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Orbx Rocky Mountain Tour - Leg 1 - Yellowstone

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We depart from Red Lodge (KRED) to follow the majestic Beartooth Highway over the Beartooth mountains. The first set of waypoints (Y_BEAR1 – Y_BEAR4) show the way through the valley and up onto the pass. We shall have to climb to 11,000 feet to clear the terrain. 


We then descend to Luckinbill Airstrip (WY06), a rough grass field with a line of trees just south of the strip. (Careful pilots of fast aircraft may wish to execute a touch-and-go or simply a low flyover.) Bearing sharply north after takeoff, we proceed along US Route 212 in the valley of the Clark Fork of the Yellowstone River [Y_CLARK]. And then turn southwest over Cooke City [Y_COOKE] and into the Lamar Valley [Y_LAMAR], home of Yellowstone's bison herd.


We reach the waypoint [Y_CAN1] which sets us up for the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The reckless pilot might be tempted to follow the canyon by flying below the rim. At [Y_FALLS] you will get a view of the stunning Lower Falls of the Yellowstone – which drop twice the depth of Niagara Falls. (Again, the waypoints help mark the turns in the canyon. At two points you will come to what seems to be a fork in the canyon. In both instances, keep to the right.)


Then climb out to the west and follow the Norris Canyon Road, past some fire-burnt areas, to the Norris Geyser Basin [Y_NOGB], the most dynamic of the Park's thermal regions. Steamboat Geyser, at the south end of the basin, is the world's tallest currently-active geyser. Turn north and fly along the Grand Loop Road, before diving down Kingman Pass [Y_KPASS] to Mammoth Hot Springs [Y_MHS] (not depicted) and then a landing at Gardiner (29S).


Next, climb up over the Gallatin Range – you may need 10,000' or more to crest the peaks – and then descend over the city of Bozeman and land at Bozeman Yellowstone International (KBZN). You can refuel or use other services at the highly-ranked Yellowstone Jet Center FBO.


After a pause, we take off and climb up over the Gallatin Range to see the Big Sky Resort [Y_BSKY], founded by legendary NBC anchorman Chet Huntley 40 years ago, and the singular Lone Mountain [Y_LONE] that towers over the resort. (Fly close and you can see the observation post on the top.) Then turn southeast, over a set of ridges, to land at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch (1MT0). This is a grass strip that the owners say can handle twins – so no worries for the skilled AVSIM pilot. Just approach East-to-West and reverse the directions for takeoff. (The runway is sloped.) This long-successful dude ranch might be able to serve up a steak sandwich with all the fixin's.


Next, fly over Sage Peak and Mount Hebgen to land at West Yellowstone (KWYS). Located here is the Aerial Fire Center, a base for smokejumpers and tankers whose firefighting resources serve the broader region.


Now depart to fly low over the Park and see the Lower Geyser Basin's Great Fountain and White Dome Geysers [Y_LOWB], the Midway Basin's  spectacularly colored Grand Prismatic Spring [Y_PRISM], and naturally, the Upper Basin's Old Faithful and historic Old Faithful Inn [Y_FAITH]. All worth a more careful examination than we can give in our overflight.


Finally, we turn south for 50nm to enter Jackson Hole, admire Jackson Lake and the dramatic Grand Tetons, and land safely at Jackson Hole Airport (KJAC). We have dinner reservations at the Blue Lion.


Here is an image of the flightplan. The digital flightplan (in FSX and Plan-G formats) is available from the DropBox location here.




Recommended scenery: Orbx Central Rocky Mountains which includes Yellowstone Park. (This product is currently on sale for 33% off, as are other FTX regional sceneries that we may be using in the near future.)


Recommended aircraft: modestly quick GA aircraft with a speed of 160-170 KTAS or more. Some possibilities might include a Beech Bonanza, Cessna 208, Cessna 210, Vans RV7, Wittman Tailwind, SIAI Marchetti SF.260, Lancair Legacy, Cirrus SR-22, or Quest Kodiak. Anything you like will be fine. Note that one or two landings will be grass strips. No need for a high altitude cruiser – we shall be flying mostly short legs near the ground – for the sheer fun of it.




Multiplayer Aircraft Alias. As a courtesy to others, you can enter the key parameters of your chosen aircraft on the Multiplayer Aircraft Alias spreadsheet here. For sure, you want to enter the "title=xxx" information from your aircraft's aircraft.cfg file. If using an alternative paintjob, you might helpfully provide a download link. Your providing this information allows your flying companions the chance to either (i) download and activate your aircraft and specific livery paint or (ii)  alias your aircraft to another in their active hangar. In FSX multiplayer that we are using, in the absence of a matched aircraft FSX will decide the proxy that others will see. It is possible to become annoyed at FSX's mindless choices.

