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 Post subject: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:13 pm 
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Hello world!

For a long time, I've wanted to do a tour of the Lower 48. I gave it a go recently, choosing the A2A Piper Comanche for the trip. This was my first purchase from A2A. I am curious to see how long the Comanche will stay in one piece, as I am not the most considerate flightsim pilot. The plane's registry is N5665P, a repaint from the highly talented artist Marius Krämer at https://edrm-repaints.com/. It is equipped with a GTN750 unit. Yay!

The Lower 48 aka Pride and Heritage tour started at Meigs Field, Chicago. This is where it all began, at least for some of us. Meigs is probably the most iconic airport for flightsimmers.

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The first six legs were: KCGX Meigs Field, IL - KBIV Holland, MI - KEYE Eagle Creek, IN - KPLD Portland, IN - KBLK Burke Lakefront, OH - KERI Erie, PA - N38 Grand Canyon, PA.
Yes, that's right, Grand Canyon! Did you know there is one also in Pennsylvania?

Leaving Illinois
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Landing at KBIV, Michigan
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A mediocre landing at Eagle Creek, Indiana:
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Luckily, I did not damage the plane.

A view of downtown Indianapolis
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Evening flight into Ohio
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Night view of downtown Cleveland on final to Burke Lakefront
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The local press took an interest in the Comanche at Erie Int'l Airport, PA :D
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Following Pine Creek into Grand Canyon airport
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Total flight time so far was 5:30 for a distance of about 700nm, so the average speed was 127kts. Fuel burned was exactly 100 gallons.
The Comanche turned out to be great fun to fly, the STEC autopilot needs some time to get used to but once you figure it out, it's a good pal.

More to come....

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Last edited by Salud on Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:07 am 
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Nice post, Salud! I'm looking forward to following your adventure!


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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:21 am 
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Location: Beccles, Suffolk, UK
Nice job on the shots, and man that landing looks like a copycat of my usual :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

cheers,
Lewis

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:45 pm 
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Great idea for a trip as there are lots of places to see. Enjoy your tour and thanks for the pics.

I went to the little grand canyon in PA last year and it was a really nice place to visit and had beautiful views. While leaving I saw the Wellsboro/Johnston airport down the road and pulled in, nice spot surrounded by farmland. Thanks for the memory bump. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Location: Powder Springs, Georgia USA
Outstanding trip idea. I love the paint scheme of your airplane. That paint scheme reminds me of the days US Route 66 was very popular. One could fly from one small GA airport to the next, along Route 66 from one end to the other! I think that trip ought to be fun as well.

Keep the shiny side up and the dirty end down!

Ret SMSgt Cliff Lord - C-130 Flight Engineer & Mechanic :idea:


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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:19 pm 
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Jacques wrote:
Nice post, Salud! I'm looking forward to following your adventure!

Thanks for the encouragement, will keep you updated. :wink:
Lewis - A2A wrote:
Nice job on the shots, and man that landing looks like a copycat of my usual :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

cheers,
Lewis

Good to know it's not only me. :D I have managed to keep from perfecting my landing skills in three decades of flight simming. But I gotta say, it is true what you read about the Comanche. It floats forever, but you get used to it after a while. Makes me curious how the Cherokee performs in comparison.

jeepinforfun wrote:
Great idea for a trip as there are lots of places to see. Enjoy your tour and thanks for the pics.
I went to the little grand canyon in PA last year and it was a really nice place to visit and had beautiful views. While leaving I saw the Wellsboro/Johnston airport down the road and pulled in, nice spot surrounded by farmland. Thanks for the memory bump. :D

You're welcome, Brett. Glad to hear I triggered some memories. Here's a bonus pic for you of the Wellsboro airport:
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I think the Orbx NA landclass is not entirely correct in this case. As you said, the airport is supposed to be surrounded by farmland. Still a nice airfield nonetheless, especially as it has been upgraded by Orbx in their Freeware NA airport collection.

cflord wrote:
Outstanding trip idea. I love the paint scheme of your airplane. That paint scheme reminds me of the days US Route 66 was very popular. One could fly from one small GA airport to the next, along Route 66 from one end to the other! I think that trip ought to be fun as well.

Keep the shiny side up and the dirty end down!

Ret SMSgt Cliff Lord - C-130 Flight Engineer & Mechanic :idea:

Thank you sir! Route 66 sound like a great idea! So many ideas, so little time...
I may come across Route 66 later on, will sure point it out once I get there.

Next stop is William T. Piper Memorial Airport where the PA24 was hatched, if I am not mistaken.

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Last edited by Salud on Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:29 pm 
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Thanks for the extra shot Salud, your shot isn't too far of as it is a mountainous area and dense with trees. ORBX/FTX tends to only include airports and not the surrounding areas in those out of the way places.

Image

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SWLights/AccuFeel/Cub/Mustang/Skyhawk/Cherokee/Skylane/Comanche/Thunderbolt/Spitfire/FlyingFortress/Stratocruiser


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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Thanks for the photo. True, the free FTX airports lack specific terrain outside their bounds.

So on I went again, leaving from Hillsboro, flying along the Grand Canyon (of Pennsylvania, that is).
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The color scheme really fits the surrounding!
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Descending into the Susquehanna valley (not sure that is what it is actually called) I was impressed by the view:
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Lock Haven, PA. Home of the Piper Comanche!
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(Too fast and too high. I know. My landings got better lately, though... 8) )

This is how the PA24 might have looked back in the days, rolling straight out of the factory...
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The next day, heading out for Niagara Falls, NY:
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I had some maintenance issues at KIAG (Niagara Falls Int'l) when I switched the plane to used. After frying the starter (don't ask) and putting in a new one the trip commenced. Next stop: Finger Lakes Regional, NY

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Much better landing this time. Properly trimmed and almost no yoke input necessary.

Next I flew into the Green Mountain State (aka Vermont). Yep, green mountains everywhere as I descended into Rutland airport.
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Parked at KRUT. Did you know there is Streetview on the taxiways and runways at KRUT?? https://goo.gl/maps/YSbE9khJYWn
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Here is Lake Winnipesaukee and Laconia airport, NH, my next stop:
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Cruisin' to the next destination.
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Over Portland, ME.
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Arriving at Heron's Nest, ME, a fictitious airfield on Outer Heron Island (by iBlueYonder). Very challenging to land on! Barely made it.
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I parked the plane
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and enjoyed the sunset.
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This concludes the first 12 legs, visiting 9 states. 39 to go. Absolutely love the Comanche, and looking forward to all the future flights!
I will take a break over summer, doing some other flights before returning to Maine and heading south.

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Last edited by Salud on Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:25 pm 
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Great shots (you should re-size the images a bit bigger, there worth it) and commentary, except for the starter hiccup the flight seems to be going along just right. Keep on keeping on.

Lake Winnipesaukee is a beautiful lake, used to go ice fishing there for Lake Trout and in the summer for some fantastic Smallmouth Bass jigging.

You are correct in calling it the Susquehanna Valley. Great shot showing how close the river is to the Lock Haven Piper plant, as you probably know it was Hurricane Agnes(1972) that caused the flooding of the Susquehanna River near the Lock Haven plant that led to ending the manufacture of the very aircraft you are flying. :(

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SWLights/AccuFeel/Cub/Mustang/Skyhawk/Cherokee/Skylane/Comanche/Thunderbolt/Spitfire/FlyingFortress/Stratocruiser


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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:29 pm 
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Thanks for the suggestion Brett. I just rescaled the links so the images should be larger now.

I had heard about the story of the Piper factory, though not in great detail. If I remember correctly that was the reason they moved down to Vero Beach, FL. Considering what they have been through, it is great to see them Pipers still in business.

Glad to hear about your own stories about places, I enjoy them a lot. But now I have a new goal: find one single darn place where you haven't been IRL yet. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:44 pm 
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The images look great at that size and thanks for implementing my suggestion.

I have heard that Piper already had plans in the works to do away with the Comanche and Twin Comanche well before the flood, the airplanes(both the single and the twin) were very labor intensive, had high parts counts, and were just plain expensive to build. Add to that the cost of retooling elsewhere and the writing was on the wall me thinks.

Spent a long time around the North East and live in Pennsylvania so you should outrun me soon. :lol:

Still nice to see your screenshots and follow along with your flight.

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:50 pm 
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Thanks for posting your journey. I am enjoying it and using it as ideas for one of my own.

Jeff


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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:16 pm 
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Soooo, I am back, sort of. Actually, I flew the last leg up to Bar Harbor, Maine, right after my last post.

Backtracking to the end of Heron's Nest dirt runway:

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Entering the pattern at KBHB in a speedy manner (no flaps yet :shock: )

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Now the Comanche has been sitting there for a while.
I have been (virtually) flying to Europe since, but that was all on non-A2A planes, so I won't post any screenshots. :D
Soon I will return to the States to resume my tour, and see how N5665P has been doing in the meantime.

Oh, and here's a map of my trip so far:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:15 pm 
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Hey guys, 65P and I, we made it to the Big Apple!

But first let's go back to Bar Harbor Airport. After two months of sitting on the ramp, I got back into the Comanche. Guess what, the engine did not start. I had forgotten to open the fuel valves. :oops:
After turning the valves it started right away. Off I went to KIWI Wiscasset. I passed by Deer Isle Bridge along the way:

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Next stop was 2B2 Plum Island in Massachusetts. I had to go around on my first landing attempt. Seems like I lost practice, as I felt more comfortable with the Comanche before the break.

Fueling up while someone was taking a candid shot :roll:
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On the way to 6B6 Minute Man airfield west of Boston, I did a touch and go at KBVY Beverly Airport as a nod to the student that did so amazingly well recently after losing a wheel during a solo takeoff. It was actually here that she had flown multiple patterns before the landed on RWY09 and left the plane unharmed:

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Landing at Minute Man worked out rather well...practicing helps!
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After arriving at KBID, Rhode Island State, (and doing another go-around in the process), I did a quick inspection of the plane.

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It turned out the right brakes are worn, as well as the left tire. I will take care of this at the next major stop KTEB Teterboro. The PA24 will just have to survive until then.

Block Island marinas from the air...Would love to go there someday for real...I bet Brett has been there IRL though! :D
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Wohoo! Chester, CT! The right brake still worked, no blown tire either.
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The mighty Comanche over Long Island Sound
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An evening arrival over NYC. Everything in place, except the giant ape is missing on top of the Empire State :lol:
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Finally I was on the ground at Teterboro, NJ. Time for some maintenenace. Will also have to check out the GTN750 as it went haywire during the last leg.
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13 states down so far, close to 1,800nm flown in 14.5h using 246gal of Avgas, so I was using 16.5gal/h. A bit on the high end but probably not unusual considering the 19 takeoffs and landings.

35 more states are waiting. Stay tuned!

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 Post subject: Re: Lower 48 Tour
PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:39 pm 
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Glad to see you back in the States and back on tour. Great shots and destination choices.

Went to Block Island a long time ago(40+ years ago) with my then girlfriend and now wife. I can tell you that even with ocean breezes in is very very hot in August. :lol:

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