Flight 19 Across the Sandbox
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Thread: Flight 19 Across the Sandbox

  1. #1
    Charter Member 2022 srgalahad's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    CYYC or MMSD (GMT -7)

    Flight 19 Across the Sandbox

    Having disposed of the Latvians, we got promises of 'lucrative contracts' to haul unmarked crates across the Sahara with various pickups and drop-offs along the way.

    Needing more cargo space, I shopped in at the local camel trader's emporium and found a bit of the Sahara - actually a mostly-complete Breguet 765 Sahara surplussed out by the French Ar Force several decades ago. Hey, it flies, mostly.

    Waiting in Dakar for the paperwork or some such...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 19 Sandbox 1.jpg  

    "To some the sky is the limit. To others it is home" anon.
    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Gosh, we made it over to Dakar and went thru heck beginning with pot lots of tea, The Trader won't talk business without having bunches of tea. Finally got down to business in bargaining for a fair price on this here C-119. Boy! was this guy tough to bargain with, but we finally came to an agreement on the C-119. Of course Dudley and I test flew the bird and it wasn't as bad as we thought it might be. Happy days.

    Add picture; The C-119 setting at the freight area being loaded with all those packages and boxes covered with some kind of white paper. Only thing written on then was there destination. Oh Well, the buck are there. hehe

  3. #3
    Avro can build a solid aeroplane.

  4. #4
    Hi All!

    Well here we are at GOGK KOLD, I think. hehe. Special people will be doing the unload and loading us for the next stop. Gosh, we can't help now that really hurts my feeling. of course you all believe that. hehe

  5. #5
    Charter Member 2022 srgalahad's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    CYYC or MMSD (GMT -7)
    Before we set out for the long haul I had to test the Rapid Deployment Weight Reduction system. Fortunately there were a few boats around in the bay near Dakar to pick up the 'walking cargo'.

    We've wandered into what was once called "darkest Africa", last night reaching GAKT in Mali. Willy and I had a nice flight but now to figure how to get out of a 2625 ft strip with a hill at the windward end. Good thing Willy dropped off a couple of Jeeps for the cargo to ride.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 19 Sandbox 3.jpg   19 Sandbox 2.jpg  

    "To some the sky is the limit. To others it is home" anon.
    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    Into Markala, Mali. You can see the Markala dam in the distance from the airport. (Not in the air to air photo though).


  7. #7
    Hey I am back!

    I have a question for you all, ever try to find an 4360 engine in the sand box! Well it took a number of days to get one and believe me it cost a fair buck. We did a quick check on the engine swap some part from our bad one, and spent the night installing the bugger for a test run in the AM. The static run-up went well and we took the C-119 out for a test flight, and all went well for a change! We caught up with Flight 19 at Markala, Mali. Yep! we did push the engines a wee bit in order to catch the flight. We arrived just in time for the flight to Safane, Burkina Faso. Now you don't get to smart and ask me where that is, hehe I have no idea which isn't unusual with me. Today is a tune up day for the birds and unloading the cargo for Safane and loading some for the next stop. Picture, getting ready for our take off.

  8. #8
    Howdy, Just an little update for Monday. Flight 19, with any kind of luck, will be leaving Safane, Burkina Faso heading to Fada N'Gouvma. DFEF still flying around in Burkina Faso. Stay tune to further updates. Later,

  9. #9
    Senior Administrator Willy's Avatar
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    Sep 2001
    West Tennessee, near KTGC
    Somewhere over Burkina Faso....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails wm-2019-jun-11-001.jpg  
    Let Being Helpful Be More Important Than Being Right.

  10. #10
    Whoa! Hey there!

