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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 20th Aug 2020, 21:39
  #841 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Been around the block
Posts: 625
You know you’re in Africa when you get new 737-800’s and they’re ordered with zero options and picked by a committee of individuals who have never seen an airplane. When they are told that the 24,000 lb thrust motors will not have sufficient takeoff performance to perform the inaugural dubai flight from the 5000’ field elevation airport, the new foreign flight ops management is immediately blamed. The aircraft was ordered a year prior to their arrival. Boeing graciously agrees to fit the new aircraft with 27k motors for the small sum of 1,000,000. The same “committe” of experts accuse the flight ops management of embezzling $1,000,000 for the upgraded engines.
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Old 21st Aug 2020, 21:07
  #842 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 320
Short finals on 19L and runway lights go out (NEPA failure and backup gen u/s that night--maybe) ; go ahead and land anyway . Been a long day/night .
Mind you , not just Africa . Years later , just parked at the gate in ISB and ALL airport lights went out . EK 777 on short finals went around . Backup gen kicked in pretty quickly though and normal service resumed .
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Old 21st Aug 2020, 22:06
  #843 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: England
Posts: 1,009
Flew into Dar es Salaam a few years ago as pax an hour or two before sunrise. We level off about 3000ft and go around in circles a few times, before the Captain comes over the PA and informs us all the airport lights are off, there's been no answer from ATC and we'll probably have to wait till sunrise to land.

Sure enough, we landed just after sunrise.
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 08:51
  #844 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: 5Y
Posts: 578
And I should have posted this here

Last edited by double_barrel; 24th Aug 2020 at 10:49.
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Old 22nd Aug 2020, 15:14
  #845 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Station 42
Age: 67
Posts: 962
Paris - Dakar Rally, 1988. Everyone has landed at St Louis in Senegal except for the Swedish Viscount and dusk has just turned to darkness. The airfield lighting suddenly goes out and the late Viscount has to land with the aid of car headlights pointing down the runway (after a go-around, if I remember correctly).
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Old 23rd Aug 2020, 14:33
  #846 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central UK
Posts: 751
Colleague fills Caravan with fuel contaminated with seawater. (Mog)
Engine quits as he lines up.
Finds water in the fuel drain so leaves it open and drains out around 30 gallons before he gets to fuel.
Cranks engine until it starts (how that related to start cycle limitations I never found out)
Flies back to Nairobi with pax with no more ado.
Feels it unnecessary to even mention this to maintainers of management, let alone enter the event in the tech log...

It should be noted that both the fuel contamination and the insane behaviour of my ****witted colleague were products of the US Navy.
They do say you can't take Africa out of the man. In some cases far, far too much of it gets into him in the first place though.
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 19:41
  #847 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: A little south of the "Black Sheep" brewery
Posts: 412
Glad to see this Thread is back up and running. So I'll have to do my bit to keep it live. People have been mentioning airport lights...

Many years ago I flew a friend of mine (a PPL) and our girl-friends in a Twin Comanche from Pretoria to Sun City to go to a show (Sha-na-na, the band that played in 'Grease'). Arrival, parking, shuttle to the hotel, casino, show and drinks (mine being 'soft' due to flying back') and the shuttle back to the airport all went well. Then we arrived at the airport. In total darkness. Well, not quite. A faint glimmer inside the 'terminal building'. Inside was the 'duty manager' sitting with one lone candle on the desk in front of him. A power cut. No lights at all. In torchlight my friend and I paced out over the dark apron to discuss the problem. The Twin Com has very good landing lights. So we started up, taxied out and back-tracked with the full landing lights on. It is very, very dark all around Sun City until you are pointing towards the bright lights of the distant Pretoria/Johannesburg cities. My friend had been briefed to watch two things: the A/H and shout if it showed any bank until I stated that I was going to be turning and then shout if it went over 15deg also the VSI and to shout at any time it was not pointing up! We took off with the landing lights lighting up the centre-line markings being watched very, very closely and then instant darkness on 'rotate', no lingering glimmer of runway lights disappearing below. Once settled in the climb on our homeward track we both relaxed a little. 'Darkest Africa'!!
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 22:32
  #848 (permalink)  
Está servira para distraerle.
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In a perambulator.
Posts: 3
Would that have been before the days when you had to click your microphone button, in the air, to turn on the runway lights at FALA?
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 23:03
  #849 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Right hand seat of a 777
Posts: 166
Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
had something similar in Lagos once at my first company, fully loaded A330,

FD- Tower, looks like we have humans on the runway

Tower- standby.....

Tower- Line up and wait

FD- Tower, can still see humans on the runway, seems there is a gathering

Tower- Standby

The humans vacates the runway, during take off roll, just past V1, a local chap appears from no where.

