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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 22nd Aug 2006, 03:38
  #1021 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Normally I would stand aghast at such rumours.....but in Nigeria and knowing Shell.....stranger things have happened. How many Shell staff have been involved in the "negotiation" of previous hijackings and hostage taking? Funny thing how they know who to contact and talk to about such financial transactions. No doubt there is some sort of unofficial fee for being able to "resolve" such a thing for an innovative person.
SASless is online now  
Old 23rd Aug 2006, 18:45
  #1022 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 59
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Thumbs down

Things are hotting up even more in the Delta now.
It seems that a local Shell Community Liaison Officer may have been one of the 11 people reported killed in crossfire between the Joint Task Force and militants who were apparently trying to help Shell in securing his release. This is not absolutely sure and the whole incident seems to be reported in a series of different stories. The white collar PENGASSAN union is threatening strikes unless something is done.
There also seems to be no news of the 5 expats who were kidnapped from Goodfellas bar in PH GRA 10 days ago.
Despite this it's surprising the number of expats who are still to be seen on the golf courses every day - an insecure location if ever there was one. In contrast, it's reported that the golf course inside the 'secure' Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Residential Area on Bonny is now out of bounds as part of their heightened security measures.
There seem to be fewer expats around during the day, but there a few diehards (or dimwits - depends on where you're coming from ) still out and about with an apparent disregard for their personal securitymost days and nights.
Meanwhile there are reports of a meeting of militant groups in a village in Bayelsa State in the last few days. Naturally, it's not known exactly what they discussed, but it's said they plan more, and bigger attacks of the 'shock and awe' variety and reprisal attacks for the militants who were killed by the JTF as mentioned earlier. They are also trying to get Dokubi Asari, the detained militant leader, accused of treason, adopted as a candidate in the Rivers State gubrnatorial elections.
There is little doubt that attacks will increase as the Presidential elections get closer and everyone flying in the Niger Delta should be very security aware in the coming months. Take it easy and fly safe guys
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Old 25th Aug 2006, 15:13
  #1023 (permalink)  
I Try To Be Good !!
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: The World Is My Oyster
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Any new pilots turned up in PH in the past couple of weeks ? I haven't noticed any.......... But they have released the Goodfella's hostages.
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Old 26th Aug 2006, 05:23
  #1024 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Nice Prose!

Well written chief, you should be drafting travel brochures. I stayed at Nocundra station in central Oz once. Nocundra is an aboriginal word meaning mosquito infested swamp. The sleeping quartes were industrial regrigeration units minus the frigpack & decked out with bunks, the airtight doors really helped to keep the mozzies in!

Since getting onto PPRuNe I've given up my taste for SF with its tales of alien worlds, I just read the west Africa & GOM threads these days.
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Old 26th Aug 2006, 05:25
  #1025 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: SE ASIA
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That just made my morning! Possibly the funniest post to date! Thanks now its time to catch my flight out of L.A. (Lower Africa).
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Old 26th Aug 2006, 13:09
  #1026 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
Age: 61
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Very Good !!

Um lifting,

Excellent mate, cheered me right up. But I get the uneasy feeling that this is one of those "there's always someone worse off" shaggy dog stories.

Aker Base and Saipem got hit yesterday and the poor villagers outside the gates didn't come off very well either.

Where/who next ?

NEO
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Old 26th Aug 2006, 13:31
  #1027 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
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Um Lifting
Great post. Sudan sounds just as delightful as I have always been led to believe and it sounds as if CHC management is just as wonderful to its employees wherever they are based in Africa. Mrs Wind says that I am getting rather porky at the moment and has asked me to ask you to send details of the Heglig spa programme. She also asks if the cholera and dysentry technology is available on e-bay? If so could you please post the website address? What are these marine fares? Do you have to travel by boat? Difficult in the desert, I'd have thought. Although I suppose from what you're saying you get to Heglig by 'ships of the desert'. Mrs Wind also fancies a cruise and says that if I can get a posting to Sudan she'd like to accompany me on the marine part of the journey.
I was also recently told that CHC uses the marine fares because so many of the places they operate are so safe that they will only employee ex-marines to go there .
I heard of several S76 qualified pilots who have recently been turned down by Vancouver because they have no requirement for any more pilots in Nigeria this year - a bit odd when there have been a couple of helicopters sitting on the ground in Port Harcourt recently. I'm told Aero didn't have enough pilots to fly them. Bristow and Pan African are in a similar state. I guess all the top management in both companies are sent off to South Africa to observe ostriches in the commercial ostrich farms there so they get first-hand experience of how to bury their heads in the sand when things get tough .
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Old 26th Aug 2006, 16:37
  #1028 (permalink)  
 
