The Air Navigation Regulations from 1976 state in 1.10 (1) No aircraft shall be flown in the Republic unless - ... Means , by default flying is verboten. No person and no man made object is allowed to fly in South Africa. Unless you get permission to fly from the government. The South African government is the landowner of the air around us. Besides getting permission from the landowner for a flying site to use a takeoff and landing area, we also need permission from the government , if we want to fly. For the South African government the Department of Transport is in charge of the airspace in South Africa. Who delegated the management of the sky in South Africa to the CAA, the Civil Aviation Authority. And along with that delegation a new buzz word got created , the "user pay basis", which got introduced in the 1990's..
Out went the idea of "free flying", but we still got the "free dying", as far as I know. Have not met anyone who came back from the pearly gates complaining that they charge an entrance fee. The CAA delegated the administration for Hang Gliders and Paragliders in 1991 to AeCSA, the Aero Club of South Africa, a Section 21 company. This delegation is at the moment based on a Memorandum of Understanding which gets renewed now and then. Or not. CAA can take it back whenever they feel like it.
CAA has produced , and carry on producing, piles of paper with rules and regulations called Civil Aviation Rules (CARS). They are on the web at www.caa.co.za follow the CARS or the CATS and the Non Type Certified Aircraft link. Some of them have been gazetted, some will be gazetted, and some have been put on ice. And some wait for translation into the 2nd official language, what is Zulu. See AIC 18·23 . Those which have been gazetted can be considered as a law. And if you do not adhere to a law then you can end up with a criminal court case. For me it is not quite clear what got gazetted and what not. Some of those CARS off the CAA website say "Effective from whatever date" and then I get told that they are not! And some of what got gazetted is not realistic when it comes to our type of flying.
The CARS that are relevant for Hang Gliding and Paragliding are:
- Part 1 has definitions like what is considered an Accident, Incident, Hazard, or what is Daylight, ... and what the abbreviations like VFR or MSL mean
- Part 12 defines what has to be reported and by whom, and to where. Like when we got a dead body, notify the police. And it says there that accidents, incidents and hazards have to be reported.
- For example 12.02.5 Notification of hazards
2) Any person who notifies the designated body or institution referred to in regulation 12.01.2 of an accident or incident, shall not be absolved from the duty to notify the Commissioner of such accident or incident in terms of regulation 12.02.1, 12.02.2 or 12.02.3, as the case may be.
- Part 24 defines our flying machines as non type certified aircraft and that it has to be airworthy to fly.
- The airworthiness of the aircraft, classified in sub-groups (h) to (l) in sub-regulation 24.01.1(2), shall be the sole responsibility of the owner or operator in accordance with generally accepted practices for such aircraft or as laid down by the organisation, approved for the purpose in terms of Part 49.
24.04.3 defines who can test ... APPROVED ORGANISATIONS
1. Test authorities approved for the certification of hang-gliders, paragliders and parachutes
The following test authorities have been approved by the Commissioner or the organisation designated for the purpose in terms of Part 149, as the case may be, for the certification of hang-gliders, paragliders and parachutes:
* AFNOR (The French ACPULS certification)
* AHGF (The Australian Hang Gliding Federation)
* BCAR (British Civil Aviation Regulations)
* DHV (The German GUTE SIEGEL certification)
* DULV (Deutsche Ultraliecht Verein)
* HMA (US Hang-gliding Manufacturers Association)
* SAPA (The South African Parachute Association reserve parachute testing procedure
* SHV (The Swiss Hang Verein certification
* USHGA (The United States Hang Gliding AssociationAt the moment it is not clear to me if SAHPA or Aero Club is approved as an organization in terms of Part 149.
- The SAHPA Operations and Procedure Manual states that all new hang gliders and paragliders sold in South Africa shall have been certified by an approved test Authority and carry a label with the
manufacturers name, a serial number, date of manufacture, quality
controller's signature, pilot mass range and the class rating, and shall be
classified in the Glider Classification Schedule.
