Please take note: The SAPFA Annual General Meeting is planned to take place in the Old Customs Hall, Rand Airport, right after the Rand Airport Challenge:

Saturday, 29th January 2022, Old Customs Hall, Rand Airport at 14H00 or after the Rally Prize Giving.

The AGENDA can be downloaded HERE

The PROXY FORM can be downloaded HERE



Springs Season Finale Speed Navigation Rally – 27 Nov

Photos by Willie Bodenstein and Rob Jonkers
Participants, organisers and officials pose for a photo on Saturday morning after the briefing.

The South African Power Flying Association (SAPFA) organised the 2021 Season finale Speed Navigation Rally on Saturday 27th November 2021 to take place at Springs, this being the 4th event in Season 3 of the Speed Rally series. As a season finale, it would end with a black-tie gala dinner on the Saturday evening against the standard already set in 2020 ending Season 2. Our Season 3 events were held in Witbank, Middelburg, Secunda and lastly Springs.

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SAPFA SA Landing Championships, Stellenbosch and Brits 2021


Pete van der Spek

The Stellenbosch Competitors

Precision landing competitions have been around for a long time but for me, this was a new experience behind my camera. I have always shied away from being too close to a landing aircraft for obvious reasons so when I was asked to do this photoshoot, I did so with an open mind – and with some trepidation. Having said that….

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The SAPFA Secunda Speed Rally – 28 August 2021

By Rob Jonkers. Photos by Willie Bodenstein and Rob Jonkers

This year we have returned again to the birth place of the Speed Rally, being the 4th time, this event has been held here, with 2018 the start of Season 1, and from 2020 having re-aligned the Speed Rallies to calendar year seasons, with this event being the 3rd event in Season 3, with the final event for Season 3 being at Springs on 27 Nov 2021.

With lockdown still at level 3, we limited the entries to 25 teams, and 22 had entered by the time the event entries closed on Friday 27th August. Our host club with Chairman Ashvir Kallis and Vice Chairman Lourence Mathee went all out to support the event, making the club facilities available and a braai for the Friday evening. The Aviation Junction flight school made their school facilities available for the scoring and officials’ team.

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Krugersdorp Shelia Taylor ANR Nav Rally 08.05.2021

By Russell Dixon-Paver

A cool winter morning dawned fair, with a huge cloud bank, just above the horizon to the South West. Teams and aviation enthusiasts started arriving and coffee and breakfast was soon flowing from the revamped kitchen in the clubhouse. Just before 09:00 the weather closed in with a short downpour, causing spirits to sink somewhat.


Not to be put off by the typical “HMS Krugersdorp four seasons”, Francois Tolmay welcomed everyone on behalf of Krugersdorp Flying Club and Frank Eckard started the team briefing, outlining the really simple rules and stressing safety and having fun – “aviation with a purpose”. He had not been speaking long, when the weather started to clear, so he gave some “clearing time” by giving a brief background and description of the various SAPFA events and how the Air Navigation Rally format fitted in. The point was made that provincial and national colours could be earned by achievements in the ANR discipline.

This gave time for the weather to clear for a delayed start and four teams participated. Due to the small field there were two “runs”, one following features, like roads and landmarks, and one without, to add some extra challenge of skills to plan and fly. Cally distributed the map, photographs of the start and finish points, minute marker and printed team schedule of starting slots, including start point, start gate and end gate, with calculated distances and times, based on the nominated speed of each team. The small field also gave opportunity for Frank and Cally to spend time assisting each team with some coaching in their preparation, if needed.


Frank busy with the briefing.

Teams, Organisers and CAA representatives.

Let the route planning begin!

Graciously sponsored goodie bags and the floating trophies.

Cally making sure everyone has their documentation, while Frank concentrates on downloading tracking data and crunching the numbers.

Cally and Frank in action

The four teams get airborne.

Presentations of certificates, trophies and goodie bags.

Run 1:
Rank Points Pilot Navigator
1 1025 John Shaw Chris Shaw
2 1192 Gert Verbaan Francois Tolmay
3 1229 Johann Nel Susan Nel
4 3675 Leon Meintjies Tobie Weeber

Run 2:
Rank Points Pilot Navigator
1 1532 John Shaw Chris Shaw
2 1821 Leon Meintjies Tobie Weeber
3 2147 Gert Verbaan Francois Tolmay

Rank Points Pilot Navigator
1 2557 John Shaw Chris Shaw
2 3339 Gert Verbaan Francois Tolmay
3 5496 Leon Meintjies Tobie Weeber

Thanks to Krugersdorp Flying Club for hosting the event, Frank and Cally for the event organisation, sponsors and CAA representatives for a safe, fun and well-run event.

