Official Inaugural Mudspike Christmas Flight thread



Hey Beach and all you fantastic MudSpikers :slight_smile: . Thanks for the invitation to join in!

I am currently pulling myself away from Port McNeill in Beautiful British Columbia Canada, where I shall fly my trusty Grumman Goose to Vancouver. Once there, and after extensive checks, I will be departing in my F86 SabreJet for a run all the way to… The North Pole.

Well, actually, North Pole Alaska :laughing:

I shall land at Eielson AFB just to the east and then rent a C172 for the hop just to the west of North Pole - to Fairbanks. There I will collect an EPOCH C185 bushie on great tundra tires that I will use to land directly on East 5th Ave, in the village itself. Load up on toys (and souvenirs) and then back to Fairbanks.

Returning in style, I shall fly the company Lear 36 back to CYVR where an uber-cab can distribute to all the boys and girls :laughing:

Looks like a fun series of hops!



That’s an awesome plan -bc-! I like the variety…and leave it to a EPOCH pilot to deliver the toys right from the source…LOL…STOL aircraft for the win!

Good luck and keep us advised… I’m 15 minutes out from my first destination… Brrr…very…uh…white up here…



Planning completed, charts printed, checklists checked, takeoff and landing data updated, frequencies jotted, and hot chocolate spiked (Bailey’s and peppermint hot cocoa is this pilot’s cold weather beverage of choice), I start up the sim and begin the virtual flight.

I step to the aircraft at 1700Z (10:00 am local) to prepare for 1730am departure. In this fictional scenario, the Concorde is lightly loaded with the flight crew, three stewards, and 25 passengers of mysterious and as-of-yet undeclared purpose on the journey. Why are they on this flight? Where are they going? The galleys are packed full of champagne, caviar, and a whole load of Sonoran hot dogs from Chaco’s on Old Nogales (his dogs beat both BK’s and Guero Canelo’s, hands down). Flight time at M0.95 is only about 2 and a half hours – just enough time for indigestion to sit in – so sufficient quantities of Tums and Pepto Bismol are stowed onboard as well.

I have a slight issue with INS #1 not completing alignment, requiring a restart, but the system recovers and I’m able to complete the startup checklists on time, pulling away from the gate almost exactly on time.

The fuel configuration for this subsonic and lightweight flight is bizarre and I’m almost hesitant to begin the flight with the configuration suggested by CPS. Oh well, I decide, it’ll be an interesting story one way or the other!

The takeoff run is a little rocky, with the number 4 engine reheat cancelling out at 60 knots, a common problem in FSL Concorde X. Luckily, the takeoff card allows for a 3 engine reheat takeoff, so I press with the rollout and manually fly the Tucson Eight SID, transition PHX.

The default FSX scenery isn’t really all that great. Maybe Santa will bring an ORBX package or two this year!

It's been too long

I don’t trust the icecap up there with anything less than a Canso :tongue:

Doing good Beach. Cheers,


Certainly doesn’t look like much in the way of 5 star dining at Arviat…I’d imagine the seafood is pretty fresh though. Perhaps fish and chips before they send me on my way. No doubt they’ll appreciate some of the eggnog though… Picking up some snow showers now about 10 minutes out…but good vis under a high overcast at this point…


The climb up to FL360 is awfully quick - the Rolls-Royce/Snecma Olympus 593 engines are howling to be set free and romp through the upper Mach, but I have to keep the autothrottle set at M 0.95 to avoid any extensive paperwork.

Passing over Picacho Peak, home of Rooster Cogburn’s famous Ostrich Ranch, but don’t pass up a Monster Truck ride, if you get the chance! While the ride itself is pretty benign, it takes you through some pretty Sonoran countryside, and the inner workings of a real ostrich ranch. We got to see some day-old ostrich chicks on our last romp through here.

Phoenix is not impressive from 36,000 ft. Some say it doesn’t get any better the closer you get! :wink:

Microsoft’s rendition of the Grand Canyon! To be fair, this is in global scenery that was created in 2006, but ugh.

