Have you ever been flying in a flight simulator and had a moment where the imagery just takes your breathe away? It happens to at the most surprising times and completely unexpected. Sometimes I will leave my local airport for no particular destination and fly a new direction, ignoring the published airways for entering and exiting the airspace (this is A Reality of My Own, afterall). The goal is to not only break out of the mold, but to survey and experience a new part of the world. It is normally during these flights that I have spectacular moments that make me wish I was really flying in the real world.
Take for instance the screenshot below. Carenado‘s Bonanza over the Sierra-Nevadas approaching Mammoth Lakes (KMMH) in FS2004. While I left Santa Barbara an hour or so before, I really didn’t expect to see the sun as low as it was and upon viewing the flight from spot plane view, I was over-joyed to see such a spectacular image. The low sun back-lighting the ridges, accenting the shape of the Beechcraft, and the romantic pinkish color of the sky all give this image an incredible story. The far off clouds even lend to the mood. These types of shots are always inspiring.
FS2004 Bonanza - Sierra-Nevadas
Take another example, the screenshot below. One this particular flight, I left Arlington, WA (KAWO) in the pre-dawn hours and took a flight out over Puget Sound. Not quite wanting to end the flight so early, I decided to head toward Boeing Field (KBFI) via I-5. This might be the perfect opportunity to chase some AI vehicles which is one of the coolest new features in FSx. While I struggled a little to maintain altitude and speed, my attention was diverted to the view outside. Again the early morning sun provided a spectacular moment that blew me away. The traffic, the buildings, the distant clouds, the dark panel and the grand vista forced me to pause and take in the moment. The angle of the view also amplified the moment.
View from the BO-105 seat above Snohomish County, WA
As you can see, flight simulator can be used to produce pretty spectacular imagery, just like someone with a camera can. The moments are timeless and the experience awesome. Capturing a moment in the virtual world can be just as breathe-taking as a moment in the real world, perhaps more so. For those of us a little more grounded, flight simulator will always provide moments to remember for years to come.
Does anyone have any flight simulator moments of their own to share?