Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas delivery

I don't often find for doing air taxi but I have to admit the times I do it's realy enjoyable. I took some friends today to LRSB and enjoyed a nice winter scenic route over the Carphatians. Weather was sunny fith few clouds which made this a perfect flight.

After droping the passangers I turned back to Bucharest. You can see below the ILS approach to runway 7 at LRBS.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bucharest to Innsbruch

Busy day at Innsbruch today. We were number three on final and the weather gave some chills on final due to the low cloud ceiling.

FS PASSENGERS X has been released

The long awaited FS Passengers version for Flight Simulator X has been released.
It can be bought from Simmarket .For more details visit their homepage:

  • Add passengers to your flights! Finally, you're not alone in the sky.
  • Passengers react to how you fly your plane. Hear them scream if you make drastic mistakes, and get their opinion of your flight in real time.
  • Provide in-flight passenger services such as movies, music, and drinks.
  • Make money for successful flights; be fined if you do something wrong.
  • Manage an airline (make money, manage aircraft fleets, etc).
  • Maintain your aircraft in good condition, otherwise you may experience unique and surprising failures.
  • Create and maintain pilot careers.
  • Keep detailed logs and statistics for every flight you make (great for virtual airlines).
  • Fly through dangerous parts of the world, and risk the safety of your plane, crew, or passengers! (Actual , 1944 or 1968 war situation)
  • Attendants, passengers, effect; listen to ATC chatter, music, GPWS, and more. This add-on includes more than 1200 in-flight sounds to immerse you in the ambiance of flight.
  • 7 new complete voice pack (one German , one in French)
  • Three flight mode: normal, aerobatic, flight tour
  • 40 unique failures with visual effect (smoke, fire) and sounds.
  • Export your flight to your Virtual Airline.
  • Doc and help in English, French, German
  • All screens and reports work in full screen. No need to quit FSX.
  • NO impact on frame rate and still simple to use ! no complicated learning curve.
  • Flight database compatible with FsPassengers 2004, you can continue your career

What is the best video card for Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Not sure yet what video card to buy to get the long desired frame rate in FSX. Tom's Hardware has published a performance chart between over 100 different video card combination showing the frame rate in game.

Top tiers are:
NVIDIA Geforce 9800 GTX+ 512mb
NVIDIA Geforce 8800 GT 1024mb
NVIDIA Geforce 9600 GT 1024mb

Rest of the list is available below.

Tom's Hardware - Benchmark Microsoft Flight Simulator X SP2

Sunday, December 21, 2008

CYZS-CYRT-CYYQ - Coral Bay - Rankin Inlet - Churchill

It's the last day for me in Canada as our airlift mission is coming to an end. Early in the morning we loade up the Herc and departed towards Rankin Inlet, an intermediary stop before the last flight to Churchil.
Our Cargo this morning are a couple of generator that need repaired at Churchill and some mail and suplies for Rankin.
As we are climbing we see the sky which starts to light up as the sun is rising. We can still see the moon. After unloading at Rankin and picking up the new cargo we started the last leg to Churchill, the initial point of departure in this wonderfull adventure.
Churchill had som high altitude clouds and snow, the perfect recipe for a nice winter approach. Due to the wind I chose the ILS 33 approach. As I was heading to intercept the localizer cakcourse another Herc was backtracking the runway. I made a hold over a ndb to give him time to departure.
The approach went smoothly and ended with a nice touchdown, finnishing perfectly what has been an interesting experience. I have to admit Hercules is a nice aircraft to fly.

Now it's time to be a passenger again and board the flight back home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Improving FS2004 performance on Dual Core processors

Since 3 days ago I am the proud owner of a Intel Dual Core e5200 processor on my FS9 computer.

As Microsoft Flight Simulator 9 is not taking too much advantage of the multicore processors there is a trick you can use to balance the load between the two cores. I had some framerate problems (mostly in clouds) with the new processor and I noticed this fixed them.

You need to do the following each time you start FS2004.

1) Start FS2004

2) Open the windows Task Manager (right click on the taskbar and then click Task Manager in the menu)

3) Go to Processes Tab in Task manager

4) Locate fs9.exe in the list and right click on it

5) Select Set Affinity from the popup menu

6) Make sure CPU1 and CPU2 are both checked (as in the above image)

7) Click OK

That's it, if you are already playing you should notice the load spreading on both cores now and a performance increase in the game.

Remember: You need to do this each time you start FS2004.

CYUT - Repulse Bay CYZS - Coral Harbour

After unloading the cargo at CYUT we are back in the air with a news shipment of supplies to Coral harbou further to the south. The sun is at it's maximum height on the sky(just above the horizon) signaling the middle part of thsi short 2 hours polar day.

