2010. június 27., vasárnap

Going strong

I couldn't say that my past week was boring. On Tuesday I arrived to Swakopmund at seven in the morning. Captain Somatiko was waiting for me. and as I got off the plane he took a picture (he still comes with that one).
I came to Villa Wiese (which is 3 minutes walk from the train station). 
The new Bush Bird pilot with the gorgeous Centurion
And was fortunate enough to get the special price I previously had (85 Namibian dollars compared to 115 regular price).
Bush Bird fleet
Villa Wiese is a nice place to stay by the time you are sorting out the paperwork and things needed to go online. If you tell them you are a pilot,staying more then two weeks they will probably give the special price as well. They have breakfast and wireless included in the price (if you come here you will appreciate internet wherever you find it). With a nice bar, decent prices and no crowd.
The dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean south of Swakopmund
Dropped my stuff down and already felt at home. Swakopmund... my African gem. 
Dune 45 (the most famous dune in Namibia, see Wiki)
But to be honest I was pretty much tired after not sleeping in a bed since two days (one evening from München to Windhoek and an other Windhoek to Swakopmund by train), duty was calling. I had my appearance at Bush Bird headquarters. But they only open around 10 am. So went to have a coffee with Cpt. Somatiko. Had a walk in town and then went to the office. The owners, Andy and Daniela were pretty nice with me, welcomed me into the team and I had to find out that there is no time to rest. First day first flight. I was assigned for observation near my predecessor. And enjoyed every second. 
Kuiseb Canyon (more here)
Like really going back in time. Or outer space. The scenery is amazing. Not a really visual navigation friendly, but you can get used to it very quickly. Amazing how our mind and eyes adjusts to even the craziest places. Sometimes floating over the terrain in the 210 was like being an astronaut in a small capsule on a mission over an alien planet. Looking for a place to land...
Kuiseb river (more here and here)
And these feelings didn't change since then. Had two more flights (on Friday and on Saturday) with Cpt. Somatiko (see here and here). And just can't wait to get online.
In the meantime got my paper(home)work. I even need to apply for a Student Pilot License... 
And already signed in for the Air Law test on 1st of July. So am learning and learning and hopefully flying the "lines".
Gobabeb Research Center (read more here) and landing strip
Last but not least, enjoy the pictures.

2010. június 21., hétfő

Transit: Windhoek

Hello to everyone from Windhoek. The Air Berlin flight was nice and uneventful. Except that I will never be able to have a really comfortable sleep in a plane. But well, am not complaining as it took a mere 11 hours to get here from Wien. Compared to the more then 24 hours that I previously did to Maun with Egyptair.
Zoo Park, Windhoek
Was happy to meet Kike and a couple of other newly hired Scenic guys. And was even happier to hear that the last guy hanging out in Maun was also hired a week ago by Sefofane Botswana.
It seems that everyone who was hanging out enough (or in my case made the right contacts) was finally hired.
There's a very tough 6 to 8 weeks in front of me. Exams, test flights and stuff. Without having my babes near me. But finally I am on the right path. Bush Bird gave me the chances to become what I wanted. 
The adventure is only beginning...

2010. június 15., kedd

Bush Bird, Swakopmund, Namibia is it then

Things did not go as easy as they should have. Two weeks ago my friend Mariano (you might know him from here and here), pilot for Bush Bird sent me a message that I should send my CV to his boss ASAP. One of their pilots is leaving soon and they need someone fast. That was quite shocking for me. I was unprepared to go back to Namibia so soon. So first I've kindda rejected his offer. Financially seemed impossible, and leaving the girls again seemed a bad choice. Even though this was something that would take me far from my dream. 
But then after talking with Agnes she reassured me that she is willing to join me, and that I need to go, as this was the moment I was preparing for the last couple of years. This was a great relief. I, immediately sent the CV's to Andy. And couple of hours later I was set up for The Interview.
As I mentioned previously the interviews with Andy, owner of Bush Bird went well. Fortunately for me he was patient enough, as he conducted them in German, which I haven't spoken for quite a long time. He was interested in my licenses, hours, types flown and I think he was specially satisfied that I have a couple of hours on the 210. Then for a couple of days it was silence. And last Wednesday in the afternoon he skyped me, we talked for a while again and I got the magic words: "ok, das hoert sich gut an. ich moechte dass du unserem team so bald als moeglich verstaerkst. consider: you're hired :)" (for you non German speakers: ok, this sounds good. I want you to join our team as soon as possible).  Swakopmund is it then and Bush Bird and Cessna 210. Lovely...
I couldn't be more then happy. After 6 months of searching, wandering things changed in a second.
With having everything already prepared the only thing to do was obtaining a tourist visa for Namibia. As you may remember (Press on: Namibia entry from 20th of February 2010) Eastern Europeans require a visa prior to entry in Namibia. The closest embassy to Hungary is in Vienna (Namibia Embassy). And be aware that they recently changed their address, but many of the sources on the internet still have their old one. Yes, I ran into that. Went to the old one and then had to drive through the whole city to find the embassy. And surely the GPS got lost... Funny place this Zuckerkandlgasse. There are two buildings numbered "2" and the street is split in two...
The lady at the embassy was nice enough to navigate me to the site. And very helpful. 
What you need: 2 color photos, 45 euros, ticket booking approval and an invitation letter from Namibia. If everything is there they will issue the visa in an hour. 
And here I am now. Ready for departure. Tickets from Air Berlin: Vienna-München-Windhoek and about 12 hours. (better then my previous Egyptair ones that took me on a 24 hour ride). Sunday the journey begins again. 
Until then I will spend my time with my fantastic girls.

2010. június 9., szerda

Stand by

Yesterday, after a couple of skype interviews I finally got the magic words from the owner of Bush Bird Namibia: you're hired! I will have lots of things to do, but will shortly give you a detailed update on my progress.

2010. június 8., kedd


Again got lost in doing this and that until today, when things have finally changed. Until I put myself together enjoy this nice pic. Will update you in a couple of days. I can promise you that. And I will also reveal what this 210 is doing here...
Bush Bird Namibia C210 V5-FUN (sisters are -FLY and - FOR).