Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Mario verteld over zijn eerste belevenissen

Hello Hans

Thanks for your reply. I have not gotten around much to meet people as I had a
lot to do the first three weeks. It took some eleven days for my licence
validation. Then there was lots to do on the plane at the 200 hrs inspection
and almost more afterwards. Minair did not do a very good job this time.
However, the plane is up and flying now.
I am also flying for UNHCR now since the ASF Caravan left for the Congo. I
think that they will be there for about three months but will do maintenance in
Bangui. So I hope I will see them from time to time. The C 182 is still around
and it seems that they still want to keep it here.
I met one guy from MSF France today but he kept a bit of a distance. I will
certainly try to meet as many other people as I can.
If you can give me any names, telephone numbers or email addresses that would
be nice. It would make my looking around easier.
The Ultralight (Technam) is in Bangui and I saw it flying once. I did not meet
the pilot though.

I am glad that you enjoyed flying with Christoph. He is a nice guy and a good
pilot. And on top of that he can also work on airplanes. Sorry that this
spoiled your trip to Kenia. But is it certain yet that he will go? I have not
heard from him yet. What about the plan that they want two pilots there and
maybe a second plane?

Have I told you what Minair did with the fuel selector switch? They put it in
the wrong way. So when the switch was on the right tank the fuel was actually
switched off. With the switch on both it was on right tank and so on. I luckily
found out on the ground when after engine start I switched to right tank and
the engine died. Furthermore they broke a connector that earthed the magneto.
So you could switch the mags to off and the engine was still running on the
right magneto. The problem with Minair is that there are always too many people
working on the same thing and this creates confusion. When installing the
magnetos they also damaged the cable that controls the RPM instrument. The
cable finally broke 15 minutes after take off and I had to return to Bangui. So
the first few days after the maintenance were rather annoying.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Mario is aangekomen in Afrika

Hello Hans

I don.t know if you received my first email. Just want to tell you that I am
fine and my French is improving. I probably still speak it like a child but
people understand what I am trying to say and I usually understand what they
are saying. If not, I tell them to speak slowly.
I also met the two pilots from ASF. Unfortunately they are going to be based in
the Congo soon, for about 3 months, I think.

Last week the 200 hrs maintenance was carried out on the plane and that created
more problems than there were before. But things are sorted out now and
the plane is flying nicely. I have been to Kouango, Mobaye, Bangassou and Zemio
so far and have flown a little more than 20 hours since I am here.

I can understand that you miss the place and the work as it is really good. I
enjoy being my own boss, so to say. It is probably a bit more difficult for me
with the language barrier but I am improving. The flying itself is great, as
usual in Africa. I only have to be careful with the weather now in the rainy
season. But the weather radar really is very helpful. The other day, on the
flight back from Bangassou I had to avoid 4 thunderstorms. They become big
here, up to 45.000 feet and higher. I also use the internet, which is available
now in St. Charles, for weather forecast. But the met office in Bangui is
helping also quite a bit. Their equipment is actually quite good.

I hope that you are having a good time in Holland.
Best regards

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