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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:08 pm 
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Location: Arendal, Norway
This was an interesting one, and I thought you'd like to join me on this trip.

Background
For the last two months I've been exclusively flying the Accusim Cessna 172, and although I love the faster, more complex aircraft, the 172 one has surely not aged one bit. It's beautifully modelled, and fantastically immersive. The reason for the exclusive 172-ing is because of PilotEdge, which has won me completely over. I wanted a basic trainer for that use, and I have learned so much the last months that I can't believe it.
(I'm "Cessna 245LG", if anyone else is flying around in PilotEdge.)

I started with a "fresh" new 172 for the training in SoCal with PilotEdge, my original 172 still having it's hours from the first flights back in September of 2013. It is still in use, sitting in western Canada somewhere. The reason for bringing this up is that I got an interesting insight into the world of Accusim from flying two different 172s - they aren't the same planes! My original 172 has been relatively stable, only needing regular maintenance (oil, filters, and the odd tightening of bolts).
My new "PilotEdge-plane" has obviously a different pedigree:
- I've experienced a binding elevator during flight. It woudn't go further down than about neutral. No problem landing, but quite scary.
- I've had water in the fuel, something I've never have had before.
- Clogged up stall horn - fantastic detail. Never thought I'd see something like that.
- Various aileron problems, all spotted during preflight.
- Many filters needing change, often, and oil gunking up fast.

The story

Having returned to California after a long round trip over a week or two: Lake Tahoe - Salt Lake City, to Denver via Aspen, to Grand Canyon via Albuquerque, Las Vegas and then to my departure airport in question: Kern Valley (L05).

Kern Valley is a beautiful airport situated on the brige of the southern foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The plan was to cross Isabella Lake and follow Kern River south-west to Bakersfield, and then head west to the coast, following the coast up to Northern California to Half Moon Bay. A good, long flight, covering amazing terrain and some interesting airspaces.
I didn't make it that far...


Beautiful plane in a gorgeous airport within impressive terrain.
Image


It likes to pose, doesn't it? Well, why not?
Image


Preflight finished, noting that the flaps need tightening at some point, but no particular rush. The oil was low, however, and as always in this particular plane, dark and smudgy. An oil change will be needed when I get to a suitable airport (about 50 hours on the tach since I last had the plane for service at Long Beach Airport).
Image


Situated within the Isabella MOA (Military Operating Area), there seems to be some activity here today. Here can be seen 4 extremely fast moving targets a couple of thousand feet above Kern Valley airport. MOAs are usually not dangerous, but one has to pay attention. I've already coordinated flight following with Joshua Approach, so I already have a squawk code and will call them as soon as I'm airborne.
Image


I've learned a fantastic mnemonic for the takeoff roll: REACT
RPM - as expected according to pressure altitude and so forth.
Engine - instruments "in the green"
Airspeed - alive and building
Centerline - duh
Takeoff-point - a preconceived place where I'm going to abort if I haven't reached wanted speed or liftoff (depending on lenght of rwy)
Image


Climbing over Lake Isabella. I've been airborne only 30 seconds, and I'm already checked in with Joshua Approach to get as much info on current traffic in the MOA. No targets identified - which is more scary since they may still be out there but too low for radar...
Image


The engine on this 172 seems consistently to want to be hotter than my "original" 172, and I'm opting for a cruise climb, only leveling off for a while to be below this Mooney headed into the mountains toward Kern Valley.
Interestingly, the last few flights, the oil temperature gauge seems to "wobble" sometimes. I take it to be slack in the instrument itself, but could it be bubbles? Or a leakage that makes the temps uneven? The pressure has been consistently lower the last few flights too, but still always in the green, maybe 10 psi lower than normal...
Image

I get my answer about 15nm after the above picture. When I'm busy looking for other traffic the oil pressure drops to zero. I don't know how long it has been at zero. A minute? A few seconds? The engine runs nicely still, but I ask for help immediately from ATC:

- "Bakersfield Approach, Cessna 5LG has lost oil pressure, is there any airport nearby?" (knowing that KBFL is 12ish o-clock, not within gliding distance)
- "Cessna 5LG, the Bakersfield airport 1 o-clock, 12 miles"
- "Allright, I'll try to make it, and I'm declaring an emergency, Cessna 5LG."
- "Cessna 5LG, roger, when able say souls on board and fuel remaining in minutes."

