New Symbol for Wind Turbines on FAA Charts

The FAA will introduce new symbols for wind turbines on sectional and TAC charts beginning in March 2013. According to a presentation (PDF)  at the Aeronautical Charting Forum in October, the new symbols comply with an ICAO standard. The depiction helps to distinguish wind turbines from other obstacles, and the symbols show both “farms” and individual turbines.


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.

Visit to Flight Simulation Okinawa

I recently returned from a visit to Flight Simulation Okinawa, a new Japanese company that offers pilots training in FTDs and gives the general public opportunities to experience the thrill of flying a simulated aircraftt. I was there to help explain the value of PC-based simulations to local pilots, including members of the flying club at Kadena AFB.

My presentations were based on my two books about using PC-based flight simulations, Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator: Using PC-Based Flight Simulations based on FAA and Industry Training Standards and  Microsoft® Flight Simulator as a Training Aid: A Guide for Pilots, Instructors, and Virtual Aviators.


You can watch short video clips of the interviews here and on my YouTube channel, BruceAirFlying.