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Goblin last won the day on July 10

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  1. I made it. I made it. Whew, just in time too! I've been learning to fly this thing in X-Plane and I'm coming to like it quite a bit. Although, the FMS is a little quirky; which is to say generic. Climbing out of Eppley Field Coming up on Lake Michigan. Just of the tip of my right wing is lake Geneva. I had a brush with greatness here when I got to play Dungeons and Dragons with Gary Gygax at one of the Lake Geneva Gaming Conventions that were restarted in the mid 2000's. GenCon is still a major event, but is currently south of here in Indianapolis. Flying over Flint Michigan (don't drink the water) you can see Lake Huron (ahead), St. Claire (off the right wing) and Erie further south. I tried to get a shot of Niagra Falls, but my scenery doesn't do it justice -- or even acknowledge that it exists. Approaching Toronto ILS RWY26 The ATIS reported winds 240 11 gusting 20, Which made for an exciting landing. But it's all over now; we can laugh about it. A little off center-line...welcome to Toronto. Just in time!
  2. Oh, good lord! I'm embarrassed to say that I've only just figured out what "Feel the Power" means. And I'm an electrical engineer for crying out loud! Great set of pics there Brian! As I was looking at them I was thinking, "Hmm, there sure are a lot of hydro-electric sites here. Huh, what's with all the power stations?" DOH!
  3. All beautiful shots, but the one over Trondheim is gorgeous! I have a shot of overflying the same area (I'll bet we are flying within a mile of the same spot), just a slightly different angle. Yours is much better; I regretted turning on the "Frozen Water" option in the Orbx scenery as the transition from frozen rivers to dark blue ocean was pretty harsh.
  4. Hi everybody, A big thank you to Andrew, Joe and crew for hosting this excellent event. This was my second rally and, like last year, I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot along the way. Also, thanks to all of you who participated and shared your stories. So cool to see what other folks are going through doing the same flights. Here are a few shots over the course of the rally. Completing the test flight (the best weather we'd see for the entire event ): Setting off on the first leg: It was eerie seeing these mountains fade into view through the haze. This kind of set my expectations of what was to come. I should have turned here, but flew on another 13.4 miles before realizing my mistake! That extra 27 miles artificially pushed me into a better time for the leg as I was referencing indicated air speed... One of the many Fjords... Hey! I recognize that place! Plenty of room to spare. Lots of this on leg 4. The Milviz 310R was up to the task. I do wish that the Navstax radios had been released though. Took me a long time to find this one. Visibility was much better on the last day. Right on track! These wind turbines were very cool! Almost there! I guess I was a little too busy to take shots of the approach, but I made it without incident. Awesome fun. Thank you all!
  5. Ha ha! Me too. I flew the first three legs at indicated. In a fluke, my first flight came in very close to the expected time only because I over flew one of the waypoints by 26 miles. At which point, I fire-walled the throttle for the remainder of the flight. I flew leg 4 last night referencing ground speed, but I think my execution was bit off, so we'll see. Doesn't matter though -- it's really about planning, executing, and arriving at the destination.
  6. Great post John. I refrained from reading until I had completed the flight. For the vast majority of the flight I couldn't see a thing in front of me. I was able to get an ominous glimpse of the snow capped mountain peaks passing silently below from time to time. Very unsettling. I've been doing my planning in google earth and after building my route, I ran an elevation profile on the route itself and offset left and right. I think it was on the final segment that I looked down through the mist and saw windmills turning. It was an eerie and lonely feeling. Took me a very long time to find ENFA... For that I had used Foreflight to get the location at 43 miles on the 034 radial ( I don't have my notes with me, but I think that was it). Turned out that the airport was further east. Lots of low, slow circling in the fog over a lot of lake pocked stone.
