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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

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What's New In W. Africa (Nigeria)

Old 21st Dec 2006, 15:43
  #1441 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Germany
Age: 72
Posts: 1,561
Thanks for the good wishes. With a bit of luck I won't have anything to write about but then I might just make something up.

When I was in the UK going to school I used to listen to Andy Kershaw's radio show. He was a great admirer and promoter of Ali and even played some tapes he had made informally when the musician visited him at home in the UK.

The most interesting music from Africa I have heard is that played on the kora, from Mali. The instrument has such a unique sound; I have never heard anything like it.

I don't know anything about Algerian music but I look forward to learning a bit about it, even if it's just some kind of wailing pop music.

I became nervous waiting around for a better offer, if one was even to be found, and signed up for a spell of Twin Otter flying based in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria. I cannot even find the place on a chart, so that I think it's just some oil camp out in the desert. That should keep me out of trouble for a while.

When I asked I was told that there was some trouble near the Tunisian border but that was all, that Algeria was calm. Then, almost as an afterthought, they said some American company had a vehicle shot up in Algiers just the other day. Great! If I feel homesick I can just take a few days off there.

I am sure that I shall be back in Nigeria one of these days, if only for some fuel and a bit of harassment, a bit of 'Dis be ah serioss hoffense,' followed by, 'What do you have for me?'

A colleague was telling me about a King Air in Niamey, when I was all, 'Yeah! Let's go get it!' Turns out he doesn't even like West Africa, keeps trying to put the trip off. What a weirdo! Meeting strange black folks with guns, paperwork and bad attitudes, what could be more fun than that?

I wish I had something good to say about the news coming out of Nigeria but all I can say is that I hope things work out for everyone. That doesn't seem to be the way it is going, though. You all be careful now.
chuks is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2006, 17:29
  #1442 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,519
Ah yes.....Bobo....and Ouaga.....now that was an experience worth remembering!
Why ol' Buddy for 300 US Dollars you can buy the place!
Would Evergreen ever lie to a pilot?
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Old 21st Dec 2006, 20:18
  #1443 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Pierre et Miquelon
Age: 64
Posts: 188
chuks,

It certainly sounds as if you will need something to occupy your time in Hassi Messaoud. I guess you'll be flying from DAUH, Oued Irara. If you look at the pictures of it on Google Earth the airfield looks pretty big and the Base dHassi Messaoud is right on the southeast airfield perimeter. Unlike Nigeria, you'll need your woolly nightwear there too as I see it got down to only 4 degrees C yesterday night . According to Falling rain the population within 4km is only 273 - somewhat different from Nigeria, as you say.

If you like the kora I'm sure you'll also be listening to Toumani Diabate (the first kora player to be awarded a 'grammy'!). Diabate also teaches kora at the Mali Conservatory of Music. If you ever manage to nightstop in Bamako, a visit to his club, Hogon will live in your memory for ever. You can hear a lot of his music on his release of July "Boulevard de l'Independance", named after a thoroughfare that bisects Bamako's dusty streets. The sounds range from Cuban-Senegalese salsa to horn-driven funk, but the kora is always at the heart. Amazon sell it and I listen to my copy a lot. He has made many recordings with other artists, including Ali Farka Touré and Taj Mahal. For me the some of the best kora music readily available is Nouvelles Cordes Anciens (New Ancient Strings) performed by Diabate and Ballake Sissoko, which was their interpretation of the recording made by their fathers in 1970, which is widely recognised as having introduced kora music to the world outside its Malian roots.

I look forward to your new posts taking us away from the day-to-day tales of woe from Nigeria.

