Official 8th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight 2022 Discussion and AAR Thread

Time to start putting some longer legs in. Today’s additional cargo on top of what we already have, is Scottish tablet.

If you think this is just fudge, try and imagine the sweetest sugary sweet you can think of, then times it by 10,000. Even consuming a small piece of this, you can feel your teeth disintegrating and your life shortening by a year. We have a 1kg jar onboard, which probably has as enough calories to live on for 6 months should we have to make a forced landing.

Leg 3: EGQS → EKVG Vágar Airport

I’ve flown to Vagar airport (virtually) quite a few times, each time with real weather and I don’t ever recall landing on any approach other than Runway 12.

This is the trickier approach as the localiser is offset due to the mountains. It also has no ILS, unlike the approach from the other end.

A quick check of the METAR and sure enough, wind from the SE… but I may get away with a visual landing.

I’ve downloaded nickb’s superb Lossiemouth upgrade. It has much better buildings and some nicer aircraft in the parking bays.

Good company at the Mil transport parking

Lining up on Runway 23, The weather hadn’t improved much overnight and there was now a fierce crosswind.

We began our roll and I could feel the wind from the right. As we rotated I was almost cross controlling to counter act the wind. Perhaps it should have been a schnapps and fire day. Retracting the undercarriage we gained altitude and I was glad when we broke through the cloud.

Happy clouds.

Leaving Scotland behind

Heading north, there was little to see but we had a great tailwind which was cracking things along at nearly 450kts GS. I’d decided to descend early as the forecast was broken cloud.

Descending with the sun

First sight of land

Dropping down to 4000ft things seemed to be going smoothly, progress on the the charts looked ok.

South of the runway. getting ready to turn in front of Mygaennaes Island

It was nice to see the weather report was good so there shouldn’t be any worries with the approach.

Gear and flaps down, possibly a bit high.

Needed to be at 2,000ft in the turn, some work to do

Autpilot off and seeming to be on track

Not bad

A nice touchdown, but I spoilt it a bit trying to get a screenshot. I’ve found trying to stay on the centreline a bit tricky with the view in front.

Left is right and right is left.

Arrived and parked. Now where is the pub?

That’s the easiest landing I’ve done at Vagar, usually things go a bit wobbly as I turn in to the approach. It might be task overload, this time with manually flying the last bit was much easier.

Next stop Keflavik.


It is about time that the replay feature starts to work well enough, I have the same problem of botched takeoffs and landings because I am busy taking screenshots. :smiley:


Great reports!

I am actually parked (virtually) next to you!

I did the run up to Vayar yesterday, but haven’t gotten the chance to write it up.

I’m hoping to make it into Kef tomorrow or the following day.

We may all actually arrive there at about the same time!


I promise, these are the last Delfín shots :sunglasses:

nice little airport

zooming out

and having fun around our destination


Coincidentally, I pulled this off the bookshelf yesterday and moved it to the on deck stack. I’ve been on a Spitfire binge lately, and very much approve of your mount and livery for the Channel leg.


Is that the Justflight 146 Professional? Been thinking about getting it. This event is always murder on my wallet.


It is. It’s a lovely module, but way out of my comfort zone on price point for what I’d usually spend…

I’d been looking at it for a long time, then had some birthday money and couldn’t think what to get.

I’m very happy with it.


Looks like a very capable module. I am very tempted by it myself. :+1:t2:

Alright. I have a few legs to catch up in order to get to Kef to see @keets and @PaulRix at the bar.

I’ve just got home from flying the redeye, so if you’re looking for the King’s Good English, prepare to be disappointed! :rofl:

I’m going to try to move these along in the interest of time.

Leg 30 Hawarden Airport, Flintshire, Wales, UK (EGNR) TO Benbecula Airport, Benbecula, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK (EGPL)

Side Game: See how many times I can say, “Well, that’s disconcerting” in one flight.

With a renewed sense of purpose, I decided to go the long way to North America. Too many cool things to see to cop out now! In that all too familiar mission creep though, I went from Keflavik direct to a stop in the Faroes (thanks @keets! :laughing:) to stopping in the Outer Hebrides for time.

Long way indeed!

298NM for the first leg.

The other driver here was, of course range. I wanted some giddyap, and that meant a fighter. And that meant stepping on the loud pedal!

In the search for something appropriate, I decided to try the excellent freeware Dehavilland Vampire by Robcarrich.

Let’s not waste time. Punch it, Chewie!

