Weather! That unpredictable part of any outdoor activity! It once again reared its indecisive head to us on our 5thAnnual Wings and Wheels Festival and Fly in. In the past it was either rain, or sweltering heat, or a combination of all seasons in one day. This year, it came in the form of an incessant westerly wind.
This did not stop aircraft from Madiba Bay School of Flight, Algoa Flying Centre and Progess Flight Academy from arriving and joining in on the fun.
Another planned and anticipated arrival was that of our very own local flying Hero, Patrick Davidson in his SBach. A gleaming aircraft, but with dust and clouds about to burst, a quick dash was made for the nearest hangar. Once the sky had cleared, Patrick took to it, and over the Public address system, gave a step by step explanation of all the basic maneuvers that an aerobatic pilot has to master to begin with, then it was into the full one man show, that only our local hero and Red Bull Athlete can do so well. Once back on terra firma, Patrick signed autographs and chatted to the public about his experiences as a Red Bull Air Race Pilot. The crowd flocked to see him take off again before the next wave of cloud threatened to delay his flight back to Seaview, his home airfield.
A static aircraft display was decided upon this year, to allow the public direct access to all our local aircraft. They walked amongst them, the children looked in awe at the propellers and wings and adults used the aircraft as windshields. Aircraft on display where a VP1, in the process of getting her wings, 2 Falke motor Gliders, an Oribi VG, 2 SP Jabiru's and a J430 Jabiru, a Whisper X motor glider , Whisper X350, a Savannah S, a Zenith 601, a RAF GT 2000 and a Scheibe Zugvogel on a trailer.
All of these aircraft reside and are flown from the Uitenhage Airfield. 2 Microlight Trikes were also positioned for closer inspection at the entrance of the large hangar. This hangar owned by Colin Dettmann, houses many model aircraft, which he has built over the years, and this, kept the children and adults eyes turned roofwards. To keep as a momento of Wings and Wheels 2018, you could have your photo taken with your favourite aircraft and have it printed onto a coffee mug.
Once again we had our ace helicopter pilot, John Huddlestone from Helicopter Charters and Training PE, doing the flipping with his R22 and the public lined up eagerly to experience the thrill and to view the airfield from above.
The other component of the Wings and Wheels Festival was the Algoa Steel 4x4 Challenge, organised by Algoa Steel and their many sponsors. The challenge area looked like the surface of the moon from the air. The type and difficulty of the obstacles through which the various classes of Commercial and homebuilt vehicles had to negotiate, was a heart stopping, breath holding experience. From early in the morning till late in the evening the area was filled with car enthusiasts, who came to see the 4x4's, the various new car manufacturer displays, Billson Truck's stand and the Vintage Cars and Clubs stands. The There were many competitions for the various categories, with lots of prizes, thanks to lots of sponsors. This was the highlight for many who made the effort to come and display their prize toys.
The day ended off with the wind settling and the sun slipping over the horizon, whilst a second wave of Festival -goers arrived for the Music Festival, with well-known singers, Deon Groot, Wikus van der Merwe, Elizma Theron and Snotkop, who together with the Beer Garden warmed the crowd. The BLG Logistics stage was the focal point till well into the night, after which tired children, relaxed parents and fulfilled Festival organisers said their good nights.
Thank you to all the sponsors, BLG Logistics, Klinicare, Algoa Steel, Scalemaster and Freight Solutions, to name but a few, for their commitment. As from the Wings and Wheels Committee, they hope to bring you yet another Aviator and Wheels Event next year, whatever the weather!