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Leg 26 - General Santos (RPMR) - Ratulangi (WAMM)

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This had been planned as a simple flight, three waypoint job but of course it didn't work out that way!


I arrived a few days early for John and found where the local prison was. I had every confidence in John arriving in one piece, but being arrested for his high jinks with the F-35. With my own aircraft on standby to get John out again. Needless to say I did wait at the airport for John, and was suprised to see him walk through normally, having flown in quite quietly in a rather good looking Canberra. The baton was passed over quickly before anything untoward happened!


After a rather hot night in which sleep was rather hard to come by, I arrived at General Santos Airport to inspect my steed for the next leg




Despite being old and underpowered, the Buccaneer has an impressive turn of speed - something that would be useful to try and get the baton back on track


Engines started and the ground crew take the starting trolley away from the aircraft. The wings will remain folded for a bit




Taxiing out to the active runway, I decided to clear the fault panel by my right knee. Anything critically wrong with the aircraft is displayed there - and the red "WINGS FOLD" light was annoying me




A quick left/right check by both me and my navigator confirmed the wings were locked and spread




Just waiting for traffic




Lined up on the runway, the navigator confirms the first track




And lift off. The Buccaneer has a useful feature in that as soon as you lift off and weight is removed from the main wheels, it starts the retraction process. Makes for a quicker departure off a carrier




Onwards and upwards




However, I had to make a low and fast flyby first!




After a rather stern warning from ATC, I decided to behave myself whilst still in their radar control




Hmm, what's that ship ahead Navigator?




HMS Victorious was out on sea trials, having just been rebuilt by a private firm




It would be rude not to give a little display!




We happened to be armed with dummy rockets (although if they hit you, it would still be bad news!). So, the display took on a little bit of a firery turn!






Two 1000lb bombs were dropped off the wings




Followed by a rapid climb to pattern height




Gear down, hook down and airbrake out. That massive airbrake needs some controlling against the throttle!




Final airborne moments




And down, despite it being a bit bumpy




Wings folded




Sitting next to a resident Buccaneer S2




After a long chat with the crew and the crews of the aircraft, I decided it really was time to get going. Not that far left now!




Mounted ready for launch, with the Wessex on standby to fish us out of the drink








Off the carrier, the gear starts to retract and the launch trolley falls off




Up, up and away!




One final flypast. I did try a few times to actually go under the Wessex but couldn't get the line right. Probably just as well!




Land ahoy




Moving in for a fast flyby






And finally established with the active runway




A nice, smooth touchdown




Folding the wings to sounds of alarms




And finally parked up




Hope you all enjoyed the flight - over to you Matt for your double!


Add-ons used:


Flying Station Buccaneer S1

Flying Stations Victorious 1966 fit

AI Carriers

Rest default

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Gorgeous looking plane!

Pat Moran and I, loaded with some precious cargo and an agenda, will be arriving tomorrow morning. Shouldn't have to wait long there for us.

Getting the report filed may take a tiny bit longer as we are coming up against a busy work week, but at least we can start taking pictures soon.


Great set of shots on your leg Kieran.




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Going by boat eh Kieran... that's almost like cheating   :whis:


Great shots, and I love the details on that Buc and the carrier. A nice touch that the launch trolley actually falls off instead of just disappearing when it's done it's job!

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Well done, Chuck, that was most entertaining, and with very nice pics for us.


Although, speaking as a traditionalist, I do have a sort of lurking doubt about the mental state of anyone who (a) chooses to fly an aircraft with wings that fold up; and even more (b) chooses to land the thing on an aircraft carrier.


But hey, it takes all sorts....    ^_^





a.k.a. brian747


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