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P_7878

Quito to Bogota - in the "Majestic" Q400

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First of all, I must state, this (SIM) aircraft and this (SIM) flight, turned out to be one of the "most enjoyable" due to several factors (including the right mixture of complexity and novelty, from my perspective). I was triggered, to fly this SIM, this week, after a very long break, thanks to a member (recently) posting some wonderful screenshots of this same plane. As I've implied in the Title, this SIM is a remarkably authentic rendition of this modern turboprop aircraft, placed into our hands, for enjoyment, (especially, for those of us, who are not real Pilots!). In fact, (IMHO) it will not be too much to say, that, since PMDG JS41 (I miss that SIM a lot!), this has now set the standards for desktop turboprop simulations...! Here, I happen to own only the "Pilot" Edition (I should have gone for the "Pro" Edition - the "Pilot" version sounded "complex" enough for my purpose, at the time)!

On the Majestic Website, there is a nice chart, if you wish to compare the features of the three versions...It's worth re-stating that, "PRO" edition is for advanced users, or airline pilots wishing to improve their knowledge of the Dash8 Q400 airplane", and "TRAINING" edition is dedicated to the airlines, wishing to have a good quality inexpensive solution for the Dash8 Q400 technical and procedural training for both technical staff and the flight crews". So, we can safely conclude the (pilot-grade) extent of fidelity of this (desktop) simulation. In any case, if one doesn't own it "and" one is interested in short commuter flights (that would not impact our other obligatory time commitments, as a long-haul flight would imply...), I (very) highly recommend this SIM. Personally, here, in my Pilot Edition, I (particularly) miss the Heads-Up Guidance System. And, at least, one other functionality, that I would mention below...(both features would have (greatly) helped me in the subject flight for this post). Of course, I have, now, probably touched, about, 50% functions of this SIM, but, at least, (after this flight) I know how to (safely) navigate, using its FMS, (as they say - from Point A to Point B)...

Regarding the (rather unique) locale for this flight (along with the two exotic (and cultural) cities of Quito and Bogota), one of the major attractions of the (new) MSFS, for me, (hopefully) would be the (virtual, but realistic) access to the fantastic and awe-inspiring terrains and landscapes of the Andean region of the South American continent. Andes region is incredible and challenging, more so, than the Himalayas, in some respects. In this post, we'll head  north from Quito to the Colombia's high-altitude capital of Bogota. With a set of custom (albeit hypothetical) waypoints defined into the mjc8-Q400's FMS, I've (to borrow the proverbial adage) threaded the needle, by carefully, making my way between the Eastern and Western mountain ranges of the Ecuadorian and Colombian Andes (see FSX MAP screenshot). If you care to trust this (virtual) pilot, the (RW) flying operations, in these regions must be inhospitable and extremely dangerous! Let me also add, this (SIM) flight (even though mostly tracking the interior valleys) always felt as if there are high-rise mountains, everywhere, close, around me (front, back, and sides...)!, and, to make it worse, the ground underneath, always, seemed, so, uncomfortably, near, even if you may be flying at 25000' plus altitude!

And, unlike the Himalayas, which are, of course, equally formidable (I've been in its vicinity, in RL), here, there are densely populated cities and residential localities dispersed right amidst the Andes mountains. Quito itself is a typical example (See Screenshots of lift-off). BTW, for this post, I've lifted off from Rwy 17 of "Old" Quito (SEQU), while the "New" Quito (SEQM), is now the de-facto airport of Quito - the reason being, I've Aerosoft's nice "Old" Quito add-on, and, more importantly, I normally, have this "whole" airport (and its ILS runway), all to myself, as no other (law-abiding) traffic is now (officially) allowed into this Airport...🙂...(except for, maybe, some unwelcome(?) AI visitors...I run into, here, sometimes...). [Side Notes: This "Old" Quito airport is currently, in-operative, and, actually, is the site of Parque Bicentenario (Bicentennial Park), the biggest urban park in Quito. Both Quito airports go by the name "Mariscal Sucre International Airport", with the prefix "Old" reserved for SEQU]. The two Quito airports, and (my destination airport) Bogota (SKBO), are all high-altitude airports (~9000' elevation). In fact, I seemed to need most of the Runway at Old Quito, before, the mjc8, (much to my relief), wonderfully lifted off, still, please notice, closeness to the house-roofs on climbout. Also, please note, in my SIM flight, I've opted to take-off South (Rwy 17), to gain (safe) altitude, before executing a (FMS Direct-To) U-turn to my first custom Waypoint (please see plane approaching Fix01, in one screenshot, and the mjc8 FMS performing flawlessly, all the time, as far as, I could tell, from my (limited) knowledge)! I've also shown one screenshot, of the FMS's VNAV page, that would allow for vertical guidance and descent, if required, but, in reality, here, I've just conducted step-wise descents, at my discretion, (keeping a constant watch on those nearby mountains (ever-present - all the way to touch-down)!

