Search For Madeleine McCann / Ground Support Forum

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Post by mel wilson » Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:54 pm

It was that time of year again, when the stocks of leaflets needed to be distributed, but as my trusty Beech was in for a major overhaul, I was somewhat stuck up a creek without a paddle, I need to get these down there so that passing pilots can replenish their stocks for the journey.

I was then informed that a rumour was going around that RD, GS and the rest if the crew were heading down from Scandinavia on route to North Africa in the P3, now, if I can convince them to make a small detour, then my problem is solved.

As it turned out, the timing of my call out to them was just about perfect, only problem was it cost me a case of JD, never mind, it’s still the cheapest fare from the UK to Portugal.

I am hoping to scrounge a lift back from someone who is flying back to the UK, need to be back at Farnborough by at least Monday in order to collect the Beech and fly it back to Biggin.

I arranged a stand for the P3 very close to the warehouse where the pallets of leaflets are stored, and also managed to purloin a forklift, which should lift high enough for loading.

ATC gave me an approx ETA, and I walked out onto the airfield to wait their arrival, sure enough, I could make out the distinctive silhouette of the P3 as she dropped her gear, and headed straight in, it’s been a while since I saw RD and the rest of the P3 crew, maybe they might stay overnight, and we can c r a c k a few cans, and swap stories.

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Where Are You ?

Post by prune » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:03 pm

What Oh Chaps!

Prune here, floating over the Indian Ocean or what call here the the Great Australian Bight, well I guess we'll discover what that mean should we come down in the drink.

Hey RD don't you guys start another trip before I get back to blighty, our next landfall shold be somewhere about 100 miles east of Experance in Western Australia.

Miles & miles of water and not a drop to drink.

Not sure of a route from here thought might revisit Cocos, Gan then down to Marituis, Cape Town revisting my Cousin in Port Elizabeth on the way, then north the old Imperial Airways route following the steps of the old Empire Flying Boats lp to Luanda, Lagos, Cape Verdes, Madeira, Lisbon, Scillies then Birmingham and home

Not sure if its feasable to go the southern route via Amsterdam Islands, Kerguelen, Crozet, Prince Edward, Cape Town, St Helena, Acension, Cape Verdes, Madeira, Lisbon, Scillies then Birmingham and home.

I'd be mighty grateful for any ideas from you guys on the these options

I'm mailing maddie film & poster to all my stops en route.

I just passed over the coast S32 36.91 E125 18.63 it's totally barren scrub and desert with ocasional mountains sticking up also the weather has changed all along this coast, in Adelaide it was bright and clear but here we have 5/8 topping out at over 260 at least it varies a bit the sea is the sea best flown over at night.

I am also suprised to here ATC service so far West in being done from Melbourne.

Cloud thickening up now 7/8 with cu nim tops to 360 haven't yet seen any lightening , oh trough the cloud I spotted a small strip from my chart it must be YNSM Norseman 893x4961 not that small Im think I might be going to doze zzzzz zzzzz zzzzz leave the office it the care of George
zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzz
What! Who! Oh! mebourne you still there, me doddery, doddery I am not!

Percy
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Maddie Where Are You ?

Post by prune » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:01 am

Hi Chaps!

Well here we are sat on the ground at Perth International waiting for customs/imigation as ever wouldn't you think they'd be pleased to see us

Any ideas on our route home most welcome - by the by - I just found this great site calculates distances between locations then converts from kms to miles and nautical miles

hopefull you will see us attatched

Percy
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Maddie Where Are You ?

Post by prune » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:05 am

Hello Chaps

Daft ol' fool didn't add the address ha ha!

here it is www.distancecalculator.globefeed.com
Edited link, it now works.

awaiting your postings

Percy

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Post by jaeger52 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:21 am

THREE CHEERS FOR RD AND TEAM SURCLARO!

HIP HIP.... HOORAH!
HIP HIP.......HOORAH!
HIP HIP.........HOORAAUGH! CHOKE, COUGH, SPLUTTER!

There I was, all set and looking forward with great anticipaton to a nice long, four day weekend of camping in the great north woods of northern Minnesota for some late season, cold weather fishing on Rainy Lake this coming weekend when RD's response to my last posting here really caught me by the short hairs!

Then with Mel's follow up post concerning transferring about pallets of the latest Maddie Flyer's, I've no choice but to cancel my participation in fishing the great northwoods and lakes of Minnesota.

