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Messages - Sardine

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Good Food & Braai / Re: The Good Food & Braai Thread
« on: Yesterday at 11:35:56 am »
Chocolate Soufflé

2 eggs
Chocolate - 1/2 cup (I used an 80g slab of De Villiers 70%)
Optional- peanut butter
2 ramekins

Grease the ramekins lightly with butter
Sprinkle some cocoa/sugar/cinnamon whatever you want in them, so it lines the inside
Place in fridge
Pre-heat oven to 190C

Separate eggs
Melt chocolate (and peanut butter) and add to egg yolks (careful you don't cook the eggs)
Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form
Fold 1/3 egg white mixture into yolk-chocolate mixture
Fold in remaining egg whites
Add to ramekins
Place ramekins on a tray with water, and chuck in the oven for 15-17min

Garnish as you please.

I baked mine a little too long, and the peanut butter made it heavy without offering much flavour. Otherwise, delicious!
You can also use chocolate spread instead of a slab.

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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:49:32 pm »

1. We departed runway 01 Cape Town (to the north) and got an early left turn out past Table Mountain

2. Steenbras Dam

3. Mossel Bay

4. Ambulance arriving in George with precious cargo

5. Beautiful light on the way home
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General Bike Related Banter / Re: Alternative to the G310R
« on: June 06, 2018, 11:33:29 am »
At R50 000, it's a lot more affordable than the BMW (R69 300) and Kawasaki (R75 500). Looks like a lekker scoot for the commute.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: June 06, 2018, 06:13:44 am »
May was a slow month, with only 8 missions - about 17hrs flying. A bit of a change from 70-80hrs per month in Botswana!

I asked for more night shifts as I'm trying to get the hours I need for my ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence). The requirements are 1500hrs total, of which 100hrs must be at night, and 75 hours must be instrument.

I have more than enough total time, but as all of the flying in Botswana was VFR Day (Visual Flight Rules), I left there with 10hrs night. So I thought hey, 15 night shifts @ +-2hrs per sortie = easy hours!
Nope. We only fly about 30% of our night shifts. Less in winter.

The beginning of the month started well with a call to George, where we then got stuck as fog had rolled into Cape Town.
Of my 3 consecutive night shifts, I flew two of them, not bad!
Then I had a week of no flying.
Then one flight.
Then a week of no flying.
Then two flights.
Then a week of no flying.

It starts to mess with you, and the lack of routine drove me crazy.

This month was looking better, with 17 day shifts and 7 night shifts, but the roster has been shuffled several times, and now I'm down to 15 day shifts, but it's all good :)
I've already flown more this week than pretty much the whole of last month  :ricky:

I haven't been very good at keeping track of how many people I've been flying, and what has been wrong with them. It's all kept on record so it's just a matter of getting over my laziness and checking. Maybe later today  :peepwall:

We have had quite a few spinal patients, and a fair number of babies.
Some poor guy was driving at night and hit roadwork equipment; they were doing the roadworks but hadn't set up any lights or signs indicating such. From what I picked up, the one side of his body was rather broken, ribs, hips, femur...

The winter weather has been interesting. Turbulence, icing, storms. It is a spectacular feeling when you can feel thunder whilst in flight. And I'm not talking about the thunder from the previous night's curry!

It has also been scary; flying at night, climbing through clouds, where the only thing you can see is the pulsing red beacon light reflecting off the clouds. There is nothing else out there, except for the ground. And there you are, in a pressurized metal tube with only one engine, trusting that all the fancy computers and gadgets up front aren't suddenly going to fail.

I've flown with a few more different pilots. Air Mercy Service has a large pool of volunteers on the fixed wing, and each comes with their own style, knowledge, and skill set. Some are just there to fly, and a few very special people teach. And they make me work, which is good. It is so easy to become complacent at this job; we fly a sophisticated, highly automated aircraft. And it's easy to get used to the norm. Until the poo hits the fan and you realise just how little you actually know.

So my new rule for the last month or so has been to read up on one emergency procedure, every flight. Then the next flight I recap all the previous ones, and learn another one. Hopefully my brain cell will absorb something and my reactions will become a bit more fluid and automatic.

A lot of the pilots also aren't interested in patients. But a couple (these are normally also the same ones who enjoy teaching) get involved and chat to the patients, find out what happened, where they're from etc. A crew like that makes the hours of waiting bearable, and it becomes fun. I'm very shy and still getting used to talking to people, especially sick people. But I try to remind myself that it will do both the patient and me good; often they are scared and unsure of what is happening, and engaging will help me feel like I'm helping them a little and doing good, which is why I wanted this job.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: June 06, 2018, 05:50:25 am »
Can you imagine a world with no idiot taxi drivers... and a reliable bus service from Somerset West to the Cape Town CBD...

