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  1. Well, here is the penultimate leg of this ATWC - doesn't seem to have taken that long this time! Anyway, I was sitting at home relaxing when Clem called. He'd arrived at Cork safely and that meant one thing - I had to take the baton to Dublin. Intensive planning was required, but the time to do that was on the train down the Cork. No problem - the 10:42 ex. Portlaoise is a nice Mark IV set with Wi-Fi, so everything should work out. Plan-G was loaded and the plan plotted. Feels like I've just gone past some of these places....... Yep - following the railway line! The next morning I went down to the airport to collect my aircraft. It was going to be a wet day by the looks of it, but I'm sure 161 would have no problems. An Aer Arann ATR72 is parked next to me Engine started and taxing out Passing a TNT 146 and an Aer Lingus A321 Time to go Lift off Gear cleaned up The weather has cleared up a bit and we head to Cork city centre This is supposed to be where Cork Kent station should be - 165.25 miles from Dublin Heuston station The tunnel out of Cork gives some wonderful sound effects Anyway, when the railway pops out of the tunnel we pick up FS' version of the railway Hmm - not very good is it? Anyway, here is Mallow station, 144.5 miles from Heuston Carrying on This is Limerick Junction - famous for it's flat crossing. It's 107 miles from Heuston and 22 miles from Limerick itself Templemore, 78.75 miles to go A view from the cockpit as the clouds clear Some general shots This is where Laois Traincare Depot should be in Portlaoise, home of the 22000 Class DMU's. 52.5 miles from Heuston Portlaoise itself, 51 miles Portarlington, the join point of the Wesport/Galway lines, 41.75 miles A couple more general shots Weston airport Dublin ahead Journey's end at Dublin Heuston The Museum And over to Dublin Airport Head to head against a 737 An odd approach But down safely The Aer Lingus Retro-Jet Taxiing in And shut down Thanks for viewing folks!
  2. "Must be something important", Hal commented as we headed back towards the aircraft. Midge had started the engines after the local crew had finished their checks. "And in this weather, too". The mist had come down soon after we'd finished our mid-day meal in the mess - it had looked like chicken, but that's no guarantee - and now it was raining quite hard. Both Hal and Midge had accompanied me to the afternoon briefing with the station chief. I'd hoped for a less conspicuous aircraft, but the old An-2 was out of action. The Russian built bi-plane had been captured in South Vietnam, dismantled and brought here for the odd trip across the border. Unfortunately, the fuel system was too unreliable for the flight to Dien Bien and back, so it was back to the Dizzie - and Hal. Without the cargo we'd brought in, the Old Girl fairly leapt into the air, with Hal at the controls. "Don't worry, Mate, you'll get your turn when it's my break!" He'd not been quite so sanguine at the briefing. "Let me get this straight - just drop him off as close to D.B. as I can get on this side of the frontier? At night and with this visibilty? And then get back without..." For a moment, I thought Hal would back off. It might be a tight squeeze for me to get across the border, but at least I'd have my feet on terra firma. Midge chipped in with: "Maybe some R-and-R in Saigon is coming up, eh, Boss?" Hal looked to the chief, who nodded. "Right", said Hal, nodding at me, "Take off at 16.30. Better get your feet up for some rest." We returned to the mess hall, which had some easy chairs. I left them snoozing - I needed to check out my gear. The setting sun created a rosy backdrop as Hal banked to port. Our flight plan was simply to head due north - the 100 mile leg should take roughly an hour. The Dien Bien Phu airfield was, according to Hal, relatively easy to spot, even at night, at the northern end of a cultivated valley, bounded on the west by a high ridge, which was the frontier. Hal was to keep as low as the cloud would permit - just below the tops of the hills. As the sun went down, thunderclouds crept towards us. The landscape lit up with irregular lightning flashes, revealing us as clear as if we'd been caught in a searchlight beam. "Well, at least we can read the instruments", Hal