How much time do you spend…

Hobbies are things we do for fun, to relax, to just get away from the tasks of life.  Some people are less passionate about certain hobbies and more about others.  Sometimes a hobby gets placed on the back burner for a time and then moved forward again when life permits more time to dedicate to the hobby.  Some hobbies require the individual participating to leave home and some can be enjoyed right from the comfort of home.  Regardless of what hobby you are involved in…the important lesson is to enjoy it and allow it to give you the fun, the relaxation and the escape we all need from time to time.

I think most everyone I know has a hobby.  Most (including myself) enjoy several hobbies and while we may not always devote equal time to each….we do what we can do and basically do what we want to do when it comes time for hobby time.  Since this blog is about the hobby of flight simulation, it is this subject that I of course will blog about today.

How much time do you spend per month devoted to the flight simulation hobby?  I’ll let you ponder on this while you continue to read the rest of my blog posting and will come back to this question at the end.

Like you I have good days and bad days at work.  Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad on average…but when the bad starts to happen it can come out of nowhere.  I had one of those days on Tuesday.  The first day or so back from a holiday or vacation can be the worse in the IT world and the day after the US Memorial Day holiday was no exception.  Since my wife and I both work for the same company we have a enterprise IM (instant message) solution and I sent her a message reading….”stressful day, do we have anything planned for this evening?  If not, I would like to fly”.  Her response back to me was “I’m sorry you are having a rotten day, yes…why don’t you fly tonight”.

Now if you are a younger person reading this blog you may think to yourself, why is Jerry having to ask permission from his wife to fly?  If you are an adult and married, in a relationship etc. then you fully understand that I wasn’t asking for permission in the sense of a child asking a parent for permission….just a much necessary step when you are in a relationship. 

My wife is most supportive and while she didn’t tell me until later, she too had experienced some stress that day and wanted to spend a few hours reading a book.  By the way, my wife enjoys reading and she considers it a hobby.  My flight sim setup is in the basement and she has free roam of the house from the courtyard to the formal living room to read without hearing any of my aircraft and ATC noises.  But bottom line is she is very supportive and those of you in relationships will certainly understand the importance of this.

Anyway…I did fly and had a very enjoyable time doing so.  This was the last flight of the month for me and after sending in my PIREP via FSACARS I realized I had accumulated over 120 hours of flight time (time from parking brakes off to parking brakes on or gate to gate time) over 43 flights completed for the month of May.  But we all know there is more time involved than just the gate to gate time.  Some of these flights probably had a minimum of 15 minutes, some had 30 minutes of setup time.  I define setup time as starting the computers, starting FSX and all the other support software like ActiveSky X, FSINN, FSACARS etc. Then searching for a flight, booking that flight in my VA’s system, programming the FMS/CDU, getting clearance (if ATC is online).  Most of my 43 flights flown in May were not single flights of the day.  Meaning I flew multiple flights and of course only had the time to start the PC’s, load FSX etc. once.  So just using a round number of 20 minutes per flight…this still means I had another 12+ hours to add to the 120. 

Of course only some of the above time is spent performing my duties of DFW Hub Manager at American virtual Airlines.  While I do tend to do some of my required tasks when also flying…I would estimate another 5-10 hours per month are devoted to the VA work and let’s throw in another 2-3 hours for this blog and who knows how much time I spend reading other FS blogs and the forums at various flight sim sites.  What???  Perhaps almost 150 hours?  180 hours?  200 hours?  Of course I have no real way of defining the time I spend outside of the actual flying, I’m not going to punch a time clock as this is a hobby after all.  Ha Ha Ha

So how much time do you spend per month devoted to the flight simulation hobby?

Oh….I need to quickly close this blog posting out so I can get back to my flight planning for my ALL DAY online VATSIM flying in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the founding of American virtual Airlines.  I will fly for over 12 hours in five different flight legs.  Man do I have a great wife or what? I’m glad I stopped to get flowers yesterday on the way home from the office.  She deserves them.

Until next time….enjoy the hobby.


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