Not having a ton of time available, I did manage to get in a short flight in Microsoft Flight Simulator with the new Italy World Update. Taking my trusty M20R up for a short tour I got a chance to see Palermo, examine some of the new terrain details and photogrammetry and do a landing on a nifty little airstrip on the northern coast of Sicily. Let’s go!
Palermo and not much further
With the clock ticking and my desire to check out the new Italy World Update, I headed out in a familiar cross country tourer: the Carenado Mooney M20R. I love this airplane for its looks, its speed, and its occasionally tricky landing characteristics.
I had a couple of goals with this flight. I wanted to see some of the sights, I wanted to visit a custom airstrip and I wanted to check out some of the photogrammetry that have been added in this world update. I settled on Palermo airport (LICJ), one of the new custom airports, and did a tour along the north coast of Sicily. My destination was only about 20 minutes away at LISC – an airport that I’ve since had difficulty finding. It appears to be the home of Voloclub Albatros Termini Imerese and its a neat little airstrip with a couple of buildings and some light aircraft.
So, off I went taking off from Palermo airport. This is a medium sized commercial airport with plenty of airliners and what looks like a great destination for some airliners. Then I was off climbing over the mountains towards Palermo itself.
Most of the scenery in this area is of extremely high resolution satellite and high resolution mesh and it really shows. The details on the mountains are impressive!
The surrounding area uses autogen but Palermo itself has beautiful photogrammetry. It’s some of the better photogrammetry that I’ve seen and you can definitely pick out unique details on buildings amid a wash of similar coloured rooftops.
Before too long that gave way to autogen again. The rest of the scenery remained impressive all around with mountains to the south and beautiful shorelines as far as I could see.
My time was running short and I had to locate the airstrip. On my first fly over I didn’t see it but as I circled around the destination I made out the parked airplanes and airport buildings on the ground. With my lack of planning, little did I know this was a dirt airstrip. But dirt doesn’t matter so much to my virtual airplane so in we went.
This proved to be one of my better Mooney landings ironically. A little hard on the flare but better than I have done in the past.
And that was it. A first outing over Italy and an impressive one at that. I can already tell that Sicily is a great touring location for GA pilots and I’m hoping to fly there again some time. And if this flight is anything, its proof that you can hop in and get something done quickly and still have a bit of fun touring around while doing it.