The Official 4th Annual Mudspike Christmas Flight - 2018 Edition



Yes I know, I actually have the XP-10 version of it but I got a bit bored by Carenado planes and even more by their XP-11 upgrade policy (well actually I got fed up by this!).


Leg 4 – Istanbul (Turkey) to Ordu (small airport on the Black Sea Coast)

I check the weather and it looks like I can do a VFR flight along the Turkish black sea cost. Most METARs read scattered around 2500 ft. On some stations there will be broken clouds at about 8000 ft. Not perfect VFR but good enough for another adventure :wink: One station however reports mist and scattered clouds at 400 ft and according to the TAF this will remain for at least another two hours. Must be a foggy place and therefore definitely not a place to look for a landing.

In order to shorten the 440nm trip I plan to do short break somewhere along the route. I will fly along the VORs and there will be airfields at almost each VOR so I will chose my landing site depending on local weather and my mood.

Luckily I see that Ankara Radar online on VATSIM and I dial in local ATIS on 128.200.


I then switch to Ankara Radar which also covers Istanbul Ataturk Airpot on 136.600. There is not much going on the frequency. While two Turkish Airlines are inbound to LTBA I get my VFR clearance and permission to start the engine (I really like to fly online with some traffic around me as this gives me another realism and immersion boost). The controller tells me that I will receive the squawk code just before take-off. This is a bit unusual for me as I’m used to dial in the squawk code and then set the transponder on standby before I taxi.

I finally taxi to the runway 35R, hold short, get the squawk code and finally the take-off clearance while one of the airliners establishes on the ILS 35L. After take-off I climb a bit an then get instructed to turn east for leaving the CTR at maximum 5500ft.

After a short flight I cross the Bosporus.

This is the strait which connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and finally the Aegean See (part of the Mediterranean Sea). The Bosporus also represents a natural boundary between Europe and Asia (from a geographical and cultural point of view!). Interestingly this 30 km long strait seems to be only 7500 year old (this is a split of a second in earth’ life) and scientist think that it was born as water broke through because the Black Sea had a much lower sea level than the Sea of Marmara.

The weather turns out to be perfect for an “exciting” VFR flight. Often the clouds are closing and right before I think about making a 180 they break up and I decide to continue.

By accident I note that this aircraft has nice LED strobes…

At half of the distance I decided to go for a Kebab at LTAS. According to the chart this should be a small airport a few miles away from the cost. The environment has a lot of hills and I spot the airport very late.

In the meantime I’m on Unicom and I broadcast my position as overhead. I check out the runway visually and notice again the hills around the runway.

I finally land at a nice little airport, where Laminar must be sponsoring the field operation.

I grab a delicious and spicy Kebab (with lots of onions!) while my aircraft gets refuelled in the background.

The take-off turns out to be as spicy as the Kebab.

There is a nice hill right in the extension of the runway and as soon as I’m airborne I need to turn left to avoid a collision.

After another 1h flight I finally have my destination in sight.

On the downwind I notice that my flaps don’t go out! There is a hand pump right below the fuel selector switch. I tried to wobble around a bit but it seemed not to work. Not time now to read the manual and I decide to go for a high speed landing!

I’m intentionally coming in a bit low so that I don’t have to bleed of too much altitude and airspeed at the same time. Not sure if this was the right way to do it?! (anyone?)

All goes well and after parking the aircraft I check out the airplane and indeed find that the flaps motor is broken.

But hey this is only USD 6650 for repairing. Peanuts! Fully convinced that I would never destroy the flaps due to pilot error (extraction above VFE) I assume it must have broken due to the “accelerated wear” settings I have chosen… fine with me.

I put my aircraft asleep and will soon do the same with me…


Third entry for the Christmas Challenge.


Click to reveal AAR

For that one, I’ve decided to take the mighty Tomcat in preparation to Heatblur’s F-14B. I took the Aerosoft F-14A Block 100, which had the older and less reliable Pratt & Whitney TF30 engines.

Time to do some VOR bunny hopping.


Preparing my flight in Wichita, with maximum fuel and some Phoenix missiles. You’re never too safe!

Weather isn’t really great… low cloud level, pouring rain and 15+ kts crosswind on takeoff.

Prepping the plane, cold & dark style.

