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Q: MOGADISHU TO BANANA ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: kongulu-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 10 Feb 2003 02:51 PST
Expires: 12 Mar 2003 02:51 PST
Question ID: 159393
Please describe the flight in a twin prop (cruise 300 knots) between
Magadishu and Banana.
01 - Time, days
02 - Likely stops, fuel, rest, etc.
03 - Possible difficulties
Answered By: byrd-ga on 12 Feb 2003 09:35 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Kongulu,

I’m going to assume here that your proposed twin-engine aircraft is a
jet-engine powered turboprop, since piston twins are generally unable
to cruise at 300 kts.  Their usual max cruise speed falls closer to
200 kts.  However, even among the common turboprops it’s difficult to
find an aircraft that cruises at 300.  Most are in the 225-250
category.  Also bear in mind that, in Africa, most charter companies
use rather older aircraft than are common in the U.S.  Keeping that in
mind, I’ll use as an example a Cessna Conquest 441, which is a very
common turboprop aircraft throughout the world, though its older,
slower cousin, the C425 is more ubiquitous.  The 441’s top speed is
290 kts, but cruise is booked at 283 kts ( ), which is
the figure I’ll use.

The only other fairly common turboprop that falls into this
performance category is the Piper Cheyenne II, but its top cruise
speed is somewhat slower at 275 kts, which is why I chose the Cessna. 
Other aircraft in this cruise speed category are the TBM700, which is
a single, and the Cessna Citation, which is a true jet.  But remember
that, with either/any aircraft, this exercise is an example only, for
preliminary planning purposes, and is not to be in any way construed
as valid information for actual flight planning, which requires
accurate information not only on aircraft make and model performance
specifications, but current and forecast weather data, current fuel
availability, and any current airspace restrictions or notices to
airmen (NOTAMS), among other factors.

As you indicated by your previously answered question here, ,
you’re already aware that there is no suitable airport in the port of
Banana itself, so I’ve used data for a flight from Mogadishu to Moanda
accordingly.  Furthermore, I used a great circle route for planning,
as that is the shortest distance, but there may be factors which would
indicate the use of a less direct route, for example in order to fly
around, rather than over mountains, or to circumnavigate around a
weather system.

Keeping all the above in mind, the answers to your questions are:

1)Total distance from Mogadishu to Moanda: 2031.3 NM (great circle). 
This would equal about 7.2 hours of flight time.  Adding allowances
for taxi, climb, descent and approach, the total would be closer to 8
full hours or better depending on conditions.  In addition, the C441
has a range of 2193 NM, so you would need to make at least one stop
for refueling, which would add time to the trip.  Based on this
estimate, it appears marginally possible to make the trip in one day
of say, twelve hours, with adequate planning and cooperative weather. 
However, prudence would suggest breaking the trip into two days if
that is at all possible.

2)There are airports all along the route, but I selected Kindu, DRC,
which is at or rather, just past about the halfway point as a
fuel/rest stop.   I selected it because it has a paved runway,
electronic aids to navigation and appears to offer a selection of
fuel, including Jet A.  However, I would definitely call prior to any
flight to verify fuel availability and other services.

The time it takes to make a fuel stop will vary according to
circumstances.  Is service available?  How many people aboard?  What
hoops will you have to jump through as far as customs clearances,
landing fees, diplomatic clearances, paperwork, bureaucratic
mumbo-jumbo, etc.?  In general, considering the part of the world
you’ll be traveling in, I would plan conservatively and allow at least
2  to 3 hours for a stop.  It could easily be longer, so as stated
above, it would probably be best to plan to make an overnight stop
here, and continue the next day to Moanda.

3) Possible difficulties:
-There is no IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) approach into Moanda
airport, which means that the flight will have to be executed under
visual meterological conditions (VMC), at least the portion of it
ending with a landing at Moanda.

-Part of the route traverses mountainous areas.  Ensure that the pilot
has adequate training and experience in mountain flying, which has
unique characeristics and can be very hazardous.  Also ensure that the
plane, as configured and loaded, is capable of traversing the
mountains at a safe altitude. It would appear that the highest point
along the route is around 10,000 ft., but depending on local custom,
airspace restrictions and flight rules, the plane may be required to
fly above 12,500 ft., which would require the use of oxygen at least
for the flight crew.  Above 15,000 ft. passengers should also have
oxygen available.

