TopNav 2017 was flown in early May and marking is now complete.
The annual visual navigation competition for private pilots, organised by the General Aviation Navigation Group (GANG), was flown in early May - and marking is now complete. Due to patchy weather and aircraft issues on 6 May, not all entrants were able to fly on the day; but 18 entrants eventually took part from the 24 registered, with some completing the competition when weather and aircraft availability allowed. The TopNav team facilitated this by leaving competition packs at the various venues and receiving trackers and logs by post.
Notably, this year saw 5 entries from The Spirit of Goole group with 3 members flying their recently completed Sherwood Ranger. The winner of the Youth trophy, Kean Noon, navigated it whilst piloted by Andy Pearson and completed a high standard log in an open cockpit whilst flying in marginal weather - an outstanding achievement!
The general standard of navigation in this year’s competition was very high but the top prize, the RIN Wansborough-White trophy, was taken by Sqn Ldrs Gary Coleman and Dave Hall flying a Rollason Condor from the RAF Halton Aero Club; their score was an unassailable 230 out of a possible 240. They were also awarded the Royal Air Force Flying Clubs’ Association (RAFFCA) trophy as the highest scoring RAFFCA crew. Second place was taken by another RAFFCA crew, Sam Scott and Lee Bailey in a RAF Brize Norton Flying Club PA-28.
Although two microlights were registered, just one, a Quik flown by Gary Prisk and Mike Dobson, took part - putting in a creditable effort from Bodmin but finishing second to John Watts and Corrine Dennis in a Cessna 172. The Peterborough Business Airport venue was dogged by poor weather on both the primary and reserve days; however, 5 crews either battled the weather or completed on a later date with PA28 crew Simon Cassia and Alice Robinson winning the GNav trophy. The extensive runway improvement work at Goodwood necessitated a move to Lee-on-Solent for TopNav South East. Three entrants flew from here with David Youngs and Alexander Van Ingen flying a Cessna 172 into first place.
The summary of results is:
- Best at Solent Airport – BALPA Trophy – David Youngs/Alexander Van Ingen
- Best Youth – ‘GAPAN’ Trophy – Andrew Pearson/Kean Noon
- Best RAFFCA/military crew – RAFFCA Trophy – Gary Coleman/Dave Hall
- Best at Bodmin – AOPA Trophy – John Watts/Corrine Dennis
- Best at Peterborough Business Airport – GNav trophy – Simon Cassia/Alice Robinson
- TopNav Runners-up – WLAC Trophy – Sam Scott/Lee Bailey
- TopNav 2017 overall winners – GWW/RIN Plate – Gary Coleman/Dave Hall
The competition is sponsored by Pooley’s and the GANG team thank them for their generous backing. Similarly, the competition would be less viable without the substantial support we receive from the host airfields and Clubs, namely: White Waltham and the West London Aero Club (WLAC); Solent Airport and the Lee Flying Association; North Moor Aero Club at North Moor airfield with The Spirit of Goole; Peterborough Business Airport and Flying Club Conington; and Bodmin Airfield with the Cornwall Flying Club. Again, we thank them for their help. Finally, our thanks go to RAFFCA, BALPA and WLAC, who donate prizes.
TopNav will again be held in May 2018 and GANG are available to help with a competition at your Club or to give winter evening talks. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.