joked as the lightning lit up the cabin's interior. "Take over the controls while I take a break." Hal opened the cabin door - "Put the kettle on, Midge - and make a nice sweet one for our guest!" Below us, the jungle was dark - no lights indicating any sort of life. Well, at least there was no-one to hear us flying over their heads. Hal brought back some coffee and more egg rolls on a plate: "Midge thought you might be peckish." The thought of the parachute jump ahead had taken away any hunger I might have had for these delicacies, so I declined, yet again. He took back control and the plane rumbled on, buffeted by the occasional pocket of turbulence. After a while, an area of dim illumination appeared to starboard. "That's where you're bound, Mate - Dien Bien. Last time I was there they were filling in the trenches the Frenchies had vacated - watch out, the security's supposed to be tight." I'd given my kit to Midge after boarding, but before leaving the cockpit, I shook Hal's hand and thanked him for the ride. "No worries, Mate - and Good Luck - you're gonna need it!" Midge helped me strap on the harness and I checked the contents of the rucksack on my chest. Mustn't forget the reason for all this parlaver, I thought. Leaning out of the doorway, I looked down: The chute opened as the 'plane continued without me. The moon gave just about enough light for me to see the jungle canopy coming up and, as luck would have it, I found a clearing for landing. Heading east, up and over the ridge, wasn't easy - just the odd shaft of moonlight and the compass guiding me eastwards. Hal's positioning had been nigh-on perfect - when I reached the edge of the trees, the temple was clearly visible. Taking care not to disturb the locals, I made my way towards the airfield perimiter. The RV was at the maintenance hangar, and it looked as if they were working late. Where they'd dug up the old 2A from, I had no idea, but its headlamps flashed as I approached. "You'd have been more comfortable if you'd come with Vietnam Airlines", he joked, "But not quite as exciting, I guess." I'd experienced Guy's droll sense of humour in Hanoi on a previous occassion. "Don't like the airline food", I answered, as I handed him the container - "Look after this for us." He passed me a holdall with my change of clothes. "Make yourself respectable, they still expect their russian advisors to be reasonably dressed." I scanned the contents of the file - Dimitri Czseznovski, telecommunications engineer, born Tbilisi, etc - the usual cover. "Xotite potancevat?", I asked - "Just get in, Laddie" was Guy's answer.   That's it Folks. Hope you enjoyed the bumpy ride...   Cheers - Dai.
  3. Welcome to Leg 15 of our fourth Around The World Challenge. Today, we are flying from Chiang Mai Intl (VICC), in northern Thailand to Dien Bien Phu (VVDB), in northern Vietnam. Straightforward enough, here's the Flight Plan from Plan-G (Thanks, Tim!):   "Ah", I hear you say "What's the intermediate stop for?". Well, read on... "How many hours?" Hal was shouting above the noise of the P.W.s. I tried to ignore him, but I was still trying to get comfortable. The FC-47 instruments were different to the Dakotas I'd flown in Burma, some were the same but in the wrong position. Hal had set the flaps to one quarter - although he was in the co-pilot's seat, he was nominally PIC. When I'd met him in the briefing, he looked a bit more curdled than usual, so I had suggested I take the controls for take-off. Hal isisted that he'd be in good shape for Long Tieng. I hoped so, as I'd heard bad things about the approach. After getting our brief from the 'Major' - he'd served in Korea but now was station head in Chiang Mai - Hal led the way to the aircraft, a converted Long Beach Skytrain called 'Puff'. The engines were already running and a hand reached down from the cargo door to help me inside. Its owner introduced himself as 'Midge' - Hal's loadmaster and partner in crime. I went foraward to the cpckpit, past at least twenty oil drums, all carefully lashed in - Midge knew his job. After a very quick run through the checks with Hal, I eased the throttles forward and began the taxi:   Hal's conversation with the tower was mostly in Lanna, the local dialect - he'd clearly been in Thailand some time. Waving me straight