After many months of preparation, WAC 2017 became a reality on the 9th September 2017 in Malelane when the CIVA President Nick Buckenham declared the championships open. For those of us that were tasked with the preparations, it was a case of hitting the ground running and getting things done. Despite the best intentions of the planning and strategy beforehand, we were ready for the pilots and other delegates on day one. After the registration process was completed, the initial briefing set the scene for the next 10 days. And then the opening ceremony set a truly African scene for our aerobatic friends from across the globe. The stage was set for South Africa to host the 2017 World Aerobatic Championships. The skies above Malelane kept the promise of 'sunny African skies' and the noise of aerobatic aeroplanes performing overhead made everyone happy. The small team of SAC workers ensured that the competition kept running without any serious glitches throughout. Tempers were frayed on the odd occassion and later in the week, strong winds created some challenges, but by the time the last aircraft landed on the final day, all five competition programmes had been completed safely and a winner was chosen by the panel of respected judges. That was the main objective of these championships. Job done!

Congratulations to the 2017 champions;

 - Mikhail Mamistov (RUS) - First place overall
 - Team France - highest score overall
 - Rob Holland - Final Freestyle champion

Thank you to all those participants who graced us with their skills. We trust that all enjoyed our hospitality!

Full results available at



In what can only be described as a titanic duel which brought out the highest standard of aerobatic competition flying, Nigel Hopkins took top honours at the 2017 SA National Championships held in Malelane, Mpumalanga from 5 to 8 July 2017. Although Nigel took an early lead during the first programme, the defending champion Patrick Davidson displayed excellent skills during the remainder of the contest but had to settle for a close second place with Mark Hensman finishing third. Malelane will host the World Aerobatic Championships during September 2017 and proved to be a popular venue for both pilots and organisers alike. Congratulations to all the competitors who took home a medal but a great thumbs up to everyone for keeping it safe. Detailed results are published on the Contest Results page.

The entry list started off with 15 pilots but Brandon cancelled and Andrew Blackwood Murray succumbed to the flu so we ended up with  13 guys. Poor Andrew flew up from the Cape on Friday already so that he could practice but arrived not feeling well at all and by Sunday decided to keep it safe and pull out. (that sounds more like a teenager on his first date). Jonty Esser arrived on Friday as well, champing at the bit and flew a few practice sequences. Well, to say he flew the first few sequences is not quite the right wording, more like “fell through “, but by the end of the day, with a bit of coaching from all and sundry, he was doing well for a novice sportsman pilot. Go Jonty, you’re getting better with every flight! And then on his last flight of the day, thinking that he has to impress us all with a really low fly by, he damages our only tar runway with his prop! The town council is not impressed Jonty and will be contacting you soon! But all is well that ends well, Nigel and the boys negotiated borrowing a prop from Boris by promising him free beer and better scores once he starts flying comps again. Thanks Boris!

CIVA 2017

The annual CIVA meeting took place in Romania early in November 2016, where a number of rule changes and events were confirmed for the 2017 aerobatic season. Full details will soon be available at

The figures for inclusion in the 2017 Free Known programmes are;


Overview of the 2016 Gauteng Regionals

After a doubtful and very blustery start to the day, which threatened to have the contest declared cancelled before it even commenced; we were eventually able to fly a safe successful and enjoyable Gauteng Regional contest, with all 10 pilots being able to get in two flights, a known and an unknown. The inclement weather forecast resulted in a number of competitors wisely electing to pull out the day before, when winds in excess of 30kts were experienced.  This was a good call for the Free State pilots who would have battled low cloud and strong winds had they attempted the ferry to FAVV.   Great judgement guys!

At the AGM held during the 2016 National Championships in Bloemfontein, the members of the SAC elected Elton Bondi to serve as the new chairman, with the outgoing chairman Neville Ferreira taking on the role as Vice Chairman.

The remaining committee members were all re-elected except for the Western Cape representative with Helm Ludwig replacing Jacques Du Plooy.

In what was undoubtedly a hotly contested championship, Patrick Davidson has once again been crowned the National Aerobatic Champion at the 2016 National Aerobatic Championships held this year at Tempe airfield in Bloemfontein from 13 - 16 July. Flying a Sukhoi 31, he took control of the Unlimited category after the first Free Unknown programme and led all the way to the conclusion, beating Nigel Hopkins (Extra 330SC) and Barrie Eeles (Sbach).


The second Sky Grand Prix of Aerobatics once again wowed the crowds over the skies of Durban on 28 May 2016, repeating the successful hosting of the event held in the same city in 2014. Whereas the previous event was held over the beachfront, this year's event saw the skies above the Greyville racecourse filled with the awesome aerobatic skills of some of the worlds finest pilots.

The CIVA Regulations (Section 6 Part 1 for powered aerobatics) has been restructured and is now available in the Briefing Room documents store. The actual rules have not been changed.

By and large, the structure is now the following:
- Everything very general or dealing with what happens before the competition can be found in Chapter 1.
- Rules related to Programmes can be found in Chapter 3.
- Operating rules pertaining to what happens during the competition can be found in Chapter 2.
- Everything about evaluation of flights is in Chapter 4.
- Finally, Awards has a dedicated Chapter (5).
- The structure of appendices is unchanged, except that the FPS methodology is now in a separate document.

SAC Rules amended to reflect changes to the CIVA programmes

In line with the 2016 changes to Programmes 1 and 2 for all CIVA categories (Unlimited, Advanced and Intermediate/Yak52), we have amended the relevant sections of our local regulations to reflect these changes. There is provision for an additional Programme 4 (Free Unknown #3) to be flown.

The Sportsman/RV/Classic category still requires a Known and Free programme to be flown and the versatility requirements for the Free programme have been amended to reflect a total of 120k as opposed to 110k in previous years.

You can find the new version of the regulations in the Briefing Room section.

New 2016 Sequence: Programme 1 'Known Free'

As from 2016 all CIVA championships will adopt a new programme 1 format called the "Known Free" which will
replace the existing Known and Free programmes. For a detailed explanation of the new format click on the link below.

This must be read together with the new versatility requirements as listed in the 2016 edition of the Section 6 - Part 1 regulations.

SAC however has decided to remain with separate Known and Free programmes for the Sportsman, Classic and RV categories.