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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 9th Jul 2008, 15:41
  #121 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeast U K
Posts: 291
If that used to be the Hotel Panafrique about 25yrs ago,
then that's probably it.
Storminnorm is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2008, 16:45
  #122 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nearest Bombardier AMO
Posts: 417
There was the bloke at Eros who flew charters along with the rest of us on all sorts of Cessna twins and the 200, about 12 years ago. Now he'd putter around on one of those hilarious motorcycles-with-pedals. Would arrive at work prior to the crack of dawn on this contraption, in uniform, nav-bag strapped to the tail-feathers. A sight for sore eyes! Now some of the aircraft were quite a distance from the office, so he'd ride to the plane once flight plan, etc. had been done in the pilots' room. One dark and very early morning good ol' XXXX drones off to his aerie in a cloud of fumes, only to scare the living sh1t out of us 10 minutes later when, having preflighted, he proceeded to crank his 310 and, still very much in the pre-dawn-gloom, taxied his starboard prop straight into his scooter-thing. We were finding bits of funny-cycle scattered all around the airfield for the next few weeks. Christ, the racket that made!!

(Vergewe my as jy dit lees ou pel, maar jy moet saamstem, dit was fokken snaaks!!! )
Doodlebug is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2008, 17:16
  #123 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561

We had an old Cessna 402 that was doing sterling duty as a sunshade for stray dogs. Like attracts like? Anyway some mad Eyeties decided they really needed it so a deal was done and our very best and most dispensible pilot was chosen to ferry it from Lagos to Rome. Me, of course!

It hadn't even had a run-up in years, plus it was sat there kind of tipped to one side. Well, whatever.

They dragged the battery cart over and plugged it in, hopped in and started flipping switches. Hmm... no fuel in one tank. (This was the 402 with the so-called "tuna tanks" with the main fuel out in the tip tanks.) So they filled up the oddly empty tank and went off to do engine runs.

It wasn't running very well, and when they shut it down afterwards they found it was pissing Avgas all over the ramp from under one engine!

Ah yes, no sense wasting all that Avgas in those big tip tanks, was there, so that one of our own engineers decided to become a criminal mastermind back when we never expected that thing to move again. He had undone the main line at the firewall and used the boost pump to empty the tank. Hah! Of course, being a true son of Mother Africa he didn't bother to "tight-up de foo-el line" afterwards, creating a sort of flying bomb.

I was watching all this with a certain amount of interest, as were the poor old stray dogs. One day, after the engineers, now minus our inofficial fuel vendor, had managed to calm its explosive tendencies, they were off to the compass base. Progress! 30 minutes later here they came back, dragging my steed on the end of a rope! I could only think to myself, "It won't even make it from the ramp to the compass base and back under its own steam and I am going to Rome?"

I did set off for Rome. Well, why not?

About 30 minutes later I knew why not. The prop governers were shagged and would not stay synched. Bwaaaahh, vrooom, vroom, waaah-waah-wah-wah-wah... interlude of twiddling prop levers... bwaaaah, vrooom, vroom, etcetera, every TEN MINUTES! Aargh! Sat there watching the landscape crawl past with this racket beating my head in... madness was setting in when I was thinking, well, if I just shut one down then I don't have to synchronise them, do I?

We got as far as Tamanrasset and hit some paperwork problems. The Wops had done the permits but the number they gave me didn't exist according to my new Algerian friends. I spent a couple of nerve-wracking days drinking mint tea and trying not to think about movies about Turkish prisons.

When they finally got bored playing with me one engine didn't want to fire up, just sputtering, coughing and dying, repeatedly. Turned out that the throttle was off about 1.5 inches so that I was trying to start it with the throttle open too far. D'oh!

You know how sometimes you get to the end of a long flight and you just stand there gazing fondly at the trusty old bird that carried you all the way? I got out of that thing at Ciampino Airport, ripped off my sweaty life vest, tossed the keys to the new owners and said, "You wanted it, it's yours. Good luck!"

I imagine they were going to smuggle cigarettes with it and good luck to them. Well, maybe people who were behind on paying money to the Camorra or Mafia or whomever... they dragged them out to the airport and took them for a long flight in the Cessna, bwaaah-wah-wah-wah, after which the money got paid back right away even if that meant selling one or both kidneys.
chuks is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2008, 03:52
  #124 (permalink)  
quidquid excusatio prandium pro
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 351
On the way to Njili airport, crew car must stop due large ox and even larger crowd on road. After some minutes and much arguing, crowd polarizes into two distinct groups, out come machetes, live ox chopped down the middle (approximately), left half dragged off road to left, right half to right, both halves twitching, children scoop up stray organs, which they stuff into their shirts. Crew car squelches through two inches of fresh ox blood on road, mud guards do excellent job of minimizing splat. Another day in Africa. Wonder if steak is on the menu tonight...
bugg smasher is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2008, 08:55
  #125 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561

Dat be "cow-meat". Not steak! A real work-out for the jaw muscles.

Then there is the famous Sokoto chicken. Not to say they are tough, just that I saw one get run over by a lorry and then get up and walk away. Allegedly.

