Yea so it's been a while since I've gone on a planned flight - and even this flight I'm blogging now actually took place back on October 22nd! Besides my airport scenery development I've also been busy getting started as an AVSIM staff reviewer - I've already written two reviews and will be working on a third this month. Also at the time I was rather frustrated after not completing the entire flight I had planned out and that put me off blogging it right away. Then the rest of life caught me up in a whirlwind that still hasn't quite set me back down.
I guess this flight was doomed from the start when I began planning it at like 2 in the morning. It was so long since I had planned a flight that I was forgetting things that needed to be done - my memory retention has never been all that great. So that slowed the process and to make things worse SkyVector decided to stop loading charts on me before I could complete my planning. Then I added to the problem by deciding not to sleep since it was by now after 4am and just get set to takeoff with the dawn and fly all morning/afternoon and then crash the rest of the day.
Leg 1: KBLM - KFWN
I started out in the Bonanza V35B out of Monmouth Executive, where it was parked last. Once airborne I had a simple VOR route plotted that would take me within spitting distance of Sussex. Weather was calm and clear and the VOR beacons came through strong and steady. I realize now that I completely forgot to tune into their Morse frequencies and identify that I was setting course towards the proper beacon - luckily that wasn't an issue this time around (I have caught myself in earlier occasions of being tuned to the wrong VOR!). I did let my attention drift every now and then (sleepiness probably didn't help) so I was banking left and right to get the course needle back to center, and of course thanks to the tip tanks keeping the wings level wasn't made any easier. I probably should have topped them off before departing KBLM but didn't bother.
I pulled int KFWN airspace right on target and flew the pattern around the airfield, lining up perfectly with the runway as I rolled out of my base turn to final. Sussex doesn't have much useable runway left for landings these days - my theory is that to save money on repairs they've simply moved the displaced thresholds further and further towards the runway center. Anyways it's best to land a bit fast in the V35B, so I touched down around 60kts and immediately had to stand on the brakes to come to a stop with just enough room to taxi off at the end of the runway.
Leg 2: KFWN - 1N7
Once I parked, shut down and saved the new location of the V35B I loaded up the American Aerolites Falcon, which was an aircraft I had recently reviewed. It's a nifty little ultralight and I was going to make a short hop with it down the Delaware River to Blairstown - since the Falcon can only go around 55kts for a normal cruising speed. The falcon is a stick and throttle aircraft so I had to reconfigure my hardware setup a bit to get ready to fly, including some axis and button assignment changes as well. By the time I got off the ground the sun was fully up over the horizon.
The flight down the Delaware and to 1N7 was largely uneventful. I found the river okay and followed it down to the Water Gap, at which point I turned off the engine and glided down through the gap, enjoying the wind rushing past me before kicking the engine back on again near the ground and continuing to power towards 1N7. This I found through dead reckoning and flew the pattern down to land and taxi to a parking location. In doing so I ended up "below ground" and realized I would need to add a flatten polygon to this airport scenery when I revisit it sometime in the future.
Leg 3 Fail
Next it was time to load up a freeware aircraft in my library I hadn't tried yet, a Cirrus SR20. It looked good at first glance, enough for me to want to try it, but ultimately proved to be less than adequate for my demanding sim realism needs. The controls, especially the radios, were hard to read and see, and every time you so much as tapped the brakes the whole nose would dip down like 2 feet as if you slammed on them instead. It was so bad that when I used the pushback function to move the aircraft backwards out of a parking space, when I stopped the craft tipped back onto its tail and stood there! I had to power up, start moving and tap the brakes to drop the nose back down. To add to my frustration I had forgot I had set my yoke/throttle null zones extremely wide to prevent dual inputs from being sent to the sim when I was using my joystick to control the AA Falcon while the yoke was still plugged in. So I didn't have enough power, yoke control to take off when I rolled down the runway the first time.
Finally, after making it into the air clouds had moved in to prevent me from climbing to 8000' like I had planned. Rather than go around I decided to go over - but at around 12,000' I started losing climb performance and only then discovered that apparently this aircraft has an adjustable propeller pitch but couldn't see a control in the cockpit for it. Regardless, I was beginning to get seriously tired and annoyed in general so I just shut down the sim right then and there, and went to bed.
Hopefully my next outing will be a bit more enjoyable overall Hopefully it will be sometime soon as well... heh
Originally posted to my personal blog