IRF News Letter - September 2012

From The Editor                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


Hello Friends

It has been a long time since the last news letter, for this please accept my apologies. I could find a dozen excuses, but none will help this delay. I will endeavour in future to get back to our communication every second month. Since the last communiqué, I finished, maidened and flew the B25 at the Barnstormers War Bird Day in June 2012 (Actually Philippe did the honours there). This model is an absolute dream to fly (as long as both engines are reliable and tuned to perfection), so much so that I will even venture to say that it can be as gentle as a trainer. My nerves are however permanently on edge whilst flying it, listening to any slight engine noise changes as I am @**% scared of one of the engines dying out on me. This would spell almost certain disaster with a model like this as they do not behave kindly on just one power plant!!  So far, the two OS .91 have proved 100% reliable and ample power for this 2,46 meter wingspan, 11.5kg aircraft.

Anyone keen on a very affordable, great looking, scale, painted, big twin bomber war bird, then this ESM kit is your answer. My recommendation to any prospective buyer for this kit would be to go slowly with the building and pay very careful attention to the CG. I had to add 375gms to the nose, and that after having moved batteries and switches as far forward as space would permit.



Since our last communiqué in March 2012, the club wishes to welcome the following new members:

  • Percy Attfield
  • Michael Agliotti
  • Henry Berry
  • Martin Cloete
  • P J Du Preez
  • Coenraad De Beer
  • Rodney Podmore
  • Roger Neal
  • Gert Nel
  • Sam Van Rensburg
  • Warren Van Rensburg
  • Rassie Venter

Please join me in giving them a warm IRF welcome

Last from my side, I must acknowledge my able newsletter assistant, Natasha, who helps me with most of the pictures. A big thanks also to Robbie for his contribution and stunning photos.






Notes from the Chairman:

Firstly we wish to welcome our new members – we hope that you will enjoy flying and socializing with us and will contribute to the success of our club.  Thanks to the dedication and efforts of the committee and members our facilities are well maintained and improved on a regular basis, which makes it is a pleasure to visit the club over weekends.  A new member commented that we have one of the best clubs and facilities in the country, and as a pattern pilot he has been visiting quite a number of clubs!    The friendship and camaraderie that we find at IRF really makes it the place where we want to be.  Also a special welcome to the new members that fly control line aircraft, which will add another dimension to our club activities.  Some of us are old enough to remember flying a plastic PT 19 control line aircraft with a Baby Bee engine which we started with a battery “loaned” from our home telephone!

At the request of the heli pilots we have started to move the heli pads to the south of the clubhouse, which will make the area north of the clubhouse available for control line flying.  The facilities for control line flying have been paid for by the new members flying control line (thanks to Percy Attfield and his team for their generosity and time), and as compaction equipment will be on site we will be using the opportunity to improve the runways by fixing the gravel shoulders.  We just had to wait for some rain and to have moisture in the ground for compaction, so work will commence shortly.  Koos Els has also donated some special chemicals to stabilize the shoulders, which we want to work into the ground to avoid the erosion of the newly compacted shoulders. I must admit that I have not been to the club much lately (work commitments seem to interfere with my flying), but the facilities really look great thanks to the efforts of Jan vd Schyff.

As previously stated we will be building a new circular heli pad, which will have an asphalt surface.  Although we still have some bitumen emulsion and slurry sand available, it is quite a messy job and as we have some funds available we will be using cold mix asphalt, which also adds a bit of structural strength to the surfacing.  It also seems that we are winning the war against the weeds on the runways, and will be spraying the gravel shoulders with an herbicide on a regular basis. With my landing skills I really need a good run-off area, as I manage to land on the runways most of the time but end off with a broken undercarriage when running off the paved area at the end of my landing.  Seems that quite a few other guys have the same problem, as the idea of improving the runway shoulders seems to be very popular!

Unfortunately it is necessary to remind members of the need for safe flying.  Although we have not had any incidents for more than two years, we would like to keep it that way.  It is not a good idea to fly on your own at any venue, as accidents can happen and even a prop powered by an electric motor can deliver a nasty cut – especially on high voltages.  It helps to have a buddy to watch your back just in case some nasties decide to “relieve” you of your equipment and to assist in the case of emergencies.  The other aspect is compliance to club rules – please stick to the circuit, do not hover above the runway or fly over the clubhouse area etc.  Although most of these rules are based on common sense, we tend to be too casual with unintended consequences.  A copy of the rules will be available at the clubhouse, please note that these rules are there for our safety!  Also a reminder that a fire extinguisher is required when flying turbines or gas powered planes, which hopefully will not be necessary but is like a parachute – if it is not there when needed you may not need it again!

