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Africa

TurboS7

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Just got back from a quick trip to Gabon and Cameroon. It was my first time ever to Africa. My daughters both used to live in Cameroon one of my daughters lived there for 2 years. It was great to visit even if we were only on the ground for 4 hours. The ATC system is really messed up, and the procedures are diffrent than any place on earth. Lucky for me I got to fly there with a checkairman that has a lot of Africa experience. I wouldn't recommend anyone flying there unless they have an experienced person or have done significant study prior. Otherwise great trip. We jumped in the back of the empty airplane and flew all the way back to Miami. Sure beats sitting on seat 49A on SIA(South African Airways) for 9.0 hours.
 
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FlyChicaga

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I flew with an F/A not to long ago who was from Lusaka, Zambia. It was so interesting to hang out and talk to her about the city she was from. Definitely one of my better trips. Funny though, because she kept telling stories about how some ignorant pilots would hear her accent and that she was from Africa, and ask, "So it's nice living here now, no more huts?" Seriously. WTFO?

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/za.html

I'd really like to get to Africa to see some different areas, but I really think I'll need a tour guide.
 

uwochris

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I interviewed for a company in Gabon back in October (Air Service Gabon, I believe was the name). They fly Dash 8s and twotters. Unfortunately it did not work out, but I think Africa would be a very beautiful place to visit, especially French Africa.
 

bafanguy

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TurboS7 said:
The ATC system is really messed up, and the procedures are diffrent than any place on earth. Lucky for me I got to fly there with a checkairman that has a lot of Africa experience. I wouldn't recommend anyone flying there unless they have an experienced person or have done significant study prior.
Turbo,

What aspects of the African ATC exposure struck you as the most bothersome/tricky ?
 

FlyJordan

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TurboS7 said:
Sure beats sitting on seat 49A.

I thought Seat 29E was the bad one.
 

mar

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Passenger 57: He's got a bad seat...

...and a bad attitude.

And that SOB is trying to light his ^%$&^ing shoe on fire!!!!

Just kidding.

My whole grand Africa experience was about the same. I spent about four hours in Cairo and then commercial'd out on Alitalia where I got to flirt with the ticket agent a little.

Anyway, that's my story.
Ciao.
 

SkyBoy1981

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TurboS7 said:
Just got back from a quick trip to Gabon and Cameroon. It was my first time ever to Africa. My daughters both used to live in Cameroon one of my daughters lived there for 2 years. It was great to visit even if we were only on the ground for 4 hours. The ATC system is really messed up, and the procedures are diffrent than any place on earth. Lucky for me I got to fly there with a checkairman that has a lot of Africa experience. I wouldn't recommend anyone flying there unless they have an experienced person or have done significant study prior. Otherwise great trip. We jumped in the back of the empty airplane and flew all the way back to Miami. Sure beats sitting on seat 49A on SIA(South African Airways) for 9.0 hours.
Wow....what do you guys fly that goes all the way to Africa?
 

TurboS7

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C-206 with long range tanks.:rolleyes:
 
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SkyBoy1981

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TurboS7 said:
C-206 with long range tanks.:rolleyes:
Suuuure. I've already got a pretty good idea of who you fly for, I was just curious is all. Does the 738 make it that far or do you stop someplace?
 

typhoonpilot

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bafanguy said:
Turbo,

What aspects of the African ATC exposure struck you as the most bothersome/tricky ?
Hi Baf, Turbo, Mar:

I like going to Africa, it's a bit of an adventure since we don't get to do it very often on the 777. The company lets those little Euro trash airplanes fly there most of the year. Last summer I had a great 48 hour layover in Kenya. The F.O. and I went on a day and a half safari to a couple of National Parks north of the city. Simply awesome experience.

We fly that particular trip as Dubai-Nairobi-Dar Es Salaam-Nairobi. Spend the night or two and then Nairobi-Dubai. Sometimes they substitute Entebbe for Dar. I've only done the Dar version. The flight from Nairobi down to Dar is quite cool as you go right past Mt. Kilimanjaro and then I work out a self position for landing on runway 23 which takes us offshore and fairly close to Zanzibar. It's a picturesque flight when the weather is good. Dar is quite busy with a lot of Caravan, King Air, and other traffic heading into the bush. Since it's non-radar it can get a little interesting, but I haven't had any trouble getting it or out of there. Entebbe is supposed to be a very picturesque flight as well.

We also fly to Johannesburg a couple of times a day. Hoping that comes back on the 777 soon. The airport is at 5000 feet above sea level so it's a bit like Denver. It's a great place to go for a good steak dinner with some very good local red wine.

The thing about flying in Africa is that there is virtually no radar and the level of ATC competence is suspect. IATA has worked out an inflight broadcast procedure so all traffic self reports position on a common frequency. You broadcast 5 minutes prior to crossing a reporting point, 5 minutes prior to crossing or joining an ATS route, at 20 minutes intervals between reporting points, 2 to 5 minutes before changing level, and any other time you deem appropriate. It is necessary as I've gone through an entire FIR without being able to get in contact with the controlling authority. Nairobi are okay, but Addis and Mogadishu can be difficult to contact. With everyone self reporting you can get an idea of where your traffic is and coordinate amongst yourselves if necessary.

My airline has a lot of trouble going in and out of Khartoum. I've read quite a few reports where ATC caused a loss of separation. Cairo tried to put us in the path of someone else once, but we questioned them and they changed the clearance. Lagos tower convinced a cargo 747 to land on a closed runway with a ditch cut across the middle a year or two ago. Forget which airline, but it didn't turn out real good for the airplane. Power outages can be common which might cause the runway lights to go out right when you need them. There aren't a lot of viable alternate airports along most routes. In short it's the kind of flying that keeps you on your toes. I wouldn't want to do it everyday but once in awhile it's fun.


Typhoonpilot
 
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Rick1128

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uwochris said:
I interviewed for a company in Gabon back in October (Air Service Gabon, I believe was the name). They fly Dash 8s and twotters. Unfortunately it did not work out, but I think Africa would be a very beautiful place to visit, especially French Africa.
I spent a year in Angola flying a Lear 35 all over southern Africa. French Central Africa was not that nice. They do a double conversation on the money which means you get it in the butt twice.

Personally I broke Africa into two groups. Former English Colonies and Non-Former English Colonies. The former English colonies were overall not bad. The non-former English colonies could be quite bad. And usually were.

ATC varied. Except for SA no ATC radar. Your transponder reply light will flash, but it is from Sam sites.

Remember, its not a job, but an adventure.
 

bafanguy

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TP,


Had a friend who flew for the old East African Airways back in the late '60s...DC9, VC10. Loved Nairobi. Got furloughed from his career carrier here, went back...stayed as long as he could before having to come back to the US. The ATC thing sounds like a roll of the dice, though.
 
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