Saying Goodbye to P3D…For now

My current gaming machine is just a little over 4 years old.  Amazingly, it still runs really well.  When I built it back in 2018, I used the latest and greatest components I could.  Amazingly (once again), the machine performs well with the current simulation based games I enjoy playing.  This even includes the new Microsoft Flight Simulator.   Anyway, I designed the machine to use a 1 TB NVMe SSD as the main drive along with a few SSD’s.  At the time of the initial build, I was running P3Dv4 and it was installed on the NVMe drive. 

When P3Dv5 released, I knew it would be several weeks before all the add-ons would catch up, so I installed it on the largest SSD (500 GB).  I ran both versions of P3D for several month with this intention of eventually doing a complete OS reset, then locate P3Dv5 to the NVMe drive.  Before that happened, MSFS released and I kicked the can down the road and delayed the OS reset and just uninstalled P3Dv4 to free up enough space on the NVMe drive for MSFS. 

For the first 18 months of the life of MSFS, I really only used it for GA flying.  But all that changed once the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 released a few months ago.  Since that timeframe, I’ve only used P3D a few times.  Meanwhile I was adding more 3rd party airport sceneries to MSFS and as a result watching the available space on the NVMe drive get lower and lower. 

On Thursday, I purchased and attempted to install the new GSX Pro from FSDreamteam.  Like many others, I ran into issues immediately after installing.  After reading forum threads and Discord messages, I finally gave up and decided to go to bed and sleep on it.  Oddly enough, I woke up fairly early this morning and decided it was time to refresh the OS and essentially make the move to MSFS 100% and for now, give P3D the BIG Heave Ho. 

Now, while GSX Pro has some challenges and some of the issues experienced on the first day appear to be related to their download servers….but I believe my own issues were a combination of having remnants of P3Dv4, along with P3Dv5 and MSFS.  While it should certainly be possible for everything to live in harmony…something was wrong and I felt just doing a Windows 10 reset was my absolute best option.  Like I said, the available space on my main SSD was becoming a serious issue.

It’s been a long day and I’m not 100% done.  But I’ve managed to get Windows 10 reset, fully patched with all updated hardware drivers installed.  The most time consuming part of the entire process has been reinstalling MSFS.  That took the better part of two hours just to download then apply the updates.  Next getting the Fenix A320 and PMDG 737-700 installed and finally all the add-on airports reinstalled.  I even took time to get the AIG liveries along with VATSIM model matching installed.  (That’s also a very time consuming process, but I had these things backed up so I didn’t have to start from scratch).  One of the last items I installed was GSX Pro and it installed without issue and works as perfectly has it can at this point in time.  I’ll explain more about this in a future blog post. 

As for the future of P3Dv5.  For now it will remain uninstalled.  To be honest, and I’ve said this before in other blog postings, I really only have time for short-haul flights.  While I do love the PMDG 777, 747 and the QualityWings 787, I really don’t have the time to enjoy them to their full potential.  Not to mention, (and I’ve also said this before) that the eye-candy factor is seriously lacking in P3Dv5 compared to MSFS.

Possible Final Thoughts about P3D

My interest in P3D really didn’t start until Lockheed Martin released version 3 in 2015.  I had dabbled briefly with version 2, but didn’t officially leave FSX behind until v3.  At that time most of the 3rd party developers were getting more seriously involved with Prepar3D and it just seemed like the right time to move over.  Of course, when P3Dv4 arrived in 2017 that officially ushered in the 64 bit compatibility we had all been dreaming of.  Finally one could get the true potential from the sim without fear of the dreaded OOM errors which were quickly followed by at CTD. 

When Prepar3D version 5 was released on April 14, 2020 we were in the early stages of the COVID Pandemic and I was working from home.  At this time we knew about the new Microsoft Flight Simulator and I seriously contemplated just staying on v4 knowing/believing MSFS would be the future.  But after a few weeks I finally pulled the trigger and purchased P3Dv5.  After all, I felt it could be at least a year (if not longer) before MSFS would be at a point where study level aircraft would be available and I wanted to experience the latest and greatest for whatever period of time it might be before making the move to MSFS. 

