Tour around Africa: Stage 30 - Cairo West (HECW) to Asyut (HEAT)
MS Flight Simulator VFR Flight Plan
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In this VFR - GPS Flight Plan we take off from the airport of Cairo West (HECW) [Egypt], fly over the pyramids of Giza and follow the course of the Nile down to the Asyut International Airport (HEAT) [Egypt] where we will land using the ILS. (Notice: In the past stage we landed in the Cairo International Airport, but due to some issue in FS2020 it was impossible to take off from there -program crash-, so it was necessary to take off from another airport near Cairo)

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)

Taking off from the airport of Cairo West

Cairo West AB (IATA: CWE, ICAO: HECW) is a military airport on the western side of Cairo, Egypt. The air base shares some infrastructure with the adjacent Sphinx International Airport (HESX).

After submission of the Fiscal Year 1981 budget, the United States Secretary of Defense/JCS - ordered "Proud Phantom," at a request to Egypt which was an unprogrammed tactical deployment, not part of the regular exercise program. Twelve F-4E Phantom IIs and at least 400 personnel were dispatched from the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, to Cairo West, in July 1980.

On 29 May 1981 a Lockheed C-130 Hercules crashed after takeoff from the base.

For a long period it has been frequently listed by aviation periodicals as the home of the 222nd Tactical Fighter Brigade of the Egyptian Air Force, flying McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs.

It has been a frequent site for United States Air Force deployments, with the 487th Air Expeditionary Wing located here in March-May 2003 during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

The Cairo West TACAN (Ident: BLA) is located on the field.  (*1)

Getting closer to the Giza pyramids complex.

The Giza Pyramid Complex, also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Greater Cairo, Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, between 2600 and 2500 BC. The site also includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers village.

The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 kilometres (8 mi) southwest of the city centre of Cairo.

The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt, and they have historically been common as emblems of Ancient Egypt in the Western imagination.They were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the Ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence. (*1)

Flying over the pyramids and the sphinx at the left of the photo.


Leaving the pyramids complex and the city of Giza behind.

Giza (sometimes spelled Gizah or Jizah; Arabic: الجيزة‎ al-Jīzah) is the second-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and fourth-largest city in Africa after Kinshasa, Lagos and Cairo. It is the capital of Giza Governorate with a total population of 8.8 million as of October 2018. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, 4.9 km (3 mi) southwest of central Cairo, and is a core city of the Greater Cairo metropolis. Giza lies less than 30 km (18.64 mi) north of Memphis (Men-nefer), which was the capital city of the first unified Egyptian state from the days of the first pharaoh, Narmer.

Giza is most famous as the location of the Giza Plateau, the site of some of the most impressive ancient monuments in the world, including a complex of ancient Egyptian royal mortuary and sacred structures, including the Great Sphinx, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and a number of other large pyramids and temples. Giza has always been a focal point in Egypt's history due to its location close to Memphis, the ancient pharaonic capital of the Old Kingdom. Its St. George Cathedral is the episcopal see of the Coptic Catholic Eparchy of Giza. (*1)

The city of Giza and the Nile
By Faris knight - CC BY-SA 4.0
The university of Cairo in Giza
Faris knight - CC BY-SA 3.0
The sphinx of Giza
Heinz Albers - CC BY 2.5

The city of Cairo

Cairo (Arabic: القاهرة‎, romanized: al-Qāhirah) is the capital and largest city of Egypt. The Cairo metropolitan area, with a population of 21.3 million, is the largest metropolitan area in the Arab world, the second largest in Africa, and the sixth largest in the world. Cairo is associated with ancient Egypt, as the famous Giza pyramid complex and the ancient city of Memphis are located in its geographical area. Located near the Nile Delta. Cairo was founded in 969 AD during the Fatimid dynasty, but the land composing the present-day city was the site of Ancient National Capitals whose remnants remain visible in parts of Old Cairo. Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life, and is titled "the city of a thousand minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture. Cairo is considered a World City with a "Beta +" classification according to GaWC.

Today, the Egyptian capital has the oldest and largest film and music industries in the Arab world, as well as the world's second-oldest institution of higher learning, Al-Azhar University. Many international media, businesses, and organizations have regional headquarters in the city; the Arab League has had its headquarters in Cairo for most of its existence.

With a population of over 9 million spread over 453 km2 (175 sq mi), Cairo is by far the largest city in Egypt. An additional 9.5 million inhabitants live in close proximity to the city. Cairo, like many other megacities, suffers from high levels of pollution and traffic. The Cairo Metro is one of only two metro systems in Africa (the other being in Algiers, Algeria), and ranks amongst the fifteen busiest in the world, with over 1 billion annual passenger rides. The economy of Cairo was ranked first in the Middle East in 2005, and 43rd globally on Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index. (*1)

The city of Cairo and the Nile
By Faris knight - CC BY-SA 4.0
A street in the old Cairo
Faris knight - CC BY-SA 4.0
Qalaa from Azhar Park
Moabdulghany - CC BY-SA 3.0

Turning south in order to follow the main course of the Nile river.


