High mountain flying & landings

High road to CHINA

1964: the Chinese are testing their first atomic bombs deep in Xinjiang Province. U-2 recon planes snapped pics and dropped isotope detector pods during hi-level overflights - but those all malfunctioned.


Now its up to you to place the dropsondes into the desert sands at low-level.
LopNor2.PLN (7.6 KB)

Fly your venerable CIA DC-6 out of India (the original was N6184M from “Southern Air Transport”, so PMDGs “Northern Air Cargo” finish here is a nice irony…).
Its a 2000 nmi ride, at times you will have to crank the Lady up to 21000ft:
A direct approach is out of the question, so always stay along mountains that give you cover. Long before the target area (“custom” WP24) you have to go down to dune height to drop the string of sensors and to avoid any radars. Head straight for the protection of the hills and go home south of the Taklamakan basin to Leh in Ladakh.

COLOMBIA: Cordillera Oriental

Colombia is one of the most beautiful countries and a save haven for the last Douglas Props (especially Villavicencio SKVV). With this PLN you follow as a freighter pilot the Eastern Mountain Range:
COL_cord_orie.PLN (5.6 KB)
You fly between the low Amazon Jungle and 18000ft peaks until the Caribbean Sea, extremely challenging airports and weather included.

I liked it a lot. Thank you.

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A Biology PostDoc from U-Dub has hired you and your Icon for fieldwork on the rare Cascades Trout, found only locally in high mountain lakes.
US_cascades.PLN (5.8 KB)

Fly her along the requested route and land on the lake WPs - some need a careful approach (e.g. Sulphide L., labeled, pic 5) but you might find tougher ones.
On the way lie some of the highest Cascades peaks (labeled) which she wants to snap for Instagram, so circle.
With “life weather”: clouds are rolling in from the Pacific at Mt. Baker (pic 6) - together with the sub-meter DEM the area is a true VFR-gem!

Hints, realistic or not: you can belly-land on ice-covered lakes (pic 3) and slow down the Icon on the water by pushing the yoke forward.

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FRANCE: a nation of skiers

Postwar, the french government propagated skiing as the national sport. Big business, ski regions were planned everywhere in the french alps.

Antique - Retro French Ski Posters | Vintage Ski World

Not to be outdone by Chamonix, the Prefect of the wild Department des Ecrins plans for extreme ski arenas, summer ski lifts and cable-car top-stations right on his peaks.

F_ecrins2.PLN (5.5 KB)

Go on a recon trip and land with your ski-bush plane (Bush League Legends - MSFS Aircraft) on each suitable summit, glacier and snow field (some veeery sloped…) to report on the conditions.
Happy landings…


GERMANY: Cuckoo Clocks, cool girls, the Mad King and an Eagles Nest:

this is a famous scenic flight for American tourists staying in Frankfurt or Heidelberg.

We start in the air @ Karlsruhe castle (as EDTK is defunct now in RL) and continue south to the rolling hills of the Black Forest with the Rhine river to our right.

Along some distinctive promontories (Teufelsmühle, Hornisgrinde, Brandenkopf: windmills correct, antennas and towers not) we reach the central Triberg region, famous for its Cuckoo Clocks and Red Pompom Girls

Turn left at the Schauinsland lookout to the Feldberg Ski Arena and Lake Schluchsee

From there we leave the Black Forest heading east along the Wutach Gorge to Hohentwiel Castle sitting on a prominent hill.
Cruise along north shore of Lake Constance (with Mainau & Lindau Islands) to reach the Alps.

We surf now along the German-Austria-border, after two distinctive peaks (Hoher Ifen, Maedelegabel) we finally reach the Mad King Ludwig II Castles Neuschwanstein (modelled) and Linderhof (missing).

Climb to Germany’s highest peak Zugspitze (10000ft, badly modelled) and
continue between Walchensee Lake and the wild Isar River Valley to Kufstein Fortress and the jagged Wilder Kaiser ridge.

Zip over Watzmann Peak and dive down xlo-level to St. Bartholomey church on Koenigsee Lake: the steep rock faces here create a famous echo - your engines will ignite a thunderous roar all over the place.

History again, finally: last WP is the infamous Eagles Nest, then circle Salzburg castle before landing on LOWS.

SWITZERLAND: Glacier Express

for some its the most scenic train ride in the world:

With the plane we follow it but can add some detours to spice up the experience.

CH_Glac_Expr.PLN (5.0 KB)

Start out of Samedan LSZS in a southerly direction and climb towards the Bernina massif (13.333ft). With the new DEM the famous Bianco snow-ridge is clearly visible up front.

In a wide turn over the lakes we pass over glitzy St. Moritz and briefly hit the railway that tunnels under the Maloja Pass - while we have to fly over it.
Further north zip through the spans (!) of Landwasser Bridge, the wet dream of (model) railway buffs worldwide.