As you can see, the weather at takeoff was clear and a million.

Not quite so much so ahead.

I hit the edge of the weather just west of Blackpool.

The rain showers start almost immediately.

Looks like the Isle of Man is getting it.

The view ahead…

Well, that’s disconcerting.


I smack into the shower like a ton of bricks. Vis drops to near zero. Luckily, I’m over the water.

I come out of the storm, just in time to cross Burrow Head at the mouth of Luce Bay.

One quick pop over Grey Hill, with Girvan off to my right…

And I’m right back down on the water.

Hmmmm… :thinking:

Well, that’s disconcerting.


Right before I go be a hero, in zero-zero, I spy with my little eye, Ailsa Craig. 340ft AGL. Pity that I’m flying 339… :wink:

In I go again. This one is bigger than the last and takes me well onto the Isle of Arran.

Where I come face to face with some, um, Geological Realities.

I finally break back into the clear approaching the Sound of Jura.

But, as you can see, I go right back in. Vis is so low I need to put a couple of hundred feet under me for the wife and dogs.

I break clear again just in time to get a face full of the Carsaig Arches. Beautiful scenery, now that I get to see some of it!

I get a little breather here, which is good since the elevation really goes up along my flight path. Dropping into the Passage of Tiree I look back over my shoulder to take in Ben More back between my tails.

Last spit of land before I reach the Sea of the Hebrides. The Cairns of Coll. Almost there!

The wind definitely picks up as I cross the sea. Luckily the triple peaks of Beinn Mhor, Beinn Chordail, and Beinn na Laire are fairly unmistakable rising out of the water.

Crossing the mouth of the flats as I approach Benbecula and the airfield…

Anyone? Anyone?

One last time! All together now…

Well, that’s disconcerting.


And in I go.

With nothing short of blind luck…

I’m still in and out of the rain, so I keep the pattern tight. The Vampire is a little squirrely, but I horse her around.

I plunk her down on the runway, not knowing how the V decelerates.

And, as I pull up to the tower, the sun finally rises.

You know, there’s a small chance that I may have just underestimated the effect of the latitude on the dawn.

Just sayin’.

Leg 31 Benbecula Airport Benbecula, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK (EGPL) TO Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands (EKVG)

This one is short, I promise! 275NM. Based on @keets recommendation, I had to try the Faroes.

But first, I was really looking forward to trying the DC-3 and couldn’t wait any longer. I loaded her up onto the rainy Scottish tarmac.


My Live Weather is gone.

It’s OK.

I’m fine.

I’m fine.



I may not be fine. As such.

OK, OK, that’s enough of that. I got some sort of weather to work after much fiddling with it. You don’t want to know.

Anyway, let’s get the Hell out of here!

Naval Air Transport Service livery by Jankees.

Sweet flyer, the DC-3.

The weather is certainly better than the last leg, or four. I trek due north over the tidal flats.

With a goodly tailwind, I briefly leave the Outer Hebrides and head north over the Cuan nan Eilean.

“Nollaig chridheil agus bliadhna mhath ur”

to my Scottish friends.

With fairer weather today, the sun warms the chilly cockpit. A bit.

I tune in the NDB and pan about the cockpit at the sheer embarrassment of wealth I seem to have in the way of compass cards…not all of which I’m sure should be indicating something right now. I pick the most likely.

The island of Suduroy (I’m guessing here from Google Earth) comes into view between the clouds and points my way to the field.

I turn to center the ADF needle so that I can get a good angle on the LOC. I know that it is down a fairly steep valley and offset, so putting on a big bat turn isn’t going to help my approach any.

I can’t say whether the clouds ended, or MSFS refrained from continuing to draw them, but the field is thankfully in the clear.

I’m going to guess that the two PAPIs are accurate at different points in the offset approach like DCA. So, I just split the difference for now.

I wheel land with a healthy right to left crosswind. The DC-3 takes it like a champ!

Down on the ramp. Next stop Kef and a cold one with the boys!

A little teeth grinding with the loss of Live Weather, but I made it OK. I’m thinking something on my system does not like the MB server very much.

Very un holiday-like! :wink:


Well that’s a tough report to follow!

After watching @Deacon211 land from the hotel/hostel/hovel, it was time to leave and get out of dodge before any pre-drinks could be consumed ahead of the Keflavik meetup.

Leg 4: EKVG → BIKF Keflavik International Airport
Having learned my lesson on a previous Christmas flight, we’ve loaded a case of the local beer:

A mere 13.5% Imperial Stout.

