Newsletter – March 2012

Dear SAHPA Members,

My but time has flown, we are already in the 3rd month of 2012.


While the office is closed, please remember to submit your paperwork regardless as in the event of a claim could jepordise your cover. In case of an emergency, please contact a SAHPA committee member.


Renewal forms will be sent out to all pilots and instructors at the end of April.

All licenses expire on 30 June of every year. The penalty for late payment is that you have to pay the full amount, whether you pay 2 or 10 months late. Renew your membership and licence before date of expiry. You will be flying illegally when your membership expires. Pilots must comply with all renewal criteria.

Please inform SAHPA (in writing) when you stop flying permanently so that we can update our records.

In order for the SAHPA office to speedily process and issue your licence please ensure that the following documentation is sent and signed off by the either a Club L&SO, Instructor or safety officer.

Instructors who have not renewed their licence and ratings by 1 July will not be allowed to do any training and if student applications are submitted, they will not be processed and the student will be notified of this accordingly.

To avoid any problems we ask that the Instructors renew their licenses before the due date to avoid any problems.

What do I need to do to renew:

Standard Renewal

  • The SAHPA form is completed and attached to your payment.
  • The minimum flight and hour requirements have been met or a signed off skill test is submitted
  • Section D of the form is signed by a CLUB LICENSING & SAFETY OFFICER or Instructor
  • Medical certificate of fitness is attached
  • An abbreviated logbook form or a copy of your logbook with the flights for the past year for each sport is attached. If a skill test is required then a copy of your logbook with the flights showing the 5 signed off flights is attached (abbreviated logbook form is not applicable with a skill test), A Skill test is required when the minimum flight requirements have not been done.

Instructor rating & TFI Rating Renewal

. The SAHPA form is completed and attached to your payment 
. A valid First Aid certificate is attached (Section C) 
. Section D of the form is signed by a CLUB LICENSING & SAFETY OFFICER 
. Section E or F is completed in full 
. Medical certificate of fitness is attached. 
. A copy of your logbook with the flights for the past year for each sport is attached.

In addition:

  • If you take part in hang gliding and paragliding and/or powered paragliding, each section of the form must be signed by a Club Licensing & Safety Officer or Instructor for each sport
  • Tandem rated pilots and pilots from the age of 60 have to submit a Medical Fitness Certificate signed by a medical practitioner.Please note that flying licenses and ratings can only be issued when all required documentation has been received. Payment, on its own, is NOT enough for licence renewals.


All TFI Pilots instructors to please ensure that the book system is used at ALL times. If an indemnity form is not completed and an accident happens, the onus will be on the instructor and not SAHPA. Please remember to send your old TFI books back to 
SAHPA for safekeeping.



It has come to SAHPA???s attention that many incidents and accidents reports are outstanding.

Please complete a report form when you have an accident, or witness someone else having one (even if you do not know the pilot). You may forward it to the Club Licensing & Safety Officer, or directly to SAHPA. (The form is available on the SAHPA website) These incident and accidents are currently being captured and statistics should be available shortly.


It is nearing to the time where you need to nominate and vote for a new SAHPA committee. The nomination forms will be available on the website and will also be sent directly to all the clubs. Think carefully on who you want in this position.




The often quoted Leonardo da Vinci “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and for there you will long to return” – I’m sure has been churned around many a promotional brochure, video or even a website flashing ad.

But how many of us who free fly actually embody the deeper meaning of what Leonardo was really getting at?

How many of us as very fortunate free flying pilots of devices not far exceeding his expectations of simple designs he had actually grasp the privilege of what is we are given through learning to fly as we do?

Looking back over 20 odd years of involvement in paragliding it seems the motivation for progress and achievement is unchanged. We continue to strive for more, better, faster, less sink rate, enhanced performance and a myriad of other improvements with wings we seek to fly.

Technology and electronics have boosted our forecasting and weather interpretation capability beyond our wildest dreams 20 years ago and the age of convenience has dawned very favourably upon us.

We’re fortunate enough to have even obviated the need (or desire?) to use our own two feet to get to launch, where now land access and SUV’s accelerate that role, enhancing flying window times and giving us more time to do what we love, fly!

But with the advent of fantastically improved safety and performance in our machines and quantum shift electronic devises helping keep us airborne for longer, we overlook the obvious…

In order for our sport to survive it needs not just continuity but growth. And we all want paragliding to grow don’t we?

Growth equals greater numbers, equals more R+D, better safety and performance, more people flying and MORE RULES! Or does it?

I would hope that every reader agrees we need the sport to enjoy continued growth. One of the factors of that is to ensure that whilst growing we the paragliding fraternity introduce and maintain reasonably responsible checks and balances which are both reasonable to us and our peers as well as to the greater general flying fraternity, or in pilot-speak, the GF fraternity.

We are actually determining the future of our sport through our daily flying conduct – sort of a live experiment if you want – and the very method of how we exercise our privileged ability to free fly will ultimately be the determining factor of how it might be deemed necessary to introduce control measures.

Look at it another way – we could be squirrels or rats in a park. Both do not struggle to multiply.

If there was then a sudden outbreak of rats it would be called a plague and extremely aggressive measures would be imposed to stamp out the rats.

If on the other hand there was a sudden proliferation of squirrels, there would be extensive media coverage, a squirrel park opened and thousands flocking to see and interact with the squirrels.

The difference between squirrels and rats?


In summation the choice is ours, nobody else’s, as to whether we are perceived as the future rats or squirrels of the flying fraternity. That said, you get pretty shrewd rates (in lab tests) but I’d hate to think of us having to burrow our way out that category.

Let’s keep our flying and our public image bright-eyed and bushy tailed!??


James Braid has kindly sent in feedback on XC flying in Prieska and a status update on the Hartebeespoort Dam cableway which is nearing completion (looks great from the air – been passing overhead once a month seeing progress).

Hans Fokkens and the committee have set instructor seminar dates and those are due through April and May.

The revival of club safety observer committees is an in progress task as well as the sourcing of (non executive) SAHPA regional representatives who are intended to serve as communications to and from SAHPA and the members out there. If you know of or believe you have the correct qualities, I’d like to hear from you via the SAHPA office along with a brief motivation. Obviously in areas of good/strong representation (like Durban, Jhb or CT) where there are strong clubs with good communication there may not be a necessity.

At the last Glen TFI committee meeting (the highest concentration of almost daily active TFI’s) the community profile and contributions by the TFI group was a topic of discussion.

Given that most highly active TFI’s enjoy practically all of their income from flying tandems ways were looked at for evolving revenue streams for the commercial tandem industry to contribute in a more consistently beneficial way to sites and landing areas (bearing in mind that almost all existing registered paragliding launch and landing sites were negotiated and secured as a result of recreational paragliding).

The utilisation of task teams has also been proposed to the SAHPA committee to assist in achieving various goals and if approved, individuals with key strengths in specific task areas may be requested to help achieve certain goals – well, your committee is clever 😉 but sometimes we need help too!

Fly happily and safely!

Ant Allen

SAHPA National Paragliding Representative

The Prieska Report

Around mid-November 2011, two pilots from the Czech Republic and one from Slovenia, all very experienced, came out to South Africa to do some cross country flying. I accompanied them with two friends, and local pilots, from Johannesburg. For the first 10 days of the trip we were based at Fly De Aar and we flew together with other foreign pilots also based there, including a very experienced pilot from Lichtenstein. The first few days saw the best flights of the trip with a 300km flight being flown from De Aar to Zastron. Another notable flight was done by the Lichtenstein pilot, flying in light conditions from De Aar to Graaf Reniet, directly over the big Sneeuberg mountains! I’m sure this route is a first: the recovery drive was as eye-opening as the flight must have been. Conditions in general were windy and several days had big storms – quite early for November.


For the last ten days of the trip we moved north to Prieska in the hope of drier air. In the past, we would make daily trips to Vanwyksvlei or Marydale, but this time we decided to winch at the Prieska airfield, unless the weather forecast looked amazing. The airfield is in relatively good condition and after some spade work; the closed west-east runway was made drivable, for winching into the prevailing winds. The conditions were drier and we were clear of the big storms to the south. However, the wind strength was significantly stronger and hence on average, only every second day was flyable. The distances flown were not as good as at De Aar with the most notable flight of about 180km being flown from Prieska, over Douglas, towards Kimberley.

The end of the year saw an earlier start to the summer wet weather as compared to previous years (this has been our 5th year out there). Despite the not-so-great distances, the foreign pilots still managed several good flights and explored new routes with the unusual wind directions. And of course, all pilots had a good time!


James Braid

The (Hartebeespoort) Dam update, March 2012

As most pilots know, the cable car at Hartebeespoortdam has been closed for several years now. The site has been managed, since it first opened to date, by 1st Paragliding Club. Since the closure of the aging cable car, the club has been struggling with site access and dwindling members. At first, pilots would drive up with 4x4s and the site’s popularity continued. As the service road deteriorated, so too did the flying, and only on occasion, do a handful of pilots brave the walk up to the top. Needless to say, club membership is at an all-time low and the club has been using its reserve funds to finance the various site leases.


About two years ago, the retired cable car operation and land was sold off to a local game farm owner who embarked on a massive renovation project of the cableway. The top station has been totally rebuilt and it now has a huge wooden deck on the south side of the mountain, with a bar and restaurant. Other improvements at the top include a fully-lawned take-off for the south side of the mountain. The bottom station has undergone a much-needed facelift and is significantly larger than the original operation. The style of the new buildings has been kept in an old-Transvaal style, and is very neat and modern, and fits well within the surrounding environment. The cable car system itself has pretty much been replaced by an imported Canadian system: each car is totally enclosed and seats six. The Swiss engineers are currently commissioning the new system and we were privileged to watch the service cart do the first trip up the mountain this weekend gone by. About another month or two is required for the compliance testing and finishing-off stage, followed by the approval of the required departments. So I am pleased to report that the cableway should be operational sometime during the first half of this year.


For the club, the return of the cableway will be a huge relief. The Dam was once regarded as the most popular site in Gauteng, simply due to its convenience: a 7 minute trip to launch, fly, land next to your car. It is anticipated that with the re-opening of the cable car, the site will once again become very popular amongst Gauteng pilots. To accommodate all pilots from various clubs,
1st Para has introduced a Dam Access Card (DAC card) that any pilot can obtain. This card is used to manage the access to the site, check licenses and sign-offs, and uses the funds raised to pay the site leases and other expenses. Any pilot may obtain one, the instructions and site rules may be found on the club’s website: Although the cable car system is significantly better than the old system, the site still remains “advanced” and less-experienced pilots still need guidance. Nonetheless, all are welcome to fly there and we all look forward to the return of the good-old-days of the cable car.

James Braid

1st Paragliding Club of SA

KZN News

Heading into autumn finds the Paragliding scene in Durban alive and well, and Durban Paragliding Club has a strong active core membership currently thriving and enjoying somewhat of a renaissance since the re-introduction of the fantastic Durban Bluff as a flying site in late 2010.

Durban’s premium coastal flying site has drawn a whole range pilots out of retirement to enjoy the relaxed and scenic soaring right in our back garden, as well as attracting new faces into our exciting sport. Although the SE’ster required to fly the Bluff is not a common prevailing wind, we nevertheless still get one or two days a week on average where we are able to enjoy flying over the South Durban beaches. As a result of careful and conservative ever ongoing planning and negotiations, when conditions are suitable, we are now able to soar the ridge from our launch site overlooking Umlaas beach close to the site of the “old Durban airport”, past Brighton beach and all the way to the Anstey’s beach paddling pools some 7km away from the Umlaas River cutting – now allowing for 14km out and return runs when it’s buoyant enough. Visiting pilots please note as there are serious and strict rules governing flying this site in Durban’s busy airspace (e.g. Compulsory phone-in’s to both ATC at Virginia airport, as well as 15 Squadron at AFB Durban still located at the old airport), that we require all visitors to contact and only fly here with Durban Paragliding Club members who clear flying on each occasion with the relevant authorities.

With the routinely strong summer NE winds moderating into autumn, the One Gum season has started. This famous old HG pioneered site close to the elevated western suburb of Kloof is some 17km directly inland from the coast at 400m asl and was flown by hang glider pilots in the 1970’s. Catering for Durban’s common prevailing NE to Easterly winds it continues to provide Durban and visiting pilots with superb Autumn and Winter flying from the +300m agl launch above the Umgeni river overlooking the wide open Umgeni valley to the east of the Kraanzkloof Nature Reserve. The entire Durban coastline from Umhlanga to the main city beachfront and harbour mouth is visible in the far distance, and with a little height above take-off it is possible to see the entire Durban metro area north, south and west of the city centre, and even see both the new and old airports from the air. As we are flying under the TMA quite close to KSIA, one has to carefully watch altitude here and stay under ceiling as the approach to KSIA does have commercial traffic routing directly overhead. Again, it is best to contact a local DPC member before flying here to get a detailed site briefing on the safety issues.

Autumn and Winter yields good flying in Durbs, so the next time you’re heading our way on business or pleasure, be sure to bring your flying kit with!

Jo Chananie

Chairman, DPC.

??Hang Gliding:

We had our very first hang gliding instructors seminar, so much was learned as we were able to refine our hang gliding section of the MOP’s, that was so sorely needed. Some tweaking of the exams was done and matters of confusion within the exams was ironed out at much debate. It was a great experience to have such a great pool of information in one place and was very constructive to also fill the gaps were of information where needed. It was great just being around people who were passionate about hang gliding and teaching it!

The schools have been doing well with a few more members added to the ranks, great thank you to them! We had an awesome Gauteng hang gliding championship with many pilots breaking their personal best with a new up and coming contender shaking the tree, Thanks Niel Koopman! Wilderness wizard champs was once again a raging success refining the art of precision flying, thanks Johan!

The summer season proved worthy of many personal bests being broken, its good to see that the zest is out there to see what is possible doing the distances. Thermal riders club also bought their second Trike, congratulations to them!

Egg Van Dijk


Congratulations to the following pilots for achieving new licenses and Ratings:


Basic Licenses:

ASKHAM BR Paragliding Adventures School, Gauteng

BADENHORST CPS Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

BARNES BE Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

BERGE AC Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

BOSHOFF CH Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

BOTHA E Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

BOTHA DJ Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

BOUW A Paragliding Adventures School, Gauteng

CLEGG RJ Paragliding Adventures School, Gauteng

COSTASCHUK JM Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

CREED M SA-Paragliding Adventure PG School, Western Cape

DE BRUIN T Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

DE VILLIERS M Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

DLAMINI PF Wildsky Paragliding School, Kwa-Zulu Natal

DU TOIT MC Altitude Paragliding School, Western Cape

ESTERHUIZEN R Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

GORTMAKER RC Paraglide SA Paragliding School, Western Cape

HERTKORN OE Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

HEYMAN HJ Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

HODGES J Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

HOOSAIN Z Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

HUGO A Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

HUTCHISON TE Wallendair Paragliding School, Western Cape

JACOBS I Paragliding Adventures School, Gauteng

JANSEN JC Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

JOHNSON TS Wildsky Paragliding School, Kwa-Zulu Natal

KOTZE FG Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

NOEL OY Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

O’CONNOR SJ Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

O’CONNOR L Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

OOSTHUIZEN JP Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

O’REILLY K Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

PFEIFER MP Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

POTGIETER LJ Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

RADEMAN JAJ Paragliding Adventures School, Gauteng

ROBINSON J Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

SAVAGE R Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

SCHOONRAAD GM Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

SCHOONRAAD J Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

STANDER AW Paraglide SA Paragliding School, Western Cape

STOLTZ L SA-Paragliding Adventure PG School, Western Cape

STROUD I Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

THERON AJ Windmaster Paragliding School, Western Cape

TUCKER AM Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

VAN DER MAREL M SA-Paragliding Adventure PG School, Western Cape

VAN NIEKERK HO Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

VAN VEEN E Skywalk Paragliding School, Gauteng

VENTER MW Wallendair Paragliding School, Western Cape

WILKINSON AH SA-Paragliding Adventure PG School, Western Cape

WILLEMSEN LA Paraglide SA Paragliding School, Western Cape

WOLLER WH Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

Paragliding Sport Licence:

DE KLERK FD Cloudbusters Paragliding Club, Gauteng

FAIRFIELD DK Glen Paragliding Club, Western Cape

STD Tandem Rating:

DEGENAAR JJ Bulwer Airsports Club, Kwa-Zulu Natal


Novice Licenses:

BASSON ET Free Flying adventures Hang Gliding School, Gauteng

NEL SJ Big Sky Hang Gliding School, Western Cape

PELLY SC Big Sky Hang Gliding School, Western Cape


JACOBS A Thermal Riders Hang Gliding Club, Gauteng

HOFMEYR MR Eagle Encounters Hang Gliding School, Western Cape

YELLAND BR Bulwer Hang Gliding School, KZN

Aero Tow Endorsement:

VAN NIEKERK G Thermal Riders Hang Gliding Club, Gauteng

WILLIAMSON TAD Thermal Riders Hang Gliding Club, Gauteng

Hang Gliding Instructor:

VAN LOGGERENBERG D Hawkwind HG & PG Club, Eastern Cape


Pilot Licence:

JANSEN JC Birdmen Paragliding School, Western Cape

BUEBLE JW Cloudbase Paragliding School, Western Cape

HOFMEYR MR Xplorer Ultraflight Powered Paragliding School, Western Cape

KOOPMAN NJ Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

MAREE JR Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

O’REILLY K Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

VAN HEERDEN SS Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

VENTER F Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

VENTER RS Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng

Tandem rating:

PICKERSGILL K Overberg Paragliding Club, Western Cape


Pilot Licence:

HEYNEKE NF Flying unlimited Powered Paragliding School, Gauteng


Pilot Licence:

STUBBS MJ Free Flying Adventures Hang Gliding School, Gauteng

HOFMEYR MR Eagle Encounters Hang Gliding School, Western Cape

DORMEHL HAP Free Flying Adventures Hang Gliding School, Gauteng

YELLAND BR Free Flying Adventures Hang Gliding School, Gauteng