition, as my trusty old Super Tiger broke a crankshaft just the day before we packed for the Nats, so the chances of me being anything other than last was a distinct possibility. But let me not use the aircraft as an excuse - my pattern-ability is also highly suspect! If you are last (Percentage Challenged...to be politically correct) you can't do any worse, so you have no reason to stress... I was contemplating going up to Masters next year, so even when I come last in Masters, I can at least say I fly in the Master Class...
5. Now from day One, it was evident that Walter & his team were very well jacked up - the food stalls were in place, the cool drinks stand was pulled in place and shade was erected. But as pattern pilots are generally passionate about their models, after CRF erected a tent that gave us a large shaded area, the pilots soon took advantage & placed their models in the shade, & chose to rather bake in the hot burning sun themselves... Priorities is what it's all about - skin cancer is easier to fix than an expensive spray job on your ship (Medical Aid pays...) And those who could not find shade for their aircraft bought a aircraft 'panty' @ R280.00 each to cover the planes - these very same meddlers were moaning about the price of sun lotion that costs R50.00 for a large bottle, it all boils down to priorities... Plane comes first always.....
6. On a fine & bright sunny morning, the first flights took of under the ever watchful eye of - who else but 'Oom Danie' Potgieter (where he gets the energy from I don't know - if I was to make an infomercial about some energy drink, I would use Danie, as he never seems to run out of steam - I have an idea that he is in some way Nuclear powered). Anyway, all the contestants were lined up & ready to go after a brief pilot's briefing in which 'The Don' (Ivan.O) gave us flyers a brief but interesting insight into what the judges would be looking for. The judging panel would be rotated so that every flight u flew, you would do so with a different combination of judges... The trend to have a female judge on the flight line has intrigued me for a little while - I'm wondering if the fact that females can multi task has something to do with it...(just a note here: females can multi task by doing many things at once, men on the other had can also multitask - by screwing up many things at once)... Now here I'm letting myself in for a blasting from the fairer sex... they would be able to keep the line neat & tidy, not the way an all male judging panel looks like with empty cool drink cans, empty packets of chips or 'toppies' strewn all over the immediate grass... Or is it that it keeps the judges from using 4 letter words, as they have to respect the presence of the fairer sex? Now for the clanger... it is common knowledge that females in general talk more than males, but on a flight line with 'Die Bek' - our walking talking Judge-line entertainment centre Christo (our highly esteemed & well paid judge from Cape Town) would have competition... It is also cheaper to bribe a female judge as females will generally melt when presented with chocolates & flowers, & with the rest of the bribe money I could pay off my account at the hobby shop... Urban Legend-type quote from Digby - and I quote: "I'm the best Judge money can buy..." I wonder how many 4 letter words Christo had to swallow when describing some of the manoeuvres, because of female presence on the line...
7. In the Sportsman category, the first round battle lines were drawn between Dirk & Anton with a mere .33% difference, then Kallie & Hugo were embroiled in a fight with a 2% gap, and lower down, or to be politically correct, the percentage challenged Ozzie, Quinton & Marius were having it out...
8. In the advanced category Tommy & Josh with Josh in the lead by 2% were slogging it out - a pity that Calvin had motor problems. The big ding dong battle starts with both 'Ou Toppies' Digby, Pierre.F at 60.39% & Stephan.F a mere .13% better than them ... only 3.01% between the first 5....this was the battle royal to watch... The next ding-dong was led by Francios.v.P on 55.5% with Danie.K & Nico.E on 51% & Rodney in close pursuit - unfortunately Damion's engine did not like the cold Bloem air & flamed out...
9. In the Expert Division Marcel flew a stunning round scoring 61.56% followed by Kurt with a 60.05%, Martin.E in third position with 58.89% & Walter on 58.6%, closely followed by Chris.T on 55% and at the tail end, yours truly on 49%... I suspect that my bad scores are as a result of calling the 'Donners' all sorts of things in the past - it's obviously not my impeccable flying that got these bad scores... Just for those who don't know... 'Donners' is not a derogatory term - it is derived from chief judge Ivan who is affectionately known as 'The Don' so the other judges are by default called 'Donners'... Geddit...?
