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Flight Log – VOR Checkride

April 18th, 2021 · 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

When my friend Andrew and I attempted to fly several weeks ago, problems arose for both of us. Andrew had been having sim crashes already and in the process of trying to fix his issues all the sudden my sim, which had been working fine, started to crash consistently on load. So we gave up and went back to playing Valheim. Recently there was an update with the latest World Update release so we decided to try again. I would still rock the full modded install and Andrew was going to just try with nothing but stock. The best day we had available to fly had crappy IRL weather but we were so desperate to just get a flight in neither of us had a problem with just using a built-in weather preset to ensure decent VFR flying conditions. For this flight our only goal was to complete the previous flight that was cut short due to icing and make it to the airport we had originally planned to land at, Saratoga County (5B2).

Flight plan (text under the 1B1 airport info was the ATIS from our first attempt)

We both managed to load into the sim no problems, although for some reason even though Andrew was using a stock and default airplane it showed up like a SimObject standard scenery aircraft rather than the detailed user aircraft model. There is an option to display basic multiplayer/AI aircraft and maybe that got reset on my machine somehow with the latest update, will have to remember to check next time. Hilariously one side-effect was his co-pilot model was oriented improperly so her arms and legs were sticking out the bottom of the aircraft.

Andrew accidentally started on the runway at 1B1 so after I went through my preflight on the parking tarmac I taxied out to him on Rwy21 and we took off together without issue. Standard departure from Rwy21 is “climb heading 190° to 2300 before proceeding on course” so that is what we did, as I remained tucked in behind him. Once high enough I came about northwards to the left so he could swing around and get behind me. We passed east of the airport heading north to intercept the 039 radial inbound to the Cambridge VOR – which I had listened to earlier before taxiing to confirm I was properly tuned and VOR was functioning.

As I worked to align with the radial Andrew made note of having trouble keeping up, which we figured was probably due to the weather preset not being exact for us both – he probably had different winds that were affecting his airspeed. Unable to keep a close follow to me, he stuck to his own route using the GPS map in his fancy-pantsy G1000 cockpit. Me, I intercepted the radial and lined it up okay on my CDI but it’s been so long since I navigated via VOR that I wasn’t entirely sure I was actually on the right course so I started looking out my windows and trying to get a visual fix via the VFR chart. I finally spotted the power lines beneath me and linked that to a lake I could see in front of me to realize I was indeed right where I should be. Yay!

Although I had the option to modify the cloud layers while flying, the preset I had chosen had them high enough for me to stay well clear of terrain. Although I was below the minimum safe altitude noted on the charts for this area, I could see obstructions just fine so I only stayed ~800′ AGL, climbing a bit higher when the clouds opened up some above me, reaching a height of FL25 for a short while before passing over the VOR and beginning to head west direct for the airport, tracking the outbound radial 293. Dealing with inbound/outbound radials has messed me up in the past but I got the CDI set properly. Taking this route not only let me confirm I could still navigate via VOR but kept me out of the Bravo airspace around Albany.

By this time Andrew was already getting setup to land as I continued west and tuned to the local ATIS for a weather update. Winds were almost straight out of the west at 8kts, so split between the cross runways. I was slightly north of Rwy32 and since they were all left traffic pattern and would have to turn slightly right onto final for that runway I chose to land Rwy23. Descended to pattern altitude well out and tuned to the CTAF but for some reason the sim wouldn’t let me choose a landing option in the ATC window. I now realize it is likely because I had used Com2 to listen to ATIS and I did not switch the comm panel button back to Com1. I did this because it let me preset both frequencies during cruise to swap them easily during approach, but it ended up messing me up looks like. IRL I would have realized this at the time rather than just shrug it off as a bugged ATC though 😛

Rolled out into final right on slope and took her in nice and easy, no flaps, for a soft landing as rated by the landing analysis tool I had running for the first time this flight. I also recorded the flight path with this tool and so you can download the KML to view it in Google Earth as well. Andrew made it down okay as well and we both closed the game normally. Success!! I had a nice smooth flight with ~45FPS average, even though I have the game set to lock at 30. We now know that Andrew’s rig can handle the default game okay and I have proven all the additional mods are working fine as well, so hopefully next time he can fly fully modded as well, especially since I put in a lot of work building up some turf airfields to land at in the Adirondacks!

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