African Adventure Part II Ethiopia & Kenya

Continuing from Part I... Following the first nine days in South Africa and Namibia, it was on to Ethiopia and Kenya for the final six days of the trip...


Now boarding Ethiopian Airlines flight ET808 from Joburg to Addis Ababa, operated by B777-200LR ET-ANO, take off was at 1455 for the 4.50 hour flight, landing at 2045L. After the not unexpected time and hassle to process the whole group through the airport (with visa on arrival etc), we then headed to the nearby Bole Ambassador Hotel, where we would be staying for the next two nights.


Starting with a visit to the Ethiopian Airlines headquaters here, we were able to photograph nice C-47A 'ET-T-1' displayed outside on the grass. Infact, this is a fake reg, representing the airlines first aircraft (which crashed on take off at Tippi in January 1962). This Dak being the former ET-AIA, was acquired by the airline in 1983 from Comair (ex ZS-IWL), before being retired by 1992 and later restored for display here. So, a good start being able to catch this, unfortunately the rest of the day was to be a major dissapointment here, after our arranged airside access was then to be limited, with no photography allowed. Leaving the 'spotters' to their little airside coach tour, with all camera gear left behind, we later returned to the hotel for the rest of the day... though there was then a 'private' plan to go chasing some shots of a classic old 'resident' here...

Located just to the East of the terminal, among several old derelict airframes, is former Kenya Airways B707-351B 5Y-BBK. This was w/o here in July 1989 after it overran the runway on landing, and remains here fairly intact (apart from the missing wings), still in full colours, though of course looking very old and dirty. Knowing this was well visible from the road next to the perimeter fence, we confrimed the location and arranged with the hotel shuttle bus driver to take a ride over there. On getting there, after a few nervous moments, a few reasonable shots were managed, along with some of similarly derelict Ethipoian Police Do-28D-1 EP-201. So, at least we had salvaged something from what had really turned out to be a waste of time coming to Ethiopia, managing to get some shots of probably the best old classic here, as we returned to the hotel for our final night.


With a mid-morning flight on to Kenya, there was a chance for a few shots of the national carrier after checking in. Ethiopian Airlines B737-700 ET-ALK, B737-800's ET-APF and ET-AQM, B757-200 ET-AMU, B767-300ER's ET-ALO ('Star Alliance' colours) and ET-ALP (50th Anniversary logo), B777-200LR ET-ANR and B787-8's ET-AOP, ET-AOQ and four months old ET-AOU were all photographed before departure, on ET302 to Nairobi operated by B737-800 ET-APM. On taxying out, a distant shot of the maintenance ramp, saw Gabon Airlines B767-200 TR-LHP (wfu in 2012) as well as executive B737-200 HZ-MIS of Sheikh Mustafa Edress (also thought to be wfu) parked up. Then, on take off, a shot was managed of two other old classics derelict here for many years, C-47B ET-AHS and C-47A ET-AJG (nearest in the shot). Both Dakotas last flew for Ethiopian Cargo (featuring different schemes) and are parked together, opposite the Kenyan B707 close to runway 25R. And so, off at 1035 our 1.50 hour flight was into NBO at 1225, with hopes that Kenya would be much more successful than the place we had just left...

On landing at Jomo Kenyatta International, there was certainly no shortage of very nice aircraft lying around, including several old classics wfu. However, apart from a couple of snaps from the window seat, would we be able to manage any more, better shots here? Unfortunately the answer to that was going to be no, with a mixed bag of great frustration here at NBO, along with great success at Wilson Airport, Nairobi's second, regional airport, where we would spend most of our four days in town. So, of the many tasty bits and pieces here, the few distant shots included the pair of derelict An-24's located towards the NW of the airfield, just opposite the touchdown point on runway 24, our arrival runway today. These are the very nice ex Interflight An-24RT 3C-ZZA in basic Aeroflot colours, along with camouflaged, former Somalian Air Force An-24B MM60204 (to the left in the shot), which was also abandoned here years ago. Then, on the main ramp further along on this side, a very nice selection of aircraft, mostly thought to be wfu, included Tristar 100 TZ-MHI, which had a very interesting recent hitory until being last operated by Sky Pearl Aviation, before being retired here around four years ago. Also here, were DC-8-63F 4R-EXJ of Fits Aviation (formerly Expo Air, as last seen in Malta one year ago) and B737-200 EY-534 of East Air, among other older stuff.

Taxying in, there was some more nice stuff parked around, though most escaped the camera, with shots of Kenya Airways ERJ-175LR 5Y-KYH and B737-700 5Y-KQH ('Skyteam' colours), Saudi Arabian Airlines A320 HZ-AS19, Beech 1900D 5Y-BZH of Air Traffic (all white with EU flag on the fin) and one of the short DC-9's here, DC-9-31 5Y-CDP of Sky Aero being managed from the aircraft and shuttle bus to the terminal. Again, once the whole group has transited through the airport immigration process (including a thermometer check for ebola), we eventually boarded our coaches for the ride to our hotel quite close by, the Airport View Plaza. This place was solely chosen for its view of the approach into NBO (though still quite distant), and certainly not for the quality of the place, which really was an experience! So, sitting next to an open window on the top floor area until dark, some distant shots included the following... Kenya Airways B737-700(WL) 5Y-KQE, B737-800's 5Y-KYB and 5Y-KYD, B787-8's 5Y-KZA and 5Y-KZC (delivered seven weeks earlier), ERJ-170LR 5Y-KYJ, ERJ-175LR 5Y-KYH, ERJ-190's 5Y-FFB ('Skyteam' colours), 5Y-FFE, 5Y-FFH, 5Y-FFJ, 5Y-FFK, 5Y-KYP and 5Y-KYQ, Kenya Airways Cargo B737-300(SF) 5Y-KQC, Jambojet B737-300 5Y-KQB, UN WFP Dash 8-100's 5Y-BXH and 5Y-IHO, UN ICRC Beech 300 5Y-CBX, Kenyan AF Fokker 70 KAF308, Rwandair CRJ-900ER 9XR-WI, Precision Air Services ATR-72-200 5H-PWB, Atlas Air B747-400F N496MC, Qatar Airways A320 A7-AHG, all white CRJ-100ER 5Y-CCL of Avmax Group Inc (ex Fly540), three months old Emirates SkyCargo B777-200F A6-EFN, USAF C-12C 73-1218 and last but not least Cessna 180 5Y-KNJ!


With very limited success at NBO, thankfully Wilson Airport was to be the saving grace for this first visit to Kenya. Although not the original plan, the remaining three days here would almost all be spent at Wilson, with ramp tours today, meaning this very interesting airfield would be very well covered by the time we left. Wilson is only seven miles to the West of NBO, and as well as being the main GA field for Nairobi, there are several 'commuter' type operators here, flying company and passenger services around the country and region. These include Airkenya Express, Fly SAX and Safarilink, as well as Blue Bird Aviation, who's services from here apparently include some 'discreet' operations. While at Wilson, our 'base' here would be the very nice Aero Club of East Africa, with its nice restaurant and garden overlooking one of the taxiways and nearby runways, being an ideal spot for photography. The traditional 'colonial' style feel here is very relaxed and friendly, with the added bonus of 'chalet' style accomodation on offer. Infact, after the hotel 'experience' last night, that was enough for me, and quickly grabbed the last room available here for the final two nights of the trip!

So, the first day here, covered pretty much the whole airfield over the course of the full day, with escorted ramp tours in the morning and afternoon, with other shots taken from the Aero Club garden. Then, with the light much better for shots later in the afternoon, a few Shillings for the security escort enabled another ('private') tour of the West side ramps, without all the group. Well worth it! Quite a list, the fantastic selection of aircraft here, starting with the bigger stuff, included the following which were all photographed...

