2009. február 27., péntek

PIREP Africa

Maun is in real recession depression. Companies do not hire any pilots, and some are thinking of letting go without pay many of their pilots. Tourism is down by 50%. So it is an absolute NO GO situation.
Did not get any reply from Tanzanian operators. But I just started to explore this possibility.
But it seems that situation in Namibia isn't that bad. Some guys in Windhoek are saying that the companies ain't saying that there is no hireing. They will not downturn you. So it might be worth a try.

We just have to keep up and wait for a while until the end of this recession will be seen. My biggest problem is that I wanted to do an instructors rating and the Hungarian authority told me that I need to have 400 hours. Shoot...

2009. február 24., kedd

Alouette II flying

My buddy bought an ex-bundespolizei Alouette II turbine helicopter. So on sunday we went xcountry to try it out. Beautiful CAVOK all over and white world. 
We flew to a place called Tündérmajor (Angel Manor) for a few hundred gallons of kerosene. 1000 ft AMSL, low above hills and woods. The trees without leaves alowed us to see the deers, boars and other animals in the forests. 
It was my first rotor flying. Vertical takoff, low speeds, hovering was cool as it could get but I won't really be a helicopter freak. 
This beast sips 43 gallons of kerosene per hour. It carries 4 (yeah mainly 1+3 depending on fuel load) adults at speeds between 90-100 knots. Gush, in my little DA20 I'd be doing 10 hours with that amount... 

2009. február 23., hétfő

We got to Tanzania

Here's the info I gathered on Tanzania. It seems that most companies need to be contacted to find out the requirements, and maybe they'll be more informative then the ones in other African countries. 

ZanAir: I don't know about requirements. Get in touch with them for the piston hours. The Let's still need a type rating and this is in the range of 11000 Euros. (www.zanair.com)
Tropical: They are overhauling the entire fleet, and eventually will need pilots. A good place for low time guys to start off in and work up. As for requirments you need to get hold of them. (www.tropicalair.co.tz)

Flightlink: They have C206, Seneca II/III, Islander BN2B-20 and C208B. Based in Dar-Es-Salaam. (flightlinkaircharters.com)

Sky Aviation: Several twins. They operate C402B/C an Aztec and a Cherokee 6. A relativly new company. Nothing of their requirments or working conditions. (unfortunately no link)

AuricAir: They have everything from little singles to big twins (Caravan, Seneca and L410). (www.auricair.com)
Coastal Aviation: One of the biggest operators out there. Safety is cool. The pilots are experienced, and entry requirments are high. 400+ for a 206 and 2000+ for a Van. Flying to some pretty out of the way places and some very rough strips. 
Comment from a Coastal pilot: It does take a certain character to make it in Coastal, it's not for everybody. It's hard to get onto the Van since most pilots are upgraded internally. But if you want to come and fly out in East Africa for a while with a descent Company and fly serious hours. Then I'd say look up Coastal. It is very hard for the new guys, but managment wants dedicated people who give that little extra for the job. It's not just good enough to just fly you got to help out in all factions of the company from time to time. Often your in some middle of nowhere place or in another country where you have no support staff. It's hard work, but I've had a fun doing it. You'll work hard but fly all over the country and it's neighbours. (www.coastal.cc)
Kili Air: ran over them while looking for Tanzania flying pictures (the ones posted here are from their site), a company incorporated in Tanzania and is based in the town of Moshi on the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They have flights in Tanzania and Kenya. Flying C404, C210. May be worth a check. As I work as a designer for me a nice website tells me a lot about the company and Kili has a really nice one. Small, well positioned and has a well defined image. They are my personal favourites (like MackAir is in Maun – www.mackair.co.bw – or Pleasure Flights & Safaris, based in Swakopmund – www.pleasureflights.com.na). (www.kiliair.com)

2009. február 20., péntek

Previous post

After receiving the update info (thanks Soap Box Cowboy) my first move was to remove the post, but then I tought it might be good to illustrate how information on the net (there is an existing Renair site) can be sometimes way too outdated. But then who's paying for the annual fee? Why isn't it removed or something? 

No matter. I've gathered some more and recent info on Tanzania and will post it this weekend.

2009. február 19., csütörtök

Renair Ltd., Mwanza, Tanzania

This post is to give a little hope. 
Recently I ran over a company in Tanzania called Renair Ltd. based in Mwanza. Their fleet consists of a Cessna 310, a Piper Aztec and two Piper Cherokee Six aircraft. From a low-timer pilot point of view the company might be interesting as they claim not to rely fully on tourism but having a massive part of flying done for mining companies. Which maybe will not be afected so deeply by this downturn.
They do pretty simpatic routes for tourists: Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, Ngombe Stream National Park, Rubondo National Park and so on.
Might be worth giving a try. I didn't write them yet, so I know nothing about their requirements, but if I find out or you might know something about them feel free to share it with me. 
 Capt. Mark Lekeu, Aviator Pilot and Managing Director of Renair
Update, with hope gone... Got this from a guy: Man your info is way out of date. The Aztec was written of when it went head to head with a couple of cows. One of the Cherokee's had it's C of A suspended because of illegal or unsanctioned mods. The other flew in Serengetti for a while, not sure if it is the one that in the end went to Dar and had it's nose gear ripped off. The 310 is here in Dar with Tanzanair. But as far as I know has not flown for several years. As for Mike, no idea where he ended up.

2009. február 18., szerda


Was sick for a few days, bloddy flu, watched tv (blody CNN) and became hell of a depressed. As economical figures are falling so it seems that the flying possibilities are shrinking. Wherever you look be it Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania it is NO GO! Had a feeling that it is time to give up. Take the flight bag with logbook, license, headset, maps and all that sh*t and drop it in the trash.  
But then I had to realize that nobody got me into this but me. And I knew that it won't be easy. And at least I have a degree, I have a very good job. I'm not  starving. So I just need to press on, and if it'll take 5 years to get that first comercial pilot job in Africa than be it. As long as I try to do my best in becoming a more and more experienced pilot I'm on the way to achieve my goal.
So any of you who's depressed nowadays keep up. You are not alone...

2009. február 13., péntek

The Namibian Connection

Wrote to post here some stuff on am too, so while I'm still lazy and while nothing really happens these days. But here's a few charter operators:
Scenic Air (C210)
Wings Over Africa (C210)
Westair (C210, C310, C404, C406)
Sefofane (C210, C208)
The story is tha same as for the earlier mentioned places: go there, be nice, make yourself known and maybe you'll land a job and every other thing will be taken care. I've already posted Martijn's blog. He got that job at Scenic in notime. 

2009. február 5., csütörtök

Stolen Cessna 177RG Cardinal

Never heard of stolen airplanes in Hungary. Hijacked yes, but stolen, come on...
We flying people all know - what I had to explain the whole day to my colleagues and friends - that starting an airplane isn't like starting a car. Not to say flying it and then landing it. Police said that the plane wasn't removed with a truck. The surface of the airport from where it was stolen (Baja: LHBJ) is grass and it was wet with no truck tracks. 
My guess would be that it was flown to Serbia which is only 30 kilometers from Baja.
Cessna 177RG Cardinal
Was repainted since the picture was taken.
The Canadian signs were removed.
The color is white with red stripes.

Being lazy nowadays

Promised some info on Namibia, but untill I get out from this greyness I'm in right now here's something to read. Martijn Denecker's blog. He went to Windhoek on 6th of January and a few days later was hired by Scenic, a local charter company. You can get some idea of the process on his site: 
Scenic C210 over Namibian desert