The official 3rd Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2017 Edition



And so I am off. This all seams a piece of cake, and it does not smell of cabbage and sweaty socks like the submarine did

My first thought is to follow the coastline south and so I turn to cross the river Tyne at Newcastle

Whilst I concentrated on keeping level and on course a small funny looking chap walked into the cockpit and hopped into the other seat. “Hello, I am Google McBing an IT Leprechaun and I was sleeping in the back of this plane” The day just gets more weird by the minute!!
It turns out that Google McBing is a knowledgeable fellow and soon helps me with autopilot instructions and a grasp of using the maps.
I am sure without his help we would not have made it quite this far but we spot and identify London City Airport and indeed London City too.

Leaving London behind us we head off towards the South Coast and onwards to France

Using our recently acquired knowledge Google and I decide that Caen will be a good place to land as I had been here before in a UH-1h and a Spitfire in yet another layer of time known to all as DCS :slight_smile:

I contacted the tower and they started me off in various directions and various hights depending on their whim I suppose. after 20 minutes of vectoring 030, 070,210 I took matters into my own hands and went on in.

The man in the tower threw a fit and hit me with a splashscreen warning just on touchdown but I apologised and parked up for the night.

My new friend Google is keen to accompany me to Christmas Island I believe he thinks Father Christmas lives there. Proof if needed that google can be wrong sometimes. :laughing:


FYI Next leg


Looking in my stable whats left, I decided for the PA46 Malibu Mirage, so I will make a complete use of single engine aircrafts before moving to multiengine.

I actually dont know much about the great looking PA46, but I have quite a distance in front of me so I will learn on the go. You know time constrains :slight_smile:

I lazily climbed out of the Baghdad and planed to turn waypoint over Strait of Hormuz (quite popular destination I would say :wink: ) and finish in Pakistan, Masroor AB. Dist: 1318nm

PA46 looks really agile and also the Dovetail graphics team did a great job on her

Stunning from every angle…

…inside out (on the right side can be seen blue waters of Persian Gulf)

I climbed to the cruising alt, around FL019, and played with the mixture control as the engine was loosing power.
In the hurry and without any useful docs I set the mixture based on the only gauge which possessed at least minimal will to move when I moved the mixture control.

So actualy what I did I set the mixture to the position where that gauge needle pointed to its maximum value without closely checking.
As I later discovered, it was Fuel Flow gauge! :smile:

But it was not at this point. Strait of Hormuz, ‘Wish I had the time to stop for a while to check closely’ went through my mind

It was at this point where I overflown the waypoint and was fiddling with GPS and HDG to set my next course.
My eyes hovered for a while over two gauges which needles pointed straight to the cockpit floor… Fuel Tank Indicators :thinking:

…switched to SkyVector looking for some nearby airport. There we go, right on the peninsula… but without nav aids… :thinking:
GNS530… nearby airports screen… OOKB Khasab (didnt know that the North part is Oman)… Direct To…

Fought a battle with the AP to set the descent to aproximately 1000fpm. The best I achieved was cca 500fpm. Disconected the AP and went with manualy controled descent.
The guess was quite right, descent went smooth (notice the fuel gauges, only two needles pointing sadly down)

As I am cruising not at my gaming PC, but via TeamViewer from my laptop, I had to save the flight (and the day) right when the airport popped up from the dirt. Gray-ish airport on the cream-ish surface

I did good decision. Because without the proper controls (joystick and throttle) using the laptop keyboard I would just jink right, jink left and crashed on the approach. Morning is always wiser than the evening.

Next day with calm head I overflown the treshold and did 270 turn around the small hill (treshold right below me)

And made it in one piece (of cake not so much) :wink:

With full fuel tanks I made around 850nm instead of the planned 1300nm. What to say…

Welcome to the club! :sweat_smile:


Nice to see another DC3 on this trek… that’s three of us now by my count. :sunglasses:


Chubu (RJGG) to Tanegashima (RJFG).

This flight takes us just beyond the most Southern point of mainland Japan.

