Microlight 5H-SCI Update
The microlight 5H-SCI plane (the “Microlight”) arrived in Tanzania in July 2010 after a long delay in South Africa caused by port workers’ strikes. One Microlight pilot arrived back in Arusha after a very busy 2 months in Maswa GR. There has been a recent spike in elephant poaching and if it wasn’t for his efforts in the sky there is a good chance that ground patrols would have missed the poached elephant. All in all he identified 32 carcasses and this has led to an active investigation which we hope will yield results. Another Microlight pilot arrived shortly afterwards and the Microlight was assembled and has 25 hours of test flights to cover and then receive its Certificate of Airworthiness from the Tanzanian Civil Aviation Council.
By mid-August the Microlight will be bound for the Moyowosi Game Reserve and after a thorough survey of the area will hop across to Ugalla Game Reserve. Both of these areas, being close to the Burundian and DRC borders, are hard hit by heavily armed poachers. The presence of the Microlight will go a long way in identifying the poacher’s camps enabling the ground teams to ambush them and will act as an overall deterrent.
From our extensive experience of using microlights in Tanzania we are confident that the Microlight will have a noticeable effect on decreasing the poaching in western Tanzania.
A big thank you to Safari Club International for their financial support of this project!