Saturday, March 03, 2012
Ndege ya Kwanza Kutua Ziwa Nyasa
The first aircraft to land on Lake Nyasa was a Lioré et Olivier LeO H-194 flying boat of the 'Aeronavale' (French Fleet Air Arm) piloted by 'Lieutenant de Vaisseau' (Lieutenant-Commander) Marc Bernard. He landed at Fort Johnston in 1927, on his way from Marseilles to Madagascar. It was an epic flight for the time, down through French North Africa, across the Sahara to Mali, then a long flight over very rough territory to Nyasaland, in a single engined aircraft.
However, the faithful Bristol Jupiter (license-built by Gnome-Rhone) performed impeccably, accomplishing the return trip with no incidents.
Originally he was to have been accompanied by a 2nd 'Aeronavale' machine, a CAMS 37 GR, but its Lorraine engine proved less reliable than the Jupiter, and it had to retire in North Africa with crankshaft problems.
End of Article
Thanks to Ant for sharing his memories with ORAFs.
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