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Mon 23rd

Five days exploring Mumbai - crazy, amazing place!

Morning fog last week has become haze now mid-morning. Fuelled up with 10,000lbs for the whole flight across India, giving a generous reserve, including stopping for at least Monday night in Nagpur.

With negligible wind, rwy 09 departure on ALBAP SID to AAU/G450/NNP and ILS Z approach to runway 32 at Nagpur.

At 1010ft elevation, Nagpur is the highest airport we've stopped at on the route so far. Unsurprising I guess since it's been coast following all the way from Venice.

Biggin Hill at the start was at 550ft and Strasbourg was 500ft. And back down to sea level in Kolkata.

Uneventful flight and clear all the way once out of the Mumbai haze.

Apron marking at Nagpur didn't appear immediately obvious. Anyway, parked up safely.







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Tuesday - exploring Nagpur. According to a well known travel source, it is the winter capital, famous for its oranges. The third largest city in Maharashtra state after Mumbai and Pune. Could have done this all in one hop, but (and I saw a similar comment in Jess-B log) while in India would be a shame not to stopover somewhere.

Wednesday - exploring over, time to carry on.

With negligible wind, rwy 32 departure avoiding a lengthy taxi out along the runway; no parallel taxiway here.

Direct to DOSAT/G450/JJS STAR via BAMUR / ILS Z 19L. Take off at 0603Z.



Once out of haze over Nagpur clear skies to JJS VOR, then the cloud started to build. Once again, ASN was suggesting fog on arrival so set up the HGS, just in case.

This time ASN got it right and visibility was just over a mile. My worst landing of the trip so far. 11900ft of tarmac and a very lightly loaded Dash gave me more than enough to get down and avoid the need to go around. With the longer range outlook seeming less predictable over SE Asia than the sun and sand of last week I need to be better prepared.

Landed 0746Z giving flight time of 1hr 43mins.





Heading on to Yangon next in Myanmar.

Maybe a taste of things to come but sat in the aircraft setting up for next leg the heavens opened and there was a thunderstorm. The first precipitation of any kind since landing in the drizzle at Calais on Oct 2nd at the start of this epic.


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Hello James,


I am still in Kolkata but moving soon towards Hong Kong.


Regarding PFPX, it is a flight planner which has a lot of possibilities especially that you can write your own templates to suit your navigation needs. For the Q400 it is absolutely perfect for the fuel calculations. I know that there is Simbrief which is free but not as advanced as PFPX. You are right, AS16 is in the line of ASN and gives very precise weather depiction.


You'll see on my diary the details of PFPX logs updated during the flight.


See you,



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Hi JP, thanks for info ref PFPX, I'll take a look at those. Turns out I had a simbrief account from ages ago as well as Aurasim. After a lengthy gap, I'd forgotten about these. I flew on from Kolkata to Yangon yesterday (but forgot to add 3rd passenger!) Hoping to continue to Phuket tomorrow.

Happy landings,


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Saturday 28th

Start of the next stage, flew on from Kolkata to Yangon yesterday but only found time today to write this up. Original plan at the start of the trip was a short hop to Chittagong, but 3 weeks in, with a better feel for what I can fit into my available time, opted to go straight to Yangon.

With a planned 0830 local time start, was greeted with the usual morning haze and reduced visibility. But not a repeat of the rain.

AVPOP SID from rwy 19L. L507 to OTADA. BAGOO/HGU approach to Yangon rwy 21 ILS.

Once out of the Kolkata haze, conditions improved climbing out over the Indian coast.




Over the Bay of Bengal




And coming in over the Myanmar, heading toward Bago




After the low visibility trauma coming into Kolkata earlier in the week, no such problems at Yangon. Taxied in and parked up in the sun. Flight was 8 minutes short of 2 hours








Rest day today (Saturday); aiming to fly onto Phuket tomorrow.





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Sunday 29th

After a day exploring Yangon (previously Rangoon), Myanmar's largest city and dodging the rain time to move on again.

