A history of Algoa Flying Club as recorded by Chester Chandler and Dave Perelson


In the mid 1950s, Phil Smulian got together with a number of local aviators, and decided to establish a new flying club, but with membership restricted to currently active pilots and former pilots with flying log book entries to prove their flying status.

The ALGOA FLYING CLUB was inaugurated on the 26th of November, 1956.

The Club was accommodated in the hanger of Southern Aviation and it was then that the members adopted the Royal Air Force 2nd World War mystical “Gremlin” as its unique logo. The Pub became known as the Gremlins Grotto.

In 1971 the management committee of the Algoa Flying Club decided that it was time for the Club to acquire its own aircraft and establish and control its own training centre. Plans immediately went forward to design and build a new club house and flying school for the Algoa Flight Centre.

Two brand-new Cessna 152’s were purchased,  ZS-JKI and ZS-KEO. The latter still has a special place in the Club’s training fleet comprising 8 aircraft.

The philosophy that formed the basis for the formation of the Club 46 years ago, is still at the core of the Algoa Flight Centre’s success. It is a flying club for pilots and former pilots dedicated to conserving the ethos and the development of power flying and having an unswerving emphasis on maintaining the highest possible standards of training and commitment to safety.

The Club today has approximately 250 members, all of whom must have logged solo flying hours in keeping with this clause in the constitution. The Club is actively involved in general aviation and several members also serve on national bodies representing various facets of the GA community.

Having been involved in flight training since the 1920’s, the Algoa Flying Club and its members today take great pride in the fact that its reputation for excellence in training extends throughout South Africa and even further afield.