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Post Number 1

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Ken Pryor


Pretty fancy title there, right? I figure it gets right to the point, so what the heck. I'll try to come up with some more colorful post titles in the future.


I'm just getting back into flight simulator after taking a bit of a hiatus, so of course the first place I go is Avsim. Avsim was the first FS related site I ever signed up for and I'm glad it's still around and going strong. I learned of the opportunity to have a member blog and decided to join in the fun, so to speak. I love to write and run a couple other blogs, including the Forensic 4cast award winning Digital Forensics Blog, as well as a new blog called No More Fraud!. My renewed love for flight sim gave me the incentive to start posting to this blog. I want to thank Tom Allensworth and the entire Avsim crew for making this and all the other great resources available to us.


I use both FSX and FS9 and have spent way too much money adding on to both. I bought the PMDG 737TNG for FS9 a few years back and was kinda scared off from it once I started trying to master it. As I return to FS, one of my main goals is to learn to fly it and other complex aircraft. I've made several offline flights with it so far, flying the tutorial flights from Capt Mike Ray's outstanding book and I can say, without the slightest bit of pride, that I suck at flying this thing. Oh sure, I can program the FMC, start the engines and get it off the ground, but that's where my capabilities seem to fall off.


I decided to skip the tutorial flights tonight and try something different. I went to Flightaware this evening and found routing from St. Louis to Reagan National in DC. I loaded up the FMC, pushed back and started my engines. I then taxied to runway 29 as directed by the MS ATC and proceeded to wait for approximately 273 million AI planes to land so I could finally get cleared for takeoff (note to self, turn down the AI next time). I finally got airborne and everything was going just swimmingly until about 80 or so miles from my destination. This was when the ATC decide to vector me every direction except in the direction of Reagan National (note to self, ignore the ATC). At one point, I didn't descend fast enough to suit the ATC so they canceled my IFR and dumped me off on my own.


Ok, no problem. Probably better off working on my own anyway. So, I program new waypoints in to the FMC to get me going in the right direction and things seem to be going well again. However, I still haven't mastered landing this dang thing and sure enough, a few mile from the runway things go haywire. I came in low, maybe too low and the autopilot gave up trying to help me. It grabbed a parachute and off it went I guess.


At this point, I'm scrambling to keep the thing airborne and going in the right direction and finding that I've gotten way too slow. Don't sink! If I ever hear that again it will be too soon. Glide Slope! I'm going nuts trying to keep it in the air, adding power, adjusting flaps and praying to Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration for enough power to make the runway. Fortunately, I managed to make it, though the passenger cabin will have to be professionally cleaned.


So, I have yet to figure out how to land this aircraft with the autopilot still on my side. I also still haven't gotten the hang of speed and flap management. I either come in way too fast or way too slow. Frustrating, but it's all fun at the same time.


That's it for this time. I hope you enjoyed reading about my most recent misadventure. Feel free to comment.



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