05 December 2007

Sean Oellermann and Michel Leusch putting modelling to productive use

Sean and Michel have teamed up and put a helluva lot of work in to a little sideline, using the model helicopters for film and photography use. The pics are max 200k and you just must click on and look at as the thumbs do no justice, quite stunning...... The Ushaka and Pearls pics blew me away. Their airreel web site will be up, shortly. Sean did the soaring Nats with his electric and Michel started as a Springfield groupie glider guider and now achieves amazing stuff in jets.

04 December 2007

From Simon - KZN Speed!

Next Falcon Slope Race 8 December 2008
Please tell all the other guys

Please note;

SAMAA membership required and proof of same at the field.
Contact Bob Skinner to join at
bobskinn@global.co.za or call your local model shop and or club, for membership forms.
SAMAA rules apply.
Due to the nature and numbers, the matrix will be done at the field on the day.
Venus to be decided on the day due to weather conditions.
This is STILL an informal and 'test' event, so be flexible.
No flight testing will be done during the 'comp'.
NOTE pilots when not competing will also be flagging and timing in rotation so waaa. Those bitching and complaining will be fetching off the cliff and car guarding!
Results will be recorded as per postals, wins and times over the year and into next year.
The pylon distance will be 100 meters.
Foamies will fly 4 at a time.
60 inch, 2 Meter and Open will fly 2 at a time.

The venues will be, Switchblade, or Derek's Dale. If it is to be held at Derek's Dale, we will meet at Tony Watsons Garage In Mount Edgecome.
Springfield will not be considered as a venue due to the size.

The Events;

Zagi 4 up
60 Inch 2 up
2 meter 2 up
Over 2 meter 2 up.

When, and indeed if, I am in a good mood, we the committee, will decide on the numbers if we shall run a class, i.e. if there are only 2 or 3 planes in entered in a class, we will decide if it is worth running for THAT DAY ONLY.
We may combine them for fun.
The committee does infact consist of old and rather large members (all of which could have played rugby for SA!!) and it would be wise to not interfere or assume you know better, as a clop on the head often offends.

The Race Rules
You will need to sign in yourself on the supplied forms what races you wish to compete in.
You will only be allowed to fly 3 out of 4 races. The CD will make exceptions if there are a lack of numbers.
TX control will be with a peg off system.
The distance between Base A and Base B will be 100 meters.
A race consists of 10 laps. One lap is the distance from Base A to Base B. Total distance is 1 Km.
4 flags of different colors will be at base A and a matching set will be at base B.
4 flag’s will be used for 4 up Zagi racing and 2 flag’s would be used for 2 up racing etc.
A competitor helper/ timer will with the flagman at base B identify his pilot with one color of the flags. The helper will also hold and use a flag during the race and will flag in the same manor as base B, so as to confirm to the flag men at base B that he has completed the turn at base A successfully. \
The helper will also time the flight time as and only when the model goes through base A correctly, regardless of the count down. I.e. the model will only be timed when the model has passed Base A on or after the buzzer has sounded. Cut not allowed and the competitor will be required to circle back to Base A to enter the race start correctly.
Launch shall be by hand, by either the competitor or his helper, from the launching area designated by the CD. The launching area shall be as close as is practicable to Base A.
At the end of the preparation period, the competitors shall be given the instruction that they have 1 minute to race start, may launch their models in this time to gain height
When the instruction to launch is given, a countdown of 1 minute to the start shall be clearly called to the competitors by an official, and or a buzzer. A count down every 15 seconds will be called then the last remaining 15 second’s such as; 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 second remaining shall be called.
At the end of the countdown the official shall call START / GO A buzzer will sound at the final second or sound a whistle or any other such device, and the competitors may start the race by passing Base A in the direction of Base B.
All competitors planes must be OUTSIDE the course when the Start is called.
If a model is inside the course when START is called. E.g. because it passed Base A before the start) the CD and or his helper/timer shall clearly call a FALSE START. To notify the competitor that his model must still pass Base A in the correct direction before he will be considered to have started.
All turns with no exception must be done ‘AWAY ‘ from the slope edge.
The area behind an invisible line between base A & B will be regarded as a no fly area. You will be disqualified for this if you infringe this safety rule and asked to land. You may fly other races.
Flags at base B will be dropped and will stay down if the competitor turns inside the course, behind the bases, or any other dangerous flying.
Flags at both bases must be held up at all times and only dropped when the aircraft crossed the base correctly. After dropping the flag it will then be raised slowly.
Flags must never be dropped or waved if the aircraft ‘cuts ‘ the base. This is to show clearly that the model has not reached the turning point.
The competitors waiting the next race shall be given 2 minutes (Prep time) notice of the instruction to launch while a race is underway, but if all competitors agree, this period may be reduced. I.e. as a race is running the next race will be asked to ready themselves.
Pilots and timers will give due consideration to each other in regards to obstructions, flag waving and general blocking of sight to the other pilots and helpers while at Base A.
If you are the next competitor up to race you will be required to be in a ready box but NOT SWITCHED ON.
If, during the race the wind drops and the pilots are forced to land because of lack of lift. The proceedings must stop and re-start again once the CD is satisfied there is sufficient lift.
If when the wind drops, even one model stays flying and can complete the 10 laps then that race will be considered to have run it’s course and the other models that landed will be scored according to last man up.
All models may be checked for suitability to fly for safety reasons.

