Tour around Africa: Stage 23 - Waddan (HL72) to Matratin (HL80)
MS Flight Simulator VFR Flight Plan
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In this VFR - GPS Flight Plan we take off from the runway 11 of the small aerodrome of Waddan (HL72) [Libya] and land in runway 13  of the aerodrome of Matratin (HL80) [Libya], first flying to the north towards Sirte and then to the east following the coast.

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 runway 11 of the Waddan aerodrome we take left to the north.  It is a clean afternoon but quite windy, with wind speeds up to 25 knots.

Waddan Airport (ICAO: HL72) is an airport serving the town of Waddan in the Jufra District of Libya. The airport is 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south of the town.

The Hon non-directional beacon (Ident: HON) is located 11 nautical miles (20 km) west of the airport. It doesn't have a control tower  (*1)

After take off we turn to the left towards Sirte to the north. 100 nautical miles of the already familiar desert landscape in our front.

Overflying the dry bed of a river.

When approaching Sirte the ground gets really flat. Notice we can already see the sea in the background.

Leaving the Ghardabiya airport and airbase to the right.

Ghardabiya Airbase is a dual-function airbase for the Libyan Air Force, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of the Mediterranean coastal city of Sirte. It also incorporates an airport for civilian use.

All runways have 305 metres (1,001 ft) displaced thresholds.

The Sirte non-directional beacon (Ident: SRT) is located 7.8 nautical miles (14.4 km) north of the airport, in the city. The Sirte VOR-DME (Ident: SRT) is located on the field. (*1)

Flying near the city of Sirte, turning to the east in order to follow the coastline.

Sirte (Arabic: سِرْت‎), also spelled Sirt, Surt, Sert or Syrte, is a city in Libya. It is located south of the Gulf of Sirte, between Tripoli and Benghazi. It is famously known for its battles, ethnic groups, and loyalty to Muammar Gaddafi. Also due to its development, it was the capital of Libya as Tripoli's successor after the Fall of Tripoli from 1 September 2011 to 20 October 2011. The settlement was established in the early 20th century by the Italians, at the site of a 19th-century fortress built by the Ottomans. It grew into a city after World War II.

As the birthplace of Muammar Gaddafi, Sirte was favoured by the Gaddafi government. The city was the final major stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists in the Libyan Civil War and Gaddafi was killed there by rebel forces on 20 October 2011. During the battle, Sirte was left almost completely in ruins, with many buildings totally destroyed or damaged. Six months after the civil war, almost 60,000 inhabitants, more than 70 percent of pre-war population, had returned. (*1)

Mathābah al-Madīnah, Assembly building, in Sirte (2007) A square in Sirte (2007)  

Flying along the coastline towards the port of Sidra and its close aerodrome of Matratin.

Final approach to the aerodrome of Matratin, close to the port of Sidra.

Sidra or Sidr (Arabic: السدرة‎) is a port about 23 km west of Ra's Lanuf in Libya. It is Libya's largest oil depot, shipping about 447,000 barrels per day (71,100 m3/d), and during the Cold War gave its name to the 'Gulf of Sidra', an alternative name for the Gulf of Sirte. Sidra Airport is directly next to the port.

This oil port increased in importance as Libya's economy developed in the last quarter of the 20th century.

During the Libyan Civil War, forces under the leadership of the National Transitional Council captured the port of Sidra at the beginning of March 2011. Pro-Gaddafi forces tried to retake the port from the anti-Gaddafi forces some days later.

During the Second Libyan Civil War, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's Libyan branch launched an attempt to seize the port in January 2016. At least one oil storage tank was set ablaze by a long-range rocket.

In June 2018, militiamen led by Ibrahim Jadhran seized the port from the Libyan National Army. The LNA recaptured the port on 21 June.

In January 2020, the National Oil Corporation declared force majuere over oil loadings at the port after an blockade was imposed by tribes affiliated with the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar.

In July 2020, the National Oil Corporation reported that Wagner Group, Janjaweed and Syrian mercenaries were present at the port. (*1)

An oil tanker at Sidra Oil Port    

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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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