More Places to Fly

Updated 12 July 2008

Looking for a new place to fly? The following suggestions were posted at one of the Simradar and AVSIM forums over a period of about one year. I have compiled them into one document, but apart from that I have not edited them for spelling, grammar, or content. Note that the material collected here was originally distributed on the internet in a free and public forum. If you see something here that you wrote and you want me to remove it, send an email to david@virgil.org and I will take it down. Please be polite, though: I'm not interested in stealing or taking credit for anyone else's work.

If you want to fly in Alaska, try the Charters and TripTix page at Misty Moorings. You should also look at fsdestinations.com, a growing database of interesting flights that is useful if you are looking for a flight of a particular duration. Simtours.net is similar, but suggests destinations rather than routes: if you're looking for things to see in Flight Simulator, this is an excellent place to start, and includes screenshots. If difficulty is what you seek, try DAD, the Dangerous Airports Database. This site is for flight simmers only. There are also a couple of sites for real world aviation that list interesting airports by geographical region: Fun Places to Fly and wheretofly.com. Of course, an interesting airport in the real world is not always interesting in Flight Simulator.

  1. American Tour
  2. What's your favorite flight plan?
  3. Where would you fly?
  4. Alaska, NZ.... any more?
  5. Best airport in FS2004?
  6. Best standard VFR area to fly
  7. More Ideas
  8. Great GA flying in So. FL and Bahamas
  9. Fifteen Minutes of Cheap Thrills
  10. Great Flight in Alaska
  11. Where do you like to fly?
  12. What's your favorite route?

American Tour

Millybags: I'd like to do an American tour in FS2004. Do you have one or two 'must visit' places, towns, cities that I should go to on the tour? I'm aiming to fly from East to West (for no particular reason).

Don Parker: Don't miss the other obvious places like Niagara Falls, the Teton mountains around Jackson Hole, WY with the lake are pretty (but just about anyplace in the western mountains are), and the obligatory flight down the Grand Canyon ~ 4,000'. Maybe a few laps around Washington DC... Fly down the entire island string of the Florida Keys.

George Lewis: I'd go west to east so I didn't have to fight the headwinds! I'd also recommend KOSH Oshkosh, WI. If you break apart the AI flights, you'll find several of the classics migrate there on xc flights. It'd probably be fun to do a takeoff in the Telluride area, as it's pretty high elevation for aircraft operations.

Jim Hendrickson: I'm planning to do some cross-country touring soon, but for now I've just done a few local "weekend trips." Probably the most scenic place I've been has been Millinocket Maine. Fly the stretch from Greenville (3B1) to Millinocket (KMLT). About 1.5 hours to the SW (in the C172( is Mt Washington (KHIE). Beware os sudden snow squals, high winds and stay clear of the MOH to the S. About an hour's flight west of that is Lake Placid NY (KLKP). If you have the FSGenesis 38m mesh, these areas make for some nice sightseeing. Of course there's always Block Island (KBID), Martha's Vineyard (KMVY), and Cape Cod if you're looking for a place to start.

mdavis: Depends on what you're flying and how long you want to tour. I would go to the FS Genesis web site and download as much of the free terrain mesh as you can find there to get a much better perspective of the terrain, especially in the eastern mountain ranges. There are several routes across the U.S. for VFR aircraft if you get that low. Most of the routes are about the same due to airspace restrictions and the problems of getting across the Rocky Mountains in a Piper Cub. And then there is the 48 state circuits flown by Stephen Coonts in a Waco which will take you the rest of the year to complete if you're interested.

Noi: Interesting. There is a cross country flight in FS9 in the Piper. You just start from JFK and fly west. The adventure is knowing your aircraf's fuel and altitude range, plotting the course west airport to airport. Flight will be a lot easier in a Beech or Cessna. You can sight scenic site depending on the state. Also, flying into the smaller airports is easier than the major airports.

pr: Do you have enhanced landclass and/or terrain mesh installed? If so, then mountainous areas would make for a very scenic flight. Here are a couple of ideas: In the east: Start in upper Maine, then come across mid-New Hampshire, Vermont to Lake Placid NY (KLKP). If you continue to the west, fly over Niagara Falls (KIAG) then about 5 nm to the west of the airport to see the falls. Work your way down the Appalachian Mountain chain (the chain of mountains that starts somewhere around North Carolina and extends all the way up to Maine) to a little airport called Grant County Airport (W99), which has very cheap fuel. Since this airport is surrounded by ridges on all sides, you might want to skip the cheap fuel if the airport is low IFR. In the west: West Yellowstone (KWYS), Mammoth Yosemite Airport (KMMH), Palm Springs CA (KPSP), and Catalina Island (KAVX). Not sure about the mid part of the country, though...

Don Parker: Not to say the west and east doesn't have its share of mundane scenery, too, or the entire mid section is devoid of anything to see, but just not as much, nor at the equivilant "wow" scale. Here in n/w Arkansas Ozarks it's pretty, but not on the level of "must see" if you were on a 2-3 week vacation from Europe, for example, and seriously scheduling time for maximum effect. If you're piloting yourself coast to coast in a light GA bird, you're not going to avoid many, many hours of flat barren viewing, with only some color changes, no matter how you slice it. I remember the VFR charts for western/central Nebraska had landmarks like "windmill & water trough", etc. - there's nothing else there in lots of areas, for as far as you can see...... Naturally things like the newly discovered Stockton Canyon in Missouri and one in southern Arkansas are a few exceptions, only available to FS-9 simmers... Of course we're just talking about scenery here - if it's the flying experience per se, some may still get a charge flying over endless wheat fields in a J3!

