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2006
African Bush Pilots Fly-In
June 3rd 2006
Barberton Airfield, South Africa

The 3rd annual "African Bush Pilots Fly-In" took place at its home base, the Barberton Airfield on Saturday 3rd June 2006. Once again marginal weather over the escarpment mountains prevented many aircraft flying in from the Highveld region. However the 2006 event was the most successful to date and the social atmosphere the best ever.

There were various demo's and competitions on the day and some of the main events included skydiving displays by Graham Field and Mike Rumble of Aerial FX, tight low level flying displays in a Cessna 182 and Cessna T-41 piloted by "CC" Pocock of Bush Air, an exhilarating helicopter display by Danie Tereblanche, close formation flying by a T6 Harvard piloted by Derek Hopkins and 2 Navions piloted by Steve George and Peter Laatz. 

Numerous different types of aircraft participated in the event in the form of fly-by's and demo's and included a SAAB Safir, Starduster, Cessna 172, Cessna 172 XP, Cessna 180, Cessna 182, Cessna 206, Piper PA-22, Piper PA-28, Piper 20, Robinson 22, Robinson 44, Jabaru, RV7, Kis2, Kitfox, Bushbaby, Super Sabre, Sting, cropspraying Windlass Trike, Bantam, Thunderbird and Lambada.

Robert (Bob) Gannon, the American Pilot who has been flying his Cessna 182 around the world for the past 5 years was present with a "World Flying Adventure" exhibit incorporating his Cessna 182 and maps showing the many countries and routes flown so far. Bob also volunteered his services as "Bartender" during the event. 

As always, the highlight of the event was the PYRO-FX simulated Air Raid on the airfield incorporating lots of live explosives. The Bombing and Strafing runs were performed by the North American formation consisting of Derek Hopkins in a T6 Harvard from the Harvard Club of SA and Steve George and Peter Laatz in two Navions.

Commentary and ATC was handled by CC Pocock and "Agent" Graham Cooper.

Pyrotechnic Special Effects and Fireworks were engineered and setup by CC and fiance' Shirley Johnson. Shirley was also the production manager for the event.

The day was finally brought to a close and the night kick started by a high impact Fireworks Display by PYRO-FX and the party in the "Bush Pilots Pub" and around the bon fire continued until late! 

Special thanks to all the volunteers from the Barberton Methodist and Christian Churches for their valuable help during the event.

Thanks to all the pilots who flew and drove in for their support and for making the 2006 African Bush Pilots Fly-In the best in 3 years. We once again look forward to next years event. Thanks to African Pilot, World Airnews, The Lowvelder and Barberton times for the media support. Due to marginal weather for 2 years in a row the event will no longer be held in June. The next event has been scheduled for the long weekend of 9th to 12th August 2007.

 

Aircraft and tents line the side of the runway
 
COMPETITIONS and DISPLAYS
Spot Landing was won by Andrew Pappas in a Bantam
Andrew Herbert took 1st place in the Short Field Take Off.
Competition prize winners were as follows: 
  • Short Field Take off : Andrew Herbert in a Kitfox.
  • Spot Landing: Andrew Pappas in a Bantam.
  • Object dropping(Flour Bombs): Andrew Herbert in Kitfox (Bulls eye!).
  • Toilet roll chasing and cutting: Gideon Zeffert in a Lambada motor glider.
  • Skydiver vs airplane race was won by Skydiver Graham Field. 
  • Pilot who flew the furthest to attend the event went to Bob Gannon in a Cessna 182 N182VE from the USA.
     
     
 
Skydivers Graham Field and Mike Rumble with Pilot CC Pocock in the Bush Air Cessna "T41" taking off for a skydiving display.
Mike and Graham safely back on the ground after a quick "Hop & Pop".
A tight low level general flying display by CC in the Cessna "T-41".
   
Danie Terblanche from Nelspruit again thrilled the audience with a very impressive display in his R-22.
   
Bob Gannon, the American Pilot who has been flying his Cessna 182 N182VE around the world for the past 5 years with his"World Flying Adventure" exhibit incorporating his Cessna 182 and maps showing the many countries and routes flown so far.
The Lowveld Aero Club, based at Nelspruit airport were pressent with one of the clubs training aircraft, Cessna 172, ZS-IVK
   
Close formation flying by a T6 Harvard piloted by Derek Hopkins and 2 Navions piloted by Steve George and Peter Laatz. T6 Harvard and two Navions.
   
Graham, Mike and CC preparing for the "Skydiver vs Airplane race"
1st place: Graham Field.
Followed shortly by CC Pocock in the Bush Air Cessna 182.
 
Simulated Air Raid - Pyro Stunt show.
Highlight of the event was the PYRO-FX simulated Air Raid on the airfield incorporating lots of live explosives. The Bombing and Strafing runs were performed by the North American formation consisting of Derek Hopkins in a SAAF museum T6 Harvard and Steve George and Peter Laatz in two Navions. The "Target" this year was a building erected alongside the runway and Strafed, Bombed and Napalmed to great laughter and applause from the spectators.
North American formation of a T6 Harvard and two Navions commence the "Air Raid"
Navions piloted by Steve George and Peter Laatz during bombing and strafing runs.
Bombs away! T6-Harvard piloted by Derrik Hopkins drops the final blow!
Pyrotechnic Special Effects and Fireworks were engineered and setup by CC Pocock and fiance' Shirley Johnson.
A high impact Fireworks Display later in the evening signaled the end of yet another successful African Bush Pilots Fly-In..
Dont miss next years event!
The African Bush Pilots Fly-in is the only aviation event in South Africa to have a spectacular and powerful High Impact Pyrotechnics & Aerial Stunt show as a major highlight to the event. Can you imagine being just 50 meters from some of the largest explosions ever created in front of a public audience? Join us at the 2007 African Bush Pilots Fly-In as we create the enormous and devastating "Wall of Fire".
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