We had this dingy cave of an airport cafe at the old Aero Contractors terminal, back when a naira bought something. There was "Hamburger with Egg" on the menu, when the waiter came over to tell me that today it was "Hamburger with Egg - no Egg".

I have this terrible need to fight boredom that is always getting me into trouble. I asked, "So how much is an egg worth? Can I get a discount here?" (We are arguing here over about 10 cents, of course.)

"It is 'Hamburger with Egg- no Egg'"!

"Yes, I hear you but I see here on the menu that an egg sells for 80 kobo. You are shorting me one egg so that I would expect a discount of 80 kobo, just going by the menu."

"It is 'Hamburger with Egg - no Egg'"!

"Well, perhaps a chit, then, that I could exchange for an egg at a later date?"

Same answer...

"I am not in a hurry. Could you send the 'boy' to the market to purchase an egg? They are very rich in Vitamin A, I am told."

Almost the same answer: same words, double volume. Time to stop yanking this guy's crank before he gets that surly-looking crowd of yoofs to pitch me out on my pointy Oyingbo head, I guess.

"I see. Well, your cogent arguments have won the day. Please bring me one 'Hamburger with Egg - no Egg' and a nice warm Fanta Orange... no, wait, I think I shall have the Schweppes Mineral Water instead. Thank you so much."
chuks is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2008, 19:44
  #126 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Timbuctoo
Posts: 32
O how I miss Africa..............Excellent comments guys

In Abidjan cleared to Back Track in English....which we understood......Military C130 was told something in French, all we heard was " DIPRI " we knew that was the reporting point for the IAF and there is a holding pattern but what was after that we had no idea until we saw landing lights about 1.5 miles away on short final......We think he said......Dirpri and hold......but boy were we wrong......it was infact Cleared to Land.....cloud base of about 500ft....told to go around and big chief swivel head spear said "NO" landing.....WTF.....eventually he orbited straight back into the cloud, no go around just orbit....might have been the same guy with the patch on his eye.....IF training maybe.......
Toppled AH is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 06:34
  #127 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Age: 59
Posts: 265
This must be one of the best and funniest threads in a long time. Having experienced some not all of the above at some stage in Africa makes it funnier still. Keep it going guys. I feel sorry for someone reading this who has not flown in Africa and wants to find a job on our lovely continent.

Keep them coming

CJ750 is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 06:58
  #128 (permalink)  
Está servira para distraerle.
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In a perambulator.
Posts: 4

One can remember driving, four of us plus company driver, broad daylight, from Gaberone airport to the Holiday Inn during the time that the SADF thought it had Carte Blanche to exterminate its enemies in Botswana.
There was a Botsana DF road block between airport and town. To our surprise our driver accelerated towards the blockade, thereby attracting the attention of the soldiers, some of whom began to unsling their rifles from their shoulders. Only when the Captain and I had realised that Bonzo had no ntention of stopping, did we start yelling at him, hitting him and smacking his head, which didn't do a lot of good really, as it doesn't from time to time. He went through a gap in the blockade and finally stopped a few yards past it. By this time, some of the troopies were down on one knee, weapons levelled. No whizz bangery yet, thank goodness!
Quite how Bonzo extricated himself and us from his errors of judgement with his explanations to the troopies, I never found out, but eventually we were waved on our shaken way. We managed to establish that the driver thought that since the company car was brand new, it would be able to outrun the bullets and that he was of the opinion that such would be a very funny thing to do.
The cabin crew throughout the debacle retained a stony silence because, as we later established, the driver, being only a driver, was of a lesser social order than were they.
cavortingcheetah is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 07:15
  #129 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
A real prince...

I had one for a co-pilot on a Cessna 441, flown for a German construction company.

We had a trip for the German Ambassador to Nigeria one afternoon, taking him from Abuja to Lagos.

My Prince had come, back from some mysterious errand and was hovering in the background. Being of royal blood he did not do baggage. He would hover looking helpful but he never actually managed to heave any bags into the nose baggage compartment. Far be it from me to upset the social order, so that I did the bags.

Here comes His Excellency, so I greet him, take his fold-over bag, pop the left-hand nose baggage door and "Fark!" There is a large, filthy burlap sack full of yams that has shaken a load of top-quality Nigerian dirt all over the baggage compartment! So that was what my Prince had been up to, going shopping at one of the roadside yam stands that dotted the long road from town to the airport. Way to go, Prince!

Oh well, this Ambassador bod must know Africa by now, so that I just made a few feeble attempts to get the worst of the dirt off a spot big enough to park his bag and carried on.

Later I introduced the Prince to two new concepts, telling his Captain about what he wanted to stow where in our Cessna, plus shaking the dirt off his goddam yams before stowing them in our nice, clean baggage compartment.

He was not a stupid man. It was just that he was very much a product of his environment.
chuks is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 10:10
  #130 (permalink)  

Combine Operations
Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.K.
Posts: 687
I read this story written by a journalist, so it must be true.

In Uganda, during the time of Amin, the journalist commuted into town each day by car. Each day, he was stopped at the same roadblock, asked to get out of the car and remove his shoes. Each day, the soldiers looked inside his shoes, then sent him on his way.

Being reasonably au-fait with Africa, he contained his curiosity, and did not ask what they expected to find in his shoes.

Until, eventually, his curiosity could be contained no longer, so he asked what it was they were looking for.

"Guns," he was told.

"How do you think I can hide guns in my shoes?" he asked.

"Dunno, but them's the orders. We have them written down."

"Can I see them?"

"Sure." The orders decreed that all vehicles must be stopped, and the boots searched for weapons.

For those who only speak Americanese, a boot on a car is what you would call a trunk, but there would be something lost in the translation.
Farmer 1 is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 11:03
  #131 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: always airborne
Posts: 53
You know you are in Africa when you monitor the Tower frequency and hear the initial call of an Airliner:

"Tower good afternoon, ABC, self established ILS 21"

No response from tower. Later on:

"Tower, again this is ABC, we are on short final runway 21."

Of course, no response from the tower.

"Tower, äh, ABC, runway 21, we're gonna land..."

Tower replies: "ABC, roger, thereafter taxi to your stand as usual."

Answer by the aircraft was just a doubleclick on the mic... that was all, nothing else to be said
Mshamba is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 11:43
  #132 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Okavango Delta, Maun Botswana
Posts: 36

you know what is so astonishing, you all bitch and moan, but how many people that may and maybe not, be on this thread, have built up their time doing all the crap jobs that we have to do in order to be served our orange juice and paper while the auto pilot flies us to the destination
Flying is something we do because its something you can never describe to people that havent, its a gift that many havent, we are lucky.
Yes the crap hits the fan now and then but it goes with the terroitry, Deal with it or go and stand behind a bank desk all day and see how that feels,
chaps and ladies we all have had to do what we have to do to further our jobs, dont gripe, if Africa was not in the the state it is most of us would not have jobs and without i am sure a bunch of you guys will agree.
Swamp Rat is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 13:07
  #133 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Africa
Posts: 46
You know youre in Africa when :

- All the expats working for the UN drive around in 4x4's or armoured tanks wearing flak jackets and helmets and all have some kind of weapons, while the aircrew have a wanked out hyundai van, no armour and have to drive into town daily for supplies!

- you buy whisky in 2 litre bottles so it will last longer than an evening

- you look forward to eating goat and/or camel meat

- you program the GPS with self made waypoints while in VMC so you can get in when its IMC. All the waypoint names have to be swear words

- you can have a party with a bunch of russians for 8 hours and not understand one word they say

- you can tell the sound of an Mi - 8 about 20 nm away

- it is not considered weird when there is a stack of hardcore pornography in the crew house toilet

- a ladder is leaning against an old 727-100 on a short dirt strip for the pax and crew to board and disembark

-you have to pay more for a coke if it is cold, than if it is warm

- when you sign on at 5am the engineer is passed out cold on the kitchen floor, Led zeppelin still on high volume

- flying low level down rivers trying to get the people in the canoes to jump out is part of the descent briefing

Fun times!
capster is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 15:53
  #134 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: edge of reality
Posts: 790
And during the rainy season in Congo having taken off from a dirt strip to fly 35 min to another dirt strip with 2hrs 45 min of fuel aboard; get cut off by a storm system, landing eventually with just 12 min of fuel showing on one wing guage and nothing showing on the other... then waiting a day for fuel to be floated over the Ubenge River so that we could fly out again.
MungoP is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 15:56
  #135 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Nearest Bombardier AMO
Posts: 417
Capster - you've been/are there!
Swamp - relax. Nobodies bitching. Funniest thread in ages. Africa's great.
Doodlebug is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 17:24
  #136 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Africa
Posts: 46
Got several tshirts aswell!! Thankfully moved on to greener pastures, but what a cool way to learn how to fly. A couple of years on the dark continent should be compulsory!
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Old 13th Jul 2008, 19:15
  #137 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southeast U K
Posts: 291
Capster, Curried goat is my personal favourite.
Best thing to do with the damn things is to
EAT them. Never tried Camel, couldn't get
a big enough pot!!!!!!

Last edited by Storminnorm; 16th Jul 2008 at 10:40.
Storminnorm is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2008, 19:42
  #138 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: always airborne
Posts: 53
Roasted goat is hilarious! Mbuzi choma - niiiiiiiice!
Mshamba is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2008, 05:07
  #139 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Age: 59
Posts: 265
Swamp Rat get off your high horse nobody is bitching just relating stories. How long have you been flying in Africa. The Swamps are nothing like the rest of Africa.

CHILLOUT and let us have fun
CJ750 is offline  
Old 14th Jul 2008, 11:00
  #140 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Okavango Delta, Maun Botswana
Posts: 36

Been flying in Africa since the age of eighteen, had the good fortune that my Dad was a pilot, so yes the usual story of it being in the blood.
No horse my bro, just reality and by the way I am an African whom has lived and flown in Africa for the duration of my career, which now spans 17 years .

Swamp Rat is offline  

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