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Doc Bryant

Short Final for 22 September

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From Avweb's twice Weekly post of things aviating.... It's Short Final Time....Back in the 70's, BOAC (British Airways) flew into O'Hare Chicago and their call sign was "Speedbird"... O'Hare: Speedbird xxx slow to 200 kts. Speedbird xxx: Sorry, running late, need to keep the speed up. O'Hare: Ok, turn right 90 degrees and keep your speed up. Speedbird xxx: Errr, how long would we be on that heading? O'Hare:

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British Airways still uses the call sign Speed Bird (flight number) today. I heard one checking in with Atlanta Center the other day when I was using my scanner at home. I guess there is an advantage to living between the Chattanooga Airport and Choo-Choo VOR.I am down in Miami today, and then off to Puerto Rico tomorrow on the company airplane, N754TW, a Beach King Air. No, I won't be the pilot, we have an ATP rated pilot for that, but I do get to seat in the right seat for the flight.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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It has been a while since I have been able to come here. We have been having numerous prolonged black-outs for the past few weeks - just more of the usual in the Third World. Fortunately, that terrible hurricane missed us completely. Lindy is surprised by the damage, but it was basically just a tropical storm when it passed over her. Hurricane damage is much more horrifying. To top it all off, around 1 A.M. yesterday, we had an earthquake of about 6.5 on the scale. Everything started to shake and rattle. I jumped out of bed and panicked! It only lasted about 6 to 10 seconds, although I was not counting. Then, numerous small tremblors throughout the dawn hours.So, I was counting on coming here for some friendly distraction. FlyBert (just who is this Bob character, anyway?) has provided some, and Doc with the Short Final. But, Jerry leaves for tropical paradises just as I was looking forward to some photos of airplane construction. Oh well, I shall just have to wait for his return.Have a nice time in Puerto Rico, Jerry. Drink lots of rum and see many se

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I find earthquakes to be the most terrifying natural disaster... there are no warnings; nothing one can do to prepare. Yuck. I'm glad you're okay.Isabel was a Category 1 hurricane when it hit us here in Va. Beach. My own neighborhood was spared thanks to the grace of God. But our schools are still closed; thousands of homes and businesses are still without power; many intersections have no working traffic signals. We are a five city area connected by underwater tunnels. These are major traffic arteries for people who live and work in the area. One of those tunnels is flooded with over 44 million gallons of water from the nearby Elizabeth River -- and this is after much of the water has been pumped out! The tunnel is impassable (of course) so thousands of commuters have to find alternative routes, sometimes miles out of their way.I am well aware that the damage done here was minimal compared to what it would have been had Isabel remained even a Cat 3 hurricane. To people who have experienced stronger hurricanes, I'm sure Isabel seemed like a "tropical storm." To me who has only experienced tropical storms, she was enough of a hurricane for ME.-Lindy :-beerchug

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I started at Tamiami Airport near Miami this morning and ended up in the back of the airplane, not the copilot seat. There was a second commercial pilot/instructor up there riding along to PR with us today. The first stop for a luncheon meeting was in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Since we were doing well on time, the sales guy and the boss decided they would pop into Santo Domingo to see a customer there. I stayed at the airport with the pilots and took a few pix of airliners and old airplanes abandoned on the edge of the airport. I will post them when I get home and away from the 28.8 dial-up link.Tonight I am in OLD San Juan, PR via an Earthlink dialup connection. Tomorrow, I am the technical presenter at two seminar sessions, one in the morning, another after lunch. I get to talk on return path amplifier set up and RF ingress issues on two-way cable television systems.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Well, Lindy, forgive me, I certainly did not mean to minimize the impact of that hurricane in your area. Undoubtedly, it has caused much suffering, damage, and even death. Hurricanes are some of the most powerful of nature's phenomena and it is never good to have one of any category pass over you.Here is the picture of that hurricane when it was Category 5, the strongest, and had just missed us.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/38896.jpgNote the perfect shape of the eye - this denotes a particularly devastating storm.Jerry, too bad I did not know you were coming, or I could have picked you up at the airport for a quick tour of the city. Next time, maybe we could plan these things ahead of time.And Bob (or Flybert, or Robert, or Essate, or whatever your real name may be), allow me to say that you take a very good picture, what with your mustachioed rugged good looks. Men with whiskers always look so virile, wouldn't you agree? Of course, I may be biased in this matter, having had hair above my lip since before I could shave.Best regards.Luis

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Luis... I wasn't insulted or anything. But it was stronger than a tropical storm when it hit here in Va. Beach. It did weaken to tropical storm status as it came further inland though.Cat I Isabelle was more than strong enough as far as I was concerned! :-eek (Down in Hatteras/the Outer Banks, it was a Cat II)If anything stronger than a Cat I ever hits here, I expect to be evacuated. -Lindy :-beerchug

