Tag Archive

adf Africa Andrakaka C208 Carenado Cessna Grand Carava C208 Chitipa Christmas Caper 2011 CIX VFR Club Comoros Comoros Islands Dc-3 dodoma Flightsim.com FSX indian Ocean JF Just Flight Kalemie kilimatinde location Madagascar mainland Malawi Mayotte mbala Moheli Mosambique Mt. Karthala mtwara natation navigation Pamandzi Prince Said Ibrahim registration rmi Scenery sperry Tabora Tanzania The Bahamas theme Time zone Tundaru Turbulance vor

Leg12 pre-cursor

Yes!  Bloody Hell!  Belive it or not I’m about to  fly somewhere!  Backwards…..

I’ve decided on what aircraft I’m using to replace the DC-3 from just flight.  Read below.  Sorry if you don’t like the narration.  It’s fun

Read the rest of this entry »

Yet more problems

While everyone’s FS install has strange quirks mine seems stable at the moment.   Apart from having to run SB outside of FS.  But I understand that’s advised.

Weird things happen to everyone’s FS installs.   I recently installed scenery for Welshpool EGCW and I’ve lost Gloucestershire EGBJ.  The flatten is still there and the runway signs are there, but everything is covered by a layer of grass, and the tower has gone.  Maybe during the flight from EGCW to EGBJ (32 mins) there was a disaster.  Maybe a tidal wave.

Now while most problems can be overcome there are a few that cannot.  I’ve got one of those on the JF DC-3.   It will not take off without FSX crashing.  It’ll fly fine, but not take off.  This causes a problem for me.   I’m not gonna cheat and take off in another aircraft.  Well, maybe once,  but not constantly.

It’s not just my FSX either.  I’ve heard similar problems.  So I’m stuck at Tabora, Tanzania with an aircraft that I cannot fly.  It’s a bugger.    I did fly around Kilimanjaro with a friend in the Carenado Piper Saratoga.  The add on scenery we found from Flightsim makes the area very good. 38m resolution.

Tabora is within about 1 hour of Kilimanjaro and I view this mountain as my second big step.  the Rift valley lakes (Malawi) in particular being the most interesting for me.

So,  I’m stumped.  Suggestions on a postcard to

The Crazy bloke with a un-flyable DC-3




Myself, Norm, the co-pilot and Eric the engineer turned up at the ‘runway’ (flat mud in my opinion).  Eric’s first words before we got within 40feet of the bird were “We are not flying out today”.  I pressed him for a reason.  He started speaking a foreign language.  Something about crankcases and broken blocks.   Of course I hold him directly responsible.  My parting words as I left for the hotel were “Fix it, or leave”.  Yes, I know my man management skills are stunning huh? 🙂  I shall return later on to enthuse him with more words of wisdom.  Norm and the Co-pilot stayed to help Eric by pointing at things and asking “it is supposed to be like that”

Quite frankly I’m angry.  The aircraft should be ready to go at the drop of a hat.  And I don’t want to hear any more justifications that it’s a 50 year old aircraft.  You cannot tell me they were designed this poorly.   And if anyone suggests that it’s my ‘mis-handling’ that’s caused it, I will scream!


Leg 10

Kalemie, Democratic republic of Congo to Tabora, Tanzania.

Nothing to report to be honest.  I got a pat on the back from the engineer.   Navigation was happy.  “Just follow that coast line” until I tell you.  The bleeding Nav was wrong though it was a lake, not a sea as ‘coast line’  suggests.

The JF DC-3 is reinstalled, but I need to ‘fix’ everything again.  Disconnect the Ap and do a repaint.  Not to mention, for some reason, SP1 didn’t work.

More soon  I’m on my way http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro next.

Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic conesKiboMawenzi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania and the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres or 19,341 ft above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).[3]




Leg 7

FWUU – Mzuzu to FWCT – Chitipa. T/O: 11:22 local. Landing : 12:28.

Weather neglible. Winds Nill.

Flying from Mzuzu back out to Lake Malawi and north almost to the northern tip of The Lake to Lupembe then Westerly to Chitipa.

The flight was very good.  Norm the Nav planned things well and I flew the course perfectly.  As usual.  We did start the descent a little too late and due to the light load on board we didn’t descent as quickly as we though.  This resulted in us being too fast on the thresh hold (120kts) and a little to high.

