Friday, December 01, 2006

Back After A Long Hiatus

Happy December, everyone!

Well, it's been a long time since I've played MS Flight gosh, my last post to this blog was almost 2 years ago!

Anyway, I'm getting back into it, and went ahead and purchased ActiveSky, a fantastic weather program that creates, among other things, the most amazing clouds, sunsets, and sunrises. ActiveSky has really re-invigorated my flight sim!

After a couple nights of flying with ActiveSky, here are some of my favorites. Click on them for a free hi-res version for your desktop.

Delta Connection Flight 32

On our way, slogging through rain and wind

Now there's some photorealistic storm clouds for ya!

We get high enough for some sunshine to peek through

Clearing the Clouds...

Descending back into the clouds

The setting sun casts a purple shade across the clouds.

Descending into Hades (you mean we have to land in that? We made it, turbulence and all, but some passengers sported white knuckles)

You can see the real Delta Connection aircraft I flew here.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Special Video Release

03/31/05 - KMRY-KSJC
Type of Flight:
General Aviation, Day
Aircraft: Beechcraft Bonanza A36

Summary: Crossing the eve of April, I took my first flight in the dreamy Dreamfleet Beechcraft Bonanza A36. Just a quick hop from Monterey (CA) to San Jose to try her out. I enjoyed it so much, I made a movie about it. Enjoy!

Windows Media, 4.8mb

For best results, right-click the link and save to your computer before playing.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

3/18/05 - United flight 2500 from Boston to Chicago O'Hare

03/18/05 - KBOS-KORD
Type of Flight:

Aircraft: Boeing 737-400
Callsign: United 2500

Summary: A routine flight from Boston to Chicago. Got some interesting "artistic" perspective shots, and a couple of those "busy wallpapers" of multiple views for folks who like those.

Click For Screenshots

Thursday, March 17, 2005

03/16/2005 - KBOS-KDTW

03/16/05 - KBOS-KDTW
Type of Flight:
Dawn flight: Six a.m. departure
Aircraft: Cessna Citation II
Callsign: Dakota 991

Summary: Captain Travis here. Two-leg flight from Boston Logan to Detroit Metro, by way of Buffalo (NY) for refueling. Passengers: a couple of local real estate developers heading to Detroit, where they're planning to do something with mini-malls. Didn't get the details, they weren't that interesting. A couple old farts with gold chains. But that United flight attendant getting breakfast at the Burger King in Buffalo? Hubba hubba! Bouncy brunette hair, and legs that stretched the length of a runway. I chatted with her, but didn't get her number. <sigh> The most interesting feature of the first leg to Buffalo was the traffic above us. At least three planes in view, and they crossed over us and split up. The second leg, from Buffalo to Detroit, gave up some beautiful sun-lit shots across Lake St. Clair. The shots below are all hi-res. Great for wallpaper, bad for modems. :-) Enjoy!

Screenshots (1280x1024/~400k each):

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

03/15/2005 - KBOS-KJFK: "Boston Legal 2"

03/15/2005 - KBOS-KJFK
Type of Flight:
Aircraft: Embraer 170
Callsign: Jet Blue 1123

Summary: A nice day for the late morning commute to JFK, and we had another Boston Legal celebrity in first class today, this time Shirley Schmidt, managing partner of Crane, Poole and Schmidt. As the pilot, I took the opportunity to comment on the recent Boston Legal sightings in first class (I got a buddy at Alaska who flew Alan Shore last week)...Anyway, I told Shirley I was surprised that a firm like CP&S didn't have its own private jet to fly its people around in. She gave me a tight, empty smile and said that her partners, a couple of "rich schoolboys obsessed with model rockets and baseball cards," had sneaked one on the side for themselves, but she thought planes were a ridiculous waste of money and that anyone who wanted one was compensating for something. She said this to me dead in the eye, a JetBlue pilot! Her rejoinder caught me so off-guard, I mumbled something about it being a good thing we were here to offer a cheaper alternative, and rushed back to the safety of my cockpit. No wonder she wins in court. A friendly chat about airplanes, and I'm running away like a ten year old caught with a girlie magazine. <sigh>

