Saturday, July 7, 2012

Flight Pics- 02 July

Our last flight produced a few more than your normal nicks in the prop- an unimproved gravel runway.  So, a little TLC on each propeller was needed with the file.

An hour and 40 minutes later, we were buzzing by the Bongolo Hospital, descending for the airstrip.

Final approach, runway zero-niner, Bongolo International Airport!


Our humble Bongolo base.  Plans are afoot to enhance this hangar and place a 20 foot container adjacent to act as office.  We're still trying to solve some solar power issues.  After adding electrolyte to the 10 year old batteries, our voltage went from 17.7 to 18.8 in one week.  Let's hope it continues to climb back to the 24 volts that they should be at.

See that big bug along the bottom of the window sill?  Our back seat passenger snapped this photo right before trying to kill it.  The bug flew into the window as we were taxiing for takeoff at Lebamba.  The passenger managed to shove the bug deeper into the sill, so it was his job to keep an eye on it for the next hour and 45 minutes!

During dry season, there is a constant cloud deck that ranges from 500 feet above ground level to about 3000 feet- usually on the low side.  On the way back to Libreville, we had enough room to stay at a lower altitude for the first 45 minutes so that the passengers could do some sight-seeing.  Later in the flight, we headed up to 8500 feet and caught a nice tailwind into Libreville.

Here's take off from Bongolo- about 400 feet off the deck, getting ready to pass over the Bongolo Hospital as we continue the climb.  The is the view from the 3rd row of seats.

A neat aspect of this flight was my co-pilot, Joela.  Joela is the son of one of the chaplains at Bongolo Hospital who would like to become a pilot!  This was his first ride every in an airplane!  He spent the first half of the flight taking photos and videos (he posts a lot on Facebook!) and then, the second half of the flight, asked a lot of questions and followed me on the controls.  His flight was sponsored by a visitor to Bongolo, a surgeon, who Joela had shadowed for about a month, doing his translation from French to English.  Well done Joela!

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