SAS,

Ouaga hosts Le Festival Pan-Africain du Cinema et de la Television de Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the largest African film festival and biggest regular cultural event on the African continent. I love the place! . Whilst Bobo-Dioulasso may seem a bit quiet on the surface after Ouaga, it is the cultural and musical centre of Burkina Faso and there are many pleasant little 'maquis', such as Les Bambous or Le maquis de l'Entente, where you can sink a few cold drinks and if you've had a few too many, maybe even you would like to danse to some zouk music
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Old 21st Dec 2006, 20:56
  #1444 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 21
Thumbs up Superb New Security Measures

Naturally we're very, very concerned about the new security situation and it all goes to reinforce our decision to move to a nice new camp on East West road where security will be very, very good, just like security on oil company camps. Even though we don't get out of our camp to visit you on Areta very often, doesn't mean that anything gets past us and we've noticed that the blue curtains in the vans don't seem too popular as they're all folded up on the wires. Obviously this is a serious security risk, so we're going to put in all new wires and new double-lined tactical green curtains. This will lead to an immediate and noticeable increase in your personal security until such time as the new camp is finished.
Now we all know that drink and girls are also real bad security risks and we propose some new moves. All girls will be banned from everywhere - yes even K2 and the Chief Pilot will have to conduct their business from a marquee outside the base at NAF. Apologies for the small inconvenience this may cause some, but we're sure you'll all agree that this will make a positive contribution to your personal safety. Tied in with this, we're planning on replacing the Aero bar with a new facility - the Aero Milk Shake and Sodie-pop bar. What better thing to do than get back from a hard day at work and settle back at the bar with a cool icecream soda or buttermilk milkshake (served by a male steward of course). For health's sake we're also banning smoking in the bar, but there will be a smoking area outside the window of what used to be the ladies toilet. Saturday night barbecues are another obvious security hazard, so we're limiting them to staff only and getting rid of the barbecue and kebab stands because of the fire risk. The steaks will be replaced with healthy tofu to help improve your health.
We expect these measures to lead to a big increase in pilots applying for transfers to Port Harcourt as we build it in to a healthy, safe and secure environment.
chcmanagement is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2006, 21:26
  #1445 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria Garden City
Posts: 34
Thumbs up Security In The Name

With our company there is no need for increase in security as no bad man would dare do anything to any aircrafts or vehicle bearing our name - he would be too frightened of what daddy would do to him.
Meanwhile, many will have noticed our new centre of excellence, state-of-the-art hangar being built in Port Harcourt to house our growing fleet of S92 and AW139. These are yet to arrive, but it will happen any day now and then shuttle operations can start in earnest. Thanks to our financial acumen, we have now disposed of our A109 at a vast accounting profit (this is what it is termed when clever men like daddy and me, who have studied such subject as economics and accounts abroad with computer and every modern such-like device). Some ignorant people who do not understand higher finance call it loss just because it was sold for half what we paid, but this just shows their ignorance of such accounting terms as discount, negative equity, capital write-down, brown envelope. The huge profits released by this have enabled us to aquire a new helicopter which we have renamed for Nigerian market. The AS350B in our colours will be calles 'Jumbolino' due to its uncanny resemblance to S92 which we shall have delivered soon. The new one shall arrive soon, but this time we are keeping the colour secret until it arrives (unless some sharp-eyed Pruner lets the monkey out of the bag ).
Our new helicopter will come fully equipped with such thing as high skid to keep tail rotors well clear of foolish spectators and modern electronic device called aerioal navigation equipments which will enable navigation to destination even in the worst storms without need to land in gardens, fields, schools and the like.
So, if you have pointy shoe, licence, medical come and join the fastest-growing team in African aviation and fly the Jumbolino
cavertonmanagement is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2006, 21:38
  #1446 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: uk
Posts: 1,628
Unbelievably, I just happen to have a Jumbolino type on my licence!!! I knew that outlay would come good one day. I believe the pointy shoes and medical from my evening job (McDonalds) probably give me all of the requirements for this position.

Where do I apply?
Can't wait to experience the joy of living in that tropical paradise. I love hot countries.

One other point. Will I also get paid as that would be an added bonus?

