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Guest metamarty

Real flight; a simmers experience

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Having flown sims for over 15 years, you often wonder if you would stand a chance in a real aircraft. Today was my day to find out. My real life experience consist of 40 glider flights 10 years ago, but I've never flown motorised aircraft. Today I had the opportunity to fly at the KLM flight academy, stationed at EHGG. Because all basic VFR training is done in the US, the smallest aircraft available is the Beechcraft Bonanza. Not what you would call a first lesson trainer. With its retractable gear, constant speed prop and 300 hp it's a perfect way to screw up your hopes of flying without the aid of an instructor.So what does a simmer do to prepare onself? The only option I had was to download the Carenado bonanza. I quickly found out that this aircraft is not your average cessna. It's not as stable, climbs as a rocket and is pretty hard to land. Now you know how are ego's are. Most of us believe we can fly aircraft but all you read on the forums is people saying that you stand no chance at all. Fortunately, I have a full simkits cockpit with working instruments, but it still remains a "game".So what is going to happen? I'll probably be overwhelmed or blackout and not remember any FS related stuff. You can train all you want on FS, but will your knowledge make the transition to real life too? What will a flight instructor allow you to do on your first flight?So I this morning I took the trip to EHGG (can you spell 'nervous' :-boom). I explained the instructor the usual stuff, you know, blah blah I have this game on my computer and I fly aircraft on it and now I want to fly myself so please let me do all the stuff. Miracously, he accepted it and agreed to let me play as long as we didn't get into danger.So here you go, climbing into the small cockpit. Everything is where it's supposed to be. I felt at home. He let me start the engine and I quickly found out that aircraft are not the concrete structures that FS makes you believe they are. The whole thing was shaking. Then came the taxi clearance and he told me to taxi to the runway. Having never touched a throttle, you are of course careful. Pushing it a little bit started the roll and I was happy to find out that the rudder pedals steered fine. It was surprisingly easy to keep it lined up with the yellow line. Next we were lined up on the runway and we got clearance for takeoff. So here we are, the instructor telling me something like "you said you can fly aircraft, so go ahaid". A strange sensation. What was that about right rudder again? Oh, I remember just push the throttle and try to keep it aligned. So I pushed the throttle slowly. They are right about the rudder, the aircraft does try to go left so I pushed the right rudder. That seems to work. Now at 70 knots, pull at the yoke and keep the wings level. The aircraft lifted off and surprisingly I still remembered my FS experiences. Gear up, establish 90 knots climb, reduce power to 25 inch. The instructor agreed and I found myself flying the aircraft. Level off at 1000 feet. I pushed the yoke forward and reduced some power. The carenado manual had told me 23.5" so what else have you got to go on. It all seemed to work out. The controls were pretty havy and I found out once again that flying is not actually moving the yoke, but putting pressure on it. Something sorely missing from our plastic equipment.So what do you do on your first lesson? Straight and level flight and some turns? The instructor had a different idea and he told me to do an ILS approach. He dialed in the NDB and ILS frequencies and had me fly to the NDB and intercept the ILS. I managed to stay at the right altitude and find the NDB and did a rate-one turn to intercept the ILS. Following it was not very hard. Next we did a missed approach, applying full power and I pulled the aircraft up to 2000 feet again and we did a VOR approach. He told me to descend at 500 feet/minute so I tried keeping the needle there and it worked out fine. Going down he told me to make a touch and go. So I would actually have to land the aircraft. I felt a lot more unstable than FS, but I managed to keep the VASI give 2 red lights and 2 white so that must have been OK. Next the power reduction and flare and it actually went pretty good for a first try. We landed and I applied full power for takeoff again. We did do 2 traffic patterns and I did the turns and landings without help and taxied back to the parking place. An amazing experience. It taught me that I am capable handling an aircraft from takeoff to landing. Doing ATC and navigation might be a bit overwhelming but it was amazing to see what you can accomplish with some FS practice. I recognized when I had to start a turn to final and when to climb and descend. Flaring was harder that in FS, maybe because of the view in a real aircraft, but I landed safely and not too hard.And now I'm off to take a bath because my legs hurt bad from the rudder pedals. :-lol

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Great story on your flight, and congratulaions :D :-beerchugSo... the big question- are you going to take lessons now? ;)Jason :-wave

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>Great story on your flight, and congratulaions :D :-beerchugThanks!>>So... the big question- are you going to take lessons now? ;)Well, I'd love to, but I've got +5 in my left eye and +0 in my right. Medical requirements in europe only allow a difference of 3 for PPL. So that ends it. I am planning to go to the US however. Don't know when, but I will.>>>>Jason :-wave

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Congradulations, Flying is great isn't it. You said you use to do some gliding, How come you still don't do that? Are you moving to the US, or just going to do yur PPL there?

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>> Congradulations, Flying is great isn't it. You said you use>to do some gliding, How come you still don't do that? Are>you moving to the US, or just going to do yur PPL there?Gliding is fun, but there are too many drawbacks. I used to be on the field each weekend. With all of the members the club had, I could get about 2 takeoffs each day if I was lucky. A flight lasts about 6 minutes. You do your 360 turn, join the traffic pattern and land. The rest of the day you're pushing aircraft through the grass and having hayfever, that's no joy. The club also expects you to participate in maintenance of the terrain and hangers each year. You need to work about 30 hours. Being autistic, I'm not used to being around people continuesly. I can't socialise with them so I really don't have much fun. Also, when gliding, there are no VOR's no ILS approaches, no power settings to play with. I guess it's not something for me after all.I plan to go the US someday only for a PPL. I'd love to move there, but I'm not sure if I can handle the huge change in my living environment.

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