Sunday, August 31, 2014

Intercity Airways flies Open LC skies!

The new Open LC Europe from the scenery developer Orbx 
adds “land class” data.  The  package works in conjunction with FTX Global.   Together they pack a powerful punch.   So far, my experience with the combo has been very positive.  

The combo creates what amounts to an Orbx region.   The only area that is lacking is the airports.   Still, Orbx comes to the rescue with the release of FTX Global airports for Europe.  Unfortunately all other airports in Europe are default FSX/P3d.

The biggest advantage to the land class data is the reduction of   repetitive scenery patterns.   These patterns are quite annoying when flying high.  My experience has been that the new land class data eliminates scenery repetition!   Orbx has also stated that they are dedicated to removing any repetitive patterns that remain. To me that is almost worth the price of admission alone!!!

What better way to jaunt around Europe but in the Intercity Virtual Airline's Q400.   I have been trying to master the use of FS2Crew with the Q400.   FS2Crew with its automated co-pilot has been very helpful with managing the different stages of flight.  When flying the Q, these stages can occur in quick succession.   

I also purchased the Airline2Sim Q400 training videos too.   What a spectacular set of training videos!  Highly recommended!  The video series answers a lot of those nagging questions.  You know, the ones like, how does a real Q400 pilot fly the approach.

Flight Plan

At EDDL's Gate 51.

Hence, I decided to fly an Intercity Virtual flight from EDDL                 (Dusseldorf) to LSZH (ZURICH).  This flight was recorded with the Intercity ACARS system.  Dusseldorf is an important airport for Intercity Virtual (a virtual airline).  EDDL gives Intercity access to a large stretch of Europe.
VOXATC, FS2Crew, and the Q400.

We started at Gate 51.  While my FS2Crew copilot did the walkabout and prepped the plane, I set up the box.   5000 lbs of fuel was loaded along with 71 passengers.  The flight plan was entered.  Contact was made and clearance obtained via VOXATC 6.   I purchased VOXATC 6 a few weeks ago and it is awesome.  (Expect a future post about VOXATC.) 

We taxi out.
Per ATC, (VOXATC 6), we were instructed to use KUMIK2 departure off of runway 05R.  After take off, we were to ascend to 16000, expecting FL230 10 minutes later.
An Air Berlin jet ahead of us.

My FS2Crew copilot and I sat together going over the departure briefing.  Not much concern given the good weather and dry conditions.  Before long we were pushing back, going over the after start checklist, and ready to taxi.  Ground gave us clearance to taxi down Xray, hold at 05C.   We followed behind an AirBerlin jet.   After a brief hold we were allowed to cross runway 05R, and soon waiting for our takeoff clearance. 

Line up on runway 05 R

Times like this is when FS2Crew really helps.  The automated copilot helped prep the cockpit for take off while I concentrated on ATC communication.  Clearance was given and we were soon barreling down the runway on our 296 nm flight!   For once, everything was going smoothly as we took off, switched on the autopilot, and flew the KUMIK2 departure.   

Flying the KUMIK2 SID.

Dusseldorf's Tower switched us over to our departure frequencey.  From there we were transferred to Lagen1 (If i remember correctly).  Along the way we were cleared to FL230.   Upon reaching FL230, I relaxed and took images of the scenery below. 

A Close Encounter!!!

A little into our cruise we had one of the closest fly byes of another aircraft I have ever experienced in FSX.  The TCAS was going crazy.  If this had been a real flight, I would been arrested for not responding.  A quick screen caught the perpetrator cruising right in front of us.

This would be my first time landing in Zurich.  I was afraid that VOXATC would mess up and not use a STAR.   Luckily I was wrong!
The RILAX1 STAR was put in the box, just in case.

Coming towards the RILAX waypoint.  But no time to RelaX.

We started to descend into Zurich.  ATC (VOXATC) cleared us to fly the RILAX1A STAR.  Now we could get a nice view of Zurich and the surrounding area.  There were clouds upon descent.  The charts, and ND were constantly monitored.  I wanted to make sure we didn't fly into any moutains!

The beauty of Switzerland!

Mountains, lakes, scenery galore!  Switzerland is know for its beautiful scenery!

Vectoring towards final.

ATC (VOXATC) started to supply vectors to final.  This is when things became very hectic!   Configuring for landing, following ATC directions, and soaking up the view out the window!  A lot was going on at this point!   I decided to keep the AP on even though we were visual to the runway.

On final for LSZH's runway 34.

Soon we were on final, switiched over to tower, and reading off the landing checklist.  My landing was smooth, but the approach was only hand flown for a small amount.   Coming off the runway we flicked the landing lights off, and taxi lights on.  

Landing on runway 34.

At this point, my nerves were done.  I called up GSX to direct us to our parking area.  

GSX to the rescue!

A follow me cart showed up and we were soon following hand signals, setting the brakes, and shutting off the engines.  The PIREP was then submitted into the Intercity Virtual ACARS system. 

Cut Engines!

While the airports I used for this flight were not aftermarket, the scenery below was quite spectacular!  This was in no part to Orbx Open LC.   VOXATC was able to use the SID and STAR information providing me ATC from start to finish.  In all this was a great flight with a lot of immersion!


Intercity Virtual

Orbx Open LC Europe

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Please Support.... "For The Love of Flight: An Aviation Film on KickStarter!

What is it like to be a pilot?   What careers are available to pilots?  What does it really look like to cruise over the beautiful Northern California valley?   If only someone could produce a well made  film that answers these questions!
Link to their KickStarter page:
That is exactly what young 18 year old private pilot Daniel Shulte and 747 Co-Pilot Robin Tapmon plan to do.    
 They have ambitious plans to make a movie titled “For The Love of Flight: An Aviation Film”.    To do this they have plan to use a production crew of talented youngsters, tons of aviation fuel, and the beautiful Northern California scenery.  They don’t require what I would consider a large amount of money.   But they do need to raise the money fast!  
Image courtesy of Danial Shulte.

After watching the video on their Kickstarter page and reading the information presented, I was IMPRESSED.  I donated enough to obtain a digital HD copy of the film.   As an amateur photographer, I can appreciate the artistic talent they have.  I can also appreciate their ambition.  As a flight simmer and aviation enthusiast, I can appreciate their love of flying.  Heck, the majority of the money they are raising will cover aviation fuel. 

Image courtesy of Danial Shulte.

So please, check out their video and KickStarter page.  If you can donate please do!  As they say, if you can't donate, then just spread the word!