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PA4TIM around the world in 80 days


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13 January leg 5 day 10 on-official VOHS-VABB

 

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The last leg of part 2 of the journey. Or better legs. First in the Q400, visibility was again lowish, it rained the whole flight.
But upon landing the invisible twister was back. Just before touchdown it took the plane to 5000 ft in the blink of an eye and let it roll nose down but without changing altitude.
I wanted to really finish the trip so I flew it again but now in a faster plane, the Boeing 717. A nice plane with a , for me, terrible auto-throttle.
I am always in a state of war with auto throttles that do their thing even if you do not have the autopilot on.
In the Airbus A300 and A310 you can switch the whole system off but not in the 717. You can kind of disable it b ut just like in the A319 it somehow manages to switch itself on.
Probably no problem for most because nobody is foolish enough to handfly them all the time.
I wonder how this in the real planes. Seems pretty dangerous to me, if you switch it off you do that for a reason.

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But somewhat later things got better and better. Until the invisible twister came by that hounds us.

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Second time, now in the B717 just before Mumbai

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Finally the second part of the journey is finished. Betty asked if we could eat together in the plane because the B317 has a nice galley
and she knew some places in Mumbai where they sold the ingredients she needed. For what I said a bit suspicious because I do not like Asian food.
You know, I am Dutch, raised on real Dutch meals as Boerenkool stamppot (Smashed farmer-cabbage) and wortelstamp (smashed carrots) and potato's.

 

No problem she said, I do not like rice either. You will love it, just wait. Oh well, I said, if not, Noelle will have a good evening.
That dog is a garbagecan, if it smells to food she will eat it. 
While Betty was shopping, Noelle and I made a long nice walk over the beach and played with a ball.
When I was tired from running after the ball, we watched the beautiful sun set and went back to the plane.
Betty was cooking and it really smelled good. No clue what because I was not allowed in the galley by her.

 

I made some room in the cabin, this was a private jet and not smelling after camels. The Q400 smelled not only like Camels but also to cows
since I traded the last camels for cows because I can not pay with camels in India. Only Elephants or cows. Elephant are to big.

 

I put on some music, closed the windows to create some cosiness now we are so far from home. It started as a man and his dog in a vintage aircraft and, to be honest, Betty.
She was with us from the start but upto the last days only in the Connie. We did not have much contact, flying a Connie on your own is a lot of work.
And because we had a cabin full of whiners there was not much time to talk to each other and the airline arranged her overnight hotels while Noelle and I often slept in the plane.
But thanks to the camels and cows we did not need the whiners any more and we had time to get to know each other a bit better.

 

The galley doors opened and it smelled great, but the greatest surprise was Betty, she looked stunning. She was no longer dressed in the stiff stewardess uniform but wore a tight worn jeans,
Satriani-in-concert T-shirt, no makeup and her pretty blue-eyed face was surrounded by a lot of beautiful blond hair, normally hidden under the funny stewardess hats she had to wear.
Damn, I must be dreaming, is this our Betty? How could I be so blind, kind and beautiful. On top of that she had made my favourite dish, Spaghetti Bolognese.
This must be the stairway to heaven.

We sat there eating, talking, laughing, playing good music until it really was time to go to bed. Tomorrow starts the 3rd part of the journey. A lot of days still ahead of us.
Noelle and I slept in the hammock in the cockpit, Betty took the big luxurious bedroom. It took me a long time to fall in sleep.

 

End of twice part 2

 

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Part 3 

Leg 1, 14 jan VABB to VAAU around 1600 nm !!!

 

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Part 3 did not start great. I first made a test flight in the Xplane-Q400 in real weather.

This went well so I did it again in the Connie, but now only VOR navigation,

including the approach that I wanted to fly using VOR, DME and timing.

The weather was terrible in p3d, visibility zero all the way and half way a CTD.

The second time in the Connie went well but I have the old problem, all screenshots failed

because I had not saved the changes I have made to the controller profile of the Connie😞

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In the picture above you see the biggest problem Xplane has, a lot of useless streets/roads without buildings using max objects.

 

4th try with real weather in p3d in the Connie ended in a crash due to the weather and no terrain radar.

5th try in the Conny ended in an emergency landing short of the runway (visibility zero)

6th try in the Q400 ended in a CTD, Number seven (Connie)went well but the whiners in the back did not liked it,

only because I forgot to lower the gear, but it was a really soft landing. (pulled the switch on my yoke, but forgot to check for 3 green)

 

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I got so sick of flying in zero visibility that I cheated. I did the 8th try in “fair weather” to make the cheating a bit fair.

That was a wonderful and relaxed flight in Connie. Noelle found a nice sunny spot on my lap and Betty took the FO seat.

