2010. szeptember 6., hétfő

On Namibian stuff

As I promised here's what awaits you if you get hired by a Namibian company.
First of all you will need to validate your license. This is not a great deal. You will need to take two exams. A Namibian Air Law and a Radiotelephony. For Air Law there is a small leaflet, you read it once and you will easily pass the test. Mainly ICAO stuff. 
Geluk (FYGK) pick up day
The Radiotelephony is dependant on where you do it. If you have the possibility to chose go for the exam with Pierre, a pilot and ATC in Walvis Bay. He has a written exam on TIBA and other freqvencies as well as radio failure procedures. Then he will brief you on the Namibian airspace specifications. One of them being the "talk-talk-talk". There is no radar yet for the airspace here. So no transponder codes are given to airplanes. So you need to make your reports regularly. And as you start flying you will see how important the "talk-talk-talk" rule is. Flying on a busy Sossusvlei scenic day with ten other planes around you is quite fun...
Over the big Namib
If you are done with that the DCA will sooner or later issue you a Student Pilot License, so you can start doing your C210 type rating. Which for some might sound crazy, but that's how it is these places. Type rating for every airplane you fly (be it a 152...). But this will mean just a couple of hours flying on type with an instructor.
Walvis Bay harbor
For your license validation you will also need to have a license verification. This means that the namibian DCA sends a request to your home DCA asking them if your license is genuine or you just bought it on the flea market. If you have any contacts to your DCA let the Namibians know about it as in the majority of cases their database is outdated and they are sending requests to non existing addresses. Also you may try to ask for a verification yourself.
In the meantime your company will send a couple of papers to the Ministry of Home Affairs requesting a work visa or work permit. 
Little airplane in the canyon
During this procedure - depending on company - you start your line training. You will be put in the right seat anytime there is a free one. I managed to do around 40 hours right hand.
One day your work visa arrives and if you are lucky enough your license validation will also be there. And you start flying left hand seat with one of the company's senior pilots. Then one day you get signed off and start flying on your own.
There might seem to be lots of waiting, lots of fighting, but the rewards are high! You are finally flying...