Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Photo of the week, June 29th

The heavy and erratic rains crossing the country are adding to the challenges in many parts. This week we have seen a key road in the Afram plains cut off through localised flooding, and thousands of acres covered in water. In some places the water is welcomed, in others it has posed access problems and potentially reduced yields or spoiled crops. From the North to the South, our climate poses challenges for those who work the land and live in rural locations.

Spare a thought for those many kilometres from a tarred road at these times. Photo courtesy of Medicine on the Move

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27th

Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. Yaw

Imagine you are sitting quietly aboard a CR700 regional aircraft with sixty odd other folks, waiting to taxi out to the runway. It is dark outside, drizzle on the window, and you are just about to take a sip of the sour tasting orange juice that, it seems, can only be served on-board aircraft. The cabin crew are just walking down the aisle, smiling as they slam those overhead baggage rack doors, reminding you about seatbelts, when something rather violent happens. No, not with another passenger – and not the weather! You hear a large bang from the back of the plane and then the aircraft spins ninety degrees to the left – you notice that the engines are not even running and your orange juice bypassed your digestive system in order to greet your shoes! Well that is pretty much what happened a few weeks ago, at JFK airport, when an Airbus A380 taxied behind a parked aircraft and hit the tail of the smaller plane with its wingtip. Nobody was physically hurt, but it shows how much inertia the mammoth A380 has and how quickly you scare a lot of people - and spend an awful lot of money on repairs – if you do not keep an eye on your periphery!

It seems, however, that key lessons were not learned, and when the A380 tried to do a similar thing to a building in Paris this week; the building won. The demonstrator aircraft hit a building, damaging the building, but losing the tip of the wing, leaving it embedded in the side of the immovable object and embarrassment plastered across the faces of a lot of people. Many demo flights, and potential sales, were lost.

I guess with such a big machine there are considerations about how you manoeuvre – and accidents will happen. Learning from those accidents is the key. Incidents of aircraft hitting things on the ground are not new, and they will, undoubtedly, happen again – and the bill will add up – but procedures need to change to prevent more, and keep insurance premiums down!

Ideas are now rolling in about ‘wing tip cameras’, ‘proximity sensors’, ‘folding wing-tips’ and even one person on the web suggested ‘moving the cockpit to the wingtip’, which is not a practical solution, albeit a fun one! No matter how many additional safety measures you add, they are all fallible, and it will always come down, ultimately, to the decision making capacity of the human being at the controls – linked intrinsically to the procedures he must follow. The very decision to move the aircraft from A to B via C will always be made by a person.

I believe that all but a very tiny percentage of accidents are human error. That error can be mechanical – a badly machined part, a bolt not mounted the correct way, the wrong material used, etc. It can be ‘maintenance related’ – lack of oil, a worn part not replaced in a timely manner, lack of paint to protect from corrosion, etc. It can be locational, operating in the wrong place or the wrong weather or perhaps at the wrong time of day. Then there is the bad design component, as well as the bad use element!

However, the majority of accidents are simply ‘bad decision’ accidents, generally in breach of laid down procedures. The A380 accidents, noted above, are both in that category. Whether it is the pilot who made the bad decision or the person who directed the aircraft along the route, it was a combination of bad decisions – and possibly a lack of laid down procedure for this type. Some people talk about HPL, or Human Performance and Limitations. This is a part of studies for a basic pilot licence in some countries. The basis behind taking some time to understand the HPL in your industry is that people are people and they are the source of accidents and incidents – not the machines they operate!

One of the factors considered is stress. Some people actually perform better under stress, others flounder. Each person has a performance curve that relates to their stress level – and it changes constantly. When we are tired we may be more likely to make a bad decision when under light stress, yet the same level of stress on another day may heighten our ability to make a positive decision and quicker. Our bodies are under incredible demands - and mine seems to get more demands every day!

People are people and they make decisions based upon their training, experiences and rules. They are only able to process a certain amount of information at any one time, and need to establish ‘drill’ or ‘routine’ patterns to carry out complex tasks. For example, in a ‘standard’ emergency in an aircraft, a pilot has practiced so many times for it, the decision is instant and it seems that the controls are moved before the incident has even fully developed. We call this ‘experience’, but really it is ‘rules, training and discipline’. This is not for everybody either! Some people are not built to handle ‘engine failures’ in aircraft, they simply cannot process it, and so they need to consider alternative careers, or undergo a lot more training and ‘growing’. Nonetheless, some may never attain the ability to achieve the seamless ‘recovery and response chain’ that makes flying safe – and that includes taxiing the A380!