Please call me on 082 8227955 for the final time and venue.

Remember this is a test and fun event so come relaxed, that means you to Kobus.


The Zagi Model Rules (for Dion & Ziggy also one point for D. Greer)
Only 1.2 meter Flying Wings allowed in the shape and style of a Zagi.
The maximum weight allowed is 750 grams.
Only foam wings allowed. No built up sections.
Any section thickness may be used.
Spars are allowed, provided they are built into the wing and don’t create any hard points at the LE.
As this is a South African event, no Italian spars, hey Dave Greer ; )
Trailing edges from Correx or Balsa.
Ballast is allowed as long as it is carried internally in a tube or similar device and does not create any hard points near the LE.
Ballest MUST be secured or that model will be disqualified, yes that does mean you Ziggy.
No hard leading edges or skins. Only coverings of Parcel tape, Vinyl’s or Heat shrink film are allowed, or any other such soft coverings.
The CD has the right to check if Dions local goop will be allowed, for a small fee.
Wing tips are allowed as long as they do not increase the projected span and are not made from hard materials. Correx is the preferred material, but soft balsa is acceptable.

Simon NelsonShuttle Wash & Shop Pty. Ltd.Gateway
082 8227955 031 5662529

Dangers of walking the Dog

I often use "walking the dog" as an excuse to nip down to the gliding site. However a friend of mine warned me against this as he said he used to do the same, and sent me a pic of what happened........ ;-)

01 November 2007

Slope competitor evasion practice from Bill Williams

Air Force Test This will drive you nuts!! But, have fun anyway! The object of the game is to move the red block around Without getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls.If you can go longer than 18 seconds you are phenomenal. It's been said that the US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are Expected to go for at least 2 minutes.Give it a try but be careful...it is addictive!!

KZN slope site at Escourt - from Michel Zimmerman

Hi Dave, here the info, map and pics. The site is very easy to access, a stretch of dirt road to be taken with patience. The slope is very wide and easily accessed from the road. There are no trees and the landing area is very wide long and flat. The slope is optimal with North to North-Easterly to North-Westerly winds. There is a possibility to reach the other side of the amphitheatre, when there is a East South-East however you need a 4x4 to get there. In case of out-landing there is a big flat open area at the foot of the slope. A bit of a sweat to get back!

We stayed at the Blue Haze Lodge. Very nice and comfortable. There are of course many B&B in town.

Any more info I will gladly oblige,

Best wishes,

mail me@: amzimmy@iafrica.com

KZN slope sites

This comes up often so thought it useful to post the response to an enquiry regarding KZN slope sites on MGASA - there are others like Olivier's Hoek Pass but these are the more well known coastal and inland sites:

Registered ones off the SAMAA web site:

KwaZulu Natal Springfield Slope - DMAC Springfield, Durban North
Russell Conradt 082-822-7887 twsc@... 30o 59' 04'' 29o 49'
KwaZulu Natal Switchblade, Fudu Ridge Slope - DMAC Pinetown-area
Russell Conradt 082-822-7887 twsc@... 30o 43' 10'' 29o 53'
KwaZulu Natal Winston Park Slope - DMAC Winston Park/Pinetown
Russell Conradt 082-822-7887 twsc@... 30o 48' 08'' 29o 49'

This web site is a useful guide to those not registered but previously well flown by RC slopers sites:


Arthurs Seat, Central Berg
Beacon Hill (Ifafa)
Bulwer, Southern Berg
Monte Seel (Valley of a thousand hills)
Ingomankulu (Camperdown)

Cliffdale/Key Ridge was the site for the Kzn slope Nats in the 70's and is regularly flown but efforts have not been successful for tracking the owner for registration protocal permission.

This site has much waffle on the newly revisited Inanda/Verulum sites, with particular focus on "Derek's Dale" which has pleasant access from the North Coast:


Simon is taking steps to register Derek's Dale.

