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Chopper Tuesdays - week 3 - High Country

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  • Chopper Tuesdays - week 3 - High Country

    Join me in the Rocky Mountains for the next in our series of weekly rotorcraft group flights! The series is for all skill levels with an accent on being informal and relaxed, having fun in interesting and often gorgeous scenery. This is the most challenging flight so far as we're at high altitude.

    Flight plans: See the map instead below, as we're following roads.

    Start 1st stop 2nd stop 3rd stop Last stop
    Eagle Vail, Eagle County Regional Glenwood Springs Municipal Sardy Field, Aspen–Pitkin County Leadville, Lake County Buena Vista, Central Colorado Regional
    Bonus legs (for those who just don't want to stop flying):
    KAEJ > 1CO7 > CO19 > 1V6 > KCOS

    Cruise: 80-90 knots-ish indicated, altitude at pilot's discretion.
    Highest terrain elevation exceeds 12,000 ft (at Independence Pass).

    Aircraft: Rotorcraft only (see FAQ below). Some recommendations for FSX because of high altitude:
    • The default Robinson R22 is too slow, sorry.
    • The default Bell 206B JetRanger is OK as it's just fast enough.
    • The default EH101 has plenty to spare.
    • Both freeware Bell 47 work well, either the Mash floats version (msFlights downloads/Vault > Aircraft > Helicopters > bell47mash) or with skids (Storm's Hangar > Rotorcraft).
    • The freeware Merlin works very well.

    Scenery: Default is OK.
    ‣ FSX: Set date back one month for fall colors. KGWS to KAEJ = ORBX freeware; KEGE = payware.
    ‣ XP11: The first five airports, KEGE to KAEJ, are detailed 3D scenery by default.

    Server: SimLink server: (AU) or (US)

    Simulators: All welcome: FS9, FSX boxed, FSX Steam edition, Prepar3D, X-Plane.


    Are these flights for rotorcraft only?
    Yes. No fixed wing aircraft please.

    I sometimes like to fly weird stuff. What exactly are you calling a rotorcraft?
    1. It must have one or more rotors that generate lift (so no Jet Packs!).
    2. It must be capable of hovering in place, as well as controlled vertical take-off and landing (so no autogyros).
    Other than that, anything is OK. So in addition to helicopters, you can bring (for example) your Rotodynes and Verticopters.

    Why are you flying in SimLink not JoinFS?
    To give people the widest choice of simulators in which to fly. And there's another reason...

    I'm really new/inexperienced with rotocraft and concerned I'll make a fool of myself.
    No problem. These flights are to have fun. We all start somewhere and you'll find people are supportive. And we're flying in SimLink, which helps disguise many mistakes (for all of us)!

    Will we always be landing at airports?
    Sometimes, yes, but not always. Sometimes we'll land at heliports or on helipads. But sometimes we may land on a beach or a lake (with advance warning, of course, so we fly with floats!).

    Will we always fly direct between stops?
    No. Very often we will follow natural features such as valleys, rivers and shorelines.

    Will we fly the same speed each week?
    Probably not. You may need to change your rotorcraft week to week.

    Will we always start one week where we left off the previous week?
    Sometimes, yes. Some flights will be "tours" and be part of a series. But others will be one-off flights.

    Will you be subjecting us to trivia and trivia questions?
    No! Not on these flights.
    Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in

  • #2
    Reminder! Bring your high altitude chopper to KEGE at 9pm this evening for our flight in the mountains (up to 12,000ft).

    View of Colorado State Highway 82 east from Independence Pass. Photo credit: Rick Kimpel, published under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license
    Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in


    • #3
      Just three pics from my Bell 429 in X-Plane 11. Click on the pics for full size/detail.

      On the final climb to Independence Pass, getting toward 12,000 ft.

      Passing Twin Lakes on approach to Leadville, the highest airport in the US.

      Parked up at final bonus airport, Colorado Springs, with Pikes Peak in the background.
      Follow our @msflights Twitter feed here for event reminders. Find out more about how our Twitter feed works here. Freeware aircraft and utilities in


      • #4
        Here are my pics for Chopper Tuesdays - week 3 - High Country by Storm. These are in X Plane 11 in the Bell 429 Freeware.


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