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About Howellerman

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  • Birthday 01/14/1953

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    Santa Clara USA

About Me

  • About Me
    Long time worker in IT industry, has forgotten more about how computers work than most people know. Married, three kids, progessive to a fault.

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  1. Howellerman

    Favorite Widebody - real life experience?

    Heh. My favorite wide-body flight was on a nearly-empty 767 from (somewhere) East Coast to SFO. The plane had maybe ten people on board, perhaps to get the plane back to where it belonged for the morning flight, which in the new age of Sabre flight planning you no longer see. Had a great time with the flight crew, as I was young (probably mid-thirties). First time I flew to Narita out of SFO I flew on a 747, in Executive Class in the upstairs section on JAL (my company did a LOT of business with Japan, so we accumulated a lot of bonus miles as a corporation). Very pretty, very attentive flight attendants - talk about spoiled! I was amazed how high above the tarmac I was sitting. I don't miss air travel at all (member of the million mile club), but some flights I can look back upon and recognize that pre-TSA I had it pretty word not allowed good.
  2. Howellerman

    Question for RW GA pilots: Weights and Balances

    Oooooh, this means a Carenado flight model is not as useless as some people presume!
  3. Howellerman

    Question for RW GA pilots: Weights and Balances

    Heya Frank, The "cocktail lounge" seating layout, with two rearward-acing seats right behind the cockpit bulkhead and two forward-facing seats at the aft bulkhead seems to be ubiquitous in GA aircraft that seat six, including pilot, or more total passengers. I do have exceptions in my hanger, but by and large the seats right behind the cockpit are rearward facing.
  4. Howellerman

    Question for RW GA pilots: Weights and Balances

    Hi all! Thanks for the replies, especially Alan's detailed response. The last comment from Alan about Fat Uncle Bob, and the comments from J35OE and Scot (cool tool, by the way!) about the Carenado B1900 suggested a simple experiment. Take off and trim to level flight with "normal" weight and balance, and then repeat with my 6'5"/240lb son in the back seat and see what, if any, difference there is in the trim setting. If the B1900 responds to improper loading perhaps the Baron (another favorite, especially with Hank's turbo mods) and TBM will also respond in similar fashion. As for immersion, yeah, a little bit of a mission with "somebody going somewhere to do something" really helps. When I first started simming I actually changed airplanes mid-flight just to see what the differences were (!). Now I am much more a cold-and-dark kind of simmer and I take it personally when a planeload of "somebodies" dies if I screw up. So, real weather, real flight planning, with real loads. Thanks again!
  5. Hello all, I have a question for real world GA pilots about weights and balance, or more accurately, changing the balance once underway at cruise altitude. For instance, I like flying "with a mission". This can be summarized as going "somewhere" with "somebody" to do "something" once we get there. And example would be flying from Portland-Troutdale in Oregon with friends and family to visit the Pacific Northwest (maybe Sequim W28) to look at places to retire. Another would be to load up the family, including doggos, at Reid-Hillview (San Jose, my local GA airport) and fly to visit friends in Lake Tahoe (KTVL). Given such a mission, I know I want to be below MTOW and that the CG of the aircraft should be forward versus aft at takeoff and climb. The problem is, taking the Carenado TBM 800 as an example, the seats to place the heaviest people are rear facing Row 2. If I fly with my children, 160 and 240 lbs respectively, they can't stand sitting in rearward facing seats - I know this because it drives them buggy on the train IRL. That leaves my two dogs, 20 and 100 lbs, leashed to the Row 3 forward facing seats respectively. So, at takeoff, I have from front to back, left to right, 220/190, 160/240, 100/20. The aircraft is balanced well enough side to side, and all the heavy loads are up front. The question is, is it realistic to have them swap positions once we have attained cruise altitude? Unleash the dogs from Row 3 and put them in the rear facing Row 2 and put the kids in forward-facing Row 3? The dogs don't seem to mind rear facing seats, although I do have to admit when they stick their heads out the car window it is always forward facing... So, is it "permissible" to change seat assignments once at cruise altitude? Thanks!
  6. Howellerman

    Funniest waiting area moment for me, what about you?