Favourites ranking from most preferred for me would be:

1. Switchblade NE
2. Bulwer
3. Dereks Dale SW
4. Springfield NE
5. Beacon Hill SW
6. One Gum (no go anymore)
Do not enjoy:
7. Arthurs Seat (like being on the moon)
8. Ingomankulu (poor access and too many paragliders)
9. Monte Seel NE (stunning view but uneasy for retrievals)

31 October 2007

Planes used at Switchblade speed

Thanks to Eric Arnaud for prompting that the plane names would also be useful:

SWITCHBLADE F3F SPEED - 27 October 2007

1 Russel Conradt 1000 Toko
2 Brad Conlon 860 Toko
3 Paul Boswarva 788 Miraj
4 Simon Nelson 670 Cobra
5 Ziggy 341
6 Bill Williams 286 Vanessa

1 William Cranmer 1000 Secco Fling
2 Dennis Bird 211 Bandit

1 Russel Conradt 1000 Fast Freddie
2 Dave Greer 833 Wing Warrior
3 Simon Nelson 611 Zagi pink
4 Ryan Nelson 444 Zagi bashed
4 Ziggy 444 Zagi stars
6 Grant Somers 333 Zagi yellow

29 October 2007

Coupla pics ahead of Switchblade results

Top: Scatterlings of Africa "Choice brand condoms" everywhere.....
Middle: Organiser's kit
Bottom: Will with Secco / Fling hybrid

22 October 2007

A BIG glider

So you think you built a big glider in your garage - think again. This friend of mine in the UK is part of a WW2 military reinactment group; and as they had a bunch of guys with the German Filshirmjager (Paratrooper) outfits he decided to build a whole full scale german glider in his garage just for a photo shoot! Nuts or what.

26 September 2007

Brainstorms over Winston Park

Does anyone know what happened to the designer/vendor of the Brainstorm, Jacques v d Lingen from Steiltes? These models were purchased from him some while ago and there is interest on our slope for more, but I cannot get hold of the seller. Any ideas??

Jart inspiration

I see quite a few of the BERG lads have been bitten by the Jart bug, and in fact, Mike May has already started a build log on their blog documenting his build. By way of inspiration, here are a few pictures of my EPP Jart bought from Leading Edge Gliders some time ago. She has been flying the Winston Park slope for close on 6 months now without incident. Very smooth flyer with an excellent roll rate. Cant wait to see a squadron of Jarts over Tamatieberg.

17 September 2007

Team Winston checks out Derek's Dale - Sunday 16 September 2007

Team Winston's John Coulson and Brand Conlon assembling their Graphite 2M and Toko. Third slopeateer Paul Paul Boswarva getting the low down on the area from Dave.

Team Winston almost ready but Andre Leusch playing safe and not assembling the Sharkie till he sees wot all the fuss is about.

Wind protection the order of the day - Dave had quickly decided sloping in drizzle was a preferable option to RC Cars in drizzle, fortunately the rain held off at the slope.

Brad fired up to get going......

Rob Pirie showing the latest style on landing approaches for good pics - hard on crunchies, though.....

Paul on landing approach with the slippery Banana 60 inch.

The windblown smile says it all......

Roving photographer Rob shown the old school neck strap approach.

Paul about launch Brad's screamingly fast 490gram ballasted Toko.

West slope view over Inanda dam.

The motley crew, John (Graphite), Andre (Sharkie), Brad (Toko), Dave (JW) and Paul (Banana).

Same crew with Rob the camera man instead of John.

The wind was helter and landings skelter but quite an enjoyble outing for what was looking like a grisly day. Some testing of a possible F3F course was encouraging. Greg West arrived late and treated us to latest in splat landing approaches......

Personality sneak peaks from Rob Pirie at Springfield

The man Russ'cle in full concentration.

Surfer Pete and Dion Thompson distrustful of this new old oke taking pics - Dave still programming.....

Andre Leusch with the legendary Springfield Shark, now in red.

Les Ward with the Dion Thompson Graupner Secco - speedy little beastie uses a home made EPP fuselage.

11 September 2007

Winston Westerlies

So, while the BERG guys were celebrating their Blog's birthday at Tamatieberg just outside Volksrust, the locals were blessed with a south westerly wind all day on Saturday, and some of the regulars took advantage of the conditions and flew all afternoon. Glen and Mike were the early arrivals, followed by Greg West, Bill Williams, the terrible twins Paul and Brad, and very late in the day a pilot whose name I didnt get, but who was flying an ex Brad Conlon Toko. We also had a visit from Jason, who has relocated here from Cape Town, and was looking for a second hand tx so that he can get airborne again.
I finally got to see the famous Vannessa V tail belonging to Bill fly, and what am impressive sight she is in the air. Bill flys her without trepidation and she responds with grace and poise. The hardest part of the flight according to Bill is getting her down again, especially on the restricted landing space at Winston Park. An attempt at capturing her on video was thwarted by flat batteries in the video camera, the charged batteries having being swopped out by Bill's daughter to power her camera - Oh the joys of having children!!
Then the hooligan brigade took to the skies with Brad and Greg flying Toko's and Paul piloting a Banana, and for the next half an hour you heard "right to left" followed by the whistling sound of air molecules being shattered by a very efficient wing section at high speed. It never ceases to amaze me just how far back over the backside of the slope these planes can go, and still be brought back to the front side with ease.
Then the beginners were allowed back on the slope with Windrider Bee and Frank Cavazos Boomerang EPP wings. Late in the afternoon, I gave the Richter Weasel Pro a whirl, but the conditions were just a little too strong for it and I landed before the turbulence put her somewhere that I had not intended, and which would have entailed either climbing trees or hiking down the slope to retrieve.

