Aviation & air adventures are the sort of outings where you can expect to meet some fairly eccentric people doing what they love doing most – getting high on being in the sky, getting as close to flying like a bird as they dare to try. Not that they take any serious risks, mind you. The best aviation & air adventures place a huge emphasis on safety first – before the thrill of being in the air – and there’s always an expert on hand to show us how or just to put our minds at ease when we need a little help dealing with the thought of it all.
Weather is critical – if it’s bad, then no go; if it’s good then the chances are that they’ll be flying all day, every day. The organisers of top aviation & air adventures take plenty of precautions in what they do and before you take to the air there will always be a briefing about the safety rules and the procedures of what’s to follow. That said, sometimes there’s no training required – such as at Skydive Tandem in Witbank. As they say at Skydive Plettenberg Bay, when it comes to a tandem drop all you need is a pair of shoes… For these aviation & air adventures you exit the plane hooked up to your tandem master and experience the rush of free-falling at over 200 kilometres an hour until you pull the shoot and float to the ground – with your tandem master looking after you every second of the fall!
Participating in these aviation & air adventures unassisted is even more thrilling, and if you aren’t already qualified you can take a course. Skydive Rustenberg, for instance, offers first jump courses, accelerated freefall skydive training and every discipline of sports skydiving.
Alternatively, there’s the sort of aviation & air adventures that don’t require jumping out of an aeroplane. Such as paragliding, offered by people with plenty of experience such as those who head up Fly Cape Town Paragliding, or SA Paragliding Adventures, or the guys who run Cloudbase Paragliding in the Wilderness on the Garden Route. One can foot-launch, winch-launch or take to the air with a strap-on motor. And no problem if you haven’t engaged in aviation & air adventures before – these folk provide all the necessary equipment and offer tuition in both paragliding and powered paragliding that makes it possible for you to fly tandem or prepares you for further training such as that which Cloudbase offers to obtain an internationally recognised license that will enable you to fly solo.
And then there’s the microlighting side to aviation & air adventures… Aquila Microlight Safaris in Malmesbury is one of the options, and the Aviation Adventures flying club in Hazyview offers some of the most spectacular scenery as seen on their microlight flights ranging between 10 and 90 minutes in the early morning or late afternoon over countryside including Sabie River Valley, the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Mac Mac Falls – to name just a few of the wonderful sights. The Leading Edge Flight School based in Hoedspruit covers some of the same territory with their aviation & air adventures, as well as game reserves where you can spot elephant, lion and other members of the Big 5 from the air!