Anyway, the flight was alright. Air Traffic Control flew us practically halfway across the Atlantic before I finally made some polite noises about our destination being New York, not Amsterdam, and they got us turned around and headed to the airport. Now, I know the skies are busy (I could see four aircraft coming across Long Island) but come on! And the ride was bumpy coming in. I had to get people buckled in their seats early, and we had a bit of a crosswind on landing. But still a smooth landing (yes, I'm former Air Force), and a nice, quick taxi to the gate. The digital pictures I took of the flight are enormous, but gorgeous. I increased the resolution on the later ones, so about mid-flight they jump from 1024x768 to 1280x1064. Enjoy, (if you have the bandwidth to do so)!

Screenshots (300k-1mb each):
Ready to taxi - Boston skyline in the background. Notice the shoulder of the pilot in the cockpit.
Cleared for takeoff
The Pilot's View Of The Runway - Check out the vast oil marks!
Climbing to Flight Level 7,000

Mid-Air Beauties: the Atlantic on one side land on the other 04 05 06 featuring the sun the pilot and co-pilot share a small office Excuse me, miss. Can I get my extra bagel now? my favorite! the same stunner, from the other side an oversized tin can featuring the moon 14 15

We hit fog over the Atlantic...
...As we descend to 4,000
Racing to the roost, now that ATC's clued in to our flight plan - Ops Manager is gonna be pissed that we're landing 30 mins. late
Leaving the Atlantic behind
Does everybody have their flotation device?
What a beautiful aircraft
More beauty...
And more... - 1280x1024 shots start here!
And more...
I can't stop photographing her! - Stop me before I hurt somebody!
Getting back to land
Here's the four aircraft I could see...
On final with gear down
From the side...
Getting taxi clearance

Monday, March 14, 2005

03/13/2005 - KSFO-KMRY

03/13/2005 - KSFO-KMRY
Type of Flight:
Aircraft: Embraer 170
Callsign: SkyWest 1123

Summary: A beautiful morning for the 60-mile jaunt from San Francisco to the Monterey Peninsula. Today we get to take this cute little hot rod for a ride, a newly painted United Express Embraer 170 aircraft. She looks just beautiful today...

Screenshots (1024x768/~400k each):
At The Gate - A busy morning at the United terminal. Notice the sunshine on the Boeing 777 in the foreground. Nice!
Taxiing to the Runway
We're Airborne!
Leaving San Francisco Behind
Climbing to Flight Level 7,000
A Gorgeous Shot In Flight
It's Cloudy!
Isn't She A Looker?
Descending Over the Pacific
Turning For Final Approach
On Final...
The View From The Flight Deck
Taxiing To The Stand - Monterey doesn't have gates, just stands. Everybody walks across the tarmac to the terminal.

Friday, March 11, 2005

3/10/05 - KBOS-KJFK (The "Boston Legal" Flight)

3/10/05 - KBOS-KJFK
Type of Flight:
Night, departed 7:38pm, arrived 8:58pm
Aircraft: Boeing 737-400(FFX) Alaska Airlines, "Disneyland" livery
Callsign: Alaska 2500

Summary: This turned out to be our "Boston Legal" flight. Alan Shore had to fly to the New York office, and the celebrity ended up flying first class on our humble flight! So we honored his visit by playing the "Boston Legal" soundtrack in our cockpit on our fancy flight deck CD player. We played the Boston Legal theme song, and several "soundtrack" songs, including two by Denny Crane himself (er, William Shatner). You'll also hear a delightful bluegrass rendition of Pink Floyd's "A Brick In The Wall". Not a flight to miss, folks! Check out the screenshots, give the mp3's a spin (esp. track 3 (the music starts 8:11mins in) and track 4), and enjoy this infamous hop thru the Northeast corridor. And if you love Boston Legal like I do, be sure to check out my favorite fan site at

Screenshots (1024x768/~400k each):
Click Here

MP3's (clean/busy, 15.2mb/13:17mins each):