Endorsement from Rod Machado

Rod Machado writes a monthly column for AOPA Pilot magazine. The May 2014 edition, which discusses using simulation to reduce training costs, includes this comment about my book (thanks, Rod):

Your first purchase should be a book that will give you the intimate details of simulator operations. Without a doubt, one of the best on the market is Bruce Williams’s Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Podcast of Interview at Angle of Attack

Podcast of Interview at Angle of Attack

Chris Palmer, host of a podcast at Angle of Attack, recently interviewed me about PC-based simulations, scenario-based training, and aerobatics. The podcast is available at the link above.


PC Simulation Presentation at AOPA Summit

PC Simulation Presentation at AOPA Summit

Here’s a short news item about my presentations at the recent AOPA Summit in Ft. Worth.

Simulator expert Bruce Williams

Late September Aerobatic Ride

We had a lovely September afternoon to fly. My passenger had given her son a ride as birthday present earlier in the summer, and after seeing how much fun he had, she wanted to go for a flight herself. As you can hear, she enjoyed the experience, and the scenery was spectacular in the late-summer (almost fall) afternoon light.

I added Aresti diagrams for some of the maneuvers.

Videos: Integrated Instrument Panel in Action

I took advantage of clear skies to log several night landings in the Bonanza (an A36). The first step was a quick flight from Boeing Field (KBFI) to Bremerton (KPWT) to get dinner at the airport diner and wait for sunset at the non-towered airport. I flew the ILS RWY 20 @ KPWT under VFR to verify a fix to the glideslope reception of the new avionics.

I used two GoPro cameras, one focused outside, the other pointed obliquely at the instrument panel.

After dinner, I logged landings at KPWT, and then I returned IFR to Boeing Field to practice with all the new toys and get another night landing.

I used two GoPro cameras, one pointed outside, the other at the instrument panel. The inside camera got knocked off-kilter for the last video; The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari effect was unintentional.

For more information about the video equipment that I use, see Aviation Video Tips.

An Aerobatic Ride near Seattle

Here’s another video that shows a typical aerobatic ride on a beautiful day in Seattle. We’re in the Extra 300L. The maneuvers include aileron rolls, loops, half-Cuban 8s, hammerheads, point rolls, slow rolls, vertical rolls, and inverted flight. The video also shows a typical approach and landing in the Extra 300L.

Upated Links for Readers of my Simulation Books

AOPA has overhauled its website, and I’m busy updating the links to aviation resources at AOPA and the Air Safety Institute on the pages for my books about flight simulations (Microsoft Flight Simulator as a Training Aid and Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator). You will also find links to many posts here at blog, and I’m working to update those references, too.

At present, the new AOPA website still has broken links, and some content may not be easily accessible through direct links. But you can use the search functions at AOPA to track down specific references. For now, here are links to key sections of the AOPA website for readers who want to expand their knowledge and complement the lessons and scenarios in my books:

AOPA home page

Air Safety Institute home page (access to free publications, interactive courses, quizzes, etc.)

AOPA Learn to Fly page

Getting Back into Flying

Learn to Fly page

The End of the World: in 79 CE

In 79 CE, the world did come to an end for the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and other towns in the umbra of Mt. Vesuvius. Pliny the Younger (nephew of the great Roman admiral and naturalist who died on the beach at the Bay of Naples after inhaling noxious gases from the eruption) recounted the cataclysm in a letter to Tacitus. Nearly two millennia after the event, Pliny’s words (here translated by William Melmoth) remain the most compelling first-person account of a natural disaster I’ve ever read. One passage is especially evocative:

The ashes now began to fall upon us, though in no great quantity. I looked back; a dense dark mist seemed to be following us, spreading itself over the country like a cloud. “Let us turn out of the high-road,” I said, “while we can still see, for fear that, should we fall in the road, we should be pressed to death in the dark, by the crowds that are following us.” We had scarcely sat down when night came upon us, not such as we have when the sky is cloudy, or when there is no moon, but that of a room when it is shut up, and all the lights put out. You might hear the shrieks of women, the screams of children, and the shouts of men; some calling for their children, others for their parents, others for their husbands, and seeking to recognise each other by the voices that replied; one lamenting his own fate, another that of his family; some wishing to die, from the very fear of dying; some lifting their hands to the gods; but the greater part convinced that there were now no gods at all, and that the final endless night of which we have heard had come upon the world.

You can read a translation of the complete letter here.

New Videos at BruceAirFlying’s YouTube Channel

I have posted several new videos on my YouTube channel. Most of the videos, like the sample below, are short clips that demonstrate basic aerobatic maneuvers. I captured the maneuvers during aerobatic rides and training flights in the Extra 300L.

FAA Updates IFR Procedures Website

FAA AeroNav Products, the division that produces and publishes aviation charts, instrument approach and departure procedures, and related information, has overhauled its website.

The new web pages make it easy to search for information about specific airports, including procedures that have been updated and new or revised procedures that are in development.

For an overview of current procedures, visit the Instrument Flight Procedures Inventory page.


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