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Southern Alps Low and Fast

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Southern Alps Low and Fast

(For November 9, 2019)

This is a flight through New Zealand's Southern Alps. We shall use jet fighter trainers to go low through the fjords and mountain valleys as fast as our airframes and engines and airmanship allow.


Southern_Alps_Granite.jpg?dl=1

To get a taste of the majesty that marks the rugged and largely uninhabited Fiordland region, we begin at Manapouri [NZMO], the small commercial field outside of Manapouri town. We fly low over Lake Manapouri and into the West Arm. There we pass the dock and water inlets for the underground Manapouri Hydro station [HYDRO], a facility that uses the 750ft drop (from the lake to the sea) to generate 800 MW of electric power. Three (3) miles on, we swing sharply right [WILMONT] and descend through Wilmont Pass to Deep Cove below. We jet beneath the high cliffs through Doubtful Sound [DOUBT] out into the Tasman Sea beyond.

Next, we cruise along the roughly-hewn coastline to admire the many fjords and valleys. Both Cook and Tasman saw this area and were impressed. (Our favorite Navy officer points out why Cook could not enter the fjords in his sailing ships – he could not be sure to maneuver back out again.)

After about 50nm, we turn east into Milford Sound [MSOUND], widely thought to be one of the natural "wonders of the world". (I can attest to its stunning natural beauty.) Again, this is best appreciated down on the deck. You will want to slow down for a touch-and-go at the short commercial field at Milford Sound [NZMF]. Then off again along the road through the canyons – less quickly now. Six (6) nm on, at waypoint [5800_ALT], you will need to pop up to 5800ft. (The road goes through the Homer Tunnel but we do not.) Then back through the valleys, making some extremely sharp turns [TP09, TP10, TP11], to come out at Elfin Bay [ELFIN] onto the open space of Lake Wakatipu. Continue eastward on Lake Wakatipu [WAKATIPU], passing Queenstown [QUEEN] on the northern side of the lake, to stop at Queenstown Airport [NZQN]. When flying from Milford Sound to Queenstown, you might eschew the valleys and simply fly up over the peaks to relax and enjoy the mountains. After landing at Queenstown, you can look up to the southeast to see an imposing sight: The Remarkables.

Then east along the Kawarau Gorge [KAWARAU]. Note that the twists and turns along a road perched high above the river below make for an entertaining automobile drive. But they may be too much for a low-flying jet. Take a look, in any case. Then at Cromwell [CROMWELL] and its race course, run peacefully up to Wanaka [NZWF], the site for the biennial "Warbirds Over Wanaka" airshow. Wanaka city [WANAKA], which we pass as we depart, is a lovely resort town that is much quieter than Queenstown and a delight to visit.

We proceed up Lake Wanaka [LAKEW] through Haast Pass [HAAST_PASS] to turn northeastwards [TP20]. In Landsborough Valley [LANDSB], we climb all the way to 9000-9500ft. Turning east, we slalom steeply down into Hooker Valley and then land at Mount Cook Aerodrome [NZMC].

After catching our breath, we climb past Mount Cook [COOK] up the Tasman Glacier [TASMAN_GLACIER] which is New Zealand's largest and fastest shrinking glacier. We cruise along the top of the Southern Alps which divide the South Island's watersheds. Thirty miles on, near Mount Whitecombe and its associated glacier, we turn northward down the valley onto the flat west coastal plain to land at Hokitika [NZHK]. Then northeast along the coast to the lighthouse at Cape Foulwind [FOULWIND] to land at Westport [NZWS]. Next we pass over the southern part of Kahurangi National Park to land at New Zealand's second-oldest city Nelson [NZNS] on Tasman Bay.

Finally, we fly over the acclaimed Pelorus River Valley [PELORUS], cross over Cook Strait, and land at "
Windy" Wellington [NZWN]. New Zealand's second-largest city (the "coolest little capital in the world") sits on scenic Wellington Harbour and extends into suburbs along valleys to the north and to the northeast.

