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pilottj

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About pilottj

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  1. Hey all, I had to get this off my chest after what I saw at an airport today. For simmer enthusiasts who have no interest in flying for real, ignore this post. Please continue to enjoy your simming as you like. This is intended for those who are looking to use FS as a gateway to real flying. I think one of the biggest misconceptions that flight sim brings is the notion that airplanes are more capable than they actually are in real life scenarios...ie "The AP will save me if I get disoriented or in unusual attitude situation" or "The high performance airplane is easy to fly, I can fly without checklists or without memorizing Vspeeds." News for some, the AP will not save you in unusual attitude...you will save you, via your training and mastery of the aircraft. And when you overshoot base to final in your slick virtual speed monster and invariably get into cross control stall, which in FS you simply maneuver out of because the FS version handles like a slightly cleaner Cessna at low speeds...while in RL, you would be a in a smoking crater before you have time to say "What happened?" Reasons for more 'study' level GA planes. An airplane is so much more than a fast travel tool, and I beg of those learning via FS to fly with hopes of RL flying, I hope you consider taking the time to really learn and understand aircraft operation, systems, and ALL the aircraft's capabilities for what ever you want to be qualified for. There are many reasons for this. Many reasons, but a big one is learning why doing to the little things (ie good planning, WX, W&B, preflight, checklists, thorough runups...etc. Today I was hanging out at KSEZ Sedona while stopping by on roadtrip. I stopped by because I had some free time and wanted to do a little plane spotting, and chat with some of the locals at the FBO. I watched a Cirrus pilot who was clearly in a hurry and perhaps inexperienced in hot and high conditions, rush through his preflight (I would hate to look at his W&B calculations if he even bothered to do them), quickly floods the engine, spend forever cranking, finally starts, taxis out like a teenager driving a stickshift for the first time, does the shortest runup in history, then bolts out. The weather was VFR, on a warm day with a typical Southwest warm day density altitude. There was some weather in the area but not anything significant to get ahead of. I can only imagine the ear beating my instructors would have given me if i departed like that. A check pilot would have busted me before I even turned on the master switch with that kind of irresponsible operation. It kind of reminds me of that saying motorcycle guys say alot, "If you are in a hurry to get somewhere, you probably shouldn''t take a motorcycle" I believe this is very true for airplanes, or any "risky" activity that requires a clear head. The fastest way to embarrass yourself or worse is to be in a rush. If you can afford something like a Cirrus and are in hurry to get somewhere, why not just hire a Netjets charter or something, you can afford it. Funnily enough there is quite a difference between flying to your aircraft's capabilities, and being in a hurry...like having a sports car or motorbike....you should enjoy what it can do for sure, but don't be in a rush to do it. This isn't a rant on Cirrus pilots or the plane, I've met quite a few who are excellent and highly competent pilots, all of whom I would be happy let myself or a loved one ride with The plane is a fine plane, one that deserves more proficient pilots than it sometimes gets, much like the V Tail used to be. While many pilots who fly HP aircraft such as the Cirrus are highly competent and well trained (Cirrus has done a great job improving their safety record through improved training and design), there are a few bad apples that see their plane as a simple A to B tool and never bother to actually become proficient...they turn on the AP as soon as they are airborne and turn it off on short final. They invariably get into preventable accidents for dumb reasons and we all pay for it through higher liability costs -> higher rental fees. As you all know, flying is expensive enough, we are a long way from the days when even a lower end wage job with some frugal spending would still get you a few hours a month in a local rental Cessna. High time experienced pilots get into dumb accidents too, for similar reasons of laziness or over complacency. If enough accidents happen then the FAA steps in and finds reason for more regs. Please don't give the FAA more reason to reg us. Many of you know thick the FAR/AIM is...lets not make it thicker. Another piece of advice to help you live longer, always see yourself as a student, no matter how many hours or ratings you have. There is always something to learn from and get better at. Mr Flightchops's videos are excellent and he sets a great example for new pilots. It is ok to make mistakes as long as