What a great weekend,
Started dismally with a couple of snags on the aircraft, finally
arriving mid morning in Uitsig.
James did a splendid job of solo navigating, getting unsure only once
near vd bijl park, his radio procedures were impeccable, we were
listening to them on the way while changing rapidly between 119.5 and
124.8 where ZU-BWE were, they had a radio issue with very low
transmission volumes so we cancelled their flight plan and they
continued VFR on 124.8
All arrived safe and sound to a warm welcome from the Goldfields guy's,
first up was John in a K13, after a relatively short but exciting flight
Gary took to the air in the 21 who got away for about 45 minutes, James
also managed a good flight but Greg and Trevor were unlucky with
thermals eluding them.
(Actually I did have a good flight on the glider. On my 1st flight in the
ASK 21 we didn't get anything until we were too low to turn, but
fortunately for me we just hooked up again and winched straight away.
After a fair bit of scratching we climbed enough to look for something
better over the township and hooked a stonker there. The rest of the
flight was easy cloud to cloud soaring. It was so good to listen to a
beeping vario and climb to a fluffy white cloudbase again, with the
freestate vlaktes stretched out below and the big blue sky all around us
- for me that's what flying is all about.
I thought these glass fibre ships would all be quite difficult to fly,
but once I had gotten used to the rudder pressure the handling on this
one was actually really sweet and easy (in the beginning I kept looking
to see if I had my feet on the frame rather than the rudder).
Eventually, after a couple of laps between Henneman and Ventersburg and
some general boating around, Piet the instructor got more adamant that
our time was up, so we cored some sink near the airfield with airbrakes
on, and came in for a nice landing with smiles all round.
The weekend also marked my first longer flight in the falke, first
(dual) nav, and my first landings somewhere other than Springs, so I
certainly got good value.
A little later Gary and Alan took to the air in the whisper and managed
a 7000ft height gain and over an hour boating around the sky chasing an
The Oxygen system in the whisper worked fantastically and is to be
recommended in any aircraft that gets to those altitudes.
I had forgotten how great it was to do the purist stuff and really
enjoyed my 4 launches, 6 to go and my Winch and Instructor rating is
validated and we can make a regular trip of this, to this end Goldfields
have extended an invitation to our members by waiving the entry fees, so
anyone who wants to take them up on this offer contact Alan Susman.
After a very long and fantastic day of flying we were treated to a
wonderful braai put on by the Goldfields guy's, Sheep on the spit, pap,
sauce and salads with enough for seconds and thirds... well done you
guy's your hospitality is really appreciated.
Sunday morning saw high Cirrus that threatened to shut down the thermal
activity and with CB's brewing from the South it was decided to send the
two SF25's back early with the Whisper an hour or so behind, John
elected to drive back to give Alan some air time in the Whisper. The
trip back was uneventful with a few Thunderstorms brewing over Jhb all
made it safe back and happy.
We are planning another visit in Late March early April, I suggest those
that didn't come this time really make an effort to join us, you won't
regret the experience, I am going down as well on the weekend of 27th
Feb to finish my Winch and Instructor rating.