Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hero on State Street

So today I was doing some heavy simulating from La Guardia to Albany International. I had set up the game to handle as much air traffic as it allows and I thought, "What better venue is there than New York City to test this unprecedented level of simulated air traffic?" Well, Atlanta, Chicago, LAX, Heathrow...

Whatevs, NYC it is. So I took off from La Guardia and headed up the Hudson River Valley. There was, as I expected, traffic everywhere. But, after I left the NYC metropolitan area, I seemed to be all on my own again.

That is, until I started my approach to Albany. There was an MD-83 operated by Soar Airlines ahead of me. It was pretty neat to see another airplane making the approach, and actually it helped me to better position my own approach. That's one thing about the sims - they are perfect in everything they do. Here's the screenshot of my approach immediately following the MD-83. Then, I became concerned because the sim was taking way too long to get off the runway. I could see it still on the runway as I made my final. I mean, I was literally over Albany-Shaker Road and Soar had still not exited Runway 1.

That was when the Air Traffic Controller radioed that I do a go-around. For all those non-aviation enthusiasts out there, that means power up and try again.

So I did, but I was very upset because my approach to that point had been near flawless. And, I also don't like doing go-arounds. I have done some in the past, but always due to my own messed up approaches. This was the first one that was caused by external factors.

I flew out towards Schenectady and then south towards Guilderland. I was cleared to land a second time, and I joked back to the Air Traffic Controller, "Yeah, that's what you said last time." Just kidding, you can't actually make small talk on this game. But I thought that.

My second approach was a bit more erratic. I gave myself very little room to maneuver so when I was pretty much over The Desmond when I was finally lined up over the runway, so there was no room for error. Touchdown was right on the center line, and since there was an airplane following my landing, I did the courteous thing and got off the runway as soon as possible. This is what the whole ordeal ended up looking like.
I felt like that dude from the US Airways plane that landed in the Hudson after it was all over. Good thing I was quick on my...laptop.

I taxied to gate Bravo 9 - that's B9 for the laymen - where I had a view of the jerk that forced the go-around.
We fought. She won.

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