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 43) Moori – Salalah

After such a long time on the ground due to non-working PC I was itching to get at the controls and take to the skies once again. The island of Socotra held many strange and wonderful things but I knew there were more things to discover throughout the rest of my journey.

As it has been so long since I flew, as mentioned in my previous post, I thought it a good idea to take a small flight around the island to familiarize myself with the controls, handling and also to get an idea of scale of the island I had been stranded on for the past 9 months.

I set up the Beech Baron with my EZDock Camera configuration before adjusting the weight and fuel settings. Once I was happy the simulator had loaded the correct weather and I had finely tuned the graphical settings to get the very best from both REX and my machine, I requested taxi and take off clearance and soon took to the sky.

Taking off to the North meant that I was quickly met with bright shades of blue and turquoise as the shore line passed below. Turning a full 270 degrees to my left I circled the airport and headed for the hills on the Eastern half of the island. From my parking spot at the airport I could see the mountains in the distance and this was my first time seeing them from the air. I continued to head east until I reached the furthest shore finished with a small pointed hill. I turned back and following the South coast I was soon close to the airport again. Having already taken a very close look at the Western side of the island when I had to make my emergency landing, I decided I would rather land back at the airport.

There are not many airports that I will land at twice on this tour so Moori could be classed as a special point in this adventure.

A couple of days later and I was eager to move on from Socotra and continue to my next stop of Salalah, Oman. There was not going to be a lot to look at on this flight as it was almost entirely over water. Even so, I wanted to enjoy the view so made sure I flew during daylight hours.

I took off from Moori Airport at 10:25 and simply flew north over the water for just over an hour. At 11:35 I caught my first sight of new land. At 50 miles out I heard my call sign “Pacifica 112” over the radio advising of my ILS instructions for landing. As I drew ever nearer to land I could see large cliffs and sand dunes in the right side of my windscreen. I dropped altitude from 10,000ft to 6,000ft and hit some rather heavy turbulence coming off the shore line. As I banked left more turquoise water passed below and as I leveled out again I was following a range of hills towards the airport.

I was soon back on firm ground and taxiing to my new parking spot. I hoped that I would not be spending such a long time between flights this time.

Whilst turning off my engines and instruments a rather large passenger jet started its own engines and taxied towards the runway. It was nice to be among real civilization again.

 

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Salalah Highlights – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xibjy_3y0M
National Geographic Channel: World Traveller, Salalah & Musandam – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTIO85lDjAY
Salalah 2014 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_qwnlN8X9M
Photography from Salalah – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1mJe_uT4qE