Flight Around America

June Flight Simulator Update

Hello, pilots! As June comes to a close, our simulator world is just beginning to blossom! I have begun using X-Plane 11 exclusively for flight training. The simple fact that the simulator doesn’t crash to the desktop is reason enough to celebrate this decision, but the beauty of the graphics of X-Plane 11 makes this a whole new experience! The flight characteristics are much closer to that of a real airplane. X-Plane 11 does not have all the missions and the extensive tutorials that Flight Simulator X has but eventually, we will create “situations” of our own. This will take some time but it will get done. If you have not experienced X-Plane 11 since your training began, I do encourage you to do so. Flight Simulator X is still available to use but it is not supported anymore. Fly at your own risk!

Another major change is we’ve added a third monitor. We now have a panoramic view from inside the cockpit. This has greatly reduced the need to use the TrackIR headset. With the addition of the instruments and the wider view, it is much more pleasant to sit at the simulator and fly. We still have some bugs to work out, but we’re getting there. Besides, it’s a computer, there will always be bugs!

triplemonitors
Our three monitor setup.

Finally, all the instruments for the Cessna 172 in X-Plane 11 are working properly. We are configuring the Baron 58 and that should be finished soon. After that, we will configure one aircraft at a time. Speaking of aircraft, X-Plane 11 does not have all the aircraft that Flight Simulator X has. We’re trying to establish a way to purchase additional aircraft to add to the collection. There are two on the priority list, the Extra 300 aerobatic plane, and the Gulfstream G-V Corporate Jet. Anyone who would like a specific plane added to the inventory, let me know and we’ll put it on our wish list.

I consider all the work and additions mentioned above as Phase II. Phase II is nearly complete. Now we can begin work on Phase III. In Phase III I hope to get a flight panel that resembles a real aircraft and get a rig made that will hold this panel independently of a table. This rig will also include a canopy to block the florescent lights so we can start to do some night training. Right now night flying, which is some of the best flying, is nearly impossible due to the florescent lighting over our heads and the glare it causes.

panel
The panel on our wish list.

Our Flight Around America has come to a standstill as pilots transition to the new X-Plane 11. I urge you to come out and familiarize yourself with X-Plane 11 so you can take to the skies and continue our journey. We’re stuck in New Mexico, that’s about ¼ of the way and we’re ½ of the way through the year. The math is off!  I would like to complete this journey by year’s end. If you haven’t seen X-Plane 11 and the new set up, try to stop by our open house on Saturday, July 15 from 2–4pm in the Anderson Room of the Morgade Library. You’ll get to see what the hype is all about and you will have the opportunity to speak to members of the public who may show an interest in joining us.

Great news! Our volunteer tutors have had their orientation and training them will begin soon. I will post a schedule that shows when the volunteers will be available and then start assigning those of you who have patiently been waiting for advanced lessons. These volunteers will also be available as coaches so if you want to come in and fly or take a refresher, you won’t have to do it alone. I will let you know when the training is complete. We’re making great strides in the right direction.

Once that training is complete, we are going to focus on Flight Club. Flight Club will be a monthly meeting where we will sit and talk about our simulator. We can discuss changes, situations we’ve flown, bring up ideas for challenges, have a guest speaker, and maybe some field trips to places like the airport, or an aircraft manufacturing company. These are all ideas in the making. I hope this club really takes off! (as always, all puns intended).

No new solo certificates this month but congratulations to N0904DB and N0823JG for graduating. Also, they are both either already enrolled or soon to be enrolled in real flight lessons. Way to go!

As you can see it has been quite a busy month, but I’m not done yet.

Happy landings, everyone!

George L. Seaman, Jr.
Flight Simulator Instructor
Robert Morgade Library idea lab
Martin County Library System
5851 S.E. Community Drive
Stuart, FL 34997
772-463-2895 (o)
gseaman@martin.fl.us
http://www.library.martin.fl.us
Martin County Board of County Commissioners

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Flight Simulator Updates

flightsim

Hello pilots!

I have three things to discuss today.

  • Updated schedule
  • The launching of our Flight Around America 2017
  • Volunteer Tutors/Coaches/Mentors/Instructors… whatever we’ll call them.

Thanks to the generous flexibility of some of you, I have managed to get the schedule streamlined. The new schedule is now current through to May 12. You can view it at http://martin.evanced.info/signup/list. Just enter your pilot ID in the keyword search box. Be sure to change the date filter to extend to May 12, otherwise your ID may not appear. I only have two families on the waiting list. Don’t be discouraged as you will likely move up sooner than scheduled because of some impending graduations from the program.

I’ve invited eligible pilots to a meeting this weekend to discuss how our Flight Around America (FAA) journey will take place. If you have not successfully completed the Solo Flight exercise, don’t worry. I’m working on each one of you to get to that point. Once you have your certificate, then you can join in on the journey. More to follow on that in another blog post.

I am selecting a few of you to be tutors/coaches/mentors/instructors to sit with advanced students and teach them a little more about flying, or to coach new people who stop by and give them a hand in getting off the ground. As soon as FAA gets going, I will concentrate on the volunteers. If you would like to be a volunteer and have mad flying skills along with a lot of patience, let me know. I’ll get you in touch with our volunteer manager for all the details.

To give you an idea of how popular this flight simulator program is, we’ve had 46 students since we first began lessons about 20 months ago (3 months were lost due to simulator problems). Fourteen have graduated and moved on, two have dropped out, three have taken a break from it but will be back when time permits, and the rest are either active students or waiting for their turns. One student has already flown across the US and is flying back. He’s the inspiration for our Flight Around America.

You are an amazing group of people. Your interest and enthusiasm is unmatched by any other program I’ve been associated with. This is truly unique. Although I don’t get to fly in those six hours I spend at the simulator every Friday, I get so much enjoyment watching you progress and learn something new every time we’re together. It’s truly the best job I’ve ever had.

Happy Landings, Everyone!

George L. Seaman, Jr.
Flight Simulator Instructor
Robert Morgade Library idea lab