As there was some wind at Coral Bay we decided to do the visual approach to runway 16 ratherthan the ndb.

Perfect approach and landing. The hot chocolate awaits us!

CYBB - Pelly Bay CYUT - Repulse Bay

Early morning, this means noon in standard time :) we are cruzing just above the clouds at FL 150 to Repulse Bay where we will drop 25000 lbs of cargo. You can still seee some of the snow that was falling during our departure. 30 minute later we are over the airport starting the NDB approach to runway 34.

New rig at home

I just bought a new monitor (22 inch Benq) and the new Intel Dual core e5200 at 2.5ghz wth 2mb of cache. If the performance has not dramatically increase, the visuals are now great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

CYHK - Gjoa Haven CYBB - Pelly Bay

Hard crowsswind as we are landing to Pelly Bay a city East of Gjoa Heaven on the banks of a beautiful river very useful for visuaal approach. First snow I see in Canada was falling while we departed Gjoa Heaven.
At Pelly Bay we met another two cargo aircrafts that were unloading and continuing the journey to the south. We will remain for the night here and then go South as well to Repulse Bay.

Approach at Pelly Bay over a nice river.

Canada Airlift number 7 - CYBK - Baker Lake CYHK - Gjoa Haven

Time to continue the airlift operation and carry some cargo to the northern most location of this year(Gjoa Haven) a Inuit city with over 1000 souls. Perfect weather while we crusining around noon at FL170 on the 260nm leg. Even if it's so early, the starts are on the sky and the sun is about ot set. Polar night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

CYRT - Rankin Inlet CYBK - Baker Lake

It's day 2 here in Arctic Canada and we are back on duty to carry supplies to the remote cities. Air is almost the only mean to reach this communties so the cargo we ship can make the diffrence between a happy and a ruined Cristmas. We consider ourselfs some Santa's helpers.
Enough talking! Believe it or not it's 12 at noon and we can see stars on the sky. No aurora yet. Hopefully far to the north. Today we carried 25000 pounds in food and supplies from Rankin Inlet to Baker lake 140 nm to the north.
While powering the beast a Hawker Siddeley landed from a similar mission. As the cargo was still loading and they could spare me I went to take a closer look at this old but reliable aircraft. I don't see many of them in Europe.

About the flight, we dumped some fuel during cruise as we were a bit overloaded due to a fuel pump error. Other than that magnetic navigation is totally unreliable so far north so I had to rely on the good old fashioned visual approach. The weather was lovely so no problems there.
Pretty short runway but the reverser did the job and we stopped with runway to spare.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CYCS - Chesterfield Inlet CYRT - Rankin Inlet

As we still had plenty of fuel we decided to make the back leck to CYRT today. We loaded only 15000 pounds cargo due to the short runway.
Sun is rising over the frozen water as we start the engines.
Beeing already familiar with Rankin airport the landing went without problems.
Although it's only sunrise, it's time for me to go to a hot chocolate and to bed. It has been a long night.

CYRT - Rankin Inlet CYCS to Chesterfield Inlet

Morning is here as we are loading Herc for the fourth flight of the day to Chesterfield 45 nm northeast of Rankin.
After a short cruise at FL070 it's time to descent. As I was pretty high I made a pass over the airport and made the turn for the ndb approach. One of the smoothest approaches despite the short runway.

CYYQ CYRT - Churchill to Rankin Inlet

VOR 31 at CYRT
We are heavy but we have liftoff. A panoramic view of HERC's huge cockpit.

Hard to stay alligned whith this magnetic variation.

The third cargo flight of the day, or better said night, went smoothly. We travelled further north to Rankin Inlet where we made a VOR approach to runway 33. AS we are pretty north the magnetic devaition made the approch very difficult.
We carried around 52000 lbs of Cargo to the city shops, which are preparring for the xmas frenezy.


After 12 hours of flying (not being PIC but passanger) I have arrived at Churchill (CYYQ) to join Canadian Air Force crew for a couple of cargo carrying missions trought the country. Winter is the master here with minus 38 degrees centigrades outside.
First flight of the day is taking us to Arviat (CYEK) 30 minutes north of Churchill.
As Hercules is not a very hi-tech plane with RNAV GPS FMC and so on we are back to the navigation basics, flying by VOR and NDB. I admit I missed that in the 737. Our bird loaded up and ready, waiting for us to start it.
As there is no precision apporach at Arviat we made a ndb approach to rwy 33. We were pretty heavy (52190 lbs cargo) so I had to go around first time because I was pretty high.
The short gravel runway did not pose any problems but we had to load only 20000 lbs cargo for the second leg to make sure we do not end up in water.
A perfect ILS approach at Churchill.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


It is time for a change so I decided to learn to fly on a C-130 Hercules. What a experience, I have to admit the first two flights haven't been very sucsefull but I learn. After a local practice session and some ground classes I will proceed to northern Canada close to arctic circle for a couple of flights for the Candian Air Force to get some hours on the mighty bird.

It is a nice oportunity for me to experience some extreme conditions and a new aircraft.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Touch and go

As my landing skills have gotten a bit rusyt especially when following an ILS I decided is time for a touch and go session. As weather was very good I did two circuts today around the airport.
Practice makes perfect.

Turning right

SID from rwy 26 at LRCL

Go with the flow

Morning climb from runway 31L at LHBP to LRCL.
A very foggy arrival. I changed the runway for arrival three times in the fmc. First ILS 26 then VOR8 and then again ILS 26. I wanted to make the flight shorter and chose 08 but then comes the weather 200 ft ceiling and fog. Let's go better for the ILS.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turning to NDB

Final turn for the nedb approach to runway 11 at LRTR trough some heavy rain.

Between the sky gates

Problems with cattering today as we were departing for a short internal flight. Fortunately they got solved before the passengers boarded the flight. Picture above were taken at 18000 feet shortly before begining descent to LRTR Timisoara. Menacing clouds and I am preparing for the ndb approach.

Friday, December 5, 2008

How would aviation be without controlers

Much more dangerous!
I lined up today at LIPZ announce intentions and start the before take of checklist. When I look up and almost ready to take off an airbus a 319 on final from the oposite end of the runway. Of course no atc and no landing announcment from his side. As I wasn't in a mood for a crash I turned back and vacated the runway. As his only exit was the taxiway I was standing I choose the 22 R runway instead of my initially 22 L.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When will flightsim look like this ?

Demo of the software powering the most advanced Full motion Simulators.'s not FSX.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Todays leg carried me to Venezia(LIPZ). This is an airport I wait for some time to see. Unfortunately I couldn't see much due to the fog but hopefully at the departure it will be much more interesting.
As I was descending the atc kept me too long before allowing me to descend to the intercept altitude so I found myself forced to do a go around as I was too high. Not a very big delay thoug. Anyhow they compensated with having a follow me car to guide the airplane to the parking position.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Greenhouse effect

Climbing from rwy 29 at LOWW turning for Ablon2c SID.

Smooth flight back after the incident yesterday. The damaged airplane was left behind for inspection, but it appears it will fly again shortly.
Foggy as always at arrival, the very low ceiling made an interesting apporach.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate

Location: On final rwy 16 at Vienna, LOWW

Probably what every pilot hates it most is to do an emergency landing. I just did one. This flight started with some bad luck as I forgot to engage the engien drive generators which left our birf getting juice from battery only after shutting down the apu. This happened at departure.

The rest of the filght was smooth with no incidents. It's time for landing, a beautiful day at Vienna with the sun going to sleep making the whole atmosphere red.
We are turning final intercepting the localizer for runway 16 starting deployng flaps to slow down the baby bird, flaps 1, flaps five. I call the gear down flaps 15 and ask the copilot for the landing checklist. Flaps 15 ...set, gear down three green...when we look at the gear indicator it shows three red, that's not good, gear appears to be blocked. We decide to go with the approach to let the tower confirm the actual problem and perform a go around.

6 or 7 nm on final confirmation of problem comes (all three gear are locked up) and we go around to decide what to do. Having no landing gear is a particualar ugly emergency as it put's the aircraft in great risk and almost all landing endup with some extent of damage. We tried to pump manually the gear a couple of times while we were turning back to the ils but unfortunately only way to go is to do a belly landing. We notify tower and start our approach. I keep the bird on autopilot till 1000 ft to prepare the procedures and notify passengers and take it manually bellow that to ensure i loose as much speed as I can before touching the runway.

Fortunately everything goes ok and in less than two minutes after the aircrafts stops perfectly and I call evacuate the FA notifys me that the evacuation is complete.

Passangers are all ok, I couldn't say that about the aircraft, both engines appear to be dammaged badlyand a lot of dammage to the fuselage can be seen also.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mountain landscape at LDDU

Low clouds hitting the top of teh mountains as we are boarding our passengers for a flight back to Bucharest.

Crosswind at Dubrovnik (LDDU)

Landing at Dubrovnik with strong crosswind at approach. A very smooth manual landing though.

Fog again

And the first autoland of this season.