J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

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haXor
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J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:40 pm

Hi there guys.

As promised, a short trip report of the little adventure the softness and I took across Bots, Zim and back to RSA last month in the Jabi. There is a reason why it took me so long to post this, but I cant't think of it right now. So, moving right along.

We spent 9 days away from home, and we visited Gaborone, Maun, Kasane, VIc Falls, Kariba, Harare & Bulawayo.. To be honest, I was a bit worried about mechanical issues along the trip. Lets just say I had a few 'graining' issues with the aerie on previous flights, BUT, all new aeries seem to go through a teenage phase with surprises here and there.

Day 1
We departed Rand at about 0500Z routing for Pilanesburg, the weather was absolutely glorious. We were Full Tanks, 60kg luggage, emergency camping gear and my brand new toy - a digital camera. I kinda needed one for such a journey. Being so bright and early, the tower asked which runway we preferred as the winds were light and vrb. "two niner please ma'am".

Its amazing how the morning sun makes for good photography.

Routing over Ellis Park.

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1hr later, we were landing in FAPN to do customs and immigration . Behind us, a Learjet from Grand Central(10min flight - show off!!) was also inbound to clear customs to route to Luanda. Upon parking, the Captain invited me in to have a look and take a picture, or two.

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Being so early, the customs and immigration ladies weren't there yet, though it didn't take them more than 10mins to arrive. Passports stamped, customs cleared, we opened our flight plan to Gabs.

Ben(Zuluben) and his lovely wife Linda had invited us to stay with them for the night.

You will never find friendlier people than Ben and Linda. Thanks again guys. We really enjoyed our stay with you.

On approach to 08.

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After landing at Gaborone.

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A tie down, of sorts. Aint she lovely.

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Stefan, Ben's son took us on a great tour of town. It was our very first time in Botswana so that was quite a treat, and what a totally different country it is. A Huge thanks to Stef.

Museum - Many got hanged in here.

Image

Will post the rest of the journey tomorrow.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by wynand » Thu Nov 26, 2009 6:58 pm

Super stuff, Soweto!

Great pictures for a "brand new toy".
Gab's seems to have as many jacarandas as the jacaranda city.

Wating for the rest, as promised :)
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by henk-indabush » Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:33 pm

Way to go!! =D> =D>
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by wynand » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:48 pm

I just re-read your post.
60kg luggage !! :shock:

What ...on ...earth???!!! :D

C'mon, lets hear about Maun and Kasane now.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:09 pm

I woke up this morning to a broken into house. They took my laptops, desktop computer screens, my brand new toy, hi fi system, wallet and all the other expensive stuff..

I'm really devastated :cry:

All my pictures were on one of the laptop's, and all my Day 8 and Day 9 pictures of the trip were still in my new toy.

Luckily, I always make backups which I store on a server at work. I'm not at work till my brain is in working order again and my softness stops shedding tears..

I will continue this thread, and I will remove this post :arrow: So please don't respond on this thread regarding this minor set back, it will only spoil the amazing story I've got to tell..
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by ZuluBen » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:22 pm

soweto » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:09 pm

I woke up this morning to a broken into house. They took my laptops, desktop computer screens, my brand new toy, hi fi system, wallet and all the other expensive stuff..

I'm really devastated
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by wynand » Fri Nov 27, 2009 1:59 pm

I'm just pleased you & yours weren't harmed.
Last edited by wynand on Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by henk-indabush » Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:55 pm

60 kg of luggage?!? Thats explained easily - one of the 2 "man" crew is a female who was asked to pack only a few essentials....... :roll: :lol: :?

All in good humour, to help this thread back on track. Not to make light of your setback. My sincere sympathy.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:45 pm

Thanks for all the support guys. We just thank the good Lord that we werent harmed in any way and that we didn't wake up to "investigate" a noise we might have heard. I'd rather they empty the house, than me try to fight them off with my ninja skills, which ofcourse dont exist. Its also a good thing that we lock our bedroom door every night. The scale of shock that hits you when you think to yourself "what-could-have-happened-if...", really messes up your day.

Nonetheless, we are back, and doing good. I'm expecting an even newer, brand new toy from the insurers :P , hopefully tomorrow.
Last edited by haXor on Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:32 pm

Yup, 60 kg luggage - 10kg was mine, honestly, maybe another 10 for emergency water and tents. That leaves 40kg for my better half :lol:. I had "budgeted", if you can use that word, for 75kg. Thats because I have learnt over the trips we've taken that a certain number of days away = a certain number of kilo's of her luggage. So you can imagine my surprise when we were 15kg shy, :lol: .

Day 2 : Gaborone -> Maun

Very early morning, after having a lovely breakfast, we set off for the airport. Still in sight-seeing-mode, the journey to the airport from Ben's house still has a lot to offer the avid photographer. This is DTC Botswana, very secure building where Diamonds are flown in. You can see the helipad at the top...

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I found Gaborone's layout rather interesting. When you drive out of town towards the airport, you drive through thick bush that gives you the impression that you've left the built up area behind you. But, out of no where, there's a multi million Pula building right in the middle of it.

