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Steve coming into VQPR (Paro) as Nick & Roman await their jet leg to VTCC (Chiang Mai)

Right over the top...

Roman touching down at VTCC (Chiang Mai) 

HighMike on his way into VDPP, DC and Roman await in the F-7F's


DC & Roman climbing out of VDPP for WBGG

Saying good bye to the Sun for the first time..


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Roman_Full_combo_AVSIM_2.png?dl=1  FS RTWR   SHRS F-111   JoinFS Host/Client 


Yamaha CR 1000/JBL 2500, AMD 965 BE OC'd @ 3.88, RipJaw 2x4GB 1600 CL7, Gigabyte GTX-1070 OC 8GB, Asus M4A87TD EVO (AMD 870), Samsung 850 EVO 256GB & 1TB SSDs, WD 1T & 500G Black, 19" & 32" LCD, Win7 Pro 64bit, TMaster T-Flight HOTAS, FSX/FS9, FSUIPC / LUA, FSRealWX Pro, PlanG, JoinFS, LittleNavMap
Copilot - Samantha the "Hound"  RIP 😞        


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Ok, this might be a few posts. 😄

The team getting ready to depart Dubai, I was in a 777 seeing them off. 😄


Getting setup for our 1st p51-H leg into India over sounds rocks.


Ohh look, mountains


Super wildcard time, Jeff and I ready to fly into Russia in our shiny 777-200's



Steve departing Midway on our penultimate leg.


The team ready for the final leg with Steve just about to touch down.





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My 2019 RTWR Notes / Screenshots   


I started the race in Dubai as wing-man to MM on the kickoff leg for this years race in the Flying Stations Sea Fury.  This aircraft was my Nemesis a few years ago when I dropped the wing tanks by mistake and ended up stranded in the Canadian arctic. Thanks to a flashlight this leg ended better. 

After landing in Herat I re positioned to Aulie-Ata (UADD) to observe the arrival of Travis in his trusty Bearcat.  Travis was making great speed but was becoming concerned about fuel status as the leg progressed.  Three quarters of the way through the flight only 20% of fuel remained.  Climbing higher to improve fuel consumption was indicated.  A graphical representation of the emergency (just after the 80 minute mark) was documented on the tracking site:

Travis - Bearcat Emergency

I watched from a spot view as Travis carefully preserved his energy state and fuel while trying to find the airport.  The screenshots below show Travis (in aliased P47) as he neared the airport with the engine still running.


Next shot is just after crossing the threshold with dead engine.  He almost made it.  



When I rejoined the team the next morning Highmike was completing his P-51H thoroughbred leg into Seleparang (WADA).  Shot of Mike on very short final with his lights illuminating the F7F’s of Nick and MM ready for their “easy” flight to Broome. 



Eammon and I ready for our Super Wildcard Leg



Next series of screenshots of MM’s arrival Hailang (ZYMD) in the Epic Lt.






The finish of this years event was an absolute nail bitter.  After exchanging the lead with team SOH several times as each team coped with mishaps Avsim regained the lead on a Shooting Star leg into Boise City Oklahoma.


The final leg pitted Eammon in a Bearcat against Spookster in the Shooting Star.  Eammon had a head start but Spookster flew like a demon and rapidly clawed back the distance advantage as both teams approached the finish.  Two screenshots from the tracking site show how close it was.




A great race event.  Closest Finish Ever!  Outstanding job by both teams.  Bravo Zulu All!


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Okay, so today is DC's birthday so the team asked him if he wanted to take the final flight of the race into Phoenix.  He declined and we needed a bearcat pilot to fly the final leg, so I volunteered with Travis as my wingman.

Now for some setup.  We had a couple early setbacks which caused our team to be at a bit of a loss time wise compared to SOH however we were battling back and they had a couple wingman transfers which made us neck and neck.  Both teams were flying into KUNU before heading to midway and SOH had an issue going in before us so we were thinking, okay, they have to sit there for 6 minutes so we will close the gap.  Next thing, BANG, highmike's P3D decides to take a dump leaving Leon alone flying into the soup.  It was very tense having him fly in there as he couldn't see the airport however Roman expertly helped guide him in for a successful landing which saved our bacon however we too had to wait out 6 minutes so there went the possible catchup time.