And, one of the things, I always wish to try, on an FMS, is how to insert user-defined custom waypoints (LAT/LONG is one example) to open up (new) possibilities for my own (virtual) flights. If I understand correctly, there is such a function on the mjc8's FMS (PILOT DATA page), but, unfortunately, this, I think, is unavailable, in the Pilot Edition. So, to define my custom route fixes, I've (alternately) entered the LATLONGs into the SimBrief FlightPlan (Note: SimBrief, correctly, does not recognize SEQU, but, it does SEQM), and then, have uploaded its "mjc-format" output, conveniently and directly, into the FMS. I've also mimicked the (semi-circular) final approach into Rwy 13L of SKBO, as specified by SimBrief (please see SimBrief screenshot). The capture of ILS, and the landing was, quite, exhilarating (it is a bit tricky, on the mjc8, unless, you're a pro with the SIM, already). In any case, if you own this SIM, and a simmer like me, I recommend this landing into SKBO 13L, for great fun (there is a sense of excitement and achievement for sure, on successful touch-down - please see shots, below)! BTW, you can also find numerous YouTube videos of (SIM) landing approaches into KSBO's (various) Runways (there was one for the PMDG 777, that I especially liked)!

Finally, while the airline-industry is, now, looking for a silver lining in the current (dismal) state of affairs, we note that, the Colombian Airline, (Bogota headquartered) Avianca, (the world's second oldest airline after KLM, and the oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere), has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Courts, blaming the "unforeseeable impact of the Covid-19 pandemic". Here is an official statement, "We believe that a reorganization under Chapter 11 is the best path forward to protect the essential air travel and air transport services that we provide across Colombia and other markets throughout Latin America." We certainly hope so...!!

In this post, I wished to fly, Avianca, but could not find a (mjc8) repaint for it, so, instead, I've selected, to fly, another Latin American (stalwart) carrier, TAM (now LATAM of Brasil)...! For my flight, here, I've set the time to "night", and visibility to "one mile" to make this mountainous trip, bit more exciting (i.e. mountains, all around you, that you cannot always see)! I've also loaded the "CYZDCYUL_Tutorial", and done the due diligence, to follow through the rest of the engine start-up procedures. At the end of my flight, I was, surely, glad to see the (SKBO) ILS Rwy 13L come up, on my (virtual) windshield....🙂.., ready for the foothold of my mjc8, see Screenshots, (this is where I missed the HUD, the most!)...Anyway, then, I said to myself, "Kudos to those (RW) Pilots having to (routinely) navigate this part of the world..."!

Hope you enjoy the images below, and find this account interesting.! Thanks, as always, folks, for your interest!

[MJC8(Q400)/AS(SEQU)/Freeware-Vcol(SKBO)/REX]

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Nice job!😎

Watch out for the odd Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 flying into and out of Quito (new) and Bogota, it might be me rather than someone who knows what they're doing! 😄

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Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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Posted (edited)

Great reportage again, P_7878, once more.👍

Having flown the PMDG 747-8i from PANC(AS') to SEQM(Flighbeam's) a few times---a real catch-out approach, you now inspire me to bring the MJC Dash8 into SEQM. Where did you get the TAM livery from, through? Nice.

Yes, Mark there are 2 very competent Lufthansa ladies bringing that MD-11F into Quito. Wasn't aware it is the new Quito till I read your bit, because I know the Fb old Quito is a thinking approach

Edited by vc10man
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Rick Almeida

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Posted (edited)

All: Thanks..!!

Mark and Rick:

Appreciated the comments...! Glad, my post, gave you some ideas, but, neither of you, I believe, is "new" to "New" Quito...(i.e. to SEQM)...You have, after all, landed the mighty 747-8 and MD-11F, there, not just a twin-prop like mine, so, you're well-set for another adventure into Quito (or Bogota)...! I know some RW pilots, around, here, are surely chuckling behind us....🙂...!