All my muscles were sore from the bad weather flights but I tried to hide it, not a good sign if your pilot gets stressed from

bad weather. But Betty noticed it, she walked to the galley and came back with some green tea. This helps to relax,

she said while she smiled.  I thanked her and told her she was right.

I do not like flying blind in a 70 year old plane without terrain and weather radar, I said.

 

Hey, most important, we still live, she said. Noelle thrusts you, and I do too. I do not think I could fly all those different type of planes.

And then while smiling a bit shy. I would love to try flying, can I do that, just a few minutes maybe ?. Hmm, I said, I must think about that.

Her face turned sad, No I am just kidding, grab the wheel and try how it feels. But when I say, I have control, you must let go of the yoke .
So I let her fly a bit until it was time to land. 

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After the landing she was zo exited she danced in front of me under way to the shops to get ingredients for dinner,

she suddenly turned towards me and gave me a big hug, I like this so much, can we do this more often ? she asked, pretty please ?  .

Yes, no problem, I would love to do it and yes you are pretty I said with a smile, you deserve it, I am so happy you joined us .

Really ? she said with a cutest smile and hugged me again. Yes really, I said.

Come, she said, lets shop and then walk Noelle together and enjoy the sunset.  

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This is the same airport as on the Xplane picture at the begin of this day.

 

After a glorious Italian dinner I told her, I am exhausted, I am going to mount the hammock and to sleep. No she said, there are enough berths here, 

I do not mind it, but first go and sit here in front of me. I did and she gave me a  nice back and neck massage.

So, that will prevent sore muscles tomorrow, you must be fit if you want teach me she said smiling from ear to ear. 

And now to bed, sleep tight, she gave me a kiss and pushed me towards the Berths.

Noelle followed me to claim her spot in the bed and I was so tired I slept soon as I hit the pillow. In the middle of the night Noelle woke me up. 

I listened and I heard footsteps under the plane. Silently I took the AK47 and sneaked out to the cockpit and out the roof hatch
that we kept open at night for some fresh air. I climbed on the wing and looked down. Someone was doing something with tools to out gear. 
I silently lowered myself to the ground behind him and forced him to the ground. My years of martial arts training came in handy now. 
He screamed from pain while I tie-rapped his wrists on his back. Waken up by the noise Betty opened the door and asked me what happened.
I told her. What do we do with him ? she asked. I bring him to the tower and let them solve it. You, try to get some sleep, it can take a while, I find my way in the dark.

So I did. When I entered the plane I shuffled to my berth to find out it was taken by my 2 favourite girls. She whispered, can I sleep here with you, I am so scared. 
I said. Come here silly girl, I do not mind at all, relax, we are safe here. Noelle is a very good alarm-system. She curled up to me and soon fel asleep. 
 

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Note on the 2 sims:

P3D is not as stable as Xplane. If OrbX had the same scenery “system” for Xplane, and if Xplane had the Majesty including the speech

recognition controlled FS2Crew First officer and A2A Connie, I only would use Xplane. I could go the ortho way but my internet connection is to slow, and it needs a massive amount of harddisk. 

Downloading would take weeks. Besides that, Xplane 12 is in development. Xplane also lacks rain effects in vulcan and does not have seasons. 

Forests also look a lot better in p3d.

 

But Xplane has better night lighting. Also a lot of freedom to mod things and everything is in one directory instead of scattered all over the file system like p3d does.

My version of Xplane is pimped a lot. I use SFD Global as a replacement auto-gen. (and a lot more) Like OrbX it uses ortho tiles but unlike OrbX there is no relation to the auto gen.

OrbX places buildings and trees that fit the texture of the tile, no matter if there is a house on the real life location. That is in a way less realistic, but it looks a lot more realistic.

The second problem is roads, look at the picture above. Sim objects is set at max. The whole freaking tile is covered by useless roads, and that is everywhere the case.

In mountain areas and other places without towns or agriculture (those tiles are totally unrealistic) it looks great and that is where I fly most of the time.

SFD Global uses nice HD houses and they have gardens, swimmingpools etc. A lot better then vanilla Xplane.

 

My Xplane: SFD Global, TerrafloraXP, ALES, Exoflora, ARO, shadeX, Active-sky, UltraWeatherXP, Enhanced skyscapes, X-ATC, X-Keys, X-camera,

Xprealistic, Global real weather, Traffic Global, SAM, AEP, X-prefab, (not all activated at the same time) Besides that X-Europe

(and also the versions for the rest of the world) And a lot of (near)studylevel planes and helicopters.

