Greg Casson Memorial Weekend
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Jets-R-Us organised and hosted the 5th Greg Casson Memorial Jet Weekend fly-in on the weekend of 6th-8th November. The event was held this year at the Military Base at Jan Kempdorp on the border of the Northern Cape and North West. Greg was a dear friend to many and was held in high regard for his many years of knowledge in the model fraternity. He was dedicated to helping anyone and everyone and would part with his knowledge very easily. Five years have passed and our industry has felt the loss of this great mind and wealth of knowledge.
The runway is completely suitable for Jet flying, +-3km long by 40M wide with a big tar taxi way for parking aircraft and trailers. A large group of pilots left early Thursday morning to make the best of the long flying weekend.
On arrival we were met and welcomed by Oom Boet Neethling from the local flying club. All started unpacking and assembling and it was not long before the first Jet took to the skies. It was fairly hot but thankfully the slight breeze kept us cool and was directly on the runway. We ended flying at around 19h00. Trailers were packed and aircraft were left at the field and looked after by a local security company.
Accommodation is plentiful throughout the town, all bed and breakfast as well as the Jan Kempdorp Hotel. The town folk were found to be very friendly and helpful. All departed to the Border Hotel for a supper and a few refreshments.
Flying started at 06H00 every morning with some making full use of every available gap to have a flight. A few more pilots arrived during the day. We welcomed 2 new Jet pilots Stan Fincham and Craig Robinson to their first Jet event. Both had 2 new Jets that needed test flying, after a few minor adjustments and modifications both were fairly well sorted. Friday evening we held a bring-n-braai at the Local clubs club house at the field which was attended by most of the pilots, family, friends and helpers.
Saturday flying started early once again with a few more pilots arriving during the morning. A bit of a dampener to the mornings flying was with Wynand Swart having some radio setup issues on his Dolphin which led to a crash and a total right off and luckily there was no serious fire. A mobile water tanker (fire fighter) was organised to be on standby should a crash turn nasty and cause a fire. Late Saturday afternoon a storm started brewing as well as a very large fire on a neighbouring farm, so the water tanker was removed as it was needed to fight that fire. Packing up and securing aircraft had to be done in a hurry as it started raining. A flat bed trailer was used to transport some aircraft to and from the hangar as it is quite a distance away.
Saturday evening we were treated to a braai/supper at the local golf club. This was attended by all and everyone had a great time going over the events of the day.
Sunday morning we were once again met with a beautiful day but this time without wind which made the heat very uncomfortable. A large number of pilots departed early on Sunday with some burning some more kerosene. Kevin Geach had a mishap on his maiden flight of his Viper when the turbine controller misbehaved and the pump would not shut down and set the plane alight in midair. Fortunately it happened in a spot where he could land close to himself on the runway and the fire could be extinguished, the plane was severely damaged in the process.
A special thanks to all the pilots, helpers, family and friends who took the effort to attend the weekend as well as all who were involved and helped with organising, sponsoring, towing trailers etc.
Just a few statistics:
· 27 Pilots plus Marius Lensing attended
· 44 people attended the Saturday evening supper
· 46 aircraft
Dieter Lettau burnt over 50L paraffin flying his MB339 and Boomerang Eland over the 4 days. Dieter is one of those pilots who can never get enough, Dean tried to give him a go to clock more flights but did not succeed.
Stan Fincham a new jet pilot maidened a Eurosport and Craig Robinson maidened his Avanti.
James Allison did his first jet landing with his F16 this has given him inspiration as it has been long overdue to attempt.
Jan van Soest did his first take off on his new Eurosport but chickened out on attempting a landing. He said he will rather stick to landing his Boomerang for now.
Flippie Vionel flew his new Futura which was painted in the Audi colour scheme as seen in magazines worldwide. He is still a bit cautious of the aircraft but has nothing to fear as it is an awesome flying aircraft.
Corrie discovered what happens when you drain fuel from a tank of which the overflow is blocked, this upset his weekend as he could not do the long overdue test flight on his new F16. Better luck next time Corrie.
Marius Lensing the 28th pilot had a misfortune when he did not hear the motor cut on his Futura and did a not too successful landing on the runway causing some damage to his aircraft.
A special thanks to Chris and Elaine for sponsoring the caps for the weekend. A special mention to the guys travelling with Johan van der Merwe who travelled from Pietersburg to come as bystanders to watch and learn as they are keen to start flying jets: Ingo Hiesterman, Marius Thiart and Johan Bornman.
Phillip Lewis the chairman of LOMAC model aircraft club made a detour to come and have a look and say hello. He was on his way from Stillbaai to Nelspruit returning from holiday.
And then an extra special mention that the F5 of Oloff Schoeman finally flew after 5 years, those who have attended previous events will recall how Oloff did nothing but build, build, build, build. Hopefully the next project won’t take as long……but who knows with Oloff