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RTW2016 Pireps

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1) Teamflight GA aircraft



Well, it has begun again, the yearly event that puts the teams in the air to do a world tour, This year Avsim started in a team flight GA aircraft. in the dark only 57 Nm but none the less exciting.

Since it was a short flight we decided not to do a wing man since a batton transfer would result in a 30 min penalty which is in effect the same as a complete reflown route. Eventhough some experienced pilots were participating not  all landings went according to plan. That is the result of a plane pushed to its limits and gusting wind. I brought my Trusted a2a cherokee for this part, and soon found my self bringing in the red lantern.


I posted some wide screen pictures of the flight



this is where i will post images of the race and this overall post of mine will be updated accordingly.



it ended reasonbly well, green duenna and a broken prop :)



2) after a short night ( race started at 0100 CET) i reported to the race channel and found that we have had a good first night. no serious mistakes and not in an all too bad situation.  we are entering European territory now and i am waiting on a runway for the heavy jets to arrive. Flying wingman. Have  coffee close to the virtual cockpit a nice music on the background and following the race on the live tracker. Yes  you must be a bit of a nutt to like this event, but then rest assured you are not alone. they are out there you know ......


My second appearance of this race also ended in a green duenna. I was flying a hornet at 18700 and was helped with 99 kts tailwind, giveing me an extra 15 kts of speed. I was for the fun of it racing the supposely faster bearcat of Jock he started with 4 Nm head start and we managed to colse the gap withing 1,5 at landing.  some screenshots are in the folder including the kamikaze style landing approach.

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I had a fairly uneventful flight from Bermuda to Halifax-Shearwater during the wee hours of the morning on Day 1 of the race, streaking up the Atlantic seaboard at 4500' with the throttle pushed to the stops.  It's always a bit unnerving flying across the ocean at night like that, and spacial awareness can become an issue, and you have to learn to scan and trust your instruments.  At one point my airspeed indicator started dropping to zero occasionally, which gave me a bit of a start.  Fortunately I thought to immediately check my GPS ground speed to make sure I wasn't actually losing airspeed.  This started a mad scramble to find the pitot heat switch.  Eventually we determined that I had to use a keyboard shortcut because THERE ISN'T A PITOT HEAT SWITCH IN THE F-80!!!   :t0105:  So that's definitely going on the gripe list.  Hmmph.  

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At PHHI Team AVSIM, awaiting arrival of the baton, paid tribute to AVSIM founder Tom Allensworth by forming our planes in a "T" on the runway . Tom passed away last year. Tom was an avid supporter of the team and will be sorely missed.


In memory of Tom!


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My Boeing 777 sitting at KSBA Santa Barbara at the end of a marathon 3 hour 37 minute, 2085 mile leg from PHUP, Upolu, Hawaii.  I was very happy to see the California coastline coming into view! The wingman on this leg, Jeff, also made it in just a couple of minutes later.  Race paint by Eamonn Watson.


Just four legs to go now and Team AVSIM is currently leading, from Sim-Outhouse and  Follow the conclusion of the race at



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How you looked to me Nick landing! Nothing like seeing the majestic wings of a 747.

Fourth to last leg.  Last sunset to be seen on the race. I am taking in the beauty.



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2016 RTWR Pilot Report


I have not been performing well as a pilot in the last several RTWR’s.  Last year I crashed twice, one time costing the team a 30 minute baton transfer penalty.  The on-line pre-race practice sessions were very helpful, needed, and seem to have produced positive results.  Turnout of Avsim veteran pilots for the race was gratifying. Our race began with a “Beginners Luck” team flight to Chacarita (MRCH) and into the first dark night of the race.  The tracking site screenshot shows 7 blue (Avsim) pilots just after taking off. Two more pilots, myself and Craig, were waiting at the destination for the next leg.  The graphic also shows only two SOH and two Fightsim pilots flying.  This graphical disparity in team turnout foreshadowed what followed as the SOH and Flightsim teams struggled with pilot availability and pilot exhaustion as the race progressed.  




