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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 15th Sep 2016, 00:02
  #5321 (permalink)  
 
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SAS

Aztecs into Warri Downtown maybe....but out would be a thrill I bet.
In 1965 Aero was operating a daily passenger and freight service between Lagos - Warri - Port Harcourt using PA23 Aztecs, the only airline other than Nigeria Airways operating scheduled services in Nigeria. In fact in 1967 they were hired by Air Nigeria to operate that route 3 times daily.
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 00:34
  #5322 (permalink)  
 
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You almost make it sound like Bristow management changed the contracts from from 8/4 to 7/5 then 6/6 out of the goodness of their hearts.
The only reasons for these changes were simply because:
a/ The clients stated that for health and safety reasons, 8/4 was simply too long to be working in Nigeria which is why their employees were already on equal time and
b/ Bristow was losing too many employees either through sickness, stress or simply people getting a better deal elsewhere.
Nothing to do with clients stating anything about health and safety, it was simply a case, as it is now, of supply and demand. Other operators were offering better rotations, pilots were leaving, there was a shortage of qualified pilots willing to go to Nigeria, so better deals were offered. Now it's the opposite. Supply and demand. If the pendulum eventually swings the other way again, rosters will probably change.
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 01:09
  #5323 (permalink)  

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Exactly

Mamaput,

Precisely.

NEO
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 02:04
  #5324 (permalink)  
 
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Soggy.....that doesn't make it any less exciting on the way out of Downtown!

I found flying the Aztec enjoyable....off long runways....and on two engines.
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 02:38
  #5325 (permalink)  
 
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a passengers' "girlfriend" had stripped naked and was laid behind the nose wheel
By the boyfriend?
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 15:11
  #5326 (permalink)  
 
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I did write some vignettes, actually ....

When it comes to mixing up wimmin and aerial conveyances the wildest one I can remember was a colleague with an imploding marriage (married pilots are essentially not exactly married, but simply between divorces) who had to see off his significant other and her cat.

There was a load of Shellies all looking on of course, fascinated by what Line Slime got up to in their private lives; along with the poor old C.P., who looked as if he wanted the ramp to split open and swallow him up; and out in the middle of the ramp the weeping wife, with her mascara running down her face; the frantic husband, attempting a last-minute reconciliation; and a yowling cat in a cat box. Oh, and the World's Greatest Pilot (me, of course) trying to move things along and get these three to stop playing a scene right out of Pagliacci in the middle of the ramp so that we could finally load wife and cat and Shellies on our Twotter and get on down the line to Lagos via Osubi.

It was all "You are terrible and I never want to see you again!" backed by a chorus of yowling, followed by "Baby, don't go!" followed by "Oh, maybe I should stay ... no! I never want to see you again!" (Repeat as necessary.) I tell you, if you are a fan of telenovelas, this was a prime episode!

You know, SASless, there's a tee-shirt that reads "Be careful or else I will put you in my novel!" You should have been thinking of this when you reached for that virginal bar card, that night in the Spread Eagle.

NEO, one night I was over at the Aero Bar drinking with Nabiel Haqui when he started in again on his contingent of local heros, as good as or better than any expat. As if! (You remember how the Aero guys used to like to report "Going very low level," passing the IA into Warri Airstrip, real heroes. That made me a wuss, not making a big thing out of blowing dust off the roofs with my propwash.)

I told him then that one day when the birds were walking, so thick was the harmattan, the only airplane to make it into Warri Airstrip, twice, was painted red, white and blue with BRISTOW down both sides, that nothing at all white and orange reading AERO was there to be seen, so there!

It was actually a screw-up, me departing Warri late one afternoon when Port Harcourt and Lagos were both playing silly buggers with the weather reports, so that I left Warri Airstrip with minimums reported at DNPO, but got in range to be told that, no, it was now, just ten minutes later, 100 meters below minimums so "What are your intentions?" Of course I turned around to go back to Warri, only to find that they had all decided to go home. Nobody on advisory, and nobody to close the gate at the far end of the runway. Hmm .... Stupid move on my part, trusting the weather report, but at least I did score one point with Nabiel.

Last edited by chuks; 15th Sep 2016 at 15:32.
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 15:20
  #5327 (permalink)  

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Or that Motorola radio in Somalia........

NEO
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 15:31
  #5328 (permalink)  
 
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Don't mention the Count NEO, lol
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 16:34
  #5329 (permalink)  

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Ah, the Count !

If his name surfaces again we'll have the next few weeks to read the streams of vitriol as people recall their experiences, meanwhile Sas will be on life support recovering from the stroke caused by his blood boiling ! Not to mention soggyboxers misusing the Edewor CB to share our ZZ Top.........

NEO
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 16:35
  #5330 (permalink)  
 
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I think SASless must have done something to upset that man.

True story: The Count was on his way to Washington, D.C. to visit his wife, who worked in the French Embassy there. I asked him if he might take a letter along to mail for me, to my mother who lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland, not far away from D.C.

He agreed to do this thing for me, but when he was there he also called my mother and invited her to dinner at their house, a very nice French dinner which Mother enjoyed very much. This made Mother very happy, to see what nice friends I had out there in West Africa. So, go figure ....
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 17:26
  #5331 (permalink)  
 
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Actually Chuks, it was the other way around.

Knowing the financial settlement that ensued and later coming back at a very nice rate of pay quite settled my temporary blood pressure spike.

Having a Canadian Pilot thank me in the presence of a dozen or so other pilots for getting help out him also proved who was in the right on that deal.

But....please don't let facts get into the way of your fairy tale.



The radio story I like is the one about the Portable on the Preachers Pillow as if the Almighty was wishing to speak to him courtesy of a Warri 155 Crew.

