Monday, December 01, 2008

Sci Bono -- thanks from Percy Attflield

Dear John,
Please see if the mail below is useful for your web site. It is copy of my thank you letter that I sent to the participants and the Sci Bono management.

It refers to the Sci Bono exhibition of Model planes, cars, trains and boats that took place from 27 to 30 November at the Sci Bono Science Center in Johannesburg.

Some of the visitors on Saturday and Sunday asked if this could be repeated in other provinces as well. It seemed as though there is a requirement for modeling exhibitions. The regional structures that are being created and the larger clubs could consider exhibiting at a shopping mall over a weekend. It may well help clubs that find their numbers dwindling due to the economy to attract new members.

Should a club require a copy of the control line video or of the control line pamphlets they should contact the SAMAA office.

Kind regards

Subject: Sci Bono

Good day,
I wish to personally thank those who worked at the exhibition from Thursday to Sunday. Your contribution was immense

A special thank you to those who spent every day at the exhibition, Anja, Simon, Lofty and Bob, and the Control Line people Roston, Roston Jnr and Keith who spent 2 days each at Sci Bono.

Thank you to the Control Line wives, Bokkie and Rina who each spent a day helping with the building and general information about model planes.

Others who spent a day working at the event are Lionel Brink, Glenn and Dylan Roberts, Joe Coetzer, Johan Ehlers, Marthinus Potgieter and Vic de Vries. Peter Joffe also paid us a visit on Friday and Saturday. Should I have left some on off the list please accept my apologies, it is not intentional.

Thank you to:
· Keith for the very informative Control Line video that he produced to display the discipline to many interested visitors, this video played continuously for most of the four days and for his flying on the grass area on Sunday. It was much more exciting than the flying from myself on Saturday.
· Richard and the display team from the RC Pilot Hobby Shop for flying indoor choppers and fun toys that interested many spectators.
· Peter for the printing and delivery of the control line information brochures, many of these were handed out on Saturday and Sunday.
· The control line members who displayed 7 planes hanging from the ceiling and 6 planes at table level. Using the table level display models helped to answer the many questions from interested visitors.

Thursday and Friday about 200 to 250 Delta Darts were built on each day for the many school children who attended.

However the most exiting days were Saturday and Sunday when on each day about 150 to 200 Darts were built by family groups and adults. Fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts and grandparents, many expressed the view that this was one of the best days they have spent in a long time. Some even called friends from the exhibition and urged them come and join.

While this was a great success as an outreach to non modeling individuals and created new awareness for SAMAA there were a few seasoned modelers who were disappointed at the lack of Radio Control planes and that the model plane dealers were not represented. All of them expressed the view that these two points needs to be addressed.

David please thank the Sci Bono staff for their arrangements and assistance. I do believe that a meeting to address lessons learned could be valuable input to next year’s exhibition.

Kind Regards,
Percy Attfield

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hermanus 2008

Anton Benning with his modified Toucan -- clearly a veteran of many encounters with Mother Earth. Seems to fly better inverted than right way up.
Anton hopes to organize an International Slope Event at Hermanus in 2010.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hessequa Model Vlieers

Update on 3D Heli event -- Chris Pretorius

It has been decided to split the two classes as follows. Class 1 Beginner’s moves are mentioned below and at the bottom of this message Class 2 Advanced. I hope we see more of you at the competition seeing that Class 1 does not have very difficult manoeuvres.
Beginner: Class 1
1. Inverted Hover 
Used to develop control of the helicopter in steady inverted position.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to come to an inverted hover, ideally directly in front of, but no closer than 3 metres from, themselves. The caller will call start and 30 seconds later, will call end, at which time the model should land. 

2. Backward Flight 
Used to develop control of the helicopter whilst flying backwards.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to pass in front of themselves in two directions. The first pass can be from either right or left, the second pass in the opposite direction. The helicopter will be flown tail first and parallel to the flight line. The caller shall call start approximately 5 metres before the helicopter reaches a point directly in front of the pilot and shall call end 5 metres after this central point. 

3. Climbing/Falling Pirouette 
Used to develop use of the left hand in order to cause minimum interaction between collective and rudder controls.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to be brought to a steady hover a minimum of 3 metres in front of the pilot. From this position, the helicopter will be made to rise between 2 and 3 metres during which time a 360 degree pirouette will be performed. Following a short, steady hover in the higher position, the helicopter will be lowered to its original position whilst performing a 360 degree pirouette in the opposite direction to the first. 

4. Extended Loop 
Used to develop elevator and collective controls as well as inverted flight.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to fly into wind, in straight and level flight, and having passed a minimum of 10 metres to the right or left of the pilot (depending on wind direction), will perform a half loop, then maintain inverted forward flight for a minimum of 20 metres, at which point they will complete the loop and resume level, forward flight so ending the manoeuvre. 

5. Stationary Flips 
Used to develop accurate use of elevator/aileron, collective and rudder controls.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to hover a minimum of 3 metres in front of themselves and, from that position, cause the model to perform one forward flip or one backward flip, returning to a steady hover at the end of the move. The hover will be followed by a second flip, in the opposite direction, again returning to a hover. These will be followed by two further flips in the aileron right/left (roll) directions, with a steady hover in between. 

6. 180 / 540 Degree Rolling Stall Turn 
Used to develop accurate judgement of speed and all controls to develop a multi-element manoeuvre
The pilot will cause the helicopter to fly into wind, in straight and level flight, and having reached a point directly in front of themselves will cause the model to enter a vertical nose-up climb, during which a full 360 degree roll will be performed followed, at the top of the climb, by a 180 degree or 540 degree pirouette. The model will then fly down the same vertical line and exit downwind along the same horizontal line. 

7. Elongated Roll 
Used to develop aileron and collective controls as well as inverted flight.
The pilot will cause the helicopter to fly downwind, in straight and level flight, and at a point between 10 and 20 metres from the pilot’s position a half roll, to the right or left, will be performed. The helicopter will then fly inverted for a minimum of 20 metres at which point a half roll, in the opposite direction to the first, will be performed, returning the model to forward and level flight. 
Advanced: Class2
Travelling Backwards Flip x 2 
 2 x 4 point Forward Roll 
540 Bounce 
Stationary Metronomes (Tic Toc) 
Pie Dish (Funnel) 
Backwards Figure 8 (Inverted or upright) Circuit 
7.      Tumbling Loop 
Inverted Nose-in Circuit 
Inverted Backward Loops 
Autorotation starting from inverted 
Kind Regards,
Chris Pretorius
Heli Representative
Pretoria Radio Flyers

Monday, November 17, 2008

Jets at Gariep 2009

For those of  you who attended the Gariep 2008 event will remember it for various reasons, for those of you that missed out on 2008 can now start preparing for 2009.
The dates for 2009 will be from Friday 12 June to Tuesday 17th June. For further details watch the jets-r-us website. To prevent disappointment please book your accommodation well in advance. 


Model Mechanics
Wright Planes
Sanjay’s Quality Products
Pronto Print
Denny’s Electrical
Opti Truss
Flight Roofing

Please contact Boet if you want to sponsor 0824494623

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Find out about Electric Pylon Racing

Christo vd Merwe's Electric Pylon Racing site. Lots of info about the locally made Witblitz racer and all the rules. etc.

