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  1. Relaxed this flight out of Port Moresby/Jacksons will be, as it is not heading towards a bushstrip. And with an airliner instead of these all-terrain-props. However, the PNG scenery is always worth a visit! Just as the Great Barrier Reef along the Queensland coast is. Though... not in all seasons... ... and maybe better not in January. Landing in Cairns is stressless in all weather conditions, ... ... but why did they assign Cebu Pacific Airlines to "Domestic"? Perhaps this is the way to bypass Immigration controls even without carrying a tennis racket.
  2. We continue the history lessons about Papua New Guinea and start the next flight at Myola airfield. This plateau was chosen for a logistics base and airstrip by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Thomson_Kienzle during the preparations of the Kokoda Track campaign in 1942. This is the easiest accessible airstrip in the whole region, and no problem for the Do228. We climb out over North Myola village... ... and survey the airstrips of Launumu (left), Kagi (right), Timkenumo and Bodinumo (right in the background). The first uses of the Kokoda Track were not less violent than its use in WW2: The British, in search for Gold, led many expeditions through the country and the Armed Native Constabulary was ordered "to enforce British rule in the region". Which means high numbers of unarmed indigenous were shot or put into forced labour. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoda_Track#History . Efogi is still one of the most important settlements on the track. You can "easily" spot the airstrip below. And from there it is a relaxed flight down to the coast into Port Moresby... ... over the more-developed areas of PNG... ... into Jacksons airport. OK, I did not accept the challenge to land at all these airfields. But I know is is fun, in the sim...
  3. The Kokoda track runs between Owers' Corner in Central Province, 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of Port Moresby, across rugged and isolated terrain which is only passable on foot, to the village of Kokoda in Oro Province. It reaches a height of 2,490 metres (8,169 ft) as it passes around the peak of Mount Bellamy. The track travels primarily through the land of the Mountain Koiari people. Hot, humid days with intensely cold nights, torrential rainfall and the risk of endemic tropical diseases such as malaria make it a challenging trek. Hiking the trail normally takes between four and twelve days. We make it a bit more comfortable and use what we have in the sim. Leaving "the other direction" from Kokoda... ... we follow the track and head south. The Kokoda track was the first place in history where a direct attack towards the Australian mainland was started. Many Australian and Japanese soldiers had to fight and die here, with the result of: nothing. The Isurava shrine is one of the memorials that makes us remember. Today the place is a welcomed rest for the hikers... ... surrounded by dense, hot and humid rainforest. North Eora Creek village, not the place for a landing; ... ... the Lower Eora village looks a bit better suited. The next settlement is called South Eora Creek, ... ... but we directly head on to Myola for an equipment change. For those who like to dive into historial reading, start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kokoda_Track_campaign And the - rather obvious - map of today.
  4. Continuing the outbound flight we had to bring the DC-3 back from Emo Mission. It is quite the challenge to bring such a (relatively) big bird into the air on a short runway without overheating the engines. And the narrow valley does not make it easier! [The famous little paper bags have been distributed before takeoff by our lovely cabin crew...] But we made it. And could follow Emo River back westwards to the plainland... ... and back to Kokoda. Ahh, safe. Time for a hot (or cold?) drink.
  5. Sometimes the remote villages in Papua New Guinea urgently require supplies. And not always fancy, modern transport vehicles are available. So we had to take one of Air Niugini´s experienced planes. I could read the fear in the passengers faces. If they only knew my own doubts... Well, it was easy to start at Kokoda and follow the road to Girua. It got interesting when we turned right towards the valley... ... of Emo River. You can see flaps and wheels were already extended in order to reduce speed... ... and still we missed the waterfall slightly, ... ... which brought us a bit offset to the runway of Emo Mission. But since we were slow enough it worked. And we could deliver the requested stuff into the freight hall.
