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  1. 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 ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. 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 ...
  4. 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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  5. Cessna 172: FSX v. FS2004

    It dawns on me that I have the Cessna 172 on both programs, and can recreate my real C172 flights on both platforms and compare the experience. I start with the FSX at Austin Mueller and head for Taylor, just a few miles to the north. Everything seems normal, except the long take-off roll and some ground handling difficulty. The settings were the same I have been using, with brown and green out the window, generally identifiable landmarks, and sparse buildings. After landing, I reset the graphics ...
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