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You Know You Are In Africa When.....

African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

You Know You Are In Africa When.....

Old 25th Jun 2008, 09:11
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Oh yes... and having watched the fueler dump a very large qty of Jet A1 around the a/c and subsequently requested a fire truck to lay foam over it... finally (45 min later) see the fire truck being pushed the length of the runway by 4 'firefighters'...
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 09:13
  #22 (permalink)  
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cansparrow you are right i humbly retract my statement, I should never have insulted a gorilla like that.
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 13:06
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I went somewhere or other in Nigeria, Bauchi I think, when I noticed signs of life around the sometimes tower (a parked car there) but replies to my calls got I none, so that I was getting a little bit piqued. Then there came a tiny, tremulous voice, "Sah, de controllah has gone to ease himself..."

"Is that the tower? Who is speaking please?"

"Aah, Sah, dis be de tea-boy..."

"Aah, Roger. I copy that, thank you. Standing by for clearance, entering left downwind for a visual to Runway (whatever)."

According to my German wife I am only white on the outside after too many years in Africa! According to Captain Probationary here I am just another racist. Probably the truth lies somewhere between these two but I think the wife might know what she is talking about.

You need to understand whether we are laughing with or at Africa in this, I think, when most of us are laughing with this crazy place.
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 13:49
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Capnsparrow lighten up and don't like there is nothing wrong. No one said we didn't want to be in africa. We're just having a laugh at the number of times it has tried to kill us.

You need to understand whether we are laughing with or at Africa in this, I think, when most of us are laughing with this crazy place.
Chuks.. Right on mate
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 18:15
  #25 (permalink)  
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A clearance containing 6 different instructions take less than 2 sec to broadcast, then gets repeated 3 times more at the same tempo before doing it at a normal pace - and be relayed all the time!

ATC : ''Cleared to land, watch out for the goats on the runway!''

Taxiways closed because the stormwater drainage covers were stolen.

The local airforce is u/s, so you get chartered to move some local political types around. MUST be there at 06h30! They arrive at 15h30......Can't get start clearance because you didn't pay their leaders' passenger tax!
Can't get start clearance because the President (one of you pax) must leave before any civilian 'planes get start clearance.!!

Only in Africa will 3 independant sources guarantee the availability of fuel at destination, only to shrug at your request for fuel after arrival! '' It should come later today.''

There is a vibrant informal settlement both sides of the runway - pedestrians cross at well worn footpaths (areas away from paths should be avoided since minefields were never marked during any of the preceding conflicts)
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 18:58
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...when you lie under the wing having a smoke asking for start clearance with a hand held radio. No point in waisting a good a/c batt.

Great thread. It's been a while since I laughed to much at a thread.
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 20:27
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There are 3 types of people in town: mercenaries, missionaries and misfits.

When the cops stop you at a roadblock at 1 am you all pile out and share the last beers with them and then weave your way home.

An intimate knowledge of local driving rules is required, also have to know which man hole covers are missing where - otherwise square wheels.

Part of the pax briefing is "don`t fart". Dried fish diets can be well.....

Your buddy clears the crowd/market off the runway and comes back only to land on a pig which he then has to pay for.

The chap "demanding landing fee`s" is cradling an ancient ak47 with a far away look in his eyes.

Every single FIR you cross needs enough info to fill in 3 flightplans...

MEL = if it starts you go.

Military traffic at same field is on UHF leading to just a little confusion, when you ask about the crater at the threshold.."My friend in mig 21 make 1 loop 2 loop no 3rd loop...

Every russian callsign going to the same dest as you always gives his eta as 1 min ahead of yours - supersonic illusions.

You barter for fruit at one field, coffee at another and get cheap beer from yet another.

All the food you eat is flown in.

Engineer bursts out laughing when you query about why he has no masking tape and proclaims he will go and get it at the nearest hardware store which is, well 2 FIR`s distant.

Tower clears you to land and gives you weather from the METAR when the wind is 15 Kts from behind .

You know where to land on which runway ie left and then right to miss potholes and or ruts.

You do what you think was a really cool landing on a shortish runway with a B200 and some wiseass pisses a 727 in..

