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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 22nd Dec 2007, 17:11
  #2081 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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I was doing a check ride in Algeria the other day when I was taken back to my time in Nigeria.

What it was, it was CAVOK and we were trying to get in one precision approach, when the Glide Slope was up but the localiser was down. So, being the Total Aviation Professional that I am, we did a Precision NDB Approach, ADF-tracking the beacon signal and following the G/S. Fairly harmless fun, I think you will agree....

What it used to be, at Lagos or Abuja, I really cannot remember which, was doing that for real in thick harmattan, using the VOR for lateral and the G/S for vertical, when ATC had cleared us all for the ILS after advising us that the Localiser had been reported U/S, as in "Localiser out of service, cleared for ILS approach Runway (whatever)." You really could not make that up!

Perhaps they have tightened up a bit since those days? Or perhaps not. Just let me guess; do not bother to tell me which it is.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 14:53
  #2082 (permalink)  
 
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Safety Standards do vary a bit from country to country, operator to operator, and pilot to pilot.....now don't it Chuks!

The old saying of "Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk!" doesn't go very far in the Oil Patch.

It would seem GPS approaches would be the simple answer.....as is done in the USA nowadays.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 17:03
  #2083 (permalink)  
 
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Archos,

It wasn't Shell who introduced the 5k/1000 foot limitation but Aero after a number of near misses in the zone. They had talks with Bristow who also agreed to implement it. Since being introduced it has been widely ignored, especially by Aero who tend to go as soon as the NAF Tower is no longer imposing SVFR, with the long waits that entails for start clearance. This is understandable as the NAF Tower tends to still be giving the official visibility from international for ages after the visibility has improved.

SAS,

GPS approaches are done in many countries outside Europe now, from USA and Canada to Angola and Yemen. GPS approaches are supposed to be getting introduced into Nigeria with the help of IATA and some oil companies (Shell, XOM and ChevTex - Total and Agip were hanging back last I heard). There were some IATA surveyors out from Canada back in August doing surveys at some oil company bases and NAF and PH International. It's been talked about for a long time, and most of the operators have their unofficial totally unapproved GPS approaches to get in when the weather has suddenly turned bad when returning to base on a 'VMC' flight. Finally it seems that in 2008 it may actually happen.

Norwyreq,

This happens every year in Harmattan when the limits for special VFR at NAF only permit flight when visibility is 1500m or greater. Last January there were no flights out of NAF for around half the month.
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Old 23rd Dec 2007, 20:10
  #2084 (permalink)  
 
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New to forum....New to industry

Hello All,

I am new to the forum and got wind of it through a friend I was in flight school with who just got back from Africa on an AMS ex-pat gig. He told me that there are alot of things happening in the industry there. I am still wet behind the ears as the ink on my CFI certificate isnt even dry yet but Im wondering about the likelyhood of being taken on out there for commercial work with a bit less than 200hrs under the belt. Is this another rumor spread or is there some validity to that. In anycase, I look forward to any reply and keeping on the up and up.

Thanks
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Old 24th Dec 2007, 12:43
  #2085 (permalink)  
 
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palmares,

You may be able to get taken on as a copilot in Nigeria if you are Nigerian, but if not you'll need a few more hours as yet. Bristow in Nigeria take on a limited number of expatriates as SFOs but only whilst they are training up enough Nigerian pilots. Try and get another thousand hours or so and an IR if you can, then you could be considered out here. Without the IR you'd be confined to flying Bell 206/407 out of Escravos. You have two things working against you for Nigeria: most oil companies have fairly high minimum requirements for pilots flying on their contracts; Nigeria naturally wishes to see more of its own citizens trained as pilots so all the companies here are obliged to have training schemes to qualify national pilots and to give them priority. With the expansion of the helicopter industry in Nigeria it is likely to be quite a few more years before there are sufficient Nigerian pilots to satisfy demand, so don't give up hope, keep on building your hours and maybe a year or two down the road you'll have the required experience. Good luck.
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 10:06
  #2086 (permalink)  
 
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Hi,

to fly 206/407 out of Escravos you need IF, 1500 hrs and Jet Ranger experience.

