Chairmans Chirp

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.
Aeroclub Awards
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.

National Colours:
Awarded to Eugene Du Preez and Leigh Le Gonidec who represented SA at the Advanced World Aerobatic Championships in Romania.

International Recognition awarded to our Judges Laszlo Liszkay, Quinton Hawthorne, Johnie Smith and Chief Judge John Gaillard, for their participation at World and European events in 2018.
Aeroclub Recognition was awarded to Patrick Davidson for his podium finishes in the 2018 Redbull Air Racing Challenger Cup. Well done Paddy!
Life Time Achievement Award:
In my opinion a long overdue award to John Gaillard. Well done John!

Citation as read at the awards:
John Louis Gaillard has been involved with aerobatics since the 1970s. He initially competed in a Stampe Biplane, and was sufficiently fortunate (and skilful) to have survived a catastrophic engine failure after take-off at the old Baragwaneth aerodrome.
Not deterred by this experience, John has continued to play a very active and leading role in aerobatics to this day. By the 1980s John had captained the South Africa team at a number of world championships. He also became very proficient at judging local contests, and was soon invited to judge at international events. A particularly testing moment occurred internationally when John called a zero score for an incorrectly flown figure by a very popular leading pilot. None of the other judges saw the error and hence all scored the pilot highly, and this made John even more unpopular. Even under significant pressure John refused to back down on what he saw to be true. A subsequent review of the video recording proved John to be correct. From this moment onwards John’s reputation as a fair and precise judge grew enormously, and he was soon appointed as the World Chief Judge, a title he holds to this day. There is hardly an international aerobatic contest that John is not invited to oversee as the chief judge. John is so well recognised across the world, that he is often invited to be the Chief Judge at the National Championships of other nationals and to train
their judges. John has judged aerobatics in North America, South America, throughout West, Central and Eastern Europe, China, Australia and of course in South Africa. In addition to judging John is also the South African representative on CIVA, the FAI body responsible for overseeing aerobatics internationally. John has personally pioneered two world firsts in aerobatics which have gone on to become fixed and very popular events in the international aerobatics calendar. Prior to 1995, international aerobatic competitions only occurred at the Unlimited level. John pioneered and successfully organised the very first international contest at the Advanced level, which was hosted in Cape Town. The Advanced class have been competing internationally ever since. And in 2013 John again pioneered the first international contest at the Intermediate level which was again organised by John and successfully hosted in Mossel Bay. To top this all, John was the initiator and Contest Director at the successful 2017 Unlimited Aerobatics Contest held last year in Malelane. John’s pioneering spirit is showing no signs of slowing down, and he is part of a team looking to introduce a new more affordable class of aerobatics, involving light sport aircraft and even electrically powered aircraft. Despite his achievements and recognition internationally, John still enjoys, and is very active judging at a small local regional contests. He even finds time to coach junior up and coming pilots from time to time. John has been the Chairman of the Sport Aerobatic Club several times and remains a member of the Executive Committee. John has also played an important role in promoting safety in aerobatics in both the competition and airshow arenas. To this end he has authored a number of policy documents which govern the safety of airshow operations, as well as the qualification of airshow pilots. John has participated in Sport Aerobatics from all perspectives, as a competing pilot, as a judge, as an organiser and as an official. He is probably one of the most recognised and long standing names in aerobatics worldwide, and there can be no doubt that a large part of the success and stature that South Africa has achieved in world aerobatics can be accredited directly to John Gaillard.

Ace of the Base Contest
The plan is for a one day event on Sunday 2nd December. Early start. Briefing at 0830 for a 0900 first flight. The 2019 figures have been released so Intermediate, Advanced and Unlimited will fly the 2019 Free/Known. Sportsman will fly the 2018 Known and a Free sequence. The 2019 Sportsman Free will be published after the event. Advanced and Unlimited will have a free density altitude break as we are in summer and the unknowns will be pre designed. Remember that the Ace of the Base is a day out, the last event of the year and a chance for us to celebrate Aerobatics and the lives of those who have moved to "higher aerobatic boxes"! Looking forward to a great day.

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.