Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Marc's sixth report from the F3A World Champs – Pombal, Portugal

Hi guys,
There''s good news and theres bad news... lets go for the bad news first. as you may have noticed, the mails have dried up a little ...this is because my laptop has packed up.
The good news is that we have got walters phone to connect to the net, so I can do some very basic reporting in this way.

Right, so lets cut to the chase... what's been happening... as you may know by now, we have just completed round 3 so we are 3/4 through the prelims now. cplr seems to be dominating the p schedule so far, with akibba and qq trailing by a bit. we are still trying to understand what the judges are looking for, as this year the trend has moved on from argentina. the guys are flying much bigger and a little faster, but it looks like the big thing is the geometry of the manouvers and the legs between the rolls must be of equal leangth.
There is no way yet of predicting the pilots going into the f's yet. this is because the are 4 flight lines opperating every day with 4 different judging pannels,... each of which we will fly infront of only onnce,. this means that until all 4 rounds are finnished, there is no way to compare the results.
That's all for now as it ia very difficult to see the screen and type on the phone

Team SA

Monday, August 24, 2009

Marc's fifth, er, report on the F3A World Champs

hi john

pc has packed up and I am now using walters phone to send you this message. things might get a little slow from here on but I will try to keep you guys informed. please post on the blog that my pc has crashed, but that I will get back on to it asap:

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Marc's fourth report from the F3A World Champs – Pombal, Portugal

Practice day 4 (Thursday)

I have to admit to missing out on my report for this day, but sleep deprivation had finally caught up with me! Here follows a short prĂ©cis of the day as best as I can remember…

Once again we were at the field in Barosa, and if I haven’t mentioned it before, it was billed as a field with a ‘carpet’ runway. It is in fact a very thick woven cloth that has been tightly stretched over some hard rolled ground and is actually a great surface to fly on. This time the field was not very busy, and we each got in about 7 flights during the day. The temperature was quite hot – about 32deg, and the wind was blowing cross at about 15-20 kph. Many of the practice flights were done into / down wind, but after watching Wolfgang flying in a 80 deg crass wind, I asked him why, and he said that the predominant wind at the main contest site was the same, so it would be good practice. After this we started to do the same and also flew crosswind, at first with the wind in our faces, which I found easier, and once the sun had moved around, we switched to flying on the other side, and then we had a blow out. This proved very challenging for all of us, however, watching Wolfgang, was like thinking that the wind wasn’t blowing… what a master!

We left the field quite early… about 7pm, and stopped off at Mac Donald’s for dinner. Kind’a hurts when you have to pay about R65.00 for a big Mac Meal! Anyway we all went to bed quite early, hence the lack of a report.

Practice Day 5 (Friday)

Same old same old! Up at 7;30 down for breakfast, and on to the flying field via our favorite supermarket called LIDDEL to collect essentials in the form of bananas, peaches and various cool drinks and water. We had bought a nice cooler bag a few days ago, and today, instead of paying R40.00 for 2kg of ice (”gello”), we got the hotel to fill the cooler bag and we were set for the day! When we arrived at the field it was incredibly busy, and after putting our names on the list, we worked out that it would be 3 hours before we got our first flight! During the wait, Andre started to clean his model, as he always does and both Walter and I thought it would also be a great idea, as the dust of the last few days was starting to affect the well waxed look of the Beryll. It was while wiping the wing down with a bit of windowlene on a cloth that I noticed a small crack on the right hand wing of the Beryll, which was positioned just at the point where the carbon wing tube ended. What to do!? After a lot of consultation with most of the pilots at the field, it was decided that we should pull open the crack enough to drop some cyano into it and just monitor the length of the crack after each flight. Eventually my chance came up and I decided not to be gentle, but fly as if it were a contest round, and if it broke, well then ,so be it. Fortunately, the wing held, and after the whole day’s activities, seems to be coping quite well with the repairs metered out at the field.

Today the wind was stronger than it has ever been since we’ve been here, and the turbulence over the trees and hill was, to put it mildly, quite daunting. Today we had the opportunity to spend time with the Japanese team, as well as BPLR and CPLR, all of whom used the Barosa site for their practice today.

Watching these guys fly is like poetry – Walter was convinced that the 20km/h winds would mysteriously stop when these guys were flying, but somehow when we went up… the wind would start up again! Both BPLR and CPLR were flying their Oxiome design – a half biplane / half overgrown T canaliser equipped monoplane. Today we decided to braai… and thanks to one of the local club members, who grew up in Pretoria, we were able to organize a braai and some wood as well as a grid and all the necessary essentials to make it happen. Needless to say, we were the envy of the whole field when the food was ready! As mentioned before, the wind was really bad and we always flew crosswind, either with a blow in or a blow out.

