Gauteng Regional Aerobatics Competition - 23 Jan 2022

By Jaco Kotze

Andrew Blackwood Murray Routine

Heidelberg Aviation hosted the 2022 Sport Aerobatic Club of South Africa 2022 Gauteng Regional Aerobatics Competition on 23 January 2022 at the Heidelberg Airfield. In spite of low cloud cover delaying the start of the competition until very late morning; it did not dampen the spirit of contenders and supporters.

Adam Pucjlowski filling up Yak 55

The day had 6 pilots registered to compete in various categories (Sportsman & Advanced Classes). Unfortunately, there was no entry in the unlimited class for this competition. Due to the low cloud base, the flying could only start at around 11am, following a very detailed competition and safety briefing by the Contest Director for the competition, Cliff Lotter.

Briefing Contest Director Cliff Lotter & Chief Judge Quintin Hawthorne

ER team getting info session from A.B.M. on opening of aircraft canopy

The first competing pilot to take to the air was Ivan van der Schaar in his Pitts Special (ZS-LVE), competing in the Sportsman class. Ivan is very well known on the air show scene by flying his Boeing Stearman.

Ivan van der Schaar with Pitts Special

Ivan van der Schaar takeoff

Next up was Riaan Pieterse (Graduate), flying his Slick 540 (ZU-TNT) to renew his aerobatic rating. He did not compete on the day.

Riaan Pieterse takeoff

Following Riaan was Andrew Fletcher in the Zlin 50L (ZU-ZLN). Andrew was the first competitor in the Advanced class for the day.

Andrew Fletcher taking off

Andrew Blackwood-Murray (Advanced class) followed in his well-known Nashua branded Extra 300L (ZS-AEC). Andrew and his Nashua Extra is also a very familiar face at local air shows.

Andrew Blackwood-Murray practising routine

Andrew Blackwood-Murray taking off

Next up it was time for some roaring radial action with Dustin (Dusty) Hughes flying the Yak 55 (ZSU-DSH) in the Advanced class.

Dustin Hughes taking off

Dustin Hughes routine

Dustin was followed by Pierre Plooy, competing in the Advanced class flying his Giles 202 (ZU-ZOZ). Pierre even managed to achieve some (perceived) formation flying with a stork!

Pierre Plooy taking off

Pierre formation flying with stork

Thee last competitor for the day was Adam Pucjlowski , also Advanced class with a Yak 55 (ZU-ISS).

Adam Pucjlowski taking off

Adam Pucjlowski routine

The day ended after the two required sessions (flying known & unknown routines), with all pilots giving top class displays. Best pilot of the day went to Pierre Plooy with a final overall score of 81.952%.

The final results for the day are as follows:

Sportsman Class

1. Ivan van der Schaar,
Known 951.33, Unknown 971.33, Total 1922.67, Overall, 72.281%

Advanced Class:

1. Pierre Plooy
Known 2898.38, Unknown 2838.27, Total 5736.65, Overall, 81.952%

2. Andrew Blackwood-Murray
Known 2674.54, Unknown 2560.63, Total 5235.17, Overall, 74.788%

3. Adam Pucjlowski
Known 2683.77, Unknown 2542.58, Total 5226.35, Overall, 74.662%

4. Andrew Fletcher
Known 2493.90, Unknown 2603.23, Total 5097.12, Overall, 72.816%

5. Dustin Hughes
Known 2169.66, Unknown 2322.72, Total 4492.38, Overall, 64.177%

The judges for the competition were:

1. Quitin Hawthorne (Chief Judge)
2. Laszlo Liszkay
3. Johnie Smith
4. Maritza Boswell
5. Tayla Nicholson
6. Nadine Brooker


Thank you to the organisers of the event and for Heidelberg Aviation for their perfect airfield and to Pierre for his outstanding performance and best pilot of the day!

In loving memory to Glen Warden, we all felt your warm presence at the airfield today - We hope we made you proud Captain!

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