It has come to our attention that there are some guys flying illegally at Midstream Estates, which may explain the interference on 35 MHz at our club.  Although we have been informed that they are only using 2.4 GHz, it is not much of a reassurance to the guys that have lost some very expensive planes on 35 MHz when flying in the direction of the power lines, which is co-incidentally also towards Midstream Estates!  We have been approached by some of these guys seeking to establish an official club at Midstream Estates, flying mainly helicopters and using only 2.4 GHz equipment, but we have objected to their application as it is not possible for us to control frequencies and they are only about 1.5km from the club.  We have, however, invited these guys to join IRF (and some of them have already joined). 

As for litter at the club members are reminded that although we pay rent for the use of the field, it is renewable on an annual basis and as ewe are on a farm animals may ingest plastic etc. which will ruin our relationship with IRC if animals die as a result of our neglect.  In this regard it should be noted that we do not have a refuse removal contract, and all refuse has to be removed by the field manager.  Please take your empties, plastic bags, empty cans, broken planes etc. home with you as it is expensive to empty the garbage cans, plastic gets blown around and we do not have the facilities to empty the bins on a regular basis.  Any offers or advice on how to address this thorny issue will be appreciated!

Yes, it is that time of the year again – Oudtshoorn Scale 2012!  As I am writing this it seems that I am the only person from IRF attending the event.  Hopefully some guys will join us next year for a fantastic event and spend time meeting up with old friends.  Ons is ook weer uitgenooi na n familie vliegdag by Warmbad op 13 Oktober.  Die manne doen altyd baie moeite vir die besoekers, en met n volskaal aanloopbaan sukkel selfs ek nie om elke keer op die teerblad te land nie!  Selfs vir die sweeftuie is daar voorsiening gemaak, want die gras shouers is omtrent 60m breedt as ek reg onthou.  Hopelik gaan IRF goed verteenwoordig wees op Warmbad as die weer hou!

Laastens word lede daaraan herinner dat n nuwe komitee eersdaags verkies moet word.  ‘n Paar van die huidige komitee lede het aan gedui dat hulle gaan uit tree, so dink maar aan voorstelle vir ‘n nuwe komitee wat die klub verder kan vorentoe neem!


Andre Kilian

IRF Voorsitter 2012


The above is a real photo, not Photoshopped or tricked in any way!!!


.Field maintenance – Grass cuttingRefuse Removal:

As mentioned in our previous newsletter, we no longer have a contractor to remove the rubbish to the dump yard. We are on our own and would welcome any assistance you, the membership, is willing to give. So far Jan VDS and I occasionally fill one or two black rubbish bags and take the rubble home to add to ours which is collected by the municipality.

One thing that we will ask again and again....PLEASE take your wrecks home and do not place them in the rubbish bins. It fills them quickly and we cannot cope with these volumes lately. :)

On this note, our sincere thanks to Jan Van Der Schyff for the suberb condition of the field and club house. Really appreciated!

Lastly, kindly ensure that the water is running prior to using the toilet facilities. “OuBolly in Toily is Kaky” :(  these surprises are left for one of us poor souls to deal with a week later, eichhhhh….



This will be an ongoing standard brief on our newsletter. Please observe these safety rules at all times.

Ground Rules:

  • Peg on Board
  • Airplane pre-flight checks
  • No starting of aircrafts whether Gas, Glow or Electric in the club house, veranda or in front of the club house steps.
  • All aircrafts to be started in the pits area or taxiway. Always ensure it is safe to do so
  • No taxiing of aircrafts in the pits area please. Use the taxiway and switch off before coming back to the pits area. A slip on the throttle and it is disaster and / or severe injury as well as damage to other member’s property.
  • Tuning and revving of engines at full tilt should also be done at either ends of the pits area or the taxiway if safe to do so. Remember that these engines blow a lot of wind and dust. Also if there is a prop break, it could cause serious injury.
  • Please, no young children running in the pits area. This is for their own safety as well as to prevent possible damage due to them falling on models.
  • Call for takeoff and acknowledge calls if you are in the pilot box already.

Flying Rules

  • Please be aware of the calls for take-offs and Landings. Landing has priority.
  • Observe no fly-zones (always flying along runway or north of runway, do not overfly yourself in the pilot box)
  • Be always mindful of direction of flight and circuits. If the wind changes, agree on the change of circuit.
  • No overflying the club house or parking area
  • Please be patient when student pilots are flying. It can be quite intimidating for them when they get buzzed and have lots of ducking and diving going on around their aircraft whilst learning to fly.
  • Dead Stick always has priority.


The above are for your and our safety as well as to ensure that our club remains with its clean accident free record.


Thank you




Treasury and Finance Update:                                                                  

All in very good standing order.

A reminder regarding Subs and joining fees for 2012:

Senior Member – R900.00 per annum

Junior member – R450.00 per annum

Once off joining fee R500.00 (New members only)

Our banking details are available under our web site


Training and Instruction (incl. Proficiencies)                                        

Training and assistance to new pilots is ongoing. The training is free of charge as all club instructors are volunteers. Should our new members wish to make use of the club trainers, we ask a small donation of approx.R20 per flight in order to assist with running costs and repairs when necessary.

A reminder that the club offers testing facilities for the respective SAMAA proficiencies.

Solo Proficiency Ratings will be done at club level and may be granted by the club instructor/s and co-signed by the safety officer and Chairman. We can accommodate our members any time during week-ends, just give me (Francois De Ravel) a heads up and I will organise this for you.

Bronze Rating – We can also accommodate at club level, provided we have about two weeks’ notice. This is in order to ensure that we will have at least one of our SAMAA Instructor / judges available on the day. For this proficiency, one of the club instructors and a SAMAA judge may complete the assessment rating, which will also be signed by the club Chairman.

Silver, Gold and Instructor ratings, require two SAMAA Instructor/judges to mark the assessment sheet; therefore a bit more advance planning is required here.

In all instances, should you wish to be assessed for higher proficiencies, just drop me a note on and I will make the necessary arrangements. Perhaps, prior to doing the assessment it may be wise to ask one of the instructors to stand next to you whilst you perform the required manoeuvres and assess whether or not you are ready to take the tests at the chosen level. That is only if you are unsure. I am at the club at least 3 Saturdays a month, please do not hesitate to chat to me should you be interested in taking the higher proficiency ratings.

We will arrange for a Club Proficiency day either in May or July this year, depending on the week-ends calendar which is already quite busy and full of forthcoming events (See your SAMAA News).


Congrats to Philippe De Ravel, who was recently awarded “club instructor” by our two SAMAA accredited judges. (needless to say that Dad is quite proudJ)

The Official club instructors are:


  • Andre Beukes (SAMAA Judge fixed wind and Helicopter )
  • Frik De Beer (SAMAA – Judge Fixed wing)


Club Instructors: (Gold and Silver Ratings)

  • Jan Backer (advanced training Students only)
  • Leon Cilliers (Helicopters)
  • Andre Kilian – Electric aircraft only (Also Club Chairman)
  • Dawid Nel – Fixed Wing
  • Francois De Ravel  Fixed Wing(Club Secretary, also responsible for club instructor and training portfolios)
  • Philippe De Ravel  Fixed Wing
  • Jan Kooiman – Fixed Wing (Also Club Safety Officer)



Please ensure that your SAMAA membership is always current.Both SAMAA and IRF do send reminders to our members. This is critical as it does have an impact on insurance claims should an accident happen.


A reminder to our membership to support the SAMAA development program for the underprivileged, by way of donating your surplus / unwanted RC equipment to SAMAA.If you have anything you are willing to part with, please hand same to our chairman or any of the committee members and we will ensure it gets to SAMAA.



IRF wishes to thank the following people / businesses for their generous donations and continued support to the club.


New Web Site under construction please call 012 6675757 for enquiries. We are located at the Dooringkloof shopping centre, off Botha Avenue.





Forthcoming Events

The Bela-Bela Falcons Flying club is planning a fly-in on 13 October2012 and if possible I would like to inform all our members of this. They havea very nice venue with a tarred airstrip of 23 x 1200m and it is especiallysuited for jets and large scale airplanes.Quite a few of our members are familiar with the club and its facilitiesand the Bela-Bela Falcons flying club would like to invite the IRV members tojoin them for the day .

Regards, Riaan Nel. 


This is your newsletter. We would be grateful for any articles of interest you would like to include in future editions. If you are buildingakit and would like to offer us kit reviews with a couple of pics, please let us have this material. Tips, jokes (clean) etc... are welcome. Pics of your latest acquisition/project will also add interest to the newsletter.  You may forward these to the editor: Francois De Ravel at will also include in future editions a section for Classifieds / for sale. You are welcome to send Francois your ads.


Cheers from the Committee, See you all at the club and happy Flying!!

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