ZuluBen accompanied us all the way from the terminal building to the Jabi, correction, from his house to the Jabi. Everyone at the airport knows Ben, which made going through an international airport a MUCH easier experience. Its a bit of a walk from the terminal building to the GA parking area, a great oppurtunity to take pictures.

SAA Airbus just landed
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Tie downs removed, Pre flight complete & oil level checked it was time to fill up the tanks with Bots AVGAS.

Now if you thought the fueling guys in South Africa take their sweet time to fill up your aircraft, you aint seen nothing. The guys in Bots are so laid back, they will chat with you about the number of cattle they have, where they are from, where you are from, his ancestors etc. All of that including the fueling with a smile on the guys face. Try get a smile from the guy filling you up at Rand or Wonderboom. I'm not complaining, its just amazing to see how different we all are.

Ben in his crocs :lol: having a chat with the refueling guy..
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We asked for an intersection take off from Taxiway Alpha. Rwy 8 was active. Before we had even got to the holding point, we were given our take off clearance. Power checks on the runway then.

In Bots, you must have your estimates for TMA boundaries, and other common reporting points which you must know prior to taking off. They will ask for them mid flight too, I guess after the wind and given you a certain groundspeed. Every time you switch frequency, ATC will expect you to report your estimates on first contact.

3 hours later, and in rather bad visibility, we were on approach to Maun. We called to request decent when we were 20nm out. I was glad we arrived before 1pm. I wouldnt want to be up in the hot, -quite-bumpy and bad-VIS Maun in the mid afternoon. The temparature difference from FL085 down to 5500 was also quite astonishing. From "close the air vent its cold" to "gee'z, did I pack any vests" from the softness.

Runway 26 was active. The airspace was quite busy and they had some heavy metal in the area. Eyeballs out type of flying.

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Quite a busy airport Maun is

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Based on Good recommendations, we stayed at the Audi Camp. Tie downs double checked, we pushed the trolleys to the terminal building to find our driver waiting. Smooth sailing I would say.

Not a single cough from the Jabi, she was perfect all of today and yesterday. I fall in love a bit more with this aerie everyday I fly her. Average fuel flow for today I worked out to be about 19litres/ph. I will be absolutely sure when I refuel her.

A few other pics of Audi Camp.

We stayed in this tent, with an open air toilet and shower. Absolutely brilliant. Sorry about those tree's in the way.. I don't know who decided to put them there :) . Tomorrow we move tent to the communal shower/toilets ones.. That should be fun.
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Playing around with the camera
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Reception from the Bar area
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Day 3, next.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by wynand » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:34 am

Way to go, soweto.
How did you get from Maun to Audi camp?
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:47 am

Hi Wynand.

The guys at Audi Camp arranged us what they call "a transfer" which they gracefully charged us with hefty tourist rates :? . I guess we fell into that category..
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by wynand » Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:17 am

Please, Sir, may we have some more?
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by haXor » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:14 pm

More?? You may certainly have more sir.
Its been a hectic week, but I promise to complete this by next week Friday. So much to tell, so many pics to share.

Day 3 - Maun

The plan was to wake up early, take the Jabi up for a flip towards the north-west of Maun to see what this 'okavango-delta' that everyone is raving on about has to offer.(I go everywhere with no expectations - works better for me).

Some local C206 pilots have advised that ATC will approve 3600' and they've even given me some routes to fly over were there are allegedly millions of animals to see. They've also advised me of places to stay away from - Lodges ofcourse and busy little airstrips - there are many..

Plans don't always go-to-plan, especially when you've had a late night and were already knackered from the previous day's events. We wound up getting out of bed at about 9am, which I figured was a bit late. So instead of flying, we decided to hire a car for the day, drive around & see the sights, turn the cars heater on to max at around 2pm and see how long we survive(its a thing we do in hire cars - the toyota's are winning), talk to as many Maun folk, then later plan tomorrow mornings adventure flight to Kasane via the Delta and the Chobe river.

Audi Camp's breakfast didnt let us down. The food is amazing, hey we even had a breakfast buddy -

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He lives on the tree just next to the restaurant. I'm sure everyday is a feast for him and the territory fights are fought to the death!! I've named him alfonso.

The EnSuite was booked by another couple so we had to move tent. Still very comfortable, and the communal showers werent bad at all. A frog here and there, but what the heck, we're in africa.

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Pics from Maun.

I wonder what they sell in here;
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Blowing a lot of sand. Yee haa!!
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This guy must've been attracted by the swimming pool lights during the previous night & someone had un-gracefully ejected him from the pool because I found him belly-up near the pools steps looking a little cleaner than he should be.

Image.

The Jabi had a day off today. I did go visit her, but for some reason I don't seem to have a picture. Tie Down's still holding.

An early night ahead - Tomorrow is up with the birds for some low flying(ATC approved).

Can't wait.
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Re: J430 Trip Report : RSA Bots Zim

Unread post by ZuluBen » Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:17 pm

My kids are going to rev me over that "croc shot!" :lol:

Lekker post, keep it coming. :wink:
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