Private Property 2015 – 2016 Banner Campaign

Quick Facts

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12 December 2015 – 27 January 2016
Cape Town en Winelands area; Mosselbay to George; Plettenberg bay to Sedgefield; Durban, Amanzimtoti to Ballito; Johannesburg – Northern Suburbs
3,726 km
5,030 litres
5 seater Bell Jetranger B3
3,350 lbs (1,523 kgs)
1,500 lbs (682 kgs)
Allison 250-C20J Turbine 420 SHP, 317 SHP for take-off and 270 for MCP @ 50,970 RPM
130 kts (240 km/h)
40 kts (74 km/h)
3.2 Hours
100 litres per hour
91 US Gallons (344 litres)
600 sqm
250 kg
400 – 800 feet above ground
André Botes & David van Wyk

David on a thorough Pre Flight Inspection at Fisantekraal! Neil checking the cargo hook!

Cape Town and Surrounds

12 December 2015 – 26 December 2015
9 Flights
17.9 Hours

Based at Fisantekraal, just outside Cape Town, ATC (Air Traffic Control) is always a challenge flying banners around Cape Town as we need to cross the extension centre line of their active runways at Cape Town International Airport. The big boys inbound from Joburg and overseas do not like waiting for a small and slow helicopter to get out of their way. The boys and girls up in the Tower were most helpful and accommodating throughout the 2 weeks we flew in their area. We covered the busy N1 highway, Cape Gate and Tygervalley shopping malls, up to N1 City, turned Northbound for Bloubergstrand and followed the coastline really low level passing Century City, reporting at the container docks, around Shimmy’s beach club, showing off at the V&A Waterfront, following the coastline all the way to Camps Bay.

On Saturday the 12th and Sunday 13th we focussed on the Annual 7’s Rugby Tournament that was hosted at the Cape Town Stadium. Here we captured tens of thousands of eyes. We’ve received many calls of appreciation and very positive feedback. We took great shots of Green Point, Clifton beaches as well as Camps Bay. The weather was great and really played along. The strong South Easterly really honed our piloting skills and after a few hours we were comfortable to fly in up to 20 kts winds. On occasion we lost Main Rotor RPM indication on the Tacho and this was ascribed to a loose wire on the main gearbox. Not comfortable at all but our friendly and helpful AMO sorted us out pretty quickly.

We also covered the Winelands area and the R44 running from Paarl all the way to the Strand was also a highly populated route. The large beast flying slow and low overhead awed the beaches at Strand, Gordonsbay and Muizenberg. The one day we saw a dead humpback whale washed out on the Strand beach and the curious crowds all took notice of us flying by. This was an excellent choice of location to fly and must be included in any campaign. During non-holiday season I would recommend to fly along the N1, N2, R300 and R44 main roads that will cover all traffic in and around the Cape Peninsula. These flights must be flown between 07h00 – 09h00 and 16h00 – 18h00.

Just after take-off picking up speed towards Cape Town!

Mosselbay – Wilderness

28 December 2015 – 1 January 2016
3 Flights
6.3 Hours

After an uneventful ferry flight from Cape Town we arrived at the Mosselbay airfield. The area to operate from was confined and this required very accurate flying procedures when lifting and placing the banner down again. We flew over Dana bay, Mosselbay, Santos beach Diaz beach, Hartenbos, Kleinbrak, Grootbrak, Heroldsbay, George and Wilderness. Personally I think these were the most densely populated beaches of the whole campaign with Durban main beach as the exception. I would definitely recommend flying this area during a December holiday for any potential client.

I’ve received many calls from friends all over South Arica congratulating us on a great banner! I would not recommend flying this area during non-holiday seasons. PS: Don’t swim here! We saw 2 massive great white’s lurking just behind the breakers at a very popular swimming beach! Then some say flying is dangerous!

Plettenberg Bay – Sedgefield

2 January 2016 – 3 January 2016
2 Flights
4.9 Hours

Well known for being the playground of the rich and famous Plett was a sure hit! We saw massive crowds and all top brands need to fly here during the summer holidays! The Beacon Isle and main beach was packed, every day. The operation from the Plett airport required even more accurate flying and the runway was very busy. During one flight we saw a school of 7 Hammerhead sharks very close to the shore. The beach at Keurboomstrand was also very crowded and we saw many friendly waves from the crowds below. This would also be high on my priority list to fly during holiday season but not in off-season times.

Durban - Amanzimtoti to Ballito

5 January – 7 January
6 Flights
11.1 Hours

This was a big fish and I knew we had to perform well here to impress our client! Bad weather was approaching and we decided to push hard to get as many hours in before it happens. After a long ferry flight from Plett (Into the wind) we arrived at Virginia airport (FAVG). This brought back many good memories of flying fixed wings and great times at the old Margate Air shows. Enough said! We were to operate on a very small area and our previous experience paid off. We landed the banner on a dime and all operators at the airport were greatly impressed. Thanks to Russell at King Shaka Aviation our Jetty was sleeping in a hanger for the first time since she left Joburg.

