Hampton to Pago Pago Leg 5 - Sion to Dubrovnik:
I started off this grand adventure with the rule that I would not use GPS, only VOR, NDB naiads and INS or doppler navigation systems…well…its more of a guideline…
For this leg I am using a Piper PA-31 T Cheyenne IV. The model is by Digital Aviation, released by Aerosoft. Despite its age, it is still a great sim to fly with a lot of systems modeled to some extent.
It has a GPS…a rather old model, the TRIMBLE 2000 Approach Plus. Almost all its functions have been modeled. So much so that they just give you a link to the real GPS manual. All things considered, and despite the fact that it’s graphics are limited to the a LED display (and a simple CDI “needle” for staying on course–no Maps), I’ve found that this GPS is much more useful than the standard FSX default GPS.
For this leg, I plan on cruising at FL240 so I have set up a High Altitude Airways route, with a SID and STAR…which I will add to the basic route stored in the GPS.
LSGS SID SPR Y58 GVA UM135 LURAG T293 LURUT Y11 PETAS Y765 ANC L612 VIE A482 BANAV P748 LOKRU STAR LDDU
I loaded and fueled the plane, buttoned up and started engines.
Taxi clearance was to RWY 7.
On the way I should have noticed something wrong. I had not flown this plane in a while and missed an important step in the start up checklist. But I didn’t notice it and once I had clearance, moved into position…do you see what I missed?
My HSI is still on N. I had forgotten to turn on the Inverter (switch lower left in center off position).
After a nominal take off, I circled back towards the airport per the SID.
But evidently one turn was not going to do it…not enough altitude to clear the terrain…so I stayed on tower freq and took another lap…
…and was soon above the terrain, on the SID.
OK, time for a couple of “features” of this plane. First to has a working weather radar, which, given the conditions, I won’t need today. So I switch it to a flight plan text mode.
Next the GPS has a “Calc” feature that will display a bunch of good to know information…
…especially about fuel status.
So I have plenty of fuel to make LDDU…which is a good thing.
After an initial course to the southwest to pick up the airway, I turn south and am soon leaving the Alps behind me.
The Tyrrhenian Sea comes into view…
…and one of the passengers takes a photo too.
The course takes me over central Italy…I think that is Bologna down there…
…and soon the Adriatic Sea is in view off the left wing.
Everything is looking good…I’m on course…and I even matched the engine torques.
Passing Ancona, I head out over the Adriatic …
…following the coast…as I do the Dalmatian coast comes into view.
At the Vieste VOR I turn east and begin my descent to 5,000 ft.
Passing 10,000 - turn on the lights.
Level at 5,000 ft MSL - heading to the penultimate WP.
LDDU is in sight at my 2 O’Clock as I proceed with the STAR.
I turn the WX radar back to radar, with the flight path superimposed. It clearly shows the high terrain of the coastline. The STAR lets me off at the KLP NDB, and then its a smart right turn to pick up the ILS for RWY 12.
The turn put you over the city of Dubrovnik…
…and onto a long final.
I dirty up…seems to be a bit of crosswind.
Looking god on short final. When trimmed properly, this plane responds quickly to thrust changes keeping it on glide slope.
On the deck…rolling out…a bit of reverse thrust…
…and I turn off onto a taxiway.
Taxiing in past a variety of “tails”. Some are static ORBX scenery; others are UT2.
I park down on the GA ramp…
…and shut down. Another nice touch with this model are the cones and tow bar.
You may have noticed that, with the exception of the USAF C-130, I have started using a livery from the Leg’s country of origin. Thus the RNoAF C-130 from Varenes, the Swiss registered AW-109 from Alpnach and this Cheyenne. So a Croatian registry? I’ve got a Dash 8-Q400 in Croatia Air colors…but I’m pretty sure its got a new GPS…oh, well, like I said, it’s just a guideline.