you are willing earn from them. If you can view 'mistakes' as opportunities to get better, you'll do great. All of us have made plenty of dumb mistakes flying, I certainly have. Thankfully never enough to loose my license or worse. I would usually just end up embarrassing myself or whoever I was with. I've had an occasional ear lashing from ATC for some instruction I forgot, which I totally deserved to be called out.. I've even 'hurried' for dumb reasons too, and even tho I made it to my destination fine, I wasn't thrilled and always told my friends who were going to pick me up, that I would rather be late than end up as a statistic when looking at some questionable weather. So yes, more study level addon planes that will give you a good scare when they bite you for being negligent or lazy, like real airplanes. These will give you a much better of idea of what planes can and can't do. You should really experience in a good addon that lets you know what happens to your performance if you try to take off at MGTOW on a hot summer day in the high desert. When I was at ERAU, there was a story of some guy with an EZ who tried to take off on a typical 9K ft density middle summer afternoon. After 2 aborted takeoffs on an 8000' runway, the 3rd attempt ended up with him plowing through the fence on the other end with fatal results. If he simply waited until the next morning when it was cool, he would be alive. Some old kit plane pilot had a great saying, he said, for all the fancy IFR bells n whistles, FIKI etc...is a lot of money you can simply spend on hotel rooms while you wait for nicer weather. Thanks to A2A and others now intent on doing Study level sims for taking the time and effort to make their sim aircraft in a way to help make the user understand why doing the little things are so important, and why taking your time to do things right will help you live longer as a pilot and help all of us who are trying to get current and back into flying. Anyway sorry for this little 'rant'/plea. Seeing that irresponsible pilot at Sedona irked me a bit because I try hard to study and at least stay mentally 'current' even when I'm not legally current, I know this is kind of a similar issue in many other circles outside of flying...ie drones, gun ownership...etc. Thankfully the great study sim addons we do have makes staying 'mentally' current enjoyable. I just wish there were even more addons that properly convey that Russian roulette-esque relationship of flying and ADM (Aeronautical Decision Making). That proper flying sequence of dynamic scenario -> recognition of problem or variable -> choice -> action=> consequence good or bad which is a lot of what being a pilot is all about. The silver lining may be that Aviation, has a strange way of humbling some egos, because an airplane doesn't care about who you have to meet, nor your social status, nor who you are trying to impress. The best training airplanes will often let you know when you are being negligent, often with some embarrassment which will give you good reason not to make that mistake again. Cheers TJ
  2. I am quite sure the USAF projects will be brought to our hobby at some time in the future. The best news to gather from that is the USAF is essentially paying for Accusim's growth, instead of just the FS hobbist. The lessons they learned from the T-6 II and T-38 projects they can certainly apply to other things. I would bet there are a few other aircraft on the stove as well not mentioned in the report that will benefit greatly from these USAF contracts. Think about this....our (US citizen) tax dollars are helping A2A bring us better addons...finally a positive use for tax dollars LOL The Aerostar is fantastic news, can't ask for a better high performance twin to scare yourselves in. It is kind of like a Mustang, MU-2, or any other serious HP airplane, it requires a very proficient pilot or it will bite you hard. I hope A2A has a setting to have engine failures after takeoff, so you guys can see just how scary that phase of flight in a twin can be and knowing A2A's attention to detail on flight dynamics, their Aerostar or whatever other twin they do in the meantime, you will know why the FAA requires twin pilots memorize the 11 Vmc factors for a MEL checkride. Good stuff ahead! Cheers TJ
  3. Nice review. I remember the Duchess fondly as I got my MEL, and much of my IFR training in the ol BE-76. I still have the POH binder. I remember practicing engine out NDB/VOR/ILS approaches in those things. One of my legs would be shaking after a flight lol from constantly having to hold rudder. A far cry from the fancy DA-42, which is a fine airplane in it's own right, the DA was not as satisfying to fly for some reason. All the DA's fancy safety bells and whistles are awesome, but nothing will make you sweat nor feeling as rewarding such as doing a successful engine out & partial panel while flying an IAP down to Mins or circle to land the old way. I can still remember hitting the FAF, and the rush of events that have to happen very quick succession...time turn twist throttle tires