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

Flown my 3rd leg the other day but haven’t gotten around to jumpjng the hoops to AAR it up.

My viper is now in Keflavik. It seems Goose Bay is just out of range.


Ha! No, that’s generally true of my flying, you just get to read about the holiday flight ones. :joy:


This is a story about how many plans can go wrong. So sit back and relax, we are about to begin…

Relaxing Machine Gun Kelly GIF by Music Choice

Yesterday evening I wanted initially to advance a bit with my “creative” stuff for MSFS (more about that later in some other thread) but after few minutes staring at the screen I decided to check out the SU10 and especially how the DLSS works in VR.

So yeah, I fired up the LittleNavMap and started to plan a flight from London City (EGLC) to Sligo (EISG; nice place) or perhaps Donegal (EIDL; quite nice handcrafted default scenery into which I flew once in a brand new Arrow III and got iced over so much that I barely found the field). And since I almost have not flown yet the Beech 35, I wanted to take that one out of the hangar for a spin.

With all that in my mind, I finally flew a DHC-1 Chipmunk to Turweston (EGBT).

In 2013, I went to Turweston for a week to fly the Chippy and to make my tailwheel differences training. It was a great time and expensive too since I spent my whole monthly salary on that week of flying (not counting the cost of travel and accommodation, of course). Yeah, so let’s bring the memories back!

In the aircraft selection I picked a white-red-black RAF trainer that seemed to match the livery of the Chippy I flew back then, picked EGLC and loaded the flight.

This is what I saw:

While all three colours are there, it was not really the paint I wanted. It looks like there is a mismatch between the thumbnail and the actual livery. Anyway, yellow is a nice colour as well.

My “no magenta line” dedication still prevails so I checked the map to find that 308M and 54nm is the order of the day. Easy peasy, let’s do the ETA calculation when en-route and then start looking for the field.

Ready for take off! The Chippy in the sim is pretty easy on the take off run when compared to the real thing when my instructor had to take over since I overcorrected the left-turning tendency and found myself heading towards the quickly approaching corn field next to the runway.

Anyway, back to the sim.

A bridge?

A bridge!

Just to show that I am not such a reckless pilot after all, I wanted to follow official VFR routes out of London City. While there are some visual reporting points related to London City, nowhere did I find the routes themselves. The Olympic Stadium was one of them.

I quite enjoyed the job Aeroplane Heaven did in terms of modelling and texturing.

Some weather on the horizon.

After some 30 mins (my ETE), I started to look for the field and saw something that could be it: one paved runway with some structures around :smiley:

While I was quite sure that I followed (roughly) 308M for 54nm, I had to admit I was lost.

So… while still no magenta line… I opened the map, concluded I was over Northampton and turned towards Turweston. As soon as I saw this:

I was sure I was pretty close.

This looks more like it :slight_smile:

Technical intermezzo:


Until SU10 I was happily using the OpenXR Companion App. With 70% NIS scaling and some sharpening, it gave me good FPS boost with not much of lost visuals. The new DLSS surprised me though. With Balanced setting, the FPS boos was similar to the NIS scaling but with no apparent loss of visuals. Great deal if you ask me.

The only negative was the fact that around one half of the screens I took in VR were not saved and for those that were, the process took few loooong seconds and in the meanwhile the sim turned into slideshow. Though that could be blamed on other things than the SU10, of course.

Turning final and landing…

This is the way I left the Chippy after my last flight in Turweston.

(mind the picture is almost 10 years old :slight_smile:)

And this is the route I actually flew:

In reality I flew 320M instead of 308M.
There is no directional gyro in the cockpit so I flew only with the compass. Any misalignment of the gyro with the compass is therefore not to blame. The only explanation that comes up my mind is the wind blowing me off the planned route. But could it really make a difference of some 12 degrees?

Confused Good Question GIF by Choice Hotels

Dunno. But on the positive note I have to say that I was able to keep a rather steady heading and the calculated ETA was also quite precise.

The only downside being that all that brought me some 13nm away from my planned destination. Next time I will do better :slight_smile:


Interesting story!

As for the question about crosswind and heading difference: I’m no pilot but that’s an easy maths problem!

Your ground course (and ground velocity vector) are the sum of your true airspeed and the wind speed. I see you expected 54nm in 30 mins without wind so your true air speed must have been 108 knots.

Since this is just a ballpark estimate, let’s assume the wind was a pure crosswind and pushed you off course enough to result in a 12 degree difference. And let’s say airspeed 100 knots.

That makes the situation look like this:

Hypothenuse is ground speed, adjacent is true air speed and opposite is the crosswind pushing you to the side.

tan (12°) = 0.21 = 21 knots / 100 knots
so that means you would need a ballpark estimate of 20+ knots of crosswind component to push you 12° off course at just over 100 knots true air speed.