A cloud start

I’m getting used to this startup procedure now, so probably time to chuck another airframe into the mix.
I’d also configured the autopilot clutch properly after reading some more of the manual. This in theory should make descending a lot easier.

Runway 12 departure

Last one in Keflavik is a rotten egg!

Much of the flight is a long sea crossing, so not much in the way of interesting screenshots. As we “westing” chasing the sun it at least means the flight is in daylight.

Eventually Iceland came into view.

No not that one, the other one.

Crossing the coast of Iceland

As the sun started to set, I marvel at the visuals in this sim as they are something else. Hairy palms is still unmoved, though I think its all the whale meat he consumed overnight.


We’re landing on runway 18 and I’m determined this time to get the ILS working in the autopilot. The autopilot “sync” clutch helps massively on the descent. It just goes to show that reading the manual really does help, who’d have thought.

Everything hanging, setup nicely.

I press the localiser button on the autopilot panel (V/L) and then the GSL to capture them both. Hairy palms says something, but nothing happens. That’s not right. A quick check of the manual and I can see the error. The mode the autopilot needs to be in is HDG and not RNAV. Its that damn switch that caught me out before.

Flicking the switch and repeating the above and its looking better. Eventually Hairy palms confirms we’ve “Localiser capture” and “Glideslope capture”.

Dance Party Reaction GIF
I’m the man…

All good.

On the glideslope, slight crosswind

That’s what I’m talking about

It really is looking good, we get minimums called and after using the autopilot sync button I flare out for a lovely greaser.

I still can’t get a hang of left is right, right is left…

Full stop, parked and shutting down.

Time to wait for @Deacon211 and @PaulRix in the bar and swap Hairy palms stories.

That’s the best flight procedure wise I’ve done for a while, it almost felt like cheating. I need to practise in worse weather than this to get confidence in things, but overall a good flight.

Announces Last Call GIF
Beers ordered


Not following what you mean?


Whilst taking a screenshot from the front, nose wheel steering.


Hey Deacon, did you happen to check the localizer during your approach? Just wondered how well it would have worked out had lady luck (much better companion than the stoic one with seemingly an ax to grind) not been sitting in the right seat :laughing:

Oh yeah, I was WELL left of localizer the whole way. The wind blew me over and I never made it back.

I’d have had to go around and try again in IMC lest I wind up a dark red smear on the side of the valley! :innocent:

Great report and nice job!

I don’t know what that picture means…but it makes me want to go to Iceland.

So I think I will! :wink:

Leg 32 Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands (EKVG) TO Keflavík Airport, Iceland (BIKF)

Taking off a bit later than @keets I begin the 434NM journey to Iceland.

There was zero chance that I wasn’t going to get this, of course. A little rough around the edges, but still pretty fun. And the VSTOL is pretty good actually!

Off we go. Pay no attention to the lack of a pilot. Apparently, if I don’t have default selected for all the pilot choices in the options screen, I’m stuck with being a UAV. I would have had to restart, but since I didn’t figure this out until was well into my journey, I decided that I (and by extension, you) would have to live with it.


I go blazing off the runway in a modified STO and reef the jet around the valley for a low transition.

But, much as I’d like to keep her low, I don’t see myself having the gas for it, even with tanks.

So, up I go!

The jet climbs a bit enthusiastically, so I’m up to 40K in two shakes.

As @keets said, not much to see enroute.

With a little bit of tailwind, the Iceland coast comes into view in no time.

Having a little time to spare I decided to investigate the curious fact that the fuel shutoff handle defaults to UP, what in the real jet is OFF.

The fact that the fuel handle tool tip seems to agree with me, needles me into seeing if putting it in the other position makes any difference.

It does. My engine winds down almost immediately.

giphy (3)

And that, boys and girls, is why you should never troubleshoot while airborne! :joy:

One airstart later.

I see that I still have quite a bit of fuel (engine out glides are really fuel conserving)

Well, time to take her down low.

I drop onto the coastal plain approaching Kef.

And come upon the otherworldly Ingeholl.

Why do I want to suddenly sculpt it out of mashed potatoes?


The coastal town of Vogar. Just up the coast from Keflavik.

One last turn to the field.

I circle around and line up for the break, runway 10.

Fighting with the transition to VSTOL a bit. I balloon up.

Deceling into the hover. There actually turned out to be a strong crosswind from the left. This is pretty good behavior from the Harrier here.

