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PIREPs from this year's race

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The race has been in progress over 24 hours now, and the teams have traveled over 11,500 miles each so far.  You can check out each team's progress here at  Lots of interesting happenings, with the teams tracking very closely up until a recent marked divergence by Flightsim.  It will be very interesting to see how it all turns out.


Jeff and I recently had a very interesting experience flying from Port-au-Prince to Margarita Island off the coast of Venezuela.  I'm sure it would have been a wonderful flight under normal circumstances, but Jeff and I encountered one of the worst thunderstorm fields I have ever experienced in my years of flightsimming.  We selected to fly the leg at 13,000 for optimum performance, but we regretted that decision as our Active Sky Next applications bounced us about quite severely, pitching about, rolling almost knife-edge, and yawing our F-80s nearly 90 degrees off track.


At one point I must have entered a "super cell" thunderstorm.  First the nose of my aircraft was turned about 50 degrees off track.  No sooner had I switched off my autopilot to return to the proper heading, when I was rolled upside down.  As I tried to roll right side up my screen blacked out from significant positive g's.  Unbeknownst to me, I had been thrust upwards to about 23,000 feet.  My screen cleared momentarily, and then displayed a red-out as I then experienced severe negative g's.  Eamonn said the duenna tracker showed me at over 5,000 fpm climb, followed very shortly with a -2,500 fpm descent.  Fortunately we cleared the weather system shortly after that and were able to continue on our way without further drama.


Sorry there are no pics from this particular trip, but we were "a little busy" in the cockpit.  :lol:

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Been flying with avsim now yet another race. and i must say not our best race so far. a couple of crashes and most of the race flown in either bad weather or at night makes things complicated. But as every year we keep spirit high and encourage each other to get flying. Our dear Ron did not escape the faith of a rookie pilot and crashed. fortunate it did not cost us any time.  much different for us veterans  we have accummulated a fair share of crashes.


i am soon to be back at the stick and preparing for it.  i took of in a cup to take som epic of HARV and BRY  of their WC legnOgJceM.jpg





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The sun coming two thirds into the long wildcard flight was a welcome sight, especially considering where i was landing





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Nothing special about my flying Wing for Eamonn from Key West to Port-au-Prince. We climbed out in the Florida sunset and flew through the mildly turbulent tropical night. And enjoyed a light conversation as we did our job to deliver the baton to Jeff and Craig waiting in their Shooting Stars. They were readying for their now infamous Flight 666 (that was the distance) from Haiti to Margarita Island. See Craig's post above.


The climb out, however, afforded one of those "aviation art" opportunities.






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Our final leg from Sibu, Borneo to Bali was memorable as a dozen of us can attest. As we were waiting, Craig and Eamonn absolutely nailed their Formation Flight, practically landing inside each other's cockpit. Here is a snap shot of their landing just over the Mustangs of Harv and Bry who are waiting to carry the final baton.


From their scouting, Harv and Bry had reported a massive storm cell that ran from Borneo down to Bali. In fact, when we took off the destination reported a thunderstorm, heavy rain, and 1sm visibility. Like fools we took off in Cold War jets and Mustangs without worrying too much about the danger… Reaching altitude, however, it became apparent that Mother Nature was having some fun. We were all tossed about and had to work hard to move forward in the general direction of our target. My F-80 was thrown to the right and flipped uncontrollably into a 180 degree turn. I struggled to handle the aircraft only to discover that the violent thrusts had blown out the jet engine. A hot restart worked and I was able to recover the original course. No screenshots of that hairy moment, but you get the general drift with the photo below.




Through periods of alternating tranquility and violent storms, we were able to make our way to Bali. With flashes of lightning and booming thunderstorms in the area, we bounced down to discover only "mild turbulence" on our final approaches. Quite a challenge, at that.


Here is a shot of some of the large crowd awaiting Harv's final landing. (DC and Jeff in the Sabres.)




And here is the overhead tracking picture that shows Avsim's final flight finish just ahead of the FlightSim pair as they approach and land at Bali.


Avsim finished first "on the ground" but incurred enough penalties to finish in third place, one hour behind the winners FlightSim and one half hour behind Sim-Outhouse.


We tip our caps to Harv and Bry who were able to carry the baton through the storm. And we give thumbs up to the pilots of FlightSim and Sim-Outhouse who made the same journey at the same time. The SOH pilots managed to execute a Formation Flight within one second of each other … quite an achievement. So best to all for the final flight of 2015.

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So this will be picture heavy.


At Bali, waiting for the start of the race, everyone is pumped. ;)



Enroute to Australia, was a bit turbulent due to a passing Cyclone.