talk...GUMP check...and trying not to 'chase' the CDI using the Mag compass...don't bust circle to land Mins! After the flight, your head is spinning lol. Don't forget...Dead Foot...Dead Engine...Raise the Dead...and always identify verify! The Duchess was a good solid airplane, and quite worn out by the time I was flying them in the early 2000s. A solid training airplane that made you work! I am pretty sure I was the last ERAU Prescott student to log a training flight in a Duchess before they were retired. Even after the college switched to 'new' Seminoles, I thought the Duchess was a superior airplane, more pilot friendly, better build quality, a little more rugged, trailing link main gear...and an entry door on each side 🙂 Altho not quite as fast as the Seminole, I do remember being in a slight dive with a good tailwind and seeing the DME display read 200 kts. One of the most memorable flights I ever had was in a Duchess, flying on top of an overcast layer at night under a full moon, it was breathtaking. Glad to see JF doing this great trainer justice. Cheers TJ
  4. Ask yourself this, why do you like flying the Queen? Certainly not because it is in common pax service, because it isn't anymore. You fly it because it is an aviation legend, a milestone in aviation history. If you love airplanes and flying, who wouldn't want to fly a legend like the Queen. By the same token, the 777-200LR is also a big achievement in aviation history, the first airliner that can connect any two points on earth...a major milestone So the reason to fly that is for the same reason as the Queen, it is a major achievement in aviation history. Same goes for planes like the DC-3, Connie...etc. Of what is released so far, only the NGX and the 777-300ER are 'common' in pax service. The others are quite common in freight service. So if you are a freight dog, you really have quite a nice PMDG fleet to choose from. So what are you left with that is 'common' pax service, what will still be in service by the time PMDG could theoretically release one of these 'common' planes. 1st gen 777s will be on their way out, many of the ERs will be on the latter half of their service life as are many 757/767s. 787s, Next gen 777s, 737s are the future if you are looking at it strictly from what is and will be common in the near future perspective. Wouldn't that mean the desire to fly older 777s is just like the Queen?...for sentimental and historical reasons. Nothing wrong with that at all, we all love to fly what left an impression with us. Bottom line is enjoy what PMDG makes, the 777LR may not have been as common as the 200ER, but performance wise it is the best one, which is certainly a good reason to enjoy it. Cheers TJ
  5. Couldn't you also say that the 747 isn't flying much as a Pax hauler these days too? However like the 777-200LRF, it is a mainstay freighter. Don't discount freight flying as some small fringe part of the aviation industry...it is a 'YUGE' industry, of which the Queen, 777LRF, and MD still all have big roles...even the DC-6 to some extent. Also if it takes 3 years or so of development time, (maybe more with other projects going concurrently, lets say 2025 PMDG is able to release early variants of 777. In 2025, how many early generation 777s will still be in Pax service? Won't most of those have been replaced by 787s? Listen, I'd love the early 777 too, I lived in Nagoya Japan in the early 90s where a lot of students at my school were from Boeing parents working with Mitsubishi during T7's development. I remember how big a deal it was back then. It was a time when Boeing was still run by engineers and not bean counters as it is now. However considering development time for PMDG, I just think such a huge investment for something 95% similar to something already made is not a wise use of manpower. Diversity of projects is the most important. That being said, if PMDG does indeed go for early 777s, I'll be happy for everyone. Cheers TJ
  6. Thank you for your tireless dedication to this hobby Robert. Now that this last round of updates is out, you and the boys should go take a nice long vacation. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Cheers TJ
  7. US - lived current Mexico Japan - lived 92-95 Korea Thailand Singapore Malaysia Taiwan Hong Kong Bali England Spain Germany Turkey Syria - lived 96-97 Jordan Kuwait Egypt Israel Bahrain those are all I can remember off hand Cheers TJ
