Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. YawContinuing the Expresso ‘All Over Ghana’ flight of Patricia Mawuli Nyekodzi; from Tamale to Kpong…
The hotel in Tamale was absolutely splendid. It seemed far too large for the received image of the city, yet was very fitting, well finished and the staff very welcoming. We were all positively impressed with the potential and the efforts made in this oft mis-represented city.
Waking early the next morning, we set off across the dusty, flat, but well paved roads towards the airport. Air Force personnel greeted us, and showed us where we could fuel-up the planes from our support vehicle. Excitement was, again, high. Sadness was also dawning – this was the last day of the trip.
We watched a Beechcraft land in the morning sunlight, as we added some extra spray-on-grease to reduce the effects of the dry-heat and dust in the air.
The Harmattan air ‘sounds’ so different, enhanced by the acoustics of the large hangar and flat concrete apron, to make every word spoken, sound almost dull. The Air Traffic Controller, from the previous evening, came onto the apron to say ‘goodbye’, giving us a thank you opportunity for all of his help. We packed our supply vehicle and boarded the aircraft.
The Beechcraft, now heading back to
We ventured south, routing towards Buipe. First we crossed the
The flat lands between the White and
The Black Volta was crossed, with the ‘
In the distance, Kintampo littered the horizon. Happily, we deviated from the straight line to Techiman to have a better look at the fascinating rock formations there. This is another of
Suddenly the land drops away like a miniature rift valley. There, ahead, towers tall, sprawling and with all of its economic importance, is Techiman. This town, reputedly, hosts the busiest market in
We route past the
The Chiefs had been calling for over a week, telling us how excited they were at our coming. Time was running short and we had to decide ‘land or just do a touch and go’.
The two aircraft approached over cashew trees and landed on the well maintained dirt and grass strip. Children, Chiefs, Community Leaders and press were neatly lined up at one side. Few rural airstrips in the world could be so ordered and well mannered. Both aircraft parked and shut down on the opposite side of the runway – and still everybody stayed on their line. We crossed the runway to a welcome fit for those of much more worth than four aviators tripping around
The flooded communities below us were many – the lake had truly risen a great deal. The lakes rise would give us one more outstandingly amazing memory before touching down in Kpong – the sight of the spillway at Akosombo, from the air. Plumes of white mist were visible many miles before reaching the site. We descended from Akosombo to the green smooth runway at Kpong, our home base, and smiled at each other as we knew there was only one more leg to go.
Next Week: Kpong –
Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS – The Best Flying Experience in