Flap's Flap 23
By John J. Thuot II (28 February 2008)
First of all, I apologize for a lack of articles for those of you who enjoy my work, it's been a very busy time putting my radio shows together and updating my web site.
For those of you who don't know, I've recently received an official card for my program from PNY Technologies - the nVidia Geforce 8800 GTX Overclocked PCI-E 768 mb card.
I can't even wonder what the heck I did before I had this card, running a 256 mb PCI-E, by PNY, it still delivered great power and performance for a reasonable price. I am now in the major leagues with this new card, and can't imagine myself going back to anything else.
I've been thinking about what types of flying bring me the most enjoyment. I have realized that when I look at the planes that have the most hours on their chronometers, I obviously like to fly general aviation more than the big jets, especially planes like the little Cessna Skylanes. I know you've heard me say that I love the older Citation X from Eaglesoft on the flight simulator, and mastered that jet so well that when I landed it, you didn't even notice until you looked out the window, but there's something about the low and slow general aviation flying.
I use a combination of sources to get real routes, or use Flight Simulator's built in flight planner, for these smaller planes have a chance to see some spectacular scenery upfront, at a lower height with nothing obstructing the view. I also usually look for flights away from our neck of the woods, and explore parts of the country or even the world that I have never been to before, know I'll probably never be able to visit, and at least I'm able to do it virtually, and with the scenery products that I have on my computer like MegaScenery, and Ultimate Terrain it's as good as going there especially with the graphic card that I now have that produces such stunning visual effects with the weather and ground.
There's something rewarding about getting into our hobby of virtual aviation. We learn a valuable skill, and let me tell you - shame on you if you refer to flight simulator as a game. For one thing I can tell you, sure, it may feel gamey when you use it, but with the built in air traffic control, the weather, the in flight emergencies that can crop up, and if you are or not ready to deal with them, this program is anything but a game. Sure you don't have the pressures if you were to survive a crash of a fully loaded 757 under you as pilot in command afterwards, but we can learn about our mistakes on the simulator and apply them if the situation should ever happen to come up in real life, for I'm sure that any number of you who are into this hobby of ours would be jumping out of our seats if no one else ever answered to the call of "Is there anyone on this plane with flight experience?" were to be asked by one of the flight attendants on a real trip.
You know, that's another thing too - this subject is debatable until we're blue in the face, and we all like to feel as though we're the best of the best, but let's face it - would you be up to the challenge of landing say a fully loaded 747 if the crew were to become incapacitated? Would you want the responsibility on you if anything were to be "fouled up" on approach with the humungous bird? I'm sure we're saying sure now, and probably more so than not say absolutely to save our own butts in the event of an in flight emergency in the real world, and then - yes if only then if anything ever worked out, we'd be on all the late shows like Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien giving thanks and praise to Microsoft Flight Simulator as our hobby and maybe even shaking hands with who ever would be in the Presidential - okay, maybe I'm getting a little bit out of hand here, but let's face it, until we're bought up with that big decision in the sky let's try to keep our enthusiasm down a bit about doing such a thing, for at least we can accomplish it virtually in our own little imaginary world, and not have to suffer any ill effects from the "pain and suffering" ends of passengers when they find out that we learned our skill in the glow of our monitors.
John J. Thuot II