After much going through a bunch of checklists 3-4 times, I feel like I know how to fire up the engines and set my aircraft for takeoff. This makes the wait for Heatblur’s Tomcat all the more unbearable.

Taxiing to runway 19 Left.

Water splashing everywhere

Crossing the runway threshold

Throttling up, waiting for the “click, click!” of the afterburner detents.

Let 'er rip!

(Cue for that song about a zone of danger)

Climbing up to 30000 ft. A nasty crosswind forces me to stay cautious and avoid using the autopilot

Through the cloud layer

Some sun, at last!

I may or may not have overused afterburners during the cruise over New Mexico

Approaching Runway 26 of Alburquerque

This RIO is no JESTER. Not a single word throughout the flight.

Checking the landing checklist. Not very useful… I don’t think I can find a carrier in the middle of the desert.

The moon

Crossing Runway 26 to turn into the Downwind for Runway 3

Adjusting my altimeter by consulting the KABQ ATIS on 118.0. Gotta watch that runway elevation.

On final, Runway 3

15 kts crosswind. That Tomcat handles like a real pig at low speeds.

Almost there…


Landing successful!

Taxiing to the gate

That was fun… but that Tomcat was no DCS Tomcat.


Needs more night tanking


LOL! If The Sun is still anything like I remember it from 25 years ago, it would be stating something like “Pilot nearing the end of his flying career gets spontaneously depressed on take off”.

Wanted out of Bucaramanga quickly, so I picked up these jobs here, that keep me going towards the Caribbean…

MAD Jobs

Planned, for the first destination, and left. Did not even need to refuel…

See why I said it was the PBB storage area? Giving me an idea about an ultra modern, mobile terminal on rails. It is away in town at the moment, collecting the passengers.

Oddly placed airfield, is old Bucaramanga, with that precipice, and all…

We were over cloud most of the first 100 or so miles, 10,500 ft to stay comfortably clear of the terrain along the course, nicely leaned off. I do not mind some VFR on top…

But in this aircraft, I start to complain when it becomes “VFR inside”…


Some plummeting was in order, until I was out of the bottoms (which was quite a way, with the carb heat on and wondering what the OAT was)…

I would remain at this altitude the rest of the flight, as I would be needing my landmarks now…

By the time I got to the Cauca River, I had determined some drift to the north, as I was right at the point where it bends away to the east. I did not even bother to use the Arc-1 to calculate the correction, this time. I did a mental estimate based on the 1 in 60 rule, on the distance remaining to Monteira, and went for that (this is about techniques reviews for me, after all)…

Presently. Is that…?

I think it might just be…

Oh! Come on!

To confirm, as well as the noting the runway heading at Los Garzones airfield, there to the SW was the town of Monteira on the Sinu river…

Quick entry to left downwind, and into base leg…

Down, parked and paid…

The route, as flown (the jiggle two thirds along is the fix and course correction point)…

Losses for MAD again. Yes, @keets, the CFO will be having an apoplexy at this rate. The next two legs would make quite a bit, though. However, I am not sure I’ll be able to do them before they expire.

MAD Payment

PS: I’m seeing all these challenging failures occurring on 727s and TBMs, and here I am with a failure probability set in X-Plane as from the start of these flights, hoping for something that will make me divert and add a bit more “interest”, but Tin Goose just plods on reliably. Maybe next time…


Nice report…! Sure are a lot of Tomcat references around these parts lately…! :rofl:


See…now MAD is an enterprising company - they get paying passengers to take care of the patients onboard. It is a win-win-win…the patient gets to fly somewhere quickly, the passengers get a reality check that tilting their seat back and watching an in-flight movie isn’t the end-all-be-all of existence, and MAD gets to file MEDEVAC direct…!


OK. The AA manual is, like all things AA (my wife flew as an AA head flight attendant for a number of years) frugally, informative. As much info in as few words as possible.

As far as I can tell, @Chuck_Owl did almost everything correctly - probably needed a few more knots on the airplane and something about the Alternate Flaps switch…I knew that there must have been a reason for that switch.

Eastern Airlines has dedicated 3 pages to the issue–two for checklist procedures and a nice diagram in their Flight Training section. (Obviously the extra paper and ink they spent to fully explain the procedures was what put Eastern into bankruptcy.)

