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Forum Home > 2017 Vacation - Making The Cut > 2017 Vacation: INTRODUCTION

bc
Site Owner
Posts: 8440

So it begins... the 2017 EPOCH Alaska Air Vacation!


The bulk of the information will be arriving right here tomorrow, as well as another topic called "Vacation DAY ONE", but for now, if you have between 45 minutes and about 7½ hours to spare :P , you can get primed and ready to go with the following video series.


I have built this vacation around the premise that we are arriving as guest pilots to do some revenue flying with a few twists, so these videos were a prime source of info and some details. They are kind of light on really cool aircraft shots, and heavy on the business and reality-TV-style-drama, but they are good nonetheless and I found myself grinning quite often.


So, rest of the info below on Saturday, but for now - Friday Evening - here's the first of the series. The rest follow, one after another, as long as you want to sit there watching... all 10 of them. Cheers!


https://youtu.be/HVz2tu5ShSc


VERY IMPORTANT NOTE:


Please be sure to have the following libraries up-to-date in your Custom Scenery:


1. OpenSceneryX     2. The Handy Objects Library     3. CDB-Library


https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/category/165-libraries-for-scenery/


===================================================================================



We've been to Hawaii. Papua New Guinea. New Zealand. Florida. Last year, Nevada, and the Black Rock Desert.

This year, for our 6th Annual Vacation, we are off to AFRICA... The Dark Continent.

A land of magic and mystery, of deserts and rain forests, lost tribes and 21st century people.

A dream for bush pilots. Let's make the dream come alive, shall we!





Tucked way down near the bottom of the continent, landlocked and surrounded by four other countries, are the very dry lands of the original Bushmen; but these folks didn't fly :) . Some of their descendants do now though - flying tourists through the vast desert scrublands of the Kalahari Desert, the immense flood and salt pans of the Central East, and the true jewel of Botswana - the Okavango Delta!

This delta takes millions of gallons of water from the mountains in Angola to the north, spreads it out into marshlands and floodplains and then the desert pretty much soaks up whatever is left. Not a drop makes it to the ocean but African big game thrive on the resultant wetlands!



We are on a Working Vacation as bush pilots - to show others how we do it as well as learn a few things along the way. Flying the African Bush is way different than Alaska, and that's the truth :D . Flying the Okavango Delta for the tourist camps and safari groups is reminiscent of flying for EPOCH Passage Aviation - minus all water, hills and mountains :lol: . Oh yes... add a lot of heat and swap scud out for some very impressive storms and, well, Welcome to the Delta!




We will be flying, like so many other bush pilots do, out of Maun, Botswana at the southern end of the fan of the Delta. From there we shall utilize all of the craft owned by the fictional charter operator, OK Delta Air, one of the dozen or so carriers located at the dusty airport north of town. From the smallest revenue craft, the Cessna 206/207, through to the Cessna 210 Centurion, we shall move tourists to and from camps and locales in the Delta and beyond.

With the exception of flying from Gabarone (the capital city of Botswana) to Maun on the first day of our vacation, most of our flights are less than an hour in length. Here is a chart to give you an idea of flying times...




In traditional style, we need to get to Africa first!

The hardcore among us may opt to fly from Anchorage to Johannesburg - a trip of almost 9,000 nautical miles. For the rest of us... well, we start our Day One already in Gabarone, with the company having picked up the cost of the commercial flights there. Although - a prelude flight of an hour can be made and is detailed to take you via South African Express from the Jo'burg International up to Gabarone in a 737 (or CRJ, Dash 8 or EMB 120) to give any of you tube-flyers a bit of fun to start.

But we actually start our Vacation Day 1 in Gabarone - and you're going to love what we do next!




So, some important things to get out of the way before we head over to the Day One link to see what our flight day will look like.

FIRST OFF:

I have chosen Sunday as the day that each Vacation Day actually begins, even though I will usually post the day on either the Saturday or even the Friday before. This gives the NightFliers a chance to give a Saturday night last minute check and allow me to fix anything critical before Sunday. So, forewarned is forearmed :) .


Here is a list of things you really must know before you start:


1. As seen near the top of this long post, Update Your Libraries if needed, to the latest versions.

2. Check to be sure you have the required aircraft.

3. There is no HD mesh for the area, so we are working from defaults (not orthos or W2XP stuff)

4. Day 1 will include links to other developer's custom scenery. Day 2 will link to ours for the remainder of the Vacation.

5. All maps you see in this post are included in your Day 2 download of uX-Pa's Custom Scenery.

6. We will be using a combo of Custom Weather and Real Metar - check carefully each Vacation Day.

7. Ensure that your Rendering Options are at the following Minimum Standards if you can...

   a. Birds & Deer ON     b. Roads to Default     c. Trees Overgrown     d. Objects to MegaTons

   e. Clouds no less than 25%     f. Cars at Siberian     g. HDR, Ext. DSF, Pixel lighting all up to you!

8. Post any notes, chatter, after-action reports, screencaps etc. in the same topic as the Vacation Day you are flying. I thank you in advance for your active participation in this for the enjoyment of all.


Alright, I prolly forgot one or many things, but I'll catch it later if so. I hope you enjoy this adventure as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. Remember, NightFlights will be available each week throughout the Vacation and if anyone is so inclined, they could organize a DayFlight online as well.


I leave you for now with our Master Flight Map. Have a Great Vacation, and see you later today! Cheers, bc



--

6 strings, 9 cylinders, 2 Manx cats: Life's Good!

November 3, 2017 at 7:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

MarvH
Member
Posts: 1173

So.... "If you can see through it, you can fly through it".....AND...  "You won't see that on 'Flying Wild Alaska'"!!


HA HA.  Very funny and verrrrrry challenging, to be sure. :lol:


BC, I think you've really picked a WiNNER for our vacation!!  8)

--
Parachutes are like guns. If you don't have one when you need one, you'll probably never need one again.
November 4, 2017 at 12:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

bc
Site Owner
Posts: 8440

Yes, I got a good chuckle when he referenced Flying Wild Alaska in the video.


Funny thing though about your note about "challenging". I have had to manufacture some carefully crafted 'difficulties' into this vacation solely because you guys who have flown the Alaskan village strips and some pretty tough STOL areas are already quite a bit better than the strips in the Okavango require. After all, who among us is particulalry worried about putting a 206/207 down on 600 meters ( 1,968' ), the shortest strip in the Delta? Even with foul weather? I rest my case :D


Cheers and hope you enjoy it MarvH.


bc

--

6 strings, 9 cylinders, 2 Manx cats: Life's Good!

November 4, 2017 at 11:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

MarvH
Member
Posts: 1173

Yup, we can all do that, BC.  Thanks too for the venerable Ultimate Glacier Pilot!!


But what you won't see on Flying Wild Alaska is a giraffe standing in the middle of the runway, or the other 4-legged critters that love the open spaces over there forcing go-rounds and aborted TOs. Have you crafted a way to put those challenges in front of us?  I'd be willing to bet a box of doughnuts that you have!! YAY!! ;)


Oh, and don't forget the birds with the 3 foot wingspan that'll go right through the windshield and kill you in an instant, and your pax. YIKES!! :(


Of course African mosquitos are no match for the giants of AK! 


But I do hope you've rigged some 5 Diamond Resorts for us to stay in overnight.  And some branches to pile around the wheels while parked.  Who knew that hyenas eat rubber tires???  Gadzoooks!!!


Looks like a lot of fun!!

--
Parachutes are like guns. If you don't have one when you need one, you'll probably never need one again.
November 4, 2017 at 1:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

bc
Site Owner
Posts: 8440

Wow Marv, nothing like putting a guy on the spot. :P


Well, I have NOT crafted giraffe running onto the runway and back. But I have got an X-P solution, in that it is mandatory that you will have deer and birds turned on. Might as well use those animations built-in, as there is another animation that I found more immersive for us and is incorporated into the Vacation. But, while the deer aren't exactly giraffe, they are a danged hazard and one needs to be very mindful of them... and the birds which seem to be a huge problem on the Okavango!


Hehe. No, no branches for the tires either (Jim at Shade Tree would be mortified if I replaced his chocks with thorn branches :lol: ) but you will have some places to rest your weary head for sure :)


Cheers,

bc

--

6 strings, 9 cylinders, 2 Manx cats: Life's Good!

November 4, 2017 at 2:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

bc
Site Owner
Posts: 8440

Please see First Post for the full Intro, just now uploaded.


Cheers,

bc

--

6 strings, 9 cylinders, 2 Manx cats: Life's Good!

November 4, 2017 at 4:24 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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