Muscat - Amman 13.06.2010

It’s good to be in Oman. We have been here a few times before and we like the atmosphere. It also gives a feeling that we are getting closer to home. With the airliners it’s only 8 hours away but of course with our light aircraft, it will still take us a week to reach Switzerland. We spend two full days in Muscat, mainly because we have to inspect the aircraft and do the service. We are waiting for some parts (oil filter, rings and oil) to come from Switzerland and sent through Fedex by AEROTEC. The parts are delivered on time and we can prepare the aircraft for the next flight.

We encounter some difficulties in getting the Saudi flight permit but finally we get it during the night. We are always a little tense as we fear that one country will come and refuse the overflight. If that happens, we know that we haven’t got many options left. Luckily for us: Oman, UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Jordan have all accepted our flight plan, we are cleared to go !

This time, there are no thunderstorms or rain forecasted on our route. The entire Middle East region is under blue skies but with temperatures above 40°C. We decide once again for an early departure in order to take advantage of the « cooler » air. As we takeoff at 06h00, the controller ask us to maintain runway heading and climb to 6500ft (our initial cruising altitude). With the low pressure system located over Oman and the High temperatures, we get very high density altitudes and we struggle to gain some height. It will take us 40 minutes to reach 6500ft. We also have to be careful not to overheat the engine. Despite our very slow climb, we are still amazed by our CTLSs which still do the job even at 25% over the maximum certified takeoff weight (600kgs) and at such high density  altitudes. As we reach the Saudi airspace, we are little lighter and continue our climb on the airway. At our cruising level, the outside temperature is still 28°C and with the sun shining through the windshield it tends to get very warm in the cockpit. For a good 6 hours we will bounced up and down by the turbulences generated by the thermals. On this 13 hours flight, we think about our families and friends, we haven’t seen them for a long time and we miss them! As we touch down in Amman, we know that the Mediterranean see is close and Europe is only a few hours away..


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