Tour around Africa: Stage 25 - Benina - Benghazi (HLLB) to Tobruk - Gamal Abd El Nasser (HLTQ)
MS Flight Simulator VFR Flight Plan
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In this VFR - GPS Flight Plan we take off from the airport of Benina - Benghazi (HLLB) and land in the airport of Gamal Abd El Nasser (HLTQ), near Tobruk, flying to the east by the mountainous region of Jebel Akhdar and the ruins of the historical city of Cyrene.

Find below a short extract and screenshots of the main points of the route. In this journey around Africa I have used the Cessna 172S (Skyhawk)

After taking off from the airport of Benina we take towards the city of Benghazi. Once again it is very windy (up to 35 knots) and flying the Cessna is quite cumbersome.

Benina International Airport (IATA: BEN, ICAO: HLLB) (Arabic: مطار بنينة الدولي‎) serves Benghazi, Libya. It is located in the borough of Benina, 19 kilometres (12 mi) east of Benghazi, from which it takes its name. The airport is operated by the Civil Aviation and Meteorology Bureau of Libya and is the second largest in the country after Tripoli International Airport. Benina International is also the secondary hub of both Buraq Air and flag carrier, Libyan Airlines. As of 17 July 2014 all flights to the airport were suspended due to fighting in the area.

The runway length does not include a 300 metres (980 ft) overrun on the end of each runway.

The Benina VOR-DME (Ident: BNA) is located 1.9 nautical miles (3.5 km) northwest of the airport. The Benina non-directional beacon (Ident: BNA) is located on the field. (*1)

Flying direction Benghazi.

Overflying the city of Benghazi.

Benghazi (lit. Son of [the] Ghazi) is a city in Libya. Located on the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean, Benghazi is a major seaport and the second-most populous city in the country, as well as the largest city in Cyrenaica, with an estimated population of 632,937 in 2019.

A Greek colony named Euesperides had existed in the area from around 525 BC. In the 3rd century BC, it was relocated and refounded as the Ptolemaic city of Berenice. Berenice prospered under the Romans, and after the 3rd century AD it superseded Cyrene and Barca as the centre of Cyrenaica. The city went into decline during the Byzantine period and had already been reduced to a small town before its conquest by the Arabs. In 1911, Italy captured Benghazi and the rest of Tripolitania from the Ottomans. Under Italian rule, Benghazi witnessed a period of extensive development and modernization, particularly in the second half of the 1930s. The city changed hands several times during World War II and was heavily damaged in the process. After the war Benghazi was rebuilt and became the co-capital of the newly independent Kingdom of Libya. Following the 1969 coup d'état by Muammar Gaddafi, Benghazi lost its capital status and all government offices relocated to Tripoli.

On 15 February 2011, an uprising against the government of Muammar Gaddafi occurred in the city. The revolts spread by 17 February to Bayda, Tobruk, Ajdabya, Al Marj in the East and Zintan, Zawiya in the West, calling for the end of the Gaddafi Regime. Benghazi was taken by Gaddafi opponents on 21 February, who founded the National Transitional Council. On 19 March 2011, the city was the site of the turning point of the Libyan Civil War, when the Libyan Army attempted to score a decisive victory against the NTC by attacking Benghazi, but was forced back by local resistance and intervention from the French Air Force authorized by UNSC Resolution 1973 to protect civilians, allowing the rebellion to continue.

Benghazi remains a centre of Libyan commerce, industry, transport and culture. It continues to hold institutions and organizations normally associated with a capital city, including several national government buildings as well as the National Library of Libya. (*1)

Benghazi seafront
Photo by Maher A. A. Abdussalam
The Atiq Mosque in Maydan al-Baladiya
is the oldest mosque in Benghazi.
Photo by AJ L - CC BY-SA 3.0
Al-Buduzeera is one of the largest and
most popular parks in Benghazi.
Photo by Dennixo - CC BY-SA 3.0

Leaving Benghazi and flying to the east.

Terrain raises and we can already see something like a forest for the first time in many days.

Flying near the village of Mantikan en Naka

The terrain continues to rise and the landscape becomes friendlier.

Overflying the town of Marawah.

Marawa (Arabic: مراوة‎) (or Marawah) is a town in the District of Jabal al Akhdar in north-eastern Libya, about 65 km south of Bayda. It is located on the cross-roads between the Marj-Lamluda inner road, and the Qasr Libya-Taban road. (*1)

Marawa western gateway
Maher A. A. Abdussalam

Flying over the mountains of Jebel Akhdar

The Jebel Akhdar (Arabic: الجبل الأخضر‎ al-Jabal al-Akhḍar, English: The Green Mountain) is a heavily forested, fertile upland area in northeastern Libya. It is located in the modern shabiyahs or districts of Derna, Jabal al Akhdar, and Marj.

The Jebel Akhdar consists of a mountainous plateau rising to an altitude of 900 metres (3,000 ft), cut by several valleys. It forms the north-western part of the peninsula that sticks north into the Mediterranean Sea, with the Gulf of Sidra on the west, and the Levantine Basin on the east. It runs from Bengazi eastward to just east of Derna, fronting the coast for about 330 kilometres (210 mi). Due to erosion and deposition the plateau is sometimes as much as 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the shore, but it forms cliffs on the headlands. The final uplift and arching of the plateau was completed in the Miocene.