10. P-05 - for those who are not schooled in aerobatics, means 'Die Groot Kokkedoore' or put in proper Oxford English, 'The Great Koke Doors' . They were off to a good start with battle lines drawn between Pierre.M. who was off to an early lead after putting in a stunning flight of 77.87%, followed closely by André's impeccable flying with a score of 76.34% & Danie on 72.69% with his new stunning Eye Candy design, followed by Kaapie Marc Wolffe with 70.23% & Carel.G with his Evolis on 68.29% another Kaapie Nazeem with 65.28% with Bert.B from the Eastern Cape on 64.72%....
11. Above a helicopter pilot's bathroom mirror... 'Warning: Objects in mirror are dumber than they appear'.
12. Now unknown to many, the Kaapies had a rather sinister reason for coming to the Nats... We were a large contingent, so we could easily hide our ulterior motives i.e. to get all the Gold back to Cape Town. Not in the usual way the Kaapies would do it - that involves the use of firearms & other means of extortion - this time we got our equipment from 'Spy's are us'...we were determined to find what André, Pierre & Danie do to impress the Judges, so with our spy equipment in place at 'Kaapse Draai'..(our campsite at the Nats) we filmed with high speed cameras, using the latest motion enhancing software, all the motions of the top pilots... Now the idea was to film André & Pierre during their flight - we finally, after much editing & careful scrutiny, found the secret... Now picture the flight line: The 2 male 'Donners' & a female 'Donneress' sitting in their comfy Judging type chairs - André & Pierre walk out from behind the judges chairs, Danie brings up the rear with the ever faithful Quantum... as they pass the Judges, something strange happens: They synchronize their walk... Long very accurately measured steps (we all know how André builds planes accurate to the nearest .0000005th of a micron...) so now each step is exactly 1.023 meters long, Pierre is in perfect sync with André, but as they pass the judges, heads are held high, like 2 sexy models on the catwalks... the TX is rested on André's stomach, the caller & pilot now in perfectly synchronized step, walk to the starting area... Danie holds the aircraft at an exact 94 degree angle, André in a totally casual mode flicks the prop, the engine comes to life in an instant... it is gently revved to warm up. Happy with the engine, Andre & Pierre synchronize their steps again, long strides back to the pilots area, and plant themselves firmly in front of the judges, exactly 1.23 metres between them... (at this point they relax a bit)... Now for the neck-ser-size, both André & Pierre in unison move their heads from side 2 side 4 times (synchronized of course), then the posture settling manoeuvre, i.e. moving the bum from side-to-side, rapidly followed by the shoulder side-to-side adjustment. Now at this point, this position they are now in, will be referred to as 'The Stance'. Pierre then checks if André's all settled in. He then gets 'The Nod'. Now Danie, who has by now carefully placed the Quantum on the runway, looks at Pierre, and their eyes meet. With a very calculated action, without upsetting The Stance, Pierre gives Danie 'The Release Nod', who on this command releases the beast, turns around, and looking the Judges strait in the eye (which is hard to do as it's very seldom that their eyes are actually open) walks back, using the regulation size steps... At this point, I think the judges are totally intimidated. All the calling is done in 'The Stance' mode. On landing, Pierre turns to the judges and gives a graceful 'thank you m'lud' nod - this nod is different from the 'Airplane Release' nod as this one is much slower & is accompanied with a smile as well, as it starts from the Boep upwards... He then proceeds to collect the Quantum, still using regulation size steps, and returns the plane to the pit area, giving the judges a second smile and a little nod just as he passes them. If you ever want to be in the winners circle, you would need to pay attention to these finer details of the 'stance' & the 'nod' must be worked on and perfected if you want to be in the wining circle... On a lighter note, when Bert B gets to the pilots area and in an effort to settle himself, he moves his feet like Tiger Woods does just before putting, except after Burt does this manoeuvre, Walter & his team have to patch up the paintwork at the pilots area as Burt had trampled right through the paint.