Departing Chubu airport turn to the West over Ise Bay.

On the other side of that ridge line we should be able to see Osaka.

The stock scenery in this area looks great to me.

The city of Osaka, looking Southwest along the Yodo River and the Osaka Bay.

Something makes me think we are directly over the Osaka International airport. Looks like World Traffic 3 is doing it’s thing too.

When I first saw the scenery around the Osaka port area and here, looking towards the Kobe airport, I thought it was pretty shoddy work, and not at all natural. Well, after looking at the area in Google Earth, it really isn’t natural at all, but instead, reclaimed land…

Leaving Kobe and Osaka behind us, we continue Southwest.

Crossing Awaji Island, the cloud layer started to thicken up and get lower. I descended to stay visual with the ground.

With high terrain looming ahead, it was inevitable that I would have to climb up into the murk.

Once I climbed up, it turned out to not be so bad, with the cloud layer starting to break up a little.

With the high terrain behind us, we soon come across the Kochi airport.

The city of Kochi and just to the South of the city, Urado Bay.

Some time later, we have crossed the Bungo Channel and turned South. Looking behind us, we can see the city of Miyazaki, with it’s airport runway sticking out into the sea.

Coasting out. Looking to the right, we can see the mouth of Shibushi Bay.

While ahead we get our first glimpse of Tanegashima Island.

As we get a little closer, the island seems relatively flat with no significant mountainous terrain.

About half way down the length of the island, the airport comes into view. The winds were pretty much calm, so I turned onto final from a left base for an uneventful landing.

My next stop will be Okinawa, hopefully this weekend.


@Cib very entertaining, sci-fi twist, ROFL at your story! :+1:

I’ve got a slight, unexpected alteration to the direct plan coming up, myself…

So. Okay. Position and time check. Let’s see…

Why do I feel lethargic? Am I at such peace with the world? Through resignation? Kritimati. Yes. I was there only five days ago. Or was that weeks? It seems like it. I was giggling again. I was contracting the old sea fever…

“Get a grip!” I shouted at myself angrily, and looked for my charts. I’d just been through a much longer voyage. Why was I falling apart so soon on this leg? Saturation. The time was 19:45 UTC, 6th November, 2017. My position; S1º48’ W171º42’. I plotted it. I had covered 290 leagues in 137 hours. That gave me, uhm…

“Approximately 51 leagues a day,” I said out loud, to myself. “153 nautical miles every 24 hours. Just over 6 knots.”

The catamaran had made way despairingly slow. However, it wasn’t entirely its fault. It could make a good 9 knots on a reach in just a moderate breeze, if the wind was between 7 to 10 points off the stern. The problem was the wind, itself. It was, indeed a moderate breeze, but from dead astern. Matched by fate, it seemed, to be parallel to my plotted course to the Solomon Islands.

Wind from astern? Surely that’s what you would want! What could be better? I remembered having my ear bent as a seven year old lad when I argued this point…

“How could a wind from the side be better than a wind from right behind us?”

Whether my ear was bent because I had used the words “side” and “behind” on a sailing vessel, or whether it was bent because I wasn’t grasping the theory of sailing, is still a mystery. What ever the case, I was now living in the virtual flesh precisely why a wind from directly astern could be a real pain in a fore and aft rigged vessel that was not equipped with that savior for these occasions; a dirty great billowing spinnaker. I had yet another worry now, too. If the wind wasn’t perfectly right now, at least it was a usable wind…

Looking ahead, to the forecast and the plotted position at the present rate for the 15 November, it was worse. It put me in the middle of an almost dead calm, east of the Solomons…

I’d be reciting this to myself…

"Day after day, day after day,
"We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
"As idle as a painted ship
"Upon a painted ocean."

Anyway. I had to gybe…

The trim had already been pretty much configured to free sheeting on both sails, up to this point. There was only just enough sheet left to let out on the genoa to luff. I hauled the main sheet right in to constrain the gybe, and simultaneously brought the bow through 4 points to the starboard. “Tock!” Over to port went the boom. I let the main sheet out again, and trimmed the genoa. It went well. I was converging on my intended track to the north of me, again, skimming over the shimmering ocean.

