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About Me

About Me

Found 57 results

  1. Three legendary aircraft, the Citation, the Enstrom copter, and the Cessna 170 lastly shown flying over Roanoke VA..... I love the Manhattan flyover every time I do it, reminds me of my one and only visit in '99 when I was working at JFK airport installing and teaching business systems at the then JFK Hilton. On one day off, me and my business colleagues took a taxi to Manhattan, splitting the cost. Then we went to the Art Museum on central park. They wanted to go bar hopping, I wanted to visit the World Trade Center (little did I know back then its fate). I got to stand atop the WTC, on a wildly windy and clear day, I could see to JFK, to Connecticut, to Jersey, all over the place on that December day in '99. The outdoor observation deck was a gathering of nations, accents from all over the place surrounded me, I took a snapshot of a British family and they returned the favor taking my snapshot, although I hated the pic with my freezing red face from the wind chill, and my wind blown hair. I was a nervous Nellie as I descended into the WTC's subterranean Mall to catch the "A" train back towards JFK, though it did not go all the way. I had thought of all the iconic subway movies, including the seldom remembered movie of the week "Short Walk to Daylight", about an earthquake hitting Manhattan. But I made it back to the hotel I was working at (where I met Alan Alda, he stayed there, along with the Jet Blue trainees). I did not bug Alan Alda but enjoyed listening to him talking as he ate dinner near me, I moreover enjoyed the friendship of the Jet Blue Trainees--the airline was just getting ready to launch. We'd drink together, laugh together, they knew I was a frequent flyer and aviation buff. The pilots mingled easily and non arrogantly with the rest of the flight crew trainees. I knew from their vibe and warm companionship, because they knew my two colleagues had to go home to prepare for a Y2K conversion since the Hilton paid for me to spend additional training time there, that their airline launch would be a great success. And I am so so glad they saved the TWA terminal which I had gone thru on a couple of trips to Europe, it was so beautifully designed. A week later I was on the opposite coast with just a Christmas day stopover to visit my wife and newborn daughter in Phoenix. I did the Y2K conversion of a Best Western in Seattle (although I had proven during testing of the system I replaced that it was Y2K compliant, but we wanted our clients to be on Windows based systems back then). It was the Y2K conversions that trained me to be a Windows LAN/WAN installer, which helped my later career when I wanted less travel, since I could travel 40-45 weeks out of the year from 93 to early 2000. My daughter as she approached eighteen got to go atop the new WTC, I remember the early designs for it and I like the design that resulted from the architectural studies, especially because upper Manhattan now has tall towers, the new WTC has not been out landmarked by them, even though they are taller. John
  2. Mooney Ovation, a great piston single and classic, fast and economical aircraft, fun to fly with RealityXP installed in Xplane11. It has bags of power, a little fighter in disguise for us piston speed demons. Next up will be P3D's ATR 42 500. John
  3. I love the Alabeo 421C, like the Duke, such a nice twin, so clean looking in the air, and such a capable mid range piston for fuel efficient flights. I love the Alabeo sounds for this aircraft too, the nice rich hum, I have flown in an unpressurized twin Cessna in real life and the sounds are very close from an inside the cabin perspective, at least from my memory since the flight was almost 30 years ago over Venezuela and its tropical rainforests into Canaima. The big lake is Napa County's well known Lake Berryessa, which for the first time in many years went completely full I was told by one of my friends still living in the valley where I was raised. I have biked from the city of Napa to Lake Berryessa, quite a challenge on a 12 speed bike and not recommended for the shy, since the ascent from the Lake over the pass down into Napa is a challenge with almost no shoulder, then 40-45 mph speeds passing up cars descending down into Napa on a steep grade by the Silverado Golf Course, where Johnny Miller used to play when I lived there in the 70's, it is home to a PGA tournament. John
  4. Just enjoying "the personal Cessna Airliner" that all piston oriented pilots dream about getting in real life, so they can fly in the flight levels and listen to the lovely hum of piston engines in flight. Also posting because someone asked about this aircraft in Hangar Chat, thought I would help him review the AC... JC