onto the active, he gestured to the throttles - "Let's go before they change their minds...":   One final check around the cockpit - everything looked O.K.:   As We rumbled down the runway, I tried to remember how much over weight we were. At around 100 knots, the yoke started to feel a bit more responsive, but I gave it another 10 knots before pulling back. The wheels left the tarmac and we settled into a reasonable climb-rate of 500 fps. Up came the gear and, with a quick glance at Hal, in went the flaps. I'd never liked taking off with flaps and wasn't about to change habits. Hal winked at me - "Confident, eh? We'll see how you manage Long Tieng". The sun was just coming up as we turned east. Hal asked Midge if he'd make some coffee and settled back in his seat. On the plan, the NAN VOR was around 100 miles - just about an hour away. Cruise height was set at 10,000 feet, about enough to get us safely over the jungle clad hills. The rainy season had finished a month or so back, so we were hoping for reasonable visibility. Midge handed me a coffee mug. "Care for an egg roll?" He offered me a plate with several spring rolls - "Picked them up this morning - try one". I hadn't eaten breakfast - but I couldn't risk it. "Suit yourself" was his comment as he divided the rolls between Hal and himself. By the time we reached the waypoint, the thin cloud was hugging the hillsides. Hal went aft for a smoke, leaving me alone. I still wasn't sure how the day would pan out. There was no way of getting into Dien Bien by air - the North Vietnamese had that region sown up - they even shot their own aircraft down, it was said. But the mission objective was clear: contact had to be made and that was that. There had to be an opening, and that's why we were enjoying Air America's co-operation. The solution would be found at Long Tieng. Hal broke into my thoughts, "We're over the Laotian border - take her down a couple of thousand feet. Keep a heading of around 75 degrees. The flight plan said 81 degrees, not 75. "The Luang Phabang VOR's a reliable signal, we'll follow the 138 degree radial for LA20" This made sense, as the valleys now appeared all to have a neat south-westerly heading. Hal took over the controls as we intersected the radial. "Okay Mr Expert - here's your chance to shine! There's Long Tieng ahead - she's all yours!" What Hal hadn't told me was that LA20 was virtually a one-way ticket - you approached from the south east - period! Increaing the mixture back to auto-rich, I eased back on the throttles and watched the IAS reduce to 120 knots. The flaps clunked out to one quarter as Long Tieng slipped past to port. Descending to 6,000 feet and staying at 120 knots was helped when the gear came down and locked. A hard base turn to port sent the empty mugs across the cabin floor and the valley sides rushed up to meet us. More flap and a lot of rudder and we were lined up - but still a bit high. "Just fly the 'plane", I said to myself - I could feel Hal's eyes burning into me. The strip looked no wider than the DC-3's wingspan, but there was no side wind and the height seemed to bleed off well as I tried to maintain a reasonable airspeed. The thought of all that fuel behind my head certainly helped to keep me focussed. And there we were - floating over the threshold - all I needed now was a firm hand on the yoke and we'd be back on terra firma. Midge's yells of relief were plain to hear, even above the racket the gear was making over the surface of the strip and Hal leaned over and patted me on the back. "You just graduated, Son - nice going!" But it wasn't over yet, the tail did not want to drop with the amount of braking needed to slow the aircraft down. Now we were down, the runway looked longer than before, and as luck would have it, the rush became a roll and we finally were able to taxi towards the ramp. Before shutting down, Midge popped his head around the cabin door: "Almost up to Hal's standard!", he laughed "But not as exciting, eh, Hal?" As the engines stopped, I heard other noises around me - a Huey Slick was taking off from the other side of the base, and a jeep's revving announced the arrival of our de-briefing. Now for some answers... Stay tuned for Part 2. BTW, for those interested, here's the Fuel and Payload at Chiang Mai: Cheers - Dai.  
