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Leg 21. HAAB – HDAM

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.

Ready to fly.

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.


It’s quiet out here

While flying around Africa I’ve become somewhat lonely.  At most there were 4 aircraft within Africa.  1 was me, and 2 others were long range over flights.  The 4th was another Canenado Cessna Grand Caravan in Tanzania.

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