Self-Fly Safari clients tell us various things about the validation exercises they go through in Johannesburg before setting out on their route.
1) The allotted time is too long, and the pre-departure program should be compressed;
2) The allotted time is too short and a more relaxed program would be better;
3) Some think the plan is just right.
Consider a typical situation on arrival in Johannesburg: you’ve spent 10 to 24 hours on an inter-continental jet and you’ve shifted six to nine time zones. Jet lag is an issue. Most passengers are fatigued but manage to make it through Immigration and Customs in a reasonably alert condition. You are met by a driver as you emerge from Customs at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport. You are driven to your Johannesburg area hotel. We meet you there and conduct a short (one hour) initial briefing. This whole process takes about three hours after getting off the plane. We find that clients, at this point, are ready for a drink, dinner, and a good night’s sleep. On the four-day pre-launch allowance you are in good shape. You’ll get a good night’s rest and have two subsequent days to complete the exercises. However, upon arrival in Johannesburg under the three-day validation scenario, you will also have to complete the air law quiz, and plan a cross-country flight before the next day. If you’ve done the homework exercises contained in the Pilot’s Advance Preparation Kit©, then that work is already done and you’re in good shape. If not, your experience may be otherwise. So, consider what will work best for you. Let us know when you’re working up your itinerary how you’d like to handle it. Your actual validation schedule also depends on whether your arrival in South Africa is early morning or later in the day.
Here’s the FOUR-DAY SCENARIO with a launch on Day 5…Day 1 – (Beginning Safari Date) Arrive Johannesburg International Airport. Met by a African Aero Adventure representative and transferred to the The Pivot, Monte Casino, Fourways, on the outskirts of Johannesburg for four nights while completing pilot validations. We'll give you your Introductory briefing. Settle in and rest. Have dinner. Go to bed. Day 2 – ATC briefing; complete cross country flight planning; complete air law written exercise; Instructor’s briefing; handling flight checks. We’ll fetch you from your hotel in the morning and get the process underway. Professionals do all the briefings. You’ll get a chance to focus on some of the differences between flying in the USA and Africa. You’ll familiarize yourself with your aircraft's cockpit layout and fly with your instructor to feel out the airplane. You’ll get the lay of the land and a taste of how ATC works (and sounds) in Africa’s busiest airspace. Normally you’ll use the same aircraft you’ll take on safari. Day 3 – Cross country checks. We’ll try to schedule it for the morning. The balance of the day is for individual safari planning, touring or resting. Day 4 – Lunch with us followed by an extensive Pre-Departure briefing. Optional morning tours can be arranged with Chris for various activities such as visiting the Lesedi Cultural Village, Museum Africa, Soweto, Cradle of Humankind and the Sterkfontein Caves. Day 5 – Load the aircraft; Fly the African Bush!
THREE-DAY VALIDATION PLAN with the launch on Day 4…The day (or evening) you arrive and the next day (Days 1 and 2) are intense and busy. You’ll do the flight checks with the instructor without having had much opportunity to familiarize yourself with the airspace or the aircraft. Some people can do this easily while others, we find, operate much better with a little more time for the whole process.
Day 1 – (Beginning Safari Date) Arrive Johannesburg International Airport. Met by a representative. You are transferred to your hotel for three nights while completing pilot validations. Initial briefing shortly after arrival. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to complete the open-book air-law written exercise;
Day 2 – ATC briefing; turn in Airlaw written test; instructor’s briefing; fly the validation checks.
Day 3 – Extra time in the morning for flying if necessary to complete validation requirements. Lunch with us followed by the extensive afternoon Pre-Departure briefing.
Day 4 -- Load the aircraft; Fly the African Bush!
LAUNCH DAY… African Aero Adventures is on hand at the departure Airport to facilitate your departure on your Self-Fly Safari. We assist with the return of your rented car, fueling the aircraft, filing flight plans, checking weather, processing through Customs & Immigration if necessary, and completing the aircraft paperwork before the aircraft operator releases the aircraft to you.