Vintage air rally takes to the skies — Raising aviation, African awareness
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
For five weeks, Crete2Cape Vintage Air Rally pilots will travel from Greece to the southern tip of Africa. They will fly low over African terrain, while spending time over open water and days over African wilderness. Participants will raise awareness of Africa, aviation history and the love of general aviation.
If you're crazy enough, you could even join them. The five-week rally begins Nov. 13 in Crete, bound for Cape Town in South Africa.
"The rally intends to recreate the pioneering age of African aviation in the 1920s," according to the Crete2Cape website. "The vintage aircraft will be the [center] of attention, supported in their [endeavor] by more contemporary light aircraft and helicopters.”
Sure, five weeks is a long time, but this trip isn't for the faint of heart or weak of will.
Adventure of lifetime
The Crete2Cape Vintage Air Rally, which is a Viable endeavor, is an upcoming event that follows "in the footsteps of the pioneering flights in the 1920s.
"We'll connect some of the most beautiful and evocative points in Africa," the website states. "Flying low along the Nile from Cairo to Khartoum, past the highlands of Ethiopia before the plains of Kenya and the home of African aviation in Nairobi. Then off again past Kilimanjaro into the Serengeti — and on to the spice island of Zanzibar.
"After a short pause to enjoy the Indian Ocean, we continue, crossing Zambia to Victoria Falls, before continuing to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Our final days take us across Botswana and into stunning South Africa — to the Cape, journey's end. A rally such as this has not been done before. Ever."
And thus begins one of the more breathtaking visual experiences a pilot may have.
In an interview with MultiBriefs Exclusive, Sam Rutherford, the founder and director of Prepare2Go, one of the partners for the Crete2Cape Vintage Air Rally, noted how "Crete2Cape is the combination of real challenge in one of the most beautiful parts of the world with some increasingly rare vintage planes."
We're raising the "awareness of Africa, the continent's aviation history and general aviation as a whole," Rutherford said. "It is also a way for pilots and owners to participate in a fantastic journey, testing themselves and their machines to the limits."
Prepare2Go is an organization specializing in extraordinary and extreme logistics. It moves people in, out and through difficult places, and this includes organizing rallies globally with planes, cars and motorbikes. Prepare2Go also supports media, TV and documentary crews in their missions in Africa or elsewhere in the world.
According to the organization's website, since 2003 Prepare2Go has been advising and helping individuals, companies, NGOs and even government agencies to get where they need to be.
Currently, organizers of the Crete2Cape Vintage Air Rally are looking for participants, specifically North American pilots.
The Crete2Cape website does not parse words on how the course will go for any interested parties that want to be involved: "Throughout we will be staying in a wide variety of locations, from 5* hotels to tented camps in the Serengeti (and everything in between). ... There will be trials and tribulations, mechanical and human stress — all in stunning visual settings."
Organizers are looking for:
- Adventurous pilots with aircraft built well over half a century ago (maximum 15 aircraft).
- Adventurous pilots with more recent fixed-wing aircraft, looking to help the endeavor.
- Adventurous pilots with helicopters, looking to help the endeavor.
Rutherford isn't just an organizer trying to draw pilots in, he's also a participant.
"Obviously, as organizer I'll be participating," Rutherford said. "Africa, the most beautiful continent of the world, all pilots dream about flying its length. The culture, nature, scenery, challenges on the ground. ... It's all there!"
If you are interested in participating, contact rally organizers by email or just give them a call:
Phone: +32 2 880 21 54
Fax: +32 2 880 03 50
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