Ryu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 482 posts, RR: 0 Posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5339 times:
Could someone with experience share what it's like to fly over Africa? I read that most of the African continent has no radar coverage, is that true?
Are there special navigation/communication procedures? Is there a center you talk to on HF, like oceanic crossings, and give position reports? Or is it basically everyone radio their positions to each other, over a common VHF air-to-air freq?
SA-JET From South Africa, joined May 2000, 297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (12 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5267 times:
I'm no tech expert, so this might not be quite what you want. In sub-saharan Africa only the following countries conform to ICAO radar/communication procedures: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Flights between SA and Europe rely on each other (the aircraft) to provide position reports, and all SAA 747 aircraft are installed with collision avoidance systems due to the lack of control. If I remember correctly South Africa is thinking about establishing a continent wide tracking system. Bottom line: very little control, it's up to the pilots to relay position to other aircraft.
Julesmusician From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5128 times:
If you are flying over Africa and non radar covered parts if I am right you are given a time to be along a certain part of an airway. Who do you contact if no one can see you if you need to divert or want to change course due to weather? And if there are no radar facilites are there radio receivers to hear you?
I have restarted the topic because things might have changed in the last five years, and anyway the answers were not very conclusive to say the least - so any experts please
411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5122 times:
126.90 is used over Africa (except the Cairo and South African FIR's) for aircraft to aircraft separation/information but, oddly enough, there is good VHF coverage across central Africa, and the IFR separation is normally 10-15 minutes between aircraft at the same or converging levels.
It generally works OK.
All crews on these sectors know the procedures, and follow 'em to the letter, in my experience.
B777200 From Zambia, joined Aug 2005, 30 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 4530 times:
I once had the chance of talking to a British Airways aircrew when flying to London Gatwick from Lusaka, Zambia, about 4 years ago. I was told that flights going North fly at even-numbered flight levels, e.g. FL 32, 34, 36, 38; while flights heading South fly at odd-numbered flight levels, e.g. FL 31, 33, 35, 37. (Ot it could be the opposite, but I hope you get the idea). This rule was developed by the pilots and airlines themselves.
While I was in the flight deck, a Swiss Air flight then flew 1000ft above us -- I could see the aircraft right out the window. (It was a night flight) I first saw the Swiss Air flight about 10 minutes before it passed. Initially I thought it was a star, but the aircraft lights were too close to the horizon. The British Airways pilot also pointed-out the Swiss Air flight on the radar.
Wing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1552 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4338 times:
I spend some months flying around North and Central Africa when my previous company wet-leased our 737s to some carriers based in N.Africa.Yes there were no radar coverage we rely mostly on the position reports.Even at most areas VHF coverage is very weak and you have to use HF to comunicate.May not be the exact wording but the position reports as far as I remember was mostly like this;
"All stations,all stations,This is Air Algerie flight ... ,Southbound at FL ....,position .....,estimating ......point at .....(UTC),...... is next estimated at .....(UTC),This is AirAlgerie at FL....,southbound"