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About ardmorepilot

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  1. Hi guys, I've been really enjoying the new Real Air Duke V2 recently. It's not often I feel the urge to share my FS screenshots, but I just couldnt stop hitting the V key on my latest flight. The Duke has all the right angles for me, and the VC has to be the highest quality GA interior I've ever had loaded onto my system. The route I took was NZWN to NZHK, via WB VOR and NS VOR, for an NBD/DME 21 approach. Scenery installed below was Orbx's NZNI and NZSI, in conjunction with REAL NZ's payware Woodbourne and Nelson photoreal airports, and their 2013 freeware Hokitika as my final destination. DULEX3 SID from the capital Overheading WB Crossing Nelson Top of descent from 12,000 feet Overheading the beacon to commence the approach Breaking visual in the reversal turn Offset final approach Welcome to Hoki!
  2. On kiwi TV at the moment, there's an epic documentry series airing called 'New Zealand from Above' with plenty of inspiring high def in flight footage around our scenic back country. I thought it would be a fun idea to take Carenado's latest offering, thier Cessna C206H, up on a cross country flight through flight through the South Island's Alpine Faultline valley systems that were featured on last weeks episode. This is a map of the route, if anyone wants the .PLN file with the custom GPS waypoints, just let me know below. Takeoff from Woodbourne (NZWB), and pick up the wide braided Wairau River running towards the South West. State Highway 63 runs along side, but breaks off to parallel the Buller River at the head of Lake Rotiti. This road soon meets State Highway 6 at a T shaped junction deep in a valley which required a left hand turn to continue following- forming the beginning of a large U shaped turn back towards the south east. Continue to follow the road and the river through the amazing mountainous terrain, and it'll eventually open up to a wider valley holding the township of Murchison. Try and spot the airstrip to the southern side of the town as you pass overhead, then intercept the Matakitaki River heading due south. At it's first major fork, take the first narrow valley to the right hand side of the river split which soon opens up to a longer straighter passage with State Highway 65 running down it's centre. Follow the valley south west, then south west west crossing State Highway 7 keeping your eyes on the horizon for two small lakes, side by side, that will eventually come into view. The slightly further of the two lakes is Lake Haupiri, and has a sealed aerodrome, home to Air West Coast, sitting off to the left hand side. Bear in mind landings are only permitted on runway 11 at NZHP due to steep rising terrain in the opposite direction
  3. NZHN – NZAP – NZTN – NZTM – OH – NZNP (210nm) .PLN and .PLG download This is a much abbreviated version of the two and a half thousand word flight guide that I've written for an upcoming edition of PC Pilot magazine. Make an easterly departure from Hamilton International, intercept the Waikato River and follow it as it curves south east around the prominent forested volcanic cone of Maungatautari. To immerse yourself in the scenery, stay low to the water, and match its path towards Lake Taupo, the largest lake in the North Island, that feeds it flow. Enjoy the sculpture of the gorges, but be sure to anticipate the steep twists and turns further upstream in relation to your aircrafts airspeed. As the rivers course flatten out, raise your nose, and your eyes, to search for Mount Tauhara, a single volcanic cone that resembles a pyramid in shape. NZAP is directly to its right hand side from your position- which will require a right hand turn to approximately 170 degrees. This will align you for about a 15 mile final for runway 17, where you can make a touch and go. NZAP is the worlds largest commercial tandem skydive dropzone, with aircraft here operating in both left and right hand circuits, without a control tower present. Listen out on 118.4, the local traffic frequency and be aware of a performance reduction with the runway level at 1335ft AMSL. Uncontrolled airspace here extends right up to 9500ft AMSL, so climb up above the clouds if you can gaps large enough to do so once tracking from the airfield. Remember NOSE+500 and get yourself up to 6500ft/8500ft if you can maintain VMC (Visual Metrological Conditions). Track southwest to overhead the township of Turangi, at the bottom end of Lake Taupo, before making a slight left turn to 171. This will bring you alongside three active volcanic mountains, Mount Tongariro (which last erupted in November 2012), Mount Ngarahoe (Mt Doom from LOTR), and Mount Ruapehu (the highest peak in the North Island at 9176 feet!). Orbx have fantastic photorealistic textures for the this area, so get close enough to enjoy them, but not close enough to the mountains that strong downdrafts or turbulence common with this terrain would cause you to collide with the surface. A right turn is to be made between Ngarahoe and Ruapehu, to take you west between the two peaks. Keep your eyes peeled for the main trunk railway line running north/south perpendicular