Motueka-Whangarei, passing over Mt. Taranaki
And a VOR to VOR flight from Ljubljana to Milan
Motueka-Whangarei, passing over Mt. Taranaki
And a VOR to VOR flight from Ljubljana to Milan
No flying for the last several days as I have been spending time in the hangar getting caught up on necessary maintenance as suggested by @Baracus250 (so, now you all know who to blame! )
Installed Addons Linker.
Installed SonicViz Aircraft Manager.
I’m really not sure if this is going to buy me anything at this stage of the game, but I’m getting the infrastructure in place, primarily to help tune setups as my needs mature.
I ended up trashing and reinstalling my entire MSFS installation because a couple of my controller profiles got me confused.
Since the ultimate cause of the problem was traced back to having the wrong controller profile associated with the wrong plane, the wrong controller hardware, (a generic gamepad instead of the Saitek X52 flight controller), assigned as the primary flight controller, along with one or two other stupidities on my part, @Baracus250 suggested Aircraft Manager as a way to manage what are becoming increasingly annoying controller configurations.
So, I’m spending time sorting out my aircraft’s flight controls and putting infrastructure in place that will allow me to integrate evolving control configurations with (hopefully) a minimum of confusion and angst in the future.
Not as much fun as flying, but necessary maintenance is important too.
(Now WHERE did I leave that bottle opener?!!)
Have a coke and a smile?
MSFS earlier this week provided me with the smile-
Today MSFS provided me with a Coke
I spent most of the afternoon very low flying a Mini 500 around the Sydney area. This heli flies nicely when the wind is calm, as it was today, but it’s a right handful when taxiing if it’s gusting 5 knots!
I forgot to take any pics, I was checking out the Orbx Sydney cityscape, and there’s lots to look at. I did get this one of Luna Park, which is was in the world update.
Later I went for a quick spin around Washington DC.
And then on recommendation from another thread I flew it up the middle of Marble Canyon from L41 and that was great.
No pics from inside the canyon, I needed both hands on the stick and collective doing 90kt around tight turns just above ground level.
After a few hours of heli flying I wanted to finish the day with the Vision Jet. I decided on a flight from PAVD Alaska to CYDA in the Yukon Canada. Mainly because I thought I could dodge the CTD this way. I’m pleased to say it worked, a very successful flight mostly at 10,000ft and entirely hand flown.
I have the Orbx DEM installed, I don’t know what they look like without it but the mountains looked great with it.
I made a mistake by not looking up the approach chart for CYDA. I just used the Garmin to plot the RNAV GPS with altitudes for me to hand fly. I didn’t realise how steep this approach was so I came in far too hot, couldn’t lose altitude and overflew the runway by at least 500ft high.
I had to declare missed and then climb quick because there’s not much room to manoeuvre. I circled back and rejoined the approach at 4,700 ft and this time I came in nice and slow and landed on the numbers.
MY FIRST GROUP EVENT FLIGHT - Cabri G2 in Australia
What a great time I had flying “Friday Night Flights - 9pm EDT - Helicopters to LUNA PARK”
Since recently switching to MSFS 2020 from X-Plane, I had only flown the MSFS Cabri G2 a couple times for maybe a total of 30 minutes in the cockpit, so this event was a great “on the job” opportunity to gain experience with takeoffs, cruising, altitude and speed management, formation flying, AND LANDINGS.
I “discovered” this event only a day before and set out to prepare as much as possible. I accepted the Discord invite, and then loaded up the provided pln file to discover it had a runway start, and the Wallacia YWLX grass strip airport did not have any starts that allow cold and dark, non-runway start up. I quickly built some PARKING-GA-SMALL starts for the existing airport using the SDK, and was pleasantly surprised how well they worked.
Next I pre-flighted the first leg of the plan in the G2 - out to Warragamba Dam. Wow! What an impressive sight. (BTW, I was flying 2D on a 24" 4k monitor).
Since I had been just starting to investigate VR flying with my Quest 2 head-mounted-display, I thought I might try flying the event in VR. I fired up about 10 minutes before the event and after 15 minutes of not getting the Quest 2 Link past the “three dots”, I had missed the group takeoff.
I threw off the Quest 2 and restarted MSFS 2020 (which seemed even slower when the group is chattering about the flying). While that was starting I switched my Discord settings from the Quest to a Plantronics Voyager Legend Bluetooth headset. Since I was late, I chose the pln file with the runway start, and rushed to takeoff.
I knew the heading to the dam, (and confirmed by looking down at the Garmin 430), pulled the collective up hard, pushed the cyclic full forward and quickly was zooming at 100 KIAS to catch the group.