The first flight took us from Virginia to Amanzimtoti, up to Ballito and back to our base at Virginia. King Shaka International cleared us for 500ft or below along the coast and those are words we love “or below”. I suggested that we exclude Toti from the next flights, as there are plenty of “dead ground” from Toti to the Durban main beach. The following flights would start at Virginia then to Durban harbour, up to Ballito and back to Virginia. We saw some pretty strong winds (up to 35kts) and this proved to be a real tester. Our muscles ached for sitting still in one position for hours at a time fighting head winds and seeing slow speeds over the ground of +-15 km/h.

Our client (Sue Clark) gathered all her courage to accept an invitation to join us on one ride. After a safety briefing I sensed a tiny bit of fear in her voice. She soon was very comfortable and moved around the back taking I believe 600 or more photographs of the surrounds down below. She’s a natural flier!

We saw massive crowds at the Durban main beach, Umhlanga and Ballito! The weather was great and the Durban beaches, Highways and shopping malls would be really high on my priority list to fly right throughout the year, and not only during holiday times. I do believe that this area has a lot of business and growth potential and getting a brand awareness programme going here is crucial.

Johannesburg – Northern suburbs

19 January 2016 – 27 January 2016
6 Flights
10.1 Hours

Being the hub of our economy I knew this was the big one. We started with some bad luck. On arrival at the airport we learnt that our faithful Jetty (ZS-PTN) had had a snag and was in for maintenance. Three bushes that hold the main gearbox in place was worn out and unserviceable. It was a really big job to replace these parts. We could not fly on Monday and Tuesday’s flight was also in jeopardy. Marnus at NAC was instrumental in sorting this out in record time and we were ready to rock & roll on Tuesday afternoon. The weather was on the limits and we dodged around and between the charlie bravo’s (Thunder Storms). The exposure and visibility of the beast was awesome. There are more than 400,000 vehicles that daily use the Pretoria Joburg corridor. Over and above this highway we flew the N1 passing Rivonia, Fourways past Randburg up to FNB City adding another 300,000 cars. On returning we flew around Randburg, Melrose Arch, and Sandton City. The N3 highway runs just outside the CTR of Oliver Tambo International and we saw massive traffic jams on the N3. Our conservative estimate is that we flew over more than 1 million vehicles between 16h00 and 18h00. More than 2 million eyes seeing the beast and wondering how does that small chopper tow that big banner? How is that for a decent ROI? The recall factor of brands flying our massive banners has been proved to be the highest of any other outdoor medium. Our client launched a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter linked to spotting the banner that proved to be a huge success! Check it out! #SearchTheSky

Tuesday was a great success. On Wednesday the weather moved in and we were unable to fly. We decided to get an early start on Thursday as the forecasts looked promising. We took of before 07h00 and we spent more than 5 hours in the air. The muscles ached, but watching thousands of vehicles driving by and looking up in awe, soothed the pain somewhat. Friday was the big day!

We rented the Cupola Penthouse, right on top of the Michelangelo Towers in Sandton. This penthouse has a 360 degrees view and we planned to invite a few special guests to view a flyby with the banner between 11h00 and 12h00 on Friday. I hear the team had a great time while I was circling the towers in the Jetty. I tried to get as close as possible (legally) and at one stage I thought we’re going to fly right through the towers. I believe this was a great spectacle and we will make use of this facility again in the near future. Etienne entertained the crowd with his sparkling personality!

The one thing that became apparent in the room is that the average person thinks that flying our SkyBanners are suitable only or specifically for a once off event or new product launch. This proves to be very far from the truth. Multiple studies have shown that the best results are obtained by multiple flights. I cannot over emphasize the fact that the more one fly, the better the results are to boost sales, activate brands, engage people and to drive demand. Any special event or product launch can be incorporated inside a longer-term campaign! We ended the Joburg leg flying 2.1 hours on Wednesday, 27th. The afternoon thunderstorms again demanded our full attention. Luckily it also caused massive traffic jams and traffic jams are good for flying banners.

Joburg is definitely a must fly in any campaign. I suggest to anyone that has a national footprint to fly around Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban using a 5:3:2 ratio. Let’s say your budget allows you to fly 20 hours per month, one should fly 10 in Joburg, 6 in Cape Town and 4 in Durban. Or if one’s budget is only 10 hours per month, 5 in Joburg, 3 in Cape Town and 2 in Durban. Typical flight duration varies between 1 and 2 hours per flight. Our SkyBanners are guaranteed for 150 hours flight time and one banner can be used to fly all 3 cities. No need for multiple banners. It can easily be couriered between the 3 cities!

It was a tough campaign, both physically and mentally.

We are grateful for many safe flights and humbled by the experience. A great time was had. Strong, solid friendships were built and a new client was helped! I honestly believe that if we are able to help our clients to excel in their business, our own business will grow from strength to strength as well. We are in the helping business!

Allow us to help you!

André Botes

SkyBanners SA
082 557 1055

Hi Andre
What an excellent read! I really enjoyed the account as well as the journey we took together as a first time client to this type of activity. As previously mentioned, I enjoyed the utmost professionalism from you and your team. It was a pleasure doing business with you and we have definitely budgetted for a kyk weer :-) Chat soon.

Head of Marketing – Private Property

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