We left the field a little early again today, as john had to go to the Team Managers meeting in Pombal, which is at least 40 minutes drive from our hotel.


Here’s what we have seen so far…

QQ is flying his new bi-plane (called Venture or Ventura- can’t remember) with Plettenberg electric power.

Jason is still flying his Integral, he says he has made one or two mods, but he is very familiar with the design and happy with it’s performance.

Andrew Jesky is flying the Spark, and looks like a nice one.

Both B and C PLR are flying the Axiome, as used in the Euro’s last year, and Wolfgang Matt is also flying a biplane, an upgrade of the Amethyst, which he also flew at the Euro’s

The Japs have also got new aircraft, and they as usual have one heck of a colour scheme and paint job on them.

The big news however is that Bernt Beschoner from Germany is flying some sort of vectored thrust motor system… haven’t seen it yet but should get to see it tomorrow.

Tommorow at 10;30 is our official practice slot, followed bu the opening ceremony, so we will feed more info through as soon as it’s over.

That’s it for now, if there’s anything you would like to know, please drop us a mail and we’ll get you the answer - Until tomorrow…

Please feel free to email the team at

Friday, August 21, 2009

Marc's third report on the F3A World Champs – Pombal, Portugal

Practice day 2 (Tuesday)

Once again, as every day, the team meets for breakfast at 8 am and as the main contest site was closed for the day, we decided that we would try the local model airfield just outside Leiria, in a district called Barosa. The advertised distance from our hotel to the field was about 5 km, and we probably added another 10 km to the trip by the time we found it! The field is located in a flood plain alongside an irrigation canal in an agricultural area. The runways are surrounded by fruit orchards on the one side, a maize plantation on the other, with tall poplar trees behind us and a tall’ish hill covered in pine trees making up the mix.

The flight line was quite busy in the morning, with many of the European countries choosing to practice at this site and the turnaround time between flights was about 1 ½ hrs. Andre was getting used to his new Quantum eL at the coast, but Walter was still having problems with his motor, so he changed out the CDI for the old Dingo 160 DZ. Walter spent most of the day trying to get this motor to run properly, but it was not to be, as the next thing to go was the throttle servo. After replacing the servo, the throttle was still erratic, and we discovered that it was actually the throttle barrel that was the cause of all the problems.

Practice Day 3 (Wednesday)

Once again the weather was the same as the previous days… misty mornings, although we only get up at around 8am, as we have been having late nights, what with only getting back to the hotel at around 9:30pm, and then still having to get something to eat and charge the uncharged batteries.

Today was once again not Walters’s day… having an overheating problem on his DZ 160. Try as he may (and he did!) the problem just kept persisting. After a team caucus, the solution was one of two… either replace the motor with a brand new unit… or try the CDI unit again. Walter was worried about flying with the new, as yet un-run motor, so he decided to give the CDI unit one more try, as it had been pointed out to him that it could be that the fuel issued by the organizers was of a different type to what the motor was used to. Once the CDi motor was back in, a different mixed blend of fuel was tried, along with adjusting the needle another THREE turns out! And hey presto – Walter was back in business. Fortunately, there were not that many pilots at the Barosa site today and we were running on a turnaround time of about 40 minutes. Today was quite a good day, as we managed to get in at least 8 flights each. We were very fortunate to have ex world champion, Wolfgang Matt at our practice site, and he was very willing to help with all sorts of questions that we threw his way. Often it is not only about the contest, but also about the information gleaned, and today was one of those days were we learnt a lot. We packed it in quite early today – 6pm (there was still about 2 ½ hrs daylight left) and once at the hotel, John called a team meeting, where we went through the maneuvers and discussed the team strategy and planning for the rest of the week.

That’s it for now as it is now midnight and I still need to charge. Until tomorrow…

Please feel free to email the team at

Marc's second report on F3A World Champs – Pombal, Portugal -- Marc Wollfe

First off, we must apologize for the delay in getting this report back to you, but being in a foreign country is not all a bunch of roses, especially when the hotel we’ve booked into doesn’t have a wifi hot spot. It has taken us a while to find a nice restaurant (where they understand English) with a wifi connection and we will now frequent it on a regular basis.

Anyway, enough with the excuses, let’s get back to what’s going down in Pombal…

Practice day 1 (Monday)

After waking up at about 7 30 am we grouped for a nice continental breakfast. The cars were packed and we set off for Pombal, a distance of approximately 35km from our hotel in Leiria. This proved to be quite an experience, as the road system in Portugal is nowhere near what we are used to in SA. Over here, what looks like a free way on the road map, can best be described as a country lane! On arriving at the contest site, we found graders, digger loaders and lots of workers, still finishing off the site. The runway is about 1km long from end to end, and there is a line on each end. After we had collected our fuel and car passes, we decided to go down to the end where team USA was practicing. The contest site is in a valley surrounded by tree lined hills causing the most incredible turbulence. This is exacerbated by the heat, with thermal activity causing the models to jump up and down in flight… quite a challenge, and not something that any of us are used to! We mixed well with the American team, learning a few tricks here and there. The line was quite busy, with us getting a flight in every 1 1/2hrs. The flying was quite a huge adjustment for us, as we had to lift our base line quite a bit, both to avoid the mountainous tree line, as well as try and avoid the turbulence. Andre had brought both his A and B models with on the first day, and was happy with both of them. Andre has decided to use his new electric model and spent the rest of the day with this one. Walter was flying his Osmose, and was settling in quite nicely, when his manifold broke in flight. This required an emergency landing, but he couldn’t get the throttle to close or open as the manifold had jammed the throttle at a high’ish idle. This caused the model to run off the end of the runway, which ramps down approximately 2m at the end and finishes off with vineyards. Walter tried valiantly to nurse the sick Osmose over the vineyards and a fence and pancake down in the long grass on the other side. Incredibly there was no damage… not even a broken prop! I was using my original ‘blue’ Beryll, and trying to get used to the weather conditions. The wind was quite strong, at about 10 to 15 knots, and at about 30 degrees to the flight line. The temperature is about 35 -37 degrees and quite dry… very different from the winter wonderland we are used to! The other thing that is so strange is that the sun comes up just before 7am and only sets at 9pm! That’s a VEEEERY long day.


Please feel free to email the team at

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I make use of this opportunity to invite you to our annual event held on the West Coast. (16 December).
This will be the 5th year concurrently that this event is held and it's getting better every year.
Come and see how the brave are trying to fly their heavy loaded planes for 100 Km non stop, or take part yourself. For the not so brave just come along bring your plane and join the "Fly In" for the day. Any plane welcome and especially those funnies lawnmowers ect. Also those of you with the hi-tech stuff, jets, helies and more. And bring along the four wheel monsters, as long as it is RC. We cater for them too.

The idea is to get the RC community together for one day and to raise money for charity. Only R100 for the Long runners per team and R50 for those that join the "Fly In".

For lunch we are having a good old braai together ­ other fast foods also available and also something to wet the throat of course.

We are planning some very exiting special events this year ­ so please, come on and don't miss out on this joyous day with all your RC friends.

And tell the others.

Please reply to for your entry form. It will be forwarded. Further information will be communicated to all entries by email regarding this event of the year….
See you at the " Run"."
Mario. 083-284 7173

The SAAF Museum Swartkops will be hosting a Wings and Adventure day on 12 September 2009.

This will be the highlight of the year for the SAAF Museum as it will a big show!

For the car enthusiasts there will a 4x4 track where they can test their skills.

For the aviation enthusiasts there will be range of aircraft flying and on display!

The Alo11,Alo111, Puma, Bosbok (traffic eye in the sky),Kudu, Harvards, Caravan C208, CASA 235, Vampire, Mirage111CZ, Mirage F1AZ, Impala Mk1, Hawk, Gripen and possible Falcon 50 or 900 will take part. (Flying program can change due to the serviceability / availability of aircraft).

The Flying Lions, Albatross, Pitts (Dennis Spence) and the Northwest Province Team (G-Loc) will also be taking part.

Flying starts at 10:00 and ends at 16:00.

Francois "Hosepipe" Hanekom will be the airshow safety director. Brian Emmenis from Capital Sounds will doing the commentary for the show and will cross to the roving reporter from Radio Bosveld for commentary from the crowd and the motor ( 4x4) enthusiast side of the show. Live traffic commentary will be broadcast from the Bosbok. The radio frequency (FM) will be advertised on the billboards posted along the major routes or if you have a traffic report function on your radio it will be automatically broadcast on your radio.

A Hawk and a Gripen will also be in the static park so that the public can get a closer look of the aircraft (first time in Gauteng that the public will be able to get up close to the SAAF Gripen and Hawk).

A big screen will be available in hanger 2 for those who would like to watch the rugby. SA Breweries, Coca-Cola, Perno, KWV will also have stalls at various strategic points on the airfield ( hanger 2). A 16m long bar counter will be erected in hanger 2.

There will also be two live bands to entertain the crowd. A lost children's pick-up point will also be available.

Entrance will be R30 for adults and under 16 will be free. (What a bargain!) Parking will available to the northern side of Swartkops adjacent to Trichardt rd and car-guards will be on duty.

Various light aircraft will also attend the show.

Should anyone require to fly in to attend the show ( non-participants) prior authorisation from SAAF HQ (min 72 hours) is required. Landing fees and entrance per person will be applicable. No fuel will be available.

