Flying’sCool! featured in the Westford Patch

Patrick Holloway from the Westford Patch stopped by our Roudenbush Community Ed class last night and posted a story about Flying’sCool! this morning.   Check out the story here.

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Great Fun at the Apple Blossom Festival!

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Had a great time at the Apple Blossom Festival today! Loved the parade. It was very impressive.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by the booth today.   Hope to see you in class.  If you didn’t get a chance to sign … Continue reading

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Free Aeronautical Charts

So, you’d like to make your sim flights as realistic as possible by using up to date charts and terminal procedures, or you pilot real planes and are looking for the latest aeronautical charts and airport data?  Well, your friendly FAA has put in the effort to meet your needs.  Responding to popular demand, all sectionals, TAF’s, A/FD information, Terminal Procedures, IFR enroute charts, airport diagrams, and world charts, and more are now available for free.  Just go to aeronav.faa.gov and click on the “Free Digital Products” link in the left column.

Another source I like to go to while I am creating a flight plan is airnav.com.

Why use public money to make this information available?  Mainly, safety.  It’s not cheap to keep up to date on this data, and the FAA is concerned that some people may forego updates to save a little money, possibly compromising the safety of the system.  Also, in the interest of safety, it is part of the government’s job to create and regulate this data, so, really, the data belongs to the public in the first place.

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RT@faasafety.gov – “Boing! A Landing Safety Tip”

Thought I’d “retweet” this – From FAASafety.gov:

Boing! A Landing Safety Tip
Notice Number: NOTC2677

When an airplane contacts the ground with a sharp impact it tends to bounce back into the air. The airplane does not bounce like a rubber ball. Instead, it rebounds into the air because the wing’s angle of attack was abruptly increased, producing a sudden addition of lift.

The corrective action for a bounce is the same as for ballooning and similarly depends on its severity. When it is slight and there is no extreme change in the airplane’s pitch attitude, a follow-up landing may be executed by applying power to cushion the next touchdown, and smoothly adjusting the pitch to the correct landing attitude. When a bounce is severe, the safest procedure is to EXECUTE A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY.

Do you want to know more? The Airplane Flying Handbook and other FAA manuals are available here.  Or head on over to FAASafety.gov and click on the Resources tab and select Notices.  It’s a huge site with tons of information for new and old pilots alike.

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Come see Flying’sCool! at the Westford Apple Blossom Festival, May 14

Flying’sCool will be at the Westford Kiwani Apple Blossom festival on Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Westford Center, Westford, MA. Come on over, take a test flight, and see what Flying’sCool is all about. Our tent will be near the Roudenbush Community Center tents from 9:00 am till 2:00 pm. Get more info here.

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It’s Official! – New spring term Flying’sCool classes offered at Roudenbush Community Center, Westford, MA

Saturday classes have been changed. The Saturday Classes will now start on May 21, 2011.

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fly a plane?  Attend Flying’sCool! and see!

The Roudenbush Community center in Westford, MA is sponsoring Flying’sCool! classes May 17 – June 18 (See Schedule below).  You’ll experience the thrill of flight in the comfort of a classroom without your feet ever having to leave the ground.

Each student gets hands-on experience using a state of the art flight simulator with life-like controls, flying a variety of aircraft.  See what it’s like to take off, navigate to another airport and land,  and whatever you want to do in between.  While exploring the world, you’ll learn:

  • How planes fly and how to control them
  • How to navigate (in a realistic, recognizable environment, find your street!)
  • Basic Aerobatics
  • About weather and its affect on flying
  • An introduction to interacting with air traffic control
  • Multi-player functionality in Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • But mostly your job will be to have fun flying!

Each session consists of 5 1-hour classes, with 10 minutes of instruction, and the rest of the class with the students flying in the flight simulator*.

Class size is limited, so sign up today!

*Actual flight time per student will depend on the number of students in the class.  Each class has two simulators, and class size will typically be 4 – 6 students.  Students not flying will have other activities available while they wait.

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Cessna C414 Procedures

I was recently going through what people are searching for when they find my blog, and I noticed somebody was looking for Cessna C414 procedures.

Well, as I noted previously, one of my favorite things to do in FSX is fly in multiplayer mode with the Cape Air virtual airline at Boston Virtual ATC.  In real life, Cape Air flies Cessna 402C’s.  Unfortunately, nobody has created a C402 addon for FSX yet.  The closest addon plane is the Premier Aircraft Design C414, so Cape Air Virtual asks you to use this plane for operations in their network (they also offer a paintkit for the default Baron).  The C414 is basically the same plane as the C402, except it has a pressurized cabin (hence the smaller round windows instead of the larger square windows on the C402C). 

Premier Aircraft Design is an excellent and prolific FS freeware aircraft addon site.  I highly recommend visiting them and getting any airplanes they have which might interest you.  I have a link below to the version of the plane I use that includes the Cape Air paintjob for the aircraft for use with Cape Air Virtual Airlines.

As far as procedures for the plane go, an excellent reference for flying the C402C can be found at http://www.9kpilots.com/, a complete reference of Cape Air’s flight procedures for their pilots.  For FSX, here are the checklist and reference files I use for the C414 (these files go in the aircraft folder for the C414 in FSX – more on that in a post I’m working on for later).  Or you can download the full aircraft I use for FSX here – C414.  To install the plane, just unzip the “Cessna 414” folder into your …\SimObjects\Airplanes folder in your flight simulator directory.  I’ve included many of the files from Cape Air’s flight procedures website in the “Manual” folder inside the aircraft folder. 

P.S. I’ll go over this in more detail later, but, never install your FSX program into the “program files” or “program files x86” directory.  I highly recommend installing it to the root directory of your disk, or, even better, if you have multiple disks, install it to the the root directory of your second disk.  This will help you avoid some of the UAC problems you’ll encounter with Windows Vista or Windows 7, especially if you want to install addons, and will also improve performance somewhat.  While XP doesn’t have the UAC issues that Vista and Windows 7 have, it’s still a good idea to do this for that operating system as well.

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