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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:48 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger

Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 4:34 pm
Posts: 566
Federal Air operates commercial flights to Skukuza for passengers staying at Rhino Post and Plains Camp (and possibly also the other private concession in southern Kruger).

Guests staying at The Outpost and Pafuri Camp can fly to the airstrip just north of the Levuvhu River and just west of the tar road.

Flights to Pafuri approach from the west, crossing the park boundary in the vicinity of Pafuri gate, then continue past Banyini and Makwadzi before turning south towards the airstrip. Departing flights head north and then turn west. Passengers enjoy spectacular views of the Limpopo and Levuvhu as well as their gorges and floodplains.

I've also enjoyed a long flight over Kruger once, but I shall refrain from posting details as I do not wish to get the pilot into trouble.

Johan


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:17 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Mgoddard wrote:
not sure where he was from or where he was going
Presumably to the Satara airstrip, which is used by Singita Lebombo. The aircraft could have been coming from Singita in Sabi-Sands. That's a short flight, so it would not have gained much altitude before commencing its descent.

Johan


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 10:30 pm 
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Virtual Ranger
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 12:25 am
Posts: 249
Location: Probably not coming back to Africa soon :-)
p@m wrote:
Not sure if this is the right place to ask .... do these light aircraft & SanP's helicopters have problems with large birds of prey eg vultures ? Or have the birds learnt to avoid planes ?
Could be nasty if they meet in mid-air !

Aircraft have problems with any birds - even a sparrow can do an enormous amount of damage! Hitting a large bird can be very serious if not fatal for the aircraft as well as the bird.

Aircraft birdstrikes are quite common - according to an official US birdstrike website, 56,000 birstrikes were reported in the USA alone between 1984 and 2000, and they estimate that this is 20% of the actual number. Whilst most caused only minor damage to the aircraft some led to major damage or to crashes.

A goose going through the engine of a Boeing 747 will destroy the engine and the replacement would cost US$3 million or so! It's happened a few times.

Most birdstrikes occur in the vicinity of airports ('cos most birds don't fly very high above the ground so they're only a threat whilst the aircraft is taking off or landing). Airports expend a huge amount of money trying to scare birds. Many have "trained" birds of prey to chase other birds away from the vicinity of the airport.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:05 am 
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Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:18 am
Posts: 476
Location: Skukuza
Mgoddard wrote:
I returned from the park a month ago and just after leaving Satara first saw the small SANPARKS plane, with only the pilot inside.. and about half hour later a small commercial plane flying very low between Orpen and Satara....not sure where he was from or where he was going...still wondered about it as I read this thread before I left and was under the impression that no commercial flights are allowed...


Hi Mgoddard

The SANParks aircraft might have been our Bantam ultralight aircraft which the rangers use for aerial surveillance and other tasks. It was instrumental in the recent recovery of Duke's left tusk. Check out the story here:
http://www.sanparks.org/about/news/2007/august/duke.php

The small commercial aircraft was either the aircraft used to ferry passengers to the concession lodge or it could have been the aircraft used for various census operations.

Our aircraft, a Cessna, has recently been involved with a comprehensive animal census. Read story here:
http://www.sanparks.org/about/news/2007 ... census.php

The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) also did a black rhino census using small civilian registered aircraft (for my fellow aviation enthusiasts like Simonb6, a Piper Super Cub and a Christen Huskey). I know there was a story on this somewhere on this website but I can't seem to find it now ...

Just so that you know, no unauthorised civilian aircraft are allowed over the KNP. The charters that fly into the lodges are authorised but have to stick to certain "channels" or "corridors" and altitudes. Procedures for these are laid down in what are called NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) and are issued by South Africa's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). CAA and SANParks share the responsibility of policing these regulations so if you did see an aircraft and managed to catch the registration, please let us know.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:12 am 
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Guru
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Location: Skukuza
p@m wrote:
Hi Simon, thanks for the reply. Am aware of the bird strike problem with large airliners & commercial ops, but wondered about vultures in particular over KNP as they soar very high prey spotting & a light plane or chopper doesn't stand a chance if they have a "meeting" ! Do you have any stats on this ? Other wilderness areas in neighbouring countries must have the same problem. Not the place to let the border collie clear the runway either :D


Hi p@m

During the last four years, we have only had one birdstrike incident. It was with our brand new helicopter - a Eurocopter AS350 Squirrel - and a bateleur hit it on take off. The pilot Mr Grant Knight was able to land and no one was injured. The bateleur was killed and the aircraft had extensive damage to the windscreen and instruments. It had to return to the manufacturer for repairs.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:55 pm 
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Senior Virtual Ranger
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Although flying over the real KNP isn't allowed the latest version of Google Earth makes it possible in the virtual world. The latest version includes a flight simulator which allowes you to fly where ever you want. The flight simulator option is a hidden feature, here's an explanation of how to access it.

There's nothing like flying an F16 jet over the virtual KNP at Mach 1 :wink:


Last edited by madach on Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: SANParks Air Services
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 4:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 7:47 pm
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Location: West Sussex, England
Hi
I have just viewed the "SANParks Air Services" page and it is unclear as to who and for what the aircraft can be hired.

My question is can tourists visiting the park pre-book game viewing flight over part or all of the area.

If the answer is no are there other local flying operators who offer this type of service.

JDW


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:57 pm 
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Guru
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Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 8:18 am
Posts: 476
Location: Skukuza
Sorry JDW, but flying for that reason over the KNP is a no - no.

Our aircraft can be hired by - for example - our neighbouring game reserves for game counts etc, but sightseeing flights are a strict no-no.

There are strict regulations for overflying national parks in South Africa too, so there are no private operators doing this. We also received a resolute NO from our stakeholders in this regard during the recent KNP Management Plan public process, so I can say with some authority that we aren't even planning to bring in things like this in the future.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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Kruger National Park
110 Years of Conservation Success - Now isn't that worthy of a Celebration!


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