MISSION 27 of 2012

Name of Mission: ZAPP PATROL 08 OF 2012
Date of Mission: 15 to 17 November 2012
Aircraft used: Bushbaby
Pilot: Donovan Barton-Hobbs
Beneficiary: Zululand Wildlife Security Initiative (ZWSI) 

Objective of the flight
To curb the activities of rhino poachers in northern Zululand

Pilot’s report by Donovan Barton-Hobbs

“I flew up to Phinda on Thursday morning, into a 25 knt North Easterly.  On arrival at Phinda and in discussion with Brett, due to the wind and concerns about turbulence / rotor over the mountains to the West of the N2, we spent four hours doing a lot of Phinda and all of the flat terrain to the East of the N2, even around the shore line of Jozini, which, despite my concerns about rotor over the Ubombo mountains, was not too bad.

Despite the prediction of light, 4 – 6 knt NE for Friday, the NE was at its best (or worst) again.  Again I was not happy to do the reserves to the West of the N3, and we decided to complete all the reserves and farms to the East of the N2, which took us just under three hours.

With the predicted swing to the SW for Saturday, we made an early start, getting airborne just after 06h00, this time with the prediction spot on, but with lots of moisture around and very poor visibility – typical pre frontal conditions.  At the start of our flying to the West of the N2 conditions were not too bad, but after flying around for about an hour in this area the tops of the hills started disappearing into the low cloud, and so we called it quits for the day. Johan was satisfied that we had covered most of the area that they were hoping to check out.

Again another enjoyable outing, and I trust some productive work for The Bateleurs and ZWSI.”