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Thread: Where did you fly today ?

  1. #161

    Default

    Nowhere. I’m suddenly plagued by CTD’s after 15 minutes of flying. Starting to ruin the experience.
    - James

    Intel i7-10700F 2.9 gigahertz - 16GB Memory DDR4 3000 megahertz - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB - 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD - Windows 10

  2. #162
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    Jan 2021
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    Aptos, California
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    150

    Default KSMO (Santa Monica) to L35 (Big Bear City)

    I set a VFR flight plan (via VOR) from Santa Monica to Big Bear and took off in live--clear--weather in the Cessna 172 with the Garmin 1000 instrument panel, navigating manually by following the track on the Garmin screen. I'm understanding the Garmin better. When you set a flight plan, it's entered into the Garmin and displayed as a track on the MFD (multi-function display) screen--the one to the right. You don't have to trouble yourself with setting the VOR frequencies. The flight across the LA and over the San Bernardino Mountains to touchdown at Big Bear took nearly an hour in the 172. I spent most of that time climbing to the 11,000-plus-foot altitude I needed to comfortably clear the mountain ridge south of the airport before dropping into Big Bear Valley to land. The flight-plan track brought me to the entry of the landing pattern for RWY 26 at Big Bear City (denoted by MSFS's bracketed highway in the sky for cheaters). The landing went reasonably smoothly until the last 10-15 seconds of final. That's the point where I was hampered (I'm gonna insist I was) by a flight dynamics bug in Asobo's most recent software update, affecting the use of flaps. You can read the above-linked article for details, but the bottom line is that until the bug's fixed, flaps will be more of a hindrance than a help on final. I was able to regain terra firma with the plane in one piece, but I used up a lot of runway doing it.

    This was a sentimental journey for me, because I'd ski-bummed at Big Bear during the winter of 1973-74, working for minimum wage in the ski-rental shop at the Big Bear's "premier" ski area, Snow Summit (and skiing on days off). I could see the ski area's familiar runs out of the Cessna's right-hand window as I entered the downwind leg of the landing pattern at Big Bear City. I give high marks to Asobo for their accurate representation of Snow Summit. I was hoping to see snow on the ski runs, but they were bone dry in the sim when I flew in, despite "live weather"--and this, despite the ski area reporting a 46-inch base today. Actually that's not surprising. Big Bear is only two hours from Southern California's beaches. Daytime temps there are hitting 50 degrees and higher now. And Snow Summit often makes it through the mild SoCal winters by blanketing its runs with machine-made snow. Machine snow not being part of the weather forecast, I wouldn't expect the sim to show it.

    Today's flight was a redo of a near-disastrous trip from Santa Monica to L35 yesterday, when I flew off course and would up on the wrong side of--and below--the mountain ridge overlooking the airport. I had to climb 1,500-2,000 feet or so to clear the ridge and land. I blame this on MSFS's AI flight controllers. Though I filed the same VOR-guided flight plan yesterday, I thought it would be a good idea to go on IFR with ATC's guidance. This resulted in ATC telling me to gain altitude, followed by an order to shed altitude, followed by an order to gain altitude again--for reasons I didn't understand. I tried to be a good scout and obey ATC, but in the process, I flew way off course and ended up in the wrong mountain valley. I went back to Big Bear today to get it right--without ATC's "help." I just wish I could've stuck the landing.

    One take-away from today's trip: If I'm gonna fly planes with new-fangled--and confusing-to-me--high-tech avionics screens, I gotta learn to use the AP.

    A final note: In a previous post, I faulted Asobo for not showing a low-rise apartment complex adjacent to L.A.'s Marina del Rey channel where we'd lived for several years on the late '90s. I looked for it again flying out of SMO, and it's there. I could see the building where our apartment was. Now if I could just fnd our house here in Aptos...
    HP Omen 25L Desktop, Intel i7-1070 CPU, 32 GB DDR RAM, Nvidia 3070 GPU, 1 TB SSD, Logitech flight yoke, throttle quadrant, rudder pedals, multi-panel, radio panel, TrackIR 5

  3. #163

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aptosflier View Post

    This was a sentimental journey for me, because I'd ski-bummed at Big Bear during the winter of 1973-74, working for minimum wage in the ski-rental shop at the Big Bear's "premier" ski area, Snow Summit (and skiing on days off). I could see the ski area's familiar runs out of the Cessna's right-hand window as I entered the downwind leg of the landing pattern at Big Bear City. I give high marks to Asobo for their accurate representation of Snow Summit. I was hoping to see snow on the ski runs, but they were bone dry in the sim when I flew in, despite "live weather"--and this, despite the ski area reporting a 46-inch base today. Actually that's not surprising. Big Bear is only two hours from Southern California's beaches. Daytime temps there are hitting 50 degrees and higher now. And Snow Summit often makes it through the mild SoCal winters by blanketing its runs with machine-made snow. Machine snow not being part of the weather forecast, I wouldn't expect the sim to show it.
    I grew up in the IE, and I remember Big Bear being an interesting place. I've enjoyed doing a couple short flights into that airport just because the scenery is very interesting.
    - James

    Intel i7-10700F 2.9 gigahertz - 16GB Memory DDR4 3000 megahertz - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB - 480GB SSD + 1TB HDD - Windows 10

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    Arizona
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    Default

    I wanted to fly over a place I've visited in real life as a child, in the Himalayan mountains of India: Rohtang Pass. So I planned a route from one of the most magical towns in the world, a mountain village named Manali which has an MSFS airport, up to Rohtang's windy and terrifying jeep road, and back down from the Himalayan range to a nearby airport named Gaggal.

    Manali elevation: 3,562 feet.
    Elevation of mountains by Rohtang Pass: 18,000 feet.
    Gaggal elevation: 2,461.

    Clearly my sentimental favorite, a 172, was not going to do. I don't like flying jets or big planes either. The wind was strong so I wanted something small that would challenge me. I settled for the Diamond A62, as it's one of the only small planes that has a ceiling limit of 20,000. I assume that a plane this fancy is something I will never realistically fly in real life, on a regular basis anyway, but not much else was going to make it.

    Autopilot was not useful because the Diamond did not climb fast enough to match the magenta line. I had to follow river canyons instead while gaining altitude. Eventually it did reach 19,800 feet though. I had no problem reaching Rohtang Pass, and seeing it gave me chills thinking about the fact that a no-name jeep driver actually drove my family up those treacherous roads. One false step and we would all be dead. I am sure there actually are many automobile deaths at Rohtang every year.

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    Landing at Gaggal was uneventful. It is a pretty area of India even though not in the mountains itself. The entire Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is gorgeous.
    Intel Core i7 10700KF (8-Core 5.1GHz Turbo Boost), RTX 3070 8GB, 32GB Dual Channel at 3200MHz, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Monitor: Samsung C49RG9x. VR: Oculus Quest 2.

  5. #165
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    Jan 2021
    Location
    Aptos, California
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    150

    Default Another day, more practice landings

    I didn't have a lot of time to fly this afternoon, but made the most of it. First, I tried out a different plane, the ION A5. I did a practice landing pattern at Watsonville, touched and went, and flew up the coast a short way to see if I could spot our house; I didn't find it, but I know it's gotta be there, as the detail of the neighborhood is pretty spot on. The A5 is a float plane, so maybe I'll try to land it in Monterey Bay sometime. (Any tips for landing in light chop?) Next, I did a reasonably decent landing at Watsonville in a Beechcraft Bonanza and then took it for a short flight to Monterey Regional Airport, using the autopilot for much of the route. Took over the controls a couple of miles or so out from the bracketed landing pattern (I'm still cheating) and bounced it a couple of times on Rwy 10R at Monterey, but was still able to taxi off the runway and park it.

    I'm getting more comfortable using the Garmin G1000, up to a point--the point being where I have to disengage the AP to land the plane, without the visual cues of the localizer/ILS gauge in a simpler instrument stack like those of the Cessna 172 (minus the Garmin) and the Cessna 152. I find it hard to believe there isn't some similar visual reference in the Garmin PFD (primary flight display) screen, but I have yet to find it. Does anybody know if there is one and what it looks like?

    Speaking of the Beech Bonanza, an interesting bit of history: When it was first introduced, it was called the "doctor killer." Read on...
    HP Omen 25L Desktop, Intel i7-1070 CPU, 32 GB DDR RAM, Nvidia 3070 GPU, 1 TB SSD, Logitech flight yoke, throttle quadrant, rudder pedals, multi-panel, radio panel, TrackIR 5

  6. Default Where else besides Rio do I always fly in my Concorde?

    One of my favorite arrivals, of course. Especially after I got the Boryspil' scenery and taxiing my Concorde up to the ramp. Always a pleasure, using this arrival.

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  7. #167
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    Arizona
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    Default

    My favorite Canadian province is Québec, so I decided today on a rural route through live weather in the Gaspé region. It being two time zones ahead of me this was a suicidal decision obviously, but I managed to survive. I did it in VR but still managed to take some photos.

    I took off from Rivière aux Saumons, a small airport on an island off the Gaspé peninsula. I tried to route it as realistically as I could even though the decision to fly was not realistic at all. To reach the mainland and my eventual destination, Bonaventure, I had to fly across a stretch of ocean for about 40 nm. I shortened it as much as possible, flying along the island's coast to the point that jutted out closest to the mainland. I had nice weather for much of this but with about 10 nm to go and the sun beginning to set, the Cessna 172 began experiencing problems.

    I recklessly decided to cruise on this trip at about 5,000 feet altitude. Ignoring the weather patterns made this choice an especially poor one. At 2,000 feet I was pretty much okay, but as soon as I climbed up to 5,000, the windshield became "crystallized" and I could see ice on the wings. Only after I had iced the wings did I turn on the Garmin 1000's weather radar function, to see clearly that remaining at 2,000 may have prevented the icing. Still, I plugged along but the weather grew continuously worse. Also, in real life I had some work matters to do and this high-risk flight that was demanding my attention full-time was not letting me do it. So I decided to find the nearest airport--again using only the Garmin 1000---and found that I was almost on top of an airport for one of Canada's national parks. Name of the park... are you ready for this, francophiles?... Parc national de l'Île-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé.

    Visibility was good enough to land comfortably. I pulled up to the fuel pump and turned off the engine and all power.

    After addressing my RL work issues, I decided to go back and try and depart in live weather and time even though this was an even more ridiculous choice than the first one. Not only had my plane iced up en route to the Parc airport where I was now parked, but it was 630pm and therefore pitch black. Compounding my difficulties was the truly lame AI behind Microsoft's ATC. Since I literally had no visibility...

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    I would obviously rely on IFR to reach my destination, right? But MSFS ATC is especially useless in emergency or high stress situations. It kept telling me to climb to 6,000 feet for one thing. Since I was physically incapable of doing so but I didn't want to turn IFR off, ATC repeated its "please climb to 6,000 feet" instruction probably 20 times in a row. Also, right in the middle of my desperately flailing away with the controls to keep from crashing into the darkness, ATC would demand that I acknowledge its instructions, which you can only do by hitting keys on the keyboard. There is not even an attempt by Microsoft here to simulate how real ATC would respond if you called them up and said, "I'm in huge trouble. I think I might die. Please help me."

    For complex reasons that I don't understand, the Cessna would often sink to as close as 200 feet above the ground while almost stalling, in this weather. Other times, it would get a seeming jolt of energy and be able to climb up to 1,200 feet for a while, which kept me barely alive. The strength of MSFS graphics plus VR really shone through here, as I could see tiny houses with their lights on just below me, helping me avoid total visual disorientation. You can see one little house in the middle of this screenshot:

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    Despite ATC doing everything in its power to murder me, and despite autopilot not working because I was constantly stalling, I finally managed to get within 1 nm of the Bonaventure airport. The only problem was that I couldn't actually see it. What happened next can probably be best described as a fish flopping around on the ground and accidentally falling back into the water. While violently pitching from one angle to another, I magically saw the runway lights show up right below me when I was at an almost-stall speed. Miraculously, I managed to nail an almost perfect landing. I won this round. Final scene:

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    Intel Core i7 10700KF (8-Core 5.1GHz Turbo Boost), RTX 3070 8GB, 32GB Dual Channel at 3200MHz, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Monitor: Samsung C49RG9x. VR: Oculus Quest 2.