[Rick: The filename for TAM Q400, in the AVSIM Library is "tam_q400.zip", but I see, it says, FSX, so, please check for P3D compatibility...(or for another version, that may be also there)...]

Next, I just wish to emphasize, that these regions, near Quito and Bogota are full of treacherous mountains....

  1. The (dreaded) Cotopaxi volcano, 2nd highest in Ecuador, at 19,347', is just 40 miles south of Quito (barely seen at the bottom edge of my FSX Map).
  2. The Cayambe (volcano), is the 3rd highest in Ecuador, at 18,996', see the dark-brown spot, North-East of Quito, on the FSX Map. It is also only about 40 miles from Quito. You can see my mjc8, turning just past it, with a (direct) northerly heading...(thank goodness for the FMS's (pre-set) LNAV guidance...🙂...especially in such poor visibility...)
  3. And, Chimborazo, 90 miles south of Quito, based on a technicality, is the highest summit on the Earth (yes, higher than Mount Everest, by nearly 7000 feet!), as measured from the center of the Earth, this is due to Equatorial bulge of the planet at Ecuador...(so, I'm glad, I've stayed clear of it, by heading north, from Quito,...this mountain is outside of my FSX Map, btw...)

(I invite you to locate these three (above) volcanic mountains on the Google Map). So, this region is an incredibly challenging area for aerial navigation, that's for sure...(btw, it could provide ideas for a few more "short-distance" but thrilling flights, in the SIM....if you like...)......

Finally, you may like to search for "bicentennial park quito images", and see what a nice transformation, now, is the Old Quito (SEQU), the airport, from where I (virtually) lifted off for my post...there are many interesting images there, e.g., in the 3rd image, top row, if I'm not mistaken, I see a Biker (and his dog) tracking the center-line of Rwy 17/35,....Also, on the image, with the sculptures, you may observe those (menacing) high-mountains in the background (similar to what I'd noticed - virtually), those mountains must have got full attention of the (RW) pilots, before the (thankful) switch of operations to the New Quito (SEQM) airport...

Good day/evening!

Edited by P_7878
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In fact, I used one of those snow-capped peaks to more or less keep me pointed towards where SEQM lay behind all those treacherous mountains, because it is well hidden. Pity I do not have an image hosting website to post a shot of that UPS 747-8i squeezed between a KLM 747-400F and a SkyLease MD11F.

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Rick Almeida

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Great pics...that's one of the most lovely addons ever.  For me though I don't touch it much....too "airliner" for me LOL


|Ryan Butterworth|

| i7 4790K@4.4GHz | 32GB RAM | EVGA GTX 1080Ti | ASUS Z97-Pro | 1TB 860 Evo | 500GB 840 Evo Win10 Pro | 1TB Samsung 7200rpm | Seasonic X750W |

 

 

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As an almost futile exercise try taking off from Quito in the default Cessna 172.. 😄 (FSX:SE)


Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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17 hours ago, ryanbatcund said:

Great pics...that's one of the most lovely addons ever.  For me though I don't touch it much....too "airliner" for me LOL

Thanks, Ryan! BTW, your GA plane images are always wonderful...! And, I think, I recall, you'd posted a shot of this plane (or was it another airliner?), once, along with a good interior shot of its skewed/slanted flight-deck...a great way to showcase the 3D gauge effects in P3D (my FSX/SE, here, is the poor man's P3D, you see,... 🙂....)

 

10 hours ago, HighBypass said:

As an almost futile exercise try taking off from Quito in the default Cessna 172.. 😄 (FSX:SE)

By this, am I to gather, Mark, that you are comfortable lifting off with the MD-11F jetliner, from Quito,....🙂...? It's just this (little) Cessna, that is giving you trouble...(at that elevation)...?

I think both you and I need a lesson on "density altitude"...because, I also think, neither the locals nor the authorities, would have approved the low-hanging gears of my mjc8 - gliding just above those roof-tops...(oh well, I, at least, made it out safely from the hole, didn't I...)....

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Yes, I am comfortable lifting off with the MD-11F - may not be carrying 90 tons of cargo, but still she is capable of taking off, especially from the new Quito!! Yep, just try the wheezy little Cessna.. 😄

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gnSWCfPF3k

 


Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

Author of FLIGHT: A near-future short story (ebook available on amazon)

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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