Flight PIL018 to Lilongwe, Malawi

December 11, 2012


Refueling at Victoria Falls

Before I write something about this I flight, I owe you two similar stories told by experienced Pilots in Africa.

The first one came from Gerald McCarthy, the Senior Pilot of ExecuJet Capetown. I give it you ad verbatim: Safe travels through Africa! I told Urs you must remember when you cross the South African border into Africa, the acronym to remember is “TIA” which means “This Is Africa”  In short it means the more you try to hurry, the slower the people become that is supposed to help you! Whether it is ATC, the refueller or the handler. It is best to just slow down to their pace, then you do not frustrate yourself.

The second one came from Colin Bristow, a seasoned bush pilot, and is just another version of the above. He told us to remember “TAB” which means “This is Africa babe”.

They were quite right, in some places more than in others.

Today we noticed upon arrival at the a/c that the lock of the cabin door was damaged, whilst at the same time the cargo net was detached, something which no one remembered having done. We checked the a/c but could not discover anything missing. Still we kept our doubts, but we had no reason not to depart.

The flight from Victoria Falls was not guided very well by the tower but we managed. Then we encountered bad weather. Embedded TS [thunder storms] so we had be extremely carefull. Urs used our Weather Radar to the maximum.

bad weather over Malawi

Very close to Lilongwe the weather got very bad indeed but as it happens only in fairy tales, we just passed the bad weather just by following the STAR [standard terminal arrival route; a procedure to follow a predescribed route to the airport or runway]. We did not need to ask for an approval to deviate for “weather”. At short final a TS came fast towards the runway, but again we were protected by an unknown Malawian weather God.

descending towards Lilongwe

Good handling at Lilongwe. Again we searched the a/c for anything missing until Sophie came with the clever thought that the thieves, if any, might not have wanted to take anything away from the a/c but only to put something in the a/c. In other words using the a/c like a carrier for drugs or other contrabande. Sophie hoped already silently that we would find diamonds (for her). A first search did not deliver any result, but we will do another one tomorrow. Should we list this experience also under TIA or TAB, Gerald and Colin?

at Lilongwe Intl Airport

Lilongwe we would not immediately recommend to anyone for holidays. I know that Charles Boissevain and Boj Mirck were ahead of us. From Charles I had only positive news and I believe that my mother once donated a wing for an aircraft for a kind of Flying Doctors Service in Malawi. It is a hughe country and it was a surprise to me that we were more than 1,5 hours away -by car- from Lake Malawi. The Malawi River which we visited at the same time with the local market, appeared to be only a very small creek which does not deserve the name river at all.

Tomorrow we continue to Nairobi, with or without unwanted cargo on board.

Post by Harry Heijst | December 11, 2012 |

1 Comment

  1. 通販

    by シャネルバレエシューズ | 23 Nov 2013 | 07:06