Dec 10, 2010

Old Flying Notes

A couple years ago I started flying. It was a bright and shining star in my life at the time. I wrote a little about it on my facebook page so I thought I might transfer a bit to here as well.

Im gonna do a little bit of a blog type thing about my flying lessons (which are FUCKING SWEET- recommend that everyone tries it at least once).

4/8/08 1245hrs

Arrive at Redcliffe Aero Club a little early and spend the first 15 minutes just sitting in the lounge listening to the pilots talk amoungst themselves and reading a little more of my textbooks. Finally my instructor for the day pops up and shows me into the briefing room. Tells me all about what is going to happen today and the theory behind it. Luckily for him he didnt have to explain much cuz I actually did my homework and was well prepared for any questions he threw at me.

After all that was over with he showed me how to sign the planes in and out of the club, the maintainence forms for the planes, how to do the pre flight checks and more or less the important parts of the plane. For anyone familiar with RAC's planes I flew in a C172 which is almost new and is a very comfy plane to fly.

Now the fun begins. We start up the motor eventually (yeah i flooded the bloody thing i think- moving right along) and taxi out to runway 07. I TOTALLY SUCK at steering on the tarmac. Its the most unnatural experience I have had to date. For those unfamiliar with how to taxi a plane- you do it with your feet. There is a control yoke in front of you which has only the use of keeping the wind from catching your plane and toppling it- apart from that its COMPLETELY FUCKING USELESS FOR TURNING. The rudder pedals are roughly the size of two normal car accelerators with the foot brakes on top of them with a seperate hinge. Stomp the Left one to turn left and vice versa. Easy enough you think? Nah uh! Anyone who drives a car will immediately try to use the yoke to steer and then panic (yes i panicked a little) when you find its as useless as tits on a FUCKING BULL. So the instructor took over from there. Got us out to runway 07 where we stopped for traffic. Ran through a couple more checks and then he got me to do the call for entering the runway. From here I just sit like a good little boy without fiddling with anything until the instructor get the plane in the air. Take off is always fun- you feel like you are driving in a car at first then you feel like you have had the ground stolen away from under you. Dont get me wrong I love that feeling its just a little weird to get used to.

So now up at 1000ft he lets me have a bit of a fly and make a call to RAC that Im leaving the circuit over beachmere. He takes it back and climbs to 3000ft over Bribie. He goes through all of the controls and what they do, shows me what they do and then give me a go at it. All pretty straight forward- elevators make you go up and down, ailerons make you roll and rudder makes the plane yaw. Then goes through the secondary effects and the other controls like trim wheel, flaps and throttle. After all thats covered and I had a play with them he just asks me to fly about a bit.

By this time Im not so timid with the controls. I push the yoke in, turn hard to the left and stomp on the left rudder to make a nice fast downwards turn- FUN! Before I know it I have dropped 1000ft and are now going at 160 knots(roughly about 300km/h I think). This cessna is supposed to cruise at about 120 knots and is pushing itself at 140- so this was an awesome feeling. The instructor told me to ease up and moved on to some material from the next lesson since i was doing well with the controls.

He explained how straight and level flight works, how you achieve it and then showed me how to do it. Then it was my turn. He mucked up the controls on me a bit, increased the throttle and left me to it. We were descending at about 15ft/sec and banking slightly but after a little fiddling I got it to go straight and level. Apparently it can take several lessons for some students to get all of it to work properly for them. Like my head needed another reason to almost double in size. So while he kept a good eye out for the other three planes/helicopters we had heard over the radio coming our way- I made my way back down to 1500ft and on course over DBay back to the air strip. As a joke I asked if I could land the plane and he just said yes. Didnt even hesitate. I was a little taken aback but considering the size of my ego at that point I thought- fuck it, bring it on!

I got to make the calls on the way back into the circuit and I did stuff a couple of them up but it wasnt too bad. I flew the circuit once and then came back in for final approach where the instructor told me to lower the flaps, decrease throttle and push forward on the yoke to come in for landing. I managed that but then he had to help out a little to account for the crosswind which blew us off course a little. He operated the throttle on the way down and was telling me what to do with the yoke and then I realised the ground was coming up WAY TOO FAST for my comfort. But the instructor didnt seem too fussed on it- only told me to keep it steady. Come up to the tarmac and then he says level off... nose up and then he brought the throttle further down and we landed pretty smoothly. I think he was helping me control it more than he let on but nonetheless I helped land the plane. AWESOME!!!

Back on the taxiway I got to steer again- totally fell apart again. I swear Ill get it one day but eventually he took over and parked her up. I went over the post flight checklist, locked the plane down and went in for the debriefing paperwork.

$280 and a few pages of forms later I was on my way- having finished my first lesson all I want to do is GET BACK INTO A PLANE!!! IT WAS FUCKING BRILLIANT FUN!!! Cant wait till next Monday when I do more work on straight and level flight!

So that was my first experience of flying a plane. Been doing it ever since. Its been a long road but I will be getting there soon! Next month I am off to Flight Screening with the Royal Australian Air Force in Tamworth! Will be an awesome experience.

Dec 9, 2010

The Cataclysm!