Again not that much difference between Chuck_Owl’s landing and the officially proscribed procedure, save trying the Alternate Flaps switch.

It looks like the key elements are to set the bugs to Vref+15-20 and trying to extend the stuck flaps by the Alternate Flaps switch.

Had I not read this, I would have made the mistake of “cycling” the flaps. Neither AA or EA mentions that. s I think about it, that’s probably a bad idea, perhaps ending up with even more asymmetrically divergent flaps.


Looks like the NTSB folks are about to knock on my door :smiley:

I remember coming in a little bit faster than I’m used to, which probably explains how I managed to survive. I’m not sure the alternate flaps switch would’ve worked since the outer right flap panel was torn apart from the wing.


I mean, fat chance the electrical servo is still there so it would work… Just never reach it endstop and possible dump more bits out of the aircraft. That’s good though right? weight savings!


This is awesome hehe - all that modern tech is obviously just more moving parts to break! :grin:


Alright now that I have Air Hauler 2 under control, time to get back to some Xmas flying.

So we last landed in Tokoyo, from there a trip down to Kadena where I spent the first couple years of my life learning to love the sound of an SR-71 tearing off in the middle of the night.

For this leg we’ll using the Fokker-27, which is the predecessor to the Fokker-50.

This a freeware bird, I’ve had it for a while, but never flown it till now (available here)

It has a VC, that was apparently left as a work in progress, and is a reminder of where exactly we have come from in flight simming. With that said it’s perfectly flyable, and has its quirks to keep things interesting.

Here we are climbing out of the rainy fog that’s got Tokyo socked in. The F-27 uses the the Rolls-Royce Dart engine, which like I’d imagine most early turboprops is a fixed shaft. So in other words, the prop RPM is related to the turbine speed, and one must be careful with the application or removal of power lest one torch the gear box. Additionally the F-27 was in use on a lot of the “Empire” routes (India, South Africa, etc) where you often times had hot temps, high altitudes, and heavy loading. It features large water-menthol tanks as an anti-detonation injection (ADI) that would be added to the combustion chambers to help keep them from melting/exploding when running near full throttle.

Taking off from a rainy Tokyo located almost on the water, doesn’t neccistate the use of ADI system, but you still have to watch the temps. Real world that job was for the pilot-not-flying (PNF), and they had “temp trimming” system that would minorly adjust power to keep you from melting anything. Well in FSX, you’re stuck balancing it all. For this flight hower, it’s pretty easy, as even firewalling the throttles kept us below the max temp. IRL I’d probably still be chewed on for running the RPM that high when I didn’t have too, as I imagine back in the late 1950’s a turboprop rebuild was even more expensive than it is now.

Obligatory Mt. Fuji shots. I can certainly remember flying past it as a small child, when we went to Tokyo on vacation. Far more majestic in the real world, but FSX doesn’t do a bad job.

Soon enough Okinawa is in the distance. Real world the Rolls-Royce Dart engines had a “normal cruise” setting of 13,300 RPM that RR’s warranted as giving the engines normal service life. This of course soon turned into “max cruise power” for all airline pilots. Your goal as a flight crew, was to get the AC to the altitude that gave you your selected cruise RPM, and the lowest TGT. Your selected cruise RPM was usually helpfully calculated by the accountants to figure out the best balance of engine life, fuel economy, and actually getting the passengers to their destination, and it was your job to make sure the engine temp was good. In FSX this simply means either set the cruise RPM and verify the TGT temp is good, or climbing until full throttle equals cruise RPM. From there you can make step climbs as fuel burns off, but really as a medium to short haul plane it’s not really necessary.

Now descending, that gets a little interesting. The F-27 doesn’t want to slow down. As a fixed shaft turboprop, it still puts out a decent bit of thrust even at flight idle, and the plane doesn’t really want to slow down. Also, the pressurization system relies on the engines being above a certain RPM range to have enough power to run the pressurization system, as well as the anti-ice system. Icing isn’t an issue today, but obviously cabin pressurization is. So with the F-27 overspeeding your descent is a real possibility. Real world consideration, a long shallow powered descent burns extra fuel, which is money to the airlines. So it can be a bit of balancing act to get the F-27 down to pattern altitude in one piece.

