Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Departure Of Guests

We had guests that spent a week with us at the island retreat in Maine but sadly they had to return home and go back to the work-a-day world. I flew them from  Boothbay to a small SPB near KPSM so they could catch their non-stop flight back to Orlando (KMCO)

                                       Passing Casco Bay with KPWM (Portland) barely visible
                                       in the haze.
                                        Our destination is straight ahead at Dover Point very
                                        close to KPSM. A 10 min. shuttle ride.

                                       The river flows through Portsmouth NH, just ahead,
                                       and empties into the Atlantic about 5 mi. downstream.
                                                  Close enough to hop onto the dock.

Oshkosh bombing run :)

Just checking over and securing our Avanti before heading out on a very unusual adventure. Securing? Yes. I'm not taking her up this time. (FSX NOTAM I found the missing textures for the KOSH add-on. The Avantis are now painted)

See, some Russian visitors had heard about Dan's propensity for chugging beers, despite the fact that he'd saved me a couple of cold ones. Now, I believe that this is a complete and utter fabrication put about by some fellow unruly GAC members in the interests of club "banter" :D Dan knows better than to drink and fly, as we all do! He didn't pinch all the beer!

Anyhow they said come and enjoy a shot of vodka or two, but first enjoy some aviation hospitality, Russian style. We had to drive a couple of miles SE of Wittman to a place called Air Harbor seaplane base where we could set out on a small boat to the plane moored in Willow Harbor. Well, I've never stepped from a boat into a plane before, but welcome to the Beriev Be-200 Altair amphibian! This is the firefighting version AKA a water bomber!

An amazing bit of kit, mind you most water bombers are, as are seaplanes in general. She can take on 12 tons of water (in 14 seconds!!), cruise at 300 knots and has a max ferry range of almost 1800 nautical miles.

Taxiing out into Lake Winnebago for a south takeoff.

The Be-200 has a modern avionics suite - glass cockpit indeed!

Also of note is the fighter-style joystick control and dual throttle setup so that the "Captain" in the left hand seat is also flying right handed. I'm not sure how many other aircraft have this, but at least one other which does is a firm favourite of mine - the Handley Page Victor.

(FSX NOTAM I don't think the Be-200 has reverse thrust (note the throttle quadrant markings), but was not able to find out for certain.)

The takeoff run as observed from KOSH tower (not sure if you can see that bit of the lake from the real tower, but certainly some parts of Lake Winnebago can be seen - youtube)

Climbing away. The plan was to overfly KOSH then pop over to Lake Michigan, scoop up the water, return to KOSH to give a demo drop then land once more on Lake Winnebago.

Lining up for the overflight. 

From some angles the big Beriev looks a little like a swan, graceful in flight. Well IMHO anyhow.

Dropping in on Lake Michigan.

12 tonnes scooped!

The tanks are showing full (green rectangles on the small control panel).

Time for the run over Wittman. Weather is partly cloudy with a good chance of localised rain!

Bombs away!

Back around for a touch and go (see, she does have undercarriage!) then climb away to setup for a landing on the lake.


Taxiing clear of the runway (GPS superimposed to show location of 96WI)

NOTE: I did record this flight for reference, but as discussed with our club chairman, NO HOURS would be logged as the aircraft isn't GAC-suitable. I hope you enjoy the screenshots and "story" of such an unusual aircraft. I thought that Air Venture is one of the places where rare, unusual or just plane (pun intended!) different happens, hence an excuse to post up about another freeware aircraft in my virtual hangar.

My apologies to anyone who has actually been to Oshkosh - I don't know if such shenanigans would ever happen, but that's what the sim world is for!

Richmond to Stuart, FL

Recently we took the Phenom 300 down to Florida and here are the pics.
Out of KRIC, the James River is easy to see along with downtown Richmond.
We cruised at FL380.
The office.

Passengers view.
Down on approach.
There's the runway and the approach set up on the MFD.
Final and of course a good landing was had by all.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Going to Oshkosh! KLWB to KOSH

At last. On the way. This was to be an interesting flight of ups and downs, not just the weather but the turbulence in that weather (FSX NOTAM - despite the METAR saying scattered clouds with broken clouds higher up, it was as if I'd flown straight into a thundercloud! Perhaps FSUIPC wind smoothing can only do so much.).

We would spend most of the flight below 10000 feet for sight seeing purposes, but did climb up to FL240 until the winds below settled down.

Getting ready to depart from Greenbrier Valley. Don't know if the Bombardier is going to Oshkosh too, but they departed immediately behind us.

See you soon Lewisburg.

Climbing out... before the severe, unforseen turbulence happened.

Back down to lower altitudes - a rather large power station off to the right. (NOTAM - I clean forgot to take note of which power station it was! In my defence I was making sure there were enough sick bags for the passengers in the back!)

When nearing Lake Michigan, the overcast decided to move in. Here we are close to Grand Rapids. The conditions didn't get much better over the Great Lake itself, necessitating an ILS RWY 36 approach at KOSH!

Well, the sightseeing flight turned into a NTSH  (nothing to see here) flight. Oh well ,plenty of time to enjoy Airventure 2017, and for the weather to improve! RWY36 on the nose.

Touchdown. Missed the purple dot, not my best spot landing attempt - close but no cigar!

Welcome to AirVenture!

Parking reserved for Avantis it seems!

FSX NOTAM - a shame there are some missing textures in this freeware KOSH scenery. I'll investigate and see if I can track them down.

Right - time to get that cold beer which Dan had set up behind the bar! He promised not to drink them all!

I'm Going to AirVenture 2017 part IV

My forth and final (well, maybe) flight to Oshkosh this year. Saranac Lake NY to (of course)Oshkosh WI.

Getting settled in and starting up. Battery on, open the side window (82* today) open the cockpit doors and turn on the aft blower so the pax can breath. Oh yes, don't forget that pesky beacon.

We'll even get a little nice scenery while in the air (come on pretend along with me!). Niagara Falls down there. While you might not actually be able to see the Falls in generic scenery this is the correct location.

Interior scenery during the two & a half hour flight.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Park Michigan. Again in the right spot and not all that bad.

On the ground, runway 36 again. I had hoped for 18 but there was enough wind to make 36 necessary. See you next year at AirVenture 2018.