Witwater apron, but the runway doesn't look much betterThe training flights were with Ingrid, a new intructor at Bataleur's Flight school. She's pretty relaxed and will not put you under pressure. But then she has a pretty decent past flying everything from small to big.
The exam was flown with Jacques, a local DCA examiner. Just some aerial work: turns left-right, stalls in different configuration, powerless landings and a couple of full load takoffs and landings. So I had my first passangers: the ramp guys at Swakopmund airfield.
SwakopmundThe funny thing in it is that I do this with a Namibian Student Pilot License.
And now the company training is still on. Till I do not get my validation papers I can only fly right hand seats. But am flying the routes and practice the radio work. I enjoy these with my training captain Somatiko.
Coming from Europe I'm used to full radar coverage, so once given a squawk we just fly around like flies, and don't really report except if we're asked by the ATIS. Here it is different, there is no radar coverage, so you must continuously transmit your position and your intentions. Wich is not a bad thing considering you have twenty airplanes flying the same route, with some of them coming up ahead. Own separation. And it works very good.
Except maybe if you are a newbie and doing your practice patterns at Swakopmund airfield in the afternoon and suddenly you have ten airplanes coming back from a Sossusvlei scenic and every pilot has other intentions. I was doing some full load checkflights when this happened. I was on left pattern RWY 17. And then some guys coming home were starting to use RWY 35. It was an interesting experience that would never happen back home.
FNG's at Kücki's: Nik of the skydivers. Stephan and Kike for ScenicLot's of new guys arrived as well. Most importantly my job hunting friend with whom I arrived here in March, Kike, went online with Scenic.
Sunday sportsThings really picked up paperwork wise as well. In the meantime my work visa arrived. So at the moment the only thing I need is a License Verification sent to the Namibian DCA by the Hungarian DCA. Bush Bird is fully booked for the next month, so I hope I will be online by then.
Although Swakopmund is not even one degree away from the Tropic of Capricorn which marks the most southerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon (here this is in December), it is pretty cold nowadays. Morning fogs, mist is very common. Mainly couple of miles inland and along the shore. This is due the cold Benguela Current. This creates the desert conditions at the shores of Namibia, and the persistent fogs that we now in Swakopmund at the Skeleton Coast and Namib Desert. Which led to lots of ships running aground. Like the Eduard Bohlen close to Conception Bay, one of the biggest now on the shores of Namibia. The ship was a 2,272 gross ton cargo ship with a length of around 100 meters.
Some days it doesn't even clear up during the day. Meaning that when coming back from a flight sometimes we need to use the railway approach RWY 35. But will write you about this later.
The Eduard Bohlen ran aground off the coast of Namibia's Skeleton Coast in 1909, in a thick fog.
My next post will be very soon, as I've got a couple of messages with common questions, and instead of answering them separately will post the FAQ's with the answers here.