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Old 5th Apr 2002, 19:49   #1 (permalink)
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Training in South Africa

I am looking to do some flying in SA at the end of the month while on holiday.
Can anyone give contact details of training company, preferrably JNB or Durban.
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Old 18th Apr 2002, 09:43   #2 (permalink)
 
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You can try National Airways Corporation (NAC) and Natal Flight Centre which are all based on the Virginia Airport in Durban.
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Old 18th Apr 2002, 10:30   #3 (permalink)
 
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The avaiation mags like Pilot and Flyer carry ads for several flight schools in SA.

(OK guys, it was an extra long wait, I had to read something! )
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Old 28th Jun 2002, 02:24   #4 (permalink)
 
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WHO/ONCHO Africa Pilots Around?

Have any of you worked for the World Health Organization/ONCHO Control Progamme in West Africa?

I came back in December from working over there and I would like to contact pilots who "went there, did that" to exchange impressions, see if you miss it.

I was based in Odienne, Cote d'Ivoire with Evergreen Helicopters Inc.
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Old 28th Jun 2002, 12:17   #5 (permalink)
 
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Hour Building in SA

First of all If I fly in SAA, will my hours count towards my CPL(H)?

And if so, can anyone recommend a school, preferably around Durban?

I've had a flick through the Africa board but couldn't find anything recent....

Cheers

(Whirly - this is the other reason I can't go to Russia! I'm visiting relatives in SA in October...)
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Old 29th Jun 2002, 11:30   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thumbs up

Try Chopper Flying Services in Durban, they have a pretty good flying school. If you get to JoBurg then talk to Dave Mouton at Helibip.
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Old 29th Jun 2002, 11:36   #7 (permalink)
 
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Can you give us a heads up on what the operation was like, what you did, aircraft, location etc. Just curious as to the way it all worked there. Met Gerald Rock from Evergreen at Heli Expo and he gave me some info but would like to get background from one of you lot that have been there.
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Old 29th Jun 2002, 22:03   #8 (permalink)
 
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I'mmmm let's see,

The ONCHO program has lasted for something like 20 years, and it basically about 2 things, one is applying chemicals in very precise doses into rivers of every size all over West Africa, the reason is control an insect that spreads Onchocercosis or "river blindness", and the other is "prospecting" which is going out and landing in rivers and villages to take samples and see if things are working OK.

We flew the MD500 D/E models, which does things that I didn't know helicopters could do, the maintenance is great, although they don't really worry about the appearance, and fancy stuff, bring your own GPS. At one time there was more than 30 500's working on the contract, and a couple of spray planes. We also had a Cessna 206 to go to the city, run errands.

There have always been 2 main bases one in Togo, LamaKara and one in Ivory Coast, Odienne, each one of those has its pros and cons and their share of very different flying, but the flying is almost always into neighboring countries, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso since it's where its most needed.

The flying . . . . ahh yes the flying indeed. Before I left, the Base Manager eMailed me and said "the flying is fun", I thought "flying is always been fun" . . . I was wrong.

We had a spray sistem thru which we applied small doses (say 1.3 lt) of expensive chemicals, this meant, being precise, being low so as to get it all in the water, and being most of all, FAST! The WHO is grouchy about pilots who take their time to make an approach to a river, this meant you could fly 150 miles or more in a day between or below trees, always trying to get as close to the ground, the water, as possible. When an WHO guy tells you to "make a drop" from crusing above the river, he expects you to inmediately dive for the river and get in and out of there as quickly as possibe and move on down the river. As you fly you get to see all kinds of cool scenery and animals.

There are fuel caches stewn about the country in small villages where you have to land and "recharge fluids" this is kind of a bummer since you have to do the refueling yoursef and those barrels are HEAVY! specially in 40C heat.
I had never refueled myself before I went there, and moving those barrels could always be exciting since 20cm scorpions and Cobra snakes liked them for shade.

You kept in strict contact with your base reporting every new river, TO or LDG, via HF, they always knew where you where which was great in case you inadvertanty ran into a tree, and had to have someone get you, it happened more than once. There are practically NO wires in any of the countries, only large cities have electricity and telephone so the few wires there are are clearly known. We usually went out on tuesdays, and came back, the next day or the day after that, spent the night mostly in small hotels in the other countries.

Overall it was a cool job, lot's of fun. The Con's were, flying in aircraft in which looked like they had belonged to the Taliban, dealing with the chemicals and fuel all the time, and that since the program is winding down after 20 years there are few people at the bases to make friends with, historically Evergreen has hired people from all over the world to do the job in, this makes it more intersting and fun, in our 2 bases, we had people from, Portugal, Switzerland, NewZeland, England, Peru, France, Mexico (me), and U.S.

Well here you go, hope this gives you a picture.
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Old 29th Jun 2002, 23:35   #9 (permalink)
 
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I think Discobeast might be able to help you out on this one. "Come in Discobeast! Are you out there Discobeast??"

