2009. december 30., szerda

Last cover after the last cover

I was very surprised when the chief editor of Haszon, my former company, called me and asked me if I could jump in, as they'd like me to interview a few guys who want to get my position. Yeah, sure...
But when I went in they got me with a surprise farewell party. They've made a magazine issue just with me, where every colleague wrote an article. And yes, there is me on the cover. So the last cover was not made by me... It was made of me.
And it was interesting and touching to read all those memories, stories and opinions of me. The following is what the owner wrote:
Young man coming in quiet, sleek, cool, speaking many funny languages, not asking, working like mad, changing women like underwear, smoking, cursing in many funny languages. Six years later, going out, a little bit bald, small belly, cool self confident professional, not asking, working, understanding funny orders, almost married, proud father of a girl, cursing in many languages, smoking, pilot in command, does not know the word „no”, wants to fulfill his dream: earning as much pula as he can in some African country with a funny name.
They also packed it with fake ads.
Have good times guys!
It was great working with you!

2009. december 27., vasárnap

The Namibian connection

From my buddy I've got the following info today, about the Namibian situation.
Wings over Africa are looking at hiring pilots in the first week of January.
Westair has already hired in November, maybe hiring again later in the year.
Desert Air is hiring again in March.
Everyone is just twiddling their fingers waiting for the new year to see what it will bring.
Companies in Maun it seems will hire around the end of January.

The eastern part of Africa (i.e. Tanzania) has a later wet season so most of the pilot hiring there will be in March/April.

2009. december 20., vasárnap

Night flying with Saint Exupery

Sweet unemployedness. Well, at the moment I'm enjoying it. Being with family. Preparing for Christmas... And for Botswana.I had an NVFR flight on Thursday (17th of December). There was snow, fantastic lights, and cold. Taxiing slowly in the snow to the holding bay of RWY 32 at LHTL is really challenging. The taxi lights unveil just a small part of the taxiway. Geez, a marshaller would come handy on a night like this.
Not to mention that the runway was also covered with snow. There are no real RWY lights at LHTL, just RWY edge lights. I had to realize that for the first time I'm a bit scared (or sort of). Taking off is not that tricky, just keep heading with a bit of rudder. But landing... You need to be neatly lined up. Keep cool. Rule 1: forget about the brakes... Rule 2: if you start to slip then Engine Master OFF... Save the prop.
With the instructor (an ex Hungarian Air Force test pilot, also MiG21 display pilot and trophy winner at the Fairford Airshow with the Hungarian Sky Hussars – the one in the middle of the pic) we flew over LHBP CTR. On the pic above you can see the T1 GAT terminal.
But this wasn't the most memorable part of the flight.
OAT was -11°C at 4000 (QNH 1005). And the problem was that the inside temperature in the airplane was the same. We had no heating. After half an hour I've reached to a point where I could only think of Saint-Exupéry and his novel the Pilote de Guerre. He describes a reconaissance flight where he not only had to vanquish german fighters but had to fight against hypoxia and cold.
It was a terrible and yet fantastic flight.

2009. december 15., kedd

Last day, last cover

So the time has come. My last day as an art director. My last cover. My last okay's and all that stuff.
Geez was this year a long one. And a hard one.
From tomorrow I'm an unemployed pilot like so many these times. But finally I can finish my pending trainig. Will be able to do my paperwork. And then by middle of January be ready to leave to Maun.

2009. december 6., vasárnap

Pilots needed

Nyassa Air Taxi in Malawi is looking for pilots. They have 3 pilot positions.
So any of you who fit their requirements can try and drop'em a CV.

Here's what they ask:
one position - early Jan. 2010, requirements as below plus PA-31 rating required
two positions - 1. April 2010, requirements as below and PA-31, PA-34 rating of advantage
Pilots must be prepared to fly our SE aircraft as well. Applications considered till end Dec. 2009
Our requirements are:
* CPL, IF and ME-rating
* 400 hours PIC
* age 24-40 years
* minimum contract time is one year
Additional advantages:
* Ratings on any of our aircraft
* Multi engine experience
* Bush experience

Me unfortunately am not ready for them with my 200 some hours and an almost IR rating without ME (it'll take me a month to be ready but even then without ME).
If you want to know more about Nyassa Air Taxi and Malawi, you can read these blogs: Mike Fly Malawi and Fliegen in Afrika by Ferenc.

2009. december 1., kedd

On me

I'm just reading the book Caravan: Cessna's Swiss Army Knife with Wings. And found a very good quote that resembles the question I ask every low time pilot I know who wants to get into Boeing/Airbus flying. Well I know we are all different, I started very late and I flew so little that I still want to fly airplanes for a while and not operate the system. But the following quote could be my – and this blog's – motto.
"This is Africa, it's the only place in the world to do things like this. It's so unusual, so much fun I just can't imagine why so many pilots make such efforts to get major airline jobs when they could do this – and do it in one of the most fun airplanes in the world to fly, the Cessna Caravan."
A FedAir pilot after transporting a few sedated lions on a relocation project