Morning dawned bright and hazy with light variable winds. Opted for POXEM SID from rwy 21. M626 to DWI VOR / G331 to DADSA / KIKOT STAR / ANFIL transition and ILS rwy 27 approach at Phuket.

Hadn't spotted till now that the Navigraph charts in the iPad app differ slightly to those in the active desktop application. LINZY STAR is the STAR from G331, KIKOT from W34. They both join at STONE; point to note for future.

Take off at 0337Z

With Ranong abeam could just about see all the way across the Malay peninsula here at its narrowest point.




The lush forestation is all too obvious coming into Phuket. 2 weeks ago it was the desert around Muscat.






Taxied in and parked up at the terminal.





Landed 0533Z (1hr 56m flight time). Will probably spend a day here. Can't beat resort life! 3 weeks ago it was Sharm el Sheikh. Next stop is Senai airport, Johor Bahru at the southern end of the Malay peninsula.

Happy landings


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Tues 31st Oct - posting today for yesterday's flight from Phuket to Senai International/Johor Bahru airport. This is at the southern tip of the Malay peninsula ahead of the causeway over to Singapore. At 1deg 38' north, this is the most southerly point of the adventure. Heading north for home now!

Phuket was cool; very tempting to stay, but need to move on to keep on schedule.

With wind 90@9, easy call for a rwy 09 departure which also meant a short taxi as the threshold is just adjacent the apron.

MICKY1A SID / B579 / VPL / W531 / VIH / R325 / VJR / REDUK2A STAR / ILS Rwy 16. 510nm.

Had to wait for the GA Cessna to clear before taking off -




ASN suggested deteriorating weather as I headed south, with the ice warning coming on for the first ever on this whole trip. I didn't get icing coming over the Alps.

Then the thunderstorms started developing with heavy rain as I made final approach into Johor Bahru.

Two large aircraft, which I didn't recognise, form a static display alongside the taxiway on the way in.

Parked up at the terminal, logging a flight time of 1hr 42mins.



But hey, Johor Bahru is the home to LEGOLAND Malaysia.




What's not to like - here's hoping the sun keeps shining

Happy landings




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Nov 1st, writing up yesterday's flight from Johor Bahru to Can Tho (VVCT) in Vietnam.

Slight tweak to the plan, flying to Can Tho in place of Ho Chi Minh city. Balanced this leg a bit better with the next one to Sanya.

The rain persisted, with low to zero wind. Rwy 34 departure, VMR2F SID to VMR / L642 / ENREP / M753 / BITOD / L637 / ANHOA1A STAR / ILS rwy 06.

Once clear of the Malaysian coast and over the South China Sea at cruising altitude we left the thunderstorms behind and conditions cleared, but icing conditions were an ongoing feature again.

Followed the D11.6 TRN arc from GIANA to intercept the 06 localiser.

Can Tho is nothing special as an airport; 9800ft was more than sufficient for my lightly loaded Dash.

But it is remarkably attractive, in my scenery version, with flowers bordering the taxiway!




Departed Johor Bahru at 0308Z (0908 loc), arriving Can Tho at 0501Z (1201 loc), givng a 1hr 53 min flight time over a distance of 549nm.






The city is on the Mekong delta, the waterfront featuring many floating restaurants and exploring the waterways is apparently a must.

Watch this space, happy landings


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Fri 3rd Nov

Arrived back at the aircraft for afternoon/early evening flight to Phoenix Int'l airport, Sanya in China. Pleasant enough afternoon at Can Pho.



With light wind from the north, rwy 06 departure / CHUT3C to CHUTA / W12 / BMT / W1 / BUNTA / BUN02A STAR / ILS rwy 08.

Cloudy flying north over Vietnam but cleared as we approached the coast, crossing that just south of Da Nang, former airbase in the Vietnam war.

I wanted a dusk arrival at Sanya, but FSX didn't appear to advance the clock time by 1hr as I was expecting, so the sun was just still up as we arrived, with the shadows lengthening.






