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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 22nd Sep 2005, 13:14
  #381 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Smile

Yes, Now that the Oga madam of CHC/AERO has gone back, some are smilling while some are busy packing their bag and baggages back to Brazil. Brazil did i say? They will definately miss Nigeria! Their Dogs too. She has come to throw in the spannar into the rotary wing management in Port-harcourt. The nationals are not happy too because the second in command was not elevated to the position of Head of flight depertment that was seconded to Brazil with his Dog. The Second Boeing 737 is coming in too before the end of this week! The Technical manager too is getting set to retire. But i wonder who will be coming to do magic and raise the moral of the dehumanised National Engineer .We are waiting to see what will happen next.

Rumour had it that the parked AS350 in the premises of Concord Airlines hanger was hit by a cathering van belonging to Associated Airlines. Captain Moses is not too happy about this. Associated is prepared to pick up the bill from Eurocopter.

It is like Caverton is looking for AS350 pilot or something like that. The helicopter has not flown since her arrival in the country. Their quality Control manager has been seen in and out of the NCAA more often these days. Rather maybe their putting their documentations into order to avert what happened to SLOK Airlines.
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Old 22nd Sep 2005, 13:35
  #382 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 73
Posts: 1,561
Who sez?

'The BRC can't be spruced up with just a coat of paint.' Oh, yeah?

I just moved into my new room there. Well, come to think of it, it might be one of my old rooms... I have about four or five different BRC room numbers on some of my vintage shreddies.

It's a real beaut, a symphony in gloss enamel and sanded stipple with curtains the exact shade of sun-dried dog poo to complete the effect.

A new blanket in genuine, virgin polyester features red roses on a sh*t brown rosette on a pee-yellow field but once the lights are out at night it looks perfectly fine to me.

When I cranked up the water heater it proceeded to dribble all over the floor, almost spoiling one of my best pieces of West Virginia Samsonite (a cardboard carton tied with string). The plumber came, took a look, promised a replacement yesterday afternoon... I hope nothing happened to him, because I am still waiting.

The painter managed to miss a few spots while doing a comprehensive white gloss glob job on the bathroom louvered windows, so that I have sent the 'boy' off to the market to buy some razor blades. That should provide hours of gainful employment, just taking care of what a few minutes care would have prevented.

Just to make sure that I know it's West Africa, the painter left a big screw sticking out of the wall, all globbed over with sanded stipple but hardly noticeable... to a blind man. And he painted the pelmet without bothering to remove a drawing pin the last inhabitant had left behind. Nice one, that!

We later had a discussion in the bar about local workmanship, when we decided the way forward was to take the lid off a 5-gallon pail of white paint, set it in the middle of the room to be painted, insert a lit stick of dynamite and close the door. Instant redecoration!

Then last night, my first night in my new abode, some clown was out on Joy Avenue loosing off a couple of rounds from a 12-gauge shotgun around midnight. I must have words with that fellow. I wonder if he has e-mail?

The neighborhood is a bit down-market, yes. Between the bush bar across the way that plays loud music to the locals sat out in the street in their crappy little plazzie chairs as they 'chat' at 110 dBA and the local church headquartered in a former warehouse that features over-amplified, raving sermons, the odd armed robbery/murder and one thing and another, the Ajao Estate would seem to have seen better days.

The North Koreans seem to have moved out. I heard dogs barking last night. No stray cats, though, thanks perhaps to the guys selling 'suya' up at the top of Latif Salami Street.
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Old 22nd Sep 2005, 15:29
  #383 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Home
Posts: 391
Sounds like my neighborhood
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Old 22nd Sep 2005, 17:07
  #384 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Afrika sometimes
Age: 65
Posts: 219
ruma,

Who is going back to Brazil? I heard the person going has never been there.

Well, Bristow need to replace their clapped-out old 412s as both of their helicopters at NAF base were unserviceable and their flights being done by Aero.

I think Caverton need more than just a 350 pilot. Now they have 3 helicopters, all different and I'm told they only have 5 pilots for them. If Tokunbo is right and they have more helicopters on the way, soon they'll have more helicopters than pilots. Until they rethink their rostering, where some pilots are even on 5 months on, 1 month off bachelor tours they'll be lucky to get anybody except low hour wannabees, which is no good for their flights as they seem mostly to fly single pilot, or desperate no-hoipers who can't find anything else. How do they find enough people to do their training if it's like that? Is every pilot in the company an instructor? If they can't even afford towing tractor, what about all the other things they need?

There has been a lot of flying in Port Harcourt today as many oil companies are evacuating their expatriate staffs with the Ijaw youths threatening mayhem in the oil installations of the Delta region. This is in retaliation for their leader being arrested with possible treason charges being talked about against him.

There may be no civil war here like in some other African countries, but Nigeria is still a dangerous place to live and work. If you come to fly here make sure you get a very good pay deal and that your life insurance is paid
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 02:00
  #385 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 54
Posts: 4,785
Chuks,
that nearly brought a tear to my eye. I even felt homesick, for a fleeting moment!

Perhaps you could decorate your new room with some pictures attached to the wall with those special 'screwnails.' I tried to find some last time I was in the UK, but the guy in the hardware store just looked blank when I described them to him. I said I had a multipurpose hammer, so could accept flat blade or phillips headed screwnails, but still no joy.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 03:15
  #386 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Chuks,

Thanks for reminding me of what I am missing. A while back someone said I had been given a bullet by BHL Nigeria....he thinking it was an insult. Reality reminds me why it was a mere Coup De Grace and only put me out of my misery!

Just got in from a run ashore....good beer....good food...no shakedowns by the police....no armed robbers to worry about...Lancashire girls with next to no clothes on....what a nice day!

Again, Chuks, glad to be away from the warm loving embraces of that place....do remember to add some diesel to the generator before you head to bed.
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Old 23rd Sep 2005, 22:35
  #387 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 73
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There's more!

I am happy to have brought back those memories to a few of the departed, and you are welcome. Every so often I, too, aspire to the status of 'when I' but then reality sinks in when I realize just how much in demand someone with my peculiar mindset is back in the real world. Better to stick here, trying not to get run over by an Okada when crossing the street to buy another telephone card at the Flobora International Pharmacy.

It is the high point of some days, to go over there and buy one pack of 'Rich Tea' biccies (150 naira) and one telephone card (500 naira), put 650 naira on the counter and watch the girl leave off praying to pull out the calculator and discover that the sum of 150+500 naira is, indeed, 650 naira. Praise Jesus! A miracle! Sometimes she checks it twice.

After doing my Mr Wizard the Human Calculator act I do my bit for the Nigerian environment by spurning the offer of a black plazzie bag for my purchases. After years of doing this I have found that the Isolo environment is noticeably cleaner. Of course that could just be those fun-loving North Koreans out scrounging.

Our Lagos ramp is filling up with S-76 helicopters. Jeez! It's getting so you can hardly move out there, what with all these blades whizzing around. And the noise! No wonder we all shout at each other in the bar! It reminds me of going for a pee at Warri Airstrip, when every time one of those goddam Dauphins would touch down on the ramp just outside the toilet's open window, with that peculiar fenestron racket like bandsawing sheet steel. And no chance to put my hands over my ears.
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Old 24th Sep 2005, 08:26
  #388 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 72
Posts: 16,612
Chuks,

If you were a real helicopter pilot, you could have rested one thing on the rim and put yer hands over yer ears! But being a mere plank driver...I guess one remains handicapped.

On reflection....knowing the state of the services....you made the right choice...better sure hearing loss than what might have happened if you had used my suggested method!
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Old 24th Sep 2005, 12:12
  #389 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Tombola, I hear say 'Niger' and 'Time' are part of his name. Ever heard of such? The send off-party is first week in Octobet! 'Aero bar' they say All are invited. please be there.
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Old 24th Sep 2005, 12:23
  #390 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 73
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Aviator, me!

I could claim that I need both hands to hold such an enormous appendage, but then I might be accused of using this forum to propagate lies.

It's not what's new here but what's old: does anyone else remember the naked madman who used to hang out by the filling station at the airport end of Airport Road in Ikeja? Now that dude was endowed!

It was bad enough being stuck flying little Cessnas for Pan African without having to see what a real 'disting' looked like as we rattled past in our battered C20. There I was, rapidly losing my marbles so that I figured I would end up stood there next to him pink from either sunburn or embarassment or both.

Of course that was back in the days of corpses littering the local landscape and toilet paper being in such short supply that someone made off with a complete set of Jeppesen manuals from a parked HS-125. Yet now we sometimes think of that period as the 'Good Old Days.' Well, I guess we all thought that Nigeria was going to take off and boom again, as it had up until just before I got there.

The last few days in Port Harcourt have seen gangs of predatory youths on the rampage. The story is that their leader was invited to Abuja to have speaks with the government, when he was arrested. This has brought his followers out into the streets.

The Delta is already looking a very dangerous and almost out of control without either the government or the oil companies able to come up with a solution. It would probably be a matter of 'back up 25 years and take a completely different approach' unfortunately. It reminds me of Viet Nam, where we finally figured out where we went wrong once it was all too late.

The idea of shifting production offshore and just ceding control of vast stretches of swamp to various local 'militias' may be what finally occurs. Leave central, fortified locations under government control (Hey! We could call them 'strategic hamlets.') and move around between them mostly by air and this thing could drag on for years. Anyone want to be that's what's new in (this part of) West Africa?
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Old 24th Sep 2005, 21:06
  #391 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: England
Posts: 77
Anyone know if the new Aero 737 has finally arrived?
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Old 25th Sep 2005, 12:14
  #392 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 62
Posts: 1,013
Don't Know What You Mean ??

I stayed in a transit room the other night, it had a new single bed and split unit air conditioner. Well equipped !!

Unfortunately the bed was like a plank of wood and the a/c controller had flat batteries so it was stuck on 18 degrees. I felt as though I was sleeping in the Arctic on an ice floe !!

Still better then the "old days" of ill fitting wall units and mattresses stiff with previous occupants' body fluids (sorry to lower the tone). But then us "down the liners" only get to stay for a night at a time................

