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Flight model and the real world pilot (opinion requeste...

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A question for real world pilots, or anyone for that matter with experience in an airplane.Let me start by saying the closest I

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You know, this may sound odd, but Flight Simulator just doesn't "feel real" to me. It looks a lot more real than it feels.Here's my "flight" experience: I have about 1 hour in the copilot's seat of a Cessna 172 as a passenger, and 20 minutes in the pilot's seat of a 727 as the PIC (don't ask how I managed that.)In the Cessna ... there was a LOT of noise as the wind exerted its pressures on the aircraft. At times, the entire plane was just "banged" by the wind; large, loud banging sounds accompanied by 50-foot changes in altitude over just a second or two. Very bumpy ride. Flight Simulator feels smooth as glass, even in monsoon weather to me.If you've ever flown in a Cessna, you'll know what I'm describing here.Flying the heavies ... well, they just seem too responsive in Flight Simulator. The real 727 that I flew briefly "felt" like it took forever to get it to turn. It's like the difference between turning a motorcycle and turning a Greyhound bus. It just felt very, very slow to respond.The heavies in FSX seem to roll very easily and quickly. Just doens't "feel right" to me, but that's just my own personal, and very limited, experience.The helicopters "feel" real to me, even though they have the worst flight models (so I'm told.) I have a couple of hours as a passenger in Bell-type ambulance helicopters, and the FSX Bell feels very real to me (although I've never flown a helo). Again, just personal feel.Cheers,