Getting into P3Dv5 from a financial perspective was really only the cost of the sim.  Again, to the best of my memory….99% of the add-ons I had been using in P3Dv4 were made available with P3Dv5 installers at no cost and I certainly got my monies worth out of v5.  All-in-all, as a hard-core flight simulation enthusiast I’m thankful to Lockheed Martin for making P3D available after Microsoft abandoned us.  While I tried XPlane sometime before P3Dv4, but having been such a long-time Microsoft Simmer I just couldn’t get into it.  In any event, at the time Prepar3D v5 was “As Real As It Gets”. 

I know many simmers discount MSFS.  Especially around the flight modeling.  But for me, this is a minor issue and is almost a non-issue with the Fenix and PMDG aircraft we have today.  I believe these issues will all evolve in time and MSFS WILL BE the very best home flight simulation platform. 

Final Thoughts

Just a little over 24 hours later and the rebuild is done.  I completed my first test flight in the Fenix A320 from TPA to CLT.  No major issues. I actually learned something today which I was not aware of with MSFS.  But all the settings including graphic settings, sim settings and controller settings/bindings are all saved in the cloud.  So when you reinstall MSFS, all these settings that often require lots of testing and tweaking to get things the way they were are just the same as before.  This saved lots of times and no doubt allowed me to get my first flight in much quicker. 

Thankfully I landed just when I did as 5 minutes after I shut down my engines and filed my PIREP, my electricity went out.  Thankfully my sim machine is on a UPS and I was able to safely shut down.  But my plans for flight #2 will have to wait a bit.  Until then….thanks for reading. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!  (Once power is restored)

Jerry

Microsoft Flight Simulator–Two Year Anniversary

In just a few days, 18 August 2022, Microsoft will celebrate the two year anniversary since the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator.  During the summer of 2019 and somewhat out of the blue, Microsoft announced they were working on the new version of their extremely popular Microsoft Flight Simulator.  I use the words “Out of the Blue” because most in the flight sim community were not aware of this news and it came to us with excitement and even some speculation.  Many of the blog postings I wrote here on my blog were very much mixed with my own personal excitement but also with guarded concerns.  After all, Microsoft had abandoned Flight Simulator and as a result many of the long-time fans of the sim had moved over to Prepar3D or X-Plane.  For the most part, I was certainly happy with the direction Prepar3D was moving in and was having a lot of fun in the sim. 

As we approach the two year anniversary of the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) I can happily say that much of the concern or speculation I once held towards the title have been dismissed.  After all, earlier this summer when the Fenix A320 and PMDG 737-700 released for MSFS, I began flying MSFS almost exclusively.  I still occasionally fly P3D when I have a need to fly the PMDG 777 or the QualityWings 787.  But I would say this is perhaps only 1 out of 100 or so flights that I do this.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I spend in MSFS and the experience gets better and better.  As a matter of fact, I changed my mind on the decision not to purchase the PMDG 737-700 (I initially said I would hold out until the 737-800 released) as the few times I tried flying the 737-800 in P3D, I just didn’t enjoy the experience.  While MSFS may have some limitations, the overall beauty of the sim makes up it.  Plus the addition of the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 (and soon to be released 737-800) have been instrumental in keeping me flying MSFS and essentially letting P3D gather dust. 

About those concerns…

The concerns and speculation many of us long-time flight simulation enthusiasts once had for Microsoft and Microsoft Flight Simulator have (in my opinion) to be null and void at this point.  In all honesty, while it did take me about a year and a half to fully embrace MSFS for my jetliner use, I was convinced that the efforts of both Microsoft and Asobo would truly turn MSFS into the future of flight simulation we have been longing for.  It just took some time for some of the more advanced airliners to make it into the sim and of course it took some time for Microsoft to work out a few bugs.  But as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been enjoying the hobby of flight simulation since the early 1980’s.  The advancement of flight simulation over these past 35+ years is truly amazing.  The dedication I see from Microsoft, Asobo and all the many 3rd party developers certainly have me convinced that Microsoft Flight Simulator earns the right to say “As Real As It Gets” and will only continue to get better as time goes by.