    Hehe, we made it to Gada N'Gouvma. You know, I think we are hauling some stuff that might be a little on the shady side. No kidding! Here we have passed many an airport that are right up town with all the goodie, you know ISL, paved runways and long ones. But no way have we been using them. Now the formable Flight 19 lands at some of the places where even the local land me think. As soon as we hit the ground a bunch of fellows and trucks appear out of now of the local bush. Not to bad it makes for a short turn around, but those mean looking guys with them big guns are a little spooky. I believe they are here to make sure we don't get to close to the unloading and loading. Ok by me, hehe looks like some heavy work, and I am not into heavy work!

    Hey Willy, glad to see you somewhere in Burkina faso, Not to worry half the time I don't know where we are. Here hopping that you can catch up.

    Picture: The C-119 trailing behind the "Sahara".

  11. #11
    Our wait is over, hehe the word just came down over the Jungle telegraph, We will be heading to Gaya, Niger with a cargo that is unknown as usual. Hey, there were some mean looking baboons (soldiers) coming on board the C-119 with us, word was they would depart at DRRG (Gaya). Darn, we maybe in the start of some kind of a war, or a change in the Government. Mentioned this to the other pilots, " We need to get the heck out of Dodge ASAP". darn fool is running the wrong way.

  12. #12
    Charter Member 2022 srgalahad's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    CYYC or MMSD (GMT -7)
    We made it to Gaya (well, some of us did...) and it seemed we had a delay with the next 'cargo'. Maintenance is good and often too rare, but it has it's complications in the 'bush'.

    Did a little R&R on the Sahara, took off on the mandatory test flight and... Oops... no hydraulics. Landed safely but not so tidily and tore up some turf.

    Fortunately, some "friends" arrived and I have a new(ish) replacement.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 19 Canary 6.jpg  

    "To some the sky is the limit. To others it is home" anon.
    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Howdy Folks

    Rob, end up flying the Super Dc-3, and I stuck with the C-119, And we pointed our nose from Gaya, Niger to Gusau, which I believe is in Nigeria. Hehe, I wasn't sure until we landed at Gusau. With old sun starting to drop down behind the horizon it was starting to get dark fast, and I didn't see the bloody runway until Rob said, "Ima going Light or no lightest." It's a good thing then this old bugger could see something that looked like a dirt strip. We no more stop and these here truck drove up to the plane. Heck, Dudley and I both jumped out of the seats and hit the floor sure as heck we thought those baboons were going to hit the plane. Really thought about getting up and out to kick some butt, hehe until I saw big baboons. Me a coward, no, just a little smarter than when I jump out of the plane to do battle.

    Today we will be on are way to Jos, Nigeria. You will see two pictures, one of the C-119 and the other of a C-46. been having some problems with C119 at times, I believe just been two much dirt pulled into the engines. Tonight will be flying the BoxCar.

  14. #14
    Charter Member 2022 srgalahad's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    CYYC or MMSD (GMT -7)
    Now I know the meaning of "darkest Africa". Maybe next time I'll look at the clock before I hit "Start". Didn't and it sure got dusky in a hurry, then VERY dark. Checking the destination notes by flashlight We found "no lights, no services, no landmarks, no worries." so we pressed on. The sun sank below the horizon before a third of the leg was done!
    Got near the destination and planned to let Taco go in first to mark the way, but he couldn't find the strip. Hung my head out the window and saw a lighter line of dirt in the black so pointed the nose that way. At about a half-mile out I was brave enough to commit to it being a landing strip and, luckily it was - without buildings, poles, pipes or other hazards.
    Next leg, I'm going to launch by the dawn's early light...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 19 Sandbox 4.jpg  

    "To some the sky is the limit. To others it is home" anon.
    “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Hi There!

    After an all night affair we finally got the C-119 #2 engine just perking right along like it should run. Soon as it is light we will try to take off DNYO Jos, Nigeria, we should catch up with the flight before they take off FTTJ. The weather station said we would have light rain, but it was raining like heck, and I thought I saw a fish swimming down the overflow from the rain. Hehe Dudley yell at me and said I was crazier than a loon. We got off OK and was climbing to altitude when all heck broke loose. Bouncing, being pushed up and down, and of course all the rain. Mr. Dudley said if we had some nice cream in this poopie we would be making butter and butter milk. Now that idea of butter milk just turned me off. hehe. It clear up for a short period, but at around 100 miles out it hit us like a freight train. Almost made me sick. Old Dudley setting there with a big small I just wanted pop him. Ah, we been friends for a long time, and I know he would clobber me bad!