  5. I enjoyed a long and relaxing realtime flight from Catalina to Phoenix today. Had something odd happen though, I noticed my two compass gauges did not agree, so the gps guided me in the wrong direction. I do not know how I did that to Xplane11 but I will have to make a preflight check, to make sure they agree, leaning to the magnetic compass. Edit: I forgot to mention, my Catalina airport, and Sky Harbor Airport, are among the several airports I have from MisterX6. I have his LAX, SAN, SNA and a couple of other scenery gems from him as well. His airports have better performance, at greater detail, than the Xplane11 defaults. John
  6. When I flew FS2 so many years ago, way back in 1984 on my Commodore SX-64, I would always enjoy flying from either Meigs, O'hare or Midway down to Champagne-Urbana. In real life, in 2000, I flew from St. Louis to Champagne once on a business trip. I was not looking forward to it, my clients were angry with my employer for poor training and I was sent down at my employer's cost to retrain them. When I got there, they said they had decided they might sell their hotel, they did just not know how to run what they had just purchased. But they were kind to me, they knew I was in the hot seat, and I spent the next week teaching them how to run a hotel, and also I had to inform them I discovered one of their employees was stealing from them, something I had to be sure of before I informed them, so I informed my employer first and told them I had no choice but to inform the client. I knew the employee could not be arrested, my client confronted the employee with what I had discovered and the employee agreed to resign with some dignity and with out a record of a felony. I had done my best, and my client decided to keep their hotel now that they knew the hole where they were losing money was fixed and they later became a job reference for a great job I had for five years, such is my fond memory of Champagne, the sim that made it famous, and my real life flight into that airport on a propjet puddlejumper out of St. Louis. John
  7. Some nice mountain and ocean scenery along the coast of Alaska... John
  8. One repaint available for the 441... kind of a cool scheme. More to follow, time-permitting. I will upload this to the library over the next few days, but PM me in the mean time for a download link...I usually respond within a couple hours if it's the weekend.
  9. @Gregg_Seipp - You'll have to account for my less than ideal AA settings (and lack of 4k) in these pic :-
  10. Overnight I have been building Wyoming photoreal scenery with FSEarthtiles, which borders the Colorado scenery I have here in Avsim's file library. I am using a high compression ratio to keep the textures crisp while flying, and I love the preliminary results, with about half of Wyoming done. Given P3D's wonderful mesh I could not be happier with the results so far. Love the way P3DV4's cloud shadows play on the scenery, a feature I think the program excels at compared to those sims that have them, and especially the MSFS series which did not. John
  11. Flying the new Alabeo Cessna 421 into Reno. Arguably one of the most beautiful routes to fly in the US, with the contrast of alpine and desert scenery. The Alabeo Cessna 421 handles gracefully and does greaser landings, it is enjoyable both on auto pilot and in hand flying. The photoscenery is MSE V2, California and Nevada. John
  12. If they look for me, say that I flew to the sunset in a white biplane
  13. Scenery: MSE California V2 Aircraft: Alabeo Cessna Conquest
  14. Capitol Reef National Park is off the beaten path. I installed a network at a hotel just outside of Torrey Utah, you can see the hotel in one of the screenshots. I had a great room, on a lawn, looking right at the National Park. I was supposed to have a colleague join me there, I drove 300+ miles in a rental from Salt Lake City. I talked my client into saving money, and my colleague's visit was canceled. I was quite relieved, I did not want to do the roundtrip to SLC to pick up my partner. On the day I left, they talked me into taking a shortcut to I40. I was caught in blizzard whiteout conditions as I climbed over the mountains north of Loa. I inched my way thru the whiteout and was relieved as I descended the opposite side of the pass into clear weather. The Scenery is MSE Utah The aircraft is Alabeo's wonderful DA40
  15. Drove this route once out of Ely, it was a wide-open stretch of highway. People were passing me right and left, going very fast. So I took my little Toyota Camry up to 100mph, it was the fastest I had ever driven. Did not do it for long, it was just one of those bucket list type of things.
