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About John_Cillis

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    Flying (of course), travel

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About Me

  • About Me
    I am a Software Test Engineer, living with my family in the Phoenix Metro Area. I've had some flight instruction in Light Sport and Trikes, but my main flying experience has been as a passenger, from personal and corporate travel since 1966.

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  1. John_Cillis

    Movie recommendation

    I finally saw the movie "First Man". I usually do not enjoy aviation autobiography's because we all know the story anyway, but I enjoyed the movie. It touches on the X15 which was shrouded in secrecy. It is cool that Xplane11 has one to fly, my desktop wallpaper is from an Xplane11 flight I took to space with it. The movie shows the problems that hard 24x7 work causes to marriage, like my road warrior work did to mine, fatally destroying it sad to say, work can kill relationships in a work world that demands loyalty to the job first, family second and God last. Back to the movie, I felt it was well acted, anything with Ryan Gosling in it is, like his work in "Fracture" with Anthony Hopkins. I feel it is well directed and understated, not overdone like the Right Stuff which went towards comedy a bit too much though still a good classic in its own right because of the Yeager and Glenn portrayals especially. Spirit of St. Louis was another good movie, but that was a long, long time ago.... John
  2. Search Youtube for the movie titles, both of them.... John
  3. I am an old fuddy duddy when it comes to GA aircraft. My flight lessons were on steam gauge aircraft with one exception. One aircraft had LCD displays but with a bubble canopy they were impossible to read in the bright sunlight and useless to me. However my CFI drilled into me not to be too stuck on instrument drill regardless of steam gauges or LCD's--LOOK OUTSIDE he would command me, he wanted me to scan for traffic and always be ready for an engine out situation. I got so good I could spot traffic even before he could, my eyes got used to anything in motion against the near or distant sky. The coolest traffic I ever evaded was a blimp over the Renaissance Pleasure Faire east of Mesa AZ, just outside of Apache junction, AZ's seasonal amusement park, bigger than Disneyland. It looked so tiny as I was cruising at 5000 feet, 2000 feet above the blimp in uncontrolled airspace far to the east of Sky Harbor's airspace. I could see the blimp below me and the jets flying above me into and out of Sky Harbor. It waa WOAI in real life, very fun to learn to work with the traffic using a Microlight equipped with a transponder. Traffic is nothing to fear if you work with the other pilots in the air and ATC on the ground, you just use your eyes and ears but always must remember to fly first, scan next, and comms come last. Cactus521
  4. John_Cillis

    What Happens After Surviving 46Gs (Most Faint at 6Gs)

    I believe two places, mission space at Epcot and the revolution at socals magic mountain have given me the most sustained G's in a ride, mission space a bit longer. However the teacups at the Disney parks can make you pull an amazing amount of G's if you and your "loved" ones are strong enough to spin them fast enough. My wife and daughter could torch-er my old body on the teacups and they would laugh as my jowls went to the back of my face until I cried out for their mercy. Once they gave it to me I would grab the wheel and get my revenge, since I could sustain more G's than they could having played football in my youth and been "dogpiled" many times in practice and in our real games, lol. I also, being the tinyest would be on top of the old "gymnastics" pyramid. I was good at it, the pyramid would fall underneath me, and for an instant I would be suspended in weightlessness before slamming back down into my classmates, one landing just light enough on my face not to damage my teeth but get a mouthful of dust, to the fear then astonishment of my gym teacher and still good friend today, 44 years later. Coming into JFK in 77 I felt the most severe G's I have ever felt in an aircraft as we descended thru a meso cyclone just west of the airport, over Scranton PA. We were tossed around so hard some of the passengers were screaming, me I just listened to Seals and Croft's get closer and the song "Here Come's the Express" from I do not know who, and I fastened my seatbelt. We cleared the weather, landed, the weather passed over the airport and then as we flew on to Munich we had to go thru it again in our DC8-63 as it took off just before the far threshold of the runway under the weight of the pouring rain on the wings. Again we took off at an insanely steep angle, the steepest in any aircraft, outside of my stall training in my flight lessons, until we punched thru the deck into the clear sky above. We were all quiet and then the captain came on and told us we were the last flight to make it out of JFK towards Europe, all other flights were grounded due to our flight report about the severe chop. But it gave me faith in the sturdiness of the DC8-63 and the DC aircraft in general, and I was a big fan of them while road warrior and transatlantic traveler, and Boeings as well, and Airbusses, all the aircraft I have flown on, except for Microlights, I praise. John
  5. Fate is the Hunter, no longer in print... Still looks good in black and white: And a link to another movie, out of print, the quality is not preserved as well but the dialog is preserved. It is based on the book "Runway Zero-Eight" about the problem of someone with limited flight experience landing an airliner:
  6. John_Cillis