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Old 26th Dec 2007, 20:07
  #2087 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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That'll be why they have some pilots there without an instrument rating then . Instrument flying experience is not the same as an IR
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Old 26th Dec 2007, 23:36
  #2088 (permalink)  
 
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Well why would it matter if one had the IF or IR or none at all?

If the airport has no serviceable approaches....how does one comply with the Ops Man to begin with.

It would seem to me if you are going to do the cowboy thing....then what kind of boots you wear are not all that important.
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Old 28th Dec 2007, 03:47
  #2089 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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General Questions

I realize that these are pretty general, but if someone could bother...

What rotation are Bristow and CHC offering?

Do either have an age limit, other then two old foggies flying together?

Do you have decent internet at all of the bases?

Whats the story on the requirement for a "Type" endorsement for the 412? I have lots of 412 time, but no endorsement as the US does not issue for less then 12,500 lbs.

How is the travel back and forth from the US? Any direct ops or does everything go through Heathrow?

Thanks,
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Old 28th Dec 2007, 11:56
  #2090 (permalink)  
 
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Post No Bother

RD,

Bristow and CHC both offer 8/4 or 6/6 (weeks) and Bristow also offer 4/4 if you fly from Escravos.

With either company you can fly up to the age of 65 in accordance with the NCAA limits. However, I believe Exxon Mobil will not accept any new pilots over the age of 60 (not sure if they have a case pending against them in the USA because of this?).

Depends what your definition of 'decent' internet is. All the bases of both companies have internet availability, some only at work, some only at the camp, some at both. In my opinion there's no such thing as a decent internet connection in Nigeria. Speed is hugely variable and the connection is frequently lost. Don't expect to be able to download movies. You can sometimes use Skype and emails are not normally a problem.

If you have an FAA ATP and Bell 412 time you shouldn't have any problem if you apply to Bristow (I think they have 11 or 12 out here).

There are now 2 airlines on which you can fly direct from Lagos to the USA and in 2008 there will be another 3. At present North American Airlines operates direct Lagos - New York and Delta has just started daily flights Lagos - Atlanta.

If you're an American you won't be bothered by the state of the US$ which is what Bristow will pay you.

PM me if you want to find out more.
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Old 28th Dec 2007, 12:27
  #2091 (permalink)  
 
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Corruption Set to Win the Battle in Nigeria

At present James Onanefe Ibori, former governor of Nigeria's Delta State is in prison on charges of stealing, money laundering and fraud. It's estimated that while in office, Obori managed to steal more than $US 1 billion! There are 129 charges against the former governor, but he has powerful allies, amongst them President Umaru Yar'Adua. He is now sending out a not-very subtle message to the world that he is preparing to give up his support for the fight against corruption and protect the source of the stolen funds which helped to rig the election which brought him to power. How very unusual - a corrupt Nigerian politician . He seems to have finally given in to pressure from mega-crook Ibori to get rid of the very effective Nuhu Ribadu, the Chairman of the Economic Fraud and Crimes Commission (EFCC) and send him on one year's study leave, despite pressure from the US government. Ribadu as an Assistant Inspector General of Police and is expected to be replaced with another police officer, Solomon Arase known to be a close associate of James Ibori, and a former aide to the disgraced Police Chief, Tafa Balogun. The Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro is an appointee of James Ibori. He was appointed in May 2007 by-passing a more senior DIG, Onovo to clinch the position. The EFCC arrested James Ibori two weeks ago and charged him before a Federal High Court in Kaduna for corruption and abuse of office. He was charged with 129 offences. James Ibori was denied bail last week and remanded in Kaduna Prison. Sources in Nigeria say that he now runs the Police force from Kaduna Prison

Political Elites gain upper hand over EFCC

The things that people sneak out in the holiday season....... If its between Christmas and New Year you can guarantee this will be when government will try and announce that it lost £10 billion because a junior clerk invested all the Home Office’s spare cash in sub prime mortgages. Or this will be when MPs try to sneak through a pay rise for themselves.

