The end of last year got off to a fantastic start with our 75th Anniversary lunch and everyone was abuzz with excitement and enthusiasm. Then, suddenly our world was turned upside down with the untimely loss of two very respected pilots’ and friends Dave Grosvenor and Alick Rennie the clubs CFI.
Alick we miss you every day at the airfield, almost expecting to turn a corner and bump into you. Your enthusiasm, no nonsense approach, ability to encourage younger pilots, instructors and committee members as well as your unselfish attitude with regard to sharing your knowledge (especially your Latin lessons) will be always remembered.
Our chairman Gary and the committee made sure that the club remained compliant with Civil Aviation regulations and have appointed a temporary CFI Anton Roussaeu. Anton is a very experienced pilot and instructor and we are very grateful that he was so willing to help the club.
Telani who replaced Dave Bond as our full time flying instructor has introduced an online booking system for the club. This is proving to be a great success which saves students and pilots having to either phone or drive to the Club to make a booking. If anyone is not sure how the on line booking works, please give Julie a ring and she will happily talk you through it.
Telani is arranging permission to hold a Spot Landing competition in May. These competitions are great fun and both student and pilots are welcome to enter. Privately owned aircraft will also be welcome to take part. More info will be given on this as soon as a date has been secured.
Oh, and by the way, we are having a new answering service installed on the phone so if you call in over a weekend you will now be able to leave a message.
Flying hours in December was pretty poor and whether this was due to poor weather, holidays or people feeling somber over the tragic event that had taken place, only 26.1 hours were flown by our entire fleet. January has seen an improvement with 57.4 hour. Our C150 havingflown 27.7 hours and our two C172’s 29.7 hours.
It was encouraging to see many new members’ applications being approved at a committee meeting and hope this will mean higher flying hours for our fleet.
The committee would like to re introduce the annualawarding of our trophies to students and pilots’. This would be done on the recommendation of flying instructorsand the committee and it is so nice to be recognized by your colleagues. There are trophies for the following catagories:
Best Student Pilot; Best Lady Pilot; Best Private Pilot; Most Safety Conscious Pilot; Natal Air Navigation Rally. If anyone would like to recommend awards to be made in other categories, please let us know.
Dave Bond has just completed his twin rating up in Johannesburg and we wish him lots of safe flying.
Damian Budd an old (not old in age) club and committee member has returned to live in South Africa and we are delighted to have him flying at the club again.
Thank you Cameron for arranging the installation of the “huge” Pietermaritzburg Aero Club neon sign which is on the street side of the hangar and cannot be missed as you drive up to the club.
With the committee’s enthusiasm and wonderful ideas, the year ahead at the Club promises to be the new“in” place to be seen by everyone interested in aviation.
“Come and be a part of it – after all, this is your Club “