Our flying paradise is close to Pretoria and south of the N4 Witbank Highway. The spot was discovered by Hennie Malan and a few friends during the 1980s. In those days, one did not need a license in order to fly a microlight. The only rule was that one was not allowed to fly over built-up areas. In the early days, our South African micro lighting pioneers moved from airfield to airfield and were always regarded as unwelcome and at times were chased away. So it was that they moved from a place called the ‘Back of the Moon,’ to Cullinan, Baragwanath, Lynwood, and Bapsfontein.
One day, Hennie heard of a farm called, ‘Renosterfontein’ that showed promise as a “paradise” for microlighting. That is how Rhino Park, as it is known today, was established on what was the Renosterfontein farm.
It was and still is a favorite venue for motorcyclists and quad bike riders, as it has off-road tracks for beginners and advanced riders. The original owner, Charles Fourie, welcomed the microlight pilots and Hennie let Doug Davis, a friend, take care of negotiations. The men quickly decided where the runway had to be and Charles used a grader to create the original runway 09/27 in the exact location where it is today, some 25 years later. Charles recalled that he was still busy preparing the runway when he heard a Rotax approaching from behind him. That is how Hennie Malan, whilst flying his black Eagle microlight, became the first pilot to take off from Rhino Park. Doug Davis started the first microlight flying school at Rhino Park. The school was later bought by Fanie van Rensburg, which is when Mike Blyth started flying.
Today, Rhino Park boasts two flying schools and provides training on microlights and three axes fixed-wing aircraft. One unique attribute of Rhino Park is that all the instructors have a passion for flying and instruct as a hobby.
Alex Rudd explained, “We fly because we want to, not because we need to. We do not depend on flight training as a source of income but above all, it is our passion.”
The Rhino Park Flight School has handpicked full-time instructors who are thus passionate about what they do and they always put their students’ progress and safety first.
Alex Rudd has been the Chairman of MISASA ( Microlight and Light Sports Aeroplane Association of South Africa) and was also the national safety officer of MISASA ( a position that he held for a number of years). Alex took over from Jan van der Merwe as Chief Flight Instructor (CFI) during 2008. Alex together with three other part-time instructors, Henri van den Berg (current national safety officer of MISASA), Freddy Niehaus, and Faizel Salie currently provide quality training to students. The school follows the new RAASA prescribed syllabus.
Safety is of the utmost importance and quality ground school lessons are taught by competent instructors. The instructors provide assistance to students, even after formal training has been completed.
Should you wish to have an introductory flight please contact Alex at 082 568 8635 for further information.
There are Rotax and Jabiru maintenance facilities based at Rhino park. Pilots come from far to have their planes serviced and maintained here. The main runway is now tarred and will be equipped with lights in the near future. The hangars and other facilities at Rhino Park are in the process of being upgraded.
On weekends, a delicious breakfast is available. Pilots and bikers come from far and wide to enjoy this veritable feast. Rhino Park also features an airfield for radio controlled aircraft.
If you have ever dreamed of flying this is your chance to find out what it would be like. Book an introduction flight with one of our experienced instructors to give you an insight into flying a microlight and what you can expect when training for your pilot’s license.
Longer flights give you a chance to:
? Fly over Bronkhorstspruit Dam
? Fly over Cullinan Mine
? Be part of the Cosmos Run (seasonal)
Rhino Park Microlight Flight Training:
Obtaining the freedom of flight and becoming a pilot is easier and more affordable than you might think. Microlight flying is possibly the closest you will get to free flight with an engine and much safer than you would assume.
Imagine the joy of separating yourself from terra firma and gaining perspective on the world below. Still not sure? Contact us today to book a demo flight and see for yourself. The skies are a better place with you in it!
In order for you to obtain your microlight pilot’s license, you will need the following:
A minimum of 25 hours of flying split into:
? 10 hours of dual flying with an instructor
? 15 hours of solo flying
? A minimum of 3 solo cross-country flights
You will also be required to pass the following theoretical examinations administered through the Recreational Aviation Administration of South Africa (RAASA):
? Principles of flight
? Air law
? Aircraft technical
? Human performance limitations
In addition, you will need to pass a radio course which will enable you to be licensed to operate an airband radio in an aircraft.