It's 12.20 p.m and I'm taking off from Edinburgh airport. I should really have set off a little earlier as I was hoping to land in Keflavik, Iceland in daylight but the length of the shadows doesn't bode well.
I received an enquiry in the avsim forum about fuel consumption, and having fitted a new "realistic dynamics" aircraft.cfg and airfile before this flight, I haven't a clue so I'll keep my eye on it and cruise at 12,000 feet, being the altitude used by the questioner.
I did a small detour over Edinburgh City to get a screenshot of the city centre and castle. There's a lot of water on this leg so I thought I'd try get some decent screenshots before I left the U.K.
The weather was broken cloud with a slight wind and lots of turbulence, particularly at low level.
I reached cruise altitude and surveyed the beauty of the Scottish highlands as I travelled North West towards my destination.
Then came the long trip over the sea. Nothing but ocean and clouds for a solid 3 hours. The clouds thickened up providing almost enough interest to keep me awake at one point!
Eventually, the Icelandic coastline appeared and I started my descent in the midst of a very pretty sunset. I received an approach pattern for runway 11 from A.T.C. which I got right this time! There was a fair bit of traffic about, more than I expected really, and I was number 3 for landing. About 300 metres from the runway threshold A.T.C. piped up with instructions for me to go around. Even with hindsight, I've still no idea why, but I complied and abandoned a pretty good looking approach (if a little fast) and went around as instructed. I received a very early instruction that my takeoff clearance had been granted which caught me a little unawares. I executed a swift 180 and headed back in with very little distance to lose altitude in, but I didn't want to miss my slot a second time.
This is where it all went wrong. As I crossed the runway threshold, A.T.C. instructed me to go around again. Thinking: "Enough is enough" as I looked at the clear runway ahead, I decided to land anyway. Unfortunately, I should have listened to them. In my frantic scrabbling to get a decent view for an external screenshot of my landing, I hit the runway far too hard, resulting in my nosewheel undercarriage collapsing.
"Oh good..." I thought. (Read your own version of this in there). However, my settings are for FS2002 to reset the sim upon a crash, and it didn't. In fact A.T.C. carried on issuing me with instructions to taxi to parking oblivious of my plight. I presume this was because I ended up off the runway and wasn't obstructing their traffic so they didn't care.. lol.
At this point, I felt it reasonable to assume that this wasn't a situation that would have resulted in my demise - just a large repair bill. So for the next leg, I'll be starting in the parking area at Keflavik with a note about not taking screenshots of landings till my wheels are firmly on the ground, stuck on my windschield!!
As far as fuel consumption goes, I had 42 gallons left in my tanks out of an original 142, making it an easy calculation that I averaged 7.50 gallons per nautical mile over the flight allowing for the short detour over Edinburgh city.
The next leg is (provisionally) to Nuuk in Greenland. I've undertaken to visit the most Northern and Southerly airports modelled in FS2002. Alert in Canada is the most Northern, and I need to assess the distance from Greenland to see if I can make it in one flight from there. This may require me to take a short hop further North in Iceland - I'm really not sure yet. Either way, I'm hoping to get the 3rd leg done later today , repair crew allowing :).
1) Edinburgh airport in daylight. Forth bridges in the background.
2) Takeoff past the main terminal - those shadows are looking a bit long...
3) Passing over Princess Street Edinburgh with the castle below.
4) The Firth of Forth with the Railway bridge on the left and the Forth bridge on the right.
5) Cruise altitude - clouds, Lochs and the Highlands.
6) Scotland in all it's beauty.
7) Heading towards the Scottish North West coastline.
8) Last bit of the U.K. I'll see for a loooong time.
9) Half way and I'm glad I'm not under that lot!
10) Lots of ......err.....`interesting` clouds.
11) I think I'm still awake but it's hard to tell...
12) Sunset and looking like a night landing after all.
13) The Icelandic coastline finally appears in the distance.
14) Descending over a highway as the sun bids farewell.
15) If A.T.C. had left me to it, it would have been fine....maybe...
16) Going around.
17) Speed better, height worse and fiddling for an external shot of the landing...
18)....and here it is :(
Source code and graphics © J.Consterdine 2003