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  1. Ken Pryor
    Latest Entry

    I made my first online flight with the PMDG 737-800 (for FS9) tonight. I have been working towards proficiency with this aircraft for a while now and I hadn't trusted myself to make an online flight with it till tonight. It turned out being a great flight, despite the lack of any ATC coverage in my area on VATSIM tonight.


    I had taken almost a week off from FS, which is a long time when trying to learn a new aircraft but most things came back to me pretty quickly. I started at KSTL and flew to KDCA. Programming the FMC went without any problems at all. Likewise, taxi, takeoff and cruise were great. I was apprehensive about the landing, given the difficulties I've had with getting landings just right. Not to worry, though. This one couldn't have gone any better.


    This was a very enjoyable flight and I look very forward to the next one.

  2. First up, Apologise for letting this slide guys. When my Mother passed, many things seemed unimportant, but as life got back to normal, this blog just got forgotten about. Its a good thing Tom gave me gentle nudge :)


    Right, With that out of the way,, its time to pick up where I left off. Now as it happens, this trip report was written just a few days before my Mother passed, so, it's a little out of date. so don't expect cool cloud shadows and such. Getting on with it then.....










    XPX world tour flight 2

    Inverness to Keflavik

    Flown 27/09/13


    With the fuss of the first flight over, I was determined to get the second flight right. So on a nice early afternoon in Inverness I got 'Charlie' (yes Charlie. That's the unoriginal name that suggested itself and she's certainly seems happy with my choice) ready for the four hour plus flight to Iceland. The first thing I did was to call for the fuel truck to make sure I had enough fuel for the trip. Topped with 1000lbs of avgas, I felt a lot better for the upcoming trip. In Theory this would give me 6 hours of endurance.

    My plans today involve a touch and go at Wick. Call it unfinished business. I also plan on breaking the trip with a bit of lunch at Vagnar in the Faeroe Islands. All that was to come though. With Charlie's engines running I taxied out to runway 23 and prepared to leave Scotland. The weather today is much nicer than expected with just some fluffy Clouds and a light wind to worry about. I'm hoping this stays with me for the whole trip, but I'm not holding my breath.






    Leaving Inverness I turn on course with Wick's VOR and settle into a cruise at 7000ft. The trip is only half an hour and the clouds cover much of my view.






    Every now and again I get a glimpse of the coastline off to my left. Soon enough I begin a slow descent for my touch and go at Wick. I turn onto final and perform a nice lick of the runway surface before its wheels up and a climb up to 15000ft.






    I want to get up as high as I can to enjoy a faster cruise. It'll be a few hours until I'll need to return to earth. With Wick disappearing behind me, I say goodbye to the mainland and start out to sea. This is where the real fun starts. Below me I overfly the various islands that make up the Shetlands. Kirkwall passes quickly and I'm off to the last Scottish waypoint. Lerwick marks the end of Scotland and I start my turn out to the west and the Faeroe's. This leg is a hour at cruise and Charlie and I settle in for the longhaul. The weather has continued to behave and fluffy white clouds sit below me. There's not much to see out this far north. An occasion island passes the window but little else. So I busy myself with instrument sweeps and checks.






    The hour passes and I'm soon descending towards the desolate North Atlantic Faeroe Islands, home to a big fishing industry, but little else. I'm feeling the need for a break and I'm more than pleased to see the airport off to my right. I continue downwind and Land at Vagnar. Its a surprisingly beautiful approach and in the bright sunshine I taxi to the terminal for a leg stretch and lunch.






    The Faeroe Islands are a place I've never been, but I so glad I landed here. The freeware xp9 scenery works perfectly. The weather however is blatantly wrong. Checking plan G as I approached the Islands, I expected 6000ft visibility and rain. Obviously XPX's weather downloads don't cover this area. Its a shame and I remind myself to install the noaa plugin to help with the weather downloads


    I Depart Vagnar I begin the longest leg of this trip. Leaving the Faeroe's behind, it'll be a full hour and a half until I see land again. For the time being I relax and return to 15000ft. The wind has turned from a nice tailwind to a bit do a headwind and all to soon, cloud returns beneath me, though gone are the nice fluffy clouds to be replaced with near full overcast underneath. At least up here the sun is out. The weather radar paints a picture of rain below.






