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Wildlife department gets aircraft donation

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The Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy, Mining has sourced a donation of a microlight aircraft which will be used for wildlife conservation purposes.

The donation has been sourced by Minister of Energy Bright Msaka following several discussions with a South African national on the challenges the country is facing in terms of wildlife conservation.

Director of Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa, said the donation is being made by an individual called Andrew Woollon of Demco Tech of South Africa.

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He said the microlight craft is a two-man trike capable of flying at between 45km per hour and 120km per hour.

“Fuel consumption is about 15 litres, petrol, per hour. Safe flying duration is 4 hours, 5 hours maximum. Flight altitude is usually up to about 1,000m above ground but legal limit is 10,000ft above sea level.

“The microlight is in excellent condition and requires annual maintenance and monthly maintenance as per normal aircraft rules of operation,” he said.

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Kumchedwa further said the Department of National Parks and Wildlife is excited with the donation as it will be instrumental in wildlife conservation and management.

“The aircraft will be very handy in surveillance and animal game count. The microlight is ideal for game management as well as conservation,” he said.

Kumchedwa also said the department will be training its own pilots as a microlight pilot licence is required to fly the aircraft.

He said the department has so far contacted the Department of Civil Aviation for expert advice.

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