Flap's Flap 4 - Fall Foliage Flight Part II
By John J. Thuot II (7 January 2005)
First of all, I have to say that I made a slight computation error in my original flight list, but we will proceed from the following:
FLIGHT #6, LEG 6: OB1 (Bethel Maine) to KEEN (Keene New Hampshire) ETA 50 min. FLIGHT #7, LEG 7: KEEN (Keene) to KGBR (Great Barrington Massachusetts) ETA 38 min. FLIGHT #8, LEG 8: KGBR (Great Barrington) to 1B9 (Mansfield) ETA 46 min. FLIGHT #9, LEG 9: 1B9 (Mansfield) to KMMK (Meridan Connecticut) ETA 38 min. FLIGHT #10, LEG 10: KMMK (Meridan) to 5B3 (Danielson) ETA 40 min. FLIGHT #11, LEG 11: 5B3 (Danielson) to KHVN (New Haven) ETA 11 min.
With the way that the weather has been lately, I have been using the fair weather theme from Microsoft Flight Simulator. I did not want any unexpected turns for the worse - after all, this is supposed to be a flight seeing tour - how can you see if there is bad weather in the way for reduced visibillity, right? Also, for my purposes, I have performed all of these flights in IFR rules - I have done that so that I can give direction to your for turns and headings so that when you perform the flights you will be able to use VFR.
Flight #6: OB1 (Bethel Maine) to KEEN (Keene New Hampshire) ETA 50 min.
Open up FS2004, and go to the Flight Planner. Select our last starting point, OB1 (Bethel Maine) to KEEN (Keene New Hampshire) as a destination. Adjust your flight path to look like mine in the screenshot, your altitude to 4000 feet, and compile. You'll be all set to go. One important note, you will want to adjust your time and season to October and use around the 12th to the 15th for this time of fall. If you do not, you may get bare trees and it really doesn't look that appealing for our Fall Foliage Tour. Select your favorite twin engine turboprop and we'll be all set to go. For me I chose Flight 1's Cessna Conquest II. Ok, ready? Load up the sim.
We'll be sitting on the ramp, and you will want to taxi to runway 20. Once you arrive at runway 20 you will see a beautiful scene of the Hahoosuc Range (left, below).
After take off, turn to heading 252 and you will see a fantastic scene of the Presidential Range (right, above).
We'll be sitting for a little while, we will come to Mount Tecumseh. At Mount Tecumseh you will want to turn left to heading 194.
This will bring you to the beautiful lake region of Lake Winnipesaukee which is a wonderful sight this time of year.
When you reach Lake Winnipesaukee, you will want to turn to heading 224 and continue to fly until you get to Mount Monadnock - yes, where the spring water comes from - and then turn to heading 287, which will bring you to the vectors for landing.
When you reach the vectors turn right to heading 012 and that will line you up perfectly with the runway.
After turning off the runway, announce clear of runway and taxi to the parking. Let's stretch our legs, get a cup of coffee, and be ready for our next journey in our flight seeing tour.
FLIGHT #7, LEG 7 KEEN (Keene New Hampshire) to KGBR (Great Barrington Massachusetts) ETA 38 min.We are now ready to begin Leg 7 of our journey. You all have seen some splendid scenery of the New England area that this region has to offer. We are going to begin Leg #7 from KEEN (Keene New Hampshire) and end in Great Barrington Massachusetts. Sad to say, these flights are nearing the end of our fall escapade. Again, I used fair weather theme from Microsoft Weather Scapes. Start up FS2004, select the Create a Flight Option, and choose KEEN as our departure airport. Next, you will want to select from the state of Massachusetts, KGBR. Choose VFR as the flight rules - you will have more freedom to navigate that way to see whatever catches your fancy. Set the altitude for 2500 feet, and select your favorite single engine prop. For me, I chose Corenado's Dakota, but any will do. Adjust your flight plan to look like mine, and you're good to compile the flight and go.
When you start FS2004, you will be on the ramp at KEEN. Announce taxi and proceed to the active. Once you reach the active, announce your take off intentions and proceed on to the runway with caution. For an added ounce of realism on these flights, you will want to select and enable GA traffic for users of traffic programs. It really adds an extra punch of realism. I kept on hearing an aircraft coming in to KEEN when I was getting ready to depart. You really had to keep an eye out for the guy! Once you are on the runway, apply full throttle and lift off nicely into the air.
Along our flight, we will see many interesting aspects of this region: Greylock Mountain, Mount Monadnock (yes, where the spring water comes from) and we will even see some interesting mountains in the distance when we have to go into New York State to catch our vectors for landing into Great Barrington. I know it seems odd, but we do have to since the vectors span that distance from the runway.
Soon we are near the end of our flight. Here are some views from my Piper Dakota.
When we enter New York State, we will see a fantastic view of a mountain range near by which is the home of Plateau Mountains. Simply beautiful! If you want to explore that region a little, feel free to - it is 29 nm away though so make sure you have enough fuel.
We will now begin our turn to vectors for final. Heading 260 will place you in a good line up to catch the vectors to GPS runway 11 in Great Barrington, but heading 115 will line you up perfectly with the runway once you catch the vectors. You may have to make the small usual adjustments as you come in for a landing though to remain on course.
