Sunday, January 27, 2013

Today's Flight- Bongolo to Libreville

After a great 3-day visit with our team at Bongolo hospital that ended with a HUGE African rain storm last night, we launched this morning for a flight back home to Libreville.

With only 3 passenger seats needed for the flight and plenty of useful load to spare, we used the occasion to shuttle some fuel to Libreville.  Fuel that was meant for a Cessna 402 performing some aerial photography project in the south of Gabon.  Their project was canceled early and they made us a great deal on the dozen or so barrels.  It worked out to about $8.50 a gallon. In Libreville, our source is currently selling AvGas at $23.50 a gallon!!!

This year, by April or May, we'll shift our base from Libreville to the Bongolo hangar.  A new teammate, Rob, on loan from SIL-Cameroon, will help us develope things there.  Some needs: a 40' shipping container for storage/office to put along the hangar, new solar panels and batteries, lighting, eviction notices to many wasps, and much more!

Looking down the Lebamba/Bongolo airstrip toward the west.  Low clouds, but not too low to launch.  We were still able to get our "bon voyage" fly-by over the Bongolo mission and hospital just as church was beginning.

Bongolo field elevation is about 600'.  We climbed between clouds until about 4000' and then came on top of that layer (as pictured) at about 4500'.  A check on the radio frequency (118.1) to give a position report, but there were no other flights happening in our end of the county- no surprise.

Our passengers were very happy!   Dr. Neni (Bongolo dentist- holding baby Meara) and our Libreville bookkeeper, Clarisse (behind me) stayed in conversation and laughing most of the hour and 40 minutes.  It was super smooth!  My favorite co-pilot made the flight fun for me!  By the time we crossed over Lamberene, the low clouds were mainly gone.

A look to the west just after passing Lamberene.  That's the Ogouee River complex heading out to the Atlantic Ocean- one of the largest river complexes in Africa after the Nile, Niger, and Congo rivers.

A look to the East at about the same area, toward the "Crystal" mountains.  A very beatiful flight... the "sanctuary of the sky" for worshipping our Creator this Sunday morning!

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