Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Flying the Middle East (by Jack)

On June 24 we flew from Bodrum, Turkey to Muscat, Oman with a fuel stop in Luxor, Egypt. In other words, over the heart of the Middle East.

Sorry to report no excitement along the way…no intercepts by angry foreign fighter jets nor surface-to-air missiles screaming past us. Everything went pretty much as planned. The plane performed perfectly once again and air traffic control was generally cooperative with only occasional language difficulties (“say again…”). The weather even cooperated with clear skies and smooth air along all 2,540 statute miles (2,210 nautical miles). A long day, but safe and comfortable.

Here is the approximate route for the two flights (our GPS satellite tracking device was not working for the first leg from Bodrum to Luxor so the route on the first map is approximate)…



Good-bye Turkey…we enjoyed our stay…

Leaving Bodrum, Turkey
Carolyn claims you can see pyramids in this photo if you look at it just right…in any event you can see the city of Cairo…

Cairo, Egypt

This is what most of Egypt looked like from the air...

Egypt desert
Approaching Luxor, Egypt…green within a few miles of the Nile River, barren sand everywhere else…

Approaching Luxor, Egypt over the Nile river
On final approach to Luxor, Egypt…not much going on there as a result of a huge reduction in tourist activity after the revolution…

Final approach to Luxor, Egypt

Although we had Egyptian visas, the ladies elected to try to stay cool in the airplane with a nice breeze from the main cabin door and out the cargo door. It was still fairly early in the morning, so the worst of the heat had not materialized yet.


Trying to escape the heat at Luxor

Refueling at Luxor, Egypt

Refueling at Luxor, Egypt



Approaching Saudi Arabia over the very poorly named Red Sea (it is very blue)...

Red Sea
Jack taking a break while Josh mans the cockpit somewhere in the middle of the central Saudi Arabian desert…



Approaching Muscat, Oman just as the sun is setting…a bit of blowing dust, but not too bad…

Approaching Muscat, Oman
On the ramp in Muscat…the ground handlers were very efficient and friendly…we were through customs and immigration quickly and at our hotel shortly after 8p local time…

On the ramp at Muscat, Oman
Next leg is the longest non-stop flight of the trip from Muscat, Oman to Colombo, Sri Lanka. We depart early Saturday morning (June 27). About 90% of that flight is over the Indian Ocean which allows us to avoid some of the less hospitable airspace in the region.