You’re in a perfectly good aeroplane. It’s not on fire and you don’t have to bail out – but you do...
Saudi Arabia may not be the first place you would think of for recreational aero-sports, but for the past few years the Kingdom has been encouraging private individuals to take up such hobbies as paragliding, paramotoring and radio controlled model aircraft flying, as well as sky diving and the flying of light aircraft.
It is overseen by the Saudi Aviation Club which was established in 2000 as an independent not-for-profit entity to promote aeronautical science within the Kingdom and to encourage the practice of personal, recreational and sports aviation activities to the highest possible standards.
SAC also offers skydiving training for the public and this – along with many of the other aero-sports – takes place at the recently refurbished Thumamah Airfield with its 4000-metre long runway.
A general aviation flight school has been established which provides pilot training to any person interested in becoming a professional pilot, or would like to learn flying as a hobby. It issues private, commercial and Airline Transport Pilot Licenses with instrument and multi-engine rating, and is also authorised to offer refresher courses for holders of private pilot licenses (PPLs) from other countries desiring to fly in Saudi Arabia.
Anyone interested in joining the Saudi Aviation Club should go to their web site: www.sac.com.sa
Thumamah Airport is located some 60kms north of Riyadh, past Janadriyah.
25 13.3’ N; 46 38.2’ E