After the last leg, I approached the Baron with a slightly nervous feeling! However it was a nice sunny day and I was looking forward to scouting around Rio - now that I could actually see it!
I took a look around the bay and CopaCabana, where I know the statue of Christ the Redeemer is situated on Corcovado Peak. Sadly nothing. So having used a fair bit of fuel looking for it, I decided it was time to set course for Montevideo and headed out over the ocean.
I have to plead guilty to a huge pilot error here. In my panic landing last leg, I'd left the flaps down. My pre-flight check (*cough* - read quick scan of the panel because I wanted to get airborne!) failed to notice the fact that they were still in that position. I looked at my fuel computer. Range remaining: 880nm. `Something wrong here` I thought. (Just call me Sherlock). I looked at everything, except the flap position of course... I resigned myself to the fact that I must have used a ridiculous amount of juice flying around Rio, and climbed to 10,000 feet in an effort to gain sufficient range to cover the remaining 960nm to Montevideo. Having completed the climb, and still not having sufficient range, I contemplated a fuel stop in South Brazil. Finally the penny dropped and I spotted the blue flap light looking at me!! Duh!!
So with what turned out to be copious amounts of fuel on board, I descended back to 5,000 feet. The weather had turned the view underneath me into a blanket of cloud. I made mental preparation for another FS2002 nasty landing, but I wasn't too worried. The time went by with little to look at apart from the occasional view of the South Atlantic and the passing clouds.
Some time later, I spotted the South Brazilian coast hoving back into view. It's a pretty spartan part of the world according to FS2002 at least, and I settled for the odd screenshot of some nice beachy islands.
Crossing the border into Uruguay did little to improve the interest value of the scenery. In fact it got even more barren. Uruguay is a small country with Montevideo sitting on it's Southern coastline. As I came to within about 100nm of my destination, towns and roads started to appear.
I decided that As I came within range of the airport, it was nice and sunny again and I decided I'd give the autopilot another chance and try an auto-approach for a change. The only other time I've used this in the RTW flight was the last leg when I could really have done with it working.
As I lined up on short final, I observed that the autopilot wasn't lining me up correctly. This is where you get another "Duh!!!" moment. On this occasion and, I suspect, at Rio, I'd forgotten to switch the Nav selector over from GPS to Nav. Here was me cursing the darned thing when it was my fault all along! Making the change resulted in the poor old autopilot banking me hard left to try and achieve the correct heading, which it did admirably (no doubt silently cursing me back as it did)!
By way of apology, I let it take me all the way down to, and past touchdown point. It's not recommended in the larger aircraft because of the lack of flare, but in the Baron it landed me softly with a small squeal of tyre rubber and no other problems.
I taxiied to the parking gate, shut the engines down and reflected on the fact that were it not so near to sundown, I might have continued South.
My next stop is Stanley Airport in the Falkland Islands for a brief re-fuel before heading to Guardiamarina Zanatu airport in Chile - the most Southern airport modelled in FS2002!
1) Hell of a queue!
2) Sat behind a GOL 737 as a 747 departs runway 10 in the background.
3) Climbing over Rio.
4) Over the bay searching for the statue.
5) No sign of it.
6) Cloudy over the South Atlantic.
7) Moon to the left, Sun to the right (About the most interesting shot I could find for over an hour!).
8) Sandy islands by South Brazil.
9) Some nasty weather approaching Uruguay.
10) Across the border into Uruguay.
11) A typical shot of North Uruguay.
12) Signs of life in South Uruguay.
13) A vastly improved approach with the autopilot.
14) The autopilot finishes off the landing nicely.
15) Parked up on a sunny evening in Montevideo.
Source code and graphics © J.Consterdine 2003