Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

South Africa

Thu May 17, 2001 7:27 am

I'm going to South Africa for the first time just after Christmas and would welcome ideas of where to visit to see preserved airliners, the current airline scene and any really interesting non airline civil airfields.

Have SAA given up support for the preservation movement as threatened?

Ideas on the best places for photography at Cape Town and Jo'burg would be welcome. Is there much crime around the airport perimeters and what is the attitude of the police to vehicles parked watching aircraft. Are aircraft band radios legal?

Also, as the SAA page is singularly unhelpful, what is SAA currently using for Cape Town - Jo'burg?
Posts: 4994
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 1999 11:18 pm

RE: South Africa

Thu May 17, 2001 7:46 am

Hey PhilB,

I was in Cape Town in February. It was a rather short but great holiday! I can't tell you much about spotting because I really didn't really have the time.

The flight Jo'Burg-Cape Town (arriving in CPT past midnight) was a B737-800. My return flight which was the last Cape Town-Jo'Burg flight (arriving in Jo'Burg at 9 or 10PM IIRC) was an A300 B4. Those may have left the fleet but I am not sure.

Bon Voyage....

Kind Regards,
Jeremiah Teahan

Goodbye SR-LX MD-11 / 6th of March 1991 to the 31st of October 2004
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: South Africa

Thu May 17, 2001 7:50 am

So that's at least two of us from Kerry can add SAA to our lists of airlines flown.
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 7:51 am

RE: South Africa

Thu May 17, 2001 8:38 am

Hi PhilB
I stand corrected, but I do believe SAA still operate aircraft from their preservation fleet, in fact, I saw an ad in the newspaper a few days ago, where a flight was advertised on a SAA Skymaster from CPT to George, overnight and return the next day, at something like R1400.00 pp-not bad. They also advertised a day flight around CPT, so yes, they obviously still fly them. E-mail SAA for details (don't hold your breath though) or go through ACSA (Airports Company South Africa) they are always very helpful.
Spotting at CPT: viewing platform is a closed balcony inside the building, rather small, and can get annoying if there are many people. In general CPT is not the best place for viewing, although you might get some good pictures during dis-embarcation and boarding as the airport does not yet have jet-bridges, so you'll be walking airside (bridges on line in mid 2002 I think) If you are flying through JIA, it might get better. Joburg airport is being re-developed at a staggering pace, it is HUGE, and I think it offers far better viewing chances than CPT. Visit the ACSA homepage for airport details. Maybe you can contact the Good Hope Flying School-based at CPT International, I'm sure they will be more than helpful in giving you some further info. If you fancy a flight in a 1960s British fighter plane, contact Thunder City, also at CPT airport-owned by some nutty British millionaire, and the fighter jet is I think the only one still flying-perfectly safe though!
By December SAA should have phased out all Airbus jets (A300, A320) from the fleet. Leaving a domestic and regional fleet comprising of B732/8. Chances are pretty good you will end up on a B737-800.
Hope this helps a bit-enjoy
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: South Africa

Fri May 18, 2001 2:58 am

Thanks SA-Jet, much appreciated
Posts: 1156
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:50 am

RE: South Africa

Fri May 18, 2001 4:09 am

Hi all.

I was in Cape Town in April and agree with SA-JET, spotting opportunities are minimal, accept when boarding/deplaning (I was on a Virgin A340 and it was awesome approaching the hulking aircraft on floot and up the stairs). Airside, at the gates of the international deaprtures area, there are some some good vantage points of the apron.

SA-JET: Correct me if I'm wrong, but shouldn't spotting around the airport's perimeter be discouraged? I know that the townships are very close by (Nyanga? Langa?) and that crime has escalated there, and that stretches of the N2 highway near the airport can be dangerous.

Not all who wander are lost....
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 7:51 am

RE: South Africa

Fri May 18, 2001 7:11 am

Planenutz, you're right re. spotting along the perimeter. The N2 highway is busy, and unfortunately a number of informal settlements run its border and along the airport. Anybody wishing to go plane spotting this way, don't! It is dangerous, not only in terms of cars, but chances are good you'll be staring down the barrel of a gun.
PhilB-did I say "good hope flying club?" If so, that needs to be corrected, it is Cape Aero Club-Good Hope was absorbed by them a while back, also based at CPT airport.

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