You have an inkling of the east west "other market" traffic at night over the dark continent.

"Wakup" from ATC = We Copy.
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 20:31
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SLF, Lagos

Departing Mohammed Murtala International Airport, Lagos 1994 - Latest coup du jour a fiat accompli only yesterday, hostile, suspicious, gimlet-eyed armed soldiers everywhere, hostile, suspicious, gimlet eyed armed security (in civvies) everywhere, confusion, conflicting information, air conditioning in the terminal hasn't worked since Khruschev dedicated it (he did, too), line up to go through metal detector please. No beep, go back. No beep, go back. Soldier: Keep going, it doesn't work anyway. (Had short, interesting and quite friendly conversation with same soldier later during his break, official or unofficial, don't know.) Down boarding tube to Air Egypt Airbus - serious pat-down and baggage examination by a guy packing a loaded sidearm (turns out soldiers in the terminal were never issued ammunition), Air Egypt was *serious* about their own security. After climb-out, exhale, I've gotten out alive . . .

Fascinating place - no idea what to make of it, my heart goes out to many of the people I saw/met/spoke with, but no idea what if anything I can actually do on their behalf. Chances for change for the better? I hope so, but fear not.

Glad to be home . . .
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Old 25th Jun 2008, 23:31
  #29 (permalink)  
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Don't forget the Passengers..... - again for new PPruners...

- When the only seats left are plastic ones
- When there are none left so you sit on a sack of rice
- When the hostess reminds you to fasten your seatbelt, then realises your seat doesn't have them
- When you cannot even see an emergency exit
- When they close the cattle ramp behind you and all you see is a wall of freight in front
- When a battery start begins with the installation of a cable through the emergency exit
- When you point the portable GPU's exhust out the cabin door and start it with pax inside (Fortunately you have earplugs)
- When parts of the interior regularly fall apart during flight
- When parts of the plane fall off in flight
- When one of the pax decides to boil water in the aisle and begins by lighting a fire (True story)
- When one of the pax tries to open the door at FL350 because it's too rough and wants out
- When the Captain announces 'We are now flying over.....' and one of the pax asks the hostess 'Can you ask the captain to drop me off here'
- When the pax, hostess and pilots ALL speak different languages
- When one of the pax flys the plane so the pilot can go to the toilet with no autopilot
- When the door opens in flight and it's the pax's job to close it
- When someone open the emergency exit as they are too hot
- When the pilot opens the emergency exit as it's too hot
- When live crocodiles are considered carry on baggage
- When the same crocodiles get lose (Oh boy!!!)
- When night falls, you are still in the air and the captain asks the pax if 'they' see a runway anywhere
- When you already noticed one engine stopped a while ago and the other begins to surge
- When you notice 45 mins into a 30 min flight that the captain is asleep
- When this happens and you only have a 30 min reserve (ie 15 mins remaining)
- When you now cannot seem to locate the runway
- When you consider - Then again crashing a plane is safer without fuel


PS: Remember this thread is for those of us who have or those who would like to experience the Dream of Flying in Africa - it was intended as a little light relief and NOT to mock, slander or express ones political viewpoint - so please remember this when adding your stories or comments - We are all African's - Black or White - Born from the continent or Adopted by it!
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 06:03
  #30 (permalink)  
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"Wakup" from ATC = We Copy.
I was listening to an exchange on 8888 a few years ago between UN202 and Luanda. The pilot gave the whole story incl POB, Endurance, Reg....everything only to be answered with a "Wakup" . So our diligent pilot says everything again only to get another "Wakup". This got him so the hell in that he just replied " no man, you wake up!" The whole exercise took nearly 10min. Was hilarious.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 09:50
  #31 (permalink)  
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...when your pi$$ing out of your a$$

....when during a 20min flight ATC asks you for number of board and endurance 17 times.

.... When ATC is talking to you and the collision warning horn is going off in the background..Then tells you to stby.( Dar es Salaam jockey's know what i'm talking about).. No working radar everywhere else..