Next leg was C47's to midway which both teams did and both teams completed those legs perfectly.  Now comes the dash to the finish. SOH arrived at midway first then took off in bearcats, here is our chance.  Our plan was to fly bearcats in the final leg so we took off out of midway in F80's, the winds across the midwest were brutal and with the bearcats having to go high for range they were hammered by headwinds while our F80's hugged the deck and screamed along.  Steve in his F80 caught up to SOH and passed them, now was our chance, victory may have been possible, break out our slide rules.

SOH landed in Kansas about 10 minutes before we made it to Boise City Oklahoma and Spookster(Martin) took off in an F80 bound for Phoenix however there were 10,000 foot peaks in the way and the F80 does better down low. Steve expertly touched down and myself and Travis took to the skies in our bearcats with the entire team following us, our hope was to light up the tracker in blue and perhaps make Martin sweat.  

Travis and I flew as fast as bearcats would allow, winds were not great.  Winds kept fluctuating between headwind and slight tailwind depending on altitude so as long as we had the range we kept trying to get low to avoid the crazy winds up high.  The team was crunching numbers and watching SOH like a hawk, this was it, crunch time.  I flogged those horses in my bearcat as hard as I could, all the while watching the tracker to see just how fast Martin was bearing down on me.  

Martin's ground speed was around 510 knots while mine was hovering between 360 and 390 so he had a 120 - 150 knot advantage.  We watched him closely, when he passed our departure airport of Boise City I had flown 140 nm away from it so he was 140nm behind and I had 1 hour left of my flight, this was going to be SOOO close.  Now the issue was we didn't have time to do an approach into the airport, so an idea came up to land on Taxiway Kilo as it was almost directly inline with our route of flight.

As we got closer, Martin kept getting closer and closer and we weren't sure if he was going to pass right at the end and his winds weren't as bad as we were hoping. The entire leg, I was bombarded with questions of just how far from Phoenix I was so the team could keep track of possible arrival times between Martin and I and each time we knew it was going to be within a minute or two.

Around 15nm from Phoenix I was crossing the final ridge before the descent into the airport, by this point, martin was only about 20nm behind me.  It was here that I was beginning to think we wouldn't make it, however I put the plane into a nosedive, found the taxiway i needed and planted her as hard as I could, put on the anchors and prayed the plane would stop quickly.  Plane stopped with Green duenna and posted and I was told our post was up and SOH hadn't posted yet... VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!! Martin posted only 25 seconds later.

Congrats to SOH on a well fought race.  That was probably the most nervous I've been of any leg in my entire tenure.





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Broome Brothers.

On Saturday (night in that part of the world), I volunteered to fly wing for Nick from Selaparang, Lombok (WADA) to Broome (YBRM), the tourist town on Australia's northwest coast. In our F7Fs, we waited patiently on the lighted runway as Highmike (Mike B) delivered the baton. (See Jeff's [jt_williams] third screenshot above.) We took off and flew swiftly through the crystal clear starry skies. Over TeamSpeak we joked with our teammates about this long over-the-water leg being boring with nothing to do.

Looked like a milk run.

But halfway there our teammates' reports from Broome indicted that the heretofore peaceful weather had changed. Gosh, we should have read the tourist brochure

During the wet season Broome experiences heavy, short downpours of rain, usually in the afternoons or late evening. ... Between January and March it is the monsoon season, which can bring rain and possible flooding and cyclones. Average rainfall during this time is 463.7mm (18.2") and thunderstorms with spectacular lightning displays are common.

The local storm caught our attention. However, the reports were not especially worrisome because it is common for a local thunderstorm to blow over an airport. We had nearly an hour and things would surely clear up. A few minutes later the winds dropped a bit and the local visibility increased to almost a full mile. Checking the weather...and checking the weather. Things fluctuated but did not much improve. In fact, conditions worsened. The last weather report was winds at 30kts, gusting to 45kts, quartering from the northeast with visibility of 500m. Lightning on the field. The coast was covered in a dense low overcast. All in total darkness. Not ideal.

