My Flying Days…

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately for my Younger Days of General Aviation Flying. (flying a lot in IL-2 Great Battles, and lots of the people I fly with are Real Life pilots, so I’ve been thinking a lot about it.) I dug out a few old pics. Then I remembered that I have X-Plane, and people make planes for it, so I found a PA-28-140! It’s an older model, 342 was a ’74, and this is modeled off a 1968 model. So it has the push/pull throttle and mixture, and the Trim Control is mounted up on the roof. But that’s okay, cause I flew a 68 or 69 140 as well! The plane is modeled very well, felt very real and accurate. Plus, the interior and the instrument panel are pretty much dead on to the ones I flew. The ‘world’ has Liberty and Excelsior airports in it. Excelsior didn’t look complete/accurate, but Liberty was done pretty well! And, landing on that skinny 20′ wide strip was about as hard as I remember it being IRL nearly 25 years ago. (The rest of the KC area didn’t have much, like…there was no downtown skyline, unless I just wasn’t close enough for it to render, not sure.) Game supports VR, and I tested that, it worked very well, and looks great, feels ‘right’ as far as scale and such goes.

1974 PA-28-140 Piper Cherokee. N42342. Sadly, it crashed in November 1998, killing a friend of mine.
I didn’t get lined up right, my rudder pedals need curve adjustments. But, there’s the maintenance hanger at Roosterville! The fuel pad is to the right, just out of the shot. It also looks fairly accurate.
Long final to Liberty/Roosterville for runway 36
Here’s the trim control, and the door latch/lock on the ceiling. I like how it even has a nice ‘well used’ dirty texture on everything. I can almost smell it. If you’ve been in an old rental GA craft, you know EXACTLY what they smell like!
This instrument panel! (All interactive, just click on the switches!) Very accurate, all the placards are there, it was very cool to be flying, and glance at X Instrument, and it was exactly where I expected it to be! Only thing different is the radio stack. Mine were ancient all analog ones. They were OLD even in the 90s! (You can actually switch that whole stack out for a modern setup with GPS navigation, fancier radios, autopilot, get a ‘iPad’ with all the new maps and such that these crazy kids use in the cockpit today.)
Here was the plane I started with and solo’ed in. 1970 C-150. This is at Excelsior, and very possibly on the day I solo’ed! Ol’ ’61Golf was an old pipeline patrol plane, so it had ‘extra’ flaps, and larger fuel tanks. It could fly low and slow for days! It also had a few shorts so often the battery was dead, so I learned how to ‘hand-prop-start’ on this plane. It also had a cracked exhaust header, so if you ran the cabin heat, you’d get Really Sleepy Really Fast, if you catch my drift. I ran a tail number search, and this plane is still out there and flying! Currently down in Texas, after spending a few years up in Montana!
Dunno why, and don’t know if it’s still a thing, but when you solo’ed they’d cut the tail of your shirt off, write your name and date of solo on it, and hang it up in the tower. Now, ladies, keep in mind I’m a young innocent high schooler in this photo, and I’m taken now! But, check it out: I was ‘Bootching’ long before Tyra!! LoL!!

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