There's simply too much to do in a short period of time if the Search For Madeleine begins once again. There'e no question that I need to update my battered and weather worn passport and travel Visas. Arrange for the required full battery of physical and medical's and innoculations in order to keep alive my waning Pilot's Liscense. I'll have to spend a couple of month's pay just to make a short handful of office and dinner dates with my personal and business attorneys to get them up to speed with updating new drafts of my Last Will and Testament, Liviing Will, Business Plans, etc. Get a half dozen high security International Cell Phones, purchase a couple of high tech laptop computers based on tried and true XP and Windows 7 OS's, and get everything paired in up with RAID Arrays.

And what will I do with my now elderly, 14-year old Rat Terrier "Penny"? He still seems quite vital, but I would never forgive myself if something happened to him in my absence....if it should come to that. There's no question that "Penster" will fly with me if his lifelong Vet will approve a flight certification for him.

And before I forget, I'll need a new issue (key coded) SURCLARO VISA---"Good As Gold"---operations card.

I just know I'm forgetting my toothbrush or something important!

What about a Maintenance Day or Week, to make certain that everyone is on the same page and has the same equipment and that it all works? God knows that I'm probably lacking after my weeks of time off during my move weeks ago and settling into my new digs.

Lastly, when is the last time that anyone has heard from our Maddie Website Host Vincent1234? I haven't seen or heard from him in a long, long time. Hoping he's alright.

Jaeg-

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Post by rd » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:41 am

Hmmm......

Looks like the itinerary is going to call on both the Honda jet and the Beech. Also looks like there may be a few problems enroute, that no one has ever encountered. Not sure what that means, but a couple do look a bit ugly.

Expect one way or another, to get your flight plans on Nov. 20th.

Hey Vince, send me the info again if you could please. If not, then I'll use Yousendit for the flights, or emails if possible.

Thanks Mel for the packages. We needed them. :D

@ Percy... You kill me.



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Post by Cat1 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:09 pm

My suggestion seemed to die on the vine... Not for lack of trying to put something together, but a seemingly large amount of miscommunication.
I guess it could be revived if there is still interest in "local" flights?
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If you want to learn how to fly IFR and land with ILS or have any questions about IFR/ILS. Click this link and the information is there: http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/avia ... _handbook/

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Post by mel wilson » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:11 pm

I still have your files Clay, been hanging onto them in anticipation, sadly I lost the ones I had, unless someone has them squirreled away.

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Post by Cat1 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:15 pm

I'm fairly certain I have the ones you sent me back in...GEEZ... Late Feb or early April. I might still have what RD did too. I'll have to look.
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Post by mel wilson » Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:18 pm

Thats good news.............. i'm off to eat ..............i'm starving...

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Post by jaeger52 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:08 pm

As some or all may recall, I had surrendered my Project Developer status on Team Surclaro during the time when my Mary Anne passed away. I have no good reason to reclaim that position and would prefer to remain only one of the registered pilots of Team Surclaro/Maddie's Heroes.

But I do have a voice (as does any registered member of Maddie's Heroes). Having said that, my heart and mind are open to any new or old suggestions by the other members or Tech Support personnel, of which Cat1 is at or near the top of the list.

I have a couple concerns that I would really appreciate being addressed before the opener if at all possible.

1) When is the last time anyone has heard from Viche1234? I haven't seen a peep out of him in as many or months as I have fingers. I'll send him a PM directly and an Email (if) I still have his Email Addy, that is.

2) I think it might be important that the Maddie Website be updated in some small measure to reflect the upcoming 2009/2010 Flight Operations. Create some delineation between the old and new, if you catch my drift, rather than cram them all together. But how to do that if Vincent is offline?

Your thoughts?

Jaeg-

BTW, How was your hunger snack, Mel?

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Post by mel wilson » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:51 pm

Suitably replenished thanks Bruce.... :wink:

As far as Vinces email addy is concerned, it's on the Maddie website along with all of ours, I wont publsh it here, but those who are connected with this project will know where to look.

I'm sure an email will spark a lightning strike on the bolt through his neck, and the monster will rise up again.......... 8O

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Post by jaeger52 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:59 pm

I just shot an email in Vichey's direction and to my surprise, he replied within minutes! I briefed him that Team Surclaro is winding up the Maddie Machine again and asked him to please check in. I hope that he will, because he's an integral part of the operation. Can't do without his participation. I haven't heard from him in so long that there's no telling what's on his plate at the moment.

Let's wait and see! Lord knows that I've got my fingers and toes crossed.

Jaeg-

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Post by mel wilson » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:01 pm

We must have him in a crossfire then, cos I just fired a salvo also :lol:

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Post by jaeger52 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:36 pm

That's good news, Mel. Let's hope that Vichey will have the time to spare and the capability to bring himself up to speed and continue to serve us. I am thankful that he has kept our "Search For Madeleine" website active for as long as he has been doing. :D

Without the Maddie Website, we're really coughing up our sleeves. Serving only ourselves. :oops:

Let's all pause for a moment to remember why we're doing this. :wink:

Jaeg-
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Post by mel wilson » Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:31 pm

When I arrived back at the aircraft the following morning, I was greeted by a crew with the look on their faces that said something was not right, on this mornings inspection, it was discovered that a tyre had sustained some serious damage, whether this was on the landing the day before, it wasn’t clear, but suffice to say, we needed a replacement, and fast….

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Finally we managed to source one not too far away, and arranged transport to us that afternoon, at least we didn’t have to rush loading the pallets. So, it was off to breakfast and I treated them to full English, if that doesn’t sustain them until Faro, nothing will.

At last my Cell phone burst into life, it was confirmation that the aircraft was repaired, loaded and ready to roll, so we all strolled across to where she was sitting, a final check all round, and we were ready.

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Then that unmistakable sound of the Allison turboprop starting up, scared a few birds away close by, first 1, then 2 and 3 finally 4, it was singing……………..

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John was taking control for this hop down to Faro, and then Ardie onto North Africa, we were directed out to Runway 3 which would take us in towards London, and then a 180deg turn will bring us to a heading of 210, due south towards the channel, and France, at an altitude of 23,000.

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It was a fine day, clear skies, sun and good visibility, hopefully it will be like this all the way……………..

I finally settled down in the back, and chatted to Vince & Clay, while John and Ardie flew us down to warmer climates.

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Post by viche12345 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:48 am

Hey guys! Long time no talk! Sorry for such a long absence. I've been so heavily focused on schoolwork and projects that I completely brushed Surclaro aside. But now, things seem to be under control, and I'm so delighted to be back!

Let's cut to the chase. I wish I had time to realize what I've missed during my absence. If someone could sum it all up, I'd greatly appreciate it! Anyways, I'm aware that we are starting a new round of Maddie flights. I'm ready. Let's go.
There is no place like 127.0.0.1

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Post by jaeger52 » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:22 am

Vichey, your timing could not have been more perfect! :wink:

If you can find the time Viche, please read back six, seven, eight pages or so in the forum to bring yourself up to speed. Shouldn't take too long for a speed reader such as yourself---what with all those doctorate college degrees under your belt!

We are as much interested in what's been happening in your life, too since we've last spoken as you are in wondering what's been going on here!

But in my personal summation, the biggest news of all is the welcome addition of Cdr Percy Prune, who on his lonesome has been carrying the torch for all of us all during the last year or so since we've all been away. If I am correct, Prune is on his third solo circumnavigation!

Prune, please kindly be upstanding and properly introduce yourself to our Maddie Website Host Viche12345! Without Vichey, none of this would have been possible, to say the least!

Welcome back Viche! 8) :D 8)

Jaeg-
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Post by mel wilson » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:43 am

Live Long and Prosper Kwok............... Good to see you back home Vince \:D/

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Post by rd » Sat Nov 07, 2009 5:06 am

Hmmmm....... Vince is back. :D

Check that one off the list.

Good to see you again buddy. Welcome back to the virtual world.


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Maddie Where Are You ?

Post by prune » Sat Nov 07, 2009 3:15 pm

1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a viche aliive, 6,7,8,9,10, then I let him go again

What Ho, Chaps!

Wg Cmdr Percival Prune CDM & Bar here, Percy for short.

Here we are 2 hours out over the ocean NW of Perth, destination Keeling Islands or Cocos if you prefer.

Hello young Viche, howdy let me introduce myself.

I'm Percy Prune a flyer of sorts, a man of many parts, born in Bengal at the end of the war (What war, you say) the Boer War of course!

I joined the jolly ol' RAF as an AC1 at 19, and very soon after became a Sgt Pilot, flying the jolly ol' Chipmunk, the one that sorted the men from the boys.

Once I got commisioned (how that came about is another story) I became an Officer and a Gentleman, my mother would telly you I was always one of these. First thing you have to understand that not all officers are pilots or gentlemen, and secondly that not all pilots are flyers' .

In my veiw a pilot often as not, gets to an aircraft, it could be an Avocet or a mahogany bomber, as far as their concerned they are at the office and they are in charge, fetch me this, do this, do that, do the other.

But to me a flyer is very different, when he or she (very nice to see a lot more of these) first thing they do is stand back and take it all in, then they approach it slowly and methodically, carrassing and stroking its many parts, as it it were a thoroughbred horse, when they have checked its mouth, it's fetlocks lifting each foot in turn they move to the interior in the same way.

