In the real world, I live in Edmonton, Canada (CYEG) and as I set out into the yonder in light aircraft I’m tracking, posting, writing, and otherwise documenting my virtual around-the-world trip in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. This is another log entry from the Pilot Project

Northern Bound Fog

9 months ago
Northern BC
CYZT (Port Hardy, BC)
CYPR (Prince Rupert, BC)
Flight Time
2 hours 36 minutes

I was expecting some part of a long coastal flight en route to the North to be much less interesting. I suppose that is what is most interesting about using a simulator to simulate an experience outside of your comfort zone: you discover the remarkable.

What was I expecting?

A long jagged coastline, as I flew over a blue-green ocean, trees and rolling hills, and some kind of spectacular view emerging from something I thought would be familiar but new.

What did I find?

I departed from Port Hardy airport to clear skies and turned North, but in less than an hour I found myself approaching a thick bank of clouds hanging out around the 4000 ft altitude mark. My plan —again expecting the scenery to evolve into a repeating pattern of coastline — was to ascend above the cloud layer and pursue a calm, simple, high-altitude flight to my destination.

Instead, I fought with the weather. The plan struggled to climb much above 8000 ft, rarely emerging from the pillowy clouds and certainly not high above them as I had planned. I was burning up my precious fuel, and stalling out int he process barely able to maintain a proper airspeed.

Plan B found me opting to descend and tackle things more visually.

I dropped to around 2000 ft and hugged the coast, now shrouded in a low cloud and in some cases fog. The result was an ethereal trip through a unique and magical-looking landscape, tracing a route a few kilometers off my planned flight plan but relying on the stunning visual landscape to guide me — and my increasingly fuel deficient plane — towards the small Northern BC town.

I landed, still a bit rough and still needing some practice, but landed.

Flight Number