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Back in the Cockpit

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I flew the sim for the 1st time in about a year. (FS2004, aka FS9, aka A Century of Flight) I have recently retired and moved to Florida, so I wanted to explore the area from the air. The program took forever to load on my ancient pc, but eventually I took off from Ocala in a Cherokee 6. Instead of my normal CH yoke, I had plugged in my Logitech joystick. I soon learned that I had forgotten the functions of multiple buttons (and even keyboard controls!) Throttle and stick. I turned east and soon could see the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon. I turned west, and eventually saw the Gulf of Mexico. Below me, not much to see but varying shades of flat green and occasional lakes. It was kind of boring.

I love to fly low and slow, and FS2004 has the perfect plane for that: the Wright Flyer. Talk about throttle and stick. I flew all the way from launch to the shore at less than 50 feet, dodging trees and buildings.

Next, I looked at the choice of historical recreations and decided to fly a DC-3 from Denver. It was hard to taxi to the active, and wound up just taking off without a runway. The interior views are great, with switches and knobs to remind me how complex this old plane really is. I hit the GPS button, and the glass screen looked so out of place! I didn't want to commit to a long flight, so I just flew to the downtown skyline (with the iconic cash register building.)

Finally, I wanted to do some yanking and banking, so I got into Patty Wagstaff's Extra 300. Woo-hoo! From a very low altitude I could do rolls and pull straight up. From the external view, I zoomed into the cockpit only to see Patty herself wearing aviator sunglasses.

So, I guess I'll have to dust off the manual and renew my passion for flying the computer. I have a few other ancient sims, including WarBirds and Beyond Pearl Harbor, to relearn. Who knows? I may even be inspired to invest in a new computer.

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