Here is an interesting experiment for all you open-cockpit pilots out there: aerobatics at high altitude (for us, anyway). I gave it a shot today at Baraganath just to see how it would feel. Not great, I can report… the thin air immediately drained me of all my energy. I’ll have to limit tomorrow’s air show to only a few maneuvers.
I flew to Swartkop and got a very nice reception, even though the lady in the tower refused at first to grant me permission to land. Turned out she hadn’t seen the document and was therefore following procedure… It all worked out in the end!
Some military technicians helped me with an oil leak and then a transport from the base took me into town to the school where I was scheduled to speak. I held a one-hour lecture about Cape to Cape, SAS and aviation for a group of very attentive and enthusiastic teens, who claimed they all wanted to become pilots. A great experience to talk with these kids.
Then it was on to dinner in Johannesburg, with invited guests and especially folks from the Aircraft Factory, who make the great light aircraft called Sling. They’re truly passionate about their work – they’ve flown three times around the globe to create PR for their products – a publicity stunt that sure seems to be bringing them success!