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Africa or Bust?!

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:35 pm
by N714GZ
Hi folks!

With the CPL Multi IR MCC still fresh in my pocket and 375 hours in the log book, the recent downturn in the aviation industry has left that elusive airline job feeling as far away as ever :cry: !!

It's been 4 months since the CV's have been doing the rounds and unfortunately there's not much joy as of yet. I did get a call to interview for a rather well known low cost airline but the idea of paying for a type rating only to be employed as a contractor at the end of it all was very off putting as in the current airline market the contractor will be the first to go if things go further downhill. So, I turned it down and decided to bide my time in the hope that the market opens up again, in the meantime building whatever time I can doing any flying that comes my way to fatten the log book and make myself more employable. I'm lucky as I have been doing 20-30 hours a month.

However, a new twist in the situation has arisen. An opportunity has presented itself to go to Africa and fly safaris for 6 months-1 year, to possibly return with a log book of up to 1000 hours including a good portion of Multi engine time. The tourist season begins next month so tis decision time. I'm a single guy of 28. My motivation is not money, but becoming more employable to European operators.

So my question is what would you do? Stay at home doing my 20 hours a month and waiting for something to happen or just go for it!

Thanks in advance!

Posted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 11:21 pm
by hum
Sounds like a no-brainer....

But... beware scams, the old cliche 'if something sounds too good to be true... '

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:21 am
by tally1
Yes go for it.
Some great flying in africa-real flying and as long as you pick your location/country and do some research on whoever is going to employ you,and it all checks out-go for it. At the very least it will be something to tell the grandkids - if it doesnt suit head back home. Depending on how you get on it could open doors to some of small regional airlines over there flying beech1900 for instance which would a step up the ladder.

Google is your friend as they say.

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 9:11 am
by Flyer1
Ditto the above, why sit around here and wait for something which may take a long time to happen with the current trend. The flying you'll do out in Africa doing safaris will be far more exciting than most airline related stuff you'll do here. And as echoed above, something might pop up out there !

Best of luck with it !


Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:05 pm
by caesar
hi. I dont suppose there is more than 1 job on offer as i would be interested in that.any details?

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 12:58 pm
by alphaLaura
If I got that opportunity, I'd be gone out of here like a shot!

Posted: Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:24 pm
by willo
Hi T

With the provisos already outlined, go for it!!!!

What would you be flying? No gunrunning on old DC-6s I hope!! :P

Anyway, talk soon


Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:58 pm
by Cosmic
N714GZ, My best friend and flight instructor had a very strong urge to go to Africa, which he did, and loved every minute of it, right up until the point he was killed in a crash he was the Pilot of, taking 4 passengers with him. A week before that he had a total engine failure after an oil leak and was fortuitously overhead a dirt strip and did a dead stick landing.

My other friend and student who also worked in Tanzania hit a Giraffe on takeoff from a remote strip and cartwheeled his 206 snapping off a wing and rupturing the fuel tank, and was very lucky to walk away unscathed.

A house mate in my Florida flying days was a Pilot for MAF and told me about clearing the localiser antenna by 20-30 feet in Nairobi as the aircraft was so overloaded and outside the CG envelope it was all but uncontrollable.

Landing with <10mins of fuel, overloading, flying outside of performance envelope (hot and high), flying through huge thunderstorms, flying SPIFR with no Autopilot because you are on a VFR flight plan but our boss forced you to go anyway as there is no real met Data (Even the "reputable companies")landing at night on unlit strips with only a few cars headlights to light the way and being completely and utterly on your own because there is no ATC assistance of any sort. These are all the challenges of a Bush Pilot.

You might read all the above and get total horny, and if you do fair enough. I had a family that would have missed me and I just felt the risks were just too great. Risk is all about perception though and you might feel that a photo album like this would be worth it, it's the guy who passed away in case you are wondering: ... 3189_wwDz5

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 5:07 pm
by ifty
Jeez with that reply dont know if I fancy keeping on with this flying lark! Yes everything has dangers but you could walk out your house tomorrow and get red bus disease!!! :shock:

If I was in your position I would be there like a shot :)

Good luck with what ever you choose

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:22 pm
by Nanolight
I say go for it while your circumstances permit. Totally a life changing experience.

It's the type of thing you'd regret not doing when you're 40 with scwaking kids and a large frumpy wife!

I'd be gone over there before you could say 'malaria shots'.

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:19 pm
by Cosmic
ifty , There is risk in everything from the moment you get out of bed until the moment you get back in at the end of the day. The point I was trying to make is to fully educate yourself of exactly what you are getting into before you go.

It's not Disney World or a National Geographic programme on the Discovery Channel. It can be a tough gritty job, where often times you will need to reset your datum of where safety starts and ends. I do regret not going, so Golf Zulu if you decide it's for you, you will undoubtedly have a great time.

Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:08 pm
by willo

all our responses were go for it, look at it as a great opportunity, and foreget about everything else, what can go wrong.

Your post put the brakes on, made us think of the other side and was one of the most constructive posts seen on the FII site ina long time.

Made me reassess my suggestion of go for it, without any thought of the full implications.

Tadhg, Cosmic, is dead right, do your homework, check around, ask the awkward questions to the organisation, post on a few other sites etc and make a considered choice, not one that I and others advocated.