Tag Archives: dawn patrol

PPG Dawn Patrol Video

It’s been quite a while since the flying that generated this footage, but I finally set aside a rainy Saturday and cut together a rough montage.  The story can be found in the blog archive, so I won’t repeat it here.  In essence: some magic crack-of-doom flying in the middle of summer, when the sun rises early enough for me to get a flip in before I have to be at the hospital.  Not many better ways to start the day.  Watch it on high quality if you can or come round and see it in 1080p HD at my place over a cup of coffee!

PPG – Goedverwacht Dawn Patrol

Great flight this morning from Goedverwact Microlight Airfield near Durbanville with Keith, Callie, Martin, Hannes, Mias and Thys.  I was particularly glad to get in the air, as my PPG motor needed some work done recently and I was worried about misbehaviour.  We kitted up before sunrise beneath heavily overcast skies with a low cloudbase, but the morning blessed us with a gentle northerly wind in which to launch and then cool, calm flying conditions.  I’m afraid you will have to put up with iPhone photos, as I have lent my usual flying camera to my friends Cathy & Andrew as they depart for a motorbike circuit of South America: they’ll get better use out of it!  I’ll use it as an excuse to take my SLR flying instead, *grin*.

Preparing before dawn at Goedverwacht
Keith in flight

Our route meandered through the Durbanville Hills to the west until we reached Morningstar Airfield, where we did some low passes and admired other flying machines while they admired us.  Thereafter we cruised through the farmlands at low level, following the river for a while.  We then turned east and flew to the Klipheuwel wind turbines, landing back at Goedverwacht.

Route in blue
Morningstar Airfield
"Local traffic, Whisky Mike X-Ray, motorised paraglider and five others departing east from Morningstar at 500ft..."
Klipheuwel wind turbines

What a pleasure, in good company – thanks guys!

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth..."

Dawn Patrol

The last two days I have eschewed my ‘new’ habit of cycling to work in favour of a much earlier start, but a greater reward: powered paraglider “Dawn Patrols”. Keith Pickersgill of Xplorer PPG invited me to join them in flying from Kreeftebaai just south of Melkbosstrand on Monday at 05h15 (just in time to catch sunrise from the air), and it was such a success we repeated the effort this morning, with 6-8 pilots each time. It means a four o’clock start from home for me, about an hour’s flying and then quick pack to be back in the car in the notorious West Coast traffic to arrive in ICU by 0730… but what a payout 😉

I flew with the new Go Pro HD Hero 2 for the first times, and will hopefully get around to putting a little video together, but here are some quick frame grabs from this morning:

Skimming along over the waves shortly after launching (and remembering to activate the helmet camera…)

Climbing up to meet the sunrise over the beach south of Melkbos

Ground-skimming through the veld at first light

Dawn patrollers

800ft over Melkbos on the way to work 😉