  16. #16

  17. #17
    Well friends, It finally happened!

    We thought we had our problem corrected, but alas, as we neared N'djamena, Chad It happened, our number 2 4360 engine gave up the ghost! What ever went it sure blew off parts of cowling and parts were hitting the fuselage, and it sounded like a machine gun was shooting at us. Increased the MP on Number 1 in order to maintain some of the speed of the plane in order to reach the airport. Went ahead and feather the engine, and thought about throwing out some of the cargo, but then the thought of the big bucks, hehe, kept the idea of throwing out some cargo was dismissed. We landed AOK and got the 119 into a private parking place in order to check out the damage. Old Dudley looked at me and said "no way super glue and duck tape is going to put her back in the air!" Now is the time to look for another cargo bird in order to continue the flights, and of course the big buck which more than likely just barley and along with our war chest just might cover the price of a used cargo bird.

    We found one and it took most of the monies we had to purchase the DC-6A. Before we forked over the cash we wanted to take a test flight, but we needed an flight engineer. And believe me. this here fellow showed up wearing a WWII flight jacket that it went thru three wars, But darn, he was sure qualified and has been checked out in a DC-6. His name was Bill Smith, now that's sure is an uncommon name right. The test flight went along just great. kicked over the money and started to transfer our cargo to the 6. We all will be heading to Mongo, Chad. Sure hope the credit card we are using has enough credit in order to pay for the fuel at Mango.

  18. #18
    Surprise! here again!

    Gosh, flying the DC-6A sure was a pleasure compared to the C-119, but both Dudley and myself miss the old bird. We had some information from other pilots that had flown the same route that Rob and myself will be flying. In a few short words, rough, headwind, etc. So we prepared for a rough flight, but, a surprise, the weather was great compared to the information we got. Anyway we left N'djamena, Chad and cleared the runway and headed towards Mongo, Chad. For most of the trip all we seen was more trees and grass on a flat pancake. Surprise, we seen some hills and the airport was kind of behind one of these hills. Both landed without any problems. Now the problem is to find some full, and who would except the credit card. Well it turned out to be one of those days, no fuel, and no McDonalds hehe. The coffee we got in N'djamena, or what they call coffee,we could put in the fuel tanks and get added 200 hundred miles with what we had aboard by placing the so called coffee in the fuel tanks. hehe

    C-6A. No problem with it at this point, so we unloaded and reloaded for the next flight. We will be leaving Mongo and head to Geneina, in the Sudan. So see you later from the Sudan. Pictures, before take off and parked at Mongo.

  19. #19
    Hello all,

    Our flight from Mongo, Chad to Geneina, in the Sudan was, for a change, was uneventful compared to some of the pervious flight. Most of the conversations were about the terrain we have been traveling over.
    At this point we are seeing less trees and local grasses, but plenty of brown sand. One thing that has be nice for a change we have been also flying over some large hills etc, which makes it a little more bearable, and keeping you awake. hehe.
    Just kidding of course about staying awake. The DC-6A is a great flyer and so far we haven't had any small or major problems with her. Ah, shouldn't say that we were pushing pretty hard chasing Rob in his British bird that our engines were over heating, so we back of the MP to a comfortable level and just putted along. Hey, it turns out that Geneina has a large terminal here, and with plenty of fuel at a reasonable rate. And come to think about it the food was just great! sure beats some of those other places we had ate at.

    The next flight is still in the Sudan, from Geneina to El Fashir, but on the map it is Al Fashir.