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I think your question is excellent but difficult. A long post to give my views.Much like the flight sim, I think all may have varied wants and needs for a flight model-and then there is the semantic question of what a flight model is?For me there are a couple areas that have to be met.1) The numbers have to be right. Especially for instrument flying you fly much on power settings and expected airspeeds. This is one area of the flight model msfs has always done pretty well.2) The simulating of different parameters of flight. Does it do straight and level, and turns well? Does the trim feel right? How about stalls, chandelles? What area of the flight envelope is done well and what area is perhaps completely missing? This is a big one depending on how you choose to simulate.3) The general "feel". Does it feel like the real bird you have flown? This is a challenge that requires more "art" than physics imho and can be a combination of sounds, actual flight controls, looks, instrumentation , controls and control calibration.4) Are you getting enough fps for smooth flight and are the instruments smooth? If the instrument response or handling is jerky the greatest flight model in the world would be hard to detect-and I find jerky instruments in the sim a usual big problem.5) The last one is, is your imagination filling in the holes? This is where I feel a rw pilot has an advantage as it is really quite easy to fill any small gaps the sim might miss.With all the above in mind-imho for singles the Real Air Marchetti, and the Dreamfleet Dakota are two of the best for me. They fill all the above requirements. I have about 100 hours 19 years ago in Piper products and fly safety for countless hours for a friend in an Arrow-and when I got in the DF Dakota it just was all there.While I have never flown a Marchetti , I do have 600 hours in a single Bonanza-and the feel of a high performance single is just there and "feels" right.For twins-the Eaglesoft Commanche does the above requirements also. Again-I've never flown a twin commanche but I do have 300 hours in a Baron. The heavier feel of a light twin is captured, the engine out procedures are closer than anything I have tried yet. I am hoping more twins start coming out though!Now I try to buy most aircraft add ons-but some I just would have no idea about since I haven't flown the aircraft in real life. So perhaps my recommendations are based on the ones I do have experience in. My feeling is most good 3rd party aircraft designers take a great deal of trouble to get it right though.Will it ever be 100% like the real thing? Until full motion sims become available for home and better flight controls no. But you sure can get close if all the above parameters are met.Interestingly, I fly the majority of the time in the stock fs Baron.I have removed the default instrument pack and replaced with the Reality Xp Flightline gauges which give ultimate realism and ability for precision control due to their extreme smoothness. I have replaced the default radio stack with friendly panels and the Reality xp Garmin Waas stack for greater realism in avionics. I tweaked the trim parameter in the flight file to make it less twitchy. I have the saitek pro yoke which feels much like a Baron yoke, a real throttle quad from a baron, and an elite avionics panel which keeps me from mouse pushing.Mostly I fly the default Baron because it does fly by the numbers and therefore is useful practice for me. This is where what a simmer wants may be most important. When working on my commercial I would have died for a plane that could do a chandelle right. Now I am more interested in keeping my instrument skills sharp, flying in realistic depicted weather conditions, situational awareness of future trips to unfamiliar places, and simulating the workload of a flying a light twin and its avionics.I took a sim flight last night on one of the legs of a trip I am taking soon. The density altitude was 2500 ft. here and sure enough it took more runway to get going. I edged the nose up at 90 knots like real life and it came right up. Blue line, out of runway, and gear up and let it accelerate on its own to 120 knts. Power back to 25" and 2500 at 1000 ft. agl and watched the incredible textures of Gex, the lakes and roads of utx giving total situational familiarity, and the unreal clouds of fex as I picked my way thru thunderstorms.Level out-24" 2400 gives me and indicated airspeed of 160-166 depending on conditions-right on. Flew all the waypoints with the Reality xp Garmin which is as real as you can get. Before landing starting reducing power an inch at a time till I got down to 