The pilots of the A380, being relatively new, have not got much ‘experience’ of taxiing such a large aircraft. However, there is room for some ‘precautionary’ training and ‘awareness’ – plus some new ‘rules’. Today, all A380 pilots are reading recommendations relating to taxi operations and will have heightened attention to those little wing tips a long way away behind them and on each side! Over the next few weeks, analysis will be carried out on the reasons behind these incidents – human factors will figure high on the list. New rules, procedures and safety training will be recommended and enforced. However, at the end of the day avoidance of future accidents will come down to human beings, in and around the industry, and their day-to-day decision making.

How often have we had an accident in or near our workplace, or even ‘nearly an accident’? Should we just say ‘oh well, accidents happen’ or should each and every incident generate a rethink of procedures, vigorous implementation of those procedures and then disciplining of those who fail to adhere to the procedures? We all know the answer, but I see, time and time again, accidents happen and nobody visibly take note of the reasons behind them, and worse still, far too many people around the accident site believe that they are ‘exempt’ from accidents and incidents – or blame them on some supernatural reasoning.

In the history of mankind it has become blatantly clear that the vast majority of accidents are preventable, with appropriate rules, training, maintenance and constant revision of procedures, as the environments we work in change daily.

Remember: Safety is NO accident, and accidents really do cost a lot more than safety enforcement.
 Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and lead Pilot with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation Logistics ( e-mail

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo of the week, June 22nd

The lakeside community of Kete Krachi recently cleared their abandoned runway and returned it to a usable condition, led by the DCE, Kwame Moses Ponye, and assisted by school children as well as volunteer workers and aviators. This historical runway, not used in over ten years, offers a vital emergency contact as well as investment potential to this otherwise challenging to reach location. Less than 250km from Accra, or an hour or less by air, the community is more than 12 hours away by road. Kudos to the people of Kete Krachi, and we wish you well with your applications to re-open this vital facility for your people. Medicine on the Move hopes to operate regular health education related flights between Kete Krachi and Kpong, in the Eastern Region. Photo courtesy Medicine on the Move

