If you are a regular reader please scroll down the post, to skip the following.
For those of you who have just stumbled across my blog for the first time it is linked to my website which promotes and sells an Ebook jam packed with information for pilots considering Africa as a place to fly. The Ebook focuses mostly on Botswana and Tanzania....as these are the two countries where I have been and are presently based.
I have just released an update for the Ebook.
Because of course over time things change...like Aviation authorities like the DCA in Botswana or the TCAA in Tanzania slightly change their rules and requirements for ex-patriot pilots. The immigration departments change their procedures and requirements as well. Or some bar that was all the hit with pilots last year may not be the place this year.
This Ebook has all the information from Visas, how to get here, best techniques for landing jobs, accommodation, best time to go and dozens of other questions a pilot wanting to head out to Africa may have....definitely all the questions I had before heading out to Africa 5 years ago.
Interested in the Ebook?
Now for the regular reader or casual browser.
A few days back I took this picture whilst cruising above a thin layer stratus cloud (I'm sure it was stratus, but I am the first to admit I am not a cloud expert, but I can definitely identify a Cumulo-stay-away-fromus/Cumulonimbus/thunderstorm).
I was on my way down to a place called Lindi 180 nautical miles south down the coast from Dar es Salaam to do a medivac (medical evacuation). The Caravan had 3 paramedics on board, the back two rows of seats removed for the stretcher bound patients we were to pick up and a load of emergency medical equipment.
The flight down at FL115 (11500 feet) was uneventful...hence the photo taking. I landed at Lindi on one its wagon wheel of grass runways. I couldn't see a ambulance waiting...was it going to be one of these African moments....hurry up and wait! It was already late afternoon I was only going to wait until 1745(local time) I had to be airborne before dark, naturally. Lindi airport/airstrips has a reasonable terminal with even a fire engine not bad for a remote coastal town. When I filled out the landing register I was the first plane here in over 2 months. The TAA (Tanzanian airport authority) were out in a flash to collect taxes and landing fees from me...though I got a receipt for the payments I swear that money never made it past the nearest local pub ( I shouldn't be so pessimistic).
Waiting for the critical car accident victims to arrive one of the paramedics rang the phone number they were provided, to find out that the patients were coming in a Taxi....a TAXI? how critical are these people was my initial thought if they can get into a taxi.
1 hour later I was preparing to leave when a taxi arrived packed full of people (a family sedan with 5 adults and 3 children!). Everyone got out of the car ok, who is injured? well wasn't my business I am just the pilot. Then the whole family wanted to board the aircraft....I'm on a medivac not running the local bus service(not this day anyway), I put my foot down and said only the injured are getting a free insurance paid flight to Dar es Salaam. So with my 2 additional WALKING passengers aboard I took off in the fading light for a 80 minute flight back to Dar.
One guy did have a bandage on the side of his face apparently and was unconscious the day before when the accident happened.
As it looked to me and the bemused paramedics was that these two guys had achieved a flight to Dar es Salaam courtesy of their medical insurance...I will have to remember that trick myself for in future.