© Copyright World Flight 2002







May 14th - Djibouti to Muscat, Oman
12hrs 54 mins non-stop flying

On planning this was to be a flight of about ten hours. However it became the longest so far with a trip time of over 12 hours. The routing from Djibouti brought our aircraft "The Bremen Spirit" about 90 miles off the Yemeni coastline to enter Oman airspace at waypoint Boski, and then direct to Muscat.

The day began with Paul not feeling very well but elected to fly anyway. Alan would do most of the flying on this leg. Departure from Ambouli (Djibouti) airport was made easy in the 29C heat by very efficient handling staff. Just getting airborne we were called by Daniel (flying a French Army Puma helicopter) to wish us good flying.

Once again headwinds would add time to this already long sector. Due to having so much fuel on board we were unable to fly over the hight terrain on land and had to accept a routing that meant we would be over water for 6-7 hours. We made land again in Oman airspace and received a direct routing to Muscat. The approach into Muscat was made very interesting, in failing light and visibility reduced to 100 metres, by the appearance of high terrain on both sides of the aircraft. We could see the mountain on our charts and even with an assurance from air traffic control that we had terrain clearance it was tense descending into Muscat. We asked for vectors for an ILS approach onto runway 08. We arrived after 12 hours to a very welcoming Sheraton Hotel.

Tomorrow we leave for India with a long crossing of the Indian ocean. Our problems so far have being contacting Air Traffic control while out at sea. On VHF radio, coverage is lost at about 100 miles as we are flying at a low altitude usually around 7,000 ft. We then have the problem where we cannot cross the borders of a country without having communication to confirm our clearance. Tomorrow out at sea we must have permission to contine into Indian airspace over the Indian Ocean so we will try the HF radio (long range) which operates from a 100 metre trailing wire aerial out the back of the aircraft. Failing contact on HF we have to resort to calling up an overflying aircraft at high altitude to ask them to relay our communications to Indian Air Traffic Control, tomorrow will be a busy day flying with lots of water below. We track from the Ocean to Bombay and them north to a small town called Ahmedabad.


Mountains of Oman below