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Tomáš Chrápek - Around the World in 80 Days Flight Diary

Tomáš Chrápek

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Well, I might be in for a real treat attempting this in Piper Turbo Arrow III or IV, but it's what I'll try anyway and I'll see how that goes. If I need to shamefully resign from the goal due to time constraints, so be it. But I'll give it a try! Oh, and the simulator will be MSFS 2020, even though real weather (especially cloud ceilings) are really messed up now and Piper Arrow is not certified to fly in icing conditions. We'll see, we'll see... Bon voyage!

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  • Tomáš Chrápek changed the title to Tomáš Chrápek - Around the World in 80 Days Flight Diary

London to Suez  7 days Dec 23 Dec 31


I plan to fly the first leg of the trip divided into 4 flights.


London Gatwick (EGGK) to Lugano Airport (LSZA)

Lugano Airport (LSZA) to Cilipi (LDDU)

Cilipi (LDDU) to Diagoras (LGRP)

Diagoras (LGRP) to Port Said (HEPS)


Aircraft is ready for departure at Gatwick.




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December 23rd 2021: London City (EGLC) to Lugano Airport (LSZA)


Flight under IFR - departure at 10:30z from Rwy 27 at EGLC - arrival at 14:08z to Rwy 01 at LSZA.


Flight time: 3:38; Distance: 595 nm


Contrary to my belief that I would start from London Gatwick, I had to go for London City instead due to the fact that Gatwick is not really suited to GA traffic and I would just get in the way of the airliners. At the time of my departure there were no ATC around so I self-issued my IFR clearance to LSZA and took off. Me over London and crossing La Manche:





Flight through France was quite uneventful. First ATC was the Swiss Radar and I contacted them shortly before reaching HOC VOR. Later I turned south to cross the Alps and had some magnificent views there:





Just before flying the STAR for LSZA, I was handed over to Milano Approach ATC and stayed with them all the way down to the airport. Lugano has one of the steepest ILS (IGS) approaches to Rwy 01 (6.65 degree slope) and it was rather unusual, yet spectacular:



That concludes the first day. I'll stay in Lugano over Christmas and then continue to Cilipi (LDDU).


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December 24th 2021: Lugano Airport (LSZA) to Cilipi (LDDU)


Flight under IFR - departure at 17:40z from Rwy 19 at LSZA - arrival at 20:50z to Rwy 11 at LDDU.

Route: SRN1W L615 VIC N503 CHI L614 PUL N606 ZDA L607 NERA8A

Flight time: 3:10; Distance: 484 nm


Today I needed to get an IFR clearance from Milan CTR as they were online at the time. Departed Lugano Airport after darkness and the whole flight was during the night. From time to time, there was absolutely no reference to outside world, just pitch black:



Descent to Dubrovnik went alright and after flying the ILS approach to runway 11 through some cloud layer, I landed safely.



Next leg will take me to Diagoras. Not sure yet when I fly that.

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December 25th 2021: Cilipi (LDDU) to King Pyrros (LGIO)


Flight under IFR - departure at 19:08z from Rwy 11 at LDDU - arrival at 20:50z to Rwy 14 at LGIO.

Route: MOKU5C POD L604 YNN

Flight time: 1:42; Distance: 244 nm


I decided to break the 3rd leg into two days and thus flew only to King Pyrros airport. There were no ATC online at the time and the whole flight was uneventful.


Just one picture of Tirana from above today.




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December 26th 2021: King Pyrros (LGIO) to Astypalaia (LGPL)


Flight under VFR - departure at 09:10z from Rwy 14 at LGIO - arrival at 11:45z to Rwy 15 at LGPL.

Route: Visual route along the coasts, then over Athens and then island hopping all the way to LGPL.

Flight time: 2:35; Distance: 362 nm


Today saw me flying over Greece. The weather was marginal VFR at the time of departure.



After a bit of flying, I had a spectacular view of Athens and also some traffic that was there at the time. No ATC was online during the whole flight.



After Athens I followed a string of islands until arriving over my today destination - LGPL. I overflew the field at 1500 AGL, found out there is direct crosswind of about 10 knots, made a 180 to join the left downwind of Rwy 15 and followed the standard left circuit to land.



When all systems were shut down and the aircraft secured, I could walk away and enjoy this beautiful island a little bit more.




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December 28th 2021: Astypalaia (LGPL) to Port Said (HEPS)


Flight under IFR - departure at 05:45z from Rwy 33 at LGIO - arrival at 08:35z to Rwy 10 at HEPS.


Flight time: 3:00; Distance: 468 nm


Today I took off early in the morning and climbed towards the sunrise.



