News/Aero Club of South Africa

Aero Club of South Africa 2017 Annual Awards
Flightline Weekly, 6 November 2017

On a sweltering evening the Aero Club of South Africa hosted their annual awards dinner at Zwartkops Air Force Base . At 4:30 in the afternoon the guests started arriving at the beautiful Hangar 5 at this historic Air Force Base. After a welcome drink, the Air Force Museum treated everyone to a beautiful display of their pride and joy the de Havilland Vampire, flown by Col Glen Warden. 

Once inside Paul Lastrucci welcomed everyone and acknowledge all the VIP’s, these included: Simon Segwabe, Executive Aviation Safety Operations at the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA); Mmanare Mamabolo, SACAA Executive Legal & Compliance; Chris Zwiegenthal, Chief Executive of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA); Tracey Eloff, President of the Commercial Aviation Association of Southern Africa (CAASA), Major General Ngema of the South African Air Force (SAAF); Neil De Lange, Chief Executive Officer of the Recreation Aviation Administration South Africa (RAASA)Donald Schenk, founder of Wonders of Aviation; and Bruce Harrison, Chairman of the Royal Air Force Officers Club

Daniel Ralefeta (above, receiving the Silver Wings Award) is an IT specialist and trainer, but most importantly, an enthusiastic aviator, is highly commended in the South African government ICT strategic development for political bearers and civil servants alike. His IT skills are utilised by the State Information Technology Agency’s (SITA) key projects to ensure maximum input into the uplifting of ICT skills for previously disadvantaged communities.         

As Chairman of the Aero Club of South Africa Transformation and Development division, Daniel oversees the development of aviation enthusiasts through model flying, glider pilot training and the achievement of a private pilot license. It is his overwhelming and insatiable enthusiasm for fellow aviators, and creating new ones, that he was awarded the Silver Wings Award. 

Daniel is also a serving member of the Executive Committee for Wonders of Aviation.

Read the full article on the Flightline Weekly website here.

Aero Club of SA 2016 Annual Awards
by Willie Bodenstein. Pilots Post, November 2016.

The Aero Club of South Africa wears several hats. One is to the custodian of aviation sport in South Africa, the second is as the representational body at various forums and committees to protect the interest of sport aviation in South Africa, and the final one is to grow the membership and enable transformation and development in aviation sport.

On Saturday 5 November the Aero Club of South Africa, which actively protects, promotes and preserve all forms of sport and recreational aviation in South Africa, held its annual awards ceremony at Hangar 5 at AFB Zwartkop. 

Doctor Mike Brown, Chairman of Chapter 322 of the Experimental Aircraft Association of South Africa, whose dry wit and perfect command of the English language did was the Master of Ceremonies. 

Daniel Ralefeta (left, receiving an award for his Youth Development work) is the driving force behind the Aero Club's greatest responsibility: the introduction of South Africa's youth, mainly previously disadvantaged, to the wonders of aviation. This he does with a team of great helpers who have introduced 4,350 young enthusiasts to aviation, 21 of whom are now trainees or fully qualified pilots. Daniel introduced Wonders of Aviation as one of the ways forward for youth development.

Donald Schenk (left) spoke at the Annual Awards where he introduced his brain child Wonders of Aviation (WOA) NPC no.: 20201607342408. WOA is a South African non-profit organisation that uses the magic of flight to inspire and educate previously disadvantaged youth about the aviation industry, and to engender a lifelong love of learning. 

Wonders of Aviation supports the aviation industry's outreach programs that encourage learners to consider a career in aviation, while focusing the majority of its effort on individuals who they hope will become mentors and future aviation industry leaders.

Dy Moonsammy (left) is the Chairperson of Wonders of Aviation, and is the Senior Manager of Learning and Development at Comair Limited, also addressed the gathering. 

Dy is responsible for the management of Comair’s Cadet Pilot Programme, learnerships, and graduate programmes, as well as oversight of a Learning Academy that serves indigent learners. Dy is the Vice-President of the Association of African Aviation Training Organisations (AATO), a UN-ICAO mandated initiative responsible for the standardising and harmonising of training material for all African aviation training organisations; and is also a registered psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.


Above from left to right: Jeff Earle, Elijah Rakoma, Bhekfa Masango, Daniel Ralefeta, Natalie Kyd, Gift Kgadima, Phemelo Kgwale, Thabang Rakoma and Joseph Lebitsa

Natalie Kyd also addressed the event, she is involved in career awareness programs such as SiVulindlela, Joint Aviation Awareness Program, and Southern African Women in Aviation and Aerospace, where they go around the country promoting careers offered within the aviation industry. Natalie started her apprenticeship at South African Airways in June 1998 and qualified as an Aircraft Electrician in June 2000. She became the first female aircraft electrician at South African Airways Technical.

Read the full article in Pilots Post here.

Wonders of Aviation - Kranskop Gliding Day at Brits Airfield
by Garth Calitz. Pilots Post, June 2015


The Aero Club of South Africa's Transformation and Development Department, under the leadership of Chairman Daniel Ralefeta, hosted a Gliding day at the Kranskop Gliding Club at Brits Airfield on Saturday 28 June 2015. The event was intended to promote aviation awareness amongst the youth in partnership with the newly formed "Wonders of Aviation" Initiative.

Wonders of Aviation, an organisation dedicated to inspiring South Africa's youth, enthusiastically headed by Robert Malan of the National Aerospace Center, was launched in May at the Mango career day at AFB Zwartkop.

Wonders of Aviation is an international initiative and is the brain child of Donald Shenk, CEO of ACA Associates, a US-based aviation advisory firm. The outreach programme was designed to make use of mentorship programme to take the young members under their wings and guide them to careers in aviation. Many large role-players in the South African aviation industry have come out in support of this programme these include Comair, SAA, Mango, ATNS, Jonkers Sailplanes and the SA Weather service. 

Read the full article in Pilots Post here.


AWARD WINNERS. Above from left to right: Robert Malan (NAC), Monakisi Franz Moraba, Orifha Mbedzi, Natalie Kyd (Senior Aviation Instructor at SAA Technical), Tumelo Mukua, Thenysia Krishna, Gift Kgadima, and Dy Moonsammy (WOA Chairperson and the Senior Manager of Learning and Development at Comair Limited).