Things would have gone well, but the runway was short, so a go-around was required.  My first of the tour.

I’m still getting used to the obvious ground speed increase when at altitude.  I don’t think this helped.

Turning back to finals after the go around resulted in us loosing the runway (DC-3’s are not great for visibility) and turning not just 180 degrees back onto the runway heading, but 540 degrees.  This resulted in a low and slow configuration.  Not good.  Low and slow can result in a unintentional landing.

As per usual my perfect flying and experience resulted in me realizing the potential for a problem and correcting before it became dangerous.

After landing my Co-pilot made straight for the bar looking a little wide eyed.  I guess he was stunned by my flying.   Eric complained about stress to the airframe, and a DC-3 not being a fighter.

We’ve burnt just over 1 ton of Avgas. Adding to the shortage of oil in the word.

Leg 6

Tundara – Mzuzu in Malawi.

Flight time 1:27 Fuel used : 834lbs.

This is a place I’m personally interested in.  One of those places I’d like to see one day.  And it doesn’t have to be by aircraft.  The flight was painless and short.  Passing over Lake Malawi gave some great views.

The landing was interesting as I seemed to be coming in faster then normal even though I passed the threshhold at 80kts.  I didn’t take the 4114feet MSL elevation into account.  All the previous flights were ar or near sea level.

Eric was heard to comment that the landing was very good, but he was worried about me possibly damaging the flaps when I dropped the first stage at 140kts, instead of their normal 131 max.  Meh no matter I have great trust in his abilities.

Lake Malawi


Lake Malawi

Crossing Lake Malawi in to the country of Malawi from Tanzania


Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa in most countries, or Lake Nyassa, Lake Niassa, or Lago Niassa in Mozambique), is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. This lake, the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world, is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is the second deepest lake in Africa, although its placid northern shore gives no hint of its depth. This great lake’s tropical waters are reportedly the habitat of more species of fish than those of any other body of water on Earth.

Lake Malawi or Lake Nyaza is between 560 and 580 kilometres long, and about 75 kilometres wide at its widest point. The total surface area of this lake is about 29,600 square kilometres (11,429 square miles).[1] This lake has shorelines on western Mozambique, eastern Malawi, and southern Tanzania. The largest river flowing into this lake is the Ruhuhu River. This large freshwater lake has an outlet, which is the Shire River, a tributary that flows into the very large Zambezi River.[2]

Lake Malawi lies in the Great Rift Valley that was formed by the opening of the East African Rift, where the African tectonic plate is being split into two pieces. This is called a divergent plate tectonics boundary. Lake Malawi or Nyaza itself is variously estimated at about 40,000 years old.[1] or about one to two million years.[5]



Satellite View of Lake Malawi

Adult Male Livingstone Cichlid

One of the many Cichlids that like in Lake Malawi

Fish from Lake Malawi are tropical freshwater fish.  They are unusual in that they like water close to the ‘hardness’ of sea water.   This is the opposite of American freshwater fish that prefer softwater.  They are often very colorful, and can be aggressive.  They can be kept in fishtanks if the water requirements are met, and enough space is supplied.  Even though the picture above show’s plant life many of the Cichlids prefer Rocks and other non-organic places to hide and live.  (Ref: Simon)

Referances : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Malawi



Sorted.  The next guy up the chain turns up in ancient Morris Minor.

Not sure on the flags though.   Turns out my new nemesis was a man of action.  He stood there in a Panama hat and a wrinckled suit and told me to jump in, we would ‘sort’ the problem.  I wasn’t sure that was a good think or not :).    We arrive at the field and Eric is looking smug while asleep leaning on a main wheel.

It turns out that the issue with the lack of a registration number has mysteriourly resolved it’s self.

The next problem is that while the registration is resolved,  “There is much paperwork that needs fixing Sir”.  I immediatly reach for the wallet, but it turns our our Mr Bossman is a DC-3 fan.  His father used to fly DC-3’s for a local airline.    An hour in the air and all is sorted.   We leave on the next leg at 1st light.  I also made the promise to land at a strip next lake Malawi.  This is where his father lives.

After all that I’m happy.  But I know as I get further along the route I’ll need to make the registration look less Heath Robinson.   A quick phone call to the Uk and things are being sorted.

