Leg 21. HAAB – HDAM

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By Simon | Filed in Africa, Legs 21-30, Round the World! | One comment

Where our intepid explorer leaves Bole International, Addis Ababa. Ethopia to crawl ever close to his goal  this time landing in Ambouli, Djobouti.

Winds and weather Hot.  Well it’s Africa. what do you expect.  I crossed the equator a few flights back and didn’t notice it.  That was gonna be a first mile stone.  I don’t even remember noticing it at the time.

The ‘van’ is flying well.  Almost too well.  Fire it up and go.  Ahh, I’m almost pining for the good old days of oil and the smell’s and sounds of radial engies.  Almost.

This is the last leg in Africa.  my next leg is to cross The gulf of Aden at it’s narrowest point.  Any further and I’d be in the Red Sea.  Over the next few legs I’m intending to pass close to such historical places as Mecca, Jeddha, Medina, Then on to the Gulf of Suez and the canal.  Although I may turn East before I get to the gulf.

I’ve been advised to be on m best behaviour in these places.  I’ve bought a Burka and got some funny looks by the locals, but I guess they are not used to a Westener respecting their beliefs.  Just as long as they speak English huh?

While I guess I’ll feel at home in the Middle East, I know more about it then Africa.  I certainly didn’t rush out of Africa, but often I didn’t know what to expect as I landed.  Even thought I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia, or any of the Arab Countries, I, for some reason think I feel more at home there.   Even though I’ve never been there.

I do hope the Pimms is up to scratch.

For the last few legs there’s been a fair amount of Smoke from the exaust.  Almsot everyone has the opinon that I’m running it on the wrong fuel and that I sould be using Jet Fuel.  I keep correcting them by telling them that it’s a prop aircraft, not a Jet aircraft.  But to no avail.    I guess with my vast technical experance that it’s a worn carb needle.   I’ll fix it when I get to Saudi.

I’ve been leafing thru the manual for this aircraft.  The sun set’s quickly here, and the Pimms is very poor.   Anyway,  there is something called a GIPS or GAPS.  It somehow know’s exactly where you are by talking to a load of satellites that are in space.  I didn’t know you would get sky TV down here, but Hey,  I’ll have to see if I can get the cricket on it.   In the absence of a navigator (covered a few posts ago.)  I shall endeavour to find out the exciting things this device can provide, apart from Sky TV.

Legs – Something to a few more

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By Simon | Filed in Uncategorized | No comments yet.

From dodoma to  Bole International (HAAB) Addis Ababa in Ethopia.

Sorry for the lack of flight reports.  Many reasona why, a few are even good enough.

The last report was me cleaning out and getting a Cessna Caravan ready for it’s first flight in 6 months.   Well we made out of Kilimatinde (HTKT) to Dodoma.  I then Stopped at The likes of Dar Es Sallam, Zanzibar, finally to Kilimanjaro thru Kenya and into Addis Ababa in Ethopia.

I’d be lying is I said I’m gonna write up the flights.  I did have every intention to do so at the time, but I cannot remember what I did last week, let alone last month.

I will sort myself out and blog better!!


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By Simon | Filed in Site admin | No comments yet.

As you can see my blog is somewhat modified. 9 extra widgets (the side panels) and 27 Plugins. While not all of them are active or seen by the average reader, that’s a lot of stuff that’s not tried and tested.

Well, I got bitten 10 minutes ago…

Many people will speak of backups being the most important and the first thing you should be doing. I agree. But I’m human. It’s hard to be disciplined unless you have someone standing over you with a wip.

Normally I let wordpress (the blog Software) automatically update the plugins as the authors often make small changes, and It’s very easy to keep up to date. Heck it’s almost automatic after you say “Update” and supply the FTP passwords.

I use BackUpWordPress from Human Made Limited. It’s simple and does the job every 24 hours by backing up the site for me.

This morning, I was doing some admin on the blog and allowed the Blog to auto update BackUpWordPress for me. This promptly hung and killed the blog.

I ended up with no posts and no access to any admin panel.

Bugger! Was a word I considered, but I thought it was not enough. So I started inventing words.

Ahh! I have backups!! 🙂 5 minutes later I’d downloaded the last backup, expanded the ZIP file and uploaded it back to the blog.

Thank’s to BackUpWordPress my Blog is back and working.. After the same plugin broke it.


After issues and repairs to PC’s etc,  I’m taking some time out to enjoy my self with the CIX VFR Club by flying their Christmas Caper around The Bahamas.

It’s really enjoyable.  The scenery from flightsim.com titled Caribbean Seaplane Tours is really top notch.

I seem to be getting crosswinds from 040 – 060 @ 16-20 kts,  and as many runway’s are east/west it makes for some interesting flying, but that’s half the fun..     I’m trying not to be the last to to finish,  but some people are on the way back to the US mainland while I’m only about 1/4 of the way around.

No matter though, I’m doing it for the fun.


Anyway, onto the reason for the post.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat yada yada, you know the drill.   What with Christmas commitments I’m probabally not gonna start flying the RTW trip until the new year.  That way I can enjoy what I’m doing now with out rushing around the place.

Watch this space.


CIX VFR Club’s Christmas Caper 2011

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By Simon | Filed in Uncategorized | No comments yet.