..when cleared to join the 11 DME arc and ATC asking you every 5 sec's 'Whats your DME now'

..when you respond 'charlie charlie'

Pax actually look at the seat belt demonstration because they have never used one before. Or they can't get out of their seats because they don't know how to unbuckle the seat belt.

..When you ask to return to the apron because of a door unlocked light and tower asks if you need fire brigade assistance.

... When security say you can't take your leatherman with you but gives you a gun and bullets belonging to a pax.

...when you declare a mayday and ATC asks you to standby whilst continuing to talk to other traffic who is his relation.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 10:42
  #32 (permalink)  
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Say your position?

There was a guy coming into Port Harcourt, Nigeria in an HS-125 who kept giving different distances each time he was asked. "50 D.M.E."

"Say again your distance?"

"48 D.M.E."

"Confirm 48 D.M.E.?"

"Distance now 45 D.M.E."

Well, he was doing something like 250 knots!

Finally the controller had enough and asked, "Ah! Ogah, why you say a different numbah every time?"

Another time we had a guy who was being a P.I.T.A., asking repeatedly for our position. I mean, EVERY 30 SECONDS. Finally I just replied, in my very best Captain Speaking tones, "I am sat up front." Silence, blessed silence, for the next ten miles!

Nigeria used to have Okada Airlines, operating the world's largest fleet of BAC1-11s. I would give my distance as 40 miles and an Okada would report 38 and be cleared Number One for Approach at Abuja. Next thing, I would call over the VOR but where was Okdada now? Ah, just 10 miles behind me! "We have reduced speed," would be the answer, which sounds so much better than "We are lying, greedy, undisciplined, little toe-rags."

So one learned to reply that our D.M.E. just went off, please stand by. Okada would then give their real distance, something like 50 miles, when I could then tell the truth and be cleared Number One. It is strange but true that a turbo-prop can outrun a BAC1-11 to the ramp close-in below 10 thousand feet if both are doing 250 knots to begin with.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 11:08
  #33 (permalink)  
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When six month old babies are raped to 'cure' AIDS.

When octogenarians are beaten to a pulp for being white.

People will burn down the station because of a delayed train.

Kids beg on the streets while their moms lie in the shade next to the road.

You need a criminal record to get into parliament.

Shiny sunglasses and numerous neckfolds equate to status.

YOu will burn down schools and cry that you have no education.

A police/customs/official badge equals access to unlimited riches.

...etc etc...

What a up place. Getting better by the day.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 19:15
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So we can mark you down as "one not quite so in love with the Dark Continent," I assume?

Nothing quite as bad happens in Geneva, I suppose. Or is it that nothing much happens in Geneva? Or are you just upset about the football and taking it out on poor old Mother Africa? Whatever...
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 19:45
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Being told (seriously!) by the Chief Engineer, as he nervously re-adjusts his vast white turban, " I am zo zorry ve buggad up your Hot End, I vill bersonally vix it vor you, and I von't let vun of dose dam darkies dutch it!"

Sati, thank you. One of the best engineers I ever knew. God bless!

And my other favourite engineer a few yards down the flight line...

"Gladstone, sorry, but can you fix this?" (always at short notice)

(always with a smile) "OK!"

And he always did. God bless you too, Glad.

I loved my time in Africa. In 1800hrs I never paid chai, never broke down, and never had complaint against maintenance.

Last edited by Agaricus bisporus; 26th Jun 2008 at 20:00.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 20:36
  #36 (permalink)  
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Ahhh florida 2000! Where every guy "looks like brad pitt"!
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 21:29
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The difference between a tourist and a racist is three hours in Harare customs.
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 23:24
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I've spent almost 20 years in Africa, and 2 years as a Businessman, and yeah, I have to agree with most of the posts. Funny thread
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Old 26th Jun 2008, 23:59
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LostandFound, quite clearly you have never lived and worked in africa. Africa is a ****e hole. Trust me I grew up, lived and worked there for 27 years. EVERYTHING that has been mentioned in this thread is true, and it gets worse. What's being dicussed are actually the funny bits.
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Old 27th Jun 2008, 04:47
  #40 (permalink)  
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Clearing 3,000' outbound of DNMM
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