Contract Airline Services

"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adventures in Accra Continue

I slept good... too good, and forgot where I was. But once my eyes opened I jumped out of bed, and after a quick workout and shower, found the lobby, my coworkers, and our tour guide. A group of us followed Mohammad to the market in Accra. I wish I had his picture... next time!

Entrance into Mobbing Chaos!

Market before the attack

We weren't actually attacked, but we were overwhelmed by the people swarming for us to buy their stuff, once they figured out we were shopping, and they have lots of 'stuff.'  Interesting walk ... but not as much fun as the drums.

Lessons in the market

Drum Maker... you too can have one for 40 CD's

A short walk through the market we emerged on the other side of town. Ocean front property with a recycling plant next door to the community, animals that roamed freely until the were used for the drums, and and an out door shower too! Sometimes we forget how good we have it at home. 

A gorgeous ocean if you can overlook the garbage and interesting odors


Just below the white bags  flows a stream ... filled with garbage moving out to sea. They collect the recycling, fill bags, and pile it high. A lucrative business perhaps. Behind the recycling are more homes. Behind those homes, the market. 

Home Sweet Home

Future Drums of America


Each of the preceding pictures, from ocean view to the shower, were all taken from the same location. I just stood and turned my camera. Amazing.
The walk to the town and the return to the hotel was swift, with more than enough time for a visit and supporting the economy.  On the way out of the market they 'all' came out to capture us before we left. Many people wanting to be our best friend, to touch us, to take our money, to sell their goods.

"Help Mohammad!"

We escaped and headed to the hotel. Ghana has many rules. Just as they don't allow any sexual deviates into the country, they also don't allow urinating just anywhere.

I refrained from taking pictures of the homeless who slept  face down on the sidewalk in the afternoon sun, and the massive people in the streets and food markets. We were walking fast, and there was no time, or a good idea, to stop and take pictures in some areas.

Once back at the hotel, we enjoyed the pool for a little bit until, an early nap and we were on our way.

 A nice place to relax...but no chlorine in the pool!

Pick up was 11 pm. And without taxi lights and only a tower to request the weather, and our clearance, we found the end of the runway and departed... headed for Atlanta.

Operations in and out of Ghana are very similar to the days of Unicom frequencies only.  Nothing is controlled and we all look out for each other and provide position reports as we navigate this challenging area. Except for the drug dealers who are keeping low profile ... they don't talk to us. 

A great trip. Glad to have experienced it. So glad to be home! Oh wait... I'm not home yet. Tomorrow another crew and back to Rome!

Before I fly.. Adam Saddington! One of the four engines in! Another great guy!


  1. Oh my God, what a post. Blew my mind. Outstanding, Karlene, just spectacular. Yes, we forget how good we have things in the US. That is why I get annoyed when people waste food, water or gas. Must respect and be thankful for what we have. I remember position reports at uncontrolled airports ... black hole airspace must be nerve-wracking. Thank God for fish finders, eh.

  2. Thank you so much Chats! Yes... we do forget how good we have it, and I'm thankful every moment. Black hole airspace and the people who compete with it...never-wracking for sure! All eyes outside, all lights on!

  3. Hi Karlene,

    My name is Anthony Mattouk, a friend of Chats; I was in Cornell.

    I was born in Ghana and live here. Next time to come over, send me an email so I can take you around.

    Chats, you are welcome to join us!

    My email is

    Take care...

  4. Anthony, Thank you for the wonderful offer! I will take you up on it. I will email you when I am coming to town next. Next month...reserve. So, I am sure I'll be there, but you will be the first to know.


Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!