I opt for a lower power setting to postpone the inevitable, and start trading my speed for as much altitude as I can until reaching best glide speed. The engine starts sounding like it is less than fully happy, gratually looses power, and abruptly and fatally seizes.
Being 12 miles from Bakersfield, I'm almost out of the mountains, but I had gained (I think) my cruise altitude of 6500 feet by then, so I had some minutes to glide.


- "Bakersfield Approach, my engine just seized, and I have to put it in a field somewhere, Cessna 5LG."
Image

- "Cessna 5LG, roger, Bakersfield airport is 1 o-clock 9 miles now, do you think you can make it?"
- "Negative, Cessna 5LG."

I've found several fields, and look for the direction I want to land in. I want to be flush with the plowing directions to minimize risk of being added to the plowage. Looking at the low voltage light and thinking that I might need flaps to land, I start turning off unneccessary lighs and radios to save the battery.
Having the lights off, most of the radios off (leaving the transponder on), ignition and fuel off (trying to restart not worth even attempting with those symptoms), I'm squared away, gliding, the low voltage light for now happily extinguished.


- "I see a golf course near some of the fields here, Cessna 5LG, I'm going to try that."
- "Cessna 5LG, roger, emergency responders has been notified, just advice me when you're on the ground."
- "Wilco, Cessna 5LG."
Image


FORE!!!
Image


After gliding for a couple more minutes to shave off altitude, I'm turning a slow left base for the long northern-pointing doglegged fairway seen just above the window latch in the above picture (I'm on a sort of left crosswind in the picture above, just for clarity's sake). Touchdown point is to be just after the creek(?) in the dogleg. Should be sufficient if I manage the speed well enough.

- "Be advided, I'm going to ditch in the golf course in a few minutes now, Cessna 5LG, so I'll turn of my electricity while landing."
- "Cessna 5LG, roger, no problem, radar services terminated, and ahhh... good luck!"
- "Thank you, Cessna 5LG."

Dropping flaps, master switch off.
Image



No time to take photos during the landing, but it went according to plan, landing slowly and softly just after the creek and stopped just before the road north of the golf course. Shaking hands and no intention of flying for a day or two...
Image

Spending the next 48 hours to inspect and replace parts of the engine:
- Oil leak
- Cracked cylinder head crowns
- Crankshaft all busted

Had my co-pilot and luggage transported to Bakersfield Municipal (L45) to have lower take off weight, and flew safely out of Kern River golf course. Resumed trip to Half Moon Bay, and all is well, an experience richer and with a fondness for liberal cruising altitudes for that added safety margin.

Afterword
All this is thanks to the realism and immersion supplied by A2A's Accusim, obviously; Orbx' SoCal and the fidelity it brings; and PilotEdge for all kinds of learning about flying and for assistance (for whatever it was worth in this particular instance). The transcript of the ATC is lifted from the "tapes" on PilotEdge.
These are the best of times to be a flightsim enthusiast!

Hope you all enjoyed reading this! :)

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Erik Haugan Aasland,

Arendal, Norway
(Homebase: Kristiansand Lufthavn, Kjevik (ENCN)

All the Accusim-planes are in my hangar, but they aren't sitting long enough for their engines to cool much before next flight!


Last edited by Medtner on Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:05 pm 
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Interesting adventure! Thank you very much for posting!

Seeya
ATB

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:07 pm 
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Quite a tale, thx for sharing :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 858
Location: Hampton, VA
That is a pretty awesome tale. It is interesting that your second 172 is different from the first. Interesting that they would be that different. Hopefully your new fully overhauled engine is much better than this one has been. :lol: I will agree these are the best times to be in flight simulation, and things only keep getting better. Was only some years ago I was debating calling it quits since the realism was just not there. Who would've thought ten years ago that we would be where we are today. Great job on the landing though! I hope I never have to experience this first hand, but it is something I am ready for if the day comes I think.

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AM; United States Navy
FSX Hours: 3000 and counting! All A2A birds in the hangar except the 172 and Bonanza.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:23 pm 
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Location: Arendal, Norway
Roadburner426 wrote:
That is a pretty awesome tale. It is interesting that your second 172 is different from the first. Interesting that they would be that different. Hopefully your new fully overhauled engine is much better than this one has been. :lol: I will agree these are the best times to be in flight simulation, and things only keep getting better. Was only some years ago I was debating calling it quits since the realism was just not there. Who would've thought ten years ago that we would be where we are today. Great job on the landing though! I hope I never have to experience this first hand, but it is something I am ready for if the day comes I think.


I was doing the same debating around the time FSX had been out for a few years. I just couldn't seem to find anything that satisfied me, and at the same time I didn't know exactly what I was missing either.
Who knew that while we, and maaany others among us, were concidering calling it quits, some clever people were working towards what we have now. A2A grew out of the need for that extra fidelity and immersion that we now love and call Accusim, and it wouldn't have come about if not for people who knew where to scratch that itch.
Same with Orbx, and others - like the hardware developers, and also the simulator platform providers. I would still be here with only FSX, but with the newfound stability and beauty of P3D v4, I couldn't be happier. I mean, just look at those screenshots! Straight from the V-key...

It seems like my last flight is always my best one, not necessarily regarding airmanship (but that is improving too), but in terms of immersion and "completeness". I've spent almost 90 hours in the A2A 172 the last 6-7 weeks, and I love it even more than I already did.

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Erik Haugan Aasland,

Arendal, Norway
(Homebase: Kristiansand Lufthavn, Kjevik (ENCN)

All the Accusim-planes are in my hangar, but they aren't sitting long enough for their engines to cool much before next flight!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:20 pm
Posts: 858
Location: Hampton, VA
Yeah I always find myself striving to make my next flight my best flight by following all applicable regs. People at my work thing I am crazy because I actually like reading FAR part 91 and studying up for my next flight. v4 has certainly upped the ante for staying simming even though I am now in my 30's. My wife has even become more accepting of it over the years as she realized it has become far more than "just a game" which was her view for quite a long time before Accu-sim came about. Plus scenery has gotten way better, and everything in general just keeps getting better. The only downside is all of the money that I keep pouring in to it. :lol: With P3D now I have started buying scenery and such again, and am starting to get all the complex sceneries that I passed over on FSX due to OOM's and such. I do think the way I keep flying with my Mustang I will be making one of these posts myself in the not to distant future. From my last post on that it continues to struggle holding pressure at take off power, but is fine in flight. Is why I op-check the electric pump before every flight waiting for the big day when the mechanical pump decides it has had enough. I am surprised it has held up to 402 hours of use though, but I figure at some point before 500 hours it will give up the ghost.

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S. Jordan
AM; United States Navy
FSX Hours: 3000 and counting! All A2A birds in the hangar except the 172 and Bonanza.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:22 am 
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Great report.

Pretty interesting that the same simulation can behave so differently. I might have to give it a try and “age” one of my planes to compare it.

Thanks for sharing!

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:44 am 
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You and I had very different experiences yesterday lol.

As a general rule, I allow myself to add 1QT of oil even if I am not at my home base. How/Why? Well I keep 1QT of proper oil secured under the back passenger seat in case the engine suddenly starts to eat oil.

Anyway my story:

I had been looking and wanting to fly the L049 connie somewhere for the first time ever yesterday, so I decided on an IFR route from KXNA {Arkansas} to KMEM {Memphis INTL} flying the Army 0 Heavy carrying only some light cargo in each bay.

Weather is IFR Vis 3 Ceiling 700OVC with rain and freezing rain / mist present.

So I depart no problem, I got ahead of the airplane and had all frequencies plugged in. Over to departure and tuned my outbound VOR.

After I got to my assigned altitude I was then cleared up to FL 900 :shock: :shock:
....okay so after 30 Min of "Request 10,000 lower" I finally got to my desired FL180 :?
All the while the heaping pile of garbage ATC barking at me to "Fly 180. Fly 160. Fly 180. Fly 160" :x

I am nearing the final leg and there is now a thunderstorm in front of me...Even though ACTIVE SKY ITS LIGHT RAIN but okay. So I climb up to FL200 to try and avoid it. Once I hit the turbulence the crew starts moaning as the ultra sensitive elevator begins going +1,000FPM -1,000FPM and repeat.

ATC Then turns me into the storm and requests me to descend 7000, and immediately starts barking at me to expedite the decent. OKAY YEAH SURE :x :x

Half way through battling the turbulence I get the longest clearance ever it seemed and scrambled to write down the runway and assigned heading.
F.O. Calls out captain 260 twice :x :x :x

After I get down to 7,000 I cannot find the DME instrument on the panel, therefore I cannot really brief the ILS even if I had the chance between 1,000 FPM swings.