 

My P3D: OrbX base pack, Buildings HD, Terraflora V2, Threes HD, Vector, Open LC (mesh and Africa, Europe, South America, North America)
Global Airport pack, Libraries, TFDi RealLight, trueGlass.

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Mountains peaking through the clouds in the Q400 in p3d

 

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Leg 2 , 15 jan VABB to VAAU

 

When I woke up, Betty was already out of bed. So sleepy head, she said, I bet you would like a nice breakfast by now.

Yes, I can eat a horse, I replied. She had already done some shopping and managed to find fresh baked bread.

It was still warm. After this "lunch"  I went to take a look at the gear. I wanted to check that because that piece of scum was doing something there.

I found nothing but some scratches on a service panel near a bolt that looked fresh. One bolt was not screwed in all the way.

So I removed them and found a packet with white powder inside. I walked to the tower to tell them . While speaking to the controller

from the dayshift, I noticed a picture on a desk. It was the night controller together with the man I catched tonight. This was very tricky.

I guess the packet holds drugs. And if the controller is into this scam we are in danger. The day shift did not know anything about the incident

tonight and there was nothing written in the logbook.

 

But something in his reaction activated the hairs in my neck. I had not told him about the packet yet. I told him we wanted to go do

some sightseeing today but first I wanted to adjust something on the engines because they did run rough at low idle and make a test run

as check. Probably to do with the altitude. After some hesitation he cleared us for a test run and I walked back to the plane. On board I

told Betty and she agreed we better leave as quickly as possible. Leave the packet here on the ground, she said, I am afraid they will follow us to get it back.

That was a good idea, I did not like it because that stuff ruins lives, but I did not want to risk our lives or the plane for it.

 

I did a quick walkaround and Betty helped with reading the checklist while I did the start up.

I can get this bird ready for take off in minutes because it has no complicated systems. Starting takes the most time. The inertia starters take time to spool up.

It climbed on the wing and did like I was doing something on the engines. Then we taxied to the runway and took of.

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Visibility was bad, in this case an advantage because the tower could not see us, I also kept the transponder off and flew the first part

of the leg close to the deck under the radar. Just over the barely visible tree-tops.

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After 20 nm or so we climbed to 10000ft.

This weather was not funny at all. It took the plane 3 seconds to divert 90 degrees, while it took me 10 seconds for a few degrees back until it then suddenly

banked like 30 degrees in 1 second. The same problem vertical. From level to straight down in  seconds  and then in a few seconds straight up

while my yoke is pushed to the max without any effect. Bad thing come in 3, or something like that.

 

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For some miles visibility went better.

 

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The runway, found it thanks to the VOR and visible just long enough to land.

 

After the landing we eat a sober dinner, still worried if the bad guys would follow us or had contacts here, but luckily
we had not filed a flight-plan. On the other hand, there are almost no flying L049’s left.

 

We went early to bed, talking a bit about what to do. We planned 4 hops to Calcutta. The distances are short. Betty wanted to fly tomorrow to Calcutta,

she wanted to leave India as fast as possible. I agreed, I also hated the weather over here. She again wanted to sleep next to me.

I did not mind. I told her, you are probably not longer happy you joined me. I you want to go home, I understand and will not stop you.

She looked me in the eyes and said, you must be stupid or blind. I know you are not stupid so you must be blind.

I do not understand, I said. Silly, I am here because of you, she said. Oh, I said teasing, I thought it was for the fly-lessons.

Oh, shut up, she said, kiss me, 

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The zigzag route thanks to the weather

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If I look at the weather it does not look so bad. I had good visibility for a

few minutes and then there was not a single problem.

I hope this is local for India and not the rest of the 80 days

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Leg 3 , 16 jan VANP-VEBS (411nm)

 

We woke up early and discussed about what we were going to do. The plan was to fly to Calcutta, land there, because it must be visited according the rally-rules,

and then immediate fly on. But as usual, visibility was again minimal to zero. I think we travel in some parallel dimension where it is now the rain-season.

I think we are not safe, I do not know how deep this goes. I only know India from the worldwide telephone and internet scams.

I get weekly phone-calls (in real life) that start with “hi, I am calling you from Microsoft” and everyone I know, get these calls.

Scamming must be a big industry. So I do not want to take the risk.

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I first wanted to check the Connie for other hidden surprises. We inspected all possibilities to hide things in from the outside.

We found nothing, then Betty insisted searching also from the inside. She knows every corner of the plane, I only the Cockpit.

This was a clever idea because we found a pretty big amount of drugs. This changed plans a lot. They would for sure try to find us

and we could get big problems if some border control would check our plane.
 

The plan was to jettison the drugs above see. We made a flightplan, filed it and we departed to VEBS near the coast.

Just before VEBS and far enough over sea, Betty cut open all the packets and ditched all the drugs overboard.

But there was an other problem, the plane started to throttle down every 10 seconds, not one engine and not all at the same time.

There was a 10 second interval for every engine. So we decided to arrange an other plane. I phoned some aviation buddies and one o

f them (thanks Bill) managed to arrange a Q400. This is nice because I like that plane a lot. An other advantage is that the criminals are looking for the Connie.

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The Q400 was at a small private airstrip near by, our flight-plan still pointed to VECC. I made an emergency call. Then cut off radio-communication,

switched of the transponder and descended quickly to a few meters above the water. Turned around towards the airstrip and flew all the way low above the deck.

When we arrived the Q400 was in a turnaround state so we could depart immediately. The Connie was pushed into a hangar and my friend

would arrange a registration change. Visibility was so bad that we were as good as invisible from the ground. That was the only good thing.

 

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It was nice to fly the Q400 again because it was as usual visibility zero. The Q400 handles a lot more easy and has a radar and can do an ILS.

As a bonus the fuel use is almost half that of the Connie. This was the private version so we had a nice bedroom, badroom, TV etc, This was the ultimate air-camper.

 

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The approach just a few feet before touchdown.

 

The Q400 is a lot less exhausting as the Connie. Besides that, there are plenty Q400s active in this area, so we draw no attention.

I am so happy you could arrange this plane, Betty told me, I feel a lot more relaxed and safe now.

Me too, I said. We spend some time stowing our baggage in the closets. Turned out it even had a shower. Betty slipped out her clothes,

turned on the shower and called me. You there, undress and come under the shower now !. We must be efficient with the water, she said.

By your command, I said with a robot voice.

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After the shower we warmed up two pizzas we found in the deep-freeze of the plane and the 3 of us relaxed on the couch watching

around the world in 80 days on the big flat-screen while on the laptop we played the 101 dalmatiers for Noelle.

 

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Leg 4 , 17 jan VEBS-VECC (250nm)

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First try in Xplane, Q4XP, CTD after 30 minutes or so. This is at 7720ft

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Second try in p3d. Landed but the virtual twister was present. It hit me when the plane was towed to a parking spot.

 

The plane jumped to Indonesia and back in a second to end spinning above the runway.

 

Beep, beep, woof woof, both alarms went off at 10.00AM. Around us the world came to life too. But the plane has pretty good soundproofing so we slept well.

We decided to take it easy today after the stress from the last days. We felt safe in our new plane.

Calcutta was only an hour or 2 away. It was foggy but there was a wet sun behind it. 

I decided to buy this Q400 and use it as our home/charter/electronics shop. Betty want to become a pilot too. She sure has talent for it. 
We will use the Connie and B717 to earn money.  I will continu to repair and install avionics. 
But for now we first are going to eat a nice breakfast. We will depart at 16:00. Until them we are going to be lazy and enjoy our new "house" 

 

16:00,

We filed the flight plan, walked Noelle and made the plane ready for departure. Temperature was nice and lot of things to see.

From other rally members we learned that the fog is more pollution as it is fog. A lot of people seem to love India,

at least is in the 60's,  but I can not wait to leave it.  And Betty feels the same. On the other hand, there is the butterfly effect.

That drugs incident was the reason Betty slept next to me that night and you know the result of that.

And  I had not flown this plane nor bought it. 

 

The flight went without problems, visibility was not to bad compared to the last week. Just before VECC it became foggy

but thanks to the ISL I found the runway and visibility, from that point on, was good.

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Misty but there seems to be a sun. After a while it indeed got better

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Pretty Clear

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Towards Calcutta

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Nice evening sun

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Runway in sight, just before this it became very foggy but thanks to the ILS I could line up more or less.

 

END OF PART 3

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i just updated the spreadsheet, it was exact 10.000 nm  🙂  (the logged nm in single flights. I fly many legs more then once, some even more then twice, but I only log one of them.

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Part 4 Calcutta to Honk kong

Leg 1 18 jan 2022 VECC to VEKU (245nm)

 

Reading Hong-Kong on the map a fun fact popped up. A very popular game in the 80’ s was Donkey Kong.

A strange name based on a mistake. The story goes it had to be Monkey Kong but somebody screwed up the translation.

This was in the dark ages before internet.

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Today we are going to VEKU. Turns out to be India too. We thought about changing the flightplan but we have 14 days for this part of the trip.

You are going to need that in a WW1 airplane but the Q400 and Connie are a bit faster.

Besides that, China does not seem to have a lot of airports. So we have time enough and if we like what we see, we will make a number of D-tours.
 

