The 80th Flight!

Flight number 80 would be the final flight of the original “Around the world in 80 flights” tour so this should be somewhat of a great achievement. However, due to the number of diversions and additional flights I have added to my own tour, despite reaching the 80th flight, I have not even reached my half way point.

Since leaving Edinburgh in the UK 3 years ago I have racked up over 54,000 Kilometres which works out at over 33,500 Miles! I have passed through 37 different countries whilst I have covered Europe and the length of Africa, all the way too Cape Town before continuing to The UAE and Middle East. I then covered the entire length of India or order to reach the Maldives Islands before returning North to the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. From the Himalayas I continued to Asia and across to Japan where I have now begun to double back on myself a little. This is simply so that I can loop further South as I make my way through the Pacific Islands and eventually reach Australia.

From my home in the UK, Australia will make my geographical half way point around the world. I feel that this should be celebrated more than the acknowledgement of my 80th flight. After all, I still have many more miles to go with many more countries to visit. Having significantly amended the original route I shall be completing a total of 203 flights before my wheels finally touch down in Edinburgh UK once more.

Whilst not mathematically nor geographically “half way,” I shall be considering my virtual arrival to the island of Hawaii to be the half way point of my Around The World Tour.
Hawaii to San Francisco is by far the longest flight I will have to negotiate during the tour and will need to heavily modify my tiny Beechcraft Baron 58 in order to make the huge distance but this is still some way off for flight number 120.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the entire time I have been completing this tour although I would love to hear from people who live in any of the places I have already, or am yet to visit. See below for the offical route map and for the full list of destinations I shall be visiting (virtually.)

OFFICIAL ROUTE MAP

Blue Pins = Offical 80 Flights Route
Red Pins = Addional Destinations Added By Me
Yellow Pins = Points Of Interest I Shall Not Land At.

Please continue to follow my virtual adventures around the world and leave comments to help me to make it that little bit more realistic.

Flight 75) Shanghai – Beijing

It had been a long time since my previous flight and I had enjoyed the time spent learning about Shanghai. I really hadn’t known what a huge city this place had become, although now it was time to leave the futuristic lights and skyline of Shanghai for Beijing. I included Beijing on the tour mainly so that I could see the Great Wall of China.

I started by checking the weight and fuel load of my small Beech Baron 58 and made sure I plotted a suitable route north. This didn’t take long and before long I was requesting taxi to runway clearence by 10:00. The rain and fog wasn’t very inviting but made for a rather reflective concrete surface around Shanghai Airport. Unfortunately my take off clearence was denied as the airport was operating IFR only due to the thick fog still in the air, so I created an alternative IFR route and was soon give the clearence I was looking for.

I had to “hold my position” many times during the taxi route to the runway as this really was a very busy airport with other aircraft landing and taking off regularly and many other planes maneuvering to and from their own gates. All of this movement made the radio buzz constantly.

Having almost lapped the main terminal building entirely I finally took to the skies at 10:25 and soon cleared the low clouds. I didn’t want to fly too high as I wanted to get a look at the infamous Shanghai skyline. As the flight sim FSX is a fair few years old now, it is clear to see the rapid expansion of this city as many of the key buildings now standing were not featured in the original software. Still the city looked wonderful with the cresent moon keeping watch.2016-5-29_10-36-15-758.jpg

Flying North-West from the city I passed over the Hung-Tse Lake and then straightend to due North for the majority of the flight. My next waypoint was 1 hour, 45 minutes away.
I flew lower and the speed of the land below gave the illusion I was travelling faster than at higher altitudes.

An hour later and I was approaching the coastline and could see hills and mountains in the distance both infront and from my left hand window. I flew lower once again to have some fun with the hilly terrain below but soon found myself surrounded by mountain fog. Passing over a few unknown cities and lakes with anouther hour and a half still to go until reaching Beijing, the weather finally cleared up.

I suffered with radio confusion between Beijing Center directing me to contact Tianjin Tower and visa versa. This bounced to and from for far too long until I was able call my landing intentions and touch down at 14:38 slightly off center. The few previous runaways I have landed on have belonged to very large international airports. I will look forward to visiting smaller landing strips in the future. I find these can be a little more challenging.
The Beech Baron was parked up by 14:45 and I was looking forward to seeing the sights of Beijing.

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Whilst here I really wanted to see the Great Wall of China which can be seen to the North of Beijing. Whilst I took a short flight around the area, I was unable to see the wall at all. Many maps show there to be many sections of the Great Wall. Maybe this just simply isn’t included in the standard FSX simulator software. This was rather disappointing. Nevermind.

