ORBX, UTX, & Taburet Night Lighting Comparisons

I took a night flight to try to compare the ORBX Global, UTX, and Taburet night lighting environments. Scenery layering can be a challenge with this, but I believe I successfully started with ORBX, then went to UTX, then went to UTX and Taburet together. Overall I think the best solution of these would be ORBX and Taburet, which I’ll try tonight, and Chris Bell’s Night Environment (which has its own video in my channel) is, to me, the best of them all. I eagerly await his “Black Marble” package. Thanks for watching.

Video: Inside The Hong Kong Tower / ATC

One of my new subscribers on YouTube is HK Spotter. Looking at his channel, the first thing that got my attention was this great video from inside the Hong Kong control tower, both up top with the view, and in radar room for approach, departure, etc. If you’ve wondered what things look like from and inside the tower, this video is a great example.

Alphabet Challenge Update: “I” to “J”

Yesterday I was able to get in a new leg on the PilotEdge Alphabet Challenge, flying from Bullhead / Laughlin (KIFP) to Jacqueline Cochran (KTRM). This as a VFR flight, using the Twentynine Palms VOR and Thermal VORs as navaids. Here’s the chart (click to enlarge):


I did have an interesting moment on this flight. Right after departure my primary yoke went inoperative (probably because I accidentally unplugged it or its USB cable). This happened just as I was off the runway. As I was trying to get it sorted, and still flying the airplane with the other yoke, Bullhead tower asked me to switch to LA Center. I couldn’t respond, as the push-to-talk switch is on the primary yoke. He called four times, with no response. So as I was trying to fly the airplane, unplug the yoke, plug in the yoke, close down SPAD.neXt, and re-launch SPAD.neXt, I also squawked 7600 for lost communications and made the turn he expected me to make out of departure. In a few minutes I had it sorted and regained communication, but if I hadn’t I would have run the lost comms procedure and then flown to an uncontrolled airport to make a cautions pattern entry and landing.

Item for the “to do” list: configure the PTT switch on yoke #2 …

Here’s the Alpha Challenge progress to date. The next flight is “J” to “K,” which is one of the longer flights in the challenge, Jacqueline Cochran to Kanab.


A2A Cessna 172, 182 & Piper 180, 250 LVAR Lists

If you’re trying to get your A2A Cessna or Piper to work in Prepar3D with your Saitek gear using SPAD.neXt, then you’re going to need to do some button assignments using LVARs (local variables) rather than the standard simconnect variables. Fortunately, A2A has posted PDFs of these LVARs, which I have linked to here:

Virtual Practice! Montana Slow Flight, Power-On / Power-Off Stalls, and High-Bank Turns

Today’s real-world flight lesson cancelled (if the airplane doesn’t start easily, you probably shouldn’t fly it!), so I took the opportunity to do some slow flight, power-on and power-off stalls, and high-bank turns in the basement simulator. KGPI / Glacier Park is the field, ORBX Northern Rockies the scenery, and A2A C 182 the aircraft. Textures by REX and weather by Active Sky Next. Thanks for watching!

Thank You!

Checking in on my YouTube channel today I noticed that according to the analytics page the channel has passed 20,000 views.


I know there are YouTube channels with many tens of millions of views, but the thought that the basement sim has been watched 20,000 times sort of astonished me. I hope it’s been entertaining to simmers, and educational to those looking to build their own home cockpit, and thanks for watching.

New ActiveSky 16 & Cloud Art Video & Pricing

The folks at HiFi Simulation Technologies have updated their website with pricing for the forthcoming ActiveSky 16 and Cloud Art packages, and have produced a new teaser video as well:

With REX also producing new cloud texture and weather management systems, it’s looking to be a great year in the weather department for simulation enthusiasts. I’m a big fan of both firms, and use Active Sky Next to render REX cloud textures on every flight. It will be interesting to see how these packages shake out. Either way, it’s a great time for flight sim.

First Person Left Seat View (Via GoPro)

A YouTube viewer asked that I use the GoPro to show how things look from my position in the left seat. So at the risk of looking ridiculous to Mrs. On The Glideslope, I mounted the GoPro to my hat and shot the following loop of the pattern at Bowerman Field. Another poor landing on my part, but it gives a sense of what I see from my chair. Hope it helps those looking to build their own home cockpits. Scenery is ORBX Pacific Northwest, and the aircraft is the A2A Simulations Cessna 182.