Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Rotorheads
Reload this Page >

What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Rotorheads A haven for helicopter professionals to discuss the things that affect them

What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 2nd Feb 2018, 17:31
  #5501 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,602
Off chop nose face to spite - rearrange into a well know phrase!
212man is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2018, 17:42
  #5502 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
212man,

Indeed; as if things weren't dire enough already. I feel for our mutual friend, he deserves a medal for the s**t he's had to handle/put up with.

NEO
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2018, 18:50
  #5503 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,602
Originally Posted by Nigerian Expat Outlaw View Post
212man,

Indeed; as if things weren't dire enough already. I feel for our mutual friend, he deserves a medal for the s**t he's had to handle/put up with.

NEO
His replacement too....
212man is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2018, 23:13
  #5504 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Wanaka, NZ
Posts: 2,146
Presumably the company will stop paying salaries to any pilots on strike?
gulliBell is online now  
Old 3rd Feb 2018, 12:46
  #5505 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,602
Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
Presumably the company will stop paying salaries to any pilots on strike?
Don't make me laugh!
212man is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2018, 16:23
  #5506 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
Originally Posted by 212man View Post
His replacement too....
Has he passed the baton already ? I knew it was on the cards but that's sooner than planned ?

NEO
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2018, 16:44
  #5507 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,602
Originally Posted by Nigerian Expat Outlaw View Post
Has he passed the baton already ? I knew it was on the cards but that's sooner than planned ?

NEO
Not yet - in progress I think. Both here at the moment.
212man is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2018, 17:28
  #5508 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: LogicFreeZone
Age: 41
Posts: 34
https://m.guardian.ng/news/bristow-p...-of-expatriate
Rotatohead is offline  
Old 3rd Feb 2018, 22:22
  #5509 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
Originally Posted by 212man View Post
Not yet - in progress I think. Both here at the moment.
Please give him my very best wishes. I hope they reward him appropriately for the c**p he's taken from above and what he has to deal with on a daily basis.

Also tell him he owes me a phone call !

NEO
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2018, 00:11
  #5510 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,602
Hey, why is your age showing 59? Surely I don't have any friend that old? I'll tell him though, o
212man is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2018, 09:11
  #5511 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
I know I don't look that old........

NEO
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2018, 08:04
  #5512 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
Did someone mention Escravos?

There was a guy who mentioned that he worked for Pan African Airlines, when the next question was "What do you operate at this airline?"

"Seven 47s." No lie, that; Pan African once did have seven Bell 47s.

Neo, you are thinking of "Gloomy Gus," Franz Brücker. (The only time you saw him smiling was when the harmattan was so thick that the birds were walking.) We did a trip once when I was his fuel-wallah, hauling drums of Avgas in the back of a Cessna 402 for his Bell Ranger, all the way to Maiduguri.

He had been preceded as CP by a guy who was bald as an egg and dripping with gold jewelry, the "puzzle ring" and all, so that I guess he must have spent time in the Sand Pit. Super guy, can't remember his name right now but it will come to me. Ah, R.C. Furr!

There was a story going around about how one of the senior Gulf guys made some kind of wager with a Pan African pilot that a Jet Ranger, I think it was, could not be landed inside an oil tank that was under construction, with just its walls up. It turned out that, yes, you could indeed land a small helicopter inside the oil tank. On the other hand when you tried to get it out again you ended up with that ring vortex thing going on, so that they had to use a crane to get it back out. (In the context of the time that sounded like a true story, but I have no idea if it really is true or not.)

Sean "the Upriver Cow" Dignam! He was so called because whenever something controversial came up it would be floated past Sean, who would duly bring it up with Management, somehow expecting against reason for them to see reason. When they then fell upon him like a swarm of piranhas the rest of the herd could pass downstream unmolested.

Speaking of dogs, one day I arrived in my Cessna to find a pack of dogs out there on the runway in pursuit of a bitch in heat. A guy in a 47 was just approaching, when he offered to shoo them away. As I watched from above he did a low and slow pass down the runway with the pack neatly splitting left and right in front of him, only to re-form immediately, right behind him. As he got to the head of the pack he called to tell me that the runway was now clear of dogs, with about a dozen dogs now right behind him. It's good that they never caught him, because that would have been pretty gross.