13. The second morning started off with a vengeance. Those who had to fly the early morning line had my sympathy - this must be the most difficult line of all. The pilot has no decent references, nor does the poor caller, except for the flags... As a matter of interest, whoever thought of using Correx boards for flags needs to get a medal for meritorious service to pattern - one is able to see these easily... well done CRF...
14. I don't know if you know about Carel's (who is a Boeing pilot) suspension from SAA. He was able to take part in the last Great Western Province Championships because he was suspended from duty when he did a 4-point roll with a Boeing to keep the passengers entertained... The 1st class passengers did not like it as they have all the sexy air-hostesses to keep them entertained, as well as TV. But back in the cattle pen... nothing... so Carel, being the nice person he is, decided to entertain the working class by doing a 4-point roll as I mentioned in the WP Champs report... These old well oiled 'old f**ts' in 1st class were very upset as their Klippies & coke spilt, their dentures fell out & their gazillion Rand 'natural' hair toupees fell off while he was inverted... (this was embarrassing as the sexy air hostesses had to collect the toupees & put them back in place )... Back in the economy class, the seats are so narrow that you get shoe-horned in, so when Carel was inverted, they could not fall out... Now to make amends, Carel decided that he would reverse all the damage he had done, so he did a reverse 4-point roll the next time he was on duty... He still does not understand why, once again, they suspended him... Shame on SAA - they should get a life!!!!... Once a pattern pilot, always a pattern pilot...
15. Every morning when like clockwork Walter's true love Myrna, and her crew, would come around for breakfast orders. Everybody that ordered breakfast was pleasantly surprised that there was so much to eat that u had some left over to nibble on for lunch... Well done! The kitchen was run by Myrna van Huyssteen, Liesl Schreuder& Dorothy Ferreira - it was always a good feeling when one went to order food as the food was always freshly made, like they do at top class restaurants... the food was also made with so much care & love... Very tasty & it came with broad smiles from the kitchen slaves... Many thanks from all. Most pattern flyers will not know about top class restaurants in any case, because once one has finished paying for a 2x2, all you can afford is to sit on the pavement with a packet of fish & chips...
16. Now young Julian Bode did a sterling job of running, i.e. taking the scores from the judges to the scorers. Now if you work this out, there were 33 pilots, the distance being 100 meters per trip, so in effect young Julian did a total of 12,300 meters of running during the contest... I take my hat off & have the greatest admiration for this young man... 100 cheers for Julian... this is more running than the average pattern pilot does in a year or 2... (can u believe that pattern pilots actually run?)
17. Did you know that the judges had to fill in a total of 2496 individually-scored manoeuvres at this Nationals (some of the manoeuvres had the judges baffled, as some of us decided to re-write the schedule - I hope the judges realize what flying genius it takes to invent such complex manoeuvres in front of a panel of respected judges as we had - Brownie points for me to be scored here)...
18. Anyone can give up smoking, but it takes a real man to face cancer.
19. At the braai on the Saturday night, all the stories were told, & retold & retold... depending on the number of beers consumed... Then out of the blue, Walter decided to do some night flying. He set up a model with red & green light strips on the wings, and did an outline of the body with a yellow light strip... and took off. It was as if one was in wonderland - the aircraft behaved well... It was the most successful night flying I have ever witnessed - but come time for the landing, Walter forgot that in the dark you cannot see the runway - so he klapped the ground with one almighty bump... but received a standing ovation nonetheless... Now it was back to the beer stall for some further 'light refreshment'... Remember...booze is good food... All at the braai had a wonderful time... After we all returned home from the Nats, somehow the braai is one of the events that stay's with you... It's the pattern camaraderie that wins...
20. Somehow the Central Radio Flyers convinced the powers from Above to bless the Nats with the great weather we experienced, but I suspect that they had an ulterior motive as one of the first 'things' that was moved in place was the drinks caravan. With the hot sun beating down on us all day, Braam le Roux & Jaco Myburgh were kept busy all day, selling ice cold, I mean ice cold cool drinks to the thirsty masses. Not often does it happen at events such as these that we can get cold cool drinks & beers all day long... Thank u chaps for always being so pleasant - it goes a long way to making this event the success that it was.....