Thanks
helimutt is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2006, 23:15
  #1447 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Victoria Garden City
Posts: 34
Dear Mr Helman's Mutt,
Are you sure you're not a mayonnaise salesman with a name like that? Not that it would matter, daddy likes a bit of Helman's with his (turkey) ham salad. However, despite your assertion that you have the Jumbolino on your license, I see that your profile shows you as piloting the Super twin Jumbolino 355, and we are getting the Super single Jumbolino 350B. Would you be good at flying in such a machine at the low altitudes it is sometimes necessary to maintain when the weather is bad?
I hope you have been trained in the art of Savate in your pointy shoes? Daddy says he doesn't want any wimps who may wish to have MOPOL for protection just because one or two expats have been given an extended country holiday by our friendly and hospitable bush peoples.
Naturally you'll be paid. In return for working here 8 or 9 months a year we'll pay you a top-notch sum in US$ any time we have the money in the account. Naturally, this may sometimes get paid a little late because international financing is a very complex process. If you become a traitor and wish to leave the centre of excellence, naturally all the various outstanding training, housing, insurance, tax, VAT, visa, quota, PTF, NDF and other charges may well come to more than we owe you, in which case we may grant waiver and allow you to leave our country, or daddy may have to get you a special police escort as befits all leaving VIPs.
It's certainly lovely and warm here at the moment and I look forward to receiving your application. This should be accompanied by a brief summary of your bank details and a small advance deposit towards quota fees, STR visa, letter of invitation etc.
cavertonmanagement is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2006, 02:13
  #1448 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,519
Anjo,

Since our transport consisted of a pair of worn out cowboy boots....our stay in Bobo consisted of the Grand Hotel, the restuarant run by the Vietnamese Nuns, and a few other nice venues. We shot the Koo River...and spent hours playing the one and only pin ball machine that could not be tilted even when stood on end! I never did master the pin ball machine!

It was a fun time....and probably should take up a couple of chapters in my book should I ever get around to writing it. I am waiting for the Statute of Limitations to run out before I do.

A few more years and departed friends and I will be free to tell all.
SASless is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2006, 09:50
  #1449 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: In the Haven of Peace
Age: 75
Posts: 599
Thumbs up SAS Dancing to Zouk

SAS,
Yes! I like the images conjured up by Anjo of you, dressed in yer dungarees and cowboy boots, dancing a hoedown in a bar with loud zouk music playing in the background . Maybe we should set up Casa Africa in Bobo as the venue for the 2010 inaugural meeting of the Society of Ancient Aviators who Flew in Africa? Maybe by then you'll be free to reminisce and start on your book of sad ole gits tales
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 07:59
  #1450 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
CM,
You did not inform us that you have changed your company name too to 'Caverton' without the 'helicopters' last time i was in the air i heard your Let 410 ES-LLC saying Caverton is the operator. Is this a replacement for the 139 for LNG? I wonder who gave the Russian crew 'route check' Oh sorry Sunny is there to do the job. I wonder too why you kept the crew in a furnished appartment in GRA and not the 'Jones' appartment that is reserved for the phillipinos. We were informed that the VI helipad is now for lease on short time basis for parties and other social gatherings.
ruma is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 13:36
  #1451 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jankara
Age: 59
Posts: 377
Devil

Ruma,

Any idea how Caverton got clearance for an Estonian registered aircraft to fly in Nigeria? Have they got permission to use the Mobil strip on Bonny Island?