Even when they enter the aircraft, they still find time to check any cargo is secure, check the crew and passengers are all arrived and are happy to fly with him/her, only then will her/she comence their PFC's.

But I digress, for me time flew just about as much as I did, after the chippie came the Harvard T5 then a twin course on the ol' AVRO Anson and on to a tour as an Flying Officer on the ol' Percival Pembroke, the the DC3 (C-47G) then came the Handley Page Hastings, the Bristol Brittania then came jets firstly as a liason officer with De Havilland as they developed the Comet 4 which late converted became the much maligned Nimrod which bring us to now a 65 year old has been, has been everything and everywthere all things for all men, jack of all trades and master of none.

Now I'd better check if we are ready for our descent, I can see ice cold beers waiting for us in the bar

Bottoms Up!

Percy

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Post by prune » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:18 pm

What Ho chaps!

Now isn't this what we fly for, 8/8 to the floor 2 hours to the diversion airfield, according to ATC Melbourne, yes Melbourne over 5000 nm away is running the show, the runway is at my 12 oclock 8 miles were at 2000' can only see water and lots of it, my vision of ice cold beers has turned into a vision of floating (maybe) in shark-infested waters for days on end .

We are at 3 miles nothing I take her down to 500 see if I can see anything at all and there smackin front of us is is the runway with a F28 taking off towards us, I select full flaps lower the undercart and we drop onto the runway falling under his belly hope it scared him as much as it did me, which is lots.

Reminds me of one time I was helping out ATC at Kinloss late on a friday afternoon the local controller one Master Signaller Cross (god bless him) it was getting to dusk and a bit of a mist was falling, I was on the main runway with the yellow peril putting out glim lights (battery operated emergency lighting) I crossed the centre line for the Nth time carrying one in each hand like to buckets, when out of the mist came at some speed a canberra of 7 sqdn, I'm not sure who was most suprised, later we went to the mess and got slowly drunk

Left Cocos at 3pm climbed to 20000 travelled about 500 miles lost navaids 4 times anyone any ideas

Regards to all

Percy
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Post by mel wilson » Thu Nov 26, 2009 12:18 am

Well............. here I am laid up in Faro, seems like someone passed on the dreaded swine flu.......

Managed to get a message back to blighty and inform Farnborough that I'm going to be delayed at least a week before I can collect my trusty Beech.

The hotel food here is crap.................. yuk. :-&

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Post by prune » Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:43 am

What Ho Chaps, Prune here! Is anyone at home?

Here’s the next episode in my adventure, Are you sitting comfortably – then we’ll begin –

Late in the evening on 7th November we arrived at Gan in the Maldives, great landing, everything fine.
We put the old girl to bed, and off to the mess for a few bevies, and then fell into bed.

Overnight a huge storm, and still raining when we came out of the Met briefing, usual pre-flight checks, start-up clearance ok starboard engine sputtered into life and died, port engine likewise,
Fitters with us all day to no avail, fuel and fuel system ok, ignition systems ok, still nothing, Fitters on blower to Arrow Aviation Services in Kolkata India then to Delhi & Mumbai, result is nearest specialist is in Cape Town, can we get her there they ask? Can we get her to the Moon? I answer.

Next morning our prayers are answered, when we are told an An-22 will be here tomorrow running empty back to the Cape and we are welcome to go with her, Maddie is stripped and crated in record time, and on the following day we departed in the huge beast, and arriving in Cape Town which is recognised as one of the most beautiful places on earth, MADEE disappeared into a hanger with instructions that we were to return at the end of the week. So we did the tourist trail, we went up Table Mountain by cable car but abseiled down, boat trip to Robben Island€, toured the Football Stadium for the 2010 FIFA World.

Five days later we arrived back at the Airport to find MADEE sitting on the tarmac, a few signatures, many handshakes, & loads of photos later Maddie started first time and we taxied out for our African adventure.

Firstly we headed NNE to Port Alfred to visit my cousin Nicholas and his lovely wife Jennifer where we stayed in their beach house for two lovely days.

We eventually dragged ourselves back into the air with our 1st leg to Bloemfontein, then our 2nd leg to Lusaka, in Zambia, via Livingstone.

Our 3rd leg brought us to Kananga in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but when we heard they weren’t being very democratic anymore, we headed over the border to Brazzaville Maya Maya airport, for our 4th leg.

Our 5th leg brought us to up to Bangui Mokpo, in the Central African Republic.

Our 6th leg brought us yesterday to N’djamena in Chad, & today we crossed Lake Chad just two hours ago on our 6th leg we are heading for Djonet in Algeria, this is the Sahara, not a good place to come to grief. Lovely and clear up hear must be able to see over 100 miles in all directions, but the wind is violent blowing a gale from the SW, have just 150 miles to go, hope we have no more dust storms to contend with on approach.