  6. After finishing (and surviving) the first series of service flights in Papua New Guinea ... we loaded lots of necessary cargo (guess what) and some passengers in Tapini to go further up and down in this region. The first stop of the day was Kosipe, with a unique passenger bridge for boarding. Some of the planespotters there did not intend to use that bridge. Next stop: Woitape. We came in low and missed the fence only by a few centimeters. Quite the busy airport, and we got the proof that a Twin Otter is the right choice to fly here. Not easy to spot: Yongai airstrip... ... and Asimba fits in this series. Once again the locals at that airstrip were quite relaxed. Ah, what a relief: An airport that is easy to find! Kokoda, where our freight was very much welcomed: Newspapers and beers. And the barbie was already prepared! PS: Here you get the flight path of this and the previous post. Plus, you can see my scary attempts to hit the runways and avoid the mountains...
  7. ... or more correctly said: Strait crossing. Not easy to get the DC-3 in the air on Murray Island without an engine overheat. And during the flight it is hard to spot the next Orbx scenery on the horizon: Papua New Guinea. The passengers are probably pleased to see land again, on base over Port Moresby... ... into Jacksons airport. It is already obvious where my next flights will lead me to, with some brave landing attempts...
  8. An emergency call reached the mower mechanics at Port Moresby: One of the runways of the nearby airstrips required grass cutting, but the mower was broken. Unfortunately the sat phone connection was bad, so he couldn´t precisely say which airport we needed to go. Immediately we took off at Jackson´s... ... and left the big city behind. An ocean of green wilderness. Soon we found the first airstrip, Ononge. Clearly to see... ... better? Touchdown, uphill. And just next to the tower we found the mower. Intact. So we needed to go on. We used the chance to offer these passengers a lift. And soon we went, overlooking the entire Ononge scenery. Next airport: Fane. "Let´s see how long this grass is!" Indeed maintenance work was needed here. And soon after the runway was well cut again. We could have gone home now, but one of the passengers held a strong argument for a detour... ... out of Fane... ... and into the valley towards Tapini. Which was the place for a well earned rest. Hopefully with a beer aside the chicken curry...
  9. Miserable wet, an hour and a half late... 180nm from Cairns Sun settles quickly around here... Out a bit early with the draggy stuff
  10. Heading north out of Cairns: Into Weipa Something a bit slower: The very top of the mainland: Into Horn Island Something bit faster to get back to Cairns in: Off to Jacksons Cairns is looking the much better option... Sorry, got a bit carried away with the pics... Mike
  11. This is a perfect day for the crew of the Air New Zealand MD-11. That is until… … a fire starts in engine number 2. A suitable alternate airport is now required. But first, the crew has to extinguish the fire… And also cut the fuel in the number 2 engine. The closest suitable airport is Port Moresby International (AYPY). A quick right turn and the MD-11 heads to its new destination. Gear down and 50 degree flaps. This landing will be a no brainer. A bit more thrust than usual for the remaining engines is all that is required. The weather is lovely today. It is impossible to use the thrust reverser on engine number 2 (in the tail). Normal breaking and the use of the two remaining thrust reversers are plenty for the MD-11. Welcome to Port Moresby international airport! The crew will have to wait for another Air New Zealand aircraft to take on the passengers before they are authorized ( or not) by the company to take-off empty with the two remaining engines and head to New Zealand. Cheers!
  12. There is no aircraft in the sky around the Port Moresby Jacksons (AYPY) virtual airport today. No aircraft in the sky but one, a medevac flight. The winds blow from 240 degree at 50G60 kts and the runways are oriented 14/32. It is way above the maximum crosswind authorized for any aircraft. But the Rockwell Shrike Commander’s crew cannot wait until the wind calms down. They must land in the next few minutes in order to save a patient’s life. As there is no traffic around, the captain has told ATC he intends to do a safe, efficient but non-standard approach. Arriving straight across the runways, facing the wind, the crew intends to land the aircraft a few feet short of a hangar. The captain requests that someone opens the hangar doors right away. The captain will terminate the approach in the hangar, protected from the wind. It is safer to arrive facing the wind and immediately enter the hangar, straight ahead. No taxiing with a 60 knots crosswind. Useless to say, ATC has already refused the request. But the pilot is the only one who decides of the best landing surface, for the safety of the passengers and himself. He proceeds with the approach after having clearly indicated which path will be followed. The main problem for the approach is the low level mechanical turbulence caused by the gusty 60 kts winds. If ATC wants to file a complaint, now is a good time to take a picture of the aircraft and its registration to support the case. The actual ground speed of the airplane is around 20 kts. The steady high wind speed is actually safer for the crew than if the winds were 240 at 35G60. Still a bit above the runway and with a 10-20 knots ground speed. The airspeed indicator shows the strength of the wind itself plus the ground speed. Floating like a hot air balloon or almost! As the aircraft touches the ground, it stops almost immediately. It is necessary to apply power to reach the hangar, as you can see with the white trail on the ground behind the aircraft. In real life, the touch-down would have had to be as soon as the asphalt start since the presence of the hangar lowers the wind speed a bit. A few seconds after the touch-down, the aircraft is in the hangar, protected from the wind, and both doctor and patient can quickly head out to the hospital. Once in the hangar, the winds were adjusted to zero, which is kind of logical, unless the opposite wall is missing! It was now time to brace for another storm, which was the inquiry that would possibly follow the landing! Cheers!
