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The Hunter Valley (December 7)

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The Hunter Valley: Cattle, Coal, and Wine

 

(For Saturday, December 7, 2019)

Today we take a recreational flight through Australia's Hunter Valley in Tiger Moths, Avro Tutors, or other low-and-slow aircraft. This will give us an opportunity to enjoy the wind in the wires as we practice aerobatics, do some formation flying, chitchat, and look at a part of Australia that we see only infrequently. We depart from the broad tablelands of New England, pass over the enormous open coalfields of the upper valley, follow the railroad to Newcastle and then turn down the beautiful coastal beaches to Belmont. Finally, we return over Lake Macquarie to end at Cessnock in the Hunter Valley's world-famous wine country.



Hunter_Valley_Wine_Country_K4259.jpg?dl=


We depart from Tamworth [YSTW], both a regional airport and the base for the RAAF's Basic Flying Training School. (Its WWII predecessor was equipped with Tiger Moths.) Tamworth city is the largest in New England, the broad agricultural area just west of the Great Dividing Range. It is also the self-made capital of Australian Country Music. We fly over the tablelands to stop briefly at Quirindi [YQDI] airstrip. Then south through the mountains of Towarri National Park to land at Scone [YSCO]. The countryside near Scone is a major breeding center for racing thoroughbreds and it has traditionally been known as the "Horse Capital of Australia."

We continue through the Upper Hunter, turning at the Bengalla mine [BENGALLA] to fly over the immense array of open pit coal fields. Historically, it was coal that defined the region's economy. We more-or-less follow the rails of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain that coordinates the continuous railway transshipment of coal to Newcastle. As we approach the lower valley, we execute a Touch and Go at Luskintyre [YLUK], the site of a classic aircraft museum and restoration operation, and the home to Australia's largest collection of Tiger Moths. In 2003, Luskintyre members participated in The Great Tiger Moth Air Race to commemorate a century of powered flight. In 2014, the aerodrome hosted a repeat performance in which 40 aircraft flew to Newcastle, down the coast, and over Sydney Harbour. After Luskintyre, we land for a full stop at the nearby GA airport at Maitland [YMND].

We depart for the coast and land at the joint-use Newcastle Airport/RAAF Base Williamtown [YWLM]. This is a busy commercial field as well as a center for sophisticated jet aircraft construction and maintenance. On the north side of the runway is the major RAAF base that hosts tactical fighter squadrons employing Hawks, FA-18s, and now F-35s. We should carefully manage our speed to merge seamlessly into the pattern with the FA-18s. Afterwards, we head southward along the coast to fly over Nobby Head and the iconic lighthouse [NOBBY] of Newcastle. The city was built as a coal port (named after the English city) and is now the largest coal exporting harbor in the world. Passing the beaches and Redhead [REDHEAD], we land at the picturesque Lake Macquarie Airport [YLMQ/YPEC]. Until 2006, this small field was the home of Aeropelican Air Services and their regular Twin Otter connections with Sydney. It now hosts air ambulance helicopters, sky diving aircraft, and other GA operations.

Finally, we cross over Lake Macquarie and into the heart of the Hunter Valley wine country. We circle over several of the more famous wineries and vineyards to land at Cessnock [YCNK]. The wine district, an early success due to its proximity to Sydney, has for more than a century served the domestic market for table wines. And as the industry has become more global, the best winemakers have developed attractive and successful S
émillons and Shiraz's that are enjoyed all over the world. For a good night's rest, we have reserved the entire Hunter Valley Convent [CONVENT] for our group. The next day we brunch at Molines Bistro [MOLINES].

Documentation
The flightplan with a Pilots' Guide can be found
here.

Aircraft
The route is 194nm. We shall fly at a leisurely pace. While the scheme is designed for Tiger Moths and Avro Tutors, any aircraft capable of about 100kts cruise will do nicely. Of course, you should fly whatever you like. I shall take Ants Tiger Moth Pro in the early-RAF livery K-4259.

Scenery
You probably want Orbx Australia (either v1.0 or v2.0). If using the Australia region, turn Vector off. You can fly the route using only Orbx Global textures and default airports but this is not ideal. Recommended as rather good, but not necessary, are the Orbx renditions of Tamworth [YSTW], Aeropelican (Lake Macquarie) [YLMQ/YPEC], and Cessnock [YCNK].

You probably also want the OZx Scenery Package (v3.0, sequentially updated to 3.5). This fits Orbx Australia v1.0. For our journey today, it also fits Orbx Australia v2.0. Thanks to Craig Hanley, the OZx files and the P3D converted library are available at the
Orbx forums on this thread and then continued on this thread.

In addition, you might want to install the freeware Luskintyre (YLUK) by AusFS (
here). This is NOT in the FSX/P3D default or in Orbx Australia. We do a touch-and-go here. If you ignore the scenery, you might touch-and-go on the open field or you might do a low pass instead. (This is a Tiger Moth center for all of Australia and we want to recognize the members' efforts.)