Helpfully, our teammate Steve took off and flew the approach in the actual weather and gave us detailed tips on the local conditions. Approach Rwy 10 over the water, calibrate the altimeter and stabilize at 200ft above sea level. Above 200ft put us in cloud with zero visibility. The local field has ADF but no ILS. Nick had installed his GTN750 and now he selected a formal approach with horizontal guidance. I had the standard MSFS GPS and whipped up an impromptu (imprecise) approach. I asked my teammates about how to manage flaps while landing in a storm and incorporated their advice. After the descent through the opaque clouds, we turned to set up for finals. Nothing like being sandwiched between thick storm clouds 100ft above and the (nicely depicted) roiling sea 200ft below, all the while being buffeted about in gale force winds.

Nick had the pressure of the baton but maintained his calm demeanor and nailed the landing. Quite the professional. And confidence-inspiring. Momentary relief.

Seconds later it was my own turn. As the aircraft hit the beach I could see the grassy berm rising up from the sands into my landing lights. Looking intensely for the runway lights ... nothing. Seconds later, I was surprised to discover them in the corner of my eye – off to the right. The GPS approach was indeed imprecise. I was crabbing at 45 degrees and was instinctively able to adjust southward to hit the tarmac about halfway down. Safe. Whew. Kudos to the fellows at Active Sky for their wonderful, and almost terrifying, representation of landing during an intense storm. (I'm sorry to say that we did not take any screenshots.)

This was a wonderful case of teamwork being able to overcome a challenge. One of the real attractions of the Round the World Race experience.

The Sim-Outhouse team flew into Broome at about the same time. You might look at the account of Paul (PRB) that describes how he was unable to find the field at his first approach but in passing it he happened to glimpse the lights. Sticking with the faint visual contact, he managed to bank steeply , wheel around, and land despite the 30kts tailwind. And also see Martin's (Spookster67) shot of the barely visible runway lights on his final approach...on the second try. Four pilots, four landings. Great stuff.

Afterwards, while the next flight carried the baton onward to Darwin, we offered the usual pilot devil-may-care banter about how it was much less worrying to land in an intense thunderstorm because we were not confronted with seeing the impending crash. An awkward pause. Then DC pointed out that the entire team could hear the tension in our voices. (Gotta work on my Chuck Yeager drawl!)

It appears that the storm was not a mere figment of Active Sky's imagination. Here is a YouTube video of  the actual storm cell rolling in toward Broome (2019-02-16).
[2:20 onwards is especially nice.] Northwest W.A. Stormchasers.

Just another leg to move the baton onward.

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--Mike MacKuen


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The anticipation

For me the race is the annual event, for which I do a lot of flight simming in the first place. It is a unique way of transforming the solo event of flying into a sportive event. On top of that it is a bonding experience with a bunch of at least the same minded pilots from across the globe.

So right after we landed the batton for the final time in the race. For me I am already think about the next race. Been doing so since 2004. When December strikes the urge for flying the race becomes more profoundly and I start training on fast warbirds, but also looking around if any new interesting plane come along which might be worthwhile as a new racing plane.

The training

Since it is already know to veteran pilots, your IQ seems to drop a significant amount under pressure, so training is in order to keep the plane in the air, and do take offs in fully loaded over weight planes and land them safely at the tiniest airports, under all weather conditions. I looks so simple, but even though you are a veteran pilot  offline, you have a travel companion called murphy when flying the race online. Ans fore sure he will come along, at the worst possible times , count on it.

The Crew

You might be doing the flying behind your own screen behind your own computer, but you have a crew of team members to spirit you along. The crew will stand by your side with advise on airport conditions, weather variables and all things flying related. The route you fly have been drafted together by team members in consensus, but the final say is the pilot in the cockpit. If for a very good reason you have to divert, you are allowed but knowing it will almost cost you the race, the last years, I cant remember anyone doing so. See why training is important. Sliding your plane at the desired airport will give you an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. And not least important the compliments of the crew.

The wingman

Flying with you on your 2 hour leg ( or shorter if you fly fast) is your wingman. My personal motivator to be at least as fast as he is, makes sure the batton carrier is at his utmost. Pushing the plane as fast as possible. In case of emergency, your wingman will take over the responsibility for bringing in the batton. In my race of 2019 I was flying wing, when the computer of the batton carier decided to listen to murphy and shut down. Below is a first line account of the actual event.

