If you are used to travel in and around Africa, you probably know that flying in Africa is not for sissies. How often do we hear about plane crashes and especially in single propeller planes in the news? Very often indeed. So this was my family’s concern when they first heard that I would be going on a trip to a mysterious tropical island somewhere in the Indian Ocean for one day and the worst part for them was that I would be flying on a Cessna single-engine aircraft. I was definitely decided on taking the risk so there was nothing they could do to stop me.
At 08.00 am my alarm went on and I jumped out of bed. There was a mixture of anxiety and fear but at the same time so much joy and excitement. At 09.00 am, I was ready at the airport. Someone came to escort myself and other 3 passengers to the plane. It was a blue Cessna, smaller than the planes I’m used to flying. So I knew this was going to be an amazing experience.
When we were close to the plane, I fully realized that the plane was reallllllllyyyy smalll!!! It was too late now to say NO to the offer. It was a windy day and I could not stop thinking about the possible turbulence we might experience. I sat just behind the pilot, so I fastened my seat belt, after a long deep breath, I was ready. Awwww, so many senses at the same time!
I heard the keys going into the ignition. The panel had a million buttons and two joysticks. It almost felt like the two pilots were about to play on their playstation or xbox.
After going through the checklists and getting clearance from the tower, we were taxing onto the runway. I could see the pilot gently pushing the throttle forward to reach full power and my heart started to beat faster. When you feel that the speed is picking up, it is almost like your heart skips a beat and you stop breathing for a moment. The plane was shaking a bit because of the wind, but after a minute or so, it was completely stabilized.. and what a view…. such an awesome perspective! I was happy! The views were absolutely breathtaking, the anxiety and fear had disappeared and i was simply left with joy and excitement.
So folks, flying on a single-engine aircraft to a tropical island in the Indian Ocean is checked off my bucket list. I hoped for the best, and that’s how you do in Africa.