From there it takes a bit to slow down, even with the engines backed off as far as your can. Flaps can be put out to help with that, but remember we’re just arriving from the days of radial engines. Hanging the flaps all the way out above 125kts in an airliner is a pretty new concept! The F-27 can fortunately start to hang the flaps and put the gear down around 170 kts which really helps set up the approach. If you get the flaps and gear out early though, be prepared for a handful of wrestling the F-27 around the sky with the extra drag. A nice stable slightly power on approach is the best way to land the F-27 (and remarkably difficult to setup visually).

One of the neat features of the F-27 is that it doesn’t have a reverse setting from the props. Rather it has as a microswitch that actives if the throttles are back far enough (at least with my hardware it seems I have to be at idle) and the weight on wheels sensor activates, it will remove the flight prop pitch locks, and snap the prop blades into full ground fine (which is about 0 degrees). This basically turns each prop into a giant airbrake, bringing the F-27 to a nice short stop. Not gonna lie I flew about 10 touch and go’s figuring out how far back I had to have the throttles for this to work. When it finally did, it was immediately noticeable.

Another nice flight in a vintage airplane. I really am enjoying the older AC as there is a lot more to go wrong and a lot more to pay attention to, to keep them in the air.


MAD is the shape of things to come, I love working for them! :slight_smile:

I only hope it has not given you ideas! LOL! Just thinking of the paper work ahead under the exemptions, and all. You know!

This is it exactly. I mean, flaps? It does not even have them! The failure algorithm is going around drawing duds on everything. Previously, with the JF C-152, the same “probabilty” I have set was failing something every 45 minutes, or so, and that is hardly a complex bit of kit, by any standards (except perhaps the Trimotor’s).

Anyway. IRL, I am in my favorite place again. La Paz, Bolivia. In the midst of a great deal of rushing around yesterday (long story short), I did manage to put in one hop. Los Garzones, SKMR, to Covenas, SKCV…

…but the “rush” had its inevitable consequences. No, I did not get lost or crash, or anything so exciting. However, I did do the flight on the assumption there would be fuel available at the destination. There was not…

…and I fell fair and squarely into the trap. I am now low on fuel. But how that story is to unfold is a matter for the next flight. Stil, there was a bright side, MAD made something on that hop. No screenies, as they are on my rig at home, but I can extract the payment log from FSEconomy on my iPad, so here it is…

MAD Payment

@jenrick I am absolutely delighted by the F-27 post. Back in 1998, I had what is to this day my most “memorable” day ever in aviation on an F-27. It is vividly tattooed onto my brain. HC-BHD, was the aircraft. Writing anymore about the day would result in an article sized post, that much transpired. Suffice to say; I have written some far fetched fantasies on the Christmas trip threads before now, but this IRL day I mention went to prove conclusively that fact is stranger and more bizzare than fiction…

Great post!

PS: Edit: On second thoughts, not even going to say why I will not post that story, as I had done before the edit. It is not attached to a good, later memory…


Fourth entry for the Christmas Challenge.


Click to reveal AAR

Prepping the aircraft in MisterX’s wonderful KABQ airport.

The sun is rising at the Sunport

Plugging in the flight plan. Pretty straightforward.

Good engine start.

Checking left and right before taxiing

On Runway 8

Full power!

Up we go

Leaving the land of Breaking Bad

Climbing to 18,000 ft

I gotta say… the LES Saab 340A is a pretty sweet-looking plane. Systems modelling is solid too.


Crossing the desert… the sun is hot!

Time to put the sunscreen up


As I reach my cruising altitude, I set my condition levers back to maintain a steady prop RPM of 1300

New Mexico, the home of the Navajos, is beautiful in its own dry, desertic and inhospitable way. Approaching the El Malpais National Conservation Area before crossing Zuni Pueblo.

Turning towards Phoenix

X-Plane lighting is always quite impressive

The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

Getting closer to Phoenix

Contacting ATIS. Looks like we have perfect weather.

On Final for runway 25L

Coming in pretty low, but speed is good and I have plenty of runway. If all else fails, I still have my reversers.

Touchdown is smooth as butter. My first landing in the Saab! I gotta admit… The autopilot seemed to behave kinda funky, so I landed the bird manually. It is very easy to handle. Looks like my time in the Q400 paid off!

Finally down.

Man… that’s a LOT of Southwest planes.

That 340 barely took any runway. Nice little plane.

