Archive for the 'Narration' Category

Ready to fly.

Monday, June 20th, 2011

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.

 

Leg 12. Alive and safe!

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

Well, I’ve just made it to Kilimatinde (HTKT)  in a piper J-3 Cub.  Not the safest of aircraft but it beat 6 hours crossing crocodile infested waters.  At least that’s my inpression of the roads around here.   Not leaving the Hotel I wouldn’t know to be honest.

The reason for the flight in the J-3 was to go and look at a replacment for the DC-3.  I was told it was a Cessna Something.  All I could really make out was that it was “Big and noisy, with a propeller on the front.   That could be a C150 for all I knew.   But at the moment anything was better than the road.  Here is the only picture I got on the epic 80nm flight we made. it took 1:30 to do 80nm.  The only good thing was that it used shag all petrol.   I’m of the opinion that it leaked more then it burnt.

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Leg12 pre-cursor

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Yes!  Bloody Hell!  Belive it or not I’m about to  fly somewhere!  Backwards…..

I’ve decided on what aircraft I’m using to replace the DC-3 from just flight.  Read below.  Sorry if you don’t like the narration.  It’s fun

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Got a strange message

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I found a fixer.  He know’s of an ‘Cessna something’ that a safari owner wants to offload.  He tells me it’s very loud and has one engine.   Obviously an aircraft lover.

 

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Solution.

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

While not ideal I have a fix.   It is ditch the DC-3 and get a new aircraft.   I have one in mind, but I won’t tell you until I’ve got to know it better.   IE does it work as advertised.

The buggers have deserted me.   I had a local come to me ‘with information’ but he insisted on payment, up front, for the info.  It turns out he saw Norm and the Co-pilot getting on a local commuter flight.  That info cost me $50.  And they were long gone.

 

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Update

Friday, May 20th, 2011

This DC-3 problem as we know is a show stopper.   I’m getting to the end of my tether.  I’m thinking of changing aircraft.   If I’m honest the DC-3 was annoying me.   There was so much aircraft managment that I was forgetting to look out of the window except for screen shots.

I’m considering my options.  I have several aircraft of a more modern  varity that would do the job with similar performance as the DC-3, but are rated for single pilot flying.  This means less micro managment.

I would continue with the DC-3, but I’m constantly having problems with it, and the newest one is the end of the line.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

Eric’s just told me that the DC-3 is scrap metal.  I had to take a gulp of my Pimms before I would talk to him.  He no longer works for me.  And he should have been grateful for the wages that I paid him.  Not that he did much..   So I’m stranded.  Norm and the Co-pilot have disapeared as well.    And the Hotel doesn’t supply the Times newspaper.   Can it get any worse?  I just hope the Pimms doesn’t run out.

Yet more problems

Monday, May 16th, 2011

While everyone’s FS install has strange quirks mine seems stable at the moment.   Apart from having to run SB outside of FS.  But I understand that’s advised.

Weird things happen to everyone’s FS installs.   I recently installed scenery for Welshpool EGCW and I’ve lost Gloucestershire EGBJ.  The flatten is still there and the runway signs are there, but everything is covered by a layer of grass, and the tower has gone.  Maybe during the flight from EGCW to EGBJ (32 mins) there was a disaster.  Maybe a tidal wave.

Now while most problems can be overcome there are a few that cannot.  I’ve got one of those on the JF DC-3.   It will not take off without FSX crashing.  It’ll fly fine, but not take off.  This causes a problem for me.   I’m not gonna cheat and take off in another aircraft.  Well, maybe once,  but not constantly.

It’s not just my FSX either.  I’ve heard similar problems.  So I’m stuck at Tabora, Tanzania with an aircraft that I cannot fly.  It’s a bugger.    I did fly around Kilimanjaro with a friend in the Carenado Piper Saratoga.  The add on scenery we found from Flightsim makes the area very good. 38m resolution.

Tabora is within about 1 hour of Kilimanjaro and I view this mountain as my second big step.  the Rift valley lakes (Malawi) in particular being the most interesting for me.

So,  I’m stumped.  Suggestions on a postcard to

The Crazy bloke with a un-flyable DC-3

Tabora

Tanzania

 

Myself, Norm, the co-pilot and Eric the engineer turned up at the ‘runway’ (flat mud in my opinion).  Eric’s first words before we got within 40feet of the bird were “We are not flying out today”.  I pressed him for a reason.  He started speaking a foreign language.  Something about crankcases and broken blocks.   Of course I hold him directly responsible.  My parting words as I left for the hotel were “Fix it, or leave”.  Yes, I know my man management skills are stunning huh? 🙂  I shall return later on to enthuse him with more words of wisdom.  Norm and the Co-pilot stayed to help Eric by pointing at things and asking “it is supposed to be like that”

Quite frankly I’m angry.  The aircraft should be ready to go at the drop of a hat.  And I don’t want to hear any more justifications that it’s a 50 year old aircraft.  You cannot tell me they were designed this poorly.   And if anyone suggests that it’s my ‘mis-handling’ that’s caused it, I will scream!