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Old 30th Jun 2002, 01:40   #10 (permalink)
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Autorotate

Can one still find a cold Castles at the "Rotor Arms" or is that now gone......
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Old 30th Jun 2002, 11:17   #11 (permalink)
 
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Thanks for the amazing background on it. Gerald had said I would be welcome to go down there and do a story on it. Now that I know what its like will most certainly have to go and have a look. Thanks again.

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Old 30th Jun 2002, 19:22   #12 (permalink)
 
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Hurry

Well you have to really hurry, I thing the program is on its last year (after 20) and as I left there were only a few helicopeters left over there.

As for Gerald, I really don't know him, the big bosses were Del Smith and John Keisler in McMinnville, OR. The Project Manager is Ron Gorman in Africa, he lives in the Togo base.
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Old 30th Jun 2002, 22:00   #13 (permalink)
 
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Talking

yep! chopper flying services would be the best bet around durban. good company and they even operate a new ec130. in JHB helibip/the helicopter people are the best. they are at grand central. talk to Dave Mouton, Chris G. or Elsa over there. nice people to deal with.

these are the approx. costs in SA:
hire&fly: around US$130 per hour
instruction: around US$144 per hour

contact me if you need more info.....

hey, irlandes, get back to those books, buddy!!! hehehe....


ciao!
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 06:28   #14 (permalink)
 
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I was in the second group of Evergreen pilots to do that contract....the first Chief Pilot absconded with the petty cash....paid his way home with it. The second Chief Pilot nearly killed himself in a Pilatus Porter crash....the third Chief Pilot tried to drink himself to death.....the line pilots lasted anywhere from days to several years. We were based in Bobo-Diolasso in what was then the Republic of Upper Volta now Burkina Faso. We flew three Jetrangers and one Pilatus Porter. There was no flight following, no GPS, maps were sometimes hand drawn. There were no observers, pilots were alone for the whole week .....departed on Monday morning....returned late on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Survival kits were typical Evergreen....hand full of Charms candy....and some matchs....and a couple of condoms....I assume for use with the native ladies. The French UN official who started the program was an absolute gentleman as was his Belgian assistant. The local staff we met in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali were a delight to deal with. We did some wonderful flying....stayed lost....at times did not even know which country I was in! Lived very rough....Evergreen standard accomodation and pay.....really bad! Bobo had one pinball machine which you could not tilt....no ice....bad gin....one hotel....two restaurants.....we shared one Land Rover between five pilots and one mechanic who lived in two different locations.....five miles apart. There was no refrigeration in the market....dysentery was a normal situation. Loved the experience.....saw some very interesting sights....met some very coloful people.....and have never been slightly interested in working for Evergreen ever since.

They paid me every penny they had promised....but would not tell me the details of what had been paid during a collect telephone call from Bobo to the Chief Pilot....then Larry Vineyard. He merely reaffirmed Payrolls statement that "Evergreen doesn't release that information over the telephone!"
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 09:18   #15 (permalink)
 
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Howdy guy's

Lama Kara signing in. 1998 to 1999.
Yup, Evergreen hasn't changed, but fulfilled every
promise they gave.
Memo from Oregon came every couple of months, requesting us to dress as gentlemen !!
Miss the flying !
How's Jay doing ?
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 18:21   #16 (permalink)
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This sounds like interesting work, i understand they are slowig down but are they vlosing completely or are they still hiring. Would love to know, so if anybody knows, let me know.
Thanks
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 18:24   #17 (permalink)
staticdroop
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P.S
My spoolchucker seems to be broken so please excuse spelling.
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 20:29   #18 (permalink)
 
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Since Chopper Flying Services are a Eurocopter agency I doubt they would have any 206s. There website is as follows:

http://www.helicopter.co.za/

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Old 1st Jul 2002, 23:26   #19 (permalink)
 
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sasless,

Well your description of the place from a few years back seems to match everything I've heard from the past, it was fun. I really don't see how you could have worked without GPS, I never knew where I was most of the time and I had GPS! nor less with a JetRanger, when I got there the kind of flying done would have caused any 206 to fall apart on the first day of manuvering around the river. I know what you mean by the chief pilot trying to kill himself by drinking to death, the info handout I got when I got there said "it is forbidden to attend the WHO meeting while drunk"

staticdroop,

Last I heard they let some of the last pilots go early this year and they now only have a couple of pilots who will stay until the end of the project later this year, but who knows give EHI a call, nothing to lose, much to gain.

Bushwacker,

Jay isn't there anymore, he's with Dyncorp in S.America last I've heard. As for the memo about the dress code, well it seems dressing wasn't a priority by now.
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Old 1st Jul 2002, 23:50   #20 (permalink)
 
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there are no AS355's in SA. not that i am aware of anyway... but there is a EC135 if you want some twin time on eurocopter products. it is operated by STAR. an EMS-company. talk to Dave Mouton at Helibip about it if you are interested

ciao!
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