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The Southern Cascades

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The Southern Cascades (2018-11-03)

Crater Lake, Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen. These remarkable sights form the southern portion of the Cascade Mountain Range. We shall enjoy a quick visit.

We begin at Creswell Hobby [77S] which lies just seven miles south of Eugene. This is the home of the University of Oregon whose alumni list includes a number of accomplished people.

Departing to the southeast, we ascend over the lower Western Cascades to land at the turf strip at Toketee State [3S6]. Watch out for Elk, Deer and other wildlife on the runway...including a Cub. After a momentary pause to admire the facilities, we continue to climb up to the dramatic pristine blue waters of Crater Lake – the legacy of volcanic Mount Mazama's collapse 7,700 years ago. (You want 8,000ft to handle the rim.) The Lake [CRLAK] is about 5nm across and 1,949ft deep and as such is one of the deepest lakes in the world. The second waypoint [LODGE] marks the classic Crater Lake Lodge (built in 1915, refurbished after WWII, and largely rebuilt in the 1990s). A beautifully evocative structure with spectacular views. Overall, one of the prettier spots that you'll see.

Then down to the small paved strip at Prospect State [64S]: the shrimp are on the barbie. And then further to Ashland Municipal [S03] where Robert Skinner has run the FBO for a quarter of a century. Ashland is the site of the acclaimed Oregon Shakespeare festival. During the 78 seasons since 1935, the participants have enacted over 30,000 performances on multiple stages before more than 20 million visitors. First rate stuff.

Next we turn south and climb over the Siskiyou Summit Pass to Mount Shasta [SHSTA] and circle it (at maybe 11,000ft) to take a close look at the mountaintop glaciers and the  ridges that drop ten thousand feet below.  At 14,179ft Shasta is the second-highest of the Cascades and on a clear day it can be seen 140 miles away. We make a dramatic descent to land at the old railroad town Dunsmuir's airport [1O6].

After a brief stop, we continue along I-5 through the rugged Shasta-Trinity National Forest to pass over the man-made reservoir Lake Shasta. We then descend along the Sacramento River, passing  Shasta Dam [SHDAM] and Keswick Dam [KSDAM]. Shasta Dam is a major historic dam that regulates the reservoir, generates power, controls the flood of the Sacramento River, and provides irrigation water for the Central Valley Project. Keswick Dam is a more modest piece of the Shasta contribution to the power and irrigation system. Both are nicely depicted by Orbx NCA. (Heading downstream, you see the "water side" of the dams. Only when you look back can you get a sense of their presence.) If you follow the Sacramento River down to Redding, after the historic Diestelhorst Bridge (1914), you will encounter a tempting railroad bridge under which to fly. If you continue a little further on (for Orbx Redding only) you will see Sundial Bridge, a beautiful pedestrian suspension bridge.

After the hijinks, we land at Redding's Benton Airpark (formerly Benton Field) [O85]. The original 1920 city airport is now a busy General Aviation field. The airfield is done well in Orbx Northern California and especially well in the Orbx Redding package. Lucky for us, Jim and his staff at the Airpark Café will stay open late to serve sandwiches to our hungry pilots.

Heading eastward, we climb to about 9,000ft to circle Mount Lassen [LASSN], North America's most voluminous volcanic dome. If we have extra time, we shall descend quickly to stop at Chester's Rogers Field [O05]. In any case, we shall proceed to our final destination at Quincy's Gansner Field [2O1]. Among other awards, Quincy was voted among the top ten "coolest small towns in America." This being the offseason, we have been able to reserve a table at Moon's so that we may enjoy a meal and an evening of refreshments and tall tales.

Flight Plan
The flight plan, in two formats, is available here.


The route is 317nm. You probably want something that fast-cruises at 160kts (or more) so that we can complete our journey in the allotted time. Good choices might include faster singles like the Comanche, Bonanza, Lancair Legacy or Vans. Or you might prefer a light twin such as the C310, Baron, DA62, or possibly the C421 or Duke. Many other options will work just as well. Please fly what you like.

This route features some impressive scenery by Orbx in its Northern California regional package as well as a small portion from the Pacific Northwest. It should be fine with the Orbx basic packages: FTX Global, North America Landclass, and Vector.

In addition, you might enjoy the Orbx airport sceneries for Hobby (77S), Redding (KRDD & O85), and Quincy (2O1). But these are by no means necessary.

Special Date and Weather
Please set your "FSX-P3D" date to October 31, 2018. If we use November 3 we shall see a lot of "hard winter" textures despite the outside temperatures being in the 60s and 70s. Late Fall textures will seem much more appropriate. I recommend that you set your clock to 1400 hours (2:00pm) in local time for our departure. Watch out for trick-or-treaters.

When we fly near the mountains, the weather will matter. The first choice will be live weather. The forecast for Saturday, November 3, 2018, is for partly cloudy to cloudy skies. If we have clouds that prevent mountain flying (as can be the case in the Cascades), then we might consider switching to historic weather. You will enjoy mostly fine weather if you use Historic Active Sky starting at 0100 UTC on October 31, 2018. Or, if that does not work, you might select "Fair Weather" or some alternative that will allow you to fly safely in the mountains.

Where & When
Date and time: Saturday November 3, 2018. 1900 UTC. NOTE THE TIME CHANGE. For this week of the continents' different transitions from Daylight Savings to Standard Time, North Americans will fly one hour later than their normal local time. (We accommodate our Europeans' family dinner time routines.) Starting next week, a 1900 UTC start time will translate to a "normal" local start time for everyone.

Where: AVSIM RTWR Teamspeak - Casual Flights Channel
Teamspeak Server Address: ts.teamavsim.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!


--Mike MacKuen


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Note one-day sale at 50% for most Orbx products on Halloween Day only.

--Mike MacKuen


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Nice description and very accurate. I can attest to this since I live in the area. One additional tidbit of information that is interesting. Siskiyou Summit Pass is the highest point of I-5 along it's route between the Mexican and Canadian borders at 4,310 feet.

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Just a reminder. Today's flight (November 3, 2018) begins at 1900 UTC. That is 3pm EDT, 2pm CDT, 12pm PDT.

Also, for departure you might set your simulator time at 2pm local time for October 31, 2018.

(The current weather forecast looks pretty good except for spots of heavy clouds in the mountains. If you like, you might use Active Sky Historic Weather starting at 0100 UTC for October 31, 2018. Or maybe wait and see?)

--Mike MacKuen


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As always, Thank You for the great flight! (the narrative too!) Supreme eye candy! 👍👌👍
The developers just got done processing the film and to quote Arlo Guthrie's - "Alice's Restaurant Massacre" ...


And they was usin' up all kinds of cop equipment that they had hangin' 
Around the Police Officer Station. They was takin' plaster tire tracks, 
Footprints, dog-smellin' prints and they took twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored 
Glossy photographs
with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of 
Each one explainin' what each one was, to be used as evidence against us
Took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner, the 
Southwest corner
And that's not to mention the aerial photography!

One can find all the damning evidence the prosecutor will use against us here.
Yes..  The song came on the radio immediately after the flight - LOL!

20AUG21_Avsim_Sig.png?dl=1  FS RTWR   SHRS F-111   JoinFS   Little Navmap 


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What a fine flight through some interesting scenery.

I like the formation landing in pics 1-5 - awfully tight, but no metal cut or bent.

The Mallard surely looks at home in that scenery.


i7-6700k Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 32GB DDR4 2666 ASUS ROG-STRIX GTX1070

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