jt_williams

Mountains, Mountains, Mountains, Desert

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Mountains, Mountains, Mountains, Desert

 (The Silk Road across Central Asia by Air)

In this journey we will overfly three great Cental Asian mountain ranges (Pamir, Hindu Kush,&  Karakorum) and finish on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert.  Starting from Dushanbe (UTDD) the route proceeds to Khorog (UT1C/UTOD), Chitral (OPCH), Gilgit (OPGT), Skardu (OPSD), followed by a long final leg past K2 and on to the Silk Road oasis city of Hotan (ZWTN).  The route is 685 miles and will require significant climbs over very high ranges and steep descents into deep valleys.

Flight Plan
The Pilots' Guide package contains flightplan files (P3D & Q400 formats), Q400 Tips Document (procedure for adding custom waypoints), Nick Wood Khorog Correction Scenery, a Pilots Guide document and is available here.

prcQJXa.jpg

Aircraft
Because of the length, this route was planned using the Majestic Dash 8.  A lightly loaded commercial jet such as the 737 or A320 would also be good choices.  Another alternative is the King Air which is a bit slower but an acceptable choice.  A cruise speed near 300knts will make keeping up easier.


Scenery
This route is off the beaten path for scenery developers and thus lacks the high fidelity add-on land class that we are accustomed to in full fat regions.   There are freeware airports for Chitral and Gilgit but I found the P3D defaults to be better overall match to the surrounding terrain. In addition to Orbx
FTX Global BASE Pack and FTX Global VECTOR  you will want a quality mesh such as Free Mesh  X to appreciate the dramatic relief in this part of Central Asia.

Required Scenery:  Nick Wood’s Khorog Correction.  The location of our first airport (Khorog UT1C) is misplaced in P3D default. It is displaced a couple of miles north and west of its actual location and as a result both ends of the runway are in the river.  Nick has provided a simple add-on airport that corrects the problem and is included with the Pilots Guide Package.


Weather
The weather might matter. The first choice will be live weather. But if we have clouds that completely obscure the terrain, then you might consider switching to historical weather. Active Sky at 1300 UTC on July 8, 2018   should give clear weather for most of the route.  

Where & When
Date and time: Saturday July 14, 2018. 18:00 UTC.
 

Multiplayer NOTAM:  For this week only we will transfer Saturday multiplayer flight operations to the Digital Themepark environment.  Ron will be away at Duxford looking for a DC-6.


Where: Digital Themepark Teamspeak - Casual Flights Channel
Teamspeak Server Address: ts3.digitalthemepark.com
Cross-Platform Multiplayer: JoinFS. (FSX, FSX-SE, and P3D).

If you want to help others enjoy the multiplayer experience, don't forget to enter your aircraft details on the multiplayer spreadsheet (linked 
here). Your courtesy will save others a lot of time and effort. Thanks!

Recommend that you set your departure clock to 15:45 hours (3:45pm) in local time. The final airport (Hotan) does not have lights and we will plan to arrive before darkness falls.


 

 

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Some lovely airliner approaches here. Great stuff.

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Very cool videos Jeff! And yes, after watching the road video, flying IS the safeest way to Khorog (and elsewhere). This looks like fun!

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Jeff's selection of videos of the approaches and landings is just terrific. (Not to mention the spectacular films of Concordia, K2 and the Karakoram.) This is all going to be great fun.

If you would like to use more of your time on this, you might look at the longer set of YouTube videos by PIA Captain Salehyar Janjua of his ATR 42-500 flights in northern Pakistan during 2016. See a full listing here. Many of these are instructive about the nature of the actual approach into the different airports. In particular, you might enjoy his approach into Skardu (OPSD) from the north – lots of actual flying through the valleys here. (You might speed through the first several minutes of scenic views to get to his flying the approach.)

Unhappily, Janjua died in a crash in October 2016 when his ATR lost an engine en route from Chitral to Islamabad. See the wiki page here. (There is some newspaper speculation about what happened here and here.)  We can certainly appreciate the danger of this flying regime.

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A sad story, but many very interesting videos about flying away from "normal operations".

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Some Pic's of Nick and Steve's attempt at formation landing at Chitral (OPCH)

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Nick overtook Steve and landed first.

 

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Jeff,

Nice shots...boy that Q sure does look small beside the NGX.

In the last picture, other than the airport grounds, the scenery looks real-ish.

Kind Regards,

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