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  1. Flying the iPad

    The iPad is an invaluable tool for many real pilots, with flight planning, interactive checklists, moving maps, instrument approach plates, etc. There are also some good flight simulators in the app store. While it may seem odd to fly the tablet by tilting (especially if you are used to a yoke, throttle quadrants, rudder pedals, and multiple displays), the actual flying is surprisingly intuitive.

    Here are my favorite FREE simulators:
    DOGFIGHT: This is a WWI simulation, where ...

    Updated 12-19-2014 at 03:09 PM by gmurray56

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  2. XC Bremerton, WA to Hoquiam, WA

    This was one of my favorite flights, to the Pacific coast from Bremerton. I use the Saratoga (FS2004) to recreate the 60-mile flight. When I appear on the runway, I look at the instruments only to see black holes where the gauges should be. There is an autopilot and ADF, but no nav radios. In the virtual cockpit, there is a full array of instruments and radios, but they are static and somewhat out of focus, for looks only. However, “alt” and “w” give me a panoramic view to the front, with ...
  3. Weather Turnback; Pattern Work; Short Hops

    Obviously, all my flights were not in perfect weather, but I rarely logged weather data. One exception was returning to Austin from Angleton when thunderstorms forced me to turn back. I set the weather on FSX to “building thunderstorms” and depart in the Cherokee. I don’t notice too much difference, but the plane becomes increasingly harder to control, and visibility slowly decreases. After half an hour, I turn back to KLBX and land. The logbook shows IFR conditions for .2 hours, but I never ...
  4. Cross-Country and Fatal Errors

    Thank goodness that a “fatal error” in the virtual world is not lethal. I fly the Cessna 150 from Austin Executive to the Angleton area, a route I have driven dozens, if not hundreds, of times, and have flown in a real plane several times. I plan my route and take off, and after struggling with power and trim, eventually settle on a steady course and altitude. The view out the window is much like in a real plane: semi-familiar. On the map, I see that I am paralleling my intended course a few ...
  5. The Humble (and Humbling) Touch-n-Go

    I am humbled. The virtual touch-n-go’s are kicking my butt. I am recreating my logbook, and many entries are just local, so I was going to skip it, but decided to give it a shot. What could be easier? Take off; climb to pattern altitude; turn left 90 degrees; turn left 90 degrees to parallel the runway; when even with the numbers cut power; when the numbers are 45 degrees off the left wing turn left 90 degrees; while descending at an even speed, turn left 90 degrees to line up with the runway; ...

    Updated 11-12-2014 at 06:29 PM by gmurray56

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