VATSIM Part II

Wow, what a nightmare today was.

I’m a huge fan of all of Beechcraft’s aircraft. The nimble Bonanza, the powerful Baron 58, and the majestic King Air.

This morning I did some flight planning. I went with the King Air 200, beautiful airplane. I picked up a random route…and I just so happen to find a real life King Air flying from Paine Field to PDX. Wonderful opportunity!

Car_B200_King_Air_1.jpg

I decided I wanted to do an RNAV approach. Basically I plug in some coordinates in the GPS and the controller will vector me to the airfield. The entire flight ended up being a disaster.

First off, I took off from KPAE, saw another flight doing some pattern maneuvers on the other runway…I think “Wow that’s cool to see others flying!”. 5 minutes into the flight, my engines went out over Elliot Bay. I tried to do emergency procedures but they were pretty much dead. I reviewed what went wrong, corrected it, and flew again.

I’m restart the session, head back towards Portland when the approach controller logs online. Great I think! I have someone to help me out. He was very friendly and asked me to descend around Mt. Saint Helens.

My engines suddenly went out again…no idea why. I told him that I’ll need a nearby airfield to land on, got routed to a close one…and landed in a field. He was helpful and asked if I wanted to try again.

This time I flew around, the approach was going great. I was flew a bit high a few times but overall I was on track and following real-world charts to my destination. I’m routed to land on Runway 28R. I plugged it into my GPS, and about 2 miles to the runway, the vector is completly wrong. My airplane starts swinging to the left. Holy crap!!!

The controller said “You’re going way off, land at Runway 28L”, at this point I’m flying at 150 knts and about to overshoot the runway. I immediatly disengage the autopilot, pull the flaps, and…landed!

If this was PilotEdge, I would have had the controller screaming at me. Fortunatly this guy was really cool and said we all make beginner mistakes :).

Needless to say, I’m going to hold off on the big turboprops and jets for now and stick to the easier GA aircraft. I’m also going to do some ILS landings as those are less confusing than the crazy RNAV GPS which I still struggle with.

I’d love to one day do some cross country and intercontinental flights. I’m just not there yet. With that said, VATSIM is a great place to fly, it’s not perfect and it’s certainly not the real world…we’re hobbyists first. I think that gives it an edge over PilotEdge which is used for real-world training…and I’m not ready for that yet.

Later, I plan on doing a flight from Santa Ana to Ontario CA. It’s a common flight on PilotEdge and sounds like I’ll see some lovely scenery (as much as I love the PNW, SoCal also has a place in my heart).

More pictures later.

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