  7. I had the EXACT same experience. Complete with an attempt to land on the "ground" above the runway and sinking through -- only in my attempt, I actually flared and was just above the stall before "touchdown" and crashed on touchdown to the runway. It's a real bummer to end a flight like that, especially after all the planning and careful execution. Immediately ran the elevation correction and all was well. I should have known better -- been running ORBX scenery for years. Otherwise, nice video Marc!
  8. Nice PIREP Kieran. Nothing a little duct tape can't fix, right?
  9. I never thought about it that way, but that makes perfect sense! Same with Brett's comment on the glass panels. These are things that I liked about the two implementations, but I never really thought about what it was I liked about them; if you know what I mean. Actually, you're referring to the DA-42 Twin, which does have the analog gauges over the screens. I should have been more specific. Aerobask modeled the DA-62. On the other hand, I didn't even know either of these aircraft existed until they were modeled for a simulator. Come to think of it, this is true for the vast majority of GA and commercial aircraft! Oh, and I finally decided on the Milviz 310R for the MEBAR. I would like to get the NAVSTAX radio stack licensed, but it's not released yet.
  10. It's the Aerobask twin Diamond. They just released a couple of days ago. I think it's a little too automated for my taste and I wish it did have analog gauges. The ground handling seems to be a little off too; considering X-Plane's ground handling, they've done pretty good, but they can do better. I bought it because I absolutely love their Pipistrel Panthera. In fact, I may end up flying the Panthera again in this year's MEBAR.
  11. Well, the THRUSH agents told me they had to take their jet back, but they were kind enough to lend me this Diamond for my final (near fatal) flight(s). First flight in the DA-62. Not an ideal training ground, but hey, I'm not complaining. Picking up the Pi out of the ZCO VOR to look for Machu Pitcchu. That's the 314 radial out of the ZCO VOR. There it is just ahead of the right wing. I'm liking this airplane and the view is fantastic! Plenty of information on the instrument panel without feeling cluttered. And this is where I notice that I've got a Fuel problem. I had a choice between diverting to Andahuayla (SPHY), about 35 nm to the south or continuing my present course for Ayacucho (SPHO) 45 nm out. The terrain around Andahuaylas looked even less forgiving than that which lay ahead so I decided to take the chance on Ayacucho. I pulled the throttle back a touch and eased into a shallow dive (not what is depicted in the screenshot). I later looked up Andahuayla and found that the airfield was at 11,300 feet. I think I made the right decision. Here we are! Nothing to it! It's a little hilly here, but the Inca Kola was very tasty! Ground gave me clearance for back taxi for a takeoff on runway 20. Favorable winds and the terrain seemed to offer more...air that way. Clearance from the tower made me a little less concerned about someone else back taxiing as I could not see over the hill. O.K. and we are on our way to Pisco once again! Achum! Or not! I overheated the left engine on climb out. Jeez, the THRUSH guys are going to be pissed! Not problem getting her safely back on the ground though. I landed and told them they had bad gas and that they were going to fix my engine immediately! I threw the THRUSH name around a bit, then mentioned Dr. Mutley would pay for everything and boy did those guys start hopping. Problem solved! Next! Without further mishap, I made my way to Pisco (and sea level). The baton is safe and the Putinskies are still chasing mules in the mountains. It got dark and my infrared camera was left behind in the Mule back at Oruro (SLOR), so the rest of my shots are too dark to make anything out. Except for this last one: I had taken my FLIGHT BAG further up the ramp, where Kieran was hiding out in a darkened hanger. I handed over the Baton and realized I had forgotten my best clipboard back in the plane. So, as I rounded the corner of the last hanger I could hear some muffled voices. I snapped this shot, of what I think are guys in gas masks, as I turned and ran for the beach -- hoping to lead them away from Kieran and the Baton. As I ran down a small street I could hear someone yelling from behind asking where his "stuff" was. I hid in a chicken coup until daybreak. I heard several aircraft depart during the night and one just as day was breaking -- I hope that was Kieran carrying that Baton out of here. Escape and Evade! Goblin
