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Mutley Crew
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Everything posted by Tim_A

  1. I'd love to spend some time looking around the sights of historic Alexandria, but a little bird tells me that the boss is already looking at his watch in Aqaba, so I'd better hustle. Fortunately I discovered that the plane has fuel tanks in both wings, so I think we should have enough to get to Jordan without too much drama (or spending of money!) So, straight back into the plane without further do. We know there's nobody in the tower, so there's no point asking permission. And unregistered flight in the Middle East, what could possibly go wrong? (nothing as it turns out - Ed) Nice view of Alex My plan (such as it is), is to sneak along the coast, almost as far as the Gaza Strip, then sneak down the edge of Israel, and hang a left over the Red Sea. Easy Peasy! Port Said, and the entrance to the Suez Canal. Bardawil Lake. I think this is far enough. They can get a bit shooty-shooty too close to the border, so it's time to head inland. I can't help but notice there's someone on my six... An exciting view of the desert (for certain values of 'exciting') Eventually we get to Eliat, Southernmost city of Israel. I didn't accidentally stray across the border, that's a distortion of perspective. Honest! The Red Sea. Nearly there . . . Eliat pretty much merges into Aqaba - you can see how close the two cities' airports are! Final Finally, an airport that isn't closed! They're out repairing the runway, which means the boss must already be here. I just need to find which 'lounge' he's holed up in ...
  2. What memory? I can't remember four posts ago . . .
  3. Did you ever suddenly wish your plane had floats? Well I did approaching the Giza district of Cairo. I think they must have deployed one of those painted nets over the place -- like they had in World War 2 to disguise vital facilities from the air -- because that runway turned into a big watery theme park once I'd got there! Runway 35, as seen from the ground. Still, at Mutley's we're made of stern stuff, and as I'd seen the Sully movie a few days before, I' knew I'd have no trouble. There were a couple of hours to kill while a local mechanic straightened one or two minor dents in the wings. Several barrels of Jet-A1 had to be brought across the city from the other airport by camel. Unfortunately it was quite expensive. (Boss: this explains the following item on my expenses: "Camel humping ... $2000") As we eventually climbed out, the disguise net snapped back into place, giving the illusion of an airport runway. We did get some nice views of the neighbourhood apartment buildings! Leaving Cairo behind. We're back to "follow that river!" (okay, maybe not too closely!) Settled into the cruise, there's a bit of time to read up about our destination. Alexandria. "Founded in umpty-tump BC by Alexander the Great, it had a lighthouse, powered by the world's biggest library. Later it fuelled a great necropolis. It was known as the centre of Hellenistic culture, presumably because of Helen, who sank a thousand ships. Which rather blocked the harbour. After that, the Muslims invaded, and moved Alexandria to Cairo." Enough of that, I think I'll watch a movie. Much better. Oh Sylvia...! The windows are NOT steaming up! Hmmm. Can't raise the airport on the radio, Can't see much either (I told you it wasn't my glasses steaming up!). Still, as long as we don't run out of land.... We've run out of land! Got any suggestions? Ok, don't panic. The airport is shaped like a giant Millennium Falcon. It shouldn't be too hard to find. If only we'd read the manual and knew how to work the ILS. Sigh. At least we have an old ambulance... Must check if the lighthouse is open while I'm here. I couldn't spot it from the air, but then I expect they don't light it during the day. probably burns too many books... Hurrah! Didn't need that ILS after all. But Boss, there's still no response from the tower. Oh well, Finally got the ATIS "Ze airport is clos-ed. Go away." Drat. Seems they closed it for refurb in 2011, then build a different airport instead. Well, we're committed now. Deserted. Not a flag or taxi in sight. And no fuel either. It's 20 nautical miles to the "replacement" airport at Borg el Arab, so I doubt that's going to arrive soon. I need a beer! Ahh, goes down well. and Ice cold. In Alex.
  4. Did the pilot hold an instrument rating? If not, he would have to descend to avoid the low level class A airway between the Channel Isles and UK. A requested descent to 2300 certainly fits with that. Another possibility is airframe icing (given the time of year). But until the AAIB issues a preliminary report, anything is just speculation.
  5. Thebes. Ancient capital city of Egypt. Founded around 2100 BC (Before Concorde), many believe it was the site of the world's first airport, literally thousands of years before any human-built flying machine. The Arrival Hall of Amun Re (above) was definitely built to impress. The Departures building was built into the side of a cliff, but as countless users of FSX can testify, airports built into cliffs are not a problem. A definite sign of the prescience of the ancients. Most remarkable is the fact that the first runway is still partially visible, and even includes edge lighting. At the far end is parking for five chariots of the gods. I have to admit though, I did think the Sphinx was bigger. It's also evident that this runway formed the inspiration for the famed airport on Tracy Island. Sadly, the modern airport is a dismal affair compared to the ancient splendour of its ancient cousin. But my new steed (courtesy of messers Carenado & Sons, aircraftiers to the gentry) was fuelled and waiting. I only had to find J.G. to collect the baton, and I'd be off. The only cafe, being largely derelict, wasn't exactly crowded, so the handover went smoothly. I spent a good half hour cooing over the interior of my new steed, but I remembered to stow the baton, and I did manage to get the coffee going (I wasn't going to drink the sludge they served in that so-called cafe!). A voice over the radio, "Seven India Mike, I'm about to cancel your departure slot!" signalled that I'd better get on the hurry-up. Oh this plane is sweet! Just pile on the thrust and . . . voom! Today's city of Luxor, with its modern "random autogen" styling, bears little resemblance to ancient Thebes. Still, with visibility this bad, we wouldn't be too troubled. We climbed out over the desert. I had opted for the slightly cheaper "in-flight type rating" package on this aircraft, something that would come back later to bite me. But for now, I basically just had to follow the Nile. It wasn't exactly hard to spot! My one enroute turning point corresponded to a bend in the river. Achievement gained. Yay! Uh-oh. I sense trouble ahead, and I still haven't figured how to make the nav radios work! Poo. Eventually I broke out below the clouds, and fortunately I was still within a gnat's whisker of the river. Approaching the southern outskirts of Cairo. We have pyramids! And more pyramids! Some people believe they were navaids built by the ancients; a kind of celestial NDB... Ok, whatevs. Somewhere in this lot is the airport... Better check what it says in Pooleys: "Embaba Airport, Giza. Closed in 2002 due to safety concerns." Gee thanks, Joe! Yeah, I can see why they closed it! Ok, Meigs-style landing coming up! Modern-day Embaba. So impressed were the locals with my landing, they didn't even look up from their game of footie! To be continued . . .
  6. I get most of my kit from scan.co.uk The reputable suppliers are going to be much of a muchness when it comes to prices & availability. You really just need to keep your eye out for daily deals and stuff.
  7. Old Spock, he did way too much "LDS" in the 60s - explains his pointy ears!
  8. Thank you kind peeps. The day started off with a visit to the NHS Vampires, and an answer to Shakespeare's most pertinent question: if you prick us, do we not bleed? Well no, not if you can't find the blinkin vein! Still, several holes later, I was able to have a feast of eggs & bacon in the officer's mess. Subsequent rounds of socialising and beverage consumption were blighted by occasional bouts of work, but the day was nicely rounded off with Jackie Chan movies and a single malt. Chin chin!