There are some things we just get used to !!

Cheers,

NEO.
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Old 26th Sep 2005, 15:44
  #393 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Thumbs up

Happypilot, The Boeing 737, 5N-BHZ is parked at Aero apron. She came in on Friday and rumour has it that the YU-ANV will be leaving in the first week of October. Some of the expertriate staff will be retained though. Tarry a little for more gist. Finally i saw Caverton towing their helicopter with a tractor at last. Happy landings.
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Old 26th Sep 2005, 18:47
  #394 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: England
Posts: 77
Cheers ruma,

I actually saw it 2day. I thought the Nigerian guys had been trained on the a/c, and that was one of the reasons why aero wanted a Nigerian registered 737-300. I heard the JAT airways folks wouldn't let the locals fly their one after having flown it for a short while. All just rumours of course.

HappyPilot
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Old 29th Sep 2005, 09:12
  #395 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Pierre et Miquelon
Age: 65
Posts: 187
Devil

ruma,

That's good news about Caverton having a tractor now. Maybe if they don't have enough pilots to fly their Yellow Peril or yellow ecureil or whatever they call it, they can use the tractor for their aiport shuttle

I see on their website they say their Dauphin has sliding doors, but the dark blue one I've seen has only the normal doors. Have they got another one with sliding doors now, or is it just hype?
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Old 29th Sep 2005, 11:39
  #396 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 74
Posts: 481
Question

From what I read here and having seen their website advertising shuttle operations for more than a year now Caverton looks like another Nigerian non-starter. Apart from a flash looking hangar and a nearly finished heliport they don't seem to have much else. According to This Day online in an article in January of 2004 they were on the brink of starting a shuttle operation with EC135s, having spent nearly $14 million already. But nearly 18 months on they don't seem to have started and they have3 helicopters all of different types. With a track record like that maybe they'll end up like so many other Nigerian helicopter operators like Okada, Southern Air and Stillwater
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Old 1st Oct 2005, 17:40
  #397 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: THE MANGROVE SWAMPS (RETIRED)
Posts: 201
anjouan,

You're right, the Caverton Dauphin doesn't have sliding doors, but I hear that they have to return it to Portugal soon (wonder if Heliportugal will find it easy to sell on or re-register after it's been on the 5N- register?). Rumour is that it will be replaced by another one which does have a sliding door, so maybe the wording on their website is some months in advance of reality - as with the shuttle. Must be expensive having to ferry aircraft up and down every few months like that and it obviously won't benefit their cashflow.

Tokunbo, I agree that Heliportugal are probably trying to use Caverton to get into the african market via the backdoor, but from what I hear of Caverton management the're unikely to alolow that to happen. You also have to take into account that Heliportugal really know nothing of the African market, and they're a pretty small company owned by another rich guy who thinks he knows all about aviation because he can fly a helicopter. The money to be made in helicopter aviation in Africa is from the offshore oil companies and Heliportugal has absolutely no experience of this, they just have a couple of flights reporting traffic, do some charter work, a bit of powerline survey and insulator cleaning, and get in a lot of part-time guys to do firefighting for them in the summer. I can't see it coming to anything long-term, but I wait for the facts to prove me wrong
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Old 10th Oct 2005, 11:07
  #398 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Who can give the accurate information of the Sikorsky S-76; the owner- Bristow or CHC/Aero. Those are the two major operators in the Niger Delta. What happened to it on ground Bonny airstrip? I saw some yellow ballons/mattrass on the underside of it on the runway!. An accident or incident on ground? Just curious.
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Old 14th Oct 2005, 12:50
  #399 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Unhappy

Negative things are happening in the rotary wing of aero contractors since the merger with CHC. Within the last four weeks three incidents happened . It was rumoured that an engineer -experttriate- was medevac to south Africa due to an explosion he had while inflating a tyre! the other too was injured while jacking up an aircraft in the hangar and the jack failed. The last incident so far was the brand new Sikorsky S-76C+(5N-BHF), less than 800:00hrs since new that made an emergency landing in Bonny Airstrip eventually had a collapsed landing gear. The helicopter i understand is being dismantlled to be put in a container back to Vancouver. Again a national pilot have resigned to join Pan African airlines where he will enjoin the four weeks on four weeks off schedule. Initially the national in Aero were given the 7/5 but later withdrawn for reasons best known to Aero/CHC. The Boeing 737 registered is flying around already. I saw her in Abuja. The YU- registered i was informed will be going back soon to the owner.
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Old 14th Oct 2005, 15:09
  #400 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245
ruma,

Where did you hear the S76 is going back to Vancouver? Do you work for Aero? I heard they haven't decided where it's going to be repaired yet.

I also hear that Pan African is getting a new S76C+ soon and that Aero is bringing in a new one too - looks as if the S76 is flavor of the month in Nigeria.

The new Caverton Chief Pilot has been seen around in Aero a lot and was in their bar recently. As they don't sem to have much work, maybe he's looking for his old job back - or maybe he's trying to recruit more unhappy national pilots from ACN
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