ryu2
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2002 8:18 am

Flying Over African Airspace

Tue Jul 31, 2001 5:42 pm

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?

Very curious  Smile
 
jwenting
Posts: 9973
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2001 10:12 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Wed Aug 01, 2001 7:52 pm

If what you say is true, it is most likely similar to long overwater flights, with the added bonus of SAMs and light aircraft  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
I wish I were flying
 
SA-JET
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 7:51 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Fri Aug 03, 2001 7:48 am

Ryu2
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.
 
SQ325
Posts: 1274
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 7:54 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Fri Aug 03, 2001 7:54 am

In some regions the Pilots are speaking to each other, and cordinating there approaches. No Joke!!
 
XXXX10
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Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2000 7:10 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Mon Aug 06, 2001 8:20 pm

I have heard that it is very difficult flying over large sections of Africa

Not only is there no radar coverage but it is sometimes impossible to contact atc.

There have been reports of pilots flying for thousands of mile without talking to a single controler,

I think that a special VHF frquency is used to maintain seperation
 
julesmusician
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:25 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:06 am

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  Smile

J

[Edited 2005-11-09 22:08:24]
African Civil Aviation Commission president "You don't want to fly out as a passenger and come back as cargo."
 
411A
Posts: 1788
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2001 10:34 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:13 am

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.
 
julesmusician
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2005 3:25 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:45 am

Amazing that we are not yet able to broadcast GPS co-ordinates through satellite to a control centre for them to keep an eye on it - and what would you do if you needed to land quickly?!
African Civil Aviation Commission president "You don't want to fly out as a passenger and come back as cargo."
 
ShyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:38 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:01 am

Quoting Julesmusician (Reply 9):
Amazing that we are not yet able to broadcast GPS co-ordinates through satellite to a control centre for them to keep an eye on it

We are! It is known as Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B). It was first tested in Alaska (Capstone Program) and is now in service there. The FAA is now deploying the necessary ground equipment along US East Coast, Arizona, and North Dakota.

I believe Austrailia is working on implementing the system for their airspace as well.

Though the current system relies upon ground stations to uplink traffic info to participating aircraft and ATC, I don't think using satcomm would be too much of a challenge, technology wise anyway.
I lift things up and put them down.
 
B777200
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 8:49 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:30 pm

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.

Greetings To All.
 
stirling
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Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:00 am

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Sat Nov 26, 2005 1:28 am

I heard flying over some parts of Africa...especially North Africa...has the same characteristics as ETOPS flying.

So not even satellite communications with base can be made from these flights? No Sat-Phones?
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sabenapilot
Posts: 2442
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2000 6:18 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:45 am

Indeed, when flying from Europe to central and South Africa, twins have to comply with all ETOPS rules as they are further than 60 min away from the nearest possible divertion airport...
 
wing
Posts: 1357
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 9:10 pm

RE: Flying Over African Airspace

Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:50 am

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"
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