Previous Leg Leg 18: Accra to Natal Next Leg
Date From To
Sun 08/08 DGAA - Accra, Ghana / UTC +00:00 SBNT - Natal, RN, Brazil / UTC -03:00
Departure Enroute Arrival Distance Avg. Spd. Max. Spd. Max. Alt. Fuel
(NM) (KT) (KT) (FT) (USG)
Estimated 07:00 (07:00Z) 14:45 18:45 (21:45Z) 2,215 236
Actual 06:32 (06:32Z) 15:28 19:00 (22:00Z) 2,245 145 180 8,611

Expected Weather: Accra, Ghana to Natal, Brazil

By Steve Pellettiere

Here's where the weather gets interesting. This leg takes you to the south of the spawning ground for Atlantic Hurricanes. The greatest concentration of rainfall and storms will be from West Africa west to the South American Coast. Flight routes that are south of the Equator have the greatest likelihood of favorable flying conditions. The weather at Natal has a 2 in 3 probability of being favorable and storm free.


Temperature in Natal Low: 68F, High: 84F
July Precipitation 3.6 Inches
Winds Aloft at 7,000 to 10,000 Feet From the southeast at 18 MPH


From: Port of Spain, Trinidad ?
Date: Wednesday August 11, 2004 at 13:47 EDT
By: Ed or Dick
Continued from previous leg page.

Sunday AM we take off on the last long flight across the South Atlantic. Weather should be good and winds favorable. We were cleared to Natal via the coastal route via Liberia then direct. We were told to ask for GPS direct after take off. We did and it was approved. HF communications were a pleasure. Loud and clear. We reported every two degrees of longitude to the controlling centers. We arrived in a heavy rain shower with an 800-foot ceiling and a mile and a half visibility. A DME arc VOR approach and a diligent search located the approach lights and runway.

The winds en route were better than forecast, plus the direct route brought us to Natal an hour before planned, the 2227 NM took 15 and a half hours. We looked for the expected FOP presence but were disappointed. Investigation revealed that Brazilian IFOPA was in the Sao Paulo area and not in Natal. Douglas, our handler was touched by FOP and promised to distribute our Portuguese language brochures to the airport medical officer, fellow employees and friends.

We were billeted in the five star Pestana Resort Hotel at a 135-dollar rate including breakfast. Elegant but remote.

We refueled the airplane Monday morning and were dropped off in the old city center in downtown Natal. Commercial, with no restaurants. Unexciting.

Continued on next leg page.
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
Refueling in Natal Monday morning
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
Our ground crew. Douglas in back
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
Our hotel, the Pestana Resort
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
Ponta Negra high rises seen from our hotel
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
Local flyer
Photo Courtesy of Ed or Dick
South Atlantic
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© 2004 Pascal Landi