AN AVIATION ENTHUSIAST IN EGYPT

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15 Responses to AN AVIATION ENTHUSIAST IN EGYPT

  1. Ginger Gouin says:

    Do you ever get to go to the Paris airshow or any here in the USA? Do you ever want to go to airshows? I know some pilots who fly for a living that don’t even want to go to airshows, I don’t understand that. How can you fly for a living an not have a passion for aviation? Right? I do not know how you would gage or compare if you have not been here but do you know the differnce between flying in the USA and in Germany or France or Italy or Egypt for example? Is there a lot of difference?

  2. Phillip says:

    Whats going on in Egypt?

  3. Eddie Gold says:

    A few questions to answer there! So first of all I will answer Phillip and tell him what is going on in Egypt…from my perspective anyway. This is also for all those who have expressed concern for Anthea’s and my safety.
    Anyone who has watched the news will have seen the reports of the tragedy at the Port Said football match where over 70 fans were killed and how this led to massive demonstrations that turned violent over the following days. Well, those are the facts and the media reported the true happenings, but as in any newsworthy item, the extreme is shown more than the mediocre. What I mean by that is what I have been saying to friends and family and customers ever since the revolution last year. Yes, there are troubles and people are dying, almost daily, but – and this is a big but – where we live you would think it was happening in another country. Cairo is a very big city (20 million inhabitants) and the troubles are contained in a tiny area of the city around Tahrir Square and the government offices quarter. For the rest of the city and the vast majority of the country, life is going on as normal. That is not to say that the word ‘normal’ can in anyway be compared to ‘normality’ in western countries.
    We had a revolution last January and in February the dictator, Mubarak, was deposed. The revolution became one of the first of the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings and compared to say Libya and Syria, was quite successful without the massive loss of life seen elsewhere; still, nearly a thousand died for the cause of freedom and democracy. The revolution was generally classed as a youth revolution (although people of all ages took part) and this was because of the part social media played in the whole thing. It was even called the Facebook revolution at one stage, until the government cut the internet!
    Can you imagine not being able to see what your friends were posting on Facebook or being able to tend your fields on Farmville, no wonder the country went wild and were willing to die to get rid of the despotic regime that had kept the populace in relative poverty, with no hopes for a better life, for over 30 years!
    But…there’s that word again…to get rid of the despot and his cronies the people needed the backing of the army and they got it…and guess who took over the country following the fall of Mubarak? Yes, the military.
    Now, what happens when someone gets power? They want to keep it of course; and this is what happened with the military. The Generals running the country for the last year like being in power and will do anything to stay there. The educated minority could see this and felt that their revolution had been hijacked and so started demonstrating again, last November up to now.
    The militaries response? They went in hard and people died. The militaries answer? To blame it on foreigners/drug addicts/football hooligans or anyone who they could put up to be the ‘bad guys’, knowing that the uneducated majority believe whatever they are told to believe.
    They even let criminals out of Jail and paid thugs to cause chaos, showing that the country didn’t need democracy yet as they needed the military in these uncertain times (uncertainty created by the military).
    But the world was watching and the demonstrations made it clear that elections were needed and yes, they eventually got under way and remarkably, without any trouble or corruption. Or at least that is what was shown on TV. In fact there was coercion at polling stations, and there were anomalies in the counts and the candidates. It became quite silly (as an outside observer) to see that the illiterate still had a vote, but because they couldn’t read actually voted for a symbol. So you had a candidate who was a washing machine, another was a telephone or one who was a blender? OK, a good way to show who to vote for…maybe…but what are you voting for. If you can’t read are you voting for the manifesto of a party or because you always wanted a washing machine?
    Another travesty happened when the liberal, democratic youth and educated adults were busy fighting and losing their lives for freedom, behind the scenes the Islamist parties where spreading their own form of propaganda to the poor, illiterate, uneducated majority by giving them succor in the form of handouts and religious relief from their day to day suffering.
    This meant that after the revolution, the actual people who put the country on the road to freedom had forgot to do one important thing…organize themselves to take over government as a viable political force, but they didn’t which means that the well organized Islamists have taken the majority of the seats in the new parliament.
    Don’t get me wrong, the Muslim Brotherhood (the main Islamist party) is not Al Qaeda, they are and have been a force for good amongst the poor of Egypt. The only problem and this has been a problem through history, the party that needs the poor vote will not want the poor to better themselves, they need them to stay poor. But you can’t tell people that, they only think of where the next meal is coming from and if the guy who gives me a meal also wants my vote then yes he can have it.
    Is there any hope for Egypt?
    There is always hope and even under a Islamist government (if the military ever relinquishes power) they will have to deal with the rest of the world and even the guys at the top, in their ivory towers won’t be able to feed the poor if they lose foreign aid and scare away the tourists. It’s what they do to their own people that is the worry. But we live in hope and a cross party government would have been a better way to go for a few years.
    Is it safe now? Well I still go out; I am not bothered or harangued by anyone and feel safe to walk the streets…in certain neighbourhoods. But like any big city in the world, there are districts you wouldn’t go to and it’s the same here. We stay safe by being savvy and this gives us a perfectly normal life at the moment, or as normal for an old Brit living in Egypt can be, lol.
    Eddie 🙂

