Chiclayo to Nazca, Peru

13- 14 January 2006

Overflying the Nazca lines with Stefan Horler's Cessna 170


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It was a 4-hour flight to Nazca over desert, desert and more desert. In fact, we would be flying over desert almost as far south as Santiago de Chile. It was with pleasure that we flew straight over the sprawling city of Lima without having to land there. Large airports are always best avoided due to the ´headwind´ or red tape on the ground.
The main attraction of Nazca is the Nazca Lines, those mysterious lines in the desert that have intrigued archaeologists for decades – ever since they were first seen from the air. I had wanted to see them ever since my friend Tony Morrison told me about them. When I met Tony in Rio in about 1980 he had already written a book and made a documentary about them. He met a German mathematician there called Maria Reiche who became so obsessed with the lines that she spent many years there under the baking sun in untiring research. Her theory was that the lines were some kind of astronomical calendar. She died in Nazca in 1998 and we attended an interesting lecture at the Planetarium named after her. Tony Morrison's theory was totally different from Maria's. He contended that the lines were walkways linking ceremonial sites or huacas. A more recent theory is that the lines were dedicated to the worship of water, but none of the theories have been proved.
We had initially intended to request permission to fly low over the lines in the Mooney. We had got a permit from Civil Aviation subject to the condition that we additionally obtained a permit from Instituto Nacional de Cultura in Ica (INC) and got briefed and got permission from the tower in Nazca. However, Rudolf Wiedmer – a Swiss pilot who has been living in Peru for many years – contacted INC and told us that obtaining the permit from INC would be a lengthy process and would cost us over US$ 250. Anyway, it was much better to fly over the lines with a local pilot who knew the exact position of each line and figure and used high-winged planes. On arrival at Nazca we parked our plane at AeroIca, just across the road from the Maison Suisse, owned by another Swiss pilot called Franklin Horler. We stayed the night there and early the next morning, Franklin´s son Stefan flew us over the lines in a Cessna 170. At 7.30 a.m. the light was just right and there was zero turbulence, and of course Stefan knew exactly where to take us and pointed out each and every figure. It was, in a word, perfect!

Overview from 4000 feet of the Nazca lines area. The Panamericana highway goes right through the area.

On the approach to Nasca airport. The city is at 1 o'clock and the airport is at 2 o'clock.

Honey Mooney parked at AeroIca's apron in Nazca

Angela, Flemming and Stefan Horler next to AeroIca's Cessna 170.

The surroundings of the Humming Bird

Close-up of the Humming Bird from 500 feet

The 'Hands' near the observation tower by the Panamericana highway.

AeroIca pilots and mechanics next to Honey Mooney. Stefan is to the left of Flemming.

JAlbum 6.2 Copyright: Angela & Flemming PEDERSEN