What's your favorite flight plan?

RickD: I find myself flying back and forth from Seattle (KSEA) to Portland (KPDX) alot of the time, reason being is because when flying the commercial jets its seems to be the perfect distance and has interesting approaches. A side benefit is that you cant usually get some good weather like rain when using "real weather" mode. I usually fly this route with either my PMDG737 or my Vickers VC10 (i just love the VC10 for some reason). I like the flights that allow for a nice 33-36k climb a little max cruise then a swift decent to land, about 45minutes max.

Chris: Being European Based (UK) i like the old Europe hoping. A series of legs going from Heathrow to either south ways to France, Italy Spain or France Holland always heading south but choosing different countries and airports to go via. There is the north route from Heathrow to maybe Ireland, Scotland Norway and either easy towards Asia or south east direction via borders of Russia. I also like doing old WW2 routes in the DC-3 just to recriut a bit of history since i like the whole WW2 thing. Like flights to India and such like.

Chris Mas (nospammerry@xmas.com) Subject: Re: Whats your favorite flight plan? View this article only Newsgroups: alt.games.microsoft.flight-sim Date: 2003-11-20 15:03:07 PST more importantly, thanks for sharing your favorite and the proposition it supposes: short flights are better than lengthy ones. as a realworld pilot we used to distinguish from flying 'hours' and 'good hours' . it goes without saying most pilots want to log that latter. the latter being as you've described: take-offs and landings with minimal cruise time -- as you so eloquently described. what this means to me is fly-the-type-suitable-to-the-route. having said that, no route is complete until the return flight has been made. as you've noted, even using FS9's canned ATC with realworld weather (every 15 minutes), every trip is different.

Dashi: I like flying from KPWT Bremerton National to CYYJ Victoria Int'l in the DF Piper Archer II. I use Bremerton as my home base and fly to the many smaller airports on either side of the Juan DeFuca Straits and surrounding Seattle area. KCLM, KFHR, KPAE, KBFI, KTIW, KOLM plus many others. The Great Pacific Northwest has the best flying and sailing in the world, IMO. :) Using real world weather I can usually count on sun, rain, fog, snow, high/low clouds, socked in airports, all in the same flight. Plenty of traffic and an occassional bird strike. Gotta remember to stay out of the migratory bird fly aways. ;-)

Rupert: based in NZ - doing Wellington to New Plymouth to Taupo to Auckland - esp with the 40m mesh i have for the country as well as draped orthophotos for ground scenery across most of it. Fav aircraft would be the King Air 350

Trent Hopkinson: My favourite routes are Sydney-Melbourne, (rtn) Sydney-Brisbane (rtn) and the american west coast's Oakland-LAX or SanFransisco-LAX. I often fly the C172 out VFR around the Sydney basin out of Bankstown YSBK. Most of my stuff is done on Vatsim/real weather.

Noi: Cross-country literally. Started with the Tokyo to Hong Kong cargo flight decided to plan all flights to countries and cities of interest flying westward mostly. So far, Hong Kong-Vietnam, Vietnam-Thailand, Thailand-Indira Gandhi, India, India to Moscow, Moscow-Belin, Berlin-Zurich, Zurich- Milan, Milan-Rome, Rome-Pisa, Pisa-Athens. Starting southward Athens- Istanbul.

Dashi: If you like flying in Japan try : Rishiri Island (RJER) - Wakkanai (RJCR) - Asashigawa (RJEC) - Shin Chitose (RJCC) - Hakodate (RJCH) Great weather forcast for today and this weekend, great fun flying. Snow, Rain, Wind, Fog, Overcast, most airports at minimum or below. From Hakodate continue South until you eventually land a Naha, Okinawa, Japan (NOAH). Don't forget stops in Honshuu, Shikoku, Kyushu and Mami O Shima. Really good Ramin in Northern Japan. Good Fugu in Kyushu, land at Fukuoka, highly recommended.

David Wright: Denver International, CO to Grand Junction, CO - some great scenery, and tricky approaches with all the mountains, including the off-centre ILS at Grand Junction. About 40 mins in a jet, slightly more in a prop - flying at the moment in the "Great Lakes" Beechcraft 1900 for real authenticity - flight around 70 minutes. It seems to be about 185 nm - I presume that 70 minutes is from gate-to-gate time for a Beechcraft 1900?