  4. Well, it is with the greatest of joy we finally get word from our colleague from Cairo Egypt Eddie Gold (I started to say “Sir” Eddie Gold, but in this day and times you never know what may cause troubles in a foreign land like Egypt, huh?) :)… Anyway all smart alec-ness aside we are glad you and Anthea are alright my friend. We have had countless hundreds calls and emails asking of your welfare and we had nothing but hopes to offer… Knowing first hand how the world news media works and operates I do understand how they gravitate to the epicenter of trouble spots which makes it appear as if it is mass coverage of a whole geographic area and very misleading, when wide angle shots could be more truthful and telling of the right story. Alas, but lass sensational right? Well Eddie, Old Britts, Old Yanks, Old Southern Gents, we are all a dying breed anyhow, don’t ya think ole man? The “New Breed” the “Baby Boomers” all The “Tattoo Grannys” and the “Rapper Grapper Wanna Be’s” and all the new fangled generation whatever they are, may be taking over the world anyway. (I don’t know where I was going with that, it just came bubbling out)… 🙂 I quess what I am going on and on and on about is I am so damn happy you and Anthea are okay, and that you are back to your writing desk, I just could jump up and down… So lets pour about two fingers and say…. Cheers old mate !!! Welcome Back 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Eddie Gold says:

      Thank you JR for the welcome back. It’s strange how small things can mount up to keep you away from what you love doing, but…revolutions apart, I do have day to day tasks that must be done and these must still be completed in spite of any political situation going on outside my 4 walls.
      I do imagine myself, when I sit down to write, a bit like a Grahame Green character from one of his colonial type novels…a hack stuck at a typewriter, fan turning crazily on the ceiling, sweat pouring from my brow, with a stiff scotch on one side of the desk and a dirty Panama hat resting precariously on a 1940’s desk calendar, ready to fall once again into the trash bin that holds the many screwed up pages that didn’t quite read right, along with a dozen panatella butts and half a dozen empty spirit bottles.
      Then I return to reality as the air-conditioner kicks in, blowing a nice cool breeze over the keyboard and the nice people at Microsoft kindly tell me that there is a spelling mistake and did I mean to say ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. A quick check shows no sweat on my brow and the scotch turns into a freshly brewed mug of coffee. The 1940’s this is not but still…I AM living in a 21st century adventure story, aren’t I?
      The life of an ex-pat will always be a personal adventure, and I suppose the further away from what we know as ‘the West’ you go, the more the adventure becomes surreal.
      That is what this page will be about. Having been brought up in the west, then moving to a country like Egypt means that just about everything is new and wonderous in all manner of ways – good and bad.
      I have always said that each day, just looking out my window, gives me a big smile on my face for one reason or another and I regularly use the comment…’each day is a new adventure’…and I mean it, you never get bored here.
      Of course, this is because I am looking at my life in Egypt from a British point of view, and in no way am I putting a superior slant on anything I say. It is the differences in everything that makes the world a special place, not the similarities.
      I have opinions, about politics, faith and just about any thing else you can think of, but I will certainly not pass my opinions on as to what I think should or should not be the right way about anything…in the world of politics and religion I mean, but I will give my thoughts on such things as aviation rules, bad ideas in aviation or in a country where it compromises aviation and pilots and especially about anything that causes us at G.A.S.E. any problems, and seeing we regularly have to overcome problems for GASE to run smoothly, then expect some harsh criticism of certain authorities or organisations who make our lives difficult when all we want to do is make it easier, cheaper and more pleasant for pilots coming to Egypt.
      I may well have been a baby-boomer myself (?) although this was not such a big thing in the UK, but I was definitely a kid who grew up in Liverpool, at the same time as the Beatles were just getting going, so I can tell you that that certainly had an effect on my life.
      But my life story will be told in snippetts during the telling of my stories across the pages of this blog and the reader can make their (or is it there 😉 own minds up about me.
      What I can say, and this is definitely not political…I am honoured to be asked to write for this blog and whatever happens here in Egypt I can promise that my tales will still be gracing these pages for some time to come 🙂