to your flight path below- once you find this, turn right to intercept it, descend 1000ft to remain legal, and follow the train tracks to the township of Tauramanui (NZTM). This wilderness area is known as the King Country, and is very sparsely populated. TM is the only population center of any significance for miles around and has a 700m grass airstrip with a fun approach from the north- in the real world as you make your steep descent around the hillsides into land, its common to glance out your side windows and see sheep grazing on the pastures above your level in very close proximity! The next leg, whilst spectacular- doesn’t have many easy to identify landmarks to guide us towards the coast. Thankfully, there’s nothing to stop you tuning up the Ohura VOR/DME on 113.0 (--- .--) and coursing the 252 radial towards it. Once overhead, a slight left turn onto the outbound 229 radial sends us straight into New Plymouths (NZNP) airspace, where we’ll be making our final landing today. Get New Plymouths weather on the ATIS (127.05), then call up the friendly tower controllers on 124.7 once within range to request us a full stop landing. They’ll give us a straight in arrival for runway 23- however, in the real world it would be an Urenui arrival. This requires a descent to 2000ft or below, then to report once abeam the Motanui industrial plant that Orbx have included in their landclass. From here, descend to 1500 feet as we pass overhead Waitara- the town immediately to the east of the airport with the river running through its centre, and set up for final approach. Runway 23 is 1310 metres long, larger enough to handle ATR 72 regional airliners, so keep your speed up to avoid a long taxi to the aeroclub. Welcome to the Taranaki region!
  4. NZAR – NZHN – NZRO – NZTG – NZAR (215nm) .PLN and .PLG download Known as the Milk Run at the flying school I started out at- it sends pre PPL students from their home uncontrolled aerodrome base round a big circuit to three larger domestic airports all with control towers on watch to help out if the students start getting lost. Load yourself at runway 21 at Ardmore, roll ahead and make a left turn onto 141°M after takeoff to scoot along the western fringe of the Bombay Hills- the southern border of Auckland city region- to intercept the Waikato River. Stay below 2500ft to remain clear of controlled airspace, following the rivers course south to the city center, then radio Hamilton on 122.9 to request a touch and go landing. I suggest downloading FS-creation.org’s ex payware, now freeware NZHN addon that’s compatible with Orbx’s NZNI. The surrounding photoreal textures blend in beautifully with the custom landclass textures. 18L will be the active runway, so after kissing the ground, power up and make a left turn once airbourne. Set heading 088 for NZRO. The runway altitude difference between HN and RO is nearly 800 feet with Rotorua’s asphalt sitting at 938ft AMSL. For safety’s sake, it pays to climb right up to cloud base to traverse the forested terrain below. The only town we’ll pass over on this leg is the small settlement of Tirau (not to be confused with Putaruru, the town slightly south of here) exactly at the half way point. The large lake on the horizon, accompanied by the distinctive smell of sulfur through the airvents will greet you shortly. Call the tower on 121.2 for a full stop- most students have lunch in the terminal café here and top up the fuel tanks. Next up is Tauranga (NZTG), at 338 degrees 28 miles northwest of Rotorua. It will only be a short hop from here with a slight tailwind- the terrain drops down to sea level again at the port city of Tauranga, but we’ll fly up at cloudbase again for the best views of the lakeland scenery. The small town you cross next, that’s surrounded by orchards is called Te Puke (Pronouced Te Puk-ee), and is nicknamed the Kiwifruit capital of the world! TG tower can be contacted on 118.3, and will guide you in along the beach on a left base for 25. Real NZ have a highly detailed payware addon for NZTG than can be downloaded from windowlight.co.nz. A right turn after takeoff will set us up for the longest leg today, all the way back to base at Ardmore. In the real world, this 70nm leg is often flown in the late afternoon, and with the nose pointing directly into the setting sun- shades and cockpit visors are a must! Also watch out for the Kaimai Ranges, rising up to 2000 feet in between TG and AR, a climb deviating north along the long flat Matakana Island to 2500feet minimum, followed by a left turn through the Waihi Gap (a low point in between Waihi and Paeroa townships calved by the Karangahake Gorge) is the most sensible way to make this departure. From here, it’s back over the flat expanse of the Hauraki Plains (a great place to practice forced landings without power, with an instructor), then up the righthand side of the firth of Thames will align us with the Clevedon Valley and small Wairoa River Mouth reporting point. Be sure to have descended to 1500 feet by this stage, as to not infringe on Auckland Internationals airspace overhead. Point the nose 210 degrees and you’ll be lined up for a long final approach to the same runway you lifted off from some 200 miles ago!