Large, bright terminal as we taxied in. Just a few gates actually at the terminal, but huge amount of parking on the apron.




Takeoff from Can Pho at 0732Z, landing at Sanya 0930Z, 1hr 58min flight time for 578 miles.





Sanya is a large city of 0.5 million people on the south coast of Hainan Island. It enjoys a tropical climate and a popular resort for its beaches and scuba driving.

Sharm el Sheikh is certainly isn't. One more leg to go on this stage to Hong Kong.

Good landings everyone.



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Enjoyable Saturday exploring Sanya. My error in Friday's log, Sanya is UTC +7, same as Can Pho in Vietnam where I flew from. Must have misread that somewhere. Come Sunday, opted again for an afternoon departure, early evening arrival at Hong Kong (Chep Lap Kok). I saw that some have gone into the 'old' airport at Kai Tak.

Cloudy afternoon at Sanya - Phoenix Int'l, winds 70@12 kts. Rwy 08 departure / GIV09D SID / GIVIL / G221 / SAMAS / A202/ GAMBA / V571 / CANTO / CANT3A STAR to rwy 07R ILS

Cleared for take off at 0812Z (1512 local). Good conditions once above the cloud heading NE across the Hainan coast at cruise altitude.




Then it all went a bit wonky-donky! Failed to act on the VNAV alert to start descent down to FL130 at MURRY. With a faster descent rate managed to get down to FL110 at SILVA. Turned OK toward LIMES and despite good conditions lost track of where I was before transitioning to the ILS approach; went into a hold at LIMES to retrieve the situation, descending to 4500. Then finally progressed for the ILS approach to 07R.




High ground of Lantau Island to starboard.

OK landing. With 12000ft of runway, this wasn't going to be a problem. Long taxi in.




Hong Kong is immense; I thought maybe the biggest we've landed at so far, then remembered Jeddah, back in a Saudi 3 weeks was pretty substantial. Opted for gate W48.






Landed at 0918Z, which I think is 1718 local (UTC +8). Flight time of 1hr 26min.






Two whole days off, before heading toward Shanghai and Japan on Wednesday. I note that Disneyland Hong Kong is just up the road!

What would our intrepid explorers made of that if they were around today.


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Forgot to mention in the diary that the icing conditions experienced earlier in this phase weren't an issue for this leg up to Hong Kong.

So here's a summary:



9633nm to date, 21 legs flown with a total flight time of 32hrs 47mins. Average leg: 458nm, 1hr 33mins,  average speed 294 knots.

36 calendar days for our explorers, back in the day.


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Planning now for the next stage to Tokyo-Haneda, being the nearest airport to the sea port of Yokohama where our intrepid travellers arrived.




Looking at four shorter legs via Taipei-Taoyuan in Taiwan, Shanghai-Pudong, Fukuoka Int'l in SW Japan and then Tokyo. Approx 1750nm.

Haneda feels about halfway; it will be about 11,000 miles flown in total and 44 calendar days.

It will also be the final stop for my trusty Flybe Dash, now a very long way from home! I've opted for the choice that allows a change of aircraft in the same class (ie post 1970) and take the controls of a B777, my favourite long haul jet and do the stage to San Francisco in one leg. Whilst having enjoyed immensely the almost daily challenge of planning, flying and writing up over the last five weeks, there are some real world domestic things I have to address which I can't fit in round the 9 or 10 days flying via the far north of Russia and Alaska. Negotiations are underway to pick up another Dash when I get to San Francisco.


