All is well. Just busy. Real-world instruction is coming to its final phases. I’m scheduled for my second solo cross-country this Thursday, and have two night flights set for next week. If the weather cooperates this will fulfill all remaining requirements for my check ride. So let’s hope for clear skies and reasonable winds. If things go that way, I’ll probably do two check ride prep flights and if I’m lucky schedule my check ride before the end of May. Keep your fingers crossed!
Sim time has been spent trying to fly on the PilotEdge network and follow real-world procedures, trying to keep things as realistic as possible with the check ride on the horizon. I’ve also been preferring VR to the physical cockpit as it’s just a more realistic experience for me. In doing so I’ve been flying the Mooney Ovation from point to point using real-world weather, starting in Half Moon Bay and making my way to Wendover, NV so far. Here’s a stream of the latest flight. I think I’ll go on to Salt Lake City from there and you are always welcome to join in.
Yesterday I flew my first scheduled live stream on YouTube, a PilotEdge flight from Grand Junction to Aspen. This is actually a continuation of my point-to-point flights, but I’ve switched to the JustFlight Turbo Arrow as the Saratoga isn’t a 3D cockpit suitable to VR (that Arrow is fantastic by the way – a really great X-Plane GA bird). The stream worked relatively well, although I’m still suffering from some upload speed issues. The flight goes relatively well. A weather update gives us some sudden IMC conditions, but we quickly get below the cloud deck and change our planned flight path to stay in the valleys. I also blow the approach into Aspen but the controller is good enough to get me back into the pattern. And last but not least
, I crunch the landing hard enough to set off the ELT transmitter – I was using the Rift controllers and thought I had my hand on the virtual throttle in the flare but did not. It’s pretty funny to watch. Also, thinking about it now, I kept having to add rudder on the approach thinking it was a cross wind. It wasn’t. I’d used the Arrow’s rudder trim in flight and never trimmed it back. This is why we practice!
The point-to-point flights continue with a leg from Great Falls to Billings. This was a fun flight, and it illustrates both the solid default X-Plane 11 textures and the incredible ortho4xp photographic scenery as I did not burn ortho tiles for the entire flight. Also: thoughts on the Airfoil Labs C172, Windows Creators Edition, ForeFlight, and fun with and autopilot we don’t fully understand. As always, thanks for watching.
The Saratoga is now in Dutch John, UT, as we prepare to do some killer fly fishing on the A stretch of the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam (at least, virtually). I designed scenery for this that’s been uploaded to the Gateway but it’s not yet approved. So speaking of that scenery, here are links to it and the others I’ve designed over the past few point-to-point flights. All use default objects, so while the layouts are spot-on don’t expect all the hangars etc. to match the real world:
The Saratoga is now (virtually) in – of all places! – Saratoga, Wyoming. Time to head into the heart of the Rockies. I have a few videos of the trip in the queue as well, and I also created scenery for the stops in Thermopolis and Saratoga. In the interest of populating the world for future X-Plane releases, I’ve started designing these strips using stock library objects and have been uploading them to the X-Plane Scenery Gateway. But if you can’t wait for them to be approved at the Gateway Thermopolis is here and Saratoga / Shively is here.
This is the most recent in my “point-to-point” series. In this flight we move the Saratoga from Glacier Park to Great Falls, MT. This flight has some awesome scenery over the top of the Rockies, and xEnviro does a pretty remarkable job with the weather as well as we go from broken /overcast to clear skies during the flight. I enjoyed this one, if for no reason than the view. I hope you like it, too, and thanks for watching.
The latest leg in my point-to-point flying, and this one takes the Saratoga from Idaho County (KGIC) to Spokane (KGEG), the current PilotEdge bonus field. In this hop we try a new camera angle. Let me know what you think.
We also fly over homemade photorealistic scenery (with several interesting decisions to make about clouds and altitudes along the way) and get to contrast the new X-Plane default clouds with experimental HD clouds for xEnviro. Hope you like it and thanks for watching.
This is leg two of my place-to-place flights, 1U7 Bear Lake Co., ID to KWYS West Yellowstone. This is a full flight video with no edits and with PilotEdge flight following along the way. If you’d like the scenery, it’s here: 1U7, KWYS. As always, thanks for watching.
Yellowstone Airport sits at the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. While open only from June to September of each year, it has commercial service via Delta Connection and over 4,000 passengers a year transit via the strip. It also hosts the West Yellowstone Interagency Fire Center, which I’ve roughly rendered here at the north end of the field. KWYS sits at 6,469 feet, so be certain to lean your aircraft before making that takeoff roll.
To use this scenery you will need these libraries:
This scenery is good for XP 10 and 11. The attached screen caps are with my own orthophoto tile underneath and World2XP America / HD Mesh 3, but note that this scenery has no embedded ortho images. I also added a Delta Connection bird on the ramp, which is not in these screen caps. This is a first start at this strip, and while it’s not ORBX, I hope it’s a nice addition to your library and I will likely improve it over time.