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To Indonesia

Whoa, that is a long way. Safe travels!

Wonder if you were able to move around Indonesia. I was denied permission to land at Komodo and to see the lizard.

When I think Indonesia, this pic always comes to mind :-)

Last Edited by loco at 15 Nov 19:52
LPFR, Poland

Wow, sounds like a fun trip. We just got back flying around the world in a DA42.. We burn JET-A, I can only imagine the trip being 10x more difficult with an AvGas burner.

How are you finding the fees in Indonesia? We paid around $1300 to land at WITT (Banda Aceh). Indonesia is not cheap for GA!

Yes, Indonesia is expensive but at least welcome was very friendly in Surabaya, nothing like in the pic above 🤣

@loco did you want to fly to Labuan Bajo, WATO? There is no airfield on Komodo or Rinca, I think. We didn’t try this, we visited the dragons many many years ago.

BTW, for those who are on facebook and are interested, here are many more pictures. Without much explanation though, but also without the latency my slow writing adds. Moreover, I try to keep this map up to date.

EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

It was WADB Bima.

LPFR, Poland

The FBO at OJAQ has a very nice GA terminal, friendly and helpful staff and even an own apron with easy access to the aircraft. Handling was expensive but the service provided was good.


RM on the FBO’s apron at OJAQ before departure

Kuwait via Saudi Arabia

As always we took off early at OJAQ to benefit from the cooler air and better performance. We probably were a bit naïve but we didn’t check the weather for the flight to Kuwait, OKKK until the morning we left and it took us by complete surprise that convection and icing was forecast for the last third of the flight. We had never been to this part of the world before but this was the desert, after all. Sure enough we entered IMC after about three hours and started to collect a little ice. We had lost contact to ATC even at FL170, but an airliner relayed our request for descent and it was approved immediately. We had to fly through showers for quite a while. Towards the end of the flight it was hazy, not much to see even down low.


Leaving OJAQ


Still over Jordan


A little ice over the desert


Showers near the Iraqi border


Oil fields (?) in Kuwait


Some sort of settlement in Kuwait, probably also oil related

OKKK is a large airport with two long parallel runways. Many taxiways are currently blocked due to WIP on a massive new terminal. Avgas comes in drums and can only be paid in the local currency (KWD). We had to get sufficient amounts before we left Germany. It took an hour and a half till the fuel arrived, luckily it wasn’t that hot on that day.


Refueling at OKKK

Kuwait City is an interesting place to visit even though it doesn’t boast any real attraction. It’s lively and still a bit rough around the edges. It has nothing of the somewhat artificial feel of Abu Dhabi (see below). Apparently many migrant workers from South Asia live here and that influences the atmosphere at least in some quarters. We tried to sample the local food, if only in our hotel’s restaurant and it was surprisingly good. It has to be enjoyed with water and juice though, as Kuwait is completely dry.


View from our hotel


Mubarkiya Souk


Fish market


The famous Kuwait Towers


A mosque at night


The national dish ‘Majbous’ can be had with chicken or mutton but has to be washed down with water

On the day of our departure we had the only really bad experience with handling. The FBO has a very posh GA terminal and is expensive but they don’t even know how to file a flight plan. They had confirmed the day before that filing was OK but did nothing. They couldn’t get us in contact to AIS, they didn’t even know what that might be. In the end the handler at our destination had to file the flight plan and we were delayed by two hours.

ATC on the ground was very hard to understand at OKKK and they have complicated procedures with handovers during taxi. In fact, taxiing is confusing and long due to the closed taxiways.

Abu Dhabi via Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar

We hadn’t intended to fly to Abu Dhabi City in the first place. However, we lost the parking permit we already had at Al Ain, OMAL due to the delay in Jordan and we couldn’t get a new one, allegedly because some of the Abu Dhabi Royals wanted to go hunting in the area. Our only option was Al Bateen Executive, OMAD.