This regulation does not ask for DHV or Afnor stickers as such, but that the
glider must have been certified and that all the information of the glider
must be available on the glider. The information must include the DHV or
Afnor rating, or any other test rating that SAHPA has deemed acceptable.
- It also requires that all gliders that arrives in the country must be
submitted for classification on the Glider Classification Schedule.
- 184.108.40.206 states that students have to be on a communication system when trained, in our case radios
- Part 61 and 62 covers licenses
(1) The holder of a paraglider pilot licence shall be entitled to act, but not for remuneration, as pilot-in-command of any paraglider engaged in a nonrevenue flight, for which the holder is type rated, in VMC by day.... But according to AeCSA in 2004 Part 61 is not applicable for us. Confusing?
What you have to do to be allowed to fly.... see also Proposed National Pilot's License - Part 62 (May 04) In August 2006 Part 62 got "finalized" See PART 62 August 2006 for details.
- Defines things like the amount of flights for a new license and renewals
- This will replace some of the Section 3 and 4 of the SAHPA Operations and Procedure Manual. The SAHPA committee will not any longer change license requirements on an ad hoc basis. If SAHPA decides to change, one will have to motivate it and get it approved by a CARCOM meeting by CAA. And then it has to get into the law making cycle and get gazetted. Means, whatever will be in this Part 62 we will have to live with for quite a while.
- Part 62 and Part 24 allow the ARO (SAHPA) to define some more requirements for pilots and flying equipment. Like that one can only fly a certain glider with a certain experience level is defined in the Glider Classification schedule.
- Part 91 are the flight rules of the air for everybody , like
- right is right
- landing aircraft got right of way
- Part 94 states for example that we
- have to fly in VFR conditions, not at night , not go into cloud, and only fly in uncontrolled airspace
- are allowed to ridge soar
- have to wear a helmet
- have to get landowner permission to fly from a site
- use for tandem and training only approved sites which are on the SAHPA site register
- operate a winch only with a guillotine or hook knife
- need a tandem rating to fly a passenger, maximum 2 people on a tandem, and a tandem needs a reserve
- Part 96 mentions Tandem for reward
- For the purpose of sub-regulation (2), tandem operations with hang-gliders, paragliders or parachutes, even if carried out for remuneration or reward, shall not considered to be the providing of an air service as defined in the Air Services Licensing Act of 1990 (Act 115/1990) or International Air Services Act of 1993 (Act 60/1993) nor to be a commercial air transport operation, as defined in Part 1 of these Regulations.
- Part 106 Operation of Hang Gliders and Paragliders. Repeats what is in the other Parts, like ...
- you need a license , have to be a member of AeCSA and SAHPA
- comply with the SAHPA Operations and Procedure Manual
- have to wear a helmet and fly with a harness.
- and stay out of clouds and not fly at night
- fly Tandem and Instruct only from registered sites
- Part 185 says that you can get fined and get a prison sentence of up to 10 years for not adhering to any of the CAA regulations by doing things like ....
- falsifying your logbook,
- cheating on your application forms,
- or flying without a license,
- or giving your glider to your buddy who is not licensed or has not got the correct rating ( 185.00.1.h .... permits a licence, rating, certificate, permit, approval, authorisation, exemption or other document issued under the Regulations, of which he, she or it is the holder, to be used, or a privilege granted thereby, to be exercised, by any other person;)
There is a draft on the CAA website to introduce in 2003 spot fines ranging from R1000 to R75.000 for not adhering to any of the CAA regulations. Those spot fines can be imposed by CAA inspectors. See also AIC 22.3
So, SA law says, if you want to take off into the air with a Hang Glider or Paraglider, you need an Aero Club/SAHPA license. Also as a visitor, with a foreign license. A foreign license does not entitle you to fly in South Africa. You first have to get a temporary SAHPA membership to fly legal in sunny South Africa. Not adhering to some gazetted law can give you a criminal court case. If it is a 100 percent clear cut case. And if things go wrong you can also get yourself into a civil court case, for not adhering to some CAA , SAHPA or local Club rule in some cases were someone is injured or some property is damaged. Where a judge can reckon that you are liable for a certain percentage to whatever damage to the other party.