2009. október 27., kedd

Just an opinion...

As the time for me to leave the old continent aproaches I have more and more things to do, to finish, to clean up. This is why I'm not posting too frequently nowadays.
This one is also just a private opinion. On our favourite rumour network there are very different opinions on wheather to go to Maun (or any other place in Africa) by the and of this year and beginning of next year. Whether there will be openings or not. Although I'm talking against myself (more guys there the bigger the competition), I really think that anyone who has decided to land a job there should pack and go. At least that is what I'm doing.

I didn't renew my contract with Haszon. This is a great little company, that proved that a few dedicated guys can get into the game with the big guys (meaning here multinational publishers). I'we been here from the beginning and it was fun. But nothing can compete with flying in Africa.
Also there are two types of guys who are flying or have flown in Maun. There are the ones who like to be in Maun and there are the ones who go there to build some hours and then they're off. But this all doesn't matter as far as I'm concerned, because in terms of flying Maun is one of the best places to start for either type. The only thing one should decide is wether he wants to go there or not.

I really am in a shortage of time. Still doing my IR, have some ten more sessions untill I can do the exam ride with the CAA guy. And then there is the risk of not getting the papers in time. December is here soon, and here no one will work... But January 6th should still be the perfect time.

Keep cool.
And sorry for this photographic egotrip...

2009. október 21., szerda

Teaser: Ludwig's lion

A few days ago I've changed the header of the blog. The photo was taken by Ludwig Reiter at Chief's Camp, Moremi National Park (see map at the end of this post). When I wrote him about this he's sent me a few more (click for bigger). So here they are. No coments. Just enjoy...

Saját elmentett helyeim nagyobb térképen való megjelenítése

2009. október 19., hétfő

This is crazy

I arrived to my office yesterday morning (19th of October) at 0830 and came home almost a day later at 0310 (20th of October). And still can't get no sleep. The girls are having their dreamtime.
But one more tough day at the office and from Wednesday IR again. If things go well I'll be ready for the checkflight with an examiner in two weeks.
And next week ICAO level exam is planned, too. So things are rolling.

2009. október 14., szerda

Keeping the spirit high

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space...
...put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

Photo of C208 over Botswana by Ludwig

2009. október 12., hétfő

Yet an other non-flying related entry

Take a guy, a girl, thirst for adventure and put them to Singapore. Give them a motorbike and you get one of the most amazing adventures I've heard of nowadays. They've set on a journey from Singapore to Poland. Their story is the story of achieving whatever you want if you are really determined.
Kamil sent me a message a few days ago while still in Africa. The reason? He fell in love with bush flying in Namibia. And will probably try to get a flying job there after finishing the Big Adventure. Have a great ride guy's!

But I'll let them talk:
Over 70 thousand kilometers via the roads and side roads of Asia, Africa and Europe, 50 countries to visit, 15 months on the road, 2 adventure seekers and 1 motorcycle….. There’ll be plenty of dirt tracks, desert sands and rocky mountain passes leading to exciting places, interesting people, crazy local customs and nature at its best.
After a few years spent in Singapore, we’re riding back to Poland on a motorcycle – the Honda Africa Twin. We're going home...

Why a motorbike?

For the adrenaline, sense of adventure and ability to go literally anywhere. We want to find places still undiscovered and untouched by western civilization. Places only reached by going ‘off-road’.

Why from Singapore?
We both lived and worked there for over 2 years. On 20th April 2008 all that ended and the adventure we've been dreaming about began.
Initially we planned for a direct route back to Europe via India, Pakistan and Turkey. But with time spent in front of a big map of the world hanging in our bedroom, we extended the journey to include over 50 countries on the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Now on our route are Japan, Mongolia and Tajikistan, as well as a 'side trip' down the African east coast to Cape Town and back up the west coast to Europe. We expect the trip to take around 15 months. However we are not limited by time and it can easily be extended or shortened for unforseen reasons... A longer stop is scheduled in Ghana, where Iza plans to work as a volunteer for the “Freespirit” foundation, in memory of “Kinga” who tragically died of malaria in 2006.
The task of preparing the bike and purchasing all the required equipment took over 6 months. Not long when you consider that it can take up to 2-3 years. Most of the bike preparation was done at Aseng’s - a local Singapore mechanic. He'd also worked on the previous two bikes we’d ridden in Singapore. Of the countless documentation to be arranged, the 'Carnet de Passage' was the most important (and difficult) to obtain. It allows for the bike to be ridden through countries without having to pay import duties, which would otherwise be applicable. It is issued by the country in which the motorcycle is registered, but only after a deposit (equal to the value of the bike) is left with a bank guaranteeing the bike will not be 'illegally' imported into one of the countries visited. To get the CDP Kamil actually had to apply for a Singaporean permanent residency (for you couldn’t get it on a temporary visa), which he obtained just a week before departure!!

One of the most commonly asked questions is about budgeting. We are not being paid for our trip and we only have a couple sponsors. The majority of costs will be covered by us alone.How can we afford this?
Well, we do not have an expensive car or other ‘luxury’ items. Our main possession is the Africa Twin and a sense of adventure. We plan to spend US$30 per day. This has to cover our daily expenses including accommodation, food and petrol. It does not factor in visa, shipping and other miscellaneous costs (ie. park entry fees, insurance…). Life on the road can be amazingly cheap. We cook our own meals and camp wherever possible, sometimes accepting free accommodation from generous hosts. To travel as we do, you definitely need determination and a lot of motivation.

We believe that if you want something badly enough,
money is not an issue…

Presently they are somewhere in Morocco. 85,300 kilometers covered. 538 days on the road.
If you'd like to know more here's their website: Singapore2Poland
And here's their blog: Singapore2Poland Blog

2009. október 6., kedd

Three months to liftoff

Haven't been posting for a while as there's not much to say. And almost everything that you should know can already be found here and on PPRuNe's Maun thread.

After having flown 10 hours IR training (+ 10 sim) I feel like I'm the most untalented student the world has ever carried. But I'm working on it hard... And I only have around 9 more IR flying sessions before the exam.

But at least I've bought a tent in preparation of living in Audi camp in Maun. To my surprise it was pretty cheap. A 3 pax one cost 2000 forints (that being 11 US$). Also a backpack so I can carry the laptop and stuff with me. Also started to do the official translations. So I'll be finishing my homework in time, and I very much hope to meet a few of you in Maun.
Two weeks ago my Austro-Hungarian Aviator friend Marcel visited me. We really had some cool times. And the most important thing is that we found the official AHA drink: the Guadalajara coctail (tequila, a drop of coffee, and a bit of triple sec).
One more thing before I end this entry: I asked the guys in Maun if there are mandatory vaccinations or if I should take some before I leave. Important question as those cost around 550 US$. Their answer was to not spend money on these drugs. And as I'm planing for a "worst case scenario" this saving might mean an extra month of staying in Maun.
For keeping the spirit alive enjoy the photos from Maun, all stolen from the Facebook group. Keep wings level.