Gariep Fly In 2009

More info from Boet Denysscen (see above) or Adriaan Bakker --

Remote Control Model Festival

More info here.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diary fo Events for 2009

I have next to nothing so far by way of events fo next year.
Contributions gratefully reveived.
Send by email to johng at cis dot co dot za

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poll on glow fuel -- Piet le Roux

Debate about glow fuel has been going on for years and I suppose will still go on until glow engines becomes obsolete. The needs and perceptions as far as fuel goes seems to differ from continent to continent and is determent by availability, disposable funds, peer pressure and some times common sense. I thought it would be interesting to see where the South African model fraternity stands on this subject. To help us determine this  I have started two polls on the Sarfly web page : one to tests our feelings about nitro methane and one to test our feelings about synthetic and castor oil.

You can vote here :

The more people vote the more accurate it will be so please vote!    


Piet le Roux

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Lotto Report

Enclosed with the latest isuue of SAMAA News is the 2008 report to the NLDTF on the SAMAA's role in transformation.

It's spectacular, both in the number of disadvantaged citizens involved and in the amount of money spent.

What makes me a little sad though is that there is no mention of the low cost, but equally spectacular efforts of individual clubs. I know for instance that both CRF and JOMAC were active and very successful in this area.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

2008 Aerobatic Masters -- Piet le Roux

This year, like so many times in the past, Bloemfontein had the honour of hosting the top event on the model aircraft aerobatic calendar: The Pattern Acrobatic Masters. CRF Chairman Wynand Swart and the CRF team did an excellent job again. Not even an untimely burglary shortly before the event could disrupt this machine. The stolen windsock mast was replaced by a mast from my Ham Radio days and erected by Wynand in a matter of days, most of the box markers and clubhouse equipment had to be replaced before the event. The missing competition pegboard was the only thing that we missed, but this was soon rectified with an improvisation from Toit Venter.

Read the full report with photos here, (520 k pdf).

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Early Aeromodelling -- Fritz Johl

Fritz sent in this info on aeromodelling in the nineteen thirties:

Dear John
I have read with interest your organisation’s activities and association with AeSSA in the AeSAA news letter and am wondering whether you are aware that SAMAA has its origin in about 1937 and that in 1938 the first radio controlled model aircraft was flown here at Hout Bay. Perhaps you know this already. I believe that at that time I was one of the first members.

The photos show the SAMAA buttonhole badge at that time, The actual radio controlled flight, and the glider fuselage under construction.

W.A.T. "Fritz" Johl (FRAeS)

I asked Bob if he couls add any more to this. Here's his reply:

Dear John, Fritz

Here is some info from my archives:

In 1934, Mr Lilly flew a 5-ft span balsa and tissue model aircraft, "Albatross" for nearly 5-minutes. Movement to establish a club at Cape Town Technical College.

(1 August 1937) Four Wakefield model aircraft from South Africa were sent to compete by proxy in the Wakefield Cup in England (Fairey's Aerodrome at Hayes, in Middlesex). USA and GB domination was broken by a French win.

In August 1937, The South African Model Aeronautic Association was formed on initiation of Viv Gracie of Cape Town, Phil Dalgety of Durban, and Alf Yardley of Johannesburg.

In June of 1939, Viv Gracie and Henry Rieder flew the first radio-controlled glider (14' span) in South Africa, on the beach at Hout Bay. They were also building a powered model aircraft, that flew successfully some time later (date unknown to me).

The documentation is vague, but to my knowledge, the first powered R/C flight was made at Leach's Bay (East London), with 9-foot single-channel model, V3, powered by Forster 99 with hand-carved 18" propeller. Pilots were probably Bob Masters and Viv Andrews. This was late in 1946. Control line flying took place at East London airport. Gerry Masters was first C/L flier with Jim Walker Fireball.

In 1948 in Cape Town, Con Wallis and Mr Gemeken flew a radio-control model with Lorenz Airtrol and E.D equipment. Chips Wannenburg flew a Good Brothers Rudderbug with their (Good Brothers) R/C equipment.

Fritz, I would be very happy if you could forward any information on the early years of South African aeromodelling.

Best regards
Bob Skinner

Fun Fly scores for 2008 -- Andrew Hirst

Herewith the final series scores for Fun Fly 2008 for the SAMAA website. The top 12 from each class qualify of the Masters event to be held in Welkom on 8th and 9th November. If any of the top 12 cannot make it then the selection moves down the list.
Last years Champion, Christopher Harris qualifies automatically.
Andrew Hirst

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

New world Record -- Dave Armitage

Just to whet your appetites guys and to keep the electric fundies happy - New world record claim for electric flight with rechargeable batteries by Stefan Penz of Germany
394.3 Km/h
Dave Armitage

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rosendal 2008

I'd like to say that we spent many hours soaring on the Rosendal cliffs this weekend. I'd like to say it but I can't.
We drove down to Rosendal on Thursday. If you want a good place for food, OJs at the Total Petrol Station in Heilbron is worth a visit.
On Friday morning we made our way to the flying site. Kobus and his wife Charlene had been there the whole week getting things ready. Kobus had already flown every day.
On Friday though the wind blew obstinately from the north. Not good.
On saturday morning the wind was still from the north, and it was cold and overcast. We took the chicken run back to Jozi.
Let's hope next year will be better.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Here's the proposed guideline for Park Flyers. Your comments are important. Please send them either to Keith Nicolls of Bob Skinner.

Keith --
Bob  --

Keith says, "...Please feel free to post the write-up, whether the comments come now or later does not matter, often the ideas put forward are useful and add value to the document.

Re the handling of, and setting up of park flying groups, it is a problem and right now I am in negotiations with two groups of park flyers and the local Municipality,to lease a site,and allow flying at certain times so as to fit in with other sporting groups.
Presently it seems as if it will work. Once this deal is complete,it could possibly be used by other groups trying to find a suitable site to fly. 
Will keep you informed.


Helicopter Judges clinic (NERF) -- Johan Sieling

We will be having a judges clinic for Class 1, 2 and 3 and will be held at NERF ( North Eastern Radio Flyers ) midrand on the 14th September ( Sunday ), as from 11:00 - 13:00. We will follow the same procedure as at the previous F3C clinic. I would like to encourage that all pilots and judges join us so that we can clear up any questions and learn from one-another.
If you have any queries please feel free to contact me.

Deon Smit
Mobile: +27 82 924 2095

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A simple aircraft stand -- Danie de Beer

Hi All,

I had a need for a stand to help me when buildign my Yak. I build this little correx stand, cost less than R20-00 and 30min to build. Hope someone find it usefull.

I believe with the attached pics you can makeout how it all fits together.


Monday, August 25, 2008

A note from the FAI on the transport of models by commercial airlines -- Percy Attfiled

Text of the note is here.

2008 Gauteng Helicopter Championships -- Johan Sieling

On a beautifully calm Highveld winters day, the MHSA Gauteng Champs took place at the Pretoria Radio Flyers Club. It proved to be a great venue, with plenty of space to accommodate the 2 different flying areas. Read more...

Solar-powered plane in air for 82 hours

Hand launched as well! Here's the link.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Triumph for Common Sense.

With only a few weeks to go to Oudtshoorn, someone asked, perhaps tongue in cheek, what proficiency was needed to fly there.

Fanie Fourie puts this, and the whole proficiency matter into the proper perspective.