The flight along the Persian Gulf was uneventful but again it was hazy. ATC was very good – easy to understand and even a few shortcuts were available on request. Our destination OMAD is located on Abu Dhabi Island and is used by private jets. Approach control again was very good. They offered us a direct approach without any delay to the opposite runway actually in use if we could accept six knots of tailwind. Otherwise they would have to vector us as number three behind two jets.

The positive impression didn’t last long once we were on the ground. Refueling again took for ever. They actually have an electric pump to get Avgas from the drum to the plane but it didn’t work. They tried and tried again but to no avail. Finally they had to pump it manually with what appeared to be a rather inefficient pump to say the least. Then they found that RM’s parking position that had been allocated before, wasn’t ideal. Although there was absolutely no language barrier, they couldn’t say what they didn’t like about it. After lengthy internal discussions they found a spot two or three hundred meters away. Unfortunately they didn’t have a tug suitable for a little Mooney. Reluctantly I offered to taxi over but they didn’t wanted that either. Finally a hilarious caravan formed, consisting of the local ramp agent wearing a traditional attire plus high vis, Mrs. terbang and me in our funny pilot shirts and more than half a dozen Indian workers pushing RM.


Leaving Kuwait


Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia


Bahrein


Halul Island (thanks Anthony for the name 😀)


Final at OMAD


The caravan mentioned above 🤣


Alcohol is allowed in the UAE, they gave the VOR an appropriate name 😉

Abu Dhabi tries hard to attract tourists and is full of hotels. Apparently supply exceeded demand at the time of our visit so even a five star could be had at a very reasonable rate. All buildings in the city are new and architects of a few of them seem to have a somewhat iffy taste. The only thing that remains from old Abu Dhabi is the fort and it has been restored to a degree that it feels like Disney Land. One of the main attractions is the Great Mosque. It was the largest in the world when it was built a couple of years ago and is really impressive.

The city is full of restaurants dishing out all sorts of food. Italian seems popular, but there are English pubs and German places and what not. Of course there are loads of Indian joints catering to the migrant workers, only local food doesn’t appear on any menu, so we had to feast on cheeseburgers and the like. No photos of this stuff, @Dan will thank me for that 😉


Hotel Rixos Marina


The fort (Qasr al-Hosn)


Abu Dhabi skyline


The Great Mosque

The use of the FBO and the posh GA terminal is mandatory at OMAD and the service they provided on arrival was mediocre at best. Our handling agent told us that not before long he could have put us through the main terminal at a significantly lower price, but not any more. At least on departure things went well and we were airborne on time.


terbang using the GA terminal at OMAD

Last Edited by terbang at 19 Nov 08:28
EDFM (Mannheim), Germany

No worries @Terbang, keep them coming, all of them 😇

A fantastic trip, superb pictures and text! I don’t do Backface, though I was able to watch a couple more pics u posted there before I got expelled (ok, it was only asking for my sign-in).

Thanks for sharing, keep it all coming, please 🙏🏻

PS
I spent quite some time in some of the different arabic places when flying pro, but that was long time ago and things sure have changed, not all for the better. OTOH seeing Kuwait in the daylight is a happy surprise.

Dan
ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

Very cool! Mind sharing approximate costs for landing/handling? We took the Indian ocean route via Seychelles / Maldives / Sri Lanka / Banda Aceh / Singapore, so didn’t get to fly through the Middle East or India. It would be interesting to compare notes.

Wonderful to read. So many memories! Thank you VERY much for sharing.

ESOW, Sweden

Dan wrote:

Thanks for sharing, keep it all coming, please 🙏🏻

PS
I spent quite some time in some of the different arabic places when flying pro, but that was long time ago and things sure have changed, not all for the better. OTOH seeing Kuwait in the daylight is a happy surprise.

I would subscribe to this point of view!

Socata Rally MS.893E
Portugal

Another vote of thanks for this stupendous read – and the beautiful photos!

EGBW / KPRC, United Kingdom
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