'Click,' the last clip of my 5 point safety harness slots into place as I strap into the left seat of my old friend Bill.
Running through the checklist ...starter on and the turbine spools up, love that whine, if your lucky you might catch the delicious smell of the exhaust gas - burnt turbine fuel - wonderful.
Taxing out we are soon lined up, gentle breeze from the right, Bil vibrates with eagerness, as we leap down Kajjansi's grass and murram runway, first we're off to Entebbe International Airport only 12 miles away to refuel, clear Customs and sort out Immigration paperwork. I have Joey Lincoln and his wife and three small children on board, Joey is a pilot with MAF Congo in Bunia and is also an aircraft engineer - his father is Chief Engineer for MAF Congo based in Kajjansi! They had been working on one of MAF Congo's aircraft that had been parked in our hanger. We also have a couple of other NGO passengers along with us as well, all seem very happy to be heading home.
It is only 160 miles on a 304 heading to Bunia, 1hr 10 min by Caravan but a long drive to this town in nestled just over the border in Eastern DRC. Climbing out to 10,500ft, it is a glorious day .just need to doge the odd cloud Soon Lake Albert is in sight and once we are half way across - at the border, not a red dotted line in site despite looking hard for it over blue water's below. We descend into Bunia, crossing the ridge is beautiful, as we slide low over the high ground. The photo below shows a typical congolese town red rusted corrugated iron and dusty roads. The airfield is easy to spot as it has a tarmac runway that today is easy to spot against the green background. Many UN helicopters squat half asleep like giant bumble bees, guarded by Bangladeshi UN troops, a pleasant and friendly bunch.