    It's not to long until my VOR sparks to life and I find myself just 160nm or so from land. Up until now I've been on a heading only, so the reassurance of a proper navigation aid lifts my mood. My happy mood doesn't last though. Shortly after passing over the coast of Iceland, my left engine unexplainable coughs and stops. With last flights fuel cock up now at the front of my mind, I quickly check the gauges. This time, there's plenty of fuel in the auxiliary tanks and I'm puzzled by the issue. I try to restart the engine with no success. I check the electronic fuel flow gauge and notice that despite the fuel pumps being on, the left pump reads 0. I assume the auxiliary pump has failed and I switch back to the main tank where I was saving a couple of Lbs just incase. I retry the engine and this time she purrs into life. With a problem on board I look for my nearest airfield only to find Keflavik to be my nearest. The engine out has also cost me height. I'm down to 9000ft, but with the left engine running, things are not to bad. The broken pump though has left precious fuel in the left auxiliary tank, and I can't use it. So for the second flight in a row, I'm watching the fuel gauges hoping to make it. There's cloud all around me and below, signs of life, sort of. Vast glaciers cut through the landscape. Its eeriest beautiful.






    Soon Keflavik is on the nose and I've had to switch the left engine to the right fuel tank to get me here. The needles are still perilously hovering near zero. It's all ok though and I pass over the threshold and on to Icelandic soil safe and sound. I taxi to the apron and shut Charlie down. A quick chat with a local mechanic and I find my faulty pump to be little more than a blocked fuel vent in he auxiliary tank. Its quickly fixed and the mechanic promises to give Charlie a good clean once I'm gone. It's been a long day and I'll need a long rest before I tackle the next leg to Greenland. So off to the Capitol for a Bacardi or three and a some rest.






    The engine failure really threw me, and I mean that in a good way. It turns out that I have' random' failures set in the failures menu. It's very lifelike given that this aircraft isn't that new and from what I've seen, faults like this happen all the time.

  3. Leg 21

    Depart: Houari Boumediene Airport, Algiers, Algeria (DAAG)

    Arrive: Mostépha Ben Boulaid Airport, Batna, Algeria (DABT)

    Aircraft: Douglas DC-3 (Leading Edge Simulations / X-Aviation)


    Flight Plan: DAAG ALR BTN DABT

    Distance: 163.0 nm



    I've been keeping myself on the ground for a few days, waiting to see whether the winds coming off the Mediterranean would calm and hopefully make things a little easier for me. It seems, however, that I'll have no such luck. And as great a city as Algiers is, I'm getting antsy being stuck on one place. Adventure awaits!


    Time to press on to Batna, a city to the southeast which lies roughly on the geological border between the Tell Atlas and Aurès mountain ranges. We should be in for some more stunning views of the landscape as we pass over head.




    After my engine troubles at Oujda, I've been eager to get the DC-3 back in the air, so we'll be making the one-hundred-sixty-odd mile trip in this lovely plane. The DC-3 is quickly becoming one of my favorite payware planes available for X-Plane: it's a lot of fun to fly and very hands-on, beautifully modeled and textured inside and out, tough, fast, and just exudes that classy, old-school vibe. I highly recommend it to anyone who happens to be a fan of vintage aircraft.


    The big radial engines roar to life on the apron. No more problems there, it seems, but I carefully double check all the gauges and levers lest we lose an engine on takeoff this time. I taxi her out to runway 27 and steadily open the throttles. There's a crosswind incoming from the northwest that gives me heck on the takeoff roll (though X-Plane's exaggerated weathervane effect isn't doing me any favors), but I manage to keep the plane on the runway and lift off into the air.