Is that plausible?


I just used my e6b and your math seems to check out.


That was a phenomenal report @apollon01!

I am envious of your dedication to no magenta lines this year. It makes the trip so much more thrilling I think. I just couldn’t do it with these long overwater legs…not with my skills with a sextant! :joy:

Did you consider doing the whole intermediate checkpoint thing? I know you have your wings IRL so I’m sure that’s old hat to you.

For me, I’m just too damn lazy to do the chart work!

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If @Navynuke99 likes my misadventures, after this he’s gonna be happy as a pig in, well, let’s just say that he’s going to be quite happy. :laughing:

Leg 9: Tahiti Faa’a Airport, French Polynesia (NTAA) TO Tahiti Faa’a Airport, French Polynesia (NTAA)

So, I’m not entirely sure when it happened, maybe from the first leg, but at some point my journey turned into a bit of a…


As I had said, I originally planned to make my way across the South Pacific in one or two great, bold leaps. But my one leg to New Zealand had already turned into two, through Tahiti; which had turned into three through Nuku-Hiva; which was about to turn into four.

And before long six…but we’ll get to that later. :wink:

I had limited time to do my next leg to NZ, which was going to take eight or nine hours in any plane that I had for the journey. So, I decided to shave off a few hours by island hopping to really the only islands of any consequence on the way.

The fairly well-provisioned Rarotonga in the Cook Islands looked to be too far for the aircraft I was planning to use for the leg.

Mitiaro, also in the Cooks, was smaller, but closer.

It looked like I’d have to bypass Rarotonga.


For the about 500NM journey, I decided to fly the Big Radials Goose in Navy livery. I hadn’t had much time in this aircraft and this looked like a good time to start.

Back to REX Weather Force for the weather. A lovely morning in the tropics. Looks like a post card.

That’ll change.

Runway 22 for departure. The aircraft is a nice flyer.

The neighboring island of Moʻorea. Mount Routui figures prominently in the skyline.

Borrowed from Wikipedia

Perhaps not spot on, but close enough that you get the idea that you wouldn’t want to meet it on a cloudy night.

You know, like the one I flew in on. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Looks like smooth sailing from here on out!

Sniff What’s that smell?

So, I’ll admit that I am still from the era of flight sim that 100% throttle, means 100% RPM.

And not, 105%, oh ■■■■! There goes the Fire Light.

So, while I was trying to be respectful of the engine, I probably caused this one; not really knowing the red line RPM for the Goose.

Oh well, back to Tahiti. Those Mai tais were pretty good back at the airport bar. :cocktail:

Eventually, the engine smoke turned from a ghastly white to a nice black color.

Hmmm, worse or better? :thinking:

I tried to use the aircraft fire handle, but no dice. There’s a tag on the handle that says,

“Courtesy of MM Enterprises”


Any of you boys know if there’s a Jiffy Lube on the island?

Leg 10: Tahiti Faa’a Airport, French Polynesia (NTAA) TO Mitiaro Airport, Mitiaro, Cook Islands (NCMR)

One engine change later, I’m back on my way.

Well, I’ve got farther than last time.

In what is REX probably luring me into a false sense of security, the clouds clear and I see a lovely day of flying across the Pacific.

Should be able to see Mitiaro with no problems!

…Five minutes later…


So, this could be a wrinkle. Yes, yes, I know that I’m cheating with the magenta line. But, even if I can find the island, I still need to see to land on it. No ILSes here AFAIK.

I descend to 1000ft. Vertigo aside, there is a virtue to flying over the water.

Not much better here.

And then…

Cue sweeping choir music

And there she is.

The weather clears up suspiciously after that, but who am I to complain?

And a gentle beaching and taxi to the ramp.

Alright. So, not quite by the books, but I made it!


Ooooof. I’ll be making a similar trek on a similar path soon enough, but I don’t have your talent. Or patience. Or time to make legs like that.


Leg 11: Mitiaro Airport, Mitiaro, Cook Islands (NCMR) TO Rarotonga Airport, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

And it continues. You know, I don’t like to brag, but this may be my most dumpster fiery leg yet. You be the judge! :rofl:

This was to be the culmination of my journey to New Zealand. Four legs to get here, but I was finally going to make it.

For its short field capabilities (as demonstrated in Panama the hard way last Holiday Flight), I decided to dust off the venerable PMDG DC-6 in Pan Am livery.

About 1769NM as the (likely exhausted by the end of it) crow flies.

As you may have by now surmised, this leg was intended to visit my fourth 'Spiker on the journey, @Bearhedge, and I had intended to fly directly to his “home field” at NZNE.