See you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Report number one from F3A World Champs -- Marc Wolffe

Hi John,
I have battled to get an internet connection, but have now fond a nice cafe down the road from the hotel.
the first report is attached below...

F3A World Champs – Pombal, Portugal

Well, it’s hard to believe that it was almost 2 years ago that I was at the F3A world champs in Argentina! …and here we are on our way to Pombal, Portugal

Many times, I have been the one back in South Africa, wondering what the guys were up too at the world champs… not only the SA Team, but also all the latest breaking news, results, trends and just about anything that can be feed back to the rest of us at home. Usually you can Google and surf the internet until the cows come home and still not find a decent site to see the days happenings, so…

With this in mind, I will undertake, on behalf of, and with the SA team, to send daily updates to the SAMAA BLOG, and hopefully keep you all informed.

We will be online daily, and if anyone would like to mail us (questions about the event, or just some good wishes) we look forward to receiving your email, which can be sent to the following address which I have created specifically for this event, so as to correspond with the modelers back home. I / we undertake to get back to all emails as soon as possible, and welcome your comments.

And so … on to our trip, which for Walter, Bertie(caller), Gerrie (supporter) and I, started yesterday. Walter and the guys drove up from the Free State, and I flew up from Cape Town on SAA, Star Alliance partner with TAP, so even though there shouldn’t have been any problems, I still took the precaution of phoning ahead to double check that the 2.1 meter long model box was known about… and of course the first snag of the trip came when I arrived at the airport to book in, only to be told that the model box was too big and had to go cargo! Anyway, a lot of talking later and the box was accepted as passenger baggage, and sent on its way. The flight up to JHB was uneventful, and I was met at the airport by Danie Potgieter, who was to be my host for the overnight stay. He whisked me back to his place to freshen up, and then we were off to John Brinks house for a braai. At the braai we held a little ceremony for Walter Van Huyssteen, as it is his first ‘cap’ for South Africa, and we all witnessed him putting on his SA blazer for the first time.

We left the braai at 9pm, and headed for home, as we were to be at the airport at 5:30 the next morning. All things considered, the main leg of the trip from JHB to Lisbon went quite smoothly, i.e. the usual snags occurred, which briefly, are explaining the whole story of what’s in the boxes to the customs officials when making your declaration of what you are taking out the country, as well as the now usual insistence that these boxes DO in fact fit on the aircraft and they have been cleared for normal baggage. Once that was taken care of, we boarded the plane (an A340) and 9hrs later, we landed at Lisbon, which is an hour behind local SA time. So you can imagine the strange feeling when not only should it be dark, but it was also 29 degrees! Unbeknownst to us, our boxes and luggage ended up as ‘priority’ and was all but waiting for us when we arrived at baggage collection! All looked set for a quick drive up to the town of Leiria, when the wheels came off…literally. The hire car company that we had booked had a queue which ran out the door of the airport and round the corner! So… 3hrs later we got our car – an Opel Corsa, and Van – a Fiat Scudo. Next minor headache was that the boxes were about 10cm too long to fit into the Scudo, but the thought of going back into those queues realized a plan to tie the rear door closed with own of the tie straps used to hold the lid on the boxes, and not long after we were on our way - with a short stop at one of the roadside restaurants, where a cheese roll and coke cost R27.00 or a toasted cheese and tomato with a coke cost close to R50.00! Once fed, it was just a short drive to the hotel in Leiria, which we found with no fuss or bother. By now, the local SA time was midnight, and once all the goods were taken out of the car, we retired to our rooms for the night, but not before all three of us checked through the model boxes to see that everything was all right.

Tomorrow we will assemble the models and go out to the first practice session in the morning.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about our journey so far, please let us know if there are any specific things you would like me to cover by mailing us at .


Friday, August 14, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Hi All,
We have had numerous calls from people wanting to know if this event is still on.
Help us out and spread the news to all your friends, family and enemies that Scale is happening, God willing, from 24th to 27th September 2009. ( Four days).
Please visit our Website for a copy of our Entry Form.

Asseblief manne laat weet almal met wie u in aanraking kom dat OUDTSHOORN SKAAL wel aan is en vra hulle om die aansoekvorm op ons webwerf so spoedig moontlik te voltooi.
Baie dankie,

Hekkie Fourie

Friday, August 07, 2009

North West Aerobatic League 4 -- Scott Crescent

North West League 4

Will be hosted at Klerksdorp Radio Flyers on the 23rd August 09
(Please note the venue and the date has been changed and not as per Samaa/Maasa event calendar).
Pilots briefing will be at 09h00 sharp, please bring own refreshments, braai fires will be available at 12h00, last chance to qualify for Masters 2009 in the country.
Entry R50.00
For more information:
Quintin 0829393134
Nico 0832767047

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