Surprised the crew is not down Adeniyi Jones way. If it's good enough for Strange Steve, Uncle Terry and Dodgy Dave, why isn't it good enough for them Why would they bother doing a route check - I don't think most of the pilots for that company ever did? . Maybe they'll end up landing the LET on the VI heliport in bad weather trying to find their way to Lagos
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 13:46
  #1452 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lagos
Posts: 245
Rani,

Are you really surprised? On the Caverton website they still talk of shuttle operations, many of the photos are of BGX which has been sold and left Nigeria, on the VI heliport which is now to become another white elephant. The Dauphins are also on the website, despite being grounded. Their latest helicopter will be another AS350, doubtless with more new pilots flying around incertain of position much of the time. It's only a matter of time before the new hangar in PH is also being advertised for birthday parties, political rallies or whatever before the company follows the route of Southern Air, Stillwater and Okada (except having lost even more money). No amount of 'pointy shoes' or 'dady's' influence van sustain the sort of losses they must have been making over the last couple of years when you think of the capital outlay they've made on the buildings in Lagos, the VI heliport and now the hangar in PH. Maybe they're going to try and compete with Arik for FW traffic on the LOS - NAF route. I for one won't be tempted to be a passenger with them - rather face the road journey!
Tokunbo is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 15:28
  #1453 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Nigeria
Posts: 50
Toks,
It is getting more interesting. The 'Let' is saw it parked at the general aviation the other time.Till the arrival of the 'LET', Caverton forgot that there was no bridge linking their terminal with the taxi way . Another oversight by the duo of Sola and Sunny. Do not ask me of how they will be coping with parking fees to another third party when they have a large parking space in Los.You need to see the number of Banks coming to inspect the facillity on daily basis too in other to give them 'cowries' to support the operations .
The backbone of their operations is the NMA/NPA survaliance flight which from a reliable source is fed up with frequent excuses from Sola. Another company from the presidency is being tipped for the lucrative job if their is no improvement before the end of the year. They have since abandoned NPA\NMA for LNG! That is Sola for you. An ex-bank executive turned MD! Don't ask me why. You need to see their xmas hampers too! 'Ghana must go' included to safe the contract at all cost .The xmas bonus this year was for Sola an his assistance in Naf base alone for a job well done with the LNG contract.
Steve has gone to bring a 355! yes AS 355 with uncle T on board to beat the December deadline from NMA.
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 17:18
  #1454 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,519
Another Car bomb set off in Port Harcourt

Car bomb explodes in Nigeria oil region

By DAN UDOH, Associated Press Writer 24 minutes ago

A car bomb exploded outside a state government office in Nigeria's southern oil hub Saturday, soon after the military reported an overnight bombing of a water pipeline leading into a refinery.

The blast at the office building in Port Harcourt was the first targeting of a government installation by a militant group that has frequently kidnapped foreign oil workers and occupied pumping stations run by multinational companies.

The two bombings came at the end of a week of attacks against petroleum companies in Africa's largest oil-producing nation. Militant groups say people in the oil-rich Niger River delta aren't benefiting enough from the wealth.

Going off at midday, the car bomb split the vehicle in two and demolished part of a fence surrounding a building that houses the office of the Rivers State governor and other government offices. Deputy Governor Gabriel Tony, who was inside at the time, said no one was injured.

The explosion came less than an hour after one of the region's militant groups, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press that it had placed two car bombs in the region and would detonate them "shortly."

The group, known as MEND, claimed responsibility for the Port Harcourt bombing in a later e-mail.

The e-mail, from an address used by MEND, said state governors in the Niger delta and other political figures "have acted against the interest of the people of the Niger delta, sabotaging all efforts at resource control for selfish reasons."

"We will henceforth carry out attacks against these traitors in addition to attacks against oil installations," it said.

In the past, MEND has attacked only oil installations and personnel in its campaign to pressure the government into concessions by hurting oil production. Nigeria has seen its daily oil production of 2.5 million barrels drop by a quarter this year because of violence by various groups.

Earlier Saturday, Brig. Gen. Alfred Ilogho said dynamite was set off under a water pipe leading to a refinery in the town of Warri, but the blast did not affect production at the government-owned refinery.

Residents in the area reported hearing a large explosion around midnight.

It was a violent week in the oil region.

On Monday, MEND claimed responsibility for two car bombs at oil company compounds in Port Harcourt. The group also still holds four foreign oil workers hostage demanding the release of jailed militants.

