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Across the Atlantic in a Skyhawk: Part 4


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The first time I flew my Cherokee 140 was the demo ride with

an instructor on board. It was a short flight, because the pitot

system failed on the downwind leg. The airspeed started dropping

and I kept pushing the nose down until the instructor said,

"Something's wrong. Hear that wind rushing by? We're going really

fast." He took over and landed the plane by the seat of his

pants. I bought the plane anyway. A few years later the same

thing happened to me after I took off for a trip up to Gladewater

to visit my brother. By that time, I had gotten so comfortable in

that plane I just said to myself, "Heck, I am going to Gladewater,"

and made the trip without an airspeed indicator. It wasn't hard.


In FS9, you never get a bug in your pitot tube.


For the next leg of my transatlantic odessey in the Skyhawk, I did

not have any trouble, for the first 7 hours of my planned flight from

Kevlavik in Iceland to Donegal in Ireland. Just before starting the

final approach to the Donegal airport, however, the simulation crashed,

and my last save was back at Kevlavik. To avoid keeping my computer

tied up for another 8 hours of real time simulation, I reran the first part

of the crossing using time compression. To activate time compression,

you hit the R key, then press '+' to increase the compression and '-' to

decrease the compression. The amount of time compression is displayed

in the upper right corner of the screen. About 30 minutes out from

Donegal I turned off time compression and flew the last part of the

flight in realtime.





The airport has a control tower, but no paved parking area. I parked

near the refueling station, just off the runway. There were 9.16

gallons of fuel remaining.




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FS2004 does have a reputation for frequent program crashes, and that is consistent with my own experience. When I started this odyssey, after not having used the program for a couple of years, I was surprised how stable the program suddenly appeared to be. I completed 20+ hours of real time simulation without a single program crash and I grew complacent.


Another problem I have experienced is that I have not been able to get third party add-ons to work, e.g. new airplane models. I would love to have a piper cherokee 140 model that works in fs9, because, despite its problems and because of the graphics, I still like it better than fs2002, which never crashed and worked well with third party add-ons.


I am using Windows 8.1, so I tried upgrading to Windows 10, but I found a whole new set of quirks and frustrations to deal with.


After being away from flight simulation for a long time, I was drawn back to it by the release of fs2020, and I spent a week trying to get it to work, but it looks like I would need to do a serious hardware upgrade to be successful. So I came back to fs2004 and Windows 8.1 to while away the hours of the corona virus pandemic.


What can't be cured, must be endured so I have adopted an attitude of "dignified resignation."

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FS2004 does have a reputation for frequent program crashes....


....I still like it better than fs2002, which never crashed and worked well with third party add-ons.


I am using Windows 8.1...




I'd say the opposite and say its the most stable platform for any number of add-ons which number into the 'quadrillions' for FS9.


But that...ah....windows version you have....

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If at first you don't succeed, try again.


This discussion motivated me to give third party aircraft another try, just to be sure my claims were correct. First I tried a free model from the library; it was cxan3398m.zip and it worked fine.



I also tried a payware model from the store.




It works great and has a virtual cockpit. Good job.

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