Beijing Travel Guide – Beijing official city guide HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHCab5_BArI
Visit Beijing – 5 Things You WIll Love & Hate about Beijing, China – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZVSii6rB5g
This Is My City – Beijing  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx35kanMWh0
BEIJING Modern City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH3PvfI7ELQ
Discover Beijing III: A Modern City in Motion (Full Episode) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PrcMFLQ5IQ

[Documentary] The Forbidden City of Ming &Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1912 AD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QvsCr_xK3c
Beijing Travel Guide – Forbidden City Documentary (Palace Museum) Part 1 “Secrets” HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHypO2ISPas

National Geographic – The Great Wall of China – Documentary  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjlydnRqcmw

Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii-n_QSS0og

Flight 54) Ahmedabad – Surat

Ahmedabad Airport had livened up since my arrival. Even before I started up own engines I could see and hear many larger jets moving around the taxiways ready to jet off to their far flung destinations. The radio chatter was hard to get a word in although by 12:40 I was receiving my taxi instructions.

I entered the departing queue of aircraft and was soon in the air with wheels up flying over the city making my turn towards my first way point of the flight. This was a rather quiet flight in comparison to the previous recent journeys. Even the soaring birds made this flight feel very relaxing.

As I flew over several larger rivers I was intrigued at the way the muddy river waters changed colour as they met ocean water and how the selection of small boats may not even have noticed being that much closer to the water’s surface.

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The lower I got to the river, the familiar fog thickened and limited my view considerably. I decided to fly a little off route in order to follow the river as I knew that it would eventually lead to Surat anyway. It became a choice between staying low in the fog or flying a little higher and jump from cloud to cloud.

As the river opened out into an estuary I hopped over a couple of smaller islands whilst I contacted Surat Airport. Unfortunately, for the second time I was denied landing clearance due to the low laying fog preventing clear visibility of the runway. This fog really was becoming a hindrance during my time through India.

I quickly set up an IFR route within the simulator and requested an IFR landing which, thankfully I was granted. I dropped to 2,000 ft and the fog engulfed my small plane. Having just about made out the runway with enough time to fight the crosswind and to line up correctly, I soon made a rather rough and bouncy landing. I must admit that this was a long way from being my usual standard of landing.

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Aerial tour of Surat city – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v96kWOuWack

Surat- The Shining City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gb4BmkP2RY

Surat City Tour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTEUGCO5-DQ

41 Things To Do In Surat City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_3bN8W-ZyY

Surat City of Fortune – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJrC3ZmRWXk

Surat City of Pride – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHCCN_XDL6U

Surat Song – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDPjJO37998

Flight 53) Jodhpur – Ahmedabad

Seeing the Jodhpur airfield in daylight for the first time showed the landing strip to be rather green with vegetation. I am pretty confident that this is not the case after checking out Google Earth and various images from Jodhpur City. Even in the morning the air temperature outside as 20 degrees! I really do need a holiday to the sun.

With still no radio contact option I took off from the very quiet runway and completed a loop over the city to see some of the larger sights I knew the city had to offer. Unfortunately the heavy fog had not lifted and it was apparent that I was not going to be able to sight see. I continued to circle over the city whilst gaining altitude all the way to 15,000 ft! This was unusually high for my light aircraft and I could still not see through the mist. Up here I needed the heating elements all switched on as it was now -6 outside of the aircraft.

I knew that it would have been impossible to see anything for the journey if I chose to complete my flight to Ahmedabad in this weather so remembering how quiet the landing strip was at Jodhpur, I decided to land there again and hope that the weather cleared up on another day…


A few days later I though I’d have another attempt at leaving Jodhpur city and make my way to the next destination Ahmedabad. With the fog still hanging in the air I knew that the take off and initial climb at least, would have to be done by instruments only. The altitude of 5,000 ft came around pretty quickly and I was soon above the fog and into considerable cloud but at least these clouds were mostly low laying. I continued to climb to 15,000 ft again and saw the wide open Indian landscape stretch out below.

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The clouds eventually thinned out again and I cut back on the throttle to slowly descend towards my half way point. I was finally able to make radio contact with Mumbai Center who gave me my squawk code 7115 and maintained flight following. My half way point of the flight actually crossed a landing strip. I had to check what it was called but found Udaipur Tower through the radio frequencies and requested a “touch and go” landing just to add an extra landing credit to my FSX statistics. There was still a slight layer of low laying fog and I took off again straight away.

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The rest of the flight was much more enjoyable as the fog dispersed and I was able to fly low across the fields at 170 knots which is pretty quick for my small plane. The crescent moon on the horizon and occasional flock of birds enjoying the rising thermals were certainly a relaxing change to the consistent fog.

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Coming into land a Ahmedabad the clouds had built up again and I am sure I spotted a flash or two of lightning. I was advised to flight straight in to Runway 23 and with no fog or crosswinds I had one of the smoothest landings of my tour.

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Kankaria Lake
images

Ahmedabad Airport – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tymsj4t9MXA

Landing at Ahmedabad International Airport – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aj90ikcp4h0

Ahmedabad City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ff3M5d-tUs4

Life in Ahmedabad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Te4qsN9WsM

A Kaleidoscope of Colors, Ahmedabad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiQfnxbx4Jk

Walkthrough in the old Ahmedabad – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXDb8tV7KaE

Sholay – Title Music – LIVE ORCHESTRA AHMEDABAD – RAAJIV VYAS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMWBu2R-DLA

The Foodie Ahmedabad unplugged – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjyWdCWOzhs