Flight 94) Ende WATE – Kupang WATT

The flight between Ende and my next destination of Kupang was to be a short hop over water from island to island with an estimated 45 minutes flight time. It was a beautiful day with warm, clear sky and I was confident I already had enough fuel to see out this trip without any worry.
The airstrip was pretty quiet and felt rather lonely. I doubt this would be the case in the real world, but within the simulated world, I did not see any other signs of life at all.

Taking off from runway 09 at 12:50 heading due East, I was immediately confronted with a large hill which I remembered having to drop from during the landing into the airport. Of course by now the wind had changed direction meaning that I would need to also take off towards this possibly dangerous obstacle. Luckily however it was of no major concern as I was able to turn towards the sea almost as soon as I had raised my wheels.

Once over the water I started a slow climb to 10,000 feet as I wanted to be able to see the land ahead as soon as I could. Bali Center kept me company on the radios for the easy ride which gave me something of interest to hold my concentration. The open sea and endless blue sky does little to entertain during a simulated experience. I envy the weather and felt I shared the loneliness of the sky with the single small cloud I passed on my way.

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I caught sight of land at 13:20, only half an hour from take off although it still looked a long way off. Checking over my shoulder to see if I was still in sight of Ende confirmed that I had not actually travelled very far at all. 10 minutes later and I was much closer to Kupang and by now a handful of small clouds were shading the coast line. I called in my landing intentions once I had tuned the radios to Kupang El Tari WATT and decended to 2000 ft. At this height there was some low laying fog which surprised me due to how clear the rest of the flight had been. I entered left traffic in order to land on runway 07 but a CRJ700 landing infront of me meant that I was ordered to “go around.” After my quick lap I was safely on the ground and parked up by 13:52. Not a bad flight at all.

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KUPANG, INDONESIA 2017 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrvpU_2k_cw
Kupang Drone Footage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVUbyNpL1no
Kupang, Indonesia, The Undiscovered City – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiV1h2GxY_I
INDONESIA KUPANG BEMO HIP HOP – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0VY80urrGY

 

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Flight 93) Bali WADD – Ende WATE

I really had fallen in love with the island of Bali and everything I have learnt about the whole area has firmly placed this destination very high on my own bucket list of places to visit first hand. The landscape is so beautiful and local population appear so friendly and peaceful. Whilst I am not a vegan or vegitarian myself, I love the fact that so much of the island is all about sustaining the planet in positive ways. It was a shame to have to leave this place, even if only virtually, but the world holds many more undiscovered destinations so I should not feel sad about continuing the tour.

Firing up FSX at 10:40 I gave the fuel and weight settings a preflight check before starting both engines and noting the weather. The thermometer advised 28C on the ground although I could see some larger clouds to the north. I initially thought that the airport was very quiet but did pass 5 other larger jets sitting at their gates whilst I taxied to runway 9. I’d expect there to be many more aircraft at the airport in reality.

A few minutes before 11:00 and I was rolling down the length of the runway and gently rising into the sky. Shallow waters and an impressive road bridge passed by immediately as I left the runway behind. I’d seen this before however, as I had enjoyed a leisure flight around the island some days before.

The wind was gusting up to 12 knots to the east and as this was the direction I was also flying in, it made climbing rather difficult and the ride somewhat bumpy. Still, I enjoyed the clear skies and cresent moon ahead shining down over the many islands I would be flying over. Looking out of my left window I could easily make out Mt Agung rising in the north.

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The next island I reached had a huge distinctive volcano which turned out to be Mt Rinjani. Without much research I considered this volcano to be long dormant as there is now a good sized lake within it’s bowl. Very impressive to see from the air.

I gradually lost altitude over the water between the islands as I reached Palau Komodo. The infamous “Komodo Dragons” originate from a selection of islands in Indonesia and this was clearly one of them. During a visit to Las Vegas a couple of years ago I was able to see a Komodo Dragon close up first hand. It’s a shame to see them confined to small quarters although I could see that they were being well looked after. I managed to get the picture below.

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Another large crater caught my eye as I continued heading east. This time I was to pass over Mt Tambora. I climbed over more hills and looked out over some increable coastal bays. I’m sure these would be worth visiting first hand too! The whole area was surrounded by a scattering of smaller islands. I don’t know how many of these would be inhabited but again, I really would love to visit.

Flying past WATO I announced my landing intentions for Ende Airport WATE across the radio. There was no manned tower at WATE or any reply across the radios at all, making for an easy landing though. I used the GPS to circle the runway and getting the correct approach which actually took me over a very steel cliff as I dropped down to the runway. The sea view on one side with surround forests on the others felt very calming. Once the loud rumbles of the engines were put to rest the sea breeze was all that could be heard.

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Landing at Ende Indonesia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twPhMghZCrY
Travel Guide : Indonesia (Ende – Labuan Bajo) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KI4ddoXn3Y&t=67s
Saga Village, Ende, Indonesia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m96Iza0GtRw
Sunrise on Mount Kelimutu, Ende, Indonesia – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QpBGUMQVdU
Tri-colored Crater Lakes of Mt. Kelimutu, Indonesia in 4K – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjrDZ-UMgfM

Flight 91) Jakarta WIII – Christmas Island YPXM

During this around the world tour I have often found that remote islands can hold bigger secrets than that of the larger well known cities. This was the main reason I wanted to make the 265 nautical mile (305 mile) jump over sea to Christmas Island to the south of Jakarta as I really had no idea what was to be found there.

Sitting in my Beechcraft Baron 58 in light rain at Jakarta airport I checked over all of the usual settings and began to taxi. I had about a 20 minute wait as I held my position whilst other aircraft taxied all around me. I suppose this would have given me the opportunity to check the route again although this was a simple direct flight over water with not much in the way of a “route.”

Once airborn just after 12:40 I turned to head south, straight into a large amount of fog, cloud and rain. The clouds soon thinned out however and I was able to see the large mountains or volcanos in the distance ahead. Keeping low under the clouds I knew that I would need to climb at somepoint to make it over the mountains. With the winds trying their best to blow me off course I was able to negotiate between two peaks, skimming the tops of forest trees. Leaving the mountains behind the lanscape opened up all the way to the very pretty shoreline, peppered with small boats, with the moon keeping watch above. 2017-5-2_13-2-17-246

The horizon ahead was draped in mist so I climbed higher knowing that I wasn’t missing out on seeing any terrain for the best part of the next hour. Reaching 12,000 feet I admit that I did use the auto pilot feature of the Baron 58. I try hard not to use the auto pilot too often as I feel this makes the flight far too easy and the adventure loses it’s challenge. 2017-5-2_13-49-16-240

Flying over blanket cloud I was unble to see the island at all. I wanted to circle the island before landing so held off my radio contact until I caught sight of the runway which I eventually spotted on top of a small hill. It was a small airstrip but most importantly it had a place to refuel! I landed pretty comfortably at 14:36 and was parked and tethered only a few minutes later. I had discovered that there was an immigration detention center on the island, but still oblivious to anything else. Time to see what other secrets this island holds. 2017-5-5_7-47-57-589

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Christmas Island (Australia) Vacation Travel Wild Video Guide – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OLQJIQA_IY
My Epic Christmas Island Trip 2014 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFbF5vARvMY
A day on Christmas island from the Air – Drone footage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9assQojR5s
Christmas Island – Flying Fish Cove – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAM-FmSNk58
Meet the locals: Azmi Yon – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhiYDE_A1yw