Nairobi to Seychelles



Nairobi to Victoria, Seychelles

I spent most of my time at the Aero Club of East Africa, located on Nairobi Wilson Airport. They have a nice, self contained facility with rooms, restaurant and bar. I have easy access to the plane which is helpful and comforting. I give the plane a close inspection, everything under the cowl is tight, no leaks, and still have full oil. The Total Multigrade I used in Malta must be magic.

I take off an hour and a half late. Nairobi Wilson is a small but very busy airport.


Out of Africa


Wilson is a little over 5200 feet elevation, the longest runway is 5000. I wasted a few hundred feet of runway taking off, and regret it, I pass the end about 200 AGL, but have no obstacles, and am on   heading at 090, then 110 as filed.   I am told to contact Nairobi on HF later, no answer, in fact no answer on any frequency any radio except a short conversation with Addis, so I know the HF works. I can’t get anyone, and I am about 20 minutes before the FIR, so I call my permit company in England for help, and also call the airport in Seychelles. They transfer me to the ATC, I give my reports, and all is well again.

From shortly outside Nairobi to the coast there is a low solid cover. Later, I have passed over the east coast of Africa, leaving behind a continent that is vast and varied, that is dependent on aviation in many ways, but presents major challenges as well. It was a great experience and a good learning one. I have great respect for the early African aviators. Over the ocean, I fly above low scattered clouds in smooth air with a light tail wind. There are long ridges of clouds, then open areas. Although I am over deep water, I see a distinct line in the ocean, greenish to the west, deep blue to the east. I am due north of Madagascar, and this must be the edge of a current. I later use a relay for a report, and see big Cbs over the Seychelles on the horizon about 6 hours out. I used the 50 gallons in the cabin tank, and am on mains. I have been leaving the baggage tank full, the rear CG seems to help speed.







I am given a beautiful approach to Mahe, with a direct to the VOR on the field with the ILS or visual if field in sight. Many approaches I’ve made, you only see the island at the last minute, then are down. Here, I was able to overfly the island and airport, then turn and land. The vertical cliffs and sea colors are quite striking. I am directed to parking, where Air Seychelles assists me by taking my bags. I take a cab across the island to my hotel, and rest.


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Last Updated: January 8, 2006