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Into Africa - Kevin Robinson from The Gyrocopter Experience Algarve PDF Print E-mail
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As the Gyro market increases to grow so does the demand for professional instruction.  Kevin Robinson from Gyrocopter Experience Algarve has been an instructor with gyrocopter experience for five years and has taken up this mantel.  He has been involved in training in UK, Portugal, Turkey and latterly Africa.  Kevin’s latest trip was to the Masai Mara in Kenya.  He takes up the story.

“Another dawn broke rapidly in this equatorial area, the weather looked clear and with the anticipated high temperatures and high operating attitudes, (ground level 6500ft) we headed off towards our Bush airstrip.  We bounced along the unmade track to be greeted by the freshly eaten carcass of a local cow.  This is a significant event as the local tribesman the Masai are cattle herders and their cattle are a symbol of their wealth.  The taking of a cow by Lion could easily result in a revenge attack on the lion damaging the precarious infrastructure between game and cattle. My student for the day Calvin Cottar, the local lodge owner, would need to act quickly to placate the local tribesman.

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This would be his task for later in the day as we had now arrived at the airfield.  Greeted by our hangar guard, the aircraft was quickly wheeled out and pre-flighted.  Refuelling included filtering the fuel 3 times for water.  Fuel is a real problem out here, it has to be transported in 50 gallon drums seven hours from Nairobi and inevitably en-route it is stolen and quite literally watered down.  The issue of poor fuel continued to plague us throughout the trip.

Pre-flighted we taxied out onto the runway, scattering Thompson Gazelle we moved along the hard surface to our holding point.  Lined up Calvin engaged the pre-rotater pulled back the stick and accelerated down the bumpy runway.  Despite the high altitude, the aircraft (M24 Magni) climbed easily upward and over the mud huts of the nearby Masai villages.  We turned downwind tracking the fast flowing river, Elephant grazed below us and passing them we came upon a herd of 200 Buffalo, they didn’t like the aircraft and quickly started to trot away - a huge sea of moving animals, the view ahead was amazing, hundreds of miles of unspoilt bush crossing into Tasmania, the country side was once more littered with Giraffe, zebra and every type of antelope. Once again I reflected on how privileged I was to fly in this beautiful country…”

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Kevin will continue this report in next month’s newsletter with a full report on the whole trip. The Rift valley in Kenya remains probably one the ultimate adventures in the world.

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