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20th

Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. Yaw
A couple of weeks ago we looked at the challenge of the ‘slap-on-the-head’ feud aboard an aircraft bound for Accra, this week I want to take some time to understand the ‘customer service’ differences between successful aviation operations and our day-to-day lives, especially in the “seller’s-market-mentality” that is growing.
Those of you who have flown internationally will remember the ‘Welcome Aboard’ when you entered the door of the plane.  When you enter that plane you are, essentially, moving to a small country for a few hours.  The moment the wheels leave the tarmac, you are going to be aboard a ‘country’ of a few hundred people who do not know each other, neither do they know the customs and rules of that country.  Furthermore, the chief, driver, captain, pilot-in-command (PIC), commander – or whatever name you prefer – is now the president, chief-of-police, justice minister and decision maker for any challenge aboard their ‘airborne-mini-country-in-a-flying-Pringles-tube’!!!
Should anything go awry, the Captain has ultimate decision making responsibility – no need to ask for permission in the case of emergency – able to use the phrase ‘saving lives and seeking forgiveness is preferable over seeking permission and losing lives’.  With this ‘responsibility’ comes the need to ensure that all runs smoothly in his craft.  Experience has shown that ‘un-informed people are un-comfortable and un-predictable people’.  Therefore, you are made ‘welcome’, you are shown where to sit, even though all the seats are numbered and lettered, it is never assumed that YOU know what is going on, you are provided the guidance, supported and reassured.  Announcements are made about ‘seatbelts and telephones’, and then inspection takes place, in case you did not hear or understand the order.  This is, under normal circumstances, done with ‘sir/madam, please, do you need help with your seatbelt, raising of your seat back or switching off your phone?’  - all is done to keep the passenger informed, supported and to avoid ‘raising of tempers’. 
Announcements, instructions, the opportunity to ask questions (and get an answer) is part and parcel of the flying experience – principally to ensure that ‘peace and order prevails aboard the flying nation’. On every flight passengers are told what to do to in case of an emergency, even though the likelihood is miniscule!  In the event of delays all are informed.  Informed customers, supported and guided customers are ‘happy customers’, and, in the event of an emergency, safer customers.  Even when things are not going as smoothly as one would like, the Captain announces ‘please sit down and fasten your seatbelts because things are about to get bumpy, we are sorry for this inconvenience and thank you for your co-operation’.  The key thing is that the people aboard understand what is going on around them, what is about to happen, what to expect and they feel reassured and cared for.  This aviation ritual has much to teach us in our day-to-day dealings in our daily lives and business transactions.
Daily life carries a few surprises! I am not exempt, and will therefore narrate two fictional events based closely on actual experiences over the past few weeks!
Entering the car park of ‘Sellers-paradise’, herein after called ‘the store’, the security man, dressed in his mis-matched and poorly ironed polyester ‘suit’, slaps the side of my car and knocks his truncheon on the window.  As I wind down the window, I am greeted with ‘where to’.  No smile, no incentive to be polite back.  Finally, after a few gruff exchanges, I find myself stepping out of the car to see an employee of the store urinating freely against a wall.  This reassures me that there is no need to respect neither the building nor its contents, probably not even its employees.  Entering the front door of the building, the receptionist, playing solitaire whilst eating kenkey with one-man-thousand, lifts her head, looks at me, and returns to her food.  I ask ‘where is the sales department’.  A simple sideways shake of the head sends me down the corridor, lined with a few used water bags and cobwebs. 
Entering the sales office, I can’t help noticing the thick crust of dust on the mosquito netting.  ‘Morning.  Do you have widgets?’ I ask.  ‘We have all widgets. What you want?’ gets snapped back.  ‘Size forty five, I retort.’   The response warms my heart ‘we have forty’.  So I ask for twenty of them.  ‘We don’t have size twenty.’  Gets stated back in my face, and a scornful look thrown with disdain at my feet.
‘Um, OK. Please may I have twenty, size forty five widgets.’  I ask in my clearest West African English.  At this point, some vernacular exchanges are made with a colleague out of my sight.  ‘Forty’.   Frustrated, I explain ‘I only need twenty, thank you very much.’
Now, our air-conditioned T-shirt and chale-wottie slopping sales rep shuffles to the shelf.  He picks up a size forty widget and thrusts it at me.  ‘NO’ I blurt, in a raised tone.  ‘I said forty-five’.  With a look that one would give an errant goat, the sales rep says ‘we have size forty’…. And so it continues… I am in a position of ‘un-welcome’ from the gate, a position of ‘disrespect’ from the way the employees treat the building and now in a state of frustration that the sales man cannot simply put together the sentence ‘I am so, so sorry sir, but we only have size forty widgets. If that is suitable, how many would you like?’  not rocket science – but simple communication and explanation – treat the workplace like the cabin of an aircraft – support and explain – communicate!
Later, I take a child for a blood test and the conversation goes like this.  ‘Go to C Lab’ ‘Where is that’ ‘you don’t know’ ‘if I did I would not ask’  ‘it is behind that building’.  And so I set off.  Finally, four people’s directions later, I find the lab.  I enter and ask ‘where should I take this request form’.  Nobody answers.  I stand in a queue that is not marked requests, because it is the only queue in the building.  Finally, I get told ‘go to cashier’.  I get to the cashier, to find them absent.  Returning to the friendly ‘director to cashier person’ I get told ‘go-come’.  Now, my John McEnroe side starts to erupt.  I can be really pleasant, but after being made to feel unwelcome, treated like an idiot for not knowing the ‘custom’ in that building for that day with those staff, I tend to resemble a fire-work display.  I just can’t help it. 
All it takes is correct signage, coherent procedures, clear identification of who-is-who, clear description of what to do and where to go, and above all, explanations of what is going on now, what will go on, and how it will happen.  Treat the workplace like an airliner – filled with clients who matter!
Lack of communication is rude and offensive – even when it is not meant to be.  The current ‘be happy I am selling to you, and stop trying to be treated like somebody who pays my wages’ attitude has to stop, if it doesn’t, the business operations will.  Just imagine your operation as being in an airline for 24 hours… what do you see?
Have a nice day!
 Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and lead Pilot with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation Logistics ( e-mail

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Photo of the week, June 15th