    After retracting the gear and picking up some speed, I climb toward the northwest and begin to turn back around toward the airfield. Beneath us pass the city of Algiers, the old citadel, the Bay of Algiers, and the airport again. The engines chug along as we leave Algiers the White beneath the clouds.




    We settle into a cruise of 11,000 ft and I take especial care to treat the engines kindly by adjusting the throttle, prop, and mixture handles for an economical flight. Once I've finished squinting at gauges I can sit back and take in the sights. Below us is the stunning Djurdjura Range of the Tell Atlas. Seems like a nice place to do some hiking; evidently there's also skiing in the winter. Snow skiing in Africa--those are two things I'd never put together in my mind before!




    From time to time the cloud cover obscures my view of the world below, but wherever there's a break in clouds there's a sweeping panorama of the Tell Atlas to be had.


    (The eagle-eyed among you may notice a difference in the clouds and atmospheric effects in these screenshots compared to my previous flights. A few weeks ago, the developers of EFASS introduced UltraWX implementation into their program. UltraWX is a highly configurable real-world weather injector and so in a lot of way a big "first" for X-Plane. Since I mainly use EFASS for planning and monitoring my progress on airline flights, I haven't really touched it in a while, but decided to give it a go to test drive UltraWX.)




    Batna sits at about 2,700 feet above sea level so we've got a significantly shorter way to descend than we had to climb. Looks like the airfield is reporting-- wait a minute, that can't be right! 41 kt winds?! (Let's just chalk this up to a bug in UltraWX, shall we?) I consider diverting or even returning to Algiers; however, I notice that the wind doesn't seem to be gusting and that it's coming out of the southwest. Against my better judgement, I decide to attempt a landing on runway 23.




    Matters are made worse by the clouds near the ground. Let's play "Spot the Runway"--it's there somewhere!




    The runway becomes clear as I get closer. Even though the winds are strong they seem steady, so I decide to go for it. I pass over the threshold in what feels like slow motion and touchdown daintily with the two fore gear. The aircraft rolls forward a short distance, the tailwheel comes down, and we slow to a stop. Success! Welcome to Batna!




    (Here's a close up of the main instrument panel just after the aircraft came to a stop on the runway; just under 40 kts IAS. Wow!)




    Next leg: Mostépha Ben Boulaid Airport, Batna, Algeria (DABT) to Cheikh Larbi Tébessa Airport, Tébessa, Algeria (DABS)

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    Recent Entries


    As some of you know, I have been I England and France this past week. Well I'll be back in good old Memphis, Tennessee soon enough, but I wanted to share with you some of the thoughts I have had while I've been away.


    First I want to say that if you ever need to come up with new development ideas, just travel. Your brain just needs to be take. Away from the computer screen sometimes. Really. Here's the plan for the future of my development:


    I want to link up my projects (Chase's MD-80) with my organization (Midsouth Virtual Air). I have renamed MSA to Midsouth Virtual Aviation in order to accommodate for this move. I want to do this so I can have a development group behind me. For now, it is just me though. I will discuss MSA in a later post.


    I want to start projects for FSX. I don't know exactly what I can do yet, but I'm pretty optimistic about future FSX development. I MAY try to make an FSX version of the MD-80 if I can port my model over easily. I don't want to rebuild the whole thing. We will see. I am also learning Simconnect, so that will help me develop programs as well.


    I'll try to keep you posted on the status of the project and of MSA as best I can. Soon my website will be back up and information can be found there.





  4. adi518's Blog

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    Guys, I moved the tutorial here.


    The support thread is here.


    This is to make things more efficient and convenient, for me and you. 1 support thread instead of 3.

  5. GolfPilot

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    Latest Entry

    My name is Andrew. My online name is GolfPilot. I am a real world Instrument Rated Private Pilot. I am a part of a Flying Club in the San Francisco Bay Area with a 182RG, 182, 172, and an Archer. I sometimes post videos of my flying adventures on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/Anrboy


    I first learned to fly when I was 8 and I begged my mother to buy me Flight Simulator 2000. I really had no clue what to do and had no way of learning how to set up a computer let alone fly.


