Wednesday, August 23, 2006


C.A.R. the sequel

Hi Hans,

Fuel was stolen the other night because Samuel was doing the night shift instead of Daniel (I did not know that). Unfortunately he is not made for the night shift and we lost some litres.
I have met Soeur Noella twice so far, so I do not know what to say.
Regarding the battery, that is exactly what I told them as well : check it every 50 hours. But this will be forgotten in 2 days. However, to me this is a further indication that there is something wrong with the electrical system. I will give you an account of the things that happened next time.
MSF Spain has pulled out and I have not heard anything from MSF Holland. I am however in contact with CICR (Red Cross) as they have an office in Paoua now and they are having trouble getting there in their cars because of rebels. They are now considering their options, as they intend to fly there on a regular basis (probably once every 2 weeks). The options are limited though, there is the 182 from ASF and Minair. The 182 is probably the cheapest option and it really depends on their needs. Minair, I believe, will be much too expensive for them.
I am also flying for UNHCR to Mboki from time to time, which is healthy for the account. Since I have worked for the UN twice, I know that usually they are people with not much clue of what is going on. The UN in general is a big money waster and therefore I charge them the full rate. That comes to around two and a half million CFA per flight to Mboki and back. So financially I am staying at the same level. I am trying to utilise the plane as efficiently as I can and try not to have many empty flights. The people here have enough time to wait a day or two, so then I can combine flights.
Up till now I have flown about a hundred hours. That is not bad considering the difficult weather and the three weeks that the plane had been grounded. And I was grounded from last Thursday to Saturday as I had caught malaria. But Saturday I was up again for Mobaye. The Malarone tablets are strong stuff. The malaria itself was not as bad as the two hours after taking the tablets. They really hit hard but I guess that is what is needed to get rid of the parasites.
I enjoy the quiet life here. From time to time I go out for dinner. One of the Lebanese guys had invited me to the Ali Baba the other night. Great food. We ate for 2 hours. Went to dinner with some South Africans and also with the ASF pilots.
By the way, there are two King Airs based in Bangui now. Both on South African reg. One is for a uranium company which is digging in Bakouma, which is a 200. The other one is a 90 and is operated as charter here. No idea though who is involved there. Rumours are that the presidential family is in it as well.

Will write again soon,


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