And finally, you might like the freeware RAAF Base Williamtown v2.0 by Lawrence Nichols. (At FlightSim.com
here.) This is an excellent rendition with details and photoscenery (but note that it is 540mb in size).

[Orbx Australia v2.0 users. If you are willing to tolerate small glitches, you can fly this route without making adjustments for either the payware Orbx Airports or for the freeware OZx airfields. If you want to make some corrections, look at your email for help.]

Time and Weather
As it is Spring in the Hunter Valley, we should fly real weather unless we encounter a poor flying day. If the real weather conditions are unsuitable for our enterprise, you might consider switching to welcoming skies of December 4, 2019 at 0100 UTC. For takeoff on Saturday, set the simulator at 2:45pm local.

Particulars
Date and time: December 7, 2019, 1900 UTC
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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Thanks Mike!

There is an update available for Ant's Tiger Moth Pro version!

I suggest to download the airport of Scone as well. It is at the AusFS site, as is YLUK (and the library).

I take the recommendation for Scone back. The installer insists to install the scenery into C:Programm Files.....   It allows you to change the installation folder, but nevertheless generates an XML-Entry into its default path. P3D will no longer start. That can be fixed with Lorby's Manager. If you are not happy with playing around with that, don't install Scone.


Gunter.png?dl=1

Regards

Gunter Schneider

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The Hunter Valley Pilots Guide is now included along with the flight plan in the Hunter Valley zipfile. You can download it, or re-download it, at the same location here.


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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Excellent job on creating that pilots guide Mike. Not sure I'll be free to fly this coming weekend but that guide to Hunter Valley & area is very informative and nice video's (links) you also included! Watched them this afternoon

Great job.

Norm

Edited by nbrich1

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Norm, thanks for the kind words. If you have to miss the flight, we shall surely miss your good company. Hope you can make it, but in any case look forward to seeing you next time.
M


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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Orbx Australia v2.0

On third thought...

I'm going to recommend getting Orbx Australia v2.0. Our Australian flightsimmers seem to agree that v2.0 is much better – up to the standards of recently-released regions. And even the OZx guys take AUv2 as a starting point and have worked to integrate OZx airports into the newer version.

In many spots, the landscaping has noticeable improvements (compared to v1.0) which provide the detail that makes the scenery more believable. This is Holger's work and I'm beginning to appreciate more fully his efforts.

Important in another way, AUv2 provides "Neil Hill" enhanced airports for the entire continent. Where before there were stark default hangars or nothing at all, now there are Orbx-library-type buildings, hangars, static aircraft, vehicles, ground clutter, and people. This feature is attractive because we now have "built-in" adequate renditions of all the mid-sized regional airports and many of the smaller local airports. (For example, in this week's flightplan, AUv2 provides models of YSTW, YQDI, YSCO, YMND, YWLM and YCNK.)

We shall want to revisit the continent several more times this coming year. Having everything set up with a better landscapes and decent airports ahead of time for multiple flights seems worth the investment.

So I've revised my assessment. Especially because Orbx Australia v2.0 is on 50 percent sale this month, it is surely good value. Strongly recommended.

Hope this helps,
Mike


--Mike MacKuen
MikeM_AVSIM.png?dl=1

 

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Thanks Mike, it helped.

I discovered that I had bought Australia V2 but never installed it. I will now!


Gunter.png?dl=1

Regards

Gunter Schneider

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Well!! I never.. lmao. Those nerves can be a killer Ron.. Perhaps popping a Xanax, Ativan or a Valium might help to calm a bit 🥴?

Norm

PS: Miss you too m8!! lol.
 

Edited by nbrich1
  • Like 1

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Mike!
Thanks so much for the wonderful flight, the write up & of course, all the informational tidbits along the way.. 👍
Flying in a somewhat relaxed formation is really enjoyable.
My front seater, Nigel Tufnel, 😝 was a little laxed yesterday. 😭 I think his mind was on his upcoming concert tour, football, women, or something. - lol
Anyway.. He took a total of 73 pictures with his trusty camera, only 60? returned from the intelligence office cleared for viewing.

4633453365_280x246.jpg

Thanks again MIke!
Y'all have a great week   

  • 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"  RIP 😞        
       samantha.jpg?dl=1

 

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hi mike,

great flight yesterday, thanks for arranging, what better way to while away a couple of hours with convivial company & superb scenery,  slow & low.

 it relaxes the nerves.  ( well for  some ).

regards.

  • Upvote 1

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Well said Roger!

And very nice shots Roman!


Gunter.png?dl=1

Regards

Gunter Schneider

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lol. Right on Roger!! For some.. but even I had a bit of worrisome when SirViking's WLan got messed up!! But thanks for fixing fast.. much less nervous now.. good job . lol.

Indeed Roman that ole' camera takes great pics!! Thank-you for capturing the moment(s) of the superb event.....

 

 

..... (although some might have been tad tardy- namely a Canuck being late to the gate account attending to some "rugrattedness" items) but hopefully t'was better to be a tad late than never show up at all with such a friendly crew.. (unless it was too tasking on a certain somebody's nerves! especially when I chatter too much! Sorry about that!)  🥺

 

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