Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 18, 2010 22:53:28 GMT -5
Any trip of this length should work in most weather conditions. If you have to wait for the perfect weather or even good weather all through the trip, you'll never be able to start. Also you must be able to fly some of it at night. that's why it seems only reasonable to use a pressurized aircraft - like a pressurized Baron and take a direct GPS route between stops.
I looked at a direct GPS (Great Circle of course) route from HSV to KBLI (which is a good Customs Port for entry into and from Canada using CYVR on the other side). The entire route to KBLI was shown with an MEA of 12000 ft. But when I try to break it up into short 2.5 hour segments, some segments have an MEA of 14,000 ft.
Allen, do you know of a good route under 12,000 ft from KCOE to SEA or thereabouts? I thought I found one once through Spokane but did not find it the other day.
Post by Allen Peterson on Feb 19, 2010 3:28:12 GMT -5
Tom, I found a VOR - VOR route KCOE to KSEA with a cruising altitude on 10,500'. It goes KCOE - GEG - MWH - ELN - KSEA. I routinely fly KCOE - KSEA GPS Direct at 8500' which clears the rocks by 1000' or so. I have flown it at 7500' but I have to dodge around the higher rocks, much more fun. The GPS terrain map and the RadAlt gauge are a big help. I usually fly VFR in Fair or Clear weather and I always try to stay under 10,000' to enjoy the scenery. If I have to go high and far and in a hurry I fly a jet or a turbo-prop. Not much to see at 25,000+ feet. I have never paid much attention to MEA, does it only apply to IFR?
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 19, 2010 6:02:16 GMT -5
I sure appreciate you guys helping! I have been unable to download real weather in FSX for some reason since the new year. It's going to have to be fair weather or one of these ORBX free weather scenarios I have.
I'm going to keep it a daylight affair. I'll probably not go terribly far per leg, maybe an hour and a half max. I'm suddenly full time at work on a big route, and I don't have much time off.
First leg I'm probably going to clear the plains and rent a hotel for the night near the mountains.
Post by Tom Goodrick on Feb 19, 2010 10:09:30 GMT -5
Allen, I have checked the FS MEA values in many places near mountains using a radalt that has no limit. The MEA gives you at least 1000 ft vertical clearance while keeping you at the regulation altitude (8500, 10500 VFR or 8000 10000 IFR heading west). The 2000 ft difference between tracks heading in the same direction. Since mountain winds and bad baro settings have killed many pilots, it is a good idea to observe the MEA whether you are VFR or IFR. FS gves a proper MEA for either VFR or IFR flights.
In one sense - the sense that this is a game and all you need to do is "have fun" - it is fine to fly any route in FS and make your own clearance by looking out the window, the real value of FS lies in using it to see how real pilots would fly a route. To enjoy that aspect of flight, observe the MEA.
I understand you know some pilots who fly out of KCOH. Ask them what they think about mountain flying - winds, VOR reception and MEA's.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 21, 2010 14:11:16 GMT -5
I'm on my way. I took a good while with the flight planner and a VOR to VOR route is planned until I get into the mountains. Then I put waypoints into it to guide me through some passes, but I shouldn't have to go above 12,000' and maybe not even that high. It took a great deal of effort to diagnose the printer to print out my revised flight planning, finally figured out we're out of toner. I had to connect a backup printer. I lost a good hour and a half just planning and printing!
Right now I've turned on the autopilot for the long slow trip across the plains. I had some good looks around Omaha as I flew over. I spent a good deal of time working there in different bands I played with. I'm fairly familiar with the city, and it's fun to find different areas, golf courses I played, etc.
I've got my laptop (upon which I now type) to follow the SkyVector.com VFR charts. I ended up having to switch to Fair weather, as the ORBX weather was cool, but constantly flying through different pressures, and I had to reset the altitimeter every minute or more! While studying the charts, I forgot for a couple of minutes and I was eight hundred feet off by the time I pressed B. sillyness.
I picked the V-tail Bonanza after all, and I'm only taking myself and supplies. This way I have maximum fuel, minimum stops. Onward, to the mountains! Heading 295 degrees captain!
MEA only refers to IFR filed flighs. It assures both obstacle clearance and radio reception along that segment. There is also MOCA, which assures obstacle clearance , but only assures radio reception within 25 miles. The usual even/odd + 500 typically is a moot point in the mountains as the rule only applies if you are flying at 3,000 ft or more above the ground.
