SAMAA Power Nationals at Henley Family Entertainment Centre 2022

By Jaco Kotze


The 2022 South African Model Aircraft Association Power National Championship was held at the Henley Model Airfield from 27 April - 1 May 2022. SAMAA is registered with the South African Civil Aviation Authority as an Aviation Recreation Organisation to provide a membership service to those interested in the building and flying of all forms of model aircraft.

The SAMAA has various special interest groups, of which the following participated in the 2022 Nationals :
· SAMPRA - South African Miniature Pylon Racing Association
· SAMPE - South African Model Parachute Enthusiasts
· FLY-FPV-SA - First Person View (Drones)
· LSA - Large Scale Aerobatics SA
· MAASA - Model Aerobatic Association SA
· SAMJA - South African Model Jet Association

Pilots Post attended the event on Saturday 30 April 2022 and reporting on the event is based on the activities of the day. Some of the competitions were held earlier the week and on the Sunday will not be covered in this article.

The day started early in the morning with the SAMPE model parachute competition. The model parachutists are loaded two at a time to a specially configured RC model aircraft which acts as the drop plane. When the appropriate altitude and position is reached, the model parachutists are remotely released after which the deployment of the parachute and RC manoeuvring of the model parachutist commences.

The aim is to land the model parachutist as close to the centre of a marked landing mat with point scoring based on how close the parachutist lands to the centre. Scoring is done on a negative scoring system:- landing on the centre "bulls-eye" gives a zero score with higher scoring being progressive the further you land from the centre and lowest scoring at the end of the competition determines the champion. Two scale sizing categories were participated in (25% scale & Junior scale).

The next event which followed was the SAMPRA miniature pylon racing. This event requires the participants to fly their model aircraft (3 - 4 per race) around marked pylons in a 400m triangular circuit with judges ensuring that all planes fly around the pylons. Scoring is done based on final position and time with penalties awarded if the pylons are missed.

It was quite interesting to note that all competitors and spectators to this event were wearing safety hard hats - the reason for this became very apparent as soon as the competition started, with the model planes zipping overhead at low altitude as they raced around the circuit - with some mishaps being part of this challenging event! Different categories for the competition are Q40, Club 2200, HOTS & Sportsman.

At the same time, the Large-Scale Aerobatics (LSA) championship was in process at the main runway of the Henley Model Airfield. The LSA championship is the model equivalent of full-scale aerobatic flying. Five different classes are competed in: Basic, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced & Unlimited. During the competition, a known and an unknown sequence is flown with scoring done based on how accurately the pilot manages to fly the sequence. After the LSA competition was concluded, two entries to the LSA Freestyle competition flew some superb displays.

The FPV (First Person View) competition was held in a specially demarcated area. The purpose of the competition is for the pilots to fly their FPV Drones around a circuit with obstacles in a pre-determined route. This represents an exciting, high paced & extremely challenging competition. Two categories were scored, namely freestyle & racing.

The final competition of the day was the conclusion of the model jets. The two different classes are the F3S sport jet class and the basic jet class.

The day ended with a prize giving ceremony for some of the competitions which were concluded and a nice dinner/get-together for all involved in making the 2022 SAMAA Nationals a world class event! Thank you to all the organisers and to Henley Model Airfield for hosting this year's event.

Results for the 2022 SAMAA Nationals are as follows:

For Large Scale Aerobatics go to:

Model Aircraft
Aviation Hobbies

Copyright © Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilot's Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilot's Post.