      • I do know what you mean Eddie. In the same context I would suggest that you read a piece I wrote for http://Grubstreet.ca several years ago called aging is a state of mind, you will like it… over the years and now that I am old and re-“tired” (yet again) I have found my state of mind continues to change, and my priorities as well… I could easily become a recluse deep in the Himalayan mountains… with ony an Internet connection, a TV news connection, an airplane with a private landing strip, but no phone and of course all my books… Well… the more I think about it perhaps I cling to too many “Things” to be the “writer” recluse I invision myself… Oh hell, maybe I could escape to Egypt and join my friend in the the land of the Pharohs and he could teach me to be a wandering NOMAD? :)? I guess at heart and my imagination remains at a younger age than my old body allows… Well I’ll just pour another two or three fingers in the ole tumbler and throw it down, Cheers ole man!! Whatchathink!
        🙂 Oh yeah, one more question my friend that comes to mind. (or shouldn’t I ask?) Being so benevolent with your GASE services is good and very honorable, and maybe politically wise or nescessary right now, but can you share with us what the direction you would ulitmately like to see GASE take and what do you see as the end result of your vision? (Thanks for listening to this old geiser ramble on and on once again 🙂 🙂 ) JRH

  5. Eddie Gold says:

    Now it’s time to answer Ginger, who asked a number of questions about airshows and aviation in different countries.
    So first we will talk about airshows.
    Back in the UK I was an avid airshow goer. I would, at one time in my life plan my summer around the location of airshows, rallys and fly-ins.This would include small local flying club rally’s and GA fly-ins at small grass airstrips dotted around the British Isles all the way up to major international airshows like the RIAT at Fairford, the world’s biggest military show and of course, the British version of the Paris Salon…Farnborough. I went to the Paris Salon once and found it less friendly than Farnborough with generally the same aircraft and flying display. So it was always easier and more economic to make Farnborough the one major trade show I would go to. I would visit other trade shows around the country but these would be more type specific…heli-fest or the Microlight show would be genre specific and attended by people who loved that specific type of aircraft.
    My favourite events were always the ones were you were intimate with the aircraft (no, not in that way ;-). Fly-in’s and rally’s were ideal, especially if you could camp for the weekend or longer. I will be posting about these in my ‘Memories of an aircraft spotter’ pages and as you can imagine…aircraft, camping and village pubs can lead to some very interesting stories 😉
    Ginger asked why pilots wouldn’t want to go to airshows if they love flying.
    You would expect her to be right in that presumption but you also have to realise that there are two distinct types of flying. Flying for fun and flying for profit. That is of course a generalisation but as in all walks of life you may love your job but won’t want to take it home with you at the weekend. Or you will do your job because the rewards are good but in reality would rather be doing something else.
    Therefore I expect that there are pilots of commercial aircraft who became airline pilots for the rewards and actually would rather do anything on their days off than go flying. In reality I think these would be few and far between as I personaly think that flying/aviation is an addiction and even the most senior of pilots would need to get their fix whenever they can. It is also a fact that most airshow performers have benign airline jobs during the week. Listen to the commentator say…’so an so is demonstrating the aerobatic qualities of the Pitts Special and he is a 747 pilot during the week’…a definite addict 🙂
    So yes Ginger, I did go to many many airshows, including the big trade shows and I do think that the majority of pilots do, when possible, attend them too.