  13. In a previous post the dreamliner B787-9 from Qantas had a visual check at Jacksons airport(AYPY) of Port Moresby at PNG. In this post he leaves Port Moresby and is heading Australia for a landing in Canberra, these shots are for a future Pt2. enjoy: A long flight into the evenening and a sunset-view for the passengers in the seats on the right Approach and landing in Canberra is for a future post, thank you for watching.
  14. Before a flight from Papua New Guinea's International Airport Jacksons Port Moresby(AYPY) to Canberra in Australia, a visual check around the plane, a Boeing 787-9, is performed. Cleared for flight, passengers will boarding and attend pushback for a safe flight homewards: The flight itself is to follow on a later to post serie of shots. Thank you for watching this sequence.
  15. I'd like to share a few images from my trip from AYPY to YBCS. I know that this is quite far away from Aerologic's homebase, but hey, you can always charter a freighter plane, right? 1. On the tarmac in Jacksons 2. Taxiing towards the runway 3. Climbing out, looking at the distant mountains... 4. ...as we leave Papua New Guinea behind 5. Crossing the Torres Strait with some very impressive reefs 6. The Cape York Peninsula 7. Beautiful work with the water... 8. Approaching Cairns 9. One hundred... 10. Touchdown! 11. Taxiing to the gate in Cairns 12. The ramp agents already waiting for us 13. No real cargo apron in Cairns! 14. Someone should serve those guys a coffee to their chat 15. Another bystander ehm supervisor 16. Thank god the cargo loader provides enough shadow for a nice chit-chat 17. Beautiful scenery in Cairns. That's it, I hope you like it... I think it's amazing how seemlessly the Orbx guys "interact" with the GSX guys... Lars
  16. There's a lot wrong with this short video: my flying, the way my system rendered the dust, my flying...you get the idea. The concept was to 1) learn how to place an FS Recorder camera on the runway, 2) capture a takeoff and landing so I can use it on the bush strips, and 3) demonstrate a slip to short-field spot landing with the camera as the touchdown target. Part one and two were achieved. The demo...well, that's for you to judge. I let the aircraft get light on takeoff -- it actually hopped into the air before I planted the mains back on the ground. A big no-no. If the aircraft gets light in a crosswind it'll crow hop sideways, and that's the start of a takeoff (or landing) ground loop. It's not the ship's tendency to weathervane that causes the problem in a crosswind. It's when the wheels stop moving sideways and the inertia in the tail keeps it moving sideways that a rotation-couple occurs (it starts to turn). Stop that right now or you may enjoy some off-roading. I also let the aircraft get slow on the approach and was very rough on the controls in the flare. That's typical of a pilot with low time in an aircraft I had about two hours including yesterdays attempts at the Kokoda bush strips (how dumb was that?) before I was silly enough to try this demo. Lucky thing I didn't break anything yesterday. (The relatively poor sim controls we have to work with don't help matters either. Note the aileron flutter at about 1:40. FSUIPC doesn't damp it, and I can't find another axis that is interfering. Maybe it's just hardware going bad?) The only good news is I managed to stall it on in a respectable 3-pointer. It still hopped into the air a few times but that was mostly rough ground. Something to keep in mind if you expect braking to get you stopped (brakes don't help much when the wheels are in the air.) While I'm thinking of it, wet grass is even worse if you're trying to stop. It's as slippery as ice. Just showed Kate this video and she remarked, "One of the things I loved about flying the Super Cruiser was slipping the crap out of it. I dunno, there was something about it. The Travel Air too." The PA-12 didn't have flaps; and, of course, the biplane didn't either. Slipping was basic flying technique. Personally, I liked it better than flaps--as she apparently did, too-- because if you're a little low it's easy to take out the slip, but woe betides you if you suck up the flaps. Probably not something you want to try in an A380, in any case. Which reminds me of young Marine fighter pilot friend out on a night air combat training mission in an F/A-18 against a couple of tiny adversary T-38s. After the fray they joined up to come home and, did I mention dark night and tiny, he found himself with too much overtake. A Cub and biplane pilot first, he kicked his jet into a skid and slipped neatly into position. The instructor had a coronary and asked, "WHAT was THAT?" but not in those words. "A slip, Sir," says he. "We don't slip Hornet's, Mister." "Sir, yessir." He got the top grade for the flight.
