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Las Vegas Night Landing

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When I flew this leg in the real Saratoga, the lights of Las Vegas were so vast and so bright that I lost sight of the airport amidst the glow. In FS2004, the lights are not quite so bright, but Las Vegas at night is a definite must-see for any simulator fan. With the Saratoga, I felt more comfortable going over mountains, so I took a more direct route from Washington to Texas. The first leg was from Bremerton to Red Bluff, California, to Hawthorne, Nevada. This leg was from Hawthorne to North Las Vegas Airport.

I know that my arrival should be in the dark, so I set the departure time for “dusk”. I assumed I would start on the runway at Hawthorne, but the takeoff aims me right at some trees, which I barely clear. (When I went back “in the daytime” I saw that the plane was situated on a grass runway. Why?) As I climb and turn to the course of southeast, I see a large lake shimmering in the moonlight. I climb up to 11,500 feet to make sure I am well above the soon-invisible terrain. It gets dark quickly, the stars come out, and I remember to turn on the rotating beacon, the strobes, and the position lights. I crank up the rate to 8x, but there is not much to see, so I go to the map and move my position to the last mountain range before Las Vegas. When I come out of the map, I am still at 8x, and quickly get into an unusual attitude, in the dark, in the mountains. I manage to get back to normal speed, recover, and begin my descent to North Las Vegas.

The Microsoft guys did a great job! The entire view is glowing, with some iconic landmarks easily visible. I see the airport beacon right in front of me, so I descend to pattern altitude. With so many lights, it is difficult to keep sight of the runway. As I make my approach, I see the Strip to the south, so I turn to take a low-level tour through downtown. Wow! The casinos are well-lit and well-rendered, with incredible details, including volcanoes, pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, and billboards. I cruise along the west side of the spectacle, then turn left to go back north. Looking down, I realize I am over the Las Vegas airport, with miles of runways and acres of taxiways, all lit up. Airliners are moving on the ground below me. I go back up the other side of the Strip, and fly right over an exploding “volcano”. The attention to detail is incredible. I find my way back to North Las Vegas and make a decent landing.

PA32-300 N30062 (FS2004)
From: KHTH (Hawthorne, Nevada) To: KVGT (North Las Vegas)

May 4, 1997
PA32-301 N8213Z
From: HTH (Hawthorne) To: VGT (North Las Vegas)
SEL 2.8 hrs

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  1. Dominick Hughes's Avatar
    Interesting. Thank you very much for the information. If we're talking about Las Vegas, it's certainly a casino. The casino is great, of course, and the conditions are pretty good, but when you talk about the overall experience, I didn't really like it there. I like to play more online casinos. But with them, too, you have to be very careful, because there are so many cheaters among such sites. I would advise you to go to the page LeafletCasino and read reviews of the best Canadian online casinos, as well as see what popular casino games they offer. Only after you make sure that everything is okay, you can start playing.
    Updated 08-21-2020 at 03:57 PM by Dominick Hughes