Monday 16th May marked 25 years of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, but a first for us in many areas.
We were asked to fly a banner marking the event at the International Airport. This is important for us, because we believe that banners can be used to maintain interest in developmental health issues around the rural areas, especially the lake. We have proposed ideas to the authorities on HIV/AIDS, keeping Girl children in school and more - always to be sidelined, mainly because of the misunderstanding of the impact and the approval process for such an activity.
Banners reach all, regardless of TV, radio, newspapers - and can be seen from small village to cities, cars to canoes... banners are in your sky, and in your face!
We have demonstrated our banner methods before - successfully, but without impact and accpetance. So, to be asked to fly for an official occassion with dignitaries present along the international airport runway at 300' was a privilage!
But that was not all! We not only towed the banner from Kpong to the city and back, with clearance to fly over some restricted areas, we also flew two chase planes in formation! The two CH701 aircraft tailed our Falcon to Accra and back, Patricia, the first woman to gain the National Pilots licence flew Alpha Fox, just above and behind the banner, and was chevroned by Alpha Charlie, flown by Patrick Ata, the first Ghanaian to gain the national pilots licence. All aircraft were operated solo, under the call sign 'Anniversary Formation'. Both Patricia and Patrick (Capt Pat and Capt Pat) were fully trained at Kpong Airfield by WAASPS, and both were signed off as pilots by our in house examiner 'Capt Yaw' - a proud day for where we have reached.
Three aircraft, built in Ghana, two of the pilots trained in Ghana, performing along the international runway in front of an estimated 1000 person crowd.
Reports came later that the crowd clapped spontaneously when they saw the planes flying through with birthday wishes for the Authority.
We thank all involved in making this event a success and for allowing us to demonstrate that we have the compentency to build, operate and carry out mission flights safely.
Happy Birthday Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.... watch out for our banners for health in the rural communities, that you have helped us to prove can be done, at your invitation. Thank you!
We would like to fly the following slogans with appropriate images:-
Love Life, Stop HIV/AIDS (a banner with a condom as a background)
Do Not Shit in the Lake (a banner with a man squatting and pooping with a red cross across it)
Do not drink unfiltered water (graphic to be decided)
Do not bathe in the lake (a person bathing in the lake with a cross through it.
Any other ideas?
Thank you all!