21. Now if the Judges are called 'Donners' as derived from 'The Don', then what do we call the people that come from Bloemfontien... Bloomers?
22. On the Saturday afternoon the wind had swung through 180 degrees, so all the flying was reversed... This led to some interesting situations, for those who practice in one direction only beware... Rodney, one of our club members, had to fly 3 rolls from right 2 left, something he had never practiced, so he went into what can only be described as 'highly confused mode' - the rolls looked more like 'Koeksusters' and the loops like... thinking of something here... it is actually quite hard to describe what it was... At the dead centre of town, next to the flying field, they were laying some poor soul to rest. Rodney nearly took out the preacher man... but we were not too worried about that, as in our ranks, we also have a preacher man who could easily have continued the service... Rodney came so close to the procession that the poor soul that they were saying good bye to, had another heart attack... Quinton, our own preacher man, is so good at his job that every time before I 'call' for him, I have to say a prayer - for me...
23. I Have decided that the detailed scores are of so little consequence that I will not go into a blow for blow description of what happened - I will add the detailed round-for-round score as an attachment to this report... Who wants to be bothered with stupid things like scores when we are having so much fun...
24. Scoring was done in the same place as TX control - this area was as expected always busy - Pierre Fouché was in charge of scoring & did a wonderful job, never wavered under pressure. Thanks Pierre...
25. TX Control was handled by Riaan Bezuidenhoudt, who did a sterling job - not one incident of TX problems - thanks for keeping our models safe......we know it's a thankless job but a vital one, a heart full thanks once again.
26. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it (Confucius). Now with this profound statement from such a learned one as Confucius, I think we must send all our judges on a cultural awareness course because according to my score sheets, they could see no beauty... they need to be sensitised to the finer things in life - like my flying... they also need to be more sensitive to the feelings of pilots... Some pilots went out of their way to be creative on the flight line, reinventing some old & boring manoeuvres, and inventing some brand new ones, but do you think they were impressed? NOOO... Shame on you judges...
27. Heard in ready-box 1: The only reason that judges love the new 'Big & Fat' type of aircraft, is that they are so blind that that is all they can see...
28. Proof that evolution can go in reverse: A renegade & disgruntled pattern pilot left pattern for helicopters...
29. Two of Cape Town's old Springbok flyers made a special effort to be at these Nats... (when I say old I actually mean ancient... but one has sometimes to be politically correct) John Cunningham & Johnny Califato (aka JC2) - they came up all the way to help another old meddler, Digby, to get to the flight line on time. They had to carry the poor old soul out to the runway - the problem was that they had to start carrying him from the pit area (after a hot cup of heavy water) at about 7am the morning, in order to get to the runway at 12... all of them had to rest up after every 2 steps - we also had to have perde-medics in attendance in case of emergency... But if any of these 3 had a heart attack, we would not know as it would be pretty normal to not see any signs of life for a hour or so... This is what kind of friendships are built around the Nats - even the old & infirm with fading memories such as this duo helped poor old 'Die Hard Digby' to the line.. Another problem was that the caller had to use an extra loud loudhailer as even Digby's 539 hearing aid has stripped a gear... He had his TX custom made out of copper as well as copper sticks, as this helps with the arthritis... It also has a container on the side of the TX to carry the heart pills - just in case... and a plastic bag discreetly taped to his leg disguised as a vericlose vein, for you-know-what kind of emergency on the flight line... Now for the 'thing': When old men go through a midlife crisis, they always end up by dating a young 'Babe'... To prove to all that he still has 'it' (but old meddlers such as Digby do it differently), he flies one of Danie's latest eye-catching design's the 'Eye-Candy' done up in striking colours, as well as some serious airbrush work on the plane... This is an example of 'pattern pilot midlife crisis'... At the next Nats John. C & the other one will appear with even younger models, just to show us 'Who's your Daddy'... Digby got a 66.20% for that flight... Congrats Old Man...
