2009. november 26., csütörtök

Maun campsites and accomodation

As this has risen a few times I'm posting here a link with campsites and accomodation. For my surprise the camp I was planing to live has a bad reputation. So now I will be sending emails to various camps for getting some prices, maybe some discount for a wannabe pilot and for the longer stay in the low season.
Lots of good stuff on camps, accomodation and more in Maun HERE and HERE also HERE.
What I was told also is to bring a cellphone with me, so I'll just need to buy a sim card and would be easily contactable. And just imagine geting a call like: hey pal, you wanna come and work for us?
The above pics are from Old Bridge Backpackers camps website. A recomended campsite is Maun Rest Camp, the link has every relevant information. An other major campsite is Audi Camp (their WHAT TO BRING and other info pages are really helpful).

2009. november 20., péntek

T -48... That time of the year...

... has come when lots of aspiring pilots are heading to Maun to get that much desired job. I'm wishing you all good luck and a left seat in one of the Cessna's. And if you happen to have some time and info please share it with me too.

48 days left till my departure.

Next week is paperwork. Also getting the yellow fever shot on Tuesday (not mandatory in Botswana, but I'm also preparing for a worst case scenario of not getting a job in Maun and would have to travel to Malawi and/or Tanzania where it is mandatory).
Other then that: I'm fully packed... ready to go.
Pic of Coastal Grand Caravan via African Bush Pilot was taken by Aaron Cawsey

2009. november 18., szerda

A comprehensive list of Tanzanian operators

Yesterday I was chatting with a former Tanzanian bush pilot and he pointed me towards this Tanzanian air operators directory that can be downloaded from the TAOA site. It is pretty comprehensive with adresses, names, emails, phone numbers. It is true that some links don't work, and well I didn't check the phone numbers, but you might get a pretty good "starter kit" for a Tanzanian job hunt.I hope you'll also find it helpful. Here's the link for the excel file: TAOA

2009. november 17., kedd

We're all angels...

What a ride... it's just a sad late autumn weekday on Earth... visibility 3000... overcast 4000... thick clouds... going through the layer, in thet grey nothingness, watching your instruments... and then you're out... on top at 6000... and the sun always shines... you've left the pity of earthlings behind... you are an angel now...
Wings were Romanian made IAR823. Instruments were Russian, with cyrillic letters.

2009. november 10., kedd

One Fine Hot Summer Afternoon

These days with pouring rain, low ceilings, low visibility and no flying simply depress me. Time is just running and I'm not able to do my homework in the pace I'd love to. I'm sitting here wishing I was somewhere else. And these times the stories like the one I'm posting here just save the day. Thanks Tommy for sharing it with me. Maybe some of you already read it. Thanks for whoever wrote this. It is so true...

One fine hot summer afternoon there was a Cessna 150 flying in the pattern at a quiet country airfield. The Instructor was getting quite bothered with the student's inability to maintain altitude in the thermals and was getting impatient and sometimes having to take over the controls. Just then he saw a twin engine Cessna 402 5,000 ft. above him and thought, "Another 1,000 hrs of this and I qualify for that twin charter job! Aaahh.. to be a real pilot going somewhere!"
The 402 was already late and the boss told him this charter was for one of the Company's premier clients. He'd already set MCT and the cylinders didn't like it in the heat of this summer's day. He was at 6,000 ft. and the winds were now a 20kt headwind. Today was the 6th day straight and he was pretty dang tired of fighting these engines. Maybe if he got 10,000 ft. out of them the wind might die off... geez those cylinder temps! He looked out momentarily and saw a B737 leaving a contrail at 33,000 ft. in the serene blue sky. "Oh man," he thought, "My interview is next month. I hope I just don't blow it! Outta G/A, nice jet job, above the weather... no snotty passengers to wait for ..."
The 737 bucked and weaved in the heavy CAT at FL330 and ATC advised that lower levels were not available due to traffic. The Captain, who was only recently advised that his destination was below RVR minimums, had slowed to LRC to try and hold off a possible in-flight diversion, and arrange an ETA that would helpfully ensure the fog had lifted to CAT II minima. The Company negotiations broke down yesterday and looked as if everyone was going to take a dang pay cut. The F/O's will be particularly hard hit as their pay wasn't anything to speak of any way. Finally deciding on a speed compromise between LRC and turbulence penetration, the Captain looked up and saw Concorde at Mach 2+. Tapping his F/O's shoulder as the 737 took another bashing, he said "Now THAT'S what we should be on... huge pay ... super fast... not too many routes...not too many legs... above the CAT... yep! What a life...!"
FL590 was not what he wanted anyway and he considered FL570. Already the TAT was creeping up again and either they would have to descend or slow down. That dang rear fuel transfer pump was becoming unreliable and the F/E had said moments ago that the radiation meter was not reading numbers that he'd like to see. Concorde descended to FL570 but the radiation was still quite high even though the Notam indicated hunky dory below FL610. Fuel flow was up and the transfer pump was intermittent. Evening turned into night as they passed over the Atlantic. Looking up, the F/O could see a tiny white dot moving against the backdrop of a myriad of stars. "Hey Captain" he called as he pointed. "Must be the Shuttle. "The Captain looked for a moment and agreed. Quietly he thought how a Shuttle mission, while complicated, must be the-be-all-and-end-all in aviation. Above the crap, no radiation problems, no dang fuel transfer problems...aaah. Must be a great way to earn a buck."
Discovery was into its 27th orbit and perigee was 200ft out from nominated rendezvous altitude with the commsat. The robot arm was virtually U/S and a walk may become necessary. The 200ft predicted error would necessitate a corrective burn and Discovery needed that fuel if a walk was to be required. Houston continually asked what the Commander wanted to do but the advice they proffered wasn't much help. The Commander had already been 12 hours on station sorting out the problem and just wanted 10 minutes to himself to take a leak. Just then a mission specialist, who had tilted the telescope down to the surface for a minute or two, called the Commander to the scope. "Have a look at this Sir, isn't this the kinda flying you said you wanted to do after you finish up with NASA?" The Commander peered through the telescope and cried Ooooohhhhh yeah! Now THAT'S flying! Man, that's what its all about! Geez I'd give my left arm just to be doing THAT down there!"

What the Discovery Commander was looking at was a Cessna 150 in the pattern at a quiet country airfield on a nice bright sunny afternoon.

2009. november 2., hétfő

Offtopic: my bike

By the time I leave this continent for that Big Adventure my old bike comes to life. I'm working on a 1954 Csepel 125T for some time (not a well known brand I know... the Csepel company was renamed Pannonia in the 60's, and the whole Hungarian motorbike manufacturing ended in the 70's). Well, this pretty has a 125 cubic centimeters motor and has an output of 4,5 horses (on better days).
The guys at Monster Customs are a great help (actually they know what to do, I'm just doing the art directing stuff, as usually, but there's no art directing on a 56 year old black "demon"). Click on image to enlarge.
And now, she seems to be ready for the ride. The engine runs. Everything is mint. She still needs some shine, that's already there under the dust. But the question is: how am I going to take her to Maun? That would be some ride... Getting to my base with her. Jumping into a 206, and at the end of the day jumping on this ol' babe to take me "home"...