  12. Tim, don't worry I've got it. Going to use one of the local farmer's mules. She doesn't look like much, but she's tough as nails. Who would ever suspect that we'd trust the Baton in this old bird? ....What?! It's going to be fine. Yes, yes. I know were taking off at 9,500 feet. Jeez, don't worry about it. I got this. Hail Mary, full of grace, HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE!! As I made my take off run, I could see the Putinfield goons swarming over that jet on apron. They never even bothered to look at this old junker. Seriously, the altitude in this leg was challenging. I could not take off any richer than you see the mixture in that shot above. And we're off. See? Nothing to it. Clawing for altitude!!! Now, I'm a man who loves sandwiches. This isn't one of them. Is this the part where I get pushed down into the terrain? I'm constantly looking for landing alternatives in the fields below. And just like that, I left the clouds behind... I'd been tracking several VOR radials to get to Juan Mendoza airport (SLOR); among them, at SLOR was the ORU VOR, but I could never receive it on the NAV radio. So, I ended up referencing the CBA VOR 246 Radial. With no DME, I could only count on a lake south of the airport for any kind of reference. And considering my altitude and the terrain, I really couldn't see very far. But, I found it. See the lake out there? The airport is directly off the nose, between me and the lake. You can't really see it, because they put it in a hole! There it is! Oops. Didn't enrich the mixture enough and when I cut the throttle, the engine died. I think this was the beginning of my altitude sickness; because I started making some questionable decisions after this. I mean, more questionable that the ones I've made up to this point. Like volunteering to carry a baton around the world with some nefarious organization hounding me at every turn. Or maybe it was the beer... When I looked at the bowl I had landed in, I decided I need a performance upgrade -- I suppose I could have put tundra tires on the old bucket of bolts and rolled out of there, but this is supposed to be a flying mission, right? As I left the Beaver, I carried my flight bag (with the Baton safely inside) on a little hike looking for the cantina. I walked past a fellow dozing in a lawn chair sitting next to this Cessna Twin. "Ah," he says. "You the pilot? They said you'd be carrying purse," he said with snicker. "It's not a purse! It's a CARRY ALL," was all I could come back with. "Whatever you say amigo," he looked bored now, "the keys are in it and it's been fueled and pre-flighted. The boss said if you loose the cargo you loose your head. Comprende?" I looked sidelong at the twin and mumbled, "uh, yeah, got it, I never loose my cargo. It's how I made my reputation." He said something I didn't understand and headed for a building on the hillside with flamenco guitar coming out of it. Ah, the cantina. Well, maybe another time. So, I opened the Twin up and threw out several bags of a pungent smelling herb of some kind. I'll tell you -- stunk up the whole plane. Almost 80 knots at the midpoint. The air is thin and this is not looking good. Hooo! hooooo! And we're off! Performance is much better. But not great. Out of Bolivia and crossing into Peru now. Hey! This looks like one of those airplanes I've seen FLIR footage on... Wait a minute! I know what this is!! Landing in Juliaca (SPJL). Looking for another ride. To my delighted surprise I run into a couple of agents of THRUSH in Juliaca. You just never know where these characters are going to show up. Now, this one has no performance issues! Wow! Low and fast. The putinski's think I'm hobling along at 120 knots. Sheewwwt bowi! Special indeed! Clearing the runway at Tienente Fap. What a ride. The Baton is safe and I think I'm feeling a little better. More to come.
  13. Roger that! I'm there. I've got something up my sleeve that they will never suspect! Just as soon as I dig out from all this snow I've been hiding in. Matt, those screen shots are fantastic -- love the thunderjet!
  14. Yep. That's me. Just on the other side of the tower there; You can just make out the antenna off the tail of the Beaver there. Nice Pirep, Tim. I like your choice of aircraft -- maybe I should have started with something with a little better performance like that...
  15. Awesome flight! 74,000 feet, mach 3! I like it!