Sunrise Aviation offers a variety of affordable helicopters flight options beyond the traditional air charters and transfers, and our luxury helicopter safaris
and sight seeing adventures.
These additional services include:
Mike has a game rating and has done extensive flying in the game counting and catching arena. On three occasions he has helped with the Kruger
National Park’s annual elephant and buffalo census when their pilots were not available.
In the Kruger floods of February 2000 he flew the director, Mr David Mabunda, to survey the flood damage and also helped to survey some of the damage,
done to the roads, for outside contractors.
He has also flown extensively in the area known as Coutada 16 of Mozambique in the Gaza province, which forms part of the new Transfrontier Park, and
is very familiar with the area.
Mike has been counting every year since 1991 and has vast experience in bushveld, (Lowveld of South Africa) and mountainous areas, (Songimvelo game
reserve, Metetamusha game reserve Mpumalanga, Pilansberg game reserve, NWP, and Kgaswane reserve, NWP. Welgevondend in the
Waterberg, Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve and the Timbavati, Klasserie and Umbabat Game Reserves).
He has also counted the North West Province reserves since 1998. In 2004, Sunrise Aviation carried out the initial game count of the Bahine National Park
in Mozambique, and in 2007 has counted the Zinhave, Bahine and Gorongoza National Parks in Mozambique.
The game census / survey operation:
In conjunction with Dr. Mike Peel of the Range and Forage Institute, who is the computer operator, Mike Pingo, pilot, of Sunrise Aviation, has developed
the computerised game counting system that we have used over the last 18 years and has proved to be very accurate.
A Bell Jetranger is used because of its maneuverability, particularly in densely wooded terrain and provides good visibility.
A GPS linked to a notebook computer allows for a grid of the required dimensions to be placed over the area to be counted. The grid is then visible on the
screen. The actual flight path of the helicopter appears as a moving dot on the screen and ensures that the helicopter is flying along the correct course.
The animals seen are entered into the computer by code form and appear on the screen. This allows the computer operator to locate the animals and
overcomes the possibility of double counting on the return path.
The doors of the helicopter are removed to allow maximum viewing for the counting team of 4. The team consists of the pilot who also spots and counts
game, the front observer who spots and counts the game, and enters data into the computer, and two back observers who spot and count game. Total
game distribution and species distribution maps are produced together with additional reports on stocking rates, species mix proportions as well as
guidelines relating to them.
Sunrise Aviation has a sound helicopter aerial photography record and pilot Mike Pingo is highly specialized in the skills required in aerial movie and still
photography for the making of documentaries and advertisements.
Mike is a master at executing difficult maneuvers for the cameraman to obtain the best possible shots. An added bonus is his extensive knowledge of
the Mpumalanga area and he will lead the film director to any type of location for the shoot.
Mike has worked with international actors in many movies.
Sunrise Aviation has a sound aerial photography record and highly skilled in aerial movie and still photography. Film work requires specialised skills on
the part of the pilot and Mike Pingo is able to execute difficult manoeuvres for the cameraman to obtain the best possible shots. He has the added bonus
of knowing the Mpumalanga area very well and will lead the film director to any type of location necessary for the shoot.
Mike Pingo has worked on numerous movie sets such as:
“The Air Up There” with actor Kevin Bacon and director Paul Michael Glaser
“Running Wild” with actress Brooke Shields and director Duncan MacChlachlan
“Danger Zone” with Billy Zane and producer Alan Eastman, to name just a few.
He has been involved in the making of documentaries and advertisements and was recently involved with International Emmy award winning journalist
Mark Austin and cameraman Andy Rex from ITN, in the media coverage of the Mozambique Floods of 2000.