Sunday, December 14, 2008

Free time goings on

There has been a lot of flight simming in the Sparticus household lately. In fact, it has almost gotten to the point that it is embarassing to answer when people ask me, "What are you up to right now?" It would be so cool to have a good answer to that question. Something along the lines of, " Well, as a matter of fact, right now I am grabbing my epee and heading to fencing lessons."

Instead, my callers get an under-the-breath, "I'm, um, well, kind of, um flying around on flight sim."
As I posted a while back, I had been using BTV as a hub for my flights. I kept at it, to the tune of this:
Two of my favorite parts of flight sim are taxiing and landing because those are the most "hands-on" parts of flight sim. Take-offs are fun, but do not last more than a few moments. Climbing and cruising are important, obviously, but not too engaging. Meanwhile, landing is just thrilling because it is essentially the final exam of any flight. And taxiing has become engaging on this version of flight sim because of the ATC and the automated traffic on the ground.

I have been working pretty hard on perfecting both landing and taxiing. The taxiing just requires being more pacient and being willing to take it slow so as to not veer off the taxiway. To improve my landings, I have been working primarily on my routes, as evidenced by this approach into ALB from the southeast:
The goal was to preempt the landing runway and approach the airport from a distance that allows a pleasant and steady descent. It has paid off, as the vast majority of my recent landings have been very successful.

In the last week I also started operating some flights in the Caribbean, based, of course, out of Princess Juliana Airport. It may come as a surprise to you, but I had never flown out of St. Maarten on flight sim, despite my clear obsession with that island. I was shocked, SHOCKED, when I saw the realism of St. Maarten on flight sim.

Here is my approach.
The landing.
And a look at the La Plage. (This is where we stayed on St. Maarten!) I kid you not, the place looks just like that. They even have the famous warning sign.
Impressive, eh? Not me, the graphics I mean.

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