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  • Gender
  • Location
    Paso Robles, California
  • Interests
    Flying (for real); Flight simulation; Photography; Golf, Travel (especially cruising)

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About Me

  • About Me
    CDR,USN(retired); Pediatric Dentist(retired)
  1. GM to all: I got an email yesterday from AVSIM advising me that I haven't used the forums for a very long time.... true. It advised me that I'd be put in an inactive status. I couldn't let that happen. I needed to post something in the forums, so I decided to post the following "Help" message for anyone thinking about becoming a real pilot. I started following AVSIM many years ago when it was first launched and was an avid reader (and sometimes poster as needed) as I continued to upgrade my software and hardware to be able to keep up with each iteration of MSFS. Once I had FS9 tweaked to (almost) perfection with beautiful add on scenery and planes, acquired multiple flat screen monitors (4), TrackIR, GoFlight modules (9 of them), CH yoke, throttle quadrant and pedals, I thought that was it..... I thought I was set. I resisted the urge to switch to FSX for many reasons, which I won't review here. Then I became bitten by the bug (something I've wanted to do since age 7)..... the urge to do it all FOR REAL..... to earn a Private Pilot Certification. So, this retired Navy Commander (as of 2001), retired Pediatric Dentist, age 60 (and still young at heart) flight simmer began flight training at KSBP in the central coast of California in May 2010 via "Pigs Can Fly" FBO. My many years with this hobby (I started MSFS back in 1989) sure helped me. Training was demanding... but I studied a lot.... continued to supplement my actual flying (Cessna 172SP) by getting on my simulator usually after each lesson and certainly before going on each cross-country flight. Flying my upcoming planned route and getting familiar with the visuals (on the sim) proved very valuable. Finally, after many months of lessons and diligent studying I took the written test (and got 100%... I was lucky). After I flew my long solo cross-country flight from KSBP to KSNS to KBFL to KSBP (over 420 miles ... and a total of 5 hours alone with N5173V) I was ready to take my checkride. In March of 2011 I passed it and earned my certification... at last! I'm now approaching 120 hours in my logbook. Flight simulation is a wonderful hobby... it has surely helped me a lot! I continue to use my setup many times each week, especially since I can't fly for real too often due to the expense (100LL aviation fuel cost is through the roof) The new look of AVSIM appears great ... way to go! (I'm now trying to find my way around the site and in these forums... but I'll figure it out). If anyone desires to learn more about what is involved with training for a Private Pilot Certificate (and what I went through) I'd be eager to pass along my thoughts. You can email me at: melevine190@charter.net It is very good to be back here again after being away far too long! Mike
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