30. Just imagine... Digby's caller in a very refined voice: '...and the next manoeuvre - three rolls!!' After a slight pause, Digby says: 'What did you say?' The caller, louder and a little less refined: 'I said THREE ROLLS...' Digby again: 'What did you say?' Caller again, much louder this time, turning the loudhailer to max and in a totally pi**sd-off voice: '.I S A I D T H R E E R O L L S!!' Digby once again: 'What did you say?' Caller now totally beside himself: 'Ag forget it man, next manoeuvre is a Humpty Bump' 'What did you say?' After a flight like this, Digby lands & remarks to the judges that he must change his caller since his caller was suffering from laryngitis...
31. Peninsula Radio Flyers, who had a team of 8 pilots in various categories at the Nats, want to thank René & Peter of Southern Hobbies for giving the PRF team a generous donation of fuel - they sponsored all the fuel the PRF flyers flew on... Thanks Southern Hobbies... They also gave us the use of the Southern Hobbies 'Big' trailer that took up most of our models. Also thanks to Christo 'Judge Dred' for the use of his trailer...
32. The Committee of Central Radio Flyers were able to get valuable sponsorship from Dunlop the rubber people, as well as Kloppers, a well known sales house in Bloem, as well as Pinnacle Micro - thanks from all the flyers that attended the Nats, to these generous souls who through their generosity oiled the wheels (that just happened to have Dunlop tyres on them) that kept the Nats wheels rolling - Kloppers placed the judges in stunning camping chairs - they lived in the lap of luxury on the line, with their thermal flasks that were sponsored by Pinnacle Micro... Thanks for keeping these 'old grumps' comfortable on the line - who knows what would have happened if they were not so well looked after?
33. Just as a matter of interest: Peninsula Radio Flyers fielded a team of 8 pilots in all four categories at the Nats... Just goes to prove that if one small club in Cape Town can do this, pattern is alive & well... It's all about how you train your beginners at your club when you teach them to fly - u teach them pattern basics. From there on, it's plane sailing, as they say in the classics. I believe that Tygerberg has taken up the 'fight' under the watchful eye of John Cunningham, an 'old' Springbok flyer, with great success... Let the clubs around the country start implementing a 'Pattern is Alive' campaign from grassroots level...
34. Marc Wolffe thought he was very 'laarnie' when he did a side-slip cross-wind landing on one of his flights, but forgot to straighten out before he hit the runway - the result was a badly graunched wingtip & a retract that stripped its gears... Some of these Master pilots must go back to the Sportsman class to learn how to land...
35. The last day of the Nats was used for a final round for the P05 Flyers, in other words 'Die Groot Kokkedore'. There was tension in all quarters, round after round was carefully watched by all, the flying was spectacular - from a layman's point of view, I had difficulty in separating the top 3 pilots' manoeuvres - they flew textbook manoeuvres. There was a hush over the field when they flew - this was pattern at it's very best... It was where all pattern pilots want to end up sometime in the future... then André, Pierre & Danie said that they would share some of their secrets with us. A lesson in calling & setting up aircraft followed, every word they spoke was hung onto by the other pilots & callers alike... Thanks fellows, it was great help... and thanks for being such great sportsmen by sharing & helping us to become better pilots - we are lucky to have such true champions in our midst, that have the interest of pattern at heart... Thanks once again fellows...
36. Louw was, putting it diplomatically, 'extremely agitated' when Josh landed with retracts in during a practice flight on Saturday - he had to repair the trusty old Swallow...then became heated up a degree or 59 when Josh, during one of his competition flights, did a 10 point landing & halfway down the runway decided to pull the wheels back up... Shame on you Josh if the old man has an 'ajal'... Cape Town's slang for a heart attack - it will be all your fault...
37. JMC hobbies put up a trade stand at the show... What a relief to know that in an emergency spares were at hand... Just a note here: When a stand with chucky gliders makes its appearance at a event such as the Nationals, I see the little boys & girls playing with these gliders... their creative imagination converts these gliders into the most powerful 2x2 pattern machines - I wonder how many dreams of being a pattern pilots, or even a full size pilot started here... I wonder... thank you Peet Venter of JFC hobbies to helping to build dreams...