10 buses, 40(?) people each = 400 people and probably over 200 less cars on the road.
Driving in to work this morning at 5am, the roads were already packed with cars with only the driver in.

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Happy birthday!!!
I’m glad that you at least got to enjoy your day before the jury doodie notification  :patch:

Thank you everyone for all of the birthday wishes! I did have a lovely day!

Right now, I'm rather pissed off though. I just got summoned for jury duty. Again. This is the third flippin' time I've been summoned. Pick someone else!

The first time, I served on the jury for a criminal case (living in Baltimore, Maryland, at the time). I lost 3 work days but wasn't worried because I was working for the government at the time and they kept paying me while I was serving (it's the law).

The second time was a summons just a couple of months ago, also for Baltimore, but I was excused because I no longer reside in Maryland.

And now. Now, I can't afford to serve. If I don't work, I don't get paid. I believe in the justice system, but I feel rather angry right now. I literally can't afford to serve on a jury. Unless I sit in the courthouse all day, then come home at night and still put in 8 hours.

I'll go on the website later and try to be excused for financial hardship, but they very rarely do that, and then you have to back it up with pay slips, tax returns, etc., so I'm not hopeful.

Just when you start to dig yourself out of dire straits, something like this.

Feeling angry and... don't know. Less than hopeful. Tired.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 28, 2018, 09:29:04 pm »
I did my first official Park Run today. I did one a few weeks ago but we arrived late and didn't bother scanning the barcode for times.

Today, I was early. Very early. I arrived at Roo44 at 07:15 and thought it oddly quiet for an event this popular. "Maybe it's because there's all sorts of trail running happening at Boschendal," I thought to myself. By 07:30 I decided to get out the car and have a wander, maybe even jog on the spot and stretch, like I've seen the seasoned park runners do.
And I waited. And waited. And they were having marshal meetings and setting up the fences and stuff.

Hmmm... and I just happened to turn and see the park run board "Park Run, every Saturday at 08:00."


Back to the car I go to thaw out my legs.

By 07:55 the crowds had gathered and I took my place near the back. I never fancied myself much of a runner, but in the last month I have got into it and jogged 5km for the second time in my life. But I figured I would take it easy and try stay out of the crush of people.
It had been an hour since I left home where I had consumed a futurelife shake and a lot of water. So I really had to pee. Great.

Lucky for me, there was a loo on the way. By the time I left everyone had spread out and I managed to take up a slow jog, with the odd bit of walking to negotiate my way around people. They mark the route distances and I was surprised when I passed the 2km mark; it had gone by so fast.
I had warmed up, there wasn't any wind, the air was crisp, the view was spectacular and I was really enjoying myself.

I walked up the really steep hill and jogged the rest of the way back. It felt goooood! My goal for the day was 40min of exericse and I was on 37min so I jogged a few laps of the parking lot before heading home.

It was a really cool experience, and I'm quite excited to go again.

So if you ever want to get out and do something active, try a park run. You don't have to be super fit or fast, mostly it's people who want to have fun.
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The Fitness Board / Re: Trail Running
« on: April 21, 2018, 11:42:50 am »
sweet baby mexican gardener but i feel like a movie should be made every time i do a park run and dont die, you guys are a different species. respect

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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 20, 2018, 05:19:00 pm »
Mango pulling in at George

Citation Mustang

Fluffies on the way back
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 20, 2018, 05:17:38 pm »
Yesterday we received a call for a flight to George. A patient we couldn’t fly on Wednesday due to turbulence was still waiting (spinal patient).

Yesterday morning was foggy in Cape Town. I find it amazing how the fog seems to settle on the runway.

Anyway, take off was scheduled for 12:39 but we got going before then.

We punched through the clouds in Cape Town, a soft fluffy blanket extending as far as the eye could see.

It cleared up as we passed Botrivier, and George had a cloud base of about 3700ft.

We waited about 2.5hrs for the patient to get prepped for transport then we were back in our steed and on our way home.
A little more cloud had developed for the return trip.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:39:34 pm »
Tom, indeed. Icing has cause a lot of aircraft to crash.
Some more detail with my answers to Cheesy's questions...

What type is a 738
It's a Boeing 737-800. The -800 denotes the series. Then Mango's and Kulula's are -800's.

F A G G;  flight area George?
FAGG is the ICAO Designator for George Airport. "FA" is for South Africa, and normally the other two letters have something to do with the name of the airport. FAJS - Johanneburg = Jan Smuts. Botswana's ICAO designator is "FB". ICAO means International Civil Aviation Organisation, and they have set the standards South African aviation must comply with. Botswana is also an ICAO state.
America uses the FAA - Federal Aviation Association.
F A C T   flight area Cape Town?
Cape Town International Airport  :thumleft:

Ice on the leading wing, do you have not heaters in a craft of type?
The PC-12 has de-icing boots on the leading edges of the wings and horizontal stabilizer of the tail.
They're essentially really big tyre tubes that inflate in stages, in a 1 or 3 minute cycle, and hopefully cause the ice to pop off the wing/tail. That's why the leading edge looks like a big rubber boot, because well, that's exactly what it is.

