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By giving policy makers, conservationists, scientists, media representatives, community leaders and activists, a bird’s eye view of our portion of the planet, The Bateleurs contributes greatly to its protection.


Our membership consists mainly of volunteer pilots ranging from those who fly Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) to Helicopters to Large Aircraft. Additionally, we have ground member volunteers who are eager to contribute to various non-flying tasks. It's evident that our operations heavily rely on an essential squadron of licensed volunteer pilots, without whom we wouldn't be able to function effectively. Our call goes out to you - the pilots of South Africa.

Tuli elephant count aircraft and pilot in bushveld

Requirements for volunteer pilots

If you would like to become a member of the volunteer pilot corps, in order to fly missions on behalf of The Bateleurs, the following minimum requirements must be satisfied:

  • Entry Level: Fixed wing, Helicopter and LSA pilots must have logged at least 200 hours total flying time, in order to participate in routine tasks. Routine Tasks specifically excludes high skill level flights, high risk flights, the carriage of any ‘User’ on board. Examples of tasks which may be included in this section would be the delivery of Veterinary supplies, kit, equipment, crated/boxed small animal relocations.

  • Experienced Level:  Fixed wing, Helicopter and LSA pilots must have logged at least 400 hours total flying time, in order to participate in complex tasks e.g. game census when flying transects, rhino de-horning, aerial photography, etc.

  • Weight Shift Microlight pilots must have logged at least 120 hours of flying time

  • All pilots must own or, have the use of a suitable aircraft

  • Pilots must complete and return a Volunteer Pilot Agreement, form available below


Please remember that it may take some time before you are asked to fly a mission as these depend on demand and locality.


We may in respect of each approved flight and subject to the availability of funds, make an ex gratia payment in respect of the aviation fuel costs incurred, and only upon receipt of aviation fuel costs incurred.

Please note that The Bateleurs is under no obligation to contribute in any way to the aviation fuel or other costs incurred in respect of flights approved by The Bateleurs.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer pilot, kindly CLICK below and fill in and submit the required documentation. 

Pilot Sign Up
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