  20. #20

    Had a big Oops last night so the flight was cancelled until Monday. Gee! I was loaded and ready to go when we had an electric spike and bingo lost the whole Mary Ann. Then spent the next 1/2 hr. trying to get the FSX to reload but no way, now I have no idea why this kind of poopie happens this wasn't the first time, but after a short while the thing would load. So folks we will see you all Monday.

  21. #21

    Hey! The mighty Flight 19 took off from Geneina (HSGN) and onwards towards EL Fashir, (HSFS) the El is sometimes mentioned as AL, all in the country of Sudan, Old Dudley said we just might expect some trouble from some of the local clans. Knowing Dudley would sure like to have a problem or two with the local. Then he could dig out his machine guns from our smuggling hiding place. Now me, no way Jose! The ATC mentioned that 7,000 feet altitude until we cross over this here mountain range I guess. Our Texas buddy Moses called us and said he was going in at 6,000 feet. Of course we mentioned that we sure would like to see all the dents and scratch's on his belly, I think are meaning was the planes bottom. hehe. I'll be darn he made it to HSFS without a ding or anything. Our next flight will be HSFS to HSNH. So we will see you there.

    Picture: Showing the DC-6A and the Douglas C-117, I think Moses was a little camera shy! Missed him in the picture.

  22. #22
    Howdy, The flight from HSFS to HSNH was kind of uneventful with the exception of the airport at El Nahud, HSNH. It is short around 3600 feet and made up of gravel, so this is going to be very interesting for the DC-6. Tried to bring her in short or close to the end of the runway, hit the runway and threw on the reverse and held on. Wow! everything is cool we made it. To make thing a little worst we needed to dump some fuel in order to get down to our landing weight. Now the idea it to be able to fly out, just hopping these here folks don't have so much stuff that it would again place us on weight.

    Pictures: I caught our wild friend from the big state of Texas with the camera and finally got his picture. hehe. The next picture is of all of us at the airport HDNH.

  23. #23
    Hi Folks,

    Well hehe, back for some R/L issues, and hoping this was it for some time to come. Now with the story, Right or wrong I believe Flight 19 will be heading from El Nagud to Renk, both in the Sudan. Should have a takeoff on Monday. Hope to see you there.

  24. #24
    Hello! All.

    Flight 19 finally got to take off, after a long wait in order to get our travel papers in order, and believe me these folks work on a time frame that is hard to believe, hehe, from us folks from around the Southwest in the good old USA it wou would be called working on Navajo time which there isn't to bad. It was still a good time to do some TLC on the aircraft. when the paper work finally came we sure didn't let any grass grow under foot and got the heck into the air from El Nahud, and headed towards Renk. Now both aircraft were carrying some funny cargo! Hehe, in essence, we needed to hire some fellows to wash out parts of the cargo area with the water from the White Nile, and after the wash out we left the Plane's doors open in order to get rid of the bloody smell. Hehe, enough of our problems flying across the big sand box, Here we go, we should be leaving Renk, Sudan and heading towards, and hopefully we make it, Mendi, Ethiopia. Just where old Dudley may get his wish and mix it up with some of the bad guys, me a nice room, good food and no problems for a change! Lots of luck on that one. See you later, we hope!

  25. #25
    Well Howdy!

    Flight 19 was preparing for our flight to Mendi, Ethiopia, and it started raining cats and dogs here at Renk, Sudan. Now the problem, Mendi has a dirt runway around 4000 feet, and if it is raining there the landings may get a little spooky, hehe slip and slide off of the runway. We kept track of the weather all the way, and hoping that Mendi runway is dry! The overall weather was head wings, bouncing in all directions, boy, sure glad we didn't have on board the cargo like we had going into Renk, shucks, we just got rid of all the nasty flumes, and don't really feel like cleaning the bloody thing again. To our well deserved surprise the runway was pretty close to be dried harder than concrete. Well, we all made it and thanks for this plane having a reverse in order to slow down, now for the unloading and reloading we should be on our way to HAGN.

    Please note in the picture that there is green grass instead of the brown sand. hehe luck was with us again

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