The immense Lake Volta provides rapid and safe transport for goods and people the length of the lake.  At times the Ships Captains are called upon to sail in some challenging conditions.  Here we see the work of Captain Nat Bediako-Adjei sailing the Yapei Queen into Hawusakorpe between Kete Krachi and Yeji. Ayekoo Captain! Ghana is proud of the oft-unseen efforts you and your colleagues put into growing the nation. Photo Courtesy WAASPS Ltd.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 13th

Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. Yaw
This week I visited some magnificent northern portions of the Lake Volta.  Namely, Dambai, Kete Krachi and Yeji, gaining access by a combination of road and Volta Lake Transport Company ferries.  Magnificent is actually an understatement, for there are no words to describe the beauty of the landscape and the people on this journey.
The journey had many purposes, one was to see the condition of the waters along the Oti, the Sene confluence and up towards where the Black Volta mixes with the White Volta currents near the Yeji port. I have flown extensively over the lower parts of the lake, from Worawora southwards to Ada, and all along the Afram leg – more times than I can remember.  Those waters I know like the back of my hand, I have flown them for pleasure, for survey, for health education projects, for agricultural projects and in relation to flood issues, and so the southern lake is my home ground.  However, as we head north the waters are different.  I remember, on my two recent flights to the Kete Krachi peninsula, noting the waters and the edges of the water had a different ‘feel’ to them in the north. It was only natural to want to take a closer look from the surface, before we start the amphibian aircraft operations and aerial survey work on that part of the lake later this year.  The weather in that part of the lake is different too, and weather is a big influencing factor of both aviation and maritime activities. 
Driving from Kpong Airfield to the Dambai port is a fascinating drive, you get to look onto the lake around the Anfoega leg, and realise that the water level, although receding, is still creating on-going challenges and hardships for many of the lake-edge agro-sustenance communities.  Branching at Jasikan in the Volta region, one is devoid of fuel supply stops until reaching Dambai itself.  A point to note if you are taking this trip!  Once in Dambai the absence of the ‘big names’ for fuel stations is surprising, and makes an influence on our decisions as to whether to establish a seaplane base in the area, for without good quality, well maintained fuel storage facilities it is far from prudent to establish an aviation centre.  Sadly, the fuel station there, happy to make a sale for the day, informed me that ‘fuel is sold to the nearest cedi’ and having stopped filling my tank at a fifty pesewa point, I would need to pay the extra half a cedi to make him smile.  This is another negative point for the development of this part of Ghana – negative business practices dissuade positive growth.  
Once aboard the Ferry, and ready to make the crossing to the laterite road to Kete Krachi, it is smooth sailing for the ‘less-than-two-kilometre’ crossing.  The crew were welcoming and we looked at the sky together, and the waters.  The Oti is a very pleasant piece of water, and the proximity to the ridges at the tail end of the Akwapim-Togo range adds to that beauty. 
The sky in this part of Ghana looks so different to the south.  It is fashioned by different factors.  Sufficiently far away from the sea to be devoid of the influence of the Atlantic, and yet surrounded by a large bubbling water body that creates a temperature gradient day and night.  The road to Kete Krachi is not too bad, for an un-tarred rural road.  It is corrugated and does restrict speed of travel, if you value your vehicle and your health! 
Returning to Kete Krachi, which we visited in February to look at their airstrip, was wonderful.  Seeing the school children walking along the side of the edge-nibbled roads, observing the lake in the distance as you round over the last high point before descending to the township; the feelings of ‘warmth and welcome’ washed over us.
The DCE’s office was full of welcome, as was the Education office.  Thanks were given for flying their young people on our ‘fly me day’ in March, when we flew one hundred children from around the country; and then the clear and unstoppable declaration of desire to reactivate their airfield.  In the ‘less-than-twenty-four hours’ we were in Kete Krachi, the airfield was cleared and made readily useable by a willing community working party, led by the DCE and overseen by the students from the AvTech Academy!  Now that is a community worth investing in!
Setting sail in the late morning aboard the Yapei Queen, we encountered a heavy storm.  Yam crates on the deck of the vessel rocked precariously, and between the darked sky and reduced visibility through torrential rain, the banks of the river segment could no longer be seen.  The skill of Captain Nat came to the forefront, and as a pilot with experience of heavy weather navigation, I stood on the bridge next to the ‘man-in-command’ and watched as he carefully adjusted his headings to compensate for the swell, the currents and the wind until the tempest subsided. 
Docking at the smaller communities along the way to Yeji gave me a chance to study the changes in surface and banks below, as well as the mottled skies above.  A very different place to the south.  Different dangers were present that needed taken into consideration before operating a float plane in these waters – and the purpose of the trip from the aviation, and associated humanitarian activities, perspective was coming together.
Late that night we finally docked at Yeji.  If Yeji needs a nickname, it has to be ‘town of the flies’.  As I walked out onto the deck the sky was filled with millions upon millions of flies. 
Early the next morning the sky was clear on one side, and as black as the night on the other.  A horseshoe of cumulonimbus grasped the surroundings of Yeji.  I drove to the port ready to observe the waters for amphibian landings.  As I stepped from my vehicle a wonderful, feature filled lady of no small age, rushed up to me forcing me away from the water’s edge saying emphatically ‘DANGER-DANGER’.  Her concern was that the strangers to her town may not understand the danger of sailing under the heavy sky, laden with wind and driving rain. 
She need not have feared, for safety is key to all of our operations.  In aviation we say ‘it is better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air, than to be in the air wishing you were on the ground’.  Similarly, our maritime friends know all too well that ‘it is better to be ashore wishing you were sailing, than to be sailing wishing you were ashore!’
The climate is different in those parts.  Not only the atmospheric climate, but also the economic climate and the ‘way-of-doing-business’ climate.  Although we cannot change the weather, prudent policies and investments can change the economic climate for those in such places.  Perhaps you should make a visit to see what you can do to bring about positive change!
 Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and lead Pilot with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation Logistics ( e-mail

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Photo of the week, June 8th

Recent strong winds and heavy rains have devastated many rural buildings. Here we see a wooden classroom structure that was devastated by a wind last week. Not far away a small farm house lost its roof, the entire contents of the home strewn across the bush. As our climate changes we need to ensure support in construction methods and understanding, for although nobody was hurt in these instances, such effects may result in extreeme injuries or even death. Photo Credit Medicine on the Move

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6th

Fresh Air Matters... with Capt. Yaw
Newspapers have carried some surprisingly eye-catching stories about aviation and Ghana, especially over recent weeks. The one that resulted in extensive airborne pollution comes from the ‘Ghana bound aircraft fist-fight’ report, carried by a number of international papers.  Apparently, one passenger reclined their seat without care and attention and upset the passenger behind.  It is unclear which passenger – or if it was another – started physically abusing the other, but it clearly was a bit more than a dirty slap!  The consequences of this airborne ‘slap on the head’ misdemeanour was that the United Airlines Boeing 767 dumped over forty tonnes of fuel, and two F16 fighter jets were scrambled.  Now, in the litigious country of the USA one would expect somebody to say ‘who pays?  Yet, no arrests were made; no charges filed and around fifty thousand US dollars’ worth of go-juice was spread around the sky and onto the ocean, not to mention the high speed jaunt around the skies by two F16’s at a pretty penny or two! 
Let us, conservatively say that the above ‘melodrama’ cost around one hundred thousand US dollars (say fifty thousand for the fuel and the balance between military movements, airport charges/costs, the delayed flight, etc.).  It must have been that somebody had a sweet tongue and interesting passport or simply nobody minded; yet for spilling a coffee from Starbucks or McDonald’s in the Big Apple you have a multi-million dollar legal wrangle!  If I had been a passenger on that flight I would not have been happy and possibly made a claim against the ‘combatants’ for my loss of time… perhaps that will come!
Of course, Ghana is amongst the top ten rich countries in the world, according to the press coverage of another incident, so wealthy in fact, that one little weather incident has lead to the placement of an order for no less than two aircraft carriers!  The later ‘corrected without explanation’ statement that carried far and wide appears to originate in country: ‘Accra, May 30, GNA - President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday announced that Ghana was in the process of acquiring two aircraft carriers from Brazil that could work in inclement weather and better ensure the safety of passengers.’
The background to this ‘declaration of intent’ comes from the fact that a flight from Yamoussoukro to Accra had to turn around and land back in Yamoussoukro due to weather. Apart from the questions ‘Why did they set off with known weather?’ and ‘Why didn’t they land in Takoradi?’ I still don’t understand how this made ‘hot press’.  Nonetheless, this lead to a statement that was supposed to read ‘…acquiring two personnel carrier aircraft from Brazil…’ becoming expensive headlines and egg-on-face news.  Brazil makes some fantastic aircraft – in fact Embraer, founded in Brazil in 1969, is a ‘household name’ in aviation circles, has a sixteen billion dollar firm order book, seventeen thousand employees worldwide and is a leader in its class for regional aircraft, many of which are operated by some of Europe’s leading airlines.
However, there is a lot of potential for this enthusiastically erroneous reporting to be seen as clearly incorrect to the ‘informed reader’.  Firstly, Brazil has only one aircraft carrier of its own (it obtained it second hand from France in 2000), it has a complement of sixty four Naval officers and nearly thirteen hundred sailors, plus over five hundred and eighty folks in the aviation group on board.  Secondly, not even China has one in service at this time. Thirdly, the UK is selling a used aircraft carrier, the Ark Royal, but we would need a crew of around one thousand and look for some aircraft to get the full twenty two aircraft bays filled.  The Ark Royal was put on sale by Auction on the twenty eighth March this year, with the thirteen of June (that is next week) as the final date for tenders – so if this quote came from somebody who is actually serious about it, tender documents need to be filled quickly.  
