The Helicopter Game Capture Rating

We offer specialised game capture ratings

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Spring  Course 2010 – Helicopter Game Capture Rating

The Spring Game capture course this year was a great success both for as well as for each student in turn.  This year the course was held in the Black uMfolozi area in northern Natal.  We all stayed at Thangami Spa which is an old colonial day resort on a high ridgeline overlooking the Black uMfolozi river below.

We started off with a little uncertainty as the farm and lodge we had booked and confirmed to use for the course burned to the ground the day before the course began.  The local farmers and landowners were fantastic in helping us arrange alternatives both with accommodation as well as land and game use.

With a delay of a few hours we kicked off with the flying in earnest.  Buzz wasted no time in getting the ball rolling with a thorough brief on the management of power and the aerodynamics of conservative flight as well as operations off base particularly in the harsh environment of the African Bush.

Our aircraft of choice was a Robinson R44 Raven II which performed incredibly well throughout without a single snag in the five day 35hour operation.   This being a testament to Eddie Pienaar our maintenance manager in our Johannesburg Branch.  The Raven II is the perfect platform for both active boma capture as well as one on one darting operations.  The immediate power delivery of the piston engine as well as the lower gross weight in operational configuration allow the pilot to make the most of incredible maneuverability  required to effectively move and manipulate herds of game in the thornveld.

With seven students and two instructors present the flying continued for most of the daylight hours.  Most students involved with the course were Commercial or up and coming commercial pilots wanting to get involved with the capture industry to some extent.

All advanced instruction was dealt with by Buzz Bezuidenhout who needs no introduction in any aspect of helicopter flight particularly advanced instruction.  Buzz continued his instruction from the cockpit to the Dinner and Breakfast tables in general discussion ranging from particular animal behavioural traits to the handling of the opposite sex.

I think I am right in assuming all present learnt a great deal both necessary for the specific rating as well as for their future as aviators both in the private and commercial sector.

We would like to thank Buzz for his immense efforts to complete this course in the time allowed as well as his constant input with all students both in and out of the cockpit.

We would also like to congratulate those who took part on their achievement with their Game Capture Rating Training:

Brian Attwell, Henk Du Plessis, Paul Liversage, Roger Mortlock, Jacques Myburgh, Piet Swart, William Van Wyk.

Well done and thank you all for your continued support.

See you all at   ‘Summer Mountain Flying 2010’

Phillip Cope

Chief Pilot – Hover