Next: Science is now so complex that we can no longer ask What? We can now only wonder Why?

This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Will all passengers for Rockhampton....

First....WISDOM from the KITCHEN!

Says Gran with a rather deadly looking kitchen knife in her hand....
"The Indians are killing each other wholesale - as soon as they get cross with their lovers they kill them. Then they commit hurry curry. I far prefer the plain dried peaches for my stewed fruit. The apricots are very sour. (Well, say I, just take the apricots out). No, that's not necessary. I cook it all and the sour taste goes away."

The image above comes from a magnificent and inspiring web adventure site...a must for all aviators and/or anyone with itchy feet!


I came across this site whilst researching the route for the virtual flying adventure I conceived of in my previous blog. It is indeed exciting to have stumbled upon like minded fellow travelling wilberries and I am hoping they are happy for me to use some of their images to promote their and my (virtual cousin!) adventures!

Well, route planning is now complete and all systems are set to go.
Before I leave, I shall once again explore the reasons for such an apparently time consuming exercise. The entire route is approx. 3400Nm. That equals 6500 km. At an average flying speed of 200kts it will take 17 hours in the air. That is 17 hours of my time, my laptop time and my broadband time. What on earth can justify this?
Well, unless I turn into Superman or that Peter Speed lookalike who owns Virgin Air, I am unlikely to ever visit places like Rockhampton, Australia or Kudang in Indos. my fingertips I have the greatest information resource in the history of mankind, the Internet, and I realized long ago that, combined with a definite mission, this enables me to have a very close experience of things that otherwise are out of physical reach.

Every decent game has a set of rules and these are mine:
1) At all times the aircraft is flown to real world safety and procedural norms.
2) Real weather conditions are to be dowloaded and used.
3) Where ATC is available on the IVAO network it must be used.
4) It is not strictly required to fly IVAO where no ATC is available as the MSFS option provides a reasonable traffic and ATC model. However all hours must be logged.
5) En route photos must be taken and archived as proof of the journey. These are to be integrated into the Google derived narrative of the journey.
6) Additional benefit and kudos are gained by having close encounters with the real world. For example, encouraging other virtual fliers to join me or making contact with real people or organizations en route.
7) As far as possible real world times are to be observed. However, if the scenery flown over is particularly impressive then it can be justified to shift time zone but retain real weather.
8) The ultimate aim of this venture is to add to my experience as a virtual/real aviator, increase my knowledge of the world and its people and push myself towards more real life travel and adventure.
9) All virtual time must be balanced out by outdoors physical experience of some sort, lest I become a laptop potato. The trouble is this leaves very little time for work.

The aircraft I am using is a Pilatus PC-12, the only single engined plane to be rated for trans-oceanic flight. I have built up this aircraft specifically to my own requirements with 2 onboard radar systems (Forward looking ground and TCAS traffic radar). Having spent some time in the right seat of a real world PC-12 I have come to respect this immensely safe and reliable plane.

Another reminder to check out

It is a real world story of a bunch of aviator-adventurers who did what I am doing in the virtual world. Now why didn't I know about them when they were recruiting a filmmaker!! It is also the first example of how merely getting an idea and running with it attracts all sorts of exciting possibilities! Let's see where this one goes (Just got to make sure I stay alive and healthy!).

Here is the first leg:
1) Depart Ils Des Pines AP (New Caledonia) and head west over the Atlantic Ocean for the Eastern Australian city of Rockhampton.
2) I know little of Rockhampton except that its airport was voted Australia's top AP in 2007 and approx 66000 passengers pass through it annually. By the time I leave Rockhampton, I will know a lot more and maybe, even know some people there!

1) World Route Map.
2) Departure Location
3) Destination Location

Once I am in the air on this leg my intention is to spend some of my flying time (in between checks) reading up more about Flight Planning over long distances (esp over sea).
Wikipedia has a marvelous resource on this:

Enough now....time to file a plan and head off into the sunset!

Log: 090607 - 16h45 - depart NWWE

Had to delay my departure by 15 minutes as some oke in an Embraer jet flew in (from the wrong direction), no landing lights and no communicating of his intentions. He (or she) then disappeared (maybe for a loo break) then just as I was lining up on runway 1o there he appeared at the other end of the runway, about to take off! Being a man of reason, I communicated my intention to vacate, got no reply and off he took. What a rude little person! But what the heck, there was a bright moon and half an hour into my trip I was greeted with the first glimmers of a Pacific Ocean sunrise. The reason that it is in front of me is because I diverted back to New Caledonia after a radio call came in requesting pilots to help in the Canary Islands as a new ATC guy was doing his exams. What the hell, let's suspend reality for a while and help out.
ps. note the natty little TCAS radar on the left. A nice added bit of realism is that you have to keep a watch on the traffic otherwise a midair collision is quite possible, especially when in uncontrolled airspace.

1 comment: