There’s a bunch of pilots who dedicate lot of time working behind the scenes, sharing their aerobatic knowledge and experience with those still new to the sport. These good spirited guys spend a chunk of their free time over weekends training and coaching others to become more proficient at the sport. All with the goal of achieving better scores at contests. Because that’s what you need. Better scores. Those in the know will tell you that trying to better your skills on your own is just a waste of time and avgas. Having someone on the ground who has been there already, offering advice on the little tricks and nuances to get you those scores is a no brainer! And it’s safer! However, not everyone is within easy flying reach of these dedicated guys, so what to do? No problem, they’ll make a plan to head over to an airfield near you.
The current chairman of the Sport Aerobatic Club SAC, Gary Glasson has made it his mission during his term of office to share the thrill of the sport with as many pilots as he can, across length and breadth of the country. Just a few months ago some pilots in the Lowveld expressed interest in aerobatics and wanted to know how they could get involved in the sport. Together with his wingman Eugene du Preez and very experienced pilot Bertus du Preez – no relation – they arranged to convene a training camp in Tzaneen. A 3-day weekend with briefings and proper tuition both on the ground and in the air saw some 10 pilots flying a variety of types like a RV8, Yak 52and Decathlon end up with an Aerobatic Rating. And they had a great deal of fun at the same time. The opportunity to share experiences, gain new knowledge, all while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded pilots is invaluable.
There have been two more training camps in as many months; a very well attended and successful one at Wings Park airfield near East London in August and then a training day directed at RV owners was held at Kittyhawk, Gauteng in September. A long weekend training camp is scheduled for Swakopmund in Namibia during November as a result of the interest shown by the local flying club. There’s also a RV specific training camp in the pipeline for later this year, pencilled in for Tzaneen. These camps all offer ground briefings and lectures focusing on safe aircraft operation and recovery from unusual attitudes.
In addition to the training camps, training sessions are held at Vereeniging most weekends under the guidance of Barrie Eeles. Helm Ludwig co-ordinates the Western Cape region. So, for those of you who ask: “where can I learn to fly aerobatics”, the sport offers training at an airfield near you. You will need your own aircraft though.
Read the articles on the recent training camps published on Flightline Weekly at www.flightlineweekly.com