2011. június 22., szerda

Namibian runways and bush strips

This is not a comprehensive directory, it just has some toughts and pictures about landing in the bush strips in general.
On final at Wolwedans (FYWD - S25° 6'50.95" E15°59'42.83"),
the strip here is about 7 meters wide
When flying into these strips it is wise to make a runway inspection. This should be low enough so that you are able to check for runway condition (grass, bigger stones, holes and whatever else might be). 
Landing at the Sossusvlei Lodge
(FYSL - S24°29'23.71" E15°48'55.40")
Some of these airfields also have windsocks, but in case that there is none you will need to make a plan on determining the wind. And least but not last it is a good idea to check for game on or around the landing strip. And keep an eye on them even during the final approach. 
Geluk-Kulala (FYGK -  S24°40'25.26" E15°47'50.68")
Approach and landing should be at the lowest speed and in the shortest space. Touching down as near the threshold as possible is a good idea (except when the grass is the longest in that area). And if you selected a low approach speed you will be able to spare the brakes even in case of slightly short runways. But always prepare yourself for a go-around (game ain't aware of you coming in). 
Sossus Mountain Lodge (FYSL - S24°47'50.34" E15°53'35.46"),
easy to recognize from that little 
black mountain
Fortunately majority of bush strips in Namibia are quite long, but with summer temperatures of 35+ Celsius and mostly high elevations combined with sometimes close to maximum takeoff weights you can easily have a takeoff run taking seemingly forever. 
The apron at Opuwo (FYOP - S18° 3'36.58" E13°51'3.39"),
where airplanes are preferred sunshades
Rostock Ritz (FYRZ - S23°33'35.30" E15°50'26.96"),
it has quite a big trough
And finally on Swakopmund. Earlier it had a runway with paved surface and was nicely alligned (RWY 06/24) with the prevailing winds that are usually 220-240 untill it got completely useless. So now we have a nice gravel runway where some bushes were removed and the surface a was a bit smoothed. And it is almost perpendicular (17/35) to the old one, so in most cases we have quite nice crosswinds.
Swakopmund final 17
Swakopmund final 35