Saturday, May 23, 2015

Getting ready to fly

Our flight instructor Brandon (left) and our Chief Flying Instructor Brad (middle) chat to our NPL student William ahead of his pilot lesson today. William has notched up his first few hours towards his licence with Durban Skyye Flight School.

Airbus A330 Captain flies with Durban Skyye

It's not often that an airline pilot takes a step-down and comes to fly a microlight, but Captain Bruce Daniels did just that, thoroughly enjoying his first hour of instruction with our Chief Flying Instructor Brad on the flight school's microlight.

Heading north today

Dave's student Gordon getting more comfortable in the air on a bumpy day today as we headed north to the Tugela River Mouth and back to Virginia, transiting through King Shaka International airspace.

The Umhlanga beachfront and lighthouse on our return from the north

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cass goes solo

Our NPL student pilot Cass did his first solo flight today in our flight school Sling FYA.

Our Chief Flying Instructor Brad was there to congratulate him and oversee the flight. Well done Cass, great achievement.

Our CFI Brad with Cass after his solo flight

Cass in our flight school Sling after his first solo flight today

Saturday, May 16, 2015

First female PPL pilot

Congratulations to Elaine Benade, our first female student to qualify as a pilot at Durban Skyye Flight School. Elaine commenced training with another flight school before moving to Durban and completed her PPL licence this week with Durban Skyye. Congrats Elaine and many more safe, happy hours flying.
Elaine's new qualification: a PPL licence

Elaine with our flight school aircraft, a Sling LSA ZU-FYA

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Beach view

Thanks to beachgoer Peter Lambert for this photo of our microlights in the skyye over the Umhlanga beachfront.
Our microlight Instructors Brandon (left in CCL) and Brad (right in EKO) take to the Durban skyye over the Umhlanga beachfront

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our home base

These stunning photos of the Durban coastline after take-off from Virginia Airport, our home base, were submitted by student photographer Marguerite who flew with us in our flight school microlight aircraft this week. Thank you Marguerite, they are beautiful and clear.

The Durban city in the background as we fly along the coast to the harbour

Runway 23 Virginia airport - the line of take-off is 230 deg (south west) which is usually the direction the wind blows from in the morning allowing you to take off into wind for slower take-off and landing speeds
Our flight school microlight aircraft aloft over the city, being piloted by our instructor Brandon Alleson, taken from our second microlight EKO being flown by our CFI Brad Isaacson

The Durban stadium with our two microlights in view

Night landings

I did some night landings at Virginia last night in our Sling aircraft ZDL. There are many illusions at night making flying and landing tricky. The "black hole", or darkness below creates the illusion that the land is further from you. Many a pilot has come in to land and landed short of the runway for this reason or you bump down harder as you are not expecting to touch down as soon as you do.

You learn to anticipate this during your night training, although it is easy to forget and my first landing is usually a bit harder than I intend. Last night I changed my flap setting to minimal flaps on landing and this helps give the plane a longer float and a softer landing. You can check out my landing in the short YouTube video clip at the link here.

The view from over the sea of the Durban hotels and piers in the night light

Onboard computer EFIS with night view in the cockpit of our Sling aircraft ZDL

Durban stadium and beachfront during our night flight last night

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Flying with Jason

Well known restauranteur Jason of Jack Salmon Fishhouse, famous for sushi and gourmet seafood, came flying with me today. Jason is a natural-born pilot and thoroughly enjoyed his time in the Durban skyye. 

Jason (left) flies with Dave in his Sling aircraft ZDL

Durban's Bluff and harbour seen from 500ft

Jason at ease at the flight controls of ZDL

Relaxing after a care-free flight along the Durban beachfront, showing Jason the basic skills flying an airplane

Our flight school on board computer (EFIS) with engine information and GPS