I'm about to take a break from cultivating Farm Strips, in the hope of
getting round to using them. Thinking about this raised the possibillity
of the occasional MP session, on FPI, with a Farm Strip theme.
What I have in mind is a combined Farm Strip, VFR, map reading exercise. The tendency in some VFR MP sessions is for them to evolve into a follow my leader sortie. Pleasant though that is, it places no weight on the need to navigate. What I'd like to try is a session(s) where each participant must start from a field where he is the sole flier. The aim would be for all flyers to try to arrive at a designated farm strip at a target arrival time. No intention of awarding points for accuracy of ATA at the target; life's complicated enough. To make the arrival time just a bit more difficult to calculate, one other farm strip landing, choice left to the pilot, would have to be fitted in, en route. There would be the possibillity of more than one using the same interim strip but that's not a major problem.
The aim is to make it an exercise in VFR flight planning and map reading. Pilots would be trusted not just to set it up on FSNav, or GPS, and then just point and squirt. Ideally use of the Autopilot would be restricted to Alt Hold. On top of this is the emphasis that would emerge on the need to fly a reccy circuit, then a well controlled landing phase, since the strips are usually short and often have approach obstacles. The JHB list is a source of people who would be more interested in realistic flying, than just stooging around, who fly in a disciplined way and are probably masochistic enough to give it a whirl. I'm not sure whether we all use FS9 but that is essential for the use of the Farm Strip fields.
If a series was to be held then it might be an idea for each participant to decide on his preferred Home Field, not neccessarilly a farm strip, which would be his starting point for each session. One advantage of this is that the spread of designated start points would play a part in identifying the session's target destination.
In flying VFR, it would be neccessary either to avoid controlled airspace or, if there's a controller, seek clearance to cross; which would open up the possibillity of FPI controllers taking part.
At the moment I'm just testing the waters and would welcome other suggestions, based on this theme.
I have one other definite "possible" flyer, so if there's no additional interest it could be just a two ship operation!