Twenty seven light aircraft took off from Wilson Airport at Nairobi on Saturday (25 September) for the start of the 6th flying Safari organised by the Aero Club of East Africa.
Twenty seven light aircraft took off from Wilson Airport at Nairobi on Saturday (25 September) for the start of the 6th flying Safari organised by the Aero Club of East Africa. The pilots flew the first leg on Saturday. returning to Nairobi for a month stop before setting off on the second leg on Sunday. The round course covered 1,300 miles (2,080 kilometres), and is considered to be a major test of cross country navigation. The entrants were due to complete the rally by flying in over the finish line at Wilson Airport on Sunday evening.
SYNOPSIS: A wide variety of light aircraft were on the tarmac at Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Saturday to take part in the annual Flying Safari organised by the Aero Club of East Africa.
The event was the sixth to be held, and attracted an entry of almost thirty aircraft. Not a large field, but the variety of aircraft types meant starting on a handicap system. This put flying accuracy at a premium, and the safari was as much a test of navigational skill as aircraft performance. Before take off, the pilots plot their courses for the first leg of the 1,300 mile right. They were due back in Nairobi on Saturday evening for a night's sleep before setting off on the second and final leg on Sunday. A hard weekend of flying, especially for the safari's only female entrant, co-pilot in a Citabria aircraft.
At nine o'clock on Saturday morning, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Hinga, flagged the first aircraft off the ground. This was the ???, piloted on the first leg by the female entrant, Miss P. Innocent.
Time-keeping was all important with a handicap system operating throughout the two days' flying. The aircraft took off at intervals of a few minutes between each one. With pilots flying to strict time limits separating the stages, navigational skill was at a premium.
A Cherokee 140 takes off, flagged away by the Police Commissioner, nearing the end of the line-up. Altogether, twenty seventy seven aircraft were in the air. They were due to cross the finish line at Wilson Airport on Sunday evening.