I was again going to take off at dawn so, weather permitting, I’d be arriving in NZ during the day for an easy arrival and some sightseeing in the descent.

Again, that’ll be important later…

Nice looking endurance ring. Who cares if it’s wildly inaccurate? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The problems started early because, who wants to wait?

It had been a while since I had flown the DC-6. Still, I’d like to think I could find my way around her ample nacelles (bonus for the movie ID).

But, for the life of me I couldn’t get her flaps to come down.

So, you know…

Curse, reload, reload, restart the sim, curse, update the aircraft, reload, reload, curse, hit up the Interwebz, curse, curse, uninstall the aircraft, reinstall the aircraft, and voilà!

Four short hours later, I’m ready to go!

tenor (1)

Finally, on my way.

Shortly after this, my Number one engine begins to roll back.

Having learned my lesson from earlier, I used the AFE to run the checklists and set the engines.

This one ain’t me! :sweat_smile:

I had this issue last year. Bug or feature, I don’t know. I don’t have engine damage in the PMDG menu turned on due to things like this. This shouldn’t be a simulated engine issue.

This happened so soon after takeoff, I didn’t even RTB on this one. I just started again.

Finally, on my way. (Take 2):

Ah, lovely sunrise; the crescent moon overhead.

Crash to Desktop.


Finally, on my way. (Take 3):

Leaving the island of Mitiaro (finally).

REX, begins to draw in the latest METAR.

Crash to Desktop.


Finally, on my way. (Take 4):

Atiu. 25NM from where I started. This is the farthest I’ve gotten.

This feels like EVERY Twilight Zone episode I’ve ever watched! :rofl:

Luckily, the CTDs stop. I manage to climb away from the island trio and up through 10,000ft.

I know that either the AFE or I am supposed to turn the Superchargers onto High. He is apparently not doing it, so I caaaaaarefully reach up and turn them on…

Bam, my number two engine craps the bed.

R (1)

Luckily…(yes, there’s a luckily)…luckily I look over my nose and see the island of Rarotonga.

You know, the one I decided that I wouldn’t visit earlier?

Of course, I’m high as balls. So, after coming out of the sky like crap from a tall moose, I roll out on final at Rarotonga.

My number two grinds to a stop on roll out.

Any of you boys know if there’s a Jiffy Lube on the island? :rofl:

Leg 11: Rarotonga Airport, Rarotonga, Cook Islands TO Auckland Airport, Māngere, New Zealand (NZAA)

And so, having Re-re-re-re-commenced my journey, I set off for New Zealand.

This time, I survive the climbout. I survive the supercharger changeover. I even survive switching the fuel tanks in accordance with the POH.

I only have one problem.

Here I am, finally heading west on my way to my lunch present delivery to @Bearhedge.

Can you spot it?

What about now?

Yeah, when I restarted the sim to clear whatever issues it had, I didn’t reset the time. So, when I swiped the globe around to see what I was doing, I accidentally selected late afternoon.

I’m going to be landing in the dark. So much for the sightseeing! :man_shrugging:

In the event, it wouldn’t have mattered. Auckland was 1300 overcast.

I’m not entirely certain that night, IMC, in mountainous terrain, without any approach plates was what I had signed up for.

But, at least it won’t be boring!

And, as the bowl of night rolls slowly over my head, I start trying to come up with a plan…

The first part is forgetting about flying into NZNE. I need a big field, with lots of lights. Auckland International, it’s going to have to be.

There is a VOR there. And if I can follow G-594 into it, I should be able to figure out some kind of half-assed approach into RWY 23.

If I can stay above the Grid MORA of 5100ft until about 40NM, I should be able to do a long, slow letdown. The city might be a concern, however.

Plus, checking the winds, they’re from 050. I don’t need to make this any harder by landing in a tailwind.

But, if I can fly into the VOR and make up a teardrop approach out to the northwest, staying over the water, I should be able to pick up a straight in to RWY 05.

About 100NM out, and after several hours flying in the dark, I begin my slow descent to 5100ft.

REX stutters loading in the overcast.

And I Crash to Desktop…


Apparently, REX does not work or play well with SU10…

At this point I won’t bore you with details.

But imagine, if you will, an exquisite symphony of reloading, slewing, and crashing laced throughout with a delicate soupçon of only the most creative and intricate profanity, and I think you’ll get the idea. :laughing:

In any event, there was no way that I wasn’t going to finish this flight now.

I finally got the sim reset and manually loaded the weather.

I also found a helpful ILS chart online that should help, at least a little.

At this point, coming in from the east, I choose to make my way over to the 13NM arc.