All while ATC Barking at me to "Fly 150. Fly 180. Fly150. Fly 180". :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

This turning only made the pitch even worse. At this time I had disengaged the elevator servo booster in an attempt to smooth out the swings. But The turns had me at full back elevator. SO I engaged the boost again....LETS just say I looked about like SpaceX's launch yesterday at +10,000 FPM climb.

AT THIS POINT I shoved the nose down into a dive, lopped my knee board onto the floor UN-plugged my headset, stood up sharply and went to eat some cookies. :D

Upon my return I found that the F.E. had everything shut down...I guess he felt the disappointment too.

lol well after viewing the 4 engines that needed "immediate overhaul" I think it is fair to say the L049 may remained parked for a good while. Is it just me or am I bound to slower GA aircraft such as the Cherokee?

Regardless to say just about the worst flight ever flown for me. On a learning note, I think if I had disabled the aileron servo boost this may have allowed for smoother turns and thus less pitch swings, but I don't know for sure.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:10 am 
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Haha! I've had a similar experience with the Connie. The clue is that Active Sky's thunderstorms don't cooperate well with the Connie, especially with the "enhanced turbulence" on. Flying around is the only way to go anyway, and with the default ATC you're stuck, bound for doom. :P

As much as I love the big birds (and I do!), I can't get enough of hand flying. Autopilot is only for short segments when I need to grab something to eat or to brief an approach. Though I prefer to do without - briefing an approach in turbulent IMC while handflying is a good workout and all kinds of fun (especially on PilotEdge, where you will have your head shaved if you don't fly properly).

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Erik Haugan Aasland,

Arendal, Norway
(Homebase: Kristiansand Lufthavn, Kjevik (ENCN)

All the Accusim-planes are in my hangar, but they aren't sitting long enough for their engines to cool much before next flight!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:44 pm 
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That is unfortunate in the Connie. Sounds like the 377 when I first got it. I crashed that thing so many times doing things that were dumb. Trying to land at airfields that were way to short for it, and exceeding operating limitations frying or blowing up the engines. P-47 brought a lot of those same moments where I just did not realized planes had limitations that needed to be followed. Was a very steep learning curve. Now I just jump in and fly like it is no big deal. I use the auto pilot quite a bit on cross countries though. The GTN 650/750 are such nice tools to have for all kinds of reasons. Particularly for diverting to go around storms. 8) I will say that when I fly IFR in sim that I do not bother using the ATC. I just plot my departure and arrivals before going and stick to it that way. Cause otherwise I am being turned left and right every few minutes which gets quite annoying. So I just get all my plates and stuff before hand and plan accordingly.

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AM; United States Navy
FSX Hours: 3000 and counting! All A2A birds in the hangar except the 172 and Bonanza.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:02 pm 
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You’re flying “lost comms”, is what you’re saying. :)

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Erik Haugan Aasland,

Arendal, Norway
(Homebase: Kristiansand Lufthavn, Kjevik (ENCN)

All the Accusim-planes are in my hangar, but they aren't sitting long enough for their engines to cool much before next flight!


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:17 pm 
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Hi Folks,

Very nice story and great pix...

Regards,
Scott


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Could call it lost comms. :lol: I did try last week in P3D with the Comanche thinking maybe it was improved, and I was wrong. Was great up until the approach phase where I kept getting "Turn heading 215" then I'd get there and get "Turn heading 170." That went back and forth like 15 times completely aggravating me till it finally told me to contact the airport (thankfully) for final approach. That is one area that could really use some major improvement.

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S. Jordan
AM; United States Navy
FSX Hours: 3000 and counting! All A2A birds in the hangar except the 172 and Bonanza.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:04 pm
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Location: Birmingham, England
Hi Erik

I enjoyed your generous sharing of this detailed adventure and your obvious enjoyment ...... 'FLYING ...... by hand',

and I salute and applaud you for getting to the heart and core ..... 'FLYING ......high fidelity mode'

Thanks Erik

Rod

Birmingham, UK


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:59 am 
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Nice story of the adventure, the issue and the screenshots are great. Really like the one tied down with the blurring yellow sun 8) 8)

thanks,
Lewis

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