For owner and dedicated pilot Tokkie Botes, animals and the conservation of animals is the passion behind Flying For Freedom SA. FFFSA’s mission is to fly for the survival of those without a voice.
Based in the North West Province of South Africa this non-profit company is dedicated to preserving its natural heritage and protecting endangered species. Tokkie and his crew fly a Bell 206B JetRanger to assist in the anti-poaching operations of black and white rhinos, threatened to extinction due to the market for rhino horns. FFFSA also assists by flying veterinarians to snared animals; conducting aerial surveys of vultures, an important part of Africa’s wildlife and eco-system; and defending the habitat of the nocturnal Riverine rabbit, the most endangered mammal in South Africa.
September 2019 was especially important as each year September 22 is recognized as World Rhino Day. This year their fundraiser ‘A Night to Remember’ was a huge success! Aviators Brewing Company held the event which included aerobatic displays, delicious food, prizes, auction items and special guest speakers.
With around 1600 hours flight time on their Van Horn Aviation 206B tail rotor blades, Tokkie says “It makes a huge difference to have them on the helicopter when you do any kind of game work, it makes the helicopter much more maneuverable.” And whenever people ask him if there is a difference, he will always answer, “it feels like an old car that got powering steering,”