A good number of light plane pilots bought it in Colorado and Wyoming. A lot of them were used to flying at sea-level, and forgot about density altitude. Couldn't get off the runway at some field in the Denver area, or hit a mountain, usually stalling in trying to out-climb a ridge. It was commn that a pilot from "Florida" would be talking about departing from the DEN area, with his family, for Aspen or Eagle, and whoever in the GA service lounge would suggest that he take-off, climb in circles to 10 thou, THEN head west. They typically returned to the lounge full of thanks. There were pilots who suffered from the high altitude, not being used to it (there is oxygen available for tourists on Pikes Peak, outside of Colorado Springs.), and just crashed.
There are mt techniques. For example, when paralleling a valley, don't fly the middle. Fly near the downwind ridge. If you must turn around, then you have the entire width of the valley to use and you are turning into a headwind, giving you more time to complete the turn, climbing at your best angle of climb IAS. Another thing is to cross ridges at a 45 degree angle, slowed to manuevering speed. That way, if you cannot clear the ridge, you only need to make a 45 degree turn and now you are paralleling it, not still trying to out climb it, and a few more degrees of turn and you are flying away from the ridge. Cross at reduced IAS (Va) as you can get into a lot of very serious turbulence and lose control, probably hitting the ground before suffering structural failure. The usual: never fly up a valley, fly down a valley, but not up it.
I've made many a flight from DEN to Eagle, Aspen, Leadville, and other mountain airports- GA, Twin Otters, and King Airs. The GA a/c are fine, if the wx is CAVU and the winds are light. Moderate winds, don't go. You can fly a C172 to Aspen by flying the passes. Don't remember the specifics, but you probably don't need to climb above 10,000.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 21, 2010 18:25:06 GMT -5
Good advice. I knew about the flying down one side of a valley instead of the middle, but I never thought about the 45 degree approach to a rise. That makes perfect sense.
I got only as far as KRAP ( no jokes here! ) today. We've been doing laundry and cleaning house while the auto pilot did the flying. I was simply a system manager for a couple of hours. I didn't note the start times. I was burning 12 gph at 12,500, 118 KIAS, 22 knot quartering headwind leaving a 120-ish knot groundspeed.
The Beech V-tail is a nice plane. The only difficulty is tuning the OBS's and the Heading Bug. Very tiny spot to hit with the mouse to change settings. So I just bought the Saitek radio controller set. I've been putting it off and putting it off, but I have no reason to wait. My income has stabilized at roughly double what I'm used to so I can very well afford a few toys. Yay!
Actually, I do have a nice FS9 computer. However, all the money I can get hold of is going into a house I'm trying to build. Working on the roof at this time along with the window protection (mexico), but things could be looking better here pretty quick and hopefully I can get the roof and windows finished this fall. If so, it's possible to get moved in next year. Tough going tho, as I'm doing most of it myself and I can't work like I used to. About 4 hours of work a day is all I can handle anymore. Doctor said it's got something to do with being over 60. lr.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 28, 2010 8:56:13 GMT -5
I got my Saitek radio stack. They are very light weight. So much so that I'm going to build a box from 3/4" wood to install them into so they'll be stable enough. The panels minus the housing are only about a half to three quarters of an inch deep. Not much mass there. They will not stand of their own accord when fastened together, and all the velcro included would make a mess on the desk.
Other than that, what a joy to use real knobs! I can even rotate the #1 VOR OBS with a knob, WOOHOO!. Some payware aircraft will not work though. I tried an adjustment with the panel while testing out a glass panel airplane and it immediately crashed the simulator. But for the most part I don't fly those anyway. Looking forward to this weekend's flying legs. After I make it to Vancouver and return, I am going to tour earthquake damaged Concepcione in Chile.
But first, to rip the door off my entryway, and install the new one. Then, to pull the tail light assembly from my vehicle and glue the lense back together.
Post by flaminghotsauce on Feb 28, 2010 18:48:18 GMT -5
Photo of my new desktop setup:
I got the three Saitek panels this week and built the black box to install them into today, painted it up, and rebuilt! That's the cockpit of the Brett Henderson V-tail Beech. I'm testing all the knobs, bells and whistles. This aircraft works flawlessly with the panels. I'm using all 6 USB inputs on my computer and a USB hub behind the panel box. Cabling nightmare behind the pretty picture.
Hey, a pic of me, even! I feel like Tim Taylors neighbor!