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My God! The days of plotting a course from A to B to C to D etc. are long over! Nice post Mike. I'm really looking forward to this. :smile:

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Really hope to make this one. Still unknown at this time. Anyway, here's an added extra to Mike's excellent write-up, the plan loaded up in a SkyVector sectional - here.

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I should be able to make this one, after unfortunately not being able to join last weekend.  It was a pity as I'd got the Tasmania scenery sorted out for it.  I'm trying to fly as much as I can of the Tasmania route now - in between World Cup matches!

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I expect to join you on Saturday in the Baytower RV7A in a Navy Yellow paint by Richard Luycx.



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I will be joining you in this wonderful paint by Ron Attwood. :P



Be sure to bring a fire extinguisher. :shok:



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Boy this will be fun :-)  According to SkyVector and the WX overlays - Mod Turb, MTN OBSCR, Convective outlook, Mod ICE.. I haven't found it yet, but does the RV have pitot heat?

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Some pics from yesterdays flight...
Right from the start it is looking good. At this point it looks like a "RV" kind of day. Mike in red, myself in blue & Jeff in yellow.

Waiting for Josh, it's no problem.

Now that we are all here might as well introduce ourselves. In a:(counter from)
Yellow BT Vans RV-7A - Jeff w/ a Richard Luycx repaint,
Blue Marines BT Vans RV-7 - Ron w/ a Ron Attwood repaint,
Blue/White BT Vans RV-7 - Roman w/ a Ron Attwood repaint of the gorgeous N200PF  B)
Blue/White RealAir Legacy - Craig
Golden/White RealAir Legacy - Nick w/ a Ron Attwood repaint
Blue/White BT RV-7A - Josh
Red/White BT RV-7 - Mike, our flight planner & leader for this excursion.
... "I guess we can go now" (Apollo 13) - JK  :P

We all made it to the first "airfield" (WY06, grassfield) without any parts missing! And a cool Plus! We have 2 more attendants. Bert in the AirCreation. Not sure what he was really in.  Bruce in a Mooney. Not shown, and again not sure what he was really in, but it looked good (later on) regardless.

One of the best sessions ever!

Climbing out of Oscar Six, keeping Jeff in my 11. No need to go fast, too darn beautiful.

I guess one would call it - "In the pipe".

Pulled up out of the "Pipe" to get a glimpse of the lower part of Yellowstone Falls.

The northwestern flats of Yellowstone Park.


Staying out of the way @ 29S (Gardiner) waiting for the rest to come in. A first glance of Bruce in the Mooney, again not sure but it fits.

@Gallatin-Bozeman (KBZN) taking a little break. Heard the service is top notch, but since we are so good A&P services aren't needed. The food, on the other hand, is not recommended. Sure is a purdy scene though. Thinking we be going to 1MT0 for one of the "famous" steak sandwiches.. MMM.

Crossing the lookout shack @ Lone Mountain looking over Big Sky Resort. Tailing either Josh or Mike.

Bruce in the flare w/ Nick closely behind @ Nine Quarter Circle Ranch (1MT0)

For the first time of the day, the grass stood up and said "THANK YOU"! Both Bruce & Nick greased it so good that not one speck of dust spewed from the Earth. Time for steak sandwiches, $300.00 sandwiches. MMM good. Belly's full with seared cow flesh on thick white toast w/ 100% pure WI butter. It just doesn't get any better.

We were pulling this off earlier. Nuttin better than an EAA style group takeoff. Mike @ my 11 and Nick straight ahead climbing, gear coming up. Just noticed I didn't turn on the transponder. Probably good, as I think we busted about 100 pages of the FAA rules (any section) along with some civil laws no less. (@KWYS)

Banking left as we climb out of KWYS, pouring on the coals as I climb over Nick w/ Ron in "Miss Glynnis" doing the same.

It's kind of like "Magnificent Desolation" but in color.

Unfortunately for me it didn't end well. Exactly 19.3 miles from our final destination, (KJAC) while hugging the coast (the wuss way around) checking out the babes @ the Jackson Lake beaches my..... BLEW UP

Darnit, I forgot about the CPU TBO of 30 days. That's with only 1 copilot. We now have 2 of my copilots friends that visit quite regularly now. Today was HOT for the "up nort" people & the fact that the owner didn't update the powerplant log for CPU time. It was found that dander in the carb caused a blockage in the primary jets to lead to an overly rich (heat) condition.

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Roman, what can I say? A terrific write up that encapsulates the whole evening. Your stoicism at the end is a credit to you! :biggrin:

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