There was nothing but sky and sea above and below us for hundreds of kilometers or nautical miles we use for the aeroplanes. We did the 5 hour crossing from Vilankulos, Mozambique, to Toliara, Madagascar in formation with the 5 other planes, us in the lead and the others fanning out to either side like a flock of geese. About two thirds of the way across we did a little deviation to fly over the island of Europa, a tiny uninhabited island that is disputed territory between France and Madagascar and serves as a military weather or marine research station.
We came across several banks of clouds en route and we had to climb up to 9 000 ft to pass over them. Some clouds of that size often have ice blocks inside as big as a fridge and that would not be too nice to fly into. Cumulus clouds in formation can also suck you in and toss you around either descending or ascending at an alarming rate. But all was calm and the scenery spectacular as we edge slowly towards Madagascar at 200 kms/h. There was much joy when we could call land in sight about 60 nm to go, although the land mass of Madagascar appeared on our efis computer screens about 120 nm out.
|Europa island en route to Madagascar|
|Brickmaking in a swamy clay area|
|Photo from the AirTraffic Control Tower at Toliara Airport, Madagascar of our group of planes|
|Lifejackets and rashvests for warmth in the water as we did the 5-hour sea crossing|
|Sea below and clouds|
|The Airplane Factory's Andrew and Sean in the taildragger that flew with us|
|Our beautiful accommodation at Toliara|