Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

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CommanderKeen
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Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby CommanderKeen » Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:51 pm

As has appeared in the news one rhino was killed in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve around two weeks ago. The week before that one was shot and wounded, and a week ago another rhino was found shot and wounded. Now today the following weightshift microlight in the attached photos (looks like ZU-CNA) was seen over the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. Apparently it flew backwards and forwards over the reserve, particularly over the rhinos, then landed near a group of six rhino. When the reserve official drove closer they took off again and appeared to fly away to the North. It appears as though the pilot was not in radio contact with Waterkloof tower, as is required. All this makes the reserve officials suspect this aircraft's intentions are not good and perhaps even maybe poachers. I know this is probably not the case, however, the officials are very edgy after these three incidents of the rhinos being shot.

I know the reserve does not have the minimum height laws as in other National Parks, but this pilot's behaviour today is unacceptable. Please consider what all parks are experiencing with rhino poaching and avoid flying directly over any rhino you do see, or circling over the reserve, etc.

We would rather have as many microlighters as possible supporting the reserves and helping wherever they can to assist with anti poaching operations, than have them act suspiciously over the reserve. Please assist by not flying low over Rietvlei Nature Reserve, where possible, as well as continuing in a straight line course directly overhead until clear of the reserve. Due to public perceptions and not having the necessary authority we can't ask for aerial patrols at this time, but there are times when an aircraft able to take a reserve official up with them to help search for missing rhino etc. would be greatly appreciated. Since there is no money for such operations it would have to be on a volunteer basis. If there is anyone close to Rietvlei who is willing to help in this way they can PM me directly for further information.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby KFA » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:07 am

We would be more than happy to supply aerial support from Kitplanes and Komati Flight Academy side. Contact us anytime you guys need support.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby Luan » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:25 am

This is why we can't have nice things...
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby John Boucher » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:00 am

Maybe breed a culture among those flying over or around Rietvlei to merely have a courtesy WhatsApp group with the reserve folk - "Hey chaps, this is ZU-IWannaHelp and I'll be flying over the reserve ... anything I can help with or if I see anything suspicious will let you know" kind of thing.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby John Boucher » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:29 am

Info at hand is that the aircraft experienced engine trouble.

If that is the case, I strongly suggest to the owner/pilot to file the INCIDENT pronto...
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby pietmeyer » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:57 am

Eish, landing in Rietvlei reserve :shock:

That is looking for trouble and also not speaking to Waterkloof ## ## ##

Flying a trike means it is a local guy and you cannot plead innocence as you should know that this area is Waterkloof air space and then landing in a private reserve. Boet, you are looking for trouble :evil:
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby Leprachaun » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:58 pm

I had a look at the engine , beleive me he has a problem , seized pistons , scoured sleeves etc - now you know why he had an engine out , rotax dont operate without oil Leprachaun
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby John Boucher » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:56 pm

So now a precautionary is actually a forced landing.

Needs to be reported if it hasn't yet been done!
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby pietmeyer » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:13 pm

How did he take off after engine failure or was it a precautionary and it seized later?
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby Leprachaun » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:24 am

If he is not a MISASA member MISASA has no Jurisdiction???
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby John Boucher » Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:41 am

That is a misconception Alex and it is not a matter of "jurisdiction" ... As you know, MISASA is the ARO that represents microlights and light sport aircraft. When there is a transgression/accident/incident - no one asks if the person is a member of MISASA or not - they see the type of aircraft involved. If we are to be seen to performing due diligence or correct housekeeping within the ARO, it is then only appropriate that we investigate circumstances or be a part of the resolution. If the person is found not to be a MISASA member, to hand it over to whatever authoritative body necessary.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby pietmeyer » Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:42 pm

CommanderKeen wrote:
Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:51 pm
When the reserve official drove closer they took off again and appeared to fly away to the North. It appears as though the pilot was not in radio contact with Waterkloof tower, as is required.
I am just curios as to the above statement :roll: Waterkloof is not always manned. What time did this happen and was Waterkloof contacted by either the reserve people or the complainant to find out if this was the case at the time of the incident? If they were active, then why was the operator not in contact with the tower?

As for the part "taking off again and headed north" :shock: If it was engine failure, how did he take off when the official drove closer? If the engine did seize, was this after taking off again or is it possible to fly with a seized engine? :roll: I presume the photos were taken prior to engine failure which also poses some questions. Was the operator then flying back and forth over the rhinos at the time the pics were taken? (**)

There are thus a few stories here. Did the official mistakenly think that they landed and took off again? Did they land and the trike was trailered out of the reserve without the official knowing? Did they even land in the reserve?

Where was the trike flying to on this day? Was it using Pinedene to route east or west? What was the departure and destination for this flight?

the reason for my questions is that on a previous occasion a trike also bombed through the area without speaking to Waterkloof to get permission and onlyd made it's pressence known almost half way through the airspace and was not on the normal cleared altitude for the area. Other aircraft cleared through the area had to evade the trike. This was also not the first complaint about trikes flying over this area either too low or evenbuzzing Cornwall Hiill. Soon transponders will be required to pass through the area due to these incidents and that will create havoc for trikes using this route to get from east to west etc. Then this will force all to take the long way around Wonderboom. This will affect Microland, Rhino, Ingwe, Grasslands and Eagle Creek.

As for a member of Misasa, it does not matter. I am not saying that the operator was wrong or not......just have questions as something does not add up. If a non-member of Misasa causes more rules or other restrictions to be enforced on members due to their actions, I would want Misasa to get involved same way as if the person was a member.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby John Boucher » Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:04 pm

The proposal for mandatory Transponders (in particular Mode-S) has been tabled again at OPSCOM I might add... how would the greater recreational aviator (MISASA member or not) like me to respond or object.

So when the question is asked ... the owner is not a MISASA member and we don't have "jurisdiction" (but his pertinent actions affect the paying MISASA member), how exactly do you propose I just turn a blind eye?
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby pietmeyer » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:34 pm

John

This is my issue. Trike flying in general has gone down over the last few years. Speak to guys like Solo Wings, Pieter De Necjer just to name a few. Ask them how business with regards to trikes changed over the last 5 years. Look at the cost of trikes. Trikes that used to go for R120k now sells for R40k if the seller is lucky. Now having to install a R40k transponder because somebody else messed up. Not worth it and it will kill the industry even quicker.
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Re: Microlights over Rietvlei Nature Reserve - Plea for help

Postby pietmeyer » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:32 am

The other thing that guys shoul not forget, it is not only trikes that will be affected with transponders etc. There are bushbabies, savanah, skyjeeps, slings and many other aircraft that will be affected. Not all of those have transponders either.
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