............Oudtshoorn Scale is not a competition nor an Airshow/Public Display. It is a scale event where fellow scale RC modelers meet up for a great weeks flying, fun and to showcase their building skill in a relaxed non competing, safe atmosphere. Yes some pilots are rewarded at the end of scale weekend for their achievements in the respective categories for which their are trophies, however there is no official static judging with flight scores ect which you'll find at a dedicated scale competition. It is not an airshow/public display either it is a scale meet held in the spirit of a fly-inn.

Now the requirement to all pilots who enter is to be a paid up SAMAA member because it is a SAMAA sanctioned event. This issue came up two years ago as well, type in "Brief report on Oudtshoorn scale 2006" in the SARLFY search engine and see all the discussions, too long to repeat here. For the those who are to lazy here is a quote from the CFC official reply to this matter and it still stands today:

"On a serious note, we CFC have debated this issue over and over. Safety is the one and most important aspect of this event. We have strict rules and marshals on the flight line. We even have extra insurance cover.

The Municipality of Oudtshoorn requires a fully drawn up business plan before the event! Because they will be responsible if something go very wrong! So Oudtshoorn is not just a fly-inn of a couple of pilots getting together! It is a well planned event that takes at least 8 months to organize! It can not be compared to any other event. Oudtshoorn will always be the benchmark for other events to follow!

Without Samaa it will be impossible to run the event! (We have tried) They have always been more than helpful. So Oudtshoorn will always be a Samaa sanctioned event and Samaa membership will be mandatory! Period! A Pilot not up to scratch will be grounded and send home. It is all common sense. Safety is no accident!!!

I know of a lot of pilots who only attend Oudtshoorn for the friendship. They are quite good pilots, but feel uncomfortable flying with 10 other models at the same time. Now this is what I call common sense. Everybody should know there limits. But just saying that, there will always be some adrenalin junkies pushing the boundaries!"

Now having said that, again common sense must prevail and if it does not the marshals will see to it that does happen and yes this year there will be consistency.

We all know the spirit of Oudtshoorn Scale, that is what makes this event unique. All the attendees will agree to it, ask yourself why will an international journalist come back a second time in 3 years if there was not something unique to the spirit or the atmosphere at the event?

I hope this will suffice..............

Fanie Fourie

Keith Renecle's report on the 2008 C/L World Champs

Report and pictures here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New SAMAA office site -- Bob Skinner

The SAMAA administration office will be moving on Wednesday 6 August 2008 from its location in Alberton North. The new address is:
Office 24 and 25
Denel Centre for Learning and Development
131 Atlas Road

Telephone and fax 011-973-3679
Fax-to-email 086 607 8733
Cellphone (Bob) 083 283 1681

The postal address remains PO Box 1961, Alberton 1450
and the fax and answering machine, and e-mail will be operating at the old office.

Membership renewals and new applications must please be sent to the new contact numbers.

In due course, the new e-mail addresses will be announced.

Bob Skinner, general manager

Map here.

SAMAA News June - August 2008

The News is here.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The South African Control Line team preparations.-- Percy Attfield

The Control Line team left earlier this month to compete in the World Championships at Landres in France.
For a variety of reasons the Aerobatic team was reduced to a single entry being Keith Renecle. Part of his preparation for the worlds was to arrange to compete at an international event in Germany two weeks before the Landres contest. The Geilenkirchen competition was held in the Dusselforf area and it expected to draw competitors from Netherlands , Belgium, France , Germany and other European countries.
Keith had also made the decision to compete in Germany and France with an electric plane which he designed and developed over the past year. He designed the plane around a MVVS electric motor and a controller that ensures a consistent full power run that ends within the allowed 7 minutes flight time. Electric power is still very new to control line and the limited information that is available is contained in pockets within a few people in Europe, Canada and the USA.
Initially the plane came out heavier than expected, this resulted in all the wing and stab painted covering being removed and replaces with plastic heatshrink covering, This reduced the weight to a more acceptable level and the first test flights could be started. It was immediately clear that the motor produced all the power that was required and that the plane flew very well. After some more trimming the decision was made to leave the backup Diesel engine plane behind, this would reduced the luggage weight to inside the allowed airlines weight limit.
I copy edited emails received from Keith below.
This was the first mail on Saturday evening:
"We had the first 2 rounds of the Geilenkirchen competition today in horrendous conditions. Strong, gusty wind with rain for the whole day. I only flew the one round, and it started raining halfway through the flight. The wind increased as well and it was just a matter of survival. The Electron handled the conditions better than any of my previous models, including the diesel. Later in the afternoon, the conditions became even worse, so I decided not to fly the round, much to Bokkie's relief. I was in 5th place out of 21 entries after round 1. Uwe Degner is leading.
We have one more round tomorrow, I will see if I can at least get in a little flying in half-decent conditions. There is just one other electric model flying stunt here, and I am getting lots of questions from all. "
This is the second mail Sunday evening:
Well, we got through the 3 rounds. Today my last flight was in less wind, but raining steadily.
Uwe Degner (Germany), first; Clamer Meltzer (Norway), second; Keith Renecle (South Africa), third; Uwe Kehnen (Germany), fourth. Christoph Holtermann is most impressed with my Electron, and how little "fuel" it uses. Even here at close to sea level, it uses maximum 2200mAh for a 5:30 flight. I have even had a request from Clamer Meltzer for the plans."

So now I will go to Landres a little more confident. We will head down the Mosel valley for some sightseeing on the way to France. It is indeed a rough life.
In addition to the Aerobatics entry South Africa will also enter the team race event. This is the first such entry since we were allowed back into these events in 1994.
The team consists of Dirk Meyer as pilot and Conrad Cloete as pitman. They have a 3 event, 6 year strategy planned. To participate at this event and gain international experience and to be exposed to the latest team race technology, engines and planes. They plan to participate at the 2010 Worlds in Hungary as a competitive team and aim for the finals in 2012.
This strategy required that a large amount of money be set aside by both competitors. Since Conrad lives in Cape Town and Dirk lives in Durban all their South African practise sessions require extensive travel. In addition they have been attending a team race contest in Gauteng every month since October 2007. They have also invested heavily in training engines and planes. The latest was imported from Australia.
They also left early with the intention of being observers at a European team race championship event in France as back ground to what can be expected at Landres.
When we attended this competition at the same venue in 2000 it rained continuously with strong winds. I trust that the weather will be more conducive to competition flying this year.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Across the Atlantic by underwater glider

A year or so ago a model aircraft flew unaided across the Atlantic. Here's a link to an "underwater glider" doing the same thing. (Info originally posted by Jim Deck on the soaring yahoo list).

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

F3C Judges Clinic -- Deon Smit


We want to setup a F3C/Judges clinic for the 6th July at the Benoni heliport.

The aim of this is to let the pilots and judges all go through the mechanism of understanding the scoring as well as seeing where the common mistakes are made.

We will fly every manoeuvre of the F3C schedule with each manoeuvre being split between the F3C pilots to execute( So each pilot will only be required to fly two or so manoeuvres ). Each manoeuvre will be scored by all pilots and judges, and a brief discussion and calibration held for both pilots and judges to learn from. We welcome all class of pilots as we feel it will add benefit to all.

To this effect the F3C pilots and their “callers” are requested to attend and learn out of this. We would like all the judges to also attend.

I would like for you to confirm your attendance with me by the 30th June so that I can see if we need to make a plan for refreshments etc.

We will start at 09:30 and should finish by 12:00.

If there is anything you would like to know about the day please do not hesitate to contact me.

Deon Smit
Professional Services Manager : Service Manager

The South African Breweries Limited
Tel: +27 11 676 9103
Fax: +27 86 501 5933
Mobile: +27 82 924 2095

Monday, June 23, 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Gliding postals May 2008 -- John Lightfoot

Here are the scores and comments.

In memoriam John Swallow

It is with sadness that I advise you that one of South Africa's leading modellers of yester-year has passed away. John represented South Africa, designed Free Flight planes and had very successful glider designs see the light while he was in his competitive years.

Later he became involved with Control Line and designed the Wind Dancer aerobatics model that won the SA Nationals many times and were flown at four World Championship events.

Wherever this plane is shown the completely geodetic ribs used in the wing design causes much interest with comments such as "how in the world did he do that" being heard often.

Older modellers will remember John for his competitive spirit and his excellent designs.

I extend our sympathies, as a family who have known the Swallows for many years, the Control

Line SIG's sympathies and those of SAMAA members to John's family.

Percy Attfield

Friday, June 06, 2008

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Why is it so complicated?

The other day Bob sent me an updated SAMAA Application Form to post on the web site. I wondered what had changed so I had a look at it.

What struck me was just how much information is now required. I say required because on the form is the intimidating warning that; “Complete the application form in full. Incomplete information may lead to a delay in processing”.

There’s a lot to fill-in, including id number or passport number. It’s more like a form from Home Affairs now than a simple application to join a modelling association.

It’s not clear to me how most of the detail requested can be of any benefit to members.

I thought I’d have a look at the BMFA application form. Here’s the SAMAA form and here’s the BMFA one. Makes you think doesn’t it?

Surely, all we need are members’ current name and address details? One of the bugbears of membership admin. is the amount of time it takes. With 3500 members this can be as much as one man-year! Most of this time must be spent at the start of the year. See rough calculations here.

The committee should be working to reduce the time spent rather than increase it. Besides, as I mentioned before, what use is the information to members?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Organizing an Air Show

In the last week or so there were interchanges on SARFLY about running an air show. These centered around the conflict between the SAMAA Manual of Procedure and what was actually possible.

The SAMAA MoP is a masterpiece of corporate, bureaucratic paternalism. It assumes SAMAA members must be protected from their own ignorance and stupidity. In its hundred plus pages are rules for every model flying activity. In particular the rules for running an air show are notoriously strict. The motive behind this -- that of safety – is good. The rules are ludicrous.

On the other hand, SAMAA members run many excellent air shows. What do some people know that others don't?

Gifford Pinchot encountered similar frustrations in the corporate world. To deal with them he set down the “ten commandments for an Intrepreneur”. Many of these apply to running an air show.

So, the apologies to Pinchot, and not entirely toungue-in-cheek, here are some rules:

Circumvent anything in the SAMAA MoP aimed at stopping you organizing your dream air show.
Do anything you need to make your air show succeed.
Find people to help you.
Follow your intuition about the people you choose and work only with the best.
Work underground as long as you can, publicity triggers the SAMAA immune response.
Remember that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
Be true to your goals but be realsitic about the ways to achieve them.
Honour your sponsors.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2008 Gliding Nats

Lionel Brink's report is here.

Lionel says, "I cannot emphasize enough how impressive the overall event was & that the weather did not let us down – just made it far more challenging. ETB are to be commended for their hosting of this, & I am not aware of any organizational issues to date.


More info and photos from Piet Rheeders on the BERG BLOG.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Rosslyn Aero Modelers Air Show

Hi guys and girls,

FA will be hosting a fun day at Rosslyn Aero Modelers on the 25th of May 2008. This is a fun event and not a competition. Just a general get together of like minded people and to in doing so get the idea of freestyle aerobatics home to everyone.

Now I've seen what a fullsize Fox glider can do at the opening ceremony of the F3C worlds in Poland so we as FA can not see why we can not create a class for aerobatic gliders as well. We have yet to brainstorm out all the details but before we can do that we will need inputs from the glider guiders themselves. Obviously the class would be non powered but perhaps we can come up with a set of rules to allow electric powered launching or even towing up. I don't think a winch will get you high enough for a full 3-Minute aerobatics routine to music but heck who am I to say?

If your F3B machine can jump through a few hoops come out and join us? RAM has the room to rig up a few winches.

All the info, flyer, registration forms and map is on the FA website.

Feel free to contact me with any questions. 082-332-0045

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Swartkop Scale

Dave says, "...Swartkop Scale will take place this coming weekend, 3rd 4th May 2008.
Registration at the field R50-00 per pilot
Any SAMAA pilot may fly. Membership will be checked.
Aircraft must be scale but can be ARF. Scale fidelity is not an issue but if someone comes with a Stik and tries to convince me it is an Eindekker then I WILL tread on the tail.
Electric and Choppers are also welcome provided they are scale.
All pilots must have a caller/lookout when flying
No test flying is permitted.
Start time on both days is 10h00.
More info from Dave or Pam 012-9988650 0832577060
See you there
Dave A"

Monday, April 28, 2008

2008 Control Line Nats report -- Keith Renecle

I promised a Nats report in my last article, so here it is. The control line section of Barnstormers is really improving, and right now it is much more than just “useable.” It’s a really good C/L venue.
Report with photos continues here.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Composite Material Building Course at AMT Johannesburg -- Evan Shaw

Hi All

I have recently joined AMT and will be taking over the running of the Retail shop when Hein leaves at the end of the month.
For those of you who have shopped here, you will know just how efficient and helpful he has been and I can only hope that I can be half as good as he was and offer as much help and assistance to you guys as he did. I look forward to seeing you guys when you come to buy your composite materials!

Some time ago Craig sent out a notification to mgasa and SARFly about a composite course he will be running here on the 10th May. I will be assisting him and we plan to demonstrate, Infusion bagging, Wet lay-ups and Vacuum bagging amongst other general composite work.
For those of you who have always wanted to try working with composites to build your models, this is the perfect opportunity to come and learn how to do this, or just come along to learn new techniques on working with composites to build your model airplanes. The infusion bagging is something fairly new to us in the model airplane industry and very easy once you know how. It is especially useful for making moulds.

The 10th of May is fast approaching and we still have some places available. So if any of you are interested please let me know so I can include you.

The cost of the course will be R450.00 and will include tea, coffee, cool drinks and snacks for lunch. Starting at 09h30 until around 15h00 or later if we are still having fun!

See Craig's original email below for more details. We will be doing some work on the Supra type spar system as well.


What would you like us to cover in the course?


1) Anton's HLG wing, fuselage and tailboom course.

2) Evan's Supra type wing course - foam core wing with spars ala Supra.

3) Craig's Rocket Worm building course. - moulded hollow core wing construction and standard fuselage laminate.

The standard AMT course price is R450.00 for a full day including tea, coffee, cooldrinks and light lunch (hot dogs or silimilar). I will twist Gebi's arm into donating the money to the senior team towman. We can only cater for 20 people max and I will do the course for 10 min.

The two that are not chosen will be scheduled for another date later in the year.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Some thoughts on the SAMAA Insurance.

The idea that the SAMAA insurance does not cover members who operate non type-approved radio equipment has emerged again on the SARFLY List. People also claim that; the insurance does not cover those operating from unregistered fields, the insurance does not cover those members who do not have a Solo Rating, the insurance does not cover those who fail to adhere to the Manual of Procedures. And so on.

There is no hard evidence that any of these statements is correct. I have a copy of the Insurance Schedule dated November 2003. It's the only version I have ever managed to obtain so it may be out-of-date. None of these restrictions appear in the documents. (I'd love to see a more recent version.)

It does appear that there are attempts to use the SAMAA Insurance as a tool to enforce compliance with “rules”. Fear, uncertainty and doubt are raised by saying,”If you don't stick to the rules you won't enjoy insurance cover”.

This is not the purpose of insurance. Insurance is meant to protect people in the event of a disaster. We have other means to enforce rules; the Laws of the Land, peer pressure as with the recent drinking and flying incident, other sanction at club and flying site level and so on. But not insurance.

We want the widest possible disaster cover for our members. We want cover with the minimum of restrictions. In the end we my have to compromise somewhat for reasons of cost. In this case let the members see the figures and assist with the decisions. Surely this is not too much to ask?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rosendal Slope Weekend

I have it on impeccable authority that Eolus, the God of winds has spoken. The Rosendal Slope Weekend is from 01-09-2008 to 14-09-2008. There are two week ends with the main event 13 and 14 September.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Giving something back. -- Piet le Roux

In December 2007 the chairman of Central Radio flyers in Bloemfontein, Wynand Swart, decided that our club should embark on some promotion and charity work in the festive season. He contacted the Gordenia Youth Care Centre, All Nations for Jesus Christ and the Univesitas Youth Care Centre. It was decided that that kids from these organizations would be treated at an open day.

Children in the care of these organizations had previously helped us to remove rubbish, that were blown from a adjacent rubbish damp onto our field, in preparation for the 2007 pattern masters. They then clearly enjoyed the outing and showed a keen interest in our hobby.

So on a Saturday in December 2007 some thirty odd, presently disadvantaged, girls and boys of all races joined us for a day of fun at CRF.

Photo: Pierre Fouche

They had great fun building their Glider Darts and then seeing them fly.

Photo: Pierre Fouche

Photo: Pierre Fouche

A computer loaded with a FMS simulator was made available at the center and they practiced very hard on it up to the big day. On the day I then gave some of them a taste of the “real thing” by letting them fly”buddy box” with me.

Below is me and Joshua concentrating.

Photo: Charl Devenish- Volksblad

The star of the day was Wesley (holding on to Wynand’s large scale plane below).

Photo: Charl Devenish- Volksblad

He had practiced every day leading up to our open day on a FMS simulator and although he had never flown a model plane before he needed only minimal intervention from me to keep a Stick airborne.

I think that development is an important part of securing the future of our hobby and sport. Planting the “seeds” of the hobby will bring rewards later on when it “germinates”. I myself grew up at our local full size air field where my dad was a member and later I spent more than a decade around aircraft in the air force but it was the times that I spent with a next door neighbor at a model flying site that stayed with me. When the opportunity to fly a model plane presented itself later when I was past forty, I remembered how I envied those model pilots when I was a kid, and did not hesitate.

If we going to spent money on development our main objective must be to increase the number of active pilots and paid up SAMAA members. I have no problem with promoting aviation awareness in general but I feel that this must be left to the big players in the industry, with the big budgets, our member’s money should only be used to promote RC flying and attract new SAMAA members. If these new members happens to be from a previously disadvantage group that’s excellent but if it’s just a case of sacrificing funds to demonstrate our goodwill I think we should rather spend it on the presently disadvantaged youth.

Piet Le Roux

CRF, Bloemfontein

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

From The SAMAA Chairman.

The SAMAA General Manager, Bob Skinner, was elected as the new President of the CIAM March 29, 2008 . The outgoing President, Mr Sandy Pimenoff, from Finland, held this position since 1967. The FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, is the body that controls all air sport activity, world wide. The FAI has several air sport commissions (ASCs), of which the CIAM is one. Others ASCs exist for full scale aerobatics, ballooning, microlights, parachuting, gliding, rotorcraft, astronautics, etc. The FAI currently has 93 affiliated member countries, referred to as NACs (National Airsport Controls). The Aero Club of South Africa is the NAC for our country.

The CIAM ( Commission for International Aeromodelling) has the responsibility to manage the international coordination of competitive aeromodelling. The CIAM management consists of a group of elected and appointed officers.

The Bureau core (effectively, the executive committee. Elected annually by the members present at the Plenary meeting) are:

  • President - Bob Skinner (South Africa)
  • Three vice presidents
  1. Dave Brown (USA)
  2. Gerhard Woebbeking (Germany)
  3. Andras Ree (Hungary)
  • Secretary - Massimo Semoli (Italy)
  • Technical Secretary - (Mrs) Jo Halman (United Kingdom)
  • Assistant Secretary - currently vacant
  • Treasurer - Andras Ree (Hungary)

Complemented by the sub-committee chairmen (elected every two years by members present at the Plenary meeting):

  • F1 Free Flight - Ian Kaynes (United Kingdom)
  • F2 Control Line - Bengt Olof Samuelson (Sweden)
  • F3A/M/P - Radio Control Aerobatics - Bob Skinner (a portfolio which he has managed since 2000, and will carry only for one more year, until a replacement is elected by the Plenary next March)
  • F3B/J/K - Radio Control Soaring - Tomas Bartovsky (Czech Republic)
  • F3C/N - Radio Control Helicopters - Horace Hagen (USA)
  • F3D - Radio Control Pylon Racing - Bob Brown (USA)
  • F4 - Scale - Narve Jensen (Norway)
  • F5 - Electric - Emil Giezendanner (Switzerland)
  • F6 - Airsports Promotion - Guy Revel (France)
  • F7 - Lighter-than-Air - Marcel Prevotat (France)
  • Education - Gerd Woebbeking (Germany)
With the support of a few appointed officers:

  • Honorary President - Sandy Pimenoff (Finland)
  • Media Liaison Officer - Guy Revel (France)
  • CIAM Historian - Peter Keim (The Netherlands)
  • Webmaster - Hartmut Siegman (Germany)
A more complete write up on the workings of CIAM will appear in the next SAMAA News. Meanwhile, for more information about the activities of the FAI and the CIAM, visit and

How does the election of Bob as CIAM President benefit the SAMAA and South Africa?

It demonstrates to the world that there are other continents that have significant aeromodelling activity, and that South Africa (and Africa) is a force to be reckoned with, not only in the competitive arena.

How does this affect the management of the SAMAA?

The General Manager has to date been the appointed delegate for South Africa, representing South African views and wishes at the negotiation table. In due course, a new delegate will be appointed to represent South Africa.

How does this affect the position of the general manager?

The CIAM President is a volunteer, and there is no conflict of interest with the General Manager of The SAMAA in this position. In his previous position as one of the Vice Presidents he attended two meetings per year which took him from the SAMAA office for five days during the year. As President he will attend four meetings per year. Since the two additional meetings are scheduled partly over weekends, he will only be out of the office for an additional three days per year.

Will this increase the workload of the general manager?

Since the position of CIAM President is a voluntary one, any CIAM work is done after normal working hours and weekends. This should not adversely affect the duties of the SAMAA General Manager. The President's responsibilities are primarily to manage the Bureau, delegation of duties, international relations, and communication.

How does this affect the SAMAA financially?