Vareck Bostrom: Being in portland myself, I like PDX->SEA, for almost the same reasons. If there were a good available Dash8-Q400 I would use that, but instead I tend to use the King Air 350, generally around 16,000 feet to FL220, though I prefer the lower altitude to stay among the cascade mountains. It is very close to the right distance - you have almost no dead time while you're waiting for something to happen, either you are climbing out of PDX or descending to SEA or looking at mountains along the way for a short time. The only disadvantage is that (real weather of course) I almost always have a headwind of around 15-25 kts when enroute to SEA. KPDX->Spokane is better for a bit longer of a flight or if you want to occasionally land in snow when using real weather, and fits the Lear a bit more than the Kingair. I also fly out of KHIO (Hillsboro) - which is only minutes from my house and is effectivly PDX. I also like Oslo, Norway->Sogendal which has interesting terrain to fly over and very interesting terrain to land in. Kingair 350 is a good aircraft for that route as well. Barcelona, Spain to Lugano or Geneva Switzerland is a good regional jet flight, a bit long in the kingair, but the terrain on descent to switzerland is very nice. It's fun to do "circle routes" from PDX to Tokyo in the kingair: PDX->Vancouver->Juneau->Anchorage->Bolsheretsk->Sapporo->Tokyo - the Anchorage->Bolsheretsk, Russia (UHPB) flight is quite long - 1783 nm, which is at extreme range for the KA350 - fly at FL310 @ 60% torque and hope for a tailwind the whole way. Flight time should be just over 6 hours. If you're picking up a headwind you can divert to PAGM (Gambell, Alaska) before you start the long overwater part of the trip. PAGM- >UHPB is a more comfortable 1201 nm and 4 hour flight in cruise mode.

George Lewis: I like the Atlantic hop - anywhere USA, something like KBGR (Bangor, Maine) to CYYR Goose Bay, then over to BGBW, then BIRK (always fun with real wx on!), then off to Stornaway or Prestwick (EGPO and EGPK, respectively). From there, anywhere in Europe you desire. Of course, the trip back is fun too - headwinds seem to go both ways up there... I believe IRL the slots are limited for IFR flights, but I've never flown it IRL. Most of the times I've flown this in the sim with real wx, the approaches into CYYR, BIRK and EGPO have usually been real fun - IFR almost down to the minimums with good surface winds to make you feel like you actually accomplished something.

Iain Smith: I have two favourite short haul routes which I love flying in a 737 with a suitable livery. One is in my native UK from Southampton in the south of England to Jersey in the Channel islands - takes about 35mins so doing the return is quite feasible. The other is from Milan Malpensa over the Alps to Zurich about 40 mins. I much prefer short haul and if I had ever been lucky enough to have been a RL pilot that is what I would have wanted to do.

Ping Lhough: For short flights, KLAS Vegas -D-> KDEN Denver (or Minneapolis KMSP for a longer hop) is a fun flight, Denver's about 5200-feet ASL. Another fast/busy flight (especially with a Boeing 737 or 777), and a fast high-altitude climb) is KFSO/San Francisco -D-> to KSAN/San Diego, and more fun if the (IFR) flight-plan is created over mountain areas east of San Diego.

Ray Powel: I like these round the world plans. Currently I'm flying my PSS 333RR on http://www.worldflight.ozflight.com.au/booking/schedule.php Some legs are short (427 NM), but everything is mapped out for you.

Bob the Builder: A nice one I remember was from Juneau to KSFO, did a low-level IFR cruise in the Learjet.

Where would you fly?

David C. Moller: I believe that for most of us here, Flight Sim is a 'I wish I were a pilot' kind of thing. I know it is for me anyway. I also know there are quite a few actual pilots here as well, so don't get me wrong. What I'm wondering is, where would you fly if you had your license and a plane (or where you do fly if you do have your license and a plane)? To 'Keep It Real' (and what I enjoy), I usually fly a Cessna 172 out of a local airport here (where I would most likely depart from in real life). My destination is somewhere I would actually fly to if I could... visit my parents, visit aunt and uncle, go to an away hockey game (we have season tickets to our local team here hehehe), hit all the popular vacation spots in my state, fly to campgrounds and resorts I would typically have to drive to, etc. Question is, where would you go in real life if you could? Or, where *do* you go if you fly for real? Just looking for some alternate 'realistic' flight plans I guess. Let me know, I'd love to fly them.

Dallas: Well, if we are being serious here... try 3 landings: Starting from Bora Bora NTTB -> Huahine NTTH -> Raiatea NTTR ->Bora Bora NTTB - These are very short hops so give yourself a challenge and use a very basic aircraft like the Cub or 172. Punch in thunderstorms, a low ceiling and reduce your aircraft's reliability . No fair using GPS. French Polynesia is fun because it's short on expensive NAVAIDs and relies largely on ADFs.

Tom Orle: And don't leave home without Bill Melichar's addons for all these islands ;-) I switched to a seaplane for the Tahiti - BoraBora run since both apts have the runways right next to the pacific.

Don Parker: Bora Bora airport would best be described as IN the Pacific, in relation to the rest of the island. It's a 15 minute shuttle boat ride to get to the village of Vaitape, and the things dream vacations are made of (if you like peace & quiet & vintage "South Pacific" ambiance).............. You're right about Bill's add on's, they make a world of difference to the default! He has a great nearly hidden cove with resort on the main island of Tahiti...

Tom Orle: There was a nice addon for BoraBora which drove me nuts. An addon by Kazuo Kawamura called BoraMaup.zip had a much more realistic mountain with it's ragged cliffs than the default. But sadly it was incompatible with Bill's hotel addon with it's gorgeous cabanas (I know they have a different name, but can't think of it right now) right on the water. So,- do I want a realistic mountain and have all the motels in the water - or have a bland hump of a mountain but with realistically placed motels??