For the first time I opted to climb as high as the aircraft is certified for (service ceiling is 20,000 ft, but I went for 19,000 ft due to the fact I was on easterly heading). Soon I had an island of Karpathos ahead of me and then just below.





Everything was going according to plan, until... the simulator crashed a few miles after Karpathos. I reloaded the flight mid-air and continued en-route. I tried to estimate how much fuel I had at that time and "filled" the tanks. As it later showed, I should have had more fuel than that at that point. My troubles will have still awaited me because of that.


Later on I was on the 100 degree course towards Port Said VOR and could see the narrow strip of land containing the airport just ahead. At this time left fuel tank ran dry and I promptly switched to the right one. A look at the gauges indicated I had last two to three gallons of usable fuel left. It didn't look promising and I started contemplating the need to do an emergency power off landing.



I entered holding pattern in lieu of procedure turn at 3,000 ft and continued with VOR RWY 10 approach. Just 3 nm from the VOR the fuel ran out. I immediately turned toward the field, shut down all unnecessary eletrical equipment including the magnetos and alternator and performed a silent emergency landing on Rwy 10. Tail wind of about 8 knots ensured I made it to the runway. I just had to land without any flaps in order to extend the glide. I had enough momentum to taxi all the way to the parking.


That concludes the first major leg of the journey. I still plan to move myself closer to Suez and do some pyramid sightseeing while doing so, but that will come on some other day. Then I'll have a free time in Egypt until January 1st when it's time to continue.







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December 29th 2021: Port Said (HEPS) to Almaza AB (HEAZ)


Flight under VFR - departure at 06:02z from Rwy 28 - arrival at 07:05z to Rwy 36.

Route: Visual south along the Suez canal, then west to Cairo.

Flight time: 1:03; Distance: 132 nm


My original plan today was to fly to Cairo, make a few circuits (and photos!) around the pyramids and continue to Ras Sudr (HE45) at the mouth of Suez Canal. The journey started promising with me flying along the Suez canal at a height of 1,000 ft. Here is the city of Ismailia over which I turned westbound:



However, when nearing Cairo, I noticed some haze in the distance. Coming closer revealed a thick layer of mist laying everywhere around me and it forced me to climb to 3,000 ft so I could fly above it.



It became apparent I won't be seeing any pyramids today. Fortunately I am also Vatsim-IR certified and therefore had no problems switching to instruments and navigate myself to Almara AB military field just next to the Cairo Intl. airport. I landed safely on Rwy 36 with the help of ILS. Let's hope mist will have lifted by the time I want to continue flying. :)







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vor 4 Stunden , Broskev sagte:

The METAR said "mist". I don't know if there is any abbreviation for sand storm, though.

Sure: SS for sandstorm and SA for sand (in the sense of obscuration). Not so frequently encountered in Central European METAR’s, but let‘s see what the next leg on the Arabian Peninsula has in store.


Btw.: Your flight plan is almost identical to mine.

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vor 3 Stunden , Broskev sagte:
vor 18 Stunden , AlphaSierra64 sagte:

Btw.: Your flight plan is almost identical to mine.

What's your pilot name on the combined spreadsheet? I'll check you out. 🙂


Pilot name in the spreadsheet is the same as my forum name: AlphaSierra64. In real life, it's Alex.


My flight plan was included in my first post:


Haven't seen your complete flight plan, but the second leg from Suez to Mumbai looks pretty similar, especially in following the coasts (and with Aden one of P. Fogg's stops) instead of a shorter, more direct trip Suez-Dubai-Mumbai.

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2 hours ago, AlphaSierra64 said:

Haven't seen your complete flight plan, but the second leg from Suez to Mumbai looks pretty similar, especially in following the coasts (and with Aden one of P. Fogg's stops) instead of a shorter, more direct trip Suez-Dubai-Mumbai.

You haven't seen one, because I haven't done the complete plan yet. I plan each major leg after finishing the previous one. However, I did look at my trans pacific and trans atlantic routes and I can say we'll fly it very similarly. I'll just be a tad bit slower. :D

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January 1st 2022: Almaza AB (HEAZ) to Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (OEGN)


Flight under VFR - departure at 05:39z from Rwy 18 - arrival at 12:37z to Rwy 15.

Route: Visual south along the Red Sea.

Flight time: 6:58; Distance: 1070 nm


First of all, let me share two pictures I took on December 29th as I took off, flied to the Pyramids and landed back at HEAZ.




Now to the actual leg. First I need to mention that today MSFS would not load real weather no matter what I tried. Anytime real time weather was selected, the sim loaded up "clear skies" instead. Rather annoying as I had constant 3 kts winds at all altitudes and no clouds. I hope real time weather is fixed by the time I fly the next leg. The strange thing is the METARs found inside of the sim were correct...