My subsequent baton leg into Colon Panama (MPEJ) in a P-38 was routine as I had practiced it the night before.  As the race continued that first night, and all teams turned north,  Avsim team members speculated on teamspeak whether we were all on the same route.  When we saw that SOH were making for Cuba we wondered if we had missed something important, as our route and Flightsim’s route were heading to Bermuda.  I got my second race flight of the night as wingman for Eamonn in an uneventful 737 flight to Bermuda.  I stayed up to watch Craig bring the F-80 Shooting Star into Halifax Shearwater, then went to bed for then night.


When I checked in with the team the following morning I was astounded to see that Harvey had recorded an astonishing 618knts average groundspeed on the “Black Tickle” Atlantic jet leg to Ireland.  Avsim arrived first at Ototac and landed in daylight.  The team had made a decision to bypass lighted Port Said (HEPS) to land in the dark at AS Salihiyah (HE39).  We could not determine if Port Said was surrounded by water and cutoff from the African mainland.  After our Milingimbi Island debacle in 2012, we decided to play it safe.  My first Saturday leg was as wingman for Craig in the F-80 Shooting Star into Muscat (OOMS).  We steadily progressed across India and I was wingman again, this time in a Do-335, to Coco Island (VYCI).  My final leg as a baton pilot was flying the F-80 into Dumatubin (WAPL).


Before checking out for the night I had a brief discussion with DC, Nick, Bry, and Harvey about the routing to Hawaii.  I had urged the team to take a slightly longer route than originally planned, to use lighted runways in the section through the Solomon Islands.  When I came back in the morning I was chagrined to find that they had modified the route, improving it considerably, and that the Avsim baton was moving quickly to Hawaii.  Well done guys.


We had two “Beginners Luck” flights in Hawaii.  At Wheeler field we formed up for a team flight to Lanai.  At the suggestion of Travis we lined up for departure forming a “T” as a tribute to Avsim’s  founder Tom Allensworth who was a steadfast  supporter of the race team over the years.  





Nick and I had setup for the run from Upolu to Santa Barbara in 777’s.  We had great winds at FL380 and made good time.  Took a couple of snapshots from the “replay” of my landing at Santa Barbara.











The team continued to push the baton down into Mexico in the darkness towards the finish.  DC and I were given the honor of flying the last leg into Daniel Oduber Quiros.   DC, as author of the “Black Tickle” routing, was the only choice for baton carrier.  I was honored to fly as his wingman. 


Great Race Team!

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Just a quick addition on the "Black Tickle" Atlantic crossing. I had flown the leg the previous night, and it was a quick one. However Connaught in Ireland was completely fogged in with some of the worst visibility for a landing I've ever seen. ASN was reporting it at 1.1sm visibility when in fact it was more like 50ft.

On the actual race run my brother Bry had decided late on to do a formation flight. The winds, if anything were even stronger and at times we were getting over 700knts ground speed. ASN was showing 5sm visibility at the destination, which was an improvement on my practice run. However, team mates at the field were giving me different reports, and sure enough it soon went down to 1.1sm again. Fortunately the practice run gave me the confidence (the ILS was spot on) and even though i only saw the runway at the 20ft callout i greased the landing. Unfortunately, Bry, in the 727 didn't have the same luck and had to do a go-around as he just couldn't see a thing thereby busting our formation flight

Once the baton was gone, he circled around and managed a great landing.

We were extremely fortunate to have planners who'd spotted this route, but even they were surprised at how quick it was, with it ending up being 36minutes quicker than predicted and setting us up nicely for the rest of the race



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Usually I'm a shutterbug. Wouldv'e, could've, should've taken more but I heard there was a race going on. Too much on the mind I suppose.

Day 1 - Craig & I at TXKF (Bermuda Intl) just about ready to head to CYAW (Halifax/Shearwater) in F/P-80's as a glimpse of Eamonns tail, in a 737-800 passes by.