August Expectations

While August is about half way done, I believe we’ll see some amazing things happen this month.  First and foremost, Microsoft/Asobo have been working hard on the sim update 10 release.  While I haven’t participated in the beta, I’ve heard from many simmers who say that SU10 addresses many of the bugs we’ve been plagued with and moves the sim one step further ahead with better performance and features which many 3rd party developers can take advantage of.  While I’m not a fan of Microsoft’s “Must Update Features”, I am anxiously awaiting SU10 and hope the update/upgrade process works as smoothly as all the previous updates have. 

In addition to SU10, I believe we will see the PMDG 737-800 release this month or early September.  The 737-800 is my all-time favorite aircraft to fly in the sim and I’ve missed having it.   Yes, the 737-700 is just a bit smaller,  but I want my 738 and I want it as soon as possible.  I know many of you do as well. 

Finally, I also believe we will soon have FSDreamTeam’s GSX available to us during the month of August.  For those that don’t know, GSX is the ground services component to flight simulation.  GSX controls all aspects of cargo and passenger loading, including the visuals for baggage/cargo being loaded onto the aircraft along with fueling, catering and that much important de-icing during the winter months.  In addition, GSX also does a really good job with aircraft pushback services which are truly lacking in MSFS at the present time. 

The Future Remains Bright

I believe we’ll continue to see some truly amazing things come to MSFS in the later half of 2022 and early 2023.  I’m hopeful SU10 paves the way for Chaseplane to finally come to MSFS and of course we might….just maybe see the PMDG 777 before end of year or perhaps very early 2023. Time will certainly tell.  It’s certainly a great time to be alive and a great time to be a flight simulation enthusiast. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read and I look forward to returning with a blog post in a few weeks to document my experiences with SU10, PMDG 737-800 and hopefully GSX.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

PMDG Boeing 737-700

I learned a long time ago to never….absolutely never say never.  Yes, my friends.  I broke down and pulled the plug and purchased the PMDG Boeing 737-700.  Yes, I had previously stated that I had no interest in the –700 since the virtual airline I’m involved with is an American Airlines based VA and American only flies the 737-800.  While we have codeshare airline agreements with Alaska (who do still operate the –700) and most recently GOL Airlines (who also operate the type), the main reason I pulled the trigger on the PMDG 737-700 was mainly due to the desire to fly the PMDG in MSFS.

After having exclusively used the awesome Fenix A320 in MSFS for the past several months (since its release day) and flying over 100 flights, I was seriously missing flying my PMDG.  One morning I fired up P3Dv5, loaded up the PMDG 737-800 and departed DFW airport.  Almost immediately my eyes said NO…Stop This Maddness!  I was quickly reminded as to the many reasons I enjoy the hobby of flight simulation so much. 

While P3D has provided me years and thousands of hours of flight simulation enjoyment.  It just no longer ticks all the boxes for me from a visual eye-candy perspective.  But with the delays in PMDG bringing their 737-600 to market and knowing the 737-800 could still be several months away from release, I just needed to have a PMDG aircraft in MSFS. 

I quickly killed the flight, rebooted my PC and purchased and downloaded the PMDG Boeing 737-700 for MSFS and installed an American Airlines livery.  I loaded it back up in DFW and departed towards my destination.  While American Airlines never operated the –700, my VA allows for this aircraft substitution and the value in having it and flying it outweighs the fact this is an entirely fictional aircraft for AAL.

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Since that first day a few weeks ago, I’ve flown over a dozen flights in the –700 and mostly love the experience thus far.  I say mostly, only because I do still believe in the current state (version 3.00.00.25) the Fenix A320 is a more complete aircraft….but the PMDG 737-700 is still very much fun to fly and only lags behind by a very small percent (in my opinion). 