Landed at the 1st airport, my wingman (Jeff) made it there first because I had an FSX crash so I was a couple minutes behind but Jeff's airplane left a crater at the beginning of the runway, but I managed to pull off the landing on that small dirt strip.



Longest Wildcard flight to California, sun finally rising.



Descending into Oxnard.



Because I landed before Dave(StoneCold), I captured his landing over a bunch of extra 300's



Some Extra shots from our teamflight.




Landing at Van Nuys



Getting setup for what could possibly be the hardest flight of the race. We had to get a 737 into Hotan at night. Hotan had no lights, barely any scenery and the airport has very few good navaids and pmdg's database had the airport in the wrong spot (by 1/4 mile) and the approach in its database would land you into a tree, so it was a challenge to say the least.



Roman was my wingman, there he is off my left side.



There is the runway finally, I needed to have some team members sit on the runway just to see the runway. This was my decision height, if I wasn't positive I'd make it, this was the point of abort.





Dave heading out on a CJ leg, flew beside him for a short while.



Waiting in China for Dave to arrive on his CJ leg (I jumped ahead), I sat at the end of the runway for some screenshots, it looked however that the wake turbulence from my non-moving airplane flipped him onto the runway and he crashed. :(



Some shots of my formation flight with Craig into the penultimate Airport Sibu. It was 1:30am for me for this flight and I was falling asleep at the controls on the way across the ocean on this one.





Final flight into Bali, I flew the 777 in my own livery with the team while we flew into some really heavy thunderstorms, my weather radar lit up like a christmas tree at the baton's altitude.












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Early Saturday morning, the Europeans come in to take over from the relatively alert North Americans, flying the baton into the Pacific night. My first flight of the race was as baton pilot, with Rolf as my wingman, heading to Nauru. By the time we got there, the sun was down, rendering clouds, water, sky and land dark. Approaching the island at a right angle to the runway direction, not even the runway lights where visible until we got very close to the airport.


A couple of legs later, it was time to take the baton to Honolulu. Bry took the baton, I came along as wingman in the F-80.



Landing at Honolulu in the F-80. Quite a few King Airs on the ground, waiting for the baton arrive.



A few King Air then headed for Maui.


During the wildcard leg to Oxnard, my internet connection died, rendering the team's multiplayer capability a bit crippled. Luckily, backups were available, but for me the Saturday's racing came to an early end.


When I got back up on Sunday morning the internet connection was up again, so I was back in the race! The European shift got to fly into dawn as Harv and Bry took the baton into Cape Verde, where Jock and Nick picked it up and headed to Dhakla.



Nick landing, me and Leon waiting to take the baton to Tenerife. The early morning weather at the destination were low visibility and rain. By the time we got there however, the weather had cleared up and landing was not an issue.



Bry on approach into Marocco.



Rolf and Nick taking off for their formation flight to Mallorca.


After Mallorca, we headed for the South China Sea, flying into the night over Russia.



Hotan, China, didn't have runway lights, so we had to provide our own for Eamonn and Roman.


From Sanya Phoenix it was a mad dash back to Bali, with us leading FlightSim by a few minutes.



Mike landing in Vietnam, handing the baton off to Craig and Eamonn for the penultimate leg.



Craig and Eamonn landing in formation as the rest of us are ready to join Harv and Bry for the final leg.

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Damn! That looks like fun! :rolleyes:  My hat's off to you all. To think I had the effrontery to think I could be one of you. You're all l337! 

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Not too many shots during this race. My screenie program was not on the checklist therefore every time I seen something it was too late or "damn"! forgot to start the screenie proggy.


A bunch of King Airs leaving Honolulu for Hana..It sounded like a bunch of rabid bees or mosquitoes. (the blood sucking bug) 




The only screenshot I took prior to the last legs - Jock and I in the Hornets over the N.Mediterranean Sea attempting a formation flight. 30 seconds after this shot my computer went belly up and we scrapped the formation for a 20 min penalty.




Much, much, later in the race, awaiting the final leg - Craig and Eamonn doing the final formation flight approx 1/2 mile out.




Craig and Eamonn, over the threshold, Bry & Harv. A bunch of kerosene burners in the background waiting for the last leg.




The final leg & everyone is up for the run.




A bunch of jets waiting for Harv to show up. Eamonn & Jock off in the distance. A warm, humid and noisy (thunderstorms) day in Bali.




A closeup of Jock and Eamonn. "Negative big fella, the little horse is #1"




There's Harv! Gingerly bringing the 51 Hotel in for a smooooooooooooooooth landing.




Rollout complete, Duenna is green. That's all she wrote folks.




Nick smartly bringing in the 86.




Craig had a hydraulic malfunction on close final. He's just over the deck doing a gear cycling. The legs came out in time.




No race is complete until Bry hops in a chopper to take pics and videos following the last leg.



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