The official 3rd Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2017 Edition


On the topic of sailing…I owned a little 15’ Point Jude design that was made of wood and hand built in Maine when I was growing up. I saved a bunch of years and didn’t have enough money to buy it (I think it was $300) and my Dad kicked in the rest to buy it when I was about 13 years old. I sailed that thing all over the Potomac River from the Woodrow Wilson bridge to Dahlgren…I can’t believe my parents never reported me missing after some of the storms.


Indeed, I was a bit perplexed by the reported figures, too. When we used to fly Guayaquil direct New York our TOW was not far off structural MTOW (77 metric tons) and we used to climb to FL330 as initial (I’m wondering if it is the sim model at fault? I don’t have that module.). We’d step twice, up to FL390 along the route. And the FMGC computed Mach will almost invariably be 0.78, using a CI of 20, so you nailed it @BeachAV8R :smiley:

BTW, lovely boat!


I’ll finish off this glider flight recap, before I go away for the rest of the today and tonight…

From the last situation, down on the deck near Saquisili, 12:53…

I set the minimum sink speed and pointed the Twin Astir east (all this twirling around after so long really throws you, lol!), with the intention of entering the Inter-Andean valley, where I’d have a bit more breathing space beneath to pick up thermals again. It looked hit and miss, and there did not seem to be a good landing area available. Fortunately enough, on this short stretch I went through a thermal that, though I didn’t dare take it to turn in at this low height, it did pop me up 100 valuable feet in order to more confidently make it to the valley. Which I did…

…and was subsequently able to locate another thermal to start topping up again with. That little spoiler incident was going to cost me a lot of time, now, as instead of the planned sprint to Carihuairazo, I was going to have to get there low down, thermal to thermal. Nonetheless, it got closer…

…and closer, slowly but inexorably…

Carihuairazo is the smaller peak in the foreground, Chimborazo being the big snow capped mountain behind. I finally picked up the Carihuairazo ridge at 13:34, having struggled up to 14,200 feet. Should have been here at least 20 minutes ago. :slight_smile:

Then onto Chimborazo (the highest point on the planet, as measured from the center of the globe). This provided some exhilarating ridge soaring all the way up to a staggering 21,200 ft. Being right up against that steep slope on one side towards the top and a yawning chasm the other side actually was causing some images that would make one feel some vertigo IRL…

Taking a WSW direction off the top for the long glide to Guayaquil (and now obsessively checking the spoilers were not out again), it was “goodbye Chimborazo”!

Time, 14:06…

Now, flutter is often a problem with many gliders at high altitude, but not with the Twin Astir (according to the FM) if the speed normal range is respected. Less tip incidence washout than usual on other gliders, no doubt. Just the same, even though the temptation to blast along on the end of the VNO green arc was there, I elected to keep a good margin to it on IAS, planning to creep it up 3 knots per every 2,000 ft descended, starting from 65 KIAS. I’d have a continuous TAS of around 90 knots, that way. Just short of an hour to overfly Guayaquil, and I should be there with some height to spare. That was all playing it safe…

As I wasn’t using a map, I was keeping a look out for a known river, the Babahoyo, which would take me to Guayaquil…

…which it did…

All in one piece…

15:13 HL. 3 hours 41 minutes of flight time, I believe.
Approximate distance covered: 190 nm
Average speed, 52 knots.
Fuel used: NaN


Here’s a retrospective look at that route…


I used a CI of 30. I think I may have been over MTOW or around that… I remember taking the whole runway at CYUL. i was able to reach M 0.8 but my climb rate was a bit low.


250/275/0.76 is a good climb, taking the Mach figure over FL315, if you are heavy, as well as being your turbulence speeds.


Well, I don’t think I managed to get the boat up on one hull. I was just happy to get the boat to take me pretty much where I wanted to go, all based on a bit of reading, some time playing Naval Action and a 10 minute lesson on the boat itself.

If I lived closer to the ocean I might be tempted to get a small sailboat like the Hobie Cat.

Oh, I caved… I’m downloading Sailaway as I write this. :slight_smile:


ok, first off all a quick feedback on the DC-6 on XP-11. As expected and mentioned by others it works pretty well. There is a pressurisation issue which I did not care about as I did not climb above FL100 (yes this was a bit too low on my route today) The only issue I had were the BMEP gages which were jumping around a bit.


Today I did the first preparations for the Christmas Flight.
@TheFlyingProfessor taught me how to plan and exectue a flight with SID and STAR using the X-Plane FMS in conjunction with the Boeing 737-800 autopilot.
The flight was from EHAM (Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport) to LKPR (Prague, Czech Republic): the first step on the journey to Christmas Island. Unfortunately there was a technical problem with a ‘missing scenery’ popup which interrupted the flight somewhere over Germany. Having seen the magic that the Boeing 738 autopilot can do, I was interested to see how this would work in the more vintage-looking MD-82. Since this plane uses the same X-Plane default FMS, entering a flight plan was straightforward.

I decided to fly a short hop from EHVB to EHAM.

Departing with Valkenburgse Meer (Lake Valkenburg) in the backdrop.

Arriving at Schiphol. The lake is Westeinder Plassen, the A4 highway can also be seen.
I’m using AlPilot HDMesh for the Netherlands.

Haven’t really understood the MD-82 autopilot yet.