Announce clear of the runway (once you have turned off), taxi to parking and stretch your legs a bit for our next flight. Nothing like that 100 dollar hamburger after a little trip.
FLIGHT #8, LEG 8: KGBR (Great Barrington) to 1B9 (Mansfield) ETA 46 min.Now it's time to begin flight number 8 after being well rested from our little break. We will be flying from Great Barrington Massachusetts to Mansfield. This flight should take us approximately 46 minutes pending on the aircraft we choose. Load up FS2004 and start the flight planner, choose KGBR as your starting airport and 1B9, Mansfield, as your finishing airport. Set altitude to 2500 feet and select your favorite single engine light aircraft, and enjoy the flight. For me I chose Carenado's Beechcraft V35 Bonanza.
After you have started Flight Simulator, announce intentions to taxi to the active and then proceed to the runway (even though FS starts you on the active, I still like to perform the announcements). Announce take off intentions, and then apply full throttle and lift of the ground. Look to the left - you will see Mount Frissell on our way by. Spectacular view.
Take off, Mount Frissell in the background.
Another view of Mount Frissell - see the shades of orange and yellow on the ground.
After take off, you will want to turn right to heading 106 which will put us enroute to Mansfield. You can enjoy the scenery while you turn here - there aren't really any mountains to be concerned with now while we are taking off.
Once you turn right to heading 106, you will pretty much be mantaining your own navigation until you reach the area of Mansfield. Here are some of the shots from my journey: I have passed some towns I never even knew existed in Massachusetts, such Housatonic on the way to Springfield.
Once we reach up to Pascoag, this is where we will start to make some alterations to our course. Here you will want to adjust to 151. This will pass you by the City of Woonsocket, (which is near my neck of the woods) and Providence, Rhode Island.
Passing Pascoag. Adjust to heading 151 for vectors to final.
Passing Woonsocket - near my neck of the woods.
Approaching Providence, RI
After passing Providence, you will want to keep the same heading until you reach the city of Somerset, Massachusetts, near Fall River. Here you will want to turn to heading 053 which will line you up with Interstate 495. Mansfield Airport will be just beyond a curve in Interstate 495 - you can see it here:
Now you will want to tune traffic, announce position and intentions to land. Set flaps accordingly, lower the speed and follow the glide slope nice and easily to the runway. You'll be doing another perfect landing here, I'm sure.
After you have shut down the engine, feel free to stretch your legs a little while. We will soon begin our next leg to Meridan, Connecticut.
FLIGHT #9, LEG 9: 1B9 (Mansfield) to KMMK (Meridan Connecticut) ETA 38 min.I can't believe we have only three more flights to go in our Fall Foliage tour. I hope that everyone is enjoying the flights as much as I did. Start FS2004, go to the flight planner, and select your favorite single engine prop. This time, I chose the Mooney Bravo - a touchy little plane that I have little experience with, and thought I'd try it a little more. Go to the flight planner and select Mansfield, Massachusetts (1B9) as the start and Meridan, Connecticut (KMMK) as your destination. Set your altitude to 2000 feet, and weather theme to fair weather (or, if at the time real world weather is fine, use that) and compile your flight and load up your sim.
Tune the traffic and announce your intention to take off, apply full throttle, and gently lift off the ground. Careful not to pull up too much while trying to get a screen shot, you may accidentally stall your aircraft.
You will then want to pop open the GPS and turn left to the course in the GPS window. Enjoy the scenery for the moment; I'll be giving you further instructions afterwards.
When you travel along, you will be flying straight until you reach North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Turn Left to heading 225 as shown in the picture below:
North Attleboro is split by I-95. Here is another image (above, right); you will be able to see what I mean so that those of you at home who don't have the same landclass should somewhat be able to tell.
You'll want to follow along I-95 for a while. Shortly afterwards though, you will want to turn to heading 225 just after North Attleboro, and then cruise straight along until you reach the city of Cranston, Rhode Island which then you will want to turn to heading 250.
At the Scituate Reservoir, you will want to make a slight course correction back to 225.
You'll pretty much maintain that heading into Connecticut.
When you reach Norwich, you will want to turn right to heading 250.
After you travel for a distance, you will see a town about 6nm away. This is Colchester. Here you will want to turn to heading 220 (again).
You will proceed to Deep River Connecticut and at Deep River, you will want to turn to heading 225, and then back to 250 at Gaillard Lake.
We are now going to be getting into one of our critical stages of our flight, landing. Once you reach heading 250 at Gaillard Lake, you will want to continue to heading to 325.
Travel along heading 325 until you reach vectors for the runway for landing, then turn to heading 352. This will line you up on approach with the runway in sight.
Apply flaps accordingly and adjust speed appropriately. You will then be able to set down nice and gently on the runway.
After landing, clear the runway, taxi to parking, shut down the engine and stretch your legs. We'll be able to begin the next flight shortly. This flight kind of had a blooper to it - funny, but even the masters make mistakes. I crashed on approach in the Mooney, and the sim reloaded as it should, but this is what happened - (see this link). I thought it was kind of funny - but again, one example of "good thing this is a simulator and not real life!"
John J. Thuot II