WEDNESDAY * 24 MAY 2006
Cebu, Philippines - Taipei, Taiwan
980NM * 7:18 Hours
We received from FSI the flight plan and the wind condition reports. The weather forecast was not yet complete.
We were still missing the actual weather charts and satellite photos from the local handling agent for the upcoming leg .
We received them at the airport and decided to start for Taipei.
An enormous thunderstorm zone started to build up again over the Philippines (and later during te flight, they covered a large part of the horizon).
Ms. Fanny, the handling agent in Taipei called us as we were still on the apron in excellent english.
We were advised that we would only get our avgas there if we would pay the already mentioned additional delivery cost (see our 22 May report).
No money - no fuel (one must take into consideration that the total handling costs in Taipei were paid already through bank transfer as we were still in Darwin) very simple - how could we resist such a kind demand ;-)
She told us nevertheless that FSI in Karlsruhe had also communicated with them that we would pay all additional extra costs per credit card.
It was nice, if somebody else had us in such a way, against our written instructions.
We ordered the fuel cars under expressed reservation. Someone made a mistake two days ago creating this situation. Not from us, but if we did not
find a practicable solution for the moment - we could either remain in Cebu (ooh - gladly), or we set the aircraft in Thailand open-end (ooh - less gladly).
However, we first have to refuel the aircraft out of two barrels at Cebu airport’s hot apron. It lasted more than an hour using the hand pump.
The leather filter provided by the local crew took it task seriously and was not usable anymore after a few minutes in service. No avgas could flow through due to a lot of dirt.
We used our own filter coming from the marine supply shop in Germany. Enormous amount of dirt and fine suspended matters “lived” inside those barrels. I have not experienced this before. We must clean the filter in minute-intervals so that something could still flow through. The flight would probably not last long without using filters by refuelling. The Filipinos helped us patiently. They protected themselves from the sun with headcovers while I started getting my labourer’s suntan.
We got airbourne. (This also means - we freaked out - in german.)That was meant naturally purely aeronautical.
We were extremely relaxed in the aircraft and full of expectations.
We had much luck with the weather for the time being.
Many airliners requested over the radio for course deviation due to scattered thunderstorms. A giant block stood this time over Manila - the country’s capital in the biggest island of Luzon, which transformed our screen into a small sea of beautiful
X-indications. The bear danced there. Three airliners crossed our way in direct proximity - of course sufficiently graduated from us and monitored by appropriate agencies.
Further in the north we must fly far to the sea to circumnavigate the tropical thunderstorms.
The weather was fantastic after leaving the island world. But on the horizon the next colossus stood rather exactly over Taiwan. Luckily its center
did not hung above the airport, but its offshoots brought us a genuine instrument approach.
Short of the so-called decision height, we emerged briefly in the rain and with poor visibility, from the clouds.
Markus delivered a real good approach. Those moments demanded full concentration in flying .
We were welcomed effusively by a ten-men crew on the ground. We were the first small aircraft in this category to land here. Photos were made
from both sides. The much mentioned avgas truck was there! The elderly crew seemed not to be familiar with this vehicle. After long bemoaning and experimenting, the fuel flowed into our tanks.
A hotel was found through one of the desks at the airport terminal. No trace of the friendliness we enjoyed in the Philippines.
It was relatively loud and somewhat rough. It gave the impression that here was not the heart of the asian friendliness. But it was interesting.