Magni News 200312

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Transcript of Magni News 200312

  • Newsletter South Africa

    Christmas issue

    Cato Ridge To Plettenburg Bay Coastal Gyro Flight Story by: Billie Jennings. Pilot and MAGNIficient flying machine owner Arthur Gemperle. Billie has had a passion for flying since birth, and funny enough his birth sign animal is an Eagle!. Billie met Arthur three years ago at a paragliding venue and the two of them have been paragliding to-gether ever since. Billies longest cross country flight in the para-glider has been a distance of 40km. Billie recons that Arthurs love and knowledge of the skies makes him a good friend, they often joke by saying the nights are to long as they cant wait to be in the sky again. Arthur is a good friend of mine and a very competent Gyro Pilot, we have had some fun times together especially on our Kruger National Park walk a few years back. Ed See pilot profile on page 9 The excitement built up the night before as we performed a weigh in session, our all up weight including the Gyro and 10 liters addi-tional fuel was 520 kg, while the Gyro all up maximum permissi-ble weight is 550 kg. We took off at Cato Ridge air strip 07H15 Tuesday 23rd Septem-ber 03, fully fueled except for the 2 additional tanks, on a long awaited and well planned trip to Plettenburg Bay in one day, a total GPS route length of 915 km . Arthur and myself had never been on such a long Gyro trip before, but we had planned it well and were prepared to sleep where we landed if need be so. It was extremely cold in the Cato Ridge *Photo 1* area, and I was glad that I had a flight suit and a balaclava which covered my whole head and neck. I, being the camera man and navigator, also had a GPS. It was strapped to my leg from which I confirmed our direc-tion. The first leg consisted of inland flying, mainly over sugar cane farms *Photo 2* , a total leg length of 131.8 km (our distance traveled was 141 km). At Margate *Photo 3* Air Port we refueled the Gyro plus the two additional 5 liter tanks with aviation fuel. Our next stop was Trennerys at the Qolora River Mouth, 6 km be-fore Kei River Mouth. The flight along the Wild Coast was out-standing with many surprises right from when we crossed the Mtamvuna River which separates Kwazulu Natal from the Transkei. Its amazing how the landscape and sea colour can change so drastically in such a short space. Soon after that, 40 to 60 meter cliffs form the coast line with rock formations that are very spec-tacular, there is even waterfalls that are 30-40m that drop straight into the sea! *Photo 4*

    Editor Enjoy this bumper issue all you aviators, and may we take the opportunity of wishing all, a Merry Xmas, a wonderful festive season and a prosperous 2004. My Email address is

  • I never knew such things existed on our coast line. We were so privileged to be able to see such scenes as not even boats or backpackers could acknowledge this to their full glory. We cir-cled to film and take photos only to be forgotten in time! Just fur-ther on we spotted the first whale, I had never seen a whale be-fore so we ventured out to circle and film the specimen, only to be spotted by it, then it sank down to deeper water. I spotted and photographed fishing spots where my dad and myself had fished years earlier just south of Port St. Johns. The Hole In The Wall *Photo 5* is also something to witness, so we circled and photographed here too. Trennerys was our next turn point 267 km from Margate (We traveled 301 km) as it was supposed to have the fuel grade we were looking for (95 octane) in the area. The grass air strip was very bumpy, a cutting in the beach shrub where the locals live stock graze. With the help of the willing locals we were only offered 97 octane fuel. Now we were grate-ful that we had the extra 10 liters of fuel which gave us an extra 30 min of flight on top of the fuel that was left in the tank. Our next planned stop was Port Alfred Airport but as we could not fill the tank in Trennerys we were forced to make our next stop East London Air Port, 72 km away. Near Trennerys we spotted the spectacular shipwreck of the Jacaranda *Photo 6* which sank in 1917 amazingly still with bow and mast above the water. East London was a big learning curve for us both as Arthur had never landed at such a big airport before. Here we were queued in amongst the Boeing 737s! *Photo 7* And were waved into our parking bay with battens as were the big aircraft! We here refu-eled and asked for special permission to be able to use the sec-tion of runway one-one right in front of the tower as we would taxi for ages to the end of that runway! Once we were off the ground and on our way to Progress we were happy, as East Lon-don was too official for this type of outing! Port Alfred was our next turn point but seeing we were forced to land in East London we bypassed it and viewed the famous Port Alfred Marina in-stead. *Photo 8*

  • Groups of whales were spotted more and more frequently the further we traveled down the coast, and finally we lost count as time was also running out. The coast line suddenly changed drastically once again, it now become as we called it, Little Na-mibia! *Photo 9, 10 & 11* The sand dunes are so long and wide, if we had to use our emergency runway, the beach.... We would have literally have to walk for days!! As Port Elizabeth air space neared, we ventured inland toward an air strip called Progress our next turn point 249 km from East London (We traveled 272 km), its a flight school where students become pilots. Its a busy little grass runway so we queued and then landed on runway one-zero so as to refuel again. The in-terest shown here was amazing, as at times there must have been about 20 students around, all trying to ask some or other ques-tion! *Photo 12* The amazement on their faces was outstanding when we mentioned that we had flown from Cato Ridge and even more so when we mentioned our destination was Plettenburg Bay before dark! Delay at runways was our biggest enemy of time, and by now we realized that we had to make haste if we were to make it to Plettenburg Bay, 191 km away, before sun down. So we were soon above the N2 highway heading toward Plettenburg Bay. Now we faced the setting sun, the glare was tremendous, our eyes were sore and the salt from the sea on the windscreens made it impossible to see anything in front of us! We literally flew the Gyro by watching the N2 on our right hand side! John Larter, a Bush Baby *Photo 13* and Micro light Pilot, met us 30 km from Plettenburg Bay, above the Storms River Bridge *Photo 14*. He then escorted us into the Plettenburg Bay runway at twilight, it was 18H15 when we landed... Tired, safe and very happy with our achievement, *Photo 15* a total dis-tance of 1020 km in 8 hours air time. By the next morning we couldnt wait to be in the sky again! So we decided to visit all the paragliding sites, where we had flown 8 months earlier, along the coast toward the city of George. The Cape Garden Route here is very beautiful and its a must to see. Later the afternoon Arthur and John went for a flip together in and around Plettenburg Bay, site seeing, landing and meeting different pilots. They even landed on Stanley Island *Photo 16* where they met a glider pilot with the name of Barry Bek.

  • He offered us accommodation on the island for our last night, so we booked out of the bed and breakfast the next day and moved onto the island. We landed on the island after a beautiful high altitude (8000 ft) *Photo 17* flight up into the Outeniqua Mountains and along the N9. We planned the trip back over 2 days as we expected a bit of head wind.... And head wind we got!! Our total leg dis-tance was 532 km via Cape St. Francis, Progress and our destination was Wavecrest very near Kei River Mouth. Within 30 km of our first leg we started to get a bit of head wind so we ventured inland away from the coastline toward Storms River Bridge, there too it was turbulent with head-wind next to the mountains. At one stage we were therma-ling and gaining altitude by 5 m/s! At one stage our ground speed was 55 km/hr and our headwind was 80 km/hr!! Cape St.Francis is a beautiful smooth grass runway and we even found another Magni Gyro there! *Photo 18* Finally we arrived in Port Alfred where we decided to stay over, 190 km short of our target, due to high head winds and tur-bulence. The next day we again enjoyed the Transkei coast, this time landing at Port St. Johns. The air field there is on top of a mountain and the start of the runway is a cliff overlooking the Mzimvubu River *Photo 19*. It is quite an effect to pre-cede with a final approach toward a shear rock cliff! Here we emptied our extra fuel into the Gyro tank to give us only 55 liters to get home! We could have made Margate our next refuel stop but we proceeded to Cato Ridge only to have out flown the cold front and our tail winds and into the warm front and head wind. The temperature in the cold front at 1000 feet was 18 degrees while the temperature in the warm front at 3000 feet rose to 34 degrees! The head wind increased as we ascended inland and our 3 fuel in-struments coincided that the fuel level was low. So we landed at a private airfield 60 km from Cato Ridge to dou-ble check the instruments. They were spot on, we had only 17.5 liters left. With some small calculations we knew we would make it. We landed at Cato Ridge with only 5 liters to spare.... short but safe after an all up distance of 2500 km in 5 days. It was a fantastic trip with some remarkable views I have ever seen. I was privileged to be able to join Arthur Gemperle as co-pilot and camera man. It was truly a lifetime experience.

  • Contact Butch or Tony at Bennys Mica Hardware

    Phone +27 11 753 2261/2/3 Fax +27 11 754 1115