Wednesday, 13 July 2011

It was only a little hole but it was a pleasing sight!

The heavy brooding clouds had lowered themselves to smother the mountain tops or perhaps the forest covered mountains had ascended into the grey rain laden cloud layer, either way flying low up the valley it was pretty obvious that getting over this small range of mountains was not going to be easy.
All three of our Caravans headed north yesterday, into the newest nation on earth; the Republic of Southern Sudan.  We had managed to pick up a satellite picture of the weather in the office at 0630 to see what we might expect and it looked decidedly damp over yonder border, the satellite image showed lots of green = wet, plenty of  yellow = very wet and several hefty dollops of red = who cares how wet they are, you don't want to go there.
Actually my area was pretty colour free and despite an update date saying it looks fine.... I was low over the trees looking for a way over the range. You do have to wonder if any one ever visits these densely forested areas very beautiful, rather nice to see them at almost 2 miles a minute. A couple of useful rules flying in mountains of any size & colour always have an escape route and if you are in a valley make sure it is big enough to do an about turn in. Decided to go north first as it looked lighter but the clouds came down as the valley went up - sounds like a song, am I thinking about Noah and a flood? Well time to do a u or valley turn, warn the passengers - ideally they need to be the right type of passengers, which these were - they had been training soldiers to be Pastors for a few weeks - they had some great stories about Jesus, God & the Father but another time. Watch your speed neither to fast nor to slow, put some flaps down and 60 degree bank and she turns on a sixpence and we head back down the valley.
Warned base that did not look great and I was wondering if I might need to skip Ikotos but then I saw it a hole - you can see the hill clearly on the other side. Now 20 miles further south, I could probably have got round with ease but remember I am using up fuel.
This little jolly round the mountains was no big deal and enjoyed by all but it made me think of all the times I have been in a tricky spot and with wisdom & faith God has turned up trumps, the inevitable coincidence - now who was it who said the more I pray the more coincidences occur (rhetorical qu)?
Conclusion. Nipped through the 'hole', rather nice on the other side. Landing at Ikotos one cannot help but notice the building being built right on the end of the airstrip guess that is also another story!

1 comment:

  1. Hehe, I recall flying with Alastair Ripper up to Bukoba and seeing a weather radar screen full of red! It was rather hairy scoot around the hills behind the airport, under the cloud, to come around to land facing lake Victoria. 30mins later, take off was a fast downwind dash out between the palm trees on the edge of the lake. Very exciting!