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1918-1931 "L'Aéropostale" (The French Air Mail)

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- I dedicate this flight plan to the pilots, ordinary workingmen of the Aéropostale, whose names are unfairly forgotten, although some of them died on duty -

When I started this project, I tried to get in touch with persons bearing illustrious names in order to obtain information, and therefore, respect the original route from Toulouse to Ushuaia.

Unrealized promises, or no answer at all were my reward... 

According to me, a flightsimmer who use this flight plan pay homage to these pilots.

Several books were of use to me, such as "Tout pour la Ligne" by Raymond Vanier, and "Courriers de Nuit" by Olivier and Patrick Poivre d'Arvor.

The Aéropostale remains a myth, nearly timeless and omnipresent on the web with numerous sites, mainly in French language.

Let's talk, now, about the airplanes ; terrestrial legs can be achieved with a single engine one, included the Andes Cordillera, following the Adrienne Bolland's route, back in 1921, via Puente del Inca and the Las Cuevas Pass, thus, when entering Chile, taking, nevertheless, into account that a secured altitude of 15 000 ft is necessary for this pass. Refer to a geographical map, or Google Earth before this precise flight. Another way is possible, South-West of Mendoza, with the Laguna Diamante as reference mark ; you will find complete details on that, in the flight plan (Mendoza-Santiago).

There are two solutions concerning the crossing of South Atlantic :
1st/ A non-stop flight between the river Senegal and the Rio Potengi, with a long range sea-plane, such as the Short Sandringham by Jens B. Kristensen, FS Dome file : sand_v20.zip .
2nd/ While keeping the same water points of departure and arrival, an amphibious will allow you two intermediat landings in Cap Verde and Fernando de Noronha island which were, respectively, a sea-plane base and a radio station for the "Compagnie Générale Aéropostale". In that case, a business jet will perfectly suit for the leg Cap Verde-Fernando de Noronha ; from there, the amphibious will fly you to the Rio Potengi with a water landing, end of this journey.
 
GPS recommended

For further information and comments, vous can join me via the list of members (michel95).

FRANCE

Toulouse (Montaudran LFIO) / 78mn / Perpignan (Rivesaltes LFMP) / 94mn /

SPAIN

Barcelone (El Prat LEBL) / 159mn / Valence (Manises LEVC) / 72mn / Alicante LEAL / 211mn / Malaga LEMG / 89mn /

MOROCCO

Tanger (Ibn Batouta GMTT) / 110mn / Rabat (Sale GMME) / 54mn / Casablanca (Anfa GMMC) / 165mn / Essaouira (Mogador GMMI) / 66mn / Agadir (Al Massira GMAD) Flight over Cap Juby position : N 27 57 78 O 12 53 84 / 278mn (approximative distance because of the flight over Cap Juby) / El Aïoun (Hassan I GMML) / 253mn / Ad Dakhla GMMH (former Villa Cisneiros) / 177mn /

MAURITANIA

Nouâdhibou GQPP (former Port Etienne) / 180mn / Nouakchott GQNN / 126mn /

SENEGAL

St Louis GOSS / 98mn / Dakar GOOY / 99mn / River Sénégal (Water point departure North St Louis GOSS : N 16 03 57 O 16 27 48) / 376mn /

CAP VERDE

Palmeira (Amilcar Cabral GVAC) / 1358mn /

BRAZIL

Fernando de Noronha SBFN / 203mn / Rio Potengi (GPS target Natal SBNT) water point arrival S 05 45 30 O 35 12 12 / Natal (Augusto Severo Intl SBNT) / 135mn / Recife (Guararapes Intl  SBRF - former Pernambouc) / 97mn / Maceio (Zumbi dos Palmares Intl SBMO) / 253mn / Salvador (Dep. L. E. Magalahes Intl SBSV) / 290mn / Caravellas SBCV / 167mn / Vitoria (Golabeiras SBVT) / 234mn / Rio de Janeiro (Campo Delio Jardim de Mattos SBAF - former Afonsos) / 172mn / Santos (Base Aero de Santos SBST) / 156mn / Paranagua SSPG / 128mn / Florianopolis (Hercilio Luz Intl SBFL - former Santa Catherina) / 196mn / Porto Allegre (Salgado Filho SBPA) / 120mn / Pelotas SBPK / 264mn /

URUGUAY

Montevideo (Carrasco Intl - Gen. C. L. Berisso SUMU - former San Pedro) / 128mn /

ARGENTINA 1

Buenos Aires (San Fernando SADF - former Pacheco) / 518mn / Mendoza SAME / 135mn. Approximative distance following the Adrienne Bolland's route in 1921 : Puente del Inca position : S 32 49 11 O 69 55 20 ; col de Las Cuevas position : S 32 48 53 O 70 03 00.
As I told you in my introduction, another way is possible via the Laguna Diamante S 34 09 65 O 69 41 99 with an exact altitude of 10 740 ft. It is around there, that Henri Guillaumet, one of the most famous  Aéropostale pilots, crashed his plane on the 13th june of 1930, winter season in southern hemisphere ; he went back walking, and was rescued a few days later, exhausted but alive. He later declared : "What I did, no beast in the world would have done so"... 
The Laguna Diamante appears on the GPS screen near the VOR DME : ALBAL ; when upright this lake, coming from the East, turn left heading 230, then progressively on the right, in order to follow a long and narrow mountain pass, which will lead you towards Santiago. There is another VOR DME along this way : YESOS ; anyway, refer to the simulator map before the flight, and keep a look on the GPS screen. 

                                                                CHILE 1

Santiago (Los Cerillos SCTI) / 229mn / Concepcion (Carriel su Intl SCIE) / 531mn /

ARGENTINA 2

Bahia Blanca (Comandante Espora NAS - SAZB) / 183mn / San Antonio Oeste (Antoine de St Exupéry SAVN) / 147mn / Trelew - Rawson (Trelew Aeroclub SA0Y) / 178mn / Comodoro Rivadavia (Gen. Enrique Mosconi Intl SAVC) / 133mn / Puerto Deseado SAWD / 120mn / San Julian (Cap. D. Jose D. Vasquez SAWJ) / 52mn / Santa Cruz SAWU / 100mn / Rio Galleigos (Norberto Fernandez SAWG) /101mn /

CHILE 2

Punta Arenas (Carlos Ibanez del Campo Intl SCCI - former Magallanes) / 143mn /

ARGENTINA 3

Ushuaia (Ushuaia Intl Malvine Is SAWH)

- Homage paid -         

  Copyright Michel Lagneau 2008

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