The SAPFA SA National Rally Championships Stellenbosch 2021

15 to 18 April

Compiled by Willie Bodenstein

Sunrise at Stellenbosch Airfield.

Stellenbosch Flying Club and the views of the Hottentots-Holland mountain range.

After months of planning, behind the scenes work and practicing the SA Rally Nationals was concluded yesterday at Stellenbosch at what without a doubt is the prettiest airfield in SA.

The teams, marshals, planners and orginisers.

Fifteen teams entered the competition that will eventually determine who will be representing SA and the World Championships that are on track for 14 to 20 November and will again be hosted by the Stellenbosch Flying Club.

Colin Jordaan, Competition Director, left with Cally and Frank Eckard.

Working mostly behind the scenes Frank and Cally Eckard had the unenviable task of setting routes that will be worthy of world championship status. That, combined with the fact that most of the teams were flying in totally different topography and weather conditions, more like that that European and others will fly in regularly, made for challenging routes.Cally, when interviewed exclusively for Pilot’s Post said: “Frank and I , as designated route planners for the World Champs, set some challenging routes for Nationals. These routes will be used as Practise Routes for the World Champs, and it was therefore necessary to make them worthy of world class standard. Unfortunately, this was a huge level-jump, as most routes we plan are of necessity, suitable for first-time Fun Rally crews. Some of the Turnpoints were more obscure than those we use in Fun Rallies, and the plotting for the navigators was more difficult than usual. Flying over the mountains of Stellenbosch, though magnificent, was treacherous for some less experienced pilots, especially for those flying lighter aircraft. Wind of Day 2 made the route over Sir Lowry’s Pass and the Caledon area exceptionally challenging, and will probably be spoken of many years from now as being the flying experience of a life time for most of the pilots. However, the timing on that route was fairly good, and did not reflect the difficulty of the conditions. The scenery was spectacular over both this “Southern Route” and Day 3’s “Mountain Route”, which explored the Franschhoek Mountains, over Theewaterskloof, and parts of Paarl Valley. Fortunately, Day 3, the last day of the competition, was calm and clear, and pilots did not experience any adverse weather conditions.”

“Despite the frustrations, hard work and long hours of creating the routes, then checking and re-checking the routes to ensure that there are no mistakes, we are very heartened to see quite a few new crews make it into the top ten results list. This makes it all worthwhile.”

“It has been very challenging to create routes that challenge both the veteran rally crews as well as those who are flying Nationals for the first time. Added to this was the fact that most of our flyers are used to the flat topography around Johannesburg, which proved to be a great advantage to the local Cape pilots.”

Colin Jordaan handled all the safety briefings.

A typical morning briefing.

Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyer plotting their route

“Having secured the 2020 World Rally Flying Championship to take place in South Africa, with the chosen venue to be Stellenbosch, and with planning already under way from 2018, we were dealt a cruel blow have all our activities scuppered in 2020, and nothing more glum than having had to cancel this prestigious event, as well as the Nationals that would have taken place in April. With the world recovery slowly taking hold in 2021, we rescheduled our 2020 events to 2021, and secured the WRFC to again take place in November of this year, and our Nationals was also rescheduled for this April, and allowing all our teams to experience the actual venue for the Worlds, it would be beneficial to have the event in Stellenbosch.” Rob Jonkers, Chairman of SAPFA told us.

Some stunning in flight and ground pics by SAPFA chairman, Rob Jonkers

“My Navigator Martin and I had had limited practice opportunities this year, as such we arrived at the airfield just before midday on Wednesday the 14th April to find the aircraft we were going to use unserviceable with a broken magneto, which the local AMO was able to repair in time for us to at least get in a practice rally flight in the late afternoon, where we flew a route known as Bliksem – which was a route used as practice a few weeks prior as a local rally competition, and after having flown it – it lived up to its name, although we did initially fly it twice in the simulator, finding the turnpoints and photos still tough, especially those involving powerlines in the fading light.”“With at least one orientation flight behind us, we went into the next three competition days with some trepidation, at least the weather was good, although the wind and turbulence in the mountainous areas very hectic in places, our first route was towards the north in the mainly flat areas, the 2nd day’s route was towards the South East near to Hermanus with at least 30 kts of headwind up the Shaw’s Mountain Pass, and then the same tailwind going west, which is north of Shaw’s Mountain thus keeping the speed constant a significant challenge. The 3rd day’s mountain route took us over Bain’s Kloof then to the Worcester area, thereafter keeping east of the du Toit’s mountains working our way back to Stellenbosch via Franschoek. Both the Southern & Mountain routes kept us busy managing the power and altitude as we ascended and descended over the passes to keep our timing as accurate as possible. Needless to say it was difficult to do given our scores were not our best, but that is what flying in this environment entails, on top of which attempting to find photos of ground features at the same time made matters even more tough. Must say the area is for sure the most beautiful area to fly around in, just a pity we are working in the cockpit instead of enjoying the scenery…. Overall we did not have stellar performance but at least we had the opportunity to practice in the area prior to the main event planned for November.

