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 80!) Nagasaki – Taipei

The 80th flight would be another long haul over a large expanse of sea so I was expecting the journey to be rather uneventful. This was not to be the exciting ending to the world tour that I could have had on the 80th flight had I stuck to the original route.

Beginning this leg of the tour at 09:00 I loaded up the flight simulator FSX and opened the flight plan I had prepared earlier. In order to make the distance over the sea I was eager to ensure that I have enough fuel so requested a fuel truck from Nagasaki airport. Being third in line meant that I didn’t have to wait too long before my tanks were full and I was ready to depart. I followed another jet all the way from my parking spot to the runway.

There were rather strong side winds coming down from the surrounding mountains and heading out to the sea which set my plane at a strange angle during take off. This didn’t cause any problems though. I left Japan behind me as I crossed over many smaller islands although each of them had their own substantial mountains or high hills which I had to contend with. It was a shame to be leaving behind this amazing country and very different culture to my own. I will certainly be making a real life visit to Japan to see its wonders first hand.

After flying South for roughly 25 minutes I took more of a Westerly heading to fly towards Taiwan. It seemed strange to be heading West as I have been travelling East all the way from the UK other than the occasional Northern or Southern detours. I climbed to 10,000 feet to get better fuel economy from my plane and saw a heard a few rumbles of thunder. The weather outside appeared to be pleasent so I was a little unsure as to where the sound of thunder was coming from. There must have been a mixture of cold and warm air though as I soon passed through a very bumpy patch of sky which dropped me down to 7,500 feet.

The stretch of sea seemed to last for ages although eventually the shores of Taiwan come into view maked by a large mountain. Lingering clouds blocked much of the view to the ground below so I decided to circle the city to get my bairings. The airport I had originally considered was Songshan airport which is located right in the heart of Taipei itself although the larger Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport was more appealing as a place to land. By 13:50 I had touched down on Runway 6 and safely taxied to my parking spot.

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I didn’t really have any prior knowledge of expectations of Taiwan. I can only say that I know of the large production output as in the UK we do have many electronic goods which are manufactured within this country. It would be interesting to find out more about this place.

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Taipei Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XeDkwAfako
Why Taipei Is the Best City (Exploring Taiwan)  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDM3oj83zMY
The Taipei Budget Travel Guide  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on3NyVwxgoM
Best Things to do in Taipei – Overnight City Guide – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_nCj1X_Hhw
What to Eat and Do in Taipei, Taiwan (NOC Travel Guide!) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XzlkgI-j50
3 Days in Taipei | Jenny Zhou  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEd_5pwZrgY
Taipei 101 Travel Guide  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rt83a5azuY4
14 BEST THINGS TO DO IN TAIPEI TAIWAN | Top Taipei Attractions  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iXCN4UVAfI#t=343.519119

Taiwan Vacation Travel Video Guide – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkx5sqexl84

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 63) Jaffna, Sri Lanka – Chennai, India

In this leg of my Around The World Tour I would be returning to India once again as I work my way from Sri Lanka, North to New Delhi. It has been rather difficult to find the time needed to make another flight recently, let alone to write-up the blog, find images of the areas I cover and search for good videos to visualize these destinations in any way other than from the virtual air.

As I cleared a late evening in my diary I was able to squeeze in the next trip but only as a night-time flight. The local time in Jaffna was 03:45 when I finally finished plotting the route and checking the fuel levels. Even at this time of night the out-door air temperature on the tarmac was reading 29 degrees. Apparently this should be pretty accurate as the weather is downloaded via the internet every 15 minutes.2015-6-20_23-10-10-349 copy
The airport seemed rather quiet at this time in the morning as there were no other aircraft around despite double and triple checking as I crossed the runway during my lengthy taxi route. There was the slightest hint of sunlight trying to break past the horizon, toning the dark sky.
I took off promptly and soon saw the dark void of black seas below me and my world became a very dark place. For the second time on my around the world tour I caught sight of 2 shooting stars before reaching the Indian shore in little over 12 minutes. It was pretty hard to be sure of where the shore line was in the dark.
At 7,000 ft I was flying between 2 layers of cloud feeling much like a cloud sandwich. To gain a little more speed I descended towards the first large city I was to pass over and flew as low as I dared. The familiar fog was hanging low beneath 2,500 ft and there was a glow of city lights as I sped past at only 300 ft at full throttle. I’m sure this would not have been recommended on a real flight.
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Over the next 15 mins I gradually arose to 8,000 ft again and I kept an eye out for the Nagapttinam river outlet. The rising sun was beginning to make things easier to spot, but not by much. It was nice to know the sun was on its way though. I continued to follow the shore line north and reaching 11,000 ft I was engulfed by thickening clouds.
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I called in my landing intentions and was instructed to fly a left downwind pattern to land on Runway 25. So I cut back the throttle and glided towards the airport. The sky turned many shares of purple, pink and deep blues as the sun rose, which was very pretty. As I got closer I could see some other aircraft lights coming in to land and took my position in the queue. I came back in land having flown over the waters again and was followed a Cessna Caravan and another larger jet liner. World Travel 9322 had to “go around” for a second attempt so not to crash into the landing Cessna. I, on the other hand was slow enough to allow time for the Cessna to leave the runway and ensuring not to clip any masts of the boats of shore, I landed successfully to end my 63rd flight! I passed the Cessna Caravan on my way to my parking spot and made the engines silent at 5:40 am. Just as the sun was coming up further and turning the sky the familiar blue.
Chennai_Skyline_Anna_SalaiTranstech-Packers-and-Movers-Chennai28MP_CHENNAI_RUN__819641fKathiparamarina beach3Chennai_Central_Station_panorama
   Chennai Railway Station

Flight Landing to Chennai Airport – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GK28psxMN3I

Chennai City in HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUIX-JJVsh4

Driving Around Chennai City, India – 2014 HD – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0Gb1LmKH1k

On the Ground- Chennai India – Short film – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqUPKtGmPus

Chennai on Being Chennaikaran – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU3zRuKGAQE

World’s Most Crowded Place – Ranganathan Street in Chennai, India – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwD1n7N7EAg

TOP TEN PLACES TO VISIT IN CHENNAI – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMw6xRi44-c

Flight 02) Farnborough – Paris

This flight is the official starting point for the 80 flights I will complete to navigate around the world. I was greeted with a lovely sunny morning which gave me clear blue sky over the Channel. As I crossed, my imagination ran wild with thoughts of the brave pilots which fought so bravely in the battle of Britain in those skies, and also of those pilots who flew the DC3s full of paratroopers right into enemy territory before the D-Day landings.

I was due to land at Orly which is not the main airport of Paris so I wondered off my flight plan just enough to see some of the sights of Paris. After all, I couldn’t reach Paris without making sure I saw the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, or the Arc de Triumph. I hadn’t realised that Paris was so large! I’d like to take a weekend break out there sometime, seeing as Paris is so easy to get to by train.

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Eiffel Tower

Top 10 Sights of Paris: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-3QQTM76Xk

Paris in HD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaSk6PHBoKE

Louvre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4emQAlH9uw

Notre Dame Cathedral: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_kOgmfEz_8

Champ Elysees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRlq-ZGMfpw

Eiffel Tower Lift Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7Ine0AprAY

A Lovely Narrated Tour Of Eiffel Tower: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=wDvtrWtP-1c

Eiffel Tower Fireworks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OC6luz4dnP8