This is our final newsletter for 2009 and looking back on the year we are able to say that The Bateleurs was busy, and that we accomplished most of the items on our to-do list compiled at the beginning of the year. In the first quarter of 2009 we flew six missions; in the second quarter we flew 15 missions; the third quarter accounted for 11 missions; and in the final quarter we again flew 15 missions – making a total of 47 for the year. While flying 47 missions in eleven months has certainly kept us out of mischief, we would like to see a significant increase in the number of flight requests we receive in 2010.
Our non-mission accomplishments included the finalisation of our database update and the award of a 10 year anniversary shirts to pilot members; the conclusion of our photographic contest (run in conjunction with Africa Geographic magazine); and the re-design of our website – with our thanks to Datapro, and to Lantz and Nola Mattinson for their extremely professional and friendly assistance.
Missions featured in this Newsletter
From October to December 2009 The Bateleurs flew ten missions for regular beneficiaries, and five missions for organisations that are new to us. In addition we are reporting here on the last flight in September: a flight requested by the Peace Parks Foundation over the Kgalagadi National Park. These flights covered a range of interests including a TV documentary for the Peace Parks Foundation, research regarding crocodiles, research into marine protected areas, and assistance to rural communities and NGOs trying to counter the development of coal mines in areas too close to their homes. As always, The Bateleurs contribution has been the facilitation of an aerial perspective for other organisations engaged in research, or public education, or legal challenges. We hope that you will enjoy reading the reports below from our pilots and their passengers, and we appeal to you to publicise our free service to as many environmentalists and conservationists as possible.