17"-my summer power approach setting. Airspeed was 140 where it should be-at the outermarker dropped the gear-which takes me to just outside 120 and a 500 fpm decent. Went thru low conditions which made me sweat a little and broke out at minimums with an aiport which though not 100% perfect, gives me a situational awareness of the future real one. ...and I just sat there and shook my head with amazement. In the earlier days of the sim #5 was most of simming. How much has changed! :-)http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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>>>>I tweaked the trim parameter in>the flight file to make it less twitchy. >Nice thread, this is good stuff.Geof can you post the setting(s) that you changed in the default Baron aircraft.cfg file? I'm interested in a "less twitchy" Baron, too.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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Hi Rhett-It is has been so long since I did it I am not sure what I did-but I think I reduced the settings under"flight tuning"elevator_trim_effectiveness = 1.9elevator_effectiveness = 0.8This gives a more responsive trim wheel (I use the goflight) but also seems to give a little more heaviness to the pitch.I am sure doing anything like this is also dependent on the controls used also.http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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>You know, this may sound odd, but Flight Simulator just>doesn't "feel real" to me. It looks a lot more real than it>feels.>>Here's my "flight" experience: I have about 1 hour in the>copilot's seat of a Cessna 172 as a passenger, and 20 minutes>in the pilot's seat of a 727 as the PIC (don't ask how I>managed that.)>>In the Cessna ... there was a LOT of noise as the wind exerted>its pressures on the aircraft. At times, the entire plane was>just "banged" by the wind; large, loud banging sounds>accompanied by 50-foot changes in altitude over just a second>or two. Very bumpy ride. Flight Simulator feels smooth as>glass, even in monsoon weather to me.>>If you've ever flown in a Cessna, you'll know what I'm>describing here.>>Flying the heavies ... well, they just seem too responsive in>Flight Simulator. The real 727 that I flew briefly "felt" like>it took forever to get it to turn. It's like the difference>between turning a motorcycle and turning a Greyhound bus. It>just felt very, very slow to respond.>>The heavies in FSX seem to roll very easily and quickly. Just>doens't "feel right" to me, but that's just my own personal,>and very limited, experience.>>The helicopters "feel" real to me, even though they have the>worst flight models (so I'm told.) I have a couple of hours as>a passenger in Bell-type ambulance helicopters, and the FSX>Bell feels very real to me (although I've never flown a helo).>Again, just personal feel.>I get some good "feel" out of flight simulator, but it's because I do fly real aircraft, and the brain can somewhat fill in the missing gaps. The senses of yaw, power to weight, ballooning & drag with flap extension, inertia, and dampening are there; even though it's just a combination of movement that we see on the screen, the resistance of a joystick spring, and sounds as described in Geof's reply.As to flight smoothness, I definately DO prefer the smoothness of MSFS when combined with subtle gentle shakes here and there. Why............because this is the way that so many real life cross country flights are! They can be hours of smoothness, with perhaps a few minutes of shakes here and there. Of course turbulent days will be far different, and a bouncing screen on a desktop just doesn't quite give the same discomfort! :) As to flying heavies and control movement, it's all what you're use to. Obviously are joysticks are smaller, and we can tend to over control. Since I'm use to 2" sticks for R/C, and long sticks for aerobatic aircraft, I've developed a somewhat lighter feel.Airplanes. Geof mentioned two that I really like. The RealAir Marchetti SF260 because I've flown the real one, and like sliding canopies; and the Dreamfleet Dakota for that sense of flying Pipers. But I've even got some great feel out of flying the default Cessnas and Maule; especially with landings.As to helicopters, it's been a while since I've flown them in MSFS, but when I got a good 10 minutes with the stick in a 4-bladed MD turbine chopper, my imagination in MSFS seemed quite close. Yes, I've heard that the MSFS choppers might might not react as good as a few choppers in that other brand "X". But so far, I feel that MSFS has more "feel", than a percieved vacuum, that I always experience with "X" (not FSX).L.Adamson

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T.J.The ONE thing that is missing is ADRENELINE!Simulating flight on your PC psychologically has a nice comfort level. You take off, fly, land, enjoy the scenery, practice procedures and its all good.Step into just a Cessna 172 for a real flight and all the stuff you felt totally secure about in MSFS is gone. Like a boxer who practiced for 6 months for the big fight, that first punch from your opponent and it all goes out the window. Taxiing. Airplanes don't move with the same sensitivity that your home rudder pedals do. A little push left or right at home and your plane turns. In a real airplane to make a 90 degree turn requires effort and coordination. Just staying on the center line in the real world requires coordination especially with a quartering tail or head wind which requires you to deflect your ailerons and/or elevators to aid in taxiing. Not so in MSFS.Runup. Do one or don't in MSFS no prob, because no failure. Don't do it in the real world and you'll find your problems out in the sky! Takeoff. No problem in MSFS. Sit in your Cessna lined up with the runway and its showtime. In the real world...your heart in pounding, its up to you. Push the trottle to 2000 RPM, engine's fine, full throttle, your heart is ready to leave your chest as you accelerate down the runway, coordinating to keep centerline. C172SP, 55 kts, rotate, pitch for Vy (74 kts) you are know looking at the sky, the ground slips away and now any mistakes could KILL YOU. Your brain registers fear, apprehension, your first instinct, stare at the flight instruments...fly by the numbers...WRONG! Get your head out of the cockpit, look out the window 90% of the time, only glance at the instruments 10% of the time. Tower tells you to turn right pattern for departure, you need to talk and fly, was he talking to YOU, "step on the ball", enough right rudder to keep centerline, watch that airspeed, watch that pitch, pick out an object at your 90 degree, turn to line up with it...what was that departure altitude again...what the heck did TOWER just say, is he talking to you?Climbout. You settle down, as the ground slips away. You take a look out the side window, D@MN those houses look small! You are flying, speed is life, you mentally pick out areas where you can land if your engine quits...remember when it does, pitch for 65kts, squawk 7700, tune 121.5 and broadcast mayday, will you need it, probably not, what will you do, the thought its uncomfortably in the front of your mind. No reset button now, the simulation will NOT restart if you mess up, you are flying. A part of you wishes you were at safely on the ground, but you are not, you are flying...YOU are flying!Maneuvers. Time for a power off stall at 3000 feet. Throttle to 1700 RPM, you note a floor of 2600 feet where you will full stall. Flaps 10, you feel uncomfortable as the aircraft pitches up and you are decending (what if you don't recover, your brain tells you that you are going to die, you fight it off and concentrate...are those houses getting bigger?), flaps 20, speed bleeds off, flaps full, you are staring at the sky as the prop generates no thrust for you and you fight the urge NOT to sit back in your seat and try to lean forward to counteract that weird attitude. 2650, you pull back even harder on the yoke, the stall horn screams, 2610, you are in a full stall, hold it...hold it...she is mushy, control with the RUDDERS, keep ailerons neutral or risk a spin, hold it, FULL STALL, nose pitches down, and you feel a few negative G's, throttle full, flaps 20, pitch up off you go again, flying, flaps 10, flaps up pitch for Vy (seat cushion is now firmly encased in your backside and squeezed to the size of a pincushion!). Your heart stopped about 2 miles back, your palms are soaked, and you really have to take a poop!Landing. You have to get on the ground sooner or later, you check ATIS winds are quartering at 7 gusting to 15. You contact tower at 9 miles, he mumbles something about something to someone, he's not even talking to you, no nice clear orderly coms like in MSFS. Finally, Cessna N87JA, left traffic RWY 34 follow the C172 2 miles ahead of you at 1800. WHAT CESSNA 2 miles ahead of me..I can't pick him out of the ground clutter!? You do your best to fly the plane, find the traffic, look for other traffic, monitor your instruments, and then there is that I'm going to die feeling again! You think about taking bus driving lessons instead...much safer!You enter the pattern, you feel good, almost home and then... POW!, Cessna 87JA make 360 turn for traffic spacing, YIKES! You make the turn at pattern altitude, those houses are big, don't lose altitude, watch your airspeed, pick a point on the ground and turn on it so you don't look silly with a turn that looks like a potato instead of a circle! Finally cleared to land, sweat pours off your hands, your heart now requires a pacemaker to keep it from exploding..everyone's watching. The wind throws you around on the approach, keep that centerline, stop fixating on those instruments, you are too low! You pull back on the yoke, oh no you forgot, on approach, pitch for airspeed, throttle for altitude...the opposite of takeoff...you almost stall it on final...you recover, overcompensate, you float, too high, you can do it....less throttle, VASI one red, three white...good enough, Cessna 87JA cleared to land! It's not enough you have to use one hand one yoke, one hand on thottle, both feet on the rudder and now some idiot wants you to use a finger on the radio button and your mouth and what's left of your brain to respond! You fit it in, it breaks your concentration, drifting right, you respond, wing low, over the threshold, throttle to idle here we go! Speed bleeds off, remember, no stall horn no land!!! Too fast...you float, you try to bleed off more speed, you pull back too hard and gain altitude, OH NO, winds are blowing you right again, you straighten out, stall horn screams, your brain screams, your heart stops, breathing stops, you hope you lived a good life and you will miss your wife and kids, hold it, hold it, stall, smooth touchdown! Fly that nose wheel, keep that nose up, you find the brakes as tower tells you to turn on Taxiway Echo and contact ground.You turn respond to tower, taxiway echo for 87JA, good day. And now you are on the ground, you are alive...you contact ground, taxi to the hangar and pull the mixture lever out to shut down the engine...its quiet. YOU sir, are a pilot. You did not die, your brain lied to you! The sense of accomplishment and accpetance to the shortlist of those who take to the sky is overwhelming. Everything looks clearer, brighter, you don't even notice that you swallowed your chewing gum. How WILL I look in a pilots uniform as I strut down the airport terminal? Chick's dig guys in pilot's uniforms, you remind yourself! A smirk, forms at the corner of your lips...Pilot...you like the way that sounds.Tomorrow, you will take your second flight, and you grin to youself! Your flight instructor mumbles something...was she there the whole time? HA!I remember my first flight like it was yesterday...it was more than 25 years ago.Can MSFS replicate this? Nope.Get out there and get some adreneline at your local flight school...I HIGHLY recommend it!Warm regards,Mike T.

