Islander

My Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander livery in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
My BN-2 Islander livery based on Black Box Simulation’s default one. Expect to find me streaming flights piloting this pretty plane regularly over the digital Earth of Microsoft Flight Simulator.

In January 1982 I was on a flight from Santos Dumont to a remote forestry research station called Jatobá near Posse, Goiás, in a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander.

The pilot was having trouble locating our destination. We had been flying around and through storm clouds for some time, water was leaking into the cabin, and, he informed us, fuel was running low, which caused a family member to start laughing without being able to stop — his special power to deal with potentially difficult situations.

The man in charge of the flying machine we found ourselves in decided to descend and try landing where he could. He spotted a promising flat-ish field, lowered the flaps and told everyone in the back to hold on tight.

Black and white photograph of my mother, my cousin and I by a Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander aircraft on a potato field.
My mother, cousin and I by the BN-2 Islander that first brought us to the remote center of Brazil by VOTEC air taxi. We were all laughing from relief after successfully landing on an unprepared field. Photograph by Antonio Roberto Polita or Peter Griffee.

It was a bumpy but successful landing and other than the water leak, which could be managed, the plane seemed intact.

The field turned out to be a plantation of potatoes, and after speaking with some startled workers who had come running to see us it was determined that Jatobá was around 20 km further in another direction, just a few more minutes away.

They helped make sure the small aeroplane was pointing the right way for takeoff and made sure the wheels were free. We lifted off successfully, and soon landed at our destination.

This experience made it clear to me that the sort of aeroplanes I would like to fly if I became a pilot would be ones that can land in the wilderness, like the BN-2 Islander.

Maybe one day I will, and in the meantime I have high-fidelity flight simulators like Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-Plane, DCS, IL-2 Sturmovik and others like Dead Stick to anticipate, as well as different-fidelity sims like the mad floating-away-from-explosions-and-inclement-weather Just Cause 4.

On the wing.
The Islander-like “Emsavion Cropduster” in Just Cause 4. The top speed is 280 km/h, which is close to the real one, and given its maneuverability and takeoff behaviour I think the people responsible for the JC4 model may be fans of the actual aircraft. Perhaps they jumped off of one for game parachuting mechanics research?

Até logo!

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