Well,   it’s in full swing.  We’re having a tour around the Bahamas for our christmas jaunt.    And really enjoyable it is as well.   Apart from the corsswinds I’m getting all the time, but they can be fun.

Here’s a link to the event :

And a few pictures that I’ve taken.  Ohh,  I ended up renting a Caravan (executive fittout) C6-SBI.  Watch for me on Vatsim.  If I’m flying,  keep away 🙂


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By Simon | Filed in Round the World! | No comments yet.

Finally I’m back and working without a problem.  A new Power supply and 4gb of new memory and away we go.   Ohh, and a reinstall of FSX and Windows 7.

Sorted!!  More soon once I restore my FS Flight keeper database and see where I had got it.

If anyone’s interested.

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By Simon | Filed in Uncategorized | No comments yet.

Apart from enjoying the sun and making stuff (See below) my pc’s blown up.

New parts ordered..   Waiting..

I’m also trying to think “What have  I forgotten”


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By Simon | Filed in Bikes | No comments yet.

Sorry for the delay.  Doing these updates takes some time.  Pictures to chop up and edit, upload them, and then write the stunning prose you all enjoy soo much.

I’ve got another 4 legs done and I’ll write a single update for those soon.

Summer (laugh!) is here and I’m trying to get some stuff done around the house.  Ohh and finish this off for my 8 year old.

Mini Chopper from kids BMX

Modifying a kids BMX to make a Mini Chopper.

I took one of the kids old bikes, and along with an angle grinder, welder and some time This is where I am.  Well, I’m redoing the front forks, but the frame is good.

I’m also slowly working on my Kit car.  No pictures though.

Horizon GEN X Ireland.

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By Simon | Filed in General Flying | No comments yet.

Keith D at the CIX VFR CLUB sent me a few pictures of the new Horizon GEN X Scenery.  While I live in Ireland it’s something I’ve yet to buy.

The night after we flew in the same aircraft (shared cockpit) From Shannon (EINN) Coonagh (EICN) Via Buree, Kilmallock and up the Shannon beyond Ardnacrusha on the Shannon. Here are some of those pictures.  Keith sent me around 160 Pictures…… Thanks Keith 🙂


Here we go with a selection :


Random Ireland Image No.1

Random Ireland Image No.2

Random Ireland image No.3

N20 in Limerick. Patrickswell Junction. Limerick Race course top left.

O’Rourkes Cross (down and left of centre) N20 R543 cross. Buree is at the end of the road leaving the image top left.

Buree, Co. limerick.  The road coming into the map bottom right comes from O’Rourkes Cross. Shows the Bridge across the Road, with the mill weir just below that.

Kilmallock, Co. Limerick

My house (Just left of centre and down)


Limerick city Dock and main road bridge.

Ardnacrusha Hydroelectric Power station Built 1920’s.  This is the only way from the tidal shannon to the lough’s of Ireland.  You can get to Dublin and into Northern ireland from here. There are miles of Rivers and Lough’s to explore.   The only way to get a boat up the Shannon from the tidal Shannon is to travel up the Headrace to Ardnacrusha.  There there are two lock’s to traditional guillotine design build into the side of the power station.  While the charge is neglible the two locks’ travel over 100 feet vertically (30, and 70 respectively).  I’ve not travelled through these locks, but going down is said to be quite harrowing for the un-experanced.  Some say it’s like being dropped into a grave.

The 1st Lough (Derg).  The headrace from Ardnacrusha wanders up from the bottom left.  the un-navigable river shannon follows to the right.

What I’d say is the start of the navigable section.  Kilaloo on the lower side, and Ballina on the upperside.  People who have rented Boats are not allowed any further south (Right)

Keith pointed this out.  The place in the center is (I think a specalist hospital), the strange building at the top middle is Limerick Prison, And the Dog track (shutdown) is to the top right.

Another view of Limerick port with Coonagh Airfield (400m*9m) in the distance.

Ready to fly.

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By Simon | Filed in Africa, Legs 11-20, Narration, Round the World! | No comments yet.

I’ve managed clean up the Caravan to a flying state.  Well I employed some locals to do that.  I’m more of a delegater then a do-er.  Clean the in out takes.  The body and windows.  Pump up the tyres.  Charge the battery.  Twice after leaving the master switch on overnight.

It hasn’t flown in 6 months by all accounts.  Well it started this morning.  I’m not sure on the fuel though.   I guess it had seperated in the tanks and so we emptied it all into a couple of 50 gallon drums and stirred it around for a while.  We then pumped it back into the tanks.   While the engine started it’s smoking like a WW-2 Bomber.

At a guess I don’t think it’s supposed to do that.  The fuel has a purple dye to it.  from all accounts it’s either 82UL (Not made since 2008) or some discontinued military fuel.  Both are made for reciprocating engines.   While I can run the engine on it (the manual says it’s permissable if all else fails)  one of the locals suggested diesel…..

Well,  it’ll be fresh for sure.  Better then the stuff we are using at the moment.  A local farmer has been contacted and is gonna deliver some.  Well will drain one tank and fill it with diesel then see how the engine runs on that.  As long as I can get to Dodoma everything is good as they have Jet A-1 there.

Once we’ve got a fuel that seems to allow us to create some soft or acceptable power we’ll try a test flight.