First, words of thanks to the previous committee – Nigel, Barrie, John, Q, Elton, Helm, Cliff, Bugs & last but not least, Annie. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to keep this club on the road. I didn’t fully appreciate this until I was elected to the committee. The committee put the work in because they are passionate about aerobatics, and 100% dedicated to ensuring that our club & sport continues well into the future. The 2018/ 19 committee have all been re-elected for the next year. Thank you for once again standing for election! We have included a few new members namely, Eugene du Preez, Conrad Botha and Mike Stark, thank you gentleman!
Our objective for the coming year is the very same as the years previous, which of course is to grow our club. We need to add new members. The reasons I am sure are obvious to all. So the question is how?
In the past we have pretty much left it to the committee, and I guess mainly the chairman to wave a magic wand and produce new members, which they did and we thank them for it. However, the committee is a small group of volunteers, with a limited amount of time & resources. They can’t be everywhere on every airfield all of the time canvassing for new members. So what do we do?
Another hectic year is coming to a rapid end and we have one contest left. It has been another good year with many of our members excelling Internationally. The 2019 CIVA figures have been released and it’s good to see the plans for the 2019 International events, which also include the Intermediate World Champs. http://civa-news.com
Congratulations to our members for their various awards.
Aeroclub Gold Wings:
Awarded to two dedicated members Barrie Eeles and Elton Bondi for their services to the SAC and Aeroclub. Well done Gents, well deserved recognition.
Awarded to Eugene Du Preez and Leigh Le Gonidec who represented SA at the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships in Romania. http://www.civa-results.com/2018/WAAC_18/indexpage.htm
At the recent AGM the 2018/2019 SAC Committee was elected and I am honoured to be able to serve as Chairman for the next 12 months. It gives me great pleasure to introduce the Committee to you;
Chairman Nigel Hopkins
Vice Chairman Barrie Eeles
Secretary Annie Boon
Finance Quintin Hawthorne
Chief Judge/ CIVA Rep John Gaillard
Members: Helm Ludwig, Elton Bondi, Mark Hensman, Gary Glasson, Cliff Lotter
A big thank you must go to the 2017/2018 Committee lead by Chairman Elton Bondi for all the hard work and dedication to the sport of aerobatics. There is no doubt that recreational aviation in SA is faced with mounting difficulties as the country in general is pressured by financial and political stress. Aerobatics is not immune and it is important for us to ensure the Sport remains healthy and importantly fun for all.
SAC 2018/2019 VISION
The Committee has already engaged and there are some good ideas on the table. We plan to look at some introduction to aerobatic days, more fun and inclusive contests around the country and some social and fund raising events. Notwithstanding the current climate we want to make the year ahead fun for all. Our motto for the year is #4theluvofaerobatics. Social media is a great platform for promoting aerobatics so please join us on the SAC FB page. This is for club activities and promotion and not for promoting personal interests. We aim to keep this and the website current and informative. We ask all our members to get involved this year and join in on the fun. Please engage with the committee with your suggestions and ideas.
A Review of 2017 for the Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa
2017 was not an average year for the South African Sport Aerobatics Club. We had some significant highs, and lows too.
We very sadly said good bye to Werner Nel who was tragically lost when his engine failed shortly after take-off at Kitty Hawk. Werner was larger than life character and a rising star in aerobatics; he is, and will continue to be missed by the Sport Aerobatic Club.
One of numerous highs for the club was the Unlimited World Aerobatic Championships that we were fortunate to be able to successfully host for the first time in this country. It was also the first time in the history of international sport aerobatics that all competitors were able to fly all flight programs. We received warm thanks and sincere accolades for hosting the event from many of the competing pilots as well as the international officials.
Although we were very grateful to receive some corporate sponsorship we did not, despite a huge effort, raise as much as we had hoped to; in fact when one of the international jury members learnt how small the budget available to us was, he was truly amazed that we were able to pull it off at all.
The way that Werner lived will remain an example and inspiration to all of us who knew and flew with him.
Much like the legendary Second World War ace Douglas Bader, Werner overcame significant physical obstacles with huge courage in order to gain his wings. Not content with merely being a private pilot, Werner went on to become a highly respected commercial pilot and instructor, giving not only knowledge and skill to his students, but inspiration too.
I understand and accept that the inherent nature of aerobatic flight places demands on both equipment and aircrew that necessitate higher levels of safety vigilance than almost all other flight operations.
I understand that the two most important components of safety in aerobatics are knowledge and self-discipline. Knowledge to be able to identify hazardous conditions and circumstances, and self-discipline to proactively avoid such hazards.
I am sensitive to the reality that once the basic handling skills have been mastered, the resultant euphoria of aerobatics can often induce displays of unwarranted overconfidence and showmanship which often lead to misjudgement and other dangerous practices beyond the ability of pilots and equipment.
As a member of the aerobatics fraternity I have an obligation to inform other aerobatic pilots of any of their actions that I deem hazardous. In turn, I have an obligation to accept such critique when offered to me by fellow pilots.
I recognise that aerobatics attract significant attention, and hence I have an obligation to exhibit high levels of airmanship in order to set an example of professionalism at all times.
The opportunity to fly aerobatics is an extraordinary privilege requiring extraordinary levels of maturity, discipline and judgement.
Deserve the right to be part of aerobatics.