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Sheer luxury UL....sheer luxury!

I notice one set of shaving gear on the sink...not a dozen! Indoor plumbing that works and the septic tank not overflowing outside the Mess Hall where the cook uses a spatula to whack large green flies recently festing at the ST.

The upper bunk appears empty....no former Hussar snoring away and wandering about in the dark trying to figure out where his bed went.

And imagine....living on the worksite and having to miss all the commuting...sheer luxury mate!

Tug....oh heavens....shameful waste of company funds. That is what pilots and engineers are for. You need the exercise otherwise with the excellent cuisine you would be fatter than a big ol' bear before a winter nap if you did not find a way to burn some calories.

You never had it so good....admit it!
SASless is online now  
Old 26th Aug 2006, 18:04
  #1029 (permalink)  

Nigerian In Law
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Haven't been there, never done that.
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UL,

My dear chap, I am flattered.

Apart from the livestock those photos could have been taken in Nigeria !! They look a lot like the interior of the "cabins" at Escravos. The ones that were all to be replaced with human habitation by 2004 But of course there are no Dauphins at Escravos...............yet.

Cheers,

NEO
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 06:18
  #1030 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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UL et al,

I thought the same as Sasless: nice bunk, shiny floor, clean-looking helicopter, I bet that hot-water tap actually works........

I think you are all trying to hog the cherry postings for yourselves. All the complaining but nobody ever actually leaves -either Nigeria or Sudan. Anybody qualified to work for Bristow or CHC could be working for any other company, anywhere else in the world within about 20 minutes.

Methinks the lady doth protest too strongly....

malabo
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 08:02
  #1031 (permalink)  
 
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Eeeh up, I have to agree with Sasless. Why, there aren't even any bars on the windows, nor padlocks on the doors: and where's the nightguard to keep you safe in your beds at night

And a laptop, with your own desk, plus your own aircon Sheer luxury, lad, luxury.....
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 09:41
  #1032 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: here and there
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Lordy! Porcelain crapper complete with bog rolls in your very own en suite? Compares favourably with a hole in a slippery concrete floor and a jug of water next to it. Wait til they transfer you to a bush operation.
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 16:55
  #1033 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Nobody Leaving eh?

Malabo,

Funny you mention that. Several people ex-Sudan are now in Nigeria with CHC. Probably to replace all those who have left Nigeria in the last year - more than 10 to my certain knowledge. This not to mention those who are actively looking elsewhere, or who have been promised transfers (probably just to keep them from leaving, as they are still waiting to get any concrete news).

As for Bristow, the number who have left this year already about the same, especially the large number of Australians who left Lagos.

It's more difficult for pilots from other Third World countries to leave, and for some of them, their own countries aren't much better anyway .

Have to admit though, the accommodation in Sudan does look pretty good for a bush operation
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 17:24
  #1034 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria Garden City
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No Kidnappings In The Centre Of Excellence