Again, this exercise is designed for the crucial training value of low-and-fast flying. (We shall ignore any possible entertainment value.) However, please do not feel any need to do the whole route on-the-deck. If you lose patience or simply need a break, please pop up and fly high over the route to enjoy the South Island's scenic vistas.

Documentation
The flightplan can be found
here.

Aircraft
The route is 603nm. We shall need fast aircraft with a cruise of at least 320-350 kts. Recommended here, for their speed and maneuverability, are jet trainers. You might consider the Aero L-39 or the BAE Hawk. Each has an excellent payware rendition (Lotus and JustFlight). And highly recommended are Dino Cattaneo's T-45 Goshawk and Aermacchi MB-326. (The FSX versions are freeware and reportedly work well enough in P3Dv4. I have not tested these. For Dino's freeware, see AVSIM or
IndiaFoxtEcho.) Many other aircraft, including other jet trainers and jet fighters, faster warbirds, and many nimble business jets, will work equally well. Of course, you should fly whatever you like. (I'll take the Aero L-39 in the colors of the old Slovak demonstration team Biele Albatrosy.)

Scenery
The plan is designed for the Orbx New Zealand South Island and North Island (for the final landing) regional packages. It should work ok with Orbx Global and Orbx Global Vector but you will miss much of the detail. (If you use the Orbx South and North Island regional packages, you might want to disable Vector.)

In addition, we shall fly into Milford Sound, Queenstown, Nelson, and Wellington. There are fine payware renditions for each, but these are not at all necessary for this flight.

Time and Weather
This is primarily an on-the-deck flight experience to be conducted through fjords and high mountain passes. We shall be maneuvering at speed in close proximity to granite and shall need good flying weather to enjoy the challenges. I recommend that we carefully consider the real weather conditions on November 9. If the skies are mostly clear along the coast and into the mountains, then let's go with real weather. If there are cloud banks in the fjords or in the mountains, then we should use the fine flying weather on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at 2300 UTC. These are early Spring days on the South Island the and the weather is undependable.

For our departure, please set your simulator clocks to 1500 local time.

Particulars
Date and time: November 9, 2019, 1900 UTC. [Note the time carefully as we just transitioned to Standard Time in Europe and North America.]
Where: AVSIM RTWR Teamspeak - Casual Flights Channel
Teamspeak Server Address: ts.teamavsim.com
Cross-Platform Multiplayer: JoinFS. Latest version is
here. (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
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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NOTAM.
It appears that P3D and FSX and FS9 produce a weird time zone shift that does not occur in real life New Zealand. (As it happens, this anomaly was noted as long as fourteen years ago. I must admit to having been word not allowed of the problem until now.)
At the moment, it seems that for our departure from NZMO we should set our simulator clock at 1500 local rather than 1600 local. Still investigating.


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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I believe the word was "i-g-n-o-r-a-n-t". Gosh, this automated word-editing is just a sign of a bigger set of issues. Not the time for a rant...


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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NOTAM. Revised Start Time and Alternate Weather.

For the departure from NZMO, set the simulator time to 1500 local.
The alternate weather is November 2, 2019 at 2300 UTC. (Slight change.)  The real weather forecast for our flight time includes a high probability of rain all day long.
[The original announcement above has been edited to reflect these changes.]

Update 2019-11-09. The forecast rain and low ceiling have hit the South Island. We shall use the alternate weather (Last Saturday, November 2 at 2300 UTC). For pilots who do not have historic weather: the weather last Saturday had skies that were almost entirely clear with only modest winds.


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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Having spent the afternoon figuring out how to get the Hawk stopped in 2500ft at Milford Sound, I then realise it's only a touch'n'go  😡

RTFP!!

Pity, I was looking forward to seeing Steve's Tomcat trying it.....

 

 


Nick.png?dl=1

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Thanks Mike for the great flight! A heart pounder..
Just a few screenshots, here.
A little too busy flying the Albatross to click on the shutter. 👍 
Keep an eye out in your inbox.. 😉

  • Upvote 1

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"                EAA Chapter 651
       samantha.jpg?dl=1

 

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