Saturday, January 15, 2005

Savas Nicolaides on the 2004 Aerobatic masters


Although traditionally the South African Aerobatic Masters event, is a qualifying procedure during the course of the year to be eligible for an invitation to the event, the MAASA Committee decided that this years event, to be an open event. Reasoning behind this is generally to increase the level of activity countrywide, to promote aerobatics and to show all prospective pilots out there what a competition is all about. This decision was welcomed by all, and we had 25 entries. MAASA also provided 10 judges, 3 from far-away areas that were flown up to Johannesburg.

Getting back to the competition, we had once again seen quality flying from sportsman class to the FBA class. This was also to be the last leg of team selection for the FBA class, to participate in the World Champ’s in France in 2005. Normally 3 team qualifying event are flown, starting from the previous years masters competition, followed by a Nationals and then finally, the 3rd leg, a Masters event.

The team is then chosen from, placings and the best 2 out of 3 results to count. The 2005 FBA Team will consist of experienced international pilots, names are Pierre Marais, Danie Potgieter and Andre Stockwell, with reserve pilot, Savas Nicolaides. Team manager for France is Burt Botha and the team will now commence preparation for the worlds regular training session will be conducted with all 4 team members, leading up to departure around August 2005.

We had participants from all over, with a huge entry from Bloemfontein. Things seem to be happening up there, and there is a rumor that the NATS 2005 will be held in Bloemfontein. This will be welcomed by MAASA, as it will be a very central venue for the whole country. Once again the weather played havoc, Saturday morning with very strong winds and the start was delayed, hoping that the wind would subside a bit, to no avail. The CD, Danie P (SNR) and chief Judge, Ivan Olivier, got the show going with about a 2-hour delay. This posed no problem as we were all eager to fly, and the “Ready Boxes” were controlled very well, with no delays.
Aerobatics seems to be very strong at the moment, judging by the level of flying, that I witnessed over the 2 days. I also spoke to most of the pilots, and there appears to be a lot of interest and eagerness for the future, and this is most welcoming news MAASA, once again pleads with all those past and prospective aerobatic pilots, to come and fly, and enjoy the passion around aerobatics. They say once you can master aerobatics you could fly anything. MAASA’s ability to promote aerobatics is jointly possible with all the members, as MAASA needs guidance from its members. I have received calls from Rustenburg, Piet Retief, inquiring about how to get into aerobatics, this is obviously promising.

After 2 rounds on Saturday, MAASA hosted a braai, and this was welcomed by all to pilots. The talk was about the days flying and what to do different the next day with 2 flight lines provided by Ivan, Sunday got off to a great start with good weather.
Once again all pilots must be complemented by their flying skills, and we saw some new FBA pilots in the making. See all attached results.

By the time you read this, 2005 will be fresh, so it is the right time to start practicing. Give MAASA a call for any queries, and I hope to see many new members, active in 2005.

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