The official 3rd Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2017 Edition


Nicely done NEVO. That Mirage is a great looking aircraft inside and out. Looks like you pretty much double your mileage from the last leg.

I can’t find any online references to it now, but back in the late 90’s the Georgia Tech school of aerospace engineering, sponsored a Piper Malibu in an around the world race. I attended a photo presentation (no GoPro back then) and their story was fascinating. To fill their wing tanks, the students jacked up one side, filled the downhill tank, and then repeated the process. The configuration was not in the PIM, but by their calculations, they could get airborne, using all of the tarmac. They also had some sort of satellite link with voice and positioning data with a tracking station back in Atlanta at the university, The ground station advised them of their route with regards to the weather, giving them quite an edge. This was long before hand held GPS and real-time WX that we now take for granted.


Test flight from Innsbruck to Rome, trying out how to work with X-FMC.

Haven’t flown over the alps before, it’s gorgeous!


While I had some downtime in Christmas Island, I decided to fly around Papua with the PMDG DC6 and come back.

WOW… that aircraft is amazing!!!

Engine start-up was daunting at first but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before in other sims with aircraft of the same era. Starting for engine 3… Battery ON, Crack throttle half an inch, Prop Lever to FULLY FINE, Mixture to AUTO RICH, Booster Pump to LOW, Fuel Lever to MAIN TANK, Ignition switch to BOTH, hold starter switch, wait for 3 prop blade turns, set the priming switch ON, wait for 9 additional blade turns (you should be at 12 by then), set the BOOST switch to ON, and the engine finally roars. The whole plane shakes like crazy. I let the oil warm up, and set my cowling flaps to TAKEOFF position. set my gens and inverters ON, set my hydraulic pump on, set my flaps lever to 15 and before you know it, I’m up in the air, marvelling at that incredible plane. Still haven’t figured out how the autopilot and the Garmin 430 work, but I’ll be sure to learn more about the DC6.

Seriously, I highly recommend it. It must be so much fun flying in Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in a plane like that.


Heading South towards Cis-Alpine Gaul. Not exactly VFR weather down there!


Approaching the eternal city

I’ve opted to fly the next leg in the RW Design DHC-6 Twin Otter(twotter). A short hop down the coast to Napoli follows


@TheAlmightySnark (second from bottom screenie) Excellent drift, dude! Any chance you play Assetto Corsa? :+1: JK, of course. Great flights!

I’m going to be away for a three days, back home for one night, and out again for another two. This coincides with my having to negotiate the equatorial calm that has set in on the South Pacific on my direct course to the Solomons. There seems little hope on the forecast of the wind picking up again during the time Bella Donacela will be in the area…

So I am rerouting south to Fiji, through a rather reef ridden area, but with some much better wind. If necessary, I’m prepared to go as far south as New Caledonia, brave the Great Barrier Reef, and possibly even omit the Solomons (I hope not, but the possibility is there). No matter which way I look at it, it is better than being becalmed, probably for days…

Regarding the auto-nav functions for continued sailing while offline in Sailaway, I will not use the follow waypoints option (I feel it is a bit too cheaty), so I am planning the legs with “maintain heading” so that I’ll be (should be) back in time to deal with the turning point west of Somoa, and then back again for the arrival north of Fiji. Hope I can pull it off, without running aground while I’m absent! :smiley:


Thanks Chuck, glad to hear you enjoy my reports. It’s been great reading everyone else’s AAR’s too (including yours). No two journeys are the same, which keeps it interesting. Kind of like real flying actually.


Hard, no, impossible acts to follow, precede me.

Leg 02, KPDK - KMEM (Atlanta to Memphis)

With elevator problem repaired, log book signed, friends and family rejoined, we knew that the time had come to continue the journey in the company Beech 1900. Bill pulled up the METAR before heading out. Atlanta weather was fine, but that to the east of us - not so good. Memphis, our destination this leg, showed 200 over with a 1/2 mile viability. We both admitted that this was pretty far below our personal minimums. But, and we will probably repeat this phrase a few more times before reaching Christmas Island, the beer must get through!

While our good friends at Epps aviation worked out the elevator issue, news came from Beechcraft (Carenado) that there was an equipment upgrade available for our 1900D. With the knowledge that many thousands of miles lie ahead of us, we decided that another piece of nav gear might be the difference between success and spending the rest of our days on a tropical island. Volleyball for a friend? Oral surgery without anesthesia? No thank you.

FMS? Please.

Climbing into the cockpit, we were greeted with a new piece of gear in the center console.

Taking 3L at about 21:30 for the 1.5 hour trip over to Memphis.

Goodnight and goodbye ATL. See you next year.

Useful tool or eye candy. It will undoubtedly take a few legs to reach a verdict.

Muscle Shoals, Alabama, where so many great r&b and rock albums were created, was one of our waypoints tonight. Tinkering with our new toy, I almost missed it.

Enjoying the view of civilization as we head for parts unknown.

We setup a 1000 ft/min descent on the GNS530’s VNAV page and use autopilot’s VS mode to start down at the directed point. With the 530 keeping us on the flight plan and the autopilot controlling the descent rate, a minor bit of throttle management from me would keep us on speed.

Everything was going smoothly from FL180 down to about 11,000. Then we begin to have stability problems detailed here.

Fortunately, what was forecast as 200 over and 1/2 mile turned out to be more like 700 and 5. As we unceremoniously dropped out of the soup, a very busy KMEM appeared. What a relief!

