Sunday, May 30, 2010

Buenos Aires

A change of continent for this review and we're in South America this time.

I didn't have time for the flight last week but I did the preparing with new AI packages and sceneries for my first flight on this continent. I also did some work on the SAEZ afcad file so both runways could be used simultaneously. SAEZ turned out to be one of those difficult airports to work with in FS. Departures and arrivals use different runways on opposite directions so a 2-afcad file solution was in the works. Or, you can keep all runways open if you don't mind your AI getting cleared to visual approaches in IMC conditions.

Anyway, on with the flight. I flew a short route, recommended by Al with the B200, from Montevideo, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 170NM or so trip took 1 hour and 45 minutes gate-to-gate. If you're wondering why it took so long, it's because I got lost over Buenos Aires trying to find the airport! I get to that in detail later in the review.

Approximate route

The weather at my departure airport was calm but cloudy with winds 057 at 3, 18 miles visibility and clouds 3000 scattered, 7000 overcast. The temperature was 14C on this Sunday morning flight. Since Uruguay is in the Southern Hemisphere, it's Autumn over there.

Capitan Corbeta CA Curbelo airport has a great body of water just to its north, I found out on Google maps that it was the Laguna del Sauce. What a cool name!

Take-off from runway 08

After take-off, I climbed on the runway heading and turned due south to intercept the radial 273 inbound on the CRR VOR. I also tuned in the CRO NDB for a back up. The ADF is an excellent instrument where available.

The clouds started clearing up at around 10000 feet with the ride getting smoother as I ascended.

Climbing out of the clouds

The enroute weather was cloudy so I couldn't enjoy the view below, I was hoping to get a glimpse of Montevideo on the way, unfortunately, no joy.


My cruise flight didn't take very long and I started my descent from 15000 feet at around 60 miles, just after getting cleared to the ILS runway 11. The weather seemed be challenging with strong winds blowing from the south accompanied by rain and low visibility.

Descending into the soup

My arrival route was initially a direct-to to the EZS VOR which is the airport, basically, and then turn to roughly the opposite heading of the runway for a circle-to-land on runway 11. At that point, I'm not sure what happened, maybe the strong winds drifted me off course because I couldn't locate the localizer and literally got lost. The low visibility didn't help either.

Trying to find the airport

After about 20 minutes of circling dangerously over Buenos Aires at 1500 feet and a missed approach, I found out that I had left the autopilot in GPS mode so the localizer wasn't appearing on my HSI. On my 2nd attempt I tracked the localizer and flew the glideslope manually.

SAEZ ATIS was winds 185/15, 5 miles visibility and 13C. The clouds were a towering 600 and 1000 scattered, 3000 overcast. Not the best conditions for flying with GA aircraft you're unfamiliar with.

Short final runway 11

My approach was as good as it could be in these conditions with the B200 bouncing all over the place, very fun but a tough struggle against the gusts. My landing was awful, though. I was too lazy to go around so I practically slammed her on the runway at around 400 FPM.

After landing, I was curious about those new WOAI packages I had installed. I was delighted to see plenty of aircraft on the apron, with many local and international carriers.

Impressive AI on the apron

The GA ramp turned out to be on the other side of the airport so the taxi took around 15 minutes.

On a side note, I discovered the Flightwatch weather message feature of Active Sky on frequency 122.000. I'll definitely be using it in the future on the ground in lieu of FS ATIS since it can be used simultaneously with the ATC.

A UN aircraft in a rainy Buenos Aires

Next stop is Tel Aviv, Israel, possibly from Geneva with the Swiss A330. I have to do some testing with the beautiful freeware LLBG 2006 before though. The other option is to fly to Barbados from Argentina. There should be a really cool freeware TBPB if I recall correctly. I'm actually favoring the 2nd option since I want to do more flying with this SAEZ scenery too.

And before I finish, you can find Al's own South American flight with an MD-11 right here.

Thanks for viewing


  1. That short fianl shot is just BLOODY AWESOME! I can feel the crosswing just sitting here!

    SAEZ-TBPB gets my vote!

  2. It was extremely fun.

    Yeah, SAEZ-TBPB had my vote too, before I found out it was 3000NM!!

    I hope I can do it, though, seems like an interesting route.

  3. Sounds like a weekend flight!

  4. I'm so looking forward to going to BA!!!
    I'm an instructor in the Galapagos tourist class yachts and probably I'll go there sometime!