On Thursday, armed men raided a Total SA pumping station in an attack that killed three police guards, while another group took over an Eni SpA facility. The companies shut down production at both facilities, about 80,000 barrels per day in all.

Royal Dutch Shell PLC and several oil service companies began evacuating all dependents of foreign employees from the delta region this week, citing the worsening security situation after Monday's car bombs one of which was set off in a Shell residential complex.
SASless is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 18:02
  #1455 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Las Vegas
Age: 70
Posts: 50
BIAFRA Reborn

Hi Sasless,

Being a betting man myself, I wonder if you've heard what the odds are of Biafra being recognized by the UN?

Curious,
musket33
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Old 23rd Dec 2006, 18:53
  #1456 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: "Deplorable but happy as a drunken Monkey!
Age: 71
Posts: 16,519
Interesting thought there Musket....perhaps the USA would certify them as being the rightful owners of all the oil...and provide security assistance to them while at the same time withdrawing support to the northern government and allow that region to adopt Sharia Law and Muslim leaders.

I know which side I would support.

Chevron, Texaco, and Mobil could then take over the Shell, Total, and Agip leases....our gas prices go down...and our National Guard could get live fire training such as it would be.

The US Navy could give up on the attempt to build an unwanted airbase and gunnery range in North Carolina and could move its effort to Bonny or Forcardos.

Sounds like everybody wins on that one....World Airways or Evergreen could open up a PHC/Houston flight service.

Hmmmmm...sounds the plan!
SASless is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 18:53
  #1457 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Darkest Wiltshire
Posts: 124
Car bombs now is it? Bad news indeed. It's ten years, almost to the day, since I departed 'dis Nigeria' - funny old thing - I still don't miss it.

Taff
Taff Missed is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 19:28
  #1458 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Lost and Legless somewhere in LaLaLand
Age: 73
Posts: 481
ruma,

I'm not at all surprised by what you're saying. Newly reputable companies like CHC and Bristow, with new codes of business integrity, have outlawed the use of 'brown envelope' and 'ghana must go', but the likes of Caverton seem to have no such squeamish quibbles, despite the Nigerian Government's campaign to stamp out corruption. Wonder why the EFCC haven't visited their ofices yet?
Phone Wind is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 19:41
  #1459 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Okrika
Posts: 83
Devil Car Bombs, Martial Law

Goodness to gracious me now Taff, the car bombs have been happening for at least 9 months, it's just that none of them was planted near to any Oyibos until now look you over by 'ere

There's a report on another website that the oil companies, together with NNPC and the oil minister are lobbying the federal government to bring in martial law (including the use of lethal force) in the Delta region. If so, the presidential elections next April could be in severe jeopardy.

Since the car bombs the military have been typically over-reacting, banning all private vehicles from NAF Base PH. This would be unlikely to stop any really determined bomber, but is causing maximum disruption to normal passengers. If it really comes to a full-on conflict between MEND and government forces who'd be willing to put odds on which side would win? My money's on MEND
etienne t boy is offline  
Old 23rd Dec 2006, 19:52
  #1460 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Texas
Posts: 29
Smile Ostriches And Management

Q - What's the difference between an Ostrich and Bristow Management?
A - It's not really true that an Ostrich buries its head in the sand when it's panicking

Q - What's the similarity between Bristow management and ADA management?
A - Neither of them has any credibility any more, with endless promises of the new deal which will be implemented by the end of the week - which week?

Mind you both CHC and Bristow have a novel new approach to security for their staff. Picture the scene....... MEND militia are creeping up to a compound somewhere, wary of the high security..... suddenly they see at least 3 pimply herberts wearing the uniform of the highly effective, powerfully armed, superbly trained, dreaded...... Pointer Security. They die of laughter, drop their weapons and go home to tell all their friends the good joke
Captain Buck is offline  

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