10th Annual Gariep Fly-in 2017
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10TH ANNUAL JETS-R-US FLY IN HELD AT GARIEP
The long awaited tenth Jets-R-Us fly in has come and gone. The event was held at the wonderful venue at Gariep Dam Aviation field and took place over the weekend of 6th to 9th July 2017.
We drove down from JHB on the Wednesday morning early and arrived at Gariep around mid day to be met by some of the pilots from Oudtshoorn. At around 4pm around 60 percent of the preregistered pilots had arrived, all wanting to get a good spot on the taxiway. The weather was absolutely brilliant with warm sunshine and a slight breeze straight down the runway. Trailers were parked, gazebos erected and planes were assembled. With help from some of the pilots the frequency board and windsock was erected. Once the crowd barrier was erected and set out we were ready for flying.
As usual as in all the past events all departed to their accommodation with the majority meeting at the local watering holes for the evening which has become a tradition on the first night.
Thursday morning the field was a buzz of activity with late comers unpacking and assembling of planes and equipment. All were very eager to get the pilots briefing done so they could start flying. Not long after the pilots briefing the pilots took to the skies and they kept the flight line busy all day with all types of aeries and everyone had great fun.
Friday the flying activity was much the same as Thursday with a few more pilots arriving. The weather was really awesome from Wednesday through to Friday. Pilots flew till sunset and some stayed on later to do displays with their planes fitted with landing and wing tip lights to create special effects.
As Saturday approached we were all well aware that this will be the last day of good weather as the forecast was for a cross wind picking up throughout the day. Early morning a slight cross wind blew but got steadily stronger throughout the day. With a few degrees drop in the day time temperature at around midday it got rather miserable and gradually the pilots started packing up for the end of this awesome weekend.
Saturday evening the most pilots, wives and families gathered at the local bowling club for a sit down dinner and a prize giving. I want to thank the local community for the spread they laid on for the supper. A special thanks to my family Paula, daughters Louis and Joanne, Wesley and Stan the Man for helping in decorating the tables. We decided to go the extra mile as this was our tenth year of organising this fly in. Various prizes were handed to the majority of pilots, the pilots name was drawn from a hat and the pilot drew a prize which was donated by some sponsors.
A R50 note was picked up on the taxi way on Friday afternoon and it was decided to do an auction for the money. This money was placed in an envelope and pilots were told that a substantial amount of money was picked up and we would now auction it off and use it as a prize. The envelope was auctioned off by Stan who got the bidders worked up and all started contributing toward auction. The bid closed once the auctioneer dropped the hammer and the last person to bid at that time won the envelope. Andre De Vries from Empangeni won the envelope. The money raised on the auction totalled R635 and was added as a prize. This prize was drawn by Sakkie Breukelman from Richards Bay. A special mention must go to the following pilots, Wynand Swart, Werner Swart, Pierre Fouche, Wesley Denysschen, Oloff Schoemann and Peet Venter for entering and attending all ten of the Jets-r-us fly in events. These gentlemen all received a hand crafted collector’s item clock to commemorate their participation. A hand crafted collector’s item clock was also handed to Darryl Legg who has sat for numerous days at every event doing paintings of various pilots aircraft. We appreciate his participation and dedication to our event and for his continued sponsorship of the painting that is handed out every year. The painting this year was awarded to Marius Lensing for his eagerness and dedication to get involved with this event every year.
All types of aircraft were flown throughout the weekend. The glider of Clint du Toit stood out above all the planes, this was an all composite aircraft with around a 6m span and was powered by a retractable electric motor with a foldable prop.
Thank you to all pilots for bringing your part in keeping the airfield neat and tidy throughout the entire weekend. Catering was done at the field by the local Glass Pont Hotel staff, and pancakes were sold by the local church community. This helped to keep the hungry tummies full for the weekend.
Gariep airfield must be one of the best venues in the country to host a fly in. It has a long enough and wide enough runway in the right direction with the sun all day behind the flight line. A large taxiway to park the planes and trailers on either side and includes a lockable hangar to store the planes overnight. The town offers a wide variety of accommodation ranging from camping, bed and breakfast to self catering. If you have never attended this event make a plan for 2018, you will not be disappointed.
A huge thank you to the sponsors who helped contribute to the flavour of this event.
Topflyte Hobbies, Aerial Concepts, 3WSA, RCB4Toys, CMC Hobbies, AMT Composites, ASP Aviation, Sanjay Kana, Oloff Schoeman, Anonymous 1 and 2, Jets-r-us, Denny’s Electrical, Afridrill, Ian Matten, Cointech, Darryl Legg, Marko Sweiswerke.