Around the World – Update 2

After a really long two first days of flying to get me all the way across to the east coast of Greenland, I didn’t want to lose the momentum.  So today is day 3 of flying and also the third consecutive day.  Please make sure you read this post to better understand why I’m doing an around the world flight and then read this post to get caught up on the first two days of flying.   Additionally, you can track my progress by clicking on the Around the World – 2010 button at the top of the page.  You’ll find a link to my Google map which shows my route.

My position as of this posting is ULLI (St. Petersburg, Russia)
I’ve traveled a total of 5577 nm
I’ve burned a total of 533 gallons of fuel
I’ve flown a total of 29.5 hours
My next destination is EDDI (Berlin, Germany)

Day Three – Leg 7 & 8

Day three really began much the same as the three previous days.  Having not arrived until late lastnight, I allowed myself a nice sleep in.  I didn’t have to go far to determine the current weather conditions at BGKK (Kulusuk, Greenland).  I stuck my head out of the motel door and saw it was raining.  It was a gentle rain…but rain no less.  But hey…this is flying and not baseball….the show must go on.  Especially since I know what can happen when the temp drops.  The rain turns into snow or freezing rain and that would be a show stopper for sure. 

The weather report for both my departing location (BGKK) and my next arrival location BIRK (Reykjavik, Iceland) were much the same.  BIRK does have a couple of ILS approaches (unlike BGKK) and I figured I was safe to start my journey.  I settled up at the airport, inspected my Mooney and it was time to go. 

On the runway at BGKK in the rain. First rain of the trip.

I busted through the cloud tops around 12K and eased on up to my crusing altitude.  My flying time from Kulusuk to Reykjavik should just be a little over 2 hours at a distance of just short of 400 nm.  I’m reaching the decision point for how I continue the journey beyond the 9th leg fairly quickly.  After departing Reykjavik, I’m headed for EKVG (Faroe Island).  I may have referred to BITN in a previous post, but I was mistaken.  Once I arrive at EKVG I have to different directions I can go.  I can turn south and head for Scotland or I can continue my southeast drop and head for the Nordic Countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland. 

Now, my Around the World – 2010 Adventure is not about collecting countries.  It’s also not simply about just flying around the world.  If that were the case I would continue flying east across Russia and enter North America through Alaska.  Which will eventually be my crossing point to get back home, but I don’t expect to see that route anytime soon.

No, this trip is about experiencing the FSX flight sim world in areas I’ve never been and re-experiencing some old favorites but at a much lower and slower pace.  Plus it is about accomplishing a goal the way I want to accomplish it.  So having bored you with that ramble, I’ve decided I would continue southeast and enter Europe through Norway.  I plan to make my way across Norway, Sweden and Finland then drop south into Russia and Eastern Europe and make my way somewhat along the northern edge to Spain and then drop into Africa.   I will probably head back across the Mediterranean to Italy, then Greece and then setup for a tour through the Holy Land and Egypt.  How and where from there is all undecided and even all of the proposed route I’ve just identified is all subject to change.

One more thought.  I think if I were making this trip in real-life, I would steer clear of the major cities and I would “take in” the country culture in the smaller towns and villages.   After all, when my wife and I visit Belgium about every two years…it’s the small Belgium villages that most appear to me and not the hustle and bustle of the city.  However, in the FSX world most of these smaller villages and towns (while their airport may be depicted) there isn’t a lot to see.   So as I get closer into the the heart of Europe and beyond, I’ll seek out the smaller GA airports in the larger metropolitan towns.  A quick example of what I’m talking about is with London.  Instead of flying into Heathrow or Gatwick, I plan to fly into London City. 

By the time I made it to Reykjavik the weather system which produced rain was gone and the weather was just beautiful.  FSX did produce some blowing snow on the runway which was a nice feature considering I was in Iceland.  But the sun was shining and visibility was much improved from earlier.  It was also sort of nice to get back into ATC controlled airspace once again. 

On final into BIRK. No need for ILS approach.

The city of Reykjavik out the left side window of the Mooney. This is why I invested in the TripleHead2Go and two extra LCD’s.

I  grabbed a late lunch, fueled up the Mooney for the second leg of today’s journey over to EKVG.   This will be another short hop and a little over 2 hour flying time.  The weather and visibility had improved from the time I landed.   Iceland looks beautiful from the side windows today.

Position and Hold at BIRK.

The flight from BIRK to EKVG was uneventful as has been most of the flights so far.  Heading into the Faroe Islands the rain started again as I dropped through the clouds.  Once within 10 miles of the airfield the rain stopped.  The approach into the Faroe Islands is beautiful as shown in the pictures below.

On Final into EKVG.

Left window view. Approach into EKVG.

Having covered over 1500 nm on day one and 1750 nm on day two, todays mere 814 nm is a drop in the bucket.  But I’m still averaging over 1350 nm per day.  This will certainly drop over time, but I have no concerns about maintaining any sort of daily mileage goal.

Day Four – Leg 9 & 10

Day four of the journey began much the same way day three did.  It was raining on the Faroe Islands.  I had made the decision for the next half dozen flight legs and where they would be taking me.  I would depart EKVG for ENGM(Oslo, Norway).  The flight leg was just over 550 nm and would position me to then proceed through Sweden, Finland and into Western Russia with St. Petersburg being the only Russia stop I would make for now.  I’ll see more of Russia (Asiatic Russia) in the weeks and months to come.

The Faroe Islands off the port side.

Approaching the coast of Norway.

The view from port side as we approach Oslo, Norway

On final into ENGM – Oslo, Norway.

I grabbed some food and fueled up the Mooney just before the rain started.  Leg #2 will take me across southern Sweden and Finland enroute to ULLI (St. Petersburg, Russia).  Today will be a easier flying day but still covering over 1000 nm.  From St. Petersburg I’ll fly southwest into eastern Europe.

Fedex flight heading back to the US from ENGM. The World On-Time.

Position and Hold – Runway 19R at ENGM headed for St. Petersburg, Russia.

I chose St. Petersburg as my final destination east.  From there I’ll turn and head in a southwest direction into eastern Europe to Berlin, Germany.  From Warsaw I plan to head to Antwerp, Belgium (where my Mother/Father-in-law live in real life).  Once I reach Antwerp, I’ll probably continue flying southwest into France, then into Spain to Gibraltar where I’ll briefly cross into Africa and fly up the coast to Tunis and head over to Italy. 

Of the Russian cities, I believe St. Petersburg appeals to me more than Moscow and hopefully one day I’ll visit in real-life.  I’ve traveled some throughout Europe since meeting my wife who grew up in Belgium and has lived in Switzerland and London (where we met).  She and I have traveled to Rome and plan to visit Paris next summer.  I’m really looking forward to that.

Crossing the Gulf of Finland headed for St. Petersburg. The sun is setting fast.

Flying downwind runway 28R at ULLI

On final for runway 28R at ULLI, St. Petersburg Russia

This has been the perfect end of two awesome flying days.  As previously stated, tomorrow I hope to begin making my way down into eastern Europe and plan to be in Antwerp, Belgium at the end of the evening. 

Thanks to all who have commented.  Please keep them coming. 

Until next time,

J


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