    I quickly figured out I needed a joystick and was flying a 172 without crashing (on the sim)!


    I got pretty good at it and by the time I was 12 I was able to fly around and land the Learjet, impressing my friends, and even my uncle (A pilot).


    I was a later user of FSX because I didn't have a computer that could handle it. When I went to college I brought a workstation computer of my dad's with me, It had a 3.00GHZ Pentinium D processor in it. At first it didn't run FSX but with upgraded memory, and a 9600GSO I had it running nicely!


    Within a couple months of college I started flying real airplanes. The flight training was not school related. Purely on my free time. It took me about a year to get my license.


    During this year I started using Vatsim! I used the callsign of the plane I was training in and would regularly practice touch and goes and my talking skills.


    While training for my instrument rating I used FSX a lot. I have pretty much become the king of setting up computers for instrument training. All my pilot friends have me come over and set up their computer for them and I have an absolute blast doing it!


    Today I use a more modern home built computer.

    my specs are as follows:

    FX-8350 black edition

    GTX 760 4GB

    16GB DDR3 @ 1666mhz

    128GB SSD for Windows 8.1 and Simulator

    I use Prepar3d v2.2


    I use Prepar3d at least once a day and hope to be able to broadcast my flights here on Avsim!

  6. 20 – What are some of the things you dislike in the AVSIM community, what do you wish would change, and what do you enjoy?


    The AVSIM community today consists of over 152,000 members. That community writ large is a great positive force in our hobby. Our community is visited and listened to by every commercial provider and freeware contributor in the hobby (whether they want to admit it or not). I can’t possibly dislike anything about our community. It really comes down to individuals, not only in AVSIM, but in our hobby world-wide, that sometimes set my teeth on edge, so to speak.


    I dislike the myth creators and perpetrators and those that have less than positive agendas when it comes to AVSIM. We have seen these “poison dwarfs” throughout our 18 year history. Some of the myths that have been created and perpetrated over the years:


    AVSIM was founded by a company intent on taking over the world of flight simulation. What company? The one I worked for at the time of AVSIM’s founding? A marine electronics company? What interest would they have had in taking over the world of flight simulation? I really had to laugh at that one.


    Tom Allensworth is getting rich from owning and running AVSIM. Really? I have never taken a cent from AVSIM other than to pay expenses for travel and lodging on behalf of AVSIM and its community. It is part of my hobby! In November of 2012, the Board of Directors voted to allow me to take a monthly “salary” from AVSIM, but that has never happened. I am a retired Director of a major U.S. company with a comfortable retirement income. I choose to turn all of AVSIM’s revenue into funds that pay the expenses of bandwidth, hardware, technical consultants, software acquisition and licensing fees. I do not need an additional income. Despite the facts, there are some out there that insist they know the “truth”. There was a guy out in Colorado that actually put together some wild assumptions about our revenue from advertising and donations and concluded that AVSIM was a very large income earner, as in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. I wished! I can state without hesitation that nothing can be further from the truth. Our monthly income today is less than our expenses. I wished we had the revenue that some of these folks accuse us of having. To prove that to yourself, just take a look at the Donations Tracker at the top menu to the right.


    Tom Allensworth is a bully. Why? Because the staff and I won’t tolerate your entitled self and your self-described “right” to do as you please on AVSIM? If so, then we are guilty as charged. I just love it when someone spouts off about “Freedom of Speech” and our response when we correct those that really believe they can say anything, at any time, to anyone. Interestingly enough is that often those who accuse us of violating THEIR freedom of speech are those that come from countries that don’t have freedom of speech at all or it is very limited. Again, simply read our Terms of Service.


    We are unfriendly to commercial entities in our hobby. Really? Tell that to the dozens of commercial entities that have their support forums on AVSIM. If you mean that we won’t allow you to deceive, mislead or otherwise squash criticism of your products on the AVSIM forums, then again, we are guilty as charged. I should publish someday the emails I and our team have received from some companies in regard to our handling of complaints about posts on AVSIM about their products. On one hand we are accused of denying freedom of speech and on the other, we are being told to deny freedom of speech.