Derek Wildstar: Ft. Lauderdale Executive Airport to Key West International in the Lear 45 (Anniversary if you like that sort of thing). Fly when the sun is strong over your head, so you can see into the shoals. Be sure to fly VOR/VOR so you can fly over Rt.1, FL120 is great for your vista, and ok for the folks down below who might not enjoy your engines as much as you do. :)

John Macilree: I usually fly aircraft from the Wellington Aero Club in New Zealand (Cessna 172, Warrior, Archer and Arrow). At Wellington flying with 30 knot winds is not uncommon but cross winds are rare. I have five suggested routes that I have flown both for real (usually map reading all the way) and with MSFS:

  1. My longest cross country has been from Wellington (NZWN) to Whangarei (NZWR) and back - fly up the west coast of New Zealand's North Island past Mt Taranaki and New Plymouth (NZNP) and Auckland (NZAA) then cut across over the Kaipara Harbour - return down the centre of the North Island across the Hauraki Gulf past Thames (NZTH), Taupo (NZAP) (over the lake), to the east of the mountains over Waiouru (NZRU) and down the coast from Wanganui (NZWU) - in the Arrow it took me around 3 hours 10 minutes each way - the runway at Whangarei is about as close as I can imagine to landing on an aircraft carrier with sharp drop offs into the harbour at both ends
  2. From Whangarei (NZWR) fly west across past Dargaville (NZDA) then up the west coast of New Zealand past Kaitaia (NZKT) and along Ninety Mile Beach to the top of the North Island then back down the east coast past Kerikeri (NZKK) in the Bay of Islands and all the small coastal resorts to Whangarei (NZWR) - this is a very scenic flight
  3. Alternatively head south from Wellington (NZWN) crossing Cook Strait then down the east coast of the South Island past Kaikoura (NZKI) - this is where whale watching flights operate from - to Christchurch (NZCH) - on a good day hug the mountains on the return trip north
  4. From Wellington (NZWN) fly west across Cook Strait to the grass airfield at Omaka (NZOM) - surrounded by vineyards - then west up the river valley past the Nelson Lakes then north to Nelson (NZNS) - from there fly north west along the coast (Abel Tasman National Park) before reversing back and returning east to Wellington along the north coast, over the Marlbourgh Sounds (sunken valleys) and across Cook Strait to approach Wellington (NZWN) from the north - this flight is also very scenic
  5. For a short flight try from Wellington (NZWN) to Masterton (NZMS) via the south coast then up the valley past the two lakes (Onoke and Wairarapa) - return via a more direct route south over the small mountain range and down over Wellington Harbour I hope that the above flights give you and other readers some inspiration. Alternatively you could try mountain flying around New Zealand's Southern Alps, taking off from Queenstown (NZQN) - I have been fortunate enough to do that for real too.

mldavis2@sbcglobal.net: The PanAm route is always fun ... follow the west coast of the Americas from Point Barrow, Alaska to the tip of Cape in S. America. Refly one of the around the world routes such as Amelia Earheart. One group is flying the U.S. capitols in alphabetical order. At Cardinal VA, we have a random flight generator that I use when I want to specify a given distance, but can't decide where to fly.

Alaska, NZ.... any more?

Bryan: Try Switzerland.Start at Interlaken and work your way clockwise through the valleys and end up at Payenne (?) I usually do it in a Baron 58

Blast Femur: Try taking off at Porterville, CA USA, and head up the Kern River to Lake Isabella. Pretty neat.

Best airport in FS2004?

Andy: What is the best airport in FS2004 ?, also which are the best 'unusual' airports in FS2004, by 'unusual' i mean in terms of approach (like the Hong Kong one (i forget its name)). Are there any you flight simmers use which have nice scenery ? I try and pick a different airport at random when i use FS2004, but they all seem to be fairly similar ?

Tom: Some may like Las Vegas - others LAX. The Hongkong apt you're referring to was Kai Tak, with it's crooked 'checker board' approach! It's closed now and hasn't been in FS2002 nor FS2004. Although an addon is available without the navigation facilities.

Bill Irvine: well that's strange "The Hongkong apt you're referring to was Kai Tak, with it's crooked 'checker board' approach! It's closed now and hasn't been in FS2002 nor FS2004." i flew into it the other day in fs9 it's right in the canned flight list (oddly enough, under HOng KOng as i recall) the checkerboard's gone but the airport's still there

Adam Webb: Juliana, short runway, beaches all around it....and a steep climb out too, due to a hill at the end of the RW...cant remember the code for it..

Gary L: For me, what makes an approach or take off fun is the terrain, so I look in places with steep mountains. Try Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, East border of California, Colorado's Rocky mountains, West side of South America. If you want some specific airports here's some of my favorite approaches: Madeira, Portugal; Unalasa, Alaska; Reno, Nevada; San Diego, California; Aspen, Colorado; Kodiak, Alaska; Futaleufu, Argentina; Rio Amazonas (SESM) Paro/Bhutan Lukla/Kathmandu

Rickenbacker: That and St Barthelemy (TFFJ) are my favorites, although the latter has moved up into the mountains a bit more than in reality. Still a fun place to fly, and just a short hop from Princess Juliana. And of course my home field, ESOE, with a grass glider strip 300 feet from the runway. I fly gliders from it IRL, and it does look pretty good even if some of the stranger buildings (like the round carousel hangar) are missing.

Tom: Back during the FS2002 days, someone came up with an airport that was a real 'cliff hanger'! You had to fly up a valley and make a 90 degree to basically land on a ledge on a mountain side.

Zip Code: Might that be LUKLA in Nepal?