I would often have a lay-over of up to five or six hours at Escravos when I was doing a single Lagos-Escravos-Lagos run, when I would sometimes go along on an air test of a helicopter. Then we would go down the Forcados at low level looking for bare-breasted girls in their dug-out canoes before finishing off with an auto-rotation to a low hover back at the airstrip.

I was used to watching the way the guys at Escravos could fly, when they made it look easy. One day, though, one of the Nigeria Police Air Wing pilots was trying to land his helo on the ramp back at Lagos. He would get that thing about three feet off the ground when it would commence to dance all over the place. Then he would pick it up and try again, and again .... He finally just sort of dumped it on, before they had to send out some people to, what, shoot him down?
chuks is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2018, 19:24
  #5513 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
Franz Brucker ! What a guy ! He was so laid back they fitted a reclining seat in his aircraft. Funnily enough it was he who told me about the wager to land inside the storage tank and the recirculation issue (and crane) getting it out.

Whenever I needed cheering up I'd sneak out of the side gate to Mama Lulu's and sit on the nearest bench to Jim Sims; he was so pessimistic he could cheer up a corpse on the grounds that everyone was better off than him. He didn't change when he got to Eket, but of course he (and all of us) were normally eclipsed by the wisdom of Dink Smith.

Ah, those were the days etc........

By the way chuks, how do you get the umlaut over a letter ? I see you did it for Hans' name.
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2018, 20:30
  #5514 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
On a MacBook Pro you hold down "option/alt" and hit "u" to generate the umlaut (or diaeresis), and then hit whichever vowel you want to make appear under the umlaut.

It's perfectly correct to simply write "ue" in place of "ü". Brücker and Bruecker are equally correct.

German is an odd language: "ü" = "ue" but "ue" ≠ "ü" and so forth, so that Göring = Goering, but Goethe ≠ Göthe.

Did you ever have a Christmas dinner at Escravos? I had one where the centerpiece was a roast goat with twigs for antlers, maraschino cherries for eyes, and its lips drawn back in a horrible grimace exposing its teeth. It made a vision from Hell, looking as if it died screaming and then came back to haunt us.

The locals were going down the chow line cramming as much stuff onto a plate as possible, with the Christmas cake just stuck into the side of a conical mound of rice streaming with gravy, as an afterthought.
chuks is offline  
Old 5th Feb 2018, 23:09
  #5515 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
Hmm. I can't afford a Macbook Pro (and I like a delete key), so that doesn't help me; but never mind, I'll just try some sort of schoolboy German grammar and accept the odd slip.

The Christmas dinner at Escravos was indeed an experience. West African Catering were great providers, their claim to fame was 10,000 meals a day, on and offshore. Having lived on the Funiwa for a year with two alternating alcoholics as my only expat company I thought I'd seen everything, but Escravos was indeed a revelation. People carried three plates piled high and shovelled the entire "portion" down with no hesitation whatsoever.

Amazing how a human stomach can swell.
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2018, 00:42
  #5516 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: All over the place
Posts: 197
Strike called off for further negotiations.

Aviation union suspends strike against Bristow, Caverton Helicopters - Daily Post Nigeria
rotor-rooter is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2018, 12:50
  #5517 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
Neo, are you sure of what you are using there?

Is your laptop bright red, with two big white knobs and "Etch A Sketch" in gold italic script across the top edge? That might be your problem. Otherwise, try holding down "alt" and hitting the "u" to see what happens. I bet it gives you that umlaut. If that doesn't work just stick an e on there; you can't go wrong with ae, oe, and ue if you can't generate ä, ö, and ü.

This mention of German reminds me of a fellow we got in Lagos to fly the Dornier, a German of course. (Since they built it, only they really knew how to fly it.) He soon became a bit bored with life in the tropics so that he decided to go for a stroll one day, into the Police Air Wing hangar, the one right next to the Bristow hangar. (He was wearing his tropical kit then, a tee-shirt, shorts and flip-flops, going incognito I guess.)

So he went in there and wandered around a bit under the gaze of the armed police guard. He looked at the wrecked Schweizer and he looked at the two Bell 222s in about a hundred pieces each, and he looked at the old Bell 47 (the only helicopter they had that still was intact at one time later ... and then he touched one of the helicopters, which is what that guard had been waiting for. So he ended up "Undah arress! By ordah!" when someone had to go over and ransom him. Mrs. Whitehead, probably, because she had a certain way about her ....

After that I think he left, back to Germany. He was unhappy anyway, having to operate the Dornier into the short strip at the Port Harcourt NAF Base. We were still using Warri Air Strip with our Twotters, so that I could not see what his problem was with 5, 800 feet or whatever it was. Maybe he was trying to land sideways? You could do that with a Twotter, if the wind was right.

From that we developed a new game, "Touch the Helicopter." I even wrote it up and put the rules on the BRC notice board. Basically, the less you wore, the more you scored, so that the ultimate would have been to get in and out of the Police Air Wing hangar stark bollock naked, without even that big watch that lets everyone know that you are an aviator. No official Dornier hat with the scrambled eggs, nothing. Nobody was willing to play the game with me, though, and I just could not see the point to doing it all by myself, especially because I had a reasonable suspicion that Colyn would probably have told the Nigeria Police, "Just keep him; he's your problem now."
chuks is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2018, 16:24
  #5518 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
African-American, anyway.

My father was in the Navy during the Second World War, but he stayed in the States. At one time he was doing ferry-flying, mostly taking clapped out warplanes for heavy maintenance.

One day he and a buddy had a pair of Culver Cadets, little planes that the Navy mainly used as target drones, but which could also be hand-flown when they had to get them from A to B: https://www.skylighters.org/photos/pow01242000.html

Anyway, they were out there in Boondocks, USA, somewhere in the rural South, pretty bored with these little putt-putts when they were usually flying Hellcats. To keep things interesting they were hedge-hopping, flat-hatting, flying as low as possible.

They popped over a windbreak and surprised a local African-American plowing with a mule in the adjoining field.

My father said that when they looked back the mule was going in one direction and the plowman was going in the other, both at high speed.

If I "learned about flying from that" it must have been the wrong lesson, but whatever it was it did come in handy in Africa now and then.
chuks is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2018, 18:58
  #5519 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
Posts: 1,000
The German who couldn't keep his hands to himself wasn't by any chance the Dornier Training Captain was he ? I recall that guy was one of your absolute closest friends and confidantes..........

NEO
Nigerian Expat Outlaw is offline  
Old 6th Feb 2018, 19:57
  #5520 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
No, this was a guy who just spent a few months at the beginning of our time with the Dornier 328 Turboprop. He did not seem to acclimate well to the local scene, so that he was gone within a few months. I never even got the chance to tease him much.

Distance seemed to add a lot to the basic insanity of trying to do aviation in Nigeria, in our case the distance from Blighty to the White Man's Grave, and it hit those guys who took everything seriously the hardest.

We had a CP Lagos Fixed-Wing who did take things seriously, which of course made him a tempting target for a loon such as I. He wanted things to run smoothly but I liked to see the train wrecks, of which there were plenty.

We had two Twotters that we ran pretty hard, when part of that was arranging it so that one of the engines would be time-ex on a Friday, to be changed over the weekend so that we were ready for a full schedule the following Monday.

Nominally the engine is a PT-6A-27, but one with a feature unique to the Twotter. Well, some clever dick in the UK sent us a PT-6A-28, which you usually can substitute for a -27, just not on the Twotter. They found out they had the wrong engine there in the hangar late on Friday afternoon, once they opened the crate ready to swap engines. So ... disaster.

When I got to the Spread Eagle later that evening there was our CP, hunched over staring a hole into the mahogany bar, deep in gloomy thought.

Of course I slithered up next to him and asked, "Heard any good PT-6 jokes lately?"

I've never seen anyone get stung on the butt by a scorpion, but I bet the reaction looks just like that. Well, it had been one of those long, hot, dull days, you see ....
chuks is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.