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2017 Henley Fly-in and Jet Day

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This was an open event to all SAMAA members. The event started on Friday morning but visitors pulled in on Thursday to erect caravans and tents.

Friday we had a good day, weather was great although rather cloudy but this did not stop anyone flying. By Friday evening the place was a hive of activity. The hangar was packed with aircrafts for night time storage. The Henley kitchen was up and running since lunch time serving lunch.
When evening came flying stopped and fires were lit and it was time to braai. A nice social evening was spent around the braai fires. The kitchen was serving light snacks, braai packs and liquid refreshments.

On Saturday we were met by yet another awesome day with flying starting around 06h00. The day started with some low clouds but as the day progressed it got clearer and hotter. Many flights were flown throughout the day with more and more pilots arriving as the day continued. Late Saturday evening pilots with fixed wing aircraft started packing away as the Sunday was set aside for jets only. The evening weather was awesome with once again many braai fires billowing smoke into the night sky.

Sunday morning all who slept at the club were up early ready for another exciting day. The weather in PTA and JHB was apparently not so good but at Henley it was perfect. The first jet flight took place early in the morning and was nonstop thereafter for the entire day.
Overall it was 3 days of awesome weather, awesome flying and time was spent with old friends and many new friends were made.

Pilots attended from near and far, young and old, with the youngest being Waldo and Daniel and the oldest Brian Smith from Kimberly (well he is a fossil). Pilots travelled from as far as Richards Bay, Bloem, Kimberley, Klerksdorp, North West, Sekunda to name a few.

Marius Vosloo and family ran the kitchen for 3 days with food being served as a take away or sit down in the hangar, the food was awesome. Thanks guys the food was appreciated by all. The venue was spotless with the grass well groomed around the entire area. The areas around the hangar, lappa, toilets and camping site was well lit up with floodlights. The runways are in very good condition as is the surrounding area which makes flying much more fun.

A special thanks to all who travelled from near and far to attend the event. It is flying friends like you that make these events such a huge success. It is not about what plane you fly or how you fly as we are all part of the same RC community and are there to support and encourage each other. Thanks again and hope to see you all at the next event at Henley Aeromodellers and Family Entertainment Center, surely the best RC venue in the country.

For all the campers, next time there will be proper ablution facilities for all.

Just for the record a total of 47 pilots participated in this awesome weekend of flying and time spent with friends.

2017 Ficksburg Fly & Braai

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This year’s fly in was the 5th organised by the Ficksburg Flyboys. The event was held at the Maluti Air Airfield which is situated just outside of the town towards Bethlehem. The view and peacefulness is absolutely awesome.

All pilots parked either side of the taxi way and on the one apron. The runway runs down a hill to the right which made it a bit of a challenge for landings but this was soon mastered by all. The entries were stopped at 45 entries with a few more begging to be added. The entries closed at 50 but disappointingly only 33 arrived at the end of the day. This was hard for the organisers as they had catered for larger numbers and were let down at the end.

The majority of pilots and their families chose to camp at the airfield due to the great camping area right where you spend the day sitting to view the flying. They have spotlessly clean ablution facilities for men and women with electricity and hot and cold water. Something to definitely boast about.

The majority of campers arrived on throughout the day on Thursday, as well as, one or two who stayed in the guest houses in town. The field was a hive of activity all day. The weather caught us by surprise with a sudden thunderstorm drenching all as well as the inside of most tents. All was taken in good spirit, after a change of clothes and rearranging some bedding all settled down around the camp fires for a braai.

For the remaining two days pilots started flying from as early as 06h00 and continued until late at nigh. The skies were filled with a huge variety of planes (foamies, large scale, jets, hellies etc) on both day. This event is well worth the effort.

On Friday evening portable braai’s were placed along the taxiway with LED flood lights lighting up the area. Fires were supplied and all congregated in various groups around the braais to prepare food. The braais were later turned into large wood fires to stand around and enjoy the fresh air only to be found in the country. This must be the only airfield where you can sit on the runway, have a braai, and hear the roar of lions as close as 100m away.

On Saturday evening around 80 people congregated around a very large fire pit waiting for the very well prepared sheep braai with pap, gravy, salads and of course the not to be forget famous melktertjies. Partying carried on till late with good music and dancing.

Sunday was actually a non flying day as some left early in the morning. The campers started cleaning, packing up and preparing for the long trip home. A few members of the Bloem team, who had arrived late over the weekend, stayed behind to put in some flights.

The Ficksburg Flyboys is a fairly new club with only six members. Many other clubs and organisations can learn from them. They are a reminder that you don’t need many members or years’ of experience in order to organise a first class event. You just have to put your heart and soul in it and do it for the family. All RC pilots are one family irrespective of your profession, colour or choice and size of aircraft.
Thanks guys and well done on a very well organised event, all who attended are waiting for the dates for 2019. To all pilots these events are nothing without you, your family and friends.

Thank you for attending.

A huge thank you to all the sponsors who contributed in making this an awesome event.

Till next time.