Monday, January 28, 2008
TGIF 'TGIF' is an acronym meaning "Thank God It's Friday" or "Thank Goodness It's Friday", an expression of relief that the work week is finally over and that even if the weekend is not full of leisure, at least the drudgery of the workplace is temporarily over.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Dear Electricity Consumer,
Just a little note to let you know we understand your anger in the recent price hike and power cuts.
But it should be noted that you have no choice.
We are a big company and you will pay what we tell you. You have no choice.
We have the power, you need the power.
So sad, too bad. Sucks to be you.
We have enclosed a little picture to help outline our response.Have a nice day and keep those cheques coming, loser!
The backup module for Unit 2 has arrived at Koeberg and all our power cuts will soon be a thing of the past.
Nando's salute to Eskom!
Herewith a promise from Eskom in the National Geographic of October 1998.
Gatiep & Karools
Gatiep and Karools are sitting on death row. Gatiep says to the Warder, does this take long and is it painful?
Warder says, "No they just strap you in and flick the switch and its over."
Karools is called in, moments later Gatiep hears screaming and shouting, this carries on for quite a while.
Gatiep says to the Warder "I thought you said it was quick and painless?"
Warder replies that as result of the load shedding they have to use candles.
Stage of change in South Africa
Before '94 the government shouted "white power".
After '94 the new government shouted "black power".
Finally we can stand together and shout "NO power!"
What did South Africans use before candles?
New devices to save electricity
Eskom continues its drive to safe electricity...
...with this gas hairdryer.
Eskom is working on the problem
I know the load shedding is affecting everyone ... but take heart ...
Eskom is working on the problem!
Just yesterday morning I saw five of their specialists on site ...
Our father who art in Eskom,
Non existent be thy name,
Thy kingdom badly run,
Thy power is undone,
In Joburg as it is in KZN,
Give us this day,
our price-fixed bread,
And forgive the trespassers,
Who shoot us dead,
Lead me not into a dark nation,
But deliver me from surges,
For thine have no kingdom,
No power and no electricity,
New National Anthem
With immediate effect "Nkosi Sikelele Afrika" will be replaced with the national anthem:
"Hello Darkness My Old Friend".
"Additional failures have occurred on generating units over this period of planned maintenance. All emergency resources have been exploited, which include the use of Eskom's gas turbines and buying back power from large industrial customers. However, this is not sufficient to address the shortfall, hence the need for load shedding," the company said in a statement.
Eskom said that the continued growth in the economy had exhausted its surplus electricity generation capacity and reduced the reserve margin progressively, and it encouraged customers to curb their demand for power.
The Eskom capacity expansion programme, with an investment of R150-billion, has been accelerated and this aims at upgrading South Africa's power supply infrastructure and building new power stations.
However, until new power stations are commissioned, supply is set to remain tight and load shedding a constant reality.
And despite the fact that we have rolling blackouts throughout the country, Eskom released the following press release :
|Media Release - 22 January - PRICE INCREASE|
Tuesday, 22 January 2008
ESKOM’S RESPONSE TO PRICE INCREASE FOR THE 2008/9 FINANCIAL YEAR
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has announced its decision to grant Eskom a price increase that translates into an increase of 14.2% for the 2008/9 financial year. Eskom had applied for a rule change that would have resulted in an average increase of 18.7%. The application by Eskom was intended to address the recovery of the costs of primary energy (fuel) and for the acceleration of its capital expansion programme to meet growing demand for electricity.
Higher fuel costs are due to the fact that coal prices had risen over 30% in the last year, adding to power generation costs. Furthermore, the cost of plant and equipment has risen by 20% to 50% in the past year, and has doubled in five years.
The increase applied for is therefore necessary given the circumstances. It should also be pointed out that Eskom also makes a contribution by focusing on improved productivity and efficiency.
“The lower price increase will make it even harder for Eskom to satisfy conditions in the current financial markets to assure the funding needed for the capital expansion programme to ensure security of supply. Eskom will need to borrow more than if it had been granted the 18.7%. In addition, the current electricity prices are unsustainable and will result in steeper increases being required in the near future. However, Eskom would like to express its appreciation to NERSA for having considered our application in a transparent process and for acknowledging some of the challenges being faced by Eskom. We are considering the implications and the options available to us to manage the situation,” says Bongani Nqwababa, Eskom’s Finance Director.
