We’re sitting having breakfast on the verandah of our guesthouse on the Beau Vallons beach in Seychelles. Just 5 hours to take off for Kruger Mpumalanga International. The weather here is much better than it was yesterday – bright blue sky with a few puffy, kissey kind of cumulus clouds, a light cool breeze and generally just as good for staying and swimming as for flying. Anyhow, our weather reporter, Tim, with the input of the Exeter weather gurus and the Cape Town International Met Office, put it like this –
All good. You’re in for a bumpy one though and some headwind 160-180 deg. Get high for lighter wind 5-10 kts. After a while will get str cu cloud from 2500 to 8000.Best to stay above if poss. Will be bumpy but pick up high alt tailwind 030/15kt from 13 deg s. Once over land drop low for n surface winds. No sig wx. The ts around you are behind you to n. Viva! Titus
The flight is about 1 880 nautical miles so should take 19 hours if there’s no wind at all. That could change by quite a bit depending on head or tailwinds though. Our range is down from 24 to about 22,5 hours, since we’re running the engine richer now, for the low altitude flying we’ve been doing from Indonesia onwards. (So if we’re still flying close to midday tomorrow, SA time, you can start holding your breath). Planned arrival for Springs is at 1200Z 2708 (or 14h00 SA time, Thursday 27 August for non-pilots – having stopped to clear customs at Kruger Mpumalanga International of course). For the extreme skeptics amongst us, if we do arrive you can be sure that the earth is round, since we haven’t flown with the compass pointing towards the eastern half of the rose at all since we left SA 39 days ago, except in the circuit of an airfield! If we don’t, then of course the question remains open.
Anyhow, after a good long swim here we’re going to catch a taxi into Victoria, buy some food and drinks for the flight, pay the landing and parking fees, file a flight plan, fill up with fuel, top up the oil, do a good pre-flight check, start up and off we go. We’re very much looking forward to landing in familiar SA and seeing everyone again. Please arrange good weather for the flight in, and cold beer for refreshment.
Signing off in a state of high excitementJames and Mike