  4. Are we sitting comfortably? Good, then let me tell you the "Tale of Two MiG's" Think back to a November afternoon, near Bukhara. The year is 1942. Although well away from the fighting, Bukhara is under threat. To counter this, a squadron of brand new MiG-1 (Российская самолетостроительная корпорация, or Mikoyan Gurevich 1) was posted to the city. Proud claims were made - "No enemy aircraft shall fly over this town!" Cheers went up around the town, as people returned to war-critical work. But for a young fighter pilot, Bukhara wasn't the place to be. Yuri Belyakov was a young, eager 18 year old, called up to fight for the land. He was a mediocre pilot. His exam log book contained the words "Suitable more for transport aircraft than fighters, but would probably kill less of us in fighters". With these words ringing in his ears, he was posted to the MiG-1 course. Here, as part of the new squadron, he started what would become a long process of improving his skills. But, at the test centre, he 'pranged' a Hurricane, on lend-lease from the British. This didn't make him popular, and was shunned from front-line duties. Instead, he was posted to Bukhara to lead a near nomadic existance. The days of inactivity fustrated him. The daily routine was the same - breakfast at 0700, lunch at 1300, dinner at 1800, lights out 2300. If he was lucky, two flights a week were arranged, to keep the men occupied. But mainly, they just brushed up on aircraft recognition and navigation practise. During one of these mass flights, the Luftwaffe bombed the airfield. All the MiG's were miles away, looking good for a display in the near future. When they got back, the He-111's were well away, leaving a burning mess. This annoyed everyone, and from now on combat air patrols were organised - two aircraft every hour from 0800 to 2100. It was during one of these patrols that Yuri noticed something. His engine seemed to be running hot, even though he was flying normally. He called up the flight leader and was told quickly to shut up before the Luftwaffe came again. Being the obedient solider and flyer, he obeyed. It would have disasterous consquences. Returning empty handed, Yuri's engine started running rough. It was loosing power rapidly. With the instruction to 'shut up' still ringing in his ears, he broke off and looked for a field. By now though, the engine had quit. He was lucky, however. The engine had not caught fire, unlike many other MiG engines. Spying a field ahead, he finally plucked up enough courage to call up Flight leader. But he got there first - "Where the hell are you? Bandits reported, 20 miles due east!" It was what Yuri wanted, a chance to tangle with the infamous Luftwaffe. But not right now. He quietly replied "Engine out - making an emergency landing". A swift OK from FL. He then called up the ground and ordered a scramble. A hive of activity and starting engines roared across the airfield. But Yuri was alone. Gear down, time to land. The inital touchdown was gentle enough. He might make it out fine, as if a normal landing on the airfield. But then, the left gear leg hit a hoel, and the aircraft rolled around, tearing the gear off. The nose then pitched over, bending the propeller blades that had been idling moving around Yuri saw the nose and the minor tyre fire fly past Once the aircraft had come to a stop, amazingly still no fire, Yuri got out as fast as possible As Yuri walked back to base, the newspaper men came and took a photo. This is all that remains of the some 40 photos taken that day, along with the article, translated into English by contemporay historians "Yesterday, November 2, the young VVS pilot Yuri Belyakov scrambled clear of his crashed fighter plane after another thrilling engagement with the Luftwaffe. The massive air battle that took place saved Bukhara from a major bombing raid. In total, over 20 German bombers were shot down with crews, with only this loss to our air forces. In other news........" As Yuri read it, he wished hard it was true....... So, what has this got to do with the Around the World Challenge? Well, in real life, no fighting took place over Bukhara as far as I know, but it ties in nicely with the next aircraft for the challenge. Date: November 2, 2012 Location: Bukhara Aircraft: MiG-29 Fulcrum Air Force: Luftwaffe The aircraft stands at Bukhara airport The simple controls, but not as simple as Yuri's MiG Interesting fact - the programme controller for the MiG-29 was one Rostislav Belyakov, Yuri's son. How times change? Moving onto the runway Full power - I bet Yuri wanted two engines that day As you can see, I've left my calling card She really isn't eco-friendly. This was taken by an old man in a wheelchair, who remembers clearly what happened exactly 70 years before. Any ideas? Clearly obvious what air force this aircraft is from. 70 years ago any aircraft wearing iron crosses would have been hounded out of USSR air space Flying into danger The simple HUD and GPS Oopps - I promise to choose a more fuel-efficent aircraft next time! Down to low level for some fun Under power lines I think that's what a close call is called Over the airfield, the "Cobra" trick is tried - and reasonable success Powering out of the controlled stall Gear and flaps down as we do a curved approach Bit off Lining up a bit better Touchdown and chute streamed Demonstrating the off-road capability of the Russian aircraft Finally parked up As I walked up to the terminal after handing the aircraft over to the ground crew, I thought of what had happened to me today. The bridging of the gap between East and West, this "Baton" strapped to my leg and of one man. Yuri was slightly hostile to me and my crew initally, but as soon as the vodka flowed, he relaxed. We told tales of our MiG's and he was amazed by the progress made by both East and West. Although wheelchair bound, he jumped at the chance to see a MiG-29 up close again. He had a proud gleam in his eye as he saw the aircraft depart. He too was thinking about the war, and now how former enemies were now friends. I suggested he visit the local airshow, where a rebuilt, re-engined MiG-3 would be flying. He thanked me, and we parted I hope you all enjoyed this little story. The first few shots are from IL2: 1946, using a MiG-1. The rest is FS9 with IRIS MiG-29 Over to you Kasper!
  5. "Any minute" turned out to be a very flexible time frame in Kazakhstan. But as the clock started to close in on 16:00 local time, after a 6 hour wait in the airport V.I.P lounge, I got word that my flight for Bukhara was ready and waiting for me on the apron. Airport security turned up and offered my a ride, unfortunatly I had to ride in the back of a Police Van lacking windows so I didn't get a view of the aircraft before I opened the door and was greated by this sight. She looks rather beaten up I told the captain as we made a visual inspection of the aircraft. Captain: Well, looks can be decieving. While the paint is rather worn she's just been returned from a complete overhaul. New engines, and we also got the HUGS system retro-fitted. But we kind of like the wear and tear of the paint so we opted not to fix that at the same time. As we boarded via the airstairs I told the captain of my wish to be the PF for the flight. Captain: Sure thing, I'll join you as PNF in the cockpit, and since we only have cargo onboard for the flight my First Officer can get some shut-eye in one of the First Class seats. As we took our seats on the flight deck the Captain handed me the flight plan. and a ground handler appeared to hand over the load sheet After a quick pre-flight we proceeded to start our engines Considering the tight fit at our parking space, no push-back was possible, so we started taxiing to the active Holding short for traffic Lift of for Joker Flight 77 Passing some low clouds on the way up to FL 330 Just before we left Kazakhstan airspace ATC relayed a message to me, saying that the fisherman was recovering well and that I had a standing invitaion to visit him should I ever return to Kazakhstan. As we proceeded into Uzbekistan the sun started to set behind us.... and the moon started to rise in front of us Turning right to heading 139 over the city of Nukus, the 6th largest city in Uzbekistan Following the border between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, closing in on the second turn of the flight plan over the city of Urgench, captial city of the Khorezm Province in eastern Uzbekistan... Is that a bubble coming out of the tail fin!! Ah, no it's the moon. What was I thinking... As we start our decsent darkness starts to set in By the time we were decsending through FL200 it was pitch black outside. Level at FL120, preparing for an ILS approach to runway 01 Let's light up the outside of our aircraft Not to comfortable with the alignment of the ILS. Turn off the autopilot please, I'll do this manually Looking better, almost there. Down safe and sound, but we need to back-track on the runway in order to exit. Looks like they turned on all the lights around the ATWC hangar so I could find it, but someone else is parked there! Just as good, a 738 won't fit in there anyway. I wonder if it's Kieran that parked his Lear in the Hangar.. Ready to shut her down. Engine 2 spooling down Parked by the Hangar ready to shut her down for the night. As I get out and walk over to the Hangar to drop off the baton Joker Air gives us a final grin goodbye. That's it for this leg, time to hand the baton over to Kieran.
