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About Me

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Found 25 results

  1. I love the Arizona Desert, it is a great base for Light Sport flying with lots of uncontrolled airspace and things to look at when one flies. In these shots I am flying the Eurofox out of Buckeye up the famous Sun Valley Parkway, the "road to nowhere" because it was meant to be the main highway for the envisioned westward sprawl that never happened. Only two developments came about, Tartesso and another an outlier of Sun City. It goes from I-10 in Buckeye, goes some 20 miles or more north then turns into Bell road, as Maricopa County streets change names if they change direction, then it proceeds east all the way to Scottsdale AZ, it is a great loop drive, but once you hit the core of the northern metro area it is slow stop and go traffic, so the Eurofox is a better way to handle it! John
  2. 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
  3. Beautiful Innsbruck airport, a great place, along with Sion in Switzerland, to enjoy Xplane11's outstanding alpine mesh and Aerobask's free Robin, and Simheaven's free dense forests which quadruple forest density in Xplane11 with no performance hit. I have added some pics of Innsbruck and Germany's Neuschwanstein castle, inspiration for the Disney castles, which I visited a few times between 1977 and 1991. These pics were taken in 1987, I last visited the German and Austrian alps in 2017 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of my first trip there and the 90th anniversary of Lindburgh's crossing, flying roundtrip into London in May of that year and finishing more than a month later. I picked up a western Trafalgar European tour out of London. My origin, which I flew non stop on British Airways from was Phoenix. Now American also has a Heathrow Non Stop to compete with British Airways, which BA does not have to worry about because their London flights are at capacity. Ironically I had to get run over by an SUV in March to allow for another London only trip, one I might take my daughter on this summer, as the insurance money is needed to pay for my recovery and learning to walk better again. Touched very hard by an angel, lol! At least I can laugh about it now somewhat, I was not laughing a month ago. John
  4. A great route in Xplane11 or P3DV4, out of Glacier Intl headed towards the Continental Divide and Glacier park. I drove to Glacier from Phoenix in 2013 and enjoyed the vistas so much, my only other time thru there was inbound from Lethbridge Alberta, and Glacier was clouded over so I could see nothing of its majestic peaks. It is what I call, along with North Cascades national park further west in Washington State, America's Alps, followed by the peaks towering over Owens Valley in California. All three mountain sceneries, along with Jackson Hole, are wonderful for VFR flight. I was told of a great addon from SimHeaven which makes Xplane11's forests denser and much more realistic, found here: http://simheaven.com/simdownloads/dense-forests/ John
  5. 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...
  6. 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
  7. Not often shown in Xplane11, beautiful Tennessee scenery flying towards the great smoky mountains. I stayed in Townsend TN just outside the park while I was assigned to work there and install a network and do network training for the Best Western Cades cove Inn. I drove my employee and I into the Smoky Mountains National Park, then on towards Dollywood on the way back to Townsend, just beautiful scenery. Another link for the wonderful Simheaven forests improvement for Xplan11 gracefully given to me by another forum member. It has added wonderful depth to Xplane11's autogen and landclass, in and of itself the best Autogen and landclass IMHO for any sim. http://simheaven.com/simdownloads/dense-forests/ https://www.bestwestern.com/en_US/book/hotels-in-townsend/best-western-cades-cove-inn/propertyCode.43178.html
  8. Enjoying the sea around Thailand.... The LET and the scenery are freeware at the .org
  9. Alabeo's Cardinal attempting to summit the Alps on a trip to Italy, passing the mighty Matterhorn and Gornergrat, with Switzerland's highest peaks on display... John
  10. Enjoying flight in the VSkylabs gyro (out of Corning-Elmira NY) and Eurofox over the dense forest scenery back east. The Eurofox revisits a flight I took for real in a Luscombe about twelve years ago, out of Pegasus Airpark in Pennsylvania. My friend, the Luscombe owner, put me up in his log cabin home and I got about twenty minutes stick time with his Luscombe before embedded thunderstorms approached us, the day looked exactly like my screenshots show. We then went back to his home and waited out the torrential rain which began falling as soon as we landed back at Pegasus. Then he took me to breakfast and he and his wife took me back to Philly where I was staying nearby the airport. I love Philly airport, I have flown into there from Frankfurt Germany twice, once in '84 then eleven years later when I was returning from Frankfurt after working on an assignment in beautiful Bologna Italy (screenies attached). Pegasus is the only grass strip I have flown from, oh so soft to takeoff and land on, I have also flown fixed wing as a student pilot off of a dirt strip, and also trikes from dirt strips..... Those are a bumpy way to get off, you bounce into the air and bounce on landing. John
