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Cape Flights

Flying in Southern Africa is every pilot’s dream. Wide open spaces, enormous freedom in the air with vast amounts of uncontrolled and almost empty airspace, generally good weather and excellent visibility make flying in Southern Africa a great pleasure.

Mix it up with the airliners at Cape Town International Airport

Cape Town is the ideal place from where to start an aerial discovery. The Cape Peninsula and surrounding winelands offer breathtaking scenery, which can be explored in short flights of about one to two hours’ duration. Many destinations within a few hours’ flying time offer themselves for day trips or short overnight flights. And for the more adventurous there is the awesome variety of the whole of Southern Africa to explore in long flying safaris. The mediterranean Cape in the southwest, the lush green eastern parts, the barren semi deserts of the west and the big game country of the African interior are just waiting to be explored. And what better way to see such a vast country than on a journey of aerial discovery.

Weather conditions in Southern Africa vary greatly. The Western Cape has dry and warm summers (November to April), while the interior is dry, sunny and mild during winter (May to October). Flying is possible all through the year in all areas, though, and exciting trips can be planned at any time of the year.

Visiting pilots flying our aircraft will of course need a check ride first. Depending on experience and the planned flight this might include a general flight check, a navigation exercise, some mountain flying, operation at high density altitudes and out of short airfields. All pilots hiring our aircraft for trips will be briefed on the planned route and any aspects unfamiliar to them.

Foreign pilots who do not hold a South African Pilot’s Licence will have to get a South African validation, which will take about a week to be issued. See also Foreign License Validation.

Pilots who do not want to go through the time and expense involved in getting a validation and/or club checkout might want to consider taking one of our instructors on the planned trip. They will benefit from the local knowledge and expertise of the instructor and still see the country from the air.

 

Cape Town and Surrounds – Short Flights

All of the flights below can be done in less than 2 hours “Hobbs” time – all are equally beautiful. Bear in mind that Cape Town can be windy, especially in summer. Give the mountains a wide berth when the wind blows. Why not do an introduction to mountain flying with one of our instructors, to learn when and where to experience downdraughts or turbulence, and where to go to let the up draughts help you climb? There also is, as with all flights, the possibility to take an experienced local pilot or instructor with you on the flight to help with airspace and terrain knowledge.

 

Cape Peninsula

A flight around the Peninsula is an essential part of every pilot's visit to Cape Town. It is a stunningly beautiful flight, over the sea, mountains and the city. It takes just over an hour to go down to Cape Point, over the Central Business District, Waterfront and return to Cape Town International. It can be flown uncontrolled for most of the time and can be done clockwise (passenger gets the best view) or anti-clockwise (pilot gets the best view). Please ask Cape Town Approach if FAR149 (False Bay) is active or not. Beware of turbulence between Hout Bay and Clifton in a strong south easterly wind.

 

Peninsula high level

A variation of the “normal” peninsula flight, exceptional beautiful as well. Because this flight is conducted in the Cape Town TMA, a flight plan needs to be filed. Route out to the south via Muizenberg and climb to anything between 5000 and 8000 feet as soon as the Approach Controller gives you clearance into the TMA. The peninsula looks absolutely stunning when viewed from Cape Point. Fly over the Twelve Apostles and Table Mountain, and then carry on to Robben Island. Look back towards Table Mountain for more absolutely magnificent views and great photo opportunities.

 

Peninsula at night

If you are night rated, an excellent time to do a Peninsula trip is at dusk. Take off half an your before sunset, so you are on the western side for the sunset, and then return over the city as the city illuminates. Alternatively, do your Peninsula flight on a night with a full moon. You can see the mountains well enough to keep clear. The city lights, as well as the moon reflecting off the sea are stunning. If you are taking somebody on a date, this has to be a winner. We have even had the odd passenger propose marriage to their beloved on such flights.

 

Hermanus

This is a very pleasant flight, with varied scenery: sea, mountains and orchards. From late August to early November you may see whales, particularly near Hermanus itself. The best way to go is along the coast, but do ask Approach whether FAR149 (False Bay) is active. Fly back to Cape Town directly over the mountains to Grabouw and Sir Lowry's Pass. The Hobbs time for this flight will be about 1.5 hours.

 

Whale watching

In a good year whales can be seen all along the coast from Langebaan to Overberg during August to November. Please remember to not scare these beautiful creatures and do not fly lower than 500’ along the coast.

 

Franschoek - Sir Lowry's Pass

This flight is about an hour long (on the Hobbs meter) and takes you through some great scenery. Fly first to Stellenbosch, then climb to 2000ft (or more) to fly over Hellshoogte Pass between Simonsberg and the Jonkershoek mountains, before continuing over Boschendal to Franschoek. You should aim to be over Franschoek at least 3500ft (higher if it is windy) in order to fly over the pass. It is best to fly over the wider saddle, south of the road, rather than the road itself where it is a narrow valley. Continue at this altitude over the Theewaterskloof Dam and Viljoen's Pass to Grabouw, before going on to Sir Lowry’s Pass, Somerset West and home. Cross Sir Lowry’s Pass at anything below FL55 (lower limit of the TMA), but descend smartly to make sure that you are below 2500’ just west of Sir Lowry’s Pass, since the lower limit of the TMA is 2500’ there. You can, of course, fly this route in reverse.

 

Worcester

This flight should take about 1.5 hours (or more) and once again involves some excellent mountain scenery. Fly out over the Franschoek pass as described before, then turn left to Villiersdorp and then up the valley to Worcester. If it is a weekend, land and talk to the glider pilots and have a cool drink in the clubhouse. Maybe go out to Ceres (particularly if there is snow) to have a look, but anyway return over Bains Kloof (at more than 5000ft) or fly a bit further north over Gouda, where there is a low spot in the mountains. In any case, once over the mountains, remember to drop below the TMA.

 

Du Toits Kloof

This is a stunning flight which can be done in an hour, but it requires a very calm day. Fly out past Stellenbosch as if going to Franschoek and climb, so you are just below the TMA. Fly into the Du Toits Kloof mountains between 5000ft and 6000ft. You must fly over the valleys, as you will be at the same altitude as the peaks. Spend a while exploring, but always have an escape route in mind in case there is a problem (mechanical or turbulence). The Military Helicopter Mountain Flying Area is not restricted airspace, so you can fly into it, but broadcast and keep a good look out. Also watch out for the bit of TMA that juts in at FL45 and the main TMA above FL85. This flight is well worthwhile.

 

Day Trips or Short Overnight Flights

The following are great day trips, but some are equally suitable as overnight trips. The lodges or restaurants usually provide transport, alternatively get some friends to drive there and possibly swap around, so they fly back. This is a cheap way of having transport at the other end. Any lunch or accommodation arrangements must be made in advance.

 

Saldanha · A small licenced airfield with a flying club

 

ICAO Code
  FASD
Location
  Near Saldanha on the shores of Langebaan Lagoon
S32°58’ E017°58’
Distance
  68 nm
Elevation
  50'
Runways
  02/20 · Tar · 1422m
Accommodation
  In Town
Cost
  Various
Stuff to do
  Have lunch at the Strandloper, a rustic open air restaurant on the beach at Langebaan. Phone (022) 772-2490. They will collect you at the airfield. If you can get a friend to drive there and have a car, visit Saldanha and go for lunch there, or take a boat trip on the lagoon and visit the oyster beds.
Remarks
  There is a lot of restricted military airspace in the area, phone Langebaanweg Air Force Base (022) 706-2259 or (022) 706-2137 to get permission to enter (usually not a problem). Since you are entering controlled airspace, a flight plan must be filed. Over weekends the airspace is usually unmanned, but you must still phone first, and broadcast on the Langebaanweg frequency.

 

Kersefontein · A 200 year old Dutch farm declared a historic monument

 

ICAO Code
  FAKF
Location
  On the Berg River close to Saldanha
S32°50,5’ E018°20’
Distance
  65 nm
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Very upmarket cottages with your own cook
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Fly in for lunch only (you need to book) · Go swimming or boating on the Berg River · Spend an evening with Julian in his aviation-theme pub, the "Turn and Slip"
Contact
  Owner: Julian Melck (022) 783-0850, a pilot and ex-member of the Club
Remarks
  See military airspace as described above under Saldanha

 

Lamberts Bay · An unlicenced municipal gravel strip

 

ICAO Code
  FALB
Location
  Near Lamberts Bay, a small fishing town on the west coast
S32°06’ E018°20’
Distance
  113 nm
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Marine Protea Hotel and others
Cost
  Various
Stuff to do
  Have a seafood lunch at the Marine Protea Hotel (027) 432-1126 · Have lunch at the Muisbosskerm, a rustic open air restaurant on the beach. Phone (027) 432-1017· Have lunch at the Bosduifklip, a rustic open air restaurant amongst the koppies, specialising in lamb dishes · Go for a walk along the jetty and visit the sea-bird colony
Remarks
  See military airspace as described above under Saldanha

 

Clanwilliam · Rondegat private (and challenging) airstrip

 

ICAO Code
  /
Location
  On the shores of Clanwilliam Dam
S32°16.1’ E018°55.8’
Distance
  *
Elevation
  500'
Runways
  13/31 · Gravel · 580m · Curved approach through the valley onto 31, no overshoot possible when landing on 13
Accommodation
  A cottage overlooking the dam (take food) · Camping with ablution blocks
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Picnic, swimming, boating, horseback riding
Contact
  Paul Raad (027) 482-2508 or 082 467-7377
Remarks
  /

 

Bushmans Kloof · An exclusive wilderness reserve

 

ICAO Code
  /
Location
  Northern part of the Cedarberg
S32°02’ E019°02.32’
Distance
  118 nm
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Luxury Chalets
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Game drives, rock art, sauna, health spa, hiking, mountain biking, abseiling, fly-fishing
Contact
  Bookings: (021) 797-0990
Reserve: (027) 482- 2627
Remarks
  /

 

Kagga Kamma · Private Nature Reserve

 

ICAO Code
  FAKA
Location
  Eastern side of the Cedarberg
S32°44.1’ E019°32.8’
Distance
  88 nm
Elevation
  3250' (consider density altitude!)
Runways
  01/19 · Gravel · 1400m · Consider taking off downwind on runway 19 in light winds rather than uphill with rising terrain on 01
10/28 · Gravel · 900m
Accommodation
  Chalets
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Have lunch, game viewing, bushman village, sightseeing (canyon)
Contact
  Bookings: (021) 872-4343
Reserve: (023) 317-0888
Remarks
  Enquire about costs.

 

Rietfontein · Private Game Reserve

 

ICAO Code
  /
Location
  Near Matjiesfontein historical village
*
Distance
  *
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  All-inclusive or self-catering in refurbished cottages
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Game drives (mainly indigenous antelope) · Donkey cart ride to Matjiesfontein village with lunch at the historic hotel, after which you can walk around the historic village with a museum, the old railway station and other historic buildings · Horse riding · Target shooting
Contact
  Allan Veasey (021) 852-5667 (office) (021) 852-5968 (home) or 082 557-3844 (mobile)
Remarks
  Minimum stay 2 nights

 

Aquila Private Game Reserve · Game Reserve with white rhino, lions, giraffe, blue and black wildebeest, crocodiles, springbok and many others

 

ICAO Code
  /
Location
  In the Karoo, 10 km this side of Touwsriver on the R46
*
Distance
  83 nm
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Luxury or Standard Chalets
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Game drive, bushman paintings, horse riding, mountain biking, hiking, pool, curio shop
Contact
  Booking office in Cape Town (021) 405-4513 or 082 295-4280
Remarks
  Rather pricey, but probably the closest to Cape Town where the “Big Five” can be seen in a malaria free environment

 

Meltonwold · Guest farm

 

ICAO Code
  /
Location
  Near Victoria West in the Karoo
S31°28’ E22°45’
Distance
  258 nm
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Bed and breakfast in refurbished cottages
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Croquet lawn, bowling green and tennis court, as well as a pool and horse riding. Game viewing, visit a diamond mine, view the fossils, mountain biking, birdwatching
Contact
  (053) 621-0906
Remarks
  The farm was founded in the 1920s and hasn't changed much since. There is also a good pub.

 

Robertson · A small town, beautiful when the Jacarandas are in bloom

 

ICAO Code
  FARS
Location
  *
S33°49’ E019°54’
Distance
  *
Elevation
  640'
Runways
  11/29 · Tar · 1500m
Accommodation
  In Town
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Plenty of wine farms to visit in the area. Nearby Montague has hot springs and a fantastic trip up the mountain on a tractor-trailer.
Contact
  *
Remarks
  Robertson Flying Club hosts a breakfast every year in April

 

Swellendam · Private Game Reserve

 

ICAO Code
  FASX
Location
  A picturesque and historic town with a flying club and gliding on weekends
S34°03’ E020°29’
Distance
  98 nm
Elevation
  407'
Runways
  15/33 · Tar · 1003m
Accommodation
  Bontebok Park and in town
Cost
  Various
Stuff to do
  Have lunch, go gliding, visit the Bontebok Park
Contact
  Allan Veasey (021) 852-5667 (office) (021) 852-5968 (home) or 082 557-3844 (mobile)
Remarks
  the annual fly-in takes place on the first weekend in March · Avgas available

 

Andrew’s Field · A private runway on a residential estate (Airpark)

 

ICAO Code
  FAAF
Location
  Southern Cape, near Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa
S34°46’ E020°02’, tar
Distance
  *
Elevation
  *
Runways
  *
Accommodation
  Agulhas Guesthouse
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Have lunch at Agulhas Guesthouse - contact Phil Fenwick, a former Air force helicopter pilot (028) 435-7650/1/2
Contact
  Andrew Burger (028) 424-2725 or 082 573-1495
Remarks
  Minimum stay 2 nights

 

Scotia Safaris · Private Game Reserve

 

ICAO Code
  / (Orlando Airfield)
Location
  Eastern Cape, near Port Elizabeth and close to the Addo Elephant National Park
*
Distance
  *
Elevation
  900'
Runways
  15/33 · * · 1000m · 33 slopes up, preferred take-off direction 15
Accommodation
  *
Cost
  *
Stuff to do
  Game drives and the usual game reserve entertainment
Contact
  Reserve (042) 235-1436
Peter or Jenny 083 654-8511
Remarks
  /

 

Hopefully all these flights will encourage you to get out and use our aircraft for the purpose they were designed for - flying places! Please contact us if you have suggestions for other flights, comments on these trips, or updated information.

 

Email: info@capetownflyingclub.co.za  ·  Phone: +27 (21) 934-0257  ·  Fax: +27 (21) 934-0827
Address: Cape Town Flying Club, P.O. Box 31, Cape Town International Airport, 7525