Iaan (navigator) and wife Tarryn (pilot) Myburgh were probably the youngest team at the Nationals. They entered their first rally a month after Tarry was signed out and are hooked on the sport.

Talking to Tarryn she said, “Our first National Rally Flying Championships couldn’t have been set in a more beautiful but challenging place than Stellenbosch. Having never flown much further than Mpumalanga before, the mountains and the weather in the Cape were a new experience for us. We came up a few days early to try get used to the conditions, have some fun doing old routes and figure out the lay of the land before the serious stuff started.”“Day 1 of Nationals and we arrived bright and early to a plane that wouldn’t start. A bit of a stressful start to the day but we got our race time moved out and the plane sorted and enjoyed the Northern Route. We made a few silly mistakes and hoped to improve on Day 2. Day 2 was the Southern Route and the wind gave us hell all the way around the course. Timing went out the window as we bounced and blew over the mountains just hoping to stay vaguely on track. Day 3 was the Mountain Route, which was something special to see in the very few moments we had spare to look at the scenery. We had a good day, things gelled nicely, and we found all the turn points within the timing windows.”

The Myburg’s taking off and the final leg on Saturday.

“When all the results were tallied, we ended 9th overall. We are both happy with our results, considering this is only our third Rally competition ever. The bug has bitten, and we will be practicing hard, hoping to be back in November.”“We have to say a huge thank you to Frank, Callie and Colin for their hard work and to Ursula and the marshals for time and effort in helping everything to run smoothly. Thank you to Mauritz for all the tips throughout the year and for the hard work over the event and to Coach Jonty, thanks for all the training, advice, guidance and spare renoster snot. We have learnt more in the last few months than we could ever have done on our own.”

The electronic equipment setup at the spotlandings.



Some action during the spotlandings.

The spotlanding judges.

Piet Meyer and Adrienne Visser After competing in the SAPFA speed rally series during 2019 and 2020, decided they needed more of a challenge and decided to try their luck with the Navigation Rally and enter for the Stellenbosch National Rally Champs in preparation for the World Championship that will be in Stellenbosch in November 2021.

Piet Meyer when speaking to us said; “My navigator Adrienne Visser and I fly a Jabiru J400 and with a few friends made it our mission to practice and qualify for the World Championship. We downloaded a few routes from SAPFA and with the help of the team coach Jonty Esser started flying these routes. After a few training sessions we took the long trip down flying from Wonderboom in my trusty Jabi on Friday 9th April to have some training days in Stellenbosch before the Nationals.”
“Needles to say, we bit off a little more that we could chew but stuck it out and braved the high mountains of the Cape. After a few sessions flying local routes and after months of patiently waiting, race day arrived. The route was planned to the North of Stellenbosch over flat areas with hardly any distinct features. We had a hard time flying the arc…. And if I say we, I mean me, the pilot. As I got to the beach with clear blue ocean, looking at my map to see no pretty beaches or for even a small dam that I could pretend was the beach with pretty girls, umbrellas, and cooler boxes, I knew I messed up. Luckily, my navigator finished plotting the route and could get her head up and help me get back on track. Humbling experience and I felt sorry or my navigator who did well but the pilot not so good.”

Piet and Adrienne taking off for another leg of the Nationals.

“The second day took us to the South over Hermanus, some extreme mountain tops and beautiful scenery. On this day we did very well. Navigator finished plotting well ahead of time, the pilot, slight headache from some cold refreshments the night before but much calmer not too shabby on the route as well as time management.”“As for the 3rd and last day, the route was towards the mountains and over some very scary terrain. We were way out of our comfort zone as the only mountains I am used to is the northern ridge of Hartebeespoort dam. Again, my navigator did an exceptional job, but the pilot could not maintain the correct times over the turn points.”
“We approached this week as a learning experience as well as some quality times with good friends all sharing the same passion. As novice competitors in navigation rallies, our bubble got so much bigger, and the learning curve was more of a straight line up than a curve. The rally championship was a great success and we, as a group of first-time competitors enjoyed it thoroughly. As newbies to the sport, our flying skills improved, our confidence levels improved, and it makes for a safer pilot. Organization was great and well done to all involved. For all who has never done this or who thinks that they are not good enough, please come and give it a try. You will not be disappointed.”

“As for flying 9 days in a row, exhausted, happy, proud, team “Where the Hell is North” is signing off. Mic Drop. Piet and Adrienne out.”

The marshals without who the event would not have been possible.

When we arrived at the airfield there was much to discuss and to be arranged to ensure that we all knew the tasks that was at hand to ensure that we as marshals can assist the teams .To enable the teams to comply with the applicable rules, we as the marshals had to do the following tasks :-

Jumping a gate to place a marker. Drive the routes and put out ground markers

1. Body search all competitors

2. Check all aircraft for GPS devises

3. Paint white lines on aircraft wheels (needed for the landings)

4. Issue the competitors their envelopes on time (Minutes / Seconds)

5. Man, the landing box and verify the landings by means of visual reference / video’s and electronically (Bingo Box)

6. Once returned from the route, the competitors had to give us their answer sheet that was sealed and taken to the de-brief and scoring room.

Sealing cellphones and other electronic devices.

Handing over the route information.

Searching for devices or other items that may cause an advantage.

Right up to a body search.

Stellenbosch Flying Club organised members / student to assist the SAPFA Marshals on the day. The necessary training was given and everybody knew his designated task.

We had lots of fun, made new friends, and looking forward to marshal at the World Rally Flying Championships to be held at Stellenbosch airfield later this year.

Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel getting ready to plot.

Steve vd Merwe and Alewyn Burger relaxing after a day’s hard flying. We spoke to Alewyn Burger who together with Steve vd Merwe fly for SAFAIR and he told us that when Steve asked him if he would like to team up with him for the 2021 SA National Rally Championships he immediately said “Yes!”

“Later he send me the FAI Rally rules and I said to myself “Oh Veldskoen!,” this is going to take something spectacular to not to make fools of ourselves. Two weeks before Nationals we attended a very valuable training camp held by the “Grey Beards” of the SA rally scene. The very next day we flew our first official rally together. The route was called “Bliksem”, need I say more. Our results were a reality check, the learning curve steep but we were hooked.”

“It was a long two weeks before Steve could fly back down to beautiful Stellenbosch, the home of the Stellenbosch Flying Club in order for us have another run at the “Bliksem”. Thanks to the rally prep team there was an additional five routes worked out for this area to cut our teeth on and so, we got to work or should I say, plan, plot, cut, stick, fly, time, spot and observe. Don’t forget the spot landing at the end!”

Steve and Alewyn concluding their day’s leg at the spot landings..

“The competition finally arrived. We are in quarantine and all cellphones are sealed away. We will only know where we flying too in 3 hours’ time. The butterflies are doing aerobatics in my stomach. For a moment I relax and reflect, asking myself why we have placed ourselves in this situation. We are out of our depths but in our hearts, we are aviators! This is what we do, flying is what we do! After day one of the nationals, it feels like the monkey is a little lighter. We are still making rookie errors. However, there are many things we are getting to grips with. In truth we can be proud of how far we have come. The camaraderie and hanging out with fellow rally folks are fantastic!”
“See you at the next rally and perhaps you too will discover and pursue this challenging sport. Thank you, Steve, for asking.”

Andre Kluyts and Don Lucas

Tony and Pamela Russell

Henk and Ilse Oosthuizen, they too were newsbies.

Sandi Goddard and Jonty Esser.

Entry 9 in the competition consisted of participants Marko Nel (pilot) and Leon Bouttell (navigator), this is a new team that was formed 3 weeks before the national event with limited time to prepare. Marko the resident CFI at the school has excellent knowledge of the area and flying experience. Like most of the established competitors the team elected to use a C172 flown at 75K for the event.

“Lessons learned from day one lead us to significantly improve our performance for the later routes.” Leon told us. “Of particular note was during the third routes flown we did not miss a single turn point correctly identified the photographs, this was an absolutely brilliant effort on the part of the Marko with a less than adequate map. Our navigation scores also improved with every successive day flown. However, the on-route photographs did present a real challenge to find and this was a large component of the penalties scored in the competition.”

Frederick and dad Apie Kotze with umbrella girls Ursula and Leonie.

Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek. This was their first nationals.

Father and son Hendrik and Jeandre loots taking of for their final leg…….

…….they took the honours in the spot landing segment of the competition.

Jonty and the newbies. The presence and enthusiasm of these competitors bodes well for the future of rally flying in SA

After to prizegiving Jonty Esser, the RSA Team Coach made the following statement: “Firstly I would like to thank all the new Elite Rally crews that have invested their time and commitment to joining this Extremely Elite Group of Pilots and Navigators. You all did extremely well and have learnt a lot especially Windy Mountain flying to the second. I am really proud of all Crews that have gained superior flyings skills during this World class Difficult Competition. We will continue to train and do our best to prepare for the Qualification Round Two competition that will be held in June in Brits”.

