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.
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
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)…
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.
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.