Annual Report 2006

Time fly's (and so do we!) when you are having fun, and so when I realised that it is now the third year since DAASA has been established I thought that it may be good time to reflect on what has been achieved over this period and to lay the framework for the next three years. When we first conceived of the idea of an organisation there was a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. We approached the aero club, as we believed that as a minority group we had a better chance of articulating our needs through such an association. What was achieved was to formalise a relationship with the aviation community and the regulatory body (CAA) through this affiliation. Through our contact with other chapters, we have also started to make progress in making facilities available the disabled. What has become clear over the three years is that our initial enthusiasm and expectations were stretched, because although we (as DAASA) had a disability in common, we all had different flying aspirations. Because of this diversity we had to concentrate on common issues such as medical fitness and general access to club facilities. Projects would be encouraged and developed on an individual basis. To this end we have enlisted the enthusiastic support of a number of clubs, who have initiated their own projects to actively accommodate the disabled. One notable success was a joint project with the South African Soaring Association to install the hand controls in a glider. When we started, we had the catch 22 problem of having no facilities and therefore it was difficult to attract new members, and because we had no members it was difficult to obtain facilities. We have slowly made progress as we now have training facilities for Power Flying, Gliding, Hang Gliding, Parachuting and Micro lighting. The process that we have been through has been slow and sometimes difficult, but very necessary, and hopefully the future will be a lot more fun where we can concentrate on the flying. \r\nThe next step is to get more members, and to that end we need to look back to our constituents, where we will have to develop our relationship with the disabled bodies, such as the sporting associations. We also need to spend some effort on marketing (development of a website as one example) and becoming more involved in the forums at a grass roots level. The issue of social responsibility, we need to see if there is a role we can play in taking aviation to the disadvantaged and disabled such as the outreach program that Andre Goosen has held in Nelspruit and become more active participants in existing aero club efforts. With this role, it would be a collaborative effort with all the chapters of the aero club.

As can be seen there is a lot still to do!

So if you cant walk fly',