Saturday, October 18, 2008
Wildlife in the Northern Wilds
Flying Mission Zambia has won a contract to count wildlife across the country. I’m not very sure of the details, but apparently they need more planes and pilots than they’ve got at this point, so FMS in Botswana is loaning me and my plane to Zambia for the next few weeks. The airplane I’ll be flying is in the shop getting a radar altimeter fitted (an altimeter that directly measures the aircraft’s height above ground by radar rather than by air pressure, like most altimeters) and as soon as it comes out I’ll be flying up to Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. There I meet some people who will jump in the plane before we head off for a 3-hour flight to Mfuwe to get the survey equipment fitted and calibrated. After that, it’s another 2 hours flying to the place where we will start surveying. There are three different locations I’ll be surveying, and each will take around 5-6 days, so I could be in Zambia for up to three weeks doing this flying. I’m excited for the opportunity to do some flying in a new country and to do this totally different kind of flying. It will be a new challenge for sure, as I’ve never done survey flying before. FM Zambia is arranging accommodation and food for me, but I have no idea what sort of internet access I will have, if at all. So until then, hang loose. Hopefully I’ll come back with some pictures and some stories to boot.