To the gate we go.

Don’t mind me! Just passing by.

Now THAT is cool: you can actually click on the door lock and door handle to unlock the door and move your view through the whole aircraft!

Same goes for the side door

Aaaaand full stop.


Nice. :+1:

I’m really enjoying the Saab. It’s such an nice aircraft to fly.

The funkyness you mentioned with the autopilot, I don’t think it autolands. There’s something in the manual about switching off at 50ft on the radio altimeter. I need to check again next time.


Not really on landing… More like during climb and descent segments. I flew these manually and used the AP during cruise.


Ah ok.

Did you see the bit in the manual about three climb profiles on the autopilot? High, Medium and Low?

Descent I found I had to select a “plummet” manually and get it to hold the pitch.

Sucking eggs caveat applies with the above. :slightly_smiling_face:


Officially playing catch up with 2 V-tails who’ve managed to jump ahead! Started at CYXY and flew to PANC…

Unfortunately not much to see as the flight started around 0230Z…
The little light you see me focused on in this image is actually an Air Canada Dreamliner inbound for 15.

I opted for 7L as I was planning to park on the far east side of the airport, I extended the landing down the runway to reduce the taxi time and just turned off at the far end of the runway

Anchorage can be seen in the background, this is one of my favorite airports to fly to

Several hours of sleep and multiple cups of coffee later, I climbed back in. Loaded with 175 Gallons of fuel, terrible headwinds at cruise and probably the worst decision I made regarding weather…here’s what I mean…


PADQ 102353Z 05026G35KT 1SM +RA BR OVC018 06/04 A2975 RMK AO2 PK WND 06040/2343 SLP075 P0019 60059 T00610044 10061 20050 58043

I had hoped the winds would have died down, they did (from G38). HOWEVER. It was not to be, during descent whilst passing 17000 I dipped into the clouds and immediately hit precip. Long before this I had setup the Anti icing equipment as I knew I was in for a challenge.

Little did I expect, despite the AI systems best efforts it got overwhelmed. At one point the gusts flipped the plane over to about 20 degrees bank, AP disconnected and I took control. ERROR #2: I had missed the “0” in front of “05026G35KT”. I was planning for the wrong ILS the entire time, it actually doesn’t have an ILS for RWY08.
So at this point I’m hand flying the plane, I’m looking at the G1000 and notice that the ILS is on the wrong heading. Ok well that’s not going to work now is it. It’s not like there’s a backcourse and the visibility at this point dropped to 3/4SM. Now I begin to notice that despite the high power setting, not only am I losing altitude but my speeds bleeding off. What the hell? At this point I realize what’s happening, the AI system is overwhelmed. So I keep the power at max, maintain clean configuration and put the autopilot on to hold a heading as well as a 500FPM + rate of climb. Fortunately the TBM’s trusty PT6 powered through and pulled the plane out of this soup. I climbed up to 22,000 and started looking for any sort of diversion airports, the original one I had planned was now out of reach due to excess fuel useage earlier. I eventually planned for PAKN…

Fly to PAKN, nothing exciting really occurs. Get established on the ILS, winds are direct crosswind from the left at 14kts. The autopilot is fighting it’s way down, fighting well by the way.


I disconnect the AP, around 1000ft or so. I try to correct the left offset and end up going further right than I had anticipated. So now I’m back and forth across the LOC, but the GS is pretty steady so that’s a bonus?
Around 500 feet or so thing’s start to get out of hand, I’m being blown to the right still and I’m trying to slip into position.

I touch down, it wasn’t the softest but it got the job done. Just kidding. It didn’t, in about 3 seconds the plane is sideways down the runway and it’s fairly uncontrollable, no questions asked I apply full power and execute a go around

The weather decides that it’s going to load the current metar and the winds drop to 7kts now, much better. Second landing is uneventful. I’m Still chasing these bonanzas… They’re departing from PACD to PAAK, I’m going from PAKN to PAAK.

So here I am now…FL300 @ 318kts GS. Chasing down CXA844 and CXA577…
Also for those interested I typically stream these flights, so you are more than welcome to check it out, name is the same as here but with “100” on the end!

Sorry for the long post! Lots of progress! :grin:


Great and exciting trip there!


Whooo Fokkers, you’ve got me now :wink: