Hi, Im a commercial pilot from Victoria, West Coast Canada. Started my training with Juan Air in Victoria and finished with my Multi-IFR with Professional IFR/VFR. I hoped to start my career as a float pilot and spent a summer in Ontario. I was set on float flying until this exciting new opportunity came up.
I've been flying in West Africa for almost a year now with a company called SAS (Sahel Aviation Service.) Once a missionary air service called Mission Aviation Fellowship, Mali. I'm currently a King Air 200 First Officer who came here to fly the King Air 200 and Beechcraft 1900s.
Flying in West Africa has its excitements, scares, hassles and frustrations, but overall an adventurous place to fly. With SAS we fly out into the middle of the Sahara desert and to the mythical city Timbuktu. Into the lush jungles of Guinea and the coastal, peninsula city of Conakry. Based in Bamako has its advantages, We're central to most of the Major cities of West Africa like Conakry, Guinea, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Accra, Ghana, Monrovia, Liberia and Dakar, Senegal.
At an average 80 hours a month, I have gained quickly more experience in a few months than a few years of training. Flying in West Africa is a constant struggle with incompetent controllers who speak marginal english. You have to maintain radio contact with other traffic yourself as well as the controller to keep safe.
In summary, its been an adventure out here. You wont find flying anywhere else in the world where you will be in the middle of a vast dessert one day and than in a lush tropical jungle the next, experience flying around/through thunderstorms, landing on short dirt strip and into sometimes a hostile environment. This is the kind of flying that makes airline pilots jealous.
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