  17. Closing yesterday's report I said we'd be searching on the morrow for more mountain strips along the Kodoka Track. Not so fast Abernathy*. The weather had other ideas. First time I stuck my head out of the tent we had what I would have called indefinite ceiling, visibility less than 1/4 mile. Actually, it was closer to zero-zero. By 0700 it wasn't much better But by 0900 it was clearing up, although there were thunderstorms in the area. We didn't need a weather forecast to know that; we could see and hear them. By 1000 we were preflighting. And at 1030 we were rolling (and bouncing) down the runway. Airborne I decided quickly that this could be a very short flight. Mountain obscuration was the forecast, and I wasn't at all sure we could get over them. What worried me most, though, was that Kokoda would close in behind us and we'd be in trouble. And it did, but only after we'd found a route south at 12,500'. We weren't sure where the guy going the other way was headed, but whoever it was, they undoubtedly knew a lot more about the area than we did. (Which isn't saying much.) So a 45 nm flight took us almost two hours thanks to the long slow climb over the Owen Stanley Range. But we made it back to Port Moresby without further ado. Next trip, perhaps this afternoon if the weather cooperates, will be in a borrowed Cessna 185, one that used to belong to Talair. They went out of business back in about 1993, but one of their Skywagons, P2-SEM, was picked up by an acquaintance and she offered to let me fly it if I'd put gas and oil in it. (She flies a Gulfstream these days, and doesn't have time to give it the love it deserves.) * Almost forgot. Who's Abernathy and why should he wait? There was a sea captain named Stern. He received a wireless message that the mother of one of his sailors, a youngster named Abernathy, had passed on. Being a proper sea captain, and of course a gentleman, he couldn't merely saunter up to Abernathy and whisper the distressing news into Abernathy's ear as he swabbed the decks. Nor could he call Abernathy into his private quarters and tell him the sad news; such things just weren't done. After all, what if Abernathy was to break down before him, sobbing, violating all rules of decorum? Captain Stern racked his brain for hours, until in the middle of the night the solution came to him. The following morning, he assembled the whole crew topside. He stood above them on the poop deck and called out with his blustery tone: "All of you men whose mothers are alive, please step forward." As a majority of the men began to follow his command, the captain's voice rung out: "Not so fast, Abernathy!"
  18. . As I mentioned in my last report, a friend loaned me her 185 for to go bush flying. The weather improved after lunch, so mid-afternoon I headed back into the hills to see if I could find some of those bush strips on the Kodoka Track in Papua New Guinea. Thought you might enjoy the few pictures I took. I was too busy aviating and navigating to take more. Used more adrenalin this afternoon than I have on any flight in a very long time. Many of the strips are one way in and one way out. And the two I've landed on so far are so steep that it takes gobs of power to keep her going up the hill on the way in. Short isn't the issue, steep is. Occurred to me that the guys landing on early carriers with straight decks must have known the feeling. Wave off early or you're committed/ Back at Port Moresby it also occurred to me that many young men, young enough you wouldn't trust them with the keys to your car, were flying around this area in the mid-'40s. Challenged by the same hills and the same weather but with no assurance that a girl they adored would walk in and say, as mine just did, "here's a glass of wine sweetheart. How does salmon sound for dinner?"
