Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kicked Off the Runway!

I'm back at the rubber plantation for SIAT. It was about an hour and
10 minute flight this morning. The landing was through some low,
scattered clouds, but the visibility was great and the airstrip at their plantation was in great shape.

The takeoff was kind of fun- I got kicked off the runway! HA! After
loading the passengers and taxiing to the runway, we were first in line, so I reported to the
tower that I was ready to take the runway and depart. Then, I thought
I heard him tell me to do so. What he was actually doing was telling someone
else that they could do this- it was a large commercial aircraft
(Airbus) operated by Gabon Airlines. In fact, this is their only
aircraft that just flies to Paris and back about every other day. Apparently, they get to cut in line whenever they are ready
to go. So that's what happened. I had started towards the runway and
the tower controller told me to vacate the runway that someone else had
been cleared. So, I apologized, made a quick u-turn, and got back in
to position.

The fun didn't end there! After this large aircraft departed, the
tower gave someone else permission to skip to the head of the line!
This time it was a Cessna Citation jet who, I happen to know, is flown
by a couple of South African pilots and carries one of the president's
sons around the country. I guess he "trumps" our little agricultural
business' twin-engine prop aircraft too! HA!

So, everyone in the airplane was good natured about this- I had 4
passengers. They all thought it was humorous that we would get bumped
for these particular two aircraft... It's not always "First come, First
serve" around these parts! It's the African way!

That's the update for now!

Oh yeah... SIAT was slated to have me fly their CEO down to Brazzaville
(Republic of Congo- one country to the south of Gabon) to get a new
passport (he lost his old one). However, when he came to the airplane
this morning for the flight, he told me that a kind person had found
and turned in his briefcase with his passport (he gave the person a $400 reward!) and
that the new plan is to fly to Lagos, Nigeria tomorrow! This will be
my first international flight (outside of Gabon), so I'll be excited.
Good stuff!

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog post. To tell about Rubber plantation, it is popular and gives good yield in various states of India. Rubber price has fallen last year october month which was a great hit to farmers. Kerala is the largest producer of rubber in India. Now Assam is no longer far away from Tripura in rubber production.