Hi, Salt Lake City! … Good bye, Salt Lake City!


Hey Beach - just a quick aside here.

You won the EPOCH Rally dude :smile:
A free aircraft awaits you. Just PM or email me tomorrow and I’ll get you hooked up!



Fuel management is always a concern on Concorde flights, but it’s even more so on a subsonic flight as there are no easily available procedures – who flies Concorde subsonic?!

The trick is not just to move fuel to put the CG in the right location, but keep fuel in tanks that can be pumped forward again when the CG needs to shift forward. CPS doesn’t do this calculation for me, so I’m doing some guessing on this flight. Let’s see how well it goes!

So far so good! That 77 knot wind is almost a full tailwind, much higher than planned!

So much white.


Welcome to Canada, eh?

A pretty rare dual nav radio failure means I have to fallback on an NDB approach to Edmonton Intl. The lack of radar vectors doesn’t help, either. I use the INS (which has accumulated a lot of drift error that I can’t correct, thanks to the nav radio failure) to set up my NDB approach. Thankfully I had planned ahead and included some RNAV waypoints in the INS datacards.

Luckily, the visibility is great, and I’m able to make a smooth visual approach and a decent touchdown, although I’m not able to deploy the thrust reversers until nearly too late. Something to write up in the squawk book.

My parking job wasn’t the greatest, but at least we’re here…now will somebody go get me a venti piping hot mocha while I stay in here with the engines running to stay warm?


Woah! Well…I’d like to thank the Academy, my wife…my fellow Mudspikers…err…hey…wait a minute. This isn’t going to be a Miss Universe moment and you’re going to read another name off the card are you?

LOL… I’m really honored. To have participated in the Rally was award enough… I can’t wait to check out the selection at - that double-ender is looking pretty sweet!


Arrived alive! Once I figured out how to disengage the autopilot on the RJ70 anyway…LOL…! :see_no_evil:

Nice little facility and runway…and the RJ70 handled it well…taxiing in…

I think the locals couldn’t wait to sample the eggnog. I told my crew “never get out of the boat”…so we fired up the APU and stayed onboard…

I think the Polar Bears can still get in…even without air-stairs…

Looking forward to the next leg…

One note - the Avroliner Project RJ70 is most definitely not ready for prime-time yet. While I’m enjoying it…and there are great aspects to the plane that I love - I’d caution people that shell out their money expecting a complete product that there is still much, much work to do on this plane. It works for what I’m doing…and the 3D pit is showing progress, but there remains significant work and issues to resolve before this is probably worth plunking down money for…unless you want to witness it’s progress (assuming it continues to make progress). Just wanted to warn people…caveat emptor…



@EinsteinEP - is that a CIVA nav unit? They make a plug-in one for the 737/727 I was thinking about adding it in (for X-Plane)… Looks pretty nifty…


@EinsteinEP - And your weather program looks like it’s doing a fine job…nice screens!




@EPOCH_bc - Don’t forget your parka!

PAFA 230453Z 00000KT 10SM -SN OVC033 M17/M20 A2958 RMK AO2
SLP030 T11721200


Gonna go ahead and run up the coast of Hudson Bay and hit Whale Cove (CYXN), Rankin Inlet (CYRT), and Chesterfield Inlet (CYCS) while I’m in the area. Apparently those communities are starting to gather at the airports on word of our impending arrival…

Weather is holding up for all those locations… I guess I should have brought the C-130 or C-17…I coulda just done a LAPES…



Ayup. Concorde X has three of 'em, made my Simufly. VERY well done.


Hmm…was gonna just do Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, and Chesterfield Inlet…but looking at how much I have left to fly, I had better press on and push for Ivujivik (CYIK) tonight. I haven’t had to refuel yet…and am sitting on around 8,000 lbs. remaining of my original 22,631 - so should make CYIK just fine (again, if the weather holds).

Ivujivik is only a 3,500’ gravel strip…so not much there. The METAR is old since they don’t report all night…so hopefully the weather is holding up…




Made it into Ivujivik - the wind was HOWLING…! Visibility was fair…3 miles and a very high ceiling…but it was turbulent…!