So a rather well times bout of stomach illness has allowed more time to play Cataclysm that originally anticipated. However any thoughts of getting ahead of the pack on the first night were destroyed when I had log in issues. Then I had loading screen issues. Then I made a worgen.

90 mins later I FINALLY get onto my hunter and start my prep (which I should have done a week before it was released). That took me an hour to go train everything and get the starting quests. Long story short- I made it to halfway through 81 by 2am Australian Eastern Standard Time. Which killed any chance of me staying ahead of the levelling pack.

I kept on with Vash'jir which I thought was less crowded if rediculous. Disengage DOES NOT WORK UNDERWATER!!! Because it shoots you back and allows you to land on the first surface you touch, underwater poses a problem since you can "stand" on any surface. So you get thrown back about 10 feet and then have to run. But wait, there's more! You cannot JUMP SHOT either! Which is horrible for juggling multiple mobs. MD a couple to pet, trap one, kite another two... oh wait... I'm just having a couple mobs munch on me for the moment because I can't jump shot underwater.

I perservered though. It just seems like a VERY inefficient levelling area. All of my guildies who went to Hyjal are now well ahead of me. Oh, and Vash'jir is also broken. I spend all that time and effort sticking to it to get the achieves in the area and then one of the major quest lines are broken. The quest [Ascend No More!] where you have to break a bunch of conduits in some giant shell monster thing is just flat broken. The conduits do not respawn. Ever.

So now I have given up and moved onto Deepholm, 90% to 83 and well behind the pack.

So much for getting the most out of the expansion.

P.S. Worgen starting area is fun, but not nearly as exciting as the goblins

Dec 4, 2010

Old Saves

You see I started this blog with full intention of trying to keep it regularly updated. I love my blogs made by gamers. People like me make me feel warm and fuzzy. But now after (?) months of just sitting here on the internet gathering dust I have thought about coming back to it.

Here is the problem: This is just like coming back to a 6 month old save game from Ninja Gaiden 2 or Final Fantasy. You can't remember where you are, how it works or where you were going with it. So now I have to start from the beginning again, learn all the moves, figure out what the story is and where I am going to go with it.


This is why Ninja Gaiden 2 is still sitting on my shelf very near the bottom of the pile and why I only managed to put about an hour into Final Fantasy XIII last week.

Speaking of video games, I am really excited about this time of year usually. The excitement that E3 brings every year has worn off and replaced with a new euphoria. OMFG I CAN ACTUALLY HAS TEH SEXEH GAME!!!! (I think my IQ just dropped by half by writing something that would come out of some stupid fanboy's mouth.)

This is usually the time of year I do not have enough time to see friends, spend time with family or give a shit about anything in general because of the amount of time I spend playing the 3 or 4 big releases that come out in the months leading up to xmas. Notably was the year Halo 3, Assassins Creed and Mass Effect came out. Holy crap my family were ready to disown me.

This year though? I only have plans for buying Cataclysm. Which I hardly have time to play anyway due to work and the real world life. The shattering of Azeroth has been written about so many times by so many different bloggers that I won't even touch it. Go read elsewhere about it. But it is still exciting to see the 1-60 world fucked up. And ALIVE again. Remember levelling a toon during Wrath or BC? How you could spend forever questing in that massive world without bumping into a single person outside of a capital city? Yeah... those days. I levelled a DK after that. Which looks really bad for me as a wow player. I have two 80's- a hunter and a DK. /wrists

I hate levelling though- it is the WORST part of WoW. I tried to level a druid. Its languished at 45 for the past 6 months. Even with the constant stream of dungeon runs it still just gets repetitive. Queue, heal tank, tell tank how to tank, tell facerolling hunter to take pet off aggressive, take off growl and stop dpsing BEFORE the monster starts running at you. Oh and Feign death is the bane of every healer. Yeah I roll as a healer because it means an instant queue. But most of the time the groups are that terribad, I am second to top on the threat meter. So hunter pulls aggro, runs around screaming at the tank to taunt, tank is having his face munched by a pack of mobs and cant figure out that you need to click the specific mob to taunt and it ends with the hunter popping FD and the mob running at me. FUCKING HUNTARDS. They give the rest of us a bad name.

Other dps are just as bad though. I hear "Fucking healer let me die" a fair bit these days. My response is "Dont pull aggro and you wont have the mob attacking you". Fair call right? Aparrently not. "L2P n00b" or various strings of explicit insults ranging from my sexuality to things they do to my mother come flying in my direction. (sigh). I just hope the new questing process in Cata is as good as they say.

I was hoping to get my hands onto some Black Ops goodness or some Force Unleashed 2 this Christmas season but alas, unless some kind soul takes pity on me and gives it to me for Xmas, I will miss out on them. I moved into a mates place closer to work, got a girlfriend and got back to flying. Killed video games. I miss the quiet solitude of my grandparents farm sometimes.

Flying is exciting at the moment. The RAAF finally got back to me and invited me to the last stage of the pilot selection process. In short I get to go fly little CT-4's with them for a couple weeks, sit an interview and then they either make me sign my soul to them for the next 12 years or they tell me "L2P n00b". Real life can strangely reflect the virtual one sometimes.

Hopefully I will get more into posting on this, though there are very few readers at this point. It may just be me checking back to see if it has any hits but I like to think someone likes hearing what I have to say. Till next time have fun!