November Heat: DA40 NG from Austria to the Dubai Airshow

After the North Atlantic crossing in the DA62, here’s the next episode in the exploits of the Diamond Duo, Martin Scherrer (Diamond’s Head of Flight Operations) and Micke Lang (then a student pilot and about to become a Diamond employee).

Again, I’m taking inspiration from a real-world trip that is documented in this YouTube video series:

This time, it’s Micke at the controls for what must be the ultimate long IFR student cross-country: From Diamond’s base in Wiener Neustadt, Austria to the Dubai Airshow. They’ve swapped the DA62 for a DA40 NG, so I’ll be using @MrTommymxr’s excellent DA40-NGX mod:

The DA40 NG in the video is painted in the livery of the Oman Aviation Academy; presumably, the aircraft is being ferried to Oman. As it happens, this exact livery was released on flightsim.to just a few days ago:

In the videos, the aircraft still bears the Austrian registration OE-DWS, so that’s what I’ll be using too.

On their trip, Martin and Micke take a detour to view the Pyramids of Giza. I haven’t seen them in MSFS yet, so I definitely plan to check them out as well.

There are freeware mods for most of the airports on the route, but I wasn’t able to find any mods, freeware or payware, for OEGS (Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz) and OMDW (Dubai Al Maktoum). If anyone knows of mods for these, please let me know.

Again, I’ll be taking my time with this trip. In the meantime, here’s the DA40 NG sitting on the ramp at LOAN, ready for the trip to Dubai:

Here is the route of the flight, with links to scenery.

LOAN Wiener Neustadt East

LBBG Burgas

LCPH Paphos

HEGN Hurghada

There are two versions available on flightsim.to, but this is the one I recommend. The other one has a strange row of control towers showing up instead of light masts, which is a shame, as it seems to be a bit more detailed in other respects.

OEGS Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz

VATSIM Saudi Arabia has a free scenery, but only for FSX and P3D:

https://badawiavgeek.wixsite.com/savacc/sceneries

Can anyone tell me how feasible it is to convert this to MSFS? The tutorials I’ve seen for this definitely don’t sound trivial.

OMDW Dubai Al Maktoum

The MSFS default looks pretty bare-bones, and I haven’t been able to find a mod. Does anyone know of one?

Flight plans

I’ll add these as I fly the legs.

Leg 1: LOAN Wiener Neustadt East to LBBG Burgas

LOAN GESGI DCT PESAT DCT FAHAZ DCT MOPUG DCT DITAX DCT ELVAB DCT BULEN L742 ESENA LBBG

LOAN_LBBG.pln (4.6 KB)

Leg 2: LBBG Burgas to LCPH Paphos

LBBG MEDE3S MEDEM L742 RIXEN UG1 IST UT35 AYT UM855 TOMBI M855 DASNI M32 TOBAL LCPH

LBBG_LCPH.pln (8.3 KB)

Leg 3: LCPH Paphos to HEGN Hurghada

LCPH ESERI M32 APLON A28 RASDA A16 CVO L315 SOKOT HEGN

LCPH_HEGN.pln (4.9 KB)

Leg 4: HEGN Hurghada to OEGS Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz

HEGN HGD M872 SILKA J852 WEJ J874 DAXAP OEGS

HEGN_OEGS.pln (5.3 KB)

Leg 5: OEGS Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz to OMDW Dubai Al Maktoum

OEGS NAGSA J874 MUSRI L604 UMENA G663 KFA J735 NARMI N685 TULUB B457 DENVO M444 PATOM N685 GIDOB N300 LORID OMDW

OEGS_OMDW.pln (10.8 KB)

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Leg 1: LOAN Wiener Neustadt East to LBBG Burgas

We’re off to Dubai!

Stepping from the DA62 of the previous trip into the DA40, there will be some things to adjust to. Lower cruise speeds, keeping the fuel tanks balanced, and no anti-ice system. The similarities between the two aircraft are very obvious though.

I had planned for FL 150 to take advantage of higher TAS and slightly better winds, but clouds above the freezing level kept me low for the first part of the leg.

Later, I was able to climb above the clouds, but there was a solid cloud layer below for most of the trip, so I didn’t get a lot of enroute screenshots. The weather conditions for my approach into Burgas were benign though, so overall this was a pretty straightforward first leg.

Route: LOAN GESGI DCT PESAT DCT FAHAZ DCT MOPUG DCT DITAX DCT ELVAB DCT BULEN L742 ESENA LBBG

LOAN_LBBG.pln (4.6 KB)


Ready for departure


Into the rising sun, towards the Orient


Crossing Neusiedler See


Breaking out into clear air


A glimpse of the Romanian countryside below


LRCS Caransebeș off the right wing


Base leg for runway 04


A nice view of Burgas on the approach


On final. Can you spot the serious error I made earlier in the flight?


Now that’s what I call a brand new airplane


Parked on the ramp

Leg 2: LBBG Burgas to LCPH Paphos

I faced headwinds almost all the way on this leg, but the calculations said going higher would still get me there faster, so I planned for FL 150.

Departing Burgas, there was almost a solid overcast, and I picked up some light icing in the clouds, but at that point I was already seeing some light from above, so figuring I’d pop out on top soon, I continued the climb.

The overcast – or, now, undercast – continued across the Black Sea, but approaching Istanbul it started to break up, and I was able to catch some glimpses of the Bosporus thorugh the clouds. Luckily, the clouds cleared up right above Istanbul, and I got some great sights of this massive city.

From Istanbul, I routed south across the Anatolian peninsula. The strong southwesterly wind combined with the mountainous terrain below made for a bumpy ride.

