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Leg 8

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.


Leg 7

FWUU – Mzuzu to FWCT – Chitipa. T/O: 11:22 local. Landing : 12:28.

Weather neglible. Winds Nill.

Flying from Mzuzu back out to Lake Malawi and north almost to the northern tip of The Lake to Lupembe then Westerly to Chitipa.

The flight was very good.  Norm the Nav planned things well and I flew the course perfectly.  As usual.  We did start the descent a little too late and due to the light load on board we didn’t descent as quickly as we though.  This resulted in us being too fast on the thresh hold (120kts) and a little to high.

Things would have gone well, but the runway was short, so a go-around was required.  My first of the tour.

I’m still getting used to the obvious ground speed increase when at altitude.  I don’t think this helped.

Turning back to finals after the go around resulted in us loosing the runway (DC-3’s are not great for visibility) and turning not just 180 degrees back onto the runway heading, but 540 degrees.  This resulted in a low and slow configuration.  Not good.  Low and slow can result in a unintentional landing.

As per usual my perfect flying and experience resulted in me realizing the potential for a problem and correcting before it became dangerous.

After landing my Co-pilot made straight for the bar looking a little wide eyed.  I guess he was stunned by my flying.   Eric complained about stress to the airframe, and a DC-3 not being a fighter.

We’ve burnt just over 1 ton of Avgas. Adding to the shortage of oil in the word.