The course of the river is flanked by innumerable villages throughout its route


Passing by Beni Suef.

Beni Suef (Arabic: بني سويف‎, romanized: Baniswēf) is the capital city of the Beni Suef Governorate in Egypt. Beni Suef is the location of Beni Suef University. An important agricultural trade centre on the west bank of the Nile River, the city is located 110 km (70 miles) south of Cairo.

From the early Pharaonic era to the Roman period, the area was home to the city of Heracleopolis, 10 miles west of the modern city. which also served as the capital of Lower and Middle Egypt during the 9th and 10th dynasties. The modern city rose to prominence during the Middle Ages, when it was renowned for its linen manufacturing, which continues to the present day through the city's carpet making and cotton spinning industries. Beni Suef became the chief town of the second province of Upper Egypt during the reign of Muhammad Ali in the 19th Century.

The total area of the governorate is 1,954 square kilometers, and it is divided into six governorates. It is bordered to the north by Giza governorate and Helwan, to the northeast by Suez, to the east by the Red Sea governorate, to the west by Fayoum governorate, and to the south by Minya governorate. This region connects the north of Egypt to the south, and the east to the west, and this identity of centrality has formed the population, civilization, and economic characters of the region. The geographical proximity to vital governorates such as Cairo and Giza is significant, and the governorates of the Red Sea, Suez, Fayoum and Ismailia tourist areas all act as markets for the industrial products made in Beni Suef. (*1)

Beni Suef Aziz Mosque
By Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0
Beni Suef El Sayda Houria Mosque
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0
Fighter memorial with Sukhoi Su-7
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0

Continuing our flight southwards. For most of the course of the Nile the eastern bank is far more desert than the western bank.


Overflying the city of Minya and its airport.

Minya (Arabic: المنيا‎ ) is the capital of the Minya Governorate in Upper Egypt. It is located approximately 245 km (152 mi) south of Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, which flows north through the city. The name of the city is derived from its ancient Egyptian name Men'at Khufu, meaning the nursing city of Khufu, linking it to the Pharaoh Khufu or Cheops, builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza.

The name Minya may also have originated from the city's name in Sahidic Coptic Tmoone and in Bohairic Thmonē, meaning "the residence", in reference to an early monastery formerly in the area. It is the city where the Codex Tchacos was discovered.

Minya is dubbed by the locals "Bride of Upper Egypt", in reference to its strategic location in Middle Egypt as a vital link between the north and the south of Egypt. Minya has one of the highest concentration of Coptic Christians in Egypt (approximately 50% of total population). It is the home city of the Minya University, Suzanne Mubarak Center for Arts, the new Minya Museum, and the regional North of Upper Egypt Radio and Television. (*1)

El-Amrawy Mosque
By MontyofEgypt
Tomb of Ptolemaios, Tuna el-Gebel
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0
Mosque of the sheikh el-Qayati
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0

The city of Asyut.

Asyut (Arabic: أسيوط‎ ) is the capital of the modern Asyut Governorate in Egypt. It was built close to the ancient city of the same name, which is situated nearby. The modern city is located at 27°11′00″N 31°10′00″E, while the ancient city is located at 27°10′00″N 31°08′00″E. The city is home to one of the largest Coptic Catholic churches in the country.

The name of the city is derived from early Egyptian Zawty (late Egyptian, Səyáwt) adopted into the Coptic as Syowt, which means "Guardian" of the northern approach of Upper Egypt. In Graeco-Roman Egypt, it was called Lycopolis or Lykopolis (Greek: Λυκόπολις, "ἡ Λύκων πόλις"), ('wolf city') Lycon or Lyco.

Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh). It is the driest city of Egypt. Luxor, Minya, Qena and Asyut have the widest difference of temperatures between days and nights of any city in Egypt, with almost 16 °C (29 °F) difference. The city of Asyut is sandwiched between two mountain ranges of about 600m height. There is also a lowering in elevation in mid Egypt, from the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. This gives the city and nearby towns and villages the similar properties of a continental climate, meaning that the city has harsh and chilly cold winter weather, and very hot but non-humid summers. During summer the temperature can exceed 42 °C (108 °F). Yet, in winter Asyut gets below 0 °C (32 °F) temperatures during the night and frost can easily form, while hail or snow are rare because of the low average of the city's precipitation and general low humidity. (*1)

The religious institute
By Tour Mana Ali - CC BY-SA 4.0
Landscape west of the monastery of El-Deir el-Mu'allaq
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0
Main building of the Asyut University
Roland Unger - CC BY-SA 3.0

Final ILS approach to the Asyut International airport.


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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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