It’s been a while since I wrote a Flight Journal and so it’s time to get back into the skies and do a little touring around. This time I’m out in SimWorks Studios excellent RV-14 on a little IFR hop from Gibraltar to Faro in Portugal. Let’s fly!
Gibraltar, formally a territory of the United Kingdom, is located on a small peninsula on the southern tip of Spain. It’s strategic position at the mouth of the Mediterranean and the famous Rock of Gibraltar makes this a well known and recognized location in the world.
Gibraltar is also one of the detailed airports that is part of the base package for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Extra care and attention to the airport itself as well as the nearby marina help to elevate the scenery in the area. The rock of Gibraltar also looks magnificent and is highly recognizable as a landmark.
My destination is an airport that came in the Spain and Portugal world update. Faro, located in the southern part of Portugal, is the capital of southern Portugal’s Algarve region. The region has an interesting history with pre-historic human settlements being attracted to the area. It has been ruled by Romans, Byzantines, Visigoths, Moors, before then becoming part of the Portuguese Kingdom. It also has interesting geography with the Ria Formosa wetland and an intercostal waterway with barrier islands making for interesting scenery flying into and out of the region.
To get there I taxied to and departed from Gibraltar Airport on runway 24. But not before taxing out and waiting for a 787 Dreamliner to clear the way.
Over the Gulf of Cádiz
After that I climbed quickly thanks to the RV-14’s powerful engine and slick aerodynamics.
The first part of my flight took me over the most southern parts of Spain. Clear skies gave me views well off to the horizon and nothing was obscured. Parque Natural Los Alcornocales, a nature preserve, was plenty beautiful. The ancient port city of Cádiz looked interesting from my 8,000 foot cruise altitude too!
Then I was out into the Gulf of Cádiz. Here the small size of the RV-14 and its single engine started to feel a little vulnerable – its just a sim but you can loose yourself in the virtual cockpit all the same. The incredible unobstructed views of the airplane just helped to reinforce that feeling with fewer struts in the way than your usual GA airplane.
About halfway across the Gulf, I switched fuel tanks having forgotten that this airplane has no automatic feature and began to balance the tanks out in anticipation of landing.
Approach to Faro
After about 60-minutes of cruising around 140 knots, I reached a key waypoint and began a slow descent into the pattern for landing at Faro. ATC instructed me to drop from 8,000 feet to 4,000 feet and then again down to 2,000 feet before beginning the approach.
Closing in on my destination, I was able to spot quite clearly the Ria Formosa wetland and the barrier islands with their bright sandy beaches. It looks like an incredible region to visit and although there are no mountains, this is an impressive approach into this airport. Highly recommended just for the views of the local terrain.
Then, I pulled in on a gentle landing to runway 28 and parked my RV-14. Another very fun route across an area that I hadn’t previously explored.
If you like the looks of the RV-14, be sure to come back tomorrow for my review which is almost ready to go and scheduled for later in the day tomorrow.