Saturday, July 29, 2017

Knoxville to Oshkosh...the closest one.

Apparently there are 15 places named Knoxville in the USA. I chose to fly a lovely little Cessna 195 from the closest one in Iowa.

Preparing to start. Better wait for the twin to taxi clear before I shout CLEAR PROP!! That way the shakey Jake won't create a smokescreen for a fellow aviator! :D

Climbing away.

Approaching the eastern end of Lake Red Rock. Above the fuselage in the picture, Highway 14 can be seen crossing over the lake on "Mile Long Bridge".

Oshkosh on the nose.

Touchdown on RWY36.

Parked next to a V-tail Bonanza.


Critical Medical Supplies To Katiola

Cote du Ivorie` has been in the midst of an armed conflict for many years by groups that operate out of Liberia. As causalities mount, the MSF organization needs to bring in medical supplies to continue their work in the country. Critical supplies were shipped from Marseille and arrived in Freeport Of Monrovia, Liberia two months ago. Finally offloaded, the supplies have been transported to James Sprigg Payne Airfield (MLW) just a few miles from the port. MSF has leased an old C-47 and hired me to fly the supplies into Cote du Ivoire` as road conditions and the lack of security put an overland trip out of the question. The nearest airport to the destination of these supplies, the MSF hospital in Katiola, is D1BK in Bouake but even a truck shipment from there would be too risky. When I checked satellite images of Katoila, I noticed what looked like an old abandoned airstrip in a heavily wooded area very close to the town. Old maps did indicate an airstrip (KTC) but all current charts and maps make no mention of it. ( Old KTC shows up just east of the town.)
Folks on the ground in Katiola tell me they think the strip is still long enough to handle the C-47 and they can cut away some of the brush. So the plan is to make a "bush" landing there and offload the supplies. Note: Although remains of KTC are still visible in satellite photos, FSX and P3D do not show it in the scenery so I had to re-create it out of the heavy woods that do show in that area.

                                           Packing up at D1BK with the crew.

                                          Approaching the Katiola area looking for old KTC
                                          Found old KTC on downwind leg.

                                            Hope they cut back enough brush to get in.
                                           Good job plenty of room.
                                         Wow, a full crowd to help with the offloading!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Prisoner's Tale continued This post contains adult rated materal.

Part I can be seen here.
Part II can be seen here.
This flight is from Cairo Il to Shreveport LA.

We started sleeping together whenever the Captain was gone, which seemed to be a lot. And I don't guess we actually slept all that much. What we did was...well it was what we did. Occasionally one or the other (or both of us) was left bruised and sometimes bloody by what we did to each other. Neither one of us complained.

Once I had a girl friend (she was married and I was too) and I asked her what I had permission to do to her. She replied "anything you want as long as it doesn't leave marks for my husband to see". I asked Sydney (yeah, her) and the answer I got was "anything you want that doesn't kill me or leave me crippled".

I don't how she managed to have such clear and innocent turquoise eyes. She'd been through a lot. She had these cut scars on the inside of her thighs and upper arms like four long series of slash marks ///////. I found out much later they are usually signs of self cutting. Teenage girls seem to do it a lot when they feel they have no control over their lives.

She also had scars on her back that looked an awful lot like cigarette burns.

Sometimes she cried when she slept.

She would call me whenever the captain was away on some ocean or Great Lakes voyage. Usually he was gone for long periods--weeks even. We would arrange to meet and off we would go, into whatever world we were living in. Yeah, my performance for my employer wasn't the best and I lost a job or two, but it was just so easy to find another flying job back in the late seventies.

We did do other things. She'd come up with some idea and it wasn't long before I was thoroughly sold that nothing else would do me but to do whatever she thought of. Or maybe I thought of. I was no longer sure.

It started innocently enough...go see some sight or museum. She bought us motorcycles and we learned to ride them.

Learned to shoot guns--I had enough guns in the Marines but it was what she wanted to do and so it was OK with me.

Then she wanted to do other things. Or was it me?

We stole a car and took a joy ride. Then another one, and burnt it to the ground.

Then we robbed a 7-11 for a thrill. Then another. And somehow the clerk got shot.

Listen, I have to tell you our time together was like compressed somehow. These things happened over a horribly short period of time.

The whole sorry mess probably took less than six months. Just six months and my life was over.

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!