The Aero Club of South Africa’s (AeCSA) Transformation and Development section hosted an event in conjunction with Skydive Rustenburg, with the intention to introduce people from previously disadvantaged communities to the joys of skydiving. Representatives from the government’s sports and recreation department were also present at the event.
Sakhele Tyakume, a former beneficiary of funding from the transformation and development section, flew up from Mossel Bay to take part in the event. Sakhele is the first black skydiving instructor in South Africa, he is also a qualified Tandem Instructor.
Sakhele Tyakume and Daniel Ralefeta
The Morning got off to early start with the first of the enthusiastic students arriving before 7:00 in the bitterly cold bushveld winter, however the cold was soon forgotten when coffee and hearty breakfast was served.
At 9:00 the registration process started and the nervous energy started to mount. Every tandem jumper had to fill in an indemnity which includes a short medical history as it is important for the instructor to know if any special attention must be given to any of the jumpers eg. Previous injuries.
After the registration process was completed Graham Field, the Chief Instructor at Skydive Rustenburg, assisted by Sakhele and Herman Grobler the Drop Zone Operator started the all-important safety briefing.
Graham Field, Sakhele Tyakume and Herman Grobler
The group was then ushered to the aircraft, an Atlas Angel to explain the exit procedure - at this point some of the jumpers were really starting to show signs of nervous anticipation.
Graham Field in the Atlas Angel
The first load got airborne to loud cheers by all the people waiting their turns - some of whom had never flown in an aircraft before. The excitement grew even further when the first jumpers landed, everyone wanted to know how it was and judging by the wide smiles I’d say they all loved it.
Lunch was prepared as the jumpers all got around to having their turn to feel the exhilaration that only skydiving can produce. Graham, Sakhele and all the other instructors literally had to land, run and grab a new packed rig, meet their next student and after a short chat get airborne again.
After all the jumps were completed Skydive Rustenburg awarded certificates to all the jumpers, these I’m sure will be cherished for years to come.
Daniel receiving his certificate
Daniel Ralefeta the chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa’s Transformation and Development section organised the event in an effort to promote skydiving amongst communities that would never have an opportunity to experience it otherwise. Daniel also took the opportunity to get his team geared up for the 2020 Aero Club Centenary.
On the day twenty-two jumps were done and of them three people have already joined the Parachute Association of South Africa (PASA) and plan on regularly jump at Rustenburg, maybe in the future there will be more success stories like that of Sakhele.AeCSA Transformation and Development – Introduction to PASA
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