After reaching the Rhine Valley strike a course west and start climbing. After passing the Ski resort Flims-Laax go low over Toedi peak (12.000 ft), the most prominent watchtower in the region. Swing back towards the railway tracks in the valley left and pass along with the locomotive (MS Train simulator 2022 ?) over Oberalp Pass. Andermatt and environs is the heart of Switzerland, continue over Galenstock peak (12.000 ft) and Furka Pass.
While the railway spirals now down into the Rhone Valley we continue over lakes and rugged mountains to the Finsteraarhorn Peak (14.000ft). Great views over the biggest ice fields in the Alps and a glide down along its longest glacier, the Aletsch.

We meet the train again in Visp where the route swings south. Have some oxygen left so can skim mighty Dom Peak (15.000 ft). As Zermatt village (the Express terminus) has no Airport we circle wide around it, passing prominent peaks (Monte Rosa, Matterhorn…) only to reach via the huge dam Grande-Dixence the asphalt runway of LSGS Sion (or the challenging grassy Altiport Croix Coeur LSVE…).

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NEPAL: world record for highest landing by a fixed-wing aircraft

by a Pilatus PC-6 at 18,865 feet (5,750 m) in Nepal:

Tried to re-enact it with the excellent Milviz Turbo-Porter.
NEP_Porter_High_Record.PLN (2.5 KB)

As its not clear which Dhaulagiri glacier it was, I landed on four spots around whose altitude matched: see them 4 WPs in the PLN.

Record was done with the old Radial-Porter (aplty named “Yeti”) which could be cranked up to 31000 ft - which brought it way over Everest.

With the Turbo for me it was the end at 26000ft, South Col, Camp IV:

Nepal and Porter go hand in glove!

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SWITZERLAND: Jurassic Park

The Jura Mountains are a beautiful subalpine mountain range between France and Switzerland.

The new swiss DEM does a good job on its limestone ridges.

CH_Jura.PLN (4.4 KB)

Start near Lake Geneva on LFHN Vouvray.
Spiral up to the Crete Goutte la Neige Ski Stations (5640ft) and continue NNW along the ridge. In good weather you see Mont Blanc in the haze on your right. Touching Lake de Joux (famous for ski-landings in winter) we reach Mont d’Or and continue to the Creux du Van natural amphitheatre and Chasseral lookout (unfortunalety its huge antenna complex is missing in vanilla) to reach via LSZJ grass-strip LSPO

SWITZERLAND: Geiger Counts - Bernese Oberland

Hermann Geiger was a swiss pioneer of mountain rescue and glacier landings with a Ski-Piper Cub - way before the age of helicopters (see wikipedia) :
Lore has it that he could land on a towel-sized, sloped patch of snow…

We follow in his footsteps - in the wild Bernese Oberland.
Take the Ski_XCub from LSMM, better to go thru this phantastic addon first:_

Two PLNs to cover the region.
WPs show peak names, those with GL indicate adjacent “Glacier Landing Spots”. You have to zoom in on the VFR-map to avoid missing them (e.g. the Finsteraarhorn has 2 GLs).

CH_geiger_BOL_north.PLN (3.8 KB)

You can’t land in the infamous Eiger North face (pic1) but remember that in the 1930 biplanes flew just meters from the rocks to locate climbers in distress.

CH_geiger_BOL_south.PLN (4.4 KB)

And you will spot hundreds GLs of your choosing all over the place, so enjoy …

AUSTRIA - along the Eastern Alps

the Austrian Army wants to test glacier and snow landings with their Ski PC-6 Porters (or take the civil ski-C172) near prominent peaks of the country.

WP Peak names are labelled, WP12 is Oetzi-the-Iceman’s find site, zip low to check if the obelisk erected there is modelled.

Start in the morning on LOSM - the highest airfield in Austria and aim your nose west (with the sun in the back). We touch Italy sometimes and make a quick swiss detour before landing on asphalt @ LOIH.
AUSTRIA_watershed.PLN (5.0 KB)

Hint: when gliding in MSFS will have matured finally, this will be a terrific sailplane ride (in reverse riding the prevailing western winds?).

Excellent homework my friend!

Dude, what a cool scenario! Love your ideas and creativity, and detective work to find all these cool places! I wish I wasn’t at work and could fly this scenario right away.

ALASKA: eavesdropping in the panhandle

Alternative History, Summer 1942:
after Imperial Japan landed on the Aleut Islands, strange radio signals are picked up in the USA from the Alaska coastal mountain ranges. It looks like the new residents have established there high-altitude weather stations - and climber camps to remote-control the new Fu-Go-drifters.
Fly a multi-day SigInt-mission from Seattle to Kenai to triangulate the transmitters.

As there were few airfields at the time, take an amphibian (Goose as substitute for a Catalina), refuel on Navy seaplane bases on the way, while dropping Ranger Scouts on remote lakes.
In good weather its one of the most scenic flights on the planet - todays peacetime equivalent is a leisure flight with the C172 or any other (upcoming, Twin Otter…) floater, so take your pick.
US_Alaska_pan_1.PLN (4.0 KB)
US_Alaska_pan_2.PLN (3.1 KB)
US_Alaska_pan_3.PLN (2.8 KB)

SWITZERLAND: The Geiger Count II
1959: The famous swiss ice-pilot Hermann Geiger is hired by the Pilatus factory to test the factory-fresh Ski-Porter prototype’s STOL&snow-capabilities on glaciers in the east of CH:
CH_geiger_east.PLN (3.5 KB)

Each WP is an ice-field near the respective summit (labelled).

