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Jay | Susan | Alex | Beth | Samantha
August 31, 2013 1:45 pm
Published in: Flying

I’d like to say the day (22 August) started smoothly but that would be less than truthful. The primary disaster of the morning was my carefully prepared thermos of hot water springing a leak in my backpack.  The clothes mostly stayed dry (let’s hear it for good packs), the real tragedy being a sudden, unplanned reduction in the my coffee ration.

The first leg of the day’s flying went well enough, Lokichogio Kenya to Keew in South Sudan. Landing at Keew was exciting.  The runway at Keew was still wet from rain the afternoon prior and the mud was slippery as grease.  Taxiing to the parking area after landing was interesting, as the plane wanted to weathervane into the wind, so I ended up going a bit sideways down the runway.   Unloading was fast and I took off for Rumbek, and fuel. The fuel truck was waiting so that stop was brief.

Next was Arua, Uganda, where I picked up a load of freight to take to Banda in DR Congo.  The freight was mostly foam for a radio studio…not much weight but it sure filled the airplane to capacity.  The stop at Arua was also fairly quick, and next was Isiro in Congo. Isiro is a port of entry into Congo so there for customs and immigration.  The stop at Isiro was as fast as I’ve ever had….our helper there had everything ready to go so I was on the ground for less than 10 minutes.  However the weather around Isiro convinced me that the rest of the day was not going to happen.  The plan was to go to Dungu next, pick up people and more freight, take them to Banda, drop the people and cargo off, pick up more people then go to Isiro for immigration and then home to Arua.  It was a bit of a fight getting into Isiro due to weather…storms in the area, with a huge area of weather moving toward the town. So I called the charterer and told them I could do Dungu and Banda, but that was it.

Arriving at Dungu also put paid to any thoughts of getting home to Arua.  The cargo and passengers weren’t all ready.  I’d have needed to be less than 30 minutes on the ground there. As it was, I was an hour..  Much of the confusion was due to the change in plans caused by the weather in Isiro.  Still, it reinforced that the decision to not try for Isiro and Arua was a good one.  I made it to Banda…a half hour on the ground, and back to Dungu just at the limit of my daylight reserves.

I spent the night in Dungu with Yannic, the ASF pilot from Canada.  We talked late. Yannic has been in Dungu about three months, with no visitors and not much contact with the outside world.  He had a lot to say.

The next day we went to Isiro and then to Entebbe, and after I had some lunch, I returned to Arua.  The flight home was uneventful, the weather good, the landing smooth.  I taxied to parking, secured the airplane and went home.

3 Responses to “One day, four countries”

  1. Lacey Says:

    A really good answer, full of raoniialtty!

  2. auto insurance Rossville GA Says:

    Keep these articles coming as they’ve opened many new doors for me.

  3. http://insuremycar.dynddns.us/farmers_insurance_helena_mt.xml Says:

    I love this description of your journey, especially the conductor caught off-guard by a passenger smiling at him! I adore travelling by train, it’s nearly always entertaining even when it’s as frustrating/ uncomfortable /overpriced as it often is.Frankie´s last post ..

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