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Pre-Purchase Checklist

| Pick of the week! | February 24, 2016

We highly recommend printing a ‘PRE-PURCHASE CHECKLIST’ for an aircraft you are interested in purchasing. Its an easy avenue of going through all the important parts of the aircraft and giving it a score up to 10 points.

Following PRE-PURCHASE CHECKLIST available :


Single Aircraft pre-purchase checklist

Twin-Engine Aircraft

Twin Aircraft pre-purchase checklist

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When Snoopy ‘shot down’ the Red Baron!

| Noel's Blog | May 11, 2015

12th August is my “other” birthday. Today I am 37 years old! On this day back in 1972, I nearly bought a piece of Rand Mines Properties permanently. Lucky to have survived. So I celebrate it as my “other” birthday.

Mine is a classic tale of an accident waiting for a place to happen. Over confident! Head-strong! Arrogance! Infallibility! Immortal! Know it all, ( as Christopher would say)! What else?…

JLPC’s annual air show. True to tradition, it was always scheduled for the windiest day of the year, and the 12th August 1972 was no exception.

Picture this…

The wind was 25 kts gusting 30 – 35 out of 310 deg. Runway in use was 03.

20 000 people pitch up to see the show… and there is no show! The “Star Air Race” is a non-event. Fewer than half the aircraft take off and most elect to land at other airfields due to the wind. No Skydivers! No gliders! No balloon popping! No Hot-air Balloon!

Nick Turvey does some aerobatics in the Zlin 226. And then he goes up again in the Pawnee to demonstrate how crop dusting is done. The bravest of the brave demo pilots of Placo, NAC and Comair display a couple of aircraft and that’s it! The air force is not due until 15:00 hrs. It is now only 13:00 hrs. A long time to keep people interested.

Now I had developed a little air show routine. Snoopy versus The Red Baron. Peter Nicholas’s mother had made up some “Snoopy” outfits for me. I built some “dog kennels” which were rigged up with “popping” balloons, pyro-technics and smoke bombs. All the special effects were controlled by someone inside the “kennel” who had a “firing control board” which was battery powered. I, of course, was the “Red Baron” what else could I be?)

“Snoopy” was armed with a Blunderbuss which I made out of some 50mm PVC Tubing, a plywood stock which held the battery and a firing control board. Inside the tubing I put the smoke bombs.

Now the script called for the “Red Baron”, me in my Tiger Moth ZS-CDJ, to attack Snoopy. To make it more dramatic, I had a wing-walker, Hilton Hume, who would walk out to the inter-plane strut, armed with a 38 Special which was loaded with blanks. The blanks had lots of “black” powder in them to make a really big bang and a “big” puff of smoke. We would do a low-level pass shooting at Snoopy and the “controller” inside the “kennel” would fire off the charges fixed to the kennel and on the ground; popping balloons and making lots of smoke and noise. Snoopy would retaliate by firing his blunderbuss at us. It worked! And I was in demand at small air shows from Brits to Matsapa. We did it for the thrill… no money! Just give us bread and water and fuel and we put on the show.

Now for the Johannesburg Light Plane Club (JLPC) air show, at Baragwanath Airfield, because the crowd would be spread out along both sides of the runway, I had 3 more suits made and built 3 extra “dog kennels”. The plan was to spread these out along the runway and, in effect, do 4 shows in one. Fly down the west side of the runway shooting up “2” Snoopies; turn 180, fly down the east side and repeat the show. 4 Passes were planned! The problem was that the Tiger was so slow, the impact would be lost if only one aircraft was used, so I conned Gerrit van den Bosch and Scully Levin, ZS-BGL, into flying their Tigers in the show as well. Surprisingly, it was not difficult at all to find “wing-walkers”, but to find suitable Snoopies was another matter. They had to be “clowns” to entertain the crowd whilst we got airborne.

The crowd was becoming restless and bored. We “have” to do “something”! The “Show must go on!”

Now I could hear a little voice yelling at me saying “Don’t do this! This is not clever!” So I did what every “hot-shot” pilot does. “I turned the volume down so I could not hear the voice any more”. Scully was not too happy either, and against his better judgement, I persuaded him to fly. Gerrit just followed!

We take off on 03 and form up over the mine dump to the north west of the field. I am leading with Scully at No. 2 followed by Gerrit. I turn back to the airfield and once we were on a long final approach, indicate to Hilton to climb out onto the wing. He moves out to the inter-plane strut, 38 Special in hand and we run-in to the target which were the 2 “dog kennels” along the east side of the runway. The turbulence was frightening! I am fighting to keep the aircraft on track, the buffeting is snatching the controls from my hand, I have nearly full right rudder in to counter the drag of the wing walker! I have never experienced anything quite like this before. Scully told me afterwards that his gut tightened up so much it ached!

We do the first run! It was not pleasant! I call Hilton back towards the cockpit and then I turn to the right, into wind which helps keep me inside the perimeter of the airfield. I do the run down the west side and the turbulence is even worse! I decided to do the run down the east side and then that would be quits for the day. No way am I going to do this 3 more times!!!

I passed over the last Snoopy and begin a turn to the right, downwind! The drag from the wing-walker is too great to counter, so I straighten out and motion to Hilton to get back inside. He does not climb into the cockpit but sits on the longeron with one foot on the wing and one on the seat. I now continue the turn and in so doing look back to see where Scully and Gerrit are. They are still behind me, but I now notice that the wind has blown me past my turning point and I am now 150 – 200 meters behind the crowd line! I now make the 2nd biggest mistake of the day; (the first “biggest mistake” was to take off). I pull the turn tighter!