Our Q400 had something special. A “garage” like cargo space, with a winch and retractable ramp. Maybe for a golfcart or Quad ?
When we woke up, I opened the blinds and noticed a big crate with a red ribbon tied around it next to the plane.

I went outside and read the note on it. It was from Bill. Have fun it stated, you two deserve it after the misery.

I called Betty and together we opened the crate. To my big surprise it was my Trike. How had he managed to arrange that ?

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This was such a nice surprise. Now we no longer need to use taxis or rent a car to do for instance some shopping.

Now we could also use the free time to explore the surroundings of the airports.

Betty looked at it with big eyes, what the hell is that, it is huge. Do you know how to drive such a thing ?

I told her, yes, Bill somehow has managed to get my own trike to here. I told her, no worries,

I drive motorbikes since the day I became 18 years old.

She looked at me with a teasing smile and asked, and how much is that in years ?

Uhh, I am not so good with numbers, I replied...Do not worry, my love, she said smiling,

I already know you are a “bit” older then me from day one. I do not care..and smiling even more...daddy..

Hey, lets start this thing and use it to do some shopping, she said because It will be harder to get western food if we are in China.

We have room enough now to transport it back to the plane.

 

We had a nice drive around Calcutta, besides the smog it is a beautiful country and now in the Q400 we felt safe.

We found our food and stopped by a small lake where we did some skinny-dipping. Back at the plane Noelle was so happy to see us again.

She is not used on being alone. But now betty is used to the trike, Noelle will sit on her lap the next ride.

We loaded the trike on board, filed our flight-plan, made the plane ready for taxi and asked for clearance.
Finally, good visibility. Life is good when the sun shines and you are with the ones you love.

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Looking backwards toward the city you can see what I think is smog. There are less details visible.

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Approaching Agartala visibility dropped to zero. Again probably smog because it was only above the city.

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And again smog, this time over Silchar. But not so much this time.

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Touch down.

This was a wonderful flight. Betty was again totally exited, she had flown most of this leg and even the first part of the approach.

She is a natural. Noelle did not mind giving up her chair. She slept most of the trip on my lap.

 

Leg 1.1   18 jan 1950 VECC to VYMD (261nm)

VECU-VYMD

Because it was so nice we opened a vortex and moved back in time to the 50’s where we only have the Connie and flew a sightseeing trip from VEKU to VYMD (261nm)

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It was dark when we arrived at VYMD. There was a very low ground fog. Very strange looking.

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Betty also tried the Connie but she liked the Q400 more. The Connie versus Q400 is a bit like a vintage truck versus a modern range rover.

After landing we called Scotty to beam us back to the 2022 holodeck in the Q400.

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Back in our Q400 skycamper we ate some sandwiches and made it cozy with some candles, a bowl of chips and some good music.
A nice final of a wonderful day.  

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Some time to spare so I repeated both legs in Xplane. First BAe146-200

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And arrival at VYMD

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And VECC to VECU

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A310 at VECC, also here only fog over big cities. This flight had no finish, turned out VECU was not there, the landscape either, only white nothingness

As a test I trie to land on it but that was not possible. The plane was complete visible but complete unresponsive, like it was floating in space.

 

Oh well, that is the risk of messing with time-travelling and other dimensions... 🙂 

 

Today leg 2, VEKU to ZPLJ. The little story about the adventure of (fictional)me and Betty is almost finished, never thought I would like writing fiction so much, it is real fun to do. (only takes some time typing with on finger) I only have experience with writing about electronics/tech stuff

 

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Leg 2 20 jan VEKU to ZPLJ(467nm) P3D Q400

 

I was doing some maintenance to our home (the Q400), Betty was sun-bading together with Noelle.

She stood up and said, “Fred, I am going to buy an ice-cream, do you want one too ? ”. “Yes, I would love that”, I answered.

Enjoying the view when she walked away. I talking about the mountains off cause, not the beautiful blonde in a red bikini.

 

I went on fighting with a bolt I could not get straight in front of the hole because there was little space, my hands blocked the view,

so I must do it on the feel. Suddenly Noelle barked. There was a man who was a bit to interested and quickly turned around when he noticed me looking at him.

The hairs in my neck went up. Am I getting paranoid ? They can not know we are here unless corruption goes very far and they have eyes

on every airport. In that case Betty is an easy to spot target, not much blondes around here. Noelle is never aggressive to strangers

but she was pretty upset when that man showed up. Dog can feel if you are up to no good.

 

I was pretty worried when Betty stayed away, it felt like eternity. I called Noelle and commanded, “search Betty” .

She ran off in the direction Betty had taken. A minute later I heard happy barking and my 2 favorite girls came around the corner.