“Thank you to the Media for covering this prestigious event and thanks our competition director and route planners.”

Frank Eckard with Adrian Piling and Mary de Klerk with Colin Jordaan. Adrian and Mary took the honours at the championships

Defending one’s championship title for the 8th consecutive time since 2008 is no mean task….. especially when one is competing with a lot of younger sharper and competitively hungry aviators. Well this is what I was determined to achieve at the South African National Rally Flying Championships held recently at Stellenbosch Airfield. I have not missed a National Championship competition since 1991 having flown the first 20 odd years with Barry de Groot, then with Adrian Pilling (after Barry retired), only once with Nigel Hopkins, himself a World Champion, and now in 2021 again with Adrian.

I knew the competition was going to be challenging, but actually did not realise quite how challenging, until we took off against the backdrop of the magnificent Helderberg Mountain range surrounding Stellenbosch. With 15 well trained and heavily practiced teams competing for the title, and having to best interpret and plot the challenging routes planned by the Eckard team, we were all facing 3 days of pin point accurate navigation and precision flying in order to achieve the ultimate win and possibility of selection for the South African Rally Flying Team to represent our country at the World Championships due to take place in Stellenbosch in Nov 2021. Fortunately the weather gods were smiling down on Stellenbosch and surrounds in terms of wall to wall blue with visibility to “foreverland”…..

Adrian and Mary on the way for another leg of the Nats.

Day 1 Route took us over some flat land to the north. Most teams found this route to be extremely challenging and the results for this day were not pleasing to most. Even though Adrian and I were placed first, we knew there was a lot of room for improvement. World Class teams need to return to base with only double-digit scores and ours was a triple digit.

Day 2 dawned and brought with it howling easterly winds pumping in the south. The route was taking us down south and so no crews were spared the enormous buffeting and turbulence, not to mention the fight against 30-40 knot headwinds screaming down the valley with venturial force only to turn our backs on the wind and then have to pull out all stops to slow the craft down while listening to the stall warning screaming ……. But the spectacular mountainous scenery somehow managed to overpower this sometimes rather terrifying experience. Fortunately, all crews landed safely but the experience was not over for Adrian and myself. For some unaccountable reason, both of our loggers bombed out and only fragments of the route had been logged. Despite being thrown around like a cork on a choppy sea, we knew we had flown a good route and so were bitterly disappointed to hear that we faced the possibility of no result for the day. But thanks to the supreme skills of Frank Eckard, he managed to somehow piece the entire route together between what was retrievable off both loggers and the result was delivered. This time we were placed second by a mere 2 penalty points behind the brand-new team of Marco Nel and Leon Bouttel.

Day 3 awoke to a perfect day for flying and the crews took to the skies to enjoy and incredibly magnificent mountain route that really showcased the sheer beauty of the Western Cape area. By now everyone was settling in and both the plotting and the flying seemed somehow to get easier.

Prize giving took place on the lawn in front of the picturesque club house and winners were announced with certificates, medals and trophies being handed out to all the deserving marshals, organisers and participants. Colin Jordaan had directed the 2021 South African National Championships in a most successful and near flawless event and I got to defend and retain the title of SA Rally Navigation Champion for another year.

Second time National contenders Anthony and Pamela Russel finished in second place

With Marco Nel and Leon Bouttell in third place.

The teams to represent SA are still to be announced.

I have been fortunate to cover and report on a number of SA Rally Nationals as well as the previous worlds held in SA and this year’s one has without a doubt been the best organized and as far as I can remember the best supported as well. The number of new teams, not only in experience but in age, is very heartening to see.

Thank you to all at SAPFA for your hospitality. We are so looking forward the world championships!

The run-up to the SAPFA Rally Nationals is in full swing 

By Rob Jonkers, Jonty Esser and Willie Bodenstein

The run-up to the SAPFA Rally Nationals is in full swing to practice before the teams all head down to Stellenbosch in April, where the 1st round of qualifying for the International Rally Championships taking place in November, which also takes place in Stellenbosch and where team SA is working hard to enter as many teams as possible to compete against formidable overseas teams.

The Championships will take place at Stellenbosch Airfield, located about 8 km from Stellenbosch Town, 35km from Cape Town International Airport, and 50km from Cape Town City Centre in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. 
Established in 1973, the Stellenbosch Flying Club is located among the picturesque mountains and vineyards of the Cape Winelands. The club offers excellent facilities, with the recently upgraded restaurant and relaxing outdoor area adding value.