WHAT IS LOAD SHEDDING?
Load shedding is:
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Adapted from the Field Guide to Leadership and Supervision.
Much of what managers and supervisors do is solve problems and make decisions. New managers and supervisors, in particular, often make solve problems and decisions by reacting to them. They are "under the gun", stressed and very short for time. Consequently, when they encounter a new problem or decision they must make, they react with a decision that seemed to work before. It's easy with this approach to get stuck in a circle of solving the same problem over and over again. Therefore, as a new manager or supervisor, get used to an organized approach to problem solving and decision making. Not all problems can be solved and decisions made by the following, rather rational approach. However, the following basic guidelines will get you started. Don't be intimidated by the length of the list of guidelines. After you've practiced them a few times, they'll become second nature to you -- enough that you can deepen and enrich them to suit your own needs and nature.
(Note that it might be more your nature to view a "problem" as an "opportunity". Therefore, you might substitute "problem" for "opportunity" in the following guidelines.)
1. Define the problemThis is often where people struggle. They react to what they think the problem is. Instead, seek to understand more about why you think there's a problem.
Defining the problem: (with input from yourself and others)
Ask yourself and others, the following questions:
a. What can you see that causes you to think there's a problem?
b. Where is it happening?
c. How is it happening?
d. When is it happening?
e. With whom is it happening? (HINT: Don't jump to "Who is causing the problem?" When we're stressed, blaming is often one of our first reactions. To be an effective manager, you need to address issues more than people.)
f. Why is it happening?
g. Write down a five-sentence description of the problem in terms of "The following should be happening, but isn't ..." or "The following is happening and should be: ..." As much as possible, be specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom and why. (It may be helpful at this point to use a variety of research methods. Also see .
Defining complex problems:
a. If the problem still seems overwhelming, break it down by repeating steps a-f until you have descriptions of several related problems.
Verifying your understanding of the problems:
a. It helps a great deal to verify your problem analysis for conferring with a peer or someone else.
Prioritize the problems:
a. If you discover that you are looking at several related problems, then prioritize which ones you should address first.
b. Note the difference between "important" and "urgent" problems. Often, what we consider to be important problems to consider are really just urgent problems. Important problems deserve more attention. For example, if you're continually answering "urgent" phone calls, then you've probably got a more "important" problem and that's to design a system that screens and prioritizes your phone calls.
Understand your role in the problem:
a. Your role in the problem can greatly influence how you perceive the role of others. For example, if you're very stressed out, it'll probably look like others are, too, or, you may resort too quickly to blaming and reprimanding others. Or, you are feel very guilty about your role in the problem, you may ignore the accountabilities of others.
2. Look at potential causes for the problema. It's amazing how much you don't know about what you don't know. Therefore, in this phase, it's critical to get input from other people who notice the problem and who are effected by it.
b. It's often useful to collect input from other individuals one at a time (at least at first). Otherwise, people tend to be inhibited about offering their impressions of the real causes of problems.
c. Write down what your opinions and what you've heard from others.
d. Regarding what you think might be performance problems associated with an employee, it's often useful to seek advice from a peer or your supervisor in order to verify your impression of the problem.
e.Write down a description of the cause of the problem and in terms of what is happening, where, when, how, with whom and why.
3. Identify alternatives for approaches to resolve the problema. At this point, it's useful to keep others involved (unless you're facing a personal and/or employee performance problem). Brainstorm for solutions to the problem. Very simply put, brainstorming is collecting as many ideas as possible, then screening them to find the best idea. It's critical when collecting the ideas to not pass any judgment on the ideas -- just write them down as you hear them.
4. Select an approach to resolve the problemWhen selecting the best approach, consider:
a. Which approach is the most likely to solve the problem for the long term?
b. Which approach is the most realistic to accomplish for now? Do you have the resources? Are they affordable? Do you have enough time to implement the approach?
c. What is the extent of risk associated with each alternative?
