My brother is both wheelchair bound and lives in a rural backwater in Ohio. So much so that the installation of the town’s first sidewalk was a major event! (They hope to get a traffic light someday. )
One of the things I like to do with him is take him flying in MSFS, riding “the jumpseat” via Discord, and going to places he will probably never visit in real life. You might say that this helps him “get out of the house” in a sense.
Where are good places for me to take him?
Note that the usual flight will probably look something like this:
Go somewhere in a plane with reasonable visibility and find something or somewhere interesting.
“Deploy the drone” by using active pause and then switching to the drone view to explore.
Once that’s done, return to the plane and fly to the next interesting place and go back to #2.
Continue untill tired or we run out of interesting things to see.
The scenery should be as accurate as reasonably possible, as I don’t want to take him places that aren’t implemented, (generic scenery), or are abysmal, (the photogrammetry is all borked up).
It should be amenable to sightseeing in a small airplane with limited instrumentation.
(i. e. Strictly VFR, nav by sight, not needing anything fancy like VOR/DME, Vatsim, IVAO, etc.)
It should be interesting, though “interesting” is in the eye of the beholder, so I am open to suggestions. “Interesting” includes both urban and rural destinations.
It should be something that I can find easily from within the “World view” and select it.
Nice to haves:
If the place has multiple interesting things to see, (within a 5 to 10 minute flight), all at the same time, that would be good.
An airport nearby, where “nearby” is less than 15 minutes at appx 80 kts.
Absent that, a clear landmark that I can visually navigate with/toward and/or spawn at.
A key or list of what to look for, and where it is would be a great addition.
(i. e. Flying around Sydney Australia, we saw the bridge, the opera house, a few other neeto buildings, but otherwise we had no idea what we were looking at.)
Picky rules, ATC, flight plans, and such like are optional and probably won’t be used since I want to get the most “sightseeing” time in possible.
All ideas are welcome!
(Not required but would be a nice touch.)
I’d probably go with anywhere around New Zealand. I think there’s a free world update already for them, and there’s also a payware addon that improves the terrain even more. New zealand has a really nice scenery to fly around on. Nice mountains, fjords and terrain.
Is your brother a sports fan? You could do a tour of all the baseball and/or football stadiums in the country. Most of the ones I’ve seen don’t look perfect, and some are downright awful, but it could be interesting for a fan.
Do you know about Bushtalk Radio? It is a mod that let’s people add landmarks into the sim and many of them will have audio narration as you fly near them. If you have landmarks turned on in MSFS, it’s easy to spot them in the air. You don’t have to use the audio part if you don’t want to.
You have a wealth of structured activities to do that already: Discovery flights and official bush flights.
Having the structure there is useful for him as well, as he can pick it up when you are not available, contintue on, and also has a record of progress you can discuss.
Use them as a starting point to discover and learn about areas in a structured way, and be open to taking notes as you go to return and explore further. Use Little NavMap to take notes externally, or one of the location management apps to save places on the fly to go back to later.
The occasional flight at dusk or just before is a wonderful sight, where you can see the lights coming on with that special light at sunset. I’m in the process of a round the world trip and presently in Japan, which has a beautiful combination of interesting coastlines, hills & mountains with small & bigger settlements nestling amongst them.
Please consider my (free) flight planner. It has many flight plans built-in, including over 500 ‘wonders’. It will build flight plans based on a search for a geographical location, monument, street address, etc.