                                                                               Participants at the 2019 training camp held at Stellenbosch

Stellenbosch proudly boasts one of the most beautiful airfields in the world. The famous Stellenbosch Winelands are protected by the Hottentots-Holland mountain range and offer breath taking and spectacular scenery stretching from the Atlantic Ocean as far as Tulbach in the North.The rally flying will take place over a vast area of magnificent mountainous and flat terrain.

The Rand Airport training camp participant


And participants at Brits on Saturday the 13th March

Jonty Esser, as the SA coach, has put together a series of training camps to give the new teams that are entering the sport the best opportunity to qualify. Saturday the 13th March was one of these that took place at Brits and one of the 2014 Nationals Routes was dusted off for the teams to practice on.

The focus was on photo recognition and accurate timing. The route for those who could remember was a long and difficult one, and the photos hard to find, especially with some years having passed and vegetation looking different. As a training route, everybody learnt plenty and would have gained valuable experience. 

Saturday’s results

The next practice round will at Stellenbosch on 27th March, with the Nationals 15 – 17 April.Your RSA Team is working hard to make us all proud. The 1st selections will be made on the 14th – 18th of April 2021 and 2nd selections will be in September 2021 in Gauteng – Please come support your potential team members –
Pilot – Fanie Scholtz Navigator – Herman Haasbroek
Pilot – Jonty Esser Navigator – Sandi Goddard
Pilot – Tarryn Myburgh Navigator – Iaan Myburgh
Pilot – Piet Meyer Navigator – Adrienne Visser
Pilot – Hendrik Loots Navigator – Adele Loots
Pilot – Fredirik Kotzee Navigator – Apie Kotzee
Pilot – Andre Kluyts Navigator – Don Lucas
Pilot – Steven van der Merwe Navigator – Alwyn
Pilot – Tony Russell Navigator – Pam Russell
Pilot – Ashleigh Prinsloo Navigator – Marco Nel
Pilot – Adrian Pilling Navigator – Mary de Klerk
Pilot – Hans Schwebel Navigator – Ron Stirk
Pilot – Rob Jonkers Navigator – Martin Meyer
Pilot – Thys van der Merwe Navigator – Sally
Pilot – Laura McDermid Navigator – Stuart McDermid


All are welcome to join us at our training camps and come try out for the selections
Visit to enter

Check out the World Rally Flying Championship 2021 – 22nd WRFC in

This is what we are all working toward – don’t lose focus and hope – we are going to be a formidable team in the worlds.



The My Aviation Life RAR ANR Rally Wonderboom 7 March 2021

By Willie Bodenstein​

Four weeks ago, a number of young aviators with a vision and a passion had completed and were ready to launch their ‘My Aviation Life’ aviation network when one of them remarked; “Wont it be wonderful if we can have a race that will be live streamed as part of the launch?”

On Saturday 6 March, that dream became a reality when the network was launched at Wonderboom’s Villa San Giovanni’s restaurant.

My Aviation Life’s Percy van Staden, Goitseoane, Moabi Ntlhaile…
…and Lesang Tshoke

They got SAPFA, the South Africa Power Flying section of the Aero Club of SA on board. SAPFA has been organising rallies for years and Frank and Cally Eckhard and Rob Jonkers, Chairman of the Aero Club, assisted with the planning of a short ANR (Air Navigation Race).

The teams and rally planners

Ten teams from various flying schools and some private entries entered. However, on race day only, five arrived, four teams from Grand Central Based Superior Pilots Services and one private team, Andre Burger and Laurie Hillhorst.

The five teams that did not make it were the eventual losers as the event was brilliantly organised, a learning experience and an opportunity to compete in a serious race.

The first team to take of was that of pilot Andre Burger and navigator Laurie Hilhorst, who flew a Vans RV 10.
Next to be away was the Cessna 172P with pilot Jishkaar Singh and navigator Shelby van Popering on board.
Third away was the Cessna F172N piloted by Mathew Paton with Mohammed Vanker navigating.
Following them was the Cessna 172M with Sachin Amarath piloting and Darion Murphy navigating
Last away was the Piper Pa-28R-200 Cherokee flown by Wian Minne with Marno vd Westhuized navigating
The track

The course lay-out was based on an air navigation race track in which teams fly a corridor with turn points. Based on each team’s speed, it was estimated that teams should complete the track in 30 minutes. The race culminated in a spot landing with teams being penalised heavier for landing short rather than landing after the line.

