Some have noticed by my forum name, I have a soft spot in my heart for Indonesia. Well, at least @AnthonyQ did notice many years ago 😉 As a backpacker I went to this country in the late eighties and spent a couple of months there and I’ve been returning ever since. I hadn’t met Mrs. terbang back then but since our first visit together in the nineties she shares my love for this country of 17000 islands and hundreds of volcanoes. Obviously it was tempting to fly there under our own steam and we’ve been musing with this project for years. Unfortunately it’s not around the corner from Germany and the countries in-between are not the easiest for small GA.
Our route to Indonesia
The route we took was completely dictated by the availability of Avgas. In contrast to our tour to South America when we did all the permits ourselves, this time we used an agency to help us with that. Even though we didn’t really choose our destinations deliberately, we didn’t want to make this a mere aircraft ferry. Therefore we tried to stop for two nights where ever possible (or sensible) to at least see a little of the place and – important to us – try the local food. There is not much to say about the countries we passed on our way with respect to general aviation: they are all expensive and not used to small piston aircraft.
It wasn’t all plain sailing so far, we had a couple of issues. The first one was the terrorist attack of Hamas and the following war that broke out five days before our departure. We had planned to overfly Israel to get to Amman, OJAM in Jordan and already had the permit to do that. It would have even been possible when we were to do it, but we didn’t want to take the chance. All airliners on that route took a big detour via Egypt, so we did the same.
The first legs
We left home middle of October and flew to Skopje, LWSK on the first day. Avgas there is probably the cheapest in Europe. The next leg took us to Rhodes, LGRP where we had our first non-flying day. This was all known terrain and uneventful.
Early morning departure at EDFM
Refueling at LWSK
Short final LGRP
Greece is worth the journey for the food alone
Jordan via Egypt
The first ‘serious’ leg took us via Cairo and the Sinai peninsula to Aqaba, OJAQ in Jordan. This was the first time a permit was required and it worked like a charm, thumbs up to our agency. The flying was nothing to write about, nice weather and a smooth ride at FL170. However, radio communication over Egypt was chaotic, no shortcuts were available, so we had to fly quite a dogleg and ATC put us overhead the airport at FL130. Well, procedures seem to be like that.
Early morning departure at LGRP
Over the Sinai
Near the Red Sea coast
Suez and the Canal in the background
During descent into OJAQ
On the ILS into OJAQ
Short final OJAQ
We had been to Jordan a decade ago and had already visited almost all the major sights of this rather small country, therefore we didn’t intend to stay more than two nights. Aqaba is a seaside town and quite touristy. It’s noisy and crowded, OTOH it provides all services travelers might need. The town is compact and can be seen in half a day. There are many restaurants catering to visitors from all corners of the world. They even make wine in Jordan that goes well with the local food.
Sunset from the rooftop bar
Aqaba town beach
Food in Jordan
On the day of our intended departure the next issue surfaced: a technical problem with the plane. It took us a whole week to solve it.
To be continued…
Selamat jalan pak!
What a trip!!!
Yes, what a trip. Kudos. What courage you have. Explorer on you own (with the Ms.!). Brings genuine (and some envy!) happiness to this sort of effort!
Keep it coming and safe travels! ;-)
Very nice set of pictures, along with good informative text, thanx… hungry for more…
The Mooney being of course, as has been demonstrated many times before, the perfect “affordable” machine for this kind of flying.
Tailwinds and blue skies!
Ooooh nice I’m already looking forward to the rest. I especially like the food photos. What was the cloudy drink n Greece?
What was the cloudy drink n Greece?
Looks like ouzo (or mastika in Macedonia or raki in Turkey).
WOW! Great report, subscribed as well.
You guys are an inspiration to GA! Thanks for sharing!
Nice. What type of mooney is this?