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Piper Malibu Jetprop from Kansas to Kruger

Most Malibu converted to Jetprops are offered in the USA. Jack a South African pilot found his aircraft in California. The normal procedure is a pre-purchase inspection that in our case was done in HUT Kansas.

The most dominant feature on the Jetprop DLX is the powerplant. 560SHP are turning the prop. (here the old style 'paddles')

The new owner needed flight time and experience in his plane and we decided  to do the ferry flight together.

Little ahead of schedule we went to visite some friends of the owner. Only we had to go 500NM west, in the opposite direction. But with the Jetprop is was easy to justify, done in 2 hours and with 70Gal Jet A1.

Over the Denver airport to the Rocky Mountains.

Our first stop Vail. (this is not the terminal building only the FBO)

We stayed overnight and did some sightseeing the next day.

Late afternoon we continued, happy to get into our pressurized vessel. The previous night we spent at 11000' hotel room pressure. The Piper cabin is giving 10000 feet in level flight. (some countries require Oxygen for flights above 10000' when longer than 30min ? :-) 

Destination Winnipeg Canada, landing just at sunset.

the following day we had to fly from Winnipeg via Timmens (650NM, refueling and for a quick lunch stop) to Goose Bay (900NM). Enroute is Warbush known for the mining industry.

The last 20NM VFR low level. The Military trainers in this aria would consider this fairly high but going below the radar was not our intention.

Another day setting out to cross the Atlantic.

Departure early morning from Goose Bay Canada CYYR.

to Greenland, distance 670NM routing LOACH - N59W050 - SI to BGBW The part over water is around 500NM. Before reaching the Narsassuak airport that lies at the end of the fjord we passed the town of Narsak that has no airport itself. It is linked to the rest of the world by helicopter or small ships via Narsassuak.

Along the Fjord 30NM inland is the airport. Supply comes with a cargo ferry when the water is not frozen.

Jet fuel is stored in large Tanks, it is cheap and readily available.

The landscape of Southern Greenland is breathtaking. But the mountains around the airport rise immediately to 4/5000 feet.

but the Jetprop has no problem with this terrain and the 2000'/min climb rate is very comfortable.

good to have a PT6 turbine engine here!

The second leg of the day to Iceland is 665NM routing
N62W040  N63W030  EMBLA  RK  to BIRK.

Overnight was in Reykjavik arriving in heavy rain.

From there the next stop is Wick EGPC in northern Scotland.

Far North Aviation is doing the service, fuel and charging the landing fees. Attention the IFR approach cost extra ! 10£ if you do not chancel :-)

Ready for Africa the next stop still in Europe was Dubrovik in Croatia.

and followed by a short fuel stop in Iraklion on Crete.

100 000L fuel in two trucks all for our little Jetprop. We sipped 240L what a business.

After Crossing the Med we headed for the Egyptian Desert. Not a lot out there.

This changes dramatically when approaching the Nile. The river is giving live since thousands of years. The Temple proof this.

Luxor is the tourist destination and we stopped here too. Most of the 5Star hotels are build directly along the river. Here the Sheraton that offers good pilot rates.

Being where the tourist are, we too enjoyed some attractions, only we had to rent the ship after-hours, the ordinary customers went to their rooms already.

Our captain handled the sail and ship alone, very impressive. He offered us a 5 day sail cruise to Aswan 200km upstream on his boat the Nile Smile.

normally Agate Christy followers are using one of the hotel ships.

We prefer air travel and from Luxor to Djibouti we had the longest leg of the whole ferry trip. 1100NM; in FL290 with 23Gal/h flow landing with 35Gal reserve, very comfortable.

Quick turn around in this French Colony. Nothing special or worth a photo. Jack went to the airport (tower) toilets. He decided never to stop there again.

the day was already long and the second leg with 900NM added to it. The destination Mombassa, Kenya.

Landing at night and tank-off very early. No time to enjoy the White Sands beach resort. Luckily we had a CD player and even better a DVD for the passengers. Instead of them one of us went to the clubseating and stretched out watching a movie. The other watched the progress on the Garmin 530.

The next fuel stop was Lilongwe. Never heard about it before? It is the capital of Malawi ! We only found it with the help of our GPS Navigator. Doing 251kts speed over ground with a 20kts cross wind (see the little white arrow in the lower right corner)

What a tower and airport building, all for us alone. A very friendly place only the overflight/landing clearance was a problem, the published Fax and SITA contacts are wrong. But after our office called everybody from the tower controller (who is not responsible but had some more new phone number) to the Minister of transport (who felt responsible but did not know who might issue the clearance) we finally got the needed number by phone from ....?  somebody. That's Africa 

After refueling, the fees paid (around 50$ Nav/landing) and a visite to the toilet (very clean, probably because never used) we headed for Livingston, the town named after the fames explorer.

We were happy to see the fuel truck that pulled up just after we shut down our turbine. There was a Jet-fuel and Diesel shortage in Zambia but we had confirmed our fuel before. During flight we were studying the pilot handbook what has to be done if tanking Avgas.

We arrived early and we continued our river touring habit. After the Nile now on the Zambezi River. The ship called the African Queen runs for a two hours sunset cruise.

included in the fair are drinks and a light snack. 45$ for a great time watching elephants, a rhino and plenty of hippos

and as the name of the cruise said, the perfect sun set.

The morning sun rise was beautiful too, but the large breakfast buffet presented next to the hotel pool was waiting for us.

Why we went to Livingston? It's an adventure tourist place. Safari, Quads Rafting, Ultralights, etc.  

But what comes next after flying Jetprop?

a helicopter ride in the Zambezi canyon.

and visiting the Victoria Falls.

traveling in style, the helicopter landed next to our aircraft.

In the rotor-wing we were passengers now it was our turn flying the Malibu over the waterfall.

(It's the dry season and the water level is very low)

From Livingston we flew over Botswana south and to our final destination Kruger National airport South Africa.

Ones arrived home, we wanted to see how the aircraft will do it's new job.

The Jetprop on the job.


there is this 300 000$ PT6 engine with a risk of sucking in foreign objects
the four bladed hot prop with little clearance
the fragile looking undercarriage

Can the Malibu Jetprop deliver what the owner bought it for ?

Flying from a large city airport, climbing over the weather, giving passenger comfort, bridging 500NM with a speed of 250kts or more and then landing in the bush on runways that seams to be made for a C185.


the inertial separator (ice door) is open
struts and tires inflated to specification
  the use of reverse thrust is avoided
the CG more to the rear limit

but still pilot technique is making a difference

turning the plane only on a stone pad with min. power or by using a tow-bar
slowly acceleration and adding more power as the speed is building up.
performing a short and soft field take off technic

We are in a hot and high condition and at least the runway length is adequate. 

Why to go to places like this?

Safari, seeing wild animals and visiting the lodges around the Kruger National Park and all over southern Africa.

The tourist industry becomes big business in South Africa and visitors get the highest luxury possible out in the wilderness. Inspecting the Lodges is now the routine job of the Malibu Jetprop DLX.

the salon of one of the private houses of the lodge

the Landover prepared with safari seating is the standard transportation

going back to Jo'burgs Lanseria airport

next taking a car and driving to Johannesburg International airport.
From then on comes the bad part of every ferry flight; going home with the airline in the back of the cabin.


© MMIG46 e.V.