The track
Percy van Staden, Goitse Diale, Lesang Tshoke with Wian Minne and Marno vd Westhuizen who finished first in the landing competition
Goitse Diale, Percy van Staden, Lesang Tshoke with Shelby van Popering and Jishkaar Singh finished second
Goitse Diale, Percy van Staden, Lesang Tshoke with Sachin Amarath and Darion Murphey who finished 3rd
Percy van Staden, Goitse Diale, Lesang Tshoke with Andre Burger and Laurie Hilhorst who was the oveall winners
Percy van Staden, Goitse Diale, Lesang Tshoke with Shelby van Popering and Jishkaar Singh who was second overall
Percy van Staden, Goitse Diale, Lesang Tshoke with Sachin Amarath and Darion Murphey who finished third overall

Judging by comments from those present there could be no doubt that the event was a huge success and thoroughly enjoyed by all. We understand that the organisers are planning to hold regular events spread throughout the country and this initiative deserved the support of all with a passion for aviation

The 17th Rand Airport Challenge Nav Rally 27 Feb 2021

By Willie Bodenstein

Thirteen teams, twelve in the Advance Class and one in Sportsman, entered for the Rand Airport Challenge that was postponed from January because of inclement weather. Althought not perfect on Saturday conditions were flyable and the first aircraft eventually took off almost an hour after the planned time. By then Ron Stirk and Hans Schwebel had withdrawn due to bad weather forecasted on their route home to Brits.

With the SAPFA National Rally Flying Championships set to take place from 15 to 17 Apr 2021 at Stellenbosch Airfield time is running out for teams to qualify for the 22nd FAI World Rally Flying Championship set to also take place at Stellenbosch from the 6 to 20 November 2021.

The cockpit of Rob Jonker’s and Martin Meyers steed before the race

Jonty Esser and Sandi Goddard finished in 1st place

Adrian Piling and Mary de Klerk was 2nd I ZS-KSF after NBN went US……..3rd was Mike Heffill and Leon Boutell

4th went to Hendrik and son Jeandre Loots………Rob Jonkers and Martin Meyers was placed 5th

Piet Meyer and Adrienne Visser finished in 6th place

Saturday’s route planned by Cally Eckhardt took into account the fact that most teams have had little experience this past year and that teams need lots of practice in order to be prepared for Nationals. Her route was a mixture of super-easy and quite challenging sections. This allowed for everyone to be able to focus on aspects of their game that they need to improve.

7th place went Andre Kluyts and Don Lucas

Father and son Ryan and Chris Shillaw 8th…………Fanie Scholtz and Herman Haasbroek 9th

Father and son Apie and Frederick Kotzee 10th ………………Tarryn and Iaan Myburg 11th

Stephen Sands and Neil de Lange were the only Sports man competitors

In order for teams to qualify for selection for the World Championships teams need to score less than 692 points. At this stage and with the results from yesterday’s rally only one team would have qualified for selection.

However, that said our local pilots will have the advantage of flying their own aircraft in terrain that most are familiar with. There is no doubt in my mind that Team SA will make us proud. We have after all been world champions in this aviation sport and has almost always performed admirably when under extremally difficult conditions when competing abroad.

The Aircraft Unlimited Witbank Speed Rally 2021

Text by Rob Jonkers.
Photos by Willie Bodenstein, Rob Jonkers and Russell Dixon-Paver


This first of the 3rd Season Aircraft Unlimited Speed Rallies for 2021 has been held at Witbank, organised by SAPFA and hosted by the Witbank Aeronautical Association. This event was held virtually a year ago at the same venue. The world of course has changed substantially since then, although it seems yesterday that we were last here. It has for sure been an event fraught with challenges, from the start of having to postpone it from the original planned date of 6 February as the last throes of cyclone Eloise was still drenching the Highveld, to having to line up a new support ground team (as many of the stalwarts were not available a week later), to having to ride through a number of mistakes on the day. Nevertheless, the end result was at least a safe and successful rally.

Some of the aircraft when we arrived 

There were 30 entries, quite a full field given the current situation, with a number of local aircraft taking part. Three flight schools entered, Legend Sky from Rhino Park, Mach 1 from Springs and a large contingent with 5 entries from Bird Aviation based at Vereeniging Airfield. The weather outlook seemed to be poor, and on Friday the wind was pumping at between 15 – 20kts from the north-east with 6/8 cloud, with the forecast for Saturday giving low cloud with afternoon rain – seems the next tropical depression was on its way from the east coast.

More competing aircraft 
The Friday afternoon initial briefing started at 18h00, with Rob Jonkers who took to the stage and provided a briefing on what to expect for the next day in terms of the planned route, how many turnpoints, distance, departure and arrivals protocol, and a weather outlook. After this Jonty did his signature event promotion of handing out race numbers, where after the club provided a nice dinner spread, before retiring for the evening.When Kobus Jacobs on Friday after the test flights landed his Kitfox on the grass runway and found after stopping that he had somewhere picked up a puncture and that a wheel was completely deflated. That was no problem for the friendly people of the Witbank Aeronautical Society who in the spirit of aviation chipped in without being asked and soon the wheel was as good as new. 

