Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Sling Madagascar Tour 2015

Ahead of our Sling Madagascar Tour 2015 here's a video clip of a pilot in a Cirrus ditching in the sea.

The Sling Tour will leave Tedderfield Airfield, home of The Airplane Factory later this year, and we will fly up to Vilanculos on the east coast of Mozambique before heading out for the 4 1/2 hour flight over the Mozambique Channel to Toliara International Airport on the west coast of Madagascar. 

The tour group will be well equipped with ELTs (emergency locator trasmitters), life rafts and life jackets in the event of any mishap during the flight over water, but will hopefully not be required. The video clip shows how a safe landing can be made on the sea and the solo pilot was rescued by the USA coast guard. Email me at slingfans@gmail.com to join the tour.

Our Sling ZDL is also equipped with a ballistic parachute such as the one in the photo

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Well the "holidays" are over so there's no been too much time for flying my own plane yet in 2015. The flight school has also been quite demanding with over 300 flights being handled over the December / January period.. not too much my own, but I have the admin behind it all to keep up to date. My own few students have also kept me busy, although the heat of Durban is on us and the best flying time is after 4pm as the sun gets lower.

Getting our flight school aircraft out of the hangar for another flight

My student Bill who has taken up his life-long ambition to fly

Great photo of Durban's Moses Mabhida World Cup Football Stadium on the wingtip of my flight school Sling FYA

Durban city and harbour en route seawards of the Bluff to the Virginia General Flying area inland of Amanzimtoti

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Some airtime

We're having a great flying season at the flight school and I broke my record of 5 hours instruction in one day with my student Federico, training towards his NPL (LSA) licence in our Sling FYA. The flight school is open every day, including New Year's day, and bookings can be made if you check our website.

Friday, December 5, 2014

New Zealand by air

I have just returned from an incredible but short week-visit to New Zealand, and one of the highlights was being able to fly a Cessna 172 around Waiheke Island, where we were staying, with the local air charter company.

Thanks James for letting me take control, although for a short time as I was behaving like a happy snapper with the beautiful landscape of the island below.

Waiheke Island is the largest island off the coast of Auckland within the Hauraki Gulf. The weather changes every 10 minutes there and here we were approaching a rainshower before continuing to the right around the island.

With the numerous bays and coves and hundreds of islands, New Zealand has more coastline that the United States of America

Sheep, sheep, as far as the eye can see

This was the rich end of the island with magnificent estates and homesteads

Durban Skyye Flight School with the Cessna 172 at the private airfield on Waiheke Island

Friday, November 21, 2014

HOT wings

My gym guru buddy Chris had some fun in the Durban Skyye with me this week as I showed him the difference between asphalt landings and grass landings in Llew and my Sling ZDL. Afterwards we fooled around looking at some "permanent" body wings...

Chris and I over Durban in ZDL

The view of the coastline approaching Umgeni river mouth with Virginia Airport in the background, lining up for final approach to runway 05.

Durban harbour and the city from overheasd the Bluff

Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium as we pass by to land at Virginia

This is my bro!!

Hot body of my gym buddy, showing his new wings

Chris looking lean and mean


With students I'm enjoying the opportunity to fly both my planes.. FYA here with Bob who is doing his NPL licence with me and enjoyed the calm of a sunrise flight this week.

Bob and I in FYA

Bob with my second Sling ZU_FYA, a light sport aircraft, suitable for NPL and PPL training

Friday, November 7, 2014

Taildragger rated

Larry and Dave finishing Dave's taildragger rating in the Flight School's Bushbaby Explorer Taildragger aircraft MSC today. Thanks Larry, that was fun, tearing up the runway at Richards Bay with you. 

Larry and Dave in the taildragger MSC

Umhlanga beachfront from the air in MSC

Dave does the admin thing refuelling the plane in the heat of Friday morning after pulling all of the planes out of the hangar.

The fuel tanks on the wings feed the carbs by gravity, obviating the need for an electric fuel pump

Dave en route to Richards Bay in the taildragger

Richards Bay harbour and estuary seen from 800 ft in the Explorer

Moment of take-off with the tail in the air and Dave at the flight controls of the Explorer at Richards Bay airport

Instructor Larry vd Merwe with Dave in the Explorer

Celebration margaritas after being signed out for the taildragger rating and landing back safely at Virginia Airport

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Durban Skyye logo

Dave and Brad are proud of their new training approval from the CAA

Showing off our new Aviation Training Organisation Certificate for Part 61 - PPL pilot training

Friday, October 24, 2014

We did it again !!

My flight school sister company, Durban Skyye Pilot Training (Pty) Ltd, has been granted authority by the SA Civil Aviation Authority to offer PPL (Private Pilot Licence) training in addition to the NPL licence presently offered by the Flight School.

This means we now cater for the recreational pilot who prefers to fly light sport aeroplanes or microlights as well as those intent on a career in aviation who need to obtain their PPL en route to their Commerical Pilot's or Airline Transport Pilot's licence. It was quite a long slog I can assure you as the Manuals for both flight school together took me a year to put together and go through the process of scrutiny and audit pending the issue of the training approvals. I got our NPL training authority in April and our PPL authority today.

Our SA CAA approval for PPL pilot training
There are still many advantages of first obtaining your NPL licence - it's cheaper, can be obtained in a minimum of 35 hours of flight experience (45 for PPL) and the exams are less hectic. Once you obtain an NPL licence you can also upgrade easily to a PPL licence by doing the extra hours as long as you also have the PPL exams under your belt. This is the way I did it, writing the PPL exams instead of the NPL exams first time around. The NPL licence got me into the air on my own quicker and with the NPL licence you can also take passengers and have some fun in the skyye with them.

Either way, we now offer both licences as an option and we do so in a relaxed, friendly environment, enjoying our time as Instructors and Students.

Durban Skyye are the only flight school approved for both NPL and PPL licencing at Virginia Airport, and possibly KZN, so come on down and start your training with us.

It's the way to go.. and The Sky's No Limit !      (Aviation Training Organisation ATO CAA / 0262)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Students

 I have my own two students now which is pretty exciting. Bob and Theuns both have enjoyed their second lessons, so let's see who gets their pilot licence first.

Bob getting comfortable during his 2nd lesson in the skyye

Theuns refuels the plane using the special electro-static-discharge filter which also blocks water or moisture in the fuel from getting into the tank

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bob flies with Dave

My new student Bob Parnell taking flight with me for the first time in a small plane - "something I've always dreamed to doing" said Bob after zooming over his home on the Bluff's Ansteys Beach.

Thumbs up from Bob with Virginia Airport in the background

Bob poses after his first flight in our Sling "Yankee" - FYA

Bob's view of his home on Anstey's Beach foreshore of the Bluff with the harbour and city in the background

Bob at the flight controls of our Sling

The computerised cockpit "glass cockpit" of our Sling

Umhlanga beachfront and the lighthouse 

"Wow, what an amazing experience" says Bob

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Win a flight in our Sling airplane

PropCare have recently launched their mobile app which enables you to find a property specialist in your area.. from plumbers, electricians and maintenance guys to conveyancing attorneys and real estate agents. Durban Skyye Flight School and Mc Naught and Company Durban Attorneys have teamed up with PropCare to offer this competition prize of a flight over Durban in our Sling Aircraft. To enter, click on the link to their webpage here and follow the instructions.