FSDreamTeam GSX Pro Review

The highly anticipated GSX Pro by FSDreamTeam has finally been released for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS) and boy, oh boy….has it made an impact in the flight simulation community.  If you are new to the flight simulation world and have not had the opportunity to use GSX in either FSX or P3D, the you might be wondering what it is, what it does and whether or not you need it in your sim.  I’ll answer these questions and also for those who are already familiar with the product, will discuss why I believe you still need this in MSFS.

Before I start this product review.  Please allow me to get the fine print out of the way. 

The product I am reviewing was purchased by me and for my own personal use.  I receive absolutely no compensation of any form (cash, credit, discounts, promises) for reviewing this product.  I have not contacted, nor have I been contacted by the vendor to provide this product review.  The opinions expressed (good or bad) are my own, your mileage may vary.

What Is GSX Pro?

GSX Pro by FSDreamTeam is an all-in-one ground services add-on for Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS) and improves all ground services including push-back, catering, refueling, baggage and passenger loading.  GSX Pro adds an extra level of immersion to your overall flight simulation experience. 

FlightSimulator_q1DV6XDcx3

I’ve been a fan of GSX for many years and since making the full switch to Microsoft Flight Simulator a few months ago, had truly been missing this add-on.  For me, GSX ticks all the boxes and provides my flight simulation experience all the immersion necessary to simulate the role of a commercial airline pilot. 

The new version, GSX Pro debuted for MSFS just a few weeks ago and unfortunately the release was troubled by several unfortunate issues which were not entirely the fault of FSDreamTeam.  On the day of release, many users began experiencing poor performance and frequent CTD’s (crash to desktop).  Naturally, when something goes wrong with the sim we can’t help but look at the last thing we tweaked or installed as being the culprit.  This is only natural and I initially jumped to the conclusion that something had seriously gone wrong with the install or there was something seriously wrong with GSX Pro.  However, after some time it became clear that these issues with MSFS were happening to users who had not purchased/installed GSX Pro.  The issues causing the CTD’s and slow performance of MSFS (which to this day are still not completely known) were resolved by Microsoft/Asobo and once again MSFS performed as it should. 

As previously stated, GSX Pro provides an all-in-one ground services function for MSFS.  This of course includes catering, refueling, baggage and passenger boarding and de-boarding, refueling and push-back services.  For the most part it performs all these functions well.  Yes, there are some small quirks which happen from time to time.  While some of these minor annoyances could be caused by MSFS, some of these have been around in the product from the FSX/P3D days.  In my opinion, when I see the baggage carts driving through the engine or through another vehicle, I just chuckle and appreciate the fact I’m alive and able to enjoy this hobby as much as I do.  Remember, AI will never be perfect.  We see these same issues in other simulation based titles and it’s in your best interest to just grin and bear it just as I do. 

All-in-all, GSX Pro is an add-on I rate highly in the “must have” category of flight simulation add-ons.   As I previously said, I had truly been missing GSX Pro after making the switch from P3D to MSFS a few months ago.  As I write this, GSX Pro has been available for about 3 weeks and the level of improvements, bug fixes etc. have brought it up to the standard in which it was for P3D and it will continue to improved over time. 

Do you absolutely need GSX Pro?  If you want to add that extra level of immersion to your flight simulation experience then the answer is an overwhelming YES! 

As always, thank you for reading. 

Until next time….

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

PMDG 737-800 Final Approach

Good Sunday morning!  We awoke this morning to some really great news regarding the highly anticipated PMDG 737-800 for Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS).  Essentially, the PMDG Boeing 737-800 is on final approach and should be available sometime between 23 August and 31 August.  This is excellent news for any fan of the 738.  After all, it’s really been a long time coming.  For me personally, this particular aircraft has been the “missing link” in my MSFS setup. 

Along with the release of the PMDG 737-800, some really cool lighting features are also due to be released.  While I’m not 100% certain of this, but I think these lighting features will be available for the other 737 types including the –700 and –600 which have already been released.  In any event, these new lighting features including spotlights and sun visor/shade devices will be extremely helpful to have in the sim.  A new video was released this morning showcasing these new features.  You can view that below.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYDM9kwzy8M[/embedyt]

Until MSFS came along, I really didn’t have much desire to fly during the nighttime hours.  Oh sure, I loved flying into LAS just before dusk, but in previous sims (FSX and P3D) I found the night lighting to be less desirable and harder on my system.  Plus I just really couldn’t see as well.  With MSFS, all elements of light have been drastically improved from the previously mentioned versions and flying at night is something I actually enjoy now. 

In Other News

Most likely you’ve also already heard that Sim Update 10 for MSFS has been delayed a few weeks. Microsoft/Asobo is shooting for mid September for this update.  SU 10 may prove to be one of the greatest achievements we’ve seen thus far in the life of MSFS as it should deliver many performance improvements. 

CTD’s and Other Annoyances

Have you been experiencing multiple CTD’s (Crash to Desktop) in the past few days?  If so, you’re not alone.  Even after my recent sim machine rebuild and reinstall/reconfigure of MSFS, I’ve been plagued with a few CTD’s.  Fortunately, all my CTD events (knock on wood) have been occurring during the launch process for MSFS and not during flight.  There is a very long thread on the Microsoft forums discussing these recent CTD’s and the general consensus is that they have something to do with how MSFS interacts with the servers controlled by Microsoft/Asobo.

While early speculation pointed the finger at FSDreamTeam and the new GSX Pro, there are other users who have experienced recent CTD’s and haven’t purchased GSX Pro nor own any FSDT add-ons.  You can read this rather lengthy forum post here

Well that’s about all I have time for today.  I’m approaching DEN in the Fenix A320 and need to now focus my attention on a safe landing. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Microsoft Flight Simulator–Two Year Anniversary

In just a few days, 18 August 2022, Microsoft will celebrate the two year anniversary since the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator.  During the summer of 2019 and somewhat out of the blue, Microsoft announced they were working on the new version of their extremely popular Microsoft Flight Simulator.  I use the words “Out of the Blue” because most in the flight sim community were not aware of this news and it came to us with excitement and even some speculation.  Many of the blog postings I wrote here on my blog were very much mixed with my own personal excitement but also with guarded concerns.  After all, Microsoft had abandoned Flight Simulator and as a result many of the long-time fans of the sim had moved over to Prepar3D or X-Plane.  For the most part, I was certainly happy with the direction Prepar3D was moving in and was having a lot of fun in the sim. 

As we approach the two year anniversary of the release of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS) I can happily say that much of the concern or speculation I once held towards the title have been dismissed.  After all, earlier this summer when the Fenix A320 and PMDG 737-700 released for MSFS, I began flying MSFS almost exclusively.  I still occasionally fly P3D when I have a need to fly the PMDG 777 or the QualityWings 787.  But I would say this is perhaps only 1 out of 100 or so flights that I do this.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the time I spend in MSFS and the experience gets better and better.  As a matter of fact, I changed my mind on the decision not to purchase the PMDG 737-700 (I initially said I would hold out until the 737-800 released) as the few times I tried flying the 737-800 in P3D, I just didn’t enjoy the experience.  While MSFS may have some limitations, the overall beauty of the sim makes up it.  Plus the addition of the Fenix A320 and the PMDG 737-700 (and soon to be released 737-800) have been instrumental in keeping me flying MSFS and essentially letting P3D gather dust. 

About those concerns…

The concerns and speculation many of us long-time flight simulation enthusiasts once had for Microsoft and Microsoft Flight Simulator have (in my opinion) to be null and void at this point.  In all honesty, while it did take me about a year and a half to fully embrace MSFS for my jetliner use, I was convinced that the efforts of both Microsoft and Asobo would truly turn MSFS into the future of flight simulation we have been longing for.  It just took some time for some of the more advanced airliners to make it into the sim and of course it took some time for Microsoft to work out a few bugs.  But as I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve been enjoying the hobby of flight simulation since the early 1980’s.  The advancement of flight simulation over these past 35+ years is truly amazing.  The dedication I see from Microsoft, Asobo and all the many 3rd party developers certainly have me convinced that Microsoft Flight Simulator earns the right to say “As Real As It Gets” and will only continue to get better as time goes by.

August Expectations

While August is about half way done, I believe we’ll see some amazing things happen this month.  First and foremost, Microsoft/Asobo have been working hard on the sim update 10 release.  While I haven’t participated in the beta, I’ve heard from many simmers who say that SU10 addresses many of the bugs we’ve been plagued with and moves the sim one step further ahead with better performance and features which many 3rd party developers can take advantage of.  While I’m not a fan of Microsoft’s “Must Update Features”, I am anxiously awaiting SU10 and hope the update/upgrade process works as smoothly as all the previous updates have. 