In the past, some aircraft manufacturers have said you only need to activate the boots once 1/2" of ice has accumulated. Then some of them found that by that stage the ice wouldn't shed off the wing, and the boot just pushed the ice outwards, resulting in a nice icy surface for more ice to form. This results in a massive increase in weight, and it also changes the profile of the wing, reducing lift and increasing drag.
So with the PC-12, we put the boots on at the first sign of ice. It's quite cool watching the ice flake off.
If that doesn't work, we descend to where the air is warmer, or get out of visible moisture (clouds).

Freezing rain can cause a lot of issues as the ice doesn't build on the leading edge, but rather spreads further back along the surface of the wing. There is no form of ice protection, or way to shed the ice. So we are very careful when we see we're in freezing rain.

The PC-12 also has electrical heating elements on the propeller, and both pilot windshields (much like that found on the rear window of a car).

When it comes to your airliners, those sleek and shiny wing leading edges and engine intakes can all be heated, melting the ice.

A lot of people (pilots included  :eek7:) confuse anti-ice and de-ice.
Anti-ice : Prevents ice from building up. This is usually in the form of a liquid that seeps across the leading edges.
De-ice: Gets rid of ice that has already accumulated.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 16, 2018, 02:00:01 pm »
Hi Kortbroek,
Thank you :)

I often post photos to Instagram and forget to post here.

Here’s a panoramic of the cockpit as seen from the left seat.
The PC-12NG is equipped with Honeywell Primus Apex avionics I.e. lots of big tv screens and buttons!

Also, between layers of clouds, with some ice on the leading edge of the wing.

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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:50:54 am »

There are very wealthy people living in Somerset West! Vehicle registration: C F M, City For Millionaires.


14 April

'Twas the ring of my phone at 06:40 that got me into action. "Air Mercy Service" calling.
I had been drifting in and out of sleep since 06:00, so at least it wasn't a major chore getting up.

I was on my way within 20 minutes. Take-off was set for 09:00.

I arrived in the office laden with bags of flying kit, breakfast, and my uniform. A paramedic and the heli pilot were in the office when I arrived, my eyes a little wild and screaming for coffee. I managed to drop the hangar with my shirt as I was walking to get the key for the pilot office.
I sighed.
"Oh no," said the paramedic.
"I need coffee," I said.
"I'm on it!" the heli pilot said, dashing off to his coffee stash.

I couldn't help but laugh. I must have looked really bad  :lol8:

Anyway, we got airborne right on time for the flight to George. The Cape Town weather was glorious, and when we crossed Botrivier we had a blanket of clouds extended from far out to sea to the mountains.
I thought "I should get a photo now, and one later, to show the difference." Naturally, I didn't. And of course, on the return leg, the clouds were the exact opposite; clear from the mountains seawards.

George was a little miserable. Cloud base sitting at around 500ft above ground level.
Great because I got some IF in (instrument flying), but I don't think I will ever get used to placing my life in the 'hands' of a machine, trusting I have programmed it properly while I watch our progress on the map.

The dark clouds and light made for a few dramatic photos on the ground.

1.) The beautiful PC-12
2.) A Cessna 425 Corsair
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 13, 2018, 06:02:48 pm »
Thank you, Ian.

So, here it is. The view on a flight from Cape Town to George today, FL230 (23 000ft above sea level), looking towards the sea.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 03, 2018, 08:12:14 pm »
Is that a private B738 at FAGG?  :o

It sure is! It seems to hang around FACT often, I think it’s based there, but registered elsewhere.

 :thumleft: Do you have the reg number?

(B738: for when a Citation will simply not do)

A rather apt, “VP-BBJ”.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 02, 2018, 12:09:49 pm »
George Airport, 28 March

There has been an Airbus 310 parked there for a while.

That same day we were joined by a Boeing 737.
The Boeing is so much prettier.

And on the 31st of March a heap of small aircraft arrived for Easter Weekend... King Air's, Mooney's, Cirrus, Bonanaza, Gazelle...

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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: April 02, 2018, 11:37:05 am »
The Pilatus Porter is on a my "Plane Bucket List".


I keep reaching for my coffee cup, forgetting that it is empty  :lamer:

So, I joined AMS is mid-February, and I did my first mission on 6 March.

The plane was out for a week for its annual service, so I missed out on 5 shifts - probably about 3 or 4 flights.

I've decided to start recording more info about each flight; number of patients, infant, toddler, adult, what was wrong with them.
I missed a few and can't remember who we flew, so March was the trial period. Hopefully I will be more on top of it from now on.

