SA2USA2003 in the news:
'Vrystaat' - A dream realized
'SA To USA 2003' Well on their way
The Outer Banks Sentinel
Back in South Africa! We will be landing 16:00 today, 14 August at Lanseria airport. Guests are welcome to join us at the Wings restaurant.
View days 17 - 23 in our diary
Day 6 - Day 8 updated in our Trip Diary
The journey of Day 4 and 5 plus a very special thanks to Execujet
Have a look at our first 3 days in our Trip Diary...
If you would like to contact us while were are FLYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, please use email@example.com. We will try to keep the site updated enroute.
Two days left! Well the last minute preparations, or is it panic, are well on their way. The aircrafts still need to have the decals put on. We'll pack the aircraft on Friday July 11th and fly them over to Lanseria (FALA) to ExecuJet's apron for refueling and safe keeping over night. Flight plans will be filed and ATC briefings done. Customs will do their thing and all that is really left to do on Saturday is fly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today, Saturday 5, 2003, the crew's of ZS-DXI and ZS-JCO will be packing their aircraft to see if all the kit that we want to take along will fit into the aircraft !!!!!!!!! And what needs to be left behind. We will also be doing precision and non precision approaches into Lanseria to hone up our IF skills. Some of us have been the simulators this last week shooting the approaches for Reykjavik, Narsarsauq in Greenland, Libreville and others. Only a week to go now!!!
Yesterday evening,04/07/03, EAA Chapter 322 at Grand Central Airport gave us a send off. The Chapter presented to Chalkie a cheque for R 5,000.00. Many thanks to Chapter 322 from the SA2USA Squadron for their donation, their good wishes and support
Good news, we have found a pilot Fred Morrison to replace Leon Muller. Fred is commercially rated with and IF rating. Fred used to own a Cessna 182 ZS-JVU and now has a share in ZS-OBA a twin Comanche.
At this late stage we have had one pilot, Leon Muller, who will not be able to come with us due to work commitments. We are now a pilot short and are busy trying to find another. Also Franco Beltrame and crew have pulled out. They were to fly the Baron ZS-PCB. We are also trying to find a replacement pilot for the Baron crew.
The MPI's are completed. I have been assisting in the servicing under the watchful eye of our engineer. I have a new respect for these men. Standing all day in a cold hanger working on the aircraft. The last three days, having worked all day on the aircraft, I've come home and been in bed by 21:00 absolutely finished.
Well this week our aircraft are having their MPI's done. This is the last mile stone before we leave! Time is running out and panic is starting to set in.
This is what we look like! You have been warned! Click here. From left to right... Rolf, Franco, Chalkie, Wayne, Peter, Wouter, Steve, Leon, Monty, Francesco.
The coastal shake down flight scheduled for May 17th was completed. But not without a snag or two, or three, or four!!! We flew from Grand Central (FAGC) direct to Richards Bay (FARB) and then out to sea for 50nm, then left northwards about 40nm and then turn back and routed directly home to Grand Central. Flying time 7 hours, distance 737nm. The weather was perfect, with a little cloud just off the coast. Our aircraft perform without fault, except that Francesco's ferry tank will need an auxiliary pump. The engine was experiencing fuel starvation at times. That's a Cessna for you!!!!!!
We flew in our immersions suits as we would for our cross Atlantic legs. It's really tight and friendly in the cockpit. The suites were unzipped and the top draped over the seat backs. We have just so much clutter with maps, Gps's etc, that if the time came to ditching that trying to zip up the suites in flight and having to deal with an emergency, its going to be difficult to achieve before we get our feet wet!!
One heart stopping moment with Monty and myself was were ran the ferry tank dry, as we should, but when the engine died we busy talking to Francesco and dealing with his problem. It caught us unaware and you never seen to hands move so fast putting on the fuel pump and changing the fuel selectors. There was about a four to five second pause before the engine started up again.
We also tested our HF radio with Johannesburg Oceanic and that worked fine. So were are just about ready to go. The aircraft needs to be serviced and that's it.