  19. Now that we made it to Papua New Guinea the plan is to explore the numerous little strips along the Kokoda Track out of Port Moresby and those in Goilala district out of Tapini. I'm assuming you can't shoehorn a Gooney Bird into many of them so I'll be using a rented Cessna 180. But first I had to find the Kokoda Track, and what better way to do it than with our trusty DC-3 Airways bird. Especially since someone else is paying for the gas and oil. To be honest, we did a lot of wandering around before we found anything. The charts we had were no help, these little strips weren't on them. And anyway, the landmarks all looked the same to us. Be we did finally see a couple of short bush strips we assumed were along the track, and eventually realized it was barely a narrow dirt road. We struggled to follow it partly because we didn't know where we were going and partly because the clouds were hanging in the valley We eventually decided to simply fly into Kokoda today and then go south along the track tomorrow. Finding Kokoda hiding below an undercast layer was easier said than done. But we finally saw the airport below us...the hardest place to see. (One of my favorite Flight Instructor tricks was to yank the power and declare an engine failure directly over an airport. If the student discovers it great, and if things go wrong we have a safe place to land.) Dumped the gear and using 23" to keep the jugs warm we button-hooked around, took the plunge, and managed to get lined up, slowed down, and checklist complete on about a mile final. But our job wasn't over, we still had to find a place to park the big bird without blowing camper's pup tents over or clothes off the line. In end we got her snuggled in, and tomorrow we'll do some more hunting. But tonight we're happy campers. Got our money's worth several times over so far. Port Moresby Airport is exquisite, and Kokoda with the smoke and tents and wash on the line was a complete surprise. The difficulty finding strips (only three so far), the weather, and the terrain all made the flight anything but just another day in the cockpit. Someone said adventure is adversity by choice. (I'd add that's true only in retrospect.) Regardless, today's flight was an adventure!
  20. We discussed flying up "The Slot", over "Iron Bottom Sound", to Rabaul because of all the WW2 history. But the consensus was to press on to Papua New Guinea (PNG). And so we did. After takeoff from famous Henderson Field, home of the Cactus Air Force (P-400 Aircobras and P-38 Lightnings), we were treated to a vision of what the area might have looked like during the war with a hospital ship and troop ships offshore. And there was evidence of the battles fought and lives lost on the island. 255º would take us to the south tip of PNG, where we could fly up the south side of the Owen Stanley mountain range. Mt Victoria goes up to over 13,000 and we didn't want to bump into it in the dark or in bad weather. We took off at 1400, and some haze was the only weather factor. We droned along for over five hours before someone yelled, "Land Ho," and sure 'nuff there it was. DR really is amazingly reliable even over more than 500 miles (assuming you have accurate wind forecasts). We made landfall about 40 minutes later With evidence that the widely scatter thunderstorm forecast was indeed accurate, too. But all we encountered was some benign mid-level cumulus and stratus. We held our course until we were sure we were offshore before starting down. It was getting dark and didn't want to letdown into some cumulo granitus We picked up the Port Moresby NDB, followed it in to a visual to 31L, and rolled out past a cargo C-130 Packed up quickly last night, so I came back out this morning to make sure we hadn't overlooked anything. Found we were blocking a cargo ramp and moved over near the old control tower. I know I'm really going to like PNG if AYPY is any indication.
  21. on the way, over PNG Local Time: 17:20 Thanks
  22. Area around Jacksons International Airport. Orbx - FTX: Global, Vector, AYPY Jacksons International airport
  23. Lots to see here, this is just a small sampling...even with the expanded viewer these screen shots are just not the same as the sim experience. Orbx -FTX: Global Holgermesh Papua New Guinea,Global TAP Tapini Airport, Global AYPY Jacksons Intenational
  24. I bought AYPY and Tapini scenaries, but all airport with sloped runways are bugged, The terrain of runways is not homogeneous. I already installed the PNG Mesh (and obviosly orbx base pack), any suggestion?
  25. Exhausted after touring every part of this massive region I could find. Visited pretty well every airport updated by the package including every bush strip in both the AYPY and Tapini/Emo areas. The attention to detail is stunning, more people should fly this area. Especially if you like VFR!
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