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Leg 17: Fes To Oujda

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CapnSplat

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Leg 17

Depart: Saïss Airport, Fes, Morocco (GMFF)

Arrive: Angads Airport, Oujda, Morocco (GMFO)

Aircraft: Douglas DC-3 (Leading Edge Simulations / X-Aviation)

 

Flight Plan: GMFF OJD GMFO

Distance: 160.1 nm

 

Scenery:

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Before we get back into the air, here's a fun fact that I forgot to point out in the previous post: by traveling to Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakesh, and Fes

we've visited the four most populous cities in Morocco (in that order). We're well on our way to becoming Trivial Pursuit masters!

 

Eager to continue the push on toward Algeria, I plan to leave Fes at 0930 and arrive in Oujda before 1100. The weather is good along our planned route, so it should be smooth sailing for our final flight in Morocco. We'll be flying our trusty Air France DC-3 again.

 

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We depart runway 27, turn ourselves around toward the northeast, and take a last look out the windows at the great medinas of Fes.

 

EntH7v0.jpg

 

A few miles outside the city is another artificial lake created by the Idriss I dam. I suppose such reservoirs are important for irrigating Morocco's farms, especially those located in the country's more arid interior.

 

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Next up on the horizon is the city of Taza. Located in a narrow river plain appropriately known as the Taza Gap, Taza is flanked by the Rif mountains to the north and the Middle Atlas to the south. You can see the foothills of both on either side of the image below. I don't think I ever realized just how mountainous Morocco is; this tour is proving quite educational so far!

 

mbwZUbE.jpg

 

We continue pressing toward the northeast where the landscape opens up into a large desert basin. The occasional town punctuates the rivers below as we make our way toward Oujda. Pictured here is, I believe, the town Guercif, roughly the half-way point of the current leg.

 

R1zJ7Wo.jpg

 

Guess what? Another artificial lake! They do make useful landmarks, though, especially in the midst of so much dry rock and sand. Lake Mohamed V isn't far from Oujda, so we'll be at our destination before we know it.

 

O5uxMQQ.jpg

 

Angads Airport, once used as an airbase by American forces during the Second World War, is a few miles to the north of Oujda, which itself is only a few miles from Morocco's border with Algeria to the east. This will be our last flight in Morocco for the rest of the tour!

 

PKkvqKB.jpg

 

On final we have a north-northeasterly crosswind to contend with. At 14 kts and nearly perpendicular to the runway, it's causing me some concern (especially since runway 13/31 is conspicuously missing from X-Plane's apt.dat...); however, the picture out the window looks good and I decide to commit to the landing.

 

ID7JUFP.jpg

 

I cross the runway threshold and begin to retard the throttles, and... uh-oh... What's that sputtering sound? The plane begins to veer to the left and I can't correct enough with the rudder. Off the runway we go!

 

Ql6pGVj.jpg

 

Once we've come to a stop, I'm better able to take stock of the situation. Yup. Left engine's died. There's yer problem! I'm not completely sure what happened; judging by the image, the blade pitch looks a little high, so maybe I accidentally nudged the left prop handle at an inopportune moment. At least we're all in one piece! After that harrowing landing, welcome to Oujda!

 

Next leg: Angads Airport, Oujda, Morocco (GMFO) to Es Senia Airport, Oran, Algeria (DAOO)

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