France Bushtrip

This bush trip is one of the defaults in Microsoft Flight Simulator. The – close to 900nm long – route starts in Bordeaux and ends with a flight around Mont Blanc. The trip runs along the Atlantic coast first, then into the Pyrenees, along the Mediterranean coast up to Marseille and finally into the Alps with landing spots at famous places like Courchevel.

Bordeaux – Biarritz
Leg 1-3

We started out from Bordeaux and were greeted by dense forests and the first impression was a rather dull one. But we did not even reach cruise altitude as the scenery changed drastically. Via Arcachon bay we were lead to the Atlantic coast. We would stay on these seemingly endless shores admiring the beaches and dunes for the reminder of the flight only making short detours to the airports Arcachon and Aquitaine.

As we came up to Biarritz we turned outbound first to have a better run-up into the airport. To the south we could see rain showers looming over the Pyrenees and as soon as we reached our parking position the rain started to fall in Biarritz as well and left us with an eerie feeling.

Biarritz to Peyresourde
Leg 4-6

The weather was not the best but enough to get us off the ground at Biarritz with clouds at 3000 feet. We took a final view at the city before continuing east. After what seemed a short flight over villages and small forests (all beautiful), we landed at the double grass runways of Herrere. Nicely done, but nothing special. And off we went as soon as we had done our checks.

Now the weather got worse. We climbed into the mountains and even had snow falling. The occasional hole in the clouds gave breathtaking views at the Pyrenees. Our next stop should have been Castillon De La Laquette, but we found this to small a strip to land on. And it is entirely fictional after all.

So we continued climbing out of the valley and searched for our first altiport on this trip at 5000 feet. Being high and fast on the approach (this seems to be evolving into a bad habit in the Pilatus), I had to make another turn out of the valley before trying again. The final was messy, the sloped runway tricked me quite a bit and the landing was rather hard. But the view that greeted me afterwards was spectacular.