• A Letter To Readers

    A Letter To Readers

    By Peter Carlson
    September 20, 2011

    Dear Readers,

    As summertime turns to fall, although in Southern California there is a subtle change between seasons, we begin to wind back into the milling along with work, school, and prepare for a coming winter, and the coming holidays. This Christmas, will mark the 6th year of my using Flight Simulator, starting with FS2004. After three years, I got FSX, and used the two side-by-sides, later retiring FS2004 to the software drawer. It will be also a year soon, that marks my entrance into the flight simulation community, and began reviewing products. It was in September of last year that I first contacted Nels, asking him if I could be a reviewer, and start with the Accusim B-17; I missed it by a day, it had been assigned shortly before. I almost gave up on the idea, but then again, I wrote up a review of the PMDG 747-8X, which never got published (I don't know why) and I became a reviewer.

    I always like writing, that's why I took this job; sometimes I procrastinate and do other things instead, but every time I sit down on my wooden chair, pull out the keyboard, and begin writing, I begin to like it again. Since I began reviewing, I have met many people in this community, whose faces I know of as the logos their company has, with few exceptions. I have made many friends and foes alike, and I have learned one important thing: although some developers don't produce the most superlative products, the people behind the products, who work hard to produce a nice product, show me how great this hobby is.

    It is fulfilling writing a review on MS Word, seeing the final draft nice and neat as if it is to be printed on a 8 1/2" X 11" sheet, seeing big, beefy paragraphs ready to be sent to the reader. Nevertheless, on my 21.5" screen, those paragraphs are stretched out, and soon they seem like mere first-grader sentences; it bugs me.

    I was searching around to find a developer who would take on a project proposal I had, and my proposals impressed everyone; yet, they weren't viable for everyone I sent them to. I had previously sought to review the Coolsky Super 80 product, and Coolsky's head-honcho (so-to-speak) was impressed, but couldn't take on the project. However, I did get something else, I get to beta test their upcoming Douglas DC-9-30 product, and that brought me to a conclusion. With beta testing, I'm going to make sure the DC-9 works like a real DC-9, and that bugs aren't there. Therefore, I decided that I should, when beta testing starts, subject the product to all the tests and trials required for FAA certification.

    It came to me that, if I wanted more substance out of my reviews (although many gracious emails said I was great), I should subject each new aircraft that I review, to many of those FAA certification guidelines; that I should see if it can recover from a spin, a stall, whether a multi-engine can takeoff past V1 if an engine is lost, can I perform an RTO properly if an engine is lost prior to v1? These are all things that I'll get to do in the beta test, and just some of the parameters that my future reviews will be subject to; however, for reviews, the FAA guidelines are to be trimmed, as many guidelines aren't worth the time.

    So for all you who have read my reviews, you can expect even more substance, objective reporting, rigorous testing, and finer screen shots from all I do. You can also expect probably weekly reports and video journals, so you may follow the DC-9 through the test process.

    Peter J. Carlson
    [email protected]">Peter J. Carlson