The aircraft was still a hand full. Discretion getting the better part of valor, I decided to self-sequence the 1900 behind a FedEx A310 on final for 27. An absolutely horrible approach and landing, but what is worth taking a look at is how well World Traffic 3 set the environment for Memphis a little after 2300. Busy place to say the least.

Turning off onto a FedEx ramp, I grabbed a parking spot to collect my whits.

Once my heart rate had settled, I pulled up the KMEM AD and plotted us a course to our mini-me cargo ramp.

Uber to the rescue and we headed to the hotel for a quick nightcap and off to bed. Earlier today, I booked the 10AM Gibson Custom Shop tour for tomorrow morning, the birth place of my cherry ES339. Bill has his checkbook at the ready, but I promised my better half that I would not be bringing home anything with the Gibson logo other than a t-shirt or baseball hat.


I actually do! :wink: Love the Nordschleiffe for a relaxing drive!

I think there was a bit of a wind on landing, didn’t due a lot of due diligence on that flight! :stuck_out_tongue: Good luck sailing awaaaay!


After the mishap with the Mirage I got some momentum.

Next day after arriving on the atoll Agatti I already planned my next shorter hop in PA34 Seneca V. Weather little deteriorated but nothing drastic.

My next destination Sri Lankas small field VCCW Wirawila

Nice plane again. Only small imperfection in regards to undercarriage suspension animation. As it was nicely working for PA46 it is absolutely not working for PA34. And I hoped they corrected this already for all the aircrafts

Climbed over the weather to enjoy the morning sunshine

After a few little whiles I was feet dry over India. Through the almost overcast there was not many occasions to spot much on the ground.
At this point I dialed in the Maththala VOR 114.7 MTL. And I got no signal aaaaall the way to Sri Lanka coast. Strange…

As I reached Sri Lankas coast I decided to turn south and descend under the clouds in paralel with the west coast

Clouds were laing on the ground (bases at standard FSW 2000ft alt).
Had to divert little bit more south as the interior of Sri Lanka is quite high terrain and tops of the hills were hidden in the low clouds

As this lady has some shorter legs the hop was also shorter so no stress about the fuel. We are almost there. May the Force be with me… thats probably the Yoda Lake in sight :slight_smile:

Weerawila… but wait… Runway 06 ??

This was strange, runways 06 / 24. SkyVector is referencing to this airport as 07 / 25. Even the zoom in on the Google Maps confirms this. Then the strange missing MTL VOR.

So I started good old FSX and checked the map. There was no surprise - no VOR and runways 06 / 24…

But whatever, I am closer and closer to my final destination, and thats important now :slight_smile:


Tenegashima (RJFG) to Naha (ROAH), Okinawa.

This was a somewhat short hop of about 300nm. I decided on an early takeoff, just before sunrise on what was a beautiful, clear morning…

X-Plane 11 and X-Enviro really creates some beautiful scenes.

We are soon cruising along at 10000ft with the morning sun glinting off the highly polished airplane. In the background we can see Mt Miyanoura, the highest mountain on Yakushima Island, poking up through the haze layer.

As we continue South Southwest, some broken cloud was encountered. The screenshot really doesn’t do the scene justice. It looked amazing while in motion (I should have video captured it).

The cloud cover thickened up as we neared Amami Ōshima island

I did manage to get an occasional glimpse of the island below…

By the time we passed Okino Erabu Airport on Okinoerabu Island, the cloud was breaking up a little.

A short time later, we find ourselves over Okinawa Island.

In the distance, we catch sight of Kedena AFB.

Getting a little closer…

South of Kadena, we can also see the US Marine base at Ginowan (Futenma MCAS).

At last we see our destination for this leg, Naha Airport.

It was raining as we landed, just as the METAR indicated it would be.

So, from here I have a choice to make. I can island hop over to Taiwan, or undertake another long (600nm) sea crossing and head directly to the Philippines. Decisions, decisions… :wink:


Nice report, and some REALLY nice screenshots there @NEVO. :sunglasses:


Decisions are big part of this journey. There are so many ways and all leads to Rome, I mean Xmas island.

I didnt stay long on Sri Lanka. Just necessary sleep and the next day I was ready to roll with the last beauty Diamond DA42 Twin Star.

Next air harbor was Pulau We island with the Sabang airport WITN. Looks like nice place to stop by

Talking about the Twin Star I have to say that Dovetail aircrafts designers did great job again. Nicely modeled frame.
As you @Chuck_Owl talked about the shaking of the planes this is implemented also with FSW default airplanes. If you sit in the cockpit you will notice that all the steam gauge needles are shaking, the semi-loose parts of the cockpit are shaking and was pleased that also from outside, when you zoom in a little you will notice that the whole plane is shaking a bit.

Full throttle just to release the breaks

(to be continued)


Those are some great screens…!


Sure does - doesn’t it. It does night lighting really well too (cockpit lighting, landings lights illumination…etc…)


It’s like The Rock and George Costanza had a love child…


Barry Seal took it…!


I paused the story there, and had to go get another beer.


Here I am retrieving it from my yard…


Thx Paul, but I have to say that I like your screens more :sunglasses:

As Beach named it, and as I mentioned it already somewhere, the day and night lighting in XP11 are imho much better :slight_smile:

I have to start to think about some gift for me once I reach the Xmas island… :wink: