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.

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