  6. One early morning in Atyrau I get a call to my hotel room. After trying my best to rub the sleep out of my eyes I reluctantly get out of bed to answer it. Airport Official: Hello Sir. I understand you are a qualified pilot that are planing to depart for Bukhara in a couple of hours. Is that correct? Since I pre-filed my flight plan before i got to bed last night I can't really claim I'm not, so I admit that his statement is true. Airport Official: Great, we have a bit of a situation here this morning, and as a last resort I'm turning to you to help us resolve it. By now I'm wide awake and reply: You have my attention, what can I do for you? Airport Official: 20 minutes ago a fishing boat located about 100 nm south east of the airport sent out a distress call after one of the fishermen fell over board. We have a Search and Rescue Boat en-route to the area to locate the fisherman, but our problem is that all pilots qualified to fly our med-evac airplane are either away on training or to sick to fly. We are hoping that you can fly down to the area, pick up the fisherman and fly him down to Aktau Airport for transfer to the local hospital. I realize this will put a spanner in the works for you plans of the day, but we will make sure there's an airplane to pick you up in Aktau to get you to Bukhara with as little delay as possible. Hardly in a position to say no I agree to take on the mission, pack up my things and head down to the airport. As I arrive on the apron the sun is rising over the terminal. The airport official greets me, and we walk over to the hangar where the plane is parked. Before we get on with the flight I get a glance at a map where the route has been mapped out. The airport official also informs me that the flight plan is already loaded in the GPS. How ever, the location of the fishing boat is still not confirmed, so there might be a need to alter the plan enroute. The S&R boat is due to arrive in the area pretty soon, and will report back on the location once it's confirmed. The plane is parked up, cold and dark, in the hangar. I guess we better push it outdoors before we fire up the engine. Pushed out, and engine running, just waiting for ground to clear us to the runway. The nurse in the back is doing a quick inventory of the supplies and give me a thumbs up, we're good to go. Had to hold short of the runway as other traffic was departing But it didn't take long before I was ready to go on runway 14. And with the STOL capabilities of the Quest Kodiak we got airborne in no time Climbing out following the plan in the GPS Leveling off at 5000 feet for the cruise to keep below the clouds Leaving dry land behind and heading south east over the Caspian Sea. Pushing as much airspeed out of the Kodiak as I can. As I come to my first waypoint I start to suspect that something is wrong with my flight plan. Going by the map I got from dispatch I should still be over water, but it looks awfully much like dry land below... I call up mission control on my Com2 radio and relay the information Mission Control: Roger that Rescue 1, we'll look into it and get back to you, proceed along the flight plan for now though, we should have some more information from the S&R boat in a few minutes. Following the original plan. The pick-up point should be somewhere in that green area! If a fisherman managed to fall over board here they were way of track.... In mid turn mission control get back to me. Mission Control: Rescue 1, we have worked out what went wrong here. The maps used to plot the original plans aren't actual maps, but rather a map showing how we think the area could look if the Caspian Sea breaks through the barriers and flood the area. Sorry about that. The S&R boat have located the fisherman and sent us their coordinates. We have relayed it to ATC, so get in touch with them and they will vector you to your pick-up point. Rescue 1: Roger that Mission Control, switching to ATC for vectors. Kazakhstan Control, Rescue 1. Ready for vectors to the accident site. Kazakhstan Control: Roger Rescue 1. Turn right to heading 270 and descend to Flight Level 040. Advise when you have the Caspian Sea in sight for further instructions. Rescue 1: Heading 270, descending to FL040, will advise when the water is in sight. Didn't take long before the sea was in view, and the instructions from ATC was to aim for the long bay extending eastward from the sea. The pickup was to be made on the south side of the bay where it joined up with the sea. Easing her down along the shore of the bay. And we are down on the water, heading as close to land as we can to pick up the patient. All systems off, let's get the patient on board. Patient strapped in and secure. I just hope the closest monitor isn't connected. Flat lines are seldom a good sight in the medical field... Engine running and ready to depart for Aktau. Rescue 1: Kazakhstan Control, Resuce 1 with you at 1.000 feet climbing to FL 050. Kazakhstan Control: Roger Rescue 1, Radar Contact. Squak 7700 for priority handling. Proceed Direct to UATE. Expect ILS approach to runway 12. Rescue 1: Roger, Proceeding direct to UATE. Squak 7700. The nurse informs me that the patient is stable at the moment. Passing some low clouds en-route to our destination. No turbulence at least, so the patient gets a smooth ride. The airport is somewhere out there of my left side. Looks like ATC is vectoring me for a very short final. Runway in sight. Short final indeed... Vacated the runway and looking for my parking spot. Aircraft secure, and the paramedics are scrambling to get the patient to hospital. As I was shutting the aircraft down mission control extended their thanks for my effort and informed me that my connection flight for Bukhara was due to arrive any minute. So I guess I'll just hang around the airport until it gets here.