In addition to SU10, I believe we will see the PMDG 737-800 release this month or early September.  The 737-800 is my all-time favorite aircraft to fly in the sim and I’ve missed having it.   Yes, the 737-700 is just a bit smaller,  but I want my 738 and I want it as soon as possible.  I know many of you do as well. 

Finally, I also believe we will soon have FSDreamTeam’s GSX available to us during the month of August.  For those that don’t know, GSX is the ground services component to flight simulation.  GSX controls all aspects of cargo and passenger loading, including the visuals for baggage/cargo being loaded onto the aircraft along with fueling, catering and that much important de-icing during the winter months.  In addition, GSX also does a really good job with aircraft pushback services which are truly lacking in MSFS at the present time. 

The Future Remains Bright

I believe we’ll continue to see some truly amazing things come to MSFS in the later half of 2022 and early 2023.  I’m hopeful SU10 paves the way for Chaseplane to finally come to MSFS and of course we might….just maybe see the PMDG 777 before end of year or perhaps very early 2023. Time will certainly tell.  It’s certainly a great time to be alive and a great time to be a flight simulation enthusiast. 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read and I look forward to returning with a blog post in a few weeks to document my experiences with SU10, PMDG 737-800 and hopefully GSX.

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Welcome Aboard KPHX to KLAS

SnapShot_aal777 Hello and thank you for stopping by.  For several years I have wanted to produce more cinematic flight sim productions.  However, the amount of time required hasn’t always been something I’ve had a lot of.  But times are different now.  Of course I love flying and this video was a lot of fun to put together.  There will be more soon….

Welcome Aboard to American Airlines flight 777 with non-stop service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International
Airport and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.  Your captain for this flight is JT.  Please sit back,
relax and enjoy the flight.

Addons used:

Aircraft:
PMDG Boeing 737-800 (NGXu)
American Airlines Livery

Simulator:
Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v5

Scenery:
(1) ORBX FTX GLOBAL
(2) ORBX OpenLC North America
(3) Flightbeam Studios KPHX
(4) FlyTampa KLAS
(5) FSDreamTeam GSX Lvl 2
 
Camera Effect:
Chaseplane

Weather:
ActiveSky 

I hope you enjoy watching my videos.  If you do, please hit that “Like” button!  Also, if you are new to the channel, please SUBSCRIBE.  It really does help!

Please visit my blog site https://grizzlybearsims.com  You’ll find my complete mod list and various articles and reviews on many of the simulation based games I enjoy playing.

Thank you for watching!

J

MUSIC CREDITS
________________

Inflight Music
Dreaming in 432Hz by Unicorn Heads (YouTube Music Library)

It’s been a while….

Yep, I know it’s been over a month…Oh who am I kidding.  It’s been over two months since I last posted a blog update.  January was a busy month for virtual flying…but February not so much.  I believe I logged over 60 hours of virtual simming in January and only about 3-4 in February.  Bottom line is February was a busy month for me in my job and we all know that jobs come first and hobbies come last.

I’m still flying with American virtual Airlines and still managing the training hub.  It keeps me busy.  On average we have 20+ new pilots join each month and again on average about half that many are terminated for inactivity.  For the life of me I can’t figure out why someone would take the time to join a VA and not fly.  Sure we have a few rules that must be followed and we also conduct a very brief quiz over VATSIM and our own policies….but this quiz is not difficult at all.  Also, you must fly 5 hours as a student pilot before transferring to a mainline hub.  But we don’t require a check ride and the quiz is done on-line and we even tell you where to find the answers.  Oh well. 

There is something possibly big going to happen with me at AvA.  I won’t talk about it now, but will be certain to come back and blog about it just as soon as I can.  It’s all good.

The FSX machine is still running incredibly well.  I finally got around to installing all the FSDTsceneries I had purchased a few months back.  I purchased about a half dozen on a special deal FSDT was running.  I installed KDFW and KFLL but had never got around to installing KORD, KFJK, KLAS, PHNL.  Anyway….I had all but forgotten I had KORD and had been having issues with the terminals showing up correctly.  Basically when I would land in Chicago and taxi to the terminal area all I would see were hanging jet bridges and no buildings.  Well..I’m glad to say that the FSDT KORD scenery fixed that issue and I went ahead and installed the rest.  I’m planning on flying from KMSP to KLAS on Sunday evening for an AvA event. 