Totals for the day - started with 22,631 lbs. of fuel, ended up with 3,862 lbs. after five legs of flying for a total of 2,156 nm. Engine start occurred at 1255Z in North Carolina, and the final shutdown was at 2120Z in Ivujivik. Sat idling with the APU for a couple of those hours while I ate dinner, etc…

Rolling out at Ivujivik - don’t know how I’m gonna park on that ramp…



First leg in the DCS Mi-8.
Let’s see how far we get in DCS before firing up the good old X-Plane 8.
For real-time weather, there’s all kinds of mods, but I always seem to manage to break my install with things like that, so I use this instead:
with some imagination for the exact cloud and fog settings. I’m lucky, 10 degrees C with mild intervals of clouds.

I want to try the first leg over the sea, hope I won’t have to divert. Let’s see.

THIS was the most Christmas-like skin I could find:

Tuning in the NDB markers of Batumi and the first destination, Gudauta. I can’t pick up Gudauta’s marker yet, so I dial in the course on the doppler radar nav system ( see the excellent tutorial by @EinsteinEP HERE ).

Notice the KO-50 pre-heating, after all this is a Christmas flight. We’re not going to let our passengers suffer in a cold and empty cabin: the auxiliary tanks are filled with gluhwein and the heater will be up and running in a minute. :santa:

I’m still not familiar enough with the Mi-8’s radios to properly contact ATC, right now I am just hoping the radio navigation will be successful (which I learned from @RedBravo65, check out THIS CLIP, he made a great mission just to learn radio nav in the Hip).

While taking off I notice that 29 km/h is quite a strong crosswind, luckily the Mi-8 has ample fuel, with about 1000 liters in both of the “external” tanks that are always attached to its hull, and another 400 and something filling up the service tank, which directly feeds the engine ( real life Mi-17 mechanic AlphaOneSix posted an extensive description of the Mi-8 fuel system on the ED forums.

Check those smoke stacks! 29 km/h!

After take-off, I enable the Doppler system. The course, 320 degrees, is a rough estimate: 327 in the F10 map, minus 6 degrees for magnetic or something? Not sure, whatever, I’ll just dial in 320 and by the time I get there (some 180 km) I will pick up the marker beacon or just visually spot the airfield. The advantage of the Doppler system is that whatever you do, however out of control you fly, it will always keep track of where you are. This is even easier when you leave the course at 0, as Einstein explained, since that gives you a grid position.
Don’t forget to set the switch right of the drift angle gauge from land to sea!

As I’m climbing out, I notice the crosswind is really too much at altitude, so I enable the remaining autopilot functions (heading and altitude) to stay at 1400 meters and trim her out. There’s really not much flying to do after that, except for kicking the rudder pedals every once in a while to adjust the heading according to what the Doppler nav says about drift.

Still no signal from Gudauta? Weird, I’m sure I should… Oh. It turns out Gudauta’s NDB is at 395 kHz, not at 295. D’oh!

At least I can relax now that I’m receiving the beacon signal.

With the sun this low around this time of year, some of arae instruments are getting covered in shadow and I don’t like shadow. Let’s turn on the lights:

This one too! It really took me too long to find out about these. Who puts one button behind the copilot’s head and the other hidden between wiper and Doppler system switches?

And finally, we have a visual on Gudauta! Did I mention this is only my second flight in the Mi-8 since I got TrackIR? It’s wonderful, the cockpit feels much more alive and 3D, even on a 2D screen.

The landing was not really a breeze, as the cross-breeze was still very strong. After landing, I had slightly more than half of the fuel in the external tanks. I’m gonna refuel before the next leg, just to have some margins. The Doppler reports I was about 10 km off with my guesstimate of 320 for heading.

**As you may have noticed, I’m using Devrims English cockpit mod, which integrates seamlessly in DCS 1.5.2, link HERE It really makes learning the Mi-8 so much easier! Maybe I’ll revert back to the Russian cockpit after I’ve learned all the systems.