Walker Bay Radio Flyers - SOUTH AFRICA 2016
A brand new event in the calendar this year was the Walker Bay Radio Flyers Extravaganza, held close to Hermanus in South Africa. Along with Tony Tan from PilotRc, Tzu Chu Lin “Fergie” from GP Engines and the Reds Duo, Steve and Matt Bishop from the UK, we all travelled to a new continent for us. We were welcomed by Terry and Canzius, the two main organizers of the event, and who made us feel perfectly at home during the entire event.
Tony had sent two Extra 330SC 107” models in the months before, for Fergie and I to fly, so upon arrival the first thing to do was get them all set up and running.
Once we arrived on site, a very busy but welcoming group of flyers were there, putting the finishing touches on the preparations ready to start the show the next day.
My test flight didn’t go as well as we would have liked, as seemingly I was provided with unmixed fuel, resulting in the brand new GP 123cc engine needing a complete overhaul after just half a flight. Fortunately we were able to bring the plane down without any significant damage and Fergie was able to get the engine back together and running in no time at all.
During the show days there was off the peg flying for anyone who wanted to, with loose slots for the invited international pilots, with one of them flying roughly every 45 minutes.
It was nice to see that the locals were not put off flying and they themselves put on a great show, especially Louie with both his large Pilot Decathlon or his very special one off Breitling Extra 330.
During our acrobatic solo slots, Fergie and I both had great fun really pushing our Extras and each other to the limits. This was shown by some of the scratches on my Extra from scraping the tarmac, Fergie loosing half a wing in a way too low rolling harrier, or the fact that in consecutive flights we both managed to pull out elevator hinges after touching in knife edge!
The Reds Duo, and the team around them made up of Tristen (now known as Bob), Terry and Mike, all did an outstanding job, utter professionalism on the flight line and successfully executing close formation flights upon demand, often bringing a tear to more than the odd spectator.
In the evenings there were bands playing, loads of electric night flying, and myself flying a firework loaded 100cc Extra in complete darkness. Words can’t describe how well my night show went, the fireworks simply worked, on cue, every time and with spectacular results.
All in all, a great show, shared with brilliant friends, both old and new, just a shame that it had to come to an end, although I am sure it won’t be the last time we hear of the event.