At Antalya, I went “feet wet” again for the crossing to Cyprus. The weather at Paphos was good, with scattered cumulus and light winds. The nav database didn’t contain the RNP approaches, so I flew the VOR DME S to runway 11 and shut down in a beautiful Mediterranean sunset.

Route: LBBG MEDE3S MEDEM L742 RIXEN UG1 IST UT35 AYT UM855 TOMBI M855 DASNI M32 TOBAL LCPH

LBBG_LCPH.pln (8.3 KB)


An IL-76 makes for an impressive sight taxiing out at Burgas


Climbing out towards the Black Sea


Towards the sun


A glimpse of the Bosporus through the clouds


Istanbul is massive


LTBA Istanbul Atatürk airport


The wide expanses of the Anatolian highlands


Approaching the Mediterranean coast


The beach resort of Antalya


Not much further to go now


Short final runway 11


A big ramp companion


Next stop: Egypt

Leg 3: LCPH Paphos to HEGN Hurghada

The weather was great for this leg – light cloud coverage over the Mediterranean, and then clear skies all the way from the Egyptian coast to my destination of Hurghada. And a good thing too, as there were some awesome sights to take in. The pyramids were the highlight, of course, but the landscape was impressive too – I had not realized the Egyptian desert was so beautiful.

I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking on this leg.

Route: LCPH ESERI M32 APLON A28 RASDA A16 CVO L315 SOKOT HEGN

LCPH_HEGN.pln (4.9 KB)


Taxiing out just after sunrise


Climbing out


Lake Burullus


Approaching the Egyptian coast


The Nile sparkles in the morning sun


Overflying El Mahalla El Kubra


Approaching HECA Cairo International, ATC approves our request to take a detour over the Pyramids of Giza


Cairo’s urban sprawl below


Approaching the pyramids. I had never realized they were this close to the outskirts of Cairo.


The three big pyramids, from left to right: The Pyramid of Khufu (also known as the Great Pyramid), the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The Great Sphinx guards the approach.


This is why we fly


Heading out towards the desert


Not a lot of options in case of an engine out


The Gulf of Suez in the background


Patterns of the desert


Barren but beautiful


El Gouna resort, north of Hurghada


Overflying HEGN outbound on the ILS 34R approach


Beach life down below


On final


Welcome to Hurghada

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Leg 4: HEGN Hurghada to OEGS Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz

The weather forecast for this leg was good, and I was expecting tailwinds, so I planned for FL 170. Around the half way mark I ran into some wispy clouds around my level. I started picking up some ice, so I descended to 13,000 feet for the rest of the leg.

The winds at the destination favored runway 33. A visual approach would have been easily possible, but I decided to do the VOR DME for practice and to see how the G1000 NXi would fly the DME arc that makes up the initial approach segment. It performed flawlessly, so the next time I run into a DME arc, I’ll have to prove that I can do it just as well as the computer.

Route: HEGN HGD M872 SILKA J852 WEJ J874 DAXAP OEGS

HEGN_OEGS.pln (5.3 KB)


On climbout


Proceed on course


Going feet wet


Approaching Al Wajh on the western coast of Saudi Arabia


Amazing desert colors


Can’t stop taking pictures of the desert


Some light cloud cover up ahead


More desert wonderment


Don’t run out of fuel here – whether in the plane or the car


Irrigation turns the desert green


Amazing color contrasts – it was worth doing the DME arc for this alone


Short final runway 33


A lonely apron

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Leg 5: OEGS Gassim Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz to OMDW Dubai Al Maktoum

Last leg, and perfect weather. Clear skies the whole way and tailwinds for most of it. Only thing is… we’re late, very late. When I started this trip at the end of September, I thought “November Heat” was going to be a misnomer – but a hardware project has been sucking up a lot of my time lately, so in the end I barely made it to Dubai on the last day of November. (I’m posting this a few days after the trip.)

GIven the favorable conditions, the flying on this leg wasn’t too challenging, but there were some great sights of the Saudi desert and the Gulf coast.

Again, recreating this trip was fun and satisfying. It’s easily the longest simulated flight I’ve done in a single-engine piston aircraft, and the DA40 NG was more than up to the task.

Route: OEGS NAGSA J874 MUSRI L604 UMENA G663 KFA J735 NARMI N685 TULUB B457 DENVO M444 PATOM N685 GIDOB N300 LORID OMDW

OEGS_OMDW.pln (10.8 KB)


Departing Gassim


On climbout


Patterns in the desert: Artificial…


…and natural


Overhead Az Zulfi


Approaching the Gulf coast


OEDF King Fahd Airport, Dammam


Dammam’s urban sprawl


Bahrain off the right wing


OBBI Bahrain International Airport


The industrial hub of Ras Laffan near the tip of the Qatar peninsula


Getting close


Overflying Palm Jebel Ali on the ILS 12 approach


G1000 NXi faithfully depicts the palm


Final approach


Runway vacated – now the real navigation challenge begins


Parked in Dubai


Where is everyone? Are we late or something?

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OMG ! I really liked your flight so much!! i didn’t know that there were Micke Lang fans over here in MSFS community ! I personally did his flight from Austria all the way to Canada ( Crossing the Pond in a DA62) i loved the screenshots and recalled all these flight from the video xD , Nice one man. Cheers from Cairo, Egypt! :slight_smile:

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Glad to hear you enjoyed the flight! I find MIcke’s videos really inspirational too. The “Crossing the Pond” series is epic – I redid that one as well and chronicled it here, in case you hadn’t seen that thread yet. Would be interested to compare notes with how your flight went – maybe you can post your experiences there!