microlight

Master the Winged Motorbike

Photography: jhbflying.co.za

Microlight, the “winged motorbike”, is an exhilarating flying experience. BECOME A LICENSED PILOT IN THE SKIES ABOVE JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA.

Taking off in a microlight for the first time takes guts, but once in the skies, you get an exhilarating flying experience. “It’s like a motorbike in the sky,” says Roy Gregson, owner of Johannesburg Flying Academy. “It feels like you’re sitting on a dining room chair in the air. The beauty of microlights is they can take off and land in small areas, and you have an engine, so you don’t need to climb mountains like paragliders do.”

“You can travel a whole country this way.”
Roy Gregson

Gregson is passionate about microlights, having flown them for pleasure and in competitions for years. His company trains people to get their license, so they can take to the skies solo. “Once you’ve had 25 hours of flying time and passed the theoretical exams, within a month you can be flying 5,500 feet above sea level anywhere in the world,” he says. “You can travel a whole country this way.”

Luis Ramos, a 39-year-old IT consultant from Johannesburg, got his license with JFA six months ago. “I’d never done anything like this,” he says. “At first you’re scared; they take off like a bat out of hell. But as soon as I started training that bug bit me. The first time you fly solo feels like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. It’s terrifying, but then the feeling you get is indescribable. Once you have your license you just want to take your friends up and show them this amazing new world you’ve discovered.”

ADVICE FROM THE INSIDE

Body Moving
“You don’t have to be super fit to do this, but you have to be reasonably healthy,” says Roy Gregson. “It is a strenuous physical activity, as microlights pick up turbulence easily, and you’re changing height and direction by moving your body. You’ll find as you fly it’s workout enough just to get you where you need to be.”

Microlight

Blue Sky Thinking

“South Africa is an ideal place to learn,” says Luis Ramos. “It offers great flying conditions almost all year, and you can build up to navigating tougher flights once you have the experience to handle them.”

AFTER THE FLIGHT

Stay active on the ground around Joburg

Freefall 
Not tired yet? Try freefalling 230 feet through the air inside the cooling tower of a decommissioned power station with SCAD Freefall.
orlandotowers.co.za

Long Jump
After the highs of flying, canyoning, known as kloofing in South Africa, will take you to new lows, scrambling, abseiling, jumping and swimming your way to the bottom of a ravine in Magaliesberg. 
mountainguide.co.za

Revved Up 
Explore the rugged scenery of Daytona Adventure Park in Gauteng province with a little added adrenaline. Ride a quad bike over rocky terrain, dirt tracks and through forests. 
gauteng.net

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11 2014 THE RED BULLETIN

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