Official 5th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - discussion thread

Welcome again to our annual Mudspike Christmas Flight – 2019 Edition! For our fifth year running, we will deliver packages, hopes, (beverages), and spread good will across the globe as we make our way from our homes to our target location.

This year we are heading for a unique outpost at the western edge of the Aleutian Island chain - Attu Island and the decommissioned Casco Cove Coast Guard station (PAAT).

The island has a fascinating history, not the least of which is the fact that it hosted the only WWII battle fought on American soil.

“By the evening of May 31, the island was fully in American hands, but at a terrible price for both sides. Out of the Japanese defenders, 2,351 were killed and only 29 were taken prisoner. The American figures were 549 killed, 1,148 wounded and about 2,100 listed as casualties from exposure, trench foot and shock.”

As late as 2010, the island was still being used as a LORAN station until its decommissioning in that year. The island is now uninhabited and access is difficult. Weather conditions throughout the Aleutians should provide for some interesting approach challenges.

As with previous years, the rules are pretty loose – just get there before January 1st if you can! Conceived by longtime simmer Deacon, the Christmas Flight has given us the opportunity to come together as a community for a fun and laid back event surrounded by the spirit of goodwill that the holiday season often brings.


  • Fly the sim of your choice (FSX, X-Plane, P3D).

  • Fly any aircraft you like on your “mission” – fighter, transport, seaplane, helicopter – it’s up to you!

  • Take off from the airport closest to your home location with a load of gifts.

  • Fly to Attu Island (PAAT).

  • Encouraged to use real time weather to make things interesting.

  • Fly as much of the route as you like, time accel if you want, or just do the takeoff and landing – there really are no rules – just have fun!

  • Flights can be flown at any time up to New Year’s Day.

  • Post your flight progress in this thread.

In the interest of being inclusive, your flight does not have to be a “Christmas” flight – instead, celebrate the New Year, or Hanukkah, Festivus, or whatever you feel represents the spirit of the event. – Great online general flight planning tool with maps and enroute charts (you’ll have to find individual country IAPs along your route though)

METAR/TAFS – Quick METAR/TAF information for many international airports

Global Winds – General wind patterns for the entire planet

AWC International Flights – Oceanic Winds Aloft

There are no published instrument approaches to PAAT - but the nearby island of Shemya Island with its Eareckson Air Station (PASY) does feature an ILS and VOR/DME/TACAN approaches where you can sit and wait out the weather.

X-Plane pilots can use an older scenery package for Casco Cove CGS located HERE. Please note that the scenery is actually slightly displaced due to some mesh concerns. I actually built ortho-tiles for the entire Aleutian Islands and adjusted the above scenery to more closely align with the ortho - if you need the updated file, let me know.


As a starter member of OCD Simmers Anonymous, I think yes, I will definitely be needling that file. If you like I will be happy to host it on my Google Drive and provide this illustrious group the link. :slightly_smiling_face:

Now I’m cheerfully off to explore the X-Plane 11 threads for how too load Ortho scenery.


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Honestly…it might be better if I just rebuild the scenery completely to match the ortho. I might take a crack at that. Hopefully four months is enough lead time to get us all sorted. I haven’t researched what is available for FSX/P3D yet…but I’m guessing there is something out there.

I’ll do that research and if I can’t find anything, I’ll build something. :grin:

EDIT: A quick search of Avsim and shows no hits in FSX…just the XP you mentioned…

…which looks pretty nice. :slightly_smiling_face:

Put me down for this as well, please.

Hmm, a relatively short hop on this one from Texas. I may go for a slightly more circuitous route…

I’d like to participate in this :+1:

For a real challenge you could always fly the route inverted. :smirk:



Cool choice of destination!
As always, I have a dream of participating…
I think the Tromsø-Svalbard-Greenland-Canada route is the way to go.


It’s going to be a very picturesque trek from Texas. Especially now that I have TrueEarth scenery for Oregon and Washington. I’m looking forward to this one :).


Hmmm. I’ve said I’ll participate in these events twice now and failed miserably. However I’m off work from the 13th December till the 6th of January.

I wonder if I could do it in a king air…

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Yeah…I have ortho for the entire United States pretty much. I might take a route up through the extremes of Canada and across though perhaps. As usual, now I have to settle on a ride. This time I want something fairly slow and conventional since it is a bit of a shorter distance. I probably won’t start until mid to late October, but knew that some folks were chomping at the bit to get at least a bit of a heads up on the destination.


Apparently the CBS News show “60 Minutes” featured the Battle of Attu and some of the story about the residents that were taken to Japanese internment camps, and the a bit about the struggle to return to the island after the war. I have not seen it, but it looks pretty good. I’m not sure how you can see the whole 60 Minutes segment though…


You can stop in Baghdad and pick up your Beech 18 :wink:

Jokes aside, I am also considering options but I guess I already know its going to be Bell 412.
Eagerly awaiting delivery of my new HDD so I can begin with Ortho homework :slight_smile:

Cheating detected = I am not going to start from airport closest to my home location rather from most northern airport I flew to IRL. Checking the area :


@BeachAV8R, according to the AFD entry you posted for the airport, it is OFFICIAL BUSINESS ONLY. Does this mean that we are doing OFFICIAL Christmas business? Will I need a note from Santa sanctioning my flight? Also, I am an airline pilot. I only go where I am pointed. Can someone serve as my dispatcher and handle all of the flight planning, fuel loading, user fees, catering, maintenance, de icing, Customs and ATC coordination? Thanks.


Yes. You will…but you can only get one if you have been “nice” this year.

No problem! You will be flying a Stearman biplane. As far as directions fly :point_up_2: to Alaska then head :point_left:. :grin:


Mudspike :mudspike: business is official business…

How else are we supposed to get there…?


I really want to do it in a chopper now as well

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That’s great. XP or P3D? There are definitely more options in the latter.


I’m going to have to consult with Mudspike Air Cargo management and the pilot union (Mudspike Air Machinists Mechanics Aviators Refuelers Yunion) (hey, I had to cheat to make the acronym) to see what we are allowed to do under the terms of our contracts.

Of course…our last meeting between management and the pilot union didn’t turn out so well…


Guess we shouldn’t have had an open bar prior to the meeting.

Users can use the discount code: MAC0% to get a big (cough) price reduction on the services of Universal Flight Planning.

For flight planning. I recommend all users proceed direct to the geographic North Pole and fly the 173° West meridian south until you see a gaggle of airplanes. Unless you are the first plane. Too bad the LORAN station isn’t working eh?

Baghdad has been pleasant all these months. I’ve been pretending I’m Canadian.

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