38. Now for the final episode of the Bloem Nats 2005 - the prize giving... Now before I start on describing what can only be called an evening of pure magic... One point I wish to bring to the fore: The organizers of the Nats did a sterling job in staging the Nats - we salute them... Now, at the Prize Giving Ball, it was obvious that a lot more space was allowed for people than had actually attended. Walter & his team had spent endless hours of hard work to get such a stunning venue for the function. This function is an integral part of the Nats; it's the high point of the Nats for the contesting pilots. I wish to appeal to the sensitivities of all the pilots & supporters: Please honour Walter, Pierre & all those at Central Radio Flyers who had put in all the hard work into making this such a momentous occasion, as well as to honour the pilots who for years practiced hard, spent many hours at the field come rain or shine - this banquet is our way or honouring their effort, lets celebrate with them, in simple terms honour them with your presence... Let us make it a night to remember... It's all part of the Magic of the Nats...
39. The City of Bloemfontein must in my humble opinion rate as on of the most progressive cities in the country. Councillor Rassie Erasmus delivered a welcoming speech to all at the Banquet, making all the visitors to Beautiful Bloemfontein feel so welcome - he went to great lengths to explain how he & his fellow city councillors felt about aeromodeling and how they would support initiatives that encouraged visitors to the city, and how aeromodelling was creating a recreational opportunity for the local people... I hope that other city councils could take a leaf out of Mr Erasmus' book and support our sport... .Many thanks from all the pattern pilots in the country... Rassie you are the greatest... The hall was decorated in such a way that it felt the same way Alice felt in Wonderland... Digby did duty as MC for the evening, telling many modelling anecdotes ... The presentation and announcement of the winners was left to Pierre Fouche, who had the privilege of presenting the winners with the floating trophies as well as most exquisite trophies which were crafted by Johan Els, a club member of Central Radio Flyers. Those who were lucky enough to win these, will I'm sure, treasure them... Pierre started from the 'Sportsman' category - the winner in this division was Dirk van Rhyn with a score of 69.67%, with Anton Pretorius & Kallie Beukes in close pursuit in second & third places respectively. In the Advanced category Tommy Dreyer took first place with Josh Smit only 0.51% behind him, Calvin Schroll took third place, but I must add that he had a lot of bad luck at the competition - Calvin scored the highest single score in this division of 73.57%.... well done Calvin & good luck for the future... In the Expert category Kurt MacKrill took first place with a score of 62.95%, followed by Marcel Bode on 60.22% & Walter van Huysteen in third place with 59.95%.. .well done chaps, this was a hard fought battle, as the leader ship changed a few times. Now to the Groot Kokkedoore - P05. André Stockwell took the honours with a well deserved score of 78.10%, followed by Pierre Marias on 77.53% & Danie Potgieter on 74.51%. Now, at this point Digby had to leave, as his wonderful wife was not feeling well... Best wishes & good health to her from all... Pierre Marais took over the job as MC/Auctioneer... Happy Birthday Amanda.... Now as has become tradition, Pierre auctioned off a flying jacket that was donated by Peninsula Radio Flyers, and which fetched R450,00 as well as some modelling goodies donated by Peet Venter of JMC hobbies which fetched a further R600.00 Carel Germishuys (Springbok Team Manager) also announced that he had started an initiative to get in funds for the team's travelling expenses - all you had to do was to send an SMS & by so doing, donated R 30.00 to the team's travelling expenses... Now last but not least, I must mention the food at the Banquet... There was a selection of food that could please any palate. The food was prepared by student chefs that were being trained by the Bloemfontein City Council - I must congratulate Rassie Erasmus once again - the spread was stunning - the mere fact that so many went up for seconds, one could deduce that the food was absolutely divine... Congrats and a heartfelt thanks to all those unknown trainee chefs & the charming ladies that cleared the tables - you were all a part of a wonderful organization that made our trip to Bloemfontein so worthwhile ... Thanks once again to all the contestants, the organizers , the judges, little Julian Bode, the 'marathon' runner...to each & every person that took the time out to be there ....You made the Magic that was Nats 2005 Bloemfontein...

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