The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition

Please see the event overview:

This is the “official” AAR thread for the 2018 event. Post your thoughts, stories, photos, videos, NTSB reports, bar tabs, etc., in the thread below. I look forward to hearing the planes, trains, and automobiles (and sailboats?) stories as you all make your way to Pago Pago!


My tentative route that DOES NOT include additional stops along the way (I’m guessing I will need maybe 18 or so legs based on what I’m planning to fly)… I can’t make the west coast of the United States to Hawaii but I might be able to make an Aleutian Island to Hawaii if I catch the right (well, actually left) side of a deep low pressure. The backup plan is to continue west toward Japan and come at the area like I did last year by hopping down through the Philippines, Papua, and the Solomons…



Since I was a non-finisher last year, I decided to get an early start. First leg KPDK-KMEM in the books last night. Will use this trip to study the G1000 in detail. Well, as much as the Areobask/LR version will allow.

Entering the flight plan. Will use VNAV on the next leg.

Underway. FL 120 was good for 178 kts GS @ 75% and 6 kt cross wind from the N.



Such an easy aircraft to fly.


…might you stop at KPHF and give me a lift? :wink:

Beach, what program is that? that you planned the route with.

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It’s called SkyVector. Super useful.

Onlineflightplanner is also quite handy to plan routes and fuel.


Thank you, chuck!

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Definitely one of the sleekest looking piston twins out there…


I am going to do my updates blog-style and just use this post spot. For now, this is just a placeholder. (If that’s objectionable to anyone are an abuse of proper forum etiquette, please let me know.)

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Geez… You guys really know how to get a guy interested in civil flight sims again by choosing a destination I have actually flown into… Well, off to see how feasible it is to get FSX SE and my Captain Sim C-130, 707, and 727 add ons up and running… I’m not holding my breath though :rofl:


I have been thinking of a way to introduce some navigation error when simulating Oceanic crossings in old school aircraft (ie pre INS and GPS). X-Plane gives you a Lat/Long readout but it is very precise, which is not what I’m looking for. The perfect solution would be to use celestial navigation coupled with dead reckoning. So, I’m thinking a good compromise will be to add error to the charts by plotting by hand on somewhat wide scale maps… I came up with the following by grabbing maps from the JeppFD app, and then annotating the lines of Latitude and Longitude.

My plan is to plot my position on these charts with my Apple Pencil, which should introduce plenty of ‘fudge factor’ when it comes to making course corrections. If I decide to route via PLCH, the legs will be shorter, but PLCH is not a very big island to find in a massive ocean.

Another thing I am considering is to only allow myself a position fix (aka looking at X-Plane’s Lat/Long readout) if the sky above me is clear enough to see either the Sun or the stars. I will be using FSGRW, which evidently gives a pretty decent representation of weather over the oceans. Routine fixes will be taken (weather permitting) at planned ETE’s over each 5º line of Longitude on the San Francisco to Honolulu leg, and each 5º line of Latitude on the Honolulu to Pago Pago (or PLCH)…

I think I’m almost ready to start out on the trip now.


@smokinhole Based on previous years’ expeditions you will find your post at the beginning of a very long thread, so your updates will likely get missed.

True. I just wanted to keep it all together. I was thinking that with each significant update I’d post a link:

But now that I think about it, if everyone did that, it would make for a really ugly thread. And it was maybe a little self-indulgent. So thank you @HavlokUK, I have decided to not reinvent the wheel.

Yeah, it would be cool if we could have like sub-threads or something for individual flights…but I’ve found it is fun to sort of keep up with everyone as they make their little hops and jumps.


Day 1, 09/18/2018: K1N7 (Blairstown, NJ) - CYYB (North Bay, Ontario) - CYYU (Kapuskasking, Ontario) - CYPL (Pickle Lake, Ontario)

South central Canada is not the most interesting terrain to fly over. Flat and lots of lakes. But even up here there are surprises. I landed at Pickle Lake (CYPL) at night and was surprised to find a hangar. I figured all the 3D airports would be down south. Just goes to show that X-Plane always manages to surprise. The Coke machine in the hangar was a nice touch.

Total = 7.2 Hours / Trip Total = 7.2 Hours


And we are on our waaaay…!!

I probably won’t start until late October maybe…

Day 2, 09/25/2018: CYPL - CYTH (Thompson, Manitoba)

Day flight, poor weather, 4 knot headwind. At 378 nm, this was about as long a flight as the Bell can manage. Surprising how well the HD terrain matches the map. Rivers and lakes are dead on. 128 pounds to spare. Another 3d airport.

Total = 3.2 Hours / Trip Total = 10.5 Hours

This is the SkyVector plan. I haven’t changed the destination to Pago Pago yet. No hurry. It’ll be at least 2 months before it matters. :slight_smile:

Previous Leg:


What if we could filter a thread by poster? Then if you wanted you could just filter for smokinhole and see all of his posts without all the other clutter. Just a thought …

If you change your mind then be radical - try square ones :grin:

Edit: Thought I’d leave this link

I understood that reference…

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I like your ideas of posting current/total flight time, as well as linking the previous leg SH. Wondering if you’ll win the iron butt award.

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