  16. Citation out of JFK, Conquest out of Yuma, Arizona John
  17. This flight has special meaning for me because of a strange serendipity and a decision I made, that I would not hurt my employer. In 1994 I was flown, at a potential employer's cost, to Atlanta to interview for a position as CIO of their hotel chain of about twenty hotels. I wanted to move to Hotlanta, because my employer at that time, Holiday Inn, was based there and I loved the city with its airport, metro, low cost living, humidity and greenery. I was living in Napa California at the time. I flew there on TWA, my last flight on TWA, via St. Louis on an L1011, my last flight on an L1011. I stayed the night then flew TWA back home, one of those rare times I did not get a window seat but they paid for the trip. They were a Holiday Inn client and in order to interview me, they called my current employer, IBM/Cyntergy under contract with Holiday Inn for a Unix nationwide and Canada systems implementation, and lied to them saying they needed to contact me (we never gave our clients our home numbers so they would call the help desk instead of us, the sys implementation team). They said I left a pair of shoes at their hotel (I never forgot anything at a hotel, I traveled so much, with so much important equipment such as breakout boxes, laptops, Cat 5 cable and Coax cable), that I always did a "room sweep" before checking out, since I paid for most of that equipment out of my own pocket to help give my clients a boost. But their lie worked, I flew at their cost to an interview after they contacted me to the curiosity of my boss, and I flew home, barely making it to my fifteenth high school reunion and staying overnight with my parents. Knowing the next day, I would have to fly to Oklahoma City via Denver on United, to work in the small town of Ada Oklahoma. Little did I know the serendipity to come. I knew I had aced the interview, it was on my mind as I flew to OKC then rented a car to drive to Ada (knowing I would have to pick up one of my employees a couple days later). I recorded a tape of melodic rock because both I and my employee were rockers, we listened to Journey, Eddie Money, Darryl Stuermer (Phil Collin's guitarist who replaced Steve Hackett for the band Genesis), Jefferson Starship, Bobby Caldwell, even Christian rock. That was and still is the music I listen to when I fly and drive with friends or family who like it. I listened to it when I flew last to Europe in 2017. To make a long story short, as short as possible, I was offered the job, but they lied to me. They wanted me to work in Dallas, which I did not want to live in, just was not like Atlanta or Phoenix where I live today, I had worked there before. Today I might consider living there, but not back then, Dallas was different 25 years ago. They also wanted me to give my employer, who had been so good to me, only a weeks' notice. I knew it would be a big hassle to both me and my employer to move under such circumstances, even though their offer was double my salary at that time. I did not want to, in the words of Richard Nixon, grease the skids for my friends. So I called my boss and told him I had received an offer, he asked why I was looking for work and I told him my domestic and Canadian travel had simply grown stale, having worked in nearly every US City. Again, I was in Ada Oklahoma, the name Ada would soon become very important to me. So my boss made me an offer I could not refuse. He said that Holiday Inn had a secret project with a competing software company, based on Novell, specifically for their International properties. Would I be interested? That project brought me to Europe, but prior to that, later in 1994, it brought me to Zacatecas Mexico where I met and fell in love with a Mexicana Airlines worker. Her name is Ada. Serendipity and a twenty year old daughter, all three of us love flight and have flown together far and wide since I met Ada in '94 simply because I would not sell my employer down the river. I did leave that employer about a year later so I could work out of Phoenix where we had bought a home, I did not give up traveling for hotel companies until six months after my daughter was born, and only traveled quarterly up until I had to go on disability leave in 2015. That finishes the back story to this wonderful Xplane11 flight I had tonight. John Edit: PS, two things. I removed the wheel pants of the Cardinal to give it a more utilitarian look for the midwest, lol. Also, when I was on assignment in Ada Oklahoma, we had a server issue and a guy from IBM came out to deal with it, bad motherboard. While we were there the Tornado sirens went off, I saw the greenish tint to the sky and the mammatus cloud formations, which we also have seen in Phoenix in 1996 when two Mesocyclones merged during our summer Monsoon. So I was nervous about a Tornado coming and asked the IBM dude to get on with it so I could join the Holiday Inn Hotel staff in Ada in the Tornado shelter, I had just woken my colleague. The IBM dude said while we were still inside, with his Oklahoma drawl "Ahh ain't seeen ever a TornadOhhh in Adahh Oklahomahhhhh" He went outside to smoke a cigarette, I went outside to chat with him since he knew I was a hardware techie too in addition to being a biz systems instructor. The wind started whipping up in all directions and he looked at me and said "Ahhhh think Ahhhh mahhht be wronnnnng" and he jumped into his IBM van and spun his tires as he tore out of the place, leaving me gaping up at the sky wondering if he was wrong. He wasn't, the Tornado hit five miles out of town and caused damage at Ada's airport, but no one was hurt. Elsewhere though that night there were fatalities in a Tornado outbreak. I have a history, being from Chicago, of attracting Tornados in everywhere I have ever been, including Vienna Austria in 1984 and Grindelwald Switzerland in 1984. But I have survived them all and also several lightning strikes within 20 feet of me. I should buy a lottery ticket some day. NOT...