There is no danger of being kidnapped in our Centre of excellence. We are proudly a Nigerian company and all kidnappers know that we will never pay anything - daddy never allows money to be spent on useless waste. As most kidnappers know that most of our staff are Nigerian and that our expatriates don't earn enough to pay ransom you will be very safe working for us in that sea of tranquility in Lagos. So why not apply to us now? We offer secure employment and specialise in recruiting well qualified staffs which other companies overlook, such as CPL holder, long-term co-pilot and anyone willing to work long tour for low wages. There is no danger in losing contract for such western things as safety audit, risk management assessment because we don't believe in things such as that which only add costs for boring things nobody really cares about. You can hone your skills flying in single-engine helicopters over nice scenic hills in Ekiti State, luscious mangrove swamp and beautiful jungle. This will help increase religiosity as you pray to your maker not to let engine stop over the glorious Nigerian country.
All our salary is paid in nice clean money into bank when we can afford it and pilot selection for the S92 for our fantastically successful, multi-billion Naira Victoria Island shuttle service, ferrying many thousands of delightfully happy commuter every day. Daddy will even let me use it instead of my Mercedes when we have the twin reliability of our massive S92 fleet. We now also have an Oyibo executive director so even western companies will think we are an top-class company with proven records.
Soon we will start massive offshore shuttle operation and we already have pilots getting many thousands of hours of offshore experience looking at our superb hangar floor facility so they understand everyting about flying over waves and everything else needed for offshore. This is all fully logged and documented as everything here, because so many of our top managements have been to overseas university and understands everyting about top modern business practices.
Mr 212 man, we are expanding so vigorously that we can no longer get enough mens with pointy shoe, so why not apply directly on our website - you'll never regret it until the day you leave (or get fired if you upset daddy).
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Old 27th Aug 2006, 19:14
  #1035 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 59
Posts: 377
Thumbs down Past Breaking Point

From what I hear the likelihood of the CHC pilots' association getting off the ground is now receding as the company management already have 'their man' as a well-placed member and reporting everyting back to them, including the names of all those who have signed on.
The situation in Nigeria has now passed breaking point with several aircraft every day now sitting in the hangar due to lack of crews. This is unlikely to improve with the management in Nigeria seeming set to press ahead with a move to an abandoned housing estate in one of the better known bad areas of Port Harcourt despite many pilots and engineers being set against it. There's a petition with many names on it, plus a number of people who have not signed it, saying that a large number of staff will either resign or demand a transfer to another base if the management go ahead with the scheme. The people in Port Harcourt are fed up with broken promises and half truths about moves to much better housing (almost as good as the management enjoys - cancelled due to cost) or improvements to their facilities, including a new staff house, at the location where they now live. All that's actually happened is that the food has deteriorated and maintenance of the present houses has gone down since the previous manager, who used to live on the estate, was moved away by the new owners of Aero. Allegedly a large magority of the staff said they want to move. Hmm.... 'Hello Mr new pilot who has never been here before and doesn't know anything about the place. Would you like to stay in this lousy house, or would you like to help us save lots of money and move to a beautiful new estate with lots of facilities and security?'. 'Oh, sir, please sir, I want the shiny new place'. Never mind, there's no problem in Nigeria. The addition of very tasteful curtains to the vans has made everything very safe and secure now. Don't worry about the high security state. We've brought it in so it looks as if we're doing something positive, but if you all want to just ignore it anyway. It's okay with us because we come from Nuke a Gay Tree for Peace-land and we'd hate you tho think we're in any way infringing on your total right to freedom just to keep you safe.
......One year later ........ for sale, 3 Sikorsky S76C+, 3 SA365N3, barely flown due to lack of crew. 2 AW139's also available.
At least Bristow, who are in pretty much the same boat, only have a bunch of tired old wrecks of Bell 212s to sell off.
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Old 28th Aug 2006, 02:31
  #1036 (permalink)  
I Try To Be Good !!
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: The World Is My Oyster
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So no new pilots turning up in sunny PH then ? Looks like it'll take the loss of a contract or two to get the bosses off their a ses and attract some new blood. But while they're on profit related pay deals I won't hold my breath
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Old 28th Aug 2006, 03:19
  #1037 (permalink)  

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

PM me if you want a job mate There's a few spare rooms at Casa Woji and Arreta Towers ........ Sas, you'd be welcome too mate.

NEO

Last edited by Nigerian Expat Outlaw; 28th Aug 2006 at 04:11.
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Old 28th Aug 2006, 06:47
  #1038 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Yes, yes! Off you go...

