Back in the Saddle
Before I start I must apolgise for the lack of posts from myself over the last 9 months. Some of you will know the reasons but for anyone who doesn’t here is a short recap…
I am Eddie Gold and one of the co-founders of General Aviation Support Egypt, a non- profit organisation intent on assisting pilots flying through the Middle East region and in many other places around the world. We started in 2010 and have grown to be a respected and popular organisation, with many pilots now using us as their preferred handling/route planning agency. Many of our adventures with long distance pilots are detailed elsewhere on these pages and I will come to our latest success in a minute.
But why the long break in writing for this blog/magazine?
Although I had been based and living in Egypt since 2008, last year the authorities decided that I had been a ‘tourist’ too long and had to go! This was down to new rules brought in by the new government of Mr. Morsi following the 2011 revolution. There was nothing I could do about it, although I tried and on May 20th 2012 I returned back to my homeland of Great Britain, leaving my Fiancée Anthea, behind to look after the apartment and cats. I was only expecting to be away for 3 months but this was a short lived dream. Mainly because of bureaucratic slowness and a number of health scares it took nearly a year before I had all the necessary documentation for a return to residing in Cairo.
But, before that became a reality my Fiancée, Anthea, would return for holidays with me 3 times to the UK and on the third visit we got married! About time too I hear you say 😉
So it was that on April the 6th 2013 we flew back to Egypt, ready to start all over again. I still had a few health problems but the warmth of the Egyptian climate and the fact that I returned straight into the deep-end would all help my aches and pains gradually drift away.
The deep end? Well, although G.A.S.E. had continued to function I had taken a semi-back seat to my colleague, Ahmed’s driving force. I still did many things for G.A.S.E. whilst in the UK, promoting and meeting prospective clients as well as working online with pilots and Ahmed during their flights. I even met one of these flights when they passed through England and was able to semi-host them in Warwick where I was staying; more about them in another post.
But on my return the first news I had was that Ahmed had to go to Tbilisi in the former Russian republic of Georgia to do some work for an airline there! This meant the tables had turned and I was now in the driving seat for all the flights arriving in Egypt and the first one was going to be our most high profile one yet!
So Anthea and I set about getting the apartment ready for our upcoming visitor and I was working continuously with Ahmed, the pilot and his routing company in Canada to make sure all was happening as it should be and then we got a call from the UK to say that Anthea’s mother had passed away. This of course meant a panicky few days as Anthea sorted out arrangements over the phone and also sorted out her ticket back to the UK. All the time I was still working on the nearing flight of our next client. But, I saw Anthea off on the red-eye to Amsterdam where she would change for the city hopper back to the UK. I was then on my own in Cairo, regularly phoning Anthea to see how she was and whether everything was going ok as well as keeping in contact with Ahmed as I needed him to sort out some very important translations that I could print off to show various non-English speaking officials at the airport just to get me airside to meet the pilot on his arrival. It also came to pass that I received offers of help from other institutions here in Cairo and had to liaise with them but their help was welcomed at what was becoming a very stressful time.
So that is the story so far…well not quite, there is the high profile pilot to talk about and I will do that in the very next post…the pilot…Jack Wiegand, a 20 year old youngster from Fresno California who is attempting to be the youngest pilot ever to fly around the world solo. His story coming next 🙂
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Vans RV6 – Ireland to Cape Town and back
Katamarino…a wandering pilot adventurer
Yorkshire to Australia in a Microlight – Dave Sykes, Paraplegic pilot
A Scotsman visits Cairo: and then gets to visit the Secret Police too!!
Jane Giffoud – Pilot, gets a surprise from G.A.S.E. – Gliding over the desert