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Now I have absolutely no plans to purchase the 737-600 which could be released any day now.  While according to PMDG news updates, they are working on the 737-800 in tandem with the –600 and Robert Randazzo even stated the –800 could be ready to release at the same time or even ahead of the –600.  I know from a business perspective, PMDG will most likely release the –600 first and then after some delay the –800 will release.  Otherwise, if PMDG releases the –800 ahead of the –600, then the sales of the –600 will be very minimal.  Most likely the sales of the –600 will be minimal anyway compared to that of the –700.  Personally, I believe PMDG should have followed their strategy from P3D and released the –600 as an expansion for the –700 and then release their –800 with an expansion to the –900.  But I digress…

In any event, I’m absolutely loving having both the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 in my virtual hangar for Microsoft Flight Simulator.  While I do miss my PMDG 777, PMDG 747 and the QualityWings 787…the time I have available for flights at this moment somewhat limits me to the shorter-haul flights which the A320 and B737 are designed for.  I know in time these other awesome aircraft will one day be available in MSFS.

What are your impressions of the PMDG 737-700 for MSFS?  I’d love to hear them in the comments. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Fenix A320 for MSFS

It’s been a while since I took the time to write a flight sim blog post. I’ve been busy with lots of DIY projects and just enjoying the spare time I have flying.  As I discussed soon after the release of MSFS, I decided to continue to fly Prepar3D v5 for all my airliner flights and have enjoyed Microsoft Flight Simulator mostly for General Aviation flying.  While I recognized from the very beginning that MSFS was going to be the new flight simulator standard, I saw no immediate need to begin flying airliners in the platform until just recently for several reasons.

First, while I did briefly play around with the FBW A320 in MSFS and will admit that what that team accomplished with the FBW A320 project is truly amazing, I didn’t see it replacing the FSLabs A319, A320, A321 I had in P3Dv5.  Second, from a short-haul perspective….I had everything I truly needed between the FSLabs and the PMDG 737.  I truly was waiting for something to grab my attention to the point where it would suck me right into MSFS.  Third, I must admit that I’m super spoiled with using Chaseplane to handle all my camera views in P3D.  The MSFS camera view system is seriously lacking when compared to Chaseplane and as I’ve been a Chaseplane user from the very beginning, old habits are truly difficult to break.

While I’ve been anxiously awaiting PMDG’s release into MSFS, I was slight disappointed in their release strategy.  Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason behind releasing the Boeing 737-700 first, followed by the 737-600 then finally the 737-800 followed by the 737-900.  After all, had PMDG released the B738 first, they might have struggled with getting the sales on the –700/-600.  But, for me personally I’m just not interested in owning a –700 or –600 variant.  My primary interests are in the 737-800 and the 737-900.  As I fly mostly American Airlines with some Alaska Airlines flights mixed in.  But I digress as this blog post is supposed to be about the Fenix A320.

I began hearing about the Fenix A320 project a few months ago.  I’ll be honest, I really didn’t pay much attention to it until the last 60-90 days before release.  But the more I read about it the more I anxiously awaited its release and realized this could be the airliner to finally bring me more into MSFS. After all, I absolutely love the visuals (eye candy) in MSFS over P3D and truly want to do more airliner flying in the new sim. 

The Fenix A320 was a day one purchase for me and since the release, install and setup…I’ve flown nothing but the Fenix in MSFS.  I’ve successfully logged 24 flights in the Fenix and absolutely love it.  I’ve managed to setup the MSFS camera system to a point where I can use it and have been having fun.  I’ve flown a variety of short flights (1-2 hours) and several longer flights of 3-4 hours.  Both the Fenix and MSFS have performed flawlessly.  I’ve also started adding a few airports into MSFS from both some freeware selections on Flightsim.to and a few payware options where I’ve had discounts from previous P3D purchases.  While I’m not ready to uninstall P3D as I plan to fly P3D tomorrow in the Boeing 777, I’ll do the majority of my short-haul operations, and certainly all my Airbus flying in MSFS. 

Final thoughts on the Fenix A320.  I don’t like to “Never Say Never”, but if the devs behind the Fenix project remain true to their word and release the additional engine types and sharklets for the A320 and if they also produce (in time) an A319 and A321, I’ll be a Fenix customer from this point forward and won’t even consider any future FSLabs purchases in the A319/A320/A321 categories.  But of course time will tell. 