Speaking of sceneries.  I also purchased the FlyTampa scenery for St. Maarten, TNCM and for Tampa, KTPA.  I’m really impressed with FlyTampa’s quality. I know many of you own this scenery and I’m really not sure why it took so long to purchase it.  I think Boston KBOS will be my next FlyTampa scenery. 

Back to the subject of FSDT.  Have you heard about the newest product they are currently developing?  It’s called Ground Services X and is pretty darn cool looking.  I’ve provided the video showing some of the things it will do.  It’s cool.  You can learn more about GSX in this forumthread.

FSDreamTeam GSX Preview

What else?  Oh….I also purchased and have been using FS Passengers in my VA flights.  It’s pretty cool and it has made me a better pilot.  I do think the lead flight attendant is flirting with me.  She keeps popping into the cockpit asking me what I’m going to do this weekend.  Ha ha

Well…that just about does it for this update.  I promise to get back to the blog and provide an update real soon on more of my flight sim adventures. 

Until then….

Happy Flying!

Jerry

Rock you like a Hurricane

I decided today would be a good day to head out of Martha’s Vineyard.  Hurricane Earl (currently a CAT 2 storm) was churning his way up the East Coast of the US through North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  The leading cloud cover ahead of the eye had already made its way up into New England.  The latest update from the National Weather Service was that Hurricane Earl would reach Cape Cod and the Islands on Saturday.  It was time to leave the peaceful island of Martha’s Vineyard.  I do hope to return again soon.

Approaching position and hold for runway 6 at KMVY

I checked out a Learjet 45 (FSX default aircraft) for the trip and plotted a course direct for Hurricane Earl (crossing safely above of course) for the warm beaches of Ft. Lauderdale and KFLL.  I wanted to check out the FSDT scenery I just purchased for that airport anyway.   Like I said, the leading wrap-around clouds had already made their way up into New England.  I was given clearance to depart runway 6 by the KMVY tower. The take-off and climb-out were uneventful.  Active Sky X does a very nice job depicting accurate wx conditions.  We made a turn to the east and began our flight down the coast.

Turning to the east. Leaving Martha’s Vineyard

There were certainly periods where the cloud cover (forward reaching bands from the hurricane) would completely disappear along the route.  As we passed along the New Jersey Coastline the cloud cover was open enough to make out the coastline areas.  But within minutes we had caught up with more bands.  We were getting closer and closer each and every minute.

Heavy clouds already starting to move up the New England Coastline Clearing just along the New Jersey Coastline. But for how long?

My flight path took us directly over the eye of Hurricane Earl.  The lightning below put on a nice show and while I’ve never been directly over the eye of a hurricane, Active Sky X depicts it from what I’ve seen on radar and even specifically what I saw on radar for this particular storm.  Of course the storm is not as defined since the satellite images are taken from much, much higher.  But you get the point.

The leading edge of Hurricane Earl

Crossing the eye of Hurricane Earl

Broken cloud layers just south of Earl’s position

Directly south of the eye was solid cloud cover.  As we traveled south from the eye the ride became a little bumpy for a few minutes and then everything was calm again.  Once we reached the coastline area of South Carolina all visible traces of Earl were gone.  The skies remained mostly clear the rest of the flight down to Ft. Lauderdale.  However, on approach things did begin to cloud up again and yes it was raining in what I thought would be a sunny and warm Ft. Lauderdale. 

Turning on final approach to runway 9L KFLL

Must keep my pace up as I’m being followed

Nice flow of vehicle traffic on the highway below.

I love the rain effect being kicked off the rear tires. We have arrived at KFLL

The fine print.  I certainly do not mean to take the impact of Hurricane Earl lightly.  My thoughts and prayers are with all those living along his path.  While I’m sure all commercial aviation steers clear (way clear) of these types of storms, the purpose of this flight and my blogging about it was to really test the accuracy of Active Sky X.  By all accounts I can testify that this software add-on for Microsoft Flight Simulator X is worth the cost.

Like all the flights I’ve flown, this one was a lot of fun.  I look forward to the next time I can get back in the cockpit and take to the skies. 

Until next time,

J

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