Blade Edge

Computer software | Video production | My life in general

Blade Edge games header

Flight Log – Heading to the Country

August 25th, 2020 · No Comments · Gaming


Click the above image for the gallery on flickr cause the embed options all suck. Also all images are captioned with additional information not always included below

This flight took place on Sunday

So my original plan was to end the previous flight at 12N but since my buddy Andrew wanted to keep flying we ended up back down at KBLM. No big deal tho, because I haven’t yet blogged about flying past NYC in daytime so a return trip back north was still worth while. Why did I want to head back north? We’ll get to that. First here’s a look at the flight plan for the trip that contained all the relevant reference information. The only major navigational challenge would be properly going through the Hudson SFRA (I noted it as SVFR), but it’s something I’ve done in the past in FSX and just needed to brush up on the procedures.

Weather was partly cloudy with a chance of thundershowers as we departed KBLM to the north, there were also some medium convection alerts over the area but the chop wasn’t unmanageable. Flying straight north to the Sandy Hook Bay we passed over our old neighborhood of Lincroft as well as the community college we both spent some time at. By this time we were north of the weather and looking forward to clearer skies with less turbulence.

Coming up on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge we ran through the checklist to make sure everything was set for our transit along the Hudson, sticking to 1,100′ towards the middle of the 1,000-1,300′ airway. Even though we are not yet connected to Vatsim I practiced announcing my position properly as we passed all the major checkpoints. Also because we weren’t on Vatsim there was a good deal of air traffic flying around haphazardly on close-up sight-seeing passes. No big deal, none of them got in our way but they were amusing to watch as we cruised up the east shore of the Hudson River past Manhattan, which was rendered splendidly as I had managed to jack up my visual settings even higher.

The last checkpoint of the Hudson SFRA was a problem since it was either a radio or power tower and neither of those are represented well in the sim yet. However the Tappan-Zee bridge was a clear way point and also indicated that the Class B floor of the NYC metro airspace was ending as well, allowing us to climb back up for some better views off into the distance as the terrain started to get interesting. It was a necessary climb anyways since we wanted to skip over top of the Class D airspace around KSWF.

No issues following the Hudson, as although it does narrow north of the city it still heads predominately north and doesn’t snake around as much as the Delaware. Around the time of reaching Stewart I had lost track of Andrew – which is common since he tends to speed ahead a bit in his faster C172 – and in the process of determining our locations I realized he was intending to land at KSWF! Not sure where that confusion came from, and I was a bit put off about it though I probably should have encouraged a touch and go rather than demanding he get out of the approach and come find me. I get a bit grumpy when my finely-laid plans are messed with, what can I say.

We did manage to link up again after I had come about to the south over KSWF to follow I-87, keeping the highway to my left since my next VFR way point was going to be off to the right. Just as we passed beyond the Class D airspace and were able to begin descending I was able to pick out the long shoreline of Greenwood Lake, at the far end of which would be our destination, 4N1. There was no weather station, so we tuned to nearby Sussex for the ATIS report to set our altimeters and pick a runway to land. Referencing the flight plan info I decided Rwy24 would be ideal. Andrew had fallen back to let me approach first so I continued descent, announced position, did a nice 45° entry onto downwind, turned base, final and came in for a nice landing…

On runway 6.

I have this thing I call “compass dyslexia” that strikes sometimes and here was the first instance of it since I started flying again. What’s worse though is I’m staring at my compass the entire time to setup my pattern legs and clearly the 24 was behind me on the compass as I made my final approach… I just – I don’t know. It happens. I fucked up. Thankfully Andrew came in with good separation because he actually flew over the airport to go into the proper pattern to land on the correct runway so I was well off the runway by that time. Okay so we both made a mistake on this flight. Live and learn!