As always, thank you for reading. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

The American Virtual Experience

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Long time readers of my blog will certainly know that I’ve discussed the subject of virtual airlines (VA’s) many times.  I’ve shared with my readers the pros and cons of VA membership and I’ve also shared my experiences with some of the best and worst the internet has to offer.  This writing is going to focus on a new (to me) virtual airline and why you should join today.

During the internet age of my flight simulation experience, I’ve always enjoyed being a member of a virtual airline community.  For me personally, I’ve found VA membership brings a sense of purpose to my flight simulation hobby.  Especially when flying jetliners around the world.  I’ve held memberships in many different VA’s over the past two decades and served in many capacities including pilot, hub manager, executive management and even owned my own fictional cargo based VA for about 5 years where I served as CEO.  For the most part, my experiences have always been extremely positive.  I’m a believer in the saying “You Get What You Give”.  More about this in a minute.

Prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the spare time I had was rather limited and it had been several years since I had been a member in a virtual airline.  However, being stuck at home and especially after being laid off in July, I found I had more time and I began seeking out a new VA to call home.  For most, the choice of VA will most likely be an airline in their home country and one they prefer over another.  Growing up in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and beginning my IT career there as well, I always preferred to fly American whenever possible.  So I’ve always gravitated towards an American Airlines based VA whenever possible.    But unfortunately, not all VA’s (even those simulating AAL) are created equal. 

A few weeks ago I found myself somewhat bored with the American VA I belonged to.  While I was keeping myself busy flying (almost daily) and I was serving in a management capacity, I just wasn’t happy with the direction things were going.  While I’m not going to mention the name of this VA, I’ll just say that I’ve had a long history with them and in all honesty not much has changed or progressed with their systems in more than 10 years.  Don’t get me wrong, they are a fine VA with wonderful and dedicated individuals.  But I just wasn’t happy and felt I needed to make a change. 

In the VATSIM Facebook group I saw a posting from another American Airlines VA which caught my attention.  I clicked the link and had a look over their website.  After reading as much as I could from their About, FAQ and News pages and reading even more comments others have posted on Facebook, I decided American Virtual was going to become my new home.  I completed the application process and was absolutely stunned when I received my acceptance and welcome email within 10 minutes of applying.  In the past I’ve waited 24 – 48 hours or sometimes longer to be accepted into a VA.  Being hired/accepted in the short period of time I experienced after signing up with American Virtual showed me these guys are a serious VA.  Of course it needs to be said, VA’s are operated by real-life humans and the expectation of being hired within 10 minutes will not always be possible.  However, any properly managed virtual airline should be able to review, process and hire certainly within 24-48 hours.  But I digress….

I downloaded the ACARs program and setup my first flight from DFW to DEN in the PMDG Boeing 737-800.  During the flight I joined the American Virtual Discord and found it to be an active and lively group.  By the time I completed the return flight to DFW I had decided I made the right decision.  The very next day I contacted the CEO and inquired about an open hub manager position at DFW.  While I was new to the VA, I wanted to offer my experience and willingness to serve in a management capacity and was promoted to the role of hub manager over the DFW hub. 

While I realize this has quickly become a lengthy post, I will wrap things up very shortly.  I promise!  While most VA’s operate in a similar fashion by allowing pilots to accrue hours, offer group flights and an online community via forum, Discord etc.  American Virtual takes all this many, many steps forward. 

In a recent video message from the American Virtual CEO, Sean Jackson, he describes the VA as being “more than just a virtual airline, but literally a technology company that provides virtual airline services.” During his six minute address, he highlights many of the features which makes American Virtual stand out as a leader in the flight simulation community.  A few features he discusses are as follows:

Flightaware Schedules

At American Virtual we strive to mirror the real world American Airlines flight operations in as realistic manner as possible.  American Virtual uses flight data from Flightaware to inject real world flight data in the scheduling system for both American Airlines and also its direct subsidiaries.   

Enhanced Flight Air Map

American Virtual uses a feature rich graphical tracking mod which provides a street level view of your aircraft in flight.  This is very similar functionality to what you might see with real world traffic on FlightRadar24.

Premium Miles

Earn miles towards purchase of real items or unlock special privileges on the site.

Perks Program

Earn discounts towards amusement parks, movies, sporting events, restaurants and more.

Odyssey Magazine

A quarterly full-color virtual magazine similar to American Way (AA’s inflight magazine). 

Discord Community

An active community on Discord where virtual friendships are forming on a daily basis. 

Plus Much, Much More…

American Virtual is hiring and if all this sounds interesting to you, you should join today!  But before I let you go, near the top of this lengthy article, I mentioned a saying or motto which has always been important to me.  “You Get What You Give”.  I’ve applied this in all aspects of my life, everything from my faith, my family, my education, my career and to my hobbies.  In the very short time I’ve been with American Virtual, I can tell you this is also an important motto from the CEO all the way throughout the management team.  There’s more to running a successful VA than just opening the doors.  The effort Sean and his management team, as well as each individual member is putting into this fine VA will only strengthen its core.  I’ve found my new home and I certainly hope you’ll join me

I hope to see you in the friendly skies at American Virtual.

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 6

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Flight Day 6

To date our general flight routing has been with the goal of reaching South America.  All previous countries we’ve landed in or over-flown have been countries I’ve previously visited in the flight sim.  We’ve finally reached the portion of the trip where I’ve not (at least in the past 4-5 years) visited.  So today’s flight is taking a bit of a shortcut from Tocumen direct to Ecuador (bypassing Columbia).  Over the next few weeks the hope is to pickup all the remaining countries I need to visit to make South America 100%.  This plan also includes a flight down to Antarctica.  Once this has been achieved, we’ll turn and fly along the eastern coast as we make our way north towards the Caribbean.  While I’ve visited most of the Caribbean islands before, we’ll do a little island hopping to pickup the ones I’m missing and using that path as a shortcut to get back to Florida and the east coast of the US.

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Today’s flight is just under 500nm, but will be the first over open water as we’re taking a bit of a shortcut and flying direct from Panama City, Panama to Esmeraldas, Ecuador. 

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The Mooney Ovation has been performing flawlessly and is certainly up to the task.

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The Pacific Ocean is looking pretty calm, but keeping our eye on the clouds ahead of us. 

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As expected, had to climb above the clouds to avoid a small storm. 

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Runway ahead.  I think we’ll beat the rain. 

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On the ground in Ecuador.  As we’ve been pushing ourselves a bit hard over the past few days, we’re going to spend 2-3 days here exploring the area before proceeding towards Peru. 

Thanks for following along with my around the world adventure. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 5

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Flight Day 5

Once again it’s time to move on and continue our journey through Central America to South America where I hope to visit several countries I’ve not flown into in the past 5 years or so.  Below is a screenshot from the ProjectFly flight tracker indicating the countries I’ve visited in South America before I began this Around the World Adventure.  While the image is a bit dark, you can see I’ve previously visited Columbia, Venezuela, Caracaras, Guyana and Chile (shaded in gray).  Most of these flights were flown from the US out of either KDFW or KMIA with return flights back.  In other words, I tend to always fly from the last airport I’ve previously landed.

As previously discussed on an earlier blog post, I’ve visited 36% of the world.  While I could have just jumped around, I’ve always enjoyed flying with a purpose and that’s really what this adventure is all about.  Over the next few weeks the goal is to complete all of South America and also pickup Antarctica before heading north towards the Caribbean.  More about all this later.

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MSLP MROC MPSM MPTO

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On the ground at MSLP.  Should be a beautiful day to fly.

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Climbing to our cruise level as we fly along the western coast.

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Flying over mountains in central Costa Rica. 

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Flying over Panama City and preparing for our arrival at Tocumen Airport.   We will stay here overnight and head for Ecuador. 