Saturday morning dawned with more promising weather, the predicted low cloud did not materialise, and by 9 am the cloud base had risen to 6500 ft, with a still strong easterly wind. The briefing was held at 08h00 am and was concluded at around 08h30, where everybody dispersed first for a group photo and then to park their aircraft and prepare for the scrutineers. The route for the day was intended to be a scenic one, mostly north of the Loskop dam in the Groblersdal area which has many rivers and hills.

Saturday mornings briefing, competitors and organisers. Photos by Russell Dixon-Paver 
Each team were supposed to get their envelops with their loggers 20 minutes prior take-off, somehow the papers hand-out team received an incorrect time list which showed an hour ahead of when the papers were supposed to be given. Although the first 5 aircraft were given their papers early, once the mistake was realised, a reset had to be brought into effect. 1st take-off was at 09h53 for the slowest aircraft and last take-off at 10h40, with planned arrival at 11h30.

Some of the competitors prior to take off 
With all the competitors off towards the northwest, the route had a mix of easy and challenging turnpoints, especially TP6 which required good navigating skills to find the canal and road crossing, from the results this turn point seems to have been difficult to home onto. With the windy conditions the aircraft coming over the line were more spread out than before, most competitors were over the line within 10 minutes, with one straggler that decided a visit to Nylstroom was in order….

The start line, slowest starts first

Some of the competing aircraft taking off 
After all teams having returned and safe on the ground, the scoring team got to work to analyse the results, with the tracks for a number being quite accurate, although some had wobbles, three had got significantly lost.

Nice perfect Track……………..Oops – Went to Nylstroom

Some of the competing aircraft returning

Getting the results out on time proved to be a challenge, with changes in the scoring system there were some gremlins that had to be fixed, and that required extra time, also with impending bad weather moving in, many competitors started to depart. Aiming for a 2 pm prize-giving was just not working out, and with too few left at the field, it was decided to postpone the prize-giving to later the day, however a small prize giving was held for the most creative route – which turned out to be the Cessna 310 that found its way to Nylstroom, the trophy for the host club, and the most enthusiastic crew which went to ZS-PJK.Given the additional time for scoring, and having to check of anomalies of the results, particularly the track error accuracy, it was decided to review gro-pro footage to assess any auto-pilot usage, which given the size of the files, could only be checked the next day. Once the review was done and no anomalies found, could the results be published, although some mistakes crept in when the prize giving information was compiled. Nevertheless the scores in the leader board results are correct (given on the website), and the trophies granted remain with the recipients as given. 

Best Flight School Bird Aviation. Photo by Russell Dixon Paver
Best Husband and Wife Tarry and Iaan Myburg
Best Father and Son Chris and Ryan Shillaw
Best Nav 3rd place Promp Roofing Team B Jonty and Jonathan Esser

Best Nav 2nd place Team Century Avionics Mary de Klerk and Phil Wakely with Century’s Mark and Sean between them
Best Nav 1 st place Team Fast Flame Henderik and Jandre Loots
Best Speed 3rd place Team Aircraft Unlimited Roger Bozzoli and Nadine Brooker
Best Speed 2nd Team Mighty Mouse John Sayers and Jack Coetzer
Best Speed 1st Team Mad Dogs Ron Strik and Von Hamman

Overall 3rd JB Team JB Switchgear Leon Boutell and Martin Meyer

Overall 2nd Mike Blackburn and Steve B

Overall winners of the Aircraft Unlimited Season 3 Race 1 Chris and Ray Shillaw


Many thanks to the Witbank Aeronautical Association for hosting this fantastic event, supporting with logistics and great meals available throughout the day, Nigel Musgrave as the Safety Officer, Dirk and Louna de Vos doing the scoring, Chester Chandler on handicapping, Marc Robinson with his team from Century Avionics for Scrutineering, Chareen Shillaw for taking on the role of starter, Clarissa for handing out competition papers to the crews. Although there were some hiccups, eventually the participants got airborne. Thanks also extended to Santjie White of the ARCC who always watches over us..
Also thanks to our sponsors, Aircraft Unlimited being our signature Speed Rally Brand Sponsor, Flightline Weekly for sponsoring the race numbers, and our team sponsors, Prompt Roofing, Fast Flame Laser cutting, Century Avionics, Beegle Micro trackers, JB Switchgear.

Our next Speed Rally event will be in Middelburg on the 27th of April 2021