"Around the Arctic" Tour

Guest Ed Guest

Hi All,

In the spirit of great world tours, like The-GPS-Kid's Baron 58 World Tour, I've been on an Around the Arctic tour.

I started in San Francisco and flew north to Barrow, Alaska, in the Lear Jet (because the world's a big place and I don't have THAT much time to fly). Since leaving Barrow, I've been flying east, staying as close to the Arctic Ocean as possible.

I actually started flying in "real time," that is November, but I got tired of the constant darkness-- I didn't see the full disk of the sun until I got up around 10,000 feet-- so I turned the calendar forward to Spring so I at least get 12 hours of sunshine a day.

After visiting Thule Airforce Base in Greenland, I dipped south to visit Iceland and Scotland, but then I headed back up to the north of Norway.

I did take a day to fly around the fjords of Norway in a borrowed King Air 350 (so far, the most scenic part of the trip) but today I'm back in the Lear and heading east across the north of Europe. I stopped this evening to stretch my legs in Archangel, Russia(?), and tomorrow I'll be back in the saddle, heading east.

There was a strong Aurora Borealis when I was heading towards Iceland-- that's always entertaining to watch on long night flights.


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Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

That sounds Great Ed - I remember you mentioning that you started the tour in November!

D'you know I still haven't managed to catch the "Northern Lights" yet !! I flew a 727 TNT Cargo route from Gatwick up to Longyear (Svaalbard, Norwegian Arctic Territory) but I didn;t see it... I think the problem was that although it was dark (it usually is up at the Arctic), I did actually have the 'time' set to 'day'..... so perhaps it's only configured to show the Northern Light, during the night....

That's an interesting tour Ed - not the sort of places most people would think of which is fun.... I've also flew the 727 to Greenland - there are lot's of Runways there that are in the sea - makes for some interesting hand-approaches !

Guest Ed Guest

About the Aurora-- I've only seen it three times in 11 months of sim flying (saw it once several years ago in real life flying, too). It was always in the month of May, at about dusk, in high northern latitudes. For instance, I saved the flight at the point where I first saw it:

I was flying inbound to Anchorage, Alaska. Latitude N58 deg 22 min., Longitude W160 deg 20 min, at 15,000 feet on a heading of 061 deg, 113 miles from Anchorage. Local time was 20:40. The date was May 2, 2003 (flight sim date). Weather was clear.

It appeared again the following night, south of Juneau, Alaska, on a course for Vancouver, British Columbia.

I think the best way to watch it is to go to the Spot Plane view, and back away as far as possible, to see all the sky you can. On the rear quarter position and slightly below your plane is best, I think. The aurora will appear in front of the plane, but it sometimes flares up and covers the entire sky in green, blue and gold. It's not always there; it disappears for several seconds at a time, but then it comes back and lasts several seconds.

Really, I'm not making this up. 😂


Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

No - he's not indeed 😂
I saw it as well, Flight date somewhere early November, Clear weather, Flying over South of Finland on a NNW heading.
Sorry, can't be more precise as I didnt write it down.. :/

Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

Well I'll just have to keep looking !

I'm sure I'll see it when I start the "GPS Kid Low and Slow Tour" in mid-December !

As soon as I finish the Baron Tour (currently still crossing the Pacific bit by bit - now in Nuva'u, Tonga heading for Christmas Island), I'm going to start the above tour :-

Newcastle, UK (EGNT) - Northern Norway in a Cessna 152 with no Autopilot.

Norway - Arctic Russia in a Piper PA28 - 181 (Archer II) with single Axis Autopilot only (you have to maintain altitude using trim)

Arctic Russia - New Siberian Islands in a Diamon HK36 Motor Glider / Piper J-3 Cub.

New Siberian Islands - home to Newcastle in a fast Jet !

Last edited by David (The-GPS-Kid) on Wed Nov 24, 2004 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total
Guest Ed Guest


Thanks for backing me up there; I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person seeing bright lights in the sky. 😕

The-GPS-Kid, when you're flying the Low and Slow Tour, watch for me-- I'll be that shiny speck overhead at FL330 and Mach .81.. 😀


Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

Hi Ed,
No I definately saw it too! 😀

In fact I was amazed how long it lasted.....flying from Moscow to Stavanger area and back south flying over the Norwegian coastline It was there for several hours! 😳.

I'd have to check my logbook to find the exact route.
I could do that, but Ill probably forget so dont count on it 😀

Guest Ed Guest

I finished the Around the Arctic Tour this morning, with a relatively short hop from Provideniya Bay (UHMD), near the north-eastern tip of Asia, back up to Barrow, Alaska (PABR). There sure are some very long stretches across the top of Russia where there are no airports! It's kind of disheartening when you open the GPS "Nearest" menu, and it's BLANK!

No more Aurora sightings along the way, though.

After looking at the ice pack for so many hours, I decided it was time to head for warmer climes-- so today I went diagonally down across North America, finally landing at Key West (Florida) Naval Air Station (KNQX). That's a fairly long haul, close to 4,000 miles (6400 km), so I had to make one stop for fuel at Duluth, Minnesota (KDLH) in the US. I just BARELY made it; the Lear Jet carries just over 6000 pounds of fuel, and I landed at Duluth with 27 pounds of fuel left. 😳 That's cutting it a little close for comfort!

Anyhow, I think I will continue south along the eastern coast of South America, then maybe I'll do the "Around the ANTarctic Tour." 😀


Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

Here's an idea for anyone looking for a tour; POLE TO POLE.

Flying from the North Pole to the South Pole using PROPS only (no Jets!)

Pro Member First Officer
Kurt Stevens (KurtPStevens) First Officer

Hey David, once you find your way across the Pacific, please post your route. There is not a heck of a lot out there and I'd love to know how you did it. Last time I tried to cross that way I gave up and went north through Tarawa and Midway to Alaska.

I am on my second trip around the globe in the Legendary 727. I started in Salinas, CA (USA) and have gone through:
Mexico City (Mexico),
Medillien (Columbia),
Paramaribo (Suriname),
Fortaleza (Brazil),
Banjul (Gambia, That was as close one on fuel!),
Lagos (Nigeria),
Luanda (Angola),
Cape Town (S.Africa), I rented a Cessna 172 and saw the whole place. I was great!
I am in Lusaka (Zambia) today.

Let me know about the Pole-to-Pole run too. I'll pull my Shorts360 out of retirement and fly along.

Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

I will Kurt ! I'm currently doing ok - I'm in Tonga - so I haven't gotten to the hard part yet, which is where the South Pacific Islands are behind me, and there's a lot of water before South America appears !

I'm determined to find a way though... There are some uncharted islands out there so as long as I can land the Baron, I'll reward myself by finding that the locals have a supply of Avgas, and that they're happy to take Mastercard for it 😳

I'm recording my route though so if I find islands such as below, I'll note down the N001'000 E001'000 location (can't remember what you call that!) so you'd be able to find it too.

I respect your tour because doing any tour in the 727 is extra challenging because it uses it's fuel SO FAST if you cruise at max speed (at the Barber Pole)... I just managed to get from the UK up to Svaalbard (arctic Norwegian Territory), and it's not even that far in distance terms. I did have Anti-Ice on all the way though, which uses more fuel.


The-GPS-Kid wrote:

Here's an idea for anyone looking for a tour; POLE TO POLE.

Flying from the North Pole to the South Pole using PROPS only (no Jets!)

But props are SO SLOOOOOOOW! 🙄

And of course, you can't really fly to the poles in FS09. At least at the North Pole, you can only get to N89 deg 30 min, and then you come up against the "White Wall." And you can't even land on the ice pack (to buy Avgas from the Eskimos)-- try it some time.

BTW: "There are some uncharted islands out there so as long as I can land the Baron, I'll reward myself by finding that the locals have a supply of Avgas, and that they're happy to take Mastercard for it "

That was what Amelia Earhardt thought, too. 😂


Pro Member First Officer
Kurt Stevens (KurtPStevens) First Officer

Thanks for that cheerful thought Ed 😳

Guest Ed Guest

KurtPStevens wrote:

Thanks for that cheerful thought Ed 😳

You're welcome. 😉

It's just that I can't imagine taking off across the Pacific Ocean in a plane with limited range without having a pretty good idea of where I was going to land. The Pacific is the biggest stretch of wide-open nothing on the planet, and islands are few and far between. And there could be one just right over there, just beyond the horizon, but you'd never know it (because it's uncharted) but the next one dead ahead is, oh, say 3000 miles.

