We manage the two sites on the range above Porterville – Leeuwenkop formerly (and incorrectly) called Pampoenfontein – and Dasklip at the top of the Dasklip Pass.
These two sites have their strong- and weak points; and each day’s briefing will address these for pilots who may need advice.
While both sites will “work” well in westerly conditions (good launch conditions), the actual launch is only part of the formula in the decision of where to start. Leeuwenkop’s higher elevation (100m above Dasklip) coupled with relatively close lift-producing mountain spurs make it a natural choice in less-thermic conditions, whereas Dasklip’s unobtructed view to the north and easy glide (and short drive) to landing make it ideal for training; and for assessing the progress of the cross-country pilots.
The combination of reliable thermals, predictable weather, open space and good road infrastructure make the region ideal for consistent cross-country flying, with the bonus (at Dasklip) of training for beginners and intermediate pilots.
Located about 120km from Cape Town, 200km from the warm south coast and 120km from Langebaan on the cold west coast, Porterville lies the area not usually reached by the strong south-easterly gales which ruin any chance of safe flying near Cape Town.
Protected from this wind by the mountains to the east and south-east; and by thermal activity after sunrise, Porterville