WYOMING: Wind River Mountains

Summer 1943: the Rockies are a training area for bomber crews.
Beautiful area, sad story:
A B-17 and a B-24 are reported missing, you are part of a SAR mission.
US_wyo_lost_B_24.PLN (3.4 KB)

Fly low along the peaks and lakes - after you locate the B-24 wreck (WP labelled), radio the coords, land on the meadow nearby and look for survivors.

HQ wants you to restart, continue to the Shoshone- and Teton-Ridges, in order to find the lost B-17 as well

The reality behind:

IRL the B-17 was found years later @ 44.377386, -107.154182 - now called Bomber Mountain, see Bing Map.

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SWITZERLAND Valais Mountains

Summer 1938 - the Swiss are testing the Ju-52 with skis around their highest peaks.
You are to land on each WP, relax when looking at sim crevasses - you can do it, glaciers were much more snow-covered 84 years ago.

Tests at the time were so successfull that the plane was used with the white cross until 1981(!).

Two PLNs, the second ends in Locarno - I remember as a kid the JUs there zipping low over our campsite in the delta and dropping parachutists, oh man that Triple-BMW-sound…
CH_wallis_1.PLN (4.4 KB)
CH_wallis_2.PLN (5.1 KB)

(And yes, in the sim you can start with skis on tarmac - and for those without the JU - the trip is even easier with them smaller ski-planes…)

What a fantastic resource! Thanks for all the suggestions. I just completed the around the world flight of Zara Rutherford and what a flight of discovery! Many surprises like the entire Arab Peninsula, Egypt, Iran, India all worth going back. But now I’m up for high mountain flying and especially eager to try skis, water operations and tricky mountain strips.

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Anniversary Edition

its been 12 month since the start of the topic and I want to thank all that have been a part of it.

Below come PLNs that had been missing in those early days - as the world-map was blurred, the PLN-tool a mess and no 3rd-party help like e.g. the Grand Tour Flight Planner around.

I have revised those Jan/Feb flights - more scenery & drama, no unrealistic landings above 19000ft.
Usually a WP is a peak/bush/village/snow/glacier/lake -landing spot.
Or you just zip along the route with a fast jet and enjoy the show:

2021 was a great MSFS year - new STOL& ski-planes and a mountain DEM that has improved in many areas (even silently, kudos to Asobo).

To be continued in 2022, see you in the thin air!

NEPAL Everest Region (see Jan 12):
Lukla-Syangboche: to villages & lodges, skis required
NEP_khumbu_1.PLN (4.0 KB)

NEPAL Everest Region:
Syangboche - Lukla: to some Base Camps and an FSX-Easter Egg (Aerosoft Twin Otter coming in one week…), skis required
NEP_khumbu_2.PLN (3.3 KB)

Mt. McKinley and surroundings: to Denali Base Camp, hi-alt peak rescues, skis required
US_Alaska_Denali.PLN (3.9 KB)

Indian Himalayas, Sikkim Province: to Kangchenjunga (3rd highest peak WW, two base camp supply stops there) and on to hi-alt Army border posts, Darjeeling town for some tea. Skis required
INDIA_sikkim.PLN (3.2 KB)

INDIA - UTTARKHAND (from Jan 14):
Indian Himalkayas, Uttarkhand Province: some of the most beautiful peaks on earth plus the incredible Valley of Flowers (see pic, Bihan payware). Skis required
INDIA_uttarkh.PLN (3.6 KB)

to Nanga Parbat (two stops) and a bunch of more 8000+m peaks @ Concordia Place, glacier landings
PAKI_karakoram.PLN (4.0 KB)

MALAYA, Borneo (Jan 30)
Mt. Kinabalu: tough tropical landings, upslope
MALAY_kina.PLN (2.5 KB)

CHILE (Feb 04):
supply run to the highest mine(s) in the world. Land on roads & salt pans
CHIL_mines.PLN (3.7 KB)

PERU (Feb 09):
bring a team of prospectors to Altiplano lakes and mines.
Amphibian or float (PC-6) - or take the Ju-52 which was actually used there (with her, guess you will decline some lake landings).
Long distance flight, refuel from barrels brought up by Llama train…
PERU_lakes_mines.PLN (6.8 KB)

Glacier landings in the Misty Mountains of Middle Earth, new DEM, skis required
NZ_mt_cook.PLN (2.6 KB)

USSR (Feb 17)
Drop flags and paras in the Pamir & Tien Shan massifs
USSR_pamir.PLN (2.4 KB)
USSR_tien_shan.PLN (3.2 KB)

UGANDA (Feb 19 & 24):
tough landings on/in vulkanoes, start in the Congo
UGAN_volcanoes.PLN (2.7 KB)

enjoy them all!