Thursday, October 1, 2015

Africa Flight 2015

Well, it's just more than 2 years ago since we departed for our Worldflight. Since then a lot has happened, but no major flight adventure.

While the Worldflight was of course the ultimate flight adventure and cannot easily be topped in terms of distance or duration, there are other similarly interesting flight adventures to be had. One such flight - and we have been wanting to do this for a long time - is the route from Germany to Cape Town. Well - the time has finally come and we are planning to depart from Hildesheim in our trusty Silver Eagle on 20th October, 2015. We expect to cover more than 12,000 kms and spend around 40 hours flying over a 2-week period.

A new blog has been opened to cover the flight. You will find it at:

We are writing this entry on the Worldflight blog to reach all our devoted followers who registered their email on the blog at the time. You should now be receiving this blog entry and if you are interested, please feel free to register your email address on the new Africaflight blog as well.

We are looking forward to the trip and please feel free to send comments.

With best Regards from
Vero and Dietmar.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Back in Germany

Autumn in Germany! What a change from the "other world"!

Here we are, having achieved a very adventurous trip we already wanted to do a few years ago when we bought the aircraft here in Europe. Now we have done it, with the help and assistance of Pilot und Flugzeug and all the experienced professionals and very pleasant group of pilots who joined us. Thank you to all of you!!!

Pics  of us having the best wine ever!!

There are some reports still coming, facts and nice-to-knows! In time, once we have unpacked the aircraft...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Poland - It worked even better-The End

Approach to Krakow

Parked at Krakow airport which undergoes major building alterations

We did not have a more quick, correct and efficient turn-around anywhere and we were entertained by a our handling agent - a very young and funny lady called Ella, Elizabeth, until we left.

Clouds are low, it is misty and the weather forecast is not great for Germany. We half expect not to be able to land in Hildesheim, Germany as that airfield is not equipped for instrument approaches. In 2.5 hours we will know more. Our controllers are excellent, Dietmar is full of praises. In 20 minutes we manage to get to flight level 180, in warm regions we battled to get to FL 140 in 30 Minutes...

And now our very last leg. We are above clouds most of the way, a very uneventful flight until we get closer to Hildesheim. As we could not land in Hildesheim, the intention was to 'duck' under the very thick cloud cover using an instrument approach procedure in Braunschweig. The Braunschweig controller advised us not to fly below the clouds to Hildesheim. After discarding the Braunschweig idea and trying once more to find a hole in the clouds to descend into Hildesheim we gave up and diverted to Hannover. There we had the benefit of a proper instrument landing system, but even that approach was something else because of low clouds.

Landing in Hannover after diverting from Hildesheim

We arrived savely. A small group of family and friends welcomed us back. They had to drive from Hildesheim to Hannover when they realized we would not arrive at our home base.

We informed PuF that we had arrived safely and of course, we informed Herr Mueller we made it back without landing in jail!!! During the next few days we will be tying up different things and than we will make our way back home.

Ukraine-It worked extremely well

Saturday, 02.11.2013, local time 07:59, Outside Temperature 10 Deg C.

The aircraft performs wonderful. We are airborne have gone through clouds and unfortunately no pictures of Odessa from above possible. We will come back. It is an interesting town with beautiful architecture and people are very nice and service orientated. The handling this morning was a perfect example. Okay, they forgot to fetch us, in time, from the Hotel but organised a taxi very quickly and handled this oversight in a professional manner.

The Redaktions Flugzeug is taking off behind us, they first fly to Luebeck to drop Ingrid, then they fly to Switzerland and then to Mainz. Long way for them.

We have to refuel and immigrate in Krakow/ Poland. This morning we saw a mail which we received at midnight informing us our flightplan was rejected because they could not give us permission to land and refuel in Krakow due to building and construction projects. We could only land with "Special Permission". We phoned them before 6:00 this morning, explained and asked what they need from us and how long it would take to grant or reject this permission. It would take about 30 Min or so. Very well, when we got to the airport and logged into our mail, the permission was received and we are now on our way.

We have clouds below us until 01h23 before our destination.

On our Moving Terrain we had a blank screen since Iceland until today, Poland comes in!!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Officially The Last Day

Friday, 01.November 2013, 05:30

Dietmar's lap top has not charged during the night, we plug it into different sources, nothing, we suspect the power supply is faulty. We also received an email informing us regarding a fuel leak on our aircraft, yesterday we were talking about it, and how well we managed the situation with our aircraft jack.

09h14, as we get to the aircraft we see a bucket underneath the left wing to catch the fuel running out. 
Since nearly 2 hours we wait to be cleared, they don't know what they are doing, they took our passports and now we are waiting, no one in sight. The one person speaking a bit of english has disappeared, before he left he was talking about a lost flightplan; we get the aircraft ready. Dietmar contacts the tower and they tell him they have our flightplan on record and are waiting for us to activate that flightplan.

The guy arrives with our passports, he dissappears again, we assume to organise the invoice. If we get permission to start, we swear, we will leave without paying, we are so fed up. We get permission to start, however, tower can still ask us to shut down. We get permission to taxi and then we are cleared for take-off. We kiss the handling agent Good Bye.

The flight to Odessa will take 3.5 to 4.0 hours, outside temp minus 10 deg C and favourable winds might reduce the flight time. Today is officially the last flying day, and the Around the World Trip ends in Odessa, Ukraine with our farewell celebration tonight. Tomorrow, our first leg takes us to Krakow in Poland to refuel and then on to Hildesheim or Hannover, Germany depending on weather.
And then our "once in a life time" trip ends.

We are above the east/northern part of Turkey, below us villages, mountains and forests and roads connecting them, very nice. 

Soon we will be above 'The Black Sea', leaving Turkey. Mountains go right up to the coastline and now we overfly 'Inebolu', a village right between the mountains and the Black Sea. There is a harbour and wide roads leading into the village.

We have been over water for a long time now and we have 0h45 to go to destination. We also found out that our radio No2 is faulty, it sends but does not receive. Just as well this did not occur before.
When we arrived our handling agent was there, we refuelled, we got thru immigration and in no time we got to our hotel. Once settled I took a walk while Dietmar finished paperwork and scanning.

Herewith some pictures of the Hotel and Odessa.

Architecture in Odessa

Typical street in the city centre

Inside the Hotel Bristol

Hotel Bristol from the outside

At night we had a "Last Night Dinner" and a short speech and a selection of Pictures were shown.

Final Dinner in Odessa

Badges were given to the different crews and a warm "Good Bye" was said to all, we all shared a Once In A Lifetime Experience which we will never forget. 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

3rd last Day

Thursday, 31st October 2013, 08:44 local time, outside temperature 25 degree C

We have received our departure clearance and we are half an hour early. We knew what to expect this morning and true, a group of headless chicken, handling agents, everybody getting involved in everybody else's task on hand, every sum had to be calculated between 3 and 8 times, they did not get one crew organised. But... eventually we were out of their offices. The first crew, the Redaktions Flugzeug, arrived @ 05:15 and left @ 08h00, it took them three hours to get their invoice sorted because there was a dispute. That is exactly how it works, eventually you pay because you want to leave...

The climb performance is much better today, the 5-10 Degree difference in temperature makes all the difference! First time since a while we are able to fly at a highter altitude. Now the outside temperature is minus 8 deg C. 

Our flight to Kayseri, Turkey will take around 6 hours, we have crossed the border into Iraq, we must under all circumstances avoid flying above Syria or Iran. The view gets better in Iraq and we see lots of agriculture along the river 'Tigris' and it looks as if they channel the water.

Residential areas are huge. We also see a huge huge military base, 2 runways, hangars, monition storages etc. Really huge. We are in contact with Baghdad approach all the way. Winds are good and our flying time has shortened by an hour. Below us high mountains full of sand dunes, around them tracks, but mostly we see flat land. We are getting closer to Kirkuk.

And now we are overflying Mosul. We see freeways with trucks and cars and we see rivers.

We overfly mountainous terrain with huge water reservoirs and a city with stadium, freeways and one big tar-road leading over mountains going north. That must be the road leading into Turkey. This area, the nort-east of Iraq looks really interesting.

We are crossing the border into Turkey and we are talking to Ankara. Mountains around us are to 11 000 feet high and have snow on top. Below us the town 'Siirt', and its airport.

Our aircraft is in top-form, we cruise at a groundspeed of 195nm. We arrive early afternoon and it took us one hour to get organised. As we leave the aircraft we mention to each other how lucky we were on the whole trip with our fuel leek on the left wing. When the plane is not parked dead straight the fuel pours out of the wing. For that purpose Herr Mueller provided us with a special device like a car jack and that device helps us to bring the wings level or rather the aircraft.

We leave for our Hotel.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Leaving the Desert

Muscat, Oman, 
Wed 30. October 2013, 09h15 local time, 32 Degree C, no cloud, sun burning down.

We are on the airfield, standing next to the Mooney, their cowling is off, oil on the tarmac.

When we arrived and they saw us they rushed towards us, their body language showing clearly. Dietmar said, "something is wrong". and than coming closer, as if Dietmar is the expert, "you had a Mooney, maybe you see something". Now all three pilots lying underneath the engine to see where the oil is coming from, no luck, they see nothing.

We have to leave them now, that's always the hardest, to leave them with a problem. We can't do anything, we don't know more than them, we can't really help them. In a last effort I get a whole lot of wet soapy tissues and a dry one for afterwards. They look like mechanics, oil on their faces, arms, white shirts. As we start the engine they are still below their aircraft. We feel sorry for them.

As we taxi we talk about our own take-off, fully loaded, very high temperature, we expect a poor performance take-off. It was ok. Air Traffic Control is again very good, it cannot be better. As we climb higher and get further out we see houses, very far apart and main roads. Otherwise sand and not much else.

We have a four hour flight ahead of us to Kuwait. The outside Temperate is still 20 Degree C at 10,000 ft. Crazy.

We cross the border to United Arab Emirates. Below us Al Ain Airport, nearby we see an oval circle, it looks like a race track. 

We wonder if Car Manufacturers like Mercedes, BMW etc have their test track here in this climate for their test purposes as they have in Upington!?

We approach the coastline, in the distance we see Dubai and the Palm Island. Unfortunately it is very misty and I am sure my pictures will not turn out great.

On our left in the distance we see high rise buildings belonging to Abu Dhabi, again it is too misty for good photos. Below us in the Persian Gulf we see lots of ships, from Cargos to Cruisers and smaller ones too.

We arrive at 13h00, it takes us 3 hours to refuel and clear immigration despite Handling Vultures. It is now 16h00 and we are on our way to the hotel which is beautiful. By the way: not one drop of liquor in the country.