The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition


Well, there is this one:

I was looking for something a little more photogenic though.



Leg 02 Memphis to Wichita (KMEM-KICT)

The weather forecast was excellent (I wanted to beat the Costco weekend rush), so used the big D button and proceeded to get rolling without much fanfare. Not a lot to see on this route anyway, but that will change once we get near Ft. Collins.

Taxing to 36R we passed some strange bedfellows.

Let’s compress some Jet-A.

Everyone’s Amazon getting sorted.

The ubiquitous “getting the hell out of Memphis” shot.

X-Plane default scenery. There are some repeating tiles for sure, but it doesn’t look bad from altitude.

The Aerobask DA62 has AviTab integration and with not much to do during the climb, I click the tablet sticking out of the map pocket near my right knee. Curious as to how my RTX 2080ti is getting along with XP11 and the G1000, it looks like 56 fps…

…with these settings in 3440x1440.

We reach our planed cruising altitude of FL160 happy as clams and enjoy dodging a few cumulous puffies.

In fact I am so happy, that I forget to turn on the O2 and begin to get so sleepy…

But, I can take a hint.

I make a mental note to always set my altitude select to 12k which will save me from having a brain fart again. Oxygen, it’s not just a hangover remedy. At max fill 1850 psi, I’ve supposedly got 200 minutes with a single soul on board. I wonder if this thing uses an 80 cubic feet scuba tank?

A while later, I glance at the fuel quantity and decide to transfer fuel from the aux tanks to the mains. According to the real aircraft’s flight manual 7.01.25-E, there is no mention of an aux fuel tank quantity indicator. And none in either the Aerobask or Carenado G1000. I guess that you are supposed to know that from preflight. It is advised to run the pumps simultaneously to avoid imbalance and if all fuel is transferred out of the aux tanks with the aux pumps still on, a warning message is displayed on the PFD. Interestingly, since the pop-up 2D G1000 displays do not have the Aerobask custom overlay, when they are active, you can see the LR1000 fuel totalizer. And the Aerobask utility is always there to lend a fuel management hand to the casual sim pilot.

At 75% power, can you believe that we are consuming a miserly 7.4 gallons per hour per side? However, the wind in our face keeps our progress to a mere 132 kts GS. Missing the Lear about now :smile:

My grandfather worked for the railroad when he was a young man. I guess it was a good way to get out of rural South Carolina when times got tough. I don’t know the details, but when I was in elementary school, we had a large brass bell from a steam engine out behind our house that my mom used to call us to dinner. Where that bell is now is anyone’s guess.

Naturally, I have an interest in trains.

As I approached Wichita, my 5 year old Eliza strolled into the home office/manpit to observe the flying. She asked why I had left her in Atlanta, so I dropped her in the aircraft. That gave her much pleasure, until she realized that children were relegated to the back row.

Downwind for 19L. Gear extension is a speedy 200 kts, so you can use them as speedbrakes. Eliza knows not to ask questions in the pattern. Daddy is old and doesn’t multitask like he used to.

Last year we parked over by Lear. This year it’s going to be the air freight ramp.

Feeling somewhat inadequate.

This is a fantastic aircraft. If I win the $1.6B lottery, there is no doubt that I will be most quickly heading to a Diamond dealer.



Awesome leg report there @chipwich - and that is a fine looking aircraft, made all the more better by putting kids in the back seat! If she gets too rowdy…tell her to take her O2 mask off for a few minutes… :sleeping:



My Route

Here’s the first few legs to get over the pond and into Canada. The main objective is to keep the wet bits down to a minimum. The latter bit of my route I’ve not settled on yet and may change depending on time and progress.

I’ve chosen the Saab 340a by Leading Edge Studios to kick off and see how I get on. I might need something quicker if time runs short.

Leg 01 - Blackbushe Airport (EGLK) to Coventry Airport (EGBE)

Sitting on the apron at Blackbushe Airport

The initial plan was to take off, fly a quick circuit and work out the essentials, like landing… then learn the rest on route. I know, I know, not very realistic, but I was keen to get up there and chuck it about a bit.

A few select presses of the key systems and I had the engines started. Easy.

Time to get airborne… advancing both levers fully forward all hell broke loose with warnings about config, a banner about trying to move the aircraft with traffic cones and chocks in place as well as the master warning chimer continually nagging. Manual read tonight…

A quick restart , a check to see if anyone was looking and then deciding that discretion is the better part of valor and kicked off the autostart wizard. That was much better.

Getting airborne, I was enjoying looking at the amazing ORBX UK scenery when I realised I’d flown quite a way north from home base.

Rather than go back, I might as well press on. Checking the fuel, I had enough for around 100 miles. As I was over Oxford, this would mean the majority of southern England and up to the midlands. Having lived not far from the runway, Coventry was the obvious answer. This would give the opportunity to check the ORBX scenery and see if the aviation museum aircraft could be seen.

EGBE set on the 530.

Overhead Bagington (Coventry Airport). The Midland Aviation Museum aircraft are just off the left wing.

