Cactus521

By dawn's early light....

Recommended Posts

Love flying over north central California into Reno, capturing ILS 110.9 into 16R, riding it all the way into the landing on approach hold.  Coming into Reno is breathtaking from California as one transitions from the coast range out of SFO, over the farmland of Central Valley, and into the Alpine Sierra with views of Mt. Rose on final into Reno.  I lived in Nevada for a year, and often either flew into Reno from Oakland or SFO on Aircal's (later American's) air, hotel and show package, the "Happy Hop" or I would take a bus trip with either my parents or coworkers from Montgomery Ward from Napa. 

When I flew the happy hops I was a night auditor and Front Office Manager at a hotel, the Chateau in Napa (now known as the Indigo), and I would be picked up by Napa's Evans airport service at my hotel after work, much to the amusement of my coworkers, after having worked all night long.  I would take advantage of my hours for a three day weekend, then go back to work on the day shift on the day I returned home.  I also took the Happy Hop to Anaheim in Socal quite often. 

Happy Hops were a huge bargain--Reno, including two nights hotel, airfare and cocktail show at Harrah's, cost only $109.00, and you could extend for a third night which I did once or twice.  My brother worked at Harrah's as a bartender and would always mix me some exotic drink, usually alcohol free since I did and still do not drink but once or twice a year.  I'd go to his home in North Reno or his apartment before he purchased his home high over Reno, where he had his wedding reception with his wonderful bride.  My brother later worked at Fitzgeralds and was there during the filming of Sister Act, they filmed Whoopie Goldberg's singing scene at his bar and in the movie you can see his friend and also who was my friend working the bar as an extra in the distance.  The bar scene was well filmed showing a "regular", in real life my brother would point out the regulars when I sat at his Fitzgerald's bar.  My fiendish brother would watch the regulars play his slots and when one was ready to hit, he would start playing, winning ten thousand once, lol. 

Fitzgeralds was later turned into a boutique hotel which it still is today, no longer a casino.  Also owned by the owner of Fitzgeralds were the old Harolds and Nevada Clubs, torn down when Harrah's expanded, sadly because they were popular with frequent Reno visitors as they still used mechanical slots when electronic slots were coming in vogue.  In the last year of my brother's life, in 1992, I worked as accounting manager for Harrah's Tahoe and also supervised the accounting manager at Harrah's Reno.  But I did not care much for the casino business itself, my role was just with the hotel rooms, food and beverage, retail and entertainment divisions.  We had another accounting manager, a really good guy, for gaming.  Our boss later became Controller for Opryland Hotel in Nashville and I hooked up with him years later and thanked him for his mentoring, he enabled me to become a business systems instructor by his advice when I resigned from Harrah's. 

Reno brings back so many memories--favorite hotel there was the Nugget, with its beautiful indoor pool and frequent Bellamy Brothers shows.  My wife and I stayed there when we were married in '95 after flying there from Oakland and saw Mickey Gilley perform there.   I also saw the late TG Sheppard and Mel Tillis perform there.  I am not a huge country fan but live, I love country, great music to sim by when you hear it live.  Enough of the backstory, enjoy the pictures!

John

oNEHWKR.png
7Syp8ny.png
nlXtolZ.png
AXswdSU.png
EBSM9N8.png
6l7eQST.png
AA7Q0p6.png
aYob0PT.png
kPg2IKl.png
88EILsd.png
mg9n4ha.png
HSJmjL3.png
QlVb0Ov.png
STmCWaL.png
8vreryd.png
eDOGygT.png
IWsv9xt.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Thanks for the screenshots, John, and for the memories. I think quite a few of us relate to that - we all seem to enjoy flying aircraft, airlines or destinations that played some part in our lives at one time or another. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Mithras said:

Thanks for the screenshots, John, and for the memories. I think quite a few of us relate to that - we all seem to enjoy flying aircraft, airlines or destinations that played some part in our lives at one time or another. 

I wish I could fly, in real time, the route of my most recent flights last year from Phoenix to London and back, even though with the Eclipse I would have to "cheat" and do aerial refueling, plus Greenland is not there at all in Xplane above a certain latitude.  Just not patient enough although I have flown transcon a few times, SFO to JFK or Orlando.

In FS9 I used to fly heavies realtime with World of AI which I flooded the sim with, it was so cool to fly across the Atlantic into the dusk and see the lights of other heavies crossing the pond twinkling in the distance, or seeing the contrails of a jet below crossing my path at a right angle, which I love when I see it in P3D since their contrails are better than Xplane currently (soon to change with their coming 11.30 update).

For long flights photoreal scenery is a must in P3D, which I have when I fly the C550.  In Xplane the default scenery works well for me, I find it more realistic than P3D's default, along with atmospheric lighting as shown in these shots although do not get me wrong--many beautiful shots can be had with P3D if you set up the weather and lighting just right.

I will never forget when I first saw mountains cast shadows when FS2000 was released, which I purchased right after my daughter was born.  Even though the mesh was not as fine as what we get in default today, I was floored by what I saw compared to FS95 and FS98 preceding it.  It added so much more realism to our flying as Xplane11 and P3D and FSX show today.  I like the cloud shadows added in P3D quite a bit, more so than Xplane11's, they just add to the ambiance of what I like to call "cloud hopping" in the flight levels.  Adding weather and lighting makes our sims look so nice, better than the clear skies, full daylight flights.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was brand new to FSX in 2013 after a year playing Infinite Flight on my iPad, so everything in FSX floored me, from moving ships, AI aircraft, real weather ... well, the whole lot really. 

I see you have a preference for bizjets. Whose in the back of that bizjet in your mind? I don't fly them much, but when I do I have to have someone in mind ... government agents, personalities, corporate bigwigs, etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Mithras said:

I was brand new to FSX in 2013 after a year playing Infinite Flight on my iPad, so everything in FSX floored me, from moving ships, AI aircraft, real weather ... well, the whole lot really. 

I see you have a preference for bizjets. Whose in the back of that bizjet in your mind? I don't fly them much, but when I do I have to have someone in mind ... government agents, personalities, corporate bigwigs, etc...

I think of my former colleagues when I worked as a lead tester at JDA software.  We used to go on team outings and when I was taking flight lessons I imagined taking them from Phoenix to Laughlin on a bizjet or a Beech 200, or even my boss for a ride on a two seat LSA.  Or I think of my wife and daughter, when I was taking LSA lessons I used to think of flying my wife to Vegas or my daughter to Santa Ana so we could go to Disneyland.  If you like bizjets and the pilots who fly them, youtube "Captain Moonbeam".  He posts his videos of flights he makes for his clients.  My favorite of his was one he posted going to Napa, where I used to live, from St. Louis in a Citation with a refueling stop in Pueblo, Colorado.  You really get a feel for what flying a bizjet is like in real life, as well as the pitfalls such as traffic, weather and so on or difficult clients.  You would think flying a bizjet is "go anywhere, anytime" but there are ramp delays, unscheduled stops or flights to alternate airports due to weather, and so on.  Other times they are so much more convenient than scheduled airline flights.  I wish I could be invited up in a bizjet someday--almost was when I worked for a client in Utah, but that did not come to pass.  I'd love to fly in a Citation 550 someday or Eclipse, or even a larger bizjet like a Falcon trijet.  Closest thing I came to bizjet experience was flying first class several times or premium economy last year on British Airways from Phoenix to London and back.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now