Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Mission completed!!

Dear all,

Thank you all for following this blog!
You will have missed an update yesterday.

The reason for this was that internet was not available and next to that it was our longest day of flying almost 10 hours!

We started off that day in Khartoum, Sudan. We had planned an early departure, about 6:30 local time...

We were awake at 5:15 and prepared ourselves including a nicely especially for us prepared breakfast. We appreciated the coffee to wake us up! ;-)
Shortly before 06:00 we were at the airport, but...

The ground handler which took care of us and took also our passports (!) which is normal procedure, was no where to be seen. 
We waited for a while...

Jeroen started to walk up and down and phone calls were made. Our patience was tested, because of our flying schedule. We both send our prayers up, and finally after a long 45 minutes he showed up.

Ayatollah had a flat tyre, which took them some time to get it replaced...

But once he was there, things happened quickly. We got our passports back and all forms were completed. And groundtransport was arranged to our plane. Last details were discussed, ready for departure!

shortly before 8:00 AM we were airborne... We followed again the Nile for a while. Our cleared route took us along Malakal, recently in the news because of the serious fighting going on there.

The engine ran smoothly, like it had been doing for more than 25 hours...
But Jeroen and Herman looked at each other, if we have an engine problem here, it wouldn't be a good idea to land here.
But again we put our trust in Him who stilled the waters!

About 3 hours later we landed in Northern Kenya: Lokichoggio.
Very hot there! 36 degrees C.

We were glad with the MAF handler there! (MAF uses this airport a lot and even had a subbase there).

The departure from Loki was a hot one...
Oil temp approached red line... Cowl flaps were already fully open, we increased our speed by lowering the nose, things got better! This is Africa!

We managed to get to Flightlevel 100
( about 3 kilometers height ) a nice altitude especially because we got some nice tailwinds that we needed to get to Entebbe in time to be able to do our last hop to Kajjansi Airport the ultimate destination of D-EMHA.

After 2 hours we suddenly heard a voice on the radio, with a Dutch accent!
It was Kees Barendse, the chief engineer of MAF-Uganda!
He welcomed us and said he would wait for us at Kajjansi and hoped we would make it!

After this we got radar vectors (very nice!) to make an Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach into Entebbe!

On landing Hassan the MAF groundhandler in Entebbe arranged quickly all what was necessary, all so quick that in 40 minutes we were airborne again to hop over to Kajjansi which is only 6 minutes flying from Entebbe and also situated on the shore of Lake Victoria.

Herman made his best landing ever this ferry, MAF-style ;-) and taxied the Cessna in front of the beautiful MAF hangar that both Jeroen and Herman saw for the first time. 

They will miss D-EMHA, a plane that proved to be very reliable this 5 day journey where the engine ran for an average of almost 7-8 hours non stop!!

They are both sure that this C182 will be a huge blessing for the people it will serve! It will even change lives, physically & spiritually!!!

"MAF: Flying for Life!!"

The newly delivered C182 at the MAF-hangar on Kajjansi, Uganda.

Monday, 20 January 2014

After some issues, arrived safely in Sudan

A short message due to some internet problems...

We arrived safely after having to wait for a long time...

We got the word we would get the permit while flying, we could depart....

This turned about to be a hassle but just before entering Sudan Airspace we did get our permission! Thank you Lord!

The weather was lovely! Again a lot of sand, With along our route The Nile!

Khartoum is a busy airport, but we were handled efficiently by Ayatollah the groundhandler for us.

Today we fly around South Sudan to Kenya: Lokichoggio than straight to Entebbe!

Prayer is again appreciated!

Keep you posted!!!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

From Crete to Egypt...

ODear Blog-readers, today we arrived in Luxor, Egypt. After departing Crete.
As today is sunday we were thinking of our home-churches and shared some of
our experiences as Christians, about trust and also that it is amazing that we live in a world,
where many things in history happened that are still of value nowadays!

While departing Crete we passed the bay where, according to many Historians Paul made it to land, during the nasty storm/hurrycane which forced his ship to Crete...

And while we flew into Egypt our thoughts went back to Moses and Joseph, they both spent years and years in Egypt. The Lord guided all 2 of them through difficult stages of life and succeeded with Gods help, and that is what we have found out as well!

And working with MAF in several roles has been also a blessing, we are thankful that planes can be used as  "donkey for the Good Samaritan" and now we are ferrying one of the donkeys to Uganda.

The flight was uneventful, we saw a lot of sand, and have been looking out for the pyramids but the only ones we could spot where the follwing ones... ;-)

Luxor ATC was very friendly and this time we were able to fly an ILS without any problem and landed smoothly at Luxor Intl. Airport.

We were met by very friendly Egyptians and thanks to Bo Therkildsen, our professional Flight Planner/Organizer in Denmark, everything went smoothly! Our visums were arranged even without going ourselves to Customs! Fuelling was also arranged by him and was topped upsome time after landing, and we found out the plane consumed exactly the planned amount or even a bit beter!

We saw a bit of  Luxor by taxi, but actually regret the fact we don't have much time to visit all the places that are so important in the history of Egypt...

Tomorrow will be quite exciting as we have to wait until we get permission to fly to Northern Sudan...
We had a permit for today to fly into Sudan, but because of the bad weather in Europe we missed that opportunity... We hope and pray this will not be a big problem, so that we will be able to actually get to Khartoum in the afternoon.

The following day we will then head to Lokichoggio Kenya, this route will take us around Southern Sudan where at the moment, as you might know, still some fighting is going on. Although in Juba, where MAF has a sub-base seems to be OK at this time... We almost landed there but to get a permit this late was not so practical...