Now maybe if it was an amphibious plane, you could set down and buy your Avgas from passing freighters. . . is there an amphibious version of the Lear Jet? 😀


Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Don't we all wish there was...E-Mail Bombardier with your idea, maybe it'll sell 😛

Guest Ed Guest

Hmm, this is giving me an idea for another Grand Tour-- around the world by amphibious plane, ONLY landing on water. Well, maybe I'll start across North America, then see how it goes.


Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain


Ok, Kurt, I think it was your good self that asked me to detail the routing, if I managed to cross the Pacific in the Baron.

Well, after 1 week off work ill, I managed to wrap up most of the BARON58 World Tour.... I crossed the Pacific but did cheat a little...

Well.... didn't really cheat but did buy GAS from uninhabited islands that had nothing but NDB stations on them !! (No airport but a Beach landing makes a great change!).... Also, the Baron went U/S in Rarotonga, so I used the Cessna Golden Eagle for part of the journey.. (still a light twin, but with slightly larger fuel tanks!).

The approximate route, crossing the Pacific was :-

- Maryborough, East Coast Australia
- New Caledonia
- Fiji
- Vava'u (Tonga)
- Rarotonga (Cook Islands)
- Bora Bora (French Polynesia)
- Makemo NDB 383.0 (an island with just a NDB on it!)
- Reao NDB 327.5 (again)
- Totegegie NDB 341.0 (again)
- Isla de Pascua (SCIP)
- CHILE: Iquique (SCDA_

...... so there we go.... as you can see, the latter stretch was the hardest and required me to hunt out some tiny islands (by scanning around the FS Map, zooming in here and there), that had NDBs on them.... I landed near the Beach front in most cases..... refuelled and moved on.... Full flaps made for some hairy but successful take-offs!

After this I flew 5 sectors that took me to Salvador, Brazil, which is where I am now.... I now need to cross the Atlantic to get home to Europe !


Guest Ed Guest

That is amazing, TGK. I wouldn't have thought it was possible to cross the Pacific that way.

I'm on a little side jaunt now-- I was flying down the east coast of South American heading for Antarctica in the Lear, and decided it would be fun to fly the length of the Amazon River to the headwaters. I left the jet in Belem, Brazil, and borrowed a King Air 350 for the tour.

Following the Amazon River is not as easy as it sounds-- there isn't one big channel, it's dozens of channels of varying size, twisting and turning. You could go hundreds of miles off course and run into a dead end. So I'm following the channel that has the most cities and airports next to it, and generally heading for SKVG (can't remember the airport name at the moment) which seems to be the airport nearest the head of the river, up against the Andes-- at least the nearest one that's large enough to land a King Air. It's about 1800 nm as the crow flies, but much further if you follow the river.


Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

What a great way to navigate - respect Ed - I'm just seeing my first sights of the Amazon within the Baron Tour.... and I know what you mean about all of the 'offshoots' or whatever their technical name is !

The Baron World Tour pilots are resting at present at a small airfield just south of Rio....... there is a solemn mood in the air as I do not think it is going to be possible to cross the Atlantic... who would have thought I'd make the Pacific crossing and be stuck with the Atlantic !

There do not seem to be enough islands between South America and Africa to refuel at in the Baron..... but it must be possible as look at all those famous early aviators who crossed the Atlantic with their speed records.... I'm trying to crack this one myself though.

I have set a deadline that the BARON 58 WORLD TOUR must cease by 17th DECEMBER 2004.... Funding has diminished and the Baron will soon be in need of essential maintenance that cannot be carried out in South America of Africa. SO WILL I MANAGE TO GET HOME TO EUROPE IN 10 DAYS ????

Guest Ed Guest


You want to end up back in Newcastle, right? So you've got to go north at some time-- go north along the east coast of the Americas, and do a great circle around the North Atlantic-- Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, and back home to Jolly Old England.

But what about going across the South Atlantic? St. Helena Is. is somewhere out there in the middle, isn't it? Pretty rocky, though.

Or near the equator, there's a VOR on Noronha, not too far off the coast of South America, then Ascension Island out in the middle with an air field (FHAW), and a fairly long stretch of solid blue before you reach Africa. . .


Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

I wanted to avoid the Greenland routing, around the Far North Atlantic, as it will add weeks to the tour !

But I like your pointers for St. Helena, etc..... I clearly need to look more closely for more little islands with odd VORs And NDBs on them!

Only problem as you have said is that most of the isles within the South Atlantic seem to be really rocky in nature, whereas in the South Pacific, it was a dream landing on a uncharted beach !

Will let you know how it goes - Cheers !

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