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One of the other Dash pilots, and I can't remember who, nor find the post, but could be 'jpgmultimodal' as I've just seen his recent post for his flight into VHHH was asking about fuel consumption. Having switched to SimBrief I had started taking more interest in the actual fuel burn vs the predicted and they are pretty close, but I've now added fuel details to my tracking spreadsheet and for the journey so far from Biggin Hill to Hong Kong, here are the numbers:

9,633nm, 32.78hrs flying time (that's the TO to landing time recorded in the Dash FMS at the end of flight, thus excluding taxi time), 70,106lbs total fuel burn, which does include fuel used for taxiing, which gives 2139lbs/hr. Taxi fuel could be approx. 200lbs per leg. 21 legs to date = 4200lbs. Taking that off the total fuel improves the consumption to 2010lbs/hr. Feels about the right order. Any thoughts from other Dash users? The rule of thumb I had originally before finding fuelplanner.com was 2500lbs for the first hour to include start up and taxi and then 2000lbs for each subsequent hour.

All set for next leg tomorrow to Taipei; looks like it should be a sunny morning.


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Thurs Nov 9th, writing up yesterday's flight from Hong Kong (VHHH) to Taipei-Taoyuan (RCTP). FSX stubbornly has Hong Kong at UTC+7. However, we manage to negotiate clearance for a planned 0530 takeoff to allow hopefully for some dawn photography. With winds 50@8kts, rwy 07R is allocated. OCEA2A SID / OCEAN / V3 / ENVAR / M750 / TONGA / TG1A STAR for rwy 05L ILS approach.






Routing stays on runway heading to PORPA due to high ground to the south before turning south and east away from the Chinese coast and thenturning north east and running parallel with the Taiwan coast.






Light cloud as we departed, and at cruising altitude. I had previously been flying at FL270, the Q400 ceiling, but note from some of the other logs the guys are flying at FL250.






Cloud thickened as we descended toward Taipei, ASN predicting showers, 2 miles visibility and winds 50@17kts. Once again the HGS is a boon on the Dash for continuing the approach in these conditions. Landed and taxied in, parking up at Terminal 1, gate A6.




498nm, 1hr 46min, arriving 0833 local. Now definitely at UTC+8 having seen the clock on the Dash jump 1hr as we passed over BOCCA before starting the descent.







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Just completed the next leg, flying from Taipei over to Shanghai-Pudong on the Chinese mainland. Odd routing for this one. Direct route on skyvector comes up as 364nm but the routing goes NE on rwy heading from Taipei for about 150nm (L3) to pick up R596 and turn west toward the Chinese mainland and then north on B221 and V74 to Shanghai.

Planned for 0900 (local) departure from Taipei. Winds were 140@3 kts. Rwy 05L and PA1A SID / PIANO / L3 / VIOLA / R596 / DST / B221 / PAMVU / V74 / BK / ZSPD. 506nm.

Pushed back at 0905 with take off at 0914.

Cloudy as we left, but good conditions, and a favourable tail wind at FL250.



Forecast winds at Shanghai were 200@12kts. BK12A STAR, PDL transition for ILS Y 17R approach.

Landing at 1103 (local) for a flight time of 1hr 49min and a distance of 538nm with the STAR, 150nm longer than the direct route.




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Just the one evening exploring Shanghai before moving on this morning to Fukuoka in SW Japan.

With the winds 330@10kts, directed to rwy 34L for optimum routing east on the LAM22X SID. Weather was part cloudy but >10mi visibility.

Pushed back at 0805 (local), but long taxi round to 34L.

From LAMEN, routing via A593 / ONIKU / Y60 / FUE / then HAWKS WEST SID for rwy 34 ILS.

Landfall was at Nakadori Island FUE VOR on the interestingly named Fukue Airport.


TOD followed quickly after FUE.

High ground to the west and south of the airport meant heading north then turning  south on base leg into the valley where the city is.



Mount Sefuri rises to over 3,400ft. Turning onto final over HAWKS at 4000ft.




There's then 17nm back in to the threshold.




The city has a population of 1.5 million and the airport, remarkably, is the fourth busiest in Japan by passenger numbers. It is the former Itazuke air base.

View looking south back up the valley where we've just flown in from.



And view north across the city towards the sea.



Will be requesting some overnight checks on the NLG after seeing pictures of Flybe G-JEDU with its nose down at Belfast Aldergrove yesterday. Some fairly heated comments in the Aviation Herald about the Dash. As noted in Hong Kong earlier in the week, the leg to Haneda will be its final leg.






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Hi James, we are coinciding in a few places.  I will be following you to Fukuoka shortly.  Good flying by the Flybe pilot, hope yours is OK!.  I'm on X-Plane 11 with the 'out of the box' scenery with SkyMax Pro and Real Weather.  I must admit I am amazed at the quality of the default scenery. I'm a newbe to flight sim but really enjoying this challenge.

All the best.  Steve


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Sunday 12th, final leg of this Fukuoka (RJFF) to Tokyo-Haneda (RJTT), for Yokohama. With this also being the final leg for my trusty Flybe Dash, decided to go for the afternoon take off to arrive in Tokyo at dusk. Confirmed first that FSX does model the time zone shift to UTC+9 enroute. Part cloudy at Fukuoka with winds 70@5. This was within limits for a rwy 16 take off and shorter version of the YOKAT4 SID, direct to UMAKA, then YOKAT direct, YANKS direct to join Y23 / BRIGE / Y233 / UTIBO / (STAR) / RJTT. 532nm.

Allowing for 1hr 45min flight time, planned to push at 0520Z (1320 local, UTC+8); planned takeoff at 0530Z (1330 local), arriving Haneda at 0715Z (1615 local, UTC+9). Sunset expected 1630 local.

Confirmed that the nose gear had had a full inspection overnight - don't want a repeat of the G-JEDU incident at Belfast!

Achieved push and takeoff times and climbed toward UMAKA.




Once at FL250 and heading east on Y23, benefitted massively from 72kt tail wind.

This was over Matsuyama (MPE VOR)



Forecast wind at Haneda was 110@10. With no ILS approaches on 16L/R, rwy 22 was in limits. NYLON STAR via ADDUM going the long way round to the east of Haneda and over Narita.

TOD at XAC VOR down to 10000 at ADDUM. This is over Naraita heading N to NYLON, looking east.



And looking west over Tokyo.





Turning west for final approach with the port of Yokohama in the distance in the haze.




Landed OK at 1614 (local) and taxied in




to Domestic Terminal 1.





And this is journey's end for my Flybe Dash. It will get ferried back to the UK, probably much quicker than the 25 flying days it has taken to get out this far.

We're having a week off before  we fly onto San Francisco in a B777; yes, boring I hear the cry go up. But real world needs must!






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Updated summary for the five stages completed so far:



11734nm to date, 25 legs flown with a total flight time of 39hrs 42mins. Average leg: 469nm, 1hr 35mins,  average speed 295 knots. 1 leg per day, so 25 flying days.

42 calendar days for our explorers, back in the day.


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Countries visited (17):

UK, France, Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan.


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The ferry crew who are taking my Flybe Dash back to the UK flew in earlier. We've been looking at the return route and come up with 6 legs; 4 pretty much at max range and two shorter legs across Europe to London Gatwick.



Certainly a lot quicker than the journey out!

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Hi James, you are obviously a seasoned had at all this.  I hadn't heard of Noble Air before, it look quite sophisticated at first glance.  I will look out for your big bird in San Fran if I manage to make all the long hops on this next stage.

Best wishes, Steve


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OK, so I've done a two aircraft deal with United. I get to fly a 767-300ER from Haneda over to San Francisco. Here it is at gate 111 at Haneda's international terminal.

Unfortunately, couldn't get the 777 I was after.




And then pick up a United Express Dash8 at San Francisco for the legs across the US to New York. There I have the option of either flying the 767 again over to Cork, in Ireland, which was the original plan and where Fogg and Passepartout's ship went via, I believe or fly the Dash round the northern route via Greenland and Iceland. Real world constraints may force the issue nearer the time. Now I need to use the time I have to get up to speed on the 767.

Good luck and landings to all those trekking round via Russia and Alaska in Dash or similar short range aircraft.


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