Sunday, February 21, 2010

Search and rescue continued...

Mike eating pizza from the plane...

(Search and rescue continued...)
Below us the lights of Victoria made for a pleasant change to the usual lightless overflying of the Seychelles capital. Given different circumstances we might have allowed the beauty of this to penetrate our minds - for now we were focused on making contact with X-ray Lima. Mick and I were both feeling the tension and as if rehearsed we passed underneath a very large and dark cloud. Rain was starting to fall from it but we were on a mission to get to Beau Vallon bay and establish if Mike and Evelyn were reachable by radio or if the float plane was perhaps parked on the waters edge by a nearby beach. Mick covered his face from the sting of the rain drops while I took over control. We were hurtling along at 50mph - a fast speed for the microlight. We were also racing against daylight hours.

Once past the town and over the Beauvallon bay are we scoured the sea side while I called on the radio, November, X-ray, Lima this is Eco Pappa Eco, do you copy... while we waited in anxious moments.

Nothing. I tried not to think of the possibilities but it was clear that the control tower did. It was also clear that the other pilots on air did so too. Everybody was waiting for that one radio call.

Then the tower called. Everybody listened. "November X-ray Lima what is your position now?"
That means they must have heard from them. "Roger November X-ray Lima report left base three one..."

"Eco Pappa Eco yo may return to the airport call next right down wind three one and thanks for your help."

Mick and I turned back to the runway. We were happy. Everybody was happy. It was even darker and we had to fly under that big dark cloud with the rain again. But the lights of Victory were so beautiful.

Of course, Mike had done nothing wrong but we did what we felt we had to. Everybody did.

It was a long but good day.

Wish you were here!

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