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Author Topic: My African Dream  (Read 231646 times)

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Offline Kerritz

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #920 on: October 23, 2018, 06:37:46 am »
 :laughing4: :laughing4: :laughing4:
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Offline 0012

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #921 on: October 23, 2018, 09:18:35 am »
HAHAHAHA  :imaposer:

All you need is this:
https://www.shewee.com/she-pee


My brother was in an Outdoor Warehouse or Cape Union or whatever and whilst standing in the queue to pay he saw one of these items in the aisle by the tills...
So he didn't know what it was, picked it up, blew on the end bit like a trumpet, held it over his nose, trying to figure it out...
His wife comes along and says "you probably don't want to be doing that, you're holding a she-pee"   :lol8:  :lol8:  :lol8:
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #922 on: October 23, 2018, 10:00:38 pm »
Some photos from the night sortie.

1.) Ready to go!
2.) We had to wait a while for airline traffic so I snapped this at the holding point
3.) Somewhere near  Franschhoek, looking back to the city
4.) All lit up in the cruise
5.) A cold and windy Mossel Bay

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #923 on: October 23, 2018, 10:18:04 pm »
Working in Botswana taught me the art of the bush wee.
Guys have it so easy.

But itís quite challenging finding a bush shielded from view of the guests in the vehicle. And then thereís always a chance a lion is hiding in the same bush. So whilst balancing there, youíve got to ďmeerkatĒ and make sure nothing is sneaking up on you.

But when you gotta go, you gotta go. So I learnt the tricks quickly. Good thing too because I needed them on Kilimanjaro.

But itís one thing dropping  ďtrouď in the bush, and quite another when you have a flight suit on and the wind gusting 30km/h. It requires rather careful planning so as to stay out of the ďsplash zoneĒ.

Ah, the luxurious life of a pilot.  :imaposer:

 :imaposer: One lean fast to pee downwind  :deal:  :imaposer:
 

Offline EssBee

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #924 on: October 24, 2018, 08:53:26 am »
That is one seriously neat aircraft!
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #925 on: November 03, 2018, 09:36:16 am »
This last week has been crazy busy with family drama, so I spent most of it in Somerset West looking after my niece. I had managed to avoid changing a nappy for 2.5yrs, until Monday!  :imaposer:
Sjoe, that kid just doesn't stop- on the go constantly and after an hour I was so tired and out of ideas for entertainment! But man, I enjoyed the afternoon naps. It boggles my mind that such a little human can have so much understanding. I told her I couldn't crawl on the floor as my back was very sore, so she immediately runs off and gets a special massage thing and says "Here you go! This will back you feel better!"

On Monday we did a night flight. In that storm. It wasn't fun, and it's not something I want to experience again. The turbulence coming into Cape Town was like a rollercoaster ride on steroids, half the time I couldn't even read the numbers on the instruments and just had to put my trust in the machine.

And then last night we got another call. It came in early which was quite nice, so I could sort out dinner and stuff, and the weather was perfect. I was looking forward to it so much I was worried Murphy would intervene and it would be cancelled. But he didn't this time.

It was pitch black last night, and the stars and town lights became one. It was as if we were suspended neither here nor there, a feeling that I cannot describe, but love. On the way back I looked out over the left wing and could see the Milky Way. I was taken back to my summit morning on Kilimanjaro where it felt like I was hanging in space, completely at peace with the world.

But, going in to George wasn't as peaceful. We can normally see the city lights from 80-100nm away. Not last night. It was covered in a blanket of smoke and we would only see the glow of fires. So I elected to do a full ILS (instrument landing system) approach, which relies on ground-and-air based instruments for lateral and vertical position. The PC-12, being a computer, will even fly it all for you. But last night it wasn't happy and didn't capture the approach. Now, the danger with these clever aircraft is when the computer doesn't work, pilots tend to fixate on the computer problem rather than flying the plane.

With the Lion Air crash in the back of my mind, I manually got the aircraft where it had to be. No joy. We were too high and the picture outside (when we eventually saw it through the smoke), wasn't looking good. So I called "Going around". And off we went, flying the missed approach. As we got sorted out I discussed options with my co-pilot. We can try again, or go back to Cape Town. The patients were sick, but not sick enough to make stupid decisions. We determined the x-wind was wreaking havoc with the outbound leg of the procedure and decided on a better correction angle. We would try again. If we weren't happy, we would set course for Cape Town.

Knowing the ILS and/or computer were iffy, I manually flew (through the autopilot - you can choose the track/heading, altitude, rate of descent etc). The runway appeared out of the smoke at about 2nm, and we continued, landing safely.

My first go-around on a mission, and more lessons learnt.

We got back to base around midnight, and I was on my way home by 00:45.
I enjoy driving at night - the roads are peaceful and it's just you and your thoughts.

Unfortunately, just after the M3 offramp into town (that nice sweeping right turn) there was an accident. A motorbike hit a Mini Cooper... or the Mini hit the bike, as the Mini's bonnet was crumpled and windscreen smashed. The debris started about 50-80m before where the bike had come to rest. At first it looked like a KTM Duke 390 because it was small, then I realised half of it was lying on the other side of the road.
A Honda in Repsol colours.
The biker was surrounded by paramedics, his leg looked like a giant cheese grater had got to it.

I hope he's ok!

Offline silvrav

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #926 on: November 03, 2018, 07:42:49 pm »
So much excitement there Sardine! Could only imagine that approach in George and glad it worked out in the end...

and strongs to that poor biker
 

Offline EssBee

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #927 on: November 06, 2018, 09:03:01 am »
Exciting post! Thanks again for sharing.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #928 on: November 14, 2018, 05:48:52 pm »
In the days following the night flight in the storm, an increasing pain spread across my body and I eventually decided to go see a physio. My entire back was in spasm. People often tell me to just chill out and stop being so serious. The physio did the same and gave me exercises to ease the tension from my shoulders down. Sweet relief.

I organised a training evening at the Stellenbosch Flying Club which was great fun. It's a fairly short (760m) tar runway, with quite a few hazards and requires pilots to be signed out before they're allowed to operate there. So I arranged for some of the AMS pilots to head across and do some circuits to get comfortable and signed off.
It's funny, in Botswana airstrips were 700-1200m long. So Stellenbosch should be ops normal, but I'm so used to Cape Town and George that on the first landing I thought "Eish, the end of this runway is coming at us fast!"

I've been on day shift since. Some quiet days, a flight to Beaufort West which is a nice change of scenery. We even went into town and had lunch at Spur. The staff were great and loaded on the food.

I've been on 5 days in a row and I'm starting to feel it. Again, in Botswana it was ops normal to work 10-12hrs/day, 6 days a week. I'm getting lazy.

Between flights I've been reading. A book called A Band Aid For a Broken Leg by Damien Brown, a South African-Australian doctor working for MSF (Doctors Without Borders).

It made me think about how I always wanted to fly for the UN, and why flying for AMS was high on my list. Though, AMS isn't quite what I thought it would be.
The flying is inconsistent and repetitive, and while I know I am indirectly helping people, I was hoping to be a little more involved. But, I'm shy. And I panic when I need to speak Afrikaans, not ideal when the majority of our patients are Afrikaans. Or heavily sedated.

But on the way back from George today, I gazed at the patchwork of brown and yellow fields 18 000ft below us. Wispy clouds flitting across the blue sky. Fog building out to sea. A glance inside at the engine instruments. Then I glanced back at the paramedics, noting vital signs and checking the plethora of tubes and wires coming out of a guy hooked up to the machines that were keeping him alive. An auto-immune disease. And I thought "yeah, this is pretty cool." Not quite what I expected, but something.
 
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Offline Ian in Great Brak River

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #929 on: November 15, 2018, 12:20:21 am »
Yep, and the guy with the tubes in him will in time think of you as his flying angel.

 8)
1978. It's 6am, mid winter...two up on a XL 185S ... off to my first casino ever with all of R40 and we've got a full tank of fuel, so enough to get there we reckon.... that's determination...

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Offline Fudmucker

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #930 on: November 15, 2018, 07:14:10 am »
Think of yourself as part of the team.
The paramedics have their job and the patient needs them to deal with medical stuff.
The Paramedics need you to do your job -  to get them from where the patient was to where the medical help is.
Nobody is more important than any other in that team.
Sometimes you are a critical gear in the gearbox.
Sometimes you are in neutral and spectating.
Get certified in First Aid and you may be able to assist more.
Life is far too short to be taken too seriously.
I am far too short to be taken too seriously.

I'm not deaf... I'm ignoring you.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #931 on: November 15, 2018, 11:45:16 am »
I know we all have our part to play and without each other we canít do our job and deliver the service. I donít want to feel more important or be able to say my job is the more valuable one. The paramedics are amazing. They work 12-16hr shifts with little recognition.
Itís just frustrating. Management could be better. And as this service falls under the Western Cape Government, things are... slow.

Now, I do the easy job- the flying side. I have only been to the hospital with the paramedics once and it was a quick handover. So I donít know what goes on behind the scenes. But I know thereís a lot of politics and, in my opinion, some of the people who make decisions about a valuable resource (the aircraft) donít have a clue.

The number of times we have been called at 2am to fly a perfectly stable (walking) patient, who has been plucked out of their warm bed, only to arrive in Cape Town and be told no, sorry, we donít actually have a bed for the patient (so they must wait in the passage for 3-8hrs) is ridiculous.

Iíve got Level I First Aid and was actually really interested in the human anatomy side of biology in school, so I ask questions and often assist with the loading and offloading of patients (another story altogether as higher ups keep changing equipment without testing it properly first).

Ag Iím just venting. Iím going on a well-deserved break this weekend.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #932 on: November 16, 2018, 01:55:59 pm »
Overhead Somerset West, looking to the north at 12 000ft en route to... you guessed it! George!

I love the shadows on days like these.

Offline Oubones

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #933 on: November 16, 2018, 07:31:54 pm »
I love your life!
Thanks for sharing!
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Offline Mr Zog

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #934 on: November 17, 2018, 03:44:41 am »
I've done a couple of flights with patients.

The best ones are the ones that have tubes down their throats and are fast asleep. They don't complain.  :peepwall:

But I have also experienced the terror of a patient's vital signs crashing, due to changes in altitude (air pressure and air density, directly influencing oxygen levels) and having to make critical decisions to save a life.

Although those paramedics may look calm on the surface, they are stressing BIG time beneath the surface. Like a duck, all calm above water, but paddling frantically below the surface.

And why do paramedics wear dark glasses? So you can't see the terror in their eyes.  :deal:
Young enough to know I can, old enough to know I shouldn't, stupid enough to do it anyway.
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #935 on: November 17, 2018, 07:40:21 am »
My scariest experience so far:
We flew a young boy, I canít remember what was wrong but he wasnít tubed or anything.
When we arrived in Cape Town and shut down the paramedics briefed the other patients to wait until the doors were open etc.
Then I heard them speaking to the kid. Then the tone of voice changed and an instant chill took over the aircraft. I turned around to see them tapping the kid ďhey! Wake up!Ē, panic in their voices and worry in their eyes.
My heart plummeted.

Turns out he was in such a deep sleep, they thought he died.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #936 on: November 17, 2018, 07:41:43 am »
The view never gets old.
 
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Offline BMWPE

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #937 on: November 17, 2018, 04:25:38 pm »
awesome pic thanks   :thumleft:
Rallye
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #938 on: November 27, 2018, 09:43:51 pm »
Today I managed to get my backside out of bed early and go for a walk/jog around the neighborhood. It was worth it.

Nice and cool with ominous clouds, a rainbow and an oil tanker. Set the tone for the day :)

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #939 on: November 27, 2018, 09:57:12 pm »
I got to work at 08:30 and managed to get a fair amount of admin done.
Then at 14:30 we got a flight request for Vredendal.
So off we went. The surface wind was gusting 30kts which I really enjoyed- it makes the take-offs and landings challenging and breaks the monotony of the cruise.

And we encountered some cool, fluffy clouds.
There was a B777 and B738 on the ramp. One doesnít realize that while the B738 is big, when viewed next to the B777 it pales in comparison!

Home by 19:00 and I attempted to make a tuna steak. It wasnít quite as nice as Iíd hoped. I accidentally researched salmon recipes and got it in my head I was eating salmon. Twit.