    And the list goes on.


    The one thing that I would like to impress upon readers of this interview is that if you see or hear a rumor about AVSIM, before swallowing it whole, post a message in the forums and ask us about that rumor. We try to be as transparent as we can be, and if appropriate, we’ll provide candid facts rather than rumour in response.


    21 – If you moved back in time to 1997…would you do it all again?


    Of course.


    22 –What does the family think of AVSIM?


    I alluded to my “second best decision” in life earlier. My best decision in my life has been to marry my wife of now 24 years, Denise. She has been a rock for me and has suffered many lonely hours allowing me to work and support the health and wellbeing of AVSIM. The AVSIM community owes her far more than I could begin to describe. If anyone deserves to be paid by AVSIM, it is Denise.


    23 - Where to now for Tom Allensworth?


    As I said about Dale, the retired Marine Corps Colonel in the Peace Corps, the answer is simple; keep on keeping on. 18 years of my life (and those of many of our volunteers) are vested in this thing we call AVSIM. I suspect that they will have to pry the IP Board code from my cold dead hands…


    So there you have it, the man behind the name, behind the Avsim pages and behind its name. The man behind the side of the hobby you enjoy. Is he right? wrong? I personally don't care, I am just glad he did what he did, glad he fought to bring back a website that serves so many people's hobby needs throughout the world, glad he got back up when everything seemed lost, and glad he provides with an outlet for my virtual aviation needs. The cost is....several hours of his retirement, and 100% of his passion.

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    Hey guys,

    Some time ago I was assigned the task to do a presentation on EFIS instrumentation,

    It's aimed at a lay audience. So you're probably going to know most of what's in here already, but anyway, thought I might share it with you guys:

    This is the download link from my dropbox, inside you'll find a ".rar" which contains a ".pptx" file and a ".ttf" file, which is a Boeing font that comes in handy and is nice to have. I'd put the Boeing font file onto the Windows Fonts folder so that the text on the Powerpoint looks alright.


    Hope you enjoy it!


  7. Finally took my first flight of 2014 since I returned home from Dubai. I knew what I wanted to do for a flight but getting around to it took a lot more effort that I thought it would given the nature of the hobby of flight simulation. Plenty of stuff happened while I was away, so first I had to catch up on product updates and try some new mods to the SkyMaster and the sim in general I picked up on in the interim. I also had to download, install and configure the latest REX texture product - which has amazing textures but I found it a bit disappointing that you can only install every texture in a theme pack instead of just the ones you want. To do that you have to install them individually, which is a bit of a pain. It's especially puzzling since this was a feature in the previous REX texture product. I also had some extensive work to do with the Bahamas Airfield Package I'm using to get the most out of this area of the Caribbean. For some reason pretty much all the airports have tower and ground frequencies, some with approach as well. Actually, the majority of them should simply include a unicom tuned to 122.8 for common traffic advisory. So I had to edit and recompile in ADE all the airports north of Nassau that I would be flying around for this flight. Then too I needed to make voicepack files for the airports so I could keep proper track of where planes were. All in all though these changes made for a great flight so I can't complain, and the author of BAP and I are in contact and I will most likely be passing my improvements on to him for a new release.


    Right, so the flight. I originally planned for a single flight up to Walkers Cay (MYAW) but wanted to get a full experience from the new REX textures, especially the sky textures based on screenshots I've seen on their forums. So I extended the flight and broke it down into two legs, one to fly at sunrise and another to fly at sunset. The only difficult thing about planning the second leg was finding an airport that was lit and also easily navigable to since once it gets dark seeing the smaller islands can be near impossible. Thankfully the southern-most airport still north of Nassau, Chub Cay (MYBC), has a lit runway and is easy to find at the end of a chain of islands. Here was my original plan:



    Leg 1: Sunrise


    After preflight and taxi out to the runway I checked the sock and saw a crosswind. I decided to take off west and of course as soon as I begin to taxi down the runway a plane announces it is a few miles out inbound to land out of the west. I made it to the end and was considering parking on the grass and waiting but the pilot updated his position and was still a few miles out so I turned about, skipped my engine runup and just went straight into the takeoff. I was climbing out and turning south while he was still over 2 miles away so that worked out alright. Clouds were low, so I kept it around 1,000 feet as I cruised towards the two small islands south of Bimini to have a look-see. One of them, North Cat Cay had a carrier group stationed offshore, which was cool. The southern-most one, Ocean Cay, looks like a man-made affair still under construction. No idea what for though. I did a loop around Ocean Cay back up past North Cat Cay rather than departing straight for the Freeport VOR as originally planned, but VFR plans are meant to be broken, I say!


    The clouds didn't let up by the time I reached Grand Bahama Island so I needed to request permission for Class D airspace transition. I left the VOR behind and switched to terrain navigation, following the south shore of Grand Bahama until I reached Deep Water Cay and headed north along a chain of islands towards Walkers Cay. There was plenty of traffic elsewhere, mostly Treasure Cay and West End, so the pattern was clear when I reached Walkers Cay and was able to enter straight into downwind with a nice turn to base and final lined up with the runway. I dropped full flaps since the runway was only 2,500 feet long and to complicate matters there were two rather tall pine trees right at the runway threshold I needed to clear. But I got her down with a heavy bump and only needed some light braking. The runway turns straight into the short taxiway leading to the apron so that helped extend it a bit as well.


    Leg 2: Sunset


    I climbed back into the cockpit an hour and a half before sunset. The clouds were still low but they were more scattered, so after takeoff I made the decision to climb above them since there was only one layer to deal with. I hadn't flown the 337 higher than a few thousand feet so getting up to FL150 was a new experience. I adjust the prop pitch slightly to keep my RPM in the green and I was able to use the fuel flow gauge to properly lean the mixture - too high or too low and you saw the fuel flow drop. I kept an eye on my EGT gauge but the needles stayed nice and low. I was at full throttle and my manifold pressure was almost out of the green arc - too bad this airplane isn't turbocharged. Still, I managed to make 130kts as I cruised over Great Abaco Island. As the sun started to descend, so did I so as it got darker I would be able to still see the smaller islands I would eventually be following. I was supposed to fly to the tip if Great Abaco and vector out to the Berry Islands but decided to follow the Great Abaco Highway instead, which would point me to the northern-most island in the Berry chain. There was also an arriving aircraft into Great Harbour Cay that made it easy to find the north islands. Also, the SkyMaster has a GPS and while I wasn't using it to follow a track you can see the islands on the screen to help with navigation.


    It was almost fully dark as I approached Chub Cay, the island at the end of the Berry chain. While I hadn't heard a single plane on approach to Chub Cay, wouldn't you know that just as I'm turning south to follow the island chain and call out my position someone else also declares their intent to land. Fortunately they were a bit closer and making a direct approach so that gave me time to meander down the chain and set up for a downwind pattern leg, which by the time I got there the other guy had just landed. I didn't hear him call clear of the runway so I he probably disappeared because no parking spots were open. Still, I kept my eyes peeled on final after rolling out a bit late from my base turn and needing to S-curve in a bit. I don't think I even really noticed the trees on the small island on my approach until I looked later at the screenshot - shows how experienced I am at night flying. Fortunately I skimmed them but didn't hit them. There were no obstacles short of the threshold so I was able to make a nice shallow approach and had a much smoother landing this time with only a notch of flaps needed as this runway was 5,000 feet. I rolled out short of the end and turned about without needing to brake and taxied back to the apron where I parked.



    You'll notice some loops in the trail over MYAM as this is where I descended within a gap in the cloud cover so I needed to spiral a bit to stay in that clear area away from the clouds. Other than a few other deviations previously mentioned the flight went according to plan.


    Next up, I will be flying a loop around the central Bahamas, ending up at Nassau. I plan to stay put for a few flights from Nassau to the surrounding islands in a few different aircraft before moving on south.

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