Aero Club of South Africa – Gold Wings
Dr T E (Doors) Fonternel
For the promotion of Sport Flying over a long period of time.
As far back in 1980’s Oom Doors has been involved in organising and assisting at flying events both locally at the Bloemfontein Flying Club as well as Nationally. He was involved with organising, marshalling and scoring at rally flying events. He acted as a starter of the World Rally Flying Championships held in Stellenbosch in 1991.
Oom Doors Fonternel joined the SAAF student pilot scheme in 1948. He would have started flying in 1949 but the SAAF found he had changed his degree direction from BSc to medicine. They then dropped him as they thought his talents should be used in a hospital (not a cockpit) in times of trouble. Only in the late 1970’s could he afford to learn to fly and he obtained his PPL then.
Together with Oom Doep du Plessis he has acted as starter for the Air Race since 1989. Air Race participants will long remember these gentlemen giving their demonstration of the start lights at the briefings for the Air Race and then sitting at the start (as pictured below). After acting as official starters for many years they decided to “retire” after the 2002 Air Race
During 1990 Oom Doors bought the remains of a DeHaviland Chipmunk that used to belong to the Lourenco Marques Flying Club. This project was completed in 1994. Oom Doors Fonternel has allowed his license to lapse as he believed that it was time to stop after so many active years in aviation.