Some good flying this month. In the end the FOTM went to new HG pilot Ross Hofmeyer for his first soaring flight and top landing at Rondebossie. The sweetest flights are not always the longest. Nice one Ross! 

Ian flying the Sonic at Rondebossie (pic Ross Hofmeyer)

From Ross:  
In the light of Eric's really great flight I feel a bit sheepish accepting the award but appreciate the support and enthusiasm offered to new pilots by the club.  It's a great encouragement.

I was really keen to fly that day, as I'd been missing out on aerial action due to too many work commitments.  Most frustratingly, I had the green light to fly after Lennox put me through some refresher foofies.  The biggest draw-card, however, was wanting to fly the [Moyes] Sonic that Ian and I bought together for the first time (and my first time off more basic gliders)!  I met him out at Rondebossie on a very cold afternoon.  The wind was 25km/h straight up the front, the air was clear but scattered with cloud, and the light crisp over rain-refreshed fields.  The doctors were out in force:  Dr Freeze nearly ready to launch, the Sangoma kitting up, and I pathologically keen.  Sangoma and I helped Ian launch, followed by the witchdoctor, and then Ian returned to give me a go.  Conditions were perfect:  I felt the balance for a minute or two and then launched.  The first 60 seconds were a little unnerving, as I rapidly came to realise that this was no Atlas!  It was like getting out of a bakkie and onto a motorcycle...think _right_ and we were in a bank!  However, I soon settled an was amazed at how natural flying the Sonic felt.  I lapsed into a Zen-like state, soaring effortlessly and playfully following a hunting hawk around the hill.  Eventually I became guilty that Ian was stuck on the ground, and after a practice pass came around and made my first-ever toplanding.  Awesome.

Big thanks to Freeze and Sangoma for help and encouragement.