  8. That's a good point, the real thing will always beat the digital, no matter what it is, however flying is such an expensive endeavor, building time in Cessnas and Pipers is expensive enough lol... and the cost to build twin time? forget it. So unless you are very rich, most of us can only afford an hour or two in the local FBO Cessna or Piper. Vintage GA, warbirds, airliners are so prohibitively expensive to operate, those planes become just dreams, that we go crazy when we hear one fly over. When I was at ERAU, no one batted an eye at the unending drone of Lycomings passing over...but when a big V-12, radial, or large turboprop flew over...everyone ran out of their dorms and classrooms to look up. Those rare planes are the dream planes for most pilots, the ones that...just maybe if you meet the right person who knows a guy who owns a T-6 who will let you get a ride in it. Because those kinds of planes are so rare, just like the rare Jaguars and Shelbys, the chances of actually being able to experience one for real are practically 0. So the path to fly a real P-51 is very expensive and out of reach for most pilots. The next best thing is flight sim. Thanks to A2A and PMDG we can experience a P-51 and DC-6 as if we were wealthy aircraft collectors. A fraction of the experience at a fraction of the cost right? Speaking of wealthy collectors, I wish my Flightsim to be like a virtual airplane version of Jay Leno's garage. Jay's garage a fantastic Youtube channel to watch if you have an interest in automotives, even if you are just a casual car enthusiast like me. Jay has quite a large collection of old stuff and new stuff, he likes it all, as he is always having guests either show some rare vintage or some new technology. You can tell just from that show that Jay is very passionate and about everything automotive, just like RR and Scott are about airplanes. That's why I really hope RR and Scott continue to guide their respective companies to do what they are passionate about. It is much better to do what you are passionate about than to pander to what you think the masses want. There is huge difference in quality between product that the developer really wanted to do and a product they felt they had to do. Hopefully with that passion, we'll eventually get a diverse hanger full of awesome addons of every shape an size, like Jays garage lol. Since my 'hobby' account doesn't quite match Jay's.....yet Virtually will have to do for now. Cheers TJ
  9. If you want to know what the appeal of a classic airplane is, ask any pilot. Most pilots, including me, look at airplanes the same way many teenage boys and car enthusiasts look at cars. We see the chance to fly a P-51 or Spitfire(vintage supercars of the aviation world) just as if a car enthusiast was asked if he/she wanted to drive a Shelby Cobra or Jaguar XKSS. The chance to fly something virtually that we likely won't ever get to fly for real is very appealing. Even more reason to model the planes that will be gone forever soon so that they may be preserved in digital form. Awhile back when I was flying, I went to the FBO to rent a plane, I had a choice between a brand new 172SP full of moving maps and dual Garmin GPS...or a 1960 Piper Comanche 250 with a cockpit like a 60s muscle car...it was a no brainer for me. That's like choosing between a Prius and a vintage Muscle car.. Old airplanes are not only desired for their historical value or rarity, just like a vintage sports car, they are also valued because they are the best 'teachers' of flying. The 'bar' for aircraft mastery in a vintage airplane is typically a bit higher than that of a modern computerized airplane, because you the pilot have to do more of the work and have to have a solid understanding of the systems. So you really learn a lot about airplanes and flying when you master an old airplane, such as this DC-6. If you really want to learn about flying and develop good pilot 'instincts', there is no better teacher than an old airplane. If you are a simmer and want to know what it's like to 'think' like a pilot...master an old airplane like a T-6 or this DC-6. That being said, I think the best course for PMDG and A2A is to keep a healthy variety of projects, which they have done. I know PMDG will do more modern airliners, I hope they keep a couple of vintage side projects going as well. Most importantly, the developer's should make what they are passionate about. Passion shows up in the finished product. Robert and Scott are both very passionate about flying and bring that to both PMDG and A2A, and it shows in their products, whether it's a vintage warbird or a modern jetliner. Cheers TJ
  10. Congratulations on the release guys! I know this project has been slow cooking for a long long time. LOL How long ago was it when you guys posted the first teaser screenshots? Anyway, it looks absolutely awesome, unfortunately I am doing a system reinstall, but will buy the Six as soon as I got FSX back up and running. Cheers! TJ
  11. Vaya Con Dios Vlado and Bethany. Every time I fly the A2A T-6 or P-51 I will remember Vlado. TJ
  12. Consider that with the NGX release....the 'Common' variants were released as the 'base' while the 'fun' variants were released as the expansion. The 800 is the daily driver while the 600 is the overpowered fun machine. The 777 is somewhat the opposite. The unique 200LR is the performance machine is first while the common 300ER is the addon package. Perhaps it would have been nice for each package to have a standalone option. I would have preferred only the NGX 600-700 as a standalone package. But from a business perspective I can see why PMDG chooses the base package + addon route. Regarding the -200ER, consider looking at it from the pilot's perspective. (remember many of the PMDG staff are pilots, including the bossman), the -200ER is like a stock V6 Ford Mustang. the 200LR is like a tricked out Shelby Mustang. And if pilots are like teenage boys looking at cars...which would you pick? The stock Ford Mustang is a fine car, but is much more common. The Shelby on the otherhand has the extra 'coolness' and 'fun' factor...not to mention a big boost in performance. Which would you rather show up at the dance in? Something everyone else drives or something unique? I can tell you when I went to the FBO and the guy at the counter said 'You can either fly this new 172SP with its stock Cessna paint job, or you can fly this 1960 Piper Comanche with it's beautiful muscle car-esque paintjob' Guess which choice I made. That's like choosing between a Prius and a vintage muscle car lol.....guess we are all teenage boys at heart when we go to the airport lol. If PMDG chooses to do the -200ER, I'll be happy because I know a lot of you will be happy here too. Happy customers = good for PMDG. However if they don't, I can totally understand not spending a year or two developing something 90% similar to something already done. Another consideration for the 200LR is the Freighter. Maybe you don't fly freighters, but cargo outfits are big users of these aircraft. Isn't FedEx's fleet the largest in the world? As the MD-11Fs eventually all retire, I can see the 777-200LRF taking over as the workhorse freighter for the forseeable future. In 10-15 years or so I bet the 777-200LRF will be quite a common sight at freight hubs. Cheers TJ
  13. I always find the 'What should PMDG make' questions kinda funny. There are basically two groups. One group views FS airplanes as the Airline Accountant would (ie real world aviation economics). The Accountant asks what is it's fuel burn, what is it's Payload? Those are the planes are common because they are the most practical and economical. Thus the commonly used airplanes are preferred by this group. The other group views FS airplanes from a pilot's perspective....ie how fast does it go, how far does it go? This group tends to prefer the more exotic or high performance planes. It's kinda funny because many pilots view airplanes like most teenage boys view cars. The parents drive a minivan because it is common, practical and reasonably economical. The teenager, while happy to have the chance to drive, doesn't have posters of minivans on his bedroom wall lol. There is no wrong way to view FS, it's whatever you want to make of it and what aspect of aviation you choose to focus on. I just find it funny there are pretty much two consistent themes going here. PMDG isn't alone in this, this is a common thread at A2A as well. On the one hand, make common GA planes that every pilot has flown. On the other hand do exotic warbirds and propliners that only super rich and museums can operate. I think its important to have both. I like the GA planes because I have actual flight time in those planes, and I know them and understand their systems. Those planes are great for practice. However the desire to fly a P-51 or Spitfire is undeniable. Every pilot I know, (including me), would jump at the chance to fly a warbird or exotic GA (with proper training of course). The chance to fly a Mustang or Spitfire would be like a any auto enthusiast getting the chance to drive a Shelby Cobra or Jaguar XKSS. Because those exotic types are so much more rare, having them in simulated form brings those exotic planes to many of us who would never get a chance to fly one. I think PMDG does a great job finding a balance between the common and the exotic. Cheers TJ
  14. I can tell you from GA flying, the only time you turn on the dome light is after you have parked the airplane and are looking for all the pens and things you had dropped on the floor during the flight. I remember when I was a student pilot working on my PPL, I had done a night X-country with my instructor and my good friend who was sitting in the back. Just before the return trip, my friend was going to take my picture in front of the plane, but my IP told him not to do so because the flash would really screw up my night vision for a while. Thankfully we took his advice. That's one of my biggest beefs in FS aircraft, while the night lighting might look pretty, it is often waaay too bright for realistic night flight. Ideally you want it just bright enough for the gauges to be legible. Usually you start off with the gauge dimmer a little brighter, then slowly dim it down as you go. You would be amazed what you can really see at night when your eyes have been given time to adjust. Manytimes you don't even need a taxi light, you can make out the taxiway centerline just fine. It's considered common courtesy not to taxi at night with landing or taxi lights on so you don't blind other pilots. Funnily, I would forget to turn on my car lights at night sometimes because I was used to low light night operations in the plane. Cheers TJ
  15. That reminds me of a couple of funny memes... Cheers TJ
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