MS Flight Sim and X-Plane

4000+ hours and counting

Why?

Instruments, navigation, theory, practical drilling, adventures, missions, sharing multi-player flights, "what-if" scenarios, fun and lots more.

You know, I tell instructors I have over 4000 hours on Simulation over the years (which I take pretty seriously really), and most of the time I get a little 1-ply expression of distant indirect appreciation and condescending approval, like they think I'm more of a gamer than a real student pilot.

But it really comes in handy for knowing what you're doing with instruments, navigation, procedures, and many other facets of aviation---and without the cost.

In a later blog for real-world Under the Hood Training, I detail that there I am blindfolded for 3 solid hours; tracking VORs, VOR Intersections, Unusual Attitudes, multiple ILS approaches, and all with completely BROKEN Attitude Indicator, and damn if I ain't DOING IT!!

So thanks MS FlightSim, and in your face with "Simming is merely a game..." because it REALLY pays off, all those hours where the real-world physical plane and looking out the window is far less important, and the instruments are there for the learning and practicing.

Truth be told, on Sim, I practice Stalls at 300ft AGL too. ;)

Cessna Ground School

In my humble opinion, I feel Cessna did a great job on their ground school kit, especially the weather. Of the small cast of characters featured herein, there are only one or two real knuckleheads, and the rest were really great.

In fact, in years to come, I would think back on these old CDs and recall their presentation of the weather, aviation basics, and specific information sections were far better than that of latter ground school packages offered and studied.

Still, at that time I went thru these CDs multiple times over, and then again, to ensure I had gained marked certainty of the materials covered. I really wanted to be prepared for a long career in flying, regardless of what capacity or certification I would eventually acheive.

MS Flight Sim and X-Plane

4000+ hours and counting

Why?

Instruments, navigation, theory, practical drilling, adventures, missions, sharing multi-player flights, "what-if" scenarios, fun and lots more.

You know, I tell instructors I have over 4000 hours on Simulation over the years (which I take pretty seriously really), and most of the time I get a little 1-ply expression of distant indirect appreciation and condescending approval, like they think I'm more of a gamer than a real student pilot.

But it really comes in handy for knowing what you're doing with instruments, navigation, procedures, and many other facets of aviation---and without the cost.

In a later blog for real-world Under the Hood Training, I detail that there I am blindfolded for 3 solid hours; tracking VORs, VOR Intersections, Unusual Attitudes, multiple ILS approaches, and all with completely BROKEN Attitude Indicator, and damn if I ain't DOING IT!!

So thanks MS FlightSim, and in your face with "Simming is merely a game..." because it REALLY pays off, all those hours where the real-world physical plane and looking out the window is far less important, and the instruments are there for the learning and practicing.

Truth be told, on Sim, I practice Stalls at 300ft AGL too. ;)

Dutch rolls. Try not to get sick or spin. ;)

C172 — N65835 — Santa Ana > (practice area) — Basics and Dutch Rolls — 1hrs

So why "Dutch roll" anyway?  Shit, I had to look it up. Apparently it has something to do with aeronautical engineer Jerome C. Hunsaker's reference to ice skating. But I believe it's connected with Geese...

I found it essential (and still do) to simply getting used to the plane...  Wiki says;  "Dutch roll is also the name (considered by professionals to be a misnomer) given to a coordination maneuver generally taught to student pilots to help them improve their "stick-and-rudder" technique. The aircraft is alternately rolled as much as 60 degrees left and right while rudder is applied to keep the nose of the aircraft pointed at a fixed point. More correctly, this is a rudder coordination practice exercise, to teach a student pilot how to correct for the effect known as adverse aileron yaw during roll inputs. This coordination technique is better referred to as "rolling on a heading", wherein the aircraft is rolled in such a way as to maintain an accurate heading without the nose moving from side-to-side (or yawing)."

However, if anyone remembers Amelia and Abigail, the twin geese from Aristocats, their theme song called "The Goose Steps High" really should be present any time one would practice Dutch Rolls. A must.

You can already land?? Really.........?

C172 — N65835 — Santa Ana > (practice area) — Basics and checklists — 1hrs

Welcome to Sunrise Aviation, one of the biggest and most prestigious flight schools in the world, and my new rich-kid hobby (for poor kids like me).

1hr flight, mostly just getting oriented to the school and the business of being a student pilot with the initial basic maneuvers, etc., but what's memorable about this flight is the landing...

Students don't typically land the plane first time out, unless VERY assisted by the instructor. But with some incredulity, she wanted to test the validity of my bold statement that I could already land the plane unassisted.

I said: "Well, 'you take the blue pill, you wake up in your bed and believe anything you want.'" But you watch me land this plane.

Which I did.

Correct glide slope, air speed, runway centered, and flared right on the numbers with a smooth gentle touch down.

I never said there wasn't more to learn and practice as a student. But remember, learning to fly is largely self-taught, despite the flight school, syllabus, CFI, and tests. So don't let the instructor hold you back from your own pace and ability. Show them how it's done. There's no arguing with competence.

"Yes, have the plane waiting at the apron for me..."

C172 — N96808 — Santa Ana > Van Nuys — Intro flt — 1hrs

Welcome to Santa Ana airport. As if I wasn't hooked already, getting picked up in Van Nuys and jumping in a plane (that i fly) to travel our way down to Santa Ana instead of a long bout with traffic down the 405, truly cinched it for me. 

We went down together, me and my partner. I flew back. 

On the return flight, first we had to get clearance out of SNA, spot the GoodYear Blimp down below, then fly the VFR corridor over LAX, and quickly duck under the 3000ft Burbank Class C shelf as we traversed over the Sepuveda Pass into Encino/Sherman Oaks valley.

The lesson? Many. But now I'm just a little part elite jetset too.

Leonardo da Vinci would be proud. So let's see if you can hover first flight? Now hover and yaw 360...!?!?

R22 — 40725 — Van Nuys > (Pacific Palisades > Malibu > Woodland Hills) > Van Nuys — Demo flt, and hovering — 1hrs

Southbound over the hills, down to the coast, then back to the airport for hover maneuvers. VERY fun! Can't believe I aced all maneuvers and challenges first time. 

I'm hooked. Simm'ing is great, but this is the real deal.

Leonardo da Vinci is quoted to say:
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward; for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”

And he's right, you know?

So I wanted to take a ride... But the higher truth here, is that it's not merely a “ride” in a helicopter, like some little boy who paid his nickle and, peeing in his pants, anxiously awaits a few bumps of the saddle on some amusement park mechanical elephant with a painted smile personified.

No, indeed this world is suddenly much grander for me, and is for me now open to the greater spectrum of all general aviation and the sheer freedom of flying. Being at the controls of such a flight is all the difference in the universe. Because only there, with complete autonomy of banking left or right, climbing to heights where you dare not look down, or even better, the souring down with negative G's, like a rollercoaster, your stomach in your throat, can you truly feel on top of the world, and appreciate the wind that magically keeps you aloft, the cool temperatures, the awesome power in the changing weather, rain showers you pass thru, the tranquility of cruising over the clouds, the almost spiritual view to the distant sunrise seen like no where else on the ground level, or the liberating view and vast space with a never-ending horizon stretched out before you. (And at night all this is even more enchanting.)

Now THAT's what I call a “ride!”