Day 2 - Travis & I in F-7F Tigercats at VYVI (Coco Island) for VTBP (Prachuap Khiri Khan) as Eamonn in a P-51H approaches over our right side.


Keeping company with Travis as he's ahead clearing the skies doing HICAP.


DC coming in at PKMJ (Marshall Island Intl) over the top of 3 B744's in the Dh.103 Hornet. The first aircraft was actually Eamonn in a B772 followed by Harv & myself in B744's. In reality it was night, very dark. I had a time before the next leg to get some "heavy iron" experience so followed along.


"Last one to 40K feet buys"... Guess I'm out a couple bottles of Scotch. When empty these things climb extraordinarily fast.


My favorite shot, at JON (Johnston Atoll). Bry in the Dh.103 Hornet & myself in the P-51H waiting for Eamonn & Harv to arrive on their "Formation Flight". Our destination was PHHI (Wheeler AAF base).


The Sun finally lighting up the Central Pacific as Eamonn & Harv arrive on their formation flight. "Top Notch" job as their Duenna time difference was only 4 seconds! for a nice bonus. :Applause:
  :good:  :Applause:  (anim)



Craig (Lead), Jeff, Eamonn, Travis, DC, Bry & Harv lined up in the memorial "T" formation for our site founder, Tom Allensworth. This was a GA team flight from PHHI (Wheeler AAF base) to PHNY (Lanai City). It was supposed to be a "somewhat" formation takeoff but some just had more power under the bonnet than others.. Still nice, maybe it was the weather? (anim)


After our second GA team flight from PHNY (Lanai City) to PHUP (Upholo) it was time for the second critical long distance flight, Category Jet 3 flights from Hawaii to KSBA (Santa Barbara Municipal), 2085 nmiles. Nick (lead) taking off smartly from the 3800' runway. (Actually in a B772)


Jeff as wingman doing the same but in the other direction, using only half the runway. (Also in a B772)


Bry, above Nick, having some fun getting more "heavy" time in the B744 as a non-participant in this leg. At this point he was too fast coming in and started "twerking" (LOL) the aircraft all over the place to slow for an unknown "formation" landing. KSBA (Santa Barbara Municipal).


OK... Bry is having way too much fun as Nick brings in the B772, beautifully ending the critical leg. Nick brought her in on runway 07. Later on as Travis, in an Avant II & myself in the P-51D, heading for MMCN (Ciudad Obregon), were climbing out, it was mentioned over the radio, with quite a chuckle, that Bry had landed on taxiway Alpha with his 744! (anim, near real time)


The 2016 RTW Race theme. "In Search of a Moonbow". While I didn't see one personally, the race organizers gave us plenty of chances to see one. Just over half the race was flown at night. This was taken near MMSF (San Filepe), looking due East, going feet wet over the Gulf of California. Taken with a 1200mm zoom lens. LOL


Just a few minutes later, closer to MMPE (Puerto Penasco Mar De Cortes), looking due west, the final Sunset of the race.


The last leg, DC & Jeff at the helm. Got into the B727 and went "balls to wall" to catch up (after a sim crash) with the team on their way to our final destination - MRLB (Daniel Oduber Quiros Intl). (anim)


After a couple of hours of post race chat I decided to head home, as did Harvey. What's 5 more hours of bloodshot eyes & 2032 miles? Right? It wasn't the best WX ever as many have heard in the news. Crashed twice. The WX in Mississippi & Tennessee was horrible! Winds were all over the place at or around 90kts, was on manual throttle / spoilers the whole time but the 2 times crashing it was just too instantaneous of a major wind shift.. BOOM! So I just restarted at the closest airport near the crash that could handle a 67. It's all on Memorex via Duenna.

Crossing halfway between Key West, FL & Brownsville, TX over the Gulf of Mexico.


Over Eglin AFB, going feet dry.


Finally home.... Not more than 5 minutes after landing I started a nap that lasted 14 hours!

Thanks to all the organizers, teammates, supporters & opponents for another epic race!


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