I did not wanted to upset her but on the other hand it is safer if she stays alert. She a brave girl but does not have the strength or

skills to protect her self. Walking around with an AK47 is not a good idea. No clue if it allowed in India.

 

When she was back and we sat down in the grass in the shade of the plane, enjoying the ice creams.

I told her what I had seen. She was glad I told her and she suggested we only go outside together.

Then I told her, I also want to teach you some Pencak Silat, an Indonesian martial art.

It has a few series of moves to quickly seriously damage your attacker. They are not hard to learn and you can get even the most bad ass attacker on his knees.

It can give you the time needed to get away. At least better as nothing. And I will teach you to use a knife too.

I hope it will never be necessary and that the man maybe had bad plans, but is not related to the drugs runners.

Betty said, “come, lets leave India as fast as possible. When over the border we divert to an other airport and maybe repeat that a few times.

”Wheels up in 20 she said. I replied “You watch to much criminal minds”, that made her smile, my brave girl.

 

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We decided to go to ZPLJ, this was almost 500 nm away in China. I am pretty sure they would leave us alone over there.

Take off and the first part of the trip went well. Sunny but the usual smog.

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Then it got a bit dark.

 

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And the weather-gods had more up there sleeve

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Lets add some icing to the cake. Some icing that became pretty severe fast. All anti-icing on but the front windshield froze solid. Turned op the cabin heat to the max.

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And even more dark. I'm so happy I have a HUD. But some visibility would have been great. 

 

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YES !!! Pff, it becomes better weather.

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This is not a good sight.

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Pretty desolate looking

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Start of the approach

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Mountains everywhere around us, visibility zero.

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To easy, let' s add a snow-blizzard

 

Somewhere in front of us must be the runway.

After 3 go-arounds we found the runway,  and even landed, a bit firm and partly on the flat frozen ground, but in one piece.

And instead of the virtual tornado we now had a CTD. The weather gods must really be pist.

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But these mountains are impressive, Betty got a while silent from looking at them. Then she said," this is not a terrain you want to make an emergency landing.

My god, this is desolate", also thanks to the clouds that started to become bigger and visibility went worse every minute.

We thought a moment about diverting but we had not enough fuel or better, no alternate near by and then still needed to cross this front.

Then it started to snow...a lot. The last miles we flew as close to the deck as possible.

Betty watched the radar and took care of the rest and I used the HUD so I could see the terrain as good as possible.

 

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After landing we parked, space enough, the airport looked abandoned. We are so lucky to have our house with us. It would be pretty hard to find some sleeping space.

The Connie would have been to cold. But I hope there is fuel. Betty was as exhausted as me.

I baked two pizzas and we ate them in bed while watching “Primal rage”, maybe not the best choice if you are at 8000ft in the mountains,

in middle of nowhere, with the wind howling over the fuselage, that is, if you want to sleep. But we were so tired that we both fell a sleep before the end.

And that is a good thing, because we would not have slept well if we had known what was sneeking around the plane and tried to get in.

 

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Leg 3 21 jan ZPLJ to ZPPP (219nm) P3D Q400

 

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When I woke up the first thing I did was looking outside to see if it had snowed all night. Turned out it had rained and the snow was for most gone.

The airport was very empty, no other planes. But there were a few buildings and in one there was light.

Nice, so it was probably possible to get fuel. Because of the hard landing I wanted to check the gear. I opened the door,

I shivered, the cold wind blew through my fleece-sweater. It was colder as I expected. I turned around and told Betty to better wear a jacket.

 

But then I saw something, there were 4 parallel scratches over the paint left of the door. When I looked better there were more.

I called Betty, “ hey, babe, look here, what do you think this is ? “She rushed outside and looked.

No clue she said, if I would not know better I would think a bear or so, I am, from Alaska, they try to break in in our barns or sheds looking for food.

But they are not big enough to reach this high. Maybe we hit something during the snow blizzard.

Yeah, that would probably be the only thing that makes sense, I replied.

 

Let’s go to the house with the burning lights, Betty said, maybe they know. She called Noelle and carried her to the ground.

(Noelle does not like the stairs) We started walking toward the buildings but Noelle did not follow, I looked back and she was

totally absorbed by some scent trail. She went in the direction of the forest. I followed here but remembering the scratches,

I pulled out my Glock, just to be sure. There was some snow left and there were some footprints. I quickly made a few

pictures and then I grabbed Noelle and rushed back to the plane. Betty, get back inside and take the AK-47 ! When I was

inside I told here about the footprints. They where not of a bear I told her, they were huge, about 60 cm long and 30 wide.

And it looked like it has very long claws. Take the gun, we go to that building, Betty said, I had no idea they have bears this big in China.

