The least of our time we’re spending in Germany. If we are here we stay with our twin daughters who are living close to Bamberg/Bavaria (Southern Germany) in a rented house where we have an own apartment beneath the roof.

The preparation time for the different flight tours varies between two to six weeks including the personal applications for all visa and all the vaccinations. As many countries in Africa are political very unstable a long planning phase should be avoided. Permissions for Africa and Asia were obtained by Hadid International Services, Damascus/Syria,

The time schedule and routing is always personally done without any electronic aids. Low Altitude Enroute Charts as well as Approach and Departure Charts are used from Jeppesen. For VFR-flights within Africa we had 3 maps from Michelin, scale 1:4.000.000. You could use ONC-charts, too. But then you need over 50 maps and according to the weight this is nearly impossible. But you will need them for South America when you have to cross the cordillera. The old fashioned manual work is worthwhile because a correct routing is worked out and you feel safe. For North/Central/South America we changed the handling agent for obtaining the permits. It was the FSI in Baden-Baden/Germany,

For safety reasons we participated a course “Flight over the North Atlantic with a small aircraft” which was held by Hans Schäfer, in the meantime a good friend of us. We also attended a survival training with the German Marine Pilots in Nordholz which was arranged by the AOPA-Germany.

Many friends recommended to buy a Laptop for our America tour and we did it. But such a purchase is only useful when you’ll get an internet connection.

Where ever possible we try to manage everything by ourselves, i.e. self handling at the airports to save money. After arrival we never know where we’ll sleep as a hotel reservation will not be done in before. Despite of our time schedule we would not risk a flight under extreme bad weather conditions. So usually after leaving the terminal we’ve to ask several people where we can find a hotel in the city center to make sightseeing by walking around. Our experience, the best contact persons are taxi drivers.

To meet people, learning about the different countries and nature we rent a car wherever possible and are driving quite a lot. Flying is great but we want to explore the earth from ground, too.

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Ralf & Marga Hannemann, 2011