Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Balkans

Here we are in the Balkans for this flight, just a quick, short hop from Dubrovnic to the capital city of Bosnia, Sarajevo.

Actually, I was looking forward to doing an airline flight from Sydney to Auckland but I just got GTA4 Liberty City Stories so I thought I'd do a short flight and spend the rest of Sunday wreaking havoc around Liberty City. For GTA enthusiasts, the game takes place on the same map but with different missions.

Anyway, the 80NM or so route took me over the city of Niksic and then from there I headed northwest directly to Sarajevo, enjoying the beautiful mountain view along the way.

Approximate route

No detailed preflight with the C182, I was ready to go in 5 minutes and I swiftly taxied to runway 30. I'm not sure runway 30 is used very often in LDDU but the winds were 018/10 so FS didn't make a bad call after all.

Taxing to runway 30

The slight crosswind called for some rudder compensation during the take-off roll, shortly after take-off I turned left and headed towards the NIK NDB.

LDDU is to the left

Among the pleasures of GA flying is radio navigation, I love flying with the ADF and VORs, using the GPS only as a back up. I try not to look at it unless I feel really lost.

The visibility was good with light winds blowing from the North. The flight was rather smooth, except for a few bumpy moments.

Tracking the NIK NDB

I initially settled at 5000 feet for cruise and then realised the it wasn't enough considering the high peaks on my route. I climbed to 7500 right after crossing the NIK NDB.

Drina River?

Weather at Sarajevo wasn't different from Dubrovnik, only here the winds were calmer. According to the charts landings are runway 12 only. I could have flown a shorter downwind leg since I was flying VFR but I decided to fly the whole published approach for the ILS 12. I found out that the stock Garmin also includes the procedure so I loaded it up for a visual reference.

Sarajevo on the left, LQSA is there too

Flying the whole procedure took a while in the slow Cessna which added a few extra minutes to the total flight time.

Following the arc to intercept the localizer

Thanks to the smooth weather the final approach was a piece of cake, nothing more than a glide down the "slope".

Short final runway 12

As I was coming in I heard a Lufthansa callsign holding short for a backtrack. The taxiway I was going to use was near the end of the runway so I touched down late and vacated the active as soon as possible in favor of the LH CRJ.

My landing was perfect, nice and smooth, I barely "felt" the touchdown. I bet that Lufthansa captain was impressed too.

Good freeware LQSA scenery

LH CRJ departing

My next flight is definitely in an airliner. I want to fly that Sydney - Auckland route with a Qantas NG.

To be honest, I miss flying in FS a lot and I hate not having enough time. In Al's latest review he mentions having done 33 flights this year. I've been able to do 26 myself. That equals to about 60 for both of us. We should be able to easily clock 100 combined by the end of 2010.

Thanks for viewing


  1. Where did you get that LDDU scenery?

    The two approach shots are awesome. And your sqwaking 7486 (so your listening to those crazy FS9 controllers!!)

    That LQSA scenery is reall neat.

    Can;t wait to see you back in the NG. DO it in the day time so we can see!!

  2. I found the LDDU scenery on Avsim, no big deal really, just an improved terminal.

    Yeah, I go along with the FS9 ATC as much as I can.

    I'm definitely flying with the NG next time, I want to do that Australian flight.