  18. Many simmers take off out of Sion but they miss half the journey, I like Lausanne, where I stayed one night in 1987, taking the train by Chillon Castle the next morning then hopping to Milan. I was poet laureate in my high school and college and I have toured Chillon a couple of times, another poet visiting that castle. I also overnighted in beautiful Montreaux in 1989. Sharing this set which highlights Sion and Gampfel in the Rhone Valley from up high, with sites of the Matterhorn and other similar looking alps in the Distance. The real pic is one I took of the Matterhorn while I was staying in traffic free Zermatt in 1982. Our tour guide, Anna Marie Greene of TWA tours, told us we lucked out to have clear warm weather during our entire stay in Zermatt, it is very rare to get a shot of the Matterhorn like I did, and it was taken with a simple Kodak camera and scanned with my first scanner. I hiked the alpine valley above traffic free Zermatt after being coaxed to look for Edelweiss to woo the girls on my tour, but I was told it is only found in very high alpine meadows and unlike the sound of music, does not greet the Von Trapps every morning. When I finished my hike absent of Edelweiss I simply told my tour director that no girl was worth that trouble, lol.... But when I returned to Europe in '95 years later on a trip where I was disappointed I could not take my newlywed wife since my employer paid for me to work in Bologna, I picked up my new bride a Venetian pendant, more beautiful than Edelweiss with the Millefiori flowered design in yellow, her fav color. The Matterhorn pic was shot while I was riding up the Gornergrat rack railway. https://www.zermatt.ch/en/Media/Attractions/Gornergrat John
  19. Alabeo C400TT Corvalis, ORBX, PTA, EZKA2, Photoshop.
  20. Scenery: MSE Utah V2 Aircraft: Alabeo Cardinal 177 RG
  21. Scenery: MSE California, Nevada and Utah V2 Aircraft: Alabeo Cessna 310
  22. Scenery: MSE Arizona, Nevada, California Aircraft: Alabeo Cessna Conquest II
  23. Love the Twinstar, a great modern day, efficient diesel twin. Love aircraft that run on jet fuel. You'll recognize the craggy peak in Great Basin national park. Highest I've ever driven, drove my car to 11,500 feet below the peak then hiked up over 12,000 feet. Did not get winded, I gradually climbed in Altitude in the three weeks prior.
  24. Enjoying this nice single engine aircraft for Xplane11, one of five aircraft add-ons I have for Xplane11 from various payware vendors, my most recent addition to my Xplane11 aircraft. I have always loved the look of the 177, looks very contemporary, even nearly 50 years after it first came into existence. More roomy in the backseat than the 172, I almost bought one years ago but I did not have a pilots license and decided not to leap before I looked, so to speak. Took me 30 more years before I could get my first flight lessons after seeing the 177. The Xplane version of Alabeo's 177 includes an autopilot, which their P3D version does not have. John
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