What a good idea! Here I have been reviewing my options, wondering what life in the Centre of Excrement is like nowadays but too timid, really, to want to check it out for myself. Send SASless instead!

Then we can read all about it here, in 'real time.' Well, as long as the bad guys let him keep his laptop with him and he finds himself in a wireless 'hot spot.'

I was just thinking about how a relative non-event such as a regional airliner crash in the States can get extensive coverage while something more important and really interesting goes largely ignored. I just logged on to an American newspaper website, directed there by a link from 'Rumours and News.' Most of the piccies seem to be of news vans and cops or rent-a-cops and the news seems to be that a tired crew made an obvious (with hindsight) mistake. But I guess it's got to pass for the big news event of the moment.

While everyone is crawling all over this Comair crash in Kentucky nobody from 'the media' wants to go to Nigeria to do a stand-up from a bush bar, say.

'This is Taffy Turner reporting live from Auntie's Kitchen...' Who wouldn't stay up late to watch that? Especially the part where she says, 'Eek! Take your hands off me! I am an American! Help!' (Cut. Come up with a travel advert for Virgin Nigeria.)

So, here's a guy who can write, not afraid to tell is as it is and let the chips fall where they may, reasonably experienced on type... Go for it, I say! Like some heavyweight version of that dove they launched from Noah's Ark, God speed and good luck and don't forget to tell us what you find out about events 'on the ground.'

Just as an aside, CHC have put curtains in their crew buses? Hey! That was an idea that came from another company, after we counted 13 bullet holes. Wonderful stuff, that Kevlar.
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Old 28th Aug 2006, 07:40
  #1039 (permalink)  

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

Chuks,

Sorry I forgot about you, of course you'd be more than welcome to tag along. You could do a write up too !! Your renowned acerbic wit would put the entire scenario into sharp relief so those that haven't been lucky enough to visit could really visualise, indeed almost FEEL, what it's like You could do it in both English and German so your former EU colleagues get the idea as well

Cheers,

NEO
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Old 28th Aug 2006, 12:44
  #1040 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Thanks but no thanks... for now at least!

Dear Neo,

I really do appreciate you remembering this aviator along with your pilot friends. That makes a very kind personal gesture on your part but my peculiar talents probably do not fit the present scene.

I don't really know how to fly, well, certainly not helicopters anyway; all I did for the last however many years was just sit there drinking tea and pushing buttons on a Dornier 328. Oh, and snagging the air-conditioning when the cockpit temperature went above 22 degrees; do you guys have that problem too?

I might have to do a check on a real man's aircraft, a Twin Otter, sometime soon, when I wonder just how impressed the check pilot shall be when I apply the amount of force to the controls that one uses with a J328, when they do not budge!

As to my 'acerbic wit,' well, just one or two little jokes there and I found myself rudely and unceremoniously expelled from the lunatic asylum! Some people just have NO sense of humour!

By now, having gone to all the trouble of doing 14 written exams AND a Radiotelephony Practical Test (Septics can speak English too, so there!) plus the soon-to-be further trouble of another Class I medical and a practical test on a simulator... all of this just to get a JAR-ATPL and a job.

What with all of this activity the whole 'mishegoss' of life in Isolo is beginning to recede into the middle distance. I reckon that someone else's elbows are fitting into the dents in wore into the BRC bar and that's probably just as well.

I have a very tentative offer to try some alternate hell-holes, namely Algeria, Libya or Angola.

You can laugh, but I just mentioned this short list to my local travel agent when he told me he sends tourists to Libya! So I guess that puts me one up on you poor b*ggers down in the Delta, hah! Or perhaps not; stand by for more photos of Porta-cabins and camels and such-like.

What I am going to try is to write to this CNN correspondent and ask him: if he is so curious about what is happening in aviation, how about heading out to the Delta to check it out first-hand?

Can I depend on you guys to show him the ropes, tell him which bush bars, traffic roundabouts and night markets have the most action, which local airlines are the best to fly on, introduce him to a few nice girls looking for Mr Right... all of that sort of thing?
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