Flight Simulator Moments

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.

Bonanza - Sierra-Nevadas

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

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?

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Goodbye Summer!


This summer has certainly been interesting. From my travels, the death of my mom, flight simulator releases, triathlon training and my award winning recipes, I feel like my summer has been full of extremes.

The highs include traveling to Colorado and visiting Rocky Mountain National Park and having lunch with the elk to winning “Best Meat Chili” at the company cook-off for the second year in a row.  The lows were extreme in their own right.  I laid my mom to rest after months of heart disease and visits to the doctor. I also decided not to participate in the local triathlon this year, feeling that I was not quite ready. 

I look back over the entire experience with a long list of emotions, but look toward the future with optimism and happiness.  Afterall, this November we get to get those icky, destructive, Republicans out of office.  I will continue to train for next year’s triathlon season, studying up on productivity and leadership, and keeping you all informed of my reality and the flight simulator world! 

As I look forward, I offer these images of summer as a point of reflection.


Boats on the beach near Santa Barbara's harbor.
Boats on the beach near Santa Barbara’s harbor.



The USCG cutter "Blackfin" in Santa Barbara Harbor.

The USCG cutter "Blackfin" in Santa Barbara Harbor.


To The Future! Cheers! 




A Quick Trip to Colorado!

Hi Loyal Readers,

I just got back from a very quick trip to central Colorado to deal with some family matters.  I haven’t been to Denver since I was born there (my parents left Denver when I was just one year old).    I must say, Colorado is a beautiful state.  Denver is sort of like Seattle, only with not quite so many wacko drivers, and much drier.  I visited Boulder and Estes Park (the Santa Barbara of the hills) before driving through Rocky Mountain National Park.  I am still amazed at the stunning scenery, both the rolling hills and meadow of Denver to the peaks and rock of the Rocky Mountains!

The wildlife was very lively as well (maybe that’s why they call it wildLIFE?) Above the tree line on the open tundra along the ridge, three elks made a showing as they grazed on the flowers.  I really think the elks came toward the road to laugh at the traffic jam they would create.  Tourists will do anything to get a picture, including stopping in the middle of the road suddenly without warning because the woman screamed Elk!  Anyway, I actually parked, changed lenses and walked to where the elk was to get the below picture. Yes, I am a nice obedient tourist that is considerate of others.


More pictures to come as I process them!

November Aviation Photos

I took this sequence of photos about a year while walking on the pier at Goleta beach Park. In this case, an America West Express (AWE) CRJ-200 was leaving SBA on runway 7 and climbing out on the departure. Unfortunately, I only had a 200mm zoom lens and no tripod, so the quality isn’t what I usually get with my Canon Rebel XT. The fourth photo is my favorite with a little blue sky, the clouds, and the graceful roll of the CRJ.

AWE CRJ climbing

Still Climbing

Climbing Still

Turning Climb

Hope you have enjoyed them!