South Pole Attempt

Microsoft Flight Simulator Adventures

Well, this was interesting . . .

On Monday Reba “Immaculate” Jones, (A.K.A. me, that is to say, I) flew from SAWL on Tierra del Fuego to SAYB at Argentina’s Antarctic Base Belgrano II, one of the two Flight Sim airstrips in Antarctica, to be in position to try for the South Pole today, 2021’s Southern Summer Solstice.

It was an interesting attempt.

The G1000 navigation map (stock version; no NXi) froze about 45 minutes into the flight, but the GPS tracking, distance, and ETE information continued to feed in.

I recall reading the sim doesn’t go beyond 80º latitude. That looks like the end of the map to me — a straight line from horizon to horizon; no dragons though, and the sky keeps going.

About an hour from the pole the clouds turned into an aerogel version of the Okavango Delta and then into aerogel bergs:

Sidebar: Disaster struck about 45 minutes from the pole. My plan was to simulate loading the Caravan’s cargo pods with extra fuel and transfer it to the main tanks as needed. Unfortunately, even though I paid attention to the C.G. when loading the pods, the moment I deleted fuel from one of them, the plane went into an insane spiral dive and crashed into whatever the sim thought was down there. I restarted the flight and sped up the sim to get back to that point: disaster alleviated!

As I approached the pole the PFD became increasingly dissociated from reality:

At the pole the flight plan called for a dogleg turn to the right to make for McMurdo Station. I think the Caravan made the turn but the sim frame rate dropped to that of a slowly cranked Kinetoscope and never recovered.

Update: A late dispatch says Reba Immaculate Jones landed successfully at McMurdo Station and reported seeing an anomalous tropical valley dense with ferns the size of trees and populated by dinosaurs, cave dwellers, the crew of a lost German WWII U-boat, and three Americans from a crashed balloon including one blond woman — or maybe that was a movie she had on her iPad; it’s not clear which.

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