 

Leg 10

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Kalemie, Democratic republic of Congo to Tabora, Tanzania.

Nothing to report to be honest.  I got a pat on the back from the engineer.   Navigation was happy.  “Just follow that coast line” until I tell you.  The bleeding Nav was wrong though it was a lake, not a sea as ‘coast line’  suggests.

The JF DC-3 is reinstalled, but I need to ‘fix’ everything again.  Disconnect the Ap and do a repaint.  Not to mention, for some reason, SP1 didn’t work.

More soon  I’m on my way http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro next.

Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic conesKiboMawenzi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 ft above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).[3]

 

 

 

Leg 9

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

FBLA Mbala – FZRZ Kalemie  Democratic republic of the Congo.

1:20 Flight Time.  Weather Neglible.  21Degrees C.

We landed on a long approach over the lake.  Very pretty it was.

Nothing to report.  I flew the flight with my usual perfect skills.   As I walked away I say Norm, Erci and the Co-pilot standing around a slowly flattening tyre on the DC-3.  I told Eric he should replace them before they wear out.   They just stood around.

The port at Kalemie was built to connect the Great Lakes rail line (from the Kabalo junction on the Lualaba River) to the Tanzanian lake port and railhead at Kigoma, from where the Tanzanian Central Railway Line runs to the seaport of Dar es Salaam. The port was built with a 130 m wharf and 3 mobile cranes, giving it a capacity of 500 tonnes per day with two shifts. However, the cranes are non functional, and vessels cannot reach the wharf due to silting up of the lake next to it. The buildings of the port also require rehabilitation.[1] Moreover, the railway line for 100 km west of Kalemie is ‘very degraded’ and not fully operational.

Leg 8

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

16:14 FWCT – Chitipa  to  17:04 FLBA – Mbala.

Weather Neglible.  28Degrees.

Flight time 50mins.

The flight was nice.  Pitty Mbala was in a dip, but that’s the problem with addon Scenery. No matter.  We are now on the southern edge of Lake Tanzania.  It’s part of the western side of the Rift Vally in Africa.  upto 6 miles deep.  Human’s have never been all that way down..

We had to spend a few days in Chitipa while Eric the Engineer did something to the aircraft.  Everytime I tried to talk to him he just growled and muttered something about “Pilots!”  It’s obviously complimentory, but he know’s I’m English to the core, and I get embarresed when people compliment my flying skills.   I don’t need complimenting.  I know how good I am.

Norm the Nav, and the Co-pilot (Must find out his name) have been bonding.  They’ve spend the few days with their heads together, and stop talking when I appear.   I’d assume they are planning something nice for me, but It’s not my birthday.

I was very happy with this landing.  Even Eric said it was good. “For you”.

I didn’t show you the paintwork that Eric organised.  I must one day tell him I like it.   I’ve ordered some graphics to be delivered enroute.  Not sure where yet.  I’m thinking at Suez.  That assumes that I don’t change my mind and go somewhere else.

JF DC-3 Modified paint.

Eric does some work!

I’m still deciding what to do with the Pacific crossing,  as you know it’s pushing the fuel envelope.  And Navigating is an issue.  I’ve been taking advice from the guys at www.cixvfrclub.org.uk and the feeling is split.  Some say use GPS, Some say don’t be bloody stupid.  Others are all for it and want to help navigate using a sextant.   I’m still not sure.   I’ll have a decision by Vietnam.    At this rate I’ll have a long time to decide?

I’m worried about the proposed pacific crossing.  On two points.  Norm the nav is not as good as a thought.  He had a problem with correct fueling, that he claims wasn’t his fault.  And we found a GPS reciever in his bag.  GPS is spawn of the devil!!  If GPS was that good why are their VOR’s and NDB’s around.   Every time I mention the Pacific crossing Norm goes pale and starts sweating.   Personally I don’t know what the problem is.  Just go East as fasr as I’m concerned.

Another problem is the fuel usage.  Eric the engineer says that the fuel burn at cruise is fine.  But it’s burning more then 90 gph per hour.  I’m the first person to admit that it’s an aricraft problem.  It’s certainly not me.  Eric thinks I should slow down by 10kts.  That’ll reduce the fuel per hour.  I don’t see the logic there.