Mooney Acclaim takes top prize in air race

A Mooney Acclaim took first prize in Category C of the Ultimate Challenge Air Race held Aug. 15 in South Africa. The Mooney, piloted by Patrick Hanly and owned and navigated by Frikkie Greefe, flew the 297.32 nm course in 1:30:44. Other aircraft in the category included Cirrus SR22s and Beech Bonanzas.

“The idea behind this particular race started because all the other air races in South Africa work strictly on individual handicaps,” said Hanly. “This caused a lot of unhappiness becMooney1ause it was more an argument about handicaps rather than who flew fast airplanes.”

This was the inaugural run of the Ultimate Challenge Air Race. The race started and finished at Rustenberg Airfield, located about 40 miles northwest of Johannesburg. Pilots were permitted to use GPS and carry as much fuel as they wished. Each aircraft was given a GPS logger to ensure that the course was followed and timing recorded. The main aim was speed.

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