Tom: That was it - how did you ever find it?? I guess I was looking in the wrong part of the world ;( For others looking for an interesting airport - place your plane at N27* 39.03', E86* 41.92', Alt: 11 890, Hdg: 24 and land at the airport coming up on your right!! The airport code is: VNLK

Zip Code: Elementary, my dear Watson ... er ... Tom. google->groups->advanced groups search, search for all words: cliff valley

fred: Yes. It is Lukla. See http://home.hccnet.nl/f.braaksma/docs/everest/everest1a.html and further for directions. The picture is from FS2000 but locations stay the same. Be preared to use a STOL plane. otherwise you will crash into the mountain.

Howard J Curtis: A few to try (sorry if some have been mentioned already):

  • Courchevel, France (LFLJ) runway is on a slope - in real life it has two inclines. (Used for the Bond Film 'Tomorrow Never Dies').
  • Farah (OAFR)
  • Haukasen (ENSG)
  • Madeira (LPMG) [Curved approach]
  • Portland RNAS (EGDP) [tiny runway] [I did some research on this and the runway has been used by various fixed wing types but in truth it is there partly as a landing surface for the Coastguard S-61Ns and partly for training purposes since it has most types of landing aid - in regard to the latter, approaches have been made by a British Airways 747 and a Vulcan in the past ... wish I'd been there to see them!]
  • Rio Amazonas (SESM) [my all time favourite - can this really be true!!!]
  • Saba (SABA) [there's a nice (and more realistic) version of this for FS2004 on flightsim.com]
  • Beef Island (TUPJ) [undershoot or overshoot and you're going to get wet]
  • Faizabad (OAFZ)
  • La Paz (SLLP)
  • St Barthelemy (TFFJ)
  • Lukla (VNLK)
  • Lamidada (VNLD)
  • Mile Hi (47CO)
  • Paro (VQPR)
  • Valan (ENHV)
  • Baglung (VNBL)
  • Bhojpur (VNBJ)
  • Ishasha (FZNI)
  • Reggio Clabria (LICR) [another curved approach]
  • Rumjatar (VNRT)
  • Skardu (OPSD)
  • Not forgetting Kai Tak (Hong Kong)!

Best standard VFR area to fly

Barra: I prefer to fly VFR at low altitudes in fs2002 pro. I downloaded some Ultralights from the Internet and are now looking for a nice area somewhere in simworld. Any suggestions? O, yes... I also got some mesh files for Europe which make a big difference! But despite the dramatic increase in realistic landscapes a hill is still a hill. I probably need nice objects to look at and fly past. So also the request to suggest nice scenery (for downloading) for low altitude and slow VFR flying.

Gary L: If you like wilderness let me suggest the Mt. Shasta area in northern California. Take off from Redding and fly North, a nice place to land is Dunsmuir (1O6) and then on to Weed (O46). If you're looking for a city, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York are my favorites.

David C. Moller: Puget Sound area of Washington State can be very nice VFR when the ceiling is high enough. Have the Olympic mountains to the west, and Cascades to the east making for some wonderful scenery. And of course a wonderful view of Seattle. In between the two mountain ranges pretty much everything is close to sea level. Some airports in the area off the top of my head are KBFI, KSEA, KPWT, and KPAE.

bob: Take the j3 from Fresno over to Bishop. Then come back to Fresno. follow the rivers and roads ... they don't normally go over mountain tops. They try and find the gaps on the divide. The trip will take about 1hr 10 minutes and burn about 35# of fuel. The trip back requires a lot of altitude in a hurry. Or .. take the J3 from Leadville to Aspen. The pass is near 11,400 so you better be able to get to 12. Turn off the automixture and manage it ... makes more fun!

Roger Halstead: Try the Grand Canyon

boB: If you would like to add another Grand Canyon flight I have a page that shows the exact flight route the helicopters flew in the canyon tours. http://www.flightsims.vze.com/grandcanyon/

C Yank: I love the Grand Canyon, and, don't get me wrong, but my favorite areas to fly in VFR in the sim are as follows: Southern California -- the mountains north of the city make the flying so much fun, and now I'm using that blasted FSFlightMax with the ability to overlay sectionals on it, it works a treat. It's actually pretty close on a lot of landmarks and mountains (I admit I'm using addon mesh). Ozark Plateau (ok, ok, I'm biased here, I live in this area). Some great rolling hills, and once again, I'm using some addon mesh for this area, which makes it look grand. Arkansas also has some very interesting airports. Try 3M0 (Gaston) for one of the more interesting approaches into an airport (3200 ft dirt strip, landing ALWAYS on 24 and taking off ALWAYS on 6, in real life). San Francisco Bay Area: Start at Half Moon Bay and start flying north. Great fun! I'm still looking for great areas, but I suspect areas like the Appalachians and the Adirondacks are pretty spectacular as well. My default flight hasn't been from Meigs since FS98...

Octafish: I really like the misty fjords of Alaska, try taking off at Ketchikan and fly eastwards.

Is Innsbruck the toughest?

madtun: I found out for my self and continue to read all the post about Innsbruck. Is this the toughest approach in the FS world? Can someone suggest anything that can compete with the approach to runway 26 at night without any GPS. I would love to hear everyones top three toughest landing sites in the world.