Thanks for reading and following along with my progress as I fly around the world in a Mooney Ovation.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Flight Day 4

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Flight Day 4

We spent a few days exploring the Veracruz area including some much needed “beach” time.  I must admit the mid to upper 70’s temps in January compared to the snow and cold of Denver has been a nice break.  Of course the further we travel south on this portion of our journey will continue to be warm, perhaps even hot since we’ll be entering summer once we cross the equator. 

Over the next several weeks, our general direction of flight will be generally south as we fly along Central America into South America.  We’ll fly along the western side of South America exploring Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.  Our routing will take me to places which I haven’t flown to in many years. 

I’ve been using the ProjectFly app to track my flights for many years.  There is a Passport feature which tracks the countries you visit.  At present I’ve only visited 35% of the world’s countries and this Around the World Adventure is to help me add to this.  Will I reach 100% before this adventure is complete?  Well…that is certainly my goal and one of the reasons we’re headed to the southern tip of South America as I do plan (weather permitting) to fly from the southern tip of Argentina (SAWH) to Teniente R. Marsh airport in Antarctica.  This would be a 530nmi flight over open ocean.  But it’s about the only chance I will get to fly to this part of the world.

MMVR MMTP MSLP

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It was hard to pry ourselves away from the little beach side cabana.  But as the weather is changing, it’s time for us to move along. 

Our next flight will take us from Mexico down to El Salvador by way of Tapachula. It’s a longer flight leg, but as I had mentioned in a previous update, we agreed after a few days of R&R on the beach that we would make it up with a few longer flight legs.

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Refueling in the rain.  This is one of those moments where I wished I had done this when we landed a few days ago in the sunshine.

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Lining up on runway 01

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Climbing out

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Making our turn to head direct to MMTP.

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Smooth air above the clouds.

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Making our turn over Tapachula (MMTP).

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On the ground and another flight day is complete.  We will stay here for a day and then depart for Tocumen Airport in Panama City, Panama.  Thanks for reading.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Wonderful Saturday Morning News

We all woke up to some wonderful and exciting news this morning from PMDG and the soon to be released Boeing 777 for P3Dv5.  You can read the press release from FSElite here

Since making the move to P3Dv5, the Boeing 777 has been missed from my virtual hangar.  While I don’t have a lot of time for long-haul flights, there are plenty of US domestic routes being handled via the T7 such as DFW – ORD, DFW – MIA, DFW – LAX, MIA – LAX (as examples) for American Airlines to certainly keep me busy.

The Boeing 777 is truly a wonderful aircraft to fly and I’m looking forward to the release which hopefully will be sometime towards the end of January or early February. 

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful weekend.

Jerry

Around the World Adventure–Day 3

Note:  This is a fictional flying adventure using Microsoft Flight Simulator.  Any similarities to real world events, people and places is strictly for the purpose of the story.  While a trip like this might not be possible (or even a good idea) due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, I’m omitting this from this adventure.  At this time in all our lives, we need a little break from reality from time to time. 

Day 3

Our third day will be another full day of flying.  We’ve decided to spend New Year’s Eve in the port city of Veracruz, Mexico.  While we could push deeper into Mexico, we figured we would have a shorter day today and make up for it in the next few legs and try to be in South America sometime next week.  Plus who doesn’t want to spend New Year’s Day lounging on a beach!

KBRO MMTM MMVR

leg 3

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Lined up and ready to take-off at KBRO.

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The Rio Grande and US border between Texas and Mexico.  We’ll be back in the USA in a few weeks or perhaps a month or two.  Really don’t know.  We’re just going to take things day by day.  But do have plans to reach the southern tip of South America before we turn north and head back this direction. 

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Flying along the eastern coast of Mexico.

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On short final for runway 01 at MMVR Veracruz, Mexico. 

We’re off to the beach hotel for a few days of fun & sun before proceeding on our trip.  We’ve had a long few days of flying and need a break. 

Thanks for following along.  At the present time, we’ve flown 1,481 nmi, in just short of 10 hours of flying time.  You can track my individual flight logs here

Until next time….Hasta la vista from Mexico!

Jerry

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