When I arrived at the dam, folks were already showing off by landing on top of the dam:
LazyK0alas had already landed his “non-CabriG2-heli” which MSFS displayed to me as a fixed-wing jet.
Another non-CabriG2 pilot was displayed as a fixed-wing B222 twin with the landing gear down the whole flight.
There was one point in the flight where I was doing clockwise circuits around a point of interest and all of a sudden my attention was grabbed by a fixed wing coming right at me - since it actually was a heli doing counter-clockwise circuits it was moving slow enough that I could deconflict, but boy did my heart stop for a second (after which I actually remembered to grab a screenshot…)
Leader LazerBolt suggested we change the time to nearing sunset as we approached Sydney Harbor, and announced he was “setting down on Shark Island for a 10 minute group break”. I didn’t know what was Shark Island, but the place he was heading looked to be about 2 pixels big and I need a runway to land the G2 on at my heli skill level. I circled around and around looking for a spot to land and spotted a ship with what looked to be a bunch of helipads on top. I’ve never been very successful at helipad landing attempts (in X-Plane), but since I had turned off damage detection for the flight, I decided “now was a good time to practice a helipad landing” (right, at night - in a group flight - with no prior attempts in the MSFS heli). I almost did it, but slipped off the edge at the last minute and ended up on a dirt road next to the ship (alive? How does that happen?):
After the break we viewed the Sydney Opera House, and then headed to the Luna Amusement Park (and of course LazerBolt flew under the bridge to get there).
The group hovered near the park marveling about the modeled detail ( the rollercoaster, ship swing, tower fall all have amazing animations going on ), while I (who didn’t know that hovering in the CabriG2 in MSFS is a million times easier than in X-Plane) did circuits above the group again.
Eventually the folks started setting down in tiny corners of the park, so I looked around for the nearest runway to set down on. Bradfield Highway was all lit up and basically deserted looking just the thing for this noob heli pilot. I put her down more gently than expected and waited for a car or truck to drive into/through me, but they all seemed to be driving in the other lane, so I lived to shut down without incident.
The flight lasted an hour and a quarter (1h 17m) and was the most fun I have had in forty years of flight simming.
Glad you liked it, i couldn’t take my hand off the stick either…flew the Carenado Gee Bee
More short field hopping in the amazing Rans S6-S, the more I fly this plane the more I like! Just some jaunts between Cedar Mountain (42CM) and Mexican Mountain (42MX) scenes from Parallel 42 (are you detecting a theme in my flights yet?) I love the Parallel 42 stuff, the terraforming on Cedar Mountain is really cool and covers a large area. The S6-S is simply PACKED with magic dust, Flyboy Simulations is to be commended on a very fun and addictive aircraft!!! Flight model is superb, textures are top-notch.
Saturday flight: EasyJet A320 from Marrakech (GMMX) to Malta (LMML)
Distance: 1232 nm
Flight time: 2:41 Hours
I mounted my Alpha and Bravo underneath my desk using these:
Of course I got the LED option.
Currently doing a flight from Lahore Intl (OPLA/LHE) - Karachi Intl (OPKC/KHI) on a a320, long time I didn’t do a flight in Pakistan and the a320. I for some reason got a free air newzealand livery for the a320… Can I get some more?
I did the most challenging and the most dangerous leg of my trip around Pacific in DC-3 in real time and weather. I didn’t get Russian visa, so I had to reach USA (Aleutian) from the coast of Japan. RCJK PAAT with distance 1293 nm. I started preparation already a week ago and calculated it few times. First calculation was that it was not possible. Then I added some risk like no alternate, no deviation from course and good wind. And it seemed to be possible. Also last week the wind was very good for the route, but lot of clouds that would cause icing condition and also no VMC in the destination. And I required VMC in the destination, because PAAT has no IFR procedures. Anyway, I can do such long flight only on weekend.
So I checked weather this weekend and there were positives and negatives. No clouds around Aleutian, but I very little tailwind and I would have to fight crosswind that also costs fuel. Also IMC at departure, but there was easy IFR departure procedure using VOR from RJCK.
And now the flight. Start was not very successful. I am not really used to flying IFR without seeing horizon. Also I made typical mistake focusing on single instrument trying to turn to VOR. And I noticed quite late that I was not climbing. Well, I recovered but it took me some time to stabilize. Also probably because of lot of fuel the CG was more forward than I was used to. I reached VOR and established my course. Later on I got out of clouds, but there was still not much to see, except nice night sky full of stars.