  7. Finally it was time to bring the mysterious ATWC-baton back to Sweden. The last time it was here was way back in section 2 of the second ATWC! I had met up with Kasper and Sharon in the terminal of Fuhlsbüttel-Airport, the Baton was put straight away in to safe storage. I won't be trusting any security guards to look after it this time... Sadly Sharon informed me that she wouldn't join me on this flight. She said something about wanting to revisit the Reeperbahn before she got (and I quote here) "to old for such things"... My disappointment must have been very obvious, so she gave me a quick kiss on the cheek before she headed of, presumably to slip out of that stewardess uniform and in to something more suitable for the Reeperbahn... Finding myself with nothing to disturb me I went ahead and filed my flightplan. Pretty straight forward. Just follow the E45 up to Kiel, then head north along the coast until we hit Danish airspace. Then head roughly north east towards Copenhagen and on to Malmö... and to make things even easier I've got plenty of VORs to follow.. Lets take a look at the airport. We will be parked fairly close to the Hangar, infact I think we are behind it.. must have been some sort of reconstruction made here... And of course the Active is runway 15... wrong way and the longest possible taxi for me... oh well... Here we are now, managed to find my self a nice Cessna 310 for the flight. Engines are running and checklists are complete, lets get going.. Plenty of airport staff riding around on the taxiways here... better stop and let them pass... Passing the terminal on our way to the runway.. plenty of Air Berlin flights in and out of here by the looks of it.. A Lufthansa Cityline climbing out, at a rather steep angle too... And Air France flies here too... heading to Paris if I'm not mistaking.. Finally we have lift off on the third leg.. Climbing out on runway heading while trying to figure out how the autopilot works.... Made it as far as downtown Hamburg before ATC wanted me to turn around. That's lake Alster in the foreground, and the Airbus plant at Finkenwerder might be visible on the far right... And then our camera (FRAPS) died on us.. took us some time to fix it too (realize the problem), so in the next shot we have passed Kiel, managed to find our way in to Danish airspace and are heading north east close to the Great Belt Bridge And looking the other way we find the Island of Langeland As we drew closer to Copenhagen ATC started to step us down from FL090 towards the transition altitude of 5.000 feet. Copenhagen, and Kastrup airport (EKCH), on our left side. Good thing it was a calm day down there as I was heading straight across the extended centerline of 04L and 04R! Time for another bridge, this time the one over to Sweden and over the straights of Öresund. Approach was already guiding me towards my destination. I guess in an attempt to avoid noise over downtown Malmö they started us of on a course south of the city And once we had passed most of it turned us on to a northern course towards Lund And finally an eastbound leg before directing us towards the approach for runway 17 The PAPI-lights say I'm to high, the ILS indicates I'm right on the glideslope... I'll go with what my gut tells me and trust the PAPI-Lights over the ILS this time... A gentle touchdown with plenty of room to spare.. that's probably the smoothest landing I've managed in months... As others have pointed out, Sturup is a great big feast of large yellow buildings... most of them rather ugly actually... Turning of the runway at taxiway Bravo I spot an old beat up Caravelle standing close by.. guess it's used for training the local fire department... Wanting to avoid those rather ugly yellow terminals we head over to the GA section instead... Much more pleasing to the eye, and a more relaxed atmosphere over here... wonder if I can borrow one of those cars though.... It's quite some walk over to the terminal where I'm guessing Sam is waiting for me and the Baton... Sam, if we can't find each other in the main terminal you can find me just south of runway 11! That's it guys, hope you enjoyed the flight!
