Sjoerd Jan and Lex are flying this trip in a Piper Archer 3. The advantage of the Piper Archer over the Cirrus is that it can be flown on normal autogas (Euro98) fuel as opposed to the special AVGAS aviation fuel needed to fly the Cirrus. Another reason for selecting the Piper over the Cirrus Aircraft is the adventure in flying the Piper aircraft at lower altitudes through Africa. In a Cirrus or King Air, the temptation is to fly it at higher altitudes over the African continent. Flying these fast aircraft high brings efficiency in airspeed and time to reach your destination. However true, flying these faster aircraft is also a sure way to miss out on the adventure.
Above are some pictures of the Piper Archer 3 which which we will use on our trip through Africa. The aircraft is fully IFR equipped, which means that it can be flown on instruments in less then optimal weather conditions. It has a 180 horsepower engine and normally has room for a maximum of 4 people (including the pilot). Lex and Sjoerd Jan will be flying the Piper together as a crew of two and the room is the back is used to bring along the extra survival gear and some spare parts.