The region is one of the very few forested areas of Libya, which taken as a whole is one of the least forested countries on Earth. It is the wettest part of Libya, receiving some 600 millimetres (24 in) of precipitation annually. The high rainfall contributes to the area's large forests containing Chammari, and enables rich fruit, potato, and cereal agriculture, something of a rarity in an arid country like Libya. Camels, goats and sheep are herded in and around the Jebel Akhdar and the herders tend to be nomadic. (*1)

Aljabal Alakhdar
Libiya11 - CC BY-SA 3.0
The Jebel Akhdar is Libya's wettest region.
By Barghathi - Photograph Source - CC BY-SA 1.0
Al-Bakour escarpment of the Akhdar mountains
By Maher A. A. Abdussalam

Flying near Qandulah.

Qandula is a town in the District of Jabal al Akhdar in north-eastern Libya. It is located 25 km south of Bayda. (*1)

Flying over Al Bayda.

Bayda, or Elbeida (Arabic: البيضاء‎ al-Bayḍāʾ) (also spelt az-Zāwiyat al-Bayḍāʾ, Zāwiyat al-Bayḑā’, Beida and El Beida; known as Beda Littoria under Italian colonial rule), is a commercial and industrial city in eastern Libya. It is located in northern Cyrenaica. With a population of 250,000 people, Bayda is the 4th-largest city in Libya (after Tripoli, Benghazi and Misrata). It is the capital city of the Jabal al Akhdar district. (*1)

A nice view of the sea when getting closer to Cyrene

Flying over the ruins of Cyrene. Notice that FS2020 wrongly represents some buildings there!

Cyrene (Ancient Greek: Κυρήνη; Standard Arabic: شحات‎, romanized: shahat) was an ancient Greek and later Roman city near present-day Shahhat, Libya. It was the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. It gave eastern Libya the classical name Cyrenaica that it has retained to modern times. Located nearby is the ancient Necropolis of Cyrene.

Cyrene lies in a lush valley in the Jebel Akhdar uplands. The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo. It was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the fourth century BC, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Socrates. (*1)

Ruins of Cyrene
By Maher27777
The Temple of Zeus, Cyrene
By David Stanley - CC BY 2.0
The Temple of Apollo, Cyrene
By Giovanni Boccardi - CC BY-SA 3.0 igo

The town of Shahhat, near the ruins of Cyrene.

Shahhat (Arabic: شحات‎) is a town in the District of Jabal al Akhdar in north-eastern Libya.Cyrene was located in the same area in ancient times. It is located 24 kilometres (15 mi) east of Bayda.

Shahhat is linked with Derna by two roads, the inner one running through Al Qubah is part of the Libyan Coastal Highway and the coastal one running through Susa and Ras al Helal.

During the Libyan Civil War, the city was one of the first to fall under rebel control. (*1)

Continuing to our destination the landscape becomes desert again.

The path takes us to cross the sea near Al Tamimi and Bombah

After almost 3 hours of flight we reach our destination, the city of Tobruk.

Tobruk or Tobruck (Ancient Greek: Ἀντίπυργος, Antipyrgos; Latin: Antipyrgus; Arabic: طبرق‎, romanized: Tubruq Ṭubruq; also transliterated as Tobruch and Tubruk) is a port city on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District (formerly Tobruk District) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 est.).

Tobruk was the site of an ancient Greek colony and, later, of a Roman fortress guarding the frontier of Cyrenaica. Over the centuries, Tobruk also served as a waystation along the coastal caravan route. By 1911, Tobruk had become an Italian military post, but during World War II, Allied forces, mainly the Australian 6th Division, took Tobruk on 22 January 1941. The Australian 9th Division ("The Rats of Tobruk") pulled back to Tobruk to avoid encirclement after actions at Er Regima and Mechili and reached Tobruk on 9 April 1941 where prolonged fighting against German and Italian forces followed.

Although the siege was lifted by Operation Crusader in November 1941, a renewed offensive by Axis forces under Erwin Rommel the following year resulted in Tobruk being captured in June 1942 and held by the Axis forces until November 1942, when it was recaptured by the Allies. Rebuilt after World War II, Tobruk was later expanded during the 1960s to include a port terminal linked by an oil pipeline to the Sarir oil field.

King Idris of Libya had his palace at Bab Zaytun. Tobruk was traditionally a stronghold of the Senussi royal dynasty and one of the first to rebel against Colonel Gaddafi in the Arab Spring. (*1)

Panorama of Tobruk
CC BY-SA 1.0
Port of Tobruk
By Maher A. A. Abdussalam derivative work: Ericoides (talk)

Taxi to the general aviation parking after landing in the runway 20 of the airport of Gamal Abd El Nasser, at sunset.

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(*1) Credits: The descriptive texts are mainly an excerpt of those provided by Wikipedia. Visit Wikipedia to read the full descriptions.

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