    Now, you asked about differences around the world in aviation.
    Have you got a month and I will list them, lol. Of course aviation differs around the world but mainly in rules and regulations. The formula for flight remains a constant wherever you are and the need to fly will always be there in the budding pilot whatever nationality he or she is.
    So what are the differences? If you take the USA as the home of flying you will know that there is a certain amount of freedom given to the general aviation pilot. VFR is possible across most of the country and airfields abound everywhere. Of course, a GA pilot in the USA who has not flown in another country (and I don’t mean Canada) will always feel hard done to because of the rules and regulations imposed by the FAA, but what they don’t know is that the rest of the world envies their freedom to fly and would love to have the same access to the sky they have.
    Generally, the ‘west’ is a lot more lenient towards GA than the rest of the world but in Europe, space is the main problem. In the UK there are hundreds of airfields on a very small island and the country also has many international airports and transcontinental air routes criss-crossing the length and breadth of the country. So the places a light aircraft can fly is limited, but there is a very acrtive GA scene. I expect this is similar for most of Europe.
    But what about Egypt? You would think that a country with masses of wide open spaces (the Sahara desert), VFR conditions nearly 365 days a year, with so much history and tourist destinations would be a mecca for visitng pilots flying their own aircraft. After all, it’s only 300 miles from Europe.
    Well you couldn’t further from the truth. There is almost no GA in Egypt. There is only one airfield that could remotely be called GA friendly (October Airport) and only 3 airports that have avgas. All flights must be flown at a minimum of 8.500ft (which means that after take-off you must circle within the airfield boundary until min FL reached) and cross country must be filed as either IFR or CVFR (controlled VFR). You must keep to the same airways as the airliners use and there is no low-level flying allowed…so no close ups of the Pyramids.
    There are no private flying schools, an Egyptian must either go to the government run Aviation Academy (mainly to turn out airline pilots and military pilots) or go abroad to learn how to fly.
    There are a few (maybe 3 or 4 ) flying clubs, but not in the sense we know from the west. Some of them do not even have aircraft and the ones that do have a motorglider or 2 that is shared between the members on flying days, maybe once a week or less, and the queue to go flying for 10 minutes is unbelievable.
    So you can see, there is a lot for us at G.A.S.E. to do to be able to turn the GA scene around in Egypt and of course with the political situation, nothing is certain, even whether GASE will still be here in a year. But we can hope for the best and continue trying to improve things and, as always, I will letting you all know how things are going, as they happen.
    Eddie

  6. Rico Garcia Commercial Pilot Philippines says:

    I fly for a Commercial Air-Cargo company out of Hong Kong and we have pilots that will not fly into Egypt because of the hassle and because of the high cost of bribes it takes just to survive and get out of the country without ending up in jail. I have flown in there one time and will never fly into cairo again. I am sorry but that place scares me and our crews argue much about the reasons not to bid on that route. Why is the grafe so bad there and why does the government allow it? Besides the outragous fuel prices, trariffs, taxes, fines and fees Air cargo companys can’t afford to fly into Egypt much less use it as a refueling point. That seems to be counter productive to any common sense revenue and commerce for any Government if you ask me. Why is that country so screwed up and against free trade and commerce? I don’t understand?
    Thanks, Rico Garcia Commercial Pilot Home Manila Philippines

    • Eddie Gold says:

      Thank you for your observations on cargo aviation in Egypt Rico, in fact they give a good idea of what we have to put up with and why we exist as a group trying to change things here. But before I answer to the best of my abilities, you do realise that we deal with General Aviation and some business aviation; commercial aviation is not part of our remit, In fact we would not be allowed to set up a company to handle commercial aircraft, passenger or cargo.
      You ask why the government allows the corruption to happen at the aiports. Well, I guess you haven’t been watching the news for the last year otherwise you would have realised that the corruption you talk about was not only sanctioned by the Mubarak regime but the Mubarak family and its cronies were actually the beneficiaries of any overcharging or coercion of funds versus threats.
      The fact that we had a revolution to get rid of corruption by the state would have worked if the ‘people’ had some idea of what to replace the old regime with. But the euphoria of the first days of the ‘New’ Egypt soon soured when it became clear that although the head of the serpent had been lopped off, the greedy underbelly was still in the driving seat, albeit in new positions. You would have the head of agency move to another and vice versa. None of them interested in aviation, just how much they could make for themselves. What was needed was a new broom to sweep clean. Put aviation professionals in charge of the aviation scene in Egypt, people who love flying, people who want to see Cairo and the other airports grow into international hubs with all the investments that that would bring to the country.
      But as you say, the activities of the people on the ground have actually put pilots and companies off from coming to Egypt. We have seen similar comments to yours from GA pilots who have visited Egypt once and then promised not to come back. At least in this area we are physically doing something about it, and G.A.S.E. has now made it much more easier and cheaper for GA aircraft to come to Egypt and enjoy this amazing country.
      One of the main problems with the old way the country was run, and in reply to your question about free trade, is that the country (in the guise of Mubarak and his regime) didn’t need to have free trade, aviation hubs, international partnerships or even a home based aviation industry…why? Because with a 3 billion dollar a year aid package from the USA, that went straight into the regimes pocket, there was no need to improve the country, it didn’t matter what the normal people wanted as long as the regime and its cronies were doing all right out of it, and of course, this meant that the people in charge of the various sections of society were also on the payroll and to make sure their lackeys had enough money so they wouldn’t revolt, they would allow them to coerce visitors for extra money and this would be anyone in a ‘position of authority’ from airport management down to the guy on the gate.
      The revolution should have stamped this out and it is true to say that in some areas this is the case, but seeing most of the big agencies that deal with aviation are still government run (nepotism at its worst) then the overcharging and downright corruption will still leave a nasty taste in a pilots mouth. Luckily we work in GA and there isn’t enough money to be had by the thieves for them to bother too much and if you use GASE then we can certainly promise a corruption free visit.

  7. Eddie Gold says:

    In a reply to one of my replies, JR asked a good question…
    “Being so benevolent with your GASE services is good and very honorable, and maybe politically wise or necessary right now, but can you share with us what the direction you would ultimately like to see GASE take and what do you see as the end result of your vision?
    I will try to answer, what at first seems an easy question, to the best of my abilities.
    But first in reply to your first suggestion in that reply, of course we would love you to come and visit us in Cairo, although living as a nomad may not be a good idea, I am sure we can show you a fantastic time that most tourists never get to experience.

    OK, I will answer the question by first describing why we have to do things the way we do.
    The problems with setting up any kind of business in Egypt are the rules concerning foreign interests. I could only set up a business as long as I have an Egyptian partner in the business and also must employ Egyptians unless there is a job that Egyptians can’t do. Not a problem in theory seeing that co-founder Ahmed is Egyptian and our work force consists of just the two of us, but that is ok as long as we are just volunteers. To go commercial would take about 2 years at least to get the permits to run the business through the legal system. During this stage other similar businesses would have the chance to block our application and seeing the established handling companies are government run or at least answer to the government in the guise of the ECAA, and then we would expect to be bogged down in the legal system forever. Of course, this would become an expense we couldn’t afford.
    You can add a few other reasons to this scenario…I have no work permit…Ahmed already works for an airline in Egypt…we love doing it anyway, payment or not.
    But as you suggested, this way of things can’t last forever.
    Most businesses have a 5 or 10 year plan but here in Egypt we can’t ‘plan’ past tomorrow because of the state of affairs with the country. It is a distinct possibility that G.A.S.E. may not exist this time next year, not because we want to give it up but because the ‘New Egypt’ may end up being run by political parties that may be detrimental to our cause, especially some parties who would like to see foreigners kept out of everything or even banished!
    Hopefully it will never get to this but there are so many uncertainties at the moment that we can’t plan ahead as a business, although we do plan ahead where our visiting pilots are concerned. In fact we are working with a number of pilots due over the next few months and even a circumnavigation flight due here in November.
    But let’s say that everything ends up rosy, political wise.
    Then we can put our ideas into action, ideas originally thought up 2 years ago after we saw firsthand the state of General Aviation, aviation rules and aviation hobbies in Egypt.
    Our aims are to open up aviation to the man (or woman) in the street. To let anyone, with the ability, to be able to learn to fly for fun and not have to go through a government run agency. This would mean making it possible for private flying schools to be set up as well as the arrival of many more GA aircraft, possibly through group ownership or flying club rentals.
    On top of this we would like the rules concerning General Aviation to be relaxed so that VFR flying would be a reality and for much more airspace to be opened up to private flying; at the moment all aircraft have to keep to airways and fly IFR or CVFR.
    For heaven’s sake, the country is massive, there are millions of square miles of open desert that would be ideal for VFR flying but it is all closed due to ‘military activity’. I think if all the worlds military aircraft came to fly here there would still be plenty of space left to allow a few Cessna’s and Piper’s enjoy some low level flying.
    As I have mentioned before, there is only one airfield that could in any way be described as GA friendly and that is October. We would, sometime in the future, hope to bring GA status to a number of other airfields, which would of course mean getting Avgas made available there. (One dream we have is to have entry airport status given to October to save money on unnecessary arrivals away from Cairo)
    Amongst our other ideas are having more airshows, fly-ins and air-sports events here…which wouldn’t take much seeing there are none to be had at the moment! A few aviation organizations around the world have already contacted us to see if we could do something along this line.
    We would also want the extortionate fees charged to GA pilots to be abandoned for a more reasonable cost equivalent to that in Europe; at the moment GA aircraft are generally charged as if they are airliners, with only small differences being made for their size, that is unless you use G.A.S.E. who have arranged a substantial discount for GA pilots at Egyptian airports with completely free handling and no charges at October.
    Our other main aim is to open up aviation as a hobby to the aviation starved enthusiasts of Egypt. Just go around Cairo and try and get an aviation magazine or book, no chance. It’s as though the authorities have tried to brainwash everybody into thinking that aircraft other than airliners don’t exist.
    Aircraft spotting is a hobby enjoyed by many hundreds of thousands around the world but treated as spying here? How ignorant can you be when you think that any information on any aircraft/airfield/air force is already there at your internet-fingertips?
    Who knows, this may all come to pass, and because we have taken those first steps for the ‘cause’ then maybe others will take up the banner and move the wonderful world of Egyptian aviation enthusiasm into the 21st Century. All I can say is ‘watch this space’ and give us your backing by ‘liking’ our page on Facebook. The more followers we have the bigger our voice.
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/General-Aviation-Support-Egypt-GASE/135337376559321?sk=info

  8. Thanks for all the info Eddie. I like reading your posts as I know everyone else does. I have hundreds of emails when you are absent for any time at all. Just so you know, when you don’t post for several days our readership falls about 50%. Perhaps I should not say that in front of the whole world, but I have yet to hide anything from our readers.
    By the way, we have counted 36 countries represented that have registered hits on our blog since you have started your blog. So you are good for us and we are good for you.

  9. Eddie Gold says:

    Hi JR, a quick note to let you know that after a short spell of illness followed by a hectic week of arrivals I can now say that I am almost back to normal (if you can call what I do normal). Hopefully I should be adding part 2 of the G.A.S.E. review on to the blog tomorrow and I have a number of other stories lined up for the near future. My apologies to all the readers for my absence, but that is the way of things here…a month or 2 of boredom and then everything happens at once, and sods law, you get ill when it does.
    We did get to handle our first jet last week! An Embraer 135 on a ferry flight to Australia with a party of 9 on board! But they were grateful of our services and we were able to uncross our fingers as soon as they left the next day! A number of firsts for us…jet – Cairo international arrival – more than 3 on board – a bigger bus had to be found…all great fun 😉
    So keep a look out tomorrow for the next post, it’s written already, just mneed to sort the photos and then get it onto the page. Glad to be back 🙂