    No famous people involved but still pretty funny, in an "irony can sting" way. I was returning from Narita (Tokyo, Japan) in summer, and if you have ever visited Japan in summer you know the humidity can be brutal. I had arrived early at the airport and was enjoying the air-conditioned concourse. I must have been flying Cathay Pacific, as if I were on JAL I would be in the Executive Lounge. Unbeknownst to me was the concept of "summer school" in Japan which apparently involves schlepping every middle-school child in Japan off to a foreign destination for a month. Well, my departure lounge was a sea of children, and while I have always known my Japanese compatriots to be quiet and reserved this was not the case when you have several hundred children gathered in the same place. It was rather cute, in that each "class" had a different color t-shirt, worn by both students and teachers. An excellent concept in team-management, and it was funny to watch the red/blue/aqua/yellow/magenta/green groups expand and contract as order was lost and regained. Anyway, I was sitting near the windows so I could avoid getting overrun by a rainbow of children, and I looked outside. In the muggy summer heat of Tokyo there comes an airport "golf cart" towing a small trailer with a HUGE jet engine on it. This engine must have outweighed the horse and cart by tenfold - absolutely massive. Wonder where they are going with that? I watched until I lost it to view behind my aircraft. To my surprise, it reappeared heading towards the port wing of MY jet (I do not remember the make and model). It turns out the aircraft had ingested a bird during landing and they had to swap the engines. Right there on the tarmac? Yup. Apparently, jet engines can be treated like operational modules. So I went over to stand closer, surrounded by a sea of color. The panels and skins were off the aircraft engine already, and another small cart with the most powerful lift in existence was already supporting it, all the hoses and whatnot disconnected. Surprisingly tidy, and none of the technicians, all wearing white, was overly dirty. I do not remember the exact procedure, but it amounted to remove "three extremely large bolts", lower the damaged engine, maneuver the new one in place, raise it, insert "three extremely large bolts", and reconnect Tab A to Slot B. All told, the flight was delayed only two hours. All in all, uneventful. But the sea of rainbow colors, and the "ah, word not allowed sticks" feeling I had when I realized that the enormous jet engine being towed halfway across Narita was going to my aircraft made it a bemused but memorable flight.
  7. Howellerman

    Mountain flying.

    I agree: Orbx smacked it out of the park with NA California. I like to construct "medical supply delivery" flights, both around the Lake Tahoe and Shasta Lake areas. Lots of up and down, and you need to know the topography to make non-eventful landings. My favorite aircraft for these trips is the Carenado C337 with Hank's turbo modifications. It sure is nice to have turbo power above 10,000 feet. An example flight will take off from Minden (a great NA freeware airport courtesy of Orbx), stop at Carson City to pick up the medical supplies, and then stops at Truckee, KBLU, Grass Valley, KCPU for delivery and then back to Minden. If I get really committed I will reduce the payload at each stop. :) Lots of fun!
  8. Howellerman

    Scariest commercial flight?