5. Plan the implementation of the best alternative (this is your action plan)a. Carefully consider "What will the situation look like when the problem is solved?"
b. What steps should be taken to implement the best alternative to solving the problem? What systems or processes should be changed in your organization, for example, a new policy or procedure? Don't resort to solutions where someone is "just going to try harder".
c. How will you know if the steps are being followed or not? (these are your indicators of the success of your plan)
d. What resources will you need in terms of people, money and facilities?
e. How much time will you need to implement the solution? Write a schedule that includes the start and stop times, and when you expect to see certain indicators of success.
f. Who will primarily be responsible for ensuring implementation of the plan?
g. Write down the answers to the above questions and consider this as your action plan.
h. Communicate the plan to those who will involved in implementing it and, at least, to your immediate supervisor.
(An important aspect of this step in the problem-solving process is continually observation and feedback.)
6. Monitor implementation of the planMonitor the indicators of success:
a. Are you seeing what you would expect from the indicators?
b. Will the plan be done according to schedule?
c. If the plan is not being followed as expected, then consider: Was the plan realistic? Are there sufficient resources to accomplish the plan on schedule? Should more priority be placed on various aspects of the plan? Should the plan be changed?
7. Verify if the problem has been resolved or notOne of the best ways to verify if a problem has been solved or not is to resume normal operations in the organization. Still, you should consider:
a. What changes should be made to avoid this type of problem in the future? Consider changes to policies and procedures, training, etc.
b. Lastly, consider "What did you learn from this problem solving?" Consider new knowledge, understanding and/or skills.
c. Consider writing a brief memo that highlights the success of the problem solving effort, and what you learned as a result. Share it with your supervisor, peers and subordinates.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
"Mons Mensa"… as every field or nature guide knows, is the Latin name of a star constellation meaning "
Abstract sculpture in
If you visit our municipal building in
Most Capetonians, or visitors to
King Edward in
I have travelled past the statue of King Edward V11, opposite the City Hall, on many occasions before and on some of these trips not only visitors to our city but local Capetonians too, have asked me what is the relevance of this statue which is in such a prominent place in the city.
Edward (born 1841) was the eldest son of Victoria and heir to the British throne. During the
Anglo Boer war he did something quite remarkable. He refused to be crowned as King of England until peace was achieved between the British troops and the Boers. This marked him as a great statesman and it is for this deed that he holds such a prominent place in our city.
The weather in the South Western Cape, and in particular
unpredictable. This is largely due to the positioning of the
There is only one fool-proof weathervane in the
The first European to climb
Many years later, a Dutch admiral, Joris van Spilbergen made landfall about 100km up the west coast and thought that he was in Agoada do
Saldanha. This is how
So if it had not been for a "slight" navigation error 2 centuries ago, who knows, maybe we would all be living in
The wooden tiles of
There was a time when the whole of
Panorama and Plattekloof
When one travels in the northern suburb areas one can visit the areas called Panorama and
Plattekloof (Flat hill) When one does this it is rather funny to see that that the area on top of the hills overlooking the beautiful Cape Peninsula is called Plattekloof while the area below the hills with no view at all is called Panorama. The reason for this is that when the title deeds to the area were issued the local municipality made an error and exchanged the names around accidentally. Till today the mistake still exists and the areas still have the wrong names.
"The Blue Route". The real name of the highway is "The Van Der Stel Highway". It is also known as the M3. The question arises as to where the nickname of the
The answer to the above poser lies in the fact that when the original plans for the highway were drawn up, the highway was drawn on the plans in a thick blue pencil colour and someone started calling it the Blue Route. The nickname got very popular and it even led to a local shopping mall being called the Blue Route Centre.
On the outskirts of
In 1836 Sir Benjamin D'Urban, the governor of the Cape, granted the request to the villagers of
the above mentioned area which was then known as Pampoenskraal (Pumpkin village) that they could call their village Durban. In later years the name was changed to Durbanville so as to distinguish it from the city of
The first telegram sent from Cape Town.
The first telegram sent from a venue in
served in this area. This room soon became what then and today is known as Constantia Nek which not only was famous as a restaurant but also as a dining/dancing venue on weekends.
If one arrives at the restaurant one sees a large mountain that overshadows the building. This hill is known as Vlakkenberg. It was originally known as Vlagenberg (
Forced removals in District 6.
The forced removals of the local Cape Coloured population from District 6 in 1966 is what most people remember the area for. I wonder how many Capetonians know that the first forced removals, on the basis of colour from District 6, took place in as early as 1901. It was in this year that the African people (Black) staying in District 6 were forcibly removed to Ndabeni so as to allow for "poor whites" to stay in the area.
Much has been written about District 6 in
In 1840 the town of
Strictly speaking the area today is called Zonnebloem, but once again the name is not used by the local Capetonian public in preference to the name of District 6. It truly seems as if the spirit of District 6 will never die for the local
On a daily basis most Capetonians pass or see Signal Hill from wherever they are in the city. It always fascinates me to hear why Capetonians think the hill is called as such. Most say that it is because the noon gun fires a signal from hill. This answer would be incorrect.
The reason why the hill is called Signal Hill is because in bygone years a signalman was permanently stationed on the mountainside which has a great vantage point over the whole of
enemy vessel attacking the harbour. This signal brought every man to the harbour so as to defend the shoreline.
(photo courtesy of Maans Smit)
The next time that you are in the
To get a good view of the heart of
In the suburb of Rondebosch near
I wonder how many Capetonians know that it is in the vicinity of this fountain, on 1 March 1657, that 9 free burghers took permanent title to land and thus became the first "citizens" of
Furthermore it is also interesting to note that the fountain itself has a lamp above it that apparently contained the first electric street light installed in
The first motor car to be used in
It is told that Mr.Jenkins first started the vehicle in front of the Garlicks store. As he travelled up Lower St.George's Street he lost control of the vehicle and charged the crowd who were watching the event. An Irish policeman is reputed to have admonished him by saying " when you next intend to go motoring, may I suggest you leave that machine behind"
Many people pass the
The origin of the swan emblem is a very interesting one. The word "Hus" in Bohemian means goose. When Hus was burnt at the stake (1415) he spoke the words "Today a goose roasts but in time a swan will arise which nothing will destroy", hence the origin of the insignia.
I wonder how many folk know where, when and how the
The outcome of the meeting was the opening of the South African College at the Weeshuis or Orphanage on 1 October 1829. 100 students attended school in this venue until The South African College was built. This school in turn superseded the
We have a wonderful Supreme Court building that faces the Lions Head mountain area. If you ever see the building give the following a thought: Why does the building face in this direction and not in the direction of Queen Victoria Street which would then mean that a view of the beautiful tranquil company gardens would be enjoyed?
When the original plans for the court were submitted the plans showed that they would face
The naming of
In 1620 and English seafarer, Humphrey Fitzherbert, landed at what he called the
He then set about naming the surrounding mountains. First to be honored was the present day Signal Hill, which was christened 'King James his mount'. What was later to become Lions Head he dubbed 'Ye Sugar loafe'. Not about to miss an opportunity to achieve ever lasting fame, he named the present day Devils peak, 'Herbert's Mount'.
Unfortunately, on his return to
Herbert's Mount became Windebergh, but over five centuries and in many languages
I wonder how may of you are aware that the Cape Glass Company, established in 1902, at Glencairn was destined to be the most advance of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The initial projections were that it would produce 8 million bottles per year. But alas, production and suitably qualified labour recruitment problems forced the factory into closure in 1905. Not a lot has changed in almost a century.
All that remain of the old factory today are archeological remains and glass fragments.
Molteno reservoir at the upper reaches of the city has quite an illustrious history. The existing reservoir, that supplies Cape Town with water, is in fact the second Molteno reservoir to be constructed and completed 1866.
In 1822, the original reservoir burst its banks, causing a tidal wave of water to rush down into the city demolishing houses, uprooting trees and generally wreaking havoc in its path.
It's amazing what we in
In 1898 a certain Mr. R.Salie submitted plans to the council to construct a mosque in Quarterdeck rd in
To date, no mosque, larger than this one has been built in
Dr Barry performed the 1st ever-recorded cesarean birth in 1826 in
Dr Barry died aged 71 1865 while occupying the post of Inspector general of the British Army.
In the early 17th century Mr. Samual Silverthorn Baily came to
He subsequently built the
The hospital was however not his only contribution to medicine. Mr. Baily also started the 1st medical insurance scheme in
The oldest statue of a public figure in
Sir George Gray was also Governor general of NZ in 1854
Many of our famous mountain passes in the
However another lesser known achievement of the famous Baine family and also this weeks fascinating info is the Baine's Kloof tunnel. Did you know that this was the first transport tunnel, at 336' long, ever built in South Africa and that it was built with absolutely no mortar but only stone packings.
Last week I told you about Sir George Gray, Governor to the
Muizenburg post office was the 1st in
On 27 December 1911, Evelyn Driver, considered to be a superb "instinctive navigator" and also a pioneer of British Royal mail service, delivered by air, 729 Specially designed postcards to this post office.
The flight from the
Did you know that this legend actually started at
The story is told of a certain Captain Hendrick van der Decken who battled against a storm rounding Cape Point on his way home. Even though his severely battered ship started sinking he vowed that he "would try, even if it took till judgment day" to round the
There have been many "sightings" of the phantom ship with torn sails and broken masts, but the most significant sighting was on July 1881 by a midshipman on the HMS Berchante.
This young lad was eventually crowned King George V 1907.
When you look up at
The buildings where built as per the instructions of governor Sir James Craig and where named the Kings, Queens, and Duke of
On 21 Feb 1850 the British government was coerced by the people of
As a token of gratitude the
It is very hard to believe that the
No wonder, the name "
There are 2 prominent statues of this renowned leader in
He also wrote a number of philosophical works and was the first to first to use the term "Holism" referring to holistic healing.
Smuts also coined the phrase "The Whole is greater than the sum of its parts" 1870 -1950
Knowing the time in the dead of night is something we take for granted as we can simply look at an illuminated watch and read the time. 300 years ago, our Dutch forefathers never had this luxury and a solution had to be found. After all, they could not simply pop outside and read the “Moon dial” like they would have used a sundial.
A device called a “Water Watch” was used, which utilized an accurate dripping system calibrated for 13 hours of drip. A floating cork would indicate the time, usually starting at 6pm. and lasting to 7am. The nighttime hours when a sundial was ineffective and an hourglass to cumbersome.
An example of this kind of clock, dated 1697, used in
The "Noon Day Gun" has not always been fired at "Noon". The tradition of the midday firing is derived from a Dutch East
Only since 4 Aug 1902 has it been fired at noon, from Lion Battery on Signal hill above
This very well known lighthouse is the oldest in the country and is also the "Lighthouse services" head office.
The odd thing about this landmark is that the Lighthouse services head office has not always been in this building. These offices have in fact, until 1993, been in
John Chapman was the master of a ship, the "Consent" which was becalmed in
"Chapmans Chance" was the first name given to Hout bay and it was also the first English name ever to appear on maps of
The earliest record of a British vessel to be wrecked on our treacherous
Did you know that electric lights were used on April 13 1895 to light the streets of
Those of us old and colonial enough will remember the little coin called the "Tickey". This very common, small silver South African coin, was actually a 3-penny piece and because of its diminutive size gave rise to the word "Tickey" being commonly used for things small. A very well known example being a very famous midget clown performing in a South African circus.
A lesser known point, is the origin of this word "Tickey" which actually originates from a Malay word tiga, which means three - Hence the 3-penny piece.
Did you know that the main road of Simonstown, even though it is quite short, changes its name 6 times from beginning to end. Entering into Simonstown, it starts off as Main road. In front of the station it changes to Station road and then into
Wow, quite a mouthful when giving directions in such a small town.
The word, that we have all used when talking about our sea birds and islands, originates from a Peruvian Indian word meaning seabird manure. They were the first to use it as fertilizer for their farm plots.The origin of the word Biltong
I have been asked so many times by foreign guests what that dried meat stuff similar to Beef Jerky is called, that I have lost track how many times it has happened. Every time I answer with the word 'Biltong' and then launch into this elaborate explanation how traditional this meat is and how fundamental it is to the South African culture. Never have I even given it a second thought as to where the word Biltong originates from. Have you?
It appears that the word Biltong is derived from the Dutch word 'Bil' meaning 'Backside' and 'Tong' meaning 'Strip'. So a piece of Biltong is literally a strip of the old backside.
Did you know that the longest serving chemist in the world, according to the Guinness book of records lives and works right here in
Having just traveled with an American couple, who insisted on buying a large amount of this "local gold" before returning home, it got me thinking if you would know where this very familiar product originated from. Well here it is.
In 1852 The SS Quanza was wrecked off the coast of
Have you ever wondered how
Early photographs of
Groot Constantia Manor house.
You have probably visited the wine estate Groot Constantia and thus seen the majestic old manor house once occupied by Simon van Der Stell. I however wonder if you are aware of the unusual circumstances that led to the unusually large roof and windows of this historic building.
In 1792, whilst Hedrick Cloete still owned the farm, he decided to enlarge and improve the homestead. Initially there was a flat roofed gallery behind the front row of rooms. Cloete had the roof of both gallery and rooms removed and replaced with a traditional thatch roof. The new roof however now spanned 14 meters of building, double the width of a traditional house of the time. As a thatch roof requires a pitch of 50 degrees, to remain waterproof, the height of the roof therefore had to be doubled as well. Now that they were doubling the height of the roof, the existing walls would have been far to low to be in proportion, so they extended the height of the walls and the existing casement windows were replaced by tall sash windows. The next problem was that the front gable had to be heightened to match the size of the huge side gables. This left a large blank space above the gable window. Conveniently this was filled by a niche now containing a statue of Abundance with her horn of plenty. It would have been so much easier had Cloete just stuck to tradition but then alas we would not have this majestic building today.
The Khoisan people who were at the
When the Khoisan returned they told the Great Man that they had held the valuable seeds in the palm of their hand while they traveled to the southern most point of the land. There they had found a great flat mountain and in their excitement of being there they allowed the seeds to slip from their hands onto the sandy slopes of
The silvertree is part of the Protea family ( Leucadendron Argentum ) and is found only on the slopes of
Sir Harry Smith, governor of the
If you have been fortunate enough to visit the Cape Point reserve, you will have seen these two concrete beacons with stone crosses on top. These two beacons where erected in 1965 to serve as a memorial to the great discoverers after which they are named.
Another more subtle application is that they are also used as navigational beacons. For a ship in
Even thought this tree is not found naturally in
So next time you feel a bout if flu coming on and you are about to take a trip to the Okovango delta, stop by your nearest Baobab tree, there is one in Kirstenbosch. Who knows, it might help.
The oldest living tradition in
Did you know that there was a station in the heart of
Well, thanks to the Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch, who offer steam train excursions from
This clipper, famous for its unique figurehead of a witch called Nanni, had two direct connections with
The other connection to
Did you know that the word Cutty Sark is word of Scottish origin which means short shirt. It is therefore not surprising that the figurehead of Nanni is dressed in a Cutty Sark.
The Rubbi Chapel.
Few Capetonians are aware of the exquisite architectural jewel in the middle of Kommetjie, built a half a century ago, by a grieving widow in loving memory of her husband, Joseph Rubbi.
The Rubbi chapel, considered a "reckless extravagance" by the priest of Fish Hoek, was built by dedicated Italian craftsmen in 1948. The tiles, altar and sanctuary are of Italian marble, fashioned by expert craftsmen. The woodwork, pews, doors and fittings are of superb quality that could only be achieved during an era when time taken on a project was not an issue. The chapel is complete with a domed ceiling in which three painting are set, one dating back to the 15th century.
A real architectural artistic secret right here in our midst which just has to be seen to be believed.
We all know that most big cities of the world are situated on rivers.
The answer is "Yes" and it is called the
Swellendam, the third oldest village in the
Many people people think the name Langa means sun. If this was so then Xhosa speakers would call this place "Elangeni" which they don't. Langa, as pronounced in English, is actually called "Kwa-Langa" which means the place of Langa, indicating ownership of an individual by that name.
In 1873 a Tribal chief and renowned rainmaker, Langalibalele, was imprisoned on
There is a student's residence called Driekoppen at the lower end of the UCT campus, next to the Baxter theatre. Contrary to popular belief, this residence is not call by this name because there are three tall building loosely referring to three heads. The name has a far more gruesome and ominous origin.
In 1724, a colonist by the name of Behr was murdered at this location by three slaves. The slaves were tortured and on confession they were decapitated and their heads were placed on poles at the site of the murder. Presumably this was to be a deterrent to anyone who might have considered a similar crime. I believe it worked!
It is quite unusual for Capetonians to think of our beloved mountain as a crash site for aircraft. Not so for the unfortunate Mr. Fred Duk and pupil pilot Mr. Williams. These two intrepid aviators took off from