Coastal flight has been rescheduled due to a technicality. We were fueling Francesco's aircraft a Cessna 182 ZS-JCO with 150L of 100LL Avgas in the ferry and thought that it would be prudent to check for any leaks. This was the first time after the tank's pressure test that any fuel had been put into it. To our dismay, the outlet welding had a hair line crack in it and fuel was dripping into the aft baggage compartment. So the tank was drained and while draining the tank we also discovered a blocked fuel line from the ferry tank!!! This is what the shake down flights are all about. To sort out these snags before the trip and not during the trip far from home. SAFETY FIRST!! We'll fly the coastal route next weekend May 17th.
Eskom Travel Clinic have sponsored all our inoculation and medical kits for the trip. The inoculations cover Tetanus, Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and B and Yellow fever. Monty, Francesco and myself were the first to have their jabs on May 7, 2003. The fearless and intrepid pilots were nearly in tears. It was a pity full sight! The rest of the group are to follow in the next week. Eskom will also supply use with all the other type of medication and supplies that we might need. This will cover each pilot with their own syringe and IV kits.
Eskom staff operate in Africa up as far as Bamako in Mali. The Eskom Travel Clinic was originally set up to cover and provide the necessary medical care for their employees that work far from home.
The South African EAA Airweek takes place in Potchefstroom from 1st - 3rd May. This is the premier event of the air show calendar. For more information click on Airweek. We'll see you there!
The coastal shake down flight has been scheduled for May 10th. The formation will leave Grand Central and depending on the coastal winds for the day, will fly with the wind along the coast at 120nm offshore. Click here to see map!
The second round of training and shake down flights will start shortly. The primary flight will entail a flight of 120 nm flight out to sea off the Kwa Zulu Natal coast, on the eastern side of SA. This is to test whether the pilots have got what it takes to do the sea crossings for the trip. Chalkie Stobbart pointed out that about 20% of the pilots turn back after just 100nm. We would like to find out in our own back yard. Air Traffic Navigation Services will assist and track us along our route. We will also be testing our long range and Satellite communications.
Pilots that have flown over sea report a phenomenon that the aircraft engine seems know that it is over the sea and that it automatically starts to run rough. I must admit that I cannot find this in the POH, but I take there word for it! They are pilots after all. These pilots also report that this phenomena also presents its self in the form of strange and unidentified noises in and around the aircraft. The evidence for the existence of this phenomena is presented by that fact that all these strange sounds and rough engine completely disappear once you are flying over land again! There you have it, conclusive proof.
The routing has changed slightly. We have been invited to RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo and to Prestwick in Scotland. The routing has thus changed accordingly. Click on the "Route" button for the detailed route.
Well the shake down flights went off without a hitch. Unfortunately the Stellenbosch Air Show was cancelled due to the bad weather that came in on Saturday 22 March. There was no flying at all on Saturday. On Sunday the weather did lift and the flying started with a limited program.
Chalkie Stobbart in his RV6 and Steve Marais in his Piper Cherokee 235, will be flying down to the Stellenbosch Air Show in Cape Town tomorrow. This is the first of the shake down flights. In this sortie Chalkie and Steve will be flying direct to Stellenbosch thereby testing their ferry tanks.
The Stellenbosch Air Show in Cape Town will be held on March 21-23,2003. The SA Squadron will be flying down for the event. We will be leaving with EAA Chapter 322 from Grand Central Airport (FAGC) on March 21st. We'll see you there!!!
There has been some finalization of the pilots and aircraft; they are Chalkie and Peter in a RV6, Steve and Monty in a Cherokee 235, Francesco and Leon in a Cessna 182, John Purvis and copilot in a Baron B55 and Rolf Simonis and copilot in a Trinidad Tabago.
For our flight itinerary. It will more than likely change here and there, but that's about it!
For EAA members our endeavor has a mention in the EAA HOT LINE Vol 3, No. 5 issue.
We have set a dead line of February 28, 2003 for all pilots wishing to join the group. It's time to get off the fence and make that decision Guys. You can contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on (011) 468-2427.
We are looking for a Squadron Name for the group. It should be descriptive and identifiable with our adventure!! Any idea's, please email me with your suggestions at email@example.com.
We have had a quote from ExecuJet for the cost of flight clearances, navigation fees and handling charges, which amounts to R11,000 per aircraft. The quote does not include the Canadian costs or the USA TSA waiver. We have been told that you can put more than one aircraft on the flight clearances so this should bring down cost a bit.