-You may also need, as mentioned before, to fly around the mountains,
not over them, which will increase your distance and, therefore, your

-In conjunction with the above, bear in mind that flight in hot, hilly
or mountainous regions is likely to be bumpy.  Turbulence, at least
light to moderate is almost a given.  Keep that in mind if you or any
of your party are subject to motion sickness or other conditions which
might be aggravated by a less than smooth flight experience.

-Turboprop aircraft use JetA fuel, which is not always readily
available at smaller airports.  Most out-of-the-way airports offer
100LL (blue) Avgas or 130 Octane (green) aircraft fuel only, with
sometimes 80 or 100 octane fuel for those aircraft so modified to use
it.  For this reason you may want to consider using a piston aircraft,
which will add a few hours to your trip, but be more practical in
terms of refueling.

-You will be traversing the airspace of not only Somalia and DRC, but
also Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda, or possibly Uganda, Burundi or even
Sudan or Zambia depending on your final choice of route.  At this time
there do not appear to be any restrictions to flight based on the
great circle route.  However, that could change, and here’s one link
to check for any new restrictions:

-This is an extremely politically unstable region, and many warnings
are broadcast recommending against travel in the DRC.  Here are links
to several site which post such warnings:

-Additionally, there are specific procedures to follow for flights
into the DRC, which will require not only careful planning, but
submitting various documents and information up to three days ahead of
time.  Furthermore, there are various possible difficulties with
ensuring you accomplish this process. You can read about it here
(scroll down to the bottom of the page):

Here are some links to information for flight planning:

Aeronautical information (DRC):

International flight information by country:

World Aeronautical Database:

Flight planning form:$pass*52117041!

Route of flight from Mogadishu to Moanda:$pass*52117041!

Information for airports along route of flight:,HCMD,HKMK,HKKR,HTBU,HRZA,FZOA,KLI,FZCE,FZAA,FZAG

Aircraft performance database: 

In answering your question, I relied heavily upon my own knowledge as
a Commercial Pilot and my own folder of bookmarks for information.  In
addition, I used the following search terms:

airport information DRC OR Democratic Republic of Congo
aircraft performance stats OR specs
international airport data
international flight planning
world flight planning 

If you need any clarification, please do ask before rating/closing the
question, so I can be sure you’re satisfied with your answer.

Best regards,

Request for Answer Clarification by kongulu-ga on 12 Feb 2003 22:51 PST
Your answer is through and EXCELLENT. I am sorry I did not mention
that the plane is a Mistsubushi MU2B-20 with extended fuel tanks. I
will have more aviation questions soon, so please keep an eye out.
(FYI the crusising speed was approximate, but thank you for the
clarification.) Just respond OK and I will close out the question.
Thank you.

Clarification of Answer by byrd-ga on 13 Feb 2003 07:41 PST
Hi Kongulu,

Ah, an MU2 - okay - an excellent and versatile airplane from all
accounts. Of course, you knew I wouldn't be able to resist looking up
the stats on it, right?  I found them here: . But though I
expected it to make a difference, it didn't really.  The base aircraft
is in roughly the same league as the C441, actually a few kts slower
at max cruise of 270 kts.  The range is in the same ballpark as the
C441 also at 1395 NM with max fuel and reserves.  However, you said it
had long-range fuel tanks, so that would definitely change the
picture, though I couldn't find anything specifically on the range
figures with extended tanks.

There IS one thing to keep in mind, though, with long-range tanks, and
that is weight, which is an especially critical consideration when
flying into/out of fields at high density altitudes.  It's an ironic
fact that sometimes full (long range) tanks can add so much weight
that the payload is decreased to an impractical level.

Therefore, based on the referenced MU-2B stats, I'd still stand by the
basic preceding flight profile unless I could be assured that the
extra weight of those tanks would not adversely affect payload and/or
other operating considerations.  A careful preflight with detailed
weight & balance calculations based on the actual flight statistics
will tell the story.  Then, if not, no reason not to go ahead and make
the trip in a day, though bear in mind the slightly slower cruise
speed would add maybe another 1/2-1 hour to your time, bringing it
closer to 9 hours than 8.  And then, as a precaution for that long a
flight, I'd certainly feel more comfortable having a crew of two vs.
one.  That's a l-o-n-g day for one pilot - and fatigue can adversely
affect safety.  Just something to keep in mind.

I will be sure to watch for further questions - and thank you very
much for your kind words and generous tip. I do enjoy working on
aviation-related topics!

Best wishes,

Search terms:
Mitsubishi aircraft performance stats OR specs
kongulu-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.50
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