    Possible AVSIM E-Mail Problem

    Do you know the story of the word bug. Supposedly a bug crawled into a 40's or 50's vintage computer, fried a circuit, and the computer crashed. Hence we say we have a "bug" in our code or system, those of us who have developed or taught software, or run a WAN like me since I did all three in my career. Just imagine though, had a mouse crawled in that old computer we old computer geeks would be saying "there's a mouse in my code or system" and that thingie you move the cursor with at your right or left hand would be called a computer bug. A moment for thought. In the 60's my uncle Wally, who once drove for Gene Autry in WWII, saw something moving in his TV--when it was turned off. As he moved towards the TV with its old fashioned picture tube he realized a mouse had crawled inside, he was living with his brother in a cottage my family owned in Cedar Lake Indiana, not far from my birth home in Sauk Village, IL, though I was born in Chicago Maternity University Hospital because of complications during my Mom's pregnancy with me. I was expected to be brain dead upon birth because my heartbeat had been unheard for a week in the womb. My Mom said the Chicago Catholic Parish, along with Mayor Daley and the race car driver Gary Bettenhausen, who knew my family, had a prayer vigil for me. My Mom told me a week later she felt a kick, and they knew I might be born alive. But during my first five years of life I struggled with pneumonia the measles and all the childhood illnesses because I was born with what was called "mother's immunity" to all known antibiotics, except for very powerful penicillin. And as we know antibiotics are powerless against viruses. Then I almost died with sudden onset appendicitis, my poodle saved my life, I was comatose in bed and she started to furiously lick me out of my fever. By then I could barely walk to my Mom who thought it was just a stomach ache, she told me to eat some pudding and go to bed. Had I followed her advice I would be dead. Instead I slept by her and by morning she was certain I had appendicitis. But she wanted to confirm it with our local doctor first because Kaiser was a half hour ambulance ride away. The doctor confirmed it immediately by just touching me there and my Mom swept my nearly limp 11 yo body into her White Ford Maverick and somehow got us to the hospital in fifteen minutes, half the time an ambulance would have taken. Me, was I scared? No, by then I figured I was on a great adventure, you know how bold young pilots are. They shot me up with a bunch of happy juice to numb the pain and distract me from the 107 degree fever I had by then, and I was in and out of it until they wheeled me into the operating room smiling all the way, so on the children's ward I got the nickname "Smiley" as I smiled being lifted onto the surgeons table looking at all the tools they were going to hack me with. Next thing I knew, two hours later because an appendectomy was major surgery back then, I was waking up and just asked my parents--"Is it over?" They said yes, and I was out again for hours. But then I woke up, tried to get out of bed and screamed as if I was being stabbed to death, that is what the post operative pain felt like. They jabbed a needle in me, out I went, they did that two or three times until an angelic girl around my age, a fellow patient recovering from an illness, just came to hold my hand. And the pain went away, I fell asleep with her dark hand in my white hand, which is what kept me from growing up to be a racist, it was my first contact with an African American young girl that we did not see much in Napa. Her compassion and strength have kept me together to this day, during my adult disability with seizures and diabetes. It is her remembered compassion that made me believe in angels, male or female, since then. Cactus521
  7. John_Cillis