So until next time! Hopefully from Khartoum, Sudan (if internet is availbable...)

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Temps are rising...

Our first night of the ferry was quite, well, loudly. We managed to find a cheap hostel which was amazingly clean and welcoming but around 10pm the pub just below us brought us blues-atmosphere. To be honest, it was pretty good and we decided to have a look. At that time the temperature was about 10 degrees Celsius, very nice!! At 11:00 PM we called it a day and managed to catch some sleep.

At approx. 09:15 local time we were airborne from Zadar. Flying mostly above a solid cloudlayer at FL110, the flight was pretty straight forward. But what a difference with the day before, then we had temperatures up to minus 8 and did we have to watch out for icing. Now we saw the temperature climbing from zero to plus 4 degrees at the same level.

Once leaving the shore behind we fiddled the lifevests around our heads, we were ready for crossing the same waters St. Paul had sailed. We were very aware of the country below us where Paul ministered, quite amazing. Beside the outside temperature rising, also our oil-temperature indicator was showing a rise which wasn't effected by selecting cowlflaps open or close. This would be one of the indictors to watch once over the deserts in northern- and middle Africa.

Upon landing at Iraklion, Crete, we were welcomed by the handling agent Olympics, they really helped us with arranging fuel, customs and police. The temperature now at 8:30 PM outside is 14 degrees C.!
Can you imagine that it feels a bit like 'spring' to us? Holiday-feeling almost.....
If we didn't have this nasty headache... We're off to bed, tomorrow a new blog. Sleep tight!

Tomorrow it's time to go to Luxor Egypt...

Monday hopefully Sudan if we get the necessary permits... Prayer is appreciated!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Great Flight! Arrived safely in Zadar, Croatia.

Sometimes we think the weather forecasts are many times wrong, well I have deep respect for the meteorologists from METEO Schiphol. Today's forecast was highly accurate. Like I wrote this morning we had to pass the warmfront.
They predicted it was not so active and indeed without significant problems we flew at our attitude through the layers of clouds, with only picking up minor ice.

The picture above was before we passed the warmfront. A bit later our view got a bit "milky"....

The stripes you see are caused by our camera because of the movement of the propeller; looks a bit awkward. But I can assure you it ran very smoothly!!

A pleasant surprise was breaking out of the clouds passing the Eastern Alpes!

Here a video where Jeroen is showing you a bit of the great scenery! ;-)

The last bit was windy... Western winds up to 50 kts made it hard as with the mountaineous area this kinds of winds create turbulence and dangerous downdrafts, we went up and down and at one time, we couldn't maintain altitude anymore and informed Air Traffic Control, gladly they gave us clearance to fly at a lower altitude...

Air Traffic Control was very friendly all the way from Holland through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Slovenia & Croatia! They gave us many shortcuts and we even got a "Tot ziens" (Dutch) in Slovenia, guess we have to practice covering up our Dutch accent... ;-)

Approaching Zadar was nice breaking out of the clouds and seeing the Runway, we had a bit of problems with our ILS receiver (Instrument Landing System) but were able to make a safe approach into Zadar!

Jeroen made a perfect landing with a 20 knots crosswind... You actually can see on the picture he had to steer upwind quite a bit...

Well time to go to bed now (10:00 PM)

To be continued!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Another day with new chances!!!

Got up early this morning!

We checked the weather and it all looks promising! We only need to pass a weatherfront but no significant weather is expected, although freezing level is at 5.000 feet. 

This means that at our altitude (around 10.000 feet)  any moisture in the air will freeze on our airframe... We will have to take account for that and fly at lower levels or avoiding clouds.
Join us in prayer for a smooth flight!!

We will pass Salzburg and then head South for Croatia, where the plan is to land in Zadar where we will stay overnight and continue to Iraklion, Crete tomorrow!

Now we are going to do the preflight, the plane had a good rest as well!! ;-)
We will depart around 9:00 hours local time...

When we see the plane, it is hard to imagine this plane will be of such great help in Uganda and Sudan. It will carry missionaries, relief workers and also bring sick people to hospitals where they will get a chance to recover instead of having no treatment at all with a worse outcome...

We are thankful to play a little role in this and do our best to get the plane down to Africa safely! And we say like Nehemia:
The God of heaven will give us succes!!

Back to base

There we are, back in the hotel we left this morning... Jeroen joked this morning to the receptionist: "I hope I don't see you anymore." She remembered it well... and said: "You're still welcome!" ;-)

We are glad to be optimistic as this day should have ended with us in Rome...

But you can never force the weather!
And like an old MAF-pilot used to say:
"It's better to arrive too late in this life than too early in the next!"

During the day we changed our routing and watched the weather with a coldfront passing overhead.. We were almost keeping in front of it, and had already started up and were waiting for our ATC-clearance to approve us to follow the appropriate airways and stay clear of the Airliners. But our hope was in vain...

There was a mix-up with our call-sign and we were told we could not leave without sorting this out, on the ground, which meant we had to file a new flightplan which would have caused such a delay that we would have arrived in darkness, which we try to avoid as much as we can.

So we decided to taxi back to the ramp and call it a day...

Too many things went in another direction than expected: we had to find charts to buy which were not available and new airports we couldn't study in advanced etc etc and we felt pushed until the point where we decided not to go.

Another Aviation saying is; 
Better be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than being in the air wishing you were on the ground!

We are on the ground wishing and praying for a good day tomorrow!! ;-)

We have decided to follow...  the eastern route again via Munich, Salburg and Slovenia & Croatia. 

Destination is Zadar International Airport.

We'll keep you posted!