Nigeria ’s Christmas season could have disastrous consequences for the struggle against corruption and the credibility of the Y’Adua administration. As you read this narrative, last ditch discussions are probably continuing to see if pressure can prevent Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Nuhu Ribadu, from being sent on extended ‘study leave’. His replacement is rumoured to be a direct associate of former Delta State Governor, James Ibori, who was detained last week on corruption charges.

As struggles for supremacy go, there has never been much subtlety to the battle between the EFCC and politicians in Nigeria who are the targets of investigations . Last Christmas Ribadu arrested associates of former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili, just as he was closing out his campaign for the (Vice) Presidency of the country. This year Ribadu arrested Delta State Governor, James Ibori, the day that Y’Adua was flying to Washington to meet George Bush for the first time. Ibori was widely known to have provided substantial and probably massive funds to Y’Adua’s presidential election campaign which many had assumed would make him immune from prosecution.

Occasional followers of Nigeria may wonder how much difference one person makes in a sea of corruption as they often miss the uneven and dramatic struggle that he has come to personify. The EFCC was created in 2003 with Ribadu- a middle ranking police officer - selected to lead the body and it has been a controversial thorn in the side of corrupt officials ever since. In March 2005, after just two years on the job, Ribadu presented a dossier to President Obasanjo which led to the sacking and jailing of the Inspector General of Police. It would probably be the equivalent of a Yorkshire Police Chief being plucked from obscurity to sack the head of the Metropolitan Police.

Since then the EFCC’s progress against corruption has been a mixed bag in terms of results but an under-rated whirlwind in terms of political message. The biggest centres of corruption have often had constitutionally granted immunity while in office and others can rely on political friends and a very dubious court system. Successful prosecutions were few and far between and even the former IG of police only bagged 2 years of ‘time served’ when he was convicted of massive and systematic corruption. This year was not a glorious one for the EFCC as President Obasanjo was accused of using the EFCC to harass political opponents while it was obvious the EFCC did not have clearance to move on political friends.


Incoming President Y’Adua is hardly in an enviable position. Ibori is widely believed to have paid for key parts of his election campaign with funds which could only have come from his state government coffers. His arrest will be seen as more than ingratitude by political elites who are used to getting value for money from corrupt investments. There will be many who assume that the Presidency cannot survive a full disclosure of what Ibori has done with his state’s funds in the past 12 months.

Despite denting its image the EFCC retained its growing reputation as the only thing which would deter corrupt politicians from unlimited excesses. The EFCC has become code for accountability in Nigeria – and nowhere more so than in the Niger Delta. Perhaps most significant has been the persistent complaint against the EFCC that key politicians such as Ibori and Odili were always going to be untouchable. This became even more controversial in recent months as the Attorney General made his affiliations clear by dragging his feet at every opportunity over EFCC prosecutions and even moving to whittle back the influence of the body.

The key change which has come in late 2007- and which may have contributed to fear of the EFCC in Abuja- is that the court system has slowly begun to waken from its slumber and make its own politically courageous decisions. In March the Supreme Court faced down President Obasanjo and the PDP over efforts to exclude candidates for the election and in November they threw out the Rivers State Governor on the grounds that his candidature was an illegal shambles. The combination of the EFCC and a reviving court system was set to become the story of 2008 and possibly the first real time that corrupt elites could fear some loss of control over their destiny.

The United Kingdom, Canada, and the EU have invested heavily in the EFCC and Ribadu providing both financial and political support. Governors accused of money laundering have been arrested in the UK while still enjoying immunity in Nigeria and international assistance in tracking corruption has clearly been important to the EFCC’s success. James Ibori already faces money laundering charges in the UK and in one sense Ribadu’s removal may well be blowback from pressure on Nigeria to prosecute Ibori.

