Being a pilot involves a lot more work than just navigating aircraft through the skies. The less glamorous side, and one that most people don’t get to see, includes the continuous maintenance and repairs that these machines go through. To ensure the highest level of safety while flying, Hannes van Wyk, Peace Parks Foundation’s Aviation Manager and Chief Pilot, is travelling from Zinave to Limpopo National Park to check in on some aircraft maintenance in progress. Justin Landrey, Zinave’s fixed-wing pilot, is along for the journey, making it slightly more fun than a solo trip would be.
Why Aircraft Maintenance Is Important
Working in Africa’s harsh, dry and dusty conditions often results in a lot of additional aircraft wear and tear. To avoid running into any safety concerns while airborne, it is essential that regular maintenance services are carried out. Kyle Craig, a trusted aircraft mechanic, working in the video above, is servicing the engine of one of the bush planes so that the pilots can continue the fly with peace of mind.
Although pilots conduct compulsory pre-flight checks to ensure that their aircraft is ready for flight, it is important that all mechanical and flight systems are regularly checked by specialised aircraft mechanics to ensure that no corrosion, rust or cracks compromise flight safety.
A Job Well Done
Satisfied with the job done, Hannes and Justin take to the skies once again and fly to the Forward Operating Base in Limpopo National Park to check in on the team there.
They fly over the crocodile-filled Massingir Dam, which always offers incredible opportunities for spotting wildlife and stunning birds such as fish eagles. Well before dark, they head back to Zinave, where they spend the evening admiring the blood-red moon rising over the Save River. As is tradition, Justin cooks up a storm in the kitchen. The perfect ending to a productive day.