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And Now For Something Completely Different

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Ken Pryor


This is a repost of a post I made in the FSX forum here at Avsim.


I have always found it fascinating to learn about aviation accidents. I don't want the ghoulish details, but the actual cause of a crash and what led up to it is interesting. We all hate when they happen, but they do happen and if we can learn from what happened to others, then...


Anyway, I was always a fan of the crash analysis that Jonathan Stern did for Computer Pilot magazine. I found my copy of CP from March, 2008 today and re-read about the crash of N400WX, a Columbia 400. This aircraft crashed while trying to land in lousy weather at KRMN, Stafford Regional. I decided to try to make the landing myself in similar weather conditions on FSX tonight.


I don't have a Columbia 400, so I just used the Flight 1 Cessna 172 for my flight. I set the weather conditions using ActiveSky Next as follows:


KRMN 042318Z 33006KT 1 1/4SM BR -RA OVC005 05/03 A2995. Basically, it was flying in the soup or darn close to it.


I used the FSX ATC for IFR guidance and they cut me loose on approach, telling me to switch to advisory. I decided to hand fly the whole approach and if this had been real life, there would have been a great deal of vomit flying around the interior. Yes, my hand flying trying to stay on the localizer path was bad...very bad. Needle chasing at its finest.


I did manage to see the runway just before reaching the DH, so I continued the approach and landed safely. I can safely say, however, had this been real life, I would have not fared well.


It was an interesting exercise and I plan to try some others from time to time. I wondered if any of you do the same kind of thing.

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