    A long time ago I flew out to KDEN (before they moved it way out into Kansas) to connect to Colorado Springs via a high-wing turbo prop (cannot recollect the model). I was visiting my Dad, and while old enough to drink alcohol was too young to rent a car which I would certainly do now - it is a pleasant drive along the base of the Rockies, and only a little over an hour and a half ride. Anyway, as soon as we started to board we knew we were in trouble: the whole plane smelled like barf, a veritable Vomit Comet. It had just come in from Aspen and a weather system caused a lot of turbulence that took its toll on the passengers. I decided to sit up front so I could watch the flight crew (doors did not need to be sealed or locked back then). The flight attendant (she was called a stewardess at the time) gamely took our drink orders (gin and tonic, if you please) while the engines spun up. Plane was only about half full, and soon enough we taxied out, lined-up, and took off. It was immediately apparent that the turbulence in Aspen had followed us, as taking a drink of my G&T involved timing the up and down movements of my hand to accommodate the movement of the aircraft. The flight was short, but during descent the pilot came on the horn and said there was increasing cloudiness and turbulence around KCOS and it could get pretty rough. Being in the front I could see through the cockpit and it certainly was cloudy and turbulent. The first attempt at landing we came in too high and wide while dodging the clouds. Second time as well! The pilot comes on the horn again and says "folks, we have one last chance at this and it will be an aggressive bumpy approach. Otherwise, we go back to Denver. I used to pilot helicopters in Nam and I think we can do it. What do you say?" A number of exuberant "yeahs" and "go for it" shouts rang out in the cabin, and we came around for another approach. Since I could see through the cockpit I see that, yes, we were coming in high and steep and the clouds were tossing us around pretty bad. Like a veritable window opening, the airport came into sight (it had gone into late dusk due to the missed approaches), all lit up and welcoming. Yes, we were still too high but our Nam Guy came through and we dived through that opening in the clouds and landed. Applause all around! Truth be told, it was more an adventure than anything scary, but we were pretty damn high!
  9. Howellerman

    Plan G Files

    IIRC the last location is the saved location? This is certainly the case for reading existing *.pln files.
  10. Howellerman

    FSPS FFTF Dynamic?

    I use it and am pretty happy with it. Still experimenting with the calibration points, but I immediately noticed improved smoothness (I run 24 fps, locked) in the sim.
  11. Howellerman

    Alabeo DA42 Twin Star & PlanG

    Hi Gaz, I recommend getting on YouTube and searching for "Frooglesim fsuipc". He has a getting started tutorial that should get you up and running. In a nutshell, FSUIPC negates all stock control inputs and they remain that way until you define them. You can define them, one at a time, and for the control surfaces assignments, assign curves to them. Like most EXTREMELY powerful tools there is bit of a learning curve. Pete also maintains a pretty good instruction manual for FSUIPC, but I would start with the video. Have fun! John
  12. Howellerman

    Alabeo DA42 Twin Star & PlanG

    Yes, I do remember the DA42 as being a bit of a handful on takeoff - lots of dancing on the rudder pedals to keep 'er straight, and once you start oscillating it seems there is no point of recovery. I use FSUIPC to "curve" my control responses - if you are not using FSUIPC, I cannot recommend it highly enough - it is an ESSENTIAL FSX/P3D addon. Have fun, and good luck!
  13. Howellerman

    Alabeo DA42 Twin Star & PlanG

    Hi Gary, It has been a while since I flew the DA42, but when I did, IIRC, I just generated a flight plan in Plan G and exported it as an "FSX/P3D flight plan" of format *.pln. Load that up in the sim and away you go. The *.pln flight plans work for pretty much every aircraft except those containing the newer Proline navigation systems. JKH
  14. Howellerman

    New Brunner CLS-E NG Yoke

    Yowza! Twelve hundred English pounds, or roughly $1500 'Murican ain't exactly affordable nor entry-level!
  15. Howellerman

    FFPS:FFTF question

    Exactly. In the early days of hyper-threading Microsoft recommended that SQL Server not be deployed on a HT machine. The reason for this was that too often the second thread (logical thread#=odd) would obtain a lock and enter a wait state. The first thread (logical thread#=even) would then get dispatched, but could not do much because the resource was locked on the inactive thread that had to wake up first, etc, etc, etc. Of course, all those threads also introduced "convoy" and "race" conditions where all the threads when dispatched tried to obtain the same resource. Eventually, Microsoft figured it out and SQL Server is now an excellent multi-threaded application for huge number of threads, whether multi-core or multi-socket systems. We can only hope that Lockheed-Martin achieves the same measure of success!