Or, actually – don’t learn because apparently I made a similar mistake when I flew into this airport years ago in FSX!!! Epic face palm

While Andrew had some IRL chores to take care of I stepped out of my C152 and into the Zlin Aviation Savage Cub! There’s really nowhere to actually bush plane in NJ but there are several grass strips out in the farmlands of northwestern Jersey and I felt 4N1 would be a great jumping-off point to get there and also remain accessible for actual bush opportunities to the north in rural NY state. FS2020 actually has 3 Cub models but this one was the one with all dials and no digital displays for its flight instruments. It was also black and yellow so, you know, that counts as well. After a quick perusal of the POH to get an idea of how she performs, I started her up and taxied out. Translating my camera view all the way up and panning the view down gave me a great view to either side of the nose and all my instruments so I didn’t need to s-turn all the way to the hold short.

Take off was sudden and steep – that thing accelerated so quickly down the runway I pretty much just pulled back out of pure panic and was surprised to find I hadn’t stalled off the runway and was in fact climbing at the recommended speed. Whoa! Quite the different experience to the slow roll C152 take off, which is great to see that the flight modeling is indeed very unique to each aircraft. After leveling off at (okay, near) pattern altitude I began to swing around to crosswind and downwind legs, learning how I needed to really keep my hand on the throttle because the Cub is very quick to accelerate into the yellow on the speed gauge. I felt pretty comfortable in the handling as I rolled onto base leg and then into a long final – again in the same view as taxi so I could keep the runway in sight over my nose as long as possible.

Coming in to land I had a tendency to keep the nose up too much due to my viewpoint high in the cockpit and so I came close to stall speed once or twice but a quick throttle adjustment brought me back up to landing speed so I never felt the need to call a missed approach. You’re supposed to do a three-point landing but I wasn’t able to manage it, slamming down on my main gears but not hard enough to damage them. I immediately pulled full back on the stick to bring my tail down. Not gonna lie – was sweating a bit. But the aircraft was undamaged so I taxied off the runway, back around to the threshold and took off again for another pattern flight. Second time I came closer to nailing the 3-point but stalled out and dropped onto the runway pretty hard. Still undamaged, I taxied back for yet another takeoff.

In the air again this time I flew south a few miles to search out a private airfield called Hilltop (JY43) I knew would be a fun landing challenge. I also knew it probably wouldn’t be shown as an actual airport in the sim but that the Bing imagery should make it visible and the game’s terrain lets you land anywhere so I would just land on the runway on the terrain textures. When I found it I was surprised to see that they had made an airport on it, but had turned it into a grass strip and only part of the actual runway texture was showing. Much disappoint! But whatever, I made the approach onto the ground texture strip, coming in with the setting sun just to the right so visibility was rough but I managed to make it down okay. You’re supposed to take off the same way but I decided to see if I could make it up and over the tress on the down-slope runway (non-flat runways in the sim are so cool! Finally!) and I managed to do a short field takeoff just above the tree tops. Wheee!

It was starting to get dark, the Cub is not rated for night time VFR flight so I returned to 4N1, made another stall-drop landing, taxied to parking and shut down to take care of some IRL stuff of my own – like eating. By the time Andrew and I returned to the sim it was past sunset so we grouped up and did a private-lobby fly with custom weather set to near the time I was last flying. This would be what I consider “free flight” since no other traffic was included, AI or Live, so all normal flight regulations were suspended and we could do whatever we wanted. Mostly tho I helped him through his own introduction to the Savage Cub, which didn’t go as smoothly – he crashed once coming in to 4N1 and again on his first attempt into Hilltop. Upon our return to 4N1 he switched over to the XCub and we went flying back south down the Hudson. He was waaay faster than me, moreso in comparison to the C152/C172, so keeping together was a challenge.

We ended up landing on the shore of Sandy Hook to close out the day, since it was getting late and I was also getting some weird repetitive stuttering as we crossed back over Sandy Hook Bay. Will have to keep an eye out for that on future flights. Backup service was suspended but perhaps longer gaming sessions can cause memory leaks. Overall today was without much technical issue although I did have to force-kill the backup service twice before it finally stayed dead and we had some problems in actually appearing visible to each other again at close distances and I’m pretty sure the sim has a problem with beacon visibility. But overall the sim remains a solid piece of work. Look forward to exploring some smaller fields next outing!


Tags: ·········

No Comments so far ↓

There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment