Africa Milk Run: Flying 46 Years Old DC-9 and MD-80 in Cockpit

Back in 2014, I took a really interesting trip to Africa, I am so glad I pull off this one: a 4 stop milk run from Dubai to Nairobi via Somalia onboard African Express. All the takeoff and landings are from the cockpit with some of the best airmen manually flying the plane in unbelievable tough situation.

We flew from Dubai via Berbera and Mogadishu, Somalia on an ex-Alitalia MD-82, then we swap planes in Mogadishu onward to Wajir and Nairobi in Kenya on an African Express 46 years old DC-9-30.

Flying into Somalia was an eye opener, we landed on the extreme bumpy runway in Berbera once used by NASA Space Shuttle as emergency landing strip. In Mogadishu, the tough security situation forced our plane to land from the sea even at the expense of 14 knots of tailwind to avoid anti aircraft gun fire on final. Then an extra stop in Wajir, northern Kenya to clear immigration and custom before any Somali arrivals are allowed into Nairobi, Kenya. A trip like this was exhilarating, but infinitely rewarding!

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