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Down Under Tour 2015

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Very nice leg this time. Sweet plane. I haven't flow out there yet...must check it out this coming weekend perhaps.





The OzX website ( forum, freeware repaints, image hosting, freeware addons ) needs your help to stay alive !




Thanks for the heads up...a great image hosting site and THE place to find Jankees paints...done and donated.

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Thks for your comments, Graeme.  Fortunately, getting old has a few positive points, like having a lot more free time.    I read somewhere that you really get old when you stop learning, so after o

Haha !  As you know english is not my native language ( although I have a US High School diploma, a University Master and a British Chamber of Commerce    ) and besides this you are right I spent a lo

Yep, went for a little Alaska flight for my Air Hauler company. They were surprised to see me around ! 

New South Wales - Day 18 (Part 1)  


I had to wait two days for the weather to clear up in Port Macquarie so I could continue my flight south. The leg for today follows the beautiful coast of this region during the first part until Seal  Rocks, before turning right over the land to end in Maitland YMND, in the outskirts of the large city of Newcastle.




The sky is still covered, but the clouds ceiling is now almost at 5000 ft, which leaves me plenty of room to fly underneath. Visibility is very good, pressure is back up at 30.18 in and a gentle 7 knots eastern breeze comes from the ocean. I choose the dirt runway 10 for my takeoff.




After a few minutes, the first remarkable reference point on the flight path is the small town of Laurieton, situated near a hill close to the sea.




Then I fly by another high hill, Middle Brother and its antennas with blinking red lights.




After twenty minutes, I pass over the Taree YTRE airfield, my first waypoint. From there I take a 165° heading towards the coast. 




Flying down that coast, I soon come to a well known holiday area, passing over the twin towns of Forster and Tuncurry, with only a bridge in between. On the right of the plane we can see a small local airfield on Wallis Island.




Then far in front of me, I can spot the Seal Rocks point, which will be the mark for the next turn.




(*) The whole superb Forster area is a freeware addon by the OzX team



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New South Wales - Day 18 (Part 2)


After reaching Seal Rocks, it's an 80° right turn to leave the coast and head towards my destination.




Soon I am flying over the trees of the Narong State Forest




Although I am now inland, I fly over a large zone where land and water share the landscape.




The next waypoint on my flight plan is Clarence Town. By doing this short detour, I avoid entering the controlled airspace around the Williamtown YWLM military base.




From there I expect my 230° heading to lead me directly to the runway 23 in Maitland. But in the meantime, the wind has shifted to 130° and is now at 14 knots. I choose the best solution for the landing and go for the secondary hard runway 08.

Once more I have a 50° crosswind, and here we go for the usual procedure ! By now I have the good feeling with the Waco and it all goes well.




A taxi later and I'm parked not far away from the club house. It looks like the barbecue is already on ... That's it for today !



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For today some good news and other less good news !


Good news are that fsfiles.org has finished the migration and all screenshots are back online !


Less good news is that following some changes in my "real life", I will not be able to continue with daily reports on each leg. So the adventure keeps going as planned, except that I will now post a weekly report, kind of a "best of" the week's flights.


So if you don't see any post in this thread before the weekend, it will be normal. I hopefully will not have crashed in the aussie outback, no need to call the rescue teams for now !  :)


I'm back to my regional base in Condobolin for the last time, ready to explore the southeast quarter of New South Wales and later move the operations south to Victoria and Tasmania

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Thks for your msg Brett, everything is fine so far (  a bit too much  blood pressure and some irregular heartbeat but nothing to worry about yet...  :)  )


As you might or might not know, I had a second life the last 8 years as I worked in the social field - mostly at night - for an association specialized in the urgent sheltering of homeless families with kids ( both local people and refugees from different countries ) I retired in May 2014.  Due to the present situation with many refugees they asked me if i could give a few hours a week this winter as they can use my knowledge of english and german to help explain to these people their rights, and for the paperwork. Of course I accepted (not sure yet how many hours this will involve) and this is why I will have a little less daily freetime.


So I prefer continuing my flights in the evenings (it will still be "simulated real time" - Australia has too much time difference to be real time - as my weather engine lets me load historic weather) I will then pack a report on Saturdays or Sundays.

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Helping real life homeless folks sounds like a reasonable excuse to slack off from your flight simulator commitments Loic, and kudos to you for it. :D


My homeless aid involves a Robinhood-esque secret transfer of Corporate Assets to the Homeless. As courier I have easy and frequent access to the candy trays at most reception areas, some of it pretty swanky candy, I take a couple pieces at every single opportunity, and give them to homeless at stop signs and lights...Insta-Smile Generators, especially anything that looks like a lolipop, Tootsie Pops seem to be a favorite. :)


Cheers, looking forward to more flight updates..."Best Of" will do till you solve the homeless situation. :)

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Thanks Matt, and congrats for your Robin Hood actions !  Since Wednesday I'm stuck in the suburbs of Sydney by bad weather :(


 http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/nov/06/sudden-sydney-storm-sparks-severe-weather-warning (was even on french TV today ...)


