Rob Jonkers

Vice Chairman

Rob Jonkers was born in Johannesburg in 1961 with Dutch immigrant parents, and schooled in the Western Transvaal. He has had a passion for things Aeronautical since an early age and would have joined the Airforce if it weren’t for being a bit near-sighted. Joined Atlas Aircraft Corporation in 1979 as an Apprentice Aircraft Fitter, and mostly worked on Puma’s during the apprenticeship, many of which were basket cases out of the bush needing heavy repairs. Also completed a PPL in 1981 and a CPL in 1984, but continued with engineering as a career path, gaining an MSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Cranfield Institute of Technology in the UK having had to take a 2 year sabbatical from work in 1989. Joined the Atlas design office in 1983 where the first concepts of Rooivalk were born. After returning from the UK in 1991 headed up the Airframe Design team responsible for the EDM Rooivalk (third prototype). With the UK MoD releasing their attack helicopter tender, headed up as Project Manager to write the tender response, thereafter continued with further international marketing campaigns. In 1996 was appointed as the Production Manager to build the 12 production Rooivalks for the SAAF, and in 1999 also became the Rooivalk Programme Manager until 2004 after delivery of the 12th aircraft, where after joined Aerosud as Programme Director responsible for manufacture of commercial aircraft metallic and composites structures for Airbus & Boeing Airliners. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, and held tenure as President of the Aeronautical Society of South Africa for 4 years, and involved as engineering mentor and external examiner at the University of Pretoria. He is a member of EAA chapter 322 since 1983 (also US member), flew a C150 ZS-EGZ in those early days and attended the Margate shows in most of the 1980’s. Now is a partner in a C182 ZS-IVC. He is also a member of SAPFA and an avid rally pilot having gained national colours in precision flying in 2014, and has represented South Africa at the world championships in Poland in 2014, Portugal in 2016 and Slovakia in 2018. For fun, he builds aircraft simulators, the most challenging of which is a full size B737 which is still under construction. He currently is the Vice Chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa, and is also the Chairman of the South African Power Flying Association.