The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition

Ah carenado/alabeo… Nice planes terrible instructions.


It does seem to be a common trait with their products. I have figured out the fuel tank selector now. Still working on the fuel computer (I would much rather they had stuck with original gauges).


They are an offshoot of Carenado. So that’s why. LOL…

1 Like

Sedona to Las Vegas…

Another uneventful, although quite picturesque flight…

Departing Sedona…

From Sedona I headed North West.

Many hils, valleys and trees later, I find myself alongside Lake Meade. The stock scenery doesn’t do the Hoover Dam justice, but you can see where it should be.

Once past the Dam, we all know that the Vegas strip isn’t far away.

Final for 19R at McCarran Intl.

Down safely…

From here, we push on to Oakland…


That second pic is gorgeous…!


I have to say I am really amazed at how good XP11 looks, especially with a few addons. In this case, Ultra Weather XP 2.4, FSGRW the Sedona payware scenery from the .org store and of course the beautiful Alabeo Staggerwing. All I have to do is scroll around a bit and take a screenshot with Fraps… It makes me feel like an artist, even though I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. :smile:


Alright. I couldn’t wait any longer, and I might need a while. I’ll update my plan later tonight - but for now - my first leg can be tracked LIVE!

Oh, this is dangerous to know about. Something to watch while I’m stuck on conference calls later this afternoon.

I’m using real weather…and flying VFR…so that explains the ziggy zaggy line. Turbulence in X-Plane with the current weather is at borderline insane level…LOL…

1 Like

Skies are getting better the further northwest I get though. Just over Shelby now and the rain is slacking off and turbulence is getting lighter…

1 Like

TIL that Shelby has a country club.

Never would’ve guessed that.

Going to run up toward Linville Gorge before cutting across to Mountain Air (2NC0)…


I’m guessing there’s not a scenery add-on that includes the Linn Cove Viaduct. Pity.

Arrived alive…! About an hour down…a bunch to go. Flight report later tonight.


LEG 1 - KAKH (Gastonia, NC) to 2NC0 (Mountain Air, NC)

Here we go! For this year’s Christmas Flight, I’ve decided to try something different. Over the course my roughly 8,500nm flight to Pago Pago, I will be attempting to fly every type of aircraft that I’ve flown in my logbook. Now, I’m not the most prolific pilot when it comes to variety and types flown, but I have a decent enough list to make it interesting. I’m planning on going in chronological order. Some of these aircraft I haven’t flown for nearly 30 years, so this will be a great trip down memory lane for me.

My first leg will be a short hop in the first aircraft I flew during my initial Private Pilot training at Quantico Marine Corps Air Station. Renting for all of $13 wet in the late 80s, the Cessna 152 is one of the most prolific trainers out there and many of us career aviators took our first steps in the 152. Many of us took those steps not having any idea that the path would end up leading to a career in aviation.

I picked a great day to start this journey, with the remnants of Hurricane Michael sweeping across North Carolina, the remnants of the eye passing right over Charlotte. When I fired up my Cessna 152 at Gastonia Municipal airport, the altimeter was a low 29.33".

Winds were gusting up to 25 mph, providing for a hands on experience in the 152. With real weather enabled in X-Plane, the turbulence was very aggressive with rain and obscured visibility.

It only took about 15 miles of northwestward travel to start seeing conditions improve. The winds started to die off, the clouds lifted, visibility improved, and the turbulence subsided considerably…

My house is right down there!

Crossing over Shelby, NC…

Clearing weather, with storm clouds from Michael churning out to the east…

I catch a glimpse of the Black Mountains northeast of Asheville. I’m using ortho and nice mesh, so all of the landmarks are easy to identify. I can see Mount Mitchell and Deep Gap where I’ve camped a half a dozen times…

Heading over South Mountains State Park - a great trout fishing area, with excellent mountain biking, hiking, and camping…

I fly slightly out of the way to the north of track to overfly Lake James and take a peek at the North Carolina “Grand Canyon” of Linville Gorge. A spectacular gorge that has incredibly good hiking…

Turning back to the west, I cross the northern end of the Black Mountain range and my destination is only a few miles further…

Landings at Mountain Air are almost always made on runway 32 due to the extreme slope of the runway. There is an excellent Mountain Air Pilot Guide that can give some local area tips on how to safely operate to the field.

My first approach, I fall into the classic visual illusion of setting up too low due to the upsloping runway. It is all I can do to have full power, retract some flaps, and bail out down the slop to try again…

My second approach is steeper. It looks unusual, but it works out well and I use only 1/3 of the runway or less as the slope quickly dissipates any extra speed…

I’m using the excellent freeware Mountain Air scenery by Peter Borovszky…

I’m off the country club to grab a couple beers and catch some sleep at the lodge. We got lucky on this leg since Mountain Air doesn’t have an instrument approach. The backup plan was Asheville, but it was nice to get in to this trickly little field.

I enjoyed this short flight in the Cessna 152. It did bring back a lot of memories. My original aircraft had a single VOR receiver, and GPS wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind back then. Even LORAN-C was a half a decade away. The 4Forces Cessna 152 for X-Plane works well enough, but it is getting a bit old. There are certainly better options out there, but I already owned this one, and it did the job.

I’m looking forward to my next leg in the next aircraft in my logbook. I’m sure many of you can guess which one that will be…!


Great start @BeachAV8R. I mentioned it in the XP release thread, but it’s worth mentioning again for C152 fans. There is a fantastic free enhancement to the cheap Carenado C152 which brings it up to XP11.10+ levels and adds a bunch of features, like AviTab. Very much worth a look IMHO.


Alrighty - once you get the bug to start the journey, it is hard to stay away! Getting ready to fly a short second leg from Mountain Air, NC (2NC0) over the mountains to the beautiful (and frequent MedCenter Air destination) of Andrews-Murphy, NC (KRHP). An airport that can be tricky to get into and out of if the weather is down (the landing mins are lower than the takeoff mins) - but it looks like we have a nice day today.

KRHP 121200Z AUTO 11004KT 10SM CLR 07/07 A2995 RMK AO2 T00680068

I’ll be flying live on the X-IvAp tracking map:


Planning on flying over Clingman’s Dome/ Fontana Lake?

Yes Sir…! Over Great Smoky Mountains National Park right now…!

1 Like