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

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