Airkenya Express DHC-6-300's 5Y-BGH, 5Y-BIO and 5Y-PJP, Dash 7-100's 5Y-BMJ (derelict on the Southside of the airfield, with engines and other parts missing), 5Y-BMP (new colours, appeared active), 5Y-BPD (wfu with engines removed), 5Y-CDK (new colours, active), Dash 8-100 5Y-BTZ and Cessna 208B's 5Y-BZJ and 5Y-CCV. Blue Bird Aviation Dash 8-100's 5Y-VVP (all white) and 5Y-VVT along with Dash 8-400Q's 5Y-VVX and 5Y-VVY. Fly SAX Beech 1900C-1 5Y-BSS and Cessna 208B's 5Y-CAC and 5Y-NON. Safarilink DHC-6-300 5Y-SLF, Dash 8-100 5Y-SLD, and Cessna 208B's 5Y-SLB, 5Y-SLE, 5Y-SLG, 5Y-SLH, 5Y-SLI and 5Y-ZBI. Other Dash 8-100's were 5Y-BXB of Fly540, while operating for the UN were 5Y-BXI (WFP) and 5Y-CAU (ICRC), both of Aircraft Leasing Services, 5Y-DAC ('Echo Flight') and 5Y-WJF (-200 all white) of DAC Aviation East Africa, as well as 5Y-IHO (WFP) of 748 Air Services. Another very nice 'Twotter' was DHC-6-300 5H-KEG of Regional Air Services, while three old Friendships present were F-27-300M 5Y-BTD ex Imaatong South Sudan Airlines (derelict with engines removed, was previously KLU C-4), along with two ex Fly540 Uganda F-27-500CRF's, both still in basic MNG Cargo colours, 5X-FFD (ex TC-MBC, was w/o after being damaged in January 2011, when it overran the runway and went through the perimeter fence) and 5X-FFN (ex TC-MBD, pwfu with one engine missing). Two other Fokkers present, were Fokker 50's 5Y-SED (wfu after being ferried here from Maastricht on 13th September)and 5Y-SIB (all white, which arrived and departed) of Skyward International Aviation.

Other old prop stuff lying around included ATR-42-300 5Y-BUN ex Fly540 (wfu all white and engineless, with 'Wilken' logo), a nice pair of classic 'Budgies', with HS-748-2B's 5Y-CBI of Avro Express (all white) and S2-ADL, which is derelict in faded Zoom Airways colours (wfu at Dhaka in 2005, before arriving here in 2008). Registered to IAP Group (as VH-DQY, though never worn?), it arrived for work with 748 Air Services, but remained wfu and is now derelict with several parts missing. Smaller 'commuter' types included SD330-100 N330E of Win Win Aviation (all white, active), Do228-200's 5Y-BTU, 5Y-BUX, 5Y-CBJ and 5Y-CCD of Air Traffic, and 5Y-BRX, 5Y-BUV, 5Y-CDS (UN WFP) and 5Y-CES (delivered in July, ex LV-WTD of American Jet, now all white) of Kasas Ltd. Then, a couple of Brasilias were EMB-120ER 5Y-CEI of Air Traffic, and EMB-120RT 5Y-FAE of Freedom Airline Express. Also active was Saab 340B N703RS of Ram Air Services, as was very nice LET-410UVP 5Y-DAD of South Supreme Airlines, though not so 9Q-CIY, which is reportedly ex Safair, and is derelict with parts missing (and no reg worn).

On to the small jets present, six CRJ's were CRJ-100ER 5Y-CCT (all white) and C-FSJF (wfu, paint stripped with some parts missing, ex 5Y-CCC East African Safari Air) both of Avmax Aircraft Leasing, CRJ-100LR 5Y-JLI of Jetlink Express (wfu here since November 2012), CRJ-100PF 'CRJ Freighter' C-FWSC of Avmax Aircraft Leasing (stored engineless, later departed on 7th November to Calgary), along with CRJ-200ER's 5Y-CAR of Club Special (Avmax Aircraft Leasing, with 'Executive' titles) and 5Y-WWA of DAC Aviation East Africa (all white, ex Air Tanzania lease). Then, a total of five biz-jets photographed were Falcon 10 5Y-CAX of Kasas Ltd/Bluewave Aviation Ltd, along with four Cessna 550 Bravo's of Phoenix Aviation... 5Y-BYD, 5Y-MNG, 5Y-MSR (AMREF Flying Doctors) and 5Y-SIR. Cessna twin-props present included Cessna 402 5Y-BBV ex Directorate Of Civil Aviation (pwfu), Cessna 402B 5Y-UTD of ALS (wfu?), Cessna 402C 5Y-DNM ex Safari Air (pwfu) and 5H-ALL of Air Lynx (all white), Cessna 404 5Y-BGN of Superior Aviation Services (wfu, previously G-MSDS), and Cessna F406 5Y-BYX of East African Air Charters. Then, of course, many more Cessna Caravans, being very popular in Africa, included early 30 year old Cessna 208 9Q-CAU (00010) of MAF DRC (Mission Aviation Fellowship) and the following Cessna 208B's... 5Y-BOX and 5Y-EOC of East African Air Charters, 5Y-BUR of Royal Skyline ('Wilken' colours), 5Y-CCA of Mombasa Air Safari, 5Y-CDH and 5Y-MJA of Phoenix Aviation, 5Y-CEW of Tropic Air, 5Y-DRS of the Dept of Resources, Surveys & Remote Sensing, 5Y-ELO and 5Y-YWA of Yellow Wings Air Services, 5Y-ESU of MAF Kenya (Mission Aviation Fellowship), 5Y-ETY of Asure Air, very nice 5Y-FOR of the Kenya Forest Service Police, 5Y-GCA of Governors Aviation, 5Y-GOK of the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources, 5Y-LJM of South Flight Services, 5Y-MCR and 5Y-SOP of Aberdair Aviation, 5Y-MIC of MC Ross, 5Y-NXZ of Airworks, 5Y-OPM of Medecins Sans Frontieres/ZB Air, 5Y-PCS of AIM Air (African Inland Mission), 5Y-ZBE, 5Y-ZBG and 5Y-ZBX of ZB Air, 5Y-ZBL of 748 Air Services, along with 'foreigners' 5H-AAF of Auric Air Services and 9J-AAC of Proflight Zambia.

On to the Beech twin-props present, all white (ex UN lease) Beech 1900C-1's 5Y-BTG of Executive Turbine Kenya (wfu), 5Y-BVI and 5Y-DHL of ALS (Aircraft Leasing Services) were present, along with 'big top' Beech 1900D ET-ANE of Executive Turbine Kenya (wfu all white, ex 5Y-BSP). Beech 200's were 5Y-BPJ of Knight Aviation (wfu), 5Y-FDK and 5Y-TPA (AMREF Flying Doctors) and 5Y-RJA of Phoenix Aviation (previously Swedish AF), 5Y-NKI and 5Y-SJB (wfu) of Capital Airlines, and nice ST-SFS of Green Flag Aviation. Other King Airs were Beech 200C 5Y-BLA of Aircraft Leasing Services, Beech B200 5Y-FDE of AMREF Flying Doctors, and 5Y-ZBK of ZB Air, as well as Beech C90 N318F (reg canx June 2013) and Beech E90 5Y-CEF. Always good to see Islanders, two present were BN-2A 5Y-BBB of DESLOC (Desert Locust Control Organisation) and BN-2B 5Y-JON of Flightlink Air Charters, while other prop stuff included MU-2B 5Y-MUZ of Kasas Ltd, PC-12 5H-AHJ of SCI Ltd, P-68B 5Y-BCI of Varsity Air/Moi University (School of Aerospace Sciences), AC560F 5Y-NCF of Relief Transport Services and AC680FL 5Y-BCN of Intex Construction Ltd (both wfu), original 1968 built Pa-31 5Y-MAP of Photomap International (previously G-BBHB), Pa-31-350 5Y-ATJ and 5Y-ROH of Transworld Safaris, as well as 5H-SKT (pwfu), Pa-32R-300's 5Y-AZT of The East African Flying Doctors Service and 5Y-CFD (UK flag on the fin!), Pa-23-250 5H-GAP ex Gapco Ltd (pwfu, ex G-BADE) and Cessna 310R 5Y-BMH. Other interesting smaller stuff included DA-42MPP G-DMPP of Diamond-Executive Aviation, DHC-2 Beaver Mk1's 5Y-BCJ, 5Y-BCK and 5Y-BCL (stripped airframe, being rebuilt?) of the Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa, S2R-T34 Thrush Commander 5Y-BZM of Farmland Aviation, colourful Cessna A188B AgTruck 5Y-BID of Airspray (East Africa), while other 'tins' included Cessna U206F 5Y-LLJ of Campi Ya Kanzi Lodge, and 5H-DOG of Wildlife Preservation Trust, Cessna U206G 5Y-BSE of Governors Aviation, Cessna 206H 5Y-JHC of East African Air Charters, Cessna 210J D-EHCA, vintage Cessna 180's 5Y-KMO, 5Y- and 5Y-TBL, Cessna 150A 5Y-CAK of Skymax Aviation, Cub Crafters CC-18-180 'Top Cub' 5Y-JAR (a modified Pa-18 with huge tyres), 'original' Pa-18 5Y-KWY of the Kenya Wildlife Service, and Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat 5H-GTF.

Choppers present included Bell 407's 5Y-ETX of the Kenya Administration Police and 5Y-PKI, AS350B3's 5Y-HSN of Heliservices Helicopters, 5Y-FWE and 5Y-KUI, and Schweizer 269C 5Y-ZKM. Then, some of the highlights here were the Kenya Police Air Wing, with Mi-17P's 5Y-EDM (active) as well as 5Y-SFA, 5Y-STA and 5Y-UKW (all wfu, the latter covered with a tarpaulin). The PAW also had active Cessna 208B 5Y-GSU and Cessna 402C 5Y-KPF present, along with retired Cessna 310R's 5Y-PAW and 5Y-PAZ. Finally, great to catch some Kenyan AF action while here, with a pair of F-5's flying over fairly low in formation today. The single seat and two seat, both in camo schemes, went unidentified as unfortunately the one shot managed wasn't the best. The 20 or so F-5's in the Air Force are based at Laikipia Airbase, around 95 miles to the North of Nairobi. So, a great day here with such an impressive list of aircraft, the last two days of the trip would see more of these aircraft here, plus a few other additions...


So, additions over the last two days here included... 5Y-AUN Cessna U206F of ZB Air, 5Y-BNH Cessna 208B of Airworks (UN WFP), 5Y-BXH Dash 8-100 of Aircraft Leasing Services (UN ICRC, 5Y-CBX Beech 300 of Aircraft Leasing Services (UN ICRC), 5Y-CCJ Cessna 208 of Tropic Air, 5Y-CCS Dornier 228-200 of Kasas Ltd (UN WFP), 5Y-CCW Cessna 175, 5Y-CDL Cessna 208B of Airkenya Express, 5Y-EVG and 5Y-HLI AS350B2's, 5Y-JAI Beech 200 of Capital Airlines, 5Y-JHC Cessna 206H of East African Air Charters, 5Y-KWB Pa-18 of the Kenya Wildlife Service, 5Y-LEO Cessna 208B of Almanara (Beach Resort)/Safarilink, 5Y-MNJ AS350B2 of Excell Air, 5Y-PSH AS350B Police, 5Y-SLA Cessna 208B of Safarilink, 5Y-SXS Cessna 208B of Scenic Air Safaris, and one of the other Blue Bird Aviation Dash 8-400Q's, 5Y-VVW. Then, another Phoenix Air Citation, was their only Cessna 560XL, 5Y-WHB, with a few others being 5Y-XPA Cessna 208B of AIM Air (African Inland Mission), 5Y-ZMK Pa-34-200T (engine runs), and 'foreigners' N342EA Cessna U206G of AIM Air and 5H-PAY Cessna F406 of Tan Wings Aviation (engine runs). Finally, saving probably the very best until last, more Kenyan AF action here, was Mi-171E KAF1101 (marked 'No 4308' on the fin) visiting twice today (and overflying in between). One of only three in service, these are based at nearby Moi Airbase, around 5 miles to the NE of here.

And so, at the end of a memorable trip, first flight on the way home just after midnight on Saturday 27th, was QR1342 from NBO-DOH. Operated by A320 A7-ADC, departure was at 0110, landing 4.35 hours later at 0545. Then, connecting on to QR1150 to DMM operated by A330-200 A7-ACJ, take off was at 0825 for the short 35 min flight, arriving at 0900.

More pictures to follow...