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Thank you, Luis.The mustache is long gone, lost it around 1990 I think. It got to annoying me, and I kept trimming it closer and closer in. When I started looking like a really bad dude, off it went. :-)And with that picture being about a quarter of a century old, that's not quite "me" anymore. One of these days, fresh off a haircut, I'll snap a new pic and post it.While I realize that you're just having fun with the name bit, allow me to explain. My real name is Robert Charles Stiles, though generally called Bob. "FlyBert" was suggested by my older brother, due to my interest in flightsimming, which is what brought me to AVSIM, of course. My screen name was "FlyBert" before AVSIM installed the software upgrade, at which point i decided to just be me. "FlyBert" seemed somewhat silly, but after I changed, a lot of folks (mainly in the FU3 forum) said "Where's FlyBert?" So I added it ot my sig. I'm probably somewhat of a "pretender to the throne", as there is another Flybert out there, with a website named "Flybert's Chateau", dedicated to a "brother" to ProPilot, Red Baron 3D. The man's name is Erik Aamot, almost definitely a Norwegian name (I'm half Norwegian), and his e-mail address is "flybert(at)sbcglobal.net", which is also my ISP. Quite some coincidences there. I wonder why "Flybert" when his name is Erik? Here's the site, if you're curious.

"Essate" is a memento of my earliest days of computers and telephone lines. I was the night-time sysop of a Commodore 64-only gaming network called PlayNET. 300bps max! Can you define "slow"? :-) My name there was "Robert S8", being the eighth Robert S_____ to register there. One nice thing about "Essate"... it's always available as a name when I register at new forums or whatever.[table][tr][td valign=top]http://www.avsim.com/other/usaribbon.gif[/td][td valign=center]Bob "FlyBert" StilesAVSIM Moderator[/b][/td][/tr][/table]"Don't stall on me, I have to soar!"~Richard Harvey, 1/21/2003

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Oh, Bob, you know that I was just fooling. And I know that you know. And you know that I know that you know. Let me stop before I get a headache.Anyway, I see that you have been around this whole computer network stuff for a while. Isn't it amazing how everything has changed so radically in just a few short years? And will probably be even more unrecognizable in the near future.Progress is amazing!Best regards.Luis

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Sure, Luis, I know that you know that I know that you know that... uhm... got any extra aspirin? :-lolThough I intended to, I forgot to mention that PlayNET was back in the mid-80's... died in 1986, if memory serves me correct. And yes... things have changed a bit, haven't they? Here's an example of the mid 80's, subLogic's Flight Simulator for the Commodore 64.

Beautiful, no? :-)[table][tr][td valign=top]http://www.avsim.com/other/usaribbon.gif[/td][td valign=center]Bob "FlyBert" StilesAVSIM Moderator[/b][/td][/tr][/table]"Don't stall on me, I have to soar!"~Richard Harvey, 1/21/2003

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Yep! That was the one that started it all. It was a program with real world airport locations, VORs, and the ability to navigate and fly ILS approaches. It ran on a computer with a 1 MHz clock speed. And we loved it! When you tuned the radios, the messages came in a scrolling text format. You bought your scenery in disks with various sectionals on them, usually THREE sectionals per disk. They also had a version for Apple II computers before it was produced for the IBM PC.Bruce Artwick and others from the Sub-Logic team joined other flight-sim companies and things got better as the computers got faster and video cards got more memory. And the result is what we have today.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Jerry,I didn't mind the poor resolution or lack of much visual realism, but what drove me nuts was when turning (depending on the turn rate, of course), the next image drawn (after one with a level horizon) would have the horizon at like a 45 degree angle. Not conducive to good piloting! But like you said, we loved it, and with nothing better to compare it to, it was mighty fine.I just realized that it's almost exactly twenty years since I first bought a computer, a Commodore VIC 20 with a tape drive. Typed in many a simple program, most in BASIC but some in assembly language, from magazines like Compute! and Compute's Gazette. Got it in mid to late 1983, but it wasn't long before I moved up to a C64 with a disk drive... what an improvement! And look where we are now.I still have the VIC 20, two C64s, and a C128 around here somewhere, with associated drives, printers, and monitors. I wonder if any of it still works? Capacitors don't age well. The monitor was used as a TV for awhile, with a cable box plugged into the COMPOSITE input. Excellent picture! :-)Got all the old magazines, too. :-lol[table][tr][td valign=top]http://www.avsim.com/other/usaribbon.gif[/td][td valign=center]Bob "FlyBert" StilesAVSIM Moderator[/b][/td][/tr][/table]"Don't stall on me, I have to soar!"~Richard Harvey, 1/21/2003

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