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The Amazing Flight 28: An FSElite Original

The_amazing_flight_28

After so many years of flying in the sim, things can get a little repetitive. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just a fact of life. If you follow scheduled airliner routes in the Boeing 777 and 737, as I do, you tend to find yourself at airports time and again. Whilst it’s true that, “no two landings are the same.” And add on scenery can switch things up a bit – the bottom line is that flying from Sacramento to Phoenix can sometimes get a bit repetitive. So what can be done to switch things up and reinvigorate one’s passion for the hobby?

Each, “flight simmer” may have a different answer. But for me, it comes down to flying for a reason. Sometimes you just need to fly to feel like you’ve achieved something! My solution was to replicate the route used by the reality show, The Amazing Race. By doing this, I traveled  around the world and flew into a few new airports that I don’t use all that often, widening my experience and skills into different airports. Despite having done this a few times, this is the first time I’ve done so whilst logging my route and working for FSElite.

 

Leg 1 KSFO to MMMX

Flight plan: OFFSH9 MCKEY LAX J1 TIJ UJ5 DGO UJ63 SGU UJ33 QET UJ5 TIKEB

Plane: PMDG B737-800 in United Colors

Distance: 1635nm

Flight Time:  3 hours 44 min

The first leg was a fairly simple night flight from Flightbeams’ San Francisco to Mexico City. I turned on the autopilot early, as I recall, and listened to some Star Wars audiobooks and podcasts on the way down. It would have been nice to do this flight in daylight. But, the sun was just coming up as I reached Mexico City. The high terrain in Mexico City made for an interesting approach.  Unfortunately, I don’t have add on scenery for Mexico City. However, that wasn’t the hard aspect of the leg. It was a hard touchdown that really killed it for me. A cruddy ending to an otherwise good flight and  the first leg on my world-wide trip.

 

Leg 2 MMMX to SKBO

Flight plan: PDC3D PDC UJ5 MTT ASOKU TBG UM549 DAKMO UW87 MQU MQU1A

Plane: PMDG B737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 1706nm

Flight Time: 3 hours 49 min

Round 2 was another simple 737 leg. But, I had never flown into Bogotá before.The high terrain once again made the approach slightly more interesting. It’s not becoming a bit of a running joke amongst the team, but as per usual touchdown was a little hard. It was only after I landed that I discovered I had ventured off my path a bit. In the show the city pairing was actually Mexico City to Cartagena. No big deal. The landing practice is never a bad thing – especially for me!

The downside of this flight, aside from the aforementioned hard landing, was that I didn’t have scenery for Bogotá. FTX Global certainly helped when I ran into these situations. But, Global can only do so much. I really wasn’t an add on scenery junkie till FlightBeam came along with SFO. Now days, though, I get unhappy when default airports are required for these routes.

 

Leg 3 SKBO to SKCG

Flight plan:  ZIP2H A301 BUV UG431 EJA UW10 UGREB UGE1B

Plane: PMDG 737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 378nm

Flight Time: 1 hour 3 min

When you combine a simple leg with distractions it can lead to unpleasantness. I was distracted on the first approach attempt. As a result, I was way too high and had to execute a go around. The second attempt went better. I used the whole 12,000 odd feet of runway. Even with default scenery , the approach was scenic with the Caribbean Sea to the north. And, the high Columbian mountains to the south. I’d recommend this airport for anyone stuck for ideas flying in the South Caribbean.

amazing-flight_3

 

Leg 4 SKCG to LSGG

Flight plan: BAQ2A BAQ UW5 ERIKO UA319 PALAS M597 KATIN UA319 GABRA M597 CDO UA319 PIXAR M597 FIVZE DCT 27N058W 35N050W 40N040W 42N030W 45N020W 46N010W DCT RIVAK UN460 FOUCO UT183 LERGA T48 LATAM UN871 LTP UZ116 BELUS BELU1R

Plane: PMDG 777-200LR in TWA Colors

Distance: 4768nm

Flight Time: 9 hours 22 min

Finally a 777 leg with that a crew rest! My favorite kind of leg. The routing took me up over The Caribbean to the open Atlantic before taking me over Central Europe. It was a smooth approach and touchdown. And, when I got a moment to glance out the window. I got to enjoy The Swiss Alps and their close proximity to the airport. Now that’s what I call a good day of flying!

 

Leg 5 LSGG to UDYZ

Flight plan: MEDA4A MEDAM  UM730  NITAM  UT305  KODOK  UM730 TOP UY11 LISKO UM730  TOP UY11 LISKO UM730 RAMAP UL614 NISVA N605 WRN L744 UDROS UM859 KARDE UL851 TBN UP146 YAVUZ UB374 INDUR INDU3B

Plane: PMDG 737-700 in TWA Colors

Distance: 1810nm

Flight Time: 3 hours 53 min

Jumping back to the 737 this time flying to Yerevan, Armenia. Getting to fly into places like Armenia is why I did The Amazing Flight. Otherwise, I would never have thought to fly to Yerevan. Nestled below some nice foothills, this nice little airport caters well to The 737-700. At long last, I performed a reasonable approach and landing. This is certainly an airport to try if you’re looking for a new place to fly, thanks to its surrounding terrain and interesting approach.

