Mission: Crocodile Count in Greater St Lucia Estuary
Date: 6 December 2009
Requesting organisation: UKZN
Location: Greater St Lucia Estuary
Pilot: Donovan Barton-Hobbs
The pilot’s story of the mission, by Donovan Barton-Hobbs
This mission conducted on the 6th of December with crocodile researcher, Xander Combrink, aimed to achieve another count of the crocodiles within the Greater St Lucia estuary.
Being summer, and with our hot North Easterly prevailing winds, the flight was somewhat bumpy and hot. It was also the first time that we had attempted to do a survey with the door off, which proved to be far better in terms of visibility, and Xander was happy with the results
We then conducted a second mission, on the 24th of January, to do a count of the crocodile nests, and again we flew the perimeter of the Greater S. Lucia estuary, and again the North Easterly did not disappoint, with winds of up to 30 knots.
This mission was flown with two planes, Donald Hicks flying the other plane, a Foxbat from Light Flight in the Cato Ridge area.
Again Xander was happy that we achieved the mission objectives.