(Originally posted 11/24/13)
Taking off from Paris, we first have to reach the Gates of Africa, our first continent to visit : the Strait of Gibraltar. As a warm-up before the real stuff begins, we are heading to southern France and Spain. Though short, the prologue already features places to be seen : the Pyrenees and the Rock of Gibraltar.
Some statistics :
- Number of legs : 10
- Total distance : 1,121.7 NM
- Shortest leg : Córdoba to Sevilla – 55.8 NM
- Longest leg : Madrid to Córdoba – 170.0 NM
Depart: Paris-Le Bourget (LFPB)
Arrive: Bourges (LFLD)
Aircraft: Beechcraft Baron B58 (Carenado) *
Flight Plan: LFPB PTV LFLD
Distance: 115.2 nm
The first leg of the Tour is a short jaunt from Paris-Le Bourget to Bourges, a town some hundred miles to the south. I've added in the VOR at Pithiviers as a handy navigation aid--nothing too complicated to begin my long journey.
(Remember: you can always right-click on an image and select "View Image" to see it in greater detail.)
It's bright and early* at Le Bourget: I begin preparations as the sun is beginning to peek over Musée de l'air et de l'espace in the background.
* I accidentally forgot to sync the date, which defaults to June, for this flight; sunrise was about 8:15 am in Paris today, so my 6 am flight should have been in the dark!
Since it's a cold morning (about 7 C), I give the engines plenty of time to warm up before we get going. There's a 4-6 kt wind blowing out of the north and I'm instructed to take-off from runway 030.
And we're away! So begins The Big Tour! The northern wind picks up as we climb and we're blown slightly off course.
I turn south as we continue to climb to 10,000 ft, trying to get above the cloud cover. The trip south takes us right over Paris, making for some great views of the historic districts and landmarks.
After tuning the nav radio to PTV, we intercept our radial to Pithiviers and begin to leave lovely Paris beneath the clouds.
I'd forgotten that the Baron can really book it in cruise! It's not long before we have to begin our descent into Bourges. As we slip beneath the cloud cover again, we're treated to a nice view of the French countryside.
We enter the circuit around Bourges and approach from the south-west for runway 060 on account of that brisk northern wind. It's a bit gusty now, but nothing that can't be managed.
And touchdown! The first leg of The Big Tour is complete! All-in-all, a simple, enjoyable flight and a great start to our quest. Feels good to be simming again!
Next Leg: Bourges (LFLD) to Clermont-Ferrand/Auvergne (LFLC)