Tower- Caution, Humans on runway
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Old 25th Aug 2020, 23:30
  #850 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: E.Wash State
Posts: 0
Time for my Africa story: I did a spell of medical work at a mission hospital in the center of Niger. We got there by private flight in a single engine Piper (model escapes me now), about 2 hours flying through the red haze each way.
On the return flight there was me and the pilot up front, and two young nurse/teachers in back, amid a pile of luggage. No room to move.
Lots of shuffling around back there, and "just keep looking forward, Doc". That and "how long till we land?"
On landing at Niamey, the rules were to stay in the plane until the customs/police fellow checked ID's and papers. It's Africa, who knows how long they'll lollygag over this! However, the two ladies were out of there like a shot and running into the terminal.
Officer in his fancy cap is strolling out during this, and starts yelling at them to get back. "No, we won't, we can't wait any longer" is the reply.
So we are left explaining to Fancycapper that they both had the HotsyTrotsies and unless he wanted to be cleaning up the tarmac he'd best leave them be. He was trying to decide on the penalty.
Fortunately, the Piper escaped bespoiling also. That was a relief to the pilot!
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 15:24
  #851 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: OHIO
Posts: 1
Anyone here landed in Maiduguri, Nigeria (DNMA), just curious.
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 11:35
  #852 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: A little south of the "Black Sheep" brewery
Posts: 412
Originally Posted by cavortingcheetah View Post
Would that have been before the days when you had to click your microphone button, in the air, to turn on the runway lights at FALA?
Don't know when those days were, when I last flew out of FALA they had 24hr ATC and hence lighting 'when needed'. FALA and FAJS were the only two in the whole country with 24hr ATC. On a clear night, if they had Aldis Lamps they could probably have communicated with each other in morse! On that trip we were inbound to FAWB where, if I remember correctly, the municipality in their wisdom left the lights on all night after the ATC went home at 6pm.

I did get into FALA very late one night to their '24hr ATC' where I had been handed over by Jo'burg to FALA. First call, no answer. Another call, no answer. Third call, no answer, Called 'joining right base', no answer. Called on right base, no answer. Called turning final, no answer. Called on final, no answer. Called on short final, no answer. Sod it, land anyway. Turning off the runway a very dopey voice came on the radio "That aircraft vacating the runway, what is you registration?"... Answer given, and as it obviously matched the one on the IFR flight plan that he had, the ATC movements log was satisfied and night-time life. at.. FALA ... settled .... back ..... to ...... normal.
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Old 30th Aug 2020, 13:46
  #853 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
Join Date: May 2004
Location: The stool at the of the bar
Age: 63
Posts: 1,044
Originally Posted by rohan737 View Post
Anyone here landed in Maiduguri, Nigeria (DNMA), just curious.
I have, once. May 1997.

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Old 30th Aug 2020, 14:54
  #854 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Bavaria
Age: 74
Posts: 30
I was maintenance manager for AirServ in Maputo, Mozambique in the late 80‘s. Computers were becoming trendy and we had one with a simple program for our aircraft parts inventory and with a few inspection programs loaded. An early PC and kinda slow but it worked. That is, when there was city power at the airport. We were used to the power outages and had a small Honda Generator hooked up to our hangar electrical system. When the city power went out our local guy knew to run out and start up the Honda. We had a switch to isolate our hangar electrical system. So the Honda was running and I was on the PC but it was especially slow and the office lights seemed to be kinda dim. I went outside to see what was up and our Guy was sitting at the generator with an extension cord and about six electric tea pots hooked up for tea time. He was making a little spare change from his airport friends. I informed him that he could not have more than two tea pots hooked up at one time. He was happy. I think it gave him a sense of power over his friends. I had the impression that they thought our Honda could power the whole city.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 08:46
  #855 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: nigeria
Age: 69
Posts: 10
Was based DNMA 1996 to 1998, flying a Gulfstream 2.
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Old 31st Aug 2020, 08:54
  #856 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: 50+ north
Posts: 969
You walk in to your friendly ROB airport post office to collect an airmailed package to be asked "eh bo' where ma crima?" = "hello boss where is my Christmas?". Intended to indicate that a seasonal dash (bribe in WA) was payable, otherwise you didn't get your Christmas goodies!

Last edited by TCAS FAN; 31st Aug 2020 at 15:34.
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Old 2nd Sep 2020, 06:34
  #857 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Been around the block
Posts: 625
You know you’re in Africa when you think any car, dripping water is leaking coolant. When in fact, it is condensed water from an actual functional air conditioner.
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Old 18th Sep 2020, 09:49
  #858 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 21
Did an airfield inspection in Tanzania in the 80s. Asked the fire section to start up their tender to demonstrate that it worked. Sorry Sir but the engine is broken. So how do you get it out to an incident? We push it Sir. OK show that you can spray foam. Sorry Sir but it is empty. Why is it not full and ready for action? Too heavy to push Sir. You really can't make these things up.
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 09:03
  #859 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Here
Age: 71
Posts: 208
Yes...mid 80's
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Old 30th Sep 2020, 20:55
  #860 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: deep in the forest of life
Posts: 15
When after the usual red-eye special to Luanda, back at the Polana Mar, Maputo, just in time before breakfast is finished one can only have scrambled eggs. No chucks, so using imported Chinese egg powder--gross. Pineapples ++ rotting up country, so only imported tinned fruit. I so miss the local enormous tasty piri-piri prawns. I learned bowls there too:-) "Kojak" in his mac and sunglasses with newspaper (even at night) keeping an eye on us. Such fun.......especially when we deliberately split into two groups going in different directions when leaving the hotel for a walk.
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