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  1. New City: Bremerton, Washington

    We had moved from Austin, Texas, to Port Orchard, Washington. I had made the drive to get the cars to our new state, but debated whether to sell the Cherokee and get a new one or to fly it across the country. I finally decided to fly: 22.4 hours solo over four days. I arrived on March 28. Almost two weeks later, I had a chance to fly around and get the lay of the land. The long cross-country had been an adventure, but now I wanted just to fly for fun.

    I configure the simulator for Bremerton ...
  2. New Plane: Cherokee 140

    I have downloaded a plane like the first one I owned: a Piper Cherokee 140. This is a recreation of the first flight after taking delivery in San Marcos and flying to my tie-down at Austin Mueller. From the outside, it looks much like my Cherokee, except mine had wheel pants on the front gear as well as the mains. The paint scheme, of course, is different, too, but I am excited to fly my old plane on the computer. The interior looks much like I remember, except for a manifold pressure gauge. The ...
  3. Helicopter Demo: R22 at Austin Executive

    I had almost 230 hours in airplanes, but I had been reading about the new Robinson R22 helicopter in the aviation magazines. I saw there was a local flight school giving training and demo rides, so I treated myself to a lesson. I drove to Austin Executive and met with the CFI-H for a demo. I had flown once before in a sightseeing helicopter, and the Robinson was much smaller. It was truly the C152 of helicopters, with barely room for two people. I sat in the right seat, the traditional pilot seat ...
  4. New Plane, New City: Cessna 172, Austin, Texas

    In January 1990, I earned my private license. The flight school in San Marcos had closed, so I had been forced to finish in Austin. It was different, with a control tower and commercial flights landing on the parallel runway, but it was closer to home. About two weeks after my private pilot checkride, I rented a Cessna 172 and got checked out. This is a recreation of that flight.

    This was not my first flight in the FSX Cessna 172. I have flown it at home with my CH Products yoke, and ...
  5. Cross-Country: San Marcos to Hearne, Texas

    Instead of recreating all the touch-and-go's and staying in the local area, I have decided to skip ahead to my first cross-country flight. I start in San Marcos on runway 35 with the engine running. The Flight Planner has told me to fly a heading of 042 degrees, so off I go. I find it hard to maintain my desired altitude of 2500 feet and the heading at the same time, but eventually it settles down.

    I find myself flying through the Austin Bergstrom airspace, which was not an issue in ...
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