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Come And Visit South America



Come And Visit South America

By Bastian Blinten
2 May 2008



Hello again! Starting point for our tour today: Maracaibo, Venezuela. We are going to explore the South of America so that no poor flight simmer out there is running out of new places to try!






Today we are going to just a few well known places so there is no Rio de Janeiro on the list.


I've never been to South America. A big pity. My grandfather is from Chile and my uncle grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They both had German roots, settled over to Germany later and lived here for the longest part of their lives. I still have relatives in Argentina and hopefully one day I'll go and see this part of the world with my own eyes.


If you check a topographic map, you'll find that the Andes divide the continent from North to South. The file library offers hundreds of megabytes of mesh sceneries that give you a detailed look of this part of the journey. I collected the biggest part of the Andes resulting in an extra CD with more than 500 megabytes. It is currently not installed so don't worry if the screen shots don't show high detail mesh.


Our aircraft for the first leg is an Aeropostal Airbus A310-300. The famous Antoine de Saint Exupery helped build up this airline in the early 1930's. The 3D-movie "Wings Of Courage" tells the true story of one of his pilots, transporting mail across the Andes in an open biplane these days. He crashes in very bad weather but survives relatively unhurt. Although lost in the high and wintery mountains he makes his way home on his own feet.


Today we enjoy a little more comfort and set course for Manizales, Columbia. I admit I had only been there once and didn't remember the place well but on arrival I recollect that this was an impressive one. Take a look!






The approach is at eye level with the city which is on our left and straight "into" a mountain. The runway is fairly short for my Airbus and the terrain provides an interesting approach and prevents any go-around. OK, this is now or never and I must admit that my first two tries would have resulted in a terrible hole in the ground.










The airport is at 6000 feet and I was flying with pretty full tanks resulting in an approach speed of around 170 kts. This is too much. After a good fuel dump things get better and I finally get to stop the A310 on the last few yards of the runway.


To avoid further neck-breaking I switch to the King Air and head for Ecuador. Latacunga is another high elevation airport near mount Cotopaxi which you can see in the background.






It is raining and there is not too much to see at this freight airport.


I head further south to Lima, Peru. I have never been able to find any add-on scenery for Peru and the default terrain seems pretty boring. My number 1 for the most boring place in flight simulator! A big sorry to the people of Peru. It is probably a great place. Just needs somebody to liven it up in our virtual world.






Never mind. There is still enough to see. We follow the impressive Andes for Bolivia which has been mentioned in several articles. La Paz is more or less the top of the world if it comes to airliner landings. Today we head further south east and touch down at colorful San Javier.






Takeoff from the single grass runway and further south east to the border of Paraguay.






Again, except for a mesh, there is no scenery enhancement for this country. So we fly by the capital Asuncion and all the way back across the Andes to the Pacific coast.






Next stop: Valparaiso, Chile. It is a city with great cultural heritage and has been the most important sea port before the opening of the Panama canal. It is a must-see and for a quick virtual check, offers some well done freeware add-on.










So does the capital Santiago de Chile. Several times a week I can see the LAN Chile Airbus A340-600 arrive from Santiago via Madrid to Frankfurt. The approach is well visible from my kitchen window. This is a beautiful airliner in a most lovely finishing!






The city lies between the mountains and the sea. It looks impressive even in flight simulator.


Some Pacific islands are part of Chile, such as the Robinson Crusoe Island and the famous Easter Island, Rapa Nui. Chile also claims a part of Antarctica. We are not going there today but instead to the most southern part of the country to the base of Antarctic flights: Punta Arenas.










While we are freezing in Europe or Northern America it is now midsummer down here. But don't expect warmth. Better watch out for strong Antarctic winds any time of the year.


OK, finally back north. We are close to Argentina and are going to visit its capital Buenos Aires, offering lots of eye candy.






We will soon fly on in the default B747-400 with the new Aerolineas Argentinas livery.


But first we are enjoying the day in the city and have another trip north to the border of Brazil. The Cessna Caravan takes us to the Iguazu Falls, one of the beauties of the country.






Only then we are ready for the next larger trip.






After takeoff we stay low for a closer look at Buenos Aires city center with another air- and seaport.






Still low across the Bahia Samborombon to have a short glance at Montevideo, Paraguay.






Finally Brazil! Rain forests, large fields and if there is a city it is probably huge and lies at the sea. You will find free add-ons for most of them. We choose Sao Paulo Congonhas airport in the middle of the city.






The runway is pretty short for a 747 but we make it okay. I just love the shiny exterior of this big bird!






Sao Paulo is a giant of a city. Almost 20 million residents live in this ocean of houses. The city is a great industrial center but there are slums and great criminality. It is among the top ranking city concerning the amount of helipads. The businessmen who can afford it, prefer flying instead of taking a car through the dangerous streets. So maybe a good place for those virtual heli pilots.


Out next flight is a short one to Belo Horizonte which is further inland about 100 miles north of Rio de Janeiro.






The airport offers some nice surroundings with lakes, parks and detailed hangars.


Next stop is further north. A B737-500 takes us to another great metropolis Belem. The add-on scenery nicely depicts the style of a major city and I'm afraid the real Baia de Marajo is as brown as you can see it here.






So much about the cities. Brazil, that is the Amazonas region, the lung of our earth which is suffering badly. The DeHavilland Twin Otter takes us up the Amazonas river to find some of the remote places.






After a short stop we are turning north for the final leg of our South American journey. We are going to Paramaribo, Surinam. We have covered every country now except Guyana and French Guyana. Maybe you might enjoy a flight along the northern coast of the continent to have a peek at them also.










Landing at Zandery airport and parking. I can sniff the ocean and I am longing to cross the Atlantic to return to Germany.










The next day there is slight rain as I prepare the Airbus A330 for departure to Frankfurt. It's a long way and the plane is heavy. It takes a while as it lumbers down the runway towards the almost visible sea. Finally we get airborne.


Goodbye South America!


Bastian Blinten

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