Monday, 17 November 2008

Flying in total safety - Microsoft Flight Simulator

In one of my last comments regarding religion, I promised Vinod Sharma to write a second chapter on that matter.

But religion is a terrible subject. Awe inspiring, ridiculous, dangerous. So I put the idea in cold store, for the time being.

Right now my main worry is not how to improve humanity through the power of my postings. No, these last weeks I tried - in vain - to pass the Instrument rating test ride at Microsoft's Flight Simulator.

The idea is to fly an airplane - here a Cessna 172 - exclusively with the help of instruments, without any visibility. Flying above clouds, in pea soup fog, heavy rain and above all, being able to land safely under these conditions.

Contrary to a widespread idea, man's brain - and even the brain of a woman - is unable to do two things simultaneously. We do one job after the other and in case we do it fast enough, we can pretend to do them together.

Naturally, I know what to do to pass successfully the check ride. The problem is I have to fly perfectly steady, never deviate from any course, maintain height, maintain speed, respect sink rates and angles of climbing, set the radio and the navigator VOR1 and VOR2 plus ADF. Fly a holding pattern and execute a missed approach. The cherry on the cake, at the end, is to land the plane without seeing anything worthwhile.

And the slightest mistake I make, there is this female voice telling me "sorry, you have to start over again". I hate this voice. Having said this, she continues cheerfully to enumerate the list of my shortcomings.

It's a kind of mission impossible but I have set my teeth to it to get the green light to print my certificate.

This YouTube video is a simulation of this checkride in clear weather and with the help of the Autopilot. Just to show and give an idea. To those who are not yet bored stiff (my compliments to them, they merit a seat in pilot's paradise).

Why I am doing this? Flying under these conditions is a real pleasure but a challenge at the same time, it obliges you to concentrate deeply, this is an intelligent video game.


  1. :) i am taking a break but i have not given up the fight against religion. we don't have time for it in the 21st century. more later....

  2. Georg, no matter what you say about the challenge of flying Microsoft's flight simulator, I cannot shake the feeling that you are shaking off the even more difficult challenge of talking religion!!

    I came across Barak Obama's 2004 interview on the subject to Cathleen Falsani. You can find it on the net. I have done a post on it too.

    Now you try flying this real plane with confusing controls and no guide to prompt you, while I shall check out the simulator. Waiting for your post!

  3. Hallo Betmo,

    As you say, everybody needs a break from time to time. As to the 21st Century, about 15 years ago I was reading somewhere that this 21st will be the century of religions.

    You'll be busy for the rest of your life.

    Hallo Vinod,

    Yesterday, I was reading your post about Obama and then decided to give religion a break.

    In the TV evening news, they were talking about those Christians in India who face death, rape, destruction, eviction.

    All these confusing and conflicting facts about religion gave me the idea to put the subject at rest for some days or weeks.


  4. Georg, India is a huge country of 1.25 billion people. A few condemnable incidents appear much bigger than they are. If I am not, wrong, one nun was gang raped on Orissa where there has been been violence in response to the gruesome killing of a Hindu religious leader who was opposing conversions which had caused great social tensions in remote villages. His body was actually hacked to pieces after he was shot dead.

    In Karnataka, a few churches were attacked after a booklet abusing Hindu gods and referring to Hindu goddesses as prostitutes was discovered.

    This violence has been carried out by a couple of fringe Hindu elements. You can be rest assured that we in India are equally concerned about the spread of religious extremism and violence, no matter by which religious group.

    Hatred does not get any one anywhere. India's ethos is inclusive and assimilating and tolerant and respectful of the views and beliefs of all. There are no 'false gods' here. That is the way it will be.

    If a few isolated hot-heads sometimes forget their culture and react violently to those who do not respond is the same manner, we should not lose sight of the big picture. They will be put down by the society at large. Christians are as safe as, if not safer than, Hindu here.

  5. Georg, I must add that I do not support violence against any religious group, including Christians, for any reason. I have studied in Christian missionary schools and have some fond memories as well as questions that Obama is grappling with.

    There are good and bad elements in all religions. Fortunately, they are few. Thanks to the media which exposes as much as an inappropriate sneeze, the whole world gets to know about almost all events, which are telecast repeatedly day in and out. But as a result, it sometimes appears as if the situation is out of control, when it is not.

    Earlier this year, violence broke out against North Indians in Mumbai. The same cab was shown being set on fire by all channels many times throughout the day. Many of us actually thought that the city was ablaze!

    Sometimes the media does go overboard.

    In India, let us remember, the most powerful person is a Christian lady who is an Italian by birth. That can happen only in India!

  6. hola dear Georg

    I am glad you are practicing flying-high... it seems to me that your respond to the religion matter has been similar to the one of the hippies in the 60's: Fly 'high' and forget about everything... heh heh, just kidding!

    in one side, i do feel happy that you dropped religion (at least for 1 post) 'cause it is an endless matter!!!! look at Israel and Palestinians, these biblical fights can and will go on forever!!! as long as humans are walking this Earth... i guess that's why you decided to fly!!

    and that game of yours does seem very entertaining and way less dangerous than the flying with the Para-sailing thing you do in the summers

    now, i have some words to end this useless comment for you: "sorry, you have to start over again".

  7. Thank you, Berenice. Those high flying hippies of the sixties, the flower power people, they left the ground with the help of shots. Whereas I can do the same with the help of bits, bytes, giga and mega.

    As I said to Vinod in an email yesterday and repeat this to you today: no more posting about religion (chapter 2 of the subject) before I manage to pass the check ride for instrument rating.

    First things first as Abraham Lincoln said (just kidding).

    Flight Simulation is a game - as you correctly said - but it is in relation to reality. Nearly all gamers are men, as to flight sim, there are some women at least. The industry is trying hard to interest women in this activity.

    50 percent of humanity still untapped (the she-males, I mean). Could be a powerful boost to the economy, slightly tottering it seems.

    Cheers to you, Berenice


  8. oh jetzt verstehe ich! Immer eins nach dem anderen ;) (hope herr Lincoln agrees with my german attempt to translate him) auch
    vielleicht kann diese Frau am Computer fliegen! heh heh
    Prost dear Georg!

  9. hallo georg!!!!
    Bravo bon atterrissage! tu es un as!
    un nouveau baron rouge peut être?
    félicitations et merci pour ce site que je ne connaissais pas.

  10. Bonsoir Vincent,

    Merci pour ta visite. Atterro facile, c'était avec l'Autopilote.

    Tu dis tu ne connaîs pas ce site: quel site?¨Parles-tu de YouTube??

    Le Baron Rouge : C'était l'époque héroîque, Non seulement il n'y avait pas de Autopilote, ces gars n'embarquaient même pas un parachute.


  11. je parlais du pilotage.

    En parlant du baron rouge, pendant la guerre de 14/18 (comment l'appelez vous en allemagne?) mon grand père était affecté sur une base arrière (Cazaux) dans les landes (33) où il réglait les mitrailleuses des avions. A cette époque les tireurs tiraient à travers l'hélice. Il fallait que les balles passent entre les pales. Sinon...............

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