Wasn't there another domestic squabble about the by-product of an extra-marital affair when the wee tyke was heard speaking with a French accent?

I suppose it was handled in a diplomatic manner in the end.

When you kick off a session of yarn spinning....be careful you don't get wrapped up in it yourself.
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 20:30
  #5332 (permalink)  
 
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Much as I love the war stories, back to reality............

'Some people were unhappy when all the (then) aviation support companies went to 7/5 then 6/6 for various reasons, some domestic, some financial or for whatever personal issues. It was a "sign of the times" and the options were to take it or leave it'

To most people I don't really think that sounds like a hard decision whereas the other way definitely is.

It's not just supply and demand, it is recognised that 8/4 vs equal time is not good. I suspect the truth is that Lagos are headcount restricted but short of people to make the roster work despite offloading training on to 'off time' and decided this would make it work - as to the staff and the effect on the business, I'll leave it to your imagination to fill in the blanks
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Old 15th Sep 2016, 23:05
  #5333 (permalink)  

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Captain,

I'm flattered to be quoted; however unfortunately I omitted to mention that there was a financial implication to the 6/6 roster which obviously wasn't beneficial. The current reversion to 8/4 has an equal implication but in the negative.

NEO
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Old 16th Sep 2016, 07:15
  #5334 (permalink)  
 
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fair enough NEO, that would make a difference - how much would obviously depend on the numbers. I still don't think the change to 6-6 had the same adverse inplications as the return to 8-4!
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Old 16th Sep 2016, 10:24
  #5335 (permalink)  
 
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One cheeky little devil I knew never told Her Indoors about the switch from 8&4 to 7&5, spending that extra week back in his home country but shacked up with his girlfriend instead of at home with the wife! I always wondered if he had the nerve to take two weeks with the girlfriend when 6&6 came in.

I did 5&5 with Zimex later, but for a lot less money, and even less than that, no overseas allowance, when home on leave. Too, I did the recurrent training and the chasing of the visas on my own time, usually needing two days to travel back and forth to Berlin for visas, to the Algerian Embassy in Pankow.

All in all, it kind of sucked, especially because the security in Algeria was even shakier than in Nigeria.

Most of my time on duty was spent at isolated locations in the Sahara where the few guards only had shotguns and stayed in lit-up guard shacks, easy prey for attackers coming out of the surrounding darkness with AK-47s. Just ten attackers could have taken over one of those camps with no trouble at all, I think. The security advice in case of attack was basically to "hide under your bed," so good luck with that one, especially given that we were inside a wired perimeter, giving us no chance to flee, into what was an extremely hostile desert environment in any case.

A few years later there was a high-profile attack on a gas plant at In Amenas, when the Algerian military then went in with absolutely no regard to protecting the lives of hostages, using extreme force when attacking vehicles loaded with hostages.

There's that famous fountain in Rome, the Trevi fountain, where if you throw three coins over your shoulder into it, that ensures that you will always return to Rome. I was stood there looking at it, when I fished a 5-kobo coin out of my pocket and idly tossed it in. That meant that I always returned to Nigeria!
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Old 16th Sep 2016, 23:24
  #5336 (permalink)  

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Then there was the Eket engineer who died on holiday in Spain with family number 1 only for his widow to find out about family number 2 in Nigeria when she claimed on behalf of his other family. Number 1 triumphed in the subsequent battle of the "Death In Service" pay out and pension due to bigamy/non-recognition.

I must store this stuff for my grand children when they are old enough to comprehend.

NEO
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Old 16th Sep 2016, 23:52
  #5337 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes NEO; to quote Oscar Wilde, “Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.”

As for Tyre Burst, I would prefer to say nothing which could be used against me at my trial subsequent to my ever personally meeting him again
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Old 17th Sep 2016, 05:40
  #5338 (permalink)  
 
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At least the Crew Bus in Lagos got Kevlar Curtains after the Great Shoot Up and Filling Station Holdup! No expense spared on Security for the Duty Crews!
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Old 17th Sep 2016, 19:35
  #5339 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
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Sasless,

You were long gone when we got "hit" on the 06:15 bus from Darrells to the QIT. That time was completely different as they were actually after us, i.e. not crossfire. The post incident support from the client was negligible.

We fled the scene and reached the QIT with two seriously wounded people only to be denied access as we hadn't debussed and swiped our i.d.s through the turnstile ! Then having persuaded security to let us in we found the clinic closed, despite my having called the client security consultant en route and report in good old fashioned military format the "contact" and injuries. When the nurse finally arrived we found next to no supplies in the clinic so I used the night standby aircraft and crew (both great guys) to fly them to the SOS clinic in Port Harcourt. The client rep then demanded to know who had authorised the flight !

At about 10;00 I was standing in my office (chain smoking, having destroyed the smoke detector with a mop) when the BAT phone rang. An American voice asked me who he was speaking to. I answered in my famously diplomatic fashion that he had f**king called me so he should know and demanded to know who the f**k I was speaking to. "This is Bill Chiles; may I speak to the Managing Pilot ?". I politely asked him to hold on, placed the receiver on the desk, had a couple of drags of my ciggie then said "Hello Bill, sorry about that, just been to the toilet".

Happy Days..........

NEO
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Old 17th Sep 2016, 19:44
  #5340 (permalink)  
 
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I well remember you calling me to check the Pitakwa weather that morning NEO. I stepped onto my kitchen balcony in Elelenwo and reported that I could see clear to SOS clinic. It seemed just a very short time before I watched your 412 letting down. It's a miracle neither of the 2 Bristow pilots was killed, but sad that the local escort did not fare as well. I wonder what support was given to their families - if any.
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