A good deal of the international strategy and hope for Nigeria lies around the assumption that the EFCC will be able to continue doing its job- something which now looks like it will be determined for better or worse in the next week.

In the Niger Delta Ribadu has achieved almost legendary status which has counter-balanced a general scepticism about the credibility of government. The removal of Ribadu at the same time that dialogue efforts with government have collapsed does not bode well for how communities and militants alike will assess the attitude of the new government.

If Ribadu’s transfer stands they will conclude that corrupt defenders of the status quo have restored their grip on the political system. There will be no reason for trust and little reason for conventional negotiation. Those advancing arguments against armed struggle will have a much harder time making their case and militancy in the region may well assume a much broader appeal if the EFCC withers under a new more pliable leadership.

There is an obvious choice for the international community – on whether it banks on existing elites to deliver stability (and oil) or whether it recognises that corruption is now a leading driver of instability and their support for the EFCC remains their best investment in decades.

Defenders of the EFCC and Ribadu may still have an opportunity to reverse yesterday’s announcement. President Y’Adua’s administration has responded more than once already to diplomatic and public pressure against the watering down of the EFCC. The reversal of Ribadu;s removal will be more difficult. Observers at profligate corruption trackers Sahara reporters have noted that technically it may not be strictly legal to redeploy Ribadu mid way through his second four year term- it appears he can be sacked but possibly not involuntarily transferred.

If Ribadu’s job is rescued – and it is a big IF- there could be a significant upside for Nigeria. Presently public pressure appears to be building against corruption and success in protecting the EFCC would mark an interesting change in the relationship between elites and the emerging ‘angry middle classes’ who seem interested in reclaiming their country. Whether the international community can translate its support for governance in Nigeria into real pressure will also be an interesting test of resolve..

Most crucially, this week will also show whether diplomats, civil society groups, and the public are sufficiently motivated and organised to save their favourite institution or whether a political mugging over Christmas can be achieved while everyone is sipping Brandy and mulled wine.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 00:11
  #2092 (permalink)  
 
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Question What's Happened to the Agbami Contract?

Everything seems to have gone very quiet on the award of the helicopter support operation for the Agbami field? The last I saw it was due to begin production during the first quarter of 2008, both CHC and Bristow are convinced they have it, but neither company has announced being awarded the contract by Chevron, although Bristow made the first flight to the new barge with one of Chevron's 76C++s. Either company will need a lead-in of several months to get in the necessary crews and helicopters (though I'd say that neither company could get enough pilots in that time without a serious rethink about salaries and conditions - especially Bristow). Maybe it hasn't dawned on Chevron yet that most pilots in Nigeria make nothing like the huge amounts it pays to its aviation advisors and it will have to pay a decent contract rate for either company to attract enough pilots to a place like this to be able to gear up for a major contract like Agbami. I doubt it - most oil companies have their heads stuck firmly up their rear passages and the accountants which run them only get to grips with reality when accountants who now run companies like CHC and Bristow refuse to fly for them any more if they don't get paid enough to provide a decent service and make a reasonable profit.
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 10:18
  #2093 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Angry Port Harcourt - the violence resumes

The day after the state curfew in Rivers State was dropped 18 people died in attacks in Port Harcourt. Supporters of Tom Ateke, one of the most powerful militant leaders in Port Harcourt and self-styled leader of the New Niger Delta Revolutionary Army, attacked 2 police stations, a nightclub and the Presidential Hotel

MEND has now declared that it will resume violent attacks on oil installations and its kidnapping campaign after talks with the federal government have broken down. They have said that they will extend their kidnapping campaign to Lagos and Abuja. As previously, they have also called on all white men to leave the region.

Meanwhile, it is becoming apparent that former governor of Delta State, James Ibori is running the Nigerian Police force from his prison cell as evidenced in the latest article from Abuja-based newspaper, Leadership':

The popular saying that "he who pays the piper dictates the tune" is evidently manifesting in the policies and programmes of the Yar’Adua Administration.