    • Terrific job Eddie. We have been singing your praises all week geting ready for the Sun n Fun Fly-in & Airshow here in Lakeland, Florida. You know it is the second largest in the USA, only second to Oshkosh ya know? I understand that CArolAnn will be here and speaking at the Forum and my plans are to be right there as well. Watch for your sticker it may appear in a conspicuous location in a picture if I can get her to pose with me 😉 (maybe) ya never know.
      If you saw the maping yesterday we had readers from Japan, Nepal, Switzerland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, France, Germany, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, UK. Ireland, Canada, and several more that I cannot remember. But I think I have made my point anyway huh?
      I am so proud of what you guys are doing, without you this website would be nothing. When you Eddie have not been on for a while it makes a difference. Every one who contributes and has their own page has a tremendous following and I thank you all. The readers as well. We are like a big family, when one isn’t on for a while everyone strats to wonder if you are okay and I start getting emails. Sooooo Eddie you and Anthea are always missed and wondered about when you haven’t posted in a few days!
      Thanks and give our best to Anthea from all of us… 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Hello Eddie, we need some updates here. What’s going on over in the land of “Fog and Drizzle”?
    Give us an update and also let us know how things stand in Egypt regarding GASE EGYPT ok?

    • Eddie Gold says:

      Hi JR,
      Yes, I do feel as though I am being prominent by my absence. I do apologise for the lack of posts over the last couple of months and do feel deflated by having no writing going on but…it has been a rather stressful or complicated summer and, no offence to you or this blog JR, writing has had to take its place on a back burner during this period. I have had to see Anthea return to Egypt (after we got engaged of course) and I won’t see her again until 2 days before Christmas, and then only for 2 weeks. I have also had a number of recurring health problems which have been made worse by the English weather…brrr.
      Add to this the fact that I have to use a mobile phone as a modem for my laptop, a mobile phone with very poor reception, then doing anything on the computer takes ages and sometimes when I start to write things (even emails) I have to give up as I lose connection for hours on end.
      So, is this the way of things till I get back to Egypt? Possibly not. My friend, Dan, has just bought the new iPhone 5 and he is letting me use his old phone (I have no idea what it is but is 10 times better then the one I am using now) as a modem and this should improve my time on the internet and also allow large uploads of photos etc.
      My time in the UK has slowed quite a lot since the start of September, as I wait for the bureaucrats to get their act into gear, and with the weather turning into a very cold autumn my aviation activities here have also slowed down to a dribble. I did visit the LAA (UK’s equivalent of the EAA) Rally and camped there for 3 days…and came back with a rotten cold, not used to camping in these temperatures any more 😉
      I used the time there to promote G.A.S.E. and Egypt as a flying destination.
      Our next big thing is the ‘Flying Show’ at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham and this would be a great chance to promote ourselves but we are having problems getting a stand because of financial issues (they don’t give discounts for volunteer organisations), but we are hoping that one of our friends from a UK agency may spare a table on their stand so we can have a presence at the UK’s largest indoor aviation event.
      As for Egypt…Anthea keeps me informed about the state of affairs there and it seems, once again, that although there was trouble following the anti-islam movie, this was again isolated to Tahrir Square and the rest of Egypt just got on with things and Anthea said that you could look out the window or go to the local shops without seeing any trouble or anti-westerner feelings. As usual the media shows the flashpoints and the world thinks this is the way things are all over the country. Because of the lack of problems in the vast majority of Egypt we have been able to assure pilots coming there that it is safe and at the time of writing we have a Kosovan, Saudi and Polish pilots using our services to fly to and through Egypt, none of whom have seen any problems and have enjoyed their time in the country.
      So what about this blog?
      I do have a good report to give of the LAA Rally and this will be what I write next, mainly because there are plenty of photos and anecdotes to post, so fingers crossed that I will be able to get this done as soon as Dan lends me his wizzy dizzy phone and I can get back into the 21st century…
      Watch this space 🙂

      Eddie

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