(Originally posted 12/05/13)
Depart: Córdoba (LEBA)
Arrive: Sevilla (LEZL)
Aircraft: Douglas DC-3 (Leading Edge Simulations / X-Aviation) *
Flight Plan: LEBA SVL LEZL
Distance: 56.7 nm
- LEBA Cordoba (custom)
Today's flight is a short jaunt to the south-west from Córdoba to Sevilla. At only 56 nm, Leg 8 will be the shortest individual flight during this introductory chapter to The Big Tour. After departing Córdoba, we'll fly toward the Sevilla VOR/DME (SVL) and line up for a landing on runway 27.
The aircraft I've selected for this leg is the legendary Douglas DC-3. I recently acquired this bird during a Cyber Monday sale over at X-Aviation so this will be the first time I've gotten to take it up. Even though I've read the manuals, I know that this flight will definitely be a learning experience. Apropos our continued adventures in Spain, I've picked the Iberia colors for this flight.
Because the DC-3's great, big, 1,200 HP Pratt & Whitney radial engines can be temperamental if treated unkindly, initial checks and start-up are a painstaking affair. But, after following the check-lists to the letter, I line us up for departure. The Twin Wasps have a lot of get-up-and-go and before long we're in the air.
After a short initial climb, I circle around and overfly the airfield on the way to SVL. The scenery that I'm using at LEBA is just something that I threw together while trying to get a handle on OverlayEditor, so don't judge it too harshly!
I cruise at a mere 6,000 feet so that I can spend some time fiddling with the Sperry Autopilot, one of the first autopilot systems ever produced. Even with the system enabled, constant adjustments are required to keep the plane on course; the DC-3 is by no means a hands-off plane! Our flight takes us over the valley of the Guadalquivir, one of the largest rivers in the Iberian peninsula. The surrounding countryside, which you can see out the windows, is pretty flat and featureless. It's a big change from the hills and mountain peaks just a few flights previous.
The DME ticks town the last remaining miles to SVL and, as the airport comes into view, I turn on course with runway 27. I drop the flaps and ride the glide slope in for a safe--if somewhat bumpy--landing. The DC-3 is by far the largest tail-dragger I've ever flown, so I misjudge my height off the ground and bunny hop before I can flare properly. Like I said, this flight would surely be a learning experience!
After taxiing off the runway, I pick a parking spot off to the side and cool the engines down. Leg 8 and my first successful flight in the DC-3 is in the books. Expect to see lots of flights in this bird!
Next leg: Sevilla (LEZL) to Granada (LEGR)