    A German Explorer

    Germany is such a good place to enjoy in P3D and Xplane, especially the northern front of the Alps from just east of Salzburg into Bavaria, then on towards Liechtenstein, Walensee, Glarus and towards Luzern and Zurich, then all the way on towards the northern front of the Bernese Oberland down to Geneva with Mt. Blanc peaking up over Lake Geneva as one gets near France, the Jura and CERN. I have been to all these places, most recently in 2017 as I skirted the southern Alps in France and Austria via Italy and Klagenfurt and Vienna, then I went past the Northern Alps via Salzburg, Munich and the Bernese Oberland in Lauterbrunnen Valley near Interlaken, the Jungfrau and the Eiger. I wanted to go up the Jungfrau but it was getting too late, I would have had to wait three hours and had only a few minutes on the summit. So like 2017 and 1984 I had to give the Jungfrau a pass. But I have been up Pilatus, Titlis, the peaks above Jackson Hole Wyoming, the peaks on the other side of Zermatt overlooking the Matterhorn, the peaks over St. Moritz, and Sandia peak over Albuquerque. And atop Crater Lake and I nearly summited Mt. Lassen until we ran out of time and the ground got too hot. I have driven my car over 12000 feet in Eastern Nevada in Great Basin National Park, and driven nearly to the peak of Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta, Mt. Shasta with my father. But his car got a vapor lock and we had to go back down as his engine was attempting to stall and we would have been stranded at the foot of Shasta's Glaciers. When I worked for a Best Western client in Shasta town they told me local pranksters would hike to the summit, and light fires to make townsfolk and tourists think the mountain will go boom. It is still, like Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood a sleeping giant. The morning before Mt. St. Helens blew I came down and told my parents I had a dream it exploded. It blew a few hours later to my astonishment and my parent's astonishment, but my dream was not prophetic, just common sense with the facts the USGS was pouring out. I minored in Earth Science in College and knew Fukushima, as is the Nuke Plant south of the LA Metroplex, were/are on shaky ground. My father inspected the Nuke plants in the West Coast and warned us where not to live, same for back east, enough of our warnings which are dire... Cactus521
  8. I like to keep all my Xplane11 settings maxed but not having a system with a lot of RAM every ten hours of flight or so I would get a crash, usually on replay. So I recently decided to lower my resolution from my monitor's max 1080p to 720p and performance has improved significantly on top of the 11.30 improvements, with no more ten hour CTD's or stutters. One has to compromise slightly to enjoy the other graphics settings at their max, like AA, etc. My fps improved and fluidity greatly improved. Those with high end system my advice is "Take No Prisoners" but those with mid range or lower end systems who still want to enjoy beautiful aircraft, add on and default scenery, maybe cutting the resolution a notch will help unless your eyes demand the best. It is always a tradeoff, fps, eye candy, and God Bless those with systems or tweaks that can handle it all. I am not a tweaker, just a flyer, I like to install sims or other entertainment titles and run with them, without overclocking or other things that can shorten the longevity of hardware. Cactus521
  9. John_Cillis

    Xplane11 View Tips

    Thanks, I see, it is because I have trim keys assigned to certain numpad keys as backup for my joystick when I am not using it. John
  10. John_Cillis

    Desktop Speakers

    In 1983 I bought two 100 watt speakers per my brother's recommendation. He worked for various stereo stores and knew his stuff and when my Technics stereo system had a short, he had it fixed for me at his shop for free. When that system died I bought Technics again and a Sony CD/MP3 player. My 30 yo plus speakers still work and exist at my ex wife's house, I left them for her along with the home entertainment, 60 inch projection TV I bought for her some fifteen years ago. Instead of hiring someone to adjust the mirrors I went online and learned how to do it, saving a hundred bucks a year for her. I also set up a movie system from the laptop I gave her for free after our divorce, because she still let me live with her until she found a new man in her life, I set up a high def cable and RGB interface she could hook up to the VGA port on her laptop, I found it for twenty bucks online, an HDMI/RGB interface with a tuner so you could adjust the signal just right. So upstairs and downstairs she just has to take her laptop to the two interfaces I bought for her and use the movie library I created and paid for for her. Then she dropped Cox TV and phone and went to Hulu, just paying for web access, like I do on Centurylink. I pay much less than TV, Cable and Phone, I have free home phone service thru Text Now and free Cell Service thru Qlink, recommended by a friend where I live. I stay within both services download and upload limits to stay free. Lots of ways to cut costs when one is a senior on disability with diabetes. Sadly it was because of my diabetes and terminal pancreatic disease and seizures that I had to give up real life flying. But God has given me a day to day purpose in my remaining life and that is how I live, I do not even worry about death, I put it in the back of my mind and it stays away as long as I eat natural foods and take homeopathic medicine. John
  11. John_Cillis

    Monterey Regional Airport

    I love the Robinson and Monterrey, I was invited to Camel for a job interview on my birthday. Lovely hotel and people there, but I held off to become a biz systems instructor later that year. There was an outdoor mini mall adjacent to their hotel with beautiful flowers. I flew in an R44 at a Goodyear AZ airshow some years ago, a short flight but worth the money I paid, we flew from Goodyear to PIR in Avondale where my wife, daughter and I once saw a fireworks show on July 3rd, my Mom's birthday. The R44 was a great copter to fly in, I have also flown in the Bell and my last copter flight was a Eurocopter trip to the Grand Canyon and back in 2013. It was a bucket list thing, and I loved their limo ride to and from my hotel in downtown Vegas where they have that wonderful indoor light show. Made many friends while I was there but I promised my ex wife I would never go to Vegas again, the one armed bandits and the expense of staying there with their high room rates are too much. Plus Phoenix where I live is now surrounded by Casinos with the latest opening of one on Northern Ave, literally down the street about ten miles or so from where I live. I go there not for their one armed bandits but for their great burgers and free soft drinks. Indian gaming in Arizona is what the tribes needed to revitalize their communities. But one must be careful because their laws, not US laws apply. Indian reservations have lousy speed traps and if you get caught driving faster than the other traffic, or holding it up, they can arrest you or give you a high fine that cannot be forgiven. It is their racket, sadly, not a slight against the community but against the community leaders. So Arizona is now finishing up the South Mountain Freeway which skirts these speed traps and will be finished later this year. I learned driving with an out of state plate in any other state puts one at risk for such speed traps. Thankfully in Phoenix we have a safe driver law which does not penalize speeders who go above the limit within a certain forgiveness zone, based on driving conditions. The police only look for reckless drivers who tailgate or swerve in and out of traffic. I was taught how to drive by a California former CHP officer who later became my employee. He was the one who gave me the biz smarts to become a teacher like he was and have a good career, also like my mother, brothers and father, God Bless them all and may they rest in Peace. I applied his advice to my flight lessons and even my simming habits, as the worn saying goes--there are old pilots and bold pilots and so on and so on... Cactus521
  12. John_Cillis

    Early Morning Moves, SFO

    Phoenix and SFO were my home base airports when I was a road warrior and business systems instructor. I love both airports but especially love the layout of SFO because of Bart into the airport, the airport train system to their car rental and terminals, and that you can do circuits around all the terminals. Plus they have a wonderful aviation museum there and a good docent who I have spoken with during my last visit there in 2013. I last flew out of their in 2009, our flight home on Southwest had a bad weather delay, but SFO was always a good airport to be delayed in with their wonderful Frisco sourdough bread! My wife and I just patiently waited out the hours long delay for our flight home to Phoenix, sadly we were there to put my Mom to rest per her final wishes. She lived in Phoenix but wanted to be buried next to my father, so as executor of the estate we had to fly her from Phoenix to SFO on Delta via Atlanta, a crazy routing. But I was driven to see her wishes come true, I was the only one in the family who knew about her will and my parent's final wishes, I was the only one she and my father trusted with financial matters because my father taught me from a small boy, then I became an accountant, Casino Controller at Harrah's Tahoe, and later a business systems instructor for Harrah's parent company BASS, which later sold them to Caesars. Being a small works Caesars later became my client when I worked for JDA software which made their revenue management system. My wife and I later were given a free trip to Caesar's Vegas, sponsored by them. When I worked for Harrah's, Caesar's then our competitor let me study their accounting system in what we called "Best Practices" among competitors. I did the same for Harvey's where I saw the rock band Hamilton Joe Frank and Reynolds and chatted with them after their free concert there in late '91. I later worked for the IRS in their tip compliance program and together we wrote the laws that now cover tipped food and beverage workers. My boss said I would become loved by the tipped workers and it was true. The IRS wanted to take a flat 15 pct estimate of their income. That was before we had computer storage of receipts. As Controller I went to our "Oliver North" Microfilm room (We actually had "Oliver North Room" on the door because our shredder was in there, lol). The IRS wanted me to send them a year's worth of room charge, cash and credit cards receipts. I argued with the leeches that it was impossible, and finally forced them to agree to a three day, twelve month sampling of one year. I proved to them that tip percentages were based on the type of restaurants and customers. For instance Seniors on bus trips only tipped 3 to 5 pct at the free buffets they received, since they gambled anyway and gave their money to the one armed bandits. In the mid tier restaurants I proved tips were 10 to 15 pct, and in the high tier restaurants I proved tips were 20 to 30 pct. The high tier restaurants were upset with me but they made much more money than I did as their boss, and they had to pay their fair share. So I became on the IRS's good list along with our middle tier and buffet employees, and all of our bartenders. Yes it is bragging but I saved them a lot of money--it was my job not to be their boss, but their coach and friend. Later the top cheff of our high tier restaurant and I met when I moved back to Napa to become a biz systems instructor. Harrah's food and bev manager tried to hire me the year before I went to work there as an "efficiency expert" but I refused when he said I would be required to drink on the job to get info from the employees. He was stunned when I became his boss, he went to work at Harrah's prior to my coming there and just gave me a blank stare. I left Harrah's in the end because I hated working for casinos--they are simply thieves and rig the odds against the customer with their electronic systems, and get away with it. There is no such thing as a true random number generator even if you seed it, I learned that creating my freeware program Spirapaint on the Internet. That is why I stick to helping with the sim community and designing free websites in my retirement. I'd rather give my time and effort for free, even to payware vendors in our hobby, to help them live long and prosper.
  13. John_Cillis

    Eaglesoft Challenger 605 under development!

    In FS9 with WOAI I used to do real time Oceanic flights, with ATC over the web for effect. I would go to sleep during the flight, wake up in the morning to land in London, Frankfurt, Munich or Zurich, all four cities I have flown non-stop to in real life from 1977-2017. In P3D and Xplane I stick to two hour jet or prop flights, about my limit now for real time flights, I prefer 45 min to one hour flights even more if they cover a variety of scenery. Once I went on a biz trip to Vegas in '94. I flew there from SFO while staying with my parents, got there and checked my voicemail at McCarran. I never made it to my client or out of the airport. My boss Chuck left me a message -- DO NOT GO TO THE CLIENT's HOTEL, THEY ARE NOT READY! So I had to go to baggage claim, check back in at Southwest, I put some money in the one armed bandits on my way back to the gates and won about ten bucks, then boarded the same aircraft I came in on to the amazement of the astonished and oh so sexy flight attendants who wanted to hug me. Then I caught the bus home and before evening even fell, walked back to my parents house, unlocked the door to their stunned astonishment. I begged my boss to stay but he wanted me to go on another gig. I refused after the tiring turnaround and instead drove to the Nugget Reno the next day for a week's R n R not to gamble but for their great Bellamy Brother's show and wonderful indoor swimming pool. While I was there I had a voicemail from my boss who asked me to go home and wait for instructions for my next gig, then I found myself called the next morning and rushed to Michigan for an emergency via Sacramento and ORD the next day. I was team lead for twenty of my employees and sadly had to go up there to write up one and have him terminated because he made a pass at a male bartender. My boss was gay but he had zero tolerance for gays who stepped out of line on the job. We have remained friends since but I was sorry I was put in such an awkward and tender position being a flaming heterosexual, lol. My client understood what I and my former colleague was going thru and was very apologetic but we both knew I had to make a call on the problem, to protect her staff and my former colleagues future career. That is why I gave up being a boss in my later career and gave up my dream of becoming a CFI--I preferred and still prefer to be a workerbee or a drone and I set up or help set up and test websites pro bono now in my early retirement, so I do not go stir crazy from having no purpose. That is why I participate in the Xplane11 betas and Lockheed Martin updates, just to help them both for saving our hobby and our community.
  14. Over my homespun Ortho4XP AZ scenery, not far from the AZ/NM border out of El Paso, headed to Phoenix Sky Harbor. My last flight out of El Paso was in a CRJ 200, an aircraft I loved to hate because the windows were so low you had to crane your neck to see out. The CRJ 700/900 fixed the problem in spades, my two fav regional jets with their 2x2 seating. Last flight I took on a CRJ 700/900 was to Santa Ana with my lovely daughter on our way to Disneyland to celebrate one of her birthdays with my grammar school principal and 81 year old friend, Henry Aschbrenner and his wonderful wife Dixie, who came to Disneyland that year to surprise my daughter with a birthday dinner and $50.00 Disney gift card. Mr. Ashbrenner works for Concordia Lutheran University even past age 80 as a fundraiser, former dean of the University and I helped inspire his IT program. We meet yearly for dinner and good spiritual fellowship. He knew of my dream to fly aircraft and was so proud to hear I became a student pilot. In 1975 I did a science fair project on the Rogallo wing vs. the conventional wing, which inspired the Space Shuttle design. My project won third place in the California State science fair and inspired motorized trikes, which I later learned to fly in 2008. My tiny contribution to aviation. I was invited by a CFI for IASCO, which trained JAL pilots on Falcons, Beech turboprops and Pipers, but I could not take them up on their offer due to my other schooling commitments. I did not fly GA until a friend from Highschool, now a Facebook buddy Doug Brambrink, invited me and a friend up for a full moon flight over the SF Bay in 1979. My friend and I felt the inkling to drive to Napa County airport and ran into Doug who simply said "wanna go up". Like the Godfather Don Corleoni he made us an offer we could not refuse or maybe me being an Italian and Godfather of my family I made him a psychic offer he and my friend could not refuse, lol.... Enough of the backstory, on to my pics! Cactus521
  15. John_Cillis

    Eaglesoft Challenger 605 under development!

    Good to see Eaglesoft still at it. They are a class act in our hobby, rare to come out with titles but the titles they come out with are show stoppers! John