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Highmike

2009 RTW Race Team AVSIM PIREPS

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Team Avsim participants arrived at Launceston just as the eastern horizon was beginning to lighten. The chill in the air sobered the mood of the team, and members shared a little jocular banter to relieve their apprehension. We waited in the dark ready to begin our long ordeal, and took advantage of an opportunity to save some endangered wildlife from the brink of extinction. The team took off in every direction to collect their endangered passengers, and before long two members were on their way to Melbourne with these animals, and the beginning of the race in earnest.

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Team AVSIM was very anxious to get the race underway. Taking advantage of the early morning calm and decent weather, the team set out on a Golden Age Team flight in DC-3's, some Grumman Gooses and a Comet. It was a nice flight with some bumps at various times. We were fortunate enough to have enough team members land to claim full bonus for the team flight, as well as taking care of our first aircraft requirement in the 150nm category.

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Great dawn to add atmosphere to the takeoffs and climb outs. Stunningly beautiful. Below is the famous Twin Beech of Flinders Island on its way to collect a pair of Lorikeets. (YMLT-YFLI-YMLT)Fifty miles is along way in the Vimy. How did these guys cross entire oceans? Stout men, these.Here MM is flying wing to Stone's Jenny (YBIR-YKER) on Saturday/Sunday. Happily, the Vimy got down safely despite a crosswind that turned pretty nasty.

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Beautiful Tazzie morning to pickup some animal friends.Ready for Departure from YMLT with all off the animals[Leg1 Team Flight

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Here's a pic from my exciting flight into YBTL. During our flight that started out for YHUG Buzz found that another route was a bit faster so her diverted us with 385 miles to go to our original destination. Along the way my wingman Rob had a computer crash so I was on my own from there. A seemingly easy approach into a big airport turn suddenly exciting when 1000 ft agl the fog rolled in. After a number of passes trying to find the runway I was nearing the 2 hour limit on the route. One last drop through the soup let me find the ground although I never saw it. With 8% fuel and the tanks and 3 minutes before busting the time for the route this was one wild ride. I can't wait for the next one!!! :( Vicious

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]I thought I would contribute to this. We were looking good for the kickoff.I was backup for Stone but Stone had a few technical problems so I ended up leaving before he did.Here is a couple snaps from the flight.[attachment=3536:EPW_2009...b_21_008.jpg

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Townsville Landing from Google EarthHighMike and I were standing by for the next leg as Vicious radioed in position reports as he approached. On short finals Vicious announced that he could not see any runway lights or the ground and announced go-around. Then the same on the second attempt. He stayed vey cool and completed the leg with time to spare. Outstanding way to bring the leg home!!! :(

Here's a pic from my exciting flight into YBTL. During our flight that started out for YHUG Buzz found that another route was a bit faster so her diverted us with 385 miles to go to our original destination. Along the way my wingman Rob had a computer crash so I was on my own from there. A seemingly easy approach into a big airport turn suddenly exciting when 1000 ft agl the fog rolled in. After a number of passes trying to find the runway I was nearing the 2 hour limit on the route. One last drop through the soup let me find the ground although I never saw it. With 8% fuel and the tanks and 3 minutes before busting the time for the route this was one wild ride. I can't wait for the next one!!! :( Vicious

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Here are a couple of shots of arrivals and departures to and from Nakashibetsu in the far north of Japan (RJCN). The first is of Rob O. departing to the north with Harvey hot on his tail, and the second is of Vicious's wingman Travis arriving a few minutes later.

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Well I just finished a long flight into UHMA from UHPP.Mike and I took off from UHPP with me as lead and him as my wingman. For the most part it was uneventful, but we kept an eye on the weather at HMA for the entire flight. It was looking pretty lousy for landing with a 28kts crosswind at almost 90 degrees.For the most part the flight was good. Had a couple scares with some overspeed in the avanti due to wind shifts at altitude, there was quite a few, however managed to get the airplane thought without any overstressing.Mike and I decided to begin our decent a little early to take it easy into UHMA as to make this landing as since it was an airbridge would be detrimental to the team to redo it. We were going to land on runway 19 as it was most favourable for the winds but this required to fly around to the other side of the airport.After a nice easy approach, I managed to get the bird down in one piece, ALMOST. It was a pretty nasty crab angle during the landing. I have attached a screenshot of the final approach. Enjoy..

