An update from the much anticipated flight off Kili!
“We summited on 16 September around 7am in the morning. It was a long slow walk to the top, but it paid off with most people feeling ok. Unfortunately the wind was coming up from the north and we had to fly off to the south so we waited quite a while to figure out a plan B.
Eventually the eastern face warmed up and created a bit of a draft that we could launch in so we took the gap, which only lasted about 30 minutes. Andrew Smith launched his glider first and shot right up above the huge clouds building up below us. He was gone in a few seconds flying at almost 70km/ph. Next it was Pierre and myself in the tandem. We were ready to go but had to abort our launch a few times with strong dusties (whirl winds) coming our way every couple of minutes. I was very nervous with the elements turning against us. But eventually we did launch pretty much in the same way as Andrew, cleared the big clouds, and turned towards Moshi. Chris Lotter launched after us with difficulty and after that the window of opportunity closed. None of the other pilots could fly and had a very long walk down.
It took us about 50 minutes to fly to Moshi, not far from our hotel. It was a little surreal to stand on the summit one minute and then a bit more than an hour later, we’ve had a shower with a cold beer, in shorts and T-shirts….
All in all, it was a very smooth flight once we got past the hairy launch conditions. We’ll add some fantastic pix and video to our site in the next 2 days when we’ve got back on fast internet speed…”
Stay tuned for video updates of the big flight. And for more info visit: http://blog.7summits7flights.co.za
P.S Check out this very cool interactive panorama taken at the summit of the might Mt. Kilimanjaro and featured in Safari magazine.