  5. NZHS – NZYP - NZDV – NZMA – NZWN (175nm) .PLN and .PLG download Hastings is a city twinned with nearby Napier (20km away), which was the final destination in the first flightplan I added to this thread. Hawkes Bay Airport serves turboprop airliner traffic from Wellington and Auckland, but Hastings’ own smaller airfield is exclusively used for general aviation. We want to line up on runway 01 (sealed), making a right turn after takeoff to climb directly over the centre of town. Roll out with your nose pointing to the south east, and track overhead the CBD to the Tukituki River, 6 miles away. Another right turn is again required to follow this waterway inland, towards our next destination: Waipukurau (pronounced Why-puk-a-rawe but known locally as Y-Puk) Notice the craggy limestone summit rising above the river immediately to your right- this is Te Mata Peak which I visited on a family holiday a few years back. Although it rises up to 1309 feet above sea level, this terrain originally sat beneath the waves before tectonic activity pushed the land upwards and outwards over thousands of years. Fossalised scallops, barnacles and oysters can be seen embedded in the rock whilst walking along the many tracks and pathways on top of the mountain! Continue to trace the rivers path- braided by silt deposits, common in the South Island- as it weaves inland. You’ll soon reach the NZYP, another grass airfield with a 1055m runway, and home to the annual New Zealand Aerobatic Club Nationals. Give the spectators hanging around the hangers a low approach and overshoot flyby, then zip back up to 1500ft or higher, keeping the hills to your port side, on a south westerly heading towards NZDV. Dannevirke was originally a Scandanavian immigrant settlement, literally translating to “Danes creation" in Danish. The airfield is another grass runway setup, where wealthy local farmers base their personal aircraft. Fly overhead this aerodrome and continue to follow State Highway 2 13 miles south to the next smattering of houses- a township known as Woodville. Look out the starboard side of the cockpit and you’ll see a road running through a steep gorge, topped with wind turbines. This is the Manawatu Gorge that links the large city of Palmerston North to the Hawkes Bay region. State Highway 3 and the Manawatu River run side by side here, and in low cloud conditions, it’s a busy air traffic corridor also. After Woodville, we’ll pick up the Mangatainoka River, the lefthand of two parallel rivers running SW from the town. That golf course you see on the eastern side of the river sits right next to the nationally famous Tui brewery, well known throughout NZ for it’s ‘Yeah Right’ beer advertising campaign. Keep on this waterway until nearing the large circle of restricted airspace that should appear on your GPS, 28 miles from our last waypoint.This is the Mount Bruce conservation area, and extends up to 5000ft AMSL. Bank left to avoid it, and cross over the hills to intercept the main trunk railway line running parallel to our original path. Follow the tracks south west again, and they’ll lead you all the way to Masterton, the largest town in the Wairarapa district. At Hood Aerodrome (NZMS), either make a touch and go, or a full stop landing if you need to top up with avgas, then climb out from runway 24, onwards to Wellington- the final destination today. The flat plains of the Wairarapa are easy to navigate now, and all you need to go is aim for the three urbanized areas, Carterton, Greytown and Featherston, that sit in a row south west from our point of departure. Once overhead Featherston, you’ll see Lake Wairarapa dead ahead of you, and a highway winding at a 90 degree angle out to your right, up into the Rimutaka Ranges. This is the main road into Wellington, the country’s capital. A saddle at the top of this road pass has an elevation of 1820 feet- aim for that, the lowest crest on the hilly horizon ahead of you, as you follow the highway up and over back towards city life. These northern suburbs are made up of Upper Hutt and Lower Hutt, built alongside the Hutt River. Track along it’s banks, no higher than 2500ft now to avoid busting airspace, and it’ll feed you right into Wellington Harbour. Call NZWN tower on 118.8 and you’ll most likely be given a straight in approach for runway 16- be sure to check out the scenery out the right hand windows again, with Orbx covering the city center in photoreal textures and custom building models!
  6. NZPI – NZWR – Paihia – NZKK (130nm) .PLN and .PLG download Parakai aerodrome (now officially known as West Auckland Airport) is actually a good 45 minute drive away from the central Auckland, but is the closest GA airfield to the city that offers a skydiving dropzone to the thousands of visiting tourists. Line up and roll from the 760m easterly facing runway (07) and continue on this heading as you climb up to around 2000ft. We’re looking for State Highway 1, which runs out of Auckland right up to Cape Reinga, and like the last flight, we’re going to intercept it, and follow it to our next airport. Avoid the airspace over North Shore airfield (NZNS) approximately 12 miles from Parakai, then bank left to follow the main road north. After leaving the urban sprawl, SH1 pops through two side by side tunnels at Johnston Hill, nearby the popular holiday Hibiscus Coast town of Orewa. It costs a toll of $2.20 to drive through these, which I have to pay each weekend as I commute between Auckland and Whangarei, our next destination, for my job flying parachute drop aircraft. Keep your eyes peeled for the large satellite station included in the Orbx scenery on the righthand side of the highway nearby the first town you’ll fly over, Warkworth. As we continue in a north/northwesterly direction, also try and spot two airfields nearby the road, Kaipara Flats (NZKF) to the left side- a grass paddock with some hangers midway along, and Springhill (NZSL)- a sealed private aerodrome 2.5 miles south of Wellsford township. It’s always good to know potential landing areas in event of an engine failure! After passing overhead this regional town, the Brynderwyn Range will perk up ahead, with the highway flanking it’s western edge. Maximum height of the hills here are 1500ft, so to stay legal, we must be at least 500ft above the highest point within a 150m radius of the aircraft. Next up is the Whangarei Harbour, an easy to identify inland body of water 20 miles later, aim for the western verge of this (or the tall chimney of the Portland Cement Works), and join for a wide right base for runway 06. A touch and go, followed by a right hand circuit at 1100ft along the side of the Onerahi peninsular will give you a good overview of Northlands largest city and the airport area. Head towards the CBD once clear of the downwind leg, then pick up the highway again northwest towards the tourist mecca of the Bay of Islands- famed for its natural beauty. Instead of following the highway directly to Kerikeri airport- the commercial passenger gateway to the region- we’ll deviate off towards the coast passing the township of Kawakawa. Aim for the marina at Opua, where vehicle ferries are constantly to-ing and fro-ing holidaymakers over to Russell, NZ’s very first capital city back in the 1800’s. Russell has an interesting past and is well worth reading up on over at Wikipedia! Once over the water’s edge, make a left turn and follow the general direction of the coast, past the beaches of Paihia up to the mouth of the Waitangi River. This is another area rich in history, the site where Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Europeans and Māori leaders giving Britain sovereignty of New Zealand in 1840. Turn left again onto 256 degrees, and 9 miles later, you’ll arrive on a non standard right base for runway 35. NZKK is due for an Orbx upgrade at the time of writing which I’m looking forward to seeing this released!
  7. NZAP – NZRK - NZNR (65nm) .PLN and .PLG download Something relatively short and simple to start with. I suggest downloading the highly detailed ex-payware, now freeware, Taupo Airport scenery from fs-creations.org (Orbx compatible) for our first spawn location. Make a southerly departure from the high altitude lakeside airport (1335 ft AMSL), and climb up to a moderately low cruise altitude of 3000ft. Fly the runway heading (170) for five miles along the coastline of the aptly named Five Mile Bay, then make a left turn to make a direct track to Rangitaiki. NZRK is a small grass strip next to a small highway side community- not worth touching down at, we’ll just over head it to set our course for Napier for now. State Highway 5 (aka the Thermal explorer highway) can clearly be seen running northeast to southwest above the strip, connecting the Central Plateau area –known as an extreme tourism center, to the Hawkes Bay region- known for its wineries and art deco architecture. Make a gentle righthand turn to intercept the highway, and follow it visually towards the Pacific Ocean coastline in the distance. Look out the virtual cockpit window for plenty of steep gorges, twisty valleys, river crossings amongst the seemingly endless rolling terrain. In the event of a GPS failure, the bitumen below is one of the only recognizable manmade features as far as the eye can see. Imagine a much lower cloud base and squashing you down closer to the tree tops- you’d be bloody grateful to reach the edge of the Kaweka Forest Park, where the landscape opens up into a cultivated coastal plain. Call Napier Tower on 124.8 for landing clearance once past the foothills, then follow the tower’s instructions for a visual approach into Hawkes Bay Airport. A VOR/DME can be tuned up on 113.8 if you need any further help locating the regional aerodrome, although the 1750m long main runway should stand out pretty well running parallel the coastline.
