GWJ FBO: Flight Simulation Catch-all

That's all great information, thanks Carl. I do really like the B350 so I'll continue trying to learn it, perhaps on longer flights though.

I punched your route into Little Nav Map and at 4,500 it looks like you clear terrain and its a fairly normal descent into EGCK. This is using the B350 profile from the Xplane Payware King Air, and that's actually modeled very well so YMMV in MSFS, but as long as you are managing your speed and altitude, doesn't look too bad.

If you like the B350 by all means fly it, but the DA62 as modded by https://flightsim.to/file/2733/da62x... is an excellent twin. It has full FADEC control, so unlike the KA with separate prop and mixture levers, there's just throttle control. You mentioned flying with assists on, but a King Air is a beast of an aircraft to fly and manage and flying something like the DA62 without assists may be a lot more rewarding, and may in some ways be easier than the KA with assists on.

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I'm greatly amused by the number of places in World Update 10 (USA Part Deux) that are on my list of recently-visited places.

After flying over our vacation spot in Sanibel last month, I landed in Naples, FL. From there I went from west-to-east in Florida, flying over Miami and not landing until I reached Bimini.

Since then I've decided to take a tour around the Caribbean to South America. Thus far I've made stops in Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Haiti, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Haiti again, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands (St Thomas and St Croix).

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I had a couple of passengers from Cuba to the Caymans. No questions were asked.

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My flight from Haiti (MDJE) to the Dominican Republic may be the single longest flight I've done. I started by flying over Port Au Prince.

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After that I learned that the DR is more mountainous than I thought, and that flying through mountains in the dark does not qualify as "VFR".

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Puerto Rico was a fun place to fly, especially around San Juan. Here I came across a Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS) at Lajas in SW Puerto Rico. The actual balloon was at a much higher altitude than my 310, but I got a good view of the mooring point.

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There is a lot of lovely scenery around the USVI. This is an overflight of the capital (Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas) then my 310 parked on the ramp there the next morning.

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My next few flights will involve an attempted landing at the infamous Saba (TNCS), followed by visits to Princess Juliana (TNCM) and St Bart's (TFFJ).

Hrdina, I love your stories.

DonD wrote:

Hrdina, I love your stories.

Thanks!

Tonight's flight was a short hop from St Croix over to the island of Saba, a Caribbean island which includes the highest point within the Kingdom of the Nederlands.

It also includes the shortest commercial runway in the world, Yrausquin Airport (TNCM). LNM lists it as 977 feet long.

You expect me to land on that?!?!

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I flew there in my C310R, which is not particularly well-suited to this airport since it needs to maintain a relatively high velocity to avoid stalling. Usually STOL-capable aircraft come here.

My first attempt to land on Runway 30 resulted in an unintentional touch-and-go, as about 75% down the runway I realized I wasn't going to stop in time. I slammed the throttles full forward and went sailing over the cliff at the end of Runway 30 without losing too much altitude.

On the second attempt, I made a much slower approach and managed to set down pretty close to the threshold under 90 knots. I probably wore out my brakes, but did manage to stop well short of the cliff. After a few moments to collect my breath I was able to taxi up to the terminal.

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My MSFS logbook shows this as one flight with 1 takeoff and 2 landings. LNM shows it as two flights, one from TISX to TNCS, and a second from TNCS to TNCS (5 whole miles).

I think the runway is long enough to allow me to take off safely!

Hrdina wrote:

I think the runway is long enough to allow me to take off safely!

"I think"... is never a good way to do your flight planning

Use the full length (you get 400 more feet), and the short field procedure and you have 1300 feet for TO which should be enough per the table I found online.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/gNtAyC2.png)

Carlbear95 wrote:
Hrdina wrote:

I think the runway is long enough to allow me to take off safely!

"I think"... is never a good way to do your flight planning

Use the full length (you get 400 more feet), and the short field procedure and you have 1300 feet for TO which should be enough per the table I found online.

Ha, thanks, the user guide from Milviz contained only "Sheet 1 of 2" from that figure so I had to grab a copy of the POH from elsewhere.

I have occasionally flown the 310R pretty close to MTOW (5500 pounds) but IIRC when I flew into Saba I only had a copilot and a little luggage so I was below 5100. It's only a short hop over to Princess Juliana, so I won't need to add too much fuel. As long as I don't leave when it's 40C outside I should have enough runway.

Given that I usually fly late at night, I rarely use live time/weather. Having a more normal wind would make my flights a good bit different. That's something I'll start exploring soon.

In any event, for this flight the light wind was from the west, so I was taking off on runway 30 instead of what seems to be the more standard runway 12. Runway 30 seems to slope a bit uphill, which didn't help me.

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I had plenty of speed as I approached the far end of the runway, but may have pulled up a bit abruptly as I had a (brief) squawk from the stall horn at liftoff.

I've enjoyed flying around this part of the Caribbean. It reminds me of playing Sid Meier's Pirates!

Heading northeast, the islands of Saint Martin (left) and St Barthelemy (right) are immediately visible.

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Flying around St Martin Island, about to turn toward Anguilla. The southern part of Saint Martin is Sint Maarten (Nederlands) and the northern part is Saint-Martin (France).

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Overflying Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten. The beach next to runway 10 on the right is a popular place for people to take videos and get hammered by jet blast.

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I continued on toward St Bart's, already visible in the distance.

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Because I still didn't change the wind direction, I was routed over the mountain to land on runway 28, instead of the much easier runway 10.

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Gustav III airport, like Saba, was one of the handcrafted airports in the original release of MSFS 2020.
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Funny story, today was a (mostly) VFR Vatsim event in the Bay Area featuring 3 of our smaller airports, Hayward, San Carlos and Palo Alto.

I figured it would be good practice to get some Bravo airspace radio transition work and to flying through the bay. I was going to take the MSFS C172, give it call sign N5342T which is the aircraft I learned to fly in, and take it from (the still zero modeled) KDVO where I fly out of, to the east bay side, cross right over KOAK airport over the San Mateo Bridge and into KSQL.

As I'm about to log on to VATSIM I look at Vatspy and see another aircraft ready to fly out of KDVO... that's weird.. you never see anyone fly out of that airport... low and behold, another RL pilot who rents the same plane is already using N5342T also flying to KSQL (most people in VATSIM use their real name, so I recognized it from the aircraft reservation system). Anyways, I send him a text and share a good laugh.

For the flight, its clear that the newer VATSIM controllers aren't really that familiar with VFR and transitions. The way you "learn" to control on VATSIM is you start at Ground/Delivery, work your way up to tower, then bigger sectors, so the folks that do Tower are generally pretty new, and unless you're very familiar with those transitions it can get confusing. So the learning for me was less about getting phraseology right, but making sure I'm paying attention to charts and airspace rules.

Departing SQL you are really under the shadow of the KSFO Bravo, and within about 5 minutes of departing the airport you run into Bravo airspace that goes to the surface. The SQL controller (who mentioned that he flies IRL out of there) said "contact SFO tower immediately on xxxx" because the bravo space was coming up quick. I get on and there's one poor controller who's overwhelmed, I ask for the B Transition but he doesn't have time, so I do the right thing and just start circling the "mall" which is just outside the B airspace. Eventually I get a different transition and all was fine, and was definitely a learning experience and quite hectic.