Navigation strategy: I don’t know how to do celestial navigation and most of the flight is over the ocean without any navigation aids. So I relied on dead-reckoning. In Little NavMap I created checkpoints every 100 nm. Then Little NavMap calculated for me bearing at every checkpoint. Both true and magnetic. It would be quite some work to calculate it manually. During flight at every checkpoint (every 32 minutes) I checked deviation in MSFS VFR map. I consider that as 3-rd party GPS. Although, I don’t know, how many satellites are available there. Anyway, I could check first 3 checkpoints using nearby VORs and visual clues. I had very little deviation. And sight was spectacular. Moonrise at first and then followed by sunrise.
But then the odds started to play against me. I had to avoid clouds that started to cause icing. I had to descend to 9000ft and then 7000ft and even go around bigger cloud formation. That was deviation I couldn’t afford. As I was getting closer to my destination I could see more and more I couldn’t make it. I was out of fuel about 50nm from the destination. I could see the lonely island so close and yet so far. Well, I swallowed my pride and I refueled 40 gallons in the air. That was just enough to get me safely to the airport.
As I said the departure was not very successful and there was also another mistake. I should depart from another airport in Japan that is 40nm north (RJCN). I chose RJCK because that was star airport in MSFS. If I would depart from the other airport and wouldn’t need to avoid clouds, I would make it. On the good side, I was surprised how accurate the dead-reckoning was. And my first calculation was correct, the flight was not possible.
Total flight time: 7h32m
Had a blast flying the updated vision jet from Munich to Warsaw.
Buttery smooth all over. And this was before I found out about the moving maps working between Xbox and navigraph. Can’t wait to try another flight tomorrow.
Carenado Gee Bee
I was doing some googling about the origins of VOR when I came across Dr Dolittle (PhD in aeronautics in 1925). Well, James Dolittle helped develop the artificial horizon and directional gyroscope….as well as being the guy who led the 16 B25’s off the aircraft carrier in 1942. He features in the top 10 of World Aviators.
I digress. The Gee Bee was built for one specific purpose, speed. It was built to win the Thompson Trophy (seeming forerunner of Reno Air Races), which it did, in 1931. Dr Dolittle won the Thompson Trophy in 1932 in the Gee Bee at an average speed of 253mph.
There were consequences to pushing the speed envelope to the limit of course.
An attempt at the world speed record in 1931 ended in a fatal crash which began the Gee Bee’s reputation as killers. There is a video of the crash on YouTube, I won’t post a link here. Other fatal crashes followed, including the death of one of the brothers who made the aircraft, in 1934, he crashed the aircraft he was delivering.
The Granville Brothers went bankrupt in 1934.
The above is why I gave the Gee Bee a blast.
The Carenado is difficult to get in the air, I used a slow progression of the throttle to full, and small nudges on the right rudder pedal.
It flies very nicely, tail heavy requiring a lot of trim. Really twitchy in quick banks, and impossible to land. I’ve landed a lot of different aircraft in the sim….can’t land this without it tipping over onto one wing despite correct approach speed and required 3 point landing.
On the Dr Dolittle theme, he speaks to the animals in the film did he not - well, this aircraft qualifies as being a real animal.
Great fun to fly around Marble Canyon (L41) as pictured here. A plane to fly just for the white knuckle ride, don’t bother trying to land it, just quit, take off and fly the Canyon again……then perhaps grab a stiff drink to help steady the nerves.
Edit: can’t help but wonder what flying the Marble Canyon is like in VR.
Busy day, didn’t really get a chance to play, however…
Was talking to someone today for the first time, and he said he is from Springfield Missouri. I said, “Oh yeah, home to the World’s Largest Fork, right”?
He said “I guess so”.
We were talking for a while, and I told him how I am into flight simulator, and I was pretty sure I had flown over Springfield and saw what I thought was the World’s Largest Fork. I looked it up, and sure enough I was right. I told him something from the city he was born and raised in that he didn’t know existed in his city, and he was very impressed. I remembered the city layout and said “you guys have a University located in the middle of the city, right”?
“MSU” he replied.
This has happened several times where learning about the world from flight sim comes into real world conversations. I am not well traveled, but I am virtually well traveled
He kept asking questions about the sim after me saying how I had never been there and real life and everything I had said came from the sim, including knowing where my current local Walmart was and going there for the first time when I moved here 6 months ago without using GPS, simply used my memory from the night before when I flew over the city.
Melbourne (YMML) to Sydney Kingsford Smith (YSSY) in the HondaJet
I really wanted to do some vatsim flying in Australia, but since I live in Europe there’s a bit of challenge to that. So I got up, checked the vatsim coverage map, decided on the route, quickly set up my flight plan and got into the HondaJet. Sadly by that Melbourne already logged off, but at least I had ATC on arrival. At first Sydney director was assigning me a visual approach, but as I am unfamiliar with the location he was nice enough to vector me instead. The landing itself was sadly pretty much average at best, I wasn’t properly aligned and pulled up the nose too much.
Full video uploading and will be available here: