Day 187 – How I Do It
Years ago, hell, a seems like a lifetime ago, i used t0 fly recreationally. Flying was something i’d wanted to do since i was a little kid. Later on in my life, and this was a major wake-up call, once i’d soloed, and then done just one (1!) triangular cross-country (that’s an aviation term, i didn’t actually fly across the country) flight i realized flying, while a helpful skill, wasn’t going to be my vocation. Once the thrill wore off, which happened right after the reality set in, flying became a boring way to spend a ton of money in a small amount of time.
Flash forward, i still have no interest in being a pilot for a living, i’m not rich enough to own my own aircraft, but i still enjoy the idea of flying. I suppose this puts me solidly in the group Kurt Vonnegut once described as “those kids who make model airplanes and jerk off a lot.” Well, he did have a way with words, eh?
Enter X-Plane, the saving grace of the flightless bird set. While the Esther Mae cruises overhead, i take my own DC-3 from Ashland Muni, up to Crater Lake (doing things Mr. Phelps cannot do despite his riches), then down to K-Falls, over K-Falls Int’l, then back to Ashland making a picture-perfect approach and landing (really, check the screen shot showing the flight path on approach). Is it real? No, but it’s a real as i need it to be. The weather (including gusts inside the crater) is real-time, the topography (the mountains around Crater Lake are not small) is accurate, the width (and length) of the Ashland airport is accurate. The flight model of the DC-3 is as accurate as it can be given the constraints of the hardware. It all happens in real time.