  8. #168
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    Arizona
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slickrock View Post
    One of my favorite arrivals, of course. Especially after I got the Boryspil' scenery and taxiing my Concorde up to the ramp. Always a pleasure, using this arrival.
    Where did you get the Concorde modification?
    Intel Core i7 10700KF (8-Core 5.1GHz Turbo Boost), RTX 3070 8GB, 32GB Dual Channel at 3200MHz, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Monitor: Samsung C49RG9x. VR: Oculus Quest 2.

  9. #169
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    Jan 2021
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    Aptos, California
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    Default Splashdowns, landings, and AP

    This morning, I took the ICON A5 up for a spin around my "home" airport, Watsonville Municipal. There are a couple of small lakes north of the airport, and I headed for the more elongated of the two and set up for an amphibious landing. The landing (splashdown?) was very smooth, probably one of my best ever. Of course, a wide, smooth lake is a much more forgiving target than a runway. I taxied (boated?) to the end of the lake turned around, and took off again. I was headed back to RWY 20 at Watsonville, wheels down on final when a dreaded CTD terminated my flight. I restarted and took off again, this time following Highway 1 north (really west) at low altitude to our neighborhood shopping center, in hopes of using that landmark to find our house. But I was unable to circle slowly enough to locate it. I gave up and flew back to Watsonville where another CTD prematurely terminated my flight before I could land. By now it was time for lunch.

    In the afternoon, I took a Beechcraft Bonanza from Watsonville to Monterey, via the Salinas airport VOR, mostly on autopilot--a couple of times. I'd found this helpful YouTube tutorial on how to use AP with the Garmin G1000; and of special interest to me, how to use it for an ILS runway approach. When you set it up right, the G1000 can keep you on the glideslope through downwind, base, and final, lining you up with the runway, and leaving last minute details like lowering landing gear, if required, and flaring out to you. However, I missed a required input somewhere, because the Bonanza wouldn't enter the landing pattern (denoted by cheater brackets) by itself on either approach. Had to fly through the brackets to the runway on my own, which I did. The second time, I did a touch and go and flew back to Watsonville. I was on base and turning to final there when another CTD struck. Frustrated and determined to land the Bonanza, I restarted the computer, rebooted MSFS and took off again. This time I came in too low and slow, stalled, and crashed into a tree short of RWY 20. Taking off in the Bonanza once more, I was able to get it back to the airport, landing short on RWY20, then mistaking intersecting RWY 27 for a taxiway and almost hitting another plane before MSFS crashed to desktop again.

    I'll go back at it again tomorrow, but in the Cessna 172. At this point, the Bonanza is more plane than I can handle without AP.
    HP Omen 25L Desktop, Intel i7-1070 CPU, 32 GB DDR RAM, Nvidia 3070 GPU, 1 TB SSD, Logitech flight yoke, throttle quadrant, rudder pedals, multi-panel, radio panel, TrackIR 5

  10. #170
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    Default Northwest Territories, Canada

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    Did a quick hop today from a small airport in the Canadian Arctic, using live weather. This was the take-off from Fort Simpson, NWT (CYFS). Fortunately the weather was nice, though cold. The moon looked alien at 8:30 a.m. local time. All lakes and rivers frozen over.
    Intel Core i7 10700KF (8-Core 5.1GHz Turbo Boost), RTX 3070 8GB, 32GB Dual Channel at 3200MHz, 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. Monitor: Samsung C49RG9x. VR: Oculus Quest 2.

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