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Rndguy & I were assigned to to pick up the endangered Golden Possum @ YWYY for the kickoff event. My Co-pilot / Handler came along and decided keep the animal 'cause it was so tasty. Seriously, she did catch this thing while doing her thing outside. We also brought back alot of "duck" tape too. - "The Red Green Show" We tried to deliver the animal to the Possum Lodge and give it to Harold. But my Co-Pilot just wouldn't give it up ! :( :( :( :oRoman

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You've got to love the night flights. 28000 ft, crystal clear air, a vision of Earth which transports the senses to a place above the horizon where stars make you feel like Han Solo piloting his Millenium Falcon. You look out there knowing that those stars will remain forever stationary, but feeling that at close to 500 knots ground speed those stars could easily bleed into countless radiants as some threshold in the spatial continuum is crossed, and the RTW Race finish line seems even closer!

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Post Canal Tour Cub Run Classic to Punto CocosThe team decided to use the daylight and good weather in Panama to complete the 50 mile classics. I had tried out the Ryan with light fuel load in Australia and was able to fly it OK so I initially selected the Ryan with 10% fuel. I claimed the baton and and started my takeoff run, lifted off, started my turn towards the course line and the Ryan began to wallow, then the stall, then the crash. After a small delay and reset I made the second attempt in the Ryan and got a bit further before the same result - crash. After another small delay for flightsim to reset, I selected the Piper Cub, restarted the duenna and took off. The screen shot below me cruising along about 10 minutes into the flight (now very happy).Two minutes after this shot my engine quit (I had the 10% fuel from the Ryan in my cub at takeoff).One more reset back to MPMG with the cub and full fuel and I was off for the sucessful completion of this leg.

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We decided to take a little break from the speed demons and do some low and slow flights near the west coast of Ecuador. The first shot Buzz Bee flying patterns while he tests out his new movie camera. He used the camera later to film Bry while enroute. The second is of is of Arvoo coming in over the top of Bry and I waiting for the baton hand-off.

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On a photo recon mission in the Avro VulcanBig Delta Wing and no Flaps makes for a "Concorde-like" nose-up FlareGlamourous old reconditioned VulcanEamonn enroute to SENL in a AA 767

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Today we had to do some last minute plan changes due to very rough winds aloft. Arvvo had the baton at Marseille for a run to London. We tested many aircraft all the way up to the time of departure wondering whether a cabin class would be better for this run. In any case I didn't have an aircraft that could really do the job at altitude so I took the p-51H and tried to keep it as low as possible for semi-favorable winds. Arvoo had a great flight in the Dynasty, I had a decent flight, ( 17 minutes later ) but it sure was fun hand flying it across the countryside trying not to hit farm animals and such. Here are some shots.Roman

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Today's lottery draw was a Pony run from EGTO (Rochester) to LKKU (Kunovice) in the Czech Republic.Sven chose to accompany in the Avanti hoping to get above the forecast headwinds. I beat into the winds for the first hour and a quarter of the flight and then decided I'd had enough and headed down below 9000 where much lighter winds were forecast. Screen shot is looking out over the Czech countryside at dusk about 15 minutes out of LKKU.

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My flight in the Mid-East:VIJO - VIGR - In the DEFAULT Vega flown by for about the 5th time, in total white-out FOGG; ZERO-VIS the entire trip; 1/4 nm vis at the RWY; then had to go around due to people taking off; no biggy; just went around but, they didnt have GPS those days so I flew according to plan and tracked the NDB to off the end of RWY-6 at 5nm out; NO VIS (!) at 3000' give or take; then of course with labels at the end of the runway was kind of a giveaway, but I could barely see the end of the RWY; had to 'SLIP-IN and SLIP-OUT (!) as they say to lose altitude.Landed half-way down the RWY but landed safe and sound as Wingman for 'Viscious' - Veloskey.For me it was a challenge flight, and the VEGA has lived up to her name, bringing me in slowly, quietly, effortlessly, safe, and sound.It is a flight for me that has gone down in history, and I was glad to be a part of it as a WINGMAN.As it turned out, I was 49 minutes out when BUZZ-Bee computer crashed; they decided to restart - well my heart sank - I, as a 'pilot' have no option to 'turn back and start over'; I felt cheated.My flight time was 39 minutes actually, and my 2nd success was 105 min; I was 49 min out.Getting the baton and continuing, would have meant a 30 min penalty; a total of probly for me of, let's see; 105 + 30 = 135 min; the actual flight was 105 min; adding the abort-reset time of about 40min (the length of the first attempted flight) to 105 (my actual SUCCESSFUL second flight (!!) =>> a total of 145 min (!!!): so we (as a team) lost 10 minutes in this 'ABORT-RESET Start-Over' deal for this leg.In real life a Wingman doesnt abort mid-air and start over ! In combat sims we are given 10 minutes to ready weps; after that, computer crashes or not, that's it.This 'abort rule' should be abolished, or completely revised to allow WINGMAN to finish their flights.A wise man once said, "It is not for the good of the many, or the few, but for the one"; for without the "ONE", there is no team.Even if we had lost 10 min, I would still have continued on...this isnt about the numbers; it's about the brave and dedicated pilots of yester-year; they didnt have the luxury of GPS either; they had to time their legs an such. I will probly never fly to that level of ability, but I learned much more about how they flew by flying in this race (Using FS9 - FS2004) was a major improvement in the flight dynamics of the tail-draggers too, without which I would never have been able to fly them.(EDIT: BTW I forgot to mention that visibility was very poor; racewise I can see starting over, but I was really into the spirit of the race in these old planes, and when our leg was re-started, I felt like my challenge had been taken away from me. But it's a lesson learned - Loook at "Lucky Lindy" !; you talk about Spirit ! I was allowed to restart of course; things happen, and when Buzz's computer crashed on our leg (he was our baton pilot) I know how he felt, so my question was if computers crash and we all know it can the leg be restarted without penalty giving that person a chance to try again - even if the Wingman's computer crashesSo being a part of these old race challenges has made me much more appreciative of the pilots who flew these planes, especially that Comet and Tri-Motor !)Thank you MSoft and AVSIM and all the other teams; fair winds to you all.Captain Gray ! :(

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Engine over IndiaAn interesting flight, perhaps more interesting than one would like.All in the Karachi-Allahabad MacRobertson Challenge. First a brilliantly fast leg in the Comets by Harvey and Norman. Then, suddenly, Buzz had his FS CTD in the middle of a perfect flight. After the team

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Thanks Buzz (in the Vega) for circling overhead until the townfolk arrived to check on our welfare, later cheering us with food and ale, for which paid with tours of the aircraft and pictures of the pilot next to his feathered prop "the man who needs only one engine to fly a two engine'd plane."

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MacRobertson race... It was the Bangkok to Singapore leg,, split up with a stop at Samui. In Bangkok there was a problem at the FBO where the AV petrol was running low because of so much race traffic. So, in a pinch I requested, as wing man, to have the baton holder to get all the AV fuel while I topped off my tanks with rice wine. The run was very fast getting 10-15 knots more groundspeed than Mike. The engines started to make noises because of burning valves and valve seals leaking the wine into the oil. It was for not anyway - With the smell of Tai noodles so close making my stomach gurgle and the thought of a nice dinner after a long flight flooding my brain..... I groundlooped it at 20 knots! The only surviving thing was myself and the camera. No need to rebuild the engines now. Roman

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Cabin Classing across North AustraliaThis shot taken shortly after take off from Tyndal flying as Bry's wingman.The AVSIM race team initially did not appreciate the importance of the Cabin Class rule. Duiring the night flights from northern Canada across the US Vicious performed test comparisons against the P-51H and we soon realized that the rule made these aircraft highly competitive. We decided to begin introducing them into our flight plans when the opportunity presented.

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Last Leg to Essendon YMEN in the P51-H.Great turnout by the team for a group flight in support of the baton holder buzzbee and StoneC0ld. Some sreen shots of my arrival to MelbourneLast LegEnd in sightThe end of another RTWR

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Incident at DFOOHere is a story depicting a typical racing incident.HighMike is flying a Cabin Class King Air into Bobo-Dioulasso DFOO while StoneC0ld and Buzz await on the tarmac, ready to make a high-speed run to Niamey

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