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.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Running out of air

My taildragger training was cut short this afternoon when we lost tyre pressure in the right wheel.. not a heavy landing.. we had just put pressure in earlier and it could have been a faulty valve. So I brought the plane to a stop on the runway and the Fire Department came to help us push the plane off while lifting the wing to take the pressure off the wheel.

Instructor Larry says "It wasn't me" ha ha

Doing my Taildragger conversion training

Incredible day flying yesteday.. the air was clean and clear and you could see forever. Our Instructor Larry Van Der Merwe took to the skyye with me in our Taildragger MSC for my conversion training and we flew out to Cato Ridge and Pietermaritzburg for some cheaper circuits landing this beauty. You can do your conversion too at Durban Skyye Flight School - for both PPL and NPL pilots.

Instructor Larry (left) and Dave ready for some conversion training on our flight school Taildragger MSC

Durban looking beautiful as we flew in from Cato Ridge in the west

Larry with MSC in Pietermaritzburg - beautiful little airport and an ideal lunch stop if you are in the area - the coffee shop opens when the Link airline plane is due to arrive

MSC looking proud on the Pietermaritburg apron

Dave and Larry posing before flying back

All smiles from Larry as we head back to Durban

Durban's Bluff, the harbour and  city as we pass the compulsory reporting point at Cooper's Lighthouse

We head to the harbour entrance which is the second reporting point as we enter the Virginia Airport airspace

Rounding the harbour mouth we have now left uncontrolled airspace and the beautiful view back to the Bluff reveals itself. I used to be the City Councillor for the Fynnland ward and this view basically takes in my ward.. from the harbour side through the Fynnland suburb to Beacon Road.

A view of Vetch's pier - suitable landing space for our Seaplane when we get it up and running

Friday, October 3, 2014

Clear skies after the rain

What an awesome night to do a night flight over Durban after the rains had cleared the sky. We saw night racing at Greyville Race Course and even got to see the Sharks beat the Lions from far above Kings Park rugby Stadium tonight. For my co-pilot Brandon, it was his first night flight and the views were spectacular.. the photos cannot do justice to it!

Kings Park Rugby Stadium with the Sharks playing the Lions (26 - 23 win)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Aborted night flight

We were keen for a flight to Pietermaritzburg as the sun was setting yesterday, hoping to have dinner in Pmb and fly back before lights off at Virginia Airport in Durban.

However without much rain the last number of weeks there has been a haze over Durban and looking west, the haze and cloud cover looked worse, so we ended up with a little jaunt to Cooper's Lighthouse and back and had the rare opportunity of flying back at 500 ft viewing the Bluff and city from the lower height - normally 1 500 ft for all incoming traffic. On that last point, it is quite weird to be in a metric country but to use feet for altitude measurements in accordance with the international norm.

The city beachfront, sea and Stadium all looking gloomy and grey in the afternoon haze

The harbour entrance at the end of the Bluff

Cooper's Lighthouse from 500 ft viewpoint.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Super excitement

Today was super exciting for Theuns (right) as he took to the sky for the first time at the controls of our Flight School Sling Aircraft, and for myself as my first student and for "ab initio" training for his Pilot's licence. This means I start Theuns off in the beginning and take him through the learning modules until he is safe to fly on his own and pass his Pilot's licence skills test. Theuns took to the sky like a pro and handled the flight controls well.. soon to be another great pilot!! Well done man!!

Dave (left) with Theuns (right) at the controls of our SLing FYA

Theuns flies the plane back home to Virginia after practising some manoeuvres in the Virginia General Flying Area

The cockpit of our Sling FYA with the Durban harbour in the background

The view from 1500 ft along the Bluff headed back to Virginia Airport
My Flight School aircraft, Sling FYA

A celebratory glass of wine for me after my first student completed his introductory training flight with me as Instructor, after qualifying recently

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Precision Approach Lighting systems

Part of the training for a Commercial Pilot's Licence includes understanding the different lighting systems in operation at airports. Pictured here is a Category 1 precision approach lighting system which features a 900m stretch of lighting before you get to the start of the runway (threshhold). It features a line of lights in the direction of the runway, and crossbars, and the lights are white, varying in intensity as you get closer to the threshhold for landing. In the closest 300m the line comprises a single line of lights, in the next 300m there is a double line of lights and in the furthest 300m there is a triple line of lights.

Green threshhold lights

The beginning of the runway or threshhold is marked by a crossbar of green lights and the end of the runway is marked by a crossbar of red lights.

In poor visibility a pilot may not land the aircraft unless he has the runway or approach lights in sight when he reaches the minimum decision height which is generally about 200 ft above the runway surface, otherwise he needs to do a missed approach, taking off without landing and going around. Many accidents have been caused by pilots landing without having clearly identified the runway in misty conditions and the lighting systems are intended to make identification clearer. 

In the photo below you can see King Shaka International Airport's approach lights at night in a slightly different configuration. The lines of lights on ether side of the centre line from the green threshhold bar (start of the runway) extending into the runway indicate the touchdown zone. The two bars of lights on either side of the runway adjacent to the touchdown zone are the Papi (Precision Approach Path Indicator) lights... when the two outer lights are white and the two inner lights are red, you are on the correct glide slope for the landing, whereas more red lights will show you are too low and more white lights will show you are too high.

King Shaka International runway lights at night

An illustration of PAPI lights 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flying the big birds

I hate waiting, but I do love airports and for the second time flew in the A380, this time from Shanghai to Dubai, along with several B777s in the routing from Durban to Shanghai and Busan, South Korea.

TV screen view of our landing in Dubai showing the threshhold (green bar/line of lights) at the start of the runway as well as the cluster line of lights extending into the runway showing the touchdown zone.

Dubai on take-off routing home to Durban on Thursday

You can't really see the several layers of clouds at differing heights in this photo, but was amazing

Plane view of Korea shortly before landing at Gimhae International Airport, Busan, South Korea

Final Approach Gimhae