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We walked to the building, Noelle on a leash because she wanted back to the forest. When we were at the door I noticed it was broken open.

This did not feel good. Betty, give me the AK, I removed the safety and slowly I pushed the door open, It smelled not very good.

There was a lot of mud in the hallway. I entered the first room on my left. Babe, better not look inside, whatever that beast was, it probably is

not hungry anymore. Cover my back, I will see if there are survivors. In the next room it was also a bloodbath. Then Betty sssst me, listen she said.

It sounds like crying. We entered the room and heard the crying coming from a bathroom. The door was damaged but not opened. I called,

is there somebody in there. The door flew open and a kid in a high state of panic ran toward us and clamped around the legs of Betty.

We tried to comfort her and decided we would be the most safe in the plane.

 

We tried to get some info from the girl but she must have been between 4 and 6 years old, only spook Chinees and in shock. I think I will unload the trike and drive

to Lijang and find police or so. But Betty was against that. Much to dangerous. You are now acting like the people you called fools in movies like friday the 13th.

We take off, fly to the next big airport, some people there will speak English. We tell them what happened. I made pictures with my phone in that building, Betty responded.

But what about the kid ? she said. We take here, the police then can arrange whatever is needed and search here parents, but I am afraid they are the dead people.

Fred, do you think this was an animal ? What else I replied. Now, in Alaska as a kid my grandma told me not to go alone in the forest because there are dangerous

very old creatures there, she called them Yeti’ s. I assumed later it was just some story she learned from her grand parents to scare kids, so they do not wander

of alone in the forest. But what we found here sounds like her story. The big foots, tall enough to reach the plane door and strong enough to break the door

of that house. I looked at her, if I had not seen it with my own eyes I would have thought you are coocoo.

 

Betty had rapped the girl in a blanket and tried to comfort here, I started the plane and taxied to the fuel truck/ Betty looked from out the door with the

binos and the AK ready while I filled up the plane with fuel.

 

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Weather was a lot better as yesterday. We took off and flew to ZPPP

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Nature was impressive and made me feel tiny.

 

Kunming is a bigger city and it has two runways. We had no problems during the flight, in other circumstances we would really have enjoyed

the magnificent views but now I was just watching it in silence overthinking what had happened. Betty was in the living-room with the little girl.

Trying to distract her, she was so tired that she felt a sleep during the rest of the flight. Under while I tuned to the emergency frequency

in the hope to contact someone who spoke Chinese and English so that person could to contact the authorities in Kunming.

But I left out the part of the enormous footprints and scratches on our plane.

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The police was already waiting when we landed. They had arranged a translator and invited us over to the police station.  
The kid was taken care for by a nice lady. It was a good thing we had photos and the kid had seen more as I hoped, but in this case it was also a good thing.

I think, in the states or my country this would be a one way ticked to the coocoo farm, but the Chinese believed us. 

 

After a long day we sat down in our plane talking things over and deciding what we will do next. They asked us to stay a day longer. 

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Leg 4 22 jan ZPPP to VVNB (527nm) P3D Q400

 

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This is a beautiful place to travel, again mysterious things happened after touchdown, like the virtual twister

 

Both of us were deep asleep when the sat-phone started to beep, Betty woke up first by the

annoying sound . It was the police, they asked if we could come to give
more info and because the kid did not stop asking for Betty.

So Betty woke me up and asked me. No problem, I said. Honey, the police asks if they
need to send a car, Betty said to me. I quickly checked the METAR, 7 degrees C, clear weather.
Nice biking weather, I would not mind the trike but you do not have wintergear yet, Babe,

so let them send a car. Betty switched off the phone and told me they would come around 11:00 AM.

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I had forgotten to place a picture of the house that was attacked. It is the most right one

 

That gave us enough time to shower and breakfast. It is so nice to have a home-sweet-home with wings.
The Q400 is not a big plane compared to the flying palace some billionaires have or the A310 I flew for a sultan.

The cabin is only 2,5 meter wide but 18 meters long. We have a 4 meter living room direct after the cockpit and

we can open it so it becomes part of the cockpit. Followed by a 2 meter luxurious kitchen incl oven and big freezer.

A decent 2 meter bathroom with shower and toilet between kitchen and bathroom,

Then a 4 meter bedroom with a very nice bed, A 2 meter isolated room for a wash-dryer. And not to forget the 4 meter long

“garage annex repairshop” We have a big watertank, airco/heating. On the top of the fuselage and partly on the wings

we have solar-panels. So all comfort needed for permanent living.

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Part of the livingroom

 

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Around 11:00 the police knocked on the door. Walking towards the car, the landscape again made a big impression on me.

