Part II The return Flight, Sao Tomé Island to Lomé, Togo to Ouagadougou, Burkino F aso

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Sat 29 Jul 2006 17:38
12:21.2N 001:30.7W

Day13, Wednesday 29JUL98

Sao Tomé – Lome/Togo – Ouagadougou/Burkino Faso


A second try. Our friend Mario Matos dropped us at the airport and we got our plane ready in record time. Life jackets on,
all check completed, we departed just after 9 AM. Three and a half-hour over water lay ahead. This is the equivalent distance
of London-to Geneva.

As we looked back through the rear window, Sao Tomé was beginning to disappear, as we slowly got above the increasing
clouds and levelled of into out cruising level.

Before leaving Sao Tomé, I checked on the satellite pages on the Internet, which indicated what lay ahead of us in the hours
ahead. There were strong clouds and some storms in the Gulf of Guinea and along the West African coast. The typical
Inter-Tropical Confluence Zone ( ITCZ ) at this time of the year. With our 3M 1000 Storm scope in our panel, we did not
need to be too worried. After some “ slaloming “ around some of the huge build-ups, we then got the African coastline in
sight and landed after 3 hours 55 minutes at Lomé International in Togo.


When was the last time your neighbour said: “Boy oh Boy, my life wish would be off to Ouagadougou”, yippee, Burkino Faso?
Isn’t that a new message?

The Africa north of Namibia we saw so far is in one stage or another of disintegration. No stress here. Most people look well.
A Naomi Campbell on every corner. Natives still fish in dug out canoes, eat breadfruit and bananas on a daily diet. Every country
has its own big problems, Togo no exemption!

A quick refuel and after one hour ground time we were back in the air for the next 3 hours to Ouagadougou. Lake Volta in Ghana
appeared between the clouds. Overflying from time to time little villages and towns, past the city of Tamale and then crossing the
white Volta river, we wondered what the people down there were doing. Up here we were nice and snug in our Comanche, with
no worries and the world was just passing below us.

Getting closer to our destination, we kept a close listen to the air traffic, not that there was much to hear. About 50 miles out of
Ouagadougou, a Sabena Airbus was preparing its departure and its routing was exactly in our direction. The controller kept asking
us for our positions and altitudes. The Airbus should be coming our way, 1000feet lower than us! With the setting sun in our eyes
and no radar to indicate separation, it was everyone for himself. All of a sudden we spotted the Sabena Airbus half a mile ahead,
and within split seconds, the airliner passed just below us. A bit of excitement to get our hearts beating!

We landed at the airport of the capital of Burkino Faso as the sun was touching the horizon.

Immigration in record time and another of these Taxi wrecks took us to our hotel down town.

A candlelight dinner by the pool, under a wonderful clear sky full of stars rounded off our long flying Day.