This is our third newsletter in 2009 and we are pleased to report that the number of missions we are flying has maintained momentum. In the first quarter of 2009 we accomplished six missions; in the second quarter we were asked to fly fifteen missions; and in this, the third quarter, we have flown a total of eleven missions. It was also in this quarter that we produced our annual Report to Donors for the period 01 March to 31 December 2008. As from this year, our Report to Donors will cover a full calendar year, from January to December, each year.
Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Convention
At the end of August The Bateleurs attended the annual convention of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), held in conjunction with the Bethlehem Air Show, from 28th to 30th August. We were invited by the EAA to address a section of attendees who had gathered in a “hall” to hear presentations on technical issues such as aircraft maintenance regulations. Sven Kreher and Avroy Shlain, both members of our Board of Directors, gave their presentation in the early afternoon on the Friday. In giving these presentations we obviously try and convey who we are and what we do, in an effort to recruit new pilot members and to raise awareness amongst the community of environmental and conservation organisations, who may need or want to make use of our services.
At this event it was suggested by Arddyn Moolman (one of our Bateleurs pilot members) that we should expand our membership base so as to increase our numbers of non-flying members. These members could help us to further our aims by, for example, spreading the word and helping to source both pilots and missions, and at the same time perhaps contribute to the coffers of our organisation. We are at present discussing options and would welcome any thoughts/suggestions from our readers as to how we could make membership more enticing. Perhaps this airshow has heralded the beginnings of a broader membership base for us, and many thanks to the EAA for having invited our participation at its annual convention and indirectly contributed to thoughts about the development of The Bateleurs.
Missions featured in the third quarter 2009
During July, August and September The Bateleurs flew eleven missions altogether – five of these were for beneficiaries for whom we have flown before, and the remaining six were for organisations that are new to us. We will not be able to report on two of these missions in this newsletter, but hope to do so in the next and last newsletter for 2009. Also, our previous newsletter stated that we were unable to report on two missions flown in the second quarter, and said we would present these reports when they became available. We are pleased now, to bring you the story and photos from one of these missions – the Dugong Scientific Survey – flown in May 2009.
Spreading the word
We hope that you will enjoy reading the reports of these missions from our pilots and their passengers, and we appeal to you to help us conserve and protect our environment by letting us know of environmental organisations or individuals who need our assistance, or by forwarding this newsletter to conservation or environmental agencies that could benefit from an aerial perspective. Please also remember that we do not fly for the benefit of any commercial enterprise, and we do not transport people from place to place.