I decided to fuel my tanks to the brim, pack an extra bucket for bodily needs and just fly as far as the fuel will get me. That turned out to be a whopping 1070 nm and 7 hour long flight.


I visited the Pyramids again just after departure. Before you tell me, I'm perfectly aware I was not allowed to fly that low and among the Pyramids. I did it anyway. :)



Then I climbed to 19,500 ft and headed towards the Red Sea in the distance.



Passing the Sharm El Sheikh Intl. (HESH) and King Abdulaziz Intl. (OEJN)





The fuel started to run low, so I decided for my destination by this point. First I flew a little inland towards the city of Abha. The photo was taken before the mountains.



Over Abha, I turned south and descended to my today's destination, Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz airport.






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January 3rd 2022: Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz (OEGN) to Aden Intl (OYAA)


Flight under VFR - departure at 07:05z from Rwy 18 - arrival at 09:28z to Rwy 08.

Route: Visual south along the Yemen western coast, flew over the hills in SW of the Arabian peninsula, then across the plains to Aden.

Flight time: 2:23; Distance: 324 nm


The weather in MSFS is still broken and I was forced to fly in clear skies preset.


Over Al Hudaydah airport:



Crossing the hills in the SW part of Arabian peninsula:



Arrival and landing at Aden Intl (OYAA):





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What was the reaction ot the ATC in Cairo / Egypt when you have flown around the pyramids ?

And how did the Egyptian Airforce react ?


I have learned that there are some military airfields.


Anyway very nice pictures you took.


Goold luck for the rest of your journey.



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January 3rd 2022: Aden Intl (OYAA) to Salalah (OOSA)


Flight under IFR - departure at 16:51z from Rwy 08 - arrival at 20:11z to Rwy 07.

Route: KRA B535 KAPE1E

Flight time: 3:20; Distance: 587 nm


Sim live weather is finally fixed and that allowed me to cruise at FL190 with nice 26 kts tail winds. Not many photos today as you can guess it was pitch black. I noticed there is another Vatsim pilot aproaching the destination airport, so I obviously made all my radio calls. I stayed on frequency to see if they will announce themselves seeing there is another pilot there, but not a single call was made by the arriving A320. What a shame. Luckily I was safely on the ground and on the apron by the time they were landing. Both pictures are made west of Mukalla. 104 nm and 30 nm, respectively. Next leg should take me either to Dubai or very close to it.




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January 4th 2022: Salalah (OOSA) to Skydive Dubai (OMDU)


Flight under IFR - departure at 07:15z from Rwy 25 - arrival at 11:54z to Rwy 24.

Route: DAXA1R P316 DEDSO R401 HAI B400 MCT FJV RAV 2545N05546E and then Visual

Flight time: 4:39; Distance: 742 nm


Wow, what a flight today it was! Warning - a lot of pictures coming your way! At Salalah the weather was perfectly clear. A perfect day for flying.



As I was flying under IFR, I chose to do a DAXAM 1R departure just to practice some SIDs, especially as this one has a DME arc incorporated. I flew the arc very well indeed - judge for yourselves (no autopilot, no moving map assistance, nothing - just my VOR receiver, DME and myself).



I climbed to 19,000 ft and soon had a nice view of Arabian Sea.



A few hours later, as I was approaching the eastern end of the peninsula, I encountered clouds. MSFS being MSFS, the very second I flew into the first tiny cloud I saw icing on my windshield (ha ha). OAT was minus 7 C. I descended to 11,000 ft where the OAT was above 0 C and continued on. Soon, a few miles before arriving over Muscat, I had some magnificent views.





Next part was to turn west and fly along the coast of Gulf of Oman until arriving at the mini peninsula where Dubai is located (sorry, couldn't find the name). First picture is of me coming out of the cloud tunnel, the second is the arrival to the eastern coast of said mini peninsula to the town of Fujairah.





I contacted Dubai Approach ATC at this point as they were online. They did not need to control me and before I could come closer to Dubai, they disconnected. I crossed the mini peninsula and turned SW along the coast until finally arriving to Dubai. What a city that is! I needed to do a VFR tour over the city and take some magnificent pictures:


The Dubai Frame:



Burj Khalifa:



Burj Al Arab:





Soon after, I saw my landing strip for the first time. I asked myself - is this maritime dock like runway the place I should land on?



I guess it is... Last right hand turn over the Palm Jumeirah...



...and onto the landing I come:



It turned out this Skydive Dubai field has only parking for helicopters. I did not manage to stand my aircraft up on its empennage and thus simulate a rotary aircraft, but me being the only aircraft there, I hope they won't mind me staying over night... ;)



And once again - what a flight!

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