Barbecue, friends & planes at Santa Teresa del Almendral
|Monday 18 November 2013||Text by Carlos Ay under Air shows & aviation events|
Unfettered by classic air show rules, the most casual event in Chile’s 2013 aviation festivals season was held on 26 October at Santa Teresa del Almendral (SCTS). Defined more or less formally as a “planes and pilots meeting”, the event was summoned at this somehow secluded airfield located 80 km. Southwest of Santiago under a simple and uncomplicated value proposition: “Sharing [time and food] with friends in a simple and amicable way”, as defined by the event’s coordinating pilot, Manuel Morales P.
What was originally an Aerotrust Air Work Ltd. (Aerotrust Trabajo Aéreo Ltda.) in-company gathering for past and present company pilots and crews, the event was opened-up to the whole Chilean general aviation community in 2012 and has been gaining momentum ever since. The initial “open” edition logged 80 people and 40 aircraft visiting SCTS, while the latest version recorded an estimated 110 people and 45 aircraft. The meeting was sponsored and run by management, crews and even relatives from Aerotrust, a 15 year-old project led by general aviation entrepreneur, Jaime Hernández Hein.
The company owns or operates a fleet of 3-to-8 passenger piston, turboprop or jet aircraft providing oil and gas pipeline surveillance, environmental protection patrol, aerial photography, cargo and charter flights. They also sell a diversity of aviation related services, including aircraft fleet management, acquisition consulting, hangar storage and ground services and supporting flight crews, as well as representing PT6 overhauls by Oklahoma-based Mint Turbines. Yet their most interesting offering operates under the separate brand, Tour Aviation Chile, and offers self-flying tours to Chile’s most attractive destinations. Lasting 8-to-18 days, all itineraries are promoted with the enticing slogan: “You fly; we will take care of the rest”…
A meeting called “SCTS 2013″…
At this, their secondary airfield facilities (the company is based in Tobalaba/Eulogio Sánchez airfield in Eastern Santiago), Aerotrust was showing and/or flying Cessna 172s CC-AIL, CC-AIN and CC-CQZ and Cessna 210 CC-CKS. Other residents noted at the airfield included Cessna 182 CC-PPG (GoJump titles, dropping parachutists throughout the day), Champion 7EC CC-PJP (stored inside GoJump’s hangar), DC-3C CC-PJN (ex Aerocargo Regional, derelict), Ercoupe E CC-PWX, PA-22 Colt CC-PFP (also stored inside GoJump’s hangar) and PA-25 Pawnee CC-COS.
Visiting were Army Personnel Air Club PA-28 Dakota CC-KIF, Concepción Air Club Cessna 150 CC-SZH, Romeo Mike Air Services PA-28-140 Cherokee CC-PRX and private Bonanza E33 CC-PXF (fly-by only), Calvo-Sonex CC-PMQ (c/n 1045, built 2008, checked), Cessna 140s CC-PGC and CC-PKM, Cessna 170 CC-PRE, Cessna 172s CC-CMP and CC-PXQ, Cessna 182 CC-PRY, Champion 7EC CC-PWL, MXP-150 Kimbaya 2 CC-ADV (c/n AA-10-10-15-034, checked, Melipilla Air Club badge and titles on tail), R44 Astro II CC-PZW and T-34 Mentor CC-PNV.
The largest incoming delegation, however, was that of Santiago Air Club, who’s planes and crews swarmed Santa Teresa with American Champion Decathlon CC-KSQ (gave an aerobatic demonstration mid-afternoon), Cessna 172s CC-ADF (c/n 172S11070 checked) and CC-ADG, PA-38 Tomahawks CC-KSF and CC-KSJ, PA-28 Archers CC-KSN, CC-KXE and CC-KXL and Van’s RV-9As CC-LYA and CC-LYB.
A “soccer team” of ultralights also visited, either individually or in an enthusiastic flock arriving from Lipangui airfield in Lampa (Northwest of Santiago), including Aerofun UL ULM-167, Manta 2.2 ULM-218 (c/n 022, built 2013, checked), Manta Scout ULM-106, Manta Scout II ULM-151 “Manukena II”, Manta Scout IIIs ULM-138 (c/n 007, built 2002, checked) and ULM-152 “Tic Toc”, Mini-Max Sport ULM-043 (Santiago de Chile Ultralights Club sticker on tail), Murphy Maverick ULM-145, N3 Pup ULM-040, Rans Coyote I ULM-066 and Zenith 107 ULM-205.
As eccentric as it may seem, SCTS 2013 proved to be a most entertaining experience. Perfectly clear blue skies throughout most of the day, fascinating surrounding mountain scenery, plenty of air action (be it landings, take-offs, fly-byes, aerobatic and radio-control model demonstrations, etc.), a definitively friendly environment, a welcome supply of meet and veggies and complete freedom for picture taking will make this an event to remember and promote!
Bibliography: R. W. Simpson: “Airlife’s General Aviation” (Airlife Publishing, England, 1995). Internet sources: Aerointer (official), Aerotrust (official), DGAC Chile (official), ModoCharlie, Patterson Aero Sales (official), Plane & Pilot, Rans Designs (official), Sonex Aircraft (official), Team Mini-Max (official), Tour Aviation (official) and Ultrasport (official).