• Review: MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport For MSFS 2020

    YKAT Katoomba Airport

    Publisher: MSX Creations

    Review Author:
    Felicity Smith

    Suggested Price:
    $5.90

    Buy Here

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    Introduction

    G'day mate, s'me again!

    Today, we're going all the way to Katoomba, Australia.

    Katoomba Airfield is 7 miles from the town of Medlow Bath, New South Wales, and has an elevation level of 3280 feet. That's 11.5 km and 999 m in funny talk! It is closed to the public, only remaining open for the emergency services, but shhh...flight simming allows us to break that rule!

    Katoomba Airfield has a long history dating back to the Royal Australian Army in 1925, when a survey of the surrounding Blue Mountains region identified land suitable for an airport site. This site was developed and officially opened in 1969 by Harold Coates MP (then State Member for Blue Mountains) and Ern Lesslie (then Mayor of Blue Mountains Council).

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    From its opening in 1969 the airfield provided an air "Safety Ramp" for general aviation, being the only fixed aircraft landing area between Sydney and Central West NSW. In 2008 the commercial lease expired and the Government of NSW proposed the sale of airfield land; however, Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) were opposed to the sale and reaffirmed its position that the land should be part of Blue Mountains National Park. An agreement was eventually reached and the land was then occupied on monthly arrangement until 2017. Minimal commercial activities occurred in this time and, as such, the airfield began to fall into disrepair.

    Installation

    As should always be the case for a scenery of this size, installation is very simple and straightforward. Simply download the small zip file (50 MB in size), unzip it, and then place it in the Microsoft Flight Simulator "Community" folder. No messing around with scenery layers like with past versions of Flight Simulator.

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    Documentation

    There is no documentation to speak of, but then again for the price, you can't expect that much. A simple Google search and then wiki will tell you all that you need to know.

    Walkaround

    Characteristic of many of the smaller airfields in Australia, Katoomba (YKAT) is your basic bush airfield. Set deep in the Blue Mountains, it is the tell-tale footprint of man in an otherwise wild and secluded setting, an airfield surrounded on all sides by forestry.

    True to the ever-widening circle of health and safety, the close proximity of power lines leading to civilisation are made more visible to pilots through the use of brightly colored 'balloons' that adorn them.

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    Coming in to land, only smaller aircraft with STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities can successfully negotiate the short, unsealed runway. But expect no help from runway guidelines or lighting because you will not find any. Instead, you will find a few tires marking the point of no return. Once you have safely landed, with you and your aircraft intact, there is a real sense of hushed isolation around you, the sort you can only find when surrounded by nature.

    Look around and you will see a few corrugated iron hangars and sheds weathered and rusted, as you would expect, by the hand of nature. There is also a nice amount of clutter, such as piles of brick, sand and gravel, giving the airfield a bit more life to it, as well as the odd battered aircraft, waiting for its own new spark of life. Want to make a call? No worries, there is a nearby gathering of mobile phone masts too, so connection should not be a problem! A nice added touch to this airfield is the small memorial dedicated to flying instructor, Rodney Hall, who sadly died in a tragic accident in 2016. He is sorely missed by many, I am sure.

    MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020     MSX Creations - Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    Moving on to texture and lighting...

    Well, it really is very good considering the airfield's tiny price tag. Ok, it's not highly detailed (it cannot be for the asking price) but there is some lovely night-time lighting to be had, which only adds to its appeal.

    Conclusion

    Weighing up what I have seen against its price tag of $5.90 US (£4.29), it is definitely value for money and well worth considering if you enjoy flights around Oz. It may not be the most detailed, but encased by the Blue Mountains and only 46 nm (nautical miles) east of Sydney, it is a great starting point for those of you who like to fly 'real-time'.

    Purchase MSX Creations - YKAT Katoomba Airport for MSFS 2020

    Felicity Smith

    Purchase MSX Creations - YKAT Katoomba For MSFS 2020


    2 Comments
    1. patcox's Avatar
      patcox -
      This is a very good rendition of this airfield. As an air radio operator for a nearby Rural Fire Service I worked communications for aircraft during bushfires several times. Well done MSX Creations.
    1. W33's Avatar
      W33 -
      Amazing price and great writeup.

      Thanks!

      W33
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