  11. I still think this gyro is so stellar as is the Avsim member who steered me in VSkylab's direction right here in the screenie's forum some months ago. Imagine a short takeoff, zero roll landing slow mover, that is what this aircraft is and such landings can be pulled off to perfection. It is a great aircraft for cruising over scenery with and without autogen, without autogen you can climb up to about a thousand feet AGL and see the earth as it is made, with autogen you can fly low and weave in and out of the trees and have a sensation of speed and control most aircraft do not give you. And gyros are great, not only with their subtle helicopter like sound, but with the way they mush thru most turbulence so well, I have noticed that in helicopter flights I have taken in real life, they handle the desert burbles that our deserts and the Pacific Southwest is known for.... If you have Xplane11, it is a worthy buy, if you do not have Xplane11, it is an excuse for getting it--from a die hard P3DV4.4 fan too. John
  12. Gyro over Sonoma and Napa County, Eclipse in Utah with the Wasatch Range and Salt Lake as backdrops... John
  13. The climbout from SLC, as the Wasatch Mountains fade in the distance and the salt flats and basin and range scenery begins to extend before the ever curious pilot, is wonderful to see, every time, especially with photoreal scenery....
  14. Flying an Ercoupe, like I did near Denison Texas into Oklahoma, is interesting without rudder pedals. You steer with the yoke on the ground like a car, kind of strange, and you crab like a rudder equipped aircraft if there is a crosswind component, the Ercoupe will straighten out on touchdown. It is the only classic aircraft I flew from takeoff to touchdown although it landed like a brick, because we were overweight and density altitude was high the day I flew it. It had to be coaxed to gain altitude but once trimmed for cruise it was fine to fly, an it is the only aircraft I ever flew across any state lines. John
  15. Yak 18 over Moscow, B17 over Edinburgh... Both Freeware John
  16. Showcasing wonderful Xplane11 freeware, SimHeaven's forests and the cool Ercoupe, which I flew in Texas over a decade ago. Even at gross it could carry me and a pilot at my weight back then, 220#. Now some years later I weight the standard pilot weight of 170#, so if I ever find a good Ercoupe where the 1320 pound STC for Light Sport is applicable, I will get one, preferably with the rudder pedal mod if I can find one. The Ercoupe I flew did not have rudder pedals and I steered it like a car when taxing. I flew it takeoff to touchdown, coming in crabbed to compensate for a light crosswind component. I wanted to purchase it but it was hard to start, in need of an overhaul, so I had to pass. We flew with the windows down, just like this Xplane11 Ercoupe, which was great in the warm Texas summer sun. Afterwards I hung out with the pilot and his friend, they also had a Lancair IVP which was my first up close look at a pressurized piston aircraft. John
  17. Enjoying the Icon tonight, very nice aircraft, handles great on the water, and in the air, like a Light Sport aircraft should, just wish there were more liveries for Europe, just one US livery but that does not diminish from enjoyment of another VSkylabs product... The Lake is lake Berryessa, used to ride my bike there from Napa for great exercise and a 4000 foot vertical climb enroute. Has a great seaplane airport near Moskowite corners, Harold Moskowite was a county supervisor and frequent Napa airport pilot from his private strip as he commuted to work at our civic center, use to chat with him from time to time with my friend William Garnett when we flew together in Williams Cessna 170.. John
  18. The dream of a personal air vehicle to commute to work, me commuting out of Casa Grande towards the Phoenix metro area in the Mini-500, over my homespun OrthoXP scenery. Simming hardly gets more fun than this! John
  19. Love the VSkyLabs LongEZ for its visibility, like a sailplane in flight....
  20. I have always loved this aircraft, only flew on it twice on Horizon airlines.... It had a jet like look, was quite nice to fly in, and there is a nice freeware model for Xplane11. Flying over SimHeaven's forests out of Shannon Ireland... John
  21. Enjoying the lovely forests near Stroudsburg PA, not far from Allentown. A wonderful hands on flight in the Eurofox taildragger this time.... John
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