Not long after getting my PPL, Iaan started enthusiastically looking at planes for sale online. For some background, I am extremely indecisive and you should know it took me over a year of research, test driving and quotes before I finally chose my first car. I really thought that all this was a bit of fun but very unlikely, especially as owning my own plane was never something I had really imagined.
But searching through the adverts was fun and some of the planes were surprisingly reasonable, especially considering the cost and limitations of renting a plane. And so, one day we saw an advert for a Jabiru SP470 at Brakpan and decided to go have a look. Knowing almost nothing about planes and knowing Iaan’s limitless enthusiasm, I took my dad along to make sure all looked relatively in order.
Unfortunately, the wind was howling so we couldn’t go on a test flight, but we had a look and Willie answered our endless questions. He was meeting another interested party after us, so we moved to the clubhouse to discuss between us. Well, the enthusiasm had spread! From our limited and distant view, we spent the next 30 minutes trying to see how enthusiastic the other guys looked!
As soon as they were done, I phoned Willie back and told him we were keen and so one of the quickest decisions of my life was made!
Things happened relatively quickly from there, we had a recommended mechanic have a look, did the paperwork and two weeks later, the transfer was complete, and she was all mine.
With Covid-19 bearing down on the world, I wrapped up my conversion a week before hard lockdown began and flew every morning before work, finishing the week up with a flight on my birthday on the last day before Level 5 Lockdown.
Recently, I found out that some of the other teams taking part in the Rally Flying competitions have nicknamed us Bonsai – rather fitting for both our size and registration. Thanks Hendrik!