Some of the more uncomfortable landings for me in the Harrier were “Rolling Vertical Landings”, due to the big crab you landed in. Of course, in theory, the jet was designed to “caster” out of it, like a shopping cart.

And, if you’ve ever been dropped onto the ground in a crabbed shopping cart going 30-70 knots, you will appreciate why this is uncomfortable. :wink:

Slowing through 30 knots, the Harrier is safe to kick out of the wind. She hovers pretty nicely with maybe a tiny bit too much throttle lag.

But really not bad modelling at all!

And over to the gate to join @keets at the bar.

At the risk of being the rotten egg, I’ll risk one more story.

Fixing the pilot issue reminded me of an old, unaired Marines commercial. The idea of it was extreme close ups of the Harrier interspersed with shaky camera action shots of it flying past.

At the end, the narrator asks:

“And who’s in the cockpit?” or words to that effect.

The camera zooms in.

The canopy slides back in a very obviously dubbed sound effect of precision swooshing metal, think Star Trek.

“It’s a Marine!” says the announcer. The pilot, sitting in the cockpit with his helmet on and his visor up, snaps to look at the camera.

Tag line.

Well, the Marines like to actually use, you know, Marines in Marine commercials. So, this guy was an actual pilot.

When the commercial was finally ready for airing, the production company thought it’d be a nice gesture to send the pilot a courtesy copy of the video.

Unfortunately for him, he was out on the boat. The non-deployed portion of his squadron back home got to it first.

So, the Marine pilot in question gets a copy of this tape while on ship. That night he proudly brings it to the ready room to share it with his buddies.

The commercial rolls.

The end approaches.

The narrator asks,

“And who’s in the cockpit?”

“It’s a Marine!” he announces as the canopy slides aft.

Only, instead of the pilot in question’s face appearing in the frame, one of his buddies is there instead snapping his head towards the camera.

With full set of fake glasses and big rubber phallus nose. It swings like a pendulum as its momentum carries it round.

See you at the bar!


Meanwhile (actually on Saturday) I also left Newfoundland, but toward the southwest.

It got a little cold in Gander.

And again my takeoff wasn’t great, but I got on course pretty well, and soon reached my cruise altitude of 40,000ft

Not a whole lot to see here, except snow. I think that’s Stephenville over there.

Leaving Newfoundland.

Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine were my next waypoint. I was flying by GPS but I still like to set the radios to VOR frequencies.

Prince Edward Island

Confederation Bridge, which connects the island to New Brunswick.

Saint John (CYSJ). Not to be confused with St. Johns.

And soon after that I said Goodbye Canada, and Hello USA!
This is Eastport, Maine.

Portland, but not that Portland. It is kinda funny that there are two Portlands in the USA that couldn’t be further apart from each other.

Boston. I heard they like parties here, and tea. Something like that.

When I checked my timers I noticed that I was slower than I thought, so I looked at the wind and almost did a double take. 100 knots? Ok!

As those of y’all who follow my NFL thread know, I like American Football. So I just couldn’t have a flight path right over over the Patriots’ stadium without taking a picture. I just… didn’t see it early enough so I took the picture a bit too late. Gillette Stadium is left of the lake in the middle of the picture.


Wow, that’s a nice, long island. The people here surely came up with a really creative name for it, let’s check the map… oh.

Descending near KFOK. Looks like a nice area to have a house, let’s check the house prices in that area… oh. uhm… well, maybe not.

There was a bit of weirdness in the flight plan when I dialed in the approach, but it was only on the display. The plane flew the intended route nicely.

A nice ILS approach into KISP, the wind was not as strong down here.

And after an uneventful landing (I like those) I parked.

Originally I had planned to fly this leg into KJFK but I ultimately decided against it. Too much traffic. But I will visit the Big Apple in another plane soon.

That’s it for today. Two and a half hours of flight made me thirsty though, and I heard they make some great Ice Tea here on Long Island. Gotta have a large glass of it, or two. What could possibly go wrong?

Thanks for reading!


LOL, awesome! :rofl:

1 Like

Thank you! I also enjoy your AARs a lot. :slight_smile:


Dammit… I’m the same. At least I can land back home in the garden. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

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:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl: - Fabulous.


Thanks for the explanation @keets. I wasn’t sure if you had your rudder pedals mapped incorrectly?

For years I used my rudder pedals incorrectly and I finally gave up trying to retrain myself to use them properly and went back to using the twist stick feature on my joystick.