Experience of a lifetime

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Flying high is what some Zimbabweans will be doing soon as the annual Zimbabwe Navigation Exercise (Zimnavex) is about to begin.

Aviation enthusiasts from around Zimbabwe and South Africa will be taking part in a three day long flying expedition around Zimbabwe. This competition takes place in June every year.

The competition was started in 1974 by Solly Menashe, a former race car driver who got his Private Pilot Licence and wanted to create a similar experience in the air.

“Since I have known, the organisers have done this every year for the last 25 years,” said aviation enthusiast Christopher Carey.

“Some years have been more difficult than others due to limited resources, however this year we have received the biggest number of entries in six or seven years,” said Melanie Cooper a committee member of Zimnavex.

“We have over 27 entries and more are still coming in,” she said.

In this event, competitors will be flying to some landmarks in Zimbabwe. These include Hwange National Park, Fothergill Island in Kariba and Bumi Hills.

“We have pilots and navigators who will all be taking part, there will also be 10 marshals who will be controlling the competition from the ground,” said Cooper.

The marshals would be working on a negative point system scored on a time basis, Cooper said.

“If your arrival time at certain points is too slow you are penalised. The airplane crew with the least amount of penalties will be the winner.”

Past winners include Andrew Brown as pilot with navigator Mike Mason. The main contenders this year include Jim and Andrew Brown.