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captain_adf

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About captain_adf

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    Seattle, WA
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    Flying.

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  1. You're all going to laugh but this week I made an 18.5h flight from Vienna to Sydney in the 748. 8900nm. Why? Well I had a customer who absolutely positively needed to get 20t of cargo from LOWW to YSSY, no time for a fuel stop. And I wanted to see what the freighter could do with full tanks. Fortunately the winds were favorable, I landed with an ample 12t of fuel. Probably could have made it to Auckland! All flown without time compression... Took off before going to bed, woke up and checked the fuel burn, went to work, came home and was just approaching the west coast of Australia. With a fuel to payload ratio of nearly 9 to 1, it's probably not a very profitable route, but I made sure to charge a hefty premium for overnight delivery halfway around the world!
  2. Wow, thanks everyone for chiming in. I appreciate everyone's opinions and suggestions here. I certainly don't want to cause any bashing, nor would I ever criticize or discredit anyone's choice of aircraft to fly in the sim (or in the real world!) I think what I fear most is frustration at feeling like a noob again, since I now feel pretty good with the 737 and 747. I love flying them! But at the same time, it was exactly that same frustration that led me to want to conquer these planes back when I first started. And that led to many years of fun getting to know how to fly a Boeing. And before I put myself on too high a pedestal, I'm still very very far from being able to claim I've conquered them! So I think I'll approach the Airbus with that same curiosity and drive. It's going to take quite a bit of ground school! Thanks for the suggestion to look at the Aerosoft version, I will have to consider that as it's definitely a less intensive price tag and gets plenty of good reviews. While I'm at it I'll look at some of those fire breathing rotary birds too. It's all about having fun right? It certainly is in my case since I know I'll never be a real pilot. It sure is fun to pretend, and I'm so lucky to have a hobby that has so much choice. "I'm for whatever gets you through the night", as ole Frank Sinatra once said. Thanks again everyone, and I am sorry if I stirred up any trouble, I meant no offense. Boeing and Airbus both make fine planes and I hope both firms can survive, thrive, and innovate since the aviation world is better with both. Not the least, they give us sim pilots loads to gripe about, but also a ton of valuable learning.
  3. Lately I've been eyeing the FSL A320 which is odd because I've always considered myself a confirmed Boeing guy. Maybe it's because I finally feel so comfortable flying the NG and Queen and I miss that uncomfortable excitement and near panic when I didn't really know if I could pull off a landing. Philosophically, I prefer the Boeing approach to flying: the feel of the control surfaces, the cowboy pilot who is in control, not a sidestick and a bunch of cold computers. Taking some time to admire the FSL Airbus I can see it's fantastically well done. Reviewing the FS2Crew SOP and I'm completely baffled, it's a totally different way to fly. It seems so foreign and would be easy to just thumb my nose at it and go back to my comfortable Boeings, but that wouldn't be very sporting would it? Maybe I should learn this other way? And there's something else that's affecting my sim mindset. The MAX fiasco is weighing on my mind and my conscience. As bizarre as this may sound, I almost feel embarrassed to be pretend flying a Boeing right now. Maybe this was once a highly innovative engineering driven company but its behavior lately has revealed it to be yet another shameless global corporate entity whose only concern is stock price and executive parachutes. To add to the mental conflict, I like to fly with Scandinavian, and they've recently announced that they'll be moving to an all Airbus fleet and retiring their NGs over the next few years. So in the long run, if I want to keep flying SAS, I'm going to have to learn the Airbus way! Given that I only have a few weekends left in my summer sim season, I know if i take the plunge now I'll just end the season frustrated because there's no way I'll get to any kind of proficiency in the Airbus in a few weeks time. But alas it's still there in my mind, challenging me to grow up and give it the old college try. Any other confirmed Boeing pilots face this dilemma? What are your experiences crossing over to the other side?