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Some real interesting and very good read on the subject.Folks who spend $2000-$3000 on Flight simulation but would not go up with an instructor for a couple of hours is a shame. My advice to any simmer would be...take about 4-8 hours spread out to learn to fly the real thing. Some folks have even soloed after 8 hrs. You don't have to work towards your whole license. But put some real hrs into your simming. It adds to the simming portfolio.:)My first experience of realism came when I first got Megascenery So cal for fs9. I was working on my license and I hadn't done my cross country yet at that time. So I planned out my flight and wanted to use dead reckoning and Pilotage only. Boy oh boy.. I took the trip so seriously like I would for real and flew the trip and what a feeling it was. It was real! I had the exhalation of finding the airport (What made it special was..I didn't know so cal..so I was not familiar with the terrain. So that added to my experience.The realism comes..not by the physical sensation... Sitting behind a desk..you can never get that. But mentally, if you do everything like you would for real.. whether its VFR precision flying and landing on the numbers or IFR flying with proper instrument eye scan, flying using charts, maintaining the same workload (no pause in between), IMC weather..etc. It is real.Manny

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Fantastic replies so far, thanks so much. Mike I got goose bumps when I read your post. Although your suggestion to get out there and actually fly sounds fantastic, it

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>I am using currently the Fresnel lens to get some of>this depth of view but I should be looking into some>stereoscopic set up pretty soon - there were some really good>posts on the subject recently. Hi Michal,what are in your experience the advantages and disadvantages of using a Fresnel Lens for FS? How much did you spend for it?Marco

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>The real 727 that I flew briefly "felt" like>it took forever to get it to turn. It's like the difference>between turning a motorcycle and turning a Greyhound bus. It>just felt very, very slow to respond.>Precisely that was my impression of the DF 727 in FS9. I wondered if it reacted so slowly because my computer was slow.

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Man, this was excellent!!!Cheers,=S.V.=CPU: Intel Core2Duo E4500 2x2.2Ghz, 1GbGPU: nVidia Quadro FX 3400 256 MbOS: WinXP(SP2) FS: FSX(SP2) MP: http://www.FSEconomy.com

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I am only 10 hrs dual and 0.5 PIC but I tense up in flight sim just as much as real life if the occasion calls for it so I think it is how you approach the sim. I really want to do it well and correctly whether simming or IRL.Before starting my flight lessons I tried to fly smoothly and correctly, as far as I new how to, but never had any tense moments during landings because if it sucked and I ran onto the grass, have too much side load, too fast or run off the end of the runway it didn't matter. Now my standards are much higher simming is very different. It is a lot more fun.This may change as I increase hours IRL, we will see.Steven.

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In your situation it sounds like you had no frame of reference which can make things a lot more scarier than normal.I am not a fan of heights, it depends on how safe I feel and/or the kind of movement I am experiencing at the time. I thought a spin in a plane would scare the #### out of me, I hate roller coasters and such, wont go near them, but the spin was awesome because a) I trust the instructor and :( I am in control of what is happening (indirectly as I can say "I don't want to do a X" or directly because I have control)Even if you are afraid of heights it may be worth trying the first introductory lesson. The worst that can happen is you demand an immediate landing and you spend no more than 6 minutes or so in the air. I would consider it if you can stand looking from the top of a very tall building without feeling too bad. Steven.

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>Fantastic replies so far, thanks so much. Mike I got goose>bumps when I read your post. Although your suggestion to get>out there and actually fly sounds fantastic, it

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>Most pilots have a fear of heights (I do). We had a>conversation at a pilot breakfast a few weeks ago-and all at>the table -from a 747 pilot to me admitted to it....>Go for it! >http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpg>>My blog:>http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/Geof, that reminds me I was OK on the FOH thing until my instructor cleared me for solo within 50 mile radius of the home drome. Out one day in the C150 having a blast at 3K and looked straight down and past the left gear and like to hyperventilated over the feeling...Put my focus back on flying the plane and it instantly went away but for a while I refused to look at that view...crazy how certain things effect pilots:-)To the other poster. Go for it, you won't regret it:-)

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>Most pilots have a fear of heights (I do). We had a>conversation at a pilot breakfast a few weeks ago-and all at>the table -from a 747 pilot to me admitted to it....>Go for it! I have no fear of altitude in regards to flight, but you'll never see me scaling 1200' vertical canyon walls, or bungee jumping off bridges either. However, I'll walk very close to a cliffs edge, knowing I better keep my balance!L.Adamson

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yeah the previous poster was right. I certainly feel that the adrenaline is what makes real world flying different from simulated flying.Take a stall for instance. I have always been afraid of doing them...I mean, what's the point, I know what can happen from the sim, I don't intend to do one in real life ever, right? ;)But you still need to be prepared for it so you do it in real life, you have to get over yourself. It's pretty unpleasant hanging there by the prop, the shaking, the different noise, the mushy controls. MSFS cannot replicate that feeling.

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I have a fear of heights!!! I hate heights, but I love flying more (just barely!) :-lol

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"...is there a payware/freeware/anyware aircraft that gives you that

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Mike, you've done an excellent job of describing the sensory overload we've all experienced when the "juice" is flowing.Amazing how the adrenaline level recedes a bit as we heed the instructors wisdom and our focus becomes "just fly the plane" or the timeless "Aviate, Navigate,Communicate":-)I'm sure you remember the day you discovered that your instructor was distracting you abeam the numbers or on turn to base or final on "purpose".I asked an older instructor why mine was attempting to distract me in those busy situations and will never forget his answer..."People teach themselves to fly, our job is to keep them alive until they can do that for themselves.:-) :-)

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Very interesting thoughts about pilots and "fear of heights". I've had my PPL for over 30 years now, and looking back to when I first started pilot training, it brings back a lot of memories.For me, "fear of heights" was relative. I had skydived for over a year before I started my PPL training. Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane didn't scare me, because I trusted the equipment (parachutes, etc) and myself to make it all work. But when I started my PPL, there was an "apprehension" that my Instructor picked up on pretty quickly. We narrowed it down to my concern about things like the engine quitting, etc. He solved that one very quickly. We were flying in the "practice area", and he reached over and turned the key completely off...the engine stopped dead. I was shocked! Nothing like seeing the prop stop dead in front of you to get your adrenaline flowing. He then said, "Fly the airplane. Pick a place to land it. If you do it right, you'll live." Best lesson he ever gave me. From that day on, I knew that I could trust the airplane even if the engine quit, and if I was cognizent enough to keep my head screwed on straight and do what was necessary, I'd "survive" the situation. No more "fear of heights" per say while flying.But to this day, if I walk close to the edge of a cliff, I still get that "uncertain" feeling. A little scared. Because of the height. Human nature, I think. I'd have no control over the outcome if I slipped and fell over the edge.It's all relative a lot of times.FalconAFPS - Second best lesson my Instructor gave me. Shortly after rotation on takeoff (in a Cessna 150 on a 5000 foot runway) he had me look left out my window at something. Next thing I know, I hear the engine die. I turned back and said, "WHAT THE F*CK ???!!!". Of course, he said, "My airplane" and took the controls, pushed the nose down, and landed it back on the runway. He had pulled the throttle all the way back when I looked out my window. We stopped on the runway (he had "pre-coordinated" the "emergency engine out" with the Tower ATC), then calmly looked at me and said, "Always remember...'What the F*ck' won't keep the airplane flying and keep you alive. Right now, if I wasn't here, you'd be dead. React...do what you have been trained to do. It will keep you alive."Bless his heart!

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