  8. Welcome to the first leg of our Around The World Challenge IV or “Ivy” as the fourth challenge is affectionately known as by the Mutley Crew. The good news is Sharon is here to keep me company on our 242 Nm journey to one of our favourite countries, the Netherlands, home of the FS Weekend at Lelystad. Sharon has been hanging around the tower for some time now she’s goes all gooey at the sight of a uniform! Well she’s on her way back now after successfully filing our flight plan. We’ve got no navigation equipment on the Seabee so I have plugged this into my sat nav. That’s about as technical as I get! The baton was sitting majestically on its stand; will it get back here safely? It has a very eventful past, not unexpected given it’s been around the world three times already! So checks done we wheel it out of the hangar. It’s busy here today at Mutley Field, Saturdays always are, time to fire her up. We borrowed the aircraft from our friend JanKees who applied this wonderful livery. Although I have been here for many years, I still check out Rob/John's specially produced plate! Note, my Hangar is next tot the fuel farm. Dam missed our slot and the Dash 8 has pulled out in-front of us, this means a long wait. Off he goes to backtrack for zero-two, Sharon watches on, un-phased. She’s rolling, but there’s one on final we will have to wait for, we could have been on our way by now, grrr! Here’s the incoming, as soon as she is down we can get on the strip. The sight we have been waiting for. We’re off, the challenge has begun. The gear takes an age to retract, oh b*gger, I forgot to close the Hangar doors, I’ll radio in and get Micke to close them. Heading out to our VRP, the weather was actually nicer here than the sim generated, clear blue skies. One shot Brian will recognise, calling in south abeam Bishops Waltham. We head out towards Chichester and the famous Goodwood airfield, that’s our next waypoint. We heard that Dodgy Alan was at the Airfield so we heading in for a touch and go. Sharon waves to the crowds! Now off to LYD, you can quite clearly see the race track around the airfield, home to the Festival of Speed and the Revival. We carry on heading roughly east, we pass between Shoreham to our right and Gatwick to our left. The traffic into Gatwick doesn’t worry me but the GA from Shoreham could be a problem so we are keeping an eye out. We’re just crossing the M23 motorway. Having found our way to Lydd, we turn to make our crossing of the English Channel. Lydd airport is close by so there is traffic as expected. Leaving good old Blighty! It’s only a short journey across at this point, not that we are too worried about ditching! We came across some of those clouds that disappear into the sea. Navigation is pretty easy hereon in, follow the coast. Guess the airport? Nope, it’s Calais! Next up is Ostend-Brugge, you can see why they call these the low countries. We’re turning inland now in a vain attempt to follow the STAR on the plan. Having just passed Rotterdam on our way to LOMKO the start of our way in. Wheels going down early, they take so long to lock. We’re on our way in to 36C, over the huge Westeinderplassen or “West End Lakes” Hand flying her in the good old fashion way! It seems to take an age to get this far, great place for spotters! Whoa, a bit slippery underfoot but we have made it! Making out way to our stand, this is where John’s plates come in useful! At our stand and engine off, the noise is still ringing in my ears. Proof, if needed, that we have arrived at our destination! Who are you looking at? Stretching our legs, on our way to the terminal, hopefully Kasper will be waiting to hand the baton over to. Then Sharon and I can hit Amsterdam! I hope you enjoyed viewing my flight. Over to you Kasper.
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