Objective of the flight:

The objective of the flight was to obtain aerial footage of illegal development of housing and sand mining within the coastal reserve of the Wild Coast between The Haven and Waterfall Bluff.

Pilot: Reid Wardle

Aircraft: Kitfox 5

Beneficiary: Carte Blanche

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Report from the beneficiary:

“Reid was absolutely amazing! What an awesome guy! Reid arrived bright and early – he left home at sunrise and took up our cameraman Dennis Goddard with him to capture a range of stunning visuals of the affected areas along the Wild Coast. Our  pilot was knowledgable of the area and was of great value in helping us establish which areas were most critical. We really appreciate everything that the Bateleurs do for the environment. Thanks to your organisation we were able to capture the devastation on the Wild Coast from the sky. You helped us tell a visually more powerful story and for that we are immensely grateful.

Please find a link to the story below:


Report from the pilot:

“Having prepared and re-fuelled the aircraft on Sunday, 23 August, I awoke at 04h30 on Monday, 24 August and was airborne for Port St Johns from Rexfield (home) at 06h25 with an estimated time of arrival of 07h40. The cameraman, Mr Goddard and his host, John Costello, met me at the airfield at exactly 07h40 and after a briefing and loading the camera equipment we took off and spent the next 1.5 hours filming footage of various illegal structures, sand mining and illegal roads in our designated area.

Upon landing, I uplifted fuel kindly bought by John Costello in Port St Johns, and proceeded to take the presenter of Carte Blanche, Devi Sankaree Govender, for a flight in the area, which was filmed for the purpose of the production of the Carte Blanche show. I was interviewed for the show. After the interview, I departed for home, coastwise, and arrived at approximately 13h15. The first opportunity to refuel was Saturday 12 09 2015 at Wings Park.

The objective of the flight was met in that the aerial footage they needed to make a dramatic Carte Blanche was obtained. However, I felt that, after watching the Carte Blanche show a fortnight later, the team missed out on using the footage obtained to highlight the real problems of the development along the coastal reserve. This is clearly the rampant building of random mud huts and larger structures by the local community members, sand mining on a disgusting scale as well as toilets built by municipalities, laid out in a fashion so as to encourage buildings within the reserve. The teams burning down the illegal structures within the reserve area were ignoring the sand mining at Mgazana, where the ten ton lorries were waiting 4 in a line to load sand in the reserve.

The perception that it is only rich holiday makers that have built cottages on the coast is certainly an ill-informed one. There are in fact very few of these.


Above is just one example of the sand mining within the Coastal reserve


An example of new departmental structures within the reserve

My only regret about the mission is that I did not have the talent to steer the questioning during the interview so as to focus on the Bateleurs and the good environmental work they do. I am glad, however for the mention that the Bateleurs did get in the Carte Blanche show.”