After weeks of waiting I took possession of my virtual Cessna 172 Skyhawk, the plane in which I've chosen to start my world wide adventure. It was dawn in Edmonton when, shortly before 7am, I took off for a trial run in the new plane (and freshly downloaded MFS2020!) It's no use starting a globe-circling trip in an untested plane.
On approach to Edmonton International Airport with a summer prairie horizon to greet me.Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
The area around the city and the long stretch of farmland prairie landscape en route to my destination is all too familiar to this Alberta guy. I've driven the stretch of highway between Red Deer and Edmonton (and back again) so many times I dare not even try to count. The landmarks below as I lifted off and flew south were a great introduction to the virtual worldscape in the simulator, and a good measure of just how accurate I can expect the actual trip to feel. In other words, very real... like 95% real, because when you are so familiar with something, there is always going to be a few little things that don't line up perfectly. But good enough.
Better than good enough, actually.
My new plane -- I've dubbed her the PIXEL -- took some time to get the feel in. To be clear, I'm not actually a pilot, so I'll be banking on my past experience in flight simming to keep me from crashing too often. (And so far, so good... two take offs, two landings, even if one of those landings was a little rough.)
Before we leave...
The rules for the forthcoming round-the-world trip are simple: (1) we take off from where we last landed, (2) try to avoid returning to airports we've already visited (at least... recently, loops are okay) and (3) any crashes need to be documented and followed up by a successful take off and landing from the original destination airport (a "recovery flight") before the next leg of the trip departs.
Flight numbering is simple too. Flights are three digit codes: any leg starting with a 0 is a practice flight, and any leg starting with any other number (1XX... etc) are sequential legs. I'll append an 'r' to the end for recovery flights (after a crash) or an 's' to the end for "scenic tours" where I take off and land at the same airport for a cruise around the area.
I'll be logging a few more local practice flights in the coming days before setting out westward on my adventure.