B757 FO: The toughest one I've done in the sim is Paro/Bhutan, high in the Himalayas. NDB only, and the field is surrounded by peaks towering to 15K+ feet. Druk Air of Bhutan used to fly BAe146s, but is changing to, I belive, A319s with reduced TOW and high-powered IAE donks. Second on the list is Vagar/Faroe Islands where I've been quit a few times with a 737-500. Very turbulent air, and some very nasty terrain on finals. Makes Madeira look like a walk in the park. Third I'd rank Aspen/USA, albeit I've only done it in the sim. The circling NDB approach will keep you busy (especially when you're alone in the cockpit...). You will have noticed that INN is not mentioned. It is not really that difficult an approach to shoot. For a bit of a challenge try Skiathos/Greece, Torp/ Norway, London City/UK and of course the RWY13 IGS approach at the old Kai Tek in HKG

alis14: Just out of interest has anyone ever actually landed on Skiathos/Greece? We did it in a 737-300/400, and it was the scariest thing ive ever done. I am usually a perfectly good flyer however when the captain came over the radio telling us that we should brace ourselves as it was such a short runway so they would need to break very hard i got worried! Then on the right base, looking out of the window seeing the length of the runway it suddenly hit me. The runway itself is the length of the entire island with the ends just dropping of into the sea. On final, we must have cleared the masts of the boats by about 1m max. Taking off was interesting as well, max power, thrown back in your seat. V1 must come very quickly! Has anyone actually managed to do a perfect approach and landing there yet in FS? Every time i try it i get it on the runway (just) but im glad the brakes are very strong in FS!

foges: I flew the Skiathos approach in a Mooney (virtually of course) about two weeks ago but that probably won't impress you too much (; It wasn't as tough as Paro. For a really tough approach try Chitral (also in Himalayan area). I think this can only be done in a small plane.

alis14: Just tried SESM, getting out of that hole was hard enough as it is. Seriously, try this thing, your doing about 20deg nose down all about 5 feet off the ground to get anywhere near the end of the runway, have yet to try the others, should prove to be interesting

More Ideas

Tom Orle: When filing flight plans I sometimes ramdomly pick places to fly to. Since I have no idea if it's a large field with a full ILS or a small grass strip (I usually don't cheat by looking it up before hand!) - I first fly over the destination field. If I'm in a 777 and it turns out to be a grass strip, I select the nearest large airport from the map view. Land there and change planes to something more appropriate for my selected destination. Tom Orle: I also follow AI aircraft and let them guide me to some new destination.

Marcel Kuijper: This is for those simmers that like low-level VFR flights. I flew both these flights myself and enjoyed them very much. These haven't been posted in a while, so I'd thought I'd do that now, since you're bringing people's attention to various possibilities of flights. The first one is a flight I thought up. It requires an easy-to-handle, but well powered prop. I used the default Baron.

CANADA Prop trip by Marcel Kuijper
===========================

  1. Cranbrook (CYXC) to Castlegar (CYCG)
  2. Castlegar (CYCG) to Penticton (CYYF)
  3. Penticton (CYYF) to Osoyoos (CBB9)
  4. Osoyoos (CBB9) to Princeton (CYDC)
  5. Princeton (CYDC) to Chilliwack (CYCW)
  6. Chilliwack (CYCW) to Hope (CYHE)
  7. Hope (CYHE) to Merritt (CAD5)
  8. Merritt (CAD5) to Kamloops (CYKA)
  9. Kamloops (CYKA) to Salmon Arm (CZAM)
  10. Salmon Arm (CZAM) to Nakusp (CAQ5)
  11. Nakusp (CAQ5) to Fairmont Hotsprings (CYCZ)
  12. Fairmont Hotsprings (CYCZ) to Radium Hotsprings (CBL6)
  13. Radium Hotsprings (CBL6) to Banff (CYBA)
  14. Banff (CYBA) to Calgary (CYYC)

The second VFR flight was made by Vic Sarquist.

Fresno, CA to Juneau, AK
==================

  1. Fresno (KFAT)
  2. Baker & Hall (7Q2)
  3. Mammouth Lakes (KMMH)
  4. Bryant (O57)
  5. Alpine co. (Q82)
  6. Totem Pole Ranch (4Q7)
  7. Susanville (KSVE)
  8. California Pines (A24)
  9. Lake co. (KLKV)
  10. Saxon Sycan (08OR)
  11. Roseberg Regional (KRBG) watch for Crater Lake
  12. Crater Lake at N42'57.81 - W122'05.92
  13. Wakonda Beach (R33) Tillamook (S47)
  14. Karpens (OR23)
  15. Bowerman (KHQM)
  16. Fairchild Intl. (KCLM) leaving USA
  17. Nanaimo (CYCD) welcome to Canada
  18. Comox (CYQQ)
  19. Alert Bay (CYAL)
  20. Bella Bella (CYJQ)
  21. Prince Rupert (CYPR) leaving Canada
  22. Wrangell (PAWG) welcome to Alaska
  23. Juneau (PAJN)

Interesting GA places to fly from/to [from the AVSIM forums]

Mike Adamo: Part of the novelty in getting a new version of Flight Sim is to re-discover all those grat places to fly from and to. Here are [...] some of my favorite places as seen from FS2004: Stewart, BC; Hood River,OR; Devils Mountain Lodge, AK; Jackson Hole, WY.

John Ci: If you want to fly in another place beyond words, set yourself up at Reno about an hour and a half before dusk, then head south down the eastern side of the Sierras past Mono Lake, and down the Owens Valley. About the point where the southern edge of the Sierra's gives way to the Tehachapis, I head east to Vegas....I usually fly around 8,000-10,000 ft. in the Dreamfleet Cardinal RG. But I've also done the entire flight in my Microlight, with a stop in Bishop to refuel.

Great GA flying in So. FL and Bahamas

Don Parker: Weather down in south FL and Bahama's have made for some great low & slow flying the last few days!! Just enough weather to keep you on your toes (and off course) with thunder/lightening/squalls/turbulance, but not enough to shot you down (at least in the 210 Centurion). For some touch and go practice, take of Nassau Itt'l, runway 32 maintain heading 335 "about" 28 miles @ 1,500' (if the weather is like today & yesterday), and there's three islands lined up (almost) with east/west runways - first t/g on Little Whale Cay on the west runway (2000'), make a immediate left turn then come around right (west) again for Big Whale Cay (2,500') t/g, then make an immediate right, then left (back westerly) for Chub Cay (5,000'). There's a NDB on Chub 302, that'll be "about" at your 9:00 when turning into the first island, Little Whale Cay, and you can follow it direct to Chub after Big Whale Cay. Fun and games, especially with some sloppy weather!!!

Fifteen Minutes of Cheap Thrills

Dallas: Freeport Intl, Bahamas (MYGF). Ya know how FS9 has a few places they spend a little extra effort on like St. Maarten? Well, Freeport seems to be one of those places on a smaller scale. Take off from MYGF and fly low (500') and slow in a wide orbit around the airport area. Nice complicated coastlines, more autogen than really exists, and more sailboats than any other place in the FS world. After a year it's nice to find something new and a little bit surprising. I wonder about these places. Do you think the little Microsurf guy who builds this stuff just wakes up one morning after a "great weekend" and says, "it's time for a special place..."

boB: Another place MS has placed some extra scenery: Princess Juliana Intl (TNCM). Uncle Dudley found it some time ago: http://flightsims.vze.com/tncm.html

Great Flight in Alaska

Arthur Alspector: If you're looking for a beautiful, interesting and challenging flight in one of the Boeings, try flying from Fairbanks Alaska (PAFA) and land visually on runway 24L or 24R at Anchorage Alaska (PANC). It's about 31 minutes flight time but give yourself more time than that. (I think they left the I out of PANC so pilots wouldn't be scared away) : ) By the way, both airports are beautiful and PANC is world-class). Have fun.

Where do you like to fly?

cgioldy: I have been flying MSFS for a while now, and sometimes I just don't know where to fly to. There are thousands of airports in the sim, some are great, some aren't. Where do you like to fly? Any destinations you can recommend? I love beautiful scenery, so that is a plus, and I'm not just talking about the airports. I'm talking about mountains, water, islands, etc. Anyway, I would appreciate hearing where some of you like to fly.

John S. Morgan: The best thing I think is to do fantasy trips from my home area to some destination. I'm currently flying from Spokane, WA to Kenai, AK going north through BC then following the Al-Can on in.

Blazer: I like to fly the Caribbean..I have installed MY WORLD LAND CLASS and also the Fly To Caribe series airports.Nice lush island sceneries surrounded by blue water. You can fly the big heaavies or island hop with a King Air 200. The Philippines archipelico is also nice and there are some nice freeware addon airports to go along with the scenery.

NM5K: It's a big fs 2004 world, and I haven't seen it all yet...But I like the mountain areas, preferably with a lot of lakes, trees, etc...Montana has some neat scenery. Try I think "Thompsons Falls" in MT. Lots of mountains, and there are some lakes not too far away, if you like the float planes. Costa Rica has some good scenery. Try Palmar Sur in Costa Rica, and then take a cruise around the area. I've taken trips south of there, into the country below costa rica, "can't remember what country it is offhand", and there is some pretty neat stuff. There is one airport down in that area a ways below the costa rica border that is on top of a steep sided mountain. Can't think of the airport ID offhand... Pretty wild...And below that airport is a nifty swimming hole/lake with a cove just long enough to land a float plane.. For a oldie but goodie, Innsbrook Austria is still pretty good. Even better if you set up a knarly snow storm...
I'll pass on other places if I think of them...Hawaii can be good in places... I just flew to Anchorage Alaska earlier today...Saw the Northern lights again...That's pretty wild looking...BTW, I see in the fx modules folder, a "shooting star" module. So that means, sometimes at night, there should be shooting stars. But I haven't noticed one yet...:/

Zevious Zoquis: Depends really. Sometimes I just fly around site seeing and in those cases I'll usually go to the Rocky mtns or some such locale. When I feel like really getting immersed in the nitty gritty I'll usually fly around Manitoba (where I live) becuase to me it's more involving when you can see the names of places you've actually visited and theres that familiarity with the terrain and such that kinda draws you in...

lifejogger: I like to follow the Interstate Highways. Just get the Rand McNally Road Atlas out and start. I started at Houston Texas and followed I-10 to where it ends in Santa Moncica. Then I picked up I-40 and headed west. I am currently setting at a small airport in Henyetta Oklahoma. My next flight well take me to Fort Smith Arkansas.