That sure was a intense flight, having the batton dropped into your seat just before we were about to land. Teammates tell us there is a < 1NM visibility clouds snow etc field elevation at 900  and out of the clouds at 1200, not a lot room for error. trying to get a fix on the runway, my heart skipped several beats, i can tell you. Lucky for me my team mates talked me in, which took a bit longer then i wanted but finally i saw the PAPI coming up. realizing i still do >250 ish  so i had to Put all the anchors and breaks the P38 had. Came in high and fast, and after a few hops  stopped just short of the cross in runways. using up 2/3 of the length of the runway but i made it. the all green duenna does not reflect the hazard with which this flight has been flown but being my last it sure was a memorable one, could not have done it with out the team. That is is in a few lines the spirit of air racing RTW2019.

 The stewardess

None of the pilots would be in any shape if it was not for the stewardesses on board. Wifes and girlfriend and family also make the event possible, if it only is because the husband  is allowed to be online a considerable amount of time during one weekend a year.

The chat

Almost as much fun as the flying is the chat about the event in the teamspeak online environment.

When pilots are enroute and none batton transfers are pending, there is time for yokes and small talk. From a hard boiled egg to the ending of the A380, we have discussed it all. Of course we keep a close eye on the other team and events that are unfolding before us, but the race would be less a social event if there was no place for small talk.


On final, landing, green Duenna Posted , post up confirmed  I have batton, confimed rolling and on my way

That is basically the couple of absolute intense anticipating and batton handover. Posting the results on the form.  And if everything went well a deserved rest from flying for at least the next leg. Before you go you prepare your plane at the next airport set to go and keep track of your cellphone. I has happened that you receive a urgent call from across the globe with an immediate pilot shortage requesting you fly another leg ahead of original planned list.


The summary

 For now 2019 is foreseen as the last iteration of the race. It is with sadness that I can reflect upon 14 years of online racing. With a close knitted group  of AVSIM team members. I have volunteered to be a member of the committee to think up a new form of racing that might attract new pilots in the future. Rest my thoughts until now, and extend my gratitude to the executive committee who have made the race possible over the last years. I think none of us realize how much time is spent organizing such an event. In my opinion the event is a sportive event, where 2 teams strive to gain the ultimate honor of winning the virtual throphy for this year.

2019 is the closest finish in race history, reflecting the professionalism found on both teams and the  fact that The batton carier of Sim Out House was the first to congratulate AVSIM is sportive at its best.


Well done


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Roman_Full_combo_AVSIM_2.png?dl=1  FS RTWR   SHRS F-111   JoinFS Host/Client 


Yamaha CR 1000/JBL 2500, AMD 965 BE OC'd @ 3.88, RipJaw 2x4GB 1600 CL7, Gigabyte GTX-1070 OC 8GB, Asus M4A87TD EVO (AMD 870), Samsung 850 EVO 256GB & 1TB SSDs, WD 1T & 500G Black, 19" & 32" LCD, Win7 Pro 64bit, TMaster T-Flight HOTAS, FSX/FS9, FSUIPC / LUA, FSRealWX Pro, PlanG, JoinFS, LittleNavMap
Copilot - Samantha the "Hound"  RIP 😞        


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How Close is Close

The 2019 Race was easily the closest of our 17 year history. While officially the Race was a tie with both teams registering the same forum time at the finish, it seems that Eamonn did land and post first at Phoenix KIWA.

Technically, our best measure indicates that the margin of victory was 25 seconds. How much is that?

Here is a screenshot that gives a feel for the difference.


This is a re-creation in FSX of the Race situation on Sunday at 20:37:24 UTC. The F-80 is Martin at 157kts making a dramatic landing on the runway. The placement comes from the official Duenna logfile for that moment and the (imagined) bank angle reflects Martin's excellent forum screenshot of his final landing. The point marked "Eamonn" with a line indicates the position of Eamonn's Bearcat after his slamming it down on "Runway Kilo". This position is estimated from Eamonn's forum screenshot of his plane stopped with his engine running. In the re-creation, Eamonn's Duenna stopped 2 seconds before this "screenshot" and he must be posting right now. Only 23 seconds later, Martin will have made his spectacular landing and started to post.

Wow! This is much closer than one might imagine.


--Mike MacKuen


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