Next, the reason given for needing to purchase these aircraft carriers was to be able to operate in ‘inclement weather and better ensure the safety of passengers’.   Landing on an aircraft carrier in good weather is a challenge and risk filled, let alone in inclement weather. Finally, the estimated cost of the two new aircraft carrier being built in the UK is a mere five billion British pounds. 
If I had the cash I would consider purchasing the American mega carrier the George Washington.  Crewed with a full complement of over five thousand (sea and airmen).  On average there are fourteen birthdays on board EVERY day.  Not to mention the ninety aircraft, fixed- and rotary-wing – with full engineering support.  The GW, as it is called, has enough nuclear power resource to remain at sea for twenty YEARS, and has more than a quarter of a million horsepower (190MW) of power output. 
I have been heard to talk recently about the ‘private aircraft carrier on the lake’.  Now, that is more realistic.  On the lake I am involved in the engineering team for a project to work with a ‘Health Education Vessel and floating aircraft dock’, as part of project ETCHE,  for health education purposes, the engineering project has been dubbed ‘the aircraft carrier’ even though it is actually a floating seaplane dock for crew and patient transfer.  In fact, the aircraft that will be landing on the lake, equipped with stretcher and a range of around one thousand kilometres, is nearing construction in Ghana.  Interestingly, this built in Ghana air ambulance development is completely privately funded, since Governments have repeatedly demonstrated no practical interest in supporting it. 
We can understand that there are other priorities, but clearly there are also a lot of ‘misguided quotations’ when it comes to aviation stories. Over the past years I have read erroneous stories about ‘Ghana armed forces flying planes into clouds to stop the rain’ as well as ‘Ghana purchases xx fighter jets/transport aircraft/etc.’ and more.  I wonder where the challenge in getting the facts straight comes from.  Is it that the journalists misreport what is said? Is it that the spokesperson is misreading from the script?  Is it an attempt at misleading the public? Is it ‘good intentions’ spoken from the heart, without clarification and correction down the line?  A little research or a question asked to an aviation professional can save us a lot of embarrassment – in the same way ‘not slapping the head of the person in front of you on United Airlines’ protects the good name of Ghana!
I do know that it is confusing for some, irritating for others and whichever it is creates a poor impression.  Ghana has some fine airmen and women.  Our Air force is outstanding, with much recognition of their achievements.  Our Civil Aviation Authority does a sterling job.  Our press is one of the best on the continent. Perhaps some of the blame lies with my literary colleagues, but I know that not all can rest at their feet – by far.  There is always ‘somebody looking to spin’ - the question is ‘Who?’.
 Capt. Yaw is Chief Flying Instructor and Chief Engineer at WAASPS, and lead Pilot with Medicine on the Move, Humanitarian Aviation Logistics ( e-mail

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Photo of the Week, June 1

Constructions spawn across the nation from mud huts (seen to the left) through sand-crete (seen right) and cast buildings. The interesting thing seen from the air, is that so many have no provision for a septic tank (as can be seen bottom right here), KVIP or other sanitation method. We need to reach out and inform people of the need to use toilet facilities appropriately as a primary care step towards disease management - ensuring that human and other waste is not disposed of inappropriately for the long term benefit of all citizens. Image courtesy of AvTech Academy.