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gmurray56

Southeast U.S. Coast

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I have decided to fly the FS2004 from Florida to Maine to complete the 4 corners of the continental U.S., and then from Maine to Illinois to complete the circumnavigation. I plan to use only prop planes that I have flown in real life; to disregard airspace restrictions and communication; to not use slew; to go only as far as I feel like flying at the time; but, always to attempt to complete a flight with a landing.

Ocala-Jacksonville: The first leg was from Ocala, Florida northeast to Jacksonville. I flew the Saratoga/Cherokee Six for over an hour up the peninsular state: green, green, and blue with more lakes than I had imagined. The joystick was working fine, and the plane was very stable. After chasing the elevator trim a little, I settled down at about 4500 feet. Eventually there was a very wide and long river/lake that took me straight to the airport. I landed on the huge runway and taxied to the terminal, next to a jetliner. When I exited the program, the error message about the logbook came on. (It kept saying Logbook L, then Ll, then Lllll, etc. could not be found.) So frustrating! It’s not that big of a deal, but it is evidence that my FS2004 may not be well.

Jacksonville-St. Simons-Savannah: The plan was to go straight to Savannah, so I set course along the coast in the Cherokee Six. It was surprising to see all the rivers, inlets, and islands. I was expecting the coast to be more like what I had seen along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. No wonder so many people on the Atlantic coast have boats! Georgia slid by under my wings at 2000 feet, and I could see forests, with rising terrain to the west. After about an hour, I was getting bored going in a straight line, even with the interesting views from inside and outside the plane. The map and GPS showed Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island airports ahead, so I decided to land at KSSI. It is a nice little airport, and the VASI lights guided me in. I forgot to lower flaps, so it was a fast landing, but I walked away.

The next flight I pushed on to Savannah. Again, there was the amazing view and the monotony of a straight line. (My daughter thinks it is hilarious that I fly in a straight line. She’s one of those people who think you have to be twisting and turning constantly, and she has no qualms about crashing. My wife thinks it is hilarious that I fly the computer at all.) Halfway to Savannah, I remember that the options menu (alt) lets me switch planes in midair, so I beam into a Beech Baron. After raising the landing gear, my speed is nearly 50% greater. I considered switching back to a single for the landing, but I’m already in the twin, and the long runways allow a noneventful landing.

Savannah-Norfolk: The next few flights were shorter, working my way up the East Coast. Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, and New Bern were stops along the way. There were definitely mountains rising far to the west, and the coastline was always intricate. I tried to mix it up by flying a motorglider and an aerobatic plane, but the single engine GA prop planes (C172, PA28, PA32) were the best for a cross-country. I seldom saw other traffic, but a Cessna Caravan kept appearing. Was it following me? Sometimes my route was more east than expected, as the land mass passed below with the ocean out the right window. Eventually, I made it to Norfolk, Virginia. From a recent trip there, I knew there was a highway into the ocean, that turned into a tunnel under the water. I looked and looked, but could not find it. Finally, I landed at Norfolk International (instead of the Naval Air Station.)

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