Guess which side of this sign I managed to land and then estimate how long it took to scale the 10ft gate clipped in?
The forecast for Saturday looked fantastic with moderate Southerly winds which are fairly rare in this part of the world. A bunch of us headed for the Dam and set Thabazimbi as a destination about 130km North of Hartbeespoort. What an absolute pleasure!!! The R11 felt like a luxury sports car gliding over smooth newly laid asphalt. I had a sense of peace floating up to 11,000ft on velvet elevators and reaching ground speeds of up to 90km/h on the transitions. This experience was at odds with my serial comrades who reported 'rough' conditions with some electing to land. Can I really be THAT far in denial about the awesome Erre Uno Uno, or is it simply post-Valle syndrome?
Whatever the case it seems flying in big five country involves more danger than a little R11 shark.
In my defense: setting up my landing after inspecting the landing site and observing the abundant small game I reasoned that I was on the correct side of the fence given that there was a tractor and trailer parked near the gate suggesting it was the benign side. The cats are known to bite rubber tyres for fun and no-one would normally leave farm implements unattended in a lion camp right? Dead WRONG! Next time I might not scratch 100m AGL ;-)
All this within 100km of my home!! you gotta love Africa.