Around the world in Cessna 182

November 03, 2003
La Paz, Mexico (MMLP) to Guadalajara, Mexico (MMGL)

I wasn't really planning on flying today, but since I broke the ice on night flying yesterday, I decided to go ahead anyway. Mostly, this part of the trip is above the water, and then only at the very end I get to go over the mountains (high ones at that). Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico, is at 5012 ft above sea level, deep in the mountains of Sierra Madre (just like the place outside Denver where I used to live, except for the Sierra Madre part). Suggested altitude for this flight was 13,500, but I've decided to stay lower at least for the part over the water. Initially I had to climb a bit to cross mountains southeast of La Paz before I get to Baja California, and I went a bit higher than I really needed to. To my surprise I found strong tail wind above 9,500 ft, so I decided to stay at 10,000 ft and enjoy the ground speed of 135 kn. I stayed on heading 109 all the way to MMGL.

All this altitude talk reminds me on some of the bugs that I have discovered in FS2004. It seems that the ATC AI in FS lacks IQ. Specifically, as I was practicing for this trip, I did a lot of IFR flights, and I planned to do quite a few of those during the actual trip. Instead, I chose to do mostly (if not all) VFR as the ATC personnel was, well, getting on my nerves. When you talk to them, you get a set of options to choose your reply from, whatever might be appropriate for that particular moment, However, Microsoft forgot to include some key four letter words there. Apparently, ATC in the FS finds it appropriate to order me to climb to 16,000 ft in my little "non pressurized cabin" Cessna. Then when I cannot climb, they keep saying "Cessna WTS, please accelerate your climb to the outer space". Yeah Einstein, hold on while I install 4 large jet engines! Even if I ignore the oxygen issues, I am still having big trouble climbing that high in 182S. I tried requesting lower altitude, but they were not really interested in letting me do that. Sorry about the rant, I just had to get that out of my system. Overall though, I think that FS2004 is an exceptional product.

Since the flight was mostly at dark, I only am including few screen shots here. I am not sure what is up with the pink clouds, but I liked the big dipper (only a part of it was visible). Once I got to Guadalajara, I had to fly around the airport and landed on runway 28. That makes sense I guess, as I was flying down the wind all the way. At this leg I did really well on gas using only about 40 gallons.

Takeoff from the La Paz airport

Leaving La Paz as the darkness falls
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Produced and maintained by Peter Askovich.
Last updated Sun October 26 2003