The emptyness, the cold wind howling around the fuselage, the dark sky, fast moving dark rain-clouds. It may sound strange but I like it.

The girl was also in the car and wanted to sit next to Betty. We now knew her name, May-ling, that is, it sounded like that, I probably write it wrong.

 

It was only 20 minutes to the police station. We did not see other traffic, it was just very rough nature. May-ling talked a lot more as yesterday,

she pointed to things in the landscape and rattled on, but we did not understand any off it.

After a last turn houses started to appear, and not long after that we saw the city again. A few minutes later we left the car and walked towards the police station.

We were warm welcomed by the police officer. They were very friendly. Before I was afraid they would blame us or be not so friendly because

we are capitalistic foreigners. But from the translator we heard it was because we went inside and rescued the kid instead of running away.

 

The good news, for as far as you can call it good, was that the dead people were not the parents but the grandparents. Still very sad.
The parents lived in Manjingdong, 
a small town in the perfecture Xishuangbanna, about 200nm south. It could take a while before they could come, they had no car, there was an airport

but travel by plane was to expensive. Betty looked to me with a sweetest smile,and said to me, I want to bring her to Manjingdong,

if that is allowed by the parents and Police. Can we do that ?

 

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As expected this was no problem, May-ling was also happy. She liked Betty but also being in a plane. We told her, via the translator, that

she could sit on Betty’ s lap in the cockpit. She could not wait but we first had to answer questions about details we maybe had seen.

After an hour or so they drove us back to the plane. We made a new flightplan, fuel was still plenty for this flight.

 

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Weather was bad but the visibility was OK. Just before ZPJH it became very bad, no visibility at all, ink-black skies and firm crosswinds but since India

I have become more proficient in zero visibility flying. The airport was located in a valley, turned out we were in an other valley to the right,

parallel to the one we had to fly. We climbed to 10000 ft, turned, and now descended and this time followed the right valley. Visibility down low was enough to land.

The girl had a wonderful time. I let her hold the yoke for a while and she loved it. 

 

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The parents were already waiting at the airport. It was very emotional. We wanted to leave but that was not OK, we had to come with them,

they did not accept no. But on the other side, the best way to really get to know a country is by meeting it’s people. So we agreed to go with them.

This seemed to me as a very empty part of China. From the parents we understood they named themself Han people. The region is for most known for

rubber plantations what destroyed most of the original rainforest. With 50 people per square kilometer, and most of the 1.2 million people living in a

few cities it is rather empty. That is for me, from the over crowded Netherlands. Big part of the prefecture is a “ national park rainforest”,

were the last Indian Elephants in China live. The village is very small at the border of the park, I estimate around 20 houses. The people are traditional and very friendly.

We must be some sort of tourist attraction because most off the village people came to greet us.

 

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There was a man who more or less spoke English. A few older giggling woman asked Betty to follow them. It took an hour or so but when they returned it became clear.

They had dressed Betty in a beautiful traditional blue hanfu dress, done here hair, make-up etc. Was this my Betty ? She looked stunning.

 

We thought it was to much butthey insist on it.

They gave me a beautiful hand made knife. A wonderful addition to my collection. After a dinner with the whole village and some traditional

dancing demonstrations, we said goodbye and walked back to the airport. The parents and May-ling accompanied us. Mei-Ling showed them

the airplane and told them she wanted become a pilot too. I told her that if she became old enough, she could contact me.

She then could stay with us and I would teach her to fly. So nice we could soften her loss a bit like that.

It was so nice to have a relaxed day without monsters or drug-dealers.

Come here my little China girl, I said to Betty, I can not take my eyes from you. Heaven must be missing an angel because you are here with me. 

Very original she said smiling, they are all sentences from song texts. I could have know, she knows as much about music as me. 

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Beautiful China girl

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Beautiful damast knife

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Leg 4b 23 jan VVNB to ZJHK part 2, P3D Q400

 

Today will be an easy one. The second leg to VVNB of yesterdays flight. It was short and the weather was great.

We arrived around lunch time and spend the afternoon being wonderful lazy. We played guitar, watched a movie, cooked together and went to bed early.

 

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Approach, there is a fault in the scenery I think, I flew it 2 times, in both flights I crashed about 100ft above the deck. It was like it flew into an invisible wall.

It then bounces up. I could regain control and land from the other side, but that was even weirder.

As soon as I touched down the plane stopped immediately as if the runway was covered with 1 second superglue (or I hit the other side of the invisible wall)

I also flew the first part a second time but now in the Connie and also in Xplane in the Rotate MD80. 

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The approach in the Q400

 

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Same mistake. I must enter and then follow the valley right of this one (this is the constellation)

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And the Rotate MD-80 in Xplane 11

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