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Just one of many reasons why I immigrated to the USA.

It has been a few years since this article appeared in the SA Flyer magazine. It was written by Chris Martinus, President of AOPA South Africa.

Here is the link to the original SA Flyer story: http://www.bush-air.com/The_Curious_Case_of_CC_and_the_CAA_SA-Flyer-2015-07.pdf

I want to re-surface and expose this issue as many people have not read the story or even aware of what happened and many others may have had similar dealings with the SA Civil Aviation Authority and simply kept quiet, conformed and /or paid fines in fear of retaliation, targeting and blacklisting by vindictive, abusive and unethical officials.

People often ask me why I decided to move my operation permanently to the USA. I had many reasons, one of which of course was the SACAA and the future of General Aviation in South Africa. Looking into the distant future I did not want to have say one day that “I should have emigrated but now it's too late!”.

Over a period of about 15 years various individuals such as Neil Thomas, Johan Armstrong and Hannelie Oosthuizen of the SACAA tried every trick they could to try stop me from running my courses by continuous harassment, intimidation, threats, suspensions of my SA license, banning and groundings of my aircraft. However without any success whatsoever as I continued to ignore them. In addition, Pierre Loubser of RAASA also continuously made it as difficult as possible for me to perform in SA airshows both as a Display Pilot and Pyrotechnician.

Finally I decided to withdraw my flying displays and my pyrotechnics from SA airshows.

For a some time prior to the CAA incident at Barberton on 27 February 2015, I had been thinking of relocating permanently to the US.

A very long story short... For many years already I had been spending time in the USA giving safety seminars and advanced flight training and I also lived in the US back in the early 90's.

 

Finally the deciding factor came the day Johan Armstrong and Hannelie Oosthuizen of the SACAA, along with the cops arrived at my airfield (Barberton Airport) falsely accusing me of illegal flight training, flying an un-airworthy airplane and many other things and trying to force me to pay R20 000 in fines. (I have never paid the fines and neither have I stopped giving my training in SA).

I told Johan Armstrong and Hannelie Oosthuizen of the SACAA and Joe Makua of the Hawks, that my bush & mountain flying courses and seminars are accredited by FAA Safety Team in the US and therefore it is a disgrace that in my own country the SACAA refuse to accept my courses to be of any value to GA safety and are only ever trying to stop me from legally running my courses. I also told them that they had just finally motivated me to offer my expertise to a 1st world country who would appreciate and want what I have to offer.

I applied to the US Citizenship and Immigration Service for Permanent Residence as a specialist in advanced flight safety training. My Green Card was approved based on a “Person of Extraordinary Ability”. I am very grateful to the US Government for accepting and acknowledging the work I do to be of some value to General Aviation Safety in the United States.

I have not given up South Africa completely, I still return at various times during the year to run my advanced flying courses and will continue to do so indefinitely as long as there is a demand for my training in South Africa. Over 600 pilots have attended my advanced flying courses to date and more than half of them from South Africa!

I get pleasure in assisting and advising South African pilots and aircraft owners who would like to register their aircraft in the US, obtain an FAA license, visit or move to the US. I have many stories to tell about the SACAA and RAASA etc. All will be revealed in a new book due to be published in SA in the near future.

Thank you SACAA and all induviduals concerned in motivating me to move to the United States. One of the best decisions I ever made. I regret not doing it sooner.

Read the SA Flyer story here: http://www.bush-air.com/The_Curious_Case_of_CC_and_the_CAA_SA-Flyer-2015-07.pdf

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The grounding of my C172 by Johan Armstrong of the SACAA.

Johan Armstrong of the SA CAA grounded my Cessna C172 training aircraft in Hoedspruit some years ago whilst it was still on the South African register (ZS-CSZ). I then registered it with the FAA and applied my new N number on the plane (N172A). Armstrong became extremely pissed off and vindictive and then sent emails to the FAA stating that he inspected my aircraft and found it un-airworthy and to warn the FAA that I am attempting to register it in the US. The FAA replied and thanked him for the information.

Soon afterwards the FAA authorized a DAR to come all the way to South Africa to inspect my C172 in my hangar at Barberton. He found the aircraft to meet the FAA airworthiness requirements and issued my Certificate of Airworthiness.

Johan Armstrong was so infuriated that he sent me and my insurers an email stating that my C172 registration number N172A was grounded for flying in South African airspace and not meeting the SACAA airworthiness requirements such as SB's and SID's and many other things that are not required by the FAA on a US registered aircraft.

Johan Armstrong sent an email marked “Urgent” to my insurers, informing them that my aircraft has been grounded as it does not conform to

 

SA CAA airworthiness requirements and the Airworthiness Certificate is invalid. I sent my insurers a copy of the FAA Airworthiness Certificate and recent log book entries to prove that the aircraft was in fact 100% airworthy according to the FAA.

I ignored the grounding and continued to fly the airplane in SA until I shipped it to the US. I just stayed out of controled airports as he sent ATC's a message informing them not to let me take off again if I landed there. He also informed all airshow organizers that the CAA will have me arrested if I flew this same aircraft in the airshow.  I have all of these facts in the form of emails between many different people including the copies of the emails between Johan Armstrong and the FAA.

I also informed them that I am ignoring the grounding and that I am continuing to fly the aircraft with or without insurance. My insurers then confirmed that they will continue to cover the aircraft in the event of a claim. So... Johan Armstrong's clear vindictive attempts to try screw me over with the FAA and my insurers simply backfired on him!

My C172 is now living happely in the USA!

 

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Withdrawel of my participation in SA airshows.

I flew my C172 in the 2015 Lowveld Airshow. After the airshow, the CAA contacted RAASA and the safety officer and stated that I illegally participated in the airshow as my aircraft was grounded as it does not have a valid Certificate of Airworthiness. The Safety officer contacted me and I then sent them copies of my aircraft documents proving airworthiness. Armstrong instructed RAASA to inform all the airshow organizers that my aircraft is grounded and if I participate the CAA would have me arrested.

I informed the organizers stating that I will still participate as my aircraft is legally

 

airworthy and the CAA can try have me arrested if they want to.

By this time I was becoming more pissed off than Armstrong and I was hoping they would try have me arrested because all the media would be there and it would be very interesting too see how they would prove this in court. However the organizers backed down saying that they were afraid the CAA would cancel the airshow permit.

It was then that I decided to totally withdraw from participating in South African Airshows which included my Pyrotechnics support for other acts.

 

More to come.........Stay tuned! This page will be continuously updated in the future. I have many more stories to tell but as I mentioned previously, I am writing a book about all of this.

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