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.
Salalah has been a refreshing change from the remote locations I have been growing accustomed to. I was surprised to see that Salalah is a larger city which includes the Hilton hotel and resorts which only wealth can generate. I didn’t get the impression there was a huge amount of wealth available in Salalah but of course it is all comparable to my previous destinations.
I started FSX and created my flight plan in the game software provided. I made sure that I would fly over the few interesting bits of terrain whilst not over the ocean. Gaining IFR clearance, I taxied towards the runway. I enjoyed holding at the entrance to runway 25 whilst a MD-80 with call-sign SOAR61 landed and cleared the runway. By 11:50 I was rolling down the tarmac and about to leave Salalah behind me.
There had been many beautiful locations around Salalah which I hadn’t ever heard about before. I was surprised to hear what a large destination it was. Coincidentally I watched the movie “Captain Philips” during my stop in Salalah and noticed that this was the port in which his ship sailed from. Its funny how it is possible to spend a life not being aware of something, and then upon discovering something it is noticed in a variety of places.
Taking a final look at Salalah over my left shoulder I climbed slowly at 300 feet per minute and trimmed the aircraft for speed rather than rate of climb. Just before leaving land I got to fly over a small canyon directly beneath my first way point. I had done well at planning my course.The next part of the journey was over sea once again and I could see smaller islands just off of the coast.
It was just past 12:17 when I reached my next way point with another 1 hour 22 minutes to go. I really am enjoying the way most islands seem to be bordered by a small band of turquoise sea. I climbed higher and pushed though some turbulence as I crossed the opposite shore line. Over the radio I heard that SOAR 61 had left Salalah and was back in the air. I did’t get to hear where it was heading to this time.
Requesting 4,000 ft from 8,000 ft I was able to descend and increase my speed. I soon received ILS instructions at 76 miles out from my destination. I chose instead to fly over the island of Masirah to see what it had to offer. I was very surprised at how deserted the majority of the island was. I saw only a handful of buildings closer to the north end of the island close to the airfield. When I landed on runway 25 and taxied to my parking spot, there was a distinct lack of movement. No other aircraft or airfield traffic made this place feel exceedingly lonely.
BAE Hawk Mk103 Mk203 over Masirah Oman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dV9TSoe1lqc
Trip To Oman masirah Island – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azqZ6toiUp0
2nd time on Masirah Island, Oman – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8Hn1jQMCwI
Oman / Masirah Island – a filmed Kiteboarding documentation – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DpzeGABFhc