Loving the cockpit and the sounds though, great rattle on take off!


and here is my planned route to Christmas Island:

I wanted to take the chance to visit some interesting places and challenging procedures. If these are acceptable landing and starting destinations is something I will look at later on in my more detailed day to day route planning :wink:


I think you should take that DC-6 into Lukla…! :sweat_smile:


And finally my quick flight report from my flight today: LSMD to LOWI. LSMD is a former military field close to where I live. Its currently used by some of the few remaining Ju-52, WW2 three engine transports. LOWI on the other side is a challenging airport in the Austrian mountains. Flying the LOC-DME approach in-between some very firm Cumulus Granite was a challenge especially as I’m not any more that fluent with this DC-6 beast.

The departure was no problem. The runway with 7700ft gives enough room to accelerate properly even with my fully loaded DC-6 A (cargo). You may notice that I had to lease a DC-6 cargo plane from British Eagle. Not a spectacular one but a pretty nice one with a proper retro look.

The conditions for the BRENO2A and LOC DME EAST for runway 26 were perfect. My only issue was that I could not climb above FL100 because of the DC-6 pressurisation issue (I know there is a fix for it). The mountains you see below the aircraft are at 8800ft and the minimum altitude here would be 10600ft. In the background you see the runway from Innsbruck.

The approach was a bit a fight. Flying a proper radial with this old steam cockpit is very challenging for me. Getting familiar with four throttles and a heavy airplane with a lot of inertia is a lot of fun but I’m typically either too fast or almost stalling :wink:

I finally had a good landing and had to taxi to the apron with taxiway A. I tell you the vibrating panel, all the gages with the vibrating indexes and the really nice sound of these four radials makes this airplane not only fun for flying but also for taxiing!

Now its time for my mechanic to check out the engines, refill the oil and make the plane ready for the next flight. My plan was to fly to Salzburg, for a meet up with the wonderfully refurbished DC-6 from the flying bulls. However the tight time line may force me to fly directly to Budapest. Depending on my confidence with the airplane I want to continue flying online on VATSIM. Maybe I need a flight or two more as I’m not keen on messing up with the controllers…

this is it for today…


You got it! One of my stops is actually Kathmandu as I wanted to fly close to the Himalaya!


Sorry, guys, I’ve got far too much going on at the moment - I’ll do this in P3D and use the Razbam Harrier for the longest part, switch to the C-130 along the way and do the final bit in the Cessna 404 - all in VR, so no fancy screenshots, just weird res ones that are perhaps a bit jaggy or blurry.

So just like any Christmas then! :upside_down_face:


If you keep posting screenshots like that I’m going to have to reach for my wallet again. That DC6 looks amazing.


Attempted my second leg today from KBFI (Boeing Field) to PANC (Anchorage). It ended in tragedy.

The weather was rainy at KBFI, but I took off without much problem. This time, I used the IXEG 737-300 for X-Plane 11.

This time, I planned my fuel better. I tinkered with the FMC, planned my route and off I went to 36000 ft.

Overall, climbing and cruising was pretty much uneventful.

However, just as I started my descent, I noticed an oil leak on both my engines. The pressure dropped gradually and as I reached 25000 ft, my right engine seized up and I unsuccessfully tried to restart it. Without oil to lubricate the shafts, there was pretty much no hope to bring my engine back to life. The oil leak for the left engine stabilized, but I kept on going towards Anchorage.

As I started my approach, the weather got really bad. Heavy cloud layer all the way to the ground. My VNAV helped me maintain a safe altitude though.

Visibility was really low, but I still had the flight director to help me.

I eventually flew through a thick cloud.

Speed was good. Power was low but enough to keep me in the air. I had a chance.

Out of a sudden, the aircraft starts stalling and I enter a deadly spin. I couldn’t recover and crashed in the mountains. I checked the post-flight report afterwards and it appears that there was an ice acccumulation on my wings and the loss of my right engine probably messed up the right wing anti-ice system. Ice built up as I flew through the cloud and eventually my wing couldn’t generate enough lift to keep me flying.

Darn. Now I need to start it over. Super frustrating! :smiley:


Ha…that’s interesting. I’m wondering if the failure to activate the engine anti-ice was also leading to the engine oil pressure symptoms. That is one of those simulation things that sim pilots rarely think of, but real pilots are always thinking of during a flight. There are flights where I’ll have to turn the engine anti-ice (or vanes) on and off a dozen times (in and out of tops). There are sims that model damage and loss of power from ice build up. I’m pretty sure the Ka-50 used to get ice degrading the engines…


Don’t quit your day job @Chuck_Owl! :grin:

(I’m assuming your day job is writing excellent flight sim manuals :slight_smile: )


I sure won’t! I was never trained to deal with bad weather. Almost crashed on leg 1, everyone died on leg 2. Ruined two perfectly good airplanes. I really s*ck lol

It’s even more frustrating when I realize that I crashed about 40 miles from Anchorage after almost 1200 miles of flying.


I’m pretty sure I had my WAI and NAI on… My gut feeling tells me the oil leak was a random malfunction that was the root cause of it all. Maybe I’m wrong.


It is actually pretty cool that the systems are modeled well enough that one problem (that may be small by itself) can evolve into something far more serious. The insidious problems like that are the ones that worry me most because it is very easy to miss the big picture of where the problem is leading you to.

I learned a lesson tonight too. Just because an airport is on a chart, it doesn’t mean that the airport is actually there in the sim :wink: . The NDB and VOR at Iturup (UHSI) are both there and functional, but no runway. A look at the airport diagram reveals that the airport is “FOR RUSSIAN USERS ONLY” , so maybe they saw me coming. :grinning: Fortunately I brought a lot of extra fuel with me, so I just pushed on and landed at Memanbetsu, Japan.
I’ll post an AAR for this leg tomorrow as it is getting late now.