Friday the 7th June dawned with an icy wind blowing from Middelburg all the way to Silver Creek Airfield.

10am arrived and it was decision time. Call it off, or believe the weather forecast, which suggested the wind would start to die down around 13h00. Calls were coming in from Middelburg, letting us know that a few brave, but frozen, pilots had started arriving. We set off at 15h30 - the weekend began!!

Departing Silver Creek

Tents and planes in hangar at Middelburg

Bertus, Gawie and the team at Middelburg had arranged all the refreshments for the weekend and set up the tents inside a hanger, out of the wind, with enough parking space for the twelve Bat Hawks 2 Jabbies 2 local Cheetas a J5 Cub and a Huskey from Lydenburg.

Friday evening was the safety briefing by Wayne and Almero, followed by Iian and Tarryn Myburgh's explanation of the procedures for the Air Navigation Rally taking place at 08h00 the next morning.

A lekker braai and 'kuier' around the fire got the 'hanger talk' underway, but the early start had most pilots heading for their tents before midnight.

The rally got underway at 08h00 sharp, with the planes taking off in order of fastest to slowest. The route meandered out to Loskop Dam and back, taking around 30 minutes to complete.

Once all the planes were safely back on the ground, a breakfast bun and coffee were gratefully devoured.

Sticking to the itinerary, everyone gathered in the conference room in Richard Lovett's (appreciate your generosity) hanger for the interactive discussion with Sean Cronin on Jabiru, Camit and Rotax engine maintenance.

This was followed by an informative guide of tips and tricks, to better understand your Bat Hawk.

The rally prize giving took place just before lunch, where after all the planes headed off to a private farm near Alzu, to view an impressive collection of John Deere tractors.

Back at Middelburg, a spot landing competition was held, with the wind testing the skills of all the participants. Tarryn Myburgh took the honours in her Jabiru.

Saturday evening covered the prize giving for the spot landing competition, and a few awards and giveaways, followed by another lekker braai and social time.

All good things come to an end, and after coffee and rusks on a bitterly cold (-7deg) morning, everyone headed home with good memories, new skills, and many friendships having been formed.

A big thank you to everyone at Middelburg Airfield, Bat Hawk South Africa, LSA Covers, and Surphics for the caps.

Micro Aviation's Bathawk at Sue's Place

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