• Floundering Around Part 18: Floundering Around The World

    Floundering Around the World

    By Ron Blehm (2 December 2007)

    Over the past two years this feature has taken us to some far-flung places around the globe, we've suggested aircraft from the Ford Trimotor to the A380 - lots of variety. This flying around (or all over) the globe was one of my greatest motivations for getting back into FS. In fact, my very first FlightSim.Com article (back in 2000 or so) was about an around the world flight I had completed. In finishing up this Floundering Around series it occurred to me that I have never completed a full, round the world flight, in a single aircraft type. I decided that this was the perfect opportunity to not only wrap up this series but also to complete the tour in a single plane. I hope that this tour gives each of you some new ideas or challenges to try on your own sims.

    Here is what I hoped to do: I chose the default 737-400 not because I'm fond of the flight modeling but because we all have access to this aircraft and there are plenty of livery downloads in the file libraries. Then, I planned a route around the world utilizing paved runways between 5,000 and 9,000 feet long. But not just any runway, I wanted to pick airports that may not normally see a 737 (Hey, I did the best I could for guessing. Please don't send me an e-mail to report that, "Hubbub Airways lands a 737 there every other Tuesday", obviously I didn't know that!) An example might be Camarillo, CA (KCMA) - this business and GA airport is less than 40 miles from KLAX but it has a runway just over 6,000 feet long. Even in cases of dire emergency you'd probably rather land on the 11,000-foot runway at nearby Pt Mugu NAS. And that's the other thing, no overtly military airports for this tour - which was flown, by the way, in FS2004.

    So I set out from Monterey, CA (KMRY) with 35,590 pounds of gas and a VOR > VOR route down to Central America. Here now are some photos and stats:




    KMRY Monterey (picture 001, 002)
    MGRT Retalhuleu, Guatemala (picture 003)

    Notes: 2,195 miles. The tower at MGRT is on the runway, right smack in the middle! (picture 004)

    MGRT Retalhuleu, Guatemala (picture 005)
    SKAS Puerto Asis, Colombia (picture 006)




    Notes: 1,432 miles. The jungles down there are THICK and with my Colombia mesh I had to hold 16,000 feet until I was under 40 miles from the airport. Woah! (picture 007) I can see an actual volcano out there - that's cool!

    SKAS Puerto Asis, Colombia
    SBPB Parnaiba, Brazil (picture 008)

    Notes: 2,119 miles. This leg is pretty flat but I was surprised at the amount of water out there (Guess that's why it's part of the Amazon rain forest huh?) especially as we neared the coast. Landing was at dusk, nearly dark in fact (picture 009).




    SBPB Parnaiba, Brazil
    GLMR Spriggs Payne, Liberia (picture 010)

    Notes: 1,935 miles. Speaking of water...this was an over-water flight but I was, again, disappointed with the scenery MS has done on the African Continent (picture 011).




    GLMR Spriggs Payne, Liberia
    FZFK Gemena, DRC (picture 012)

    Notes: 1,861 miles. I was really looking forward to this leg as this is right through some lush, green parts of central Africa - but once we got away from the bays and islands along the coast there was little else to see. (picture 013) And one more thing: is every airport in Africa either in a hole or on a plateau? I sure hope those of you flying FSX are having better results!

    FZFK Gemena, DRC
    LLSD Sde Dov, Israel (picture 014)

    Notes: 1,984 miles. It was interesting to watch the scenery change from "jungle" to arid to Red Sea to Mediterranean and Jordan River Valley (picture 015).




    LLSD Sde Dov, Isreal (picture 016)
    LELC Murcia, Spain

    Note: 1,880 miles. This route closely followed my "Apostle Paul" tour recently hosted in this column. Lots of beauty in the sea and islands, southern Italy and the Ballearics .... Great flight (picture 017)!




    LELC Murcia, Spain (picture 018)
    UUWV Tula, Russia (picture 019)

    Notes: 1,868 miles. Back in the early 1980s by father worked with a Russian minister who had grown up in Tula - I still have a little miniature "hammer" carved with the city name and seal on it. Great first half over the Alps and right near Innsbruck (picture 020) - then it was just flat and barren.




    UUWV Tula, Russia
    VIAW Awantipur, India

    Notes: 1,986 miles. Who knew I could make it all the way into India? I was thinking Turkmenistan or something..... Anyway, the last half of this leg was spectacular (picture 021) - I'd never want to crash land in these parts, you'd never get found. (Guess that's why Osama likes to hang 'round here) Tough descent into the mountains - I need a chart for this area (picture 022)!

    VIAW Awantipur, India
    VYKT Kawthoung, Myanmar (picture 023)

    Notes: 2,102 miles. I just cleared the hills getting out of here, then I enjoyed the green rolling hills of southern India. For some reason my AP had difficulty holding speed and altitude on this leg - same 737 model so must have been the weather or something (picture 024)?




    VYKT Kawthoung, Myanmar
    WPEC Cakung, East Timor (picture 025)

    Notes: 2,035 miles. This is a longer runway than the capital Dilli but I hoped that this one was the one less used in real life. The tower is right in the middle of your approach path so don't get low on final! (picture 026) The route was right over Borneo, scenery was either islands or open waters - typical for Malaysia I guess (picture 027). There is plenty to explore down there...




    WPEC Cakung, East Timor
    RCAY Kangshan, Taiwan (picture 028)

    Notes: 1,936 miles. A little shorter leg but certainly a ton of islands and mountains and volcanos to see - over the Philippines enroute, very scenic indeed. If you need a place to fly, this would be it (picture 029)!




    RCAY Kangshan, Taiwan (picture 030)
    RJER Rishiri, Japan

    Notes: 1,978 miles. Straight up Taiwan with its mountainous spine, then straight up the whole of Japan to this northern outpost (picture 031).

    RJER Rishiri, Japan
    PADK Adak Island, Alaska (picture 032)




    Notes: 1,702 miles. This leg sure seemed a lot longer than that. Barren islands when they do appear, otherwise just a whole lot of nothin'. (picture 033) What's that on finals? (picture 034) Also, please do note that 737s do land here but there are few paved options in this part of the world.

    PADK Adak Island, Alaska (picture 035)
    CYPR Prince Rupert, BC, Canada (picture 036)




    Notes: 1,753 miles. After crossing a couple VORs in the Aleutians it was then hours of nothingness until I came back over Yakut and southern Alaska - WHAT SCENERY! (picture 037) Unfortunately I'm so far north that the landing was, basically, after dark.

    CYPR Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
    KMRY Monterey, CA (picture 038)



    Notes: 1,207 miles. Western BC is scenic...Vancouver Island is nice...the Olympic Mountains are good...the Pacific Coast of Washington and Oregon including the mouth of the Columbia River...(picture 039) the Willamette Valley...the California Cascades including Mt Shasta...the Bay Area over SFO and Oakland during descent (picture 040) ...I was never without something to watch on this leg back to our starting location.



    Totals: 16 legs, just a bit under 30,000 miles. (That's about 465,181 pounds of Jet A.)

    I hope this was nearly as fun for you as it was for me. I hope that this last Floundering Around feature has given you just a couple more ideas of places you should check out!

    Ron Blehm
    [email protected]">[email protected]

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