  4. What a trip down memory lane this is! I started in the Cessna in one of the ancient versions of MS Flight Simulator. Of course, realism was quite lacking back then, but back when color monitors were a novelty, it wasn't so hard to suspend disbelief and imagine yourself flying. I didn't get hooked until about the late 90s with the Jane's F-15 and F-18 sims. For their time these were state of the art, and I was fully immersed in my Top Gun alter-ego. When these waned, I tried to get into FS9 but I never got far. Then, when FSX came out I got hooked again. In those days I was still more interested in MIL aviation, like the Alphajet SAAB Gripen and B1-B. My first study sim was the Level D 767, followed shortly thereafter by the original PMDG 747. For years I would spend the weekends planning and flying a long-haul in one of those exceptional birds, followed by some joy-riding in a fast military jet. When the MD-11 was released, I fell in love and that's all I flew for several years. When the NGX came along I was all over it, but I had two young kids at the time so let's just say when deciding between sleep and simming, it was a hard call to make! In the years since, I started to get a bit more serious, and really studied how to fly rather than simply following a checklist telling you exactly what buttons to push and always doing full autolands. Lots of time in both the NGX and the 777. Alas, I still miss my MD-11, but had to let her go when I moved to P3D. Last summer I got back in the Queen, but this summer I've spent most of my time with the NGX, after quite a bit more studying. In my personal opinion, subject to frequent change of course, the NGX is my current vote for the most enjoyable sim experience of all time. So my "sim persona" then is a former Air Force pilot who took an airline job, got a 767 type rating, then MD11, 747, and 777, flew for various cargo airlines across the globe and is now acting as an Instructor Pilot on the 737.
  5. Although this takes a bit more time, check out the local vatsim regional websites. For major airports you'll usually find very well documented procedures both for pilots and ATC. They'll usually have gate and parking information, as well as typical runway operations and taxi routes.
  6. For me, the cost of flight simming isn't money, it's time. Not that I have an endless supply of money, mind you, the point being that my time is in even shorter supply. I can't bring myself to enjoy the hobby with the wife and kids around, so this means I only get to indulge when the Fam are away on holiday. This doesn't happen as often as it used to, so I'm basically down to one month a year. The rest of the year I spend in anticipation of the next opportunity, picking up add-ons here and there, drooling over 747 trip reports, but trying not to think about it too much. Alas, as my recent avsim activity betrays, I am now a mere week away from the next sim season. Can't wait to get back up there again.
  7. Musical aviator on YouTube has a lot of vatsim flights in all manner of aircraft. He's based in Australia but makes flights all across the globe, usually uploads weekly and always involved in vatsim events. He's also got a great "armchair pilot" demeanor! Funny guy but also very professional. He doesn't always fly by the book, but you can certainly learn a lot about vatsim flying from his videos.
  8. Check out the books by James Albright, the guy behind code7700.com. The books chronicle his career starting with USAF training and VIP airlift and then his leadership as a Lt. Col. in the USAF in the 90s. His website is a treasure trove of pilot education and he's a great writer.
  9. Could you land with no forward visibility? Take a look at AA-1897 which diverted after a massive hail storm shattered the front windshields on the flight deck (and did quite a number on the radome cover as well). It appears the safety glass didn't break into the flight deck but the spidering made it impossible to see anything using the forward windows. Is there any way to simulate total obscuration of the forward windscreens on a PMDG aircraft? That would be an interesting challenge if it could be added to the Failure scenarios!
  10. Thanks, Kyle! The rebooting is habit from the old and thankfully gone FSX days.
  11. When doing a ground turn in the same sim session (ie. without closing/restarting P3D or rebooting windows), will this cause any problems in the next leg of the flight? I assume for a standard 90 minute freight turn, you'd run the Secure checklist, IRS off, APU off, and establish ground power. When the pilots come back from lunch (or the bar :) can they then proceed to start things up as if the flight scenario was freshly loaded? Do you have to clear out the old route and PERF data from the FMC? I'm cruising at the moment but given that P3D has been so much more stable I may try the turn without the usual ritual of rebooting windows. Thanks!
  12. Russ, I had your very nice textures in v3 but right now in my first V4 flight I'm using the default Poseidon paint. Apart from the eyepoint issue, I'm also having trouble changing the altimeter setting on the EFIS. The in/hpa knob works but unable to change the altimeter setting. I haven't tried the default ngx, so far just the p-8a.
  13. I thought perhaps the IRS would be able to keep track, since it always knows the aircraft's present position, but indeed it does not appear that track miles are maintained by the system. OT: I see you're in YPPH, any good looking (or even not so good looking) sceneries for Perth that work in p3dv4?
  14. Do the Boeing FMCs allow for keeping track of actual miles flown? My not exactly thorough perusal of the FCOM hasn't turned up anything yet. The situation is let's say there are significant deviations from the programmed flight path, due to diversions or ATC vectors. Is there any way at the end of the flight to have a record of actual air (or ground track) miles flown?
  15. Temporary restriction for spacing, so MCP SPD is probably easier, then back to VNAV when instructed to resume normal speed. Thanks for the advice!
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