The next morning I checked my charts again, and was surprised to suddenly locate another atoll. It was unexpected, and I had been oblivious of its existence. The Phoenix Islands. Kanton Island, to be specific, again part of the Republic of Kiribati. Goodness knows, being now aware of my proximity to this atoll, I suddenly needed to see land again, and had gained myself a brief respite from all this water. Adjusting the plotted course, it looked almost like I had fully intended to visit it. Destiny! An unplanned stop to take a break.

I gybed around to the south again, onto 214º, which put the wind on my port beam. Soon, the twin wakes were boiling astern as the vessel rolled gently on the crossed sea at just under 9 knots.

By 02:29 UTC, 7th November, crossing S2º45’, I was full of joy, once more. Only a couple more hours. And, I could already hear the seagulls again! However, they seemed to sound a bit “uncanny”, for want of a better word. Something, this time, was…

Relentless in nature.

Made it! Hove to for the night, north of the atoll, at 04:31 UTC. I’ll take the inflatable dinghy ashore tomorrow morning…


@Cygon_Parrot Oh my, that’s quite the adventure! What’s the name of that game, out of curiosity?

@PaulRix I think your AARs have to be among my favourite. I like how you point out all these landmarks, really makes it a fascinating read. The Japan stock scenery looks pretty darn good in X-Plane, eh? I can’t say the same for the Montreal area, unfortunately. They made it look like a huge forested island… while in reality it’s one of the most urbanized areas in North America. :wink:


It’s good to be back in my trusty work horse. Now what direction is Australia again?!


@Chuck_Owl It is Sailaway. It is far from being complete, as yet, but is quite usable. The main thing, at the moment, is that it has a persistent world, which has made this journey possible. Perhaps not everyone´s choice of a sim, granted, but I like it. I do hope its development will continue, as it has potential. However, as a one man project (I have since found out) this could be slow, if at all.

@TheAlmightySnark Good to see you joining this again! It is that’a way, for you! :point_right:

Having spent the earlier part of the morning inflating the rubber dinghy with a foot pump, a laborious task, I rowed ashore at 18:35 UTC. Looking at Kanton Atoll on the chart, I was wondering if I would need a tightrope walker’s pole. It seemed so narrow, just a ring of coral enclosing a lagoon.

There was a runway, close to where I was planning to beach. Canton Island Airport (PCIS). Very original, I thought briefly to entertain myself as I rowed. It was about as much information as I could obtain on the place. The spelling had been changed from “C” to “K” to the liking of, what I was noticing, the letter “K” by the Republic of Kiribati. A little used letter, in English, and conspicuous by its absence in written Spanish, here was the Kindgom of K, its hiding place on the face of the planet. Where it had escaped to, dared to be an individual, broken with the convention of its stereotyped neighbors “J” and “L”, thumbed its nose at conformity…

“Stop that!” I said to myself sharply. Boy! I was in poor shape mentally, as a result of this voyage.

I looked over my shoulder at the beach occasionally, while I rowed. I was getting closer, covering the half mile with no problems, except a slight drift to the west. The current. This was a good thing, the northern shore I had chosen was paralell to the current and consequently didn’t have any large surf or breakers to contend with, as the outer eastern shore of the rim probably would. There was a solitary coconut palm on the beach that I could see. I used it as a reference to correct my drift. I was soon there, and while I stood on the beach under the tree looking towards the catamaran, I noticed a coconut that had fallen onto the sand. While looking down at it, I heard sound of a muffled footstep in front of me. I snapped my head up so quickly in surprise that I startled the source of the sound. It turned out to be this guy…

“Good grief, don’t do that to me!” I said. “I nearly jumped out of my skin.”

“Welcome to Kanton, our friendly atoll,” he said jovially. “You will be very happy here.”

“Oh, thank you. But I’m not staying. I’m just a curious traveler who chanced upon you homeland,” I cleared my throat.

“You are here at the moment. You will be happy,” my contradiction hadn’t phased him at all. “When you go, perhaps you will not be so happy anymore.”

Indeed, Kanton had a population, of less than 50 people. And even that was dwindling, now. I had figured that much out about it, too. This man was one of them, no doubt. The welcome committee.

He told me a bit about the atoll’s history, but first asked me to close my eyes and “see his home with his telepathic mind’s eye”. This didn’t seem strange to me, for some reason. I did as he said. This is what he transmitted to me…

(it is actually a very cool video!)

Kanton had been named after a whaling ship, circa 1855, which had indeed been spelt with a “C”. Canton. In fact, the whole group of eight atolls in the area had also been named for another whaling ship, the Phoenix, 30 years earlier. Both would most probably have been the functional barque rigs, very typical of whalers, and to boot aesthetically pleasing square riggers to look at, similar to this one…

I hadn’t done anything new, therefore, by running into Kanton. It was just an atoll that was conveniently placed along what would be a logical trans-Pacific route. And it would subsequently be used for the purpose, by Pan Am, as a stop for their clippers. A great deal of on site work was carried out by the company, preparing the island and even deepening the lagoon, so that it could act as a stop. There is even a memorial site erected on island for the Pan Am Samoan Clipper, a Sikorsky S-42, which crashed on its return flight from its pioneering, first airmail run between New Zealand and Hawaii.

During World War II, it was beyond the extent of the Japanese advance in the Pacific, but did not escape its attention on several occasions, as it was used by the allies as a staging post in the supply line between the U.S. West Coast and Australia. During this period, the runway was completed. As a reminder of the conflagration, the decaying hulk of the troop ship SS President Taylor still blocks part of the entrance canal to the lagoon.

As a last point of historical interest, Kanton was also used by NASA, as tracking station during the development of the “go to the Moon” program, starting with the Mercury Program. The derelict tracking station now forms part of the surprising quantity of abandoned “trash” that litters the island, and among which its few inhabitants live. Notwithstanding this, however, today the Phoenix Islands collectively constitute the world’s largest marine protected area, as from 2008, known as the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Commercial fishing is banned in the area.

“So, my island!” The man said proudly. “I wish you to stay, but if you must go, then I will help you.”

He pointed over my shoulder, up towards the airfield. This is what I saw…

“The heck? How did that get there?” I was astounded.

“I understand that you like that? On this lost pilgrimage of yours through the world, would that bring you joy?”

Once more, that this total stranger knew something about me, or was able to do magical mind transference tricks, did not seem odd to me. My reality on Kanton seemed to follow a sort of “dream logic”, if such a thing exists, of pre-determination and transformation. The only problem was, I was definitely not dreaming. You wake up, when you know you are dreaming.

“Sir, who ever you are. I was going to fly one of them on my present trip. Why is that here?” I was baffled. It was a Pan Am DC-6, like the ones that actually flew into Kanton after World War II, on their way to destinations in Australia.

“Why is that here? Because you had to come here. Are you going to take it, now?”

It seemed a fine offer. With those doldrums waiting for me east of the Solomons, this would make my life a lot easier. I thought about it for exactly 5 seconds.

“I am not taking it,” I said. This was not about making things easier.

“Good!” the man said. And cupped his hands behind his ears, as if he was listening to a distant, ethereal voice. “You have heard the Spirit of the Coconut, which alone can keep the Man Alive. You’re voyage will be good!”

Then this happened…

…and I was looking at the coconut on the sand. Tentacles of creeping ice emanated out from between each and every one of my vertebrae. I had either seen an apparition from another time, or just had the most spontaneous, interactive hallucination in history. I looked back up at the airfield, where I had seen the DC-6…

Gone. Vanished. But there I could make out another human figure, walking down towards me from the airfield, about 1,000 yards away. He was waving at me.

I most certainly had had enough of Kanton Atoll, however. I ran down to the shoreline, dragged the dinghy into the surf, climbed aboard, and rowed back towards Bella Donacela as fast as I could. I was halfway there by the time the man reached the shore. Facing backwards in the rubber boat while I rowed, as I was, I could see him standing there, just watching me leave, with his hands on his hips and his head cocked over to the side in wonder.

Spirit of the Coconut, indeed. By goodness! What Mumbo-Jumbo, but; where have I heard of that before? Something to do with John Steinback, I think.

No. No, no, no!

I have really lost it, this time…

Mudspike 2017 in Numbers

Lol :joy: - Fantastic @Cygon_Parrot.


I think it’s time to move the post of the year badge…



Aye, seconded.


Sorry, we could not calculate directions from “Kanton Island, Kiribati” to “Christmas Island, 6798”


Badge allocated - the coconut morph gif swung it for me.


Hah! That was an unexpected surprise! LOL! Just popped in to add a link I’d forgotten to add to the text earlier and saw this.

Thanks guys! :smiley:


It’s a cool honor and we’ll deserved, but be careful. For some reason they made it out of the biggest rock in Beach’s backyard. That badge is heavy with expectation…


@Cygon_Parrot as is now emergent tradition, you now have the responsibility of nominating who gets it next (with a second agreeing also). I mean I just made that rule up, but it seems like a nice idea. :slight_smile:


Correct, it is stock FSW scenery on my pics. Dovetail is advertising that they had ‘Integrated the critically acclaimed Orbx FTX Global textures’. But I am critical to some parts of the world textures quality.
So will have a look on the Kritimati and post some screens.

And thx for the spartan sources :slight_smile:


This is how Tyranny starts! Although I do not fancy you a Caligula. Perhaps a slightly less impressive Claudius :wink:


I’ve saved a flight with the CIVA IV INS last night, unfortunately X-plane 10 is not capable of saving the configuration, and on reload the aircraft is going a bit weird in the cranium when it suddenly has to make sense of it’s existence. Any advice? Do all custom navigation tools suffer from this? Could I use X-FMC with the 727 with more success?


Reinforced with Piper Malibu Mirage information manual (thx @chipwich) I was ready to push the performance of this aircraft to its proclaimed (as loosely remembered from FSW pilot operating handbook) envelope. As I realized after landing, its was little beyond :slight_smile:

So it is again obvious that my planning was sparse as the virtual scenery around my departure airport OOKB Khasab.
As already mentioned, located on the northern part of Arabic peninsula, it is governorate of Oman.

Planned distance little bit over 1400nm. It is possible, at least I believed in it before departure.
As this journey is about peninsulas, islands and atolls pls notice that the destination is small atoll called Agatti off the South West coast of India.
Of interest is this information - The airstrip [on this atoll] was constructed during 1987−88 for operation of Dornier 228 type of aircraft and was inaugurated on 16 April 1988

I stayed just overnight and woke up early to see the sunrise from some FL. Virtual departure time almost matched the real time, I really woke up 05:00 this morning to start this flight

Established the cruise at FL200 and smoothly went from one cruise regime to another. Started of course with the High Speed Cruise, went through Normal Cruise and settled somewhere between Economy Cruise and Long Range Cruise. Slowly you will go further…

Turned my waypoint over Masroor, PAF AB in Pakistan. It was home of Starfighters. Pilot of the preserved F-104 at the AB, S/L Bhatti, claimed shot down of Indian Su-7 Fitter on December 4, 1971. Wish we have 104 in DCS :slight_smile:

Then followed little the North West coast of India to my destination. The most part of this leg was over the ocean

We made it. Only 5% of fuel left now, but Agatti in sight

What to say about the island (and FSW scenery around here), nothing special. Even the airport is on the wrong side of the island… but I am happy to be here anyway :sunglasses:


Was great to push the Mirage to its limits, using the manual finally of course. Landed with 4% of fuel in the tanks. Distance covered 1477nm. Short look into the FSW POH provided me with small surprise - Range: 1343nm :innocent: