Friday, June 23, 2006

In the clouds

Last night I decided to do a longish cross-country flight in the Aero Commander. I flew from Seatle to Port McNeil in British Columbia. I turned out to be an interesting flight due to the weather (I had loaded real-world weather at some point). I was in the clouds for the most part, and really got to enjoy the Flight Simulator weather engine. The shots here show just a glimpse of the many cloudscapes that I got to see. Every once in a while I would break out of the clouds and get a look at the landscape below. I know nothing of the Pacific Northwest, so I couldn't tell where I was at any point.

Overall, my flying was so-so. I printed out the navigation log and flew more than half the flight on course. I was tryind to do the entire flight "inside the plane", that is, not using the map or spot views. However, something must have been missing from the printout because eventually I found myself lost. I was tracking an NDB which I thought would take me all the way to my destination, but found myself passing it with many miles to go. Somehow the next NDB or VOR was missing from my printout. I broke down and pulled out the GPS, and used that to get to where I was going.

I consoled myself that this was not really cheating, because I was flying without a chart, and no real-world pilot in his right mind would try such a thing.

Despite this navigational failure, the flight was satisfying. I think this was because I had never had a chance to enjoy such an immersion in weather. I did miss seeing more of the ground, so my next leg will have to have more visibility. Anyway, I found another interesting part of the world to explore, if I ever get board of my other favorite places (New England, Alaska, Florida). BC looks like a really neat place to fly around. I wish I had a real (paper) chart for the area (also could use a mesh better than the default).

1 comment:

Paolo Dallorso said...

I linked your blog for a couple of reasons.
First, I do like flysimming too, and sometimes post about it on my blog
Second, your blog has the same template of my son's

Sorry, both blogs are in italian... :)