More than 6,000 African rhinos have been killed since 2008. The current rate is just over three a day.
Flying for Rhino & Conservation Trust (F4R) is a registered nonprofit organisation (NPO) formed in response to this poaching crisis.
Its mission is to combat poachers by providing air support to reserves that harbour rhino and/or other endangered species. As a registered NPO, all of its operations are donor funded and free of charge to areas in need. It patrols large wilderness areas and reserves in Limpopo province, where the majority of South Africa’s rhino occur. Its effectiveness means F4R receives constant requests for its aircraft to assist other hard-hit areas, but it currently lacks the resources.
David Clark Company, a provider of headset communication systems for high-noise environments, learnt of the organisation’s plight and responded by donating top-of-the-range headsets featuring electronic noise cancellation technology (ENC) and Bluetooth capabilities to F4R.
“These headsets allow our pilots to be safer and more effective. ENC is a ‘must have’ in open cockpit aircraft, and the ability to contact ground units through a Bluetooth cellphone call is a necessary tool when air-to-ground radio contact fails due to low-level terrain, for example,” said F4R’s David Hancock.
David Clarke yesterday presented its donation to F4R at the Century Avionics marquee in the Static Display area. Century Avionics is the main distributor and service centre for David Clarke in South Africa. Performing the handover, Ron Lassing, sales manager for Europe and Africa at David Clarke, said, “These guys need all the help they can get in what they do. I would encourage others to do the same. It would be for a very deserving cause.”