Hilton is still out in the airstream. I felt the aircraft shudder and instantly that little voice shouts out… “Don’t tighten the turn you d@@s”. But too late! The left wing drops. Hilton dives head-first into the cockpit and I boot in full right rudder and stick forward. The aircraft slewed to the right and the wing picked up and for a moment I thought… “We’re OK!” The Tiger is at least straight and leve!

Now to the north and east sides of the “old” Baragwanath, there was a Bluegum tree plantation. What I did not realise is that Bluegums grow even on windy days. The problem was that I was only 40 – 50 feet above the trees, which were themselves about 60ft tall. They grew so quickly that one of them climbed up and hit us dead centre of the right wing. The aircraft slewed around through 180 degrees and pitched the nose vertically down. We collected about 4 or 5 more trees and bought a prime piece of Rand Mines Property.

Hilton broke a couple of ribs against the compass bowl and he had a beautiful impression of the airspeed indicator on his forehead. He was out of the plane in an instant and standing next to my cockpit. I could smell fuel and was beginning to panic that I couldn’t get out. Then I remembered to pull the pin of the Sutton harness and promptly disappeared into the bowels of the Tiger. I clambered up and jumped over the side between the 2 wings. I was still trapped! I couldn’t see over the top of the wing. Then I heard a voice coming from somewhere near my knees. A hand reached under the leading edge of the wing and pulled me out into the open. I had bruised my knee!

I learned from that! A valuable lesson! But I would strongly discourage anyone from “trying that at home”!

My log book shows that my total number of landings is = Total Take Offs (-) 1

I just don’t know how to rectify that!
Noel Otten

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South African reigns at IWAC 2014

| Aerobatics | January 5, 2015

The 4th FAI Yak 52 (YAKWAC) and 1st Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships took place in South Africa from 26 November to 3 December 2014. 48 competing pilots from no less than 16 nations battled it out in the skies above picturesque Mossel Bay, the first venue to host these events outside of Europe.

“Mossel Bay was chosen by FAI as the venue for these competitions because of the quality of the airfield, the selection of local accommodation and attractions, and the enthusiastic support of the Mossel Bay Municipality” said John Boucher, Event Coordinator & Secretary of the Mossel Bay Aero Club.

Mossel Bay Airport boasts a paved 1200m runway, an active club house, ideal aircraft hangarage, refuelling and aircraft maintenance facilities. The airfield is also the home of Skydive Mossel Bay and the Starlight Academy – Africa’s largest commercial helicopter pilot training school.

At the Official Opening of the Aerobatics Championships, Mossel Bay’s Mayor, Alderlady Marie Ferreira thanked the world’s Aerobatics family for selecting the town to host the event. “We’re proud of our small but growing aviation sector – which includes the largest commercial helicopter pilot training academy in Africa – and we believe that the Yak-52 and Intermediate Class World Championships will provide an exciting and very valuable opportunity to showcase the town, and this part of the Garden Route coast” she said.

Mossel Bay Tourism’s Marcia Holm weighed in suggesting that the Championships provides an important boost to the local tourism economy, and she thanked the Mossel Bay Aero Club for its part in making the town a premier sports tourism destination. “We trust that Mossel Bay will once again deliver the safe and lovely flying conditions for which it’s become justifiably famous,” she said.

17 pilots took part in YAKWAC whilst 31 aviators went head to head in pursuit of the Intermediate World Aerobatic Championship crown.

Unfortunately the 1st day of the Championships was affected by inclement weather conditions. Winds gusting 12.3 m/s drew the Pilots’ safety into account and the event was postponed for the day.

The roar of the Yak-52 engine thankfully returned as action commenced with New Zealand pilot, Steve Geard drawing first flight of the Intermediate Championships. 35 competitors followed, each flying an identical single set sequence or Q program. Teams were then tasked to draw their free program schedules before the next day of the contest.

The morning of the 30th brought low clouds and all flights had been postponed to mid-morning. A weather flight followed by a ‘warm up’ flight by Justus Venter in his Pitts Special preceded the Free Program but unfortunately led to a premature end of the Free program, and thus the Championships.

Final Standings
Judges recognised that although the weather played a part during the event, overall standings weren’t adversely affected.
Overall winners for 1st Intermediate World Aerobatic Championships:
1. Michel Leusch (South Africa, World Champion) – 78.997%
2. Dieter Ebeling (Australia) – 77.839%
3. Neville Ferreira (South Africa) – 77.395%
Overall winners for the 4th FAI Yak 52 (YAKWAC):
1. Vladimir Kotelnikov (Russia, World Champion) – 76.026%
2. Roman Ovchinnikov (Russia) – 75.668%
3. Igor Turik (Russia) – 75,562%

The Closing Ceremony honoured the life of Glen Dell, a prominent South African aviator who competed in the 2008 & 2009 Red Bull Air Race World Championships who sadly lost his life in 2013 doing what he loved doing.
The tribute & IWAC trophy dedication brought a fitting close to a thoroughly enjoyable & successful Championships leaving no doubt that the South African Aerobatic scene is in a healthy condition.

Kelly McAuley

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#1 training aircaft? we think so!

| Pick of the week! | January 22, 2014

We like this aircraft so much , we even thinks its the greatest aircraft for training up pilots! what do you think? http://www.aircraftmarket.co.za/?ad_listing=cessna-182

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*Pick of the week!*

| Pick of the week! | January 11, 2014

Cirrus SR22 Turbo GTS – Its the ONLY XI edition in South Africa, http://www.aircraftmarket.co.za/?ad_listing=cirrus-sr22-turbo-gts

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Happy New Year!!!

| New Years Resolution? | November 8, 2013

The AIRCRAFT MARKET team wishes all aviators and enthusiasts a Happy New Year!

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