Speak again soon

Percival Prune Wing Cmdr CDM & Bar

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Post by rd » Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:20 am

Good to see you up and flying still. Keep'em coming. :D


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Post by mel wilson » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:55 am

I'll be back in the air real soon

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Post by mel wilson » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:56 am

10 December 2009 12:30am
Madeleine McCann's parents are due to fly to Portugal for the start of a libel trial against former Portuguese policeman Goncalo Amaral.

Kate and Gerry McCann are planning to attend the opening of the trial in Lisbon on Friday, their spokesman Clarence Mitchell said.

Mr Mitchell said: "I can confirm that Kate and Gerry McCann will be travelling to Portugal on Thursday to attend the opening of the defamation case against Goncalo Amaral in Lisbon on Friday morning."

He continued: "They only intend to appear at the opening and I would expect that they will return to the UK fairly swiftly."

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby.

Despite a massive police investigation and huge publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

Mr Amaral was involved in the initial investigation to find Madeleine but was later taken off the case.

In his book, The Truth Of The Lie, he claimed Madeleine was dead and questioned the McCanns' account that she was taken while they were eating with friends.

In September a Portuguese judge granted an injunction banning further sale or publication of the book. It also banned Mr Amaral from repeating his claims about Madeleine or her parents.

The injunction came after a year-long campaign by the McCanns' lawyers to prevent the publication of the book and a subsequent DVD.
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mel wilson
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Post by mel wilson » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:05 pm

18 December 2009 09:54am

Kate and Gerry McCann have issued a fresh appeal for help in finding their missing daughter Madeleine as they face spending a third Christmas without her.

The couple also released new pictures of the little girl on their Find Madeleine website.

In an emotional plea greeting visitors to the site, they said: "There will be a spare place at the Christmas table again this year. If you know anything - do the right thing and help us fill it."

Mr and Mrs McCann added: "There's only one thing Madeleine wants this Christmas - and that's to be back home. If you know where she might be, please help."

The new pictures show Madeleine smiling and feeding a chocolate lollipop to her younger sister Amelie before she disappeared.

The McCanns, both 41, from Rothley, Leicestershire, said: "Christmas is a time for children. Please help us bring ours back."

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal on May 3 2007 while her parents dined with friends nearby. Despite a massive police investigation and publicity worldwide, she has not been found.

Last weekend Mr and Mrs McCann returned to Praia da Luz together for the first time since Portuguese police named them as suspects in their daughter's disappearance.

The couple, whose suspect status was later lifted, visited the seaside resort's church and wandered along the beach.

Mrs McCann said: "Although our pain feels much rawer here, it is comforting at the same time since we feel closer to Madeleine."
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prune
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Maddie Where Are You ?

Post by prune » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:07 pm

What Ho Chaps, Prune here! Is anyone at home?

Well we’ve arrived back in the jolly ol’ uk after quite eventful journey back from Africa, when I last spoke to you all we were heading for Djonet in Algeria, this is the real Sahara, not a good place to come to grief.

It was lovely and clear & were able to see over 100 miles in all directions, & luckily the wind that had been blowing a gale from the SW all day, died as we crossed into Algeria, and very soon, we were able to spot Djonet by a column of black smoke rising vertically all of 10,000 feet before it dispersed.

We were soon to discover that the earlier that day, a C-47 Dakota had lost a main wheel on landing slid off the end into the overshoot, didn’t help that they already had an engine fire, everybody got out ok and left it to burn.

We left the next morning, and climbed to 16,000 to get over the Atlas Mountains, but the gale force south westerly of the day before had swung round to the North West giving us a headwind straight in kisser.

By the time we were 19.7nm south of GMMD Beni Mellat I noticed that our fuel a bit low to get us to Rabat so turned left to Sale on the Coast.

After leaving Sale we set a course for Lisbon and by the time we arrived there some two hours later we had picked up a tailwind so reset a course for St. Mary’s in the Scilly Isles off the west most point of England, where we refuelled again.

We headed off this time for the mainland to find everywhere fogged in, we eventually landed in a pea green soup at Humberside, and managed to find a taxi going back to Lincoln, who was kind enough to drop me at home, have loads of pics, will post a few at a time (back to front is that right?)

Take care and have a great Christmas

Percy

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Post by harkonnen » Fri Dec 18, 2009 6:45 pm

Great to read of your aerial exploits as usual Prune, you've got a flair for it!
..And a Merry Christmas to you and yours, too.
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