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Austin,TX to Lake Charles,LA

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My ancient computer quit talking to the internet, but it still works, so I took the opportunity to make it a dedicated simulator. FS2020 is getting all the attention, but FS9 is still fun for some of us. I had to re-learn the keyboard commands and yoke buttons (and how to get to the map and GPS) because I'm that rusty, but a little research helped.

I am flying from my old home in Texas to my new one in Florida in a Cherokee Six (PA32). I never flew this route for real, and my old Saratoga is (hopefully) giving enjoyment to its present owner, but this is how I would have done it. Flight planning showed an initial heading of 082, which surprised me. I thought it would be southeast, not a little north of east. I'm sticking to big airports, on the chance I might see a big plane.

I take off from KAUS runway 35 and turn right, climbing to 3500 feet. It takes me a while to get everything stabilized, but eventually I am able to fly hands-free, parallel to the GPS track. I look out the window at the brown fields and pastures, with the occasional subdivision. FS9 asks me if I want to talk to Houston for flight following, and I do, but soon enough I get tired of the typed conversations and irrelevant calls, and turn it off. About an hour in, I'm approaching Houston airspace, and the pastures turn into forest. I recognize some of the big lakes in East Texas. The Gulf of Mexico is visible on the right horizon. It stays there all the way to Louisiana.

I take advantage of the stability and get up to take care of some other stuff. (Something you definitely can't do in a real plane.) When I get back, I see that the altitude has slowly increased, so I have to use the virtual trim on the panel because the trim wheel on the CH yoke is already at its limit. I start letting down, planning to come into Lake Charles at about 1500 feet. I enjoy the views out the windows, but really like the SPOT view. I could never see the plane from the outside while flying in the real world! There is more and more water. Eventually I see the airport, KCWF. I make a straight-in to the runway, but don't use any flaps, resulting in a couple of bounces and a long, long roll-out. A little over 2 hours of what may seem like incredible boredom to some (like my wife), but I feel accomplishment.

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