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Flap 5: Preparation

Just back from my Flap 4, I started immediately preparing the next flap: Flap 5 which has been challenging since the first day of preparation.
This flap will overfly 13 countries and land in 11 of them. For 10 of them, I need a visa even for a crew! Luckily, I’ve got 2 passports and can work on 2 visa’s application in the same time.
Asking for visas gave me already a point of view of the mentality of the people in each country.


Let’s see if my first feeling, before starting the flap 5, will be confirmed later:

Angola: very nice people, not organised, helpful but I had to go 5 times to the embassy !
Congo: adorable people, cool, smiling and funny, they will prey for me !
Gabon: I met only one nice man and my opinion can’t be objective
Cameroon: very bad experience, bad people, rude, and agressif
Nigeria: strict administration but very nice people, proud of their country. For the funny story, you must record your application on line. You must chose an answer for eyes colour and hair colour. For hair colour I had to chose between: black, brown, grey, white... 😉 what did I put ???
Benin: visa has been apply on line, no opinion
Ghana: excellent opinion but not objective because the responsible man for the visa is a aviation passionate, thanks to him, he put me in contact with many pilots.
Cote d’Ivoire: easy and helpful
Mali: i’ve seen only one girl who was speaking on the phone, I can’t get an opinion
Senegal: I know already Senegal !

 

I’ve been running between embassies almost every morning during 4 weeks for the visas. Working in the same time to get the flight permits for each country overflown.
At Cameroon, CAA asked my visa to deliver the flight permit, the embassy asked the flight permit to deliver the visa...
For some countries you must apply on line and you have to chose between some answers like type of aircraft: A330; ...; Private jet... of course there is no PA18 nor any general aviation plane... and then what to do? You are stucked and can’t go forward !
Some other time, I had 5 or 6 telephone numbers but no answer to none of them...
The email addresses mentioned are not correct... I must admit that I sometimes lost patience.
I decided straight away to look for a handling agent for Nigeria ( the most dangerous country where I have to land). Mike from White Rose put me in contact with Mitchel who did a great job. Also Mitchel is really interested in my trip. And he’s going to start flying lessons soon, a handling agent who’s a pilot that’s a plus !


I want to thanks Mike very much for his interest, help and quick answers.
I was in contact with Fly IFCC that is located at Lanseria in South Africa and they offered me their help for Angola, I was not sure to accept until they found me some avgas! That was an argument !
Mitchel help me finding a handling agent for Ghana as the “on line procedure” was not possible for a small private aircraft AND the responsible guy who I called didn’t know how to do and told me: take a handling agent ! Heu is it mandatory ? Heu yes yes !
I am in contact with another handling agent in Mali but just for the landing procedure and he put me in contact with the local TOTAL agent for me to get some avgas.
I never succeeded to get any contact in Guinee Equatoriale and I finally decided not to ask the overflight permit, I will avoid their zone via the sea.
In Senegal, it is not easy to find a hangar place. Hopefully the people from the Aeroclub are really very nice and helpful especially Annie the secretary.
Dakar airport became a military airport and you need a military authorisation to land there. It is still in progress at this time I am leaving Belgium to reach back Namibia.


Another important part of the trip that took me quiet a lot of time is the AVGAS, I decided to look for AVGAS at every destination, knowing that in these countries AVGAS is very rare or non existent.
Everybody told me: there is NO avgas in Angola ! Even the pilot of the president and his logistician, Anne Bloemen working at the belgian embassy in Angola helped me a lot but told me also: no avgas in Angola.
As I said before IFCC provided me a barrel at Luanda and I sent 4 jerrycans to Lubango, Angola has Avgas for me !
My plane has the STC to burn MOGAS but I don’t like it for many reasons:
First, I experienced it only one flight,
Second, remember my 4 cylinders are new and mogas warm the cylinders more then avgas
Third, the quality of avgas in Africa, so far is excellent, I don’t know about Mogas.
In Congo, no way to get Avgas, i will refuel mogas at the aeroclub, i can rely the quality.
And I succeeded to get Avgas at each other destination! Even at Tambaccounda !


I do consider to work as a handling agent specialised for private flights around Africa since I get all these contacts ! Mike told me: do not give them to anybody😉
To summarise: I have my visas, almost all flight permits, avgas everywhere except in Congo, contacts everywhere or handling agent... I should be ready💪🏽

My worries now are: the weather, the visibility, and to be on time in Cameroon because they gave me a visa for only 2 days ! 😡

 

Keep !

 

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