Only pilots can do paid gliding

2013-09-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The high court in the Western Cape has declared tandem paragliding for commercial gain unlawful unless the operator has obtained a commercial pilot’s licence.

Judge Pat Gamble on Friday ruled in the case between a British tourist, Diane Bewick (43), and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the South African Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association. She has sued for about R20 million after she was left paralysed following a tandem jump in 2004.

Gamble last week ruled that it is illegal for gliders who do not have a commercial pilot’s licence to take passengers on a tandem glide for profit. The CAA argued that its commissioner had in 2002 exempted tandem gliders from this requirement, but Bewick’s legal team successfully argued that the commissioner did not have the right to exempt gliders from aviation licensing requirements.

The amount that the CAA and SAHPA will have to pay Bewick still has to be determined.

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