Reached the big continent of Africa!
The sweet days of Crete were at end. We where 3 persons arriving to the airport of Chania Tuesday morning September 15th, to head for different destinations.
Me and the Moth heading south, my wife going home to the kids and our new friend Joseph going to Boston to see his girlfriend.
I was left alone with my aero plane and I slipped into the survival suit and got airborne 0813 Greek time I believe. Flightplan was very lengthy due to rules in the Egyptian airspace. You have to fly airways as the big airplanes and very high altitudes. I managed a minor shortcut with Greek air traffic controllers.
Not too far south of the island I lost radar contact and then also radio contact as expected.
I was alone over the sea in radio silence but accompanied with thoughts about those aviators douing this 85 years ago. Brave men and women. These days I am pretty safe with the suit and dingy and most important the PLB. A beacon transmitting on 406MHz. The satellite fq giving a position with 30s in case I press the button. Getting out of the aero plane after tipping over inverted in a ditching situation is still an interesting task…
The hours was left behind and things went much better than I expected. Had to get around some weather and quite close to the shore I got in contact with Egyptian ATC and got a shortcut direct Mersa Matruh.
Landed after 5:50 hours flying, very happy and not as exhausted as expected!
On the way in I listened to an Italian light aircraft that ended up landing asking for taxi instructions while the tower guy still asked about his position airborne!
Managed a 2 hour turnaround in the Egyptian desert heat with confused groundcrew trying to step through the wing as I was not allowed to fuel myself.
More confusion regarding flightplanning forced me to file one on my own but eventually I got airborne shortly after 1500 Egyptian time.
The flightplan was much longer than expected. 4 hours instead of close to 2 hours. On top of that the short cuts I expected never occured.
I lost radiocontact several times and managed relay from kind airline crew.
Many factors affecting this, and I can’t go into the details at this stage but after eventually heading for Cairo I realized that I would not make the sunset in time. October 6 airport closed before I could reach it. I made a last attempt to get a direct routing but the controllers gave nothing.
I ended up landing at Cairo International airport in total darkness after radar vectoring for a visual final 05R.
Not pleasant but I was impressed with the aeroplane and myself I must confess!
A long taxi without brakes and finally parked…..at the wrong airport.
I was received with the usual confusion and many smiles. Can’t remember how many photos were taken. Everybody on ground seemed to want a photo in front of something they probably never seen before. Me and the 80 year old type aero plane!
Soon more from Cairo and how to get further South!
PS. Also big thanks to all of you giving very nice comments on FB, Twitter and Instagram!
I am a bit off wifi and cannot focus on each comment right now, but bear with me! DS.