Monday 27th August 2012 was a very interesting and exciting day. I was about to have a first time experience in the micro-light aircraft and of course not to forget being on the lookout for whale sharks , turtles as well as some schools of fish along the coast of the Island of Mahe.
I met with the pilot Joahn at Beau Vallon and we drove down to Airport at Pointe Larue. Upon arriving at the hanger, Johan refueled the micro- light and also conduct some pre-flight checks and test to ensure the aircraft is ok for the flight. We both had to properly dress up for the flight as I was informed that it’s quite cold while flying above the clouds.
It was a cloudy and overcast weather with not much wind, Johan conducted a short briefing about the Emergency Safety Procedures and Precautions in case an Emergency Landing is required.....
Uzice......All set and ready to go
After having taxied on the runaway and waiting for the control tower to give the green light for the micro-light to take-off, the small aircraft raced down the tarmac and we were airborne at exactly 09:32am heading south. I was comfortably seated behind the pilot, a bit tense during the take-off but I managed to relax once in the air.
Uzice & Johan (pilot) during the flight
We crossed our fingers throughout the journey, hoping a whale shark might surface any moment. Unlucky for me, not a single whale shark was seen, but I was enjoying the thrills of cold air rushing past my face as the micro-light keeps climbing and descending from time to time. During the flight Johan is constantly in contact with the Air Traffic Controller at the Airport Control Tower, keeping update of our current position in case of other oncoming planes in the air.
There were a few bumps from time to time, ups and down through the clouds, we also circle some turtle nesting beaches in the south to check out turtle tracks. As we fly by we were also on the lookout for fish traps, fishing nets and fishing vessel along the coast of the Island of Mahe. The scenery from above was very beautiful even though the weather wasn’t that very sunny.
Clouds above the mountains and the airport during the descend for landing
As the micro-light approached the Airport at Point Larue the pilot was given clearance to land. We slowly start descending towards the airfield and touch the tarmac at 11:22am. The pilot raced the small aircraft across the runway and headed towards the hangar. There, he refuels the aircraft for another flight scheduled in the afternoon.
What a ride it was! Thanks MCSS, Johan for making it possible.
Uzice Samedi, MCSS Researcher