I think I have to wait at least until Monday but I will wait as much as I need as I really want to make a discovery flight of the Blue Mountains. When I came in they were in the clouds and I could barely see the ground over Katoomba  ( report coming tomorrow or tonight if I'm not flying ! )

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New South Wales - Day19  End of the NE loop
We're flying back from Maitland to our regional base in Condobolin, with a stop in Mudgee YMDG
I take off from Maitland, with a nice weather, some clouds at 3500 ft, a great visibility, 22° C on the ground and some wind ( 16 Knots from ESE )
I fly straight towards a large area of hills covered with forest.
I manage to thread my way between hilltops and clouds until I reach some flat ground on the other side.
It's there, right in the middle, that I find the Mudgee airfield, where I land easily.

Mudgee is a town of around 10.000 people in the broad fertile Cudgegong River valley, 261 kilometres north-west of Sydney.
The Mudgee district is well known for its fine wine. Mudgee has developed as a wine producing region and is a popular destination for tourists, who visit the forty wineries operating in the Mudgee district. There are as well many rural productions like cattle, sheep, fruit, tomatoes and dairy products.

The Ulan coal mines are in the district. During the 19th century, the area was a major goldmining area and the district also produces marble, pottery clays, shale and dolomite. 


On the next day I flew back to  Condobolin YCDO above a flat landscape we already know quite well by now... 


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New South Wales - Week from 02 to 07 Nov.


The main goal for this week was to fly to the Sydney area, visit the Blue Mountains and go further down the coast. As we will see, nothing worked as planned !




The first leg was planned from Condobolin YCDO to Bathurst YBTH. During this loop I will probably have to land on country dirt strips, so I took a Cessna 172 RG Cutlass II, which means ol'time nav without autopilot and GPS. As we will not come back to  Condobolin ( I will fly direct to the Victoria region in the end ), I take my mechanic with me..



We first flew over the now well known plains, then between Orange YORG and Bathurst YBTH, I was stopped by a wall of low clouds. I could not pass under them on this high plateau and didn't find a way around.




So I had to turn around and come back to land at Orange YORG, where I had to use the secondary dirt runway because of the wind.




On the next day, the plan was to fly out of Orange, fly over Katoomba and finish the leg in Camden YSCN. Afterwards I planned to take a day to explore the famous Blue Mountains. The weather didnt allow it.


First the flight over Katoomba was spoiled by low clouds and a bad visibility.






Later the weather got even worse as we closed on Sydney. The tower in Camden told me the airfield was only open to IFR flights ! Finally I used the guidance of a NDB to find under a pouring rain the lights of the Hoxton Park YHOX airfield and to land there. This is a residential community in the western suburbs of Sydney.




On the next days the weather didn't get any better, with even extraordinary events around Sydney.  ( see the link a few posts above.)


So I remained stuck in Hoxton Park.  Normally tomorrow Monday 9 I should have a chance !

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New South Wales - Blue Mountains


The weather cleared a bit during the weekend, so I made a short hop with the Cutlass from Hoxton Park to Camden YSCN. There I arranged for Monday the rent of a Tiger Moth to fly over the Blue Mountains.


Monday around 11:00, visibility is good, almost no wind, but there are a few clouds around 3500ft. The airfield in Katoomba is 3100 ft high, so it could be difficult to get there. But the weather forecast for the next days doesn't look better with risks of showers. Decision is taken to give it a try.




Finally, a half hour later I'm flying above the town of Katoomba !




I have no problem finding the airfield outside town on a hilltop, and I land there for lunch time.




Early afternoon I take off again on the bumpy dirt track, somewhat shaken inside the cockpit !




The town of Katoomba ends right at the cliff edge, and from there you have a fantastic view on the famous "Three Sisters". This was one of my main reasons for going there.




After that is a wonderful return flight to Camden  over the superb landscapes of the Blue Mountains.




Back to the parking after another flight which will stay in my memory !




Weather permitting, I will leave tomorrow the Sydney region...

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I trusted the weather forecast that it would remain a few clouds at 3500 ft so I could find a way between the clouds. It was a short flight.

The only high part was over Katoomba, the in and out flights were much lower following the valleys. You can take some limited risks with pixel planes when the landscape is worth it !  :)


I chose the Tiger Moth because there is a real company in Camden offering flights over the Blue Mountains : http://www.airborne-aviation.com.au/joy-flights/tiger-moth-flights.php

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