Thursday, February 11, 2016

February is Black History Month.  Every February, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum pays homage to the contributions that Black pilots have made in the aviation community.

You can visit the museum on "Family Day", this year at 10:00am EST, the February 20th and join the celebration.

For an admission price of zero, you will learn the achievements of Black fighter pilots, commercial aviators, and astronauts as they struggle against overwhelming odds to realize their dreams.

Such a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon with family, and friends of aviation.  Here is a link for more info:  The National Air And Space Museum

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


This YouTube Video is one that I really wanted to share with all you aviation buffs and flightsim addicts.  Bessie Coleman was the first African American (and Native American) to earn an international pilot's license.  She went on to become a great stunt pilot until her tragic death on April 30th 1926.

You'd think that her name would rank right up there with the likes of Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, and Florence "Pancho" Barnes.  But, alas, Bessie Coleman is the great daredevil pilot that few have ever heard of.

I invite you to watch the video, and if you're so inclined, grab a copy of Doris L. Rich's biography on this courageous aviatrix who was way ahead of her time.  And no, this is not my video and no, I am NOT an affiliate of Amazon (where you can purchase the book).

It just seems a shame that Bessie Coleman should fade from the annuals of aviation history, even as we sing the praises of her contemporaries.        

Thursday, December 24, 2015

FSX F-35 VR-1251 Low Level Flight over N. California [EXTREME REALISM GR...

Here is another classic example of a flight sim video that I wish I'd made, myself.  

No, this is not one of mine:  Mine aren't nearly as good.  Truth be told, I don't normally view military flight sim videos on YouTube.  But the true creator of this video (Aero Sid) is on his way to making a believer out of me.  

If you're looking for a nice, comfortable cruise at 35,000 feet, you'll have to look elsewhere.  You won't find auto pilot flying on this puppy.  

What we have here is pure "stick and rudder", "yank and bank" flying over the FSX's version of Northern California.  

Aero Sid is really a good video photographer and virtual aviator.  He takes us on an exciting journey with views both inside and outside the cockpit.  

He makes me want to dust off my version of FS2004 (or maybe track down and upgrade to FSX) and take to the virtual sky's again.  

But, you don't have to take my word for it.  Just click the button on the above video if you haven't done so already.  Then head on over to YouTube and type in "Aero Sid" in the search bar to view the rest of his channel.  You won't be sorry.

Monday, December 7, 2015

VATSIM: IFR Flight Example: Memphis to Atlanta! - FULL ATC!

No, this is NOT one of my videos.  You can look below to see that mine are not nearly as good.  This vid comes from Aviation Pro, who has been on YouTube for about 5 years now.  

As the name implies, this young man is very professional in the way he plans, and executes his flights.  He utilizes VatSim for realistic ATC procedures.

Unlike many YouTubers who have successful channels, I find Aviation Pro to be friendly, helpful, and always answers questions in the comment section.  He doesn't just fly the aircraft:  He actually takes time to explain to newbies what he is doing, and why.  Very nice!!

You can find him, not only on YouTube, but also here 

You'll also notice that he's still flying FS2004.  It just goes to show you that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 isn't dead.  It lives on in Facebook fan pages, blogs, YouTube channels, and forums.  

Monday, July 25, 2011

Los Angeles Approach and Landing

Yes, I know it's been awhile since I've posted here but the real world has some real demands while makes it very tough on a dedicated flight sim pilot to indulge himself.  Anyway, a few weeks ago I fired up Flight Simulator and "flew" from Denver to Los Angeles in real time.  The ILS approach and landing went fairly well so I decided to share it with you Flight Sim fans out there.  I won't bore you with the technical details.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Flight Sim Explorer flies over Denver, Colorado:

God, how I hate hot weather!  Walking toward Cessna November 62249RB with my ball cap shielding my eyes and a roll of sweat sliding down my shoulder blades makes me a very unhappy camper. 

Super-warm weather is not a common happening at Denver which is situated at the Rocky Mountain foothills.  Today is an exception.  With the warm temperatures and the mile-high altitude, the Cessna may have a bit of difficulty lifting off. 

Thank the Lord these clients want to take off during the early evening when things are cooling down.  My little group consists of a well-dressed young woman armed with a camera, and her wide-eyed daughter who doesn’t appear too happy to be flying around in such a small aircraft.

These are tourists, renting a ride to view and photograph the city and surrounding countryside.  Yes, I know this is only a contrived flight simulator adventure and not real, but we have to stretch our imaginations somewhat to make this post interesting (smile).

We’ll be flying VFR conditions.  Our route will carry us southwest of Denver International, which is the 5th busiest airport in the U.S.  Since I’m based (virtually only) at Denver, it only makes sense to take the first flight simulator tour of this city.  Let’s see what kind of scenery FS 2004 has to offer.

  At 1958 hours the Cessna is cleared to taxi and hold at the threshold of runway 25.  My client seems to be impatient to get things moving.  She’s fidgeting in her seat, her fingers clenching and unclenching her shoulder harness.  I’m starting to think she’s sharing a bit of her daughter’s unease.

 At 2000 hours, the Cessna rumbles down the sluggishly rumbles down the runway and lifts off, turning toward the southwest.   I climb and level off at 6,500 feet, and point the nose toward the tall buildings of downtown Denver which can be seen in the distance. 

Denver’s tourist and vacation site proclaims that the city is “urban sophistication [which] meets outdoor adventure…”  The city got its start in 1858 when gold was discovered at the base of the mountains. 

Denver’s popularity has increased steadily, especially in recent years.  It is no longer considered a “stop-over” or simply a “gateway” to the far west.  Today it is a highly respected tourist destination in its own right.

It has more restaurants than you can imagine, coupled with a very active art scene that would make even well-heeled New Yorkers envious.  Denver is also characterized by a laid-back attitude which kind of remains me of San Francisco.  Diverse neighborhoods and people, mild weather (mostly) and plenty of outdoor activities complete the overall picture.

  My clients seem to have forgotten their initial nervousness as mom clicks away at a skyline that rivals any in the country.  Personally, I think FS 2004 has done a pretty good job with the default scenery, although I might consider purchasing some add-ons to really make things really “pop”. 

 I’d especially like to enhance those foothills which are coming up on us really fast.

The elevation is rising as we approach those foothills.   I make a climbing, right turn which has my passengers straining against the shoulder harnesses.  In their nervousness, mom almost drops her camera, and daughter’s eyes get even wider if that’s possible.  Are those little beads of sweat I see on her forehead?  Mom’s not looking too pleased at this point.

We make another pass over downtown Denver, over Civic Center Park and the State Capitol.  The clients seem to have regained their composure as mom’s camera records from another perspective.

 I call Denver ATC and request landing clearance.  We are cleared to land at runway 35R. 

 I make a left turn to final approach which I’m sure will not exactly endear myself to mom.   Now, let’s get lined up with that runway.   
  As we cross the threshold, we now have another flight simulator landing and touchdown.  All too soon our little adventure is over. 

Resources:  I’m always looking for new flight sim sites to explore and join.  Here’s one that you might be interested in.  The Flight Simulator Network is located here.  They have some of the most beautiful screenshots I’ve seen and they are some of the nicest and most helpful people as well.  And no, I’m not getting anything out of endorsing them.  So go visit.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Greetings, Fellow Flight Fans...

As you may gather from my profile, I am an aviation and flight simulation lover.  From my earliest days in the U.S. Air Force, I've had a fascination for airplanes, travel, and adventure.

These days, as time permits, I fly all over Microsoft's flight simulator's virtual world, snapping screenshots as I go.  I'm not the best, but I'm doing what I love most.  To paraphrase the great writer/aviator Richard Bach, there is "Nothing By Chance".When you're doing what you truly love, you're on purpose.

So, get those gears up and let's go flying!

 By the way, if you want to view some of the best screenshots ever, head over to Captain Mike Ray's Art Gallery.  What you'll find there is just too beautiful for words.  The good news is it won't be a wasted click.  The bad news is the images aren't mine.  And you don't have to worry; I'm not getting a coin endorsing this guys work.