So, stats for March...
Missions flown: 13
Patients: At least 15
They ranged from expectant mothers, to a guy with staples in his head, another guy recovering from a head injury, a guy with a broken back and neck, and a few babies.

I'm starting to get a little more settled. Some of the crews are really awesome and we just click well. Others aren't quite as much fun. But I'm starting to get more of a feel for the team vibe, and I have made a deal with one of the paramedics; I will teach her how to read aviation weather charts if she teaches me about the equipment they use. So far I've had a crash course in using one of those funky little defibrillator machines.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: March 29, 2018, 10:50:48 am »
It has been over a month since moving back to South Africa from Botswana. There have had to be a few small adjustments, but for the most part I'm not missing Botswana or the old job. Too much. I do miss the 5-minute drive to work, and the cost of petrol being only P7/l.
I don't miss waking up at 4am, and working 12 hour days 6 days a week, not having a schedule and not being able to plan.

Now I fly a Pilatus PC-12 for the Red Cross Air Mercy Service.

The Cape Town base has a PC-12 equipped as an air ambulance. We mainly transfer patients between Cape Town and George, and Cape Town and Vredendal.
The Durban base has a Flying Doctor Service, where they fly doctors and specialists into rural areas. It's more of a scheduled service, whereas we sit and wait for a call to come in.
A welcome change of pace after being on the go all day every day.

Thunderbolts and Lightning

Yesterday we got a call in the afternoon for a flight to George to pick up a guy with a spinal injury.
We checked the weather and cloud was forecast, but it seemed that it was going to stay just off the coast.

We got airborne from Cape Town just before 15:00. It was a smooth flight across. George looks amazing; all green and fresh.
We waited at George airport while the paramedics went to the hospital to get the patient ready for transport. It was quite a wait, and we only got airborne after 17:30.

By now, the cloud had started rolling in. We were flying straight into the setting sun, which cast beautiful light everywhere.
As we reach Sir Lowry's Pass, flying as slow as we could so ATC (Air Traffic Control) could slot a B737 in front of us, we got our first glimpses of lightining. The sun was dipping below the horizon, the clouds in the distance red. It was getting dark fast, and we were treated to a spectacular light show. In the 17 or so years I've lived in the Western Cape, I've never seen lightning like that. And it was even more special seeing it from the air.

From about 5nm from the airport, we could see the apron was drenched. The runway lights welcoming us like a giant Christmas tree. ATC cleared us to land, and cautioned us that the runway was very wet.
I was flying. This was my first night landing on a mission. With a spinal patient, a wet runway, and storms in the vicinity.
I planned to land firmly in order to break through the surface of water on the runway, but not so firm as to jar everyone in the back.

It was a good landing. I'm really chuffed with it.
Once we were on the ground we could hear the thunder, and feel it rumbling through the ground.

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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: January 01, 2018, 07:27:47 am »
A dreary morning in Maun. One of the first decent rains of the season, it bucketed down all night and well into the day. It was cool with a breeze and reminded me of Cape Town.

I love watching raindrops roll off the windscreen.

The flying that day was fun- lots of decisions to make regarding the clouds (do I go over or under?), and plenty of mud.
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Africa Info & other International Travels / Re: My African Dream
« on: December 14, 2017, 05:46:50 pm »
The days have become quiet, but busy. Like a road stretching off into the distance in the hot Karoo, life just seems to be dragging on.

Between training people on the Caravan, I have done a few line/Delta flights. Well, I have been in the air but not actually doing the flying. Insurance requires newly rated crew do at least 50hrs under supervision before being let loose.
Some days it is fun, other days it is boring. But it gives me a chance to look out of the window and appreciate the beauty passing by.

The Delta has changed a lot. Rain here and there has transformed areas from brown to green, but the rivers and water ways have dried up.
The Thamalakane River, which runs through Maun, has dropped well over a meter.

It is both amazing and sad to see. Maun is really a dust bowl, a donkey town. It has a certain charm to it, but in winter when every day brings blue skies and sand, you get over it.
But after the first two or three good rains, it is transformed and everything is green and clean. I love driving down the main road and looking at the contrast between black tar, brown sand on the side of the road, lush green trees, the blue of the sky and white fluffy clouds.

Today was a short one with just ground school in the morning. Then we packed the car and got ready to set course for Guma, about 3.5hrs' drive towards the pan handle. Only we didn't even get 3.5km when my car started to overheat. We pulled into a petrol station with an Autozone (I think) and had a guy come take a look. He schemed it was the thermostat. No point in risking the engine so we nursed it to the mechanic who has done a lot of work on it.

Blown head gasket. Joy of joys.

No more Guma for us. And no car until next week.
At least it didn't happen halfway to Guma.

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