Vandalia IL Municipal Airport

For FS98/FS2000
Scenery by J.R. Morgan Jr
Reviewed by Maikha Ly

This scenery is VLA-Vandalia Muni Airport with surrounding scenery, it has the towns features such as Old State House, Gallatin Street business district, the Baptist Church, the County Courthouse, Drive-in cinema and other detailed items. It also included two building with helicopter pad which you can land on. At night there is night lighting on the roads and some of the buildings. As well dynamic scenery is also included with a Cessna doing circuits and also a five group parachuting team which parachutes into the airport from 7,500ft at 2min intervals.

Vandalia is a one of the old Old State capitals of Illinois. It is located at the intersection of Interstate 70 and 51 which is about 60miles from St. Louis, Missisouri. The town features some very famous buildings such as the Old Capitol Building (President Lincoln was reported to have jumped out of one of the windows in the Capitol Building to avoid voting on Legislation!!) which is along Gallatin Street. This scenery has been reviewed in a Helicopter flight.
I started out on the Northern departure of the airport.

It was a fairly windy day with heavy clouds and 20mile visibility. This scenery I thought would be a little bit swift in a Cessna if I were to fly past objects so I decided to take out my dusty Bell 206 as this was probably an easy way to fly around the place. At the airport I was awaiting a few parachuters to land at a spot east of the main hangar. I thought I might stay around until they come. I moved to the area where they were expected to touchdown, I looked up and saw five tiny objects in the sky getting lower and lower, (yep it’s them) they seemed to be going down at a rapid rate.

They were getting very close now and I had not taken notice of my position on the ground in case one of them would land into the ROTOR!!! but I forgot about that as one parachuter landed in-front then a few behind it (phew!), They were there for a few seconds then they were up in mid-air again. I started my flight, gently applying torque, I rose from the ground and then I was off.
For a long time I have never flew the helicopter, but for this flight it seemed easier. I turned in direction of the Penitentiary as this was my first destination. The Penitentiary was already visible form the airport, in a NE direction. I was getting close to it, the place was secured with high walls and the buildings can be seem inside. I flew low over the area in the helicopter then I turned south following the road which would lead me to Vandalia (The town) via the highway intersection. I flew this part at very rapid speed to test this helicopter, as the intersection was fairly big, a little confusion with the highways but I’m sure we can get use to that. Just behind the intersection was a gas station.

I have never seem an object like that! Instead of going straight to Vandalia I made a very sharp right turn west as I flew past the sporting facility in a parallel direction with the Interstate Highway.

The sporting facility was very big, with the soccer fields, swimming pool and the four large baseball fields. I flew further along the highway until I made a left turn to the Drive-In Cinema where I slowed down and merely made an ‘unprofessional’ landing in the cinema. On the screen was an advertisement “Come Learn to Fly” with a picture of an aircraft on it. I took a glimpse before I started up the helicopter again heading towards the sporting facility.
I was in the air now travelling at a very rapid speed and heading right towards the main building in the sporting facility grounds. It was no use landing because of my speed so I would fly past there and fly in a ‘traffic pattern’ making a northern approach at the front of the building.

The helicopter was travelling much faster then last time and flying very low, as I past the baseball fields I was adjusting myself to fly very low over the building. The building was on final, I then noticed a short flagpole with the US flag. I had no time to avoid it as I zoomed right above the main building, just merely touching the flagpole! I slowed the helicopter down as I turned right 90degrees around a tree then turn 90 degrees again around the hospital where I would make my final turn to touchdown in-front in the front of the building. Success, I slowed and descended slowly where I had landed at the foreground of the main building on the sporting facility. (For all who missed the beginning of this review, that previous part was done in a helicopter not a light-aircraft as it was described as!!!) Here I was going to take a break before my next leg of my adventure.
My break was over, so I got back into the Chopper and gently lifted away where my next leg was to hop onto the hospital helipad which was close to where I was. I made a small hover then turned in direction of the hospital and I was gently moving off. I was flying this slow as I was going to land on a helipad, with this requires a lot of concentration.

I was close to the hospital now, the wind was making this situation difficult as I had to fidget about to get in position with the helipad, I move a bit, applied forward direction then I quickly cut the power and landed right on the spot on the helipad (as the helicopter bounced a few times and moved with the wind!). I stayed there for a few minutes to check my fuel and other things.
From the helipad I took off again and flew Due West which I was going to fly my pattern into the Gallatin Street Business District. Ahead was a road about 1NM from the edge of Vandalia, this road would lead into Gallatin Street so I slowed then turned in that direction which ahead would need to make minor right turn to be flying Due West into the road.

I was now speeding up as I wanted this to go through Gallatin Street, I made the minor right turn and now I was head on with Gallatin Street. The concrete bridge leading into the street was in the way, I was gaining airspeed as I flew right through the bridge and now speeding through Gallatin Street business district only a few feet off the ground passing some of the major buildings. I made a minor left turn to follow the road as the ‘finish’ line was coming up, marked by the County Court House to the left. I slowed down as the helicopter nearly flipped but I gained control of it before I turned around and flew back into the street slowly.
Gallatin Street Business District had a lot of detailed buildings. Some of them were accommodation, bars, and one was a bank. Through Gallatin Street there was a Baptist Church (On Western end) and coming up there was the old capitol building. I slowed and touched down in-front of it.

The building seemed fairly detailed, with all the textures and also the statue in-front. I started up again and hovered to the nearby Gas Station to fuel up the helicopter which was only a few blocks away!!!
The Gas Station seemed fairly detailed, also looked much larger then the helicopter it seems, I started up the helicopter and gently moved out of the way with the Canopy above me, I was heading for the County Court House which had a helicopter pad on top, this was my next goal, to try to land on the pad which was going to be difficult even though landing on top of the Hospital in a moderate wind!
The helicopter hovered very close to the building but a little low, I gained a few feet of altitude but the wind blew me off course fairly, I moved against the wind also applying power at the same time and then I cut off the power as I was above the helipad, the ‘thump’ noise as you touch down had seemed fairly loud as the helicopter jumped around on the helipad which was due to the wind.
After those two minutes of pure concentration I stayed on top of the helipad for a minute then went off again for my return trip back to the county airport. On the way past the drive-in I slowed to see the score of the football game going on there. This trip was very long and it was starting to go dusk. I got back to the airport and landed right in-front of the hangar in which I was greeted by the red bi-plane seen in the advertisement at the drive-in during the day!!
Conclusion: This scenery I would say is exceptionally, very good.

The creativity involved in this scenery with the parachutes, drive-in, the detail in the business district and lots of other things. I was most impressed at some of small detailed objects like the Gas Station and the soccer field.

Lots of time and effort was put into the scenery and I suggest everyone to follow the previous flight I’ve done as this will be a very scenic adventure.

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