Official 6th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight 2020 - Discussion & AAR Thread

Welcome again to our annual Mudspike Christmas Flight – 2020 Edition! For our sixth 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, by general consensus, we have decided to head for the scenic city of Cape Town near the southern tip of Africa.

Our destination will be Cape Town International (FACT) - approach charts are available: HERE

Operational Navigation Charts (ONC) (though dated) can be found: HERE


  • 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 Cape Town (FACT)

  • 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

With the release of MSFS - obviously you have scenery for almost all of the world.

For those using FSX or P3D, there is an option for Global OpenLC Africa: HERE

Unfortunately, the old “IFR low res Ortho” scenery package that used to be out there for X-Plane that covered the world is gone. So you’ll either have to accept default global scenery, or generate your own with Ortho4XP.


Woohoo, here we go again! :grin::gift::gift::gift::airplane::small_airplane::airplane::small_airplane::airplane::helicopter::rocket::sailboat::canoe:

Game plan V0.1:


I love reading you guys doing these. Good luck to all participants!

I went ahead and picked my ride last night. I’ve decided to use MSFS for this trip…simply to explore the scenery that Bing provides. :vr:

I also went ahead and plonked down $30 for the beautiful Carenado Mooney M20 last night, excitedly hopped in, only to find that a recent update to MSFS apparently borked the plane and if you hit ANY button in the airplane the sim CTDs :see_no_evil: So, until that gets fixed…I’m cooling my heels at my home base.

I do love the old school-ish panel. Nice to have an ADF for the route I’ll end up taking…


Debating whether to take the northern route or southern route. Big mileage differences, but the northern route would contain more scenery…but it would be fun to do the southern route to experience much of South America too…


Both good choices.
The southern one is probably the better idea right now since MSFS has some problems with Greenland scenery right now.

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Cool :grinning:

It looks like this will be my first Mudspike Christmas Flight.

I will do some planning tonight :+1:

I actually spent the New Year’s Eve 2011 in Cape Town. A story on its own :grinning:

I will put the new MSFS 2020 into test.

Do I have to arrive on time for the Christmas evening?


The goal has been to arrive by New Year’s Eve, but usually not all of us make that so the bar stays open a few weeks extra! No pressure, enjoy your time


So this is my preliminary plan:

14 legs, 400-600NM each, 6410NM total, aircraft of choice: Asobo TBM 930.

While it is not the most direct route, it will certainly be a bit more scenic one :slight_smile:

I also hope to do a good bit of it in VR :vr:


Great choice I am looking forward to a nice route over Europe and flying through the spine of Africa.

Just looking at the South Atlantic route, the airports at Ascension Island and St Helena don’t exist in MSFS at this point. I was planning to use them too. Still, there is nothing to say you can’t switch to X-Plane for the oceanic part of the trek.


One route I’m considering, probably a couple of plane changes involved.

On a related note, has anybody played with the SFD global scenery?


Nice! From EU it is not that far away I would say.
Definitely need to decide on the ride. Helo? GA? JET? SR-71? Decisions! :smile:


cancelled my xb game pass, but MSFS looks tempting for this Africa track. lots of nice POI

I can’t find any route across the Atlantic, except going north, that has a crossing leg under 1000nm. That leaves me with the Diamond DA62 or the Beechcraft Baron G58 unless I want to move up to the Turboprops in MFS2020. Unless I go with X-Plane … which is still an option :slight_smile:

Somebody have to be the first :slight_smile:

So here we go. I have no exact plan ( except to make some money here and there along the route to pay for the fuel (FSE) :dollar: ).
LZKZ (Slovakia) - LROD (Romania) - LYVR (Serbia)

Weather was not really favourable but decided to try it anyway

There was a section of the route where I went full IFR 500ft AGL but fortunately I flew above flat terrain

Fine weather at Oradea

Nice little field in Vrsac


Nice! I am going to fly XP (my only option currently) and will mostly fly the 727, I think. I haven’t used the CIVA INS in an actual navigation attempt yet, so I am slightly apprehensive about the initial flight being a blue water crossing from NZ to Australia …but then again, even if I miss Brisbane, Australia is hard to miss so I’ll probably be okay :smile:


OK…first leg is in the books. Short hop that I always enjoy making when departing from my “home” airport of Gastonia, NC (KAKH). Just up to 2NC0…a ridiculous little private airfield carved out of the side of a mountain. I was curious how MSFS would handle the scenery there…so off we go…

Departing Gastonia, NC…

Flying the beautiful Carenado Mooney M20…which you should DEFINITELY not buy (like, for real not buy…not…not buy as in…definitely buy it…). Due to some quirk with the latest MSFS update, the Mooney will cause the sim to CTD if you click on knobs in the cockpit. There is a workaround for this…ONLY use your mouse wheel to move knobs. You can click buttons and stuff…but no clicking on rotary knobs! So until they get this worked out - I would not recommend buying it.

I did apply this GNS 530 mod to the plane to make the GPS a bit better looking and more realistic…YMMV…

The cockpit of the Mooney is very nice…clean layout, not complicated, and importantly (to me anyway) for a long journey - a nice autopilot…

Departing very near to where my house is. That is Crowders Mountain and Kings Pinnacle located in the state park in my backyard…

Short hop up past Shelby and Hickory, NC…

Getting into the foothills of the Black Mountains…with peaks above 6,000’…

Once across the spine of the Black Mountains…Mountain Air Airport comes into view. The sim treats it pretty well, with a nice slope of the runway. It is more sloped in real life, and the terrain is a bit steeper on the north side of the field…causing a much tighter runway than what is depicted in the sim. But it is pretty good for stock scenery!

The tendency in the pattern at Mountain Air is to be low. Way better to be too high and go around than to be caught low without the performance to drag yourself out of the low terrain that surround the airfield…

Turning final…the real airport can often suffer from severe turbulence in the lee of the high peaks…lots of bumps and updrafts and downdrafts…

I’m glad the Mooney has some nice little speedbrakes since I feel MSFS drag modeling is not the greatest. All the planes feel too slippery in my opinion…

Alright…first leg done. Shoot…I forgot my golf clubs…!


I’m still tempted to go the southern route…maybe this can help…


Nice find! That certainly opens up the Southern route for those of us based in the Americas.

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