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gmurray56

Lake Okeechobee-Miami-Key Largo

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After resigning myself to fly without my beloved CH yoke, I was determined to get to Miami. It did not take long to get used to using the joystick; I didn’t really use the mixture or prop controls that much, anyway. (Never worry about fuel price or engine damage on the computer.) The mouse could be used to adjust trim, and the C172 is very stable once trimmed out.

Once again I spawned at Okeechobee heading north, but I back-taxied on the runway to take off to the south. (The twist rudder control on the joystick makes taxiing a lot easier.) I took off over the immense lake and settled in for nearly an hour to Miami. The route was in the GPS, so I just followed the line.

When the coastline was tantalizingly close, I headed for the shore and flew along the Atlantic. At under 2000 feet, I could see waves on the beach. As I approached the city, I was surprised to see a number of cruise ships! I should not have been, I suppose, because I was used to seeing ferries in Seattle. Soon, I could see the PAPI (precision approach path indicator) lights at Miami International. I set up for a landing on the huge main runway, and once down saw that there were palm trees everywhere.

Suddenly it occurred to me that I was so close to the bottom of the peninsula, that I might as well go for it. After all, I had flown from Chicago to Seattle to Southern California to Austin in the real Saratoga and in Microsoft’s world, then in the MSFS from Austin to Florida. A plan was hatching to circumnavigate the continental United States. Why not?

I took off from Miami Intl. and headed to Key Largo. I followed the coast but checked my progress on the map. Again, it took longer than I had anticipated. Finally, a bit of over-water and I was at the key. However, I could not find the airport. I landed on what looked like a dirt strip and taxied up to a gas station, but the map said I was a couple of miles from the airport. Believe me, there is a very small and rustic gas station among the palms. Although I had not landed at the airport, I had made it to my 3rd corner of the U.S.

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