By: Shongweni Model Flying Club  11-11-2011
Keywords: Aircraft, Pilots

S.A. Polo:
As you know, S.A.Polo have a long term lease on the field we fly on. This gives them the right of use anytime.

Every Polo season, which starts about mid March, we have to negotiate Flying vs. Polo practice times. This year the Polo players wanted Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for their practice.

Fortunately Murray Everett is a pleasant and pragmatic person who is their representative. He of course has the pressure from the players.

The best compromise he and I could come up with is as follows:

Monday to Thursday


We can fly everyday

. There may be the odd player that comes to knock the ball (as happened last year) but they stay away from the pits and runways.


: ...........

We can fly up to 14h00

. The Polo players will Practice on Friday afternoon.



We can ONLY fly to 11h00

at which time the Polo players have the field to

14h00 at which time afternoon flying can commence

.( They wanted to start earlier as the horses suffer from midday heat. They have however agreed to only start at 11h00)



We can fly all day

. No Polo practice.

I am sorry that Saturday morning will be restricted to 11 o'clock latest. Can't be helped! It does leave time to go to the clubhouse with your mates for brunch!

Polo practice is likely to start this Friday afternoon and this Saturday the 28th of March. Please adhere to the agreed flying times above so that we can avoid unpleasantness and safeguard our tenure at DSC.

April No Fly Days.

According to Pat Titlestad, the DSC manager, there will be no DSC activities that will prevent flying on any days during April.

Pattern Flying.

Speedy van Niekerk who joined the Pattern workshop recently has obtained a pretty good score at PMMFC, almost as good as Lynton Milner's (and Lynton flies well)! Better than any score I ever obtained! I find it great fun and invite more of our members to join in. Talk to me if you would like to know more about the pattern clinic.

I have a trophy that proves I came third in the Sportmans class in the Vrystaat Championships two weekends ago!! Before you rush to pat me on the back, let it be known there were only three entries in my class and I had engine failures in every one of my four rounds.... But it was a heck of a lot of fun, those Vrystaaters certainly are a friendly bunch and know how to entertain.

The Bloemfontein municipality provided them with a terrific airfield with cross tar runways. it is close to the "dead centre" of town but the residents never complain about the noise as they all died to get in. The only restriction is that you may not fly over the cemetery, behind you when there are funerals going on during a Saturday morning.

There were 16 entries in the F3A class of which five were Freestaters and one (Neil Allen) from KZN. The rest were from Gauteng. Neil came seventh. Pretty good for a 65 year old guy competing against much younger nimble fingered pilots!

Interestingly the electric powered planes performed incredibly well. So much so that some pilots have decided to convert from Methanol! I certainly  would not have had four Dead sticks and a damaged undercarriage if my Funtana was electric powered. I do however love the sound of my Methanol engine!

Himeville Fly In.

Mark Buckthorp of The Plane Game arranged a fly in at the Himeville airfield last week end. The runways are loooong for fullsize aircraft and like a bowling green I am told. Hangerage was provided overnight and Saturday evening there was a dinner for the participants at the hotel. Flying weather was brilliant and the day in the Berg was thoroughly enjoyed by the pilots and their families.

Paul and Johan's Pitts at Himeville

It is good practice to sometimes fly at other airfields.

Club Evening.

Wednesday last week we had a club evening at the DSC clubhouse. Paul Dobson and Mike Stark went to a great deal of trouble preparing a talk on the 2,4 GHz systems.

What was even more interesting were the problems caused by batteries in both 35MHz  and in the 2.4 GHz systems.  According to Paul and Mike,  if you use a fast charger such as a Swallow charging at say 0,9 Amp's, the resistance in the battery almost always will result in the charger showing a full charge when the battery is not  fully charged! I experimented at home and tested both a Nicol Metal Hydride and a Nicol Cadmium pack that comes with a JR radio. Both showed Full. I restarted the charger and both took more than a further 100 more milliamperes, showed full again, restarted and they both took a further lesser charge. I repeated the cycle about four times without any discharge before the battery would not take a further charge.

I fast charged an old pack till the charger showed full. I then put a battery voltage load meter on for a  few minutes and the voltage dropped below 3,8 volts which is where my 2,4 gHz receiver goes into failsafe mode. I left the battery for a few moments, reconnected the load tester and it read 60% full. I think I now know why my Zenith went into failsafe and ended up on the road towards Summerfield!

The advice is not to charge batteries that are low at more than 200 milliamperes! (0,2 amps)
There was a lot more useful information. Paul said he would be kinds enough to put it on our website.

The sad thing was that only 15 members pitched up to hear Mark (Ffom Umhlanga model fliers) and our own Paul, share their experience and wisdom. Those attending enjoyed food from the kitchen, drinks from the bar and a most interesting talk on a key part of our hobby/sport.

Club Entry.

Once the new electric gates are installed, the plan by DSC is to reprogram all the Gate Keys. The existing gate will be removed. The gate key will open the new gate into the Clubhouse/ parking area, will open the Clubhouse safety door and will open the far gate past the parking to get to the flying field. Will keep you informed.

For interest.

To End, some Airline humour :

After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems; document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor.  Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.

P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.

S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.

S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.

S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.

S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.

S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.

S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.

S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.

S: That's what they're for.

P: IFF inoperative.

S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.

S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.

S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Aircraft handles funny.

S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

P: Target radar hums.

S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.

S: Cat installed.

And the best one for last..

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.

S: Took hammer away from midget  

Please remember the Polo Practice times Friday afternoon and Saturday between 11h00 and 14h00.

No fly during these times.

Hoping to see you at the field,


Keywords: Aircraft, Pilots