2011. május 13., péntek

Giraffe vs C172

What happens when a Cessna 172 hits a giraffe?  
I had lots of friends asking me about the incident that was eternalized on this picture that became quite famous on the internet.
The story behind the picture: a researcher for African Wild Dogs collided with a giraffe at Santawani airstrip in Botswana close to Maun, in the Okavango Delta, in his Cessna 172 with registration V5-ETS. From the position of the flap on the wing I'd presume it happened on landing. The pilot fortunately sustained minor injuries. The aircraft and the giraffe were not that lucky. And as you can see from the picture that was on Airliners.net (but unfortuntely is not there anymore) the 172 was damaged beyond repair.
The story does not end here. From the picture some have misread the registration number as V5-EYS (no surprise seeing the creased fuselage). This is true even for FlightAware flight tracking portal. And a James Dean like cursed Porsche story started to unveil. The rumour goes that the registration was reassigned to a PIPER PA28. The plane was owned by a Swakopmund doctor and I saw it a couple of times on the apron. This airplane crash-landed last year here in Namibia on a gravel airstrip at the Urusis farm in the Maltahöhe district just after take-off. Fortunately nobody was hurt in this incident.

2011. május 7., szombat

On the 2000 hours rule

A few weeks ago I stated on PPRuNe, that in Namibia low hours job wise things are back to normal. This was a reply on couple of questions about the new rule that was introduced around the beginning of this year asking for 2000 TT from any foreign pilot wanting to validate or convert their licenses in Namibia. And this is also true on the work visas and permits. Which would have meant that most companies here would have been in trouble as there are not too many people with this amount of hours who would come here to fly the 210's.
Flooded apron at Swakopmund Airfield

I had a chat about this with someone who has more insight on the problem and he said that it is not completely true that things are back to normal despite pilots getting their work visas again. 
Green desert North of Sossusvlei Lodge

The new procedure is that any under 2000 hours pilot who is hired by a company needs to send their papers first to the DCA. There a DCA guy needs to sign a paper stating they do propose or do not propose the applicant. Then this paper goes to the Ministry of Works, where it is reviewed and eventually signed by the under secretary - the reason is that apparently there are too many Namibian pilots who are unemployed. If he accepts the decision of the DCA the papers will go back to the DCA signed. And only after this can the papers go to the Home Affairs with the visa applications.
The Lost City of Mermaids

So there is one more step introdued in the system. I do not know exactly how many people got their visas, but I see the newly hired Wings Over Africa pilots flying. The New Zealanders arrived here around December-January, and they all had around 250 hours.
Walvis Bay harbour and lagoon 

So when you are planning to come here on a job hunt you might need to take into consideration this new situation. Which might mean longer time to get online once you are hired.