August 2016 tour postponed to 2nd half of 2017 - Updates to follow

 

October 2015

For a more detailed view of these tour pictures, visit our Flikr Gallery

 

In October 2015 it was time for the second edition of our flying adventures in and around Johannesburg. We ended up with a fairly extensive program and a total of 16 participants. We managed 28 flights on 13 different aircraft types including the spectacular Gulfstream III, and flew 150 pax (out of our group of 16, so on average more the 9 flights each), with a total flying time of more than 22 hours. All this in just 4 days.

 

In theory the program only started Friday, but a last minute chance to get a flight on Citation Sovereign ZS-IDC for a bargain on an empty-leg, meant some of us met Thursday in Cape Town for a 1h40m flight back to Johannesburg on this luxury 8-seater Cessna BizJet.

 

 

Friday saw the arrival of the rest of the group and after transfer to Rand Airport and the Dakota Lodge we got straight into our flying adventure. A couple of Flying Lions Harvards were ready to take the first participants on an aerobatic flight. This was such a success we had to arrange a few additional Harvard flips later in the weekend due to popular demand. With the Harvards behind us we split up and headed to Lanseria Airport. Part by bus and the rest with an immaculate 1973 Aero Commander 500 Shrike. This particular Aero Commander was flown by none other than Bob Hoover during the Air Africa International Air Show back in 1975. At Lanseria we had a nice little turbine helicopter, in the shape of an Enstrom 480B, ready to take us for some scenic flights. While some were flying others were enjoying the views and drinks on the terrace at Lanseria Airport. A couple of hours later we were heading back in our Aero Commander and minibus. The evening was spent nervously at Rand Airport in anticipation for the main event the following day - the Gulfstream III flight.

 

 

Saturday morning it was a very early start for our flights to Maun in Botswana. We had two aircraft to accommodate our little group. A1971 Cessna 401B and more importantly ZS-VIP a 1984 built G-1159A Gulfstream III from Zenith Aviation. First off with the very first light was the Cessna for its 2h40m flight up to Botswana. The Gulfstream would depart a little later but being somewhat faster, using only 1h15m for the same flight, we would arrive Maun at almost the same time. As mentioned this was the outright highlight for all the group and would make or break the tour. All went went exceptionally well, so a huge thanks to the guys and girls form Zenith Aviation at Lanseria.

 

 

For videos of this trip, including one of our departure from Maun as seen from the Cessna, and in flight recordings visit our YouTube page.

 

The reason for our very early departure was that we had a couple scenic flights above the Okavango Delta lined up. Many thanks to Mack Air for accommodating our strange wishes. There were possibilities to fly both the GippsAero GA8 Airvan and the Quest Kodiak 100. The Kodiak is normally not used for the scenic flights for good reason, but as this was just as much for the flight experience we were very happy it could be arranged. The flights above the scenery of the delta and the wildlife were amazing and well worth it, even if not from an aviation enthusiasts perspective. We saw hundreds of elephants and much more before heading back to Maun.

 

 

Sunday was another early start for more safari. We had a Bell 205 and a Beech 18 going to Mongena Game Lodge just north of Pretoria. At the lodge we started with a game drive were among others lions and rhino were spotted before having lunch. Later in the afternoon there were a chance of a Johannesburg CDB scenic flight on a Bell 206L LongRanger.

 

 

Part of the group left us on the Sunday afternoon, but the rest of us had another couple flights lined up for Monday. Unfortunately we had to cancel our Citation I flight due to a refueling issue at Wonderboom Airport. However, we still had scenic flights on an Atlas Angel that took us for a touch-&-go at Freeway and up around the Tswaing Meteorite Crater. Later we had a Pacific Aerospace PAC750XL that took us above Loskop Dam near Middelburg before returning.

 

 

And with that it was an end to the program. After Lunch and goodbyes everyone was dropped off at OR Tambo International for their flights back to Europe and the US. A couple of fun filled but busy days, surely something to repeat in the future if suitable aircraft can be found.

 

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