Problems with local law enforcment

An Offical in Tundara, with lots of shouting, that our nice shiny Dc-3 (read: bare aliminum) should have the correct markings upon it.   While technically he’s correct before I could assure him that we would fix the problem and that he should accept our payment of a ‘spot fine’  he got louder and louder until a local policeman that was asleep in his car woke up.

Things went from bad to worse and I ended up in the local police station explaining why my aircraft was unmarked to a large chap with a problem with the heat.  I’m now stuck here waiting for the next guy up the food chain to turn up.

Kinda annoying really.  I could see eric the engineer,I wonder what his real name is, was wondering around the DC-3 with a can of black emulsion and a thoughtful look.   I guessed that the problem was about to go away when the policeman woke up,  and I wasn’t quick enough with the smokes and ‘spot fine’ payments.

Meh.   Once I get this sorted we off.   It’s a nice place and the people are nice,  but officaldom is officialdom the world over.

Leg 4. Landing on Mainland Africa.

Leg 4 : Prince Said Ibrahim  (FMCH) – (HTMT) Mtwara, Rep of Tansania.  202nm 86 Mins Estimated.

Weather : Winds 329@4kts. Temp 26C. Clouds Broken. 29.91 Inches pressure. No rain. 10miles visibility.  Flying at 8500ft. Actual blocks time 92 minutes. Takeoff 15.05 Local.

While the weather was not a problem, I’ve been testing the Just flight DC3.  It looks great and the model is more accurate then the FSX default.   Problem is that the VOR gauge doesn’t work (Later double checked.  But none of the FSX DC-3’s have a working VOR gauge), the Sperry AP is flakey both in pitch and heading.  Quite possibly an expensive mistake.

The Service patch Just flight released was supposed to fix the Sperry and sounds files.  Looks like the got the sound and the model right, but forgot the important stuff.   Anyway I’m quite attached to my viewmaster.

For some reason,

I view this leg as a mile stone.  This is the start of a journey.  I will be landing on mainland Africa.  All being well it’ll be close to the Tansania/Mozambique Border.   for the sake of international relations.  Meh,  who am I kidding.  In a effort to reduce the paper work we made land fall in Tanzania.

1st sighting of mainland Africa.  Mosambique (or should be)  We’ll take a right turn an follow the coast line until the MT NDB in Tansania.  Once it’s 90degrees to our left we can turn left towards it.  Our destination is in the same location.

Just a nice picture.   But can you spot the mistake?  Let’s just say this picture was taken at a different time.

Entering Tansania at 270degrees towards the MT NDB.  All being well our destination of Mtwara is ahead.

Ahh, there in the large dark green area.  I think.  Circling closer around the NDB We find a nice hard surfaced strip for us to make our first touchdown on mainland Africa.

“Welcome to the United Republic of Tanzania”

As I mentioned earlier none of the DC-3’s have a working VOR Gauge in either the VC or 2d panels.  While I’m flying around Africa it’s fine as there are very few of them, and enough NDB’s to get around.   It’s really annoying though.  I’ve searched several forums to no avail.  I guess I’l have to post one myself.

It’s annoying and a bit depressing though.  the JF Dc3 is a nice bird,  but the faulty sperry makes the aircraft unflyable for any reasonable ranges.  The flight model is good though.  Correct speeds and fuel burns.   I’ll have to see if I can copy the relavent bits from the JF Dc3 to the FSX dc3.

I must admit that these silly faults were not expected.  Let’s face it,  surely someone has noticed these?  JF were supposed to have fixed the Sperry autopilot with SP1.  Seem’s they failed.  I can cope with many problems,  but this is basic stuff guys.   I’m forming an email to JF.  “Angry of Ireland”.

Anyway,  I’m enjoying the flying.  John C from the CIX VFR Club has told me about a form of navigation that might make my time across the pacific easier.  There are many islands that I either need to refuel at, or to pass over as a navigation fix.   Many of them have no navigation aids at all.   John’s suggestion is to empoly a method navigation that deliberately aim’s to not hit the target.   I have the basics down, but John’s Away for a few well earned days so I’ll keep quiet about it until he returns.

I thought everything was fine with this flight,  I admit there were a few issues,  by my Co-Pilot has started muttering to himself.  There is  a distinct smell of strong alcohol around him.  Maybe it’s rubbing alcohol?   My ancient mechanic is muttering about the VOR gauge being faulty.  While we’ve passed VOR’s my superior navigation skills have not failed me yet.  They don’t call me the human pigeon for nothing