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 45) Masirah – Seeb International, Muscat

Masirah appeared to be a very remote place to visit. I found that there are many trips taken to Masirah Island although I was eager to move on to parts of the world with a little more population as I gear up to my arrival in Dubai!

Whilst I knew I was to be flying over desert and sea, without a lot to see, I wanted to enjoy the challenge of a night time flight so set off rather late. Taking off from the runway at 8:50 pm I looked over my shoulder at the island below and could make out the main road which runs a complete loop around the island. Still, there were not many buildings or lights to see from the air.

I continued to fly north over the Arabian Sea and soon passed over the shore line at 6,000 ft. The brief but heavy turbulence notified me that I was over warm land again and I turned to a heading of 030. It was nice to see the odd cloud speckled through out the dark navy sky. It was equally nice to be flying above them as I climbed to 8,000 ft and continued to 10,000 ft. The dark sky allowed me to enjoy a different kind of view as my eyes were drawn to the brighter parts of the sky and I realized I was looking at Earth’s view of the Milkyway from my left window.

I was tuned to Muscat center and was surprised at how little radio chatter there was as at 9:20 I heard the only other aircraft in the sky, a Bombardier. I decided to gain some speed and requested a decent to 6,000ft. To really enjoy the challenge of night time flying I stuck to flying by instruments only. By the time I looked out of the windows once again I could see the opposite shore line coming into view on the horizon, dark shapes describing mountains to my left with a lot of desert floor below.

By 9:36 I had reached my second way point and received my landing instructions from Seeb International airport for runway 26. It wasn’t for another 15 mins of flight before I saw the lights of Muscat City come in to view and I saw another aircraft in the sky.

My first approach was missed as I failed to hear my landing clearance being given over the radio so I entered a downwind left landing pattern and looped over the city. Even the simulator FSX made Muscat appear to be a substantial location.

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Muscat City FSX

As I lined up for runway 26 I could see the airport was buzzing with aircraft and ground vehicles.  Just whilst taxiing to my parking spot I watched 4 aircraft leave Seeb International Airport and take to the night’s sky.

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Time to see what Muscat City has to offer.

muskatcity092_270_muscat_site_view downtown-muscat-waterfront-muscatMuscatRoadGate

256192ee-c0f1-4738-b3b6-8d8767dfbdc6_d grand mosque sultan-qaboos-grand-mosque12

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Muscat 02 Muscat 07 Al Jalali Fortroyal-opera-house-muscat19521814_600x400 The front of the Sultan's Palace.

Landing OOMS Muscat – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7saH-nDyMc
National Geographic Channel: World Traveller – Muscat & Nizwa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wFZMcIbg3c
Muscat capital of Oman – Unravel Travel TV – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZZAnxAmg_w
Muscat City Tour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op1ZHk_qoG8
Oman Muscat 2013 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kp8SCdTBu9w
Amazing Oman Muscat, Nizwa – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Ufi-z_fgJ4
Oman Travel Guide and Tourism 2014 ( Full Video HD)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjVD1izlwNQ