Friday, March 28, 2014

Durban Skyye at Virginia Airport

My new Volvo V40 and the car registration I secured today, parked outside our Kiosk at Virginia Flight School

Our Durban Skyye Kiosk at Virginia Airport

Monday, March 24, 2014

We've passed the test

Thanks to the SA Civil Aviation Authority who conducted their compliance audit at the Flight School today as part of the process for our Flight School Training Organisation (ATO) approval.

We passed the test and the paperwork and recommendations are being done to get our approval number. So it's not too long and we will be taking to the skyyes with our first students.

CFI Brad Isaacson welcomes Mandla Singapi from the CAA to our offices in Durban

Chief Executive Officer of the Flight School, Dave (left) and Chief Flying Instructor, Brad (middle) are congratulated by the SA Civil Aviation Authority's Mandla, Compliance auditor.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ready to open

It's been quite a slog getting the Flight School to opening stage.. the biggest sweat being the process for CAA approval. Our audit inspection date has been shifted and is now due in the morning, so we're holding thumbs. The Flight School Operations Manuals covering evety aspect of the Flight School, operations, aircraft, safety, instruction procedures and over 400 pages of documentation... is behind us and we look forward to welcoming tomorrow's inspection so that we can now get up in the air.

Flight School CEO Dave Mc Naught proudly shows our Kiosk in the main Concourse of Virginia Airport.

Flight School Chief Flying Instructor Brad Isaacson shows his personally autographed and congratulatory poster from the Gripen Pilots (more pics here)

We sell South Africa's reknowned Sling Aircraft here in Durban

We'll be the first NPL Microlight and fixed wing Flight School in Durban

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sling WES visits Durban for the Sky Aerobatics festival

Owner of Sling ZU-WES makes cool movies of his escapades and in this short video clip he visits Virginia and snaps some good footage of the Airshow we have enjoyed here this weekend.

From Durban to Botswana and Zimbabwe Skyye!

From Durban Skyye to Botswana and Zimbabwe sunsets, Victoria Falls and thunderstorms - we saw magnificent views on our trip this week in 6 Sling aircraft as part of our Sling Africa Tour 2014 led by James Pitman of The Airplane Factory and myself who organised the event.

Thundershowers en route to Maun, Botswana last week

Clearer skyyes over Nguma Island, Botswana in the Okavango Delta

Sunset on the Chobe River, Kasane, Botswana, before flying to Zimbabwe this Monday

The magnificence of Victoria Falls I photographed flying over it in my Sling ZDL this week

The "Smoke that Thunders" is the name of Victoria Falls famed for the spray that shoots over 1500 ft into the sky

The Victoria Falls Bridge at sunset with the spray from the Falls

Sling TAF which flew around the world flying alongside me

The Sling Africa 2014 Tour group - I took the photos (Dave)

Fuel lesson

I learnt something new about filling up with Avgas at Kasane International Airport, Botswana. Usually our Sling takes 95 unleaded car petrol which I get from our local petrol station and fill up the tanks by syphoning the fuel out of containers. Car petrol is not generally available at airports when we travel though so we have to get Avgas (Aviation Gasoline) from the tanker or bowser at the airport. This is a higher grade fuel and is not good for long-term use in our planes and also pumps much quicker with the electric pump.


I usually pop the fuel cap on quickly after refueling to stop any dust or impurities getting in while the cap is off. The next morning after filling the tanks at Kasane I checked the fuel level and was shocked to see that the one tank had dropped by nearly a third. The lesson to be learned is that if the tank is filled very quickly, the fuel does not have enough time to drain through the buffer compartments in the tank so it looks like the tank is full, but if you wait a bit for it to drain through the level drops significantly. Fortunately I had enough fuel for the next leg and James drained an extra 40l out of his tank at Victoria Falls for me.. but I will remember to wait in future and recheck the level before assuming the tank showing full is actually full. No one wants to run out of fuel on a long 4 1/2 hour flight with not many alternative airfields around.

Refueling with Avgas at Kasane, Botswana, taught me a new lesson

Friday, March 7, 2014

Slow process for approval

The process to obtain the formal approval of the Civil Aviation Authority for flight training is a slow and laborious process... in fact we are approaching 6 months in dealing with them and still await the inspection of our facilities and procedures documents to obtain the approval before we can take our first student into the air.
At the outset we have 3 aircraft on register for flight training - a Windlass Aquilla Microlight ZU-CCL, a Safari Aerotrike Microlight ZU-COF, both for weight-shift controlled (WCM) National Pilot Licence training, and a Sportstar fixed wing aircraft ZU-FGC for light sport aircraft (LSA) National Pilot Licence training.
Over 300 pages of documentation and procedures in compliance with the Civil Aviation Regulations and Technical standards have been compiled and submitted. Initially the audit inspection was scheduled for the 5th March but has been postponed by the CAA due to budget and operational shortcomings. So we wait and pay the expenses being incurred without being able to earn an income yet.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kiosk signs done

Quite a slog, but we have the kiosk signage now done and the kiosk at Virginia Aiport is almost ready for the Wednesday planned CAA inspection. Just need to fit the new carpet, and kit it out with stationery and student files and audit docs, flight authorisation sheets, booking sheets and aircraft information documents.