Uis abuzz with Fly-In 2016

The small town of Uis in Damaraland was abuzz with the sound of aircraft engines on Friday and Saturday 27 and 28 May. The second Uis Fly-In was held this past week end where aviation lovers and enthusiasts gathered together in the shadow of the mighty Brandberg to partake in this fun filled event.

The Damaraland sky over Uis was graced with the presence of a collection of 33 varied types of light aircraft, 16 participated in a good spirited competition and others were simply there to enjoy the sights and activities. The participant’s creativity and flying skills were put to the test with exercises in navigation and landing accuracy as well as designing survival supply drop parcels of water and rations which had to remain intact on impact with the ground when dropped out of the aircraft at an altitude of 500 feet. These supply packages were then dispatched over a designated position to sustain fictitious anti-poaching units promoting the events theme to foster an awareness of the plight of the regions rhino’s. One of the exercises involved each participant having to fly out towards the Ugab River and locate a vehicle, then on returning to the Uis airstrip. They were required to land and with the aircraft engine still running, the co-pilot or navigator was to exit the aircraft and shoot at two targets with a pellet gun, one target was a rhino poacher and the other a rhino. There were penalties dished out for participants who shot the rhino target. The participants would then take off once again and fly a circuit around the airstrip to execute a supply drop to the fictitious anti-poaching unit, fly another circuit around the airstrip and return for the final spot landing of the competition. Visitors were also entertained with fly pasts by a Chinese Nanchang CJ-6 warbird flown by Jacques Jacobs based in Swakopmund and an RV-8 flown by Mike Böttger from Windhoek. Two air traffic controllers from the Directorate of Civil Aviation in Namibia based at Walvis Bay International Airport, Jacqueline and Micha Stiemert, were responsible for keeping the aircraft safe and orderly in the air and the Fly-In was a great success due to their and the organisers efforts. Approximately 300 air-craft movements were logged by ATC during the event and over 130 spectators were recorded per day. A closing function and prize giving was held on Saturday evening at the Brandberg Rest Camp where the results of the competition were announced.

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