Dan's Story

A special review from Dan Roberts, friend and honourary G.A.S.E. volunteer.

  

" I had been to Egypt a long time ago. I stopped with Eddie Gould, having met him in the UK before he made the leap to live in such a fabulous and exciting country. I couldn't wait to get back out there and see how he and Ahmed Hassan Mohamed and of course Eddie's partner, Anthea, were getting on with the creation of G.A.S.E.

Dan sets up home from home in the G.A.S.E. guest room. 

 

After I had landed and had a cold one. we got to talking about the hosting packages and what Eddie and Ahmed had been doing. It sounded so exciting and adventurous that when they suggested that I come along to see what they did during Ross Edmondson's trip I couldn't resist. The amount of work that led up to Ross' arrival was staggering. Eddie and Ahmed were in communication with Shuttle buses, finding the right kind of jerrycans to allow the refuelling to pass without any issues and of course in constant dialogue with Egyptian aviation agencies.

 

 

Sourcing Mogas on the Cairo Ring Road!

 

The morning of the first trip out to October Airport (HEOC) was for G.A.S.E. to meet Ross and his party on arrival with food (Cheeseburgers and fries), refreshments and fuel for the next part of their journey to Luxor. We left Sheraton in the morning in a specially hired Cairo Airport Shuttle bus, keeping an eye out for an outlet selling suitable fuel (95 octane) en-route. Finding a suitable Shell petrol station on the ring road Ahmed spoke to the station manager and we were allowed to fill our jerrycans with enough fuel (175 litres) for Ross' aircraft, a Maule MXT-160, which we loaded into the back of the bus and continued around the outskirts of Cairo to October Airport to meet our intrepid travelers.

Ahmed looks happy enough to sit at the back with 175 litres of fuel over his shoulder!

 

On arrival at the airport Ahmed's work began, making calls and filing documents for the journey Ross was making. This meant non-stop conversations on the phone in Arabic and running in and out of offices all over the terminal building. In the blazing heat of the desert we waited and soon the speck in the sky came along and we were able to continue with the work.  

Ross and crew arrive at October

 

On the group's arrival we were able to walk out and greet them on the apron. With a bag of food and beverages available and fuel waiting, we took a moment to relax and discuss the plans with Ross and his passengers whilst a pre-arranged visit from an Egyptian aircraft engineer helped Ross out with an artificial horizon issue that had arisen before arriving in Africa.

After a nice cool, air conditioned break, Eddie and I gathered the jerrycans from the bus and aided with the refueling whilst Ahmed arranged the flight plans with the tower and appropriate aviation agencies. 

There really is only one place to find shade on October's apron.

 

Once our work was completed we saw Ross and his crew off on the next part of their journey to Luxor and then we returned to Cairo and began arranging things for their return two days later.

Once again, two days later, the bus, food, beverages and fuel was arranged and this time a flight plan was filed for a flight from October Airport to Cairo International! 

It was a long hot walk from the termianl at October out to the Maule, a walk I did many times.

 

Similar to the last journey we left Sheraton, gathered the fuel on route and arrived with time to spare. This time, after refueling the Maule in the scorching sun of the desert, we took two of the group (Annie and Juan) back to Cairo in the shuttle bus whilst Ahmed got the flight of his life, thanks to Ross, who allowed Ahmed to join him on the flight to Cairo International. 

 Me with Eddie, Annie, Ross, Juan and of

course, the Maule.

Ahmed prepares to fly in the Maule

 to Cairo whilst we go by bus! 

We then separated for a few hours before we met back up for a pre-arranged trip to the Khan El Khalili for some Egyptian ambience and a generous meal at a nice restaurant where we got the chance to socialise and find insights into each others future plans. I have to say a thank you at this point to Ross for collecting the bill that evening and what an evening it was.

Going by the grin I think Ahmed may be looking forward to his first GA flight to Cairo. 

 

Many a chuckle and a good story was passed between us as we also arranged plans for the next day and Ross and his party's return to Europe.

The following morning the crew split up as Ross and Annie were to fly the Maule north to Cyprus and Juan had to leave on a commercial flight and with the assistance of Ahmed were able to get from their hotel to the two different terminals at Cairo International and have all the required documents in place for a pleasant journey home.

With Ahmed and Ross of into the

wild blue yonder,

we are left alone on the October apron. 

Annie and Juan enjoy the comfort of

our shuttle bus as we drive them back

to their hotelk in Cairo.  

The work that went into the arrival, the assistance at the airport and the fluidity of the few days I experienced with them allowed me to see the extra effort that G.A.S.E. have and will go to to make any planned trip smooth and entertaining. An extremely "Well Done" Eddie and Ahmed and indeed, Anthea in the background. What you guys do is utterly phenomenal.

Thank you for the chance to see it all happen.

Daniel Roberts." 

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