  8. Hi everyone, Long time lurker- first time poster here. I’m a ‘real world’ commercial pilot from NZ, and have been a frequent visitor to this website every time I search a FSX addon review! Recently, I’ve really been enjoying the FTX NZNI package from Orbx and thought I’d start up a topic here detailing a collection of scenic VFR flight plans that I’ve created to show off the part of the world that I’ve spent over 600 'non simulated' hours exploring and enjoying. I've also posted a copy of this thread over on their official support forums, but thought it wouldn't hurt to share my posts here too! Hopefully my local aviation knowledge will be of some benefit to overseas simmers and these flights along lesser known routes will add an extra level of immersion into the world of FSX. I’ll add in a few photographs I’ve snapped from various cockpits for a comparison of how realistic I’ve found NZNI to be, along with planG and .PLN files for you to download and navigate with. Any questions welcomed, cheers! First things first- for the most realistic feel to these flights, I recommend setting the following variables inside FSX: -Date, late January. This allows the dry-ish brown and beige summertime terrain textures to load. To my eye, the other seasonal textures appear a little too bright and green, although all the NZ tourism department ‘100% pure’ and ‘clean green’ advertising campaigns would love to disagree with me! -Time, 16:45 local. The late afternoon light provides great shading and provides a very atmospheric feel as the sun gets lower in the sky. All the tones that you wouldn’t see during bright middle of the day flights become apparent and are perfect for screenshots! In the sim, ‘dusk’ doesn’t begin loading until 18:07 NZDT on Jan 23rd, so we have a good hour and a quarter time window to explore under daytime VFR. -Weather. In the middle of summer over here, it’s common for a large high pressure system to anchor itself over the center of the island creating favorable flying conditions for a few days. However, after a week or so, the air becomes stagnant and a hazy layer becomes apparent in the sky, along with CU build up from the lingering moisture. 30km vis from the surface to 10,000ft works well, along with broken clouds from say 3500 to 7500ft. Winds can be from the SW, no stronger than 10 knots, along with some light turbulence which is common nearby the jagged terrain we’ll be virtually exposed to. -Aircraft, a single engine tourer suits each of my routes. Something with a STOL kit would be advantageous, otherwise, compromise by selecting a type with a large engine and little weight in the back. Select the pilot as the only person on board, get rid of any luggage and bring the tanks down to 50% full. We can always pick up more avgas enroute if we need too! My steed of choice is usually the Carenado Rockwell Commander. -Rules. We’ll be operating under Visual Flight Rules, with NZ CAA law dictating we must remain clear of cloud and in sight of the surface below 3000ft AMSL/ 1000ft above terrain (whichever is the higher of the two). Above 3000ft in uncontrolled airspace, we must maintain 1000ft vertical and 2km horizontal separation from cloud, along with a minimum of 5km visibility. A pneumonic to remember is N.O.S.E +500 which stands for North Odd, South Even in relation to VFR cruising levels in New Zealand. Below 3000ft whilst outside of controlled airspace, you may fly in any direction you wish (weather/terrain/traffic permitting)- however, once above, whilst heading from 270 – 089 degrees, you must be at 5500, 7500, 9500 etc. From 090 – 269, your altitude should be 4500, 6500, 8500 etc. NZ Aeronautical Information Publications can be downloaded for free from here. They include .PDF charts for approaching, departing and operating at all of the airfields that we'll be virtually visiting.