Turning over the city and coming in from the east over the A45, I was a little late turning finals and ended up on the left side of the runway. Good job its wide…

Reverse thrust applied I slowed quite quickly, meaning I had to taxi to the other end of the runway. The benefit giving me time to line up on the centreline for the photographers.

All parked up, ready for a re-paint.

First leg done, albeit ad-hoc. I’ll plan the next one properly. :slight_smile:



Hello all

Today I just wanted to pick up my new airplane at Zurich airport for my trip to Pago Pago. Unfortunately the mechanics were not yet finished with the gear checks. At least they have already changed the aircraft registration. I will have to come back later this week in order to take over the airplane and to get started with my trip.

I will start with an empty maintenance log and will see how nicely I will treat the airplane during my trip. I will use the accelerated wear model to make my mistakes visible quicker. Transitioning from B200 and PC-12 I will have to learn quite a few things on the TBM 900. I’m also totally unfamiliar with the G1000! The trip should be long enough to give me plenty of learning opportunities. Flying this airplane with as little maintenance as possible could be come a fun challenge!

My rough route planning looks as follows. I hope to have a few scenic sectors, especially over the Himalayan. Lets see how quickly Frank Dainese will release his scenery pack for this region :stuck_out_tongue:

Happy to be onboard for this cool flight challenge!



Cool! Be sure to check out orthophotos for the Himalaya! I found ZL17 from Bing quite good last year, and Arcgis is usually even better!



Nice. That is a really good looking plane in VR too…



Nice…! I can’t wait to read about that airplane and your adventures. Don’t forget to put the fuel caps on!



After the couple of flights being in a freezing flying boat, with rock hard seats, and no inflight meal service, it was time to mix it up a little.

The Vickers VC10, up until recently the record holder for the fastest transatlantic crossing by a jetliner that wasn’t the Concorde. It cruises at .82-.86 mach and FL36, not bad for a design that first flew back in 1962. This is a freeware plane (available at, and originally built for FS9, however it runs just fine in FSX. Overall the flight for today was around 1240 NM, and doing that at 92 knots IAS, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Also stock FSX scenery of the Aleutians is about as bad as the stock scenery of the midwest, flat, brown, and dull. Better to just fly right over it.

The horror though…

A 2D panel and no VC! Oh well I don’t think I had an AC with a 3D pit until LOMAC and FS9, so I think I can still remember how to fly one. You’ll note it has a Carousel inertial navigation system. I didn’t use it for this flight, as I had to restart it about 4 times due to various real world issues and I was getting tired of keying in the waypoints.

So with about 50% fuel, off we went!

She climbs more like a mid 60’s SAC bomber on war alert than a tube liner. Coming off the runway at full power, expect to have yoke all the way back to avoid an overspeed. Eventually things settle down, and it’s time to engage the IAS hold AP, which adjust pitch to maintain a given IAS. Quite handy, and something I wish was more common.

Soon enough we’re cruising along merrily at FL 34 throttle back a bit, and with the mach hold on for .84 mach. It works like the IAS hold and adjusts pitch, rather than the throttles. The autothrottle is setup only for approaches and landing.

FSX stock scenery rears it’s ugly head, soon the clouds roll in.


Chasing the sun.

Soon enough it’s time to start to descend.

I didn’t really have much time to get any shots of the approach or landing. There’s a lot going on. I tried out the autothrottle and fully automated landing, and it was going well until we get down under the clouds. The 44 kt winds were a bit over the specified 16 kt max crosswind for the automated systems (and probably for landing in general). However thanks to this being a sim, what the heck, lets try it.

I don’t think I’ve ever set an AC down using the right snap view to look down the runway. Real world I probably would have sheared the landing gear off, but hey that’s what flight simm’ing is all about right?

So about 3 hours later we covered about 1250 NM. The food was great, the drinks stiff, and the stewardess’s, well… we’ll talk about that another time.

Not sure exactly where to or in what from here, but I’ve got 10,000’ of concrete SAC runway to work with, so there’s a lot of options.



Bravo! Weather still looks crappy up there. You might talk me into the southern route!



The VC10 was such a graceful looking airplane. I was lucky enough to fly on one a few times when I was in the RAF. Interesting factoid, all the passenger seats face aft because it is safer. I guess passengers didn’t like it much and so it didn’t catch on… but it is definitely safer.



Leg 2 - EGBE (Coventry Airport) to EKVG (Vágar Airport, Faroe Islands)

A longer flight, checking the winds it may need 5 hours of fuel and I might run out of time, but we’ll see.

Its been a long night getting the paintbrush out to get rid of the DHL yellow, re-registering the aircraft on the UK civil register and reading the Saab’s manual.

Lift off on a murky afternoon in the West Midlands.

Flying over an old WW2 airfield. Loving the Orbx scenery.

Alas, the end of the Orbx, just north of Nottingham. Still the GBPro W2XP isn’t too shabby.

I continued the climb up to 20,000ft, but the headwinds meant I had the groundspeed of little more than a biplane, so dropped back down to 14,000ft which gave some improvement. Still only making around 190kts GS was going to make this slow going.

Over Scotland, Peebles… Scotland is realllllly big at this speed. ZZZzzzzzzz

Loch Ness, no sign of the monster

Out over the sea the sun started to set. George was doing a good job of following the flight path, which gave plenty of opportunity to read up on landing.

Vagar in the mist/murk

The arrival to the Faroe Islands is straightforward enough, but the approach is tricky for a novice like me and with the weather now giving gusts of 36 kts, I expected to spend the night having to hammer out the dents.

Earlier Xplane had chucked up a “can’t find scenery for this location” type earlier in the flight and it was probably a good job as all the surrounding hills would have made this a tricky one.

Just awful… Did I key in Mordor by accident

I was very eager to get down, as the turn completed and the runway came in to sight, the stall warning kicked in and the AP switched off. A bit more power corrected this and I crossed the threshold with the caution still complaining. I made a rather heavier landing than I would have liked, but was safely down.

Pulling in to the terminal

Thankfully I didn’t load the HD Mesh scenery for this location until after the flight completed, seeing the terrain in the daylight, I wouldn’t have got in. I’ll have to have a proper go at landing here another time.



That’s a great report. Vagar is a cool airport with horrible weather…I did write an article about it for the Challenging Airports feature…



Interesting, I never would have known the sits faced to the rear.

Most of the British heavy iron from back then is pretty, I almost took a Comet instead of the VC10. Maybe on a future leg.

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That looks familiar. :slightly_smiling_face:

I can’t imagine having to do this in real life with some of the weather they get there, knowing the mountains are so close.

Is your Challenging Airports feature on Vagor available online, I’d be interested to read your experience and see how to do it correctly. :sunglasses:



I’ll see what I can dig up…!

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Eareckson Air Station to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport - 568 NM 2 hours and 40 minutes. So definitely not taking the flying boat to make that sort of time!

So what exactly do we have here? Hmm, a tail, 2 wings, looks like 2 engines. Not real helpful is that really?

A Convair CV 580, which is basically the CV-440 (which was a stretched and updated CV-340(which was a stretched CV-240 (which was Convair’s attempt to compete with the DC-3, and also the plane which killed 3 members of Lynyrd Skynyrd(I took a semester of LISP programming in college, nested parentheses are your friend)))) with a pair of Allison T56’s (the same power plant of an obscure never went anywhere military transport called the C-130…) in place of the P&W Double Wasps. Meaning instead of ~4,800 SHP, we’re talking around 8,000 SHP. Needless to say this things moves!

This version is freeware, again from (what can I say, I’m a sucker for vintage). Going to a turboprop, we’re paying attention to TIT and torque output rather than cylinder head temp and MAP. Take off is basically firewall the throttles (at least when it’s 24F outside) but keep an eye on the torque gauge. You’ll be in the air VERY quickly, pull back hard, pretend you’re an F-106 trying to intercept a Tu-95 if that helps. Expect to climb out at 4,000 FPM finally settling down to about ~1,500 FPM as you get near your FL. Considering you’re doing this at 170 kts IAS below FL10 and 160 kts IAS above, on a fully loaded and fueled plane, not too shabby. Cruising altitude is around FL20, and around 290 knots TAS.

Set the TIT, and relax. She’s remarkably docile when handflown, which upon doing some research is right on point. The air was a little bumpy, but nothing too surprising.

Land ho! A two and half hour flight with GPS makes that a little less exciting than a 6 hour flight with just dead reckoning and a NBD to keep you on track. Regardless making landfall always feels good. Now there is an included gauge that calculates fuel burn, arrival time, when to descend, etc. Quite useful, until you don’t realize the TOD is based on a 500 FPM descent instead of 1,000 FPM. I can say however her low level performance is just fine, at cruise throttle we were motoring along at a bit over 205 kts IAS. So after puttering along at low level for an extra 20 minutes (I hate to think how much money extra that would cost for an airline), it was time to enter the pattern.

One note for anyone taking this route in FSX, the glide slope of the ILS is off. Like fly you into the ground 300 yds before the start of the runway off. So needless to say it was go around time (which she handled just fine, even though I might have ran the engines a little over temp/power by accident for a few seconds), and a fine chance to practice a missed approach. A couple minutes later I eyeballed the glide slope, as there’s no PAPI. Taking advantage of the 2500 meter long runway (that’s around 8,200’) I erred on the side of caution and set down a bit long. Reverse thrust, and we stopped with probably enough room to take back off.

Overall she is a great plane to fly. I may have found a new favorite short route bird!

FSX’s stock terrain is still nothing to write home about, but at least there’s some mountains and things to keep it interesting.



Nice leg…! I remember the first time I saw a Convair was down in North Myrtle Beach, SC. I was working on the line as a fueler and that beast came lumbering in to the ramp. To fuel it via the overwing ports we had to drive the fuel truck up and stand on top of the fuel truck with the hose because our little ladder wasn’t tall enough to reach the filler spout.

And those engines were as loud as anything (Tay RR maybe?) (as bad as Garretts…)



I’m currently stuck in New Orleans on my Christmas Flight. Imagine that…