Here are more pictures of the pits, prior to the "heavies" arriving....
Front, with Tx Windrider Bee,centre Brainstorm (local design)
and left rear a Sticktime Bat Hawk
Opposite picture - L - R Richter Weasel Pro, Frank Cavazos Boomerang
with Tx, a scratch built Ed Slobod Ridge Rat and another Brainstorm.

The only down side to the whole day was returning to my Corolla to find the one plastic hubcap missing, presumably stolen by the juvenile skateboarders who were playing in the cul de sac when I arrived.
Heres to more westerlies, Winston Park, good friends and happy flying. Till next time....

10 September 2007

Simon's long lost model retrieved at last

A Cliff Watching novel, By Ileined Dover !!
I lost the plane on the 25th of February!

Took 1.5 hours to get up, very steep, the grass was long and flat and you slid on every step, it was strange, it was just like walking on ice. Half way up there is a steep rock cliff. Lots of loose rocks, every step had to be checked. Bruce and his wife, Rose, came up with me, with their 2 dogs. I found it as per the pictures with the port wing in the ground.
I could clearly see from the Microlight that the glider was hanging inverted in the trees. It had then fallen and landed on the wing tip, also causing the fus to crack behind the wing root. Infact the only damage from the actual crash was a hole in the starboard wing tip, from the tree on impact the rest of the damage was from the fall. The top of the cliff was covered in nettle's, 3 types were available for you stinging pleasure, a small twig, a waist high bush and a tree!! I managed to get touched by all flavors on the way through, and then proceeded to slid down the cliff towards the plane only to fine out I was heading for all three types, in a clump, grinning at me, I made a full and yelping contact with said obstruction.

Dismantled it, wrapped it up, and it took a 30 minute slide down the cliff.

All easily repairable.

When I got home put in a new battery and all working fine.

Well worth getting, BUT I knew were it was.


Verulam / Inanda Slope nick named "Derek's Dale" by Russ

The recent untimely passing of Derek Dillion prompted Russ to call the North Coast hidey way slope "Derek's Dale" in rememberance.

Russ has been doing some homework on this interesting spot and reports as follows:
"Had a great session on the slope this morning, wind coming dead on to the slope, light but good lift at 8.30 am, yes am. I know you were at work, that is tough, somebody has got to use the wind that is sent for us.

Finally met the owner or should I say previous owner as he has sold that magnificent old home and environ to wait for it, Etekweni Municipality who are going to re-develop it into a conference centre with Chalet type accommodation and use the existing building as the main facility, phew! Hope I live long enough. They have owned it for over two years already, City Hall works slowly.

On the South face there is a straight stretch of 120 meters ideal for racing or timed pylon flying.

Attached find some pics of the slope and farmhouse, which is +- 120 years old and originally built by the Australian Armstrong who did the cattle and cane thing, before moving down closer to the sea, the offspring of which has levelled the new Polo fields at Ottawa, home to Plane Game for a short while.

Please forward this on to anybody I have missed as this slope is truly amazing and we would love to see as many people up at the renamed "Dereks Dale", sooner than later.


Russell Conradt

25 August 2007

The blog mentioned a while back the rare contest success for a flying wing against the traditional thermallers, in the form of the Wind Freak. Well, the current excellent RC Soaring Digest has an article on the not dissimilar Windlord with creditable results from the 1977/78 era. Better still was the same craft taking a magic third place in Nostalgia at the current US Nats, after leading the first four rounds!
Over to the RSCD folk for linking (and their pics)- refer pages 56 to 61 on the Windlord:

"We're pleased to announce the September 2007 issue of RC SoaringDigest is now available for downloading from the RCSD web site<http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com>. The September issue highlights arenow available at <http://www.rcsoaringdigest.com/highlights.html>.This issue has 62 pages and a large number of color images. The PDF is approximately 9.8 MB in size.If you are using a dial-up connection and desire a smaller RCSD PDF,consider downloading the highly compressed version of this issue(about 3.6 MB) from the RCSoaringDigest Yahoo! groups Files section.The image quality is reduced, but download time is significantly less.You must be a member of the RCSoaringDigest Yahoo! group to download these compressed PDFs."