Flying with a Purpose
The majority of Private Pilots go through various stages of flying. First there is the excitement of going solo which is followed in rapid succession by more training, the cross countries, the PPL test and that brown folder that you have worked so hard to get. This is usually followed by solo flights to enjoy the freedom of flying, where and when you want, not restricted by an instructor. The final phase is taking a few friends for flips or to some pleasant lunch or weekend destination.
Some pilots will enter competitive events to hone their skills. SAPFA organises both serious Rally Flying and Precision Flying competitions as well as Fun Flying Navigation Challengesto satisfy those needs but a large number of pilots fly for no reason other than for the enjoyment thereof. For these pilots there is a possibility that the weekend flip "around the houses" will become boring and will erode the enjoyment of flying.
SAPFA have identified this as an issue facing general aviation and is promoting fun flying and "Flying with a Purpose". In this regard SAPFA is supporting non profit organisations that utilise flying to assist them in their operations. So far SAPFA has identified the Bateleurs and the Rainbow AirBridge as two organisations that could provide some interesting flying for members.
The Bateleurs are an organisation that provides flying support for environmental organisations. Pilots need to have access to their own aircraft. There are also experience requirements. Apart from compensation of fuel on some missions, there is no subsidisation of the costs of participants.
Another way of using your aircraft is to join in on club and organised fly-ins (flyaways). One alternative is Wildebeest Wings who are arranging fun trips around South Africa. Visit their website for details of the next trip. These trips are organised by Dave Vanderspuy on a non-profit basis for locals. Dave does have a business which provides the same experience for hire and fly tourists.