Africa Flying Adventure: Flying 1970s Built DC-9 + Surprise Bug Attack

I flew on one of the last McDonnell Douglas DC-9 with Astral Cargo from Nairobi, Kenya to Mwanza, Tanzania.

Follow captain George for a walk around the 46 years old DC-9-34 Freighter and later he explained the complicated looking classic analog cockpit.

We had a long roll on the 45 minutes flight due to the high altitude in Nairobi. Once airborne, we cruised at 27,000 ft across Lake Victoria with 14 tons of general cargo onboard.

With an uneventful landing, we arrived in Mwanza, Tanzania. I spotted Air Tanzania Dash8-400 takeoff while all the cargo is being offloaded. While we just closed the door and were ready to fly back to Nairobi, suddenly a huge swarm of lake flies (bugs) loom around the airport from Lake Victoria. The flies almost blocked the windscreen and it was hard to look out!

We took off from Mwanza Int’l Airport quickly and climbed to 28,000 ft. Captain George explained the lake flies are usually an evening phenomenon from Lake Victoria so it was unusual during daytime. I am really glad to have flown on another classic airplane; the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 in 2022.