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Southern Alaska in FS2020

Matt Wise

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Posted (edited)


I took a look at the Southern Alaska Tour. Seems to be a nice flight to help getting to know the area. Being a FS2020 user I anticipated some issues/specialties. Here they are, maybe it helps others who are trying to do the same tour.

First I checked whether the airports from that tour exist in FS2020. For that I use a nice open source tool called LittleNavMap (LNM). I also do my regular flight planning with this app. It's able to scan the scenery folders within FS to find out which airports are available in the sim, including those which were installed manually / in the community folder.
You can either generate a flight plan file and import it into FS2020 or you could just use LNM as your primary navigation device - it connects to FS and it's got a moving map function.

PAVD doesn't exist in default FS2020, but we do have a freeware addon for download at FlyAKA. I installed it and it shows up on LNM after a rescan.

PAMD doesn't exist either, and to my knowledge we don't have any addon which covers this. And PAMD is especially painful to not have because it's the great little island field on the fringe of the Aleutian trench. So I guess the only option is to do a fly-over of the island.

Looking at the leg list, we've got to cover a distance of about 1170 nm. From the array of aircraft which are shipped with FS2020, just the following 2 are allowed by FlyAKA for the tour: C172, C208. The C172 has a range of about 640 nm, the C208 about 960nm.
For this tour I'll pick the C208 simply because I like it a lot. The aircraft range means I'll have to fuel up at least once. Since not all airfields have gas stations, it's important to plan accordingly.

Here's the list of airfields, including a hint on which ones also have gas (F) in FS2020:

PADQ(F) -> KEB = 98nm
KEB -> PFCB(F) = 127nm
PFCB(F) -> 5HO = 69nm
5HO(F) -> PAWR(F) = 28nm
PAWR(F) -> PAVD = 75nm
PAVD -> (PAMD) MDO = 102nm (VOR MDO on Middleton Island)
(PAMD) MDO -> 19AK = 146nm
19AK -> PAYA(F) = 67nm
PAYA(F) -> AK76 = 45nm
AK76 -> PAGY(F) = 97nm
PAGY(F) -> PAJN(F) = 70nm
PAJN(F) -> PASI(F) = 82nm
PASI(F) -> PAKW(F) = 116nm
PAKW(F) -> PAKT(F) = 48nm

(It's curious by the way that the Valdez addon field doesn't offer fuel despite being one of the biggest on this tour.)

The longest part of the route without a chance to pick up some gas is PAWR to PAYA which amounts to about 390nm. My plan is to refuel twice, at PAWR and PAYA, because taking off and landing at every field on the tour list uses up quite some extra fuel.

Since I've got a rather busy family life, reality calls often and forces me to make breaks in the middle of a tour.
While in FSX you are able to simply save a flight in midair and continue some other time, in FS2020 you should definitely avoid to do this (especially when in mid-air); more often than not the "save game" is corrupted and cannot be loaded anymore. Happend to me countless times until I decided to handle it differently: If I need to make a break, I hit pause, do what I gotta do, come back and continue the flight or quickly land at the nearest possible airfield, note down current aircraft load-out/fuel amount, and continue some other time.

There's one problem left to deal with and that's PIREPs with smartCARS/Bluebox. Since PAMD doesn't exist I can't land there and I won't formally be able to complete leg 6 and 7. Any thoughts on this? Should I file manually in this case, e.g. a leg from PAVD to 19AK with a special flight callsign?

Edited by Matt Wise


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I think I'm gonna try a different approach. PAMD may not officially exist in FS2020, but there's a nice straight road on the island. They may not want to give me my PAMD, I'll have it anyway. For cryin out loud.




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