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).
“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.
SkyVector.com – 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.