A senior staff of the presidency told LEADERSHIP last night that though the former governor of Delta State, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, was still cooling off in Kaduna prison over alleged corrupt practices, he, to a very large extent, still dictates some crucial policies and programmes of the Federal Government.

"Former governor James Onanefe Ibori of Delta State may be at Kaduna prison but his influence on the Federal Government is even more formidable today than it was before May 29, 2007," said the source.

Chief Ibori is widely believed to have invested close to N9 billion in the electioneering campaign of the Yar’Adua/Jonathan presidential ticket. And immediately after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) successfully picked him up in Abuja he had vowed that he would teach Malam Nuhu Ribadu, the executive chairman of EFCC, the lesson of his life, even before hearing on his case against the anti-crimes agency starts.

"Those of us who know the huge influence Chief Ibori wields on President Yar’Adua were not shocked over the problems Ribadu is going through. It was Ibori who influenced the appointment of the minister of justice, Mr. Michael Aondoakaa, and Sir Mike Okiro, the inspector general of police," our source added.

The source said Ibori was virtually running the police force through Okiro, adding that the police boss was carrying out the former governor’s order that all policemen should be withdrawn from the EFCC.

Apart from working in line with the dictate of President Yar’Adua and Chief Ibori, LEADERSHIP checks revealed that Sir Mike may have acted very fast to avoid the kind of treatment a former inspector general of police, Tafa Balogun, suffered at the hands of EFCC.

Our correspondent gathered that Sir Mike might have got an inkling that Ribadu was preparing a stinking massive dossier on him as a prelude for his arrest.

The police boss was said to have unsuccessfully attempted several times to lobby Ribadu against prosecuting some suspected financial criminals.

Our correspondent who visited Kaduna prison during the week also, confirmed Ibori’s dominion over the affairs of the Delta State government.

With several Delta State owned Jeeps parked in the premises of the prison, serving commissioners in the state pay frequent visit to the prison.

"Ibori lives like a king in that prison," said the source, adding, "Because of the sheer number of VIPs who troop to visit him, you have to book for an appointment through his aides."

Recently, the embattled Oghara-born politician was reported to have procured for the prison a generator set to ward off the nuisance of power outage in the prison yard.

"But for the steadfastness and integrity of Justice Lawal Shu’aibu of the Federal High Court, Kaduna, Chief Ibori made an attempt to infiltrate the judiciary recently," a senior security officer attached to the Kaduna judiciary said.

A well-known political associate of the former governor was heard bragging at the Federal High Court, Kaduna, recently that the Federal Government is their government because, according to him, "Ibori spent billions of naira to help Yar’Adua come to power."

But our source was emphatic that President Yar’Adua may not be fully aware of the schemings going on.

"They are just using the fact that they sponsored his campaign," the source said.

In his current seeming battle to save his political career, LEADERSHIP investigation revealed, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, governor of Delta, has proven to be a loyal political son of Ibori.

With a deep pocket, Dr. Uduaghan, a first cousin of Ibori, was said to be oiling every move to get his predecessor out of the prison.

It will be recalled that the Uduaghan-led Delta State government recently instituted a legal action against EFCC, with the aim of restraining the anti-financial crimes agency from prosecuting Ibori.
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Old 5th Jan 2008, 18:55
  #2094 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs down Anti-aircraft batteries in the Niger Delta?

MEND has announced that it is stepping up its military campaign in the Niger delta. It has said that it will be stepping up attacks in Port Harcourt and Yenagoa. In one rather disturbing announcement, Jomo Gbomo, the group's spokesman has said that despite its differences with Tom Ateke, the militant leader in Okrika (near Port Harcourt), it will "support him with fighters and heavy weapons including anti-aircraft batteries as he engages the JTF". If this is true, be very careful flying over the onshore areas of the Delta, especially pilots flying for Shell, Agip and Chevron who make frequent flights to helipads in the swamps.
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Old 6th Jan 2008, 13:00
  #2095 (permalink)  
 
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Having been the Duck a time or two before.....this could be an interesting change if they in fact have "anti-aircraft" weapons. A proper threat analysis compared to flight profiles and take-off/landing paths might go a long way towards countering that threat.

I would not rule out waterborne threats or swamp sites as the Insurgents have a proven ability in riverine ops.

For sure I would not consider the Nigerian Military competent enough to be a serious counter measure to MEND.

Several AK-47's acting in unison close to a landing site is one can of threat but throw in RPG's or .51 caliber machine guns and one finds himself in the Big Leagues very quickly.

That is when one becomes a Duck.
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Old 8th Jan 2008, 19:33
  #2096 (permalink)  
 
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Post

As well as an increasing number of threats from MEND and other terrorist groups in the Niger Delta, security consultants working for expat companies in Nigeria also say that they have heard about a probable attack on an oil industry installation in Rivers State in the next few days. A leaked Nigerian army report has stirred up the rebels because they talk of a large increase in troop numbers to wipe out terrorist camps in the Niger Delta. In response to this Ateke Tom is stockpiling arms, food and water in readiness for another large offensive.

As SAS says, the Nigerian military has so far proved itself incompetent to take on Ateke Tom, despite the fact that he moves around quite openly in Port Harcourt with a large escort of armed supporters. It seems quite likely that there are many military and police men in collusion with him (probably in return for large sums of money).

Everyone based in Port Harcourt should be more vigilant about security over the coming weeks.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 16:40
  #2097 (permalink)  
 
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Post Violence Escalating in Port Harcourt again

MEND certainly seem to be stepping up their campaign in Port Harcourt and in their latest threat they have told all citizens in PH to be in their houses by 2100. They have also extended their latest threats to civil oil industry helicopters:

MEND reiterated its plan to attack the checkpoints mounted across the oil region by soldiers of the Joint Task Force, deployed to the region to protect lives and property, as well as military helicopters and those operated by the oil companies, because they have been used for military surveillance and logistics support.

``Our tactics of attack on these enemies of peace and freedom will be limited to remote explosive devices. Those living under the military helicopters flight path in the cities should be vigilant as they could be shot down from inside the city,'' the group threatened.
Foreigners are equally advised to begin leaving the Niger Delta region for their own safety before it is too late and should not be deceived by the Nigerian security forces to ensure their safety. An attack on the Nigeria oil industry that will cause an economic tsunami in the world oil markets is imminent. This will herald the real emancipation of the Niger Delta.”
There have been reports for well over a year that MEND has RPGs in its armory, but none have been seen so far. With the attacks on vessels in the Bonny area it would be wise for every one of us flying in the Delta to be extremely vigilant over the next week or two.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 17:27
  #2098 (permalink)  
 
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It would appear cruise heights of 6,000 feet AGL should be the norm now...RPG's used as anti-aircraft weapons are best used for low flying aircraft that follow the same repetitive routes. 7.62 is good to about 2500 feet and .51 caliber to about 5800 feet.

But what the heck....big sky...small helicopter....right?
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 20:57
  #2099 (permalink)  
 
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In the latest press release from Jomo Gbomo, he is calling on food vendors to poison the food and drinks sold to the soldiers he accuses of raping women and killing youths.
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Old 11th Jan 2008, 22:09
  #2100 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Hi SASless

Your advice on avoiding antiaircraft fire is very interesting.
However, if the rebels have RPG's and really want to get the World's attention,the LNG terminal is much more dramatic. A few antiarmour rounds into a half loaded LNG tanker would provide a flash even CNN would notice. Taking out the LNG terminal wouldn't affect the oil bunker business the rebels and elite Nigerians use to make so much money. Plus I imagine the increased insurance premiums on oil tanks would get Shell's attention.

Just a thought on why not to shoot down helicopters.

Cheers,
Pokerpilot33
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