JimmiG: 1. Pacific NW - northern CA, OR and WA as well as Canda. Some neat addon scenery available for these areas as well - mesh and landclass is a must and there's also the Georender sceneries and Megascenery+some neat freeware airports. Also check out us_wa_nc.zip in the file library. 2. Switzerland, Austria. 3. England/Wales (mostly because I have the VFR Terrain and VFR Photographic scenery - those are some of the most advanced FS sceneries available). While the landscape is not as dramatics as the Alps or the northwestern US, it's very scenic and realistic with those addon sceneries.

kerosene31: I will list a bunch I frequent (some already mentioned:

  • anywhere in the Caribbean and South America. There are so many fun places to fly there. You could spend a day island hopping and still not hit them all. Tons of good freeware and payware sceneries here. The IWI series from Flight1 and the Fly to Caribe series as well as others.
  • Florida (goes along with the Caribbean) - Florida may not have huge mountain ranges, but it does have some interesting and unpredictable weather. Flying here in real weather can be exciting with pop-up t-storms appearing almost out of nothing.
  • Alaska - get yourself some good mesh and explore this huge state.
  • Alps - the Innsbruck area especially and into Switzerland. Again, of course you need some sort of mesh to get the full effect. FSQuality has a great version of Innsbruck and other Austrian airports.
  • Rocky Mountains - This encompasses a huge area from Canada down to the Southeast US.
  • Grand Canyon area - check out Lago's Georender 2 for some great airports in Utah. Also check out the FSGenesis mesh for the canyon.
  • Eastern New York State (a bit of local bias here) :) - You can fly from the busy airports of NYC up to the quiet Appalachian Mountains. Not exactly the Rockies, but a nice area.
  • Great Lakes area - another local bias here :) - you can follow the lakes VFR to many cities along the lakes. For even more fun, try Western NY with real weather during blizzard season! Toronto, Canada is very nice even with the default scenery. Of course, you have to check out Niagara Falls.
  • Scandinavia - the natural wonders of Norway, Finland and Sweden should not be missed.
  • Madiera, Portugal - Get the Wonderful Madeira 2004 scenery from Aerosoft, and try one of the most interesting approaches.

It goes without saying that you need good mesh to fully enjoy most of these areas.

JimmiG: "The natural wonders of Norway, Finland and Sweden should not be missed. " Unfortunately they are, in FS9. This area is in serious need of some proper coastlines, improved shapes of lakes, landclass and mesh as well as replacement textures. If you know of any such files, I'd really be interested - I have to say, even though I live in Sweden I don't particularily enjoy flying there in FS because of the crude scenery.

kerosene31: Another link some people might not know about: http://www.beapilot.com/places/places.html. It has a lot of interesting (and not always well known) places to fly.

JimC1702: I fly mostly in the northeastern US. Most VFR flying is done in upstate NY because I live there and know the areas. I'll also fly regional airlines to Boston, New York, Washington, Philly, Baltimore, etc.

kkilo: If you like back country airstrips and VFR flight, nothing is better than central Idaho. In every canyon and valley is another little airstrip to try.

patrol: Do an AVSIM library search for Holger Sandmann. His scenery enhancements make for some wonderful flying.

Rottenlungs: NZ bro!! With the addition of freeware mesh and the Windowlight / Godzone photoreal freeware addons its great. Its also a reasonable sized country for flights which aren't too long

mikealpha: I fly mostly in Russia and surrounding countries , using authentic Russian orthodromic navigation on gyroscopes and RSBN Navaids. A lot of really well done Airports (Novisibirsk, Almaty, Tashkent, Sochi, just to mention a few) and also a lot of Mesh are available.

ront1: Hey John, another Spokanite here. I live near Medical Lake. I usually fly out of Spokane (GEG) or Felts Field.

wcandres: I'll have to cast another vote for Alaska. I find myself "flying" there all the time. The mountains, etc. just cant be beat.

oqvist: Currently I am hooked to Manhattan since I like choppers that is probably the best and funny place training hovering techniques. of course has aerosoft manhattan. Otherwise I love flying in Norway, Switzerland, Himalaya or any area with great mesh. I hate flying over flat uninteresting areas no fun at all. I plan to make trips to Asia, Africa and South america too as well as of course antarctic for some reasons I seldom end up flying there??? Otherwise I just love dangerous dave difficult and dangerous approaches great fun to fly.

Bert Pieke: KSFO, KTPA, and KONT.

What's your favorite route?

pieter: brussels...schiphol vv... because of the fog and rain...

Arthur Alspector: My favourite trip is beginning at Calgary, Alberta, Canada, on to Vancouver, British Columbia, to Prince George, British Columbia, to Juneau Alaska, and then terminating in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories Canada. These hops take you through the most breathtaking scenic parts of the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Northwest with very little air traffic. All the airports are ILS equipped and the landing at Juneau on Runway 26 is an adventure in itself. I am usually flying the default B737 from 19,000 to 25,000 feet.

Bianca: Frankfurt-Dubai-Honkong (old one)-Bali-Perth-Sydney-Manila-Frankfurt. Realistic 747, no failures, real weather. Added some local scenery.

James Hodson: Dunno as yet. I've tried many, most of which have been chosen ad-hoc. One I intend to fly later today will be from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Aberdeen, Inverness and Fort William (through whatever the valley is called where Loch Ness sits). I believe a Grand Caravan will be the aircraft but I might take the 172. FWIW, I try to do my flight around Scotland without any navigation aids, whether electronic or chart. I try to use my poor memory and rather basic knowledge of Scotland's geography to find my way around. Full fuel tanks are, by necessity, a must.