 

Leg 6 UDYZ to UGGG

Flight plan: SEVA3H SEVAN T924 TISOT N82 DF DF6B

Plane: PMDG 737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 151nm

Time: 37 min

For this flight I wished I had a RJ or Turboprop in my hanger. Instead, I used the trusty PMDG737-700. It was the best equipment I had for the mission. None the less, it was a simple short elevator flight. For efficiency, I went all the way up to FL390. As a result, it was a steep ride down. Again, another beautiful airport that you should try out. Long runways for what feels like an out of the way local airport.

 

Leg 7 UGGG to OMDB

Flight plan: LAGA3A LAGAS M54 ADILA N82 ADANO N77 MAGERI UR645 ZAG R654  PEKAM UP574 SYZ A418 ORSAR B416 DESDI DED8D

Plane: PMDG 737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 1251nm

Time: 3 hours 3 min

On this flight, I was heading back to the mainline. It was my last flight of the day, so I was glad to be headed back to a hub. OMDB is a massive airport. Unfortunately, this is another airport that where I didn’t have scenery, So I’m sure I missed out on a lot. Nonetheless, the zig-zag approach is always fun and the landing went very well. I can perform a greaser from time to time!

 

Leg 8 OMDB to WADD

Flight plan: RIKE3G RIKET M428 MUNGA A777 VAXIM P307 PARAR N571 GUNIP M630 BOBAG P501 ANITO B470 PKP L511 SBR RABO3E

Plane: PMDG 777-200 LR In TWA Colors

Distance: 4104nm

Time: 8 hours 31 minutes

Although this leg was technically long enough for a crew rest, I didn’t take it. Instead, I spent the time window watching. I had a good view of The Indian Ocean and the subcontinent of India. After crossing the equator, I had several storms to avoid. But, soon enough I was passing over Bali. This is an airport I’ve been to before; having done a fair amount of Virgin Australia flying in the past. So the approach presented no challenge and the landing went well

amazing-flight_2Vir

Leg 9 WADD to ZGSZ

Flight plan: GALK3A GALKO M522 ELANG R223 BRU L649 LAXOR M772 DULOP M771 CH A461 BEKOL BEKO4Z

Plane: PMDG 737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 1949nm

Time: 4 hours 28 minutes

This was one of those legs that was going well until I screwed up the approach. I felt rushed on the approach. And, as a result, I ended up smashing my way onto the runway. It was awful! And, it was the hardest landing on this entire journey.. With all my time in the 737-700, I have no excuse for such a poor performance. But, I try not to end the day with a bad landing so it was on to the next leg.

 

Leg 10  ZGSZ to ZGGG

Flight plan: IDUM7X IDUMA IDU81A

Plane: PMDG 737-700 In TWA Colors

Distance: 87nm

Time: 33 minutes

This was another elevator flight to a new airport. I don’t recall my cruise altitude, but, I think it was lower this time. In any event, I wanted to redeem myself with a good approach and landing. I slowed down and configured early, something I try to do on almost every leg. I got good results with a stable approach and a nice touchdown

 

Leg 11 ZGGG to KLAX

Flight plan: LMN1E LMN G471 PLT A599 PUD A593 POTET Y60 FUE V28 CUE Y88 DAIGO Y886 PABBA 40E50 43E60 44E70 44E80 44N70 44N50 43N40 40N30 ALCOA AVE MOOR3

Plane: PMDG 777-200 LR In TWA Colors

Distance: 6481nm

Time: 12 hours 20 minutes

This penultimate leg was fun. 6 odd hours of crew rest, good weather and good scenery in LAX (FSDreamTeam). As usual the last few hours were the hardest. But, as I got closer to LA my determination grew. I was going to complete this flight and kick ass doing it. The approach was relaxed as I’ve flown into LA a fair amount. I had “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” playing as I descended over The San Gabriels and into The LA Basin. Unfortunately, my computer isn’t capable of using Orbx Regions. As a result, I stuck with Global and made a reasonable approach and landing at LAX. The touchdown was not as soft as I would have liked. I still need to work on my approaches and landings. Regardless, of how much sim time I’ve accumulated over the years.

 

The Finish Line KSMO to KSBA

Flight Plan: VFR over Downtown LA then straight down the beach to Santa Barbara

Plane: Carenado Piper PA28 Archer

Distance: 111nm

Time: 1 hour 4 minutes

This flight was a fun little way to end the trip. Orbex Socal was enabled and there was great fun to be had under a low smog layer at sunrise. The real leg was flown in a helicopter. But, I can’t fly those damn rotary wings so I went with The Piper from Carenado. I wish I had had any A2A product for this leg. But alas, my flight sim budget is limited. None the less, it was a fun leg. I made a few low passes over Downtown LA being careful to avoid the Bravo. I then flew my way up the coast to penetrate the haze and land in Santa Barbara. Admittedly, the landing was a little hard for a GA aircraft.

 

The Numbers

Hours Flown: 52.45 Hours

Average Leg Length:  4.37 Hours

Distance: 24,431nm/ 28,095sm/ 44,953km

Summery

Another adventure is complete. And, while I didn’t add a lot of new airports, I still explored new regions of the world I might not have visited before. Having a mission to complete certainly makes it a lot more interesting. I would definitely recommend an adventure like this for those looking for a more interesting way to see the world.I have no idea what my next adventure will be. But, you can rest assured that I will report it on FSElite either on the website, the podcast or both! Till next time happy landings!

Tags : PMDGThe Amazing Flight 28Virtual Flying
Nicolas Jackson

The author Nicolas Jackson

Past contributor.

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