To date, the SAMAA funded the attendance of a South African delegate to the annual Plenary meeting. The CIAM president's travel and accommodation is funded by the CIAM. Once a new delegate for South Africa is appointed, the SAMAA will continue to fund this delegate's attendance to the annual Plenary meeting.

Congratulations to Bob on this achievement

Percy Attfield

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A simple on / off switch with an option for a charging jack

Christo vd Merwe posted this on the MGSA list. It's a fine piece of aeronautical engineering, simple, light and effective.

A small and light (1g total) "switch" can be fashioned from a pair of Deans Micro Plugs. Embed one plug in the fuselage and short out the 2 pins on the mating plug. Just plug in to switch on.

Change these 2-pin micro plugs into non-polarized plugs. That way, there won't be a sharp pin sticking out of the fus when it's not switched on.

And here's a way of using three-way plugs as charging jacks.


Saturday, April 05, 2008


The most successful South African FAI free flight power model was the "Ultimeter", a 60 inch wingspan model designed by John Swallow in the 1960's. This design was used by both John and Robby Rowe as members ofthe RSA team who attended the 1965 World Free Flight championships in Vaase, FINLAND.

In spite of atrocious flying conditions, the team, consisting of Pete Visser, Swallow and Rowe acquitted themselves vary well considering that they had just flown A2 Towline Glider, and FIB Wakefield rubber powered events on the two consecutive days prior to the power event.

In 1993 I was fortunate to obtain Pete Visser's Orbiteer FAI power models which I am now restoring. I am looking for plans of the Ultimeter to complete my research. Robby Rowe gave me the fuselage of his model, plus the Cox 15 MkII special motor, which Jack Lemkus Sports had specially ordered from Leroy Cox in the USA. It was one of the first production models and performed exceptionally well on the hot fuel loaned to the RSA team by the Canadian and US teams. But for a dubious timing decision (the motor run was timed twice over the 10 second limit) during two attempts the the first round resulting in a zero score, Robby Rowe would have had a much higher placing and the team score would have advanced to 13th place.

In a worldwide nostalgia revival via the Internet, a website called is bringing together world famous design of this period. I would like to present the Ultimeter as the best South African FAI Power design. So if any of you out there have any information on the Hey Day of South African Free Flight, and the Ultimeter in particular why not contact me with your information

Best wishes
Sean McCullagh
021 799 5921

PS John Swallow's own designed A2 glider placed 15th at the 1965 champs, the highest placing of any South African at any World Free Flight Championships.

Friday, April 04, 2008

David Ndawonde -- update from JOMAC

Hi Guys,

Attached is a photo of David's final tuition. He has one exercise left which will be spin recovery, and to complete a loop and rolls. If he is succesful, he will be declared solo.


Bob Skinner

The word from an unofficial but reliable source is that Bob has been elected president of CIAM.
Well done Bob and South Africa!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

2008 KZN Thermal Champs -- Denis Bird

Report and photos here.

2008 Control Line Nats -- Keith Renecle

Hi All,

For those of you that could not make the Nats this time, all I can say is that you missed something special. For those that were there, I'm sure that you all know what I mean when I say this. The weather did not always play ball, but we managed to finish all of the events. The five rounds of expert stunt had to be spread over all three days, but we did indeed get through all of the rounds.

The Goodyear team racing even managed a 3-up final, with some good competition from all. Combat this time, had five entries, mainly due to the last minute arrival of Lionel and Alan Smith, plus Alan's step-son, Phillip Jones. Needless to say, many of the bouts were really exciting.

I'm busy with a full report, but in the meantime, here are the results.

Goodyear team racing:
1. Conrad Cloete/Dirk Meyer
2. Henry Kurowski/Nic van der Westhuizen
3. Derek Walker/Roston Dugmore

Novice stunt:
1. Nigel Hill
2. Rosten Dugmore jnr.
3. Derek Walker

1. Lionel Smith
2. Phillip Jones
3. Henry Kurowski

Expert Stunt:
1. Keith Renecle
2. Loren Nell
3. Nic van der Westhuizen

Thanks again to all of those folks that helped to make this a memorable Nats.


Keith Renecle

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Report on 2008 Free State Aerobatic Champs -- Walter van Huyssteen

Report is here.


Dear MAASA Members

Time never ceases to fly and our National event, the highlight of our competition calendar is to take place shortly at the end of April 2008.

On behalf of MAASA, our sponsors, and hosts, you are all invited and encouraged to join us for an event filled competition. This will include various activities, presentations, demonstrations and, of course, the all important opportunity to get together and reacquaint ourselves with old friends from far and wide. This all over and above the serious business of getting the flights in and the points on the board.

Please find attached the entry form and broad programme, with all the details of the event.

Regular updates, news and information will be posted on the GAA Blog from now and leading up to the event. So keep your eyes on the pages and new postings as we head towards what is going to be a great event. GAA blog page.

Should you have any queries, suggestions or comments, please feel free to contact me on 083 381 8124 or email

We look forward to seeing you all there.

Warm regards and happy flying.

Paula Bester

GAA Chair
(Gauteng MAASA Representative)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why is my PPM Transmitter not on frequency? -- Piet le Roux

We have had a lot of reports of interference on 35MHz lately. One suggestion to avoid planes being "shot down" was to get a radio scanner or frequency monitoring equipment to detect the interference before it becomes a problem. With the introduction of relatively cheap frequency measuring devices and scanners, it has become more and more common to find these devices at flying fields. It is a good idea to check your radio's frequency regularly but with basically only two service centers in South Africa it is not practical to send it away every time so it is great that more clubs can have access to suitable equipment. But users must note that they will display the frequency of a positive shift PPM (pulse position modulation) transmitter about 1,25 KHz low in frequency although its is perfectly on frequency. All JR equipment and most other makes in South Africa uses positive shift FM for PPM transmissions.

Both PPM and PCM information are transmitted via FM so in order to understand the reasons for this incorrect reading we must first understand the basics of FM (frequency modulation). When information is transmitted via FM the frequency (that is the frequency on your crystal) is varied in accordance with the data signal. If the data signal were a perfect sine wave the transmitter would be on frequency when the data signal crosses the zero point and at maximum deviation (1.8 KHz) at the peaks of the sine wave. The negative side of the sine wave would cause deviation in the opposite direction as the positive halve of the signal. We would the end up with a radio signal that varies +- 1.8 KHz around our channel frequency and have a bandwidth of 3.6 KHz. When this signal is measured the average frequency measured would be the center frequency (crystal frequency) because the two halves (positive and negative halves) of the data signal are equal and thus also the amount of positive and negative frequency deviation of the radio signal. This is how a PCM (pulse coded modulation) is transmitted and the frequency of a PCM transmitter would be displayed correctly.

Most transmitters these days can transmit both PCM and PPM, in order to achieve this flexibility the modulator has to do a balancing act in order to keep the transmitter inside its allotted channel. It does this by Making the zero point of the PPM data signal - 1.8 KHZ instead of the center frequency like with PCM. The PPM data signal consists of short positive pulses. The peaks of these pulses would cause the radio signal to deviate to + 1.8 KHz from the center frequency. Because the data signal consists of short positive pulses and a long reset pause(where the transmitter stays at -1.8 KHz ) the radio signal would spend most of its time in the negative halve of it allotted channel and thus the average frequency would be about -1.25 KHz from the center frequency and this is displayed by most measuring equipment.

To cap. If you want to check the frequency of your PPM transmitter, set one of your unused model programs to PCM mode and select this model when you want to check your frequency. If your transmitter does not support PCM just remember that your frequency would be displayed as about 1.25 KHz low. NB. Remember that only technicians that have been authorized by ICASA can make adjustments to transmitters. So if you think your transmitter is faulty send it to the nearest service center and do not attempt to DIY!

Monday, March 24, 2008

SAMAA General Manager away from the office

The GM of SAMAA, Bob Skinner, is away from Wednesday 26th March, to return on Monday 7th April, to attend the CIAM (Commission for International Aeromodelling) meeting in Lausanne.

Membership queries will be handled upon his return; please leave a message on the answering machine (011-907-4652), or send an e-mail to You may view your membership status on the website and change your own details, if you have a valid e-mail address on the website. This will allow you to request log-in details.

There will be a temp in the office, Anja du Plessis, to answer simply queries. Please direct your queries that are not membership-related, to:

Percy Attfield - SAMAA chairperson
Dirk Meyer - Vice-chairperson, HR matters
Keith Nicolls - Secretary, Proficiencies, Sporting, Code, Safety
Dave Armitage - Technical issues, frequencies
Ludwig Steyn - Budget, finance
Vic de Vries - Clubs, club registrations, promotions, PR, marketing
Johann Coetzer - Transformation, airspace issues
Johan Sieling - Insurance
Tony Stockwell - Regions
Allen Fraser - Dealers
Lionel Brink - Special Interest Groups

E-mail addresses and contact numbers are on the website.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Chasing Kangaroos -- Piet le Roux (or perhaps Piet le Kangaroux)

In the last issue of SAMAA news we were treated with a report back of the editor’s visit to Australia. He went to one local club, met with the president of the MAAA, Mike Close, and gathered an astounding amount of information about model flying clubs in the whole of Australia. He mentions the "30 meter rule" and that alcohol are not allowed at any of their clubs. These must be "unwritten rules" because in their Manual of Procedures no mention is made of any "30 meter rule" and as far as alcohol goes it just states that you may not operate a model aircraft while under the influence. It does not prohibit alcohol at any club. I don’t know in what they were partaking while having this conversation or maybe it’s just a case of hearing what you want to hear. He attempts to give the impression that the Aussies have a "no drinking" culture and any misconduct is severely punished by law. The fact of the matter is that the Aussies have always had a culture of heavy drinking and it is because of this that they have very strict anti drinking laws. They have recently admitted that the country is currently experiencing an unprecedented wave of drug and alcohol abuse and even more severe laws were needed. So if Mr. Ruzzier ,or anyone else, thinks that by immigrating to Australia he and his family is going to have less exposure to the evils of alcohol they would be sadly mistaken.

But there are certainly a few things that we can learn from the Aussies. As mentioned by the editor their insurance policy is something that we can only dream about at this stage. I am sure that we can afford such a policy if we utilize our available funds in a more responsible manner and make service to our members a priority. Their Manual of Procedures is made up of different chapters which consist of individual PDF files. So if you are looking for information on a particular subject it is easy to find. Presently I do not want to consult our manual because it is simply too laborious. Theirs is also easy to update or to change any of the different chapters. They emphasize the fact that their Manual of Procedures is a "live" document and is continuously being updated. Members are made aware of updates via their newsletter and their website. This insures that the document is always current and correct. Some of the contents of our manual were copied from the MAAA manual but some of the contents in our manual were already outdated when it was written. So we must take good look at the MAAA manual and adapt ours in such a manner that it becomes a current, meaningful and a user-friendly document. At this stage it is just a white elephant.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Results of 2008 Helicopter Nats -- Johan Sieling

Free State Aerobatic Champs -- Piet le Roux

It looks like the economic hardships of the country is impacting directly on Pattern competitions. To date we have received only eighteen entries, seven sportsman, eight F3A, two advance and one expert. We need at least 20 entries just to break even. All the trophies and badges have already been made. We know what the price of petrol is and we have decided that there will be no penalties for late entries. Come on all expert and advance pilots please make a effort. I can nearly guarantee you that you will take a very nice looking trophy home!

See you at CRF in Bloem

Piet Le Roux

Gliding postal scores for Feb. 2008 -- John Lightfoot

Scores and comments here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

MHSA Nats Final Info -- Johan Sieling

Hi All Heli Pilots,

Find attached the directions to Rosslyn Aero Modellers.

Then please note, there was a "Typo" on the entry form under point 5 of the Entry Conditions, the competition will be held on Sunday 9th March 2008 @ RAM and pilots briefing is at 08:00 sharp - no attendance - No fly!

As far as the use of Frequency spots are concerned, each pilot may only use one Freq. spot on the FM Bands and will also be allowed to use 2,4 GHz equipment. This means you may have one chopper on 2,4 GHz and one on say 35,150 but if both your choppers are on 35.XXX the you are allowed only one spot for both - they need to be on the same Freq. Spot.

There will be breakfast, tea and coffee served as from 07:00 and eats and drinks will be available while the competition is in progress.

Please bring you own chairs, umbrellas, Gazebos etc as it is hot on our side of the mountain.

RAM Club Rules to be adhered to at all times. Current SAMAA Membership is mandatory, please have your membership card available to prove this.

Please come and enjoy the days flying at RAM!


Johan Sieling

RAeSSA and SAAF Museum

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Frequency / ICASA update -- Dave Armitage

Hi Guys,
I do have some news but not quite all our problems have been reported back on as yet.

Midrand Soarers field
This has now been declared free of interference. ICASA have in fact done two further surveys and on both occasions there was no 35 MHz interference from the ESKOM site.

Four Wheel Drive Club.
It has been stated verbally to me that these users have now been migrated to 40 MHz as of 31 Dec 2007. I am still awaiting the written confirmation.

George Interference
I have been in contact with the supervisor in charge of monitoring. He advises me that though they are very busy they should be able to get a monitoring vehicle to George very soon. He is not prepared to give a direct date but it will be made known to me very probably next week. I will of course advise Deon and Phillip immediately so personal contact can be made.

2.4 GHz
ICASA have stated that they want all 2.4 GHz equipment coming into the country to be Type Approved by them. I am putting a statement together regarding this fact and will bounce it off the Frequency committee before it is passed out to all dealers and importers, be they SAADA members or not. It will also go into SAMAA News. ICASA are happy to accept other models within a manufacturers range as type approved providing one model has been approved and the manufacturer gives written proof that the transmitting stages are set up to, or are identical to, the original approved equipment
Horizon Hobbies (USA) have forwarded a letter stating that the Spektrum sets made for use in the USA are illegal for use in a whole list of European countries. South Africa tops that list. A copy of this letter will also be forwarded to all dealers and importers. This should happen within the next few days.

Gariep Jet Fly in 4th to 6th July 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Social drinking at flying clubs -- Piet le Roux

I am very disappointed that the letter of Mr. Poalo Ruzzier was published in the previous issue. I thought this letter was very biased and in bad taste. I had read it on the SAMAA blog on December 2007 and had written it off as just over-reation. I don’t normally read the “letters to the Editor” part of SAMAA News because the letters will always “toe the party line “or would be accompanied by a stern reply to enforce it. But my wife did and was disgusted by this letter. She had on numerous occasions enjoyed a sun-downer with us at our field. She was also in charge of the bar during the 2007 Masters. She has newer witnessed any of the pilots behave in the fashion described in this letter. We both feel that the greater majority of the model flying community and South Africans have been insulted and some response by Mr. Ruzzier and yourself would be welcome.

In your reply to this letter Mr. Editor you said:” However it would make life for all of us so much better if, all our clubs were ‘dry’ ”.

Just remember that these clubs belong to their members and not to SAMAA. These members will decide what is acceptable and what is not. The committees of these clubs will deal with anyone misbehaving. It is important that SAMAA respect the independence of these clubs and do not interfere unless its absolutely necessary.

It is important that the editor of any publication should always be objective. I admit that this is not easy, for an opinionated person like me it would be very difficult, but I am not the editor. Just because a letter underlines the present SAMAA policy of no alcohol does not make it is suitable for publication. On the 16/08/2007 I wrote you a letter in reply to articles that were published in the July 2007 issue of SAMAA News. One of the articles contained incorrect information about nickel metal hydride and nickel cadmium batteries. You did not publish this letter nor did you publish any corrections.

This letter can still be viewed here.

With this in mind how could you publish Mr Ruzzier’s letter?

Piet le Roux


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oi! Oi! 'ere we go again

The club at which I fly received a request from the SAMAA management committee for a list of its "solo pilots". The ostensible reason is so that this info may be put on the SAMAA membership cards.

Call me paranoid but to me it looks like spurious (perhaps well intentioned), red tape or else conceals another motive. Apart from that, I would have thought that the last thing the SAMAA general manager, or the clubs need, is more admin.

The request is motivated by a suggestion that there are advantages to members:

" reply to the question asked by your members as to "what value" is the proficiency? We would put forward a few possibilities:

a) That a Solo proficiency issued by SAMAA, who are (sic) accepted by both the Aero Club and the Civil Aviation authority as the Sole Co-ordinator of Model Flying in South Africa, must have some influence should there be a dispute or litigation of any kind.

b) Any Club member visiting another club or visitor to Club who has a rating on his card will be accepted and allowed to fly without the embarrassment of proving himself.

c) The value to SAMAA of knowing that its members are rated and competent to fly is immeasurable in the light of its position in the sport in South Africa...."

This doesn't convince me.

What kind of dispute or litigation is envisaged? Both the general manager and the then chairman of the committee have declared that the SAMAA insurance cover does not depend on solo status. In any other matter surely the testimony of fellow pilots and/or club members will carry more weight than an entry on a membership card.

Suppose a member wished to fly at a club where he is not known. Common courtesy indicates that he will approach a responsible person and talk to them. A flight test may or may not then be done. Equally, if an unknown person appears at a club, common sense, rather than an entry on a card should prevail. The card gives no indication of when the person last flew. It could have been years ago.

As for point (c), I don't understand what it means. It is certainly not of benefit to members.

Clubs are the backbone of model flying in SA. For years they have judged whether or not their pilots are safe to fly. The club record here is good. Why change a successful formula? Let clubs get on with it. Even if many do provide the current status of their members will they keep the records up to date? There's no benefit for the club in so doing, it's just a nuisance. What's the point?

I'm in favour of Achievement Schemes. Individual pilots can test their skill against objective criteria. Members view with pride the passing of a test, the badge that follows and the endorsement of their membership card. But it's an individual matter. I'm sure any club would be happy to support a member's application for solo achievement rating. But don't lumber the club with meaningless admin.

As I said, there may be an ulterior motive behind this. If this is so we should be told about it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Flying at Swartkop AFB -- Esther van Wyk Aerosud

Herewith details of the next lecture / demo on Model Aircraft Technology:

Venue: Swartkops AFB

Date: Saturday 1 March 2008

Time: 10h00 for museum activities and exhibits
13h00 for lecture and flying demonstrations
Remainder of afternoon ­ flying various aircraft types

Note that this event is being held in partnership with the SAAF museum who will be flying museum aircraft for most of the morning until 13h00. The emphasis will be on technologies and techniques being used in model construction, and is aimed at everybody who wants to broaden their knowledge base regarding model aircraft.

RSVP ­ Esther van Wyk by 25 February
Fax 012 662 5198

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Low cost Pylon Racing -- Stuart Houston

Hi John

As mentioned I thought we would tell you about a interesting form of Plyon racing that is rapidly gaining popularity at our club (Durban Deep Radio Flyers). The emphasis is on fun and affordability much like the standard quickie class.
The difference is that the Maximum engine size is .15 nitro or 480 glow. The class of aircraft is unlimited but most guys choose to go with the Thunder Tiger simple series Extra 230 which is cheap (R320)
Strong and fast.

The wings are nylon reinforced foam, covered with normal iron on covering. The body is constructed out of 3mm balsa so its quite tough and they can certainly take a beating.
The procedure for flight is fairly simple and quick as the tank size on these little machines is only 2oz. so it’s a takeoff together from which a circuit is immediately entered and a series of 10 figure of 8 laps are flown with the first one back on the ground the winner.

I’ve been flying large scale models for some time and there is always some element of stress about the size and cost of the model involved. With these little machines it has brought a huge amount of fun and laughter to the club again. And the occasional mid air that happens is offset by the fact that most of the time the model can be pick up off the grass and restarted again and flown off as normal

I thought it would be interesting to gauge the interest of other SAMAA members and see if this could perhaps become a new racing division

Stuart Houston

Give Stuart a shout if you are interested

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dirty Tricks

Tim Blackman of The RC Pilot sent in this info:

There is an SMS doing its rounds basically it says , The RC Pilot is being taken over by its suppliers and anyone who has any 2nd hand kits in the shop should remove them immediately.

Our Attorneys have just laid a charge at the SAPS Kempton Park, The SAPS & our attorneys have applied for a section 205 warrant on The Service Provider, The Service Provider risk management section is in the process of supplying the SAPS with details.

The culprit in question has brought a cheap R20.00 sim card and a R50 pay as you go voucher and sent the message via his own registered cell phone. The service provider has married the sim card to "his" Phone and the person will be arrested early next week.

The culprit has also sent the message via a PC. The service provider has also been able via a personal code attached to the message trace the source of the message.

Modellers are requested to laugh this off but it just goes to show what a person will do if he is asked to leave your shop for arguing and becoming aggressive with the shop attendants. If customers are worried they are more than welcome to take their 2nd hand aircraft out the shop until this person is arrested


Don't charge LiPos near radio equipment -- Dave Armitage

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Large Scale, Scale and Pylon Nats -- Zane Mannell

Hi All

As some of you might be aware, SAMAA magazine, RMAC will be hosting a combined Nationals for Large Scale, Scale and Pylon racing from 20 - 24 March 2008.

Unfortunately a gremlin got into the "Entry Form" changing the date to 21 instead of 20 March 2008. The pilots briefing will be held on Wednesday evening and the banquet on Saturday night.

We are waiting for the changed entry form and then I will change the present one on RMAC's website - Oom Bob said we should have it tomorrow. For more information you can contact the SIG chairman directly, Gavin Walton - Large Scale, Russel van der Westhuisen - Pylon racing and "Sir" Koos Pretorius for scale. There will also be an entry form in the next SAMAA magazine but the starting date is INCORRECT.

I will be sending the entry form to all the clubs I can as soon as I get the new one from Bob.

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