I won’t tell you that my arc flying would have had me pass my RI-14X checkride in Pensacola. But I did manage to avoid turning myself into a used aircraft parts sale in the hills surrounding the airfield.

Anyway, I did somehow intercept the final of the ILS, poorly, and come screaming out of the sky in a manner that could only charitably be referred to as “terrifying” to break out the field at about a thousand feet.

To put the Clipper down, in more or less one piece. On the runway. At the intended(ish) airfield.

Next week…the hard part! :rofl:



I can’t imagine actually getting in the air and having repeated CTDs like that- I spent a week attempting to diagnose a constant CTD any time I tried to launch a flight, one mod at a time, in Add-ons Linker. Your experience is SO MUCH worse.


Man, I really like your reports, keep up the good work!


LOL, thanks guys.

It’s like a train wreck…you can’t help but watch!


The perseverance on this motherlover, it’s beyond awesome.

Motivation Keep Trying GIF by MOODMAN


So here we go, starting my own flight… So after spending a solid week troubleshooting, uninstalling, reinstalling, updating, checking, running again, restarting, and trying again, I was finally able to cure what had been chronic CTDs any time I tried to load a flight in MSFS. So, here we go!

Leg 1: KRDU - KMEM

For the first little bit, I’ll be flying the absolutely gorgeous Cessna 414AW from Flysimware. I’ve had this one since it was released in Beta, and it finally hit full release just a couple of weeks ago. I’ll make it to Charlotte eventually, but I’ve got some presents to drop off halfway around the world first. Because of real-world time constraints, I figure I’ll have at tops 3-4 hours at a time- if that. So I’ll start slow to get the rust knocked off, then switch to faster craft to cover more ground with the time I have.

Loaded up in Raleigh with a load of Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce (the REAL stuff- vinegar based), as well as beer from a couple of the breweries in town, and ready to head west.

Climbing out from RDU with perfect late summer midday weather. She is a gorgeous plane, and a true delight to fly.

The prevailing winds are making everything take longer (speaking of vector components of wind), and I later had to test out the save/ reload feature of MSFS (thankfully it mostly worked).

Passing well north of Charlotte over Lake Norman. Kings Mountain (where are fearless founder lives) is roughly on the horizon at my 10:30. But we’ll come back to that on a much more detailed guided tour later.

After a save and reload later, flying over the mountains of eastern and central Tennessee. Gatlinburg under me. If I had more time, I would’ve stopped in to ride the coasters at Dollywood:

And a bit later, flying over Nashville. If you listen closely, you can hear the bachelorette parties that have gotten horribly out of control.

On approach to Memphis International. The ATC had crapped out maybe half an hour before this, so it was a very, very quiet approach- especially considering all the FedEx traffic that should be buzzing around.

And on the ground! Time to find some ribs, maybe see Graceland, and pick up some rib sauce to add to the presents.


Great start!

Now, these “out of control” bachelorette parties you speak of…

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Nashville, like Charleston and Savannah, has recently-ish developed a reputation as a “classier” version of hot mess vacation spots like Gatlinburg or Myrtle Beach. For some reason that makes them popular bachelorette destinations for a couple of specific demographics. I’ve run into those very really recognizable groups any time I’ve been to any of the cities I’ve listed above in the last decade, and seen lots and lots that are either already or well on their way to being spectacular train wrecks. It makes for great entertainment.

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good progress there chaps! seems like you had fun also :wink:

made some progress too. already lost the track of all the airports we visited but my destination for now is Laguna San Rafael SCRF.

still on the eastern side of Andes approaching Lago Argentino. decided to take advantage of the nice 6 seating of this bird and took some people with me (fun fact : copilot is always the same guy, but the people in the back are different on each flight)

north-west of Lago Argentino we crossed Andes. unbelievable areas of nothing but ice and snow

had some tense moments escaping that glacier area. low on fuel, low clouds, cabin icing and didnt manage to find cabin window hot air quickly enough. was squeezed between clouds and the glacier. it was really hard to guess the distance between us and snow.

here, on next leg, looking back over my shoulder to that glacier where we managed to reach the valley

fiddling with AP can provide for some tense moments too :slight_smile:

enjoying fjords on the west coast

approaching our destination


was looking at her but that marketplace description is really lacking. how is the damage modeling? can you cook her engines and the like?

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Wow! Amazing shots. Those views over the glacier are absolutely surreal.

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Such gorgeous shots! I take it you’re enjoying the 310 a little bit. :wink: I’ll be flying her myself a good bit more on the back end.

So I haven’t managed to do it yet (somehow), but my understanding is that yes it is possible to damage the engines- I seem to remember seeing something about that in a comment or 3 in the MSFS forum thread (I really hate that each plane is limited to just a single thread over there).