Chalkie Stobbart and myself (Steve Marais) went to see ExecuJet yesterday 17/12/2002. Execujet are providing the flight clearances and flight following service for the group. The route has been pretty much finalized short of some political conflict that could materialize until we leave. Click here to see the latest routing.
Chalkie Stobbart our most intrepid pilot of our group was asked to give a speech on the history of aviation in South Africa. Chalkie delivered his speech at the SA Dept. of Transport Air Show at Swartkops AFB on December 7, 2003. Click HISTORY OF AVIATION IN SOUTH AFRICA, AN OVERVIEW to download the text.
Business Day ran an article on our forthcoming adventure in their December 6, 2002 edition. You can read the article by clicking on Business Day. Click on the "Search" tab and search on "OSHKOSH".
Radio 702 and Cape Talk 567 are now our media partners. They will be assisting us in formulating a media schedule from now until we leave next year. They will be conducting a number of interviews with our pilots leading up to the trip, during our flight and on our return. We will also be accompanied by one of their reporters who will conduct live crossings in flight and at Oshkosh.
Aircraft Instruments is our latest sponsor. They will be providing aircraft instrumentation, expertise and will service our existing instrumentation.
Well, what a response from the Airnews article "OSHKOSH INVASION" October 2002 issue. We have had a further nine pilots and aircraft join the team. This brings the squadron to 20 aircraft. Welcome Guys!
See Pilots and Steeds for Jan Troskies new Ravin.
Below is another one of our logo's. Let us know what you think?
The World Classroom programme is an educational sub project of SA2USA2003 where the pupils, students and the public will be able to follow our adventure. The site has just been created and is still under contsruction, but go and have a look. World Classroom Programme.
We have added two new photo sets on Keith Palmer and Arthur Piercy's aircraft.
The next meeting has been scheduled for September 8th,2002. Venue Grand Central Airport at 10:00.
Another new pilot Alan Saul from Cape Town and his RV8, see gallery.
A new pilot has joined us. Francesco Masselli, with a Cessna 182. See pilots and steeds.
Great news, the SA2USA2003 project has the support of the CAA. We will be working closely with them to formulate safety, flight operations and procedural documents for the trip.
Our first sponsor, Trutrak Flight Systems manufacture autopilots. They will give us a substantial discount on their product. Go have a look at their site.
Another intrepid pilot has joined our ranks, Arthur Piercy.
A successful meeting of interested parties was held at Grand Central Airport on July 28th. The SA to Oshkosh project has been formalized. Strategy and marketing plans are to be drawn up and actioned.
Chalkie Stobbart presented a slide of his trip with Peter Hengst to Oshkosh in 1992 in their Fairchild.
Thanks to all those who have sent messages of support and encouragement.
The first public broadcast of our project went out today July 24, 2002 on Morning Live at 06:45.
Adolf Spangenberg from Flysouth TVM has secured five television slots with Morning Live. The first is scheduled for tomorrow July 24, 2002, as an introduction to the public. The broadcast will feature some of the survival training footage that was shot yesterday down in Cape Town.
Well we had a most interesting survival training session with The Cape Tech Survival Centre which is run under the auspices of CHC Helicopters in Cape Town on July 22. The course covered egress procedures from an aircraft, with practical escapes from a helicopter fuselage submerged in the water, wet drills with life rafts and life jackets, climbing up cargo nets, helicopter hoisting drills etc. The water was wet and cold but the training was most valuable. Early next year we will arrange a specific course for our group.
Mike Cocks and Shawn Uren in a Cessna 185 from the fairest Cape have joined the group.
Another pilot has joined our ranks. John Petrie from Kyalami a sound engineer, and flies a KIS Cruiser. See Pilots and Steeds for photos.
The first meeting of all interested parties will be held at "The Fly-Inn" restaurant Grand Central Airport on July 28, 2002 at 15:00.
We are starting to get some feedback on this site, thanks guys. One suggestion we received this morning is that we leave on our adventure from the Virginia Air Show next year